Tag: city

Moscow Throughout the Seasons: An Inviting Adventure to Photography

Moscow, though often associated with endless coldness, goes through a variety of unique seasons. Every month possesses an air of mysteriousness; however, despite the unreliability of the weather, a creative opportunity is always waiting to be found and cherished. In this article, you’ll be introduced to the unpredictable seasons of Moscow, from freezing winter months to welcoming spring days. I hope this gives you a better idea of what this grand city is like throughout the year.

Moscow’s Winter

Winters are unrelenting in Moscow’s more rural areas. The city is treated kinder than surrounding villages, providing visitors with warm stores and outdoor food stands. Exploring the city’s streets often feels like observing everything through fogged up glass. The snow, often reminiscent of the violent storms one sees in documentaries, seems to speak of endless cold days and silence (save for the endless traffic, which is at its busiest). This time of year in Moscow is perfect for cozy indoor shoots. Those who have the time and desire to experiment with studio photography will find themselves thriving during this time. The brave individuals who do step outside are often provided with outstanding photo opportunities. Whichever option you choose if you ever visit the city, remember to dress warmly and have a thermos (or two) with you at all times!



In villages, the silencing atmosphere can be either comforting or intimidating, depending on how much of a city person you are. Village homes are covered in thin layers of frost. It’s not uncommon to see chickens huddling and clucking busily, completely familiar with the season’s harshness. The sight is so unique that one can’t help but take photos of everything, even if the temperature threatens to freeze any exposed skin. Though this time of year is considered the most discouraging, it holds uplifting treasures for those who listen, observe, and create.

Moscow’s Spring

In the spring, magic resides in details. Winter’s ice cold hands finally begin to thaw, leaving behind signs of exhilarating life. This is a hopeful and tender time of year filled with long days and sweet-smelling parks. Colors slowly begin to bleed into the picture; though they’re not as intense as summer’s bursts of color, their presence is strong enough to lift even the heaviest of spirits. This, of course, is necessary after months of dullness. Spring, unlike winter, is ideal for outdoor shoots. The floral additions, rejuvenating golden hours, and energizing mornings promise gorgeous wedding, portrait, and nature shots. Those who love anything flower related in the creative world will find joy in the middle of the month when the flowers lose their shyness and confidently step into the world.


Moscow’s Summer

Summer enters the scene grandly, like a relative you can always rely on. It lazily walks around, each step a day full of hazy thoughts and memories. The heat in Moscow isn’t unbearable, much to everyone’s relief. There may be days when the very center of the city seeks to burn your skin, but that is often impossible to predict beforehand. (This is why it’s always handy to have access to suncream and a hat.) It’s during this time of year that photographers of all sorts can thrive. Golden hours and longer days generously spend their time with people, promising endless creativity. The endlessness is so comforting and believable that for a moment, it’s possible to forget that the colder months are just around the corner. However, summer has a way of removing that fear and we almost, almost, don’t mind it when autumn knocks on the door with a suitcase full of leaves.



Moscow’s Autumn

This is a product of summer and winter, a realm between two very different worlds. Autumns in Moscow are crisp morning air, dry hands, and the foretelling of a renewed cycle. This is a time of preparation, of finding warmth before the winter calls the city’s name. Autumns are perhaps the most wonderful time of year for fashion and portrait photographers. Before the leaves depart, Moscow is a golden nest ideal for portraiture, landscapes, and everything in between. The lack of intense coldness allows for relatively comfortable shoots; at the same time, the chilly weather makes coming home all the more pleasant.



And just like that, the cycle begins all over again, each season waiting for an artist to capture its best and worst sides.

Nature Photography Next To Your Home: Finding Beauty

I did a degree in Biology because I am in love with the environment. I needed to study plant and animal physiology, ecology, genetics… I was always surprised about the complexity of life.  As living beings, we are made by infinity of diverse molecules, each one with a specific function. Millions of chemical reactions are happening all the time to keep us alive. We interact with other living beings because we are all connected somehow by complex ecological networks. It is kind of a miracle that all these things are going on (and they actually work!!) without us even realizing.  Nature is wise.

Nature photography in pink
Even the smaller flower is much more complex that it seems at the first sight.


My fascination for Mother Nature combine perfectly with photography. I love taking photos of living beings such as trees, plants, flowers or animals. I do it all the time. Sometimes I go in trips to wonderful mountains, the desert or to the forests. These are all places that we usually recognize as natural. However, I don’t have the ability for travelling all the time. I work in a laboratory and I need to stay around it in order to accomplish my duties. Does this fact stop me from taking nature photography? Not at all. Because in my opinion, nature is not sitting only in faraway places. I am not the only one thinking that way. Emma Marris (environmental writer and reporter) redefines nature saying that it should not just be about pristine wilderness but also about the untended patches of plants growing in urban spaces. So here you have it.  Nature is next to us, even if we live in a city. Keep reading and I will give you some tips for finding nature photography opportunities next you your place.

Become a nature hunter

Do you think that your city is way to grey and full of cement? I am sure you are right. But I am almost sure that if you change your perspective about the place you will able to find some nature around you. Are there trees in the streets? Does your neighbor have some plants in the balcony? Is there any park nearby? Go out and try to look at the city with a new perspective. Become a nature hunter. You will find something. I will explain to you something that happens to me quite often: when I go out for a walk with some friends, I am always pointing out nature-related things. I ask them: “Have you seen this tree? And this flower? What about that cat?” The most part of the times their answer is “No, I didn’t notice them”. It is a matter of perspective. If you put your attention into nature, you will find nature.

Forgotten nature photography
Nature is there. You just need to change your perspective. Lots of people walked next to this little leave and they ignore it. They were too busy, running to arrive to their destinations and talking in the phones. I saw the leave because I was looking for something nature related. And I found it.

Think in seasons: what can you find each time?

Nature is everywhere, but this doesn’t means that it always keeps the same. Nature follows the rhythm of the seasons. Each season you will find different things. Knowing what is it possible to find and when will be very helpful and will save you some disappointments.

Nature photography in autumn

Part of the beauty of season is that they are completely different between them. For example, autumn is a good time to take photos of fallen leaves. They are quite photogenic.


Nature photography in spring
Spring has a total different vibe. You might find flowers and even some fruits.

Focus in the small

When we look at huge buildings or roads we might get discouraged. But don’t worry!! Here we are not talking about landscape photography. Instead of looking at the big picture, try to look into the details. Are there any plants or trees? Maybe there is a flower hidden somewhere. You need to get close. If you like macro photography, go for it! But you don’t need it. I take my photos without going into macro lens and it works well for me.

Focused nature photography
If you just see the big picture you might be losing a lot of chances for a good photo. This is how the big picture looks like. Beautiful? Not so much. But have a look inside the red circle.


Hidden nature photography
This is what I saw when I switched from looking at the big picture into looking for details. Nature likes to hide the best shots.

Keep it playful

Remember to have fun. When you are enjoying an activity you have more chances of success. I am always happy when I find nature in the middle of the city mess.

Nature photography close to your place
Taking nature related photos always makes me happy, especially when I am in the city. It might sound crazy, but when I get a nice nature shot in the middle of the city I feel that I still belong to some ecosystem and that not everything in life is made out of cement or metal.

I hope I encourage you to try some nature photos in your city!  I will be happy to know about your experiences. Feel free to share with me any suggestion about this type of nature photography! Have a happy shooting!!

Travel Photography: The Perfect Combo of Capturing & Exploring

Every city has its own flair and specialty. When we travel to any country and explore different cities we enjoy and discover something new. A trip to a new place makes us feel our holiday was well spent. Being a tourist means “a person who travels to explore a place for pleasure”, this means we can be a tourist anywhere even in our own city. Having lived in Jakarta, I wouldn’t have thought of discovering my city as a tourist. Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia and Indonesia is known to be the World’s Largest Archipelago. A city that is vibrant filled with cheerful people willing to help and guide you anytime, anywhere. Each city has their specific landmarks that is a must visit. In Jakarta, there are not many places to visit but some give a completely new outlook on what our city is all about.

There are many ways to see your city like a tourist, you can have a group of like-minded friends and go together or join a group of explorers who do tours to various parts of the city. I chose to do the latter and have found many new things about my city. By seeing new things, learning more about my culture has helped me to grow through photography.

Capturing is about Perspective or Vista, a way we see everything around us. Thus, taking pictures through exploring helps to motivate the photographer to gain perspective and have an outlook. Through my trips, I saw my city in a new way and tried to click as many photos as I could to treasure the moments. Whilst clicking, I was able to experiment with my camera to understand the principles of Photography. I learned the meaning of ISO, Aperture, Exposure, Focus,  and White Balance and how to use them during my captures. Through the process, I realized once you understood how to balance the light with ISO and Aperture the rest goes with how we feel during the moment. Although, I am not even close to mastering these main features but the mystery behind the balance allows me to keep sharpening my skills.

Through the photos below, I shall share my experiences when taking them.


Buddhist Temple in Jatinegara (iPhone)

This shot was taken last year, during our Jatinegara walk as we stopped by a Buddhist Temple in the area. Inside the temple, I was taking a couple of shots and trying to find the correct point of view to get the right lighting. The top portion with the Chinese writing and lanterns plus how the doors were opened peeking towards the opposite direction was quite fascinating. This helped me frame the top and capture the shot.

Bokeh at Buddhist Temple Jatinegara (Canon)

Trying to achieve the “Bokeh” effect. This was quite a spontaneous shot whilst at the Temple.

Angle (Canon)

When crossing the bridge, from a distance, this particular scene had formed a sort of symmetry in my mind.  The lines, curve, and shadow gave this moment a more crisp look. These aspects tempted me to click.

Looking Down (Canon)

Taking photos with different views and colors has always intrigued me. What better way to try it out whilst looking down. The row of colorful books with passers-by was an opportunity not to be missed.

The Lady with a Smile (Canon)

This smiling lady with her baby sitting at her small hijab stall caught my attention instantaneously.


Monas (Canon)

Monas our National Monument is a crucial landmark in Jakarta with its famous history and scenic top view of Jakarta. Whilst climbing up the monument, the steps and a portion of the monument formed a specific frame in my shot.

Monas View (Canon)

Upon reaching the peak of Monas, we were able to have a view of Jakarta from all angles. It was quite interesting to take a couple of shots and see the city from the top.

Mosque (Canon)

The exterior view of the Mosque (Masjid Istiqlal) can be seen in the previous photo. This is known to be the largest mosque in Southeast Asia and here, you can see the interior of the mosque. The architecture of this building is intricate and captivating yet, it can be tricky to try to shoot every aspect of it.


Sunda Kelapa (Canon)

A reflection of the two buildings and an old traditional house was hard to ignore as we were exploring the slum area in Sunda Kelapa. The Sunda Kelapa is another important landmark as it is the Old port of Jakarta.


Taman Suropati (Canon)

The greenery and serene atmosphere around this lovely park in Menteng area (the first residential area in Jakarta) felt like a perfect moment to shoot. An alley filled with tall trees in the morning hours completed the setting.

Stadium (Canon)

Getting to our National Stadium was quite a challenge as it was a rainy day.  The experience of being in this huge empty stadium with the sound of rain inspired me to feel the moment and then click.

Gelora Karno Stadium (Canon)

This second photo of the Stadium was a shot where I was trying to attempt to get a minimalist touch and a semi-circle shape within it.

The photos above have a variety of different photography styles that I have tried to achieve. Certain aspects and styles of photography by some renowned photographers have encouraged me to try different styles.

Did exploring make me enjoy taking photos more? Yes, it, in fact, made me want to take more photos not because I had to but because when seeing a place, there are so many wonders around that can be clicked from various angles. Capture and explore can be a perfect combo for those of you who would like to grow through photography. The journey to keep taking photos carries on and we need to find ways to keep the passion of photography alive within us. Seeing your city from a new perspective like a tourist would can broaden your imagination and creativity as a photographer.

Bokeh Photography for Beginners

Holidays are a good chance to get great color and lights in your shots. Winter, in general, is a great time to go out and experiment with ways of shooting scenes that are not always at your disposal. With all of those lights and colors for the holidays, also comes the opportunity to create some awesome bokeh. Essentially, bokeh is the way the lens renders out of focus light. It is circles of light like in the above image or the creamy background in portraits if taken with the right settings. Aside from having a nice out of focus bokeh in portraits, there are tons of objects you can use to create some great bokeh by holding objects in front of your lens. Incorporating out of focus elements can enhance your images and give it a mood you otherwise would not have.

1 – Starting Point

So what do you need to know before taking photos, and how to achieve bokeh in your images? Well, the biggest things that go into creating bokeh are the lens choice and the aperture you shoot at. The shape of the bokeh, a lot of times, is determined by the aperture blade amount. Generally, the better the lens the more blades (around 9), while the lower end lenses have about 5. The higher amount of blades creates more of a circle which creates the bokeh, more creamy and soft, where the lower blade count will create something like a hexagon. I tend to prefer the more round bokeh, but that is not to say that the less circular ones are not good and should not be done. Everyone has a preference but it is good to know the difference of why the bokeh might look different from lens to lens.

2 – Prep

If we look at one of the images I started with, we can gain a lot of information by looking at the histogram below. I mentioned above that aperture also plays a role in creating bokeh. One of the things to keep in mind if you are trying to get nice bokeh, is shooting around f 2.0 or wider. Having the lens open wider allows for a smaller depth of focus, thus giving you the out of focus bokeh in your images. What you generally see in portraits is that the subject is in focus and the whole background is out of focus. In the images I shot, I used the foreground as a framing device and made that the out of focus part. So in my image, I made the foreground out of focus and used that as a nice way to introduce some interest in my image. Going, either way, works (either creating the foreground/background out of focus), just as long as there is enough difference in the field of focus to get one of the elements to go blurry. As an artist, that is up to you to decide on how you want to incorporate things being out of focus into your images.

Arnel Hasanovic Bokeh Tutorial

3 – Shooting Bokeh

So, once you have in your head what you want the subject to be and how you want to incorporate bokeh into your shot, you then experiment! When shooting out of focus especially with the object almost touching your lens, it is often unpredictable and fun to see what slight movements will do with the light. In my case I kept adjusting, moving from angle to angle, making minute changes, to get something that looks like the image below. One thing to remember is that the color of the object out of focus can play a big role in helping you get a nice clean image. Before getting this shot I was using some more green light that did not look good against the color of the building, so I moved over to the more red holiday lights and that made all of the difference.

Arnel Hasanovic Bokeh Tutorial

4 – Experiment! Experiment! Experiment!

Did I mention experiment?! Trying out new things and making slight changes with your camera will yield two great and unexpected results that you can learn from. Shooting at night is not something I do a lot of, so when I get a chance to do something I do not normally do, I play around, knowing that there is no consequence for failing. Below is a small sample of the different angles and changes I made along the way to getting the image above. If you notice, a lot of the images look the same in a row, but one move up or down changed it. When working with light bouncing around your lens and it is so close that it almost touched the lens, the smallest change can get you to a winning shot.

Arnel Hasanovic Bokeh Tutorial

5 – Conclusion

Shooting bokeh can be a lot of fun and there are a lot of different ways to incorporate it into an image. Sometimes used just for fun, and other times to hide distracting objects. Whatever the case may be, it’s fun to take a time to try new things and play around.  Below are some other images and uses of bokeh during the night.

Arnel Hasanovic Bokeh Tutorial