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Posts tagged ‘Awards’

32 Days to Christmas

I better get a move on with my Christmas shopping and working out what we are going to do this Christmas.  As I said last Friday I am going to be busy this December photographing the Christmas Festival for the City of Melbourne, so I will have to see what I can do in between.  I will be spending quite a bit of time in the city, so many opportunities to take in what will be happening there.  

scxmas-3hpm2989-4cepThe tree from last year.  I didn’t realise that it was a real tree and that they will be using the same tree this year.  The lights are set to be turned on next Friday night, so I hope as many of you who live in Melbourne will come along.  It looks set to be a spectacular evening.  

I mentioned last week, at least I hope I did, that for the month of December I would try and put up Christmas photos every day leading up to Christmas.  Which means that some things for the time being will stop, like my introductions posts, they will recommence in January and I already have someone lined up for the first post.  


So, for the month of December on the Monday posts I thought I might show Christmas from other parts of the world.  I am not totally sure how this is going to work, but I want to show your images.  Last week I talked about a challenge for photographing Christmas, and I want to be able to share those images.

I thought people could send me a link, then I can copy an image from their blogs and put them up on my Monday posts with a link back to them.  I will only do it for people who send me links.  You can email the links to me.  I don’t know exactly how it is going to work, but I am happy to give it a go.  


I haven’t posted any awards that I have received for a while.  I was collecting them, and then something happened to the page I was saving them on and they were deleted.  Then I started again, using my self hosted blog, but when I went to change it to my website, well, everything had to be deleted and I lost them all again.  

I knew I had to find a better way of doing them.  I can’t reciprocate, I am sorry, but I do like to acknowledge the people who have nominated me for an award, so I have come up with a new plan.  Under my awards page at the top, I have a list of the awards that have been given to me recently and the people who have nominated me with a link to their website.  I hope this is a good compromise.  

City of Melbourne For Lease

Our internet has been down most of the day, actually it hasn’t been good for the last couple of days. Hopefully it is working a lot better now.  Though, I still struggled with an image for you today.  I need to go out and get more images.  What a day.  On top of all that it is freezing, well, it is the coldest day we have had for a long time.

For LeaseI love this building.  I have no idea when it was built, oh I have the internet back, I can check it out, hang on a minute.  Okay, I’m back, it was built in 1888.  It is such a distinctive building.  Though I don’t think the City of Melbourne Building Society have anything to do with it any more, actually I’m not sure they even exist anymore.  It sits on the corner of Elizabeth Street and Little Collins Street.  It’s quite a landmark and most people who live in Melbourne would be aware of this building.

To process it, I did a HDR image with Photomatix Pro, and then it went through Camera Raw in Photoshop.  There were a few people walking on the street so I removed them.  I also removed the signs on the awning that covers the street.  I didn’t want the signage to take over the image.  I also replaced the sky.  I have done some blurring, but not a lot.  I just tried to bring out some of the details in the building.

I am not really happy with how the image came out.  I think part of the problem is that I snapped it early one morning, and it was, possibly, the wrong time.  I took some images of it another time, but they were in the afternoon, and were with Black and White film.  They were a lot better, the sun was shining on the building and gave it more definition.

There is something about the building sitting on the corner with the For Lease sign, the city of Melbourne is for Lease, interesting idea.


As today’s post is a short one, I am going to put up some nominations I’ve received for  various awards.

So I have been nominated for the following awards by the following people.

The Versatile Blogger Award

Dancing in the Storm



My Life Through Glass

Oil Pastels by Mary

 Epically Awesome Award of Epic Awesomeness Nomination!

elizabeth thomas photography of cape cod

Colline’s Blog

WordPress Family Blog Award

Mission Possible! 1st stop – Nicaragua

Living and Lovin

The Sunshine Award




Curious Mother

Through The Lens

Super Sweet Blogging Award



Lucy Williams

The Best Moment Award


The Very Inspiring Blogger Award





The Bouquet of Three Award


I know people may think that I get too many or I don’t appreciate them, but I still feel really honoured when people think of giving me one.  So thank you to everyone above.

Please, everyone, check out their blogs and what they have been up to.


As I said last week, I’ve been trying to find a different way and more interesting way of photographing the Deaf Children Australia‘s Bluestone building.  Now that other stuff has finished, I have more time to think about what I want to do there.  I need to plan more posts though.  I just don’t know what happens to the time.

Stairway ClockWhen you walk into the front door, you look up and see the staircase, and as you walk up you see the clock.

The building isn’t a really ornate building, not when you compare it with somewhere like the Melbourne Town Hall or Parliament House, and for the time it was built, I can see it was probably considered a boring building.  In todays terms it is ornate and there are little things every where.  I am probably not saying this well.  What I mean is that it wasn’t luxurious and wasn’t built to impress, so I can’t focus on really beautiful parts of the building as I have with other buildings, like the Manchester Unity Building.

I have been watching stories from the ex-students and trying to pin point areas of the building that would mean something.  It is a work in progress, and there is no hurry.  I have at least 3 years to work it out.  It is going to be interesting to see where I end up with these images.

This was a difficult image to get and took some thinking, as the tripod on the stairs wasn’t easy, and then it wasn’t high enough.  I got it in the end.  Originally I kept cutting the clock out.  I wanted that clock.  I wanted to give you a view of the clock as you are walking up the stairs.

I try to imagine what it was like for the children who were living there, and to see the building as they would have.  This staircase is right near the front door, and would be considered the main stairwell for the building.  It is central in the building and when you walk in the front door, it is straight in front of you.

These stairs are more ornate and wider than the other staircases, so that tells you they were to be presented nicely, that also tells me that the pupils of the school were probably not allowed to use it.  They may have been allowed up them on their first visit as they were shown around and up to their dorm, but I doubt they were allowed on them again.

So I hope you don’t mind me playing and trying things out as I work my way through this project.  I am sure I will get a better understanding of what I want to achieve eventually.  I am starting to get there.

Remember, if you would like to donate money toward the restoration then please Donate Here.


It is time to acknowledge all the people who have nominated me for awards again.

The Thank You Award


the Flavie Peticoeur Award!


The Very Inspiring Blog Award


McPhedran Phocus


Making it Daily


The Liebster Award


Bits N Pieces

The Versatile Blogger Award


Psychic Pharmacy Tech


Making it Daily

The Sunshine Award


Epically Awesome Award of Epic Awesomeness Nomination!



Best Moment Award

Sylvie`s Fashion Secrets

The Reality Blog Award


The Dragon Loyalty Award


So thank you very much to all those blogs and the people behind them, I feel very honoured.  I hope everyone else will go and visit all the blogs as well.

Traditional Being ReWorked

Last night I stayed up late to work on an image to show today.  I knew that I wasn’t going to have much time to do it today as I was off to the city this morning with Klara.  We went on a tour of the Melbourne Town Hall and then off to the Aquarium.  I really wanted to do the tour and the bribe to get Klara to go was the Aquarium.  I am hoping that I might be allowed to get back into the Town Hall to take some shots.  So I found an image I could use that I could rework for todays post.

Wine with ApricotsThis image was first shown to you in March in a post called Processes and Traditions.  This was when I wasn’t doing so great with the HDR processing and was still finding my way around the software.  I have learned a thing or two since then.

As I said, last night I worked on an image.  I was worried that when I looked at it today that it would look bad.  It doesn’t, but then I realised there was another major problem with it.

Wine and Grapes - Reworked

Can you tell the difference?  I did the wrong photo.  Can you believe it?

I could go and redo it, but to be honest, right now I am too tired.  I am hoping you can tell what I have done differently to the first one.  Look beyond the fact that the image is different.

I tried to bring out the textures a lot more.  I have also done a lot more blurring than what I was doing in the past.  I made the background much darker.  I did lose the wine bottle, but I don’t think that matters.  I love how the crystal glass comes out.

I was allowed to take some photos today of the inside of the Town Hall, but they aren’t great, you really need a tripod to take the photos.  I will show you some from there and the Aquarium in the next few days.


I have been given quite a few more awards and I really need to acknowledge some people.

Versatile Blogger Award

The Timeless Treasure

Mike McMurray’s Forest Photography

Go Forth and Conquer


Very Inspiring Blog Award

Simon’s One Photo A Day Plog

Keli has a Blog

Liebster Award

MD Photography


The Lighting of a Fire

Blog of the Year


Here is an award I have not seen before.

The Clements Award


It has been wonderful to be nominated by so many people, I truly am honoured.  Thank you so much and I hope everyone else will go and visit the blogs.

Lily Kind of Day

Lily’s don’t seem to grow here in the summer.  I don’t know if that is normal, or it is just the lack of water they get in my garden.  They seem to die off and then come back when the hot weather goes away.  They now remind me of cold days, so I thought they would be perfect for my post today.

Single LilyThe lilies were taken many months ago and I went through what I had to see what I could use today.  They aren’t the best ones, you have already seen those.

Lily TrioThat day I also did some of them together.  Not really sure I like them and I suspect I have over processed them somewhat.  I was lost and I didn’t know what to do.  I need to start playing more I think.


I have been nominated for so many awards by so many wonderful people and I have not done anything to acknowledge them, so please be prepared for a long list.

The Blog of the Year

Reality Blog Award

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

One Lovely Blog Award

Liebster Blog Award

The Versatile Blogger Award

Super SweetOne Lovely Blog

Sunshine Award

Addictive Blog Award

titaniumphoto has also honoured me on their blogroll.

Thank you to everyone, and I hope everyone else will go and visit their blogs.

5100 Doing HDR

There are two things I have to try out, you know the first, that is the Nikon 5100 DSLR, and the other is the HDR Efex Pro 2 software from Nik Software.  I have been playing with the HDR software, but only a little.  I decided today to take some still life images with the 5100 and then process them with the HDR software.

I wasn’t totally sure how to take bracketed shots, but I used the exposure button, did one at the correct exposure, then one at -1 and a third at +1.  I could have gone further, but I wanted to see what the results were like with those first.

This image was taken in my kitchen with the dead roses that I have.  Roses can go really lovely after the water in the vase has dried up and they are just left.

As stated earlier, this is done with three images and was processed in Photomatix Pro.  I wanted you to see an image processed in Photomatix, then you can compare the software.  I have done nothing else to the image.

This image has been processed with the same three images, but with HDR Efex Pro 2.  It is different, but not a lot.  I was quite surprised.  I haven’t really taken enough notice of what the software can do.  You can do a lot to it when you are processing it.  You can change the depth of field, that has to be good.  There are sliders for contrast, structure and many other things.  It could be really good.

I like both images for different reasons.  I should do more of these, and I think I will next week.

The Nikon 5100 was great to use for these photos.  I had no trouble working out the controls and changing the exposures for each image.  You would have to use a tripod to do it, though, I should work out if there is a setting to take bracketed shots automatically.

One of the settings that I thought that would be perfect to use for this still life set up was macro.  I put the camera on it and took this image.

This is the macro image straight from the camera.  I have done no processing to it.

I have changed the levels and curves on this, but nothing else.  Changing those has helped the image a lot.  It seems clearer.

Though I do like the macro setting and was really surprised with it.  I would like to play with it more.  The flash coming up automatically was a little annoying, and I had to work out how to turn it off.  Again, it didn’t take too long to work it out.  It was fun.

A friend asked me about it the other night, I said it would be perfect for someone like him, someone who wants to get back into photography.  It would also be a great camera for someone to learn photography with.  I am looking forward to seeing what else it can do.

I had a request, the backdrops that I use on the still life images I have painted myself, and I have been asked to show how I do them.  It is an interesting idea, so I might look into showing you how to do your own backdrops.  I hope you won’t mind.


I have been nominated for some more awards.  I have received 3 nominations for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.  That is so great, so please go and check out the blogs of those that have nominated me.

Living and Lovin


Sylvie’s Fashion Secrets

From Hoof Beats and Foot Prints I have been nominated for the

Blogger of the Year Award

I would like to thank all of them for the lovely honour of being nominated.  Thank you.

The Efex of Colour

Two weeks ago I played with Silver Efex Pro 2 and fell in love with it.  Since I now have Color Efex Pro 4 from Nik Software I thought it was time I had a play with it as well.  Can I just say, I am so impressed.  It is really good and the things you can do are pretty wild.

I first did this image in July.  The processed image has become one of my favourites, this was the original image.  It is hard to know what image to use when using software for the first time, but I decided that this one would be good for it.  I like the composition and the colours are nice.

So, decision made, image chosen, just need to open up Color Efex and see what I can do with it.

I hope you can tell that I have done something to it.  Color Efex, like Silver Efex has a whole heap of filters, or presets, and you can go through them and see what each one does to your images.  Some are pretty wild, and some are really good.  This one is the Classical Soft Focus.  One of the things I also like is that you don’t have to settle for the filter, you can change it as well, you can add more focus, or take out strength, you make it what you want.

Here is another filter.  This one is Film Efex Vintage.  Does it look like a really old photo.  Love the whiting around the edges.

This filter is Low Key, and has made it look dark, again there are lots of things that you can do to change or tweak the image to exactly what you want.  Then if you do work out what you want with the changes, you can save them so you don’t have to remember them all the time.

Paper Toner is what this one is called.  There are also a lot of different tones that you can add to the image.

I am amazed at how many filters there are.  If you like playing with your images, this is a lot of fun.  I also like the Efex because they don’t turn your image into something silly and the results give you something that you can leave as it is, or work on some more.  I must try and incorporate some of these into my art images.  I know I will be using that first one a lot.  I love that one.

Like Silver Efex Pro 2, you can download a trial version and test it out, just go to Nik Software and try it out.

I haven’t done a lot with it yet, and I will try it out more in the near future.  This has been a really crazy week.  I have job on that is making me travel all over the place and it is tiring me out.  It has been good, but exhausting.  It is the constant trying to work out what images to take and how to take them.  I also have my last class this Saturday and I have to write some notes on Portrait photography, and I just don’t know what to say.  I will come up with something.

I am sorry about not responding to all your comments, but I will get onto them soon.


I have been nominated for the Reader Appreciation Award from mightyturk.

You can check out the post here

Thank you very much mightyturk, I am honoured.