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Posts tagged ‘Australia’

Weekends Wanderings Around the City

Well not really around the city, but close enough. Last week a friend and I went into the city for the Open House thing and ended up not seeing anything. Not that we minded too much. We walked around the city and down to Southbank and I took some photos of things I’ve some things I’ve never done before. It was great.

It is just a very quick post, I really must apologize, but I spent all day yesterday working on the magazine and trying to get my website set up, which unfortunately it still isn’t. I’m trying to set up a e-commerce thing on it, and I’ve tried two different ones so far, and both have different problems I can’t work out. Hopefully I will have more luck. Doesn’t help that I am coming down with a cold so my head is mush anyway. Having said that, the magazine looks great, and is around 60 pages, so that is really good.

I’m going to leave you with a gallery now, I hope everything your part of the world is good and you are having a better time.  Take care.

Weekend Wanderings: Red Rocks Around Anglesea

A few weeks ago I was given another opportunity to go to Red Rocks near Anglesea. Chris from sv-takeiteasy took me to some great places to see the cliffs and red rocks. She knows the area quite well, which was great as I know I would never have been able to find it on my own. The rocks really are red and they look great against the ocean with the white spray from the waves.

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Apparently they have a lot of iron ore in them to have that colour. Geology isn’t my thing, but I believe it. It is almost like they have the sunset trapped inside.

We were there in the afternoon in the photo above, but we decided that it might be good to see it in the morning, so the next time we went we headed early in the morning.

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We had hoped that the sun would be on the cliffs, but we think we probably need to get there even earlier, sunrise maybe, you can be sure we will get there that early one day.

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I put on a filter for the morning session to get more movement in the water. I like the effect. I do have a new Formatt Hitech ND filter that I will  have to play around with at some stage. I am hoping it will really give me good effects like this, but easier.

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The views on top of one cliff to another were quite amazing. I like the wide angle view with the background, it is definitely something I want to explore a lot more.

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The top of the cliffs are very windy and with so much salt spray it is hard for things to grow. When they do grow they can do so in very weird ways and shapes. I liked seeing them and photographing them. The only thing that I was disappointed about was that I didn’t have my really wide angle with me. I will make sure I have it with me next time.

I am going to put the above images and more into a gallery for you. Don’t forget you can click on the images and see them individually.  Open house in Melbourne today so I am hoping to see inside some buildings that you can’t see otherwise.  Should be fun. I hope you have some great plans for the weekend.

Weekend Wanderings: Cape Otway Lighthouse

It is hard to visit Apollo Bay and not take a trip to Cape Otway Lighthouse. At first Karen and I were disappointed with the weather as it was raining on and off, but once we got there we realized the white buildings were going to be set off really well against the dark brooding sky.

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The lighthouse is the hero there, but unlike other lighthouses I really didn’t want to take photos of it up close. I like the surroundings it was set in and with the wet weather it really set it off.

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If you have paid all the money to go in you should go up the lighthouse. It is quite amazing what you can see from it. There is the long path to it and one of the volunteers as they finish their shift in the top.

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They turned on the light for us, though it is no long used, there is a newer smaller light in front of the old lighthouse now.

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It was quite amazing watching the storm out at sea, you almost couldn’t tell where the horizon was. I love the way the sky morphes into the sea almost. This had just past, but it wasn’t long before more passed over us.

The weather wasn’t great, I think I said that already, but we were thankful that while it did rain, it wasn’t a consistent rain. We knew if we headed indoors when it was raining it wouldn’t be long before we could head out again. I have to say, and I know  you will agree, that the stormy weather really added a lot more drama to the images.

It feels like the weekend is over, but I know it isn’t. The last few days with Karen have been wonderful and now I feel like I could sleep for quite a while. I plan on taking things a little easy today and catch up on few things.  I hope you are having a great time where you are, maybe taking some photos.

Here is a gallery with the above images and some others that I took at Cape Otway Lighthouse. Don’t forget you can click on the individual images to see a bigger version.

Weekend Wanderings: Looking at Waterfalls Around the Back of Lorne

A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to take some photos of some waterfalls around Lorne. I was with Chris from sv-takeiteasy and she was keen to do some. I wish I could say it was easy, but it was hard work. You know when you are walking downhill that eventually you will have to walk back up.

The first waterfall we went to was Cora Lynn Falls, and I have to say, it was very hard. We walked down for two kilometres, took photos of the waterfall, the first waterfall photos, then we had to walk all the way back up. It was wet and muddy, but to break the trip up we took lots of macro shots on the way back.

We went into Lorne and had lunch at a burger place called the Bottle of Milk. We looked at the pamphlet on the waterfalls and agreed on another one, an easy one to get to.

Of we went to Henderson Falls. It said easy, but the uphill was driving us mad, thankfully it also meant that it would be downhill on the way back.  The waterfall was worth it, and we enjoyed being there.

We walked almost eight kilometres that day and I slept very well that night. There are so many waterfalls around that area and I’m sure I will explore a lot more. I’m going to leave you now with a gallery of some of the images I took. I hope you have a great weekend planned. I think I might stay in, it is going to be very cold here.

UfD: Black and White Photography My Way

A few people yesterday expressed an interest about me doing a tutorial on how I do black and white images. There are so many different ways of doing this, and so while I’m going to show you what I do, this is only part of it. This is going to be an easy way, I hope.  Just a few steps, though the first part you can do and leave it there if you choose.

Here is the final image and then I will show you how I did it.

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The first step is alway going to choose the image. The best types of images are ones that have lots of contrast, which is lots of darks and lights.  If you choose one that is very colourful but with little contrast it won’t convert to monochrome very well.

I choose an image that was taken in at the Docklands recently of the Melbourne Star. I have opened it in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR), which you can do by using the o Browse in Bridge. Click on the image then go to the file menu and press Open in Camera Raw.

You can see the basic processing I did in the image below.

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Everything that is done is ACR can also be done in Lightroom.

In the panel on the right, the area above the red oval in the image above and press the fourth icon from the left, as in the image below. Check the box to Convert to Grayscale. You can see the sliders for the different colours or tones that are in the image.  Try playing around with them and watch what happens to the image.

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Each colour will give you a difference effect.  Be careful with Aquas and Blues.  They can make skies very pixelated and make them look unnatural.

The image was opened in Photoshop CC 2015. There were some marks on the edge of the image so a new layer was opened and the spot healing tool selected. Make sure the Sample All Layers is checked in the tool options under the main menu at the top.

image-3If you do the changes on a separate layer then you are starting to work non destructively so you never have to do anything to the original image.

To make a new layer you go to the panel where the layers are and down the bottom are a series of icons. Click on the one next to the rubbish bin and it will open a new transparent layer.
image-6You can also open a new layer by going to the Layer Panel in the main menu at the top.  Click new and then okay.

Add a Curves Adjustment Layer. (I don’t know why but sometimes on my computer Curves is upside down, so you might have it up the other way.)  If you click on the triangle at the lighter end and move it along it will increase the highlights a little. Be careful doing this that you don’t blow the highlights out.

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Open a Brightness/Contrast Adjustment Layer. Move the contrast to the right, again be careful that you don’t go too far.  Go to where you think it looks good, then go further so it looks horrible, then go back until it looks better again.

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Add another new layer (1). Go the tool box and select the gradient tool (2). Up in the tool options turn the opacity down so it isn’t strong (3).  Then add some to the top.  Make sure the gradient is set to Foreground to Transparent.(Do this by with the long icon/window in the tool options bar.)  Click outside the image at the top, then do the same inside just down from the top. You will see where the gradient has been applied. Take a look at the image below. Make sure that black is set as the foreground colour.

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A new Curves Adjustment Layer is added and the image is made a little darker. With the lasso tool (located in the tool box) make a selection around the middle of the image. Though this can be done for any part, depends on your photo.

You need to feather the selection, click Shift F6. In the Feather Selection window change Feather Radius to what you would like, I chose 200 pixels.  Press OK.

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Add a new Curves Adjustment Layer. In the layer mask, the square that is normally all white now had some black in it. You can see that in the image below. In the curves panel make the image lighter.

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You should have noticed that it only happens in the area that you selected.

You are going to add a tone to the image now, but to do this you have to convert it back to a colour image.  If you don’t whatever tone you add will look like a shade of grey.

In the Main Menu at the top click on Image, then Mode and select RGB colour. You will be asked to do a couple of things, pick the don’t do it for each option.

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You will need to select the Paint Bucket Tool (1below). If you can’t see it then click and hold on the gradient tool and a window will pop up. In that you will see the tool.

Click on the foreground colour (2) and the window below will appear and you can select your colour. A blue tone was chosen for this image. Press OK

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Add a new layer and with the Paint Bucket Tool click on the image, make sure the new layer is highlighted. The whole image will go blue. In the image below you can see the drop down menu that was opened, these are the blending modes.  Go to Color and select it.

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Once you have selected it you should see your image have that tone. Look at the image below.

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It may be too strong and  you will need to change the opacity for the colour layer. Use the opacity slider at the top of the Layers Panel. Look at the next image.

image-14Here is the final image again.

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You don’t  have to do all of these, but it gives you an idea of what I do.  Please remember that, it is what I do, and lots of other people will do different things. I’m sure that we will get lots of ideas for what else you can do to Black and White photos.

Good luck with your own black and white images.

Weekend Wanderings: Beautiful Afternoons Along the Yarra River

A couple of weekends ago I got to spend an afternoon taking photos along the Yarra River in Melbourne. It was a stunning afternoon and one of those perfect winter ones that we look for.  I had a lovely time along there.

I was teaching a One on One Photography Session and the person I was teaching liked photographing bridges and, well, Melbourne has some great ones along the Yarra River.  So there are lots photos of the bridges and from all different angles.

We also did a couple of photos going indoors to look at how to take photos in low light and what you can do to get the best results.  They were inside the Crown Casino complex where it is very flashy, lots of bling.

Most of the photos are things you’ve seen before, though I did take a couple of photos of Polly Woodside an old sailing ship that people can go on and take a look around.  I hope you don’t mind looking at more photos of Melbourne, I seem to be taking heaps along the river at the moment, what can I say, it has been great weather for it.

I’m just going to leave you with a gallery today. I’m in Sorrento this weekend and not sure how much time I will have to look at comments, but I will do my best to catch up with you all.  I hope you have some great things planned for this weekend. Have a good one.

Quiet Thursday’s: Very Quiet

It’s been a funny week.  I’ve been out taking photos a few times and I’m off to Sorrento for the weekend. Looking forward to spending a bit of time down there and taking photos around there.  I’m also teaching the Astrophotography class on Saturday night, so that should be good. The weather is looking okay, so hopefully we will get some good shots.

I wanted to give you a link as well today, Susan from The Insatiable Traveler asked me if I would give you the following link, The Elusive Desert-Adapted Lions of Namibia and the Man Who Loves Them, as she wants to bring some attention to the desert lions.  I know you will all go and take a look at it for her.

I only have a couple of photos for you today and they are both long exposures and taken on the weekend. The first one was of the Melbourne Star at Docklands.  I wanted to see if I could take a photo using the Firecrest 16 from Formatt Hitech and see what I could get with it.  I wanted to see how the wheel would look with a long exposure.

The second image is from Banyule Flats.  I went there the other morning to do a sunrise shoot.  Unfortunately there was too much cloud to really get a sunrise, but I did notice that the clouds were moving quite fast.  Just before I left I went to a different spot and put the Lee Big Stopper on. It wasn’t too bad, I think I got the clouds going in a good direction.  The time might have been a bit too long, but I’m starting to understand that more.  Trial and error, you have to love it.

I have my meeting today for my book, I’m a bit nervous about it, but I’m sure it will be fine.  I hope you have a productive day.  Take care.

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