Friday, June 20, 2014

White House up in the Clouds

Opportunity, timing and position are well know cornerstones in capturing fleeting moments. Sometimes it's even a suggestion.

While sitting on the patio in San Miguel de Allende my wife suggested that I photograph a white house on the cliff-side that was surrounded by clouds.

When I first looked up it didn't look that interesting but after getting the camera out and setting it up, the above cloud formation moved in creating a striking visual effect. The columns and rounded domes of the house are re-enforced by similar but looser structures in the cloud.

 original image out of camera

The original image looks interesting but is a little flat and static.
The changes I made were to add clarity +87 to increase contrast of clouds and house, increase highlights +60 to make the clouds and house even brighter and reduce both luminance and saturation of the blues and cyans in camera RAW.

In Photoshop, I decreased the saturation and luminance of the greens and oranges to keep mainly 2 dominant colors of white and blue.

Adding contrast to the clouds almost make them appear to explode around the house.

Niels Henriksen

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fine Art Print – 'Dancing Flames'

As with the previous print, this is also one of those lovely peonies flowers but from a closer view.

For this image, which I kept B&W, I wanted the soft petals to appear to be like dancing flames in a fire.

The image is low contrast and there is not a lot of fine detail. Therefore I wanted the paper to add tones in the soft areas. This paper, which I can no longer get, is very close to the water paper I use for my paintings

Ilford Smooth Fine Art Paper
weight: 190gsm
Paper size:13”x19”
Image Size 9” x 14″
Print Series No. 1,
Prints made 5

Price: $135.00
Availability 5 

Special price only for readers of My camera World   $100.

This price  is only available until 5:00pm EST Tuesday, 25 September, 2012
Shipping world wide $20.00 via regular mail. Contact for price request if faster delivery is required.

Send email request to 
Niels Henriksen Artworks

Niels Henriksen 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fine Art Print - 'Fire Within'

Peonies provide wonderful opportunities for close-up photography with their delicate streamer like petals. Almost like flags waving in the breeze.

There was a soft warm glow within the centre of the flowers which may either be due pollen tinting or the stronger blue sky light on the outer petal tips when adjusted to more neutral whiter of the petal, causing the inner parts to become warmer with temperature adjustments.

Either way, I focused on this yellowish-orange color cast as the dominante part of the image, with its strong contrast found here. Since one primary color is the yellowish-orange I then ensured that the darker greyer background petal had a slight blue hue to act as a compliment with the yellow.
The Sugar Cane paper has a warm tone to further enhance the yellowish-orange tones.

Print Details

Hahnemuhle ‘Sugar Cane’ Fine Art Paper
Weight: 300 gsm
Paper size:13”x19”
Image Size 11” x 14″
Print Series No. 1,
Prints made 5

Availability  5

Special price only for readers of My camera World   $100.

This price  is only available until 5:00pm EST Friday, 21 September, 2012

Shipping world wide $20.00 via regular mail. Contact for price request if faster delivery is required.

Send email request to Niels Henriksen Artworks

 Niels Henriksen

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fine Art Print – Boat in Grass on Beach

This photograph is another image from my trip to Denmark. While the bicycle was taken in the large and historic city of Copenhagen. The image of the boat in the tall grass was taken on a secluded beach on the Isle of Mors which is situated within Jutland but is surrounded with salt water due to an opening on the west coast.

Denmark, especially on the Jutland peninsula jutting up from Germany, is mostly composed of sand and therefore relatively flat and low lying. This  creates wonderful long stretches of beaches and if there is not a lot of people traffic, then long swaying grasses reach down to the shore line.

Being an inland sea, with a short distance to the main part of Jutland, there is little fetch for waves to develop and erode the shoreline.

It was while I was doing my   8GB Walk-about Part 1 and 8GB Walk-about Part 2 as I called the article, that on a lonely stretch I found this overturned boat  in the tall grass.  It was the classic red color for boats but was definitely weathered and the bare wood of the hull showed through. I doubt it would ever sail again unless someone took the time to restore it.

While the boat is an anchoring point in the photo supporting interest is the swaying grass which helps to create movement within the photograph. By keeping it to B&W then the colors don't compete for other interest within the image.

This movement is hard to show in a web sized image but this is where a large print does justice to the sublet tones and movement of the grass.

Close-up of moving grass – 75% actual size

Hahnemuhle ‘PhotoRag’ Matte Fine Art Paper
Weight: 308 gsm
Paper size:11”x17”
Image Size 9 1/4” x 14″
Print Series No. 1,
prints made 5

Availability 4

Special price only for readers of My camera World   $100.

This price  is only available until 5:00pm EST Tuesday, 18 September, 2012

Shipping world wide $20.00 via regular mail. Contact for price request if faster delivery is required.

Send email request to Niels Henriksen Artworks

Niels Henriksen 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fine Art Print – Bicycle and Orange Wall

Fine Art Print – Bicycle and Orange Wall The photograph, which looks more like a watercolor painting, was taken at the entrance of Square of King Frederiksberg's Castle grounds in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Many layers were used to bring in the tones and textures, some detailed, others lost, to create the final version shown below.  See the original article about techniques used Painterly Effect with Photo Enhancement

Hahnemuhle ‘Sugar Cane’ Fine Art Paper
Weight: 300 gsm
Paper size:13”x19”
Image Size 9 1/4” x 14″
Print Series No. 1,
prints made 5

Availability 1

Special price only for readers of My camera World $100.

This price is only available until 5:00pm EST Friday 14 September, 2012

Shipping world wide $20.00 via regular mail.

Contact for price request if faster delivery is required.

Send email request to Niels Henriksen Artworks

Each print comes with a full refund guarantee and a Certificate of Provenance.

Each print is hand titled, numbered and signed and comes with a Certificate of Provenance

Regular Price $135., Price increase November 2012, $165.

Niels Henriksen

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Any Fans of the Photographic Artwork of Niels Henriksen

That is certainty a self serving title and its fraught with many definitions of term 'fans' but it is also a chance for me to understand something about my readership.
This blog is just a few members shy of 1200 subscribers. I'm very grateful that so many find the photographs and articles enjoyable. There are also those who arrive by way of search engines, but from this total group I wonder how many committed fans of my photography I have.

Taken in San Miguel de Allende

I take many photographs, photo-edit them and then display these on the web just like millions of others do. But as a photographer the biggest pleasure is actually seeing the photo printed on photographic paper and how the texture and tone of the paper support the artistic vision.
But out of the entire collection of photographs I capture per year, only about 5 -10 actually have that extra quality or uniqueness that compels me to print large, frame and mount on a wall for display.

These fine-art photographs, as I describe them, go through a process of printing them on heavy mate papers (approx 300gsm). Depending on the detail and tonal qualities of the photograph I will print smaller versions (8”x10') on a series from 4-8 different papers to determine which paper best suits the image. After several weeks of just looking at them in different light settings I will select a paper for the final version.

In this image I combined 2 photographs to make the composite above as I wanted the boy to appear that he was searching for his princess.

Each of these fine-art prints are printed in a small edition series, currently 5, and then titled, numbered and signed and then made available for sale either through my Art web site ' Niels Henriksen Artworks' and through galleries.

As part of my marketing strategy, periodically (approx 18months), I increase my prices to reflect the larger, albeit still small, demand for my photographic prints.

Prior to this increase in November, I am offering to readers of 'My Camera World' a 25% discount on the current price for a period of 7 days after print is posted on this blog.

All prints purchased from me come with an unconditional full refund guarantee.  If you don't like it for any reason you get a full refund.
This makes purchasing a print from me completely risk free.
Each print comes with with a Certificate of Provenance. See example below

Over the next 2 weeks I will post an article about each of these prints that articulate my vision and story behind the photographs.

I hope that some of you will see a photograph that you enjoy and will sequentially purchase.  I think it's  important as a photographer and artist that we also collect other artists work and if not mine then someones else's. I am starting to have a decent collection of artworks already and will continue to collect new pieces every year.

By collecting several pieces I can then rotate them on the walls in my house and experience the same joy as when they were first hung.

Niels Henriksen

Monday, August 27, 2012

Patience - a Photographer’s Special tool

Many times we see wonderful scenes and landscapes right in front of us.  Our emotions are stirring especially since for the last few moments our vision and senses are taking it all in. Therefore, it must make a wonderful photograph.

We take the photograph and move on knowing that we have a great shot because that's how we perceive our visual and sensory experience for this site.

But when we get home it seems to lack that something special we experienced back at our location.

Others who see the image may say it's nice but in reality it's just another tourist type shot. The experience we had is missing.

The key ingredient missing is patience, or just plain waiting for the scene to evolve in either light-shaping or the actors in the scene. These actors can be real people or elements in the changing  landscape.

Light, it's strength or absence, is the key to all photographs. After this, it's the context of element within the science that further define the photographic experience.

As an example, the photographs of a set of wonderfully painted stairs help to demonstrate the importance of patience to wait out a scene until the elements define it in a new perspective.

There is a set of beautifully paints stairs just across the street from the Chateau Laurier hotel in Ottawa.

But to photograph them is to only copy someone else's work. This is fine if all you want is to show others the beauty of these stairs.

But there could be more if you only wait for people in this particular case to add the extra element to make this your own original photograph.

I knew people walking up and down the stairs would add interest to the image but without staffed actors I could only wait for what?

A few minutes later a solitary well dressed soldier from a ceremony on Parliament Hill was approaching the steps to walk down. Luckily there was no one else nearby to also transcend these steps.

I waited until his eyes were near the wolf's eyes and took 3 rapid shots. It's hard to get the arms and legs just right so with 3, one should work well.

It wasn't a busy place as these steps are slightly hidden. I felt good with the shot and started to walk on but a short distance later I felt there could be more if I just waited longer, so back I went.

After about 15 minutes of waiting a bunch of young children and their parents started to head up. The little girl was leading the pack and it looked like she would head right for the wolf's ear.

There were many others on the steps but I knew I could immediately afterwards take a photo of just the stairs and then edit everyone out.

The photograph now looks like the child went up the steps to whippers into the wolf's ear.

In many locations, taking the time to wait for something to change within the scene will make it a better photograph. The shadows created by the sun as it sculpts the landscape or intermittent clouds that create highlights within the scene. It could even be the addition of people, or removal of too many or  the right combination of their colourful clothing that augments the photograph. Either way, occasionally take the time to explore the environment in front of or behind you and sit and wait for that extra photographic element.

Niels Henriksen

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Ottawa Lumiere Festival of Lights – Full Camera Skills Needed

The Ottawa annual Lumiere Festival of Lights is not just a wonderful events for kids and spectators it's also a great chance to get some interesting and new photos for your collection.

 ISO 400; f6.3; 13 sec; -0.67ev; 123mm; tripod mounted; Nikon D300

This is my 3rd time attending this event and each and every time I go there is something new to see. The festival is all about light and for this event it means candle power. There are activities for kids in the leading-up week where they make wonderful colorful paper mache objects that have holders inside to take those small candles in metal cans. These candles go inside the object and are lit at dusk. This creates a wonderful glow emanating for the colorful paper mache objects.

ISO 2,500 f5.6; 1 sec;  48mm

Hundreds of these lit lanterns in the shape of many different forms from faces to animals line the many paths around New Edinburgh park in Ottawa.

For the photographer it's visually stunning but also provides many photographic challenges in order to capture the event as the night unfolds.

When you first arrive around 7:30pm, you are at the golden hour of light and normal settings gets most of these shots.  You may need a bit of fill light from your flash and here an attached strobe flash is necessary to get just enough light to fill area and the ability to reduce the exposure (-ev) so as to not over power the ambient light.  See image of man on stilts below.

ISO 200; f5.6; 1/60 sec; 40mm; Flash -1ev

With hundreds of kids moving around and depending on their activity in front of you, a long exposure shot may create interesting photo image. The children in the image below are playing a large chess game. I wanted to show motion blur to create effect of action within the photo.

ISO 80; f25; 3 sec; 32mm

As dusk starts to envelope a more  stronger flash is necessary to freeze motion and completely fill subject as with the Tango dancer.

ISO 200; f5.6; 1/60 sec; 100mm; Flash

There are other areas like the lit swans in the river where flash won't work and a long exposure is needed to amplify available light to avoid the noise of higher ISOs. But when there is some wind movement then you will need the higher ISOs as in the photo below. In these photos it's all about the soft glow of candle power.

ISO 2,500; f5.6; 0.3 sec;  -0.3ev; 190mm; tripod mounted

ISO 2,500; f5.6; 2 sec; -1ev; 28mm; tripod mounted

But a near full darkness only longer exposure times and a tripod will get you those interesting photos like the girls with their glowing and twirling hula hoops.

The main event at this festival is a giant maze on a baseball diamond (to reduce chance of grass fire) covered with lunch paper bags filled with a little sand for stability and then a small candle. There are hundreds of children walking around this maze but with long exposures they do not show up in the photo because of their darkness. It's only when they are carrying candles or light that they show up as a moving white line.

ISO 1,000; f5.6; -1ev; 3sec; 1230mm; tripod mounted

At this event I did use my new Nikon D800e and I found it worked well. I did forget to bring my small flashlight to light the buttons on the camera.  Thankfully there remained mostly the same from the D300 and I could with some ease figure where to press to make changes to seetings.

In summary for an event like this you need to be able to switch between:
Aperture, Shutter priority and Manual mode – Flash will freeze when necessary.
Low and high ISOs.
Normal shutter speeds and long exposures of 2-3 seconds.
Flash power adjustments for fill light strengths.
Hand-held and tripod shooting.

I do hope you all get a chance to try events like these or a an amusement park or fair ground.

Niels Henriksen

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Test of Nikon D800e, a DX lens and a Teleconverter

I was fortunate to finally get a Nikon D800e (36 Mpx) after a brief 3 month wait. I didn't, and I also think its the same with Nikon, expect that there would be such a huge demand for this camera. I don't know why Nikon seemed to leap so far ahead with its next generation but I'm grateful. I think there are millions (well a whole bunch anyway) more who also think the same.

This is a full frame camera and a DX lens will work but is cropped due to limited image area. The camera even has mode where it will auto detect a DX lens and crop accordingly. Knowing that there is still a little more image available with the DX crop I decided not to crop and use whatever was available.

Nikon D800e with 70-200mm f2.8 VR. The image on right is actual size of window pane

My favorite DX lens is the 18-200mm f3.5 VR and as I travel around I notice others who like this lens. While it may have some pincushion and barrel distortion, thanks to Photoshop lens correction, this is almost all eliminated.
Nikon D800e with 70-200mm f2.8 VR set to 1.2 crop. The image on right is actual size of window pane. I didn't realize at first that the crop factor also applied to FX lens.

It was while I was performing a resolution test with my D300 and the new D800e by using both the 18-200mm f3.5 VR and the 70-200mm f2.8 VR that I noticed that when full zoomed on the DX lens that vignetting seemed to disappear, but looked like a dime at 18mm.

This excited me more than the current test and therefore I decided to pursue this further.

The 18-200mm is really like a 24-300mm on a DX camera due to the 1.5 crop factor and this range will meet about 90% of my needs. With a 1.4 teleconverter on the FX camera it's now almost the same range as on a DX camera.

The test I performed was hand-held as I didn't need with this test to check for perfect resolution. I stood in front of a large apartment building in the parking lot across the street and remained at the same position while I changed the lens focal length.

In the 1st test, see film strip below, there is significant vignetting in the 18mm and slowly reduces as the focal length is increased. Even at 200mm there is still slight vignetting at the corners.
When the teleconverter was added then magic seemed to appear. At 18mm there is only slight vignetting at the corners and disappears by 24mm. The film strip below shows the changes with teleconverter added.

Now a favorite lens becomes useful on my full frame camera.

Most lens that have such a wide range of focal lens is all about compromises when being designed and built. The same with the 18-200mm f3.5 VR. Photoshop easily handles the barrel distortion. But this lens at the glass edge, maybe more is being used now, also has a fair amount of chromatic appellation. This is also handled well with Photoshop. Since most artistic images don't need to be sharp or well defined at the corners of a photograph then any additional distortion caused by using more lens area is not really a problem with digital-editing.

So when and if you do decide to go full frame one day then your DX glass can be useful with a teleconverter.

The reason this works is because the lens is now further from the sensor and therefore increases in size on sensor chip. Take a magnifying glass and hold it to show an image appearing upside down on a piece of paper. Now move the magnifying glass further away and watch how the image on the paper grows larger. The same happens with a teleconverter attached.

Niels Henriksen

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Flickr Update for Niels Henriksen

Just a short note to let my readers know that I have reached 10,000 plus viewers on Flickr.

So a little jump for joy.

While for many this may not be momentous, for all those who have photos on Flickr, it is a step for me in trying to get more exposure for my photographs. While I joined in 2007 I did start to add image until a couple of years ago after my first trip to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico.

F/24 @ 1/6 sec

I like this image because it takes a moment to figure out that this is a person on a bike jumping, flying through the air in a skateboard park.

 F/16 @ 1/250 sec

These photos are 2 examples where controlling the shutter speed is important. In the first photo a slower shutter speed is used to blur action and the other photo a faster shutter speed to freeze it. Do take the time to drop by and view some of my images and do take the time to connect on Flickr so that I can view your photos.

 You can view my photo-stream here .

Niels Henriksen


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