• Article Index

  • Learn Photography

  • Family Portraits

Detail_Mungo National Park_NSW

Detail_Mungo National Park_NSW

Leica M7 camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron-M Aspherical lens with Kodak Ektachrome E100VS film

Mungo National Park in far Southwest NSW, Australia is a fascinating location for exploring and photography. It’s an ancient, arid landscape that many thousands of years ago was part of a huge inland lake system that supported a range of flora and fauna and, as a consequence, the regions indigenous people.

This image was made at the end of a long day’s exploration. I’d photographed the sunset, which rendered naturally sculptured elements on the dunes into surreal, vividly colored forms. The light lingered for at least 20 minutes after sunset and produced a soft, warm glow to the landscape. Noticing the tuft of grass, on the top of a mound of sand, I moved in for a close up. It’s a straightforward image that relies on the color contrast between the grass and sand, the repetitive pattern of the lines and the bizarre relationship between the seemingly disparate elements of grass and sand.

This small tuft of grass, isolated by the surrounding sand, acts as a metaphor that could suggest a range of thoughts including the following:

  • The risk to our way of life posed by a changing environment
  • The ability to survive, despite your environment
  • Your ability to grow, despite hardship
  • People that seem to have nothing in common, co-existing peacefully

The vivid color saturation associated with Kodak Professional Ektachrome 100Vs film did a great job of portraying the strength of color in this image. I’ve employed Adobe Camera RAW and Adobe Photoshop CS4 (I processed this image prior to upgrading to CS5) to process the scanned transparency to reproduce, as accurately as possible, the colors recorded by the film. A strong vignette was added to help draw the eye towards the key foreground elements.

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Advertisements

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.

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Sunset_Mildura

Beautiful photo of tree branches during afterglow near Mildura_Victoria

Canon 5D camera and Canon 180mm f3.5 L series lens with Canon 2X Extender. Exposure Details: 1/1000 second @ f7.1 ISO 400.

Mildura is a great place that I’ve had the good fortune to visit several times. I spent the best part of a month there in November and December 2009 as stills photographer on the soon to be released Australian motion picture film Summer Coda.

Today’s image was made during an earlier trip to the region with my good friend, Ashley. We’d undertaken the long drive from Melbourne, but were happy to stop the car on several occasions to photograph.

The silhouette of tree branches against the warm afterglow, following a classic sunset, brought our car to a sudden halt. The tree branches add a strong graphic element that only enhances the intensity of the background color.

Within a few minutes after the camera’s shutter had been tripped our world began to darken and the night followed soon after. We continued our travels for an hour or so until we reached Mildura after a long day’s travel.

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Light on Water

Light on Water_MG_1947

Canon 5D camera and Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L series IS USM lens with Canon 2X Extender @ 140mm. Exposure Details: 1/400 second @ f11 ISO 400

Following on from yesterday’s post here’s another image from the Murray River at Mildura where I’II be working as stills photographer on the Australian motion picture film Summer Coda during November and December 2007.

This particular image explores the notion of Day as Night where the image is exposed and/or processed in such a way to produce a result that looks like it was made at night, when it fact it was shot under bright sunlight. The idea is to produce a more abstract and/or emotive interpretation that renders the scene as the seen. It’s akin to what the master black-and-white photographer Ansel Adams described as seeing in the minds eye. It’s not so much about what you saw with your eyes (reality), but how you reproduce that subject or scene in the final image.

The above image was processed in Adobe Lightroom 2 and Adobe Photoshop CS4.

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

River Ice_Jiuzhaigou_China

River Ice_Jiuzhaigou_China

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

Situated in the north of Sichuan Province, Jiuzhaigou is a national park of truly stunning beauty. Crystal clear turquoise lakes, steep, forested hillsides and clean, mountain air makes the park an outstanding natural beauty and one of the very best locations for landscape photography in China.

The above image was made in the middle of winter (January) at around -10 degrees. A nearby waterfall was mostly frozen, as was the area of the stream depicted. I remember being fascinated by the frozen stream with running water visible underneath. Having spent the vast majority of my life in the mild to warm climate of southeastern Victoria, this was the first time I’d photographed such a scene.

The contrast and textural elements within the image made it a strong candidate for rendering in black and white. The original color transparency was scanned prior to processing in Adobe Lightroom 2 and Adobe Photoshop CS4.

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Making Metaphors from Metamorphous

Leica R8 camera and Leica 90mm f2 Summicron lens with Fuji Velvia 100F film

Leica R8 camera and Leica 90mm f2 Summicron R-series lens with Fuji Velvia 100F film

There’s a long tradition in fine art black-and-white photography where nature and still life genres come together. It’s the photography of dead things, whether located in the natural environment or after mummification. While somewhat morbid the best of these images, to my mind, are those that deal with the reality of life and death.

It was sad to see this little penguin lying dead on the rocks, just a few meters away from the sea. I know not whether its demise was due to natural causes or otherwise. Perhaps it died at sea and was washed up onto the rocks at high tide. In any case sadness gave way to a deeper inquiry as to the nature of things, which lead to the making of the above image.

I’ve long believed in the power of duality. The juxtaposition of two opposites: life and death, beauty and horror, evoke powerful associates and metaphors for the fine artist. As long as the subject is dealt with in a respectable manner, I believe such images deserve their place within the fine art tradition. In the process of making metaphors from metamorphous such images cause us to think about the bigger picture. And the more time we give to such pursuits the richer our lives will become.

The original 35mm color transparency was scanned and rendered into black-and-white with Adobe Photoshop CS4.

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Flower and Water

 

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 L series USM lens @ 105mm Exposure Details: 1/160 second @ f7.1 ISO 400

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 L series USM lens @ 105mm Exposure Details: 1/160 second @ f7.1 ISO 400

Here’s a wee detail of a tiny flower lying on the surface of a birdbath. I found rendering the original color image into black-and-white emphasized the luminous qualities of the scene as I’d perceived it. I love the way the abstract qualities within the sunlit water add a sense of mystery to the image.

A very simple image, most would simply pass by without a second thought. I’ve always believed it important on one’s perambulations to pay as much attention to what’s going on around as to what’s immediately in front of you. And, when the world seems particularly mundane, simply turn around to see the world in a different light.

Nature’s beauty is as evident in a small flower as it is in a classic sunset. It’s a matter of perspective and the ability to perceive grandeur within the minute.

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

%d bloggers like this: