Monthly Archives: September 2014

Why landscapes are so hard

If you are interested in landscape photography and wondering how to get that great shot then the answer lies in sheer hard work or being very lucky.

Why hard work you ask?  Well its like this: to get a very good landscape you need a reasonable bit of kit such as a range of ND filters and a way to put them on your camera, a tripod and perhaps some graduated filters.  The graduated filters are an option because one can take a number of shots with different exposures and blend them, unless one is photographing waves in which case blending is a little bit harder.   The second factor is the much harder part of doing landscapes, you must be prepared to go and go again and again until you get the shot that is worth publishing.  Additionally you must be familiar with your camera and its settings so that as everything changes around you , especially the light you can react and react quickly.  This if course takes a lot of practise.

Oh and one more thing I spent from around 2pm until 7pm lugging gear and standing around taking shots and waiting for the changing situations to evolve.  So all in all it was about 8 hours work for three shots not counting processing time.

For the photos below taken at Spray Point on the Mornington Peninsular I have driven round trips of two hundred kilometres at least 5 times but it may be more.  All of the trips until this last one have been fruitless as far as producing really good shots.  Moreover I still will go back again as I am sure that there are even better shots waiting for me in just one small area of the Victorian coast.

Now enough ramblings to the photos:

surfing-lr breaking-wave-lr Spray-Point-lr

If you can see one of these hanging on your wall then drop me a line and we can discuss price and delivery.


It rained last night

Yes it rained last night here in Melbourne.  Of course that meant that the nearby hills, which has a few small waterfalls would be worth a visit.  Yahoo I said lets get going, so it was time to grab the camera bag and a ND filter (variable) so that I could do those soft dreamy water flows that everyone loves.

After a bit of a trudge down the mountain slope to the water fall getting wet shoes on the way as it was so damp underfoot I arrived at the waterfall.  Now this is no gigantic cascade it is just a small waterfall but it is very accessible with a nice foot bridge built over the main part.  Just great for a photo.  No dangers of climbing over wet rocks with heavy backpacks and tripods, just stand on the bridge and shoot away.

I took a couple of shots, one at 30 seconds and one at 8 seconds.  Along with another shot further upstream where there is a small stumble in the streams downward path.  Well enough ramblings here are the two shots.  Enjoy and if you would like one gracing your walls then do drop me a line and we can discuss price and delivery.

a-little-cascade-lr small-fall-lr

Exploring an idea

Today I was thinking about arranging a number of gum leaves in a frame.  Each would be hanging in a rough matrix.  So I proceeded to collect a few leaves and time them to pieces of cotton.  Each strand of leaves was then strung between the sides of an old picture frame.

Now it was time to photograph them so that I could at least get close to my original idea.  This proved to be not so easy, mainly because it was difficult to support the frame.  Still after a few attempts and some assistance from one of my sons whose duty was to hold the black cloth I managed to get a photo that was reasonable.  Not quite what I first imagined but still ok.

The hardest aspect was getting an angle that produced something of interest.  Certainly photographing a subject like this is difficult because of depth of field issues.  However it was all a bit of fun and is always a good thing to try,  that is trying out an idea to see if will work.

Anyway have a look at the result and let me know what you think.


Melbourne in the early light

I have been waiting for  the right weather to roll along so that I could get an early morning shot of Melbourne CBD from Swan Street Bridge.  Finally this morning was clear and I was awake early enough to wander into town and get the shot I have been waiting for.

Now this morning was not that colourful as far as dawns go however the morning light is fantastic for landscapes.  Everything is bathed in a beautiful soft light with no shadows of harsh contrasts.  The light of dawn  like sunsets provides for beautiful photography, so if you want to improve your shots then wait until the sun is below the horizon or is producing a brilliant sunrise/sunset and then get to work.  The light only lasts for a short period of time and if doing buildings etcetera its only a few minutes where the light in buildings is about the same as daylight.  That time by the way is always just before or just after the sun sets.

Enough ramblings here is the shot from this mornings jaunt:


PS excuse the posterisation, thats an artefact from reducing the quality so that the photograph is not worth stealing.

St Pauls cathedral Melbourne

The St Pauls cathedral is one of my favourites here in Melbourne.  Whilst it does not have the grandeur of many of the world great cathedrals it is still worth looking at.  So from time to time I wander in to take a few photographs or just simply to look at its beauty.

Now having recently bought a Pentax 645z, which many would say I am wasting money on, and being somewhat astounded with its image quality and all round ability I just had to try it out in what is a sometime difficult photographic environment.  It is difficult because one has to pay $15 dollars to use a tripod so that one could HDR the scene and secondly it is a functioning church regularly visited by tourists as well as worshippers.

So camera in hand I paid the $5 fee for taking photographs without a tripod and wandered around trying out the camera.  I am impressed with its ability and dynamic range.  It truly is a phenomenal camera.

Now to the images: These are all untouched other than the one conversion to Sepia in Lightroom.

St-Pauls-lr stpaul-1lr stpauls2-lr

Suburban Botanicals

I have planted a few Flanders Poppies and I am still waiting for them to flower.  In the meantime I bought, a few weeks ago, some tulips which are now in bloom.  So today I picked the tulips, the first three of six.  I tried a few different arrangements but this is the one that for me worked the best.  Hope you like it.



A Panorama of Melbourne

Two nights ago I went into the CBD or very near and took three shots of Melbourne from a vantage point on the Yarra River.  Then I merged those into a panorama, and in this case I did  not use a panoramic head as the foreground had little in it.  I am very pleased with the result, which by the way will print up to at least 5 metres by 2 so if you had a large wall space that wants filling then this would do nicely.