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'a Batis story...' - a photographic sketchbook for the summer 2022

  
 
Kalainen
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p.5 #1 · p.5 #1 · 'a Batis story...' - a photographic sketchbook for the summer 2022


After a swim





Sony A7III & ZEISS Batis 2.8/135 - ISO100, f/2.8, 1/100sec

"Somewhere in Finland, in a place with no particular meaning, girls are drying themselves and looking for shore perches after a swim. Itís evening and itís getting a bit chilly as the stormy clouds are approaching slowly. One thing Iíve learned during the years making family photo documentaries is that the best and photographically most interesting stuff usually happens in these sort of Ďliminal spaces'...í

Read the whole blog post here: www.batisstory.com



Sep 18, 2022 at 11:25 AM
JVan_02
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p.5 #2 · p.5 #2 · 'a Batis story...' - a photographic sketchbook for the summer 2022


Toni, I gotta say a lot of the family documentary on these pages is a real inspiration. Thanks for sharing!

The composition and choice of moments are good, but also you're way more confident leaning into the warm tones than I am. I like the edits.



Sep 18, 2022 at 01:58 PM
Kalainen
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p.5 #3 · p.5 #3 · 'a Batis story...' - a photographic sketchbook for the summer 2022


JVan_02 wrote:
Toni, I gotta say a lot of the family documentary on these pages is a real inspiration. Thanks for sharing!

The composition and choice of moments are good, but also you're way more confident leaning into the warm tones than I am. I like the edits.


Thanks for the kind words, Jim!

Regarding the warm tones, itís of course a question of post processing and taste. When I was still a beginner with both processing and taste, I used to think that I need to make Ďcorrect choicesí in post processing, like opening the shadows a bit, adjusting highlights to optimum etc. I told myself that Ďphotographs are not representations of realityí, yet I still took the reality as a starting point for my post processing routines. Itís like I was being this guy who knows all the right settings and makes sure that nothing is going over-the-board. The truth is that I mixed up technical competence and taste, and didnít see that what thought to be Ďa good tasteí was nothing else than a technical stuff to make pictures look balanced, etc..

At some point I started to feel that Ďgood tasteí and technical adjustments arenít enough Ė in fact they would make my pictures look just like everyoneís else. I guess this happened at the phase where I started to feel some what competent with all the technical stuff. Then I started to feel that I wanted to have a lot more characteristics in the surface of my pictures. The surface is of course just the surface and the real meaning of a photograph lies deeper, but like many other photographers I wanted to control the appearance better to my liking and taste. This is where I started to drift away from what is Ďtechnically correctí and started acquiring taste Ė taste begins where the ontological realism exits.

So, like youíve seen already Iím very much into warm tones. In fact, in some pictures I like to bring the warm tones as far as I can, but without breaking the impression that what you see is natural (in the extreme it is a very fine line and I think that if I'm not triggering anyone to say 'the white balance is not correct' I'm playing too safe). Usually this happens with white balance and tint, but to get everything out of it one usually has to edit individual colors as well. ĎUndertonesí is also a concept that I use in my edits, meaning that I like to control the shadows and their colors carefully Ė usually introducing a little magenta undertones to make things look richer. I should also add that I never touch the saturation/vibrance sliders (nor clarity, texture or haze) as I think they just mess up the picture and often make things look cheap.

However, the king is often the skin tones. With white balance and all I aim for the warm and peachy skin tones, and everything else needs to adjust to it. This usually calls for local edits as well as skin tones can so easily have all sorts of cold tones in shadows etc. Thereís a concept called Ďmemory colorsí, which means that people usually perceive/remember object having Ďan ideal colorí even if they in reality are far away from that. For example, we perceive bananas to be bright yellow when in fact itís very rare that they are actually very bright at all Ė just look at any raw-pictures of bananas and youíll see they are far from ideal. However, when you edit them to look bright yellow, people often perceive them natural and Ďcorrectí Ė even if they are actually very much edited. The memory color concept works especially with skin colors and I use it all the time to make subject look good and natural.

For a last point I should add that I often think of my pictures in series Ė for example the Island part of this blog is going to be one serie of pictures where I want my pictures to have more or less consistent look (I know it drifts a bit here now, but these are just sketches). So itís going to be warm tones with noise etc. Itís a story of a one place. But for some other pictures I might go for other look.





Sep 19, 2022 at 02:26 PM
Kalainen
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p.5 #4 · p.5 #4 · 'a Batis story...' - a photographic sketchbook for the summer 2022


Swing





Sony A7III & ZEISS Batis 2.8/18 - ISO640, f/2.8, 1/1250sec

"In the backyard, Aura and Meri are playing once again one of those odd plays that are often invented in an ad-hoc manner. Aura climbs into a swing and drops all sorts of things down as Meri is trying to capture them underneath while playing with the swimming ring at the same time. From the adultís perspective it doesnít make much sense, but for them itís certainly fun and they laugh loudly.†

One of the common problem I see people having when photographing their kids is the difficulty to get a shot..."


Read the whole blog post here: www.batisstory.com



Sep 23, 2022 at 03:55 PM
ratter75
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p.5 #5 · p.5 #5 · 'a Batis story...' - a photographic sketchbook for the summer 2022


Hey there - Iím not a Batis shooterÖheck Iím not even a Sony shooter but I felt compelled to stop in and say I really enjoyed this series. Apart from enjoying the images I picked up some really useful, actionable tips too. SoÖthanks!


Sep 24, 2022 at 07:20 AM
Kalainen
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p.5 #6 · p.5 #6 · 'a Batis story...' - a photographic sketchbook for the summer 2022


ratter75 wrote:
Hey there - Iím not a Batis shooterÖheck Iím not even a Sony shooter but I felt compelled to stop in and say I really enjoyed this series. Apart from enjoying the images I picked up some really useful, actionable tips too. SoÖthanks!


Hi there, this is a feedback that really makes my heart sing. If there is one thing I've hoped for this project, it is that it would convoy some inspiration to someone (beyond the usual gear aspect of things). The truth is that before this project I had some trouble to get inspired by photography myself. When it kept on me over a year I decided that I need to push myself out of it with a project - especially as the summer was coming and I didn't want to miss that. While I wasn't very inspired by my own photography, the project has certainly helped it because: (a) I need to get the pictures done, and especially (b) if someone else sees something in my photography it helps me to appreciate it better too. So, it's been kind of a 'healing project' and hearing that someone enjoys it is very meaningful for me. And the best I can do to give it back is to share any tip, view etc. which might help others in their photography.

Thanks for your kind words!



Sep 24, 2022 at 04:14 PM
ratter75
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p.5 #7 · p.5 #7 · 'a Batis story...' - a photographic sketchbook for the summer 2022


Yeah as a Fuji shooter I am definitely guilty of thinking the AF isnít good enough and blah blah blah. We have an AF inferiority complex. 😄

I need reminders like yours - that itís not about that. Light, composition, moment. The Fuji AF is not Sony-good but itís more than good enough when I do my part. I have work to do to be better at anticipating moments, better at making interesting compositions, better at reading light, and better at being ready. None of which has anything at all to do with gear.

Kalainen wrote:
Hi there, this is a feedback that really makes my heart sing. If there is one thing I've hoped for this project, it is that it would convoy some inspiration to someone (beyond the usual gear aspect of things). The truth is that before this project I had some trouble to get inspired by photography myself. When it kept on me over a year I decided that I need to push myself out of it with a project - especially as the summer was coming and I didn't want to miss that. While I wasn't very inspired by my own
...Show more



Sep 25, 2022 at 05:23 PM
frezeiss
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p.5 #8 · p.5 #8 · 'a Batis story...' - a photographic sketchbook for the summer 2022


ratter75 wrote:
Yeah as a Fuji shooter I am definitely guilty of thinking the AF isnít good enough and blah blah blah. We have an AF inferiority complex. 😄

I need reminders like yours - that itís not about that. Light, composition, moment. The Fuji AF is not Sony-good but itís more than good enough when I do my part. I have work to do to be better at anticipating moments, better at making interesting compositions, better at reading light, and better at being ready. None of which has anything at all to do with gear.



" need reminders like yours - that itís not about that. Light, composition, moment. The Fuji AF is not Sony-good but itís more than good enough when I do my part."

I kindly disagree, Sony's AF since the A7 III was heaps better than Fuji from my experience. Great AF makes you able to concentrate more on that "moment", as a street photographer it was a big relief since I'm a bit fussy wanting my image to have perfect focus the majority of the time.

The camera just gets out of the way..






Sep 25, 2022 at 06:54 PM
Kalainen
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p.5 #9 · p.5 #9 · 'a Batis story...' - a photographic sketchbook for the summer 2022


Meaning





Sony A7III & ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 - ISO100, f/4, 1/160sec

"Meri had a birthday party with a load of friends and now sheís finally seven years old. While the party was good and everyone was enjoying the plays I had arranged, like this huge treasure hunting with individual maps and treasures for everyone, I felt that Meri didnít really relaxed until the party was over and there was just one of her friends left. Together they were having..."

Read the whole blog post here: www.batisstory.com



Sep 28, 2022 at 03:35 PM
Kalainen
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p.5 #10 · p.5 #10 · 'a Batis story...' - a photographic sketchbook for the summer 2022


Days of Zeiss





Sony A7 & ZEISS Touit 2.8/12 - ISO200, f/8, 1/20sec

"Time to share another chapter from my Batis story. If you havenít followed the whole story, you can find the previous chapters here 1, 2 and 3. So, when I got back from Oberkochen I found myself pondering what I should do next. At this point it was obvious to me that I would want to continue my collaboration with ZEISS, but I didnít have idea how to do it. Additionally there was a problem with my camera kit as by that time..."

Read the whole blog post here: www.batisstory.com



Oct 03, 2022 at 04:05 PM
 


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Kalainen
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p.5 #11 · p.5 #11 · 'a Batis story...' - a photographic sketchbook for the summer 2022


Trust





Sony A7III & ZEISS Batis 2.8/135 - ISO160, f/2.8, 1/200sec

"A portrait of Aura, our older daughter, somewhere in Finland during the summer 2022. Itís evening and sun is about to set, but she looks relaxed and satisfied for the day. I donít take these kind of classic portraits very often as I think they represent a somewhat worn picture-type from the yesteryears of photography (pre-2000). Todayís photography is much more dynamic and motifs that are often more Ďdevelopedí, if thatís a proper term to describe the difference. But on the other hand a classic portrait is classic for a reason: ..."

Read the whole blog post here: www.batisstory.com



Oct 06, 2022 at 03:19 PM
chiron
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p.5 #12 · p.5 #12 · 'a Batis story...' - a photographic sketchbook for the summer 2022


Kalainen wrote:
Trust
https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/52614ca4e4b0c0ba6254acd1/e0a5d122-c388-4174-88a6-0c29d63d8a20/DSC00421-Edit.jpg
Sony A7III & ZEISS Batis 2.8/135 - ISO160, f/2.8, 1/200sec

"A portrait of Aura, our older daughter, somewhere in Finland during the summer 2022. Itís evening and sun is about to set, but she looks relaxed and satisfied for the day. I donít take these kind of classic portraits very often as I think they represent a somewhat worn picture-type from the yesteryears of photography (pre-2000). Todayís photography is much more dynamic and motifs that are often more Ďdevelopedí, if thatís a proper term to describe the difference. But on the other hand a classic portrait is classic for a reason:

Read the whole blog post here: www.batisstory.com
...Show more

Very lovely portrait in which I imagine (not actually knowing her) that the person is actually present. What post-processing did you do on this, especially anything that would affect the lighting, colors, or contrast?


Oct 06, 2022 at 04:14 PM
Kalainen
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p.5 #13 · p.5 #13 · 'a Batis story...' - a photographic sketchbook for the summer 2022


chiron wrote:
Very lovely portrait in which I imagine (not actually knowing her) that the person is actually present. What post-processing did you do on this, especially anything that would affect the lighting, colors, or contrast?


Thanks for the kind words Chiron!

Regarding editing, Iím happy to share anything I can, because this project is about sharing inspiration as well. So, when it comes to colors and editing, I'm very much 'a color-first-person'. I've contemplated/agonized so much about colors for years, but I think Iím getting there slowly Ė but never really 100% satisfied. I understand that there are photographers that pretty much pass by the colors in pictures and don't pay any special attention to them, but I'm likely at the other end of the spectrum. So take my thoughts with the grain of salt.

For me the starting point is that I have lenses which are consistent and which donít change. This would be the Batis lenses as I think they give me very good colors and contrast right of the gate (I shoot raw) and are very consistent from one focal length to another. This is kind of Ďa foundationí as I think everything is built on basis that doesnít change (the post processing, knowledge and taste). Developing your own look and post processing style is sometimes so much guessing and taking right/wrong turns that if I would change my lenses every six months, I would just be walking circle with post processing. I need to have things settled down to build on it, to have any sort of progress.

The other tool that is important for me are the Mastinlabs presets. I think film and its color aesthetics still presents a relevant legacy for today, but I'm not very interested to make my pictures look like film, if you get what I mean. Ie. Iím not interested to make things look nostalgic/old/shot on a film, but I think film color aesthetics has a certain ageless quality and itís good to build upon it. To explore this kind of thinking I've tested all kinds of film emulations and the one I like the best is Mastinlabs. I've used Kirk Mastin's presets for years, but during the years I've also made my own versions of them (for example less contrast, different interpretations of greens and yellows, and so on). For all the summer pictures in my blog, I've used the filmpack which has the Ektar emulation (consistency). It's not the most easiest to use and requires a bit of work. Especially most newcomers understand the Mastinlabs presets wrong as they think they will get 'cool pictures' with 'the press of a button'. Instead it's more like bringing films color aesthetics as a baseline to today's digital workflow, and still requires quite a bit work, knowledge and taste to use them to your advantage. On top of that I do some final editing in Photoshop. Much of all this is adjusting contrast locally. I never touch saturation, vibrance, clarity or such as I donít like how the often make pictures look Ďeditedí and Ďdigitalí.

So, there are tools that are important for me, like the Batis lenses and Mastinlabs film emulations. But all in all I think it comes down to question of (a) how I look colors in otherís photography, (b) what kind of taste I've acquired in the past and (c) how I can translate my preferred aesthetics to my own 'mental concepts/theories' that I can use like tools when I'm working. That's why it's so difficult to explain others anything related to aesthetics, because some of our thinking is more like 'sensing the subtle differences'. For example, in my work I often think about a subtle line between 'film look' and 'using film aesthetics as an influence', but it's only within my own head, a kind of heuristic tool, and others will think about something else. Also, understanding general color theory and its applications in photography is good and I have couple of books about it. The best part is that everyone will develop their own understanding and their own 'theories' which then guides them and makes their work unique - one just has to start working with his/her vision and taste to make it happen.



Oct 07, 2022 at 02:13 PM
Kalainen
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p.5 #14 · p.5 #14 · 'a Batis story...' - a photographic sketchbook for the summer 2022


Trees





Sony A7III & ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 - ISO100, f/1.8, 1/400sec

"One thing Iíve always encouraged our daughters, even at very young age, is to climb into trees. When they couldnít do it by themselves, because of their age, I was there to push them up and explaining where to put hands and foots (always make sure you have three firm grips while moving only one hand/foot at the time). I think itís a good way to connect with the environment and to learn some agility Ė but most importantly a way to build self-esteem. With some practice..."

Read the whole blog post here: www.batisstory.com



Oct 11, 2022 at 03:16 PM
rob_ww
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p.5 #15 · p.5 #15 · 'a Batis story...' - a photographic sketchbook for the summer 2022


I encourage people to follow the link and read Kalainen's blog -- the comments in relation to this (wonderful) photo are an excellent encouragement to thoughtful photography


Oct 13, 2022 at 04:35 AM
Kalainen
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p.5 #16 · p.5 #16 · 'a Batis story...' - a photographic sketchbook for the summer 2022


rob_ww wrote:
I encourage people to follow the link and read Kalainen's blog -- the comments in relation to this (wonderful) photo are an excellent encouragement to thoughtful photography


Thanks for the kinds words rob_ww! Not exactly sure anymore what I had written, so I had to go and check it out myself too!

But yeah, with kids, or with anybody really, photography can be used to support a healthy self-esteem. This comes out pretty naturally if one has a kids of his/her own. On the other hand there's also 'an artist' in me which has a need to create photographs that has different meaning or purpose. For example, if you compare the recent image with the images I made in the beginning of the blog, they are very different. The island part is my expression and when I did it I thought that 'this part I'm going to do only for myself' (and didn't even include any Zeiss/Batis stuff there). I often find that these two photographers inside me (the parent and 'the artist') are often conflict with each other. The parent in me wants to make easily-read pictures that support the usual narrative and which audience will accept while the 'the artist' in me wants to make pictures that are challenging the viewer/narrative/whatever and go beyond the obvious while contemplating things like life & death. I wish I could somehow put them together in one style/artistic view, but not sure if that's even possible. So I guess I just have to play this Jekyll & Hyde type of thing with my photography and wonder if it is eventually going to lead me to somewhere..



Oct 14, 2022 at 02:25 PM
Kalainen
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p.5 #17 · p.5 #17 · 'a Batis story...' - a photographic sketchbook for the summer 2022


Bus





Sony A7III & ZEISS Batis 2/25 - ISO50, f/2, 1/13sec

"Itís autumn and what I started as a personal photography project for the summer 2022 has now been covered in the darkness. However, my ZEISS Batis story isnít quite finished yet, so I decided to extend my project a bit Ė at least to a point where I could finish it properly, and in a mean time weíll have to do with the autumn pictures.

Regarding photography, Iíll be the first one to admit that itís much harder to make pictures..."


Read the whole blog post here: www.batisstory.com



Oct 15, 2022 at 07:57 AM
Kalainen
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p.5 #18 · p.5 #18 · 'a Batis story...' - a photographic sketchbook for the summer 2022


30 Days of Batis 2/40 CF





Sony A7III & ZEISS Loxia 2/50 - ISO100, f/16, 1/4sec

"Time to share another episode of my Batis story. As I explained in the previous chapter, I had succeeded to build myself a Zeiss-only kit with Batis and Loxia lenses. It was good, but it also had one big compromise: half of the lenses were with manual focus (Loxia 2/35 & 2/50). So, knowing that ZEISS would at some point fulfil the standard lens gap at the Batis family I already knew before that I would probably be very interested in that, no matter if it would be either 35mm or 50mm...."

Read the whole blog post here: www.batisstory.com



Oct 18, 2022 at 03:56 PM
Kalainen
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p.5 #19 · p.5 #19 · 'a Batis story...' - a photographic sketchbook for the summer 2022


Pier





Sony A7III & ZEISS Batis 2.8/18 - ISO200, f/8, 1/5sec

"Autumn often brings the gray skies and the flat light, which many consider Ďbadí or at least undesirable. This kind of applies to me too, but despite of that, Iíve learned to recognize that even the flat gray light often contains many good photo opportunities Ė one just needs to give it a chance. When we landed on this pier from the rocks in the middle of the bike ride, I knew right away..."

Read the whole blog post here: www.batisstory.com



Oct 24, 2022 at 03:02 PM
Kalainen
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p.5 #20 · p.5 #20 · 'a Batis story...' - a photographic sketchbook for the summer 2022


Carrots





Sony A7III & ZEISS Batis 2/25 - ISO640, f/2, 1/40sec

"It's dark and damp outside, as always in autumn. Instead of going out, Aura decided to sew some carrots out of felt for her and Meri's shared stick horses. Carrots are not only healthy food for horses, but also a good opportunity to learn how to use a sewing machine. And while the horses are sleeping in Auraís room, we donít have to go out and get wet. So, I think itís a good compromise for all.

As my Batis story is coming one step closer to an end, I feel the need to re-evaluate and talk about the meaning of the Batis lenses..."


Read the whole blog post here: www.batisstory.com



Oct 28, 2022 at 03:48 PM
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