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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

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Family_There’s Nothing More Important

Portrait Photography is best undertaken in controlled light conditions

Canon 5D camera and Canon 85mm f1.2 L series USM lens. Exposure Details: 1/30 at f4.5 ISO 200

Having photographs of your loved ones is a great benefit of being a photographer. The older I get the more importance I place in making these pictures and the happier I am to share them with my own family. Though not always easy, it’s absolutely worth the effort.

The above image features my dear old mum, Mary Guy, and my younger sister, Gabrielle Luhrs. The photo was made at my mum and dad’s house in Hamilton, Victoria.

It was one of those bright, sunny days when folks are happy to go outside and be photographed. The problem, of course, is that bright light spells death for the portrait photographer. To make a good picture under such conditions you have two options: use diffusers, reflectors and/or flash to control the light or, alternatively, move your subjects into softer, more flattering light. I do both, but usually favor moving the subjects into open shade where the light is less harsh and they can open their eyes.

Referred to as the windows to the soul the eyes are probably the easiest way by which the viewer can interact with the subject. What’s more when the eyes are open their color is revealed and wrinkles are reduced.

The above picture was made under my parent’s front verandah. It wasn’t hard to bring the two of the girls closer together. I utilized the overhanging creepers and background shrubs to fill the surroundings and allow the eye to travel easier towards the subjects. A very subtle vignette and a lovely warm tone were applied to further enhance the photo.

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

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Dusk_City at Night

Finding unique views of your city will allow you to produce unusual and, sometimes, great photographs

Canon 5D camera and Canon 85mm f1.2 L series USM lens_Exposure Details: 3.2 seconds @ f11 ISO 100

When photographing a city skyline it’s often a good idea to look for an alternative view to those more commonly depicted. The above image was made from the south and west and places the city in relation to a more industrial, working class foreground.

It’s a highly composed image with diagonal lines running through the industrial structures in the foreground, vertical lines defining the outside of the city buildings and less defined horizontal lines marking the demarcation between floors. The shapes of the buildings are rectangular, as are most of their windows.

Despite the quiet nature associated with most photos made at the end of the day, this image’s warm/cool color scheme gives it an extra dynamic which lifts the buildings lit with warm light out from the cool blue background.

Next time you’re out and about in good light don’t forget to check out what, at other times of day, might seem banal. Beauty is a matter of perspective, and also of viewpoint. And unfamiliar viewpoints can produce interesting results from both iconic and commonplace subject matter.

Image processing was conducted in Adobe Lightroom 3 and 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

Afterglow_Harcourt Reservoir_Central Victoria

Canon 5D camera and Canon 85mm f1.2 L series USM lens. Exposure Details: 1/250 second @ f8 ISO 100.

For 12 years I regularly ran photography workshops in and around the small town of Chewton in Central Victoria. A short drive further north, towards the regional centre Bendigo, will bring you to the small town of Harcourt. Famous for its apples Harcourt also has wineries, a great pub and rolling rocky landscapes. I’ve photographed the Harcourt Reservoir a number of times, always around sunset. The light has always been interesting and, on occasions, spectacular.

The above image was made after a beautiful, but brief sunset. I couldn’t believe how quickly the sun seemed to set and how the sky above remained bright for around 20 minutes after sunset. I made this photo after the sun had sunk below the horizon. The conditions were such that its rays illuminating the low-lying cloud formation above and reflected that light back down into the reservoir. White clouds and water are, after all, highly reflective.

The color and shape of the clouds are major design elements within the image. The color of the clouds is reflected in the water, while their shape is somewhat repeated in the reeds springing up through the surface of the water. This reminds me of a saying I learned during my days as a photography student: “As Above, So Below”. If you think about it it’s a very powerful and thought provoking saying. This may suggest a relationship between heaven and earth, sky and ground, spirit and body.

Symbolism and metaphors aside it’s rare when, during daylight hours, the ground is as bright as the sky. From my experience photographing under these conditions is a quite magical experience.

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

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Owl Sculpture_Melbourne

A surreal image of the Melbourne City Skyline with the icon Owl Sculpture in the foreground

Canon 5D camera and Canon 85mm f1.2 L series lens. Exposure Details: 2 seconds @ f11 ISO 400.

Here’s a beautiful, if not slightly ominous, thing. This huge statue of an owl dominates the Melbourne skyline from the city’s southwestern edge. I was able to photograph the owl and surrounding buildings in the early evening as a storm approached from the northeast.

I’d been fascinated by this structure since the first time I saw it. Choosing to photograph it under a night sky only enhanced its surreal qualities.

It’s always a good idea having a camera with you whenever you’re out and about.  And your own city can reveal many hidden gems, some which will photograph best under evening light.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Pic of the Week_Glory on a Winter’s Day_Wilsons Promontory National Park

Canon 5D camera and Canon 85mm f1.2 L series USM lens

Wilsons Promontory National Park is one of my favorite locations for landscape photography. It’s a very large park with a range of beach, mountain, rainforest and fauna to keep even the most active photographer busy for weeks.

One of the park’s most special features is its changing weather system. The variations in light that come with the changing weather fronts present the photographer with fantastic photo opportunities. You really feel alive in such moments. Add that to the reward of an early morning start, good technique, an understanding of composition and perspective and a passion for your art and bliss will surely follow. It really doesn’t get any better than that.

The above image was made just after sunrise on an otherwise bleak morning. I’d travelled down to the prom the day before and met a group of photographers for the very last minutes of a late afternoon/sunset shoot at Squeaky Beach, a favorite location for tourists. Getting out of bed the next morning was not easy, particularly given the poor weather. But after a few moments of ill comfort I was off and on the look for interesting subject matter. A quick walk to the beach at Norman Bay and on to Tidal River provided no opportunities in the dim dawn light. I then decided to take a drive up towards Mount Oberon. On the way I saw the sun coming up over the mountaintops and decided to stop by the side of the road. Within a few minutes, and only meters from the car, I’d made an image that made the early morning start well worth the effort.

I love the way this image portrays the soft light and rain-filled atmosphere of that early morning adventure. Not long after the weather further deteriorated and my friends and, with deadlines pressing, I undertook the 3-hour drive back home. With so little time available I almost didn’t make the trip. But the photos I produced made it all worthwhile. And that’s why I do what I do.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

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