Week 23 – 10 Soft Light Stops

I grabbed this shot on a revisit to Whale Beach on the northern beaches in Sydney. This is actually still 1 of only 2 shots I have edited from that morning. I absolutely love the light and the colour in this shot (and processed with grey blacks to match). Technically I think it can be improved, and I might look at it again when I finish off that sunrise itself.

Just a short one today.

Till next time..

New Location.. North Coogee Headland

Sydney is an amazing city to live in.. as is any city that you grow up in and have a fondness for. Unlike many Sydneysiders I have actually explored a lot of the greater area due to my job and willingness to explore/scout. Adding locations for working on concepts (whether it is pre-wedding photos, bridal photos, fashion shoots or even seascapes) can add a change and variety to your work which keeps things fresh. More importantly, as a photographer it also keeps it interesting and fun to try new locations and have them ‘just work’.

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Week 22 – Mona at 10 Stops

Finally week 22 comes around and I can share this photo from Mona Vale again. I love this photo, so much so when my friend Rob Gjessing offered me a 1m x 0.5m canvas print for free last month I couldnt say no. At the time if you follow my social media circles you would have seen a photo floating around of it hanging in my gf’s parents house. Well it looks great.. and they are going to take good care of it for me until I either have a wall to hang it on or sell it :)

At just over 5 minutes this exposure is a memorable one for me. It is still the only time I have been to the Mona Vale pool and I look forward to heading back soon to do some shots up against the pool at a slightly lower tide. As usual I must thank my partner in crime Toan.. we had a good run there buddy.. looking forward to getting out there for some more sunrises again soon.

Till next time..

The Churning Waters of Turimetta Beach

I took this photo all the way back in June! And I havent shared…

I know I know why not? Well I was stuck in a bit of a rut back in June and July.. feeling that my processing was being undone. Not a sense of laziness.. not a sense of unhappiness but a feeling that I could get ‘more’ out of my photos. Two good friends of mine, Alex Wise and Toan got me onto the right track by giving me a friendly push in the right direction.

Alex video’d himself editing a picture from this same spot, giving me a comprehensive view of things I could ‘do’ to help get my photos to where I want them to be. This was a massive help for someone like myself, who always enjoyed bolstering shots with editing, but never detracting away from the natural feel or essence of what you are looking at.

One of the trickiest things to describe to people about shooting in the morning is the changing light. The light changes so rapidly that you have shifts in colour, white balance, luminosity and reflections. This isnt even taking into account the effect the equipment you use can have.. including colour casts from filters, abnormalities in lenses and bodies used and how the image data is collected and reproduced into a digital image by your camera.

Toan helped by putting into perspective for me that processing is a personal feel, and only you will really know once the image is complete. Sometimes it will work,  sometimes it wont.. but editing each image based on it’s own merit will get you as close to being happy with your work as possible.

Pretty smart words, pretty smart friends.. glad they helped me out. Since then I have been much happier with my processing style.. even adding some new elements I had not previously been using in my work. I have then been able to take some of these skills over to my new film shots.. and this is helping me in many ways. SO how do I process? Well I hope too add snippets as guides to this blog over time. On average however I would say I would spend between 20mins to 1 hour per shot.. and even then sometimes they dont make the cut.

Till next time..

Week 21 – Maroubra Light

This was a new location for me which I have blogged before! South Maroubra Beach.. I am normally over on the headland in the distance shooting at the Mahon Pool (been there many times). On this morning I had tried a few new things. Shooting a stick with water movement, long exposures without much cloud and trying things at a new location which I wasnt quite happy with. This was up until about 5mins before sunrise.. where I found a nice rock formation with water flowing through. I shot there until the sun came up became way too harsh (Ze Flaring Burns Ze Eyes) and I moved my framing to the north so I could shoot partially across the harsh rising sun. I loved the way the light was picked up by the rocks here, and with the tide coming through even a shortish 30 second exposure was enough to capture what I wanted.

This was Week 21, I should technically be on about Week 38 at the moment but I have caught up a little in the past couple of weeks (am now looking at shot 36). Some of my newest long exposures I am very excited about but that would be sharing before that week has come by.. dammit!

I have also completed my first 10 stop photo on film.. very exciting that one and I am looking forward to doing many more in this ongoing project.

A few posts scheduled for this week and next, discussing different films I have shot and some of my first fashion styled shoots I have completed. I am also planning and working on my next Guide to Film Development.. this time c41 colour negative. Feels like an eternity since I have been able to find some time to put my thoughts into words, I was a little inspired by words shared on flickr by a fellow photographer Jack Strutz this week.. and it got me thinking that I really need to lift my game and get my thoughts blogged whilst they are fresh in the mind (P.S – Check out his work he has some fantastic shots).

Till next time..

The Guide to B&W Film Development

I have finally put together the 5 part Guide to B&W Film Development into one piece. As my initial intention was, I posted this as 5 different parts over 5 days. It was a lot of work and took me a long long time (approx 20 hours in total to put it together) and I would now like to consolidate it for everyone to read.

I have decided that I will continue writing guides for this blog, discussing film techniques and post processing techniques. I have added a new guides section to the website menu and what better way to celebrate than by adding the Guide to B&W Film (take a peek at my other post processing guides while you are at it!).

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Week 20 – All The Small Things

Not the usual type of shot I would normally consider with a 10 stop filter, but once I saw this shot in my lightroom catalog I just knew it had to be part of the project. This shot, even though it is short in exposure time is possible purely because of the 10 stopper. The sun is just breaching the cloud mass on the horizon point which usually results in a bright and undefinable mess. Thankfully with a little bit of diffusion from the cloud, and the trusty 10 stopper on the lens I was able to get some definition in the sun as it peaked over, as well as some smooth flow to the ocean and sand below me. It was a wild morning this, with the tide too large for us to venture out towards the ocean pool we went all the way to Mona Vale for specifically. What I love about this shot is the light, and the glow on the sand and the water.. I also like the transition from the sand to the water as it churns around.

All the small things refers to the small shell/rock in the bottom right 1/3 of the image. Its resistance against the heavy swell and churning conditions was impressive. I thought about calling it .. resistance is futile since essentially, with enough time the ocean will always win.. and one day it just might.

I hope you have all been following my flickr of late, if not book mark it now! I have been flat out shooting, with lots in store to share with the blog readers.. it is best to view my ongoing efforts on flickr.

Thank you for your ongoing support and I hope you are enjoying the photos.

Till next time..

Week 19 – Drifter

I picked up and carried this bit of wood around 50m from further down the beach. I dont think it quite worked this morning as the sky didnt really come to the party (and I was using a borrowed D700 and didnt have my filters). None the less you can see the effect I was aiming for with the wood.

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Week 18 – F8 @ 61 seconds

One of my first visits of a few this winter.. looking forward to getting back there again on the next low tide. The green moss has hung around this year, which is great to hear. There have been some large amounts of sand movement as well which has opened up the beach to some new rocks I have never seen before. I took a number of different shots this morning, but for me it was a bit of a disappointing sunrise compared to some others. I have a couple of good sunrise shots from this winter at Turimetta but I am still after something I am truly proud of.

I also took the opportunity to shoot some film on this morning… but I have yet to finish all the stitches from the day! So much film, so little time.. I think I need to improve the process :)

Looking forward to some more sharing.. I hope you have been following my flickr as you will see I have done a lot of shooting lately.

Till next time..

Week 17 – The Cloud Monster

This was a fairly wild morning at a place that is supposed to be a quiet at a lower tide.. but boy does it cop some full on big sets which surprise you! I am always on my guard at this spot, and I still have a lot of exploring to do here. It is the Ivo Rowe pool at South Coogee which is close to my new place. On this morning it looked like it might rain.. but it kind of held off.. so I decided to head out and brave the crisp May morning. There was a bit of cloud on the horizon and it was moving quick, and I figured it was the perfect 10 stop weather.I like the shot it creates a mood which suits the shapes the clouds make well. There is some colour cast (the purple) which I played too a bit when editing the shot. This is getting closer to the type of photography I saw when I first got the 10 stopper.. with long exposures picking up lots of colours and streaky clouds.. I think I am going to have to give sunset 10 stop trips a gamble.

I also shot a bunch of film on this same day just around the pool which was a bit of fun.

Out of all the places each time I have gone to the Ivo Rowe pool I have been the only person there, apart from a woman who comes down with her dog like clockwork every morning for him to have a run/swim. There are some other potential rock formations nearby which I want to explore a bit more, perhaps on a low tide.

Looking forward to more sharing soon.

Till next time..

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