Some days you just have to walk out the door!
Once again, apologies for my absence! An infection in my leg has forced me to spend a lot of time off my feet over the last couple of weeks, so photography has been on the back- burner for a while. 😦
I was sorting through some recent images shot before all this happened when I came across this one of the ‘Blood Moon’ that happened a couple of months ago. This particular blood moon happened at moonrise on the full moon, so the moon was very dark for about 20- 30 mins after sunset. By the time I could actually see it, it was nearly dark and this image had a 30s exposure time at is0800, so there was movement in the moon over that period.
In the interests of experimentation, I decided to see if I could perhaps improve the image with a stationary moon.
After cloning out the original moon I dropped in another full moon that I had on file with a red & yellow gradient over the selected moon. After a couple of false starts I finally got the moon to look as close as possible to the original and ended up with this image.
Today is Australia Day! One thing that Australia is known for is our beaches. We just happen to be blessed with miles & miles of some of the best beaches in the world, many of which,see very little human activity apart from fishermen, surfers and the odd beachcomber.
The East coast of Tasmania has some stunningly beautiful beaches that for the most part are deserted. This is one I found near Swansea and I spent a good two hours here without seeing another person, heaven!
This rocky outcrop was an obvious subject, combined with the colours of sea & sky, a couple of nice images was the result. I think you’ll agree!
Work commitments have kept me away from anything photographic over the last couple of weeks which is getting frustrating as I have recently purchased a new Canon Tilt-shift lens AND a Canon 5DMk11 which have both been sitting idle! I am raring to get out and really put them to work!
In the meantime, this shot is from one of my early forays with the Tilt- Shift Lens down to Conway Beach. I was just testing the lens out to see how it worked, when I noticed this little scene.
As the tide recedes, Soldier Crabs start cleaning out their burrows by rolling sand into balls and moving them away from their holes. Lower down the beach there are millions upon millions of these burrows and sandballs! This little guy was obviously not one to move with the crowd. This seemed like a good test for the Tilt- Shift lens so I got the camera about 12-15 inches from the burrow, shifted the lens down for perspective and then applied about 6 degrees of tilt to bring the foreground and background into the same plane of focus.
Unfortunately he wouldn’t show his face but the juxtaposition of the the burrow & sandballs with the smooth sand looks kind of cool! At full size, the image is sharp from foreground to horizon. These are a very versatile lens!
Another image from Cape Gloucester, looking toward Gloucester Is. just before sunset.
It seems like ages since I posted any images of the beautiful Whitsunday Islands which unfortunately I don’t get out to very often these days! This is an image of Hill Inlet which is at the Northern end of Whitehaven Beach. I shot this quite a while ago and it is one of my favourites of this magnificent place!
As you can see, it’s quite a low tide which was not ideal for the great aqua shades you get in the water when the tide is higher. You can see some of it on the left of the image, but what attracted me was this Hoop Pine sapling growing out of a cleft in the rock and despite the odds doing quite nicely! Not a bad place to put down roots!
Haven’t posted for awhile but there is good reason for that! In one of those little twists that life serves up to you, my life has dived off the path into the world of teaching! That’s right, I am now attempting to teach people to do what I have done for the last 20years and be able to take commercial vessels to sea and bring them back in one piece! God help them!
I actually like teaching, love seeing the lights come on when a concept they have been struggling with finally makes sense. But it means a lot less time for photography for a while at least. 😦 The amount of paperwork to deal with is ridiculous!!
In the meantime this is one I shot recently at one of my favourite locations, Cape Gloucester at the top end of the Whitsundays. Another case where the light was so-so when I turned up and came good for a brief period.
Well, Christian Fletcher’s recent post about art and photography certainly got the natives restless! No doubt, everybody has been thinking about what and how they shoot and I even notice that some are doing their best to capture “ältered landscapes”!
The question about photography and art has been around for ages and many people have tried to answer it, some more successfully than others. I won’t pretend to be an expert on the matter but I will put my two cent’s worth in because like many others I have had a few thoughts running through my tiny brain for the last few days.
Christian did a nice little ‘bait and switch’ by posting an image by Bill Henson which a lot of people thought was Christian heading off with the pixies! Not too many people thought much of Christian’s “new direction”, myself included, because it was not one of the great landscapes that he is noted for.
When Christian revealed that it was in fact an image by an artist who sells photographic ‘art’ for many thousands of dollars and then made the point that that there is much more to photography than great images of the landscapes that surround us, you could just about hear everybody sit bolt upright and start looking at everything through a new prism. A brilliant post!
Christian has a very valid point and photography IS one of the most versatile visual mediums there is, especially in today’s digital world. Just stop and think for a moment of how many different facets of life that photography is used in! Art to Zoology and just about everything in between!
Art, before the camera came along, progressed from charcoal and ochre in a cave to some of the renowned painters like Rembrandt, Picasso and Gaugin just to name a few as well as sculpture. The point is that they were all trying to depict their surroundings through the mediums that was available to them. So, in real terms the camera is just another medium to use, albeit a little more technical than a brush.
After looking at some of Bill Henson’s work, I have decided that he is not my cup of tea but then again neither is Picasso. So I guess that good art is decided by the person standing in front of it.
Which brings me to another point. Peter Lik seems to polarise opinion amongst a lot of photographers especially in Australia! I first became aware of him when I randomly walked into one of his galleries in Noosa a few years ago. I was blown away by some of his images and how they were presented! Some absolutely brilliant stuff. Sure, he is a slightly out there character who probably had ADHD when he was a kid but you can’t deny his enthusiasm and the results he gets which are a result of him going the extra mile to get the images he does. The main difference between him and many other photographers is his ability to promote himself in a market that is amenable to his style. Good on him I say! I suspect that many photographers would like to be in his shoes.
Is he an artist? Sure,why not? He and Bill Henson use cameras in very different ways with very different results but the people who stand in front of their images and are willing to pay lots of money for them will be the ultimate judges of that.
I could go on but I think that is enough from me, just needed to bore you all with that! Sorry!
This image is the first I have shot around the islands for nearly 2 years at a nice little place called Blue Pearl Bay on Hayman Is. I think it is a nice piece of worthless photographic art, maybe you do too!
Tony Middleton mentioned how much he liked my header image so here is the full monty. Hope you like it Tony!
The next one was taken about 10 minutes later just as the sun hit the horizon. I really like the subtle light in both of these.
This is the first shot taken on the same afternoon as my previous post. I love the contrast between the seeming order of the sand ripples in the foreground and the chaos in the clouds above. Kind of a metaphor for life, the universe and everything. Our very orderly solar system was created from chaos, the sand ripples were created by the chaos of the waves which in turn were created by the wind which is reflected by the chaotic clouds.
Anyway, I hope you like it!
I went up to Dingo Beach the other afternoon to get a range of images so I could test out a Plug-in for Lightroom by the name of L/R Enfuse. The plug-in is an HDR plug-in put together by Timothy Armes and is available from The Photographers Toolbox. I have never been a big fan of HDR as a lot of images look a little weird to me but that is just a personal taste.
So far the results look pretty good and I will be playing with it for a while to get the best out of it. Here is one of the images I came back with.
This shot nearly didn’t happen! I had been taking a range of images with a fairly un-inspiring sky. I wasn’t particularly worried as It was more about the process rather than the image this time. The sun had set and I waited for a while just in case. Judging that nothing was going to happen, I was in the process of packing up my gear when I looked up and noticed that a bit of colour was appearing in the clouds. Setting up my gear again I managed to get a couple of very nice images over the next 10 minutes.and it all faded as quickly as it had appeared!
The title of this post says it all!
What do you think?
After all the monsoon weather we have had here in the Whitsundays over the last few months, Huey has made up for it with some magnificent weather over the last week!
This is the view from Airlie Beach and today it was nearly perfect conditions to capture it. The noticeable absence in this scene is people! Normally this beach would have many more people on a day like this but the tourism industry which is the town’s major industry is doing it tough at the moment. Never seen the place so quiet!
GFC, high exchange rates, flooding etc have combined to hit the area for a six. But the good news is that we are well and truly open for business!
In the immortal words of Lara Bingle “So, where the bloody hell are you?”
Over the last week or so I have been testing a trial version of Adobe Lightroom 3 and so far I am quite impressed!
Adobe have tinkered under the bonnet quite a bit and revamped the processing engine as well as many other things which I haven’t even got to yet.
Essentially there is better sharpening and a far more flexible noise reduction which makes for smoother tonal gradations and colour rendition. When you put files through the new process which is a one step process, the detail that comes out is quite astonishing. In fact I am re-appraising a couple of older lenses that I hadn’t used in ages. The lenses are not as bad as I had thought which is just as well as my 24-105L has developed a problem!
The down side is that after converting all my panoramic source files, I will now need to go and restitch them all as the difference in quality is like chalk and cheese.
The other nice thing is the import dialogue which is much more user friendly especially if you need to move files around. There is also a neat little export dialogue that allows you to publish images to Flickr or Facebook very easily.
I think I will be buying this at the end of the trial period and it will be money well spent (US$100)
It appears that Jamie Patterson and Andrew Brown will be heading my way sometime next year so here is an image shot on the shore of the famous Hill Inlet to keep them inspired!
I’ve been thinking for a while that considering I live in the Whitsundays on Queensland’s tropical coast, I haven’t been posting many images of the area! While I haven’t been out around the islands for a fair while due to health reasons, I did manage to capture a few images from the area before I was grounded.
This was taken early one morning looking from Langford Spit toward Hook Is.
Here the overnight high tide has washed away all the footprints left by the many visitors the spit gets each day and left it’s own footprint of current induced sand waves. A much nicer design I think!
I was shooting a time-lapse sequence of a developing storm yesterday when these young boys started playing around on the swimming enclosure, amusing themselves as young boys do. Normally I hate it when random people enter the frame, but in time-lapse they often add another dimension as they scurry around like ants on red cordial!
I thought that there may be a couple of frames that would make a decent still photo in their own right. This is the one that I decided to process.
It wouldn’t win any prizes but as I was looking at it, it struck me as being symbolic of life at times. When we are young we are carefree and everything is fun. Inevitably, there will be the occasional stormy patch that comes up over the horizon. Some we will be able to sail on through, some we will need to shelter from until they pass. Often there are rainbows and clear skies on the other side!
Hopefully the storms that these boys will encounter will have rainbows!
This image is something a little different.
A few months ago I was down at Conway Beach which becomes a large expanse of sandflats at low tide. Because of the prevailing SE Tradewinds blowing pretty well directly onshore, it is a great spot for wind surfing and Kite-boards. (Crocodiles and large sharks also think it’s not a bad spot!)
This particular day there were a couple of land-sailers or Blokarts as they are probably better known. These things are probably the best fun you can have on 3 wheels! In a good breeze you can attain some serious speed.
I wanted to try and give an impression of speed so a high shutter speed was not going to cut it. Settling on a shutter speed of 1/30s, I sat out in the middle of them whizzing past me, panning and trying not to get run down!
A lot of the shots were a little bit too shaky, but this one and a couple of others came out ok
To focus the attention on the Blokart I desaturated everything but the sail and gave it a vignette.
Love to put a remote operated camera on one of these things!
This image is a bit of a favourite of mine. I was anchored off Whitehaven Beach on one of the charter yachts I was skipper of and decided to go to the beach before sunrise to see if I could snag some images that weren’t the usual staple of the tourism industry.
Arriving on the beach the sandflies were in full force and I realised I had left the repellant on board! Bugger.
But I was the only person on this beautiful three mile stretch of world famous beach and the tide had washed away all traces of the hoards of people that frequent the beach during the day.
Seeing this beach without footprints is rare, so how do I convey this emptiness?
I wandered down the beach a way, taking care to keep away from the area that had been washed clean by the tide, looking for a point of interest like a piece of driftwood.
The only mark on the beach was this crab hole which illustrated what I was trying to convey perfectly!
I waited with the tripod, hoping the crab may poke his head out, which would have been the icing on the cake, but he was keeping his head down.
Never the less, I was quite happy with what was in front of me and I shot a few different images with the 10mm wide-angle of which this image is the best.
Not long after this people started to arrive on the beach from their boats, footprints all over the place!
These two images also show Gloucester Is. but from the eastern side and early in the morning.
105mm, ISO 100, 1/4s@f8.
The above image was taken from a neat little place called Dingo Beach which is one of a bunch of little bays and beaches situated between Airlie Beach and Bowen.
Cape Gloucester is about an hour drive from where I live and a place I visit often, nice beaches, uncrowded and one of the rare places you can watch the sun set over the water while still being on the mainland.
Took a drive up there recently hoping to get a couple of shots of the sun skimming across the contours of Gloucester Is. which sits just off the Cape.
Thin cloud was passing across the sun when I arrived which made the light fairly patchy and low contrast so it was just a matter of timing to get the sun on the hills and the beach in the foreground.
The cloud looked like it might make for a nice sunset and I am glad I decided to hang around!
One of the best sunsets I have seen for a while!
These are a couple of shots of a unique little spot in the wilderness. Comprised of nearly pure silica, it’s like the Whitehaven of the Kimberley but smaller!
As the water is reasonably clear it is one of very few places that it is relatively safe to swim in saltwater and the rock formations surrounding it are amazing.
Even the wildlife likes it, we pulled up one day to find a small croc getting a suntan. He disappeared mumbling “Bloody tourists….!”
I’m going to back track a little here. If you have been following the blogs of Christian Fletcher and True North Mark you will have seen some great images of the Kimberley Coast.
I was very surprised to see that neither posted an image of what I consider to be one of the most spectacular sights along this coastline, the entrance to the Hunter River.
It’s a little difficult to get a sense of the size of these two peaks but believe me they dominate the landscape! No official names that I know of, but variously known as the Ninepins or Indian Hd. If you look at the right hand one you can see the face in it.
The next image is another rockscape taken on a beach near here.
You could spend a lifetime photographing the rock formations along this coast!