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Shapes_Curves and Shadows in Architectural Photography

Shapes and Curves_Etihad Stadium_Melbourne

Canon 5D camera and Canon 24mm f1.4 L series USM lens. Exposure Details: 1/200 second @ f16 ISO 800.

Here’s a photo with which I’m happy. It’s nominally an architectural photograph, as it features the bottom part of a sculpture at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. But really the image is an exploration in abstraction utilizing shapes, curves and shadows to shape the image.

In fact the shadows have been used to link individual man-made elements within the frame. And, of course, there’s no shadow and, therefore, no shape, without light.

So, while I prefer to photograph under low light conditions, both indoors and also outside in the landscape, the above picture is an example that, with care, it is possible to make compelling images outside under very bright conditions.

Basic image processing was conducted in Adobe Lightroom 3. A warm tone and gentle glow were applied in Adobe Photoshop CS5.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

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Genres in Photography

Quirky Photo of a Service Station_Beechworth_Victoria

Canon 5D camera and Canon 24mm f1.4 L series Aspherical lens_Exposure Details: 1/500 second @ f8 ISO 100

How would you define a landscape or documentary photograph? And, in relation to that question, what’s appropriate subject matter? For some folks rules and regulations make sense. They provide a measure of certainty amidst an otherwise complicated series of options. For others art is a form of free, boundless expression. Definitions and rules probably seem like anathema and (maybe even) the work of conservative elements trying to hold back your progress.

Just between you and me, I really don’t care about such debates. In formal teaching roles I’ve often had to stick to a particular institution’s definitions only to bend in line with those of another later the same day. In fact sometimes the rules change from semester to semester within the same institution. But when we get down to it, and outside the need to produce a folio with (say) 6 natural landscapes, 6 urban landscapes, 6 people photos, etc. does it really matter. From my way of thinking a nude is just another type of landscape. You know, sand dunes and rainforests.

The above image depicts a service station in the tourist town of Beechworth in northeast Victoria. I was attracted to the scene by the red signage on the garage’s glass frontage. While displaying a snapshot quality the image is highly composed. Every pane of glass acts as a frame within the overall image frame. Each of the red letters is framed inside an individual pane, the bottom frames frame little scenes and moments occurring in the background, and the frames around the top panes further break up those on the inside of the veranda. The red color of the signage is repeated in the background signage and also in the streamers. This emphasizes the sense of 3-dimmensional space within the image. The fact that one of the letters is missing adds a sense of humour and communicates the notion of aging (history) within the image.

So what kind of photograph is it? A good one, I hope. OK, but to what genre does it belong?

While I was originally attracted to the color of the signage the image is largely composed around architectural elements. So, is it an urban landscape, an architectural or documentary image? Personally I’d call it a documentary photo. I like it and I hope you do as well. Ultimately, that’s what matters most.

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

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Pic of the Week_Dusk_Port Campbell National Park

Low light photography at Port Campbell National Park_Victoria_Australia

Canon 5D camera and Canon 24mm f2.8 L series Aspherical lens_15 seconds @ f2.8 ISO 400

I’ve opted for a relatively surreal rendering of this scene. Many of you will recognize the location, near the famous Twelve Apostles, in the Port Campbell National Park along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. The image was made, with darkness encroaching, with the very last light of the day.

The slow shutter speed, required by the very low light levels, helped add a soft glow to the incoming tide. Clearly the light illuminating the large foreground cliff face is the main focal point within the image. It is further emphasized by the brooding darkness that surrounds and seems to envelope it.

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

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Courthouse_Beechworth_Victoria

Photo illustrating interior of judge's office_Courthouse_Beechworth_Victoria

Canon 5D camera and Canon 24mm f 1.4 L series Aspherical lens_1/20 second @ f8_ISO 800

I made the above image inside the courthouse at the historic town of Beechworth in North East Victoria, Australia. I was drawn to the scene by the warmth of the window light and that from the incandescent desk lamp. Places such as this are embedded with history and have an ambience that can evoke strong feelings within the visitor.

For those interested in history I recommend a visit to the town of Beechworth. It’s a lovely town, steeped in history and a great location from which to explore nearby towns like Bright and the beautiful Mount Buffalo.

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

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Interior_St. Paul’s Cathedral_Melbourne

Canon 5D camera and Canon 24mm f1.4 lens. Exposure Details: 1/6 second @ f6.3 ISO 800.

The above is an interior of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne. Located in the heart of the city, St. Paul’s is a beautiful place that offers a peaceful and tranquil environment away from the stresses and strains of our modern world.

I made the image from a low angle of view to enhance the depth and grandeur of the church. This sense of power is somewhat subdued by the warm color palette. The resulting duality between the power symbolised in the architecture and the safety and calm inherent in the color scheme was of interest to me. I’m sure these facts were a major consideration in the design of the church. In other words, you are now in the house of the all-powerful yet loving and protective god.

Do you find your own sense of connection and calm within a church, mosque or synagogue? Perhaps its within nature, music or art that you’re able to sense the sublime. I’m not sure that the where or how are all that important. As long as we do and, at the same time, ensure we don’t judge others for taking a different path to the same place.

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

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

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

Play Your Own Tune_Night Photography

Great Night time Photo Opportunities in the City of Melbourne

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24mm f1.4 L series lens. Exposure Details: 1/8 second @ f2.8 ISO 1600.

Here’s a very recent image from a winter’s evening photographing at Birrarung Marr in the City of Melbourne. I love the image’s rich gold and red color palette, the strong shapes of the bells and the extra impact given to the image through a low angle of view and the use of line to enhance the illusion of 3-dimensional space.

All light sources in the image are artificial. Spotlights illuminate the bells, from below, and the low-lying clouds reflect light from the city far below.

If you’re interesting in making images like this check out my upcoming Night Photography in the City of Melbourne workshop. Group numbers are limited to make for a friendly, non-competitive environment giving you space to work and plenty of access to your tutor (me) for one-on-one assistance. I hope to see you there.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

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