Double Exposure Self Image

Following the usual photography themed challenge on the #FlickrFriday group, I decided to try some self portraits for this weeks theme #DoubleExposure. The image above is the most striking and it conveys my favorite biography. Cartainly anyone who has spoken with me about books on theology, will know how much the life of Dietreich Bonhoeffer (Pastor, Theologian, Spy and Martyr) has influenced my own thinking and hopefully my life.

This interest grew from a visit to the holocaust museum in Israel, in which I came away wondering where the church was during this dark period in our history. I discovered a book by Eric Metaxas, journeying the reader through the life and death of Bonhoeffer. On the cover is an iconic portrait image of the man himself, with his round wire glasses taken during his time in a Nazi prison. That is the image I have used to double exposure over my own self portrait, in homage to his his lives story and the lessons for our lives still today.

Strangers We Meet

I met this gentleman while trying to take these landscape pictures and one of the moon. He approached me loudly from a distance, suggesting I take his picture, because I would never get a picture of an Irishman like him. I believe that might be true after our conversation and anyway, how could I refuse such an interesting character with a stick!

So I swung the camera around on the tripod and quickly fulfilled his request. As you can see there was no time for composition or even to consider focus. Just capture the moment, hope everyone is happy and get back to capturing my shoreline before the light was gone

However, the whole evening was full of people asking what I was looking at, what was it i saw and was I a professional. It seems a camera on a tripod convinces everyone you are a professional even when all you hoped for was a quiet night to better know learn your craft. Still it meant I got to take this gem of a photo. Feel free to let me know what do you think or share you stories of strangers you’ve met while out taking pictures.

Explored While Exploring The X20

So finally made a decision about which camera to get as a travel buddy. After selling my first image to a publishing house I bought myself a Fuji X20 enthusiast compact camera for travelling. I chose to get the retro silver version and got a great deal from Calumet Photography in Belfast. As you can imagine I couldn’t wait to go home to unbox this new toy, so instead popped into the Starbucks on Elmwood Avenue.

While there I submitted the above image taken with the X20 for the #FlickrFriday theme ‘Yesterday’ featuring a black and white print of an original Starbucks shop on the wall of the newly furnished Elmwood store. To my surprise this morning it was Explored.

Click the image to see other my other explored photos or if you would like to see the rest of my snaps taken yesterday with the X20 in Starbucks click here.

Finding The Right Travel Camera

One of the most difficult things about taking pictures while on the move in developing countries, is finding the right camera as a travel buddy. If like me you want a camera that’s discreet, light, easy to carry, feature rich and takes a great image, well it’s not easy on an affordable budget. In the past I have used a Panasonic ZX-100, which is fine outdoors (like the shot above) but not much use in low light conditions. So I have been exploring the current options before I head to Rwanda again in August. There are quite a few options between waterproof compacts to enthusiast compact cameras, but it is hard to find one the gives you the type of manual controls of a SDLR and yet in a size to fix your pocket.

I have checked various websites, blogs, forums and the opinions are vastly divided. Some are fiercely loyal to brand, others keen on changeable lens or crazy about the sensor size. Yet many are split over what actually constitutes a travel camera. However, I have narrowed it down to three cameras in my budget between the Nikon P7700, Canon G15 or Fuji X20. All great choices for various reasons, but after much debate I think I’m settling on the X20. It looks great, has a brilliant viewfinder, good size sensor, quick, easy to carry and takes a great image even in low light.

Check out this fantastic photo blog on the X20.

Update: Picked camera up today and here is a few snaps in Starbucks

http://www.flickr.com/photos/derekhall/sets/72157634516023080

Flickr Explored

Today one of my images that I had taken for #FlickrFriday theme #PolkaDots was featured on Flickr Explored. Which is amazing as I was still deciding if it was good enough for the challenge, but making the top 500 of the day was a real boost in confidence.

Click the above to see my other images that was #Explored.