Went down to Conway Beach the other night to have a crack at some star photography, ended up doing a little bit of lightpainting and finished with an image that is my take on where the human race stands within the bigger picture!
Here in the Whitsundays we have had some unseasonal weather for the last couple of weeks with strong winds & showers that just seemed to hang around forever! Not much fun if you are out on the water, but, as they say,” every cloud has a silver lining”. In this case,quite a few rainbows have appeared.
Frustrating and ephemeral things they are to capture. Firstly there needs to be rain AND sun, hopefully in the right positions relative to you. I have spent many a frustrating minute chasing rainbows over the years, with precious little in the way of ‘killer shots’ to show for it!
However, while looking through my archive I realised that I have a few nice images, so I thought I would post some of my better ones! Hope you like them.
Tip- To make a rainbow really glow with nuclear colour, a polariser is the way to go. You can even make a rainbow disappear!
If you have had a look through my blog you may have noticed that I have a fondness for mountains with clouds around them. When I notice stormy clouds settling around high ground I start looking for some sort of interesting foreground and hopefully some sunlight filtering through the advancing (or retreating) clouds, not always as easy as it sounds!
While driving around the Western Creek area in Tasmania I noticed clouds advancing across the Great Western Tiers, so after heading down a couple of side roads with no success I finally found this scene. It was just a matter of waiting for sunlight to hopefully illuminate the foreground to contrast with the threatening cloud over the mountains.
Having a little look through my archives today and found this image from a sailing trip to Port Douglas a couple of years ago. We were anchored at Fitzroy Is near Cairns ,when a large rainsquall came in off the sea and settled over Cape Grafton for a little while. I pulled out the camera in the hope of getting some interesting light which didn’t eventuate (as usual!)
I took a couple of images when the cloud texture looked interesting and they have been sitting on my hard drive ever since. Decided to have a little play in Lightroom & Photoshop to see if I could make this one look halfway decent and this is what came out the other end. Considering how flat and uninteresting it looked when I started, I am quite happy with the result!
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!
Recently, I spent 3 weeks working at the Orpheus Island Research Centre situated just off the Nth. Queensland coast. It is a University Research Centre,that hosts marine researchers from all over the world, studying all sorts of things from the effects of climate change on the Great Barrrier Reef to the amount of fishing gear left behind by fishermen amateur and professsional.
Incidentally, this is also where Les Walkling conducts a yearly photographic workshop and I got the chance to see some of the images produced by Les, very nice indeed! Unfortunately, due to work hours and inclement weather,(I think I saw 4 days of sun in all the time I was there!) photographic opportunities were scarce.
This is a storm that came roaring across from the mainland on my first night!
Amazingly, it veered and went around us!
The processing of this image was done in LR3 and Nik Colour Effex 4 which has a neat little process called Detail Extracter, does amazing things with cloudy skies!
I have just arrived home from a little adventure! A good friend of mine who is taking a 60 ft luxury catamaran around the world needed a hand to sail from Airlie Beach to Cairns. Along the way she heard about Carnivale in Port Douglas so we ended up there instead with a stop at Low Isles along the way
Weather was pretty ordinary for most of the trip with strong winds and squally weather so good photo opportunities were few and far between.
Carnivale was in full swing when we arrived and the town was heaving with people and the local businesses were cashing in while they could! Port Douglas is a very pretty town and the locals are friendly. Managed to get a few images while I was there although the light was not the best for most of the time.
There are a couple of very good photographers in the area, Michael Seebock and Gareth Kelly stood out for me and another wildlife photographer whose work was outstanding!
Seeing their work and what I saw while driving between Mossman and Cairns makes me want to return and spend some time exploring a little more thoroughly.
This image is of the old sugar wharf at the entrance to Port Douglas on the one halfway decent sunset I saw.
There will be a few more images from this little trip coming up.
David Bettini and Mark Stothard have been posting some great shots of storm clouds they have encountered during their recent trip along the Kimberley Coast. Once again I have been inspired to have another look at a stitch of an awesome looking storm that swept across Prince Frederick Harbour. Decided to do a monochrome version as i was having trouble getting the colour version to look just right.
This place seems to be a storm magnet and as Master of the vessel I was on, I was watching this pretty closely as we were in the middle of passenger tranfers by Helicopter!
As it turned out, it passed by with little effect but I got some great images while it was around. Hope you like this one!
Three posts in one week!? I’ll be taking over from Mark soon if I am not careful!
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?
Up here in tropical Queensland our seas are protected by the Great Barrier Reef so we don’t get the swell and wave action on the shoreline as they do down south. Consequently, opportunities for dramatic images of the coastline with long exposures are pretty rare.
As I am not out around the islands these days I have to make do with places I can access by car and Conway Beach is one of those. At low tide it is a big expanse of sand flats which sometimes expand for about a quarter of a mile.
Being flat and featureless, finding a strong foreground can be problematic but if you go for a bit of a walk something will present itself. In this case the sand ripples left by the receding tide as well as the tidal pool were about the only chance of a foreground to balance the magnificent colour of the sunrise!
The Kimberley, an ancient, timeless land where man’s influence is so far, fairly minimal. That could change in the future if the gas,mining companies and government have their way! Like the Tasmanian SW this is an area that should be left as a wilderness, free of ugly gas plants, disfiguring mining operations and the like.
Traveling through the Kimberley by sea you get a good sense of how insignificant you really are and you get a feeling that the land is watching you,impassively,waiting for you to make a mistake.
On most days during the dry the landscape is a magnificent palette of colour, dominated by the ochre colours of the sandstone of which the area is comprised. Contrasting with the blues of the sea and endless sky as well as the greens of the post-wet season greenery it’s easy to fill a memory card pretty quickly.
But on the rare occasion when a thunderstorm rolls across the landscape, it seems to take on a more primitive & malevolent feeling. You almost expect a dinosaur to make an appearance somewhere and indeed there are dinosaurs around in the form of crocodiles.
This is my attempt to communicate that feeling you get.
You know how it is, rummaging through your files, seeing if there are any little gems that you had forgotten about.
After processing a couple of new images tonight, I was just going over this particular folder when I came across this image of a sunrise at Shute Hbr. I had shot this about a year ago and like a lot of my images, I sat on it for a while.
I have to say that I quite like it because I am a sucker for crepuscular sunlight at the best of times and this a pretty good example!
I also like it for it’s simplicity, It could be composed a little better but the brick shed I was standing next to limited my options on that score. Probably look good as a monochrome which I will do another day, I’m off to bed!
We have certainly had some rain over here in Queensland this year! At the moment large parts of Southern and Western Queensland are under water with flood records broken left,right & centre.
Here in the Whitsundays it feels like the sun has deserted us although as I speak the sun is is making a rare but brief appearance. The ground is saturated and soggy but the good news is that the local dam is flowing over the spillway for only the second time in it’s 30yr history.
For the last couple of months I have driven countless miles around the surrounding cane fields trying to capture some of the awesome looking skies that come with this sort of weather in juxtaposition with the landscape that consists of miles of flat canefields and a couple of low mountain ranges.
The best time to do this is at the end of the cane harvest when most of the cane is still short,for most of the year you can’t see anything because of the height of the cane obscuring the skyline.
Up until yesterday I had not shot anything that I was completely happy with, just couldn’t get all the variables to line up and I was beginning to despair of ever getting an image that portrayed the wide open landscape, the ranges and the skies that happen with the tropical wet season.
I think the couple of images below may be getting close though! (Click to view large)
What do you think?
Hope you all have a safe & happy Xmas & New Year!
Ho Ho Ho!!
This is an image I shot the day before my recent visit to hospital. It looked like a thunderstorm might be building so I drove down to Wilson Beach which is about half an hour away, in the hope of an interesting sky.
Dead low tide which meant extensive sand & mud flats. An interesting cloud formation in the western sky looked like it might be worth shooting but there was no interesting foreground apart from the reflections in the still water.
I hung around for about an hour shooting some panoramics whenever the cloud texture looked vaguely interesting but the light didn’t really fire up as I had hoped. Still it was nice just watching the cloud change shape for a while.
Just as I was thinking about heading off some fishermen came around the corner to the boat ramp and suddenly I had a foreground just as the light got interesting!
Shot about 4 quick frames as they were waiting for the trailer and it turned out that the fishing was a bust for them.
I walked away with a couple of nice images!
One of the delights of ‘messing about in boats’ is pulling up into a sheltered anchorage for the night, sitting out on deck with a well earned beverage and having a 360 degree view of your surroundings. On occasion you get sunsets that are pure magic!
This particular evening, it looked like we may get a thunderstorm come across with an associated windshift that would make this bay exposed.Luckily, it didn’t happen and as the sun hit the horizon, the wind dropped, a gap in the clouds opened and gave us a 10 minute light show that was gold!
The title alludes to a film that was made in the area that starred Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill and Billy Zane about a romantic sailing voyage that went horribly wrong. A classic.
“At sea, no-one can hear you scream!”
Back in the days when people used to look at the sky and be able to gain a fair idea of what the weather would bring, there was an old saying; “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight, Red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning!”
Recently we had two days in a row of sunsets like this, which is quite unusual, but it has been a funny year for weather anyway. Must be all those farting cows and belching sheep.
Save the Planet! Kill them all and throw them on a BBQ plate.
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!
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!
No, I am not recovering from a lager frenzy! You have probably all heard about the dust storms that have enveloped the eastern states over the last week. Well they even made it into the tropics, not as severe as further south but they have hung around longer. The light and visibility have been pretty ordinary over the last week, not the beautiful blue skies we are used to at this time of the year!
I havn’t really bothered shooting much till it all goes away but I did manage to get a couple of worthwile images one afternoon.
Look familiar Fletch?
I was just looking through the images I took in the hope of stitching at a later date and came up with this. I know you’ve alll seen this storm before but not quite like this.
Courtesy of LR2 and a neat little plug-in called the SIAS filter.
Still playing with the stitching program. Until I have something worthwhile to post it is back to single frames for a while.
This is one I shot in the Kimberley when another mean looking storm poked it’s head over the hills. just as i thought we were going to cop it, it parted and went around us. Managed to get a couple of decent frames and took this one for a ride through Lightroom.
I like the patchy lighting which is something I look for all the time. “Chiriasco” I think is the term for it, nice when it appears!