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Posts from the ‘Photography’ Category

MM 2-12: Monochrome Madness 2-12

One week to go to the next theme which is Water.  I hope you have all been out experimenting with images of water.  I feel like I’ve been out doing nothing but water.  The new filters are partly responsible for that.  I have already started getting images for it and I have to say they are good. Some great interpretations of the theme.  I bet you can’t wait to see them, but you will have to wait, until next week that is.

If you want to take part then please send your images to me in the usual way, all details are below.

Shall we take a look at the images for this week?


My image for the week.  It is one I took last weekend in the city of the Seafarers Bridge using my new Formatt Hitech Firecrest 16 filter.  I wanted to try it out along the river in the city.  It is quite amazing, where it was bright sunlight and I was doing 6 minute exposures.  It was a little bit too long really, but I don’t have a lot of experience using the filters, I am sure I will get better.

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: Things Returning

Tuesday is here again, how quickly it comes around.  Things have been happening here, though perhaps I’m still going out and taking too many photos. I know, I can’t help it, but I also have to think it is a good thing, I do need to take photos, but I also need to speed time at home.  I know I keep saying this, and I am getting better. Anyway, let’s see what else has been happening.

Tamron Sp 150-600mm Lens

I knew it was going to happen eventually, then again, I was hoping Maxwell International Australia might forget that I had the lens, but it seems they have decided they do need it back. I was gutted when I heard that. I have been very lucky and got to use it for a while and I’m fairly certain that my next lens will be this one.

banyuleflats-tawny-frogmouth-australia-birds-1025I have loved having it and using it.  It has been great for the birds, not only those around me but in other places as well. The Melbourne Zoo was a brilliant place to try it out. The images I got from there were amazing, I was so happy with them.

So in memory of the lens I thought I would show you a selection of some of the photos that I have taken with the lens.

Travelling to the USA

I haven’t spoken about my trip for a while, but I assure you, as far as I know, it is still on.  I think I will be arriving around the first of September.  Plans are underway and I have started looking at getting some sponsorship for my trip. Maxwell International Australia have said they will lend me some Tamron lenses for the trip, which is great. It will be healesville-sanctuary-australian-birds-animals-1002nice to see how they are on my trip.  I’m hoping to get the 15-30mm and the 28-300mm, which I hear is a great travel lens. I will be well covered with both of those.

I did send an email to Nikon, but haven’t heard anything back from them as yet.  I wondered if they would lend me a camera, maybe something like the D750. Then today I started thinking about a tripod, and wandered if maybe I could get a travel tripod from someone.  Would be nice to get a lend of some gear for the trip.  Time will tell what happens.

Dynamic Range

I’ve received the first article for the magazine, and it seems the putting together of it all is about to start happening. It is exciting.  I’ve been talking to lots of people and getting lots of ideas from them and they’ve been giving me lots of things to think about.  I’m a bit worried I’ve got myself in over my head, but I’m happy to go with the flow, see what happens.

Hopefully things are still on track for the end of June.

I’ve started trying to work out how people can pay for it and download it at the same time. I also need to work out how I can do subscriptions for people, though I don’t want to offer subscriptions until we know how the magazine will go.banyule-flats-egret-bird

One on One Photography Sessions

I’ve been getting more requests from people to do them which has been great. It is nice to do them. They have been happening in lots of interesting places.  I get to take photos in some great spots and the zoo is working out to be a great place for them.

Social Snappers

Well, I’ve been struggling to work out what to do with them. People sign up and don’t show up.  If I charge money no one signs up, so I’m starting to wonder if it is time to give up on them.  The other option is to charge a small amount, like $20 and just have them once a month.  I might do that, but I am only going to do them for one more term and if the results are like they are now, I am not going to continue doing them.  So I will know soon.

I’m going to leave it there for today.  I hope you enjoy the gallery of images taken the Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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.


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