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Posts tagged ‘Architecture’

Weekend Wanderings – Getting Dark in the City

Yesterday I was in the city doing some photos with someone.  We started in the late afternoon and took photos until just after 9pm, it was really getting dark in the city then, so I thought I would do some of those photos as my Weekend Wandering post today.


Melbourne Town Hall, it is looking rather ordinary at the moment, but in a month or two I’m sure it will be decorated for Christmas.  I like photographing the same buildings over, they are always different, whether it is the light, or what they have on them.  I would like do a great fine art architectural shot of this building.  I realised yesterday that I will need to use my wide angle, otherwise I can’t fit in the tower.


Stopping at the Hopetoun Tea Rooms in the Block Arcade is almost something I can’t stop doing.  I didn’t get many photos as by the time we got there they were clearing the window.  I might have to try getting a shot of that one day.  I did ask some questions about the window, so will try some more photos soon.


Can you see the bright lights in the water, something reflecting off the bridge.  It was really strange, but we had fund trying to get photos of it.

These two photos look the same, well they are really. except one has a blue sky and the other one is browner.  Maxwell International Australia has let me keep the filters a little longer so I could experiment a little more.  The sunset we got in the city was terrible, really, not much colour, so I thought it would be interesting to try the tobacco graduated filter.  It really warms the image up.  I have been playing around more and on Tuesday will show more photos and talk about the kit a little more.


We saw the gas going off outside the Casino.  We got there hoping it would happen at 8pm, but then some other people who were there looked it up and said that it wouldn’t be on until 9.  We thought, oh well, and just kept taking photos of other things, and then all of a sudden, on they came.  I hope the people who thought it came on later still saw them.  Unfortunately for us, we didn’t think it was going to happen, and so weren’t really prepared, still we got some shots, I just wish I had got a little more of the reflection.


Then it was time to do some night photos of the city.  I love photographing the city at night.  I love seeing how it looks.  So I love it when people say they want to do it. I especially love doing One on One Photography Lessons for people who want to learn night photography. I don’t know that I will ever tire of it, there are always different places along the river to go.

I am going to leave you with a gallery now, I need to start planning a driving trip today for my daughter to get in some more driving hours, but also so I can go somewhere to try out the filters again.  Have a couple of ideas, but you will have to wait and see.  I hope you have somethings planned for the weekend.  I am back into the city tomorrow for Social Snappers, we are doing architecture along Collins Street, should be great.


Introductions Robin Kent

Today I would like to introduce to you Robin Kent and his blog, photographybykent. I’ve known Robin for a while and is always helpful with advice, and I remember back in the discussion I had here about PC or Mac, he was probably the one person whose comment I remember the most, it solidified my decision to stay with a PC. His photography is also quite amazing and I find I get a lot of inspiration from it.


His photography is stunning and I know he travels a bit.  I find myself drawn to his work also because I think it is similar to the type of shots I’d like to do.

My first question was about where in the world he was?

First, I want to thank you for the opportunity to talk a little about my photography.  I only recently started  my blog, and was lucky enough to find yours early on.  I have been following you ever since.  But, to answer your question, I am based in the United States, just outside the city of Washington, DC in northern Virginia. Washington is a fascinating place for photography.  We have great architecture, the Potomac River, all of it tied into the country’s history.   But I also travel a good bit, so my subjects can be pretty varied.

Robin Kent Oregon Sunset

There are scenes and things that I see in images like this and I want to be able to take these images myself, but we don’t have any beaches like this here, not that I have been able to find.  I suppose it means I will just have to make the most of what is around me, which is what I’ve been trying to do more.

I asked Robin he takes photos?

When I am outdoors with my camera there are occasional times when the basic elements—light, air, water, and the earth—combine to create a special moment.  I look at it this way: we are standing on this platform, a globe that is spinning at 1,000 mph; a silver orb—the moon—rotates around us at 2,300 mph; the earth, the moon, and planets, everything around us, is illuminated by a ball of fire that we are circling at 65,000 mph.  That’s pretty magical stuff.  But with the enormous scale and speeds of all these moving parts, one is likely to only get a glimpse.  And that’s what I’m trying to do within the limits of my location, equipment, and abilities, to capture a glimpse of the magic.

Then I asked him how long  he had been taking photos?

I guess I’ve had a camera in my hands as long as I can remember.  But I didn’t get really serious about it until about 15 years ago when I stopped working for a living and decided to concentrate on photography.



His work also reminds me that I need to get back into architecture and taking photos of it.  The plan for me this summer.  So I have enjoyed looking at his architectural shots and what he has gotten, though I know that where he lives means there are some great examples of architecture there.  I know I shouldn’t complain, Melbourne has a lot too.

I asked him about his inspiration, and he was the second person in a couple of weeks to have mentioned this person.

I would say Galen Rowell, who introduced me to the concept of “magic hour” at one of his workshops I attended back in 2001.  Until his tragic death in 2002, he was known for his concept of the dynamic landscape, capturing images that feature unexpected convergence of light and form, moments that are seemingly unrepeatable.   I’ll never approach his deep understanding of outdoor optical phenomena nor his athletic ability, but the week I spent at his workshop continues to have a great influence on me.

Robin Kent Approaching Storm

Sometimes you just want to follow a photographer because you just really enjoy their photos, I find that with Robin. I can’t always explain what it is about their work, you know you just love it.  I am always looking for things like this to take, and I think he also reminds that maybe I should stop being lazy.

I asked Robin if there was anything special about the way he worked.

I usually go out at dawn or dusk; that is the time when the sun is near the edge of the horizon, when the cool colors of the night merge with the warm tones of the day.  But a fair amount of planning is usually involved.  It usually begins with the solar and lunar cycles.  It’s not well known, but the layout of Washington, DC takes the annual solar cycle into consideration.  The perfect east-west axis of the National Mall with the US Capitol Building as the eastern anchor and the Lincoln Memorial at the western end is one example.  So if you are looking for a certain convergence of the solar cycle with an architectural element you have to know what day and time it will happen.  It’s a lot easier today than five years ago before smartphones with apps were available.  But you still have to know where to look.


Most of you know that I have been trying to do star trails, though I won’t be trying again until next winter now, but Robin has given me some advice on how to go about doing them on my other blog.  I just love his, and would really like to do some and get similar results.  When daylight savings finishes and I don’t have to stay up all night to do them, then I think I will try this again, and try it a lot.

I asked Robin about his hear, which sounds very similar to my own.

I shoot with a Nikon D800E.  The powerful sensor enables me to get highly detailed images that make it possible to produce very large prints.  Some of my work finds its way into corporate spaces and typically they want something big.  I have three lenses and about 70% of my shooting is done with the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom.  A Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 telephoto accounts for about 20% and the 14-24mm f/2.8 wide angle picks up the rest.  A sturdy tripod is a must, and my analog compass has been replaced by an iPad with “The Photographer’s Ephemeris” app on it.  As for filters, I use a circular polarizer and a variable neutral density filter.  An intervalometer and flashlight are also key items in my backpack.  I always shoot RAW and my post-capture workflow starts with Adobe Camera RAW and goes from there into Photoshop.  I don’t use any plugins. I do most of my own printing with a 24” wide Epson7980.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Robin for letting me feature his work here on my blog.  It has been fantastic going through his blog and see what work he has done.  He also sent me some images that haven’t been on his blog, so we get to see them.  Thank you Robin.

Robin has his blog, photographybykent, but he also has a website where you can view his work, Photography by Kent. I hope you will go and take a look at both and see for yourself his work.  I have more photos for you now that I will put into a gallery for you.



Introductions – Days and Months

Monochrome Madness has been a great way for me to find new people and make new friends, and I’ve heard from many of you that the same thing has been happening to others as well.  Today’s Introduction is another one of the friends I’ve made through MM, Kaz.  Kaz has been part of it for some time, and her blog, Days and Months, is another blog that I have started following.  I’ve come to see that we both have similar tastes in what we like to photograph.


This was the shot that really made her work stand out to me – I just loved it.  I like the way the waves seem so soft. This is something I would love to do a lot more of.

My first question to Kaz was how long she has been taking photos for.

I have always loved photography and had my first SLR in my very early 20’s (and I guess if you are adding up, that IS quite a while ago and back in the dinosaur age of using film!) Soon travel called and I all but sold my soul to travel so anything I owned of value was sold including my Ricoh SLR. It took a very long time before I got back into photography, purchasing my first DSLR about seven years ago.


The way she photographs architecture by capturing unusual angles is something I am always trying to do. I love the way she is able to show this unique technique in a nontraditional way, which, again, is something that I aim to do with my own photography.

I then asked Kaz why she took photos. Her response was one I could really identify with.

Difficult question as I don’t know why I do it, I just know I have to. It is almost like I cannot see properly without the lens in front of me. It opens my eyes to our beautiful world and when I do see something that catches my eye I want to capture it to keep as a memory and to share that with others.


The coast is something I like to see, but it is also good to see that she takes photos of all sorts of things around her.  Which led to my next question.

What inspires you?

Nature foremost, it inspires me daily to try to capture what I see and put it in a photograph.

Funnily enough as I love my landscapes to be in colour, my first real photographic inspiration was and still is Ansel Adams. The first time I saw one of his fabulous black and white landscape photographs I was mesmerised. His photography is definitely poetry in motion and a very high bar which to constantly strive towards!



Her being a photographer who enjoys capturing what is around her reminds me of myself. It is great to see someone who constantly tries to challenge themselves to get better images.

My next question was whether there was anything special about the way she worked.

No, nothing special to see here. I just go without too much forethought, so much so that I can find on any given outing I haven’t taken an SD card which is still in the computer (or the spares), my shutter cable and a myriad of other things that, if I was an organised person, would have been checked off on a list and put into my camera bag! I am not a methodical person I just go with the flow.

I do always shoot in RAW and post process in Lightroom. Photoshop is a bit of an enigma still but I am slowly working on getting more familiar with it.


I try to find inspiration around me and show that you don’t have to travel to get lots of images, well, great images. Sometimes having the hometown advantage means you know the place better than others, and you get to learn when to take photos, and are presented with more chances to take better photos.  This is something I am trying to do with the area that I live near.

Something every photographer wants to know about other photographers: What gear do you use?

I have just bought a Canon 70D which I am very excited about having had a 1000D for a number of years. It feels like Christmas! I am still having a wonderful time exploring all its capabilities at present and being surprised regularly on what it can do.

My most used possession is a Sigma wide angle lens 10-20mm (always use it on 20mm) which, since purchasing, has changed everything! It definitely makes my photos come to life and have more depth.

I never go anywhere without my neutral density 10 stop filter as I like to take slow shutter speed water shots and of course my tripod and remote shutter cable (that is, of course, if I have managed to put them back in my camera bag).

I also asked Kaz where in the world she is situated.

I am lucky enough to live in the northern rivers area of New South Wales, Australia which is on what is described as the Scenic Rim (This is part of the Great Dividing range of Eastern Australia and in part forms a group of mountain ranges straddling the border of south east Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales).

Between the mountain ranges and the beautiful beaches of the Gold Coast I have diverse landscapes to choose from which I am always exploring and constantly discovering.

I hope you will all help me in thanking Kaz for allowing me to showcase her photos and blog here today.  I would also invite you all to go and take a look at her blog, Days and Months.  There are so many great images there, I just know you will enjoy them.  Here is a gallery of some more of her work as well.



Quiet Thursday’s – Laurent Building

Every time I walk past this building I think of Harry Potter.  I can’t explain it, whether it is the curve on the corner, or the fact that it is at the entrance of a lane. I took this photo during a Social Snappers excursion, and we stayed here for a while as we took lots of photos from different places.


I know a lot of you have already seen this image.  I’ve had it on Facebook, Google+ and Flickr, so I thought it might be time to show it here.

I like how the image has come out, and it was one of the first that I did in this sort of style.  I quite like it, but wished I’d used a tripod, which I didn’t have with me.  I feel like I’m always saying I will have to go back and do it again, and I am sure that for many of them I will, at some point.  I don’t know about this one, if it would be worth it or not. Listen to me, I’m rambling, sorry.

I will just leave it there today, take care and I hope you have a quiet day too.

Tuesday’s Bits and Bobs

Where does the time fly? It is crazy, I can’t believe it is Tuesday already and tomorrow is MM again.  I have to go out tonight, so I won’t be accepting any more entries after about 2pm my time. Hoping to go and scout out a new location for trying to photograph the stars and maybe do some star trails.

Social Snappers Photography Excursions

I keep getting told that people love the idea of Social Snappers, but they don’t want to do them because they think they won’t be good enough, or they don’t have a fancy camera.  It is disappointing to hear that people think like that.  I don’t care what camera people use, as long as they enjoy using it and love taking photos.  I think the flinderrs-street-clocks-under-melbourneonly excursion I have done that people without a camera like a DSLR or mirrorless camera couldn’t do, would be the night photography.  I think people forget that composition is an important part of photography and when you have a camera like a compact it becomes all about that.  I often go out with just my phone to take photos, or the little compact camera that I have.  A camera is a camera. There is also no show and tell, so no one is judging you.  It is just about taking photos and being around other people who also like to take photos.

I have planned the Sunday excursions for next term.  I haven’t done a page on them, but if you want a sneak preview and a look at the photos I took on Sunday in the latest excursion, then click here, Social Snappers in Banyule Flats. The excursions for Thursdays are coming soon.

One on One Photography Sessions

I am thinking of having another look at what I offer with these.  I’m starting to see that for many people, a single one on one session is not enough, and perhaps I should provide packages for people who want to learn more, but don’t want to go through the whole learning process in a young-jackson-swanston-crossing-melbourneclassroom.  The idea would be to do something similar to the classes, but it can be done where and when is convenient to both of us.  When I have worked it out I will let you know.

My Photography

On the weekend a friend of mine asked me if I ever got bored taking photos? It was a curious question. I do get bored doing things, but photography has never really been one of them. I always find that there is always things to learn and always things to experiment with, how could I get bored. I do like challenging myself, seeing what I can do.  I have several things I want to challenge myself with at the moment, some of it is working out how to do some new things in Photoshop, while others are learning how to do things like star trails, or using Neutral Density filters.  I’m sure by the time I am bored with them, I will have moved on to the next thing.

One thing I want to get back to doing is Architectural Photography.  I used to love doing it and now I seem to hardly do it at all.  I have been working on images, and if you follow me on Flickr you will have seen them. My biggest issue is getting into the city to take photos of them, and then I started realising that I don’t have to go into swanston-street-tram-manchester-unitythe city to practice architectural photography.  There are lots of buildings around here in Heidelberg and the surrounding suburbs that I am sure I could practice on.  It just makes sense, then if something doesn’t work, it isn’t too far to go and do it again.  Sometimes I do over think things and make it all too complicated than it needs to be.

Neutral Density Filters

Speaking of those filters, I’ve been playing with mine quite a bit.  I’ve tried doing some things with it, seeing where I can push it.  I took my first 5 minute exposure with it the other day, I love experimenting with it and seeing what I can do with it.  The other night I went into the city my husband and daughter and we tried taking photos of places that city-lights-flinders-streetare always full of people, like under the clocks at Flinders Street Station.  It was a lot of fun, though I didn’t take in my remote shutter release, so I couldn’t do any images longer than 30 seconds.  I would like to try it again sometime, but have an exposure of several minutes and see what happens.  I do love taking photos of things that you have no idea how they will turn out.  It is fun to see what works, or what doesn’t.  I have other plans for this filter, I hope you won’t mind me showing you more.

I am going to leave it there today, the photos in the post today were taken at the time I just told you about.  They weren’t all done with the filter, but most were.  The one of the car trails is another stacked image and was done using 23 images.  I love the effect it gives you, I hope you like it too.



Influencing Me – Mabry Campbell

If you love architecture and especially photographing it, then today’s Influencing Me photographer should be someone you know or need to know. I don’t remember when I first learned of Mabry Campbell, but I do know when I go into the city I often have his images swimming around in my head and I’m looking for great architecture to photograph.

Angles of Light VII ~ John Hancock Center (Big John)This is a perfect example of what I mean.  Of course I know it is highly processed, I am sure it is, which you all know I don’t have a problem with.  I love the way he uses the lights and the darks, the monotone image, gives the impression of isolation. That is the best word I can think of.  I need to get into the city and look for some great buildings, we have some here, I’m sure we do.

GullfossIt was also a very lovely surprise to discover all his wonder seascapes and waterscapes on his blog. They are given the same attention to detail as the architectural shots.  The way he plays with the lights and darks, I know I could learn a lot from looking at these images.  The contrast is just amazing.

Boats At CosmopolitanThis image was a bit of a shock, after seeing so many black and white images to come across one with colour was really surprising, but then as you look more in Mabry’s work you start to see that he does do a lot of colour.  Nice to see. Nice to see that he doesn’t feel everything has to be black and white and that sometimes colour can be important.

Razor Music IIThere is an abstract quality about many of the architecture shots, and it is something I am finding that I like more and more, you will get what I mean when you see my MM image this week.  I do like images that twist your brain around, and this is an image that does that I think.  At first it is hard to tell which way the image goes, but when you take a good look you see which is the right way.

All Is QuietYou’ve heard me saying it about my own work, that there is a quietness to it, and I think Mabry’s images has that same quietness.  I am sure when he has exhibitions, people are quiet when they are looking at them. There is a stillness, that quiet atmosphere.  I love it.

I am going to leave it there for you today, and leave you with a gallery of some of his work.  I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mabry for giving me permission to feature his work here on my blog today.  I would invite you all to go and take a look at his website, Mabry Campbell Fine Art | Architectural Photography, and he also has a blog for his image, which is MABRY CAMPBELL PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG.

Introductions – Learning to Snap

My introduction today is a first, well it is the first time I have shown someone from New Zealand I believe.  Richard is from there and has been taking photos of New Zealand and then putting them up on his blog Learning to Snap. If you are a landscape photographer then New Zealand has to be one of those places that you would love to go to.  I know since seeing Lord of the Rings, I really want to go their to take photos.  The landscapes always seem big, I don’t know how to describe it really.  I will try.


2013-10-27-MilfordTrip-291-Edit-X3This is sort of what I mean, big mountains, big scenes.  Australia and New Zealand are very close, but yet millions of miles apart with it comes to our landscapes.  Australia is more open, big skies and very dry, whereas I imagine New Zealand with more mountains, and real mountains, with lots of atmosphere and very wet.  New Zealand is further south than us, so I assume that is why it is like that.  I see scenes like the one Richard has taken here and I am envious.  It is a magical shot, and it really makes me want to take that trip there.  Milford Sound is a place I’ve been hearing about for years and Richard has so many amazing images of it, this is just one of them.  I love the colours in the foreground, seems to warm up a cold image, or cold environment.

I asked Richard about why he takes photos.

The short answer is for fun!

I take photographs to let my creativity out. I enjoy being outdoors tramping, skiing or mountain biking and taking my camera allows me share those places and experiences.I have been taking photos since I was a kid with an old Kodak camera and 127 film but started being more serious (if that’s the right word) when I joined the Kaiapoi Photographic Club having moved to New Zealand about 7 years ago. Over 100,000 images later and I still have so much to learn!

2013-07-14-Snow-149-LI had to go back aways to find a image of winter on Richard’s blog, it has been a while since winter was here, but it is certainly making a come back here now.  I know that most of you know it never snows here, not where I am, so if I want to see snow I have to drive a long way, or look at photos of it from other people.  I love how Richard has captured the snow falling here.  I am assuming it is snow, and not rain.

As usual I asked Richard about what inspires him.

I am inspired by the world around me, the landscapes of New Zealand in particular. Great light, textures and shapes make me run for my camera.

I enjoy looking  at images on the web and particularly in books.  I look at the work of lots of photographers, the masters of the craft are so inspiring; from early photographers such as Atget through the work of Man Ray and Ansel Adams to Michael Kenna and Annie Leibovitz. I have enjoyed the ebooks from Craft and Vision particularly the titles on creativity and inspiration by David duChemin.

2013-11-09-PortLevy-13-XLI love it when you see trees like this.  I have never come across one, but I think they make great subjects for photos, and I know the day I finally find one I won’t be leaving it for a long time.  I will want to get every image of it I can.  The foggy/misty conditions really add to this image.  It must get very windy there.

The third question was if there was anything special about how he worked.

Mostly I just start taking images and see where it takes me, I find that once I start making images it gets easier and I get more ideas. Occasionally I plan an image but usually I end up with something different from what I imagined anyway.

For landscapes I tend to be at either extreme, either very wide or telephoto. I really like the compression effect with a long lens.

LeucharsChurch-XLWhile I think of landscapes when I think of Richard’s work, it would be wrong, he does do other sorts of images and architecture is featured there as well.

EliteRace_2014-01-12_11-19-45__DSC7423_©RichardLaing(2014)-X3You will also see that he photographs lots of sports as well.  There is a great variety of sports there, and a great variety of other subjects as well.

I also asked Richard what gear he uses.

I currently use a Nikon D800E having recently upgraded from my much loved (and well worn) Nikon D700. I have a variety of Nikkor lenses 14-24, 24-70, 80-200, 105mm and a nifty 50mm, all fast and sharp. I use polarisers, ND filters and graduated NDs to get the best image I can in camera.

On the computer I use Lightroom or Aperture along with Photoshop CC. To speed things up I use a variety of plugins and particularly like Nik Silver Efex Pro and Nik Color Efex Pro.

With all the hi-tech equipment sometimes it is good to get back to something more organic and I use a Holga with B&W film instead which I develop in my kitchen!

Except for the last part he could almost be describing my gear too, without the E on the end of the camera model.

I think when you go to Richard’s blog, Learning to Snap, you will not have a hard time finding images to like.  As I was going through it, I realised that a lot of the images I was getting for the blog were all from later posts, I had to stop myself from taking everything.  He does help you visualise his homeland and I hope you agree that he his images are of a high standard.  I would also like to thank Richard for allowing me to feature Learning to Snap on my Introductions post today.  Please go and visit, you won’t be disappointed.  Here is a gallery of some of his wonderful images.


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