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daveys-pier-long-exposure-melbourne

One of the things that I have really been enjoying has been looking at photos that were done a while ago. Being fairly new to Instagram, or should I say being more serious about it has meant that I am always looking for images, and going through old ones has been great. I get to revisit and show them again.

This last week I’ve been looking at some of my long exposures.

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The Pinnacles on Phillip Island

This image I took over a year ago, but have only just got around to processing this one. I did it in monochrome as I thought it would work better. I think it was a good choice.

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Pier at Davey’s Bay down near Frankston

This is one that I did and I’ve just re shown it. I was okay with the way I processed it the first time.

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Pier at Davey’s Bay down near Frankston

This is one I showed previously, but I reworked it. I wanted to do more to the sky.

Thanks to Instagram I am getting to see lots of photos again.  If you want to follow my Instagram account, click here.

apollo-bay-marina-sunrise-winter

In my back-up files I have thousands and thousands photos, maybe a million or more. There are so many and I often think that I have nothing I can work on. The reality of it all is that the base images are always there. If I want to go back and rework them then what I end up with is going to be different to what I did previously, because my experience with processing has changed. So today I decided to try reworking an older image, one from Apollo Bay that I took at sunrise at the marina there.

This particular morning was so beautiful. I very rarely get a beautiful sunrise and I was really shocked on this particular morning at Apollo Bay when we headed out that we managed to get this.

State I

This is what I did to it the first time around.

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There is nothing wrong with how I processed it originally, and it has been a popular image in the past, but I wondered if I could improve it.

What I don’t like about this image is the bit of plain sky at the top and the bottom reflection. It seemed to make the image dirty in a way, I’m not quite sure how to explain it. I also wanted to know if I could make the colours more intense. So I had a play.

State II

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I cropped it a little to help get rid of the the bits I didn’t like and I added some intensity. I like the outcome and the added gradient to the top and bottom almost frames it in a way. On a black background it looks fantastic. The boats in the middle were lightened a little so they didn’t get lost. The image is about the boats as much as the sunrise I think, and they each compliment one another.

It might even be interesting visiting this in another two years to see what I would do then.  See how much more I have learned about Adobe Photoshop by that stage. It is an ever ending process and one that I love.

This is going to be series I believe, not this image, but going back and reworking old images. I know there are ones that I have from the past that I like the composition, but now hate how I processed them, or know that I would do things differently now. It should be interesting.

Dockands at Sunset

In the last week I’ve spent several hours at Docklands here in Melbourne, on separate days teaching people how to do long exposure photography. It has been quite interesting showing people how to do it and use the filters. It is not something that I ever considered that people would want from me, or want me to teach them.

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A long exposure of docklands taken in the middle of the day.

Long exposure photography is very popular and it seems that lots of people want to learn how to do it. There is something very surreal about the images that you get. It is a lovely type of photography and one that I am totally in love with. It can completely transform the scene in front of you and for the work that I find myself wanting to do, it is perfect.

I am now in the position where I have enough gear that I can teach people how to do long exposures.  I have two brackets and quite a few filters. The next question is do people want to pay me to learn.

Dockands at Sunset

A long exposure taken at sunset.

There are so many places around Melbourne to do long exposures and I think teaching people how would be great.

I have some thoughts on time, maybe a two hour class for $250.  The other option is a three hour class for $350.

You would need a camera that you can use on manual with a bulb setting, a tripod, and remote shutter release. I have everything else you would need to experiment and try out taking photos.

I guess the next question is how do I find the people who want to learn how to do it. I will have to start using my Instagram account, see if that actually works.

I’ve also noticed that there is another one of those, supposedly great deals on at the moment, pay $87 for $1900 worth of stuff. All to do with business marketing for the photographer. Could be worth it. I am contemplating getting it. If you are interested here is the link, 5DayDeal.

If you are in Melbourne and do want to learn long exposure photography from me then send me an email.

As I usually do with long exposures images I started by making the image of the Eureka Tower monochrome, then I wondered what it would be like with a touch of colour. The gold windows at the top of the tower make it such a distinctive building and every time you see them you know which building you are looking at.

As I said, it was a long exposure. Taken with the Formatt Hitech Firecrest 16 Nd Filter. It was a six minute exposure that I did last weekend.

1st State

Here is the monochrome version.

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I don’t think there is necessarily anything wrong with this image, but it does tend to look like a lot of other images done the same way.

2nd State

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In the end I decided that while I didn’t mind the majority of the image being monochrome, I did want the top bit to show the gold and the little strip of red. I like the touch of colour and think it makes the image more interesting.

Being Featured

On another note, but along the same lines, I wanted to let you know that I am now a featured artist on the Formatt Hitech website. It has been such an honour to be featured and I feel in very good company when I see the work of others there. You can check out my page here, Leanne Cole.

I do love their filters and I never have a problem promoting them. I keep hearing from others how much they love them too. I find I am using them more and more as well, and now I’m starting to get asked to teach people as well, that’s nice.

Long exposure photography seems to be becoming something I am doing a lot. I know it is important for my art work and you will be seeing a lot more of it in the future.

yarra-river-balloons-melbourne-sunrise

It is Monochrome Madness over on my other blog and I thought I would do another image where I process it in monochrome and then switch it back to colour.  Here is the black and white version, or monochrome really.

I was in the city the other day and we were trying to get the sunrise from Princes Bridge in Melbourne. It was a strange one, so after a while we decided to head over to the other side of the bridge and watch the city waking up along the river. As we were there taking photos a couple of balloons came along, then there were three, and then we realized another two were coming, so five all up. It certainly added to the scene.

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It was dawn, but facing the other way. Even thought there wasn’t much of a sunrise that morning, there was some colour in the sky, a pinkish sort of colour. I thought the whole image might be nice with a pink tone, give it the look of early morning. It couldn’t be too strong, but I don’t mind how it came out.

Then I wondered what would happen if I put the colour back into the image, my reverse processing. I haven’t done it for a while.

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I haven’t taken out any of the colour in this, but I did have to tone down the pink tone a bit more. I like the look of it. It is different from the monochrome one, which is nice.  There is something very graphic about it, I can’t explain it, and I don’t know if it is the buildings or what, but there is.

I don’t know which one I prefer. I like them both for different reasons.

If you want to see more great monochrome images head over to my other blog and the post, MM 2-45: Monochrome Madness.  There are some wonderful images there.

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Sometimes you can get two images, or process one two ways and then not decide which is better. Or, as often happens with me, I like one, but everyone else seems to like the other one. I wasn’t sure what to do about this one. It seems on Google+ people like one, but on Facebook they like the other one. So I thought it would be nice to put them both up here and see what you think.

The image is a long exposure I did of the city. I used the Formatt Hitech Firecrest 16 Neutral Density Filter and it was a four minute exposure.

Image 1

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I put a brown kind of tone over it and then decided that I didn’t really like it. I thought it made it look dirty.

Image 2

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I removed the brown tone and made the centre a little brighter.

I like the second one more as I like the steel look. It is colder and perhaps has a hotter look.

So the choices are there, which one do you like the most.

It has been a very crazy week and most of it has been taken up with trying to get this magazine out and get people to buy it, support it.

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The main problem has been the products page and it not displaying the images correctly. I am sure many have gone to the page and been confused about what to do. I’ve put a note to help, but I know that many people, me included, don’t always read instructions.

We have decided that the best way to do this is to try using a different ecommerce plugin. There is now a shop page at the top, you can click here for it.

shop page

It seems to work okay, except you have to give it a lot of information. I don’t have access to this information, but I will try and find out how to stop it.  Though I suspect you only have to do it once. I’m not sure, we are still trying to work it out. It would be great if people could try it out and see how they go.

This is still all new and I’m so glad that many of you have supported us and continued to buy the magazine.

So now taking some advice from Melissa and her article on Marketing in the latest issue:

BUY  YOUR COPY NOW

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flindersstreetstation-afternoon-sun-shadows-melbourne

Sometimes you really are in the right place at the right time. It doesn’t happen to me very often, but last night, well, I was so happy to see the light that was shining onto and reflecting onto Flinders Street Station. It was soft, almost diffused light.

We had been down to Docklands to take photos, but the late afternoon sun was hot and too bright. We decided after awhile that we should head down to Federation Square and maybe do some sunset and early evening shots down there.

We jumped on a tram down Flinders Street from Spencer Street. I love it that trams are now free in the CBD. Still, it was incredibly busy and not a lot of them. We were jammed on one with lots of other people.

When we got off at Flinders Street Station I could see the late afternoon sun coming from the direction we had just come from. It was shining on the side of the station, but the front, which should have been in shade, also had light on it. It was being reflected off something else and gave the front a beautiful soft diffused light. It was stunning.

There were no trams coming so I could stand on the tracks and take photos before the lights changed. I was also very happy that I had my 14-24mm lens on.

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Once the image was opened in Adobe Photoshop CC I had to do a bit of work to get rid of the distortions that the lens creates, but I think this works. The front part was full of people, so I tried to darken that area, so while they are still there, they don’t stand out. I also did a little more work to make the front of the station station stand out more, but not a lot.

For me this was incredible. I had never seen the light on the station like this before. I love the effect of it.

seafarers-bridge-monochrome-long-exposure

In Melbourne there are many bridges that allow you to cross the river. Some are for cars, and many for pedestrians and bicycles. One bridge that is one of my favourites to photograph is the Seafarers Bridge where it goes over the Yarra.

One Viewseafarers-bridge-yarra-river-melbourneThe things that go over are like ribs of a ship or a sail. It is like our mini opera house. There are so many angles to experiment with. This image is also a long exposure. I’ve really only done long exposures here once, but it is definitely a place I want to do more.

Another View

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This is from the other side. I’ve began to realize that I need to explore the angles a lot more.

One of the downsides with this bridge is how popular it is and there are always people on it, or so it seems at times. This is where the advantage of doing a long exposure comes in. If you can get a long enough time then you can get photos so that the people don’t show up. It is something that really interests me with long exposures.

I’ve been using the Formatt Hitech Filters, and the one I especially love is the Firecrest 16. I’ve now got several of their filters, and the full ND filters are the ones I like the most. I have the 6 , the 10 and the 16 stop, I just need to get the 13 and I will have the full set. I really like their filters.

The next thing to get is the filter holder and maybe the 10 stop to start with for my Nikon 14-24mm. I would love to be able to do some long exposure photography with that lens. That is next on the list.

I just keep wanting to go into the city and take photos these days. I find it so satisfying. The more I do it the more I can understand what sort of scenes I want to shoot. I have a purpose in mind and I can see that it is becoming a reality, if that is the right way of putting it.

light-trails-flinders-street

After my last post a couple of people said they would like to see a tutorial on how to do light trails, or rather how to add to them. So I did this photo today.

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The image was done with about 12 images. I thought it would be a good image to do a tutorial on.

I didn’t write the tutorial, but have done a video one instead. I hope you don’t mind, but finding time to write one right now is impossible. I also think it is easier to see it.

It is short and only goes for five minutes, but hopefully it helps you to work out how I did it.  The tutorial is with Adobe Photoshop CC.