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I’m off to Antarctica

Great News! I’m off to Antarctica.

My friend and colleague, David Burren, has organized a photography tour to the deep, deep South during November this year. The trip, which is almost entirely booked out, will include the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island and the Antarctic Peninsular. Except for the days at sea, most other days will include numerous shore landings. This trip offers a plethora of opportunities for both wildlife and landscape photography.

I’II be acting as co-tutor to help folks make better pictures. There’s going to be formal lectures, opportunities for one-on-one feedback and heaps of practical photography in some of the world’s most beautiful and inaccessible locals. It’s going to be great fun.

From my point of view this is a trip of a lifetime. I’ve dreamed about visiting the region since childhood. Those wonderful BBC documentaries with David Attenborough only increased my desire. And now its about to become a reality.

Here’s a link to the Antarctica 2010: A Photo Odyssey tour on David’s site. I understand that there may be a couple places still available. If you’re interested please follow the above link for more information.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

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Kids Hanging Around_Lhasa_Tibet

Canon F1 camera and Canon 50mm f1.8 lens with Agfachrome CT100 precisa film

Today’s image is from the archive. Made on my very first overseas trip in 1988, this image from Tibet features a near candid of 4 likely lads.

The original transparency (slide) has not had an easy life. Adversely affected by poor processing and then scanned with, by today’s standards, the quite average Kodak Photo CD workstation, it’s one image that I never could throw out. So, while far from portfolio standard, its fun to finally get it out into the world thanks to Photoshop.

In the process of preparing this image for posting I couldn’t help but wish I’d made more of my opportunity and photographed the boys individually. They’ve all got such interesting faces. To think they’d all be in there 30’s now. Assuming they’ve survived. I wonder how their faces have changed and if they’re still in contact with each other.

The circumstances surrounding the making of the original image are very vague now. The positioning of the boys with their fly’s down or belts out adds both a sense of humor and an important design element to the image which, I think, is why I made the shot in the first place.

Image processing was conducted in Adobe Camera RAW and Photoshop CS5.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Alice Springs_Where Old World Meets The Down Right Quirky

Leica M6 camera and Leica 35mm Summicron_M f2 Aspherical lens with Kodak Ektachrome Elite 100 Extra Color film

I love Alice Springs. With a population of around 28,000 people the Alice is the regions major town and a great base from which to explore, in any direction, the wondrous Central Australian landscape.

Part oasis, part frontier town with a tough, hard working ethic the Alice has long been a magnet for those wanting a better life. As a result much of the town’s current population have migrated there over the last 15 years. Adventure and opportunities provide strong motivation for many, including the lost and the lonely. Of course no town is an absolute Eden on earth. Ongoing issues relating to indigenous people, a large and largely secret US intelligence base and the likelihood of a major mining project set to commence within a few years act to divide the community.

The images in this post explore the old world nostalgia, associated with­ European settlement, juxtaposed against typical Central Australian humor.

The Ghan is an iconic term in Australia and the above image depicts a retired carriage that previously travelled the long rail route to and from Adelaide. Nowadays the line has been extended to Darwin, providing a single, continuous rail line from north to south.

Leica M6 camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron-M series Aspherical lens with Kodak Ektachrome Elite 100 Extra Color film

The Alice Springs Regatta is a boat race held along the (usually) dry riverbed of the Todd River. This annual event provides fun for locals and tourists alike.

Leica M6 camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron-M series Aspherical lens with Kodak Ektachrome Elite 100 Extra Color film

Driving in the centre is not without risk, particularly after dark. Whether it’s kangaroos or camels, you drive at your own peril after dark. And, depending upon your point of view, moonlight may not be the best time to be on the road anywhere near Wycliffe Well, 380km north of Alice Springs and a 13km drive south of the Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve. This area is famous for UFO sightings. Karlwe Karlwe, as the Devils Marbles are known to indigenous folk, is indeed a mysterious site. Huge granite boulders, piled on top of each other and set against a clear blue sky, provides a striking sight in an otherwise flat and seemingly unchangeable landscape.

When next you visit Alice Springs do your best to engage with the local town folk and try to see at least some of the more offbeat attractions both in and out of town.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Ronbulk Gompa_Tibet

Canon F1 camera and 50mm f1.8 lens with Agfachrome 100 CTi Precisa film

Regular followers of this site will no doubt remember several articles I posted recently regarding my first overseas trip in 1988. During the research for those articles I discovered a number of images that would otherwise have remained unpublished. I’ve decided to bring those images back to life and share the results through this blog.

The above image was made at Ronbulk Gompa (monastery) in sight of Chomolungma (Mt. Everest). My travelling friends and l made a quick visit to the Gompa, prior to taking the short drive on to Base Camp, where we camped overnight.

During processing I employed a bit of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop hocus pocus to add extra depth and sharpness to the image that, together with most of the photos made during the trip, had been adversely affected by a camera fault resulting in significant overexposure. I also applied a sepia-like tone to add a sense of old world nostalgia to the final image.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Serbian Orthodox Church_Alice Springs_Central Australia

Leica M6 camera and Leica 35mm Summicron f2 lens with Kodak Ektachrome Elite 100 Extra Color film

I photographed the interior of the Serbian Orthodox church in Alice Springs. The church is famous as one of three churches built under ground in the Alice as a way of providing a refuge for the faithful from the extreme heat of a Central Australian summer. The church provides a beautiful and serene environment and, like much of the regions landscape, a perfect place for meditation and contemplation. A function room adjoining the church provides a place for followers of this brand of orthodox Christianity to meet and socialize.

The color and texture of the stone, enhanced by the warm tungsten (incandescent) light, provide a great environment for photography. It was easy to set up for the above image. All I had to do was arrange the composition to keep as many of the individual architectural elements visible and lined up and still describe the space between.

Fortunately I was granted permission to make a few quick photographs before the day’s mass began. After a few short minutes of photography l stayed on to observe some of the service and was surprised that, other than the priest, the only other person present was a woman who appeared to have some kind of assisting role. I found the service to be a strange experience. I was impressed with the formality of the service, yet felt apart from it due the fact that it was conducted in Latin.

It should be possible for tourists to visit the site. Telephoning ahead is a good idea, as is quiet and respectful demeanor and dress. Leaving a donation is always appreciated, even when not immediately noticed.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Wheel of Law_Lhasa_Tibet

Hasselblad 503CWi camera and Hasselblad 150mm Sonnar f4 lens with Kodak Portra 160VC Professional film

The Wheel of Law represents the teachings of the Buddha and the endless cycle of death and rebirth known as Samsara. The hub represents moral discipline, which stabilizes the mind; the spokes wisdom to dispel ignorance; and the rim training in concentration to hold everything together. The wheel’s eight spokes are also a symbol of the Noble Eightfold Path from the Buddha’s teachings while the motion of the wheel is a metaphor for the rapid spiritual change possible by adherence to these teachings. The Wheel of Law is often a central element in a Mandala, which is a geometric representation of the Buddhist universe.

The wheel or chakra is a significant symbol in Buddhism. The Buddha’s teaching are referred to as the Dharma, so the term Dharmachakra, which literally translates as the wheel of law or transformation, symbolizes both the Buddha and his teachings. When flanked by two deer, as is commonly the case in Tibetan Buddhism, the wheel symbolizes the Buddha’s first sermon at the deer park in Benares, known today as Varanasi, in present day India.

Today’s image features the Wheel of Law photographed on the rooftop of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. The image was made with a Hasselblad camera on medium format color negative film. After scanning the image was processed in Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop CS4.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

From My Window_Old Delhi_India

Canon New F1 camera and Canon 24mm lens with Agfachrome 100 film

Over recent weeks I’ve very much enjoyed re-visiting some very old images from my first overseas trip in 1998. The above image was made from the upstairs dorm window of a backpacker hotel in Old Delhi, India. It was a relatively cheap place to stay that proved to be a great place to meet other backpackers. The food downstairs was good and, other than the usual problems associated with theft and illness, I enjoyed my time there.

Of course Delhi is madness. Yet, amidst the chaos there is serenity. The wealthy locals and diplomats find it in their palatial compounds, the up class tourist and business person in top of the range hotels and the masses through patience, a devote spirituality and a belief system that defines their place in the cosmos.

I remember making this image. I’d been looking out the window at the rain, a habit I’ve enjoyed since childhood. Rather than causing folks to hurry and seek shelter, the average man seemed to continue on at a steady gate from one task to another. There’s certainly a metaphor and message here for the lazy, overly pampered, hair and fashion obsessed individual – a little of which resides in most of us.

These workers have no time for appearance. They live their life from day to day doing their best to provide their families with the most basic needs. So with pay TV, holidays, ballet lessons for the girls, car payments and a mortgage not an issue, what’s a little rain when you’re trying to feed your family?

While the above image isn’t going to win any awards it does help focus my attention on some of the more important aspects of life. From an image making point of view I was standing where I was with the viewpoint I had. I only had one lens with me at the time. The light and colors were, pretty much, as you see. All I could control was the moment at which I pressed the shutter. I simply waited until the figure carrying the pack above his head moved into the space between the overhead power lines, thereby creating a frame within a frame, before I tripped the shutter. Having the Brahman cow in the foreground added another interesting element that helps identify the scene with India.

The original 35mm transparency was scanned then brought back to life with Adobe Camera RAW and Adobe Photoshop CS4.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

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