Neilsen Park Sunset at 10 Stops

The great thing about having a housemate who is also interested in photography is the random lets go for sunset suggestions! Which works out great.. most of the time.. this time he unfortunately left his memory cards at home.. and he shoots on the other side of the fence.. which means he cant use my SD cards.. and I cant use his CF!

So I got taken to a place in Sydney I hadnt been before.. well I had driven by.. I had even attempted to park and swim one summer.. but nevertheless a great harbour location which I hadnt visited. The western side of Neilsen Park (which is deceptive by name) gives quite a few rock outcrops that look over towards the city and the harbour bridge. I think next time ill shoot a little bit longer.. as you can see the city is minuscule when using the Sigma 10-20mm. Yes I did have my new toy in tow (the Yashica 124g) and yes I did fire some frames! So I loook forward to getting those up as a follow up blog to this.

Not much more to add bar the long exposures are still a lot of fun for me.. but still a lot of trial and error. Getting the timing right to ensure exposure and sharpness is maintained all the way to the edges is tough. Same deal comes to framing and cropping as the exposures are so long it can become quite easy to get caught up and miss light, colours and clouds during a long exposure that might span 5 to 10 minutes. This is technically week XX in my 52 week but this image makes up #11… it wont be strict as sometimes I might get a few shots in a week or one shot in a month

I have a colour version.. I am still unsure of.. I might save that and go and reshoot it in the near future.

Till next time..

Gordons Bay Sunset at 10 Stops

Just a quick blog post to let you know I am indeed alive and well. A lot has been going on this month.. with my commitment and progress in assisting Daniel K Cheung taking another step forwards I am finding a lot of my spare time is spent editing photos! Never fear.. it means that there is lots to blog.. just in abundance and hopefully with not much missed.

So if you have been living under a rock this past month or so you would not know that around the 19th of March we had the moon closest to earth since 1993 (on rise/set). With my housemate and Rose in tow we headed down to a new spot (well its all new local spots to me) to try and catch the moonrise on the horizon. Unfortunately.. like it had done before (on the day) and since the weather didnt play ball. I did however get a chance to get out my 10 stopper for a quick shoot. 3 shots.. all around the 3 – 5minute mark and thats all she wrote (it bucketed down for 12hours straight not long after this0. This location is Gordons bay and is just north of Coogee Beach. I like the way the sides are framed and the boats are a great reference point.. ill be keeping an eye out on the sun trajectory as I believe this has some sunrise potential in the very near future.

?A few things to note.. film film and more film will be posted up as well as some wedding work and some of my own projects. I am forseeing a big April in terms of postings so get your RSS feeds ready.

Till next time..

Ivo Rowe Pool Sunrise

A couple of weeks ago I decided to get down to a spot I have been meaning to check out before work. The beauty of living so close to the beach is my new ability to make it out for sunrises… just need the extra motivation. This morning I decided to head out besides the cloud sitting on the horizon. The main reason for my expedition was knowing a big swell was rolling through, and this place would mostly be safe/accessible and hopefully rather exciting. What a morning it was.. with my first 10+ minute extreme long exposure and my first mixing of digital and film sunrise photography.

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Turimetta Star Trails

So towards the start of February I noticed that mid week it was going to be a new moon and that the clouds (and somewhat the stars) will align into a great opportunity to try some Star Trails.. in Sydney! Not so shocking to you no doubt, but infact due to the light pollution in every big city they are practically impossible to capture without a lot of unnecessary and distracting camera noise (from the light/clouds/air particles).

I noticed on a previous trip to Turimetta Beach just north of Narrabeen in Sydney that at night there is very little light spill from the surrounding area. Added to this that it isnt the most densely populated part of Sydney I thought it was worth a shot.

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An All Night Photography Journey..


2 cars, 4 guys, 1 girl.. one Zakari, a few KM and a large pack of lolli mix later we have an epic night thankfully spared of microsleeps. Australia Day this year was on a Wednesday.. that means a mid week public holiday (not that crash.. really i mean honestly why cant they just give us two days off!). But this was an opportunity that Daniel decided to make a special occasion of a mid week break with a photo trip south of Sydney.

First stop Kiama followed by a sunrise at Coalcliff beach (right near the new sea cliff bridge).
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Sunrise at Whale Beach..

Well another sunrise (surprise surprise) but somewhere altogether new. A common trend across my sunrises might be the revisit to past locations. Why? Well I find its generally a comfort factor, but also wanting to capture a favourite place in a different light (pun intended).

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Another Sunrise.. Another Long Exposure

So once again a big thank you to Daniel K Cheung for getting me up and out of bed at an ungodly hour to drive half asleep towards the ocean. Back to an old favourite today.. the Mahon Pool at Maroubra. This would have to be one of my most favourite places in Sydney I think for shoots. It has so much character and is always defined by the ocean and the weather. Big swells/tides/rain and this place transforms into a powerful location. This morning was only second to a visit in August which saw us almost get taken out! I tried some longer exposures but wasnt able to be in one spot long enough before having to make for higher ground. I always kept an eye on the ocean so never fear.
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Sydney at 10 Stops

Sydney at 10 stops is a new Photo Project I am thinking of conducting in 2011. I have touched on this in the past, with the purchase of initially a Hitech 10 stop slide in filter, followed up by the purchase of a B+W 110 (10 stop) screw in filter. The idea of a 10 stop filter is to be able to expose in all conditions for a very long period of time.

The effect it has means that if used correctly you can make ongoing motions smooth out, or large crowds disappear. This creates a whole new illusion or perspective if you will on a location you may have seen many times before. I am always trying to do something different, something a little my way. The difficulty is, how do you gain a unique view on a city that has already been seen?
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1 Stop, 2 Stop, 10 Stop.. MORE!

Caution

Caution

No it is not your average amount of toilet breaks for a family trip.. its a filter.. or 3 that I have in my skyrocket. My latest being a Hitech 10 Stop filter from Formatt.co.uk. An interesting filter indeed, and one that may take some mastering. An interesting concept the 10 stop filter, it is as black as welding glass and you think from first look that it is impossible to see through. Well.. it practically is, and you need to expose for a long time to suit! One of the biggest annoyances is the fact that you cant focus through it, so you have to focus and slide it into place. Not such a problem you say? Well well.. when its dark it is hard enough.. and well with my current setup (D40 and 10-20mm) it makes this extra difficult. Normally I would simply switch the AF off on the D90, and focus infinity with the 10-20. But since the 10-20 doesnt have a switch (for af/mf) and the D40 has no inbuilt focus motor, it is an automatic occurance!

10 Stop Boats

10 Stop Boats

Blast I say, these boats were a challenge but also good fun. Coming in at roughly 30% of the price of the Lee Big Stopper.. I would have to say.. perhaps the Lee is worth the price that is asked of it. Why? Well the challenges with the Hitech 10 stop filter go well beyond the simple fact it makes it difficult to focus. This comes down to the fundamental construction of filters, and how it handles IR (Infra-red). This is resulting in a massive magenta cast over the majority of my shots with this filter thus far. I have tried different white balances, fixing in post.. but short of me finding a white/grey card to use when I use this bad boy I dont forsee the problem going away whilst I continue using my D40. Perhaps the D90 will handle it better? Who knows… I have successfully taken shots with the filter during the day and exposed it correctly. This left a very slight magenta cast, and something that should be fixable in post.

Floating Tuning Forks

Floating Tuning Forks

For now, I may just have to result in converting to B&W.. which yields also some special results. Long exposures and black and white really works for me. Adding some contrast and some unusual water/light and object forms and you have a combination that can quite easily work well together.

To give the filter a break for once though… I need to test more and I need to perhaps use it in some more useable light. There is an element of user error (in terms of exposure time) and I hope to give it a really good bash before deciding whether it will be retired to Ebay or form part of the family.

Till next time..

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