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Pic of the Week_Incoming Tide_Whisky Bay_Wilsons Promontory National Park

Incoming Tide_High Winds_Rocky Outcrop_Whisky Bay_Wilsons Promontory National Park

Canon 5D camera and Canon 24mm f1.4 L series lens. Exposure Details: 1.3 seconds @ f22 ISO 400.

Looking for a little excitement and the chance to behold rare beauty? How about the possibility of challenging and changeable weather conditions? Have I got the place for you? Wilsons Promontory National Park, on the southern most tip of the Australian mainland.

The above image was made at Whisky Bay, with the last light of the day, in high wind and hard, pelting rain. Man it was exciting! I climbed up onto an outcrop of rocks by the waters edge for a safe location with a superior vantage point. Due to the gusty wind I set my camera up onto a tripod that I weighed down with a bungy strap attached to my camera bag. I tilted my camera downwards to protect the lens (with lens hood/shade attached) from raindrops and to further concentrate the attention onto the water surging forward with the incoming tide. A slow shutter speed further enhanced the movement of the water and, thereby, the dramatic nature of the image.

Even though my car was parked only 5 minutes away experience has told me to be prepared when photographing in Wilsons Promontory National Park. Weather patterns seem to move across the prom quickly, often with little warning to the unwary sightseer. I always wear strong shoes with a good grip and pack snacks, water, hats (sun and fleece) and a quality Gore-Tex raincoat when I head off for a photography session in the park. I store spare clothes, including shoes and socks, out of view inside the car. I’m often glad I do and, given that I usually stay outside the park, I want to ensure I don’t finish the day wet and cold with a long drive ahead. A little bit of preparation and care makes all the difference. I love being out in the rain, as long as I stay dry.

Image processing was conducted in Adobe Lightroom 2 and Adobe Photoshop CS5.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

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The Editing Process_Part 2_Lightroom Adventures

Soft light highlights this photo of a dam and farmhouse

Canon 5D camera and Canon 17-40mm f4 L series USM lens @ 17mm. Exposure Details: 1/20 second @ f5 ISO 100.

Boy Oh Boy! what a time I’ve had over the last few weeks. Regular visitors to this site would have noticed a drop off in the frequency of my posts over recent times. The reason for this is my own stubborn nature and determination to, no matter what, get the job done to my best ability as quickly as I can.

Some of your may have already read my post from June 21st titled The Editing Process_Part 1 when I described a medium term project I had just undertaken to bring my images, both film and digital camera generated, into a single Lightroom Catalog for filing and prompt, straightforward retrieval.

This process has not been easy and has involved over 2 weeks of very, very long hours with early morning finishes of 2, 3, 4 and even 5am. I’m happy to say that I’ve successfully completed stage one. The next stage, attaching more clearly defined keywords to each image, will begin over the next few days. I expect to have that job completed over the next week or two. This time with a more usual work and sleep pattern.

The final stage of the project will be selecting large quantities of negatives and slides from my substantial archive for scanning. Due to the number of images involved this will be another straightforward and time-consuming task. The resulting scans will then be brought into my Lightroom Catalog, with the appropriate keywords attached, ready for a new life in a number of upcoming projects I have planned.

I expect to have this major undertaking completed by the beginning of November when I’II be heading off to Antarctica to run a photography tour with my friend and colleague, David Burren.

The last couple of weeks have been difficult involving long hours and much monotony. However, the exhilaration of re-discovering important images and bringing them into a single, highly organized filing system for easy retrieval has made the task worthwhile. One of many of these images heads this article. It also makes the final goal, bringing all my film and digital camera generated images into the one system, much closer to reality. This will make my trip to Antarctica feel like a reward and help set me up for an exciting 2011.

How’s your shoebox of images going? Perhaps it could do with a clean out and re-organization.

I’II continue to report on this project and what I learn along the way as it progresses throughout the year.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

The Editing Process_Part 1

Aerial view of cultivated fields in Leh_Ladakh

Canon F1 camera and Canon 200mm f3.5 lens and Agfachrome CT100 film

This is the first of a series of three posts I plan to write over the next few weeks dealing with the concept of the editing process.

We all have images that, due to an emotional attachment, we find hard to delete. But if we surround ourselves with our worst images we will continue to produce more of the same. Deletion is an essential part of the editing process. It allows you to continually trim your image library down and spend a greater proportion of your time processing your best/most important images.

I have a theory that there are three reasons why most folks fail to delete enough of their least successful images. It can be summarized as follows:

Fear

  • A lack of confidence as to what images deserve deletion and, as a result, an inability to make a decision.

Ego

  • A lot of folks like to brag about the many thousands of images within their database. The more they have the better they feel about themselves. But how many of those have a library as well organized and functional as it is large?

Lack of Organization

  • Most of us suffer from a lack of organization. Sadly the more we shoot the less organized our database becomes. This approach denies us of one of the most powerful features associated with programs like Adobe Lightroom or Apple Aperture. The ability to locate a single image within a library of many thousand is a feature none of us should be denied. It’s essential to have all our files processed, rated (e.g. star rating) and with adequate keywords attached to facilitate good workflow, including the ability to easily locate images at a later date. Placing your favorite images into a series of collections (Christmas 2009, Smith/Singh wedding, Antarctica 2010, etc) is also very useful.
A dramatic black-and-white photograph of a Tibet Skyscape

Canon F1 camera and Canon 24mm lens and Agfachrome CT100 film

But, despite best intentions, we’re all human and it’s not unreasonable to end up holding onto some images longer than we should. I’ve been guilty of this myself in the past. Despite numerous clean ups (where I’ve thrown out huge quantities of negatives, slides and prints) I still have far more than I’m able to successfully deal with. I plan to have many of these images scanned and incorporate them into my digital database that will then be imported into my Adobe Lightroom Library. I’II then undertake initial image processing and apply keywords and ratings. From there I’II be able to delete many files, prior to organizing the best images into appropriate collections. It’s a huge job that I’m unlikely to be able to complete on my own. More than likely I’II send the files out for professional scanning.

Both images in this post are from my very first overseas adventure. I’ve written about the problems associated with that trip previously. The theft, the illness and the loss of most of my images due to camera-related and film processing problems. Only 13% of my images survived the lab’s processing mishap. Of those that did, most were spoiled by the camera-related problem that caused the lens to shoot at the widest possible aperture, regardless of the aperture I’d actually set the lens to. As a result most of the transparencies that survived were significantly over exposed and beyond use. Of the few dozen images that remained only a few were worth keeping. But, after such a loss, it was too hard a task to throw them out. I held onto them for many years until I had them scanned, a number of years ago, onto Kodak Photo CD’s. While poor quality scans by today’s standards I at least have the opportunity to breathe some life back into them through Adobe Lightroom 2 and Adobe Photoshop CS5. As a result I feel almost cured of my need to have held onto them for so long.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Sunrise_Split Point Lighthouse_Aireys Inlet

Canon 5D camera and Canon 600 f4 IS lens. Exposure Details: 1/1250 second @ f7.1 ISO 400.

There’s little better in life than the glory of a beautiful sunrise. I was fortunate indeed to be on the beach at Moggs Creek, along the Great Ocean Road, to witness and photograph this wondrous sight.

I made the image with the huge and seriously heavy Canon 600mm f4 IS lens, firmly mounted onto a heavy aluminium tripod that I’d pushed into the sand for extra stability. A fast shutter speed of 1/1250 second was sufficient to freeze the fast breaking wave, while an aperture of f7.1 provided sufficient depth of field to ensure the image was sharp from foreground through to the background.

Image processing was conducted in Adobe Lightroom 2 and Adobe Photoshop CS5.

My career in photography started over 30 years ago. While it’s never been an easy road, photography has provided me with great joy and introduced me to people and places to which I would not have otherwise been exposed. It has been my passport into the world of sight and sound and beyond, into that special realm that exists outside of our everyday experience.

Enjoy your photography and push yourself towards ever-broader horizons.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Surfing the Rail_Bells Beach_Great Ocean Road

Canon 5D camera and Canon 600mm f4 IS lens. Exposure Details: 1/2000 second f5 ISO 400.

I’m no sports photographer but, as a teacher, it’s important that I try as many types of photography as possible. A couple of years ago I decided it was time to try my hand at photographing surfing. I headed for Bells Beach, the world famous surfing mecca around 1 ½ hours drive south west of Melbourne.

One thing I needed was a super telephoto lens. I managed to arrange the loan of a Canon 600mm f4 IS lens from a contact at Canon Australia. It’s a monster of a lens and far too heavy for the sort of tripod I usually use. So, instead of the relatively compact carbon fibre designs I prefer for landscape and travel photography, I had to arrange the loan of a heavy backbreaking aluminium model. The combination of super telephoto and sturdy tripod allowed me to set up close to the car at the top of the cliff face overlooking the ocean and shoot down on the action. The high viewpoint emphasized the 3-dimmensional qualities of the scene by highlighting definite foreground, mid ground (the surfer and wave) and background elements.

A fast 1/2000-second Shutter Speed was chosen to freeze the fast moving surfer and breaking wave. I remember making the drive down the coast on a Saturday afternoon and photographing in the late afternoon and early evening light. The next morning I photographed a spectacular sunrise (see tomorrow’s post), prior to returning to Bells Beach and the nearby Winkipop for more surfing photography. It was a great weekend and, for me, life doesn’t get much better.

Image processing was conducted in Adobe Lightroom 2 and Adobe Photoshop CS5.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

River Reflections_Lorne_Great Ocean Road

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 IS lens. Exposure Details: 1/8 second @ f8 ISO 400

Late afternoon light and very little breeze provided great conditions for this image of the Swing Bridge and Boathouse in Lorne on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. Nestled by the shoreline, at the mouth of the Erskine River, both structures are icons of the township.

I suspect that, for many folk, the above photograph is as much about memory and nostalgia as it is about the bridge and building. I composed the image in such a way to make a pleasing arrangement of the various focal points (bridge, building, boats) and their reflections. I hope the design of the image serves to bring the individual elements together in a pleasing and cohesive form.

Initial image processing was conducted in Adobe Lightroom 2, prior to final tone and contrast adjustments being applied in Adobe Photoshop CS5. A predominantly warm split tone was added to further enhances the nostalgic nature of the image.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Split Point Lighthouse_Night Sky and Flare_Aireys Inlet

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 lens

The above image was made during a night shoot immediately following on from the practical component of a landscape photography course I’m currently running. The day had gone so well that all participants were happy to hang around for the unplanned nighttime shoot.

It’s amazing what can be achieved through a little effort, experimentation and fun. The above image of the Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet was made with my camera firmly fixed to a (borrowed) tripod (thanks Steve). Car break lights added extra illumination and color to the surface of the lighthouse.

Initial image processing was conducted in Adobe Lightroom 2. Adobe Photoshop CS5 was employed for final contrast and color adjustments, to emphasize the stars add create the (fake and) fantastic light flare.

I hope that, likewise, the combination of fun, play and ingenuity leads you to very creative results.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

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