Incremental Steps

We popped in to Calpe old town for Francine to have a play with her camera. Calpe old town is very hilly and there are several flights of steps. One of these and the most easily arrived at, has risers coloured like the Spanish national flag, orange and yellow. These steps are tricky to photograph, though, firstly because there is nearly always someone on them but also because the sun is frequently high and strong, causing contrast with strong shadows across the steps. As we arrived this time, there was an additional difficulty: The street crossing the base of the steps was being used as the court for what we believe was a game of Valencian Pilota.

_19R1686Many of the walls in the old town sport colourful decoration in paint. We wandered as Francine paused at several of them to see what she could create. Arriving at the square beside the church, a stained glass window held her attention for some time. Being a Sunday, handfuls of worshippers were spilling out of the church but once they had cleared, the window came in for the multiple exposure treatment.

I sat down and started investigating what my new Olympus camera had in the way of multiple exposure capability. Well, it can do it but my, what a pain. You can’t just tell the camera that you want multiple shots in one frame and start clicking. Oh no, you have to go through the menu, select a base image that you’ve already taken and then tell it to overlay the next one you take. If you want more than two, repeat the process again. Agony! Neither are there any interesting blend modes. Canon – set a number of images then click, click, click – definitely has this facility sorted. I won’t be bothering.

JC190166 Straight StepsOur meandering led us to another set of colourful steps. Here is a straight shot from my camera to try and convey the raw material. As a touristy snap, it really doesn’t look very promising. The background above the steps is positively ugly and the higher section has a blasted chromed handrail running down the centre.

_19R1701I spotted the now familiar sideways movement of Francine’s camera as she stood at the bottom of the steps. She’d mounted the variable ND filter to slow the exposure down. Ya can’t just take one shot, of course, you have to blend a couple of shots to get some more interesting colours as Canon’s blending modes step in and mess with them. This is perhaps just about recognisable as steps once you’ve seen the start point.

_19R1700There were more moving clicks but now with an additional wrinkle: a 90° rotation into portrait mode. Hmmm. Now what would result? One has to be prepared to try things and be disappointed, frequently muttering, “well, that didn’t work”, followed by hitting the delete button, even if you wait until you get back to home base. On this occasion, though, Francine seemed delighted with her experimental results.

I’m not surprised, it certainly looks more interesting than the documentary snap of the steps. It may not be suitable material for a travelogue, of course. 😉

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Posted in 2018-2019 Winter

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