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Influencing Me: Looking at Three of My Favourite Artists

There were good intentions to get you an Introduction post today, but unfortunately I didn’t get myself organized and I couldn’t get someone. It doesn’t happen to often, so I hope you will forgive me. Today I thought I might do something else, I though I might take a look at three of my favourite artists and what I can or have learned from them.  I have shown them all to you before, but not together.  This is for you as well as for me, sometimes we do need to just step back and reassess.

Those artists are Rick Amor, Edward Hopper and Antonio Lopez Garcia.  They are three artists that I have loved for a long time and they do influence me and it is a timely reminder that I need to look at them again, see what I can learn from their work.

Edward Hopper

The thing I love about Hopper’s work is the sense of theatre, his work tells us a story.  It is like a scene from a play or a movie.  I like drama in images, and it is something I really try to do with my images, but I think lately I might have lost sight of that.  It is something I need to get back into.  I keep talking about it, but then never seem to do it.

Rick Amor


Rick is an Australian artist and one I’ve met a few times, though he wouldn’t know me.  There is something quite amazing about his work and it shows how big the world is, or how small we are in the world. His work is fictional, in that he creates his own.  The buildings are often real, but then he exaggerates them and puts them together in scenes that are not found anywhere in reality. His work reminds that anything is possible, that new realities can be created.

For me this is quite wonderful and something I need to remind myself that I could do. I’ve been learning so much about Photoshop and my skills really should be up to a level where I could very easily do this sort of thing with my photos.  I have done a little of it in the past, but not nearly enough, and it is time I did something about it.  I keep putting it in the too hard basket.

Antonio Lopez Garcia


Antonio is extraordinary artist. His drawing skills are so amazing, as are his paintings. There is a level of detail that would require a great deal of patience and very good observation skills. The subject of his paintings are almost boring, they are what we see around us. It is the ordinary of the everyday world. We can find art every where really, in our homes, in the areas we live or away.  For me the thing that I find the most fascinating is remembering the ordinary and not disregarding it.

So do you have artists that you find teach you important things about your work or photography? What have you learned by looking at other artists? Do you think it is a good thing to do?

I am going to put the above images and some others into a gallery for you now. I hope they will help you to understand why these artists are important to me.

Weekend Wanderings: Tree Tops at Apollo Bay

In a couple of months I’m going to Apollo Bay for a few days.  I’m looking forward to it, but it also reminds me of the trip I had there last year and there was one excursion that I never showed any photos of, well except for a couple of special ones. We had gone to the Otway Fly Treetop Adventures and went to do the Treetop Walk. It was quite an amazing walk. Lovely to walk above the rainforest.


There is the path, up there in the sky.  It is not for the faint hearted, and I think if you were not good with heights it wouldn’t be good to go.  It is very solid, but you can see straight through the bottom and every time someone moves the whole platform shakes.  We were lucky and for the most part it was just the two of us on it.


This was probably one of the scariest parts.  It is on the platform and then you climb even higher.  It sways, you can feel it swaying, but you have to believe that it is solid and you won’t fall off it.  The views up there were quite amazing.


You really are up in the treetops.


The views straight down were quite surreal too. It isn’t often you get to see the trees from the top down.


Rainforests are so pretty and everywhere you look you find something new to photograph.


This image was one that as I was trying to get it I realised how much I wanted a macro lens.  They were so tiny, and my lens just wasn’t getting what I wanted.  This image has been cropped a lot.

It is a lovely place to go, but be aware, you go a long way down to get to the platform to take you around, and then you have to walk all the way back up.  It was worth it though.  You do have to pay money to do it, but you have to do that for a lot of things these days.

I have more photos for you now, which I will put into a gallery for you.  I am off for more photography with the filters again this morning. I hope you are having a lovely weekend where ever you are in the world.

Weekend Wanderings: Photographing Bays in a Bay

Melbourne is in Port Phillip Bay, I’m sure I’ve told you that before.  It is a large bay, and the city itself is around an hour and a half to two hours to the coast.  In some ways we are very protected in our bay.  Though lots of ships do come in and go out through it.  However, because it is so large there are so many different little bays inside the main bay.  Last Tuesday I got to visit two of them, which I was excited about, as it was also the first chance I had to use my new Formatt Hitech Firecrest 16 filter.


The first bay we went to was Davey’s Bay.  There is a little pier there and not much else.  It is quite secluded and very nice. I am glad I went with others as I’m not sure I wouldn’t have found it by myself.

It was a great little spot and perfect to try out the Firecrest 16.  This is  ND Filter, or a Neutral Density filter. The idea of the filter is that it is dark in colour and it stops some of the light going through to the sensor so you can get different exposure times, or rather longer ones.  The darker they are, the longer the exposure.

They are called neutral because they are meant to be neutral in colour, so supposedly they don’t effect the colour of the image when it’s taken.  If you buy cheap ones you will often find they have a colour cast. Though some of the good ones also have them as well, I’ve noticed that my Lee Big Stopper can give a blue cast.

The Firecrest 16 is a 16 stop ND filter, so if my camera says for a normal exposure you will need a shutter speed of 1/250 of a second, then with this filter you could get an exposure of around four minutes.  It means you can get that smooth water and blurry clouds. Most of these images were done with a six minute exposure.

I decided to convert many of the images into monochrome, but to do this I used Silver Efex which is part of the Nik Collection by Google.

I took a lot of images around this area with that filter and got lots of long exposures, before we went to the next bay, Watkins Bay.


This area had a few piers, some good, some not.  The bay was so still here, and there really wasn’t any need for the 16 stop ND Filter.  I think I took one photo with it, but then it was getting too dark and the exposure times were getting too long. I did start using the the new ND graduated filters, but used them as full ones rather than as graduated.

I have a gallery for you now, I really like the effect of the filters, and I will be trying some more this weekend.  I hope you have lots of plans for photos this weekend.

Quiet Thursday’s: Things Are Coming Together

It seems things are on the up, and I got quite a bit of work done yesterday, and hopefully more today.  I have some excursions planned for the weekend, so that will be good. Although none of the places are new, so you will have to be content with the same places again. I hope you won’t mind.

Today I have some photos for you that I have taken in the last week. On Saturday I went to Marysville again. This time it wasn’t raining and we took some photos of the waterfall.  Because of all the rain, the waterfalls were running very fast. I used one of my new Formatt Hitech Filters, the .9 Nd Grad hard for it, though I used it as a full filter rather than the grad. Then later that night we had dinner in Marysville and then headed up to a look out to try our luck with some astrophotography.

The other night I headed out with a couple of ladies to some piers along Port Phillip Bay here in Melbourne and I got to use quite a few of my new filters from Formatt Hitech.  I used the Firecrest 16 and found a great app for my phone to help me work out the exposure times with a little help from a friend. The monochrome image of the pier was taken with it, and was a five minute exposure.  I used Silver Efex Pro 2 to process it. It was great for getting rid of some of the rubbish in the sky.

We were also surprised by a sunset that was amazing, and so surprising.  I used my new Formatt Hitech .6 ND Grad reverse for it, didn’t expect to get to use it so soon. I used it for the photo of the sunset, but it was also a HDR done with Photomatix Pro.

Just quickly before I show you the photos, I have had another article published on the Digital Photography School.  This one is about How to Give Your Macro Photography a Fine Art Touch in Post-Processing.  I hope you will go and take a look, and share it please.  Remember those macro shots that were dark, this will tell you how I did them.

Here are the images I was talking about above.  I hope you have a great quiet day.

MM 2-11: Monochrome Madness 2-11

Welcome to another week of Monochrome Madness, another small week, but still lots of great images to look at and great blogs to visit.

Don’t forget the water theme is coming up in 2 weeks.  I’ve been out taking lots of photos of water and I hope to get a good image for the challenge.  I’ve already seen a couple and they are quite amazing.

Shall we get on with the Madness now.


On the weekend I went for a drive to Marysville to visit some waterfalls.  On the way to one we walked through some thick areas, places where the sun hasn’t been so it was still very moist from the recent rains. We saw these tiny mushrooms along the path.  I tried taking photos with my macro, but the light wasn’t on our side. We are going to go back though, soon, and I will be hunting for mushrooms with my macro lens.

Don’t forget all the instructions on how to enter your own images are at the bottom of the post.  If you have entered an image then please remember to check your image in the gallery, scroll down and see if anyone has left you any comments.

Now, Monochrome Madness will continue next week and if you wish to participate and submit an image here is how you do it:-

  • You must email me the image you want to include and if you have a blog or website, or somewhere else, please include the link. My email address is
  • The image size should be low res, so the largest side should be 1000 pixels or less.
  • Please insert either your name or your blogs name in the file name.
  • Remember I am on Australian time, so with GMT I am +11 hours at the moment, I publish my post on Wednesday morning.
  • If you need more help with sending images, and get confused about time zones, etc, well, there is a great website called The World Clock, if you go to that and look at Melbourne time, if it’s before 6pm on Tuesday evening, then you can still send me images.  If it’s after that time, you can send me an image, but it will be set aside for the following week.
  • Remember to include a link to your blog or website.
  • Please remember to resize your images, it is fairly simply, you just need to go into any editing software and usually under Image you will find, resize, scale, or image size, something like that and you can resize your image there. Change the dimensions to pixels and make the longest side 1000 pixels or smaller, hit return, and for most types of software that should change the other side automatically as well. Just remember to save it with a different name so you know it is the smaller version.  If you have any problems, please contact me, I don’t mind helping out.

Please note you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to be in this challenge, you can have a link to a Facebook page, a Flickr page, anywhere really, or no link.  We just want to encourage people to do monochrome images, just for the madness of it. Just to let you know also, that as soon as the challenge is published, all emails and images you have sent me are deleted from my computer.  I respect your copyright and would never keep any of the images.

Tuesday’s Bits and Bobs: Getting Organized

It has been manic around here, and perhaps I’ve been a naughty girl by going out so many times to take photos. It has been nice, but it means not enough time at home on the computer.  Things are going to have to change.

The Book

The time I was given to do my book as stipulated by the grant is half way over, so I need to start working on it. To remind you about the book it is to be about the local wetlands, Banyule Flats. We are all sitting on the edges of our sccreswick-hpm5666bseats as we wait to hear if it is going to be destroyed by a freeway going through it.

As time is running out I really need to start getting on top of it.  I have made an appointment with someone to talk to them about putting the book together.  I made the decision that I should get help with the design of it and where I will get it published.  Hopefully it won’t be too hard. I have taken hundreds of photos from down there, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

I am also going to talk to the publishers about the magazine and see if they can help or make some suggestions.

Getting Organized

It is time to get serious, I have to stop going out and taking photos all the time and start spending more time at home sccreswick-hpm5743working on other projects.  I have articles to write, books to organize, photos to process, and magazines to put together.

I am starting to see that the only way I can do all that is if I have days at home specifically for those things.  So the plan is to start having days that I can’t go out and take photos on.  From now on I will have to have at least 3 days at home, or 4 would be better.  They will become my work days and I will have to be strict about it.

Formatt Hitech Filters

I got my new filters the other day.  I have now added a Firecrest 16 to my kit, plus a 0.3, 0.6 and a 0.9 ND Graduated Hard filters and finally a 0.6 ND Reverse Graduated filter.  I used a couple of the graduated ones the other day in Marysville, and they worked really well.  I’m hoping I will get to use the Firecrest tomorrow and maybe the reverse graduated, but will depend.

They look great, the only thing is the Firecrest didn’t come with any instructions, so I don’t know about exposure times. sccres-hpm5786-7 I need to work it out, hopefully tomorrow will give me a chance to do that.


Today’s photos, as usual, are from the archives and from back when I was photographing cycling.  They aren’t cycling photos but were some landscapes and building shots I took while I was photographing the racing.  It is an area I keep thinking I should go back to, but never seem to.  It is a country town, Creswick, I will go back.


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