How to Nail Exposure in Film Photos With and Without a Light Meter
In this article, we are going to be talking about 3 different ways you can set the right exposure for film. The biggest thing for beginning film photographers is to learn is how to meter your film properly. For our example today, I’m going to be shooting on Portra 400 and Fuji 400, and the Portra 800.
These are 3 methods I’ve learned over the years about how to properly set your meter, from doing it without any equipment to using a handheld light meter, which I recommend as the best way.
The Sunny 16 Rule
The tried and true method for getting the right exposure for film cameras that started when film was invented. They used to print it on the back of a lot of cameras on a plaque, so you could look at it and figure out what your exposure should be.
This rule is based on the fact that the sun is always f/16. If you have a 400 film stock, set your shutter to 400, and your aperture to f/16 and it’ll give you the correct exposure. If you are going to compensate, give it a little bit more exposure.
f/16 in the sun, f11 overcast, f/8 if it’s more overcast, f/6 is heavy overcast, f/4 in the shade.
This is not meant to be an exact form of metering, it’s meant to estimate if you don’t have the equipment. Let’s take a look at how I did with my Sunny 16 shots.
Open Shade f/4
So the first shot is in the open shade with f/4, it looks very good. I’m getting good detail in the whites.
Direct Sun f/16
When I go into the direct sun, I get a lot more contrast and clarity in the image. The shade could have even used a stop or a half stop more. In the sun you get a lot more density with the image in f/16. The Sunny 16 rule worked perfectly with this exposure.
Medium Shade f/8
I think this is could use another stop of exposure. I would have gone to f/6, but the photos are usable. I could correct them and make it work just fine.
Deep Shade f/4
Great detail throughout, the sunny 16 worked really well here with great contrast and light in the image. The only thing that I missed with this rule was not giving it enough exposure for the medium shade shot.
Use a Digital Camera
First, set the ISO at one half the box speed of your film. So if your film is 400, you set the camera to ISO 200. This makes it so that you are overexposing your film by one stop. Now you set the aperture you want, then find the shutter speed, then transfer the exact numbers to your film camera and shoot away!
Use a Light Meter
This is the best, safest way for your photos to come out look great with the correct exposure! By using an external light meter, you can take a reading of whatever is being picked up by the camera. I’ve got an old-fashioned light meter and the new Illuminati Light Meter, both are good for different reasons.
The Sekonic Light Meter is an incident light meter that records the light that falls onto them directly, so they take an immediate reading. With this meter, you need to walk up directly to your subject and take a reading there pointed towards the camera.
The reflective light meter records the light that bounces off your subject that’s why cameras have internal reflective light meters. With the Illuminati Light Meter (below), you can put your light meter on a stand and let it stay there while you continue shooting.
Setting up our meter
First off, I’m going to aim this meter back at the subject aiming directly at the camera with the bulb in or out. If the bulb is in, it cuts your exposure in at over half at a stop, There isn’t any reason to do that, so I leave the bulb out.
Now the Fuji 400 I would probably cut it one more stop. I would take my Fuji 400 and rate it at ISO 100. With the Portra 400, I’d set it at ISO 200. Let’s take a look at the shots in the studio!
I started at with 1/500th at f/4, it gave me a normal reading.
The Fuji 400 is popular film stock for many photographers, but I like the Portra 400 mainly because it gives a lot more contrast and color to the photo. You can see that in the Fuji 400 photo, the whites in her dress are blowing out with the normal exposure.
Lots of people use the Portra 800 when shooting inside. This one has the same problems as the Fuji 400, in that with normal exposure I don’t get very good detail and contrast in the image. When I go to +1 EV , I get better detail.
So there’s a look at 3 ways to meter to get the correct exposure and also some film tests to be able to see what kind of stock you might want to shoot with in the future.
Remember: more exposure is better; less exposure, you’re in trouble.
About the author: Jay P. Morgan is a commercial photographer with over two decades of experience in the industry. He teaches photography through his company, The Slanted Lens, which runs a popular YouTube channel. This article was also published here.
Missoni’s New York Flagship Goes Grunge
The New York-based artist Cheryl Donegan has long examined fashion and self-presentation in her work, so it’s fitting that she would catch the eye of Angela Missoni, who tapped Donegan for “Surface Conversion,” a series site-specific art installations at the luxury house’s Madison Avenue flagship. But unlike the byzantine knits that hang in the store, Donegan’s layered, collage-like works are often made using repurposed textiles and lo-fi digital techniques.
The Polish Lexar distributor My Adventure published a press release on Monday stating that Lexar has pulled out of the XQD market. Longsys purportedly concluded that given Sony’s monopoly over XQD licensing and the relatively small number of cameras that support the card, “further investment and development of this technology makes no sense.”
Lexar says Sony and other companies were responsible for preventing progress.
“While Lexar is eager to pursue the XQD technology, the product availability of XQD has been held up by multiple parties including Sony (who owns the IP) which is preventing us from moving forward,” the company tells Nikon Rumors. “In addition, we are diligently working on the future standard of CFexpress through our efforts in the Compact Flash Association and partnerships with key camera manufacturers.”
XQD was announced back in 2010 by SanDisk, Sony, and Nikon. CFexpress was announced by the CompactFlash Association in September 2016 as a direct successor to XQD — XQD-compatible cameras can be upgraded to support CFexpress with a firmware update.
While XQD cards have top theoretical speeds of 1000 MB/s, CFexpress could reach ridiculous speeds of 7880 MB/s, or nearly 8 gigabytes of data per second.
When I read or watch reviews of lenses by folks in the photographic community, it often seems like one of the most important qualities to them is how the lens renders bokeh. It’s often made me wonder, do we sometimes forget that bokeh is just background? And is this fixation healthy? Or most importantly, how much does it matter to an average person who has never heard the term “bokeh”?
To find out, I decided to do a bit of research. I took a bunch of photos in different circumstances with different subjects and at different apertures, but at consistent distances.
I then created a survey which presented pairs of these photos, one shot wide open and the other shot at increasingly smaller apertures. To ensure participants didn’t begin fixating on the main difference between these images (the depth of field), I also filled the survey with other pairs of similar photos, so the differences seemed more random.
For each pair of photos I asked participants, which of the two was better, and why. I didn’t qualify what “better” meant. I left it completely open-ended.
Please watch the video above for more details, but, in short, I was interested in two things. First, which apertures did people prefer at consistent distances and in similar sorts of subjects? Or more precisely, at what point in the differences between apertures did people start to have strong opinions on particular photos being “better”? Second, at what point people started to use terms that related to bokeh and the background rendering in their reasoning.
I’m not going to go through the specific photos and responses here (you can find those in the video), but the two things I learned was that it wasn’t until a difference of f/1.2 and f/2.8 (on an APS-C device with a 56mm lens) that respondents began talking about differences in the background. Before this, very few picked up on differences in background rendering.
The second thing I learned was the degree to which non-photographers really don’t care about the background. Now, I fully expected that non-photographers would not fixate on the background as much as photographers might. But I was shocked at how little they regarded pronounced bokeh. Overwhelmingly, respondents preferred images taken at more narrow apertures over images shot wide open. Their reasoning ranged from appreciating more details and context in the environment to more sharpness in the image.
Now my survey was not perfect and should be taken as interesting and anecdotal. But I think it’s a good reminder of a few things. Namely:
1. To non-photographers, the strength of a photograph is not measured in terms of its background blur.
2. The average person cannot really tell a difference between photos taken at a difference of one or two aperture stops, even when they are specifically looking for differences.
3. People might prefer a little bit more definition that an f2.8 or an f4 aperture might provide over a lens being shot wide open (at least at distances I tested).
4. We should be ultra concerned about protecting the sharpness of our subject from front to back. Bokeh can be helpful at times, but in most cases it is not more important than having a sharp, crisp subject.
In short, keep your priorities straight. What is in focus is always more important than what is not in focus.
About the author: Andrew Branch and his wife Denae are a husband and wife photography team based in Utah. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of the Branch’s videos on YouTube.
Are You Colorblind, and How Good is Your Color Vision?
In this article, we’re going to briefly look at the subjectivity of color. This is a colossal subject, but I wanted to share some of my thoughts on how color is perceived by each of us and whether it’s really that important.
Color IS Subjective
First off, color is subjective. I don’t care what else you believe in, but that is an indisputable fact. You perceive the red of an apple differently than I do, and we will never know by how much — ever.
More importantly, though, neither of us are right or wrong, as there is no way on knowing the actual exact color of that apple.
Colour only has any relevance when we try and describe it to somebody else, and the accuracy of that information is rarely crucial. When I ask you for a red apple and not a green one, you aren’t going to ask exactly how red I want my apple to be.
Of course, there are situations in which color is life-threateningly crucial. Pilots, coastguards, electricians, bomb disposal experts, and many other careers need to know the subtle variances of color, but ultimately most of us needn’t worry too much about what colors we’re actually seeing.
But What if You’re Colourblind?
The reason I’m prefacing this article with the subjectivity of color is because I hear photographers being concerned that they can’t accurately determine color casts correctly and that they may be colorblind. Let me be clear, there is a vast difference between being colorblind and not being able to determine subtle variances in color where photography is concerned.
First off, color blindness is genetic (hereditary) and as such you were born with it. You can’t catch it, nor can you ‘fix’ it. Chances are though, even if you are colorblind, you’re managing just fine. I am also almost entirely sure that when you did discover you were colorblind, that it was somebody else who ‘told’ you that you were. Up until that point you were likely, and rightly unaware of it.
Remember, color is subjective and I will only know what one color looks like to me and you will only know what one color looks like to you. It’s nearly always somebody else telling you that you’re seeing colors‘ wrong’.
Note: If you’d like to check if you’re colorblind, I have included a list below of useful online visual tools to determine your abilities to spot variances in color.
How Does Colorblindness Affect Us as Creatives?
So now that we’ve determined that it really doesn’t matter if you’re colorblind or not, let’s look at how our ability to read colors affects us as photographers. As I said, if you’re colorblind it’s not the end of the world for artists — in fact, it’s often quite the opposite.
Look at the work of famous directors like Christopher Nolan and Nicolas Winding Refn. They are both colorblind movie directors working at the top of their game with little to no negative implications of their color blindness.
So whether you’re colorblind or not, don’t let it hold you back but more importantly don’t let anybody else tell you it’s a hindrance or that you can’t be a good photographer or any other artist for that matter.
Not Colorblind but Color Challenged
Okay, so this is really where a lot of us sit. We’re not colorblind, but we struggle with spotting subtle differences in color. These color differences I’m referring to are specifically related to photography and they crop up when we’re trying to correct white balance issues or trying to color grade a shot.
Here’s the good/bad news; color acuity is a skill. It can be learned, but it will take time.
This skill is like any other and 20 years ago, I was terrible at it and now I am a lot better at it. Back then, before digital, we would have to color print using negative enlargers and chemicals. We would have to dial in our color corrections by hand via the magenta, yellow and cyan dials on our enlargers. We would have to also know that we can create any color correction via these three dials because by removing magenta we get green, by removing yellow we get blue and by removing cyan we get red.
This was hard.
I was not great at it and that’s because it takes time to develop the eye skill to determine color casts present in your shot. Anybody can color print correctly if they know what colors to try and balance, the skill isn’t in operating the machine but in knowing what needs to be adjusted.
Let’s take a look at a couple of examples below to try and see what I mean.
The above image may look okay to some of you and in all honesty, this would have looked perfect to me too 20 years ago.
But experience tells me that there are a few concerning color factors present in this shot. The shadows are looking a little sickly with a slight cyan/green tinge and the highlights are a little yellow. Let’s dial in some corrections and see if we can get closer to something the looks more desirable.
With the color adjustments made, I’m feeling a lot happier about the overall shot and the skin tones now visually look more appealing. Some of you may actually prefer the previous version, and that’s totally fine too. More importantly though, at no point did I say I was trying to make this look accurate or perfect. I personally believe that’s a fool errand, as making it look perfectly accurate is technically impossible.
Remember I said at the start that we all see color differently and that color is subjective? Well, how on earth are we supposed to accurately color correct something if we all see something slightly different?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying color correction isn’t important but I am saying that you need to develop a personal eye and taste for it and that will only develop over time. Look at the colors in your images from years ago, are they perfect? Chances are that you’d color them differently now.
Spotting variance in color is a skill like any other. I get asked by my wife all the time to taste-test dinner whilst it’s bubbling on the stove. I taste the food and to me, it either tastes good or it doesn’t. I have absolutely no clue what to add if it doesn’t taste good though, but some of you will likely think I’m mad. Surely you know if it needs more salt, wine, sugar etc?! To you that may be obvious and to me, coloring is the same, it’s obvious but only because I have a lot of experience with it and I’ve trained my eyes to spot very minor differences in color.
So with all this in mind, let’s try to drop the word ‘correction’ from ‘color correction’. There is no ‘correct’ color, so stop worrying your monitor has shifted a degree one way or another, instead start paying attention to color with your own eyes rather than relying on what a machine tells you is right and wrong.
Of course, color blindness is a real thing and it’s very important to a lot of us. Chances are though, if you’re smart enough to be reading this post then you likely already know if you’re colorblind or not.
But if you’d like to double check, here are a few tests to put your eyeballs through their paces.
Ishihara Colour Blindness Test
The Ishihara color blindness test is the most famous and it’s the one with the all the colored dots and numbers. There are plenty online and most are fairly simple for a wide range of color variances in eyes. The link I’m providing here though takes you to a fairly complex version that has a lot more nuance in color. You’ll get a score at the end too.
Remember though, color blindness is far more common than you think. 1 in 255 women and 1 in 12 men have some form of color vision deficiency so don’t be alarmed if you don’t get a perfect score.
So now that you’ve taken the Ishihara color blindness test and you’re confident you know your colors, here’s the far harder Farnsworth-Munsell hue test. This test actually gets you to rearrange hues on a chart from one color to another. This is an excellent tool for us photographers because it forces us to spot very minor and subtle changes in color hues.
It’s now finally time to leave the kiddie slopes and test both your patience and your eyeballs on this last hue test. This time we’ll be rearranging nearly 100 hues across four color strips. Once you’re done, hit the ‘score test’ button to see your results.
Like I said before, color is subjective and even if you are colorblind, don’t let that stop you from being a phenomenal artist or photographer. And if you’re not colorblind but still struggle with spotting variances in colors, don’t worry, it will get easier with time and experience. For example, I passed all of those three tests with a perfect score, but I guarantee you I wouldn’t have even come close to that 20 years ago.
About the author: Jake Hicks is an editorial and fashion photographer based in Reading, UK. He specializes in keeping the skill in the camera and not just on the screen. If you’d like to learn more about his incredibly popular gelled lighting and post-pro techniques, visit this link for more info. You can find more of his work and writing on his website, Facebook, 500px, Instagram, Twitter, and Flickr. This article was also published here.
A Ferragamo Night Out
Last night, the Boy’s Club New York hosted the 70th Annual Fall Dance at The Plaza Hotel, an evening filled with some of Hollywood’s brightest young talents, some of who fit perfectly in the Ferragamo family. Arriving in Paul Andrew’s debut AW18 collection, notable guests in attendance included Larsen Thompson, Dylan Sprouse, Sofia and Marina Testino, Emily Robinson, Diggy Simmons, Emily Meade, Clara McGregor, among others.
Go inside last night’s BCNY Gala in the gallery below to see all the…
Camera Color Science 101 (And What Makes Canon Special)
If you’ve been wanting to learn more about the subject of camera color science, here’s a solid 13-minute video by Gerald Undone that will bring you up to speed on the subject.
The video “is all about color science in cameras: why pretty doesn’t mean accurate, what makes Canon’s colors unique, and if it should affect your gear decisions,” Gerald says.
Here’s the different topics discussed in the video alongside the timestamps at which they’re found:
00:56: What Is Color Science? 01:50: How Colors Are Captured by the Image Sensor 02:32: The Bayer Filter Mosaic Explained 03:20: How Cameras Use Color Filters to Create a Unique Look 03:48: Unfortunately Pleasing Colors Aren’t Always Accurate 03:57: Sony Is Very Accurate, but Canon Is More Pleasing 04:40: How Raw Images Are Demosaiced or Debayered 05:19: What Is a Color Matrix & How Do You Change It? 05:58: How Raw Development Is Similar to Film Processing 06:28: What Canon Does to Its Colors to Get the “Canon Look” 07:12: But This Is All Subjective! 07:42: Applying This to Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw 08:06: Why Color Science Matters Less with Raw Files 08:17: What “Adobe Standard” Does Differently 09:05: When Everything Else is Equal, Color Science Doesn’t Matter 09:22: Practical Applications & What about Raw Video? 10:21: Does Camera Color Science Matter for Log Recordings? 11:01: Make Your Choices Based on How Much Time You Have 11:17: Situations When Color Science Isn’t As Important 11:36: The Problem with Referring to the Look as “Color Science”
“What exactly are we doing when we talking about liking the ‘color science’ of a camera?” Gerald says. “Honestly, I think we’re only doing two things here: one, desperately trying to find something positive to say about a brand that we inexplicably love by expressing abstract ideas in the fact of an obvious lack of technical innovation, or two, promoting how little effort on your part is required to render an image that you find subjectively pleasing.
“…which is funny, because despite it being called color ‘science’, neither of those things is very science-y.”
Rare Photos Inside the United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus
In September 2018, I was asked to travel to Cyprus and photograph the Buffer Zone (or Green Line) in Nicosia. It was an exclusive opportunity since this area is not accessible for civilians — it’s a demilitarised zone (DMZ), patrolled by the United Nations.
The goal of my visit was to take photos of the endangered architecture within the zone, and also bring the social aspect into the frame. In an attempt to bring the divided parts of Cyprus together again, the photos will be exhibited in the Center of Visual Arts and Research in Nicosia. This exhibition opened on the 23rd of October 2018.
The Buffer Zone in Nicosia is part of the 7 Most Endangered Programme from Europa Nostra. My visit to Cyprus has been made possible thanks to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, United Nations, and Europa Nostra.
This article is a documentary of the current situation of the Buffer Zone / Green Line with mostly exterior shots. The historical and architectural value is very high, and I’m thrilled to share this exclusive view with you.
Walking by the Buffer Zone
Before I was escorted by the United Nations through the Buffer Zone, I had time to walk by the Buffer Zone in the center of Nicosia. One of the first things I noticed is how weird it feels that all the roads, with a few exceptions, have been closed with barrels and/or barbed wire in an attempt to keep you from crossing over to ‘the other side’ or into the Buffer Zone.
Some of these roadblocks are even guarded by young soldiers. These posts and soldiers were not to be photographed.
The roadblock you see on the photo above is close to Ledra Street. Ledra Street is the major shopping street in Nicosia. It is also the site of the former Ledra Street barricade, across the United Nations buffer zone. The barricade symbolized the division of Nicosia between the Greek south and Turkish north. The barricade on Ledra Street was removed in April 2008, and thus became the sixth crossing between the Southern part of Cyprus and the Northern part of Cyprus.
As a foreigner, I had to show my passport on both sides to be allowed access. By the way, the first crossing for Greek and Turkish Cypriots opened in 2003. Just imagine that you’re not able to see ‘the other part’ of your country and city for 30 years.
While in and around the city, I talked to locals from around my age. In the meantime, I had already crossed the border to the Turkish part of the island. The locals I talked to, never had. They started asking me questions how it’s like on the other side of the border. That just felt so strange. They didn’t want to cross. Because of for example principle, or even their parents not allowing them to go. Nicosia, also known as Lefkosia, is the last divided capital in Europe.
The most striking thing I experienced, is that you can see and feel that both sides have developed separately and you’re in different countries. Architecture, food, culture, people. Everything was different.
The Escort Through the Buffer Zone
The United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus is a demilitarised zone, patrolled by the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), that was established in 1964 when Major-General Peter Young was the commander of a “peace force”, a predecessor of the present UNFICYP. After stationing his troops in different areas of Nicosia, the general drew a cease-fire line on a map with a green pencil, which was to become known as the “Green Line”.
The zone extended in 1974 after the cease-fire of 16 August 1974, following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, and de facto partition of the island into the area controlled by the Republic of Cyprus (southern Cyprus save for the British Sovereign Base Areas) and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in the North.
The zone, also known as the Green Line, stretches for 180 kilometers from Paralimni in the east to Kato Pyrgos in the west, where a separate section surrounds Kokkina. The zone cuts through the center of Nicosia, separating the city into southern and northern sections. In total, it spans an area of 346 square kilometers, varying in width from less than 20 meters to more than 7 kilometers. Some areas are untouched by human interference and have remained a safe haven for flora and fauna.
I met the people from the United Nations at Ledra Palace. Once this was one of the largest and most glamorous hotels of the capital city. The hotel was designed by the German Jewish architect Benjamin Günsberg and was built between 1947-1949 by Cyprus Hotels Limited at a cost of approx. €410,000 (~$467,000). It now serves as the headquarters for Sector 2 United Nations Roulement Regiment part of UNFICYP. It’s a very important location, and I was lucky to have a peek inside.
The state of the building is still very good. After that, we drove to the east part of the buffer zone where we entered through the gate you see on the right. This is where the walk through the Buffer Zone starts.
Within the Walled City of Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, the buffer zone is a strip of land that runs along the east to west axis, forming part of the United Nations-controlled green line. This line divides the island of Cyprus and the city of Nicosia in two, keeping the two major communities – Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots – apart, for more than three decades.
The effects of this separation have been devastating for the city of Nicosia, the last divided capital of Europe, especially for its historic center, which composes a unique core of high archaeological, architectural and environmental values. Within this highly restricted area historical buildings together with newer structures, are suffering from physical decay neglected for more than 30 years. This present situation has negative effects on the old city’s urban fabric and contributes to the degradation of the historic center as a whole, leading to its physical, economic and social decay.
The first buildings I saw and photographed were the Ayios Kassianos schools. Ayios Kassianos schools comprise a very interesting complex of two neoclassical buildings of the beginning of the 20th century and a later one which is known to be the nursery. The two schools, boys and girls, are identical in their original layout but bear later interventions. Their characteristic neoclassical elements recall the architectural style of other examples of schools within the city of Nicosia. Their importance for the area and the city as a whole leads to the urgency for their immediate support and restoration. In the same building complex as the schools, Ayios Georgios church is located.
Ayios Georgios church is also a very important monument in the walled city buffer zone area. It dates back to the 17th century, built in ashlar stone, with later interventions. It is part of a building complex including the neoclassical boys and girls’ schools of Ayios Kassianos. Its’ southern wall lies on Ayios Georgios street, where the main entrance to the narthex opens. The internal walls of the narthex bear signs of bright colors and of stone decorations. It is of high importance that this church is documented and restored immediately; otherwise, one of the most important monuments of the area will be lost. Across this church, you will find ‘Annie’s House’.
Annie refused to leave her house, which is located in the Buffer Zone, after the Buffer Zone was established. UN diplomacy could not dislodge her. She continued living in her house, and UN patrols regularly escorted her on shopping trips to get groceries and such. When UN patrols hadn’t noticed any movement in her house, they entered the house and found she died. Annie’s family had broken contact, and she had no-one to arrange her funeral. Annie was 90 years old when she died, and UN soldiers paid and arranged her funeral. Her story is still alive.
Continuing the road, I came across Ayios Iakovos church. Ayios Iakovos church is one of the most important monuments, included in the buffer zone area, dated back to the 15th- 16th c. with later interventions, such as the steeple, built in fine ashlar stones. It’s a Byzantine type of church covered with two intersected barrel vaults carrying the cupola, with eight windows. The arch of the Holy Place is semi-circular. Louis Salvator of Austria visited Nicosia in 1873 and gives a description of this church, as “… a small building with four-barrel vaults …The Iconostasis curved of wood, bears the Russian eagle…”. The church is part of a building complex, referred to as the monastery of Ayios Iakovos.
At one point, we crossed the Buffer Zone at Ledra Street. A very busy crossing, and just a day before I walked through the street and faced the big fences and gates on both sides. Today, these gates opened to cross from the east side of Ledra Street to the west side of Ledra Street. On the corner, the well-known Olympus hotel is located — one of the most important hotels of the Walled City, some decades ago.
The richness of its architectural elements, as well as the grand halls in the interior and its large rooms reveal the importance of this building and its significant role in the heart of the economic and probably the social life of the city. Built in the beginning of the 20th c., (1914–1933) in load-bearing masonry, with classical elements decorating the facades. The ground floor was built for commercial use, with simple elements of decoration while the first floor was occupied by the Olympus Hotel, with much more complicated decoration elements such as pilasters, balconies, and cornices with modillions.
Both the facades are formed according to a combination of the classical Greek ionic order with a Roman-Corinthian cornice with modillions, along with neo-baroque elements on the corner of the building. Since 1974, the building was abandoned to the ravages of time. Today, the part that faces Ledra Street, has been beautifully renovated and looks amazing.
Throughout the Buffer Zone, there are several corner buildings. This is a special type of building which appears on the corners of commercial building complexes, on the crossroads, in the heart of the commercial center, in the area of Phaneromeni. There are six of these buildings in an area of 500 meters long. These buildings are identical in layout, square in shape, with rounded corner. Neoclassical architectural elements decorate the facades. On the right, you see an example of such a building. Below, you find one of my personal favorite shots of my visit. This is a corner building that’s being completely reclaimed by nature.
One of the buildings that I was able to enter, is called ‘Maple House’. Maple House was used as a platoon house for UN soldiers. It wasn’t a very luxurious base and has been abandoned for a number of years as part of the general force reduction. Above is a photo of the entrance to the building. On the wall is a plaque of a former gun shop that was located inside of the building. Maple House was originally a small arcade type shopping center with an apartment block. The building itself has been mostly stripped, yet it is still in good condition. One of the other shops located in this building used to be a car garage. A lot of cars have been left behind in the showroom and the cellar of the building.
The cellar of the building is filled with cars, and some of them even have as little as 40km on the clock. A small number of cars were removed from the basement by the UN and are better preserved, but most of them have been left behind. In 1974, these cars were imported through the gate at Famagusta and driven to the basement in Nicosia, a distance of around 40 kilometers. The drive-in entrance to the basement is in the Buffer Zone. Over the years the cars have been stripped of their internal fittings and smaller engine parts and, although technically ‘new’ can no longer be described as being in ‘mint condition’. Thieves have provided themselves access to this storage area, with all the risks involved, to strip the cars.
Cars that have been left behind in the showroom, a floor above the cellar, can be seen below.
Close to Maple House, you find the ‘ten-minute yard’. This is a very sensitive location because there were numerous protests about the amount of time Turkish soldiers spent in the area of this yard. It was agreed with the UN that Turkish soldiers would only be visible in the yard for ten minutes in each hour. However, to make a point the Turkish soldiers would appear at 10 minutes ‘to’ the hour and then continue to stay for 10 minutes of the next hour, thereby visible in the yard for 20 minutes. This was obviously seen as a gesture of provocation.
Right next to the ‘ten-minute yard’, almost attached to it, the remains of a yellow car are lying on the ground. Near the end of the fighting in 1974, this yellow car was destroyed and both the Greek and Turkish sides dispute the exact position of the CFL (Cease Fire Line). The Turkish believe that the CFL should be drawn at the south point of the car, while the Greeks believe the CFL should be drawn at the northern point of the car. The dispute was settled by the UN by painting two lines; one at the northern end and one at the southern end of the car. Thereby, the UN created a ‘Buffer Zone’ within the Buffer Zone.
The photo below gives a good indication of how close the Greek and Turkish soldiers were fighting with each other. Greek soldiers on the left and Turkish soldiers on the right. This is a photo of Spear Alley. It was here that a Greek soldier fixed a bayonet to a long pole and stabbed a sleeping Turkish soldier to death through the window on the opposite side of the road. Imagine that…
Here are some more photos of my walk through the Buffer Zone in Nicosia:
About the author: Roman Robroek is a Netherlands-based urban exploration photographer. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can see more of his work on his website, or by following him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This article was also published here.
Google Pixel 3 Has a Camera Bug That Loses Photos, Fix On the Way
If you own a Google Pixel 3 or 3 XL and have noticed any photos not getting saved to your gallery, it’s not just you. Google has confirmed that its latest smartphones have a camera bug, and a fix is on the way.
The issue was reported by Pixel 3 users last week. After taking a photo using Google Camera, it would sometimes fail to properly save and be lost forever.
In addition to affecting the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, owners of the original Pixel, the Pixel 2 and 2 XL, and several other Android smartphones have also reported the same problem.
The bug is apparently related to the Google Camera app’s HDR functionality — if the app is shut down before the HDR has finished processing, the image is lost. A temporary solution to the problem is to make sure your camera app stays open until HDR photos are finished processing. You can also turn off the HDR feature to avoid the bug completely.
The good news is Google has identified the issue and is now working on patching it.
“We will be rolling out a software update in the coming weeks to address the rare case of a photo not properly saving,” the company tells The Verge.
Karlie Kloss’s body of work in V Magazine has been high fashion, sensual, alien and radiant with a tinge of mystery poeticized through the lens of Steven Klein and Chris Colls. Karlie’s persona beyond our pages on the other hand is relatable, talkative, friendly, and ambitious. She’s the epitome of Girl Power, lifting a community of girls to broaden their horizons to a future that breaks away from professional gender boundaries we see today. Take a look at Kode with Klossy, found…