A short history on selfies

December 15, 2013  •  2 Comments

According to Wikipedia: "A selfie is a type of self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone, and is usually taken in a slightly tilted manner. Selfies are often associated with social networking. In the Korean entertainment industry the word selca (short for "self camera") means photos taken of oneself. They are often casual, are typically taken either with a camera held at arm's length or in a mirror, and typically include either only the photographer or the photographer and as many people as can be in focus."

Selfies have recently become a rage in social networks and among celebrities. However, the history of selfies is rather long with the first known selfie shot already in 1839 by Robert Cornelius, see http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/see-worlds-first-selfie-taken-2943533. I have been playing around with Leica selfies for quite some time now - I believe I shot the first ones back in 1997-1998.  Whenever I acquire new cameras or lenses a selfie has become a mandatory step in evaluating the new equipment. Below follows a few selfies from my own collection.

Leica M6 0.85 with Noctilux-M 1.0 selfie (1999):

Leica M6 0.85 with Summilux 35mm ASPH. selfie (1999):

Leica R9 with APO-Summicron-R 90mm ASPH. selfie (2003):

Leica M8 with Summilux 35mm ASPH. selfie (2007):

Leica M8.2 with APO-Summicron-M 75mm selfie (2009):

Leica M8.2 with Summilux 35mm ASPH. selfie (2010):

Leica M8.2 with Summilux 35mm ASPH. macho selfie (2010):

Leica M8.2 with Summilux-M 35mm ASPH. Prague late nightclub selfie (2010):

Apple iPhone 4 so in love selfie (2012):

Leica M Monochrom with Summilux-M 35mm ASPH. FLE first light selfie (2012):

Leica M Monochrom with Summilux-M 50mm ASPH. first light selfie (2012):

Leica M Monochrom with Summilux-M 35mm ASPH. FLE family on the train selfie (2013):

Leica M Monochrom with Summilux-M 50mm ASPH. Litepanel selfie (2013):

Leica M 240 with Summicron 75mm ASPH. selfie (2013):

Leica M 240 EVF with Noctilux-M 50mm 0.95 ASPH. Canary Islands selfie (2013):


Photos of Elen in Spain

December 14, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

During our vacation in Spain there were many good opportunities for shooting great photos.  Below you can see an initial selection of pictures from our trip to Gran Canaria. All photos were shot using the Leica M 240 with the Noctilux f/0.95 at full aperture.


Reprocessing pictures

November 28, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Earlier this year I visited Tuscany, Italy, together with my son.   I documented much of the trip using a Leica M 240 camera with the fantastic Summilux 1.4/75mm lens.  Some months later I decide to pre-process pictures from this trip.  Below you can see the updated result.

The following picture was taken in Gello, Tuscany at the Ravano range in 2010:


A portrait of my wife

November 24, 2013  •  2 Comments

Below is a portrait I shot of my wife last weekend.  Isn't she cute?  

The photo was captured using a Leica M 240 with the Noctilux 0.95 lens at full aperture and at close up distance of about 1.0m.  Her face was lit by window light and from a tungsten light source in the cafe. The Noctilux is fantastic for these kinds of situations.

The picture has been subject to more post-processing than I usually do.  It took some efforts to retouch the picture and to make the colours in the picture look right. High contrast was handled well by the Noctilux, but I had to tweak the levels/curve exposure control in LR5 quite a bit to give the picture overall an appropriate lighting.

I am still not 100 % satisfied with the post-processing, but happy enough to published it here now - with approval from my wife :-)!


Creating dreamy pictures using the Smart Photo Editor

November 23, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

I have just tried out another photo editor: the Smart Photo Editor (http://smartphotoeditor.com).  The application contains a wealth of pre-defined stylising patterns and a workflow management system to create nye pre-sets.  Personally I like the collection of border pre-sets and and special filters to produce creative effects.  I am usually very conservative when it comes to applying creative effects to photos, but some times the use of such effects can really make the difference when one wants to create "that look".  Below are a few initial samples I made earlier today.

The photo below was shot last week at the Nationaltheateret train station in Oslo.  I used the Smart Photo Editor to control the transition of colour to black and white, and to add the border to the picture.

The picture of my son, Bjarne, below was also shot at the same train station.  I felt that the original picture could need some extra fantasy look, so I used the Fantasy filter to create a Star Trek effect, and to add a ragged brother to the picture.

To create a dreamy golden ambience, as shown below.  The original swan pictures can be seen here: http://www.arnehelme.com/blog/2013/11/kalv-ya-at-sunset.

A recent visit of Gardermoen Airport.  I met the CEO of KPMG Norway, Stein-Ragnar Noreng, only seconds after shooting this picture.  He's also in the picture I discovered afterwards.

Some of the filters and presets are really excellent for artistic effects. Especially I like the collection of semi black and white effects and accompanying frames.  Below are some examples from my walk in the forest this weekend.

In portrait mode:

Or maybe presented as an oil painting with a classic frame?

Or with a Gothic Tim Burtononesque frame effect to the following portrait of my father and my son:

For my previous article about the Monet bridge (see: http://www.arnehelme.com/blog/2013/11/the-monet-bridge-in-sandvika) and house i Sandvika I wanted to create my own impression of Monet's original scene.  Smart Photo Editor helped me to create the picture shown below:

Some might prefer the scene represented as an oil painting printed on an old postcard:

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