When I was in New York I had some good opportunities to take photos of the Manhattan skyline and when I got home I processed them. Some of them are among my favourite photos that I took while there, especially this one. Now I want to try to do that with the Melbourne skyline.


I like the way the buildings are like blocks all jammed in together. I really liked the way the image turned out from the processing. I managed to repeat it on a couple of other Manhattan skyline shots, but I don’t seem to be able to get the same look for Melbourne.

Besides the fact that New York is so much bigger than Melbourne, it is also much denser. There are so many more buildings there. Tall ones too. I think that as it is surrounded by so much water it is also easier to get back from it and get these types of shots.

Melbourne is a whole other story.


You can see that while I was across the water you just can’t fit a lot in. This is one end and there aren’t a lot of tall buildings on this side of the city.

I also don’t seem to be able to get the same sort of processing to work with my photos of Melbourne. I’m not saying I don’t like this, I do, but for different reasons. I do love the skyline shot so my challenge now is to work out how to process them for here and make them my own.  I am starting to work out some things.

The other thing I have to work on is finding different perspectives to shoot from. That is on my list to do this year. Though, the summer is really making things hard for me.

I will have to continue the experimenting with the processing. I know I can do it and I know my Photoshop skills are up for it. I am quite confident about those, so now it is time to just play, my favourite thing to do.

New Galleries

Have you been keeping an eye on the gallery pages? I’m adding new photos all the time and sorting through some. I will also be making them all for sale as well.



In Australia we get quite extreme temperatures in the summer and that also makes it very hard to take photos. The light is harsh, the shadows are very dark, as well as sharp. There is nothing soft about it. Even waiting until the golden hour in the evening can be a waste of time.

I refuse to believe that I shouldn’t take photos. I don’t see why those photos are not as valuable and important. Should we only take photos when the conditions are at their best? If we do that, then we never get a true perspective on where we are. I’ve been playing around with this idea for some time now. I want to try to show that heat and what it is like here in summer.


This is the Manhattan Bridge that connects Manhattan to Brooklyn. It is a beautiful bridge and this view of it is becoming quite iconic, with the Empire Bridge seen through the bottom of it.

The day I took this photo we walked all around New York and then over the Brooklyn Bridge. It was a warm to hot day and when I took this it was getting to the end of the day. I wanted to try and show it how I remembered it, the feeling, or maybe how hot I was feeling. I took away the colour because it was distracting and then I added the colour that I think is always cast on the landscape as the sun goes down.

city-heat-summer-river-melbourneThis was taken on the morning of what turned out to be a hot day. It was late morning and according to all the rules of photography it was the wrong time of day to be taking them, especially for summer. I thought, I don’t care, I’m here, I’m going to take this and see what I can do with it. I warmed it up a lot and desaturated a lot of the colours. This is quite a popular view of Melbourne, so it seemed like a good one to practice with.

I don’t know if either of them worked out the way I hoped they would, but it was fun to try and I will keep trying. Melbourne is set to have some high temperatures this summer if the last month is anything to go by. I will have lots of opportunities to get out and see what I can shoot in this heat. A challenge, I like a challenge.


Finding Abandoned Homes

Driving around the countryside in Victoria, Australia, you are bound to come across old homes that are home to no one anymore. Some of them are easy to get to, while others you need to get permission to go there.

They are made from different assorted materials. Usually very small. It is amazing to consider what they lived in back then and what we live in now. It is also amazing how solidly they were built, considering how quickly houses seem to fall apart these days.


This is on the roadside and many people stop to photograph it. I don’t know if it was a home, but has usual markings of a small two roomed house from the 19th century. Buildings like this are very common around central Victoria from the gold rush days. Many tiny homes. I’ve been in a couple of them and they are so small. I couldn’t imagine living in one of them. What’s that old saying, no room to even swing a cat. I know it isn’t a good saying, but fits what I was trying to say.


This old home is a lot bigger than the previous one, but it is no longer inhabited and has been devoid of life for some time, around 100 years. It was abandoned to make way for a reservoir or dam. The Loddon River was sort of dammed and this house was under water for a very long time. I don’t know when it emerged, but think it may have happened during the drought we had at the beginning of this century. I don’t know if it will ever go under again as our climate warms up and water becomes scarcer.

Another reason for empty homes is that as farms join and get bigger and bigger the homes of the original farms are no longer needed and are just vacated and left.

For whatever reason the homes are abandoned it is good for us photographers. There are so many photographers that love abandoned buildings, so they now get a new purpose. I am finding more and more all the time.


Adding Mood to an Image

When you look on the internet you see images everywhere. There are millions and millions of them. They are all great and that then creates the problem of how to make yours stand out. I don’t know the answer to that, or what you can do about it, but what I love to do is try adding mood to my images.


This is an old Church in the small country town of Woomelang. I go up there a lot and I first started taking photos of this Church about 20 years ago, and the last time I did was back in August. When I was there last, a few weeks ago, this Church was gone. The building had been sold and it was taken apart to be shipped somewhere else. Now there is one less thing to take photos of up there.

This photo was actually taken early in 2014. I wanted to do something more with one image to show it in a new light and as a thank you to it for being a fantastic subject all these years. It is my farewell to the building.

The original image had a horrible sky. It was taken very early in the morning and to say it was boring is an understatement. The first thing I had to do was replace it. I found a sky that I had taken up there once before. It was also done in early morning, so perfect really.

Cloudy skies are great for adding mood to an image. It is so important, I think, for fine art photographers to collect certain things, and one of those is skies. I have collected around 300 different ones so far, and I continue to collect them.

This image would not have had the same impact if the sky was boring. We know that clouds give us a feeling of morose or something like that. There is something about cloudy days that effects us all. When you see images with that cloudy sky then those feelings come to you. I like the way it helps to demand a response from the viewer.

Just because you take an image under certain circumstances, doesn’t mean you have to settle for it.  You can change whatever you like in the image to get what you want. Of course you have to know how, and if you don’t there is nothing to stop you from learning.

Think about what you wish you could do with your images.


My Gift to You

It is Christmas morning now and as I wait for the family to wake up I thought I would write a quick post to you and present you with my gift for the year. As I have done in the last couple of years, my gift is an image. It was hard working out which one to give away this year, as it is every year. In the end I decided to go with the following one.


It had to be one from my trip overseas to the USA and when I was going through them this one stuck out. It brought back some wonderful memories. Yosemite National Park was one of the absolute highlights of my trip and therefore my year. I would have loved to have spent more time there, but feel so grateful that I got to see it at all.

This is a view of North Dome, if memory serves me right, reflected in the river. There was a fire over the other side of it and you can still see some of the smoke from it.

The photo is a high resolution image so you can right click on it and download it onto your computer and print it out it if you wish. It is for personal use only.

Take care, and be careful out there, Christmas is a busy time on the roads. It is the start of the summer holiday season here. Summer has certainly hit us, with too many hot days already.

Merry Christmas


Manhattan Skyline

The other day I had to do some work on a image unexpectedly and as I was doing some basic work to it, I wondered. So I decided to see what I could do with it and spent a lot more time on it.


I really like the way it has come out. I did quite a bit of work on the buildings to bring them out a lot more. I used curves quite a bit to achieve that. I also like using the dodging tool as well. I added some colours to the shadows as well.

I had a similar image a while back, it wasn’t quite the same, it didn’t have the new World Trade Center, but I like having that in it. It is becoming an iconic building in New York and you know when you see it that  you are looking at New York. I also like that you can see the Empire State Building as well. The difference in heights between the two is quite amazing. That could be due to the fact that the ESB is a lot further back, still nice having it there.

I really want to do some shots like this of Melbourne, but we don’t have a big expanse of water like that for you to get it in the distance. Melbourne is far more closed in and our river isn’t that wide. We also don’t have that many large buildings. I have a few ideas and when I get my camera back I will be spending some time in the city seeing what I can get.

I’ve had some problems with the galleries here. Something changed somewhere, but I have got it all figured out now, well I hope, and you should be able to click on the images to see a larger version of the image.


Previously I’ve spoken about the salt pans up around Swan Hill and in the Mallee, but today I have some more photos to show you. They are ones that I have done more processing too. It is a dilemma images like this. Do we do little to them to show how they really look, or should we process them in an attempt to highlight the problem and the environment.


I did a bit to this. I don’t know if it adds to it or not. I think it turned out darker than I had expected. The colours are very much true to how I think of the Mallee. It is really not a colourful place and everything does seem washed out. In summer it is brown everywhere, or as a friend put it recently, golden. Even the trees seem a bit brown.

I loved what the salt has done to the fence posts. Really shows how destructive it is.  While I think it is beautiful, I know it is not natural. I mean the salt pan is a not a naturally occurring phenomenon and we should be sad about this.

The area in the image above was taken near Sealake on the way to Nyah West up in the north of the state of Victoria.


This photo was taken from the road between Nyah West and Chinkapook. It is a quiet road and you can just stop and take photos. We did and that’s when I captured the above image.

Again, I have done more than the basic processing. I really wanted to show the environment a lot more. Bring out the fence and the ground it is surrounded by. It really was that colour too. I guess the algae is still on the ground. It hasn’t been dry for long, you could tell when you walked on it that it was soft and still moist. You do have to be so careful walking on it you can sink into it before you know it.

Sometimes it is better to let a scene talk for itself. While some processing is okay, I think sometimes it is better left alone. I wouldn’t do a lot of processing to these as then the message would be lost. I think they still ask you to think and react to what you are seeing.



We hear about inspiration everywhere and to do what we do, we have to have some kind of inspiration. What I think is inspiring won’t be the same for you, and vice versa. If we know what truly inspires us it can make our work so much easier.

One of things that I get a lot of inspiration from is movies. There are films that I find really visually appealing. Perhaps the actual story may not be great but how it looks and what they have done to it is fantastic, to me. I can name a few movies that I find inspiring, The Matrix trilogy, Lemony Snicket, and The Day After Tomorrow. Do you have some favourite films that give you inspiration?

Social Media this week

As usual I have some of the photos that have been on Social Media this week.


This was taken on top of a cliff near Anglesea.  I took it earlier in the year. I’ve been finding some older photos to show on Instagram.


A long exposure of a small pier near Watson’s Bay. I took this just after I first got my filters from Formatt Hitech. I was playing around with them to see what I could get.


This has been my most popular photo on Instagram ever. It was shared on a couple of other sites which was nice. It has also had more likes than any other image I’ve ever put up. One could say it is one of my most successful images. I’ve even sold it.


This is a new image that I did yesterday for Social Media. I made the blacks darker to give it a silouette look. Normally I hate people in my photos, but they do seem to work in this one. We were at the Golden Gate Bridge in Crissy Field trying to get a sunset, we didn’t get much, but I liked this.


I did this image today. It is a very popular place to take photos in Melbourne, well with some of us. Part of a beautiful building. I like this walkway which is beside it.

There were other photos, but I have already shown those to you in other blog posts.


The other night I was given an opportunity to go up to the Eureka Skydeck 88 and take photos from the 88th floor. It isn’t an easy place to do that. You are behind two sheets of glass and it is hard to stop reflections. I managed to do it, but you will have to wait until next year when I write an article on how.


It is lovely seeing Melbourne from this angle. Looking down on top of it. Though I wasn’t so sure when I started processing the images. There is a lot there and it was hard making sense of it. I played with this for a day, trying this and that. Still not sure about it, but it is time to move on. It did make me want to capture some different shots, so in terms of informing my work and giving me inspiration it has certainly done that.


We almost missed this. We were convinced that there wasn’t going to be any sort of sunset that we went elsewhere on the deck. Then when we moved we could see this. It was a great contrast, the colours of the sunset with the city lighting up. I was very pleased that we got up and moved around. I like the way the sunset is almost reflected in the city.

It is a great place to go and take photos, but also a great place to just sit and look. I like going up there and I am thinking of going again. Just be prepared, it does get busy, especially around sunset and if you want a good spot to watch it, then I suggest you get there early. You do have to take your photos through the glass, so pick clean areas and get your camera as close to the glass as you can. There is an outside area, but it can get very windy, and they have a wire mesh which makes it very hard to photograph through unless you have a small lens. I wish they had something like the barrier they had at the Empire State Building where you could still fit your camera through it.

One of the wonderful things about Melbourne is how flat it is, and you can really see for miles, so the Skydeck is a great way to see the city and surrounding areas. You really are overlooking the CBD as well. If you are in Melbourne I would recommend going up there. If you want more information here is the link.


Empty Environments

Recently, since my return from the US, I’ve been doing a lot more work on my photos. I used excuses before, but I am starting to see that it is something I have to do, even if just for myself. Of course, the added benefit is that I can share the photos with you as well.

This last week I’ve worked on two photos. They are very different photos, but I think both convey a sense of isolation and emptiness.


I took this image up in the Mallee last week. There are salt pans up in the north of the state of Victoria. The salt up there is a real problem, but they do make great subjects for photos. Not all of them have the dead trees in them and fences, so when you find one that does you make the most of it.

The sky was so blue in this image and it helped to make the decision that it should be a black and white photo. Sometimes stripping an image of colour means the viewer isn’t distracted by the colour. The image is all about the salt on the ground and how it has impacted the environment. I wanted the fence and that main tree to show that. It is a bit brighter in some ways to my usual images, but I think it still has the same meaning, the harshness of our world.


A very different image, but still has that closed, empty feeling. A scene we don’t see a lot in the city. I took this image earlier this year while on a wander along Bourke Street. It was in the business area which would explain why everything was closed.

It isn’t all the time that you get somewhere and find that place is perfect for what you want. I just tried to emphasize the emptiness and give it more of a closed look. I wanted it to look like it had been closed for a while. Obviously there are other things I could have done to it, but I don’t have the right sort of images yet, something I will have to work on.

I did take out quite a bit of the colour, and added textures to the ground in a hope to make it look less maintained. I probably should have added more to other parts, but this is something I am working on. Using textures can be tricky and should be used with care. I like how the image has ended up, but no doubt in a year or two will cringe at it.

I’m looking forward to working on more. I need to remember that I have folders full of photos that I have taken before really and not done anything with. It is time I started searching through the archives again.