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Posts tagged ‘Architecture’

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.

Introductions – Laura Macky

Laura Macky and I haven’t known each other for long, but during that time she has become a great friend.  Now we do the Monochrome Madness Challenge together and that has been great too. Emails are always going backwards and forwards.  I know you know her, but I thought you might like to get to know her a little better.  You might say I thought it was time to do one of my introductions posts on her.

cockpit2-webMost of you are aware of her monochrome work.  She picks some great images to do in black and white.  She has a great eye for photographs and it is a joy to look at her work and see what she does.

I asked Laura why she takes photos.

I take photos because my original hobby of being a pianist went by the wayside when I developed nerve damage in my hands and had problems with my right leg which made it hard to pedal the piano.  I missed expressing myself artistically, so I thought perhaps taking pictures might be a good outlet.  I started about four years ago on my first DSLR but in the last year I’ve been more serious about it.  After all, in order to express a myriad of human emotions through the lens of a camera, it takes technical and artistic effort which I’m enjoying trying to improve upon.  I love a challenge!

organ-webPhotographing architecture is something I have a real passion for and I think Laura does too.  I like the way she sees things,  the angles she chooses to photograph things.  It is great seeing all her architectural images.

I asked Laura about inspiration.

One inspiration is my drive to always be better.  I’m that way in general and I try to translate that into developing my skills in photography.  It’s also inspiring when I make a connection with someone else through one of my images in that they are seeing and feeling the same thing I do.  Lastly, there is a lot inspiration gained from the incredible images I see every day here on Word Press. I look at them and wonder how they process their images and try to pay attention to how they see things.  That really helps to open my mind a lot more creatively.

lighthouse3-printLandscape and the natural environment are not something that I am very good at doing, I don’t think, I do love seeing other people photographing this.  I find a lot of inspiration in seeing what other people do, and Laura is no different here.  I love seeing how she photographs the landscape, but also how she processes it.  That is important to me as well.

I asked about her gear and if there was anything special about the way she worked.

I usually try to think of the emotion I feel when I see something through the lens and then I try to convey and enhance that in post processing.  I’m a huge fan of Nik Efex plugins, so I usually use those to fine tune my images.  As for gear, I have a Nikon D7100, three filters, and a few lenses.  I love my little 35mm 1.8 lens and my wide angle as well as my telephoto.

moon2-webI loved seeing the moon images as well.  You know know that it is something I want to do more of, so I was really happy when I was going through her blog and seeing some images with the moon in it.  They are great.

I want to thank Laura for letting me do my introduction post on her.  I would love it if you could visit her blog, Laura Macky, and see how wonderful her work is.  I have a gallery of images for you to look at now. Please enjoy.  I have you have had a great break.

Introductions – The Weekly Minute

The Weekly Minute is a fairly new blog for me, I haven’t been following it for long, but Shane Francescut started commenting on my blog and he seemed like a nice person, so I went over to see his blog.  I liked what I was seeing, and have continued liking it.  Now Shane often sends me an image for the Monochrome Madness Challenges and I always like what he sends.  He does a lot of architectural images and that is certainly something I always like to look at.

shane-hyatt-bw-013Often when you look at another photographers work, if you like it then there are going to be reasons, I talk about that all the time in these posts, why I like the work of other photographers, however, while I was going through Shane’s blog, one thing really struck me, I kept thinking, I would take that photo like that, or that is the type of thing I would take.  We have very similar taste in subject matter.  It was quite extraordinary to see.

I did ask Shane why he takes photos.

I first got into photography because I wanted to document my children’s lives. As my interests grew, I began carrying my camera around and shooting things that caught my eye. I’m a big fan of collecting candid moments, even in family settings, so street shooting seemed like a natural progression for me. And, one advantage of living in Canada’s largest city, is that there’s always so much going on, and so much to document.

Kobi Street PortraitSince Shane mentioned Street Photography, I thought I would too.  Street photography is a very hard thing to do, and I know many of you have said that to me in the past, how hard you find it.  I couldn’t do it, I would always be worried that someone would punch me.  There are two types, or as it seems to me, of street photography, the street portrait, asking people if you can take a photo of them, or the more candid street photography, capturing them going about their business. Shane does the latter and if you want to see what the streets are like around him then take a look at his blog, which you should do anyway.

Inspiration, was the next question.

Well, I’d be lying if I said that having one of my recent posts Freshly Pressed didn’t give me a boost. The feedback, and more importantly, the tips that people shared in the comments have really motivated me to continue. But generally, I’m inspired to improve on my existing work each time I shoot, to challenge myself in new ways, much like I’m doing by exploring black and white photography. I guess what I’m trying to say, is that I’m inspired by the possibilities that photography presents. I am not one to settle and do what’s comfortable.

farm-picYou get to see lots of different aspects to Shanes life, from the city to the country, the mundane to the wonderful.  It is great to go through and not know what you are going to get next.  From reading his inspiration I can see that he does try lots of things, and that is a great way for us all to learn, just take photos.  I still do that, I am always having a go at something new.

I did ask, as I usually do if there was anything special about the way he worked.

I’m not sure whether there is anything special about how I work, because I don’t really know how other photographers work. I tend to work very systematically, by routine. I was a professional golfer for a number of years, and I think the regimented practice and preparation I did with that might carry over to my photography practice. Basically, I think of a couple of ideas for shooting before I head out. When I get home, I upload the images and process them in Lightroom 5, create blog posts based on what I shoot, download images for the posts, download separate images and format them for Instagram, Facebook, etc. to promote myself elsewhere, and schedule my posts for the week. I shoot five days a week, but I usually create all of my posts in one or two nights… so it doesn’t feel like a job. It’s a system, a formula, but it’s quite effective for me.

img_20130130_131614I thought this image and some of the others had a Instagram feel to them. I understand why now.  That is probably where Shane and I differ, in our processing, I’m not saying anything is wrong with how he processes, not at all, we just approach it differently.  Well really, we all do don’t we?  I do like the colours and the way he does some of his images, the desaturated look is really nice.  I’ve been trying to do that a little more in my images too.

I asked what gear he uses.

I became fascinated with mirrorless systems when they first came out, so I bought a Sony NEX f-3. It’s Sony’s most basic model, but it fits extremely well in my hand, it takes great video, and it has fantastic image quality. It’s perfect for a walk around and travel camera. I’m a big fan of primes, and most often use 19mm and 30mm Sigma lenses. On a crop system they become 27mm and 45mm… perfect focal lengths for street shooting. It’s not the most professional system, but I can shoot in full manual, and I know every setting, and I know exactly how to get the best out of it. I was also just given a Nikon D5100. Again, not a pro camera, but it has solid image quality and is much more responsive than my Sony. It also has a viewfinder, which I have really been missing with the Sony, so I’m having a lot of fun with that right now.

I am going to put a selection of Shane’s images into a gallery now, I really hope you will all go and take a look at his blog The Weekly Minute and say hello.  I would also like to thank Shane for allowing me to showcase his blog and work like this.

Introductions – Noeline Smith Photography

Monday morning and I am preparing my post for you today, and for today’s introduction we are going to look at the work of Noeline Smith.  I have been following Noeline for a long time as well.  I follow a lot of people and try to look at as many blogs as I can.  Unfortunately that number has risen and I must apologise to many of you for only being able to look, sometimes like and rarely comment.  I will explain later in the week, but suddenly life has got very, very hectic, in a very good way, but there just aren’t enough hours anymore, so I hope you will forgive me.  As I said, I am looking, but commenting is not happening so much anymore.

Anyway, back to Noeline, this post is about her work.  One of the things I have always enjoyed about her work is the variety, and you never quite know what to expect when she does a post.  When you look through her blog you find an assortment of landscapes, travel images, close ups, sports, architecture, so many and all done well.


I cannot lie, I find the English countryside, or any side that is in the UK so beautiful.  There is a lusciousness about it that is so appealing, well it is to me.  Perhaps also because it isn’t something we really see a lot of here in Australia.  I am in the right state for it, but it really only happens after a lot of rain.

I also sent my questions to Noeline who admitted to me that they were harder to answer than I thought they would be.  I have to admit when I actually thought about them, I am not sure how I would go at answering them either.  So here is what she had to say about why she takes photos.

I spent some time thinking about this. I thought the answer was obvious but the more I thought about it the less obvious it became!  My photographic subjects are wide and varied as are the motives behind them. In the end, when all the reasons are distilled, the answer has to be that I simply want to preserve moments in time and I enjoy the process of doing so. I get enormous pleasure in ‘making’ the photograph; visualizing how I want to portray something and seeing that through to fruition. I find myself totally immersed in the moment, in what I’m doing, something akin to a form of meditation perhaps (?!) that is both incredibly relaxing and rewarding. In short, photography soothes my soul.

bovine-beautyThis is such an unusual perspective, it is one of my favourite photos from Noeline.  Looks like an advertisement for something.

The next question was about inspiration.

It sounds glib, but the world is such a fascinating place that I find inspiration in pretty much everything. I like to challenge myself and will photograph anything given the opportunity to do so. I guess you could say ‘variety’ is my inspiration!

telstarI am not at all surprised to see Motorbike racing on Noeline’s blog.  She does a fair bit of travelling that involves motorbike riding, and I can understand the passion here.  This is a great shot Noeline.

The next question was about how she works, and if there was anything special at it.

Nothing particularly. I work alone and, depending on what I’m photographing, I generally work slowly. I take time to study details, absorb my environment and try to understand how I feel about what I’m photographing, what caught my eye in the first place, before putting my eye to the viewfinder. When photographing outside I will wait for long periods of time for the moment to be ‘right’; at these times I love to watch the changing light, feel the closeness to nature and the encounters with wildlife. I always work in RAW and generally aim to get the image right in camera in order to minimise processing time.

bole1Unusual perspective here and something I can see myself doing.  I like images that make you really look at them to make sense.  They are abstract in nature.  The colours are also stunning.

The last question was about her gear, something all of us photographers want to know about.

I now have a Nikon D700 DSLR – a wonderful camera that feels as though it were made for me. I have worked my way up through a couple of other Nikons over the years and opted for this particular model as, at the time, it was pretty much pro spec workings in a smaller body size. The physical size is important to me as I take my camera on my travels into Europe and space is limited on a motorcycle!

So many wonderful images, and you can find many of them on her blog, but she also has a website and you can see that here Noeline Smith Photography.  I do hope you will go and visit her pages, check out the About pages, she has lots of interesting things about herself there.

Now I am going to include the above images and a whole lot more in a gallery for you to enjoy.

One Aspect of the Life of an Artist

Actually it is more my life really.  Sorry I hope that doesn’t disappoint you.  I thought I might talk about one aspect of the life.  I have been surprised lately to read definitions of what an artist is, there is a massive list and while you don’t have to fill every one, one that did surprise was being a teacher.

This is something that is fairly new to me.  I have been teaching for about a year now.  I really didn’t like it when I started, but I have really started enjoying it.  Learning howscclass3006 I need to teach was the hardest thing for me to learn.  I am finding my way around it, and the more I do it the more I enjoy it.  There is something special about realising that people are coming to you to learn.

I have more classes coming up at Living & Learning Nillumbik.

My first class is Saturday the 3rd of August, which is Introduction to your DSLR, unfortunately full, but if there are enough people interested there may be a chance of a second class in the last term.

Landscape Photography is on the 7th of September, also a Saturday.  We do some stuff in the class, then head out and down the road to try some landscape photography.  I try and do some critiquing as well, though it can be hard with how many photos people take.

Architectural Photography is on the 19th of October, and pretty much runs the same way as the landscape one.  All my classes are practical, and you are expected to bring scamelia-1368your camera and take photos.  I learn by doing, so I teach by doing.

The Portrait Class on Saturday the 16th of November.  We get a model for a couple of hours and experiment with taking photos of the model.  I showed you some photos from the last model.

Sports and event photography is on the 30th November.  Again, we will try and find a sport to go and photograph.

There are still places left available in most of the classes above, but they will fill fairly quickly.

I am also going to be teaching some sports photography classes for kids who live on the fringes of the city, so that should be a good experience.  I don’t know how many of those yet.

I am in discussions with the team in Eltham too about structuring the classes a little differently next year.  Instead of doing the individual classes, we are going to do a scclasses-9830-sepcourse, about 6 weeks.  So it will be all the other classes put into one.  It should be good doing it as a short course instead of all the individual ones.  I will be able to build on their knowledge from one week to another without having to continually repeat information that was in the previous class.  It is going to be exciting. It will be well structured and thought out.

I am also hoping to do some workshops, full day ones.  I am in the process of planning a portrait workshop.  It will start with looking at portrait photography, and we will go through the whole process of how to do portraits, from start to finish and at the end of the day you should have some wonderful portraits, and the knowledge of how to do more.

If I can’t run that one at Eltham, if I get people interested, then I might try running it sccity-3hpm2105myself somewhere.  So if you are interested, keep it in mind.

Don’t forget, I also do full day One on One Classes as well, there is information at the top under Learning Photography.  You get to spend a whole day with me and I teach you how to use your camera, if you need that, I show you around the city, or we just go and take photos, with breaks to look at your photos and to critique how you are going.  I also give suggestions on how you can improve.  I also take photos, so you get to see me working as well.  I only charge $330 for that, which is for about 8 hours.  I was told it was too cheap, but I think it is fine.

If you really want to do a class with me and don’t live in Australia, there is always online and we can talk over the internet.  I have done that for a few people now, and it has been fantastic.  That is more for editing and stuff.  Again that information is under Learning Photography above.

I can see teaching creeping in more and more.  I have even considered looking around at other places to teach as well, which surprises me.  I really do enjoy it.

I hope some of you may join me in some of my classes.  It would be so wonderful to see people there who know me through the blog.


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