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Sunset_Ormiston Gorge_Central Australia

Leica M6 camera and Leica 35mm Summicron f2 Aspherical lens with Kodak Ektachrome 100 Extra Color film

Ormiston Gorge in one of my favorite locations in Central Australia. Situated along the West MacDonnell Ranges, an hour or so out of Alice Springs, great hikes and spectacular photography opportunities await the intrepid traveler.

The above image was made at sunset. I employed a 35mm mild wide-angle lens to convey the grandeur of the location and Kodak Ektachrome Elite 100 Extra Color film for its warm, saturated color rendition.

The difficulty with a scene like this is that it contains so much information for the viewer to deal with. The trick is to concentrate their attention on the most important elements throughout the frame. The image is made up of sand, water, trees, rock and sky. But it’s the light, distributed throughout the scene, that separates major focal points from their surroundings, light from dark, warm from cool and foreground from background. This enables the viewer to more easily navigate their way around the image.

The original 35mm transparency was scanned prior to processing in Adobe Camera RAW and Adobe Photoshop CS4.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

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Photoshop Madness_Part 1

Leica M6 camera and Leica 35mm Summicron f2 lens with Kodak Ektachrome Elite 100 Extra Color film.

Regular visitors to my site would be aware of some fairly creative images that I’ve made while goofing around in Photoshop. Today’s post is the most recent example.

I made the above image a number of years back in Alice Springs, Central Australia. I liked the image and, until today thought that it had merit. I realize now that I probably made the same mistake most others do with their own photographs – just because you were there and made a picture must mean it’s a good one. I think I was attracted to the subject, and the idea of producing a great photograph of this old rusted out car, in what is a thriving and yet very remote location in the centre of Australia. While I’m not particularly fond of cars there’s a kind of romance associated with the location and the idea of how such a car would have made it to and functioned, all those years ago, in such a difficult environment.

Looking at the scan I realized that I was not being objective enough and that the image was little more than a visual record. And, for me, that’s only the beginning of a great photograph. So I began to mess around in Photoshop, but the result, as seen above, looked pretty fake. Abstraction seemed like a way forward. When in doubt embrace the madness.

Leica M6 camera and Leica 35mm Summicron f2 lens with Kodak Ektachrome Elite 100 Extra Color film

I started to wonder if I could play with the colors and tones to bring out a look and feel something akin to opals, for which this country is famous. I started down that path and then, being reminded of some of the creation mythology of the region’s indigenous people, started playing with the idea of the Rainbow Serpent from Aboriginal Australian Dreamtime.

The result as you see is more fun than it is art, but it does suggest potential for this type of work. I hope you enjoy the concept and the result.

The original film scan was processed in Adobe Camera RAW, prior to employing Adobe Photoshop CS4 to achieve the final result.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Ghost Gums_Trephina Gorge_Central Australia

Leica M6 camera and Leica 35mm f2.0 Summicron-M series lens with Kodak Ektachrome Elite 100 Extra Color film

Central Australia is a very special place and one of my favorite locations for landscape photography. I’ve been fortunate to have travelled to The Centre on tow occasions and, at one stage, seriously considered moving them. I still have a house in Alice Springs, though I may be selling it over the next few months.

The above image features ghost gums seemingly clinging to life in an environment consisting mainly of rock, sand and a fast shrinking waterhole. This is the very base of Trephina Gorge, a spectacular location on the East McDonnell Ranges 85km east of Alice Springs on the Ross Highway.

The strong lines of the ghost gums and the contrast in tones between them and the surrounding rocks made this a clear candidate for a black-and-white rendering.

The original color transparency was scanned and then rendered into black-and-white in Adobe Lightroom 2. Adobe Photoshop CS4 was employed to add a subtle warm/cool split tone.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

The Track Back_Trephina Gorge_Central Australia

Leica M6 Camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron-M series lens with Kodak Ektachrome 100VS Professional film

Situated 85km east of Alice Springs, along the West MacDonnell Ranges in Central Australia, and known for its sheer quartzite cliffs and river red gums, Trephina Gorge offers excellent opportunities for photography and hiking alike.

Today’s image was made, at dusk, from a viewpoint above the gorge. I’d hiked up earlier to photography the sunset and had to hurry to get back down before darkness descended. But the surroundings were so beautiful in the soft twilight that I stopped to make a few quick pics on the way down.

In putting together an interesting image I wanted to explore the space between the foreground rocks and trees and the cliff face beyond. The dualities of hard rock against soft foliage, the warm/cool color contrast and the relatively limited orange and green palette dominated compositional considerations.

The original film based image was scanned then processed in Adobe Camera RAW and Adobe Photoshop CS4.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Buddha Statue in Red_Bagan_Myanmar

 

Buddha Statue in Red_Bagan_Myanmar

Leica M6 camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron-M series lens with Kodak Professional Ektachrome 100VS film

The above image was made in Bagan, ancient capital of Myanmar (Burma). The Buddha statue was positioned in front of a mural depicting significant moments from the Buddha’s life. The original image was made with Kodak Ektachrome E100VS film. The ‘vs’ stands for vivid saturation and, with the films slight magenta/red color bias, flesh tones and warm colors sometimes photograph a little too hot for more liking.

In the above image I decided to employ Adobe Camera RAW to de-saturate the image, in particular red and orange, and balance the image out by pushing up the green and blue saturation. I feel a more realistic 3-dimensional representation has been produced.

 

Buddha Statue in Red_Bagan_Myanmar_BW

Leica M6 camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron-M series lens with Kodak Professional Ektachrome E100VS film

In the second version I chose Adobe Photoshop CS4 for a black-and-white rendering with varying degrees of split toning throughout shadows, mid tones and highlights.

If you have a favorite I’d be interested to know your preference.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

 

Re-Visiting the Familiar

 

Lake Bolac Sunset #1_BW

Leica M6 camera and Leica 35mm Summicron-M f2 Aspherical lens with Kodak Ektachrome 100 Extra Color film

I was born in 1962 in Hamilton a provincial town in Western Victoria, 285km west of Melbourne the state capital, where I currently reside. I remember as a child the population, marked on signs at several main entry points to the town, was 10,200. Back then that seemed like a whole lot of people.

As a youngster trips to Melbourne were extremely rare until I got my drivers license and joined a band. While we played mostly in and around our hometown, we undertook several excursions to the big smoke to buy new equipment (guitars, amps, etc). My first job in photography was in retail. It was a few days after my 17th birthday and the old gentleman with whom I worked, Ernest C. Cameron was a photographer who, at 69 years of age, was working in retail after experiencing some financial problems. He told me that he had not been paid for the sale of his photography business.

Ern was still doing weddings on the side and I learned a great deal by assisting him. He gave me my start in professional photography, for which I’m extremely grateful. A year later Ern died and I ‘inherited’ the role of managing the store’s photography department and photographing an upcoming wedding he’d previously been booked to shoot. Within a short period of time I was heavily booked and within the next 6 years photographed over 300 weddings. After a total of 5 years in retail I decided it was time to move into my own studio, which I ran for 2 years prior to moving into photojournalism as a newspaper photographer with the Hamilton Spectator.

The next 6 months were frantic. As well as still undertaking many wedding and portrait commitments, I managed to convert a poorly run photography department into a considerably leaner and more professional operation. Inventory (particularly photographic paper) was dramatically reduced, photo sales were processed promptly and, if memory serves me right, overtime (which had formerly been taken in addition to annual leave) was reduced by around 4 weeks a year. At the end of that 6-month period my boss, to his credit, rewarded my success by making significant improvements to the departments equipment and working environment. But, having already decided to move on, I didn’t get to see any of that.

The next adventure was to move to the big smoke to study photography in 1986. But that and what follows is a story for another day.

The above image is of a Lake at the entrance to Lake Bolac about 80km along the road from Hamilton to Melbourne. It’s a familiar site from the many trips back and forth to visit family at Christmas and Easter since my move to Melbourne. I’ve always been pleased with the original color image of the lake, shot on transparency (slide) film. At this time of year I’m in the process of finishing current commitments so that I can concentrate my attention on Summer Coda, the Australian-made motion picture film that I’II shortly being working on as a stills photographer. My next job will be to begin planning for the (Australian) summer months and the first half of 2010.

With so much to do it’s interesting that one’s thoughts often travel backwards. Maybe it’s the way we resolve certain events from our past. When your inner self thinks its time to deal with them it brings them forward into the now. And now is always the best time for resolution.

So, with that in mind, I thought I’d use the above image to re-visit the familiar with a more nostalgic treatment, from the days of the black-and-white darkroom. The original color transparency was scanned and processed in Adobe Camera RAW. Subtle changes in color, somewhat akin to a black-and-white photograph treated with Selenium toner, were applied in Adobe Photoshop CS4.

I hope you enjoy the image and my little walk down memory lane.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

 

Buddha Statue_Bagan_Myanmar

Buddha Statue_Bagan_Myanmar

Leica M6 camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron-M series Aspherical lens with Kodak Ektachrome Elite 100 Extra Color film

Myanmar (Burma) was a revelation for me. I loved it and can’t wait until I can re-visit this spectacular country.

I discovered the above scene while wandering around the ancient capital of Bagan. The strong side light emphasized the shape, texture and tonality of the Buddha statue and the brick platform on which it is situated. As you can see I made use of the architecture and used the doorway to an adjoining room to frame the statue.

The original color transparency was scanned prior to processing in Adobe Camera RAW. Subtle color tones were applied throughout the image (shadows, mid tones and highlights) in Adobe Photoshop CS4.

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

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