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Posts tagged ‘light’

Weekend Wanderings: Yackandandah Part 2

Here is the second part of my trip to Yackandandah.  The man from the Spiritus Art Gallery and gave me some directions and ideas of where to go.  I knew I had to get a move on, as I would have to head back to Wodonga soon, and also the sun was starting to get to high for any decent photos, so they aren’t great, but they do give you an idea of what was there.

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This was part of the road into town, beautiful scenery really, the whole drive, from Wodongo to there.

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After leaving the main street I went to find petrol for the car, and saw a lovely park that I went for stop in. It had a small creek or something at the bottom and they had built steps that you could walk down and then go and walk around.  It was really nice in the morning light.

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At the back of the petrol station I saw this building, another art place, only this one is fall of studios.  My friends who told me about Yackandandah had suggested that I find it, they thought I would be interested.  I was, and I thought it was great.  I got talking to Helen Lemke, a ceramic artist. She was waiting for students to come to her class and we had a small chat and she told me about the place.  It is built on where the old station was, or near it. Not sure exactly, but it has to do with the old train station.  Definitely worth checking out if you go there, say hi to Helen for me.

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The man I spoke to in the Spiritus Art Gallery also suggested that I should go and check out the Gorge.  He said it wasn’t far out of town, and I wouldn’t have to walk far to find it. which was true I didn’t. Though I did almost drive straight past it.  I also had trouble finding what road it was on, there were no signs in the town to direct you to.  Maybe they don’t want people going there.

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This is the gorge. Not big, but from what I can read women made it, I don’t know. It was done during the gold rush to get water for the men mining the gold.  It is incredible to think how these things were built back then, when you consider they didn’t have the tools that we have today.

By the time I got to the gorge, I knew the beautiful early morning light was gone and that the photos wouldn’t be that good, but I had to go and take some photos, for scouting purposes if nothing else.  I would like to go back, but if I do I would go much earlier in the morning, when the sun was hitting it in a soft way.  Though, if I’m truthful, I think I would go back in winter, no chance of snakes, and the light is better then too, so much softer.

Someone mentioned looking it up on Google maps and I realized I hadn’t included a map so here is a map so you can see where the town is.

I have more photos for you now. I hope you are having a great weekend, I have Social Snappers this afternoon, we are going to the Healesville Sanctuary, so I guess there will be more animal photos soon.

 

Introductions: Jesse Martineau

Late last year I introduced you to a photographer that I found on Google+ and today I have another one for you.  Google+, I’ve found, has some amazing photographers, and I find myself going there more and more to find photographers to introduce to you.  Today I would like to introduce you to Jesse Martineau. As I said I first came across Jesse’s work on Google+ and I am so happy to have found his photography.  I think his work is incredible and I think you will think so as well.

The White sands of the Earth-1

Those of you who have followed me for a while know how much I love winter shots, and the ones that Jesse does of winter in Canada are fascinating, well to me they are.  Scenes of calmness, yet, there is evidence of more, it is quite amazing.

My first questions, as always, where in the world are you?

I am located in Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada, just 10 mins west of Edmonton.

The White Sand Lands-7

One of the things that has really struck me in his images is the use of light, it is very striking and I think it is something I would like to learn. Maybe if I ask Jesse he will tell me what he does.

The next question was how long he had been taking photos for, and why?

I have been taking photos for a long time, anytime there was a video or film camera, I was behind it! What started me in the direction of photography was actually due to my fathers subscription to National Geographic. The middle eastern girl with green eyes was the first photo that “spoke to me” I couldn’t stop staring at how striking it was! The second was the monk that had set himself on fire outside of the Cambodian embassy in the ’60’s, tragic image, but one I can never forget. I have always wanted to cause people to feel like I did, when I saw those 2 photos.

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They don’t seem right, daylight with a night sky.  I’m fairly certainly I know how this is done, and it is something I’m looking forward to trying this winter.  I am keen to see how I go doing similar things.  You will have to wait and see what I get.

I asked Jesse what inspires him.

Nature inspires me, largely the light that is present during the night. The stars, and Aurora Borealis are what people usually remember me for, but all landscapes I love. I find more and more inspiration as I broaden my fields, Architecture, and even portrait photography, have given me more reasons to get out and shoot!

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Here is one of his more recent images, well the ones on his Google+ page, and I thought it was fantastic. He doesn’t have a lot of architecture, but looking at what he just said it would seem it is something he wants to do more of this kind of photography.  If he is only beginning then it is a fantastic start.

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

I love light, I mean we couldn’t photograph if there was an absence of light, to take it a step further I love HDR work, not the over processed things we have seen in the past, but the ability to see all the shades and hues of the frame I am shooting. I also am in love with long exposures, seeing movement in a still frame just feels so alive, even if it is not how we typically “see” something.

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I think this is a great example of what he was talking about, the light and the long exposure, with a some movement.  This is something I am learning more about now myself.  I love long exposures and pushing how and when I can do them.

My final question was about gear?

Currently I am shooting with the Nikon D600, full frame camera and I really love it. I have a few lenses 24-85mm Nikkor, 50-300 Nikkor, a 50mm Nikkor, and a 14mm f2.8 Rokinon. I have a Lowepro Transit 350 Backpack, Yongnuo tx III Flash, manfrotto tripod.

Jesse’s work is amazing and I would invite you to take a look at his website, JMDesign, but don’t forget his Google+ page, Jesse Martineau. He does a lot of work on his Google+ page, something I should start doing.  I would like to thank Jesse for giving me permission to feature his work here and to show it to you. I have a gallery for you now of the images that I really liked, loved.  There are plenty more great images on his sites.

 

Quiet Thursdays: Out Bush

Yesterday I had to come to Wodonga, not for photography but for my daughter.  She is at University and because of some recent events had to miss some classes and was told that she would need to come to the Wodonga campus to catch up.  Luckily we only had to stay one night.  The internet here, where we are staying is shocking, and I’m having trouble doing anything I want to, so I am keeping this quick.  Hopefully it will publish.

I thought today I would show you the the reverse colour of my Monochrome Madness image yesterday.  It is something I nearly always try and I enjoy seeing what I come up with. Sometimes it doesn’t look that strange or different and other times I get really amazing results, then again sometimes the results are so weird I know I can’t use them.   This one wasn’t bad, kind of in the first category.

I’m just going to leave you with the image, hope the internet will work enough for me to publish, and hope you all have a calm restful day.

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Up for Discussion: Observing the World Around You

For this Up for Discussion post I thought I would do something that I have been thinking about for a long time.  It may not seem that it is important or even relevant to photography, but I hope you will hang around long enough, and read enough to realise it does.

This is a lithography, so a drawing on a special stone that is then printed, not much room for mistakes.

This is a lithography, so a drawing on a special stone that is then printed, not much room for mistakes.

We often hear people talking about “faking the real in photography”, it isn’t a concept that is new and really, when you think about it artists have been doing that for centuries.  Learning to observe the world around them is very important.  It is something that some do well and some don’t.

Drawing

I know many of you know that I can draw, well used to be able to.  I’ve shown you images of my drawing before. One thing I’ve never really talked about is my Fine Art Degree, which wasn’t in photography,  but rather in printmaking and drawing.  It happened at a time when I was not happy with photography, or rather I was frustrated, I couldn’t get the images I wanted. I thought I would need to make them myself, so draw them.

A drawing from my sketch book.

A drawing from my sketch book.

It was an interesting process, it meant lots of observing of things as I drew them. I spent a lot of time drawing.

Observation

You can’t underestimate how important it is. Of course it isn’t important if you just want to take photos and not do anything with them, then again, if you hone those observation skills then you are likely to see more and get better photos.

If you are interested in photo editing/manipulation then it is really important.

Watching how the light falls on an object, or how it falls when it is hit by another light source. Then there are the shadows, how

Studying how fabric folds, then how the light and shadows show.

Studying how fabric folds, then how the light and shadows show.

do they fall, are shadows solid?  I saw a guy online doing some compositing, and as I watched him move a person into a lane and then add a shadow I realised that he just added a solid colour, shadows are rarely solid colours.  They often have light areas and dark areas, depending on what is around them.

The same guy also made the edge of the shadow very feathered, and soft, but then again it really depends on the light source and where that light is coming from, how direct it is.  If you went and stood outside in the sun, especially in summer, you would see your shadow would have a hard edge.  However, if you went into somewhere where the light wasn’t as strong you would see a softer edged shadow.  It really does all depend on the light.  Which is why in studios the light is often controlled with soft boxes and reflectors to make it like a secondary light source, sort of.

A drawing I did of my daughter, using window light.

A drawing I did of my daughter, using window light.

When you learn to draw you learn to watch and see how things are.

Perspective

Another important aspect is perspective.  It is something you learn in drawing and painting, probably most art forms.  I didn’t do a lot of drawing where you needed to worry about perspective, but it was always something you had to consider.

I have seen the work of other photographers and one of the things you notice is how they don’t understand perspective when they are doing composites and then the work doesn’t look real.

Faking the Real

It is an important thing.  You hear writers talking about how if you don’t make your characters real then people won’t believe them, so isn’t it the same with images, if they don’t look real then people can’t relate to them.  You have to make sure that everything in your image makes sense and is believable.  It is where learning to

A shaving brush, just studying how it looks and looking at the light.

A shaving brush, just studying how it looks and looking at the light.

look and observe the world around you really helps.

If you want to get into more photo editing or manipulation, then one of the best things you can do is learn to look at what is around you.  Don’t just take photos, look at what you are taking.  You don’t have to learn how to draw, but you can always learn how to look, observe.  Watch how light hits objects, where the light comes from. How does the light affect the shadows, are the shadows solid, or do they have lots of different strengths.

I think it is an invaluable tool and one we don’t take enough notice of.  Through drawing I really began to understand light and how important it was.  I also started to understand how I could use that in my photography and become a better photographer, at least I hope it has helped.

I have been going through all my drawings, I’ve found a lot that were just exercises, where I was just trying to see how I could draw them.  There are others that are more, a couple of etchings and some lithographs.  I will try and label them so you can tell what each is.

Influencing Me – Albert Bierstadt

A while back someone said I should take a look at Albert Bierstadt from the Hudson River School of Artists.  I am so sorry, but I can’t remember who told me about him, but I am glad they did, what an incredible painter.  I have to admit I don’t know a lot about the Hudson River School, but I am always willing to look and see what I can find out.  However, upon looking up Albert Bierstadt I was more than pleasantly surprised to see a painter doing big landscapes.

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One of the things that really caught my attention is the way he showed light.  Unlike many painters of today, he wouldn’t have used photographs to give him an idea of the landscape as he was painting it.  I know photography was around, but nothing like what we have now.  I have been out to take photos and a scene like the one above would be rare, so I think if he saw it, he must have painted it from his memory, which I think is truly extraordinary and wonderful.  It is a great scene, I would love to capture something like that through the lens of my camera.

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The level of detail in his work is amazing.  I know painters paint the sea and waterfalls, but I was so taken with what he has done.  I love the water paintings.  I love how you can almost see every little drop of water.

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There are some paintings that he had done that I think are a wonderful record of history, and I am sure it is pretty much how it was back then.  I found this on Wikipedia about him:

A German-American painter best known for his large, detailed landscapes of the American West. In obtaining the subject matter for these works, Bierstadt joined several journeys of the Westward Expansion. Though not the first artist to record these sites, Bierstadt was the foremost painter of these scenes for the remainder of the 19th century.

That explains why there are paintings like the one above.

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I imagine this is what Autumn in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere are really like.  The colours must be so amazing.  I hope one day to travel to these areas and see this for myself.  We don’t get autumn like many other parts of the world.  Most of the trees in Australia are evergreens, so they don’t change their colours.  I love the colours in this painting, it is so vibrant, and calming in a way.

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Another big landscape painting.  It is such a shame that paintings like this are not valued so much anymore.  The detail and the incredible talent that an artist must have to do work like this is amazing, but when you look at the world of art these days, you won’t find many artists doing paintings like this anymore.

I find it fascinating to look at artists who were painting the type of thing that I want to photograph.  I love big landscapes, and looking to see what I can bring to images of them.

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He looks like a nice man, though you can’t really tell from a photo, but he was a great artist and I can tell that from his work. Wikipedia has information on  Albert Bierstadt if you would like more information.  There is also a list of the massive number of paintings that he did in his lifetime here. I do have a gallery for you now of his work, some paintings that I just loved.

Weekend Wanderings – Around Woomelang

Last weekend I was in the Mallee, you all know that, but I haven’t shown you many photos of the place since I got back.  I am slowly going through them and today I am going to show you some photos I took one afternoon while on a stroll around Woomelang.  It started with the train station and then I went to a place I didn’t know was there, before ending up somewhere very familiar again.

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I have played with a few of the images.  There is a feeling you get when you go there, that doesn’t translate straight from the camera and I am trying to work out how to get it in my images.  I might have to keep trying.  This is the old train station, with the grain silos in the background.  The train station is no longer used, and, I’m told, neither are the large orange silos anymore.  They have become too old and aren’t good enough for grain anymore. The train station doesn’t get used anymore because passenger trains don’t run this way anymore, which is a bit sad.

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We picked one of the worse weeks to go up there, it was cold, really windy, and raining on and off the whole time.  Usually when I go up there it is sun, sun, sun. It is one of those places that hardly gets any rain, but they got it that week.  The wind was icy and really cut through you.  It wasn’t nice being outside really.  As we were walking around I saw this big puddle and wanted to get the reflection of the silos in it.

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This was an area I had never been too before.  As we were walking around the silos I saw an shed or something through the trees, so we decided to investigate, and we found this.  I knew of Cronomby Tanks, but thought it was really nothing, but it is a whole lot more.  There is something like a dam, though it is almost sculpted, as the shape is not natural.  I am going to have to go back there next time.  I love discovering new things in places I thought I already knew.

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After there we headed over to the old shearing shed.  I have photographed this so many times I’ve lost count, but my friend who came with me had never been there before, so we went over.  On this afternoon we approached it from the back end and went through all the sheep yards out the back.

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Before ending up out the front.  The light in the above image is perhaps my favourite sort, I rarely get to see it, but I do love it when you have a dark brooding sky, but it almost seems like the sun is out, so it is also bright.  It is like a contradiction of light.

We didn’t go far in our wanderings, but it was wonderful to do it.  I can’t believe I never knew what Cronomby Tanks were, or had not explored that area before.  I have more photos for you to look through.  As I said in the beginning, I have done some more work to some of them, which you may or may not be able to tell, the rest were processed quickly in Lightroom.  Hope you discover new places when you are out wandering this weekend.

 

Introductions – C R Photography

How I discovered the work of todays Introduction is very different to the way I usually do.  Really he discovered me, so to speak, in that he sent me an email about something, and it got me curious.  I looked at his blog and really liked the work I saw.  So today I would like to introduce you to Chris and his blog C R Photography.

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There are some great images on his site and the perspectives of some of them, like the one above are great. I love seeing work that I think I can learn from.

I asked Chris why he takes photos.

I take on a very poetic-philosophic approach to my photography. Ultimately, I make photos because it’s therapeutic for me. It allows me to focus my mind into something creative.

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As you go through his blog you will see there is a large variety of work and he photographs many things.  There is a concept in the art work, that you have to be one particular type of artist, in that you specialise in a particular area or genre, I think is the right term.  In photography we see it all the time, you are a landscape photographer or a portrait photographer, but I think many of us just want to take photos.  I like trying lots of different types, and I think perhaps Chris does too.  I can see many different sorts of photography and a great variety amongst his work.

The second question, as always, was about inspiration.

If I’m photographing people, it’s the mysteriousness and the dynamic of people that inspires me. When I’m making photos of nature, it’s nature itself that inspires me. I pull from within for a large amount of my inspiration but occasionally some of my favourite poets and photographers inspire me as well.

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There is something about the colours in his work, I find I am very drawn to them. When you see the work all together you can see what I mean. It is quite colourful, but I don’t mean in a loud way, it is subtle, but yet the colours and hues are strong.  I’m sure I am not explaining myself very well, sorry, but I just like the colours.

I also asked Chris if there was anything special about the way he works.

Technically speaking, there’s not much that’s special about how I work. Shooting in manual mode is beneficial, but other than that it’s typically in being mindful and allowing all of my senses to be fully engaged. What this allows is for me to change from work or study mode, into a more peaceful and organic state. It, in a sense, allows me to become one with the subject to feel it in all it’s mysteriousness.

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There are also quite a large number of black and white images on his blog as well. As we have seen here on Wednesday’s there is something about Black and White images that really draw people in.  It is still so popular, something about the romantic side of photography perhaps.

I asked Chris about his gear.

As a new photographer (I’ve only been shooting for a little over a year), I’ve only acquired a small amount of gear. I have a Canon 7D, Canon 50mm 1.4, Canon 28-135mm and a Tokina 11-16mm. I have some other accessories, like a cabled remote, an intervelometer, and that’s about it.

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I have never photographed lightning like this.  I tried it once out my front door, but wasn’t too successful.  Must try it again some time, though usually when I hear a storm approaching, the only place I want to be is inside.  I do envy those that can get images like this.

Chris told me that he is currently living in the UK, though his is originally from the US.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Chris for allowing me to feature his blog, C R Photography, here on my website, and I would encourage you all to go and take a look as well, you won’t be disappointed.  I have a small selection of his images for you to look at, but I suggest you go to his site, C R Photography, and see a whole lot more.

 

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