I checked the users manual, I glanced at functions, but to really examine what this thing in my hands can do, I needed a model.
Not a model with a fake smile, all dressed up, but rather someone spontaneous, with whole range of emotions to be captured, someone patient enough to pose to an amateur and flamboyant enough to show me all the opportunities my new camera offers.
Belgrade is my ideal model.
Ok, let’s start with scenery mode. Location: Aleksandar Klub, also known as Ski staza (Ski trial), Kosutnjak woods, top of the hill. Left side of my LCD – square buildings of New Belgrade, middle – bridge over Sava, right side – playful skyline of old Belgrade. Chill out music is playing from the club as I take a picture of remarkable cityscape.
Down the hill, time to check Ada Lake and sport mode. To be honest, my favorite sport is sitting on the beach, having a cocktail and looking at others doing sport – handsome men riding bicycles, tanned girls on rollers, water skiers, breathtaking bungee jumpers, beach volleyball. When I get tired of watching them, I simply stare at the placid water, letting my mind to imagine that I am at my own private Varadero. I hear you giggling, but don’t! Being almost in the middle of a European capital and having a chance to walk there in nothing but bikini, is a privilege of a very few. Photo mates, please put your cameras down, until I properly dress up again!
Where else can one try portrait mode than in the heart of the city, in Knez Mihailova street? Laid back youth walk down the street, passing by smartly dressed businessmen and mothers with children. Cafes in nearby streets are always full of people who urge to see and to be seen, more than they really need espresso and cheese cake.
Sick of rush and eager to play with aperture, I go to Zemun. Officially, Zemun is administrative part of Belgrade. But try to mention that to people who live there and you will get angry grimace and unison answer: “Zemun is one city, Belgrade is another!”. Aperture open to 4 f-stops and little fishing boats swinging on the Danube are in my focus. Close it, to 8, and – click – both Danube and city in the background are crisp. This photo session made me really hungry – aperture open to maximum and the only sharp thing I see is a plate with fresh river fish, chard, boiled potato and olive oil in it. Plaid tablecloth, Danube, and both cities are blurred, both in my camera and in my starving mind.
Every photographer knows that “golden hour” is that extraordinary part of the day, when sun slowly goes down, giving surreal glow to surrounding. My magical point for experiencing golden hour in Belgrade is between New and Old Belgrade, right above Sava River, in the middle of Branko’s Bridge, facing Old town, while dying rays behind my back paint Fortress Kalemegdan, monument of Victor and Kosancicev Venac in pure gold.
Night is falling and shutter is open for several seconds in order to capture city lights. I discover one more option – mode for starry sky. I look above& Hmmm, no stars tonight. I know, there is a way to create them, but my model definitely looks much better without Photoshop.