Scouting Around Marysville

Yesterday my daughter took me driving to Marysville.  I had very specific ideas of what I wanted to take photos of.  I had all the plans, knew where I was going, but when I got there, things didn’t go the way I hoped.  I was heading for one particular road, it was CLOSED.  Two hour trip for nothing.

Well almost.  We went to the lolly shop there and got talking to the people who told us about Steavenson Falls.  So we went looking for it.

steavenson falls, Marysville

It was a great waterfall, but in all seriousness it was too sunny, and I knew I didn’t have much hope of getting any good images.  I did have the neutral density filter with me and used it for the image above.  Nice to now you can get a long exposure in bright sunlight.

The atmosphere was disturbed by a group of school children who came to see the falls.  They are always so loud, and there never seems to be anyone in charge of them.  They seem to never be given guidance or understanding that they are disrupting other people.  If my children behave like that, well when they were children, they were reminded that people there didn’t want to listen to them.  I saw the something other day about children these days not having manners, I believe it.

There are walks around the falls and I would like to go back another time, but pick a better time to take photos.  Maybe first thing in the morning.  Marysville is really growing again, and is recovering well after being almost totally destroyed by the Black Saturday fires.  It might be good to go and stay overnight and then go to the falls early in the morning, before people get there, and do some exploring.  Something to think about at a further date.

So while the trip didn’t work out as I had hoped, it was good to at least see it and see some of the possibilities. Marysville is a lovely and beautiful small town. It is shocking what happened to it just over 5 years ago, but it is great to see that it didn’t destroy the spirit of the town.  I have a video somewhere in a post on what it was like a couple of months after the fires.

I am going to include a gallery for you to see two other images, plus the one above at the end.

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Car Boot Photography

Recently, I’ve been talking about this quite a bit, car boot photography.  It is something that I really enjoy doing, and something I have to thank Moose Peterson for introducing me to.  apollo-bay-sunrise-harbour-boats-1

It is an interesting idea and something that really suits the type of photography that I like to do.  So what is it?

I should also explain that in Australia the back part of the car where you put your luggage is called a boot, in other countries it is referred to as a trunk. So basically Car Boot Photography is taking photos from the boot of your car, well sort of.

When I used to go out and take photos I would take everything I needed in one bag, which meant that since I would have to carry the bag, I wouldn’t take too much stuff.  The downside to this is if you are out and realise that you could have done with a different lens, then too bad, you don’t have it with you.

I have two Tamrac camera bags, a big one, the Expedition 7x, and a smaller one, the Aero Speed Pack 75.  They are both great bags, but one is too big for carrying around all the time, the other too small.  So now I take most of my gear in the Expedition 7x, but I also take the Aero Pack.  I leave the larger bag with things that I’m not sure I will need in the boot, and take the smaller bag with camera, spare lens and any filters I might need.  If I am out taking a photo, then I know I don’t have to go far to get another lens, or something else from the bag.


When I went to the harbour in Apollo Bay, I was using my 24-70mm and then thought it would be nice to use the 80-200mm, but it was in the other bag, so I just went back to the car got it, and then continued taking photos with it.  A couple of months ago I would have stood at the harbour and been disappointed that I hadn’t brought it with me.

I think I really like car boot photography, it also means that you take photos that aren’t too far from the car.  So driving somewhere, stopping, taking photos, than driving somewhere else.  You can’t always get access past a public road, but you can take photos of things from the road.  In Australia you can take photos from public areas of private places, as long as you are on public land.  I think most of my photography is probably this sort.

Do you do any car boot photography?

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Photographing Rainforests

Last week when I was in Apollo Bay we went to a couple of different rainforests, and, of course, took photos of them.  I have never really tried to photograph them before, and I have to admit, my first thought was, “how hard can it be”.  Well, as it turned out very hard.

As I went through all the images that I had taken I realised that the sun did ruin many images. The forest is too dark and the sun too bright and just not a great combination.  I should have had my tripod with me, and I should have done lots of different exposures, which I think if I were to go back, that is what I would do.

After going through lots of photos and trying to find one suitable to use for Monochrome Madness this week on my other blog, I found this one.


I do really like the way the light is coming through the trees onto the fern, the light then becomes the focus, rather than taking the focus away from something else.

I would like to get better at photographing rainforests, but I think I would need to go on overcast days, or very early in the morning before the sun comes up, which is doable, I like early mornings.  There is a rainforest about an hour from where I live, so I think I will have to investigate it some more, and see what I can get.  Might even be interesting to do when it is raining, though maybe straight after it had rained.

I did do another image, that I had to crop a lot and then made it black and white as well.


I don’t know if it is as powerful, but it really has me longing for a macro lens.  It was difficult to get with the lens I had.

I like both, but I think the first is the one I keep going back to.  What do you think?

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This past week I went to Apollo Bay with a friend to take photos.  I love trips like that, it is such a great thing to do, just to go somewhere and take lots of photos.  Apollo Bay is a gorgeous place on the South coast of Australia and somewhere where I have spent lots of time, but not for a long time.

One of the things I was really looking forward to was using my new Neutral Density Filter.  I have used other ND filters, but nothing like this, and I have to say I really wasn’t prepared for what would happen and how to use it.

crap photo with ND filterWe went out the first afternoon to some rocks nearby and I set the camera up and away I went. The first thing I noticed was that it was so hard to see through the lens, this filter is so dark that you really can’t see what you are doing, and then when I first took some photos the photos were black. Some seemed to work and some didn’t.

When I got back to the place that night and had a look through my photos, well, as you can see from the image above, I had trouble.  There was a strange line or area of dark on the sides. There were also areas of magenta, which in theory shouldn’t happen.  I thought, oh no, it is dodgy, what is happening. It was time to do some research.

So what I found out was that I need to stop light from entering the camera through the eye piece, which is why some images worked and some didn’t.


The above image worked, I think, because there wasn’t a lot of light around, so there was strong sunlight pouring in the back, like in the first image.

Once I knew what I was doing I tried using the filter again the next morning, and it worked a whole lot better.


It worked every time after that and I got some interesting shots.  I will have to play with it a lot more yet, but I do wish I had done some research before the first time.  I will have make sure I try that a lot more, the research I mean.

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Yesterday was another Social Snappers Photography Excursion and we went into the city to photograph the arcades.  It was grey and overcast outside, but being in the arcades meant that it didn’t matter what the weather did we would be covered.

The arcades in Melbourne can vary from really beautiful ones, to ones that aren’t so well known and a bit scrappy.  Of course the one that everyone loves is the Block Arcade.


I took a similar image to this one a long time ago, and it didn’t come out nearly as well.  I love the light hanging here, but it is over a basement area and there aren’t many choices when it comes to getting it with the rest of the building.

The Block Arcade is one of the oldest arcades in the city, but it is very well maintained.  It is so wonderful to see it being preserved for future generations.  The hardest thing about taking photos in it are all the people.  There are always people in it.  You really can’t get away from them.  Also, after photographing it so many times, the new thing is how to photograph it so it isn’t exactly the same as every other photo you have taken of the place.  I am still working on that one.


When walking from one arcade to another, we had to walk along Little Collins Street, and the above building sits on the corner of Little Collins and a lane.  I love it.  I always think Harry Potter when I see it, I don’t know why, something about the curved corner maybe.  It is quite a lovely building there. Inside is a coffee shop, Laurent, though from the sign it would be hard to tell.

I have tried to do some different sorts of processing to what I usually do. There are things I need to work on and will do that.  I’ve been learning about luminosity masks, find it a bit weird to get my head around, but  I am sure it is something I will learn to do, eventually.

Have to start making new dates for next term for Social Snappers, I really enjoy doing them, but am thinking will offer a Thursday rather than Tuesday for a the mid week one.  The others will still be on Sunday. So stay tuned to find out where we will be going next term and I hope you can join me for some or all of them.

My first attempt at star trails down at Sorrento

Yesterday I went to Sorrento with a friend to take some photos, we started in the afternoon, had dinner and then headed back out in the dark.  I wanted to try getting some photos of the stars. and my friend wanted to try it for the first time.  I set my camera to take a series of photos.  I was taking 30 second exposures continuously for just over an hour.  While my camera was going I helped my friend take her photos and showed her how to do the photos.

My first attempt at star trails down at SorrentoIt didn’t work too well.  My camera moved somehow and it put the stars off.  If I do this again, I will need to do it for longer and will have to make sure my camera doesn’t move.

I am not totally disappointed with what I got, it is a good start, and I would like to try doing this again.  I do like that I was pointing in the right direction. Good to know that I did see the southern cross and that I followed it correctly.

I would like to do a lot more of this and I know that my friend will be more than happy to keep me company while my camera just goes off.  When I go to Woomelang I am definitely going to do more of this.  Though if I do them up there, I might do them for a couple of hours, and see how they turn out.

I do have to say that my laptop doesn’t cope well dealing with all the images together and with the stacking, it takes forever to do.  It slows my computer down so much, I really will have to get a new computer if I want to do this sort of thing for real.


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Melbourne Central Tower from Below

If you live in Melbourne, then you know that Melbourne Central is basically a shopping centre, very similar to lots of others, however, there is also a massive skyscraper that comes out from it as well.  I haven’t photographed it very much, but recently when I was on a trip to the city doing a One on One with someone, when we stopped to have something to eat and review some photos.This is what I saw when I looked up.

Melbourne Central Tower from BelowI have done a lot of work to it, in some ways, but compared to some other images not much at all.  I’ve been looking at a lot of work by Mabry Campbell this week and I am feeling very inspired to try and go back into the city and see what sort of images I can get.  I thought I might just go into the city try taking some photos of some of the buildings in there, see what I can find.

Finding photographers who you really like and can follow is always fantastic.  Mabry has inspired me also to start using Flickr more, so I have been adding photos to my Flickr account, if you are interested in seeing it.  I don’t have many photos there yet, but I will be adding lots more over the coming weeks, I’m looking forward to going through my old photos again and seeing what I have.  I’m sure I will be embarassed by a lot of them.

I am also planning on doing more video tutorials as well, speeding some up.  I really enjoy looking at them sped up.  I don’t know if I will continue doing the longer versions for people to buy, will see.

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The new software I got for doing videos is really fun to play with and one of things I have been enjoying is recording the screen when I am processing an image. I did a long recording where I talked out loud what I was thinking and what I did to the image.  If you want to view that there are instructions at the end.


This is how the image looked when I started working on it.  I love this building, it is very grand, though it is one of those buildings that the insides were taken out so they could rebuild it.  I don’t know how much of the interior remained, I suspect it is just the facade and the foyer.  Though, the foyer is pretty amazing, I love going in there and just looking.  It is quite breathtaking.

Then the image ended up looking like this.


Not a lot of difference, but I did try to get rid of the people that were in the foreground a bit.  I like the lighting in it, and I like comparing the before with the after, it is quite nice to see how an image can be transformed.  I think the first image was more a snap of the outside, whereas this one looks more in keeping with how they want people to view the building.  Elegant perhaps.

Here is the video I did of it.

That is the sped up version.  The long version goes for just over 30 minutes.  If you would like to see the full version so you can see what I did, then you will need to press the buy now button and pay the $3.  Then I will add your YouTube name or email address to the video and you will have access to it. Please think of this as a way of helping to support me so I can continue doing this for you.


Today I tried taking some new images.  I have seen a guy on G+ doing them and I really like them.  It is something that I have been thinking about doing for years, so I thought might try it out.  I played with different light and then decided to edit it.


It hasn’t worked exactly how I wanted, but it is a start.  I think it tells a story and will find out tomorrow when I put it on my other blog.

I also did a video if it and am going to show the sped up version of it here.  Someone asked me why did I speed them up so much, and that I should consider leaving them long and selling them.  Well, selling access to them.  So you get the short, fast version and if you want to see how I processed the image, then you will need to pay me AUD$3, consider it like a donation.  I will put something at the end of the post.

If you would like to see how this image was processed, you can watch the 32 minute video, but first you will need to pay for it. It is $3


Last week I did a before and after of the following image, and Stacy from VISUAL VENTURING wanted to know how I replaced the sky in the image. old-buildings-skyscrapers-closingin-melbourne I thought if she wanted to know then perhaps others did too, so using my new Camstasia Studio software I did a video of it for her and others.  So Stacy, I hope this helps you to work out what I did.  Of course if anyone has any questions, please ask, and if I can answer them I will.

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