(My) Best. Bronte Beach. Sunrise. EVER.

Be Still

Be Still

Well for me anyway :) I have a little non formalised project going on in my head, and that is to capture any ocean pool I can find.. in a serene and beautiful manner. Unfortunately, most of you crazy swimmers get down to the pool BEFORE sparrows fart.. how about that.. you are ruining my beauty sleep you bastards!

ON all of my other visits to Bronte, I have never had a clear shot, never had a clear view, never had a clear path.. until last Saturday morning. For some clarity, I was GETTING out of the car at 4:48am.. thats how badly I wanted it.

Anarchy OK

Anarchy OK

I was so happy with my first shot, everything else was a bonus… and well I think I got some keepers in the mix :) There was a little cloud, which has been unusual for Sydney on a Saturday for the last 8 weeks or so… (go figure).. This shot actually surprised me as there was a pesky photographer who kept walking in and out of frame.. but never actually setup or did anything decent.. *shakes fist*

It was a little disappointing close to sunrise however, I pretty much stopped shooting. It got overly bright and overblown like it has been and the little cloud there didn’t really turn into any colour.

Bronte Jumpin Jack

Bronte Jumpin Jack

I also keep in my mind a new way to do a Jumpin Jack and yet another one to add to the collection here. I would like to do a composite shot one day, but see how we go :) The conditions change so quickly at the time in the morning… time is precious!

Submerged Lanes

Submerged Lanes

I have two shots from this spot, Bronte is one of the only ocean pools in Sydney without a big ugly orange sulfur doodad light.. its white.. its bright and it casts interesting light over everything in the vicinity. I think I captured it well here and it has created some interesting lines in the photo. If I didnt love the reflections in the first so much, this would be my second pick as the colours are fantastic. I like the way the water falls off from see through to reflection.

1901

1901

I got wet! I said I wouldnt.. but I did.. its a common thing.. at least its getting towards summer and I can wear shorts and thongs again. Ive picked up another bag for some walks, and looking at dates for some trips where ill be taking lots of photos over the summer.. really really very excited!!!

So another successful morning.. but I think I have done my dash with Bronte for now. It is a great spot, but limited for variety and I captured the pool the way I wanted (for now). Infact.. having visited some of the favourites so often of late I think it is time to venture out to new places.. new pools.. new rocks.. new potential.

Till next time..

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Week 38 – Stormy & the age old question

Week 38 - Stormy & the age old question

Week 38 - Stormy & the age old question

So.. what really did come first?

Till next time..

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Week 37 – Storm in an Egg Cup

Week 37 - Storm in an Egg Cup

Week 37 - Storm in an Egg Cup

Stormy Stormtrooper commandeered an Egg Cup this week… doesnt he look marvellous in his new suit? It reminds me of Wallace & Grommit – The Wrong Trousers.. only so much more wrong…
This ties into Week 38.. which is actually this week.. and wont be far behind.

Yes there has been some drama in Stormy Stormtrooper land.. he was lost.. for over a week.. then he was found.. then he was hidden from me.. and then he was found. I am glad to have my little buddy back :)

Till next time..

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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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Big Swell @ Mahon Pool

A biiiiiiiiiiiiig swell was predicted for this weekend and it certainly did perform! I know you must be getting sick of Mahon Pool, thats ok.. I hope I am showing you the very different faces it can show depending on the weather :) I headed down with my new partner in crime Dan, and found a Dave, an Ally and two Ed’s.

Lost

Lost

We got wet.. again.. things took a tumble.. again.. I broke the clip on my Cokin Z holder (but it was clean and some araldite should fix that up. One of the Ed’s lost the other Ed’s filter, and for some reason I saved Dan’s bag before my own! Never the less it was good fun, and also I am very happy I have now ordered my Dakine Sequence backpack!

The Mahon Pool really shows many different faces each weekend, and unfortunately no cloud once again! But it can be forgiven by the way the sea turned it on. The sets were big, strong and never ending.. even hours after high tide.

Everything is Alright

Everything is Alright

As a side note, you may wonder where I get the names for the photos from.. well 99.9% of the time it is from music.. and the music I listen too whilst processing. Processing is a tedious task, with multiple crops, re-edits, conversions and deletions. I am little funny with my photos, where as by I keep them all.. unless they are really bad. Why? I like to revisit and remember the specific morning, or try a new technique.

Caution

Caution

This was one of my first successful shots with my new Hitech 10 stop filter.. it almost looks like welding glass! It is a tricky mofo to use, key points being that in low light you have to either manually focus to infinity (which I cant currently do with my D40/10-20 combo…) or slide the filter in/out. Also the red colour cast is a pain, but for the most part only occurring heavily where the shot isnt exposed long enough. I think this will take some practice, and learning.. and some more practice!

We finished up the morning with the usual coffee and McMuffins (seems to be a trend ive got shrapnel on a Saturday morning) and getting to know a new face or two. Really very much enjoying these trips out at the moment, especially meeting like minded and fun people.

Next Saturday? Well.. got to go somewhere but I am thinking maybe somewhere new :)

I also captured some video with my HTC Desire of the swell, very impressed!

Big Swell @ Mahon Pool

Till next time..

Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/outsideinpixels

9/11 Mahon Pool

Mahon Pool

Mahon Pool

A memorable day, not for the right reasons but I thought I would start it off in a good fashion. You may have realised that at the moment, slightly addicted to waking up at sparrow fart on a Saturday. It also helps that I have another silly partner in crime Dan, who (much like me) I think just does not want to disappoint the other person by standing them up (he hasnt left me at the altar yet).

Unfortunate for us, well our little adventures over the past 5 or 6 weeks have yielded nothing but boring skies!! Come on… why is Saturday always so bland? Need to spice it up a bit, see so many other people shooting on the same mornings with beautiful cloud structures. Why is this important you may ask? Well… much like a sunset.. it isnt actually the way the sun sets, it is the refraction and the colours produced by the atmosphere that make it spectacular. Whether it be high patchy cloud picking up smooth colours or low angry cloud creating clouds bursting with colour.. it all makes it interesting.

Hand Washed

Hand Washed

So where does it leave us you ask? Well we keep trying, and persevering.. and making our own style. That is what it is all about… Id like to add a point about light as well. Cloudless sunny days are usually so overly bright you cant walk outside without sunglasses… a sunrise is no different. First light is roughly around 30minutes before the sun peeks over the horizon for the first time. On a cloudy morning the clouds diffuse and protect the earth from the harsh light as soon as it begins.. on a clear day.. not so much.. it is the bane of the photographer these cloudless mornings as sometimes the useable light after first light can only be 5minutes.. and this is what leaves us with these bright and sometimes blown out skies. We apologize, but perhaps have a little word to the weather man for us ;)

It's not the size of the boat..

It's not the size of the boat..

Till next time.. I leave you with the motion in the ocean.

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Week 36 – Would you like a tray?

Week 36 - Would you like a tray?

Week 36 - Would you like a tray?

A take on the Eddie Izzard stand up routine, Stormy Stomrtrooper tackles the canteen boy. No, I am not Mr Stevens.

actually didnt have stormy for the week (left him, on his lonesome) so will have some new updates very soon :) I was going to keep this as a placeholder, but I like it very much to not include :) I think I may either reshoot or expand on the theme. Week 37 is this week, will have it up before the weekend.

Till next time..

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Beware Photographer!

Beware!

Beware!

A capture from Saturday morning and my expendition to the Mahon Pool near Maroubra. I checked this spot out before hand, for a little while (had been in the area for a while) to see if any big sets or waves had come up high.. it looked clear so I ventured down onto the plat form below. There was another tog further along the platform, but probably 5m further back from where I was.

3rd wave, bang this big sucker! I captured it good, and the camera gear was fine (just resulted in me being wet). But it is a reminder to all out there to be vigilant! Never turned your back on the sea (not even for a moment) and be prepared to skedaddle out of there if required.

Processing some more shots from the morning and will post about it soon.. more stormy coming up as well! I left him at work for a few days and missed out on some photo ops, im thinking he will be getting his Octoberfest on very soon!

Till next time..

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3 Baguettes, 2 Australians, 1 Tower… & 0 Frogslegs. PARIS

French Siesta

French Siesta

Annnnnnnnnd we’re back.. the wonderful city that is Paris. What an architectural phenomenon this place is. It is quite amazing that Paris is so large yet retains such an even feel in the history, architecture and style of the city. This may be boosted by the fact they have provisions in place to ensure it remains that way, but it certainly makes Sydney look like a mismatched Mr Potato Head.

Basilique du Sacre Coeur

Basilique du Sacre Coeur

These photos bring back some great memories of a fine city. It perhaps wasnt my favourite city in terms of the general feel I had but it definitely gives off a special vibe. It is a photographer’s wonderland and I wish i had more time to spare and more places to explore. We travelled a lot around Paris, with mixed weather results but the big names really did not fail to deliver. The whole Eiffel Tower and surrounding area is full of amazing gardens, walks, buildings and generally just has an ‘epic’ feel too it.

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

The louvre is somewhere I wish we had stopped, we were outside but did not dedicate the time too visit. I think I will definitely put it on my next visit list :) We did however in our epic walking check out the beautiful Luxembourg gardens and enjoyed a fantastic afternoon in the sun. A pond with some small wooden boats which seem to be in everyone’s photos.. oh well.. cant help but be a little cliche on euro trips can we?

08 80

08 80

A lot of our immediate travels in Paris also were in the areas around where we stayed, namely Montmartre. There is many parks, hills and roads to venture along and explore. With the streets riddled with restaurants, cafes and shops we had no trouble checking out the town. It was also in close proximity to Moulin Rouge. We ventured the streets around, and found where Van Gough used to live for a period of time in the area. Unfortunately the house had burnt down in the 70′s, but has been restored to a close point.

These steps were killer to climb, but provided a fantastic view of paris from Basilique du Sacre Coeur (photo #2).

Springtime was just gorgeous in every European city we visited and I know for some they must be boring but I just love the colours and the vibrance of flowers in spring. This was an off chance photo as we walked into a small garden area, whilst being lost for an entrance to an apparently important Napoleon building.

Square d'Ajaccio in Spring

Square d'Ajaccio in Spring

What is amazing is that since I remember the places the photos were taken, I can now go back and tag them in google maps in relation to where they are stored on flickr. If you have an interest in where any of these shots were taken please feel free to contact me. Paris is an amazing place and dont be scared of the Parisians.. the key is not to assume they all speak english (or to them, should speak english just for you). Picking up on the lingo goes a long way, introduce yourself and attempt to say it correctly and they generally take the burden away from your lips :)

Now we didnt just magically arrive in Paris from nowhere, we actually spent 2 nights in St Malo which is in Brittany in the North West of France. We had gotten the ferry from Guernsey to Brittany, with the plan of getting the train to Paris… not much excitement from St Malo unfortunately, we got stuck with lousy coastal french weather and expensive beer.. it is where the baguettes and cans of beer were born tho (including a 12.5% trappist monk bear that was like drinking syrup!). Unfortunately I didnt get much in the way of exciting photos from the old town in St Malo, however I have processed a shot of one of the coastal structures and hope you like it.

St Malo

St Malo

You can view the full set here.

Till next time..

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Paris Sneak Peak..

Sunset Eiffel

Sunset Eiffel

:)

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Till next time..

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