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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

Looking Seaward_Port Campbell National Park

Hasselblad X-PAN II camera and Hasselblad X-PAN 30mm f5.6 lens with Fuji Velvia 100F film

Here’s a relatively straightforward image that explores the concept of a frame within a frame. The rock face on the top of the cliff acts to frame the waters of the Southern Ocean below. Made along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia the serenity of the image has been enhanced by rendering into black-and-white prior to the application of a warm sepia-like tone.

Image processing was conducted in Adobe Photoshop CS5.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Crashing Wave_Great Ocean Road

Hasselblad X-PAN II camera and Hasselblad X-PAN 30mm f5.6 lens with Fuji Velvia 100F film

Good timing, a fast shutter speed and a low angle of view was all that was required to make this panoramic image of a crashing wave in the Port Campbell National Park near Victoria’s Twelve Apostles.

The simplicity of the surroundings allows the wave to stand out, as does the black-and-white rendering that seems to etch the light toned wave out from the darker sky and rocks.

I opted for a warm, sepia-like tone to add a sense of nostalgia and serenity to an otherwise dramatic scene. I often enjoy the balance that is achieved through the juxtaposition of opposites within the frame.

Image Processing was achieved in Adobe Photoshop CS5.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

The Timeless Landscape

One of the very special things about landscape photography is the sense that the best photographs seem to exist outside of time. People often refer to traditional darkroom generated black-and-white sepia toned prints from years gone by as being timeless. While warm tone, monochromatic images go back to the very early days of photography what most people refer to as sepia probably refers to images made from the 1920’s up till the mid 1960’s. My point is that, as we can define the look of the classic sepia toned image by date, it’s hardly timeless.

So what do people mean when they use the term timeless in relation to photography. Rather than it being about a specific time or place I think the term is used to describe a look that seems somehow beyond fashion. While most fashion dates (even quintessential blue jeans almost went out of fashion in the west following the introduction of cargo pants, favored by skateboarders, around 12 years ago) the term timeless probably suggests a look, feel or mood that does not. Love does not date in so much as its possible to fall in love more than once or, for some hard working, honest and lucky folk, to remain in love ’till death us do part’. What we refer to as timeless probably suggests a purer, less complicated world. Photographs from those times depict a slower, less complicated and, on first impressions, safer world. So it’s logical in this day and age to harken back to seemingly the simpler times we associate with a bygone era.

I think this is one of the reasons way warm tone images still work today, even when applied to more contemporary subject matter. Whether it’s a portrait of a newborn baby or a grandmother, an urban landscape featuring an old Victorian style building or the outside facade of a suburban milk bar that’s been closed for years, a warm tone treatment can elicit a similar emotional response as a print from the 1930’s.

In the case of landscape photography I feel the effect can be even stronger. With water and/or clouds moving through the frame we also have the ability to explore the movement of time within the still frame. This strange juxtaposition, unique to still photography, is one of the landscape photographer’s most potent tools by which she may both explore the illusory nature of time and transcend the scene or subject depicted in a way that opens a door to a new understanding of reality. This, together with the interplay of light on the landscape, is the reason I love to photograph our natural world.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Ronbulk Gompa_Tibet

Canon F1 camera and 50mm f1.8 lens with Agfachrome 100 CTi Precisa film

Regular followers of this site will no doubt remember several articles I posted recently regarding my first overseas trip in 1988. During the research for those articles I discovered a number of images that would otherwise have remained unpublished. I’ve decided to bring those images back to life and share the results through this blog.

The above image was made at Ronbulk Gompa (monastery) in sight of Chomolungma (Mt. Everest). My travelling friends and l made a quick visit to the Gompa, prior to taking the short drive on to Base Camp, where we camped overnight.

During processing I employed a bit of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop hocus pocus to add extra depth and sharpness to the image that, together with most of the photos made during the trip, had been adversely affected by a camera fault resulting in significant overexposure. I also applied a sepia-like tone to add a sense of old world nostalgia to the final image.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

The Great Void_Perry Sand Dunes_NSW_Australia

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 L series USM lens

Welcome to the New Year, 2010. I hope it’s a peaceful and prosperous one for you and your family. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’II be making numerous changes to this blog over coming weeks to make your experience a more visually interesting one. I’ve taken note of requests for articles on ISO and shooting long exposures. They’ll follow shortly as will some more posts relating to travel and flash photography.

The above image was made during December at the Perry Sand Dunes, near Wentworth in far southwest NSW (New South Wales), Australia. I’II be sure to post more images from this great location over the next couple of days.

In the case of the above pic I employed Adobe Lightroom 2 for initial processing and then Adobe Photoshop CS4 to produce the final warm tone, sepia-like rendition. As well as the variations in tonality, from light to dark, I love the shapes and textures contained in this image. The dark round hole in the lower right corner of the image is a great abstract shape, a kind of void, into which the landscape seems to be collapsing.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Summer Coda_Day 13_No Matter the Weather

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L series USM lens @ 70mm. Exposure Details: 1/13 second f2.8 ISO 1600

Day 13 on Summer Coda brought heavy rain at the end of a hot, humid day. The above image is of 2nd Assistant Director James Short (now there’s a good bloke), hamming it up for the camera. The cast and crew had moved under cover provided by a huge shed (the size of a warehouse) adjoining the orange grove where we’d just been shooting.

Initially I set my camera to Daylight white balance to record, simultaneously, the warm interior lighting inside the shed against the cool blue of the stormy sky. I later decided to pull back the yellow and red saturation in Lightroom to produce more realistic skin tone, while still keeping the intense blue of the approaching stormy sky.

Canon 5D camera and Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L series USM lens @ 70mm. Exposure Details: 1/20 second @ f2.8 ISO 800

The second shot features Peter Wells working on some final bits and pieces associated with his role as Camera Assistant. I utilized the van’s interior lighting to illuminate the image and opted for a sepia-like rendition. Peter goes about his job in a quite, workman-like manner. I feel that the nostalgic mood provided by the sepia toning conveys Pete’s gentle manner and diligent work ethic.

Processing was conducted in Adobe Lightroom 2 and Adobe Photoshop CS4.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

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