Monday, 9 August 2010

Sunday, 1 August 2010

On the move....

I will no longer be updating this blog - as I am about to move location to
Hope to see you there!

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Chasing Reflections - E-book is out on Craft & Vision

In april David duChemin asked me if I would consider doing an e-book on how I create my reflection images. This is the result, and it is available on Craft & Vision, along with a lot of other e-books for only $ 5  each.

Exploring a subject, like photographing reflections, is fun and provides a lot of learning experience! It is quite different to try and explain this to someone else in a way that makes sense. Writing this book has been a lot of hard work, very frustrating and great fun at the same time.

The last few months my spare time has been spent by the computer or out shooting more images to illustrate a point.

I am very grateful that David challenged me to write this book. I hope you like it!

This is the direct link: Chasing Reflections.

Or you can go via Davids blog HERE to get a discount :-)

Friday, 16 July 2010

Fascinated by Lisette Model

Lisette Model, "Reflections", New York, 1939-1945. Fundación MAPFRE, Madrid
© The Lisette Model Foundation, Inc. (1983).

I came across this image by Lisette Model in Black & White Magazine Issue 75. I haven't seen images of the type of reflections that I like to take before, and was instantly fascinated.

I've googled her name and have come across a few more reflection images. I also came across the Aperture Monograph at half price in a bookstore yesterday. Apparently she has done a whole series of reflections, but I found only maybe 5 or 6 on the web.

Why I love this image I guess is that I think i know I know how she took it! And that it was no coincidence.
The sun is shining down the street towards the women passing. Lisette Model is looking into the window from the left side. I think she also has a low viewpoint.

The main woman is on the "border" between light and shadow and that is why she is half lit. Or something else could cause the shadow of course.

The four black hats are people who are in the shade - looking at whatever is inside the window. They are in the shade, that is why they appear as dark silhouettes.  And because they create a black area in the image it is easier to see the reflection of the passers-by. Could even be the only reason the reflection is visible.

Her focus is set on the lightpole in the background. I assume she had no autofocus. I would have tried to set the focus on the main woman passing instead - but it is often difficult to anticipate what will happen. So this is something that has happened to me as well. Although I will never know if this was her intention. I will never know if it was her shutter speed that caused the woman to be a bit blurred either.

Leaving something left for the viewer to explore is important. Or as I managed to say to someone the other day - serve the starter as a teaser - don't dump the whole boiling main course in the lap of your guest :-)

Monday, 12 July 2010

Location Scouting

I noticed this window earlier, but the light wasn't right. So I went back at a different time of day to see if the light would be better. But actually I need to come back on a Sunday when shops are closed and there should be no cars parked on the street. I hate all these cars that keep parking at interesting locations!

What I like to continue working on at this location is to wait for some more people to pass in the sun on the other side of the street, and also more people on this side of the street. The time span for the right light here could be less than an hour per day. If it is sunny, that is!

And I have to get that "Photographer Woman" out of the picture. :-)  On this side of the street there is a silhouette of a woman passing in the shade behind me. More of her kind, pleeease!!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

How to be a great photographer

I’ve been reading Sabrina Henry ’s blog over the last weeks and she is doing a series on celebrating success. She has had guest posts from Stuart Sipahigil, Maureen Murphy, Beate Dalbec and Mark Olwick. These photographers have posted views on success and the value of taking risks.

This had me thinking –what is success? To me, well, to anybody? How do you know if you are successful? How do you know if you are great?

This brought me back to a lesson I learned through my day job.

My day job in short circles around creating successful ERP implementations for medium to large companies. ERP systems simplified are systems to handle for example the financial and logistics transactions for the value chain in a company.

Some years back - prior to launching a project - the members of our project core team were invited to present the proposed improvement project to the management team of a company.

A mini-questionnaire was handed out to the managers in the meeting, and they were asked to rate the main business processes of the company on a scale from 1 to 6. They were not asked to document their rating, just to rate how they felt about each business process. The question was something like; On what performance level is this business process today? And on what level do we want it to be? Assumingly a simple question to answer.

After the managers had rated the processes, the project manager went through the results on the whiteboard. I think the managers were just as surprised as the team members at how their answers differed.

Some had answered that we were on a level 2 but should aim to move to level 5 on the scale. Some said we are on level 5 already and should aim to stay there. Some said we are on level 2 and that is sufficient compared to our competition. Some said we were on level 6 but only needed to be on level 4. You get the picture.

Which of these managers would be most supporting of the project? No rocket science involved here; –that would be the managers wanting to move one two or more steps up the ladder. That would be the managers that wanted to move from 1 to 2, from 1 to 6, from 2 to 5, or even from 5 to 6. Those that felt we were already on the target level, whether it was 2 or 5 – did not see any need for an improvement project. This missing sense of urgency would of course affect their willingness to support the proposed improvement project.

What more became apparent in the meeting; – as a management team they were not speaking with one voice, they did not have a joint vision. They did not agree on the road forward.

I found this a great learning experience which brings me back to the subject of being a great photographer.

The perception of where we are now and where we want to be is something I think we have to agree on within ourself – between the members of our own personal internal management team if you like. The voices in your head! What does it mean to me, to be a great photographer? Where am I now? Where do I want to go from here? What will it take me to get there? This is unfortunately about creating a project plan like any other.

Reaching achievable goals you have set for yourself makes you feel great at what you do, and gives you energy. It is as simple as that.

I was reading Nigella Lawson’s preface in her cookbook – How to be a domestic goddess - the other day. She writes: So what I am talking about is not being a domestic goddess exactly, but feeling like one.

I love my images and think that they are great. I want to shoot more of them.

However, I don’t go out to shoot great images. I go out to play :-)

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Stairwell with Curved Glass

I often pass this glass stairwell walking home from town and if the light is right I can get some fun shots.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

A view from above

Not many new images are captured at present as I am writing on an e-book.

Browsing through my archive for that purpose, brought back this image. I was walking around Camogli just to see if I could discover some interesting scenes, as I looked over the edge of what appeared to be a roof-top parking place. This man was trying to make his "guests" leave but they just kept coming back :-)

Monday, 21 June 2010

Shadow Play

I love anything that has to do with shadows and silhouettes! Here I chose a vantage point that allowed me to shoot straight agains the sun. This gives better control of the shadows. Better than shooting from the side.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Pigeons at the Piazza

From Piazza Navona in Rome earlier this year. I was fascinated by the dramatic expressions of the statues, and the pigeons showing no respect whatsoever. Sometimes when I start shooting in a new location it takes a little time to "warm up" and then pigeons or seagulls are easy targets.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Meet some of the Foto Femme Girls

Once a month I meet up with 9 other women I've met in Oslo Kamera Klubb. These meetings are a great source of inspiration to me.

Some of the femme's have their own web pages:
Liz Palm

Liz' photography has inspired me a lot and she has just been awarded Photographer of the year in the Norwegian Photographic Society. (And I think they should announce it soon on!)

Nina Staff

Nina just won the first round of Photographer of the Year in Four rounds alltogether.

Essi Frydenlund

Essi has had an exihibition and made a book with her husband.

Kristin Aafløy Opdan

With her background in theatre, as an actress, she has very dramatic images.

Solfrid Sande

I love her soft romatic images.

May Haukås

Landscapes, Dance, Black & White.

Nina Karud

A passion for Landscapes.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Photographers to bookmark

Not too many pictures taken these days as I am busy behind the keyboard.

In the meantime, I'd like to share some other photographer links with you.

I went to a book design course this spring and two photographers I met there have also published their books:

Stine Loe Jenssen
Stine's book is just out and her exhibition is opening in Hønefoss outside Oslo on June 18th.

Anne Helene Gjelstad
Anne Helene also has her book accompanying her exhibition.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Venice... again

I've used a split toning gradient map preset for the post processing.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Italy Within the Frame 2010

Images by David duChemin
Italy has "grabbed" my heart after a recent workshop. One of our workshop leaders, David duChemin, created a slideshow of his images from the trip, and you can either see it from this LINK or better from his blog post HERE.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Straight off the Production Line

Went out for a walk with the camera after work today. I was fascinated by this revolving door at the central station in Oslo. There is something about doors and tunnels, where people can't really escape!

Study the legs of the guy in the last image. Can you see something odd? You probably have to click on the image to enlarge it to see what it is.

Soooo much of photography for me is about finding an interesting location and then waiting to see what happens. Well it isn't given that somethin WILL happen but it is fun to wait and see!

I was waiting for a couple that would match the couple in the blue ad but my patience ran out so I may have to go back. Soon. Before the ad is replaced :-)

PS! If you'd care to win a copy of my recent book, head over to Jeffrey Chapman's blog and sign up for the random draw. The link is HERE.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

When in Rome...

I won't claim to have "done as the Romans" but we had some fun at the Colosseum!

There was not enough light to see a reflection of Trond but we solved it by using the flash light function on his cell phone. That is how only his eye can be lit and the rest of his face left dark.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Reflection in broken glass

I chase reflections. Everywhere. All the time. This one is a bit tricky to decifer so I am adding a photo of the window I used. The sun was coming in from the right and I shot from the left.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Gondoliers in Venice

Not having been to Venice since I was twelve, I wasn't sure what to expect. I've read stories that the only people left in town were the tourists, and that it was incrediby expensive.

I wondered how the people who actually worked there would react to us taking pictures.
The clue is to ask, of course. Some will say yes and some will say no.

I wish I'd hired a gondolier for an evening trip like Marco Ryan and David duChemin did. You can see David's blogpost from Venice HERE, and Marco's post HERE.

It felt like a contrast to Portofino where we were perceived as paparazzi's and people expected us to be there and expected to be photographed. It just confirmed that they were important.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Yay! My Blurb book "Folk" is out!

Finally! I hope you like it and if so, that you will recommend it to your friends. David duChemin, author of the Amazon bestseller "Within the Frame" has been generous enough to write the foreword.

"There is simply so much to see in Eli's work, and all of it tells a story rooted in the human drama, small vignettes that represent something immediately recognizable - a glance, a gesture, the suggestion of relationships. The fact that she leaves enough of the story untold and invites us to explore the photographs on our own terms, makes her an even more engaging storyteller."

Sunday, 9 May 2010

More on Motion Blur

My new friend Jeffrey Chapman pointed out that in a picture with motion he would actually like to see some motion.
My first instinck here was to try panning but instead I tried to stand completely still and instead freeze the background. I think the shutter speed was 1/30 second. Or at least -ish :-)

Friday, 7 May 2010

Rainy Venice

Roaming around Venice with Jeffrey Chapman and David DuChemin after discussing "motion" makes you look at the city with fresh eyes. Water also allows opportunities for my favourite subject, reflections.

I usually shoot in RAW + small jpg's and often set the picture style to Monochrome on dull days. When Jeffrey saw this shot in black and white on my screen he commented that the image probably would have been deleted from his screen if it had been displayed in colour. And I guess I agree. But now I think it hightlights the mood of that day.

I never get tired of learning.

Thursday, 6 May 2010


I was fascinated by how the colour of the reflection balanced the boat. Usually you would want space in front of a moving boat but I bended the rule because of the visual mass top right, created by the yellow colour.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Ålesund National Digital Competition 2010

The image Karl Johansgate got a Honourable Mention Award in the national competition arranged by Ålesund Kameraklubb here in Norway.

232 images had been submitted from 58 photographers.

You can view the images and the result list HERE.

I'm just happy that the spring is finally here :-)

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Gone sailing

The sailing bit of Musto Millet Ski Yachting took place in Oslo today.  I went out with my local sailing club.
The wind disappeared after two races, though. But I love the reflections so I didn't really mind.

I think the light is really beautiful when it shines through dark clouds.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Window Reflections

This is another mix of showroom dummies and shoppers. I try to find a street where the sun shines straight in. The sun should not be at an angle so that the shop window is lit, but it is okay if the shops across the street are lit up. I position myself so that the sun lights up the faces of the passers-by. In the top image this is not the case but it is in the second one - you can see the difference.

An additional bonus is when the manequins are lit by lamps so that they are well visible through the reflection.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Oslo from Above

Norway is sort of closed from Wednesday through Monday for the Easter Holiday. But I have a friend who  worked overtime in an empty office. And she let me come for a visit with my camera.