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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

seafarers-bridge-monochrome-long-exposure

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.

night-brooklyn-bridge-ciity-newyork

Trying to put up fresh photos every day, or rather at least one is a challenge. I’m lucky I have lots of photos that I can go back and use, but still, sometimes when looking for one you see something in another that you hadn’t noticed before. Then again sometimes there is a series of images that you hadn’t considered making one of, like this one of the New York night lights.

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This image is done with four images to give more light trails from the boats going past. It is a process I have done before. It is also something that I had thought of doing a tutorial on. So if you are interested in learning how to do this, let me know and I will prepare one.

lane-entrance-melbourne-city-colour

In the last couple of weeks I seem to be spending more and more of my time in the city taking photos. I really want to try some new things, and I know the images I’m taking are a little different to my usual work. Though, I have to admit, I’m not totally sure what I want to do yet. I know I seem confused and perhaps I am.  Then I was reminded that I promised to blog here more and I haven’t been. It is getting crazy, I have the next issue of Dynamic Range Magazine due out in about two weeks, my book on Banyule Flats has to be finished in the next month or so, and I have a whole new body of work I’m itching to start. See, crazy.  Let me show you what I have been doing.

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I’ve been going back to the city and isolated places and seeing what I can do with them.

I enjoy making them look isolated, mysterious and perhaps dark. I’m still playing around with the processing and seeing what I can do with them. I think it helps when I know what I am trying to do, what feeling I want to express.

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This is under the rail bridge that runs between Flinders Street Station and Southern Cross Station. It is an area that is often inhabited by homeless people, except when it rains. Then there is too much water. It is a beautiful underpass, if that is the right phrase. I liked how isolated it looked, almost lonely.

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Sometimes it is also interesting to just take some photos that have an almost abstract quality to them. I like the columns here. They are black and shiny, but everything reflects in them, so they almost blend into the surrounds. It is the second time I have been there to take photos, and I suspect not the last.

With all three images they are in places that I know I will go back to. It is nice to have places to photograph over and over and see what you can do. Get them in different lights and different seasons.

With the last photo I have also done it in black and white for Monochrome madness on my other blog.

eureka-tower-skydeck-observation-melbourne-20

Yesterday on social media I put up a photo which I think is quite an iconic image of San Francisco. I have seen many many similar images. It is one of the Bay Bridge at night.

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There is no doubt that many people have taken this image. Even when I was getting this there were lots of other photographers as well. Who wouldn’t want to get a shot like this?

It is going to be like this in any city where you have places that will give the photographer a beautiful image. These are the iconic images of photography, and whether we want to admit it or not, most of us want them in our collections.

I couldn’t help myself when I was away I had to get many photos of these iconic places. There is no point, I think, not wanting to, but I also knew that I would have accept that my images may not be original.

Even in my home town there are images that everyone, or most, have that I knew I wanted as well.

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The light trails around Flinders Street Station is very iconic image. Most Melbourne based photographers are going to have an image like this.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with getting these images. I wouldn’t put them into competitions or anything like that, but I like that I have them. It can still be a challenge trying to get something different, but in the end, you end up with what others have. I think that is fine.

I hope you try and take photos of iconic places, as well as ones that aren’t so well known. One of the problems with travelling is that you often only know, or are aware of, the places that everyone else takes images of. Whereas, one of the benefits of getting to know where you live is that you can take photos of places that people visiting won’t be aware of. I like that part.

city-alley-empty-chair-melbourne

The other morning I went for a walk around part of the city I haven’t really explored before. I was looking for a good empty alley in the city. I saw lots of empty lanes and alleys. I know I am going to have to go back and explore them more. It was also an interesting part too because it isn’t part of the normal part where everyone goes it means it hasn’t been tarted up, so to speak.

I saw this and almost walked past it.

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I noticed the light shining on the brick wall first, then the chair. I thought how odd the chair was just dumped there. It was a relatively clean place otherwise. I wanted to know more about the chair, so I went in past a parked car to take the photo. I have processed it so that there is more emphasis on the chair and wall. The end of the line.

I will have to go back and do some more photography around this area. It would really suit some of the work that I want to do.

rye-dragon-head-beach16-colour

Long exposure photography is very popular now. I really enjoy doing them and experimenting to see what I can do. I recently got a new filter, the Formatt Hitech 10 stop filter.  I already had the Lee Big Stopper, but I have really liked all the other Formatt Hitech filters I have so it seemed logical to get their 10 stop as well. I wasn’t disappointed.

This image was taken with the Lee filter.

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There is nothing wrong with how the Lee filter worked, but it does tend to give your image a blue cast. Admittedly very easy to fix.

This was a long exposure I took at the Dragon’s head at number 16 beach at Rye. I took it a couple of months ago and I have processed other photos from that day, but I did all of those in black and white. I looked at this image and thought it might be nice to try it in colour. I like how it has come out and a friend told me it was in my colours, which I thought was an interesting comment, do I have my own colour scheme?

Yesterday we did a big day along the back beaches. Crazy time to do it really as it is holiday time and that whole area, the Mornington Peninsula, is full of people. It was hard to find somewhere for lunch, but thankfully these beaches are no good for swimming so we could take photos. We found a new spot, Spray Point and we will be going back there, take a look why.

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Lots and lots of rock shelves. The tide was just starting to come back in. I’ve been loaned the Nikon 28-300mm lens and used it for all my photos yesterday. I had no desire to change lenses, I didn’t feel I needed to. I like that I can do wide and zoom in with it. It is a very versatile lens.

I used the Formatt Hitech 10 stop for this one. I didn’t want a complete long exposure as I really like being able to see the water moving, or how it did move. I described to someone how I was doing semi long exposures.  The new filter was great and I didn’t notice any colour casting at all. I have to say I was very happy with it, I think I found my new favourite filter.

My new Merrell shoes that I can walk in the water with are still a favourite. I love that I can just walk straight in and get shots. Of course the water wasn’t very high, and when the tide started coming in I had to be careful.  Still it was nice not to have to run out of the water because a wave came in.

A very successful day out I think. I really enjoyed the company and met some other great photographers that were out taking photos as well.

highways-california-sierra-summer-hot-colour

Over on my other blog it is Monochrome Madness and today I thought I would do a quick post and show you the image that I did for that in colour.

I took this image sitting in the back of a car and took this through the wind screen as we were driving down the highway. We were returning to San Francisco after our visit to Yosemite National Park.

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I loved the mountains as we drove through them. I think these are the Sierra Mountains. They were so sparse and so big. I find the way the road cuts through interesting as well.

It is almost a monotone image even in colour. I haven’t done a lot to it, but if you want to see the monochrome version then please go to MM 2-39.

melbourne-skyline-morning-summer-river

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.

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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.

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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.

 

city-heat-summer-river-melbourne

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.

manhattan-bridge-newyork-monochrome-brooklyn

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.

house-abandoned-cairncurran-reservoir-newstead

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.

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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.

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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.