Thursday, June 28, 2012

Kabul Street Shots Plus a Few Others

Managed to get out again yesterday, but had my trusty Nikon L10 camera instead of the better Canon.  I sprayed and prayed and ended up with about 350 photos, and managed to salvage seven through creative cropping and the usual tweaks in Lightroom.  Just got a book on the program, too, so maybe I can figure out what I'm doing.

Yesterday's photos...

About a week ago, we went out west to Herat, and I ended up with a few decent pictures from that trip as well.  As soon as we landed, I saw a minaret that was due to line up with the sunset, so we dropped our kit, and then ran to find a place to shoot it.  Of course, surrounded by a berm, it was difficult to find a place, but eventually, I hung off the side of a cargo shipping container and squeezed off a few shots.  As the short trip progressed, I made a few more keepers.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Kabul Street Shots 20 June 2012

I'm having to develop some new techniques as I'm getting out every so often.  Basically, since I'm shooting with my travel camera, a Canon PowerShot SX130IS and not my SLR, I'm a little bit limited, especially because I don't have RAW.  But, I'm figuring out some things that work.  

Much of the shooting is from inside a car while moving.  Mostly, I set the ISO for the light conditions, fairly low usually since it's pretty sunny these days.  I'm usually shooting in Program mode at the widest angle to account for the movement and try to get as much as possible in the frame.  It's a 12.1 megapixel camera, so I keep it at the maximum settings to allow for cropping if something actually ends up in the frame.  I also set it to shoot as long as I keep the shutter button pressed.

Since we're driving, and usually not slow enough for proper composition, I tend to look ahead for something interesting, and then as we get close, press the shutter button and "spray and pray" hoping I catch what it was that I wanted.  I just shoot a lot of pictures, and then sort them out later on.  I try to remember to wipe the window down that I'm shooting through, although sometimes the smudges give the photos an interesting look.

As I go through the photos (pulling them into Lightroom), I 3-star the ones that I want to work on and mostly ignore the rest.  Then, I go through them each individually, cropping out the distracting bits, and applying a preset that I created that increases the contrast, clarity, gives it a bit of vignetting and a couple of other things.  Then, I export them to a new folder for use later.  

Such as here and now.

Kabul Street Shots from 20 June.

This was a lucky shot caught just as this school crossing guard was guzzling some water as the kids look on. It looks like they're all giggling at him...

Looking up, I noticed a burka clad woman negotiating her way up a very steep path to her home.  If you look closely, you can see she's being helped by a boy, and you can see another child near the top of the trail. 

A youngster who was hanging about as we were wrapping up our business at the hospital.

Another lucky shot caught just as this lady was passing by as we were driving.

People just doing their thing, walking up and down and across a side street.

A guy hitching a ride behind a truck.  

 A traffic police stand on one of the many traffic circles.  Unoccupied, and probably of minimal effect even if it was.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Kabul Street Shots

Back overseas again, and have the opportunity from time to time to get out and see the sites.  While I'm technically deployed, I won't turn this into a milblog.  My intent is to keep it travel related and use it to showcase some of my photography as often as I'm able to get to shoot.

That said, much of the next year will likely be shots like the ones below, taken from vehicles and trying to perfect the right settings for shooting through ballistic glass while on the move.  Lightroom is used liberally to salvage the mostly shoddy shots.

But, enough of that.  Welcome to Kabul.