Category Archives: Photography

Ancient castle courtyard.

Courtyard of the ancient castle is especially pleasing on the evening after the sunset. The noisy tourist groups, accompanied by guides in a hurry, left it already and slow passage of time came back inside the ancient walls.

Ljubljana castle, entrance
Ljubljana castle, entrance

Many friends told me that they filling presence in the courtyard when they are looking at the picture. They asked me how I created this filling and which post processing have I used. I have to say, at the begging, that this photo is not a composite or HDR and I didn’t use any advanced post processing in this case…

I have spent multiple evenings to catching the right image. Under the right I mean the picture how I was imaging it and how I would like it to be, so it would communicate my filling from the place. My eye was caught by the color contrast of warm yellows and cold blues. So it became obvious that picture must be composed around that. To increase depth I found a place where my foreground would be darker than main scene. I also blurred the nearby background on the right so it would be as our eye expects. That forces the eye to travel from the corner up to the mild ground where the ivy is brighter and sharper. On the left, there is a repetition patter of columns from the side to the middle. This receding pattern just confirms the filling from the right side. Bluish-ness of the pavement beneath and foreground on the right side is in contrast with warm yellow openings of the gallery on the left. I think that also stretches the space. When our eye reaches the portal there is again play of shadows and lights which creates extra depth. There is another element which forced me to spend one more evening catching the right moment… It is the sky which you can see behind the portal and tree silhouettes. I would like them to be exactly as it is depicted here and that brought an issue, either the sky was too dark on the moment when external lights balanced with embedded light or lights were coming later than I need it, but finally I succeed…

I have a strong feeling of accomplishment and excitement in such cases when everything goes as I anticipated and planned it to be 🙂

Cheers!

P.S. The look of the courtyard was changed shortly after the shot has been taken. Framing tree was totally cut off. The wall was cleaned from the ivy. So, it recalls world known phrase – “You could not step twice into the same river.” (Heraclitus)

Equipment:

Sony a7, Sony SEL3528Z, tripod.

Sony a7: Firmware update

I would like to install the time-lapse application from Sony app-store and occasionally found that my firmware obsolete, so that would be a good time to update it also.

Here is my experience of update from 3.10 to 3.20.

General recommendations

First above some general recommendations which applies for firmware updates, please, read them carefully.

  • Download firmware only from the producer’s web site!
  • You have to select exact firmware for you device, select it carefully!
  • It is recommended to use power safety devices like UPS for desktop or Laptop with fully charged battery.
  • Battery of your camera must be fully charged or you can use external power supplies (AC PW-20).
  • Close all application so update software wouldn’t have any occasional interruptions. Don’t try assemble time-lapse during the update or export images from Lightroom. 🙂
  • It is also recommended to disconnect all other USB devices. (Very strange requirements, I have USB keyboard and mouse for example  🙂
  • Use approved USB cable.
  • Don’t use USB hubs.
  • Remove flash card from the camera body.
  • Be patient!Update takes around 15 min, screen of the camera can stay blank or blink during this period, don’t switch off camera till the moment it is directed. (It was very disappointing when update software shows finishing installation and camera screed still dark. “…Don’t worry – be happy…”  🙂

Checking current firmware version

  1. Switch on camera.
  2. Enter to the Menu (Menu button)
  3. Open section (tab) “Setup”, the last one.
  4. Look for “Version” ()  st the “Setup” screen and press enter button (central button of the Joystick wheel).

Downloading camera firmware

I am downloading required firmware from the following web site: Sony support.

  1. Select your camera.
  2.  Select your operating system.

sony_a7_firmware_3.203. Download the firmware update.

Preparing camera for update

  1. Switch on camera.
  2. Enter to the Menu (Menu button)
  3. Open section “Setup”, the last one.
  4. At the “Setup” screen, looking for “USB Connection” (page 4) and select “Mass Storage” options.

Camera is ready for update! Let’s begin!

Updating firmware

Note: Software provides very accurate instructions what to do during the update read them carefully, they might be different in your case.

  1. Start downloaded software. It will automatically unpack and start.sony_a7_software_update_start
  2.  When the following window appears connect camera to the PC and press Next. 02_sony_a7_update_start
  3. Application will check connection to the camera. During the connection screen of the camera will became blank. If connection is not established probably you would like to reboot your camera or connect it to another USB port.03_sony_a7_update_connecting
  4. Next window prefaces version checking, so simply  pressing Next button.04_sony_a7_update_version_checking
  5. Next window will offer you to verify currently installed version and version which will be installed. If they are correct press “Next” and go further.05_sony_a7_update_version_displayed
  6. Sorry I lost somewhere screen for camera reset. Shortly:
    • Don’t remove USB cable!
    • Safely remove USB device through icon in task bar.
    • On camera: Press central button of wheel/joystic
    • Press Next button in the update application.
  7. 07_sony_a7_run_the_update
  8. Update running08_sony_a7_update_in_progressPlease, for your and camera safety don’t switch off anything! 🙂
  9. Finishing the update08_sony_a7_finish the updateBe patient, first wait till the camera screen will show invitation to use www.sony.net/pm URL.
    • First screen blinks.
    • Then the following message appears: “Recovering data, please wait.”
    • Then a screen appears notifying us that USB Mas storage device connected
    • And finally invitation to visit www.sony.net/pm.
    • Now you can press Finish button.

10. Disconnect USB cable.

11. Do a hard reset (remove battery or external power source).

12. Check if version was update correctly.

Installing the same firmware

Attempt to install the same firmware will cause the following window appear: 10_sony_a7_update_isn't_required

Cheers!

P.S. This article represents personal experience and doesn’t replace official firmware update guidance from Sony. Author succeed in this procedure and can not be blamed for a break bodies. 🙂

Utilizing power of Sony RX10 III: Animal photography

I visited Ljubljana Zoo to give a try of Sony RX10 III zooming capabilities and I was really pleased to have a 600mm lens :).

ljubljana_zoo_20160709-000019It gives you ability to make a tighter shots and compose far away subjects in a pleasing way.  This shot reminds me my visits to grandma place  she had a carpet on the wall with the very similar composition. I personally would like one of them to stay, I think that would improve the composition even more.ljubljana_zoo_20160709-000039 ljubljana_zoo_20160709-000042Please, don’t leave me!

ljubljana_zoo_20160709-000080 ljubljana_zoo_20160709-000092Siesta 🙂

ljubljana_zoo_20160709-000056Shooting through a fence. You can notice the fence was blurred out by the lens.  I especially positioned the frame in a way that the blur emphasize the subject.ljubljana_zoo_cheetahAnother shot through the fence, here again the fence helped to make kind of a framing  it blurs out surrounding allowing to focus you on the subject. Photo should communicated the cool of the shadow on the hot summer day :), please,  tell me if I succeed…

ljubljana_zoo_elephantFinally I was able to catch some movement on this hot summer day…

As far this session was relaxed and animal activity was low I am going for the “Duck hunting”, will find some pond full of birds on early morning and test focusing speed and ISO performance. Also If I find a gap in my busy schedule I will go for birds in flight photography.

Cheers!

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like to get original for you own quality review.

Sony RX10 III: Lightening photography

During my stay in Salzburg I was lucky to witness remote storm whit light strikes. I was testing Sony RX10 III camera that day, so I am happy to offer you test shot which was made.

Salzburg thunderbolt with Sony RX10 III
Salzburg thunderbolt with Sony RX10 III

To be frank it wasn’t a pure luck, the weather forecast was predicting some rain over night so I knew that something interesting  might happen on sunset. The sunset itself was amazing, sun pierced clouds just before the sunset and highlighted roofs of the city, but this is a topic for another post.

I was using manual approach to photograph thunderbolt in the meaning that I haven’t used any special device to register lightening. I have defined exposure which I would like to use and was firing exposures in a row. Some some of the frames got thunderbolts exposed. I am quite satisfied with the result taking in to account sensor size of the Sony RX10 III.

Cheers!

Sony RX10 III hands-on: Wings for Life

It happened I was visiting Hangar 7 in Salzburg with Sony RX10 III camera. I would like to say thank you, Martin Todtling, who made this visit happened for me.

I was attracted there by the bolide which has a nice texture made from thousands of photographs.  Texture was made as a part of the charity program called “Wings for Life”.

I always like to reach unreachable and see hidden so Sony RX10 III ultra zoom  (24-600) complements my style very well.

wings-for-life_03wings-for-liffewings-for-life_02

That is why I like to have 600mm lens, without carrying a lot of kilos. It allows you get so close and emphasize the subject to which you would like bring the attention. Note, the maximum aperture at 600mm is 4.0. It’s just amazing.

More is coming, stay tuned!

Cheers!

P.S. I would like to thank you aganin Martin Todtling, he is the amazing photographer and  my friend from Salzburg, who made this visit happened.

P.S.S. This post is a part of review series of Sony RX10 III bridge camera.

Notre Dame de Paris.

Notre Dame de Paris is a famous cathedral known by many since child hood through world know literature. One is definitely going to visit it once in Paris, it is a must see. I couldn’t resist to spent one evening on the Siene embankment, waiting for the sunset light during my visits to Paris. Sunsets are especially beautiful at Autumn in Paris, before or after the rain.

Last day light on Notre Dame de Paris
Last day light on Notre Dame de Paris

Cheers!

You can buy print of this photograph on many materials (fabric, canvas, metal and etc.) here:

Photography Prints
Print on metal, canvas, paper, framed on goods and cups.

Spring rain on lake Bled, Slovenia.

I was spending a spring evening on lake Bled (Slovenia) in hope to witness beautiful evening light. The sky was covered with clouds and the rain was falling on and off. Even when the rain threaten to become a shower and all tourists found their way to shelters, I was waiting…  And my hope wasn’t in vain,  a couple of minutes after beginning of the rain the sun started piercing the  clouds and light quickly movined towards the island. I knew, I will only have a couple of seconds to catch the island highlighted. I had my setup ready for the shot so I was just waiting for the moment when the light would come to the island to make it back lit. My expectations were exceeded, backlight gave this beautiful glowing of fresh leaves on trees. I just made a shot and the light, glowing of the trees and the moment were gone… But It was captured inside my camera for me and now I am happy to share it with you…

Glowing island under the spring rain, Lake Bled, Slovenia
Glowing island under the spring rain, Lake Bled, Slovenia

Cheers!

Equipment:

  • Sony a7
  • Canon nFD L 80-200mm
  • Benro travel mate tripod