European photographers produce wonderful picture series and share tips on how to shoot with winter light using Sony’s SEL100F28GM lens this winter solstice.
“Wherever there is light, one can photograph.” Alfred Stieglitz
December 21st marks the shortest, and subsequently, darkest day of the year, with the sun is at its lowest point within the southern sky. For many, the winter solstice is indicative for cosy socks, hot drinks and rare glimpses of daylight. However, for photographers the darker days provide an ideal gateway to creative shooting opportunities using both artificial, and the amazing luminescence of the natural seasonal light. To celebrate this most beautiful time of year, Sony challenged a series of portrait photographers across Europe to chase the winter light and capture beautiful images with the SEL100F28GM.
Josef Bollwein – Austria
Petar Sabol – Croatia
Jan Tichy – Czech Republic
Lærke Posselt – Denmark
Kaupo Kikkas – Estonia
Bertrand Bernager (frankyyy007) – France
Robert Maschke – Germany
Maki Galimberti – Italy
Marco Ter Beek – The Netherlands
Jan Kriwol – Poland
Alin Popescu – Romania
Uros Podlogar – Slovenia
To combat glowing light appearing harsh on the eye in less well-lit situations, a defocused background can add a certain level of softness to an otherwise harshly lit photograph. Given the key features of the SEL100F28GM; outstanding resolution and beautiful bokeh, enabled by the lens’ original Smooth Trans Focus optics, it allows photographers to push forward their creative boundaries when faced with different light situations. Due to the lens’ extremely shallow depth of field and 11-bladed aperture, combined with the unique optical apodisation element, different lighting elements are turned into beautifully smooth, round circles of glowing light, whilst the foreground remains impressively sharp. From fairy lights and sparklers, to city skylines and bridges as well as street lights and shop windows- the SEL100F28GM turns every light source into an incredible chance to produce a variety of original images, making the background just as an exciting part of the image as the foreground.
Photo credits: Posters
So grab your camera and take advantage of the natural beauty that surrounds us at this time of year. To help guide you in your shooting, German photographer Robert Maschke shares his tips on how you can produce your own stunning pictures during the winter solstice.
When considering equipment he lists the following:
If you want to create smooth and creamy bokeh in your pictures using different light sources, you should only use bright lenses like the SEL100F28GM.
In order to achieve crisp resolution in the foreground and beautiful defocus in the shorter winter months, all photos should be taken with an open aperture.
With regards to the photo set Robert recommends:
Look out for sparkling lights in the background. Light sources could be Christmas trees, car lights, street light, shop windows, advertising billboards and so forth.
Remember to position the model. The distance between your camera and model should be equal to the distance between the model and the light source in the background.
Use your creativity to add special effects: I used a prism for my bokeh shots, which together with the STF of the SEL100F28GM created beautifully round defocus. Prisms refract the light in an interesting way, making it slightly unpredictable. I therefore experiment a lot to find the right position for the prism – usually in the corners of the photo so that it creates an additional bokeh effect in front of the model.
Be creative and try other tools to add something special to your pictures like Vaseline or plastic wrappers on the lens.