Mallee, Photography, Review

ReWorking Desert Views

On my recent trip up to the Mallee, I went to the Wyperfield National Park.  Those of you who follow my blog will remember the photos, I’m sure.  I did an image of dead trees, and I also did a post on the massive sand dune that you can find there.  I know I only did the images recently, but with the fun I have been having with Silver Efex, I thought I should see what I could do with these images.

Many of you seemed to like this image the first time I did it, however, I never did it in Black and White, but I thought I would do it this time.  I wanted to see if any of the presets in Silver Efex Pro 2 by Nik Software would change the drama of the image, or add more drama.

I have been enjoying seeing what this software can do to change an image.  I like what it has done to this one.  I like that the grass on the ground could be dead or alive.  It is up to you to decide if this is a barren landscape.

This image was taken across the road and sort of behind the other image.  The clouds add a lot more drama.  This is not an image I have shown you before.  There isn’t a lot of colour in this image.

I have been playing with the presets a lot, and the effects that different films can give you.  I am going to have to start writing down what I do so I can record it here, for me, as well as for you.  I know I have fallen in love with the structure presets.

I did very similar with this image, but I played with the burning tool, one I will be using again.

This image was taken on the top of the sand dune Snowdrift.  It is a well known landmark in that area.  I was happy to find it, not happy after climbing it, it is hard work.  I would like to go back one day, at a different time of the day and see what else I can do there.

The Silver Efex gave the image so much more drama.  In the original image, you tend to focus on the sky, whereas in the black and white one, I think, your eye is drawn more to the sand dune and what is left of the tree on the top.

This is at the bottom of the Sand Dune, I really like this image.  There is something so dramatic about it.  I also think, that out of all of the images I have shown you, this one has had the most dramatic change, by taking out the colour.

Silver Efex, especially by enhancing the structure, has given the sky a lot more drama.  The grasses around the bottom become almost barren as well, there is no life in them.

I know I thought that a two week trial was not enough time to get addicted to a product, but I am starting to see I was wrong about that.  I am addicted.

I have done my reworking a little different today, I wonder if you think that each image has been enhanced more by what has been done to them.

Bag and Camera Gear

I moved into my new bag today.

This image is what my old bag looked like.  I think you can see that not everything would fit into it.  It was a Lowepro Mini Trekker, and it had been a great bag, but the last few years, I have realised, it was too small, I grew out of it.

I needed a new bag.  I showed the photo yesterday of my new bag.  The Tamrac Expedition 7 is so well constructed, and I am in awe of it.  I am really looking forward to taking it out.

I managed to fit everything in it, which is fantastic.  I don’t have to decide what to take and what not to take when I go out.  Though I am going to have to do some walks with it so my legs can get used to the weight.

There it is, standing up, with everything in it.  My last bag wouldn’t stand like this.  I like that it just stands there.  I also like the my tripod fits very comfortably on it.  You can also see the waterbottle holder on the side.

I wouldn’t have any problems at all recommending a Tamrac bag to anyone now.  Their customer service is fantastic.

For those of you in Australia, the bags are available here, and if you go to C.R.Kennedy & Co website, they are the Australian Distributors, you can get a list of the camera stores that stock Tamrac bags and accessories.


  1. There's a frog on my Sprocket! says

    That’s a really nice looking camera bag. It looks great.
    As always your photos are amazing and inspiring. Great post

    • Thank you Alison, I love that bag right now.
      Thank you to about the photos, I think they came out really well.

  2. Nice desert shots. Some of my favorites of your work!

    Also, I’m curious about the size of your tripod – to get some better understanding of size vs. bag. Thank you…

    • What a lovely thing to say, thank you so much.

      My tripod, I will have to go and measure it, hang on a minute. okay it is 66cms tall when in the state it is in in the photo. My tape measure didn’t have inches. I hope that helps.

  3. Your first bag looks almost identical to mine, except mine has black shoulder harnesses. And, as I don’t have a whole lotta camera equipment yet, it’s working. But I love that new one of yours! My tripod doesn’t fit on my bag – gotta carry it separately. Oh well. Someday. And it looks like I need to try that Silver Efex sometime too. Great shots!

    • That camera bag you are talking about worked for me for many years, I got it about 17 years ago, but I have got too much stuff now. I definitely wanted a bag I could carry my tripod on, it was a must, I hate having to hold it. Yes someday, maybe you can get one too. Yes, do try the Silver Efex, it is amazing. Thank you.

  4. funandfantastic says

    Beautiful color palette! Amazing scenery! Well done!

  5. I love a dramtic sky, and I like your work with these… the reworked Snowdrift particularly appeals to me with your signature post apocalyptic style :)

    • I feel the same EllaDee, a dramatic sky just can’t be beaten. Thank you so much for that bit, I love it.

      • wow! cool with that :D I will go to the beach next week, i’ll upload it asap, so you can tell me what should I improve :)
        Thank you once again :)

  6. Your photos are stunning, Leanne. You are a true artist. And I’m falling in love with Silver Efex!! Bless you.

  7. Great post as usual… I would love a bag like that filled with what is there … but we are allowed to dream…

    • Thank you, isn’t it funny, we never think of others being envious of what we have, I take it for granted I suppose, and many you will get it all one day too.

  8. That structure slider is a gem isn’t it? Have you tried the Nik’s HDR software. I like Photomatrix and use it most of the time when I’m doing HDR but Nik’s version, although the result can be a bit grainy, can be very dramatic. I think the whole Nik Software Suite of programs are very useful to have in your kit bag. :-)

    • Yes I am quite attached to that structure slider. I have just downloaded another free trial version of it and have started playing with it. Nik Software let me have another free trial, I think so I can talk about it here, so I am looking forward to seeing its possibilities, so many people seem to like it. I would like the whole kit I think, I am working on it. I would like to play with Color Efex next, have tried it?

  9. purplescript says

    Love the B&W photos. Awesome! And nice gears you have there!

    • Thank you, that is good to hear, and thanks about the gear as well, it has taken a while to collect it all.

  10. Now I wish my photographer could do such a good job like you too… these are awesome photos you share!

  11. Nice … the desert landscapes do seem to lend themselves well to black and white. More dramatic. Viewers of the modified views are less distracted by the color and can focus on the patterns and shades of the environment. Nicely done.

  12. Leanne, I love the black and white photos SO much better than the color photos! They are so dramatic. I had a similar situation with a sand dune that just about killed me. We were with my husband’s son and more-than-fit daughter-in-law. Going down I was running and laughing. My husband kept saying he didn’t want to go any farther, and I kept urging us down. On the way up I was WAY behind, and on top of that I took the wrong path up, and it ended, and I had to go back down part way and take another path up. I didn’t know I was THAT out of shape, but I really didn’t think I would MAKE it back up. I never challenged another sand dune again!!!

    • Thank you Marsha, I think the black and white really worked for these as well. I love your story. We were lucky, if you can say that, we had to climb first. Though the top was a lot further up that we thought, you couldn’t see the top from the bottom. Coming down was better, my mum slide back down on her backside, then wondered later on where all the sand had come from. I probably would have if it wasn’t for my camera. They really are hard work.

  13. I do love the black and white photos. I use only Photoshop and have been hesitant to try any other software, but Nik’s products look especially appealing.

    • Thanks Pat, I know what you mean, about trying other software, but I have been so surprised at how nice it is to use. I really thought I would download it and then wonder why everyone liked it so much. It is really easy to use and their website has tutorials and videos to help as well. I would recommend you try the demo first, check it out.

    • Thank you Adrian, I do really like it, and I will be sticking with it now. I am looking forward t really exploring and seeing what I can do with it.

  14. Very nice sand dune photos.

    Nice bag. Since everything fits, no excuse for missing a shot. :)

    • Thank you David.
      I wish that was true, but even with everything in the bag, it doesn’t make up for my own stupidity sometimes. I will learn one day. :)

    • Thank you Richard, I think the B&W really added to them as well. The bag is fantastic, used it today for the first time, it is so comfortable. I am so happy with it.

  15. Wow! Silver Efex REALLY takes the cake insofaras ‘sky’ processing, Leanne…these are fantastic!

    Your new bag looks great…and shall undoubtedly serve you well!

    • I think so too 1000, I am really happy with the results. I am looking forward to trying their other software now.
      The new bag is so comfortable and really good, I am in love with it. Will be using it again tomorrow, so I hope it works well again. Thank you.

  16. petit4chocolatier says

    I love the pictures; especially black & white! Love the new bag : )

    • Thank you petit4chocolatier, I am so glad that most have liked the reworks. The new bag is fantastic. I am in love with it, well as much as you can be. :)

  17. I like your new Header. Most of the pros that where at the Augusta,Georgia Photo Festival this past week use the Silver Efex pro 2 by Nik for their B&W. Your B&W picture are looking pretty good.

    • Thank you, it is nice to see that you noticed the header, not many people have. It seems to be a very popular software, and I am pretty sure it is going to become one of my favourites in my tool kit. Thanks mhdriver.

  18. I like the picture of the sand dune, the edited version does show off the trees more, and the sky is really cool too. :)
    Plus, I agree with you. Out of all, the last picture is the one with the most change and the best. ^_^ I love SKY! It’s just so.. Dramatic, yes. Beautiful, totally. XD
    You did a great job with these.. :D

  19. Terrific stuff, Leanne. Admitting I don’t always have the appreciation I maybe could for the subjects you do your work with, I think these are fabulous.

    • Thank you Sid, no problem with that, you can’t like everything, and I know that we all have different taste in things. Glad you like these.

  20. Hi Leanne

    As a monochrome addict I love the reworkings, but I feel that you don’t give yourself enough credit sometimes – the best software in the world can’t make a bad image good; you need a great image to start with and you certainly have those :-)

    • You are so nice rabthecab, I think it was the way I was brought. I like the images that I do, but I see others and think wow, it is a funny thing when you are critiquing your own work. Thank you. :)

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