I’m sure a lot of you photographers always looking for a new place for hunting, a new excitement, and a new look in your photograph. That’s why many do research on locations where you can photograph on the internet or any source. But I am also sure that many also have their “favorite spot” where they come over and over again. Including me. This is one of my so-called “favorite spots,” Tugu Jogja.
For you who didn’t know, Tugu Jogja is a monument that symbolizes the City of Yogyakarta. Located in heart of the city, actually in the middle of a crossroad. Symbol of the city, also a tourist spot, in the middle of the road.
One reason I always go to Tugu Jogja is that it’s near my house and I almost pass through it every day. If you think about it, the place you really familiar with, usually the most uninspired place. Like photograph your home, what so good about it. Different story when photographing someone else house. Which is the case here.
So how do we feel inspired by familiar places? Rather than thinking about the place, I always feel inspired by new experiences or skills that I have, and also new photo gear. For example, I learn a new trick that I can use in landscape photography and I want to try it. And one perfect place is the place that I know and have been. Which is exactly what I did.
Good thing I’m already totally familiar with the place. So there’s no need for research. The question is what do I want to shoot right now? What I want to shoot now is the architecture fine art of the monument. Only frame fit vertical shot of the monument. Easy, simple. You probably think it’s boring, but wait. This time I’m using my new NiSi Nano IR ND32000 Filter that I just recently bought. This also means one thing, Long Exposure Photography.
Description of the place
Located in the middle of the crossroad, where vehicles pass through it every day, especially in the evening through night. Unless I want to photograph long exposure of the car’s light trail, it’s not an option. So the choice is to photograph in the morning where there are fewer vehicles. So what I did was a photograph in the morning.
I bring my usual gear, Sony A58 with Tamron AF 18-200 f/3.5-6.3 Macro Lens (which I just recently bought online, since it is cheap). Also Sirui T-2204X Tripod, remote cable, and my brand new NiSi Nano IR ND32000 Filter.
Since I was planning to use a serious super big stopper (I’m talking about the ND filter), my usual morning go-out wasn’t an option (unless I want long exposure for an hour). So I went out a little more, about 7 am, where it’s already quite bright out there.
On the spot, my plan was already ruined by another photographer whose already taken the spot I planned to shoot at. Since I’m not waiting for a patient type of person, so I look for a new spot and I found one that fit well and directly to the monument. So my shot is just simple. Zoom in to tight fit the frame with the monument and shot long exposure.
What is interesting is my new filter. Before I place the filter the exposure time was about 1/80 second at f/11, which is normal in the morning. Soon after I attach the NISI ND Filter, it reduces to 6 minutes 33 seconds (393 seconds). That is what happens when you use a 15 stop Neutral Density Filter.
So here is the result, I have my tight frame vertical shot with long exposure cloud on the sky:
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For my post-processing, I did my usual editing of fine art in black and white. Isolating the monument, making the sky dark, and many other adjustments. All of using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC, Adobe Photoshop CC, and Google Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.
Here is the result:
What is interesting in this is I have photographed here a lot, and yet I always I have a new way to photograph it differently. And I think that is what happens here when we thinking the source of inspiration. Not location that gives us inspiration, but the new experience that gives us new inspiration.