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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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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

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

Pic of the Week_Twilight_Half Moon Bay

Canon 5D camera and Canon 180mm f3.5 Macro lens. Exposure Details: 6 seconds @ f32 ISO 100.

There’s little better in life than witnessing a beautiful sunset. My own preference is to linger a little longer for the afterglow and beyond, the twilight. The above image was made at the end of a Landscape Photography workshop I was running along Port Phillip Bay in Melbourne. After the class had finished a few of us sat around to chat and wait for what the early evening would provide.

We were not disappointed with the soft ethereal light that followed. Time seemed to slow and the noise from nearby traffic subsided. I felt very much in the moment.

I balanced my exposure with low ISO and a slow shutter speed to produce the soft, creamy appearance to the water. This, combined with the deep tones of the surrounding rocks and distant hillside, give the image its special quality.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Westgate Park_A Location Shoot in Melbourne’s West

Located below the Westgate Bridge Westerfolds Park ofers great opportunities for photography on the city fringe

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

Westgate Park is located near the Westgate Freeway in Melbourne’s west. I’d often looked down onto the park while driving across the Westgate. The view was particularly good towards the edges of the day when the warm, low-angle sun would sweep across the park caressing the trees and dancing on top of the water. I decided to visit the park to explore possible photo opportunities. Sunset seemed like a good idea so I arrived early to explore the location. It’s bigger than I expected and I found myself walking and photographing for several hours.

Reflections from lights atop the Westgate Bridge in the lake at Westerfolds Park

Canon 5D camera and Canon 24mm f1.4 L series lens.

A highlight that surprised me was the range of interesting architectural elements scattered around the park. It’s possible, as evident in the image at the top of this article, to photograph some of them with the city in the background. Central to the park is a small lake which reflects the setting sun and, as night approaches, the artificial lighting along the bridge. My visit to Westgate Park was a lot of fun. Numerous glimpses from above had whetted my appetite. I’m really glad I made the effort to explore the location. I was rewarded with numerous surprises and some photographs with which I’m happy.

Light from the Westgate Bridge_Melbourne_reflecting on water in Westerfolds Park

Canon 5D camera and Canon 24mm f1.4 L series lens

A word of warning: it’s not advisable to be out photographing alone in such an isolated location after dark. As photographers our gear makes us targets and, while concentrating on image making, we may temporarily lose our usual street smarts and not be aware of the variety of unfortunates, undesirables and down right nasty people who sometimes frequent such places.

Melbourne is a beautiful and safe city. Nevertheless, as is the case in most unfamiliar environments, a measure of care should be exercised. Being out and about with another photographer may be enough to easy your mind. And of course there’s safety in numbers. As is the case in the natural landscape, a headlamp or torch may ensure you don’t leave any expensive gear behind and help you find your way back to the car. It’s amazing how quickly darkness can set in after you’ve finished your sunset shoot, particularly when it continues into the twilight.

I run a Night Photography in the City of Melbourne workshop. It’s a great opportunity for folks to get out and about and learn a range of tip’s and tricks to make beautiful night photographs. I design the workshop so that each group is large enough for you to feel secure and yet small enough so that you get plenty of one-on-one assistance. By the end of the 2-hour session you’ll be able to undertake your own night photography projects.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Fun Photographing the City at Night

Photograph of Ferris Wheel and Melbourne city skyline_illuminated at night_Birrarung Marr

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24mm f1.4 L series lens. Exposure Details: 1/8 second @ f1.4 ISO 1000.

Here’s the second series of images from a recent shoot at Southbank and surrounding precincts in the city of Melbourne. Made on a cool night, under a mist-laden sky, the atmosphere provided great opportunities for photography.

The above image was made looking across the Yarra River towards the ferris wheel at Birrarung Marr.  Compositionally it’s all about balance. The light from the ferris wheel is balanced with the light emitted from the buildings on the left hand side of the image. Similarly the buildings are balanced by their reflection in the near still waters of the river.

Princess Bridge and the Melbourne City Skyline photographed at  Night

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24mm f1.4 L series lens. Exposure Details: 1/8 second @ f1.4 ISO 1000.

I made the next image by turning around and shooting back towards the city skyline. Again balance is the key. The frame is divided into three areas. The reflection of the city buildings and Princess Bridge takes up the middle of the frame, while the sky and river fill the remaining thirds. The repetition of the bridge and its reflection is another design element evident within the image.

Water Fountain photogaphed at night by artificial light.

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24mm f1.4 L series lens. Exposure Details: 1/8 second @ f3.2 ISO 1000.

The final image features a drinking fountain on the promenade between Federation Square and the Yarra River. The warm artificial light adds a touch of gold to the fountain. Its round shape and defined texture provide strong design elements, while the horizontal line near the top of the frame adds a sense of tension to the image.

Please look out for my upcoming night photography workshops in the city of Melbourne to be announced tomorrow. They’re going to be great fun.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

An Excursion into the Mist

 Beautiful photo of Southbank_Melbourne- at night in the mist

Canon 5D Mark II camera with Canon 24mm f1.4 L series lens @ 24mm. Exposure Details: 1/8 second @ f1.8 ISO 640.

How lucky am I? On the way home from a recent class in the city I took a walk around the Southbank precinct. The still night and the encroaching mist provided fantastic photo opportunities and a very special 10 minutes to cap off a very busy day.

Without a tripod I made use of a fast 24mm f1.4 lens, at or around its maximum aperture, with ISO’s from 400 to 1000 to achieve acceptable shutter speeds for hand-held photography.

The first image from this series is all about light. The city lights themselves are the primary light sources, illuminating the low hanging clouds. The diagonal line from the footbridge that continues along the promenade adds a design element to the image and the impressionistic reflection a sense of balance with the actual city buildings above the waterline.

Reflection of footbridge and city skyline at night_Southbank_Melbourne

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24mm f1.4 L series lens @ 24mm. Exposure Details: 1/13 second @ f 1.4 ISO 800.

The bridge and its reflection is the major design element in the above image. The complimentary warm and cool colors balance the left and right sides of the scene.

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24mm f1.4 L series lens @ 24mm. 1/10 second @ f1.6 ISO 800.

I love the brooding mood in this image of Princess Bridge, Melbourne. The view through the left hand side of the image makes use of the notion of a frame within a frame. These warm colors are nicely balanced with those on the right side of the frame.

I’II present more images from this photo walk in tomorrow’s post. And look out for an announcement over the next few days about upcoming Night Photography workshops in the city of Melbourne over coming weeks.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

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