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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

Pic of the Week_Afterglow_Oberon Bay_Wilsons Promontory National Park

Photo of Afterglow_Oberon Bay_Wilsons Promontory National Park

Canon 20D camera and Canon 20-35mm 2.8 lens @ 20mm. 1/100 second @ f5.6 ISO 100

Here’s a nice secluded spot: Oberon Bay on Wilsons Promontory National Park. Photographers can only access this beach by hiking along a relatively easy, extremely well marked track for 3 hours from the Telegraph Saddle car park. Alternatively you could undertake the moderately difficult 2 1/2 hour coastal hike from Tidal River.

Once there you’ll be well rewarded with great views along this lovely beach. But be aware the prom is known for wet and, at times, windy weather. The evening I made this photo was extremely windy. I was constantly pushed backwards by the incoming tide, propelled onto the beach by the near ferocious winds.

I’d moved back almost to the dunes to make the above image. This allowed me to introduce the shapes of the foreground creek together with that of the distant hillside and islands to the fantastic sculptured cloud formations above.

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

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Coastline_Port Campbell National Park_Victoria

Wave crashing on cliff face near Port Campbell_Victoria

Canon 5D camera and Canon 17-40mm f4 L series USM lens @ 17mm. Exposure Details 1/80 second @ f5.6 ISO 100.

This photo was made from a rocky outcrop near Port Campbell along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. I produce a range of postcards and greeting cards and was at the end of a long day selling and stacking stands. I needed to make some pictures and, despite the dreary weather, managed to find this interesting location right at the end of the day.

While I timed the exposure to coincide with the wave crashing into the cliff face I also wanted to draw attention to the rocky terrain and the foreground foliage. This is the reason why I placed the crashing wave slightly away from the centre of the frame. The use of the 17mm focal length added extra emphasis to the foreground, thereby further diminishing the power of the wave.

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

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.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Architectural Elements_Docklands_Melbourne

Canon 5D camera and Canon 24mm f1.4 L series Aspherical lens_Exposure Details 30 seconds @ f11 ISO 100

Docklands is a thriving new business and residential development on the edge of the City of Melbourne. I made the above image of this fantastic revolving sculpture in the early evening. Fortunately the wind picked up, as I’d hoped, just before I made the photograph. This caused the top of the sculpture to revolve and allowed me to explore the notion of movement within a still photograph.

Image 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

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