News from my mountains…

I arrived here a week ago and I did not waste my time! Between a walk and another, I was surrounded by bright green and the light of these enchanted places. An opportunity to try my new lens, a 70-300 mm. It’s a cheap lens (by the way, I found it second-hand), but in my opinion very practical, lightweight and multi-purpose. I am very pleased with my last purchase!!

Veronica

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The delights of the square format

I spent Christmas time to the mountains, same place as always. It was not easy to find inspiration for new landscapes. To be honest, I did not get inspiration at all, but I decided to have a walk with my Nikon eventually. I was lucky in finding a beautiful sunny day. I went to Val Ferret, even more beautiful and charming in winter time than in summer, enclosed among the rugged peaks of Mont Blanc and its rounded buttresses. I started walking in the snow trying to see with new eyes what I had seen and photographed many times. And I started thinking .. “square”. Square is a format I have not used often. It seems a difficult format, which requires a more accurate picture composition than others. I’ve bin many shots because when the square format was applied they seemed meaningless, while others seemed to improve proportion and symmetry. Anyhow, it was very interesting, entertaining and challenging as well.
Here are the first results:

Veronica

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Hipstamatic and Instagram

I tried two photo Apps for iPhone: Hipstamatic and Instagram. I had spoken to some friends and I was curious. Of course, the result is fun and enjoyable, especially since they were not taken from a camera …

I have taken this shot by Hipstamatic in a cloudy day, in a break from the snow storm. I really like the effect of “dream ” that came out.  I can just see it as background on a page of my next photo album of winter holiday (I love to make photo albums every six months, to record all the important events of our lives …).

I took this image, instead, by Instagram while I went to pick my daughter up from school, two days ago. Everything was covered by a thin layer of rime ice and the effect was truly magical.

Instagram advantage is that you can now share photos on your favorite social network.

Veronica

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Photo editing

I’m back from a relaxing holiday in the mountains. I ate and skied in abundance, but unfortunately I took a few pictures. I didn’t felt to expose my D700 to the weather… However, I could take some family portraits. I find that the best photographs are the most spontaneous, so I simply ask my husband and girls to sit close and then I pretended to ignore them, while setting the camera. After an initial moment of surprise, they began to relax and I started to shoot. Maybe I should have used a flash to balance the intense light coming from the window, but I don’t like artificial light and, in any case, I would have missed the magic moment, if I had decided to stop to prepare the set.
Since it snowed continuously for three days, I took the opportunity to try some new processing technique. I don’t know what you think of photo-editing, I don’t like it particularly, but when it comes to shooting family, friends and non-official events, I like to experiment. That’s what I made

Veronica

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Snow, snow, snow!

My last photo tutorial has been published on donnamoderna.com today. It is about making greetings cards with one’s own photos to send special wishes to friends and relatives.
This idea came to my mind while thinking how to arrange gift for friends. For Christmas, this year, I decided to arrange only photographic gift. For that reason I’m going to Courmayeur next friday: just to take some good winter photos. It has been snowing for two weeks and I bet landscapes are amazing!

It’s not easy to set the exposure to take a good picture of a snowy landscape. Snow has to be white, a realistic white, and everything else has to be brilliant at the same time and that’s a real mess… By several trials, I developed my method, which is, basically, to overexpose a bit and correct the white balance during postproduction modificaton. Fresh new snow is quite different from old snow, so keep in mind to check the colors of every shot. Also histogram can help me in getting correct exposure, but I have always to remind myself that what my eyes see is different from what my camera freezes. This means that if the histogram is a bit as right, it’s ok. I have to pay attention to highlights, though!

I love mountains and I often get the chance to shot the snow. Fresh, candid snow is so poetic! But I took my favorite winter shot during a blizzard, from the windows of my room… every time that I see it, I feel cold!

Veronica

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