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Posts tagged ‘Nikon D800’

Murders with Some Drama

Well, not real murders of course.  I have been back to Heidelberg Theatre Company to photograph rehearsals for a new play they are doing.  The director is Paul King, and for those that have been following me for a long time will remember that I have worked with Paul before and I photographed his play Summer of the Seventeenth Dolls around 2 years ago.  He has asked me to come back and do the same thing for his latest production, Little Murders.

I stole this from the website, I’m sure Paul won’t mind.  This is what the play is about.  Little Murders is a pitch-black comedy about an everyday dysfunctional American family trying to survive in the urban jungle of late 1960s New York. This is a city where random shootings, garbage strikes, air pollution, power failures and obscene phone calls are the norm. When daughter Patsy brings her new boyfriend home to this embattled atmosphere to introduce him to the family, his passivity in the face of danger leads to more conflict – and comedy. The play was written by Jules Feiffer.

LeanneCole-htclittlemurders-20140526-9569It was nice being back and seeing a cast make it’s way through the dialogue and trying to work out where they were going to go or move.  The director trying to keep his head as a million ideas are thrown at him.  This was taken at the beginning, I think it was the first time they were doing this scene, so Paul was talking to them about what he wanted.

LeanneCole-htclittlemurders-20140526-9612Sometimes the director just has to get up there and talk to them as well.  Help explain what he wants them to do.  You will notice with most of these images the actors have their noses in their scripts for most of it.

LeanneCole-htclittlemurders-20140526-9563One of the things that I also enjoy is watching the set come together.  Slowly over the next few weeks this will evolve into a lounge room with a dining room up the back.  Walls will appear, some will have windows in them.  The furniture will change. By the time the play starts it will look like a real room,

LeanneCole-htclittlemurders-20140526-9614One of the things I was really excited about when it came to taking photos was getting to see how the Nikon D800 would handle the crap lighting in a theatre.  When I’ve photographed plays before I had my D300s, and while it was a good camera, it was terrible at low light and the noise in the images was shocking.  I have to say the D800 handled it like a trouper.  It was so good.  I hardly had to do anything to them to get rid of any noise.  I started at ISO4000, but ended up at ISO2000.  Now that I have seen the images, I will probably do things a little different next time.  The above image stood out so much when I started going through.  It was so crisp and sharp, I had a look and saw that I had taken it with the 50mm.  I think I love how that lens takes photos.  It is fast becoming my new favourite lens, well for some things.  Maybe I need to consider getting the 35mm.

LeanneCole-htclittlemurders-20140526-9656I forgot how much fun rehearsals can be.  There is a lot to laugh about, especially as some things are done over and over.  You do sit there and just laugh.  Sometimes I get so caught up in what is happening on the set that I forget to take photos.

Paul wants me to continue going back to get photos of the play.  At this stage I’m not sure whether I will do posts on it every week or every second.  I will try and include information about photographing the play and how I do it, where I can.  Here is a gallery with some of the images I got.

Weekend Wanderings – Early Morning at Docklands

The other day a friend and I decided we would go into the city this morning and take photos.  When we decided to go, we had no idea that it would rain.  We had been told that rain was forecast, but you know how it is, it has meant to rain the last couple of days and we got nothing.  It was true this morning, and it rained a lot overnight. In the end we decided to try Docklands and see what it would be like.

LeanneCole-docklands-20140216-9342It was early when we got there and there was no one around.  Not surprising I suppose for a Sunday morning.  The weather was shocking, but no one was complaining.  It was nice to get some rain, and nice not to see the sun shining, and to see clouds.  It was a very grey morning.

LeanneCole-docklands-20140216-9320It was great to walk around and take photos before everything started.  I know it is something that I will want to do again.  It was so peaceful.

LeanneCole-docklands-20140216-9347A friend asked me on Facebook if I was going to do more of our street art, and I thought that I would see what I could find today, and I found these guys, but as I was photographing them the rain really started coming down, so I ran for it.

I used the Nikon D800 for all the photos and today I had the 14-24mm on the camera. I didn’t want to change lenses as I didn’t want the inside of the camera to get wet.  I think they were all taken with an ISO of 500, and the aperture was f/7.1.

I got some great shots for my art work, and think you will see some of these images again.  Here is a gallery for you to enjoy, well I hope you do.  Enjoy your Sunday.

Weekend Wanderings – Arcade Hopping

Most of you know that I am trying to get my  One on One Photography Lessons/Tours off the ground, and get them more well known.  Part of what I need is some great photos of the City of Melbourne.  So you can expect that over the next few weeks there are going to be lots of photos of Melbourne.  I am hoping to go into the city a lot more to see what else I can capture.

The other day my photography friend and I headed into the city with the idea of seeing what we could photograph between Flinders Street and the Bourke Street Mall. In the end we didn’t go any further than Little Collins Street, but we did see some lovely things in between.

LeanneCole-city-20140213-9094I discovered new things, like the arcade that is below the Nicholas Building is actually called Cathedral Arcade.  It makes so much sense, with St Paul’s Cathedral across the road, and then these lovely Cathedral ceilings.  It is a shame it isn’t kept to look as grand though.

LeanneCole-city-20140213-9103I photographed arcades and walkways that I hadn’t really bothered about before.  The most unfortunate thing was that it was around lunchtime and there were far too many people around, and it was so hard to get great photos without people in them.

LeanneCole-city-20140213-9106We also took some photos from the street.  They weren’t nearly as nice, as look at the sky.  It isn’t overcast though, well, maybe a little, but most of the white is actually smoke.  Melbourne has been covered in a smoke haze for days.  We have had far too many fires around the state.

LeanneCole-city-20140213-9110I wanted to get this image of The Block Arcade.  I tried to do a similar one before Christmas but there were decorations everywhere and a table for gift wrapping.  This time there were too many people.  I might have to work on finding a time to get this when there is no one around.  I love how the full frame of the D800 and the 14-24mm can give you so much detail.  I love that you can see the how the right angled arcade does actually look.

LeanneCole-city-20140213-9105Another thing that I think about often when I see many of our buildings is how they could belong in a Harry Potter movie.  The shape of building on the corner of another walkway.  Beautiful lines.  It is the same with the light fixtures in Centre Place, they are amazing, I have photos of those in the gallery for you.

I am hoping to start exploring the other end of the city a lot more too.  There are so many places to go and visit, take photos of.  Buildings hidden away that I know nothing about, but I want to know.  I hope you don’t get sick of my exploring.  I just want to be able to give people who want to do a  One on One Photography Lessons/Tours with me a fantastic experience.

Here is the gallery for you.

Different Angles on a Bluestone

When I got my new camera a few months ago, I think many of you will remember how much fun I was having with the 14-24mm lens on the full framed Nikon D800.  I have shown you some of the photos that I took of the bluestone building that belongs to Deaf Children Australia.  It is fantastic to have a building like this to go to and take photos of anytime I like really.

LeanneCole-dca-20131111-1170

One of the things that is fantastic about that lens is that it allows you to get angles that wouldn’t be able to get otherwise.  Though not with the photo above, this is a fairly standard image.  I have played with it some.  Trying to make the image look like it was older, or maybe just playing.

They want me to tell you about a DVD that they have produced, it is called “Behind the Bluestone” and is full of footage from the school and stories by people who went there.  It is very inexpensive at $15 and a great way to support Deaf Children Australia.  If you are interested in purchasing it then you should go to this link, click here.

I believe more restoration work will beginning soon, so it will be good to see more happening there. Don’t forget you can also donate money to Deaf Children Australia and there is a donate button on their website.

I am going to put in a small gallery with some other images, one of them is a tree, but if you look carefully you can see the children at the school have hung hands in the tree.  You can also see some of the angles I was talking about.  I also love how much of a room you can fit into an image with the lens, the room being what was the girls dormitory now the boardroom.

Weekend Wanderings – A Quick Visit to Nagambie

Remember the other day, how it was my birthday, but I was sick and had to cancel a planned day out with a friend?  Well, she called me on Thursday night to ask if I were feeling better, and would I like to go the following day, which was yesterday.  I was feeling a great deal better, actually totally over the gastro that I had and ready for my day trip.  So we set off for Nagambie, a relatively small town about an hour and half from Melbourne.  It is north of Melbourne and off the Hume Freeway.

nagambie-20140110-6297Sometimes when I go to places I don’t get a lot of choice about time or type of day for taking photos.  Ideally you wouldn’t go to a place and take photos in the middle of the day, or on a day that is over 30ºC, but when you have a friend that says I want to take you out for the day, well, you can’t say no.  I thought, I am going and I am going to take some photos.  She was keen to show me around the main street, so I took photos of that.

nagambie-20140110-6292One of the things the town is very proud of is that the racing horse Black Caviar was born there, and since she has went on to be the fastest horse in the world for a time, though now retired, the town have erected a statue in her honour.  I was told about the statue before I went, and expected it to be of a horse just standing there, I had no idea it would be anything like this.  I think it is fantastic and well worth taking a look at.

The statue that hasn’t been without its own controversy.

nagambie-20140110-6291Where the statue sits, there was a Church, then in 2003 a truck went through it, I don’t know the exact details, but there is a photo of it.  The Church was pulled down and many locals were angry that the statue was erected on the same spot as the Church.

nagambie-20140110-6300Of course there is a lot more to see in the town besides the statue.  We were shown around the Mechanics Institute by a lovely woman that volunteers at the Op shop in the front of it.

nagambie-20140110-6313I guess in most towns there are going to be things to see, and little details that the locals probably don’t even think about.  Things left from the past, that the present hasn’t destroyed yet.  I love the old signs.

We had lunch there in one of the pubs, then headed out of town to a small property.  Part of the reason for going up there was to see my friends new house.  They have recently purchased a place for her and her family to spend weekends.

nagambie-20140110-6327  This is the driveway, and it is like this everywhere.  That isn’t the house up there, but they like to tell people it is.  I didn’t really take any photos of the house, but did take a few of what is around it.  Lots of trees, and possibly lots of snakes.  We walked around a bit, well we stomped around and didn’t see any, thank goodness.  It was a lovely spot.  Very dry, though, which is a little scary.

I have many more photos to show you and will put them in a gallery.  Nagambie is a lovely town and they do have a website, Nagambie Lakes.  I haven’t done a lot of research on the town, but I know I have missed things and would definitely like to go back again, but perhaps when it isn’t so hot.

Photography information, well, I hand held everything.  I had my aperture set on around f/11.  The ISO was on 250, mainly because I was bracketing shots.  I find when it is so bright it is good to bracket, so I can choose between camera correct and  underexposed, and mostly did choose the latter.  I was using the Nikon D800 with the 24-70mm lens.  All images have been further processed in Photoshop, but only in camera raw, and nothing extra has been done to them.  All basic editing.

Weekend Wanderings – Maldon Train Station

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-6003When we were driving to Maldon the other day on the way into town we went past the train station and decided that when we were leaving, we would stop and take a look.  I can’t tell you how glad we were that we did.

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-5975We stopped there and walked around the station and had a look at lots of things, and once we got on the platform we could see some carriages across from the station.  They were very old ones, the ones I remember travelling in as a child.  They haven’t been around for about 20 years.  It was like walking down memory lane.

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-5988This is an wheelbarrow for moving suitcases.  I love how the old stations have these on them.  In the background you can see the old red rattlers.

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-6008No, not Thomas the Engine, but maybe Thomasina, it is fun though, and you see it next to the station and it really stands it.  It was really this that caught our attention as we went past.

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-6015When you look at the station, or just the station house, you have no idea about what trains go there, if any at all.  The we happened upon Mick, he is the Workshop Supervisor and we ended up seeing more than we expected.  It seems that one of the things that make this station special is that they run steam trains.  As you can see from the above image there are lots of steam engines.

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-6033This is one of the older ones that still needs to be restored.  They are all part of the Victorian Goldfields Railway.  I saw a sign inside the station that had prices for the train, but I wasn’t sure if they were current, but Mick informed me that the trains do indeed run, Sundays and Wednesdays.  We really want to go back and catch the train another time.  Though, we think we might wait until early winter.  Mick said the trains, the steam and all that are at their best when it is cold.  I really want to see that, see it with my camera.

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-6078We were allowed to go up into the engine and shown how it all works.  It is so good to meet someone who is so passionate about what they do, and his passion was infectious, he certainly made us want to know more, and to come back.

I can’t help thinking that riding on these trains would be like a blast from the past.  It is fantastic to see the old trains being restored and used.  There was something very different travelling on those trains.

Apparently if you want to experience a real train day, then go to Southern Cross Station in the city, catch a Bendigo train, get off at Castlemaine, then you can catch the train to Maldon, spend a couple of hours in Maldon, before travelling back to Castlemaine and catching the train back to Melbourne.

If you want to go to Maldon the website Maldon Inc can help you out with all the information you would need.  If you want to find out more about the train station and their trains, then take a look at Victorian Goldfields Railway.  If you love trains, then you will be in heaven here.

I took most of my photos in the middle of the day, on a summers day in Australia.  They are bright and it was hard to get good exposures.  I would recommend you go either early morning, or late afternoon.  I don’t know for sure, but I suspect you might get a sunrise or sunset down the tracks, which could be spectacular.  Though, having said all that, I would think winter, on a day when the train is running would be the best, even ideal.

I used a very low ISO for most of the shots, except inside the engine.  Most images had an aperture around f/13, though for the close ups inside I had the aperture set at f/2.8.  I used the 24-70mm lens again, though it would have been nice to have a macro lens for the shots I was attempting.  I also wish I had used my wide angle for some shots, and think when I go back I will use that as well.

I am going to put together a gallery now, a lot of images, but I was having trouble culling.

Weekend Wanderings – Walking Around Maldon

Australia, well Victoria really, has a rich gold mining history.  The area around Maldon was discovered in 1836 during the exploration trip made by Major Thomas Mitchell.  Gold was discovered there in 1853, and continued to be mined for the rest of the century.  At its peak Maldon had a population of 3341 in 1861, according the government consensus, then by the 1890’s is had declined to 1600 and now, the town remains around that number.

One of the things you realise when you go to Maldon is that there is a lot of history there and you can see there was money there once.  It became a notable town by the National Trust of Victoria in 1966.

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-5711We got there very early, around 9am, and by the time we left just before 12 the town was getting very busy.  I think if you want to take photos in a town like this, getting there early is an advantage, especially if you don’t want lots of people in your photos.  It seems many of the shops don’t open until after 10, so you have time to just wonder around without much hassle.

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-5705-3hpm

One of the ways you can tell a gold mining town is by the number of hotels there are, well, that is what I think.  Many towns that had gold have so many pubs, and Maldon is the same, I think there are 5 there, I should say were there.  The buildings remain, but many of them are now finding life in other ways.  The pub in the image above, is a great example of a classic Australian Pub.

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-5624There are wonderful details everywhere, and you have to keep your eyes open and look all around you because you will miss things if you don’t.

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-5646The gutters are like this all around town, and you have to be careful stepping off the footpath, I imagine more so when it rains.

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-5856There are so many old and historic buildings.  It would be great to go back sometime and maybe stay a couple of days and really explore the town and take photos.  I am sure there are places to stay there, though it is not something I have looked into.

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-5700

One thing I did find funny was all the wooden tables and chairs, it made me think of the boat deck of the Titanic, sorry Maldon, but the verandahs did look like that to me.

So some technical information.  I know some of you have said that you want the details about the images, what aperture, ISO etc, but to be honest, I use the best possible ISO that I can to get the images I want.  With these, and nothing moving in the images, most of them were taken with an ISO between 100 and 400.  I mainly used an aperture of around f/8, though there were some done with f/2.8 when I wanted to get the blurry background, you will see which ones.

The technical information I really want to give you, is that I did use the Nikon D800 and the lens I used was the 24-70mm 2.8 lens.  I hand held for all images, though I do regret not having the tripod for doing the interior of the church.  I think those images would have been far better if I had used it.  I did bracket all my shots, and for most of them I used the 1 stop under exposure.  It is funny, overcast days, but still very bright.  It was hard getting good exposures, and I did often set the exposure on the camera to be one stop under.

If you like historic towns then Maldon is a gold mine for images.  It is only a 1 hour and 40 minute drive from Melbourne, and can easily be done in a day.  I don’t think it would be a great place on a hot day in Victoria, but every other day would be perfect.  Maldon has a website and if you want information then click here.

I am going to put my gold mine of images into a gallery now.  The Agapanthas were out everywhere, beautiful.  Please enjoy.

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