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Photo-Vember Begins – Day 1

The first of November has arrived and so my challenge of trying to post at least one photo a day also begins.  It is going to be an interesting challenge.  I like to post lots of photos so I will have to be careful or I won’t have enough for the whole month.

So the first photo, it is going to be from one of my favourite subjects, the Mallee.  I have just been up there, again, to see my mum, though it was a very quick visit.  I didn’t have a lot of time to take any photos, it was a very quick trip, though I did go out on Sunday night.

I decided on this trip I would try and photograph some things that I hadn’t photographed before.  Well, some I hadn’t photographed for a long time.  I did take some photos of the shearing shed, but from the back, and tried to do some photos at different angles.

I thought for the first photos in this challenge, that I might put some up of the entrance sign of the old drive-in movie theatre at Birchip.  I have been driving past this sign for many years, every time I go to visit my mum.  We actually lived in Birchip for a couple of years when I was child and we did go to the Drive-In, I remember seeing Dumbo there and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.  At least I think I did, you never know, my memory could be playing tricks.

The Drive-In closed many years ago, at least, it has been closed for as many years as my mother has lived up in that area, and she has been there for around 18 years.

I like how the drive-in is no longer used, but everything seems to still be there for it.  The structure for the screen, though the white boards have all fallen off.  The building for the projectors and snack bar are still there.  The gates with the signs saying what it is are there, and the board over the gate that would have once said the movie that was showing and but now says “Closed” and has for many years.  There is no denying what it is.

If you look carefully in the distance, you can see the gates.  Unfortunately a tree is hiding the closed sign.

I am not always going to show this many photos, but as this is all on the same topic, I thought it best to show it all at once.

Someone suggested that I should ask you to vote for your favourite photos and at the end of the month we can look at which photos you liked best.

Getting Some New Software

I love getting parcels in the mail.  Makes it seem almost like Christmas every day.  I don’t get parcels every day, rarely actually, but one did arrive yesterday.  Inside was some software I purchased the other day.  It is Adobe Lightroom 3.

I have never used anything like this before.  To be honest I don’t really know how to use it.  I keep seeing it in magazines about digital imaging.  Better Photography, and Better Photoshop Techniques are always showing stuff with it.  It frustrated me a bit because I didn’t have it.

This is what said about it:

In essence, Lightroom allows photographers to do three things, very quickly: organize batches of images, adjust them, and output them. This view shows the ‘Develop’ window. On the left are Lightroom’s various preset adjustments, along the bottom is the filmstrip file browser, and on the right is the adjustment window, which contains numerous tools, from the fairly standard white balance and exposure sliders to lens corrections, cropping, cloning and neutral gradient filter options.

Sounds like it is exactly what I need for processing my cycling photos.  At the moment I don’t edit them before they go up on my website because there are too many, but this software could mean I can do it now and do it quickly.  Time will tell.  Will be good if I can.

Here is a list of features from

Lightroom 3 key features

  • New RAW conversion engine (same as ACR 6 for Photoshop)*
  • Non-destructive editing
  • 64-bit compatibility*
  • Lens corrections*
  • Flickr integration*
  • Image watermarking*
  • Improved curves tool*
  • Tethered shooting (currently limited to selected Canon and Nikon DSLRs)*
  • Support for video files (organization and tagging only – not editing)*
  • Perspective correction adjustments*
  • Film grain simulation filter*
  • Comprehensive importing, organization and exporting, with multiple output options (DNG, TIFF, JPEG)
  • Easy synchronization of adjustments across multiple images
  • Offline library management (i.e. if your images are stored on an offline external drive)
  • Photoshop integration

So all that is left now is to figure out how to use it.  I hope it wasn’t a waste of money.  I will keep you informed.

I have had someone who is going to take up my Photo-Vember challenge, Suburban Tomato,  anyone else want to join the challenge?

Photo-Vember, Setting New Challenges the link in case you missed the post.

Photo-Vember, Setting New Challenges

I like a challenge.  Not always, but sometimes you just need one, so I have set myself one.  I am going to try and post a photo everyday for the month of November.  I am not going to make it a new photo every day, but just a photo.  So there might be some from the past, or some from recent expeditions, and some will be new.

When I go away I tend to take a few hundred photos, but then only work on a small amount and that is it, then I forget about the rest.  This will be good to make me go through some of my older stuff and see if I can do anything with it.

I also have photos from many many years ago,  It might be nice to see if I can scan some and put them up.  Might be good to see how much I have improved, or not, and to be able to see if I can now do the things that I used to want to do to them but couldn’t manage it in the darkroom.

Screen shots from the computer, but they are like the old proof sheets we used to do in the darkroom.  Only it is nicer to be be able to enlarge them on screen and see if they did actually work.  I can remember how annoying it was to see a image on the proof sheet then you go to all the trouble to enlarge it, only to discover that is was out of focus.

I also don’t think the challenge should be limited to any particular theme, just photos.  I need to work on making more photos.  So are you up for the challenge as well?  If you want to do it too, send me a link so I can follow your challenge as well.

Making an Exhibition of Myself

Well, not quite as the name would suggest, but still, I’m very happy to report that I put in some images to Brunswick Street Gallery and was accepted for  a Photographic Show.  My work will be on display at the end of January.  It is a group show and we all get so much wall space, either 3m or 6m.  I went for 3m.  Don’t want to get too carried away.

Here are the images I submitted.


The Shearing Shed

The Church


They are all images that you have seen before, well if you follow my blog.  Tessa at the gallery thought they would look good printed large.  I thought I might see about getting them printed with archival inks and on rag paper.  I have never done that before, but it sounds like it would be perfect for this subject material.  I will have to find out how much it is going to cost.

It is good to be exhibiting again and I hope this is the start of a lot of it.

More From Ballarat

It has been a very busy time.  After photographing the Masters in Ballarat, I spent 4 days photographing the Honda Hybrid Women’s Tour.  I went to Ballarat, again, for one day, then to Geelong, and then to Drysdale, had a day off for the road race and then into Lygon Street for the final crit.

While I was in Ballarat the first time, I had planned on doing more blogs on the photos that I had been taking, but I with all the cycling time has been short.  I did take some photos during the Masters Road Races.

Canola Fields with Cyclists

When I was up at my mum’s place a few weeks ago the Canola crops had just about finished flowering and weren’t looking so good.  So, it was a surprise to see that the crops around Lake Learmonth were still flowering still looking fantastic.

It was also good to see some cloudy skies, though the rain that came with it wasn’t so great.


I liked how the dark skies made the Canola stand out even more.  They are so rich in colour.  It is such a beautiful crop.

Wind Turbines

I have to stay that the wind turbines were wonderful to watch.  I know a lot of people don’t like them, but I love them.  I think they are so graceful.  Such a better way to see energy being produced than the coal fired generators that you see around.

This last photo I couldn’t resist.  This is the bike I get to ride around on the back off when I am photographing the road races for cycling.

Bruce's Bike

Bruce is great to sit behind.  He is very skilled at riding the bike and it really is the best way to photograph the racing.  When I do the Women’s Tour next year, I will have to see if he is available for the road stages.

The weekend away is coming up, to the Mornington Peninsula, I will have to start working out exactly where we will be going.  I know I want to go back to Cape Schanck, and I want to try out my new filters.  Only about 3 weeks to go.

As an aside, I also took some photos of Bruce with his sons and the Harleys.  I have put some of the photos up on my portrait website if you would like to have a look, go here.

Ballarat, Taking Photos

I am in Ballarat, taking photos of the Masters, and well, I am trying to get some photos of some scenery, but the road that the masters time trial were on is not great for scenery shots.  I did take some.

The forecast was for rain, and when I woke up, it had indeed been raining,  It had stopped and when I headed out the road to start photographing everyone in their time trail clothing and on their lovely tt bikes, the sun was shining and I was starting to get worried about sunburn and went for my hat.

As I was out the road the clouds started rolling in.

I could see the wind farm in the distance.  I know a lot of people don’t like them, but I think they are really beautiful.  Perhaps because I love the wind.

As the clouds starting rolling in the views in the clouds were amazing.  Some of you know what I’m like I have to photograph clouds, never know when I might need a great cloud shot to put behind another photo.

How wonderful are they.  This is one of many I took.  I nearly missed a few riders because of them though.

I moved down the road a bit for a different and when I turned around and could see the wind farm again, only there were more things in between, like a Canola crop.

Can’t really see the turbines too clearly, but I quite liked the shot.  Like I said I was desperate for some nice shots.

Tomorrow is a criterium, well lots of them, not sure if I am going to be able to get anything nice, but will see how I go, otherwise you might have to see some shots with bikes in them.

Editing Some Old Photos

You have seen some of the work I have been doing on my photos.  I think it is fairly obvious that I have been putting in a lot of time learning photoshop and I am so happy with how things are turning out.  I love all the new things I can do and what a difference it makes to my images.  I can’t quite believe how much I enjoy sitting at the computer working on them.

I decided that I needed to try to see if I could do similar things to some of my cycling photos.  I decided that some of my favourite photos this year were from the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic.  I went through them and found some to try.

The before shots are on the left, hopefully, though, you can tell which is the before and which the after.

I have to confess they are a lot harder to do than the other images.  There are so many fiddly bits and places where things can go wrong.  The third one I started over a couple of times.  I suppose as I get more experienced I will find it easier to do.

I am off to Ballarat this week for the Australian Masters Road Championships, official photographer again, so I am hoping that since I know what I can do with photoshop then how I photos might improve.  I can’t wait to see what I get and what I end up doing to them in photoshop.

Please let me know what you think of the images.