Min första kamera

Stranden i Lønstrup
Stranden i Lønstrup

Senaste månaderna har jag haft en (foto)längtan till något enklare. Något mer statiskt. Tidigare har jag tagit en bild för att sedan så fort som möjligt visa den på Internet. Jag tror, som en motvikt, att jag nu är nyfiken på att hitta större utmaningar. Kanske projekt över längre tid.

Även om min digitala foto-setup är enkel (Canon 550D med ett 24mm, ett 35mm och ett 85mm objektiv) så vet jag att jag kommer att behöva byta kamerahus snart. Huset har varit med i några år och börjar bugga. Jag trivs med tanken på att ha samma kamera hela livet. Till slut behöver jag inte tänka på tekniken när jag tar bilder.

Före jul plockade jag fram min första kamera. En Agfa Optima 1035 som jag fick av min morfar när jag var ungefär fem. Det var på sommaren. Säkerligen i Juli på vårt sommarställe mellan Karlskoga och Nora. Jag mins inte varför jag fick den kanske hade jag namnsdag? Kanske var det bara för att min morfar gillade att fota?

Jag höll kameran försiktigt i min hand och skulle gå iväg med den. Jag tror jag skulle visa den för någon snarare än att ta en bild. Jag hade inte vågat ta någon bild än. Jag hade ju bara 24 bilder. Klick så kom jag åt avtryckaren och jag kände mig dum.

Tjej på färjan mellan Rosenlund och Lindholmen

Jag använde inte kameran så mycket när jag va liten. Efter det har den åkt fram några gånger men det var minst 10 år sedan sist men nu har jag kört en film genom den och några bilder blev fina.

En skillnad jag tänkt på än är att det är lättare att fotografera människor med en analog kamera. Folk blir inte lika nervösa. Kanske för att man slipper tänka att bilden hamnar på Facebook direkt? Jag brukar skoja om att den jag fotar bara har en chans på sig och så tar jag bilden. Det blir också lite spännande när man inte kan visa bilden direkt.

John & Daniel på Hjalmar-Brantingsplatsen
John & Daniel på Hjalmar-Brantingsplatsen

Den andra är att det är skönt med oskärpan. Mina andra objektiv är så skarpa. Det behövs inte. Ivartfall inte när det är hobbyfoto. Vist är det smart på ett fotouppdrag men det är ju inte därför jag är ute och tar kort på folk. Det är ju för att få kontakt med människor och känna en samhörighet?

Upload your old photos to Flickr

I use Flickr for all photos I would like to share with everyone and (a locked down) Picasa album for family events and other more personal things.

I have been using different online photo tools the last couple of years. Everything form building my own, to Gallery, WordPress, Picasa and Flickr. But the last year I have been using Flickr more and more. Instead of having all my favorite photos scattered around the web I wanted to upload them to Flickr. It was a pretty massive job. Here are the steps I took.

Update EXIF data on my oldest photos

I had about 100 (of my oldest) photo folders without EXIF-data. The most important missing fields are the fields that tells when the photo is taken. Without this Flickr would show it as it has been taken the same day as it was uploaded. I didn’t want that.

I looked around a bit for tools that could write EXIF-data and lastly I decided that the command line tool ExifTool would be the easiest to use.

My photos are sorted in folders like 2001/010101_A-beautiful-winter-day-in-the-snow. I opened a command line window and added the ExifTool binary to the path. Then I went through the 100 folders and executed the following command (should be all on one row) for every folder. Don’t forget to change the three date fields.

exiftool -Make="FUJIFILM" -Model="MX-2700"
-ModifyDate="2001:01:01 12:00:00"
-DateTimeOriginal="2001:01:01 12:00:00"
-CreateDate="2001:01:01 12:00:00"
-FocalLength="7,6mm"
-FocalLengthIn35mmFormat="35mm" 
-Artist="Ola Lindberg" 
-copyright="Ola Lindberg" *.jpg

The day is the most important. I didn’t care so much about the time. I added some extra camera information since I knew what camera I had used for the different shots. An hour later I had my first years properly EXIF-tagged.

Export the photos from Picasa

I’m using the Picasa program for my photo management. So I started from 1998 and took one year at the time. I starred, adjusted and exported the photos I wanted. Then I sorted them to folders by years when they were taken. I ended up with folders from 1999 to 2009 with between 5 & 50 images in each.

To be sure that I wasn’t missing any EXIF-data I looked through all exported photos in Windows Explorer where you can see the Date taken property. If it says Specify date taken you have no EXIF-data. By now most of my photos had the date in that field. I completed those that didn’t (both on the original file and the exported file).

Uploading to Flickr

I used the Flickr Uploadr tool to upload all photos. I tagged, added to sets, added titles and descriptions to all photos. Then I uploaded it one year at the time. I put them in one set for every year.

I ended up with sets from 1999 – 2009 with my old / new photos.

Re-sort the Flickr stream

Flickr sorts all photos by date uploaded. While it’s ok I didn’t want all my old photos to be on the first page in my Flickr stream. I could just have waited a while and it wouldn’t be a problem but I wanted to have them in an order more like date taken than date uploaded.

It’s strange that Flickr doesn’t support any way to re-sort you photo stream. But I found one third party tool (Flickr photostream update) that changes the upload date to the same as date taken. I ran it one set at the time and it worked fine.

There are one limitation though. You can never set the date taken to an earlier date than when you joined Flickr. I joined Flickr 2005-05-17 so my photos from 1999-2005 could never get the right upload date. Instead I changed the date for all photos from 1999 to 2005-05-20. All from 2000 to 2005-05-21. All from 2001 to 2005-05-22. And so on.

I looked for tools edit date uploaded in a batch for all photos in one set. I found one tool that I tried but it didn’t work. I didn’t have that many photos in these old sets so I just edited them one at the time in Flickr. It didn’t take more than 20 minutes so I was pretty happy. You could probably find a tool for this. Or even write your own.

Result

I uploaded about 400 of my old photos to Flickr. All in all it took two days. I ended up with a collection of my best of shots with sets for each year. And I’m very satisfied with it!

Photo summary, October 2010

I spent the first half of October bouldering (rock climbing) in Fontainebleau (just south of Paris). I did mostly shoot videos there but some photos as well. In this image I saw the sun on Tobias hands and and waited for it to hit his face. It turned out pretty well.

Tobias, bleu 43, Cul de Chien, Trois Pignon, Fontainebleau

When I came back I had decided to buy me a new camera. A DSLR. I bought a Canon 550D with a Canon 35 mm f/2.0 lens (about 55 mm in 35 mm equivalent). My biggest concern with replacing my old compact point and shoot with a DSLR was if I was going to carry it around as much. And up until now I am.

It took a while to get used to using a real viewfinder instead of composing the shots on a LCD. I really like the stability and the feel to putting the camera to my eye, but I have been fighting with the compositions of my images. The first week I couldn’t hold the camera straight due to not having the help 1/3 lines I was used to from my old camera. I have also had issues with me forgetting to think about how much the apature affects the end result and I end up with far to narrow depth of field on many images. After about two weeks I’m starting to get confident with it though!

Paraply på Gustav Adolfstorg

I’m also very happy with it’s night capabilities. I can shot at nights with f/2.0 and ISO 1600 and get good quality hand held.

Zombies på Möllan

I have gotten two images (1, 2) published on Malmö Lund Cycle Chic and have sent some images to some small competitions on Sydsvenska Dagbladet.

Photo summary, September 2010

This month I have focused on eye contact and sun light. To get eye contact I’ve placed myself more visible than before. Pointing my camera right at people. It takes a while to get used to it and I have ta talk myself into it every time. I try to place people in the sunlight to make them stand out.

A week ago I wanted to shoot a wall painting. I stod behind the painting. Composed it with the rule of thirds. Some air, some sky and the painting. I wasn’t happy with the result. I walked around a bit and tried to get a better idea. I took a step back and discovered that the painting was visible from behind a square. A woman sat on the bench. With trees, sun light and the painting in the background. I took two images. The woman looked at me and I shot another and knew I was done.

Wall painting in Agde

I saw the boy sitting at the stairs. In the sun. I raised my camera and took some quick shots. I got a feel for it. I waited a while. I saw two other guys coming down the stair. The sitting boy looked at me. Click.

Boysen i Agde

I’m not sure what I should do when I get eye contact. But for now I just look back and smile. It seems to work. At one point or another I’ll be confronted. But that’s ok. Maybe even fun.