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Branches and Sky_Treasury Gardens_Melbourne

Branches and Sky_Treasury Gardens_Melbourne

Canon 5D camera and Canon 85mm f1.2 L series USM lens_Exposure Details: 1/125 second f1.2 ISO 100.

How can you possibly photograph a forest? More than likely you’d have to move so far back and shoot from above to include it all in your photograph. But from that distance you’re unlikely to capture the grandeur of the forest or the more intimate moments that occur within it. You can’t really understand anything by looking at it from a distance. Perhaps its better to journey into the forest and, through a more detailed examination, become a part of the environment into which you’ve journey.

So, how do you tell a story about a forest? Sometimes by photographing a single tree or even a leaf. And the same is true for city parks and gardens, such as Treasury Gardens in Melbourne where the above image was made.

Wanting to explore the upper portions of the tree I moved in close and photographed upwards, concentrating my attention on the junction of branches in the lower centre of the image. Careful focusing and a shallow Depth of Field (DOF) placed further emphasis on the area in question.

Initial image processing of the original color file was conducted in Adobe Lightroom 3. It’s possible to produce lovely black-and-white, monochromatic (strictly speaking that means one color, such as a sepia tone) or split tone images in Lightroom 3. However, as was the case with the above image, I often prefer to apply such changes, particularly split toning, in Adobe Photoshop CS5.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography


Landscape Renewal_Wilsons Promontory National Park

Grass Trees Regenerating After Fire_Wilsons Promontory National Park_Victoria

Canon 1D Mark II camera and Canon 24-70 f2.8 L series lens @ 24mm. Exposure Details: 1/50 second @ f11 ISO 400.

I love Wilsons Promontory National Park. Situated on the southern most tip of the Australian mainland, its one of my favorite places for landscape photography. Over recent years several fires have adversely affected the prom’s landscape and wildlife. In response to this devastation I undertook the production of a series of photographs that explored nature’s regenerative powers at work at the prom.

The above image of a common grass tree, photographed along the Lighthouse Walk track, was an ideal candidate. While the central element was severely blackened, the surrounding blades of re-grow suggested a positive outcome to the story. In fact many Australian flora species rely on fire to stimulate the grow process.

The original color image was rendered into black-and-white in Adobe Lightroom 3. A subtle warm tone was then applied in Adobe Photoshop CS5.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Exploring Stain Glass Windows through Photography

Stain glass Windows

Canon 5D camera and Canon 85mm f1.2 L series USM lens_1/25 second @ f 10 ISO 400

Beautiful to behold, stain glass windows allow us to see color when the glass is backlit. This seems a much purer experience of color compared to our usual experience via reflected light. The panels are also beautiful as individual pieces of art and, in the case of the Christian tradition, for the stories revealed when viewing them in sequence.

I’ve long found the experience of viewing stain glass windows to be calming and somewhat mesmerizing. One day I may well undertake a short course and produce one or two for my own place.

Due to the height of the windows I was forced to photograph them from below, resulting in a somewhat skewed perspective. In this case I like the way it leads the eye from the bottom through to the top panels providing a greater sense of 3-dimensional space.

The original color image was rendered into black-and-white and further enhanced through the addition of a subtle split tone.

Processing was conducted in Adobe Lightroom 3 and Adobe Photoshop CS5.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Pelican_Murray River_Victoria

Black and White photo of a pelican photographed with a telephoto lens

Canon 5D camera and Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L series IS USM lens with Canon 2X Extender_effective focal length 360mm_1/500 second @ f7.1

I was fortunate to be able to photograph this beautiful pelican on the marvelous Murray River in beautiful Mildura. It was a simple matter of setting the camera to a relatively fast shutter speed, balancing exposure and firing off a few shots as the bird swam past.

What a feeling to be so close to such a wonderful creature. Pelican’s are remarkable and their antics make them great fun to watch.

The textural qualities of the water and the bird’s black and white plumage determined that a black-and-white rendering was appropriate. I added a vignette around the outside edge of the frame to help lead the eye towards the pelican and enhance the feeling of light closer to the centre of the image.

Image processing was conducted in Adobe Lightroom 3 and Adobe Photoshop CS5.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Pic of the Week_Sand Dune and Cloud_Mungo National Park_NSW

The luminous quality of the light is enhanced by the blackness of the sky in this cloud and dune, sky and ground

Leica M7 camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron-M lens with Kodak Ektachrome Elite 100 Extra Color film

Mungo National Park, in far southwest NSW, is a harsh, arid environment. But long ago it was part of an extensive inland lake system that provided local indigenous people with a bountiful food supply and, despite common perceptions, allowed them to live in seemingly permanent settlements. This challenges common perceptions that Aborigines were nomadic people, a way of life that appeared backward to the conquering British Empire. It’s now evident that indigenous Australians adapted their lifestyle and practices to the environment in which they lived.

I rendered the original image, shot on 35mm color transparency film, into black-and-white to illustrate the inherent shapes, textural qualities and tonality within the image. The luminous nature and strong shapes present in the cloud and dune have been enhanced by the deep tonality of the sky.

The high contrast nature of this image, together with the grain inherent in the film, has produced a look somewhat similar to that normally associated with black and white Infrared film. I hope you enjoy it.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Crashing Wave_Great Ocean Road

Hasselblad X-PAN II camera and Hasselblad X-PAN 30mm f5.6 lens with Fuji Velvia 100F film

Good timing, a fast shutter speed and a low angle of view was all that was required to make this panoramic image of a crashing wave in the Port Campbell National Park near Victoria’s Twelve Apostles.

The simplicity of the surroundings allows the wave to stand out, as does the black-and-white rendering that seems to etch the light toned wave out from the darker sky and rocks.

I opted for a warm, sepia-like tone to add a sense of nostalgia and serenity to an otherwise dramatic scene. I often enjoy the balance that is achieved through the juxtaposition of opposites within the frame.

Image Processing was achieved in Adobe Photoshop CS5.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Rainy Days are Great Days for Photography

Portrait of Shirley, a lovely Chinese girl in Melbourne public garden.

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 L series lens@ 93mm. Exposure Details: 1/50 second @ f4 ISO 400

I want to apologize to regular visitors to this site for the lack of posts over recent days. I’ve had a particularly heavy head cold for a week and, as it’s the second time I’ve been hit by this bug over the last month, I’ve decided to ease back on the late nights and get as much sleep as possible. This has allowed me to manage my teaching commitments without compromise. But, with little energy left at the end of the day, my regular posting schedule has suffered. I hope to me back up to my near daily posting schedule within a few days.

Today’s post features images from a practical session that’s part of an introduction to the DSLR camera course I’m currently running. The group and I spent a fun 3 hours wandering around the city of Melbourne on an overcast and, sometimes, rainy day. The image at the top of this post was made during light rain with our participant, Shirley, modeling against a background of autumn leaves. I utilized a shallow depth of field to separate her from an otherwise complicated background and processed the image in such a way to highlight the natural glow of her skin.

Portrait in Melbourne City Laneway

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 L series lens @ 28mm. Exposure Details 1/25 second @ f4 ISO 400.

The above image features workshop participant Leigh kicking back for a few moments, just off the side of a busy city laneway. The black-and-white rendering emphasizes the strong lines and shapes within the composition.

Exotic Plant in Melbourne public garden.

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 L series lens @ 47mm. Exposure Details 1/8 second @ f8 ISO 1600.

The final image features a close up of some exotic plants in a public garden on the edge of the city. Being drawn by the lines and shapes within the plant a black-and-white seemed appropriate.

Thanks to all participants for their high levels of energy and enthusiasm. I’m going to miss you all.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

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