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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.