• Article Index

  • Learn Photography

  • Family Portraits

Rising Sun_Uluru_Central Australia

Rising Sun_Uluru_Central Australia

Hasselblad 503CW Camera and Hasselblad 150mm Sonnar f4 lens with Kodak Professional Ektachrome 100VS film

Here’s a most untypical view of Uluru, a photographic and tourist icon in Central Australia. I’ve been fortunate to photograph the rock at sunrise and sunset; in bright and inclement weather; at midday and early evening. I’ve walked around Uluru, but have never climbed it. It never fails to awe me with its beauty and power.

The above image was made shortly after sunrise as the quick rising sun began to warm the landscape. With most folk either sleeping or shooting from the designated sunrise location, I continued around to the opposite side of Uluru and position myself for a very different experience.

The dynamic diagonal line of the rock and the shape of the trees produce a strong silhouette while the presence of the sun adds a sense of hope and explores the notion of time within the still photograph.

You haven’t experienced Australia until you visit the Uluru/Kata Tjuta National Park. Do all you can to visit and, when you do, ensure you stay for at least 4 days. You’ll need that much time to explore the many wonderful photographic opportunities offered.

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Advertisements

Window Light_Portrait

 

Canon 5D Mark II Camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 L series Aspherical lens Exposure Details: second @ f4 ISO 400

Canon 5D Mark II Camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 L series USM lens at 105mm Exposure Details: 1/10 second @ f4 ISO 800

This window light portrait was made during a recent workshop in the Dandenong Ranges on the outskirts of Melbourne, Victoria

The weather was chilly and the light overcast throughout the day. This particular image was made indoors as part of a discussion on shooting with the aid of window light. Unlike the usual sunrise or sunset photograph you’ll notice that, rather than photographing the light source, I am using that light source to illuminate the subject. Depending on the subject’s position, relative to the light source, a range of stylistic approaches and moods can be explored. This particular image, which took no more than 30 seconds to set up and shoot, utilises frontal light where the light is projected directly onto the subject. This is the ideal direction by which the light can be utilised to reveal subject identity (age, gender, ethnicity, etc). No wonder it’s used, though in a less flattering manner, in passport photography.

The interesting thing about this type of photography is that the window effectively becomes the light source. So the larger the window, the larger the light source projected through it. A fundamental law of photography is that the larger the light source, the softer or more flattering the quality of light produced by that light source. As evidenced in this image the large window produced a large light source that, in turn, created a very soft quality of light.  Wow!

I processed the original RAW file in Adobe Lightroom 2 where it was rendered into its current black-and-white form. Adobe Photoshop CS3 was employed to further adjust contrast and add a sense of luminosity to the model’s skin.

I want to send a special note of thanks to Deanne, for being such a great subject, and also to thank all those who attended the workshop. You all produced wonderful images that display your creativity and showcase your hard work and enthusiasm. I wish you all the best with your future photography.

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Tree Roots and Reflections_Harcourt Reservoir_Central Victoria

 

Canon 5D camera and Canon 180mm f3.5 Macro L series USM lens with Canon 2X Extender Exposure Details: 8 seconds @ f 22 ISO 100

Canon 5D camera and Canon 180mm f3.5 Macro L series USM lens with Canon 2X Extender Exposure Details: 8 seconds @ f 22 ISO 100

I love the mysterious nature of this image. I was running a photography workshop in Central Victoria and escorted the group to the Harcourt Reservoir for the final location of the day.

After sunset the warn light lingered and reflected from beneath the horizon up into the clouds from where it reflected down onto the water. The low light level required a slow Shutter Speed of  which produced the lovely misty glow in the water. Despite the low light the distribution of light and dark tones throughout the image enhanced image contrast and the sense of 3-dimensional space. The dark shapes provided by the tree branches and reflections adds to the prevailing sense of melancholy.

I hope you enjoy the quiet beauty within this image. While not a spectacular location the transforming nature of the light produced a quite special opportunity for workshop participants. All agreed it was a great way to end a fun and informative day.

Perhaps it’s time for me to take a moment and provide a brief note of caution regarding some of the locations mentioned in my posts. I’m all for promoting local tourism. However, you’ll notice that many of the places I visit are not regarded as iconic locations.

To make great pictures of relatively mundane locations requires technical skill, patience and a good eye (all of which can be gained over time) and, above all else, the right light. Rolling up to the Harcourt Reservoir in the middle of a sunny day will simply not provide you with a ‘Kodak Moment’.

So it you’re planning a trip to any of the locations mentioned try to ensure that your arrival coincides with good lighting. Either side of sunrise and sunset often provide wonderful opportunities. But, due to the low light, the use of a quality tripod or, at the very least, shooting on a very high ISO will often be required. As will a torch or headlamp so you can see what you’re doing and find you way to and from the car. Often the best images are many well before sunrise (pre-glow) or well after sunset (after glow). Come to think of it, a warm top and/or a hat is also a good idea.     

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Golden Rock_Kyaiktiyo Pagoda_Myanmar

 

Hasselblad 503CW camera and Hasselblad 150mm f4 Sonnar lens with Kodak Portra 160VC film

Hasselblad 503CW camera and Hasselblad 150mm f4 Sonnar lens with Kodak Portra 160VC film

At just 5 1/2 meters high the tiny Kyaiktiyo Pagoda may not sound that significant. But, given its position atop a large gold-leaf covered boulder (known as the golden rock) and perched, delicately, on the edge of a cliff on the top of the mountain, you may begin to appreciate this truly splendid Buddhist icon.

The 10 km hike up the mountain ascends over 1,000 meters and is quite arduous, particularly when you’re loaded down with camera gear. I managed to get some of the way up in the back of an incredibly crowed pickup truck. It was exciting and I would gladly have taken the ride all the way if allowed. Maybe the experience that followed was meant to be earned, as in all pilgrimages.

Arriving just before sunset on my second last day in Myanmar and, despite the rush and associated fatigue of the trip, the site of the golden rock and the atmosphere that surrounded it made that day a highlight of my time in Myanmar (Burma). It is a most serene location and, despite the fairly large crowds, the beauty of the location and the devotion of the pilgrims was an experience I will long savour.

I was fortunate to be able to photograph the golden rock at sunset and, again the next morning, at sunrise before driving back to Yangon and my flight to Bangkok. After a short rest I travelled onto Laos and more adventures.

The above image is actually made well after sunset and illumination was provided by a series of artificial lights, such as those on the bottom left of the frame. The warm color cast by these lights further emphasized the golden color of the rock and pagoda. The exposure was quite long, in excess of 30 seconds. Naturally a tripod and a cable release was required to reduce camera movement during the long exposure.

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Morning Glory_Lorne_Great Ocean Road

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

The creation of this image almost didn’t happen. I had stayed overnight at Lorne on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road and really struggled, as I always seem to do, to get out of bed in the morning. The weather was bleak and the anticipated sunrise looked like it might well be a non-event. There are voices in our heads to which we should listen. The problem is we often give in to the wrong voices, the ones that suggest the easy way out, the wrong behaviour or the negative view. I’m so glad that on this day I listened to the right voice.

Once on the beach I waited in the gloom. For just a few moments the sun broke through, lit up the clouds and illuminated the water. I had to be quick as just after the image was made a dark cloud rolled over the sun and the scene returned to that of a bleak morning.

Once again I’ve processed the original color image in Adobe Lightroom prior to rendering it into a split toned black-and-white image within Adobe Photoshop CS3.

Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography 

Gibson Steps_Sunset_Great Ocean Road

 

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

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

Happy Easter to All! I wanted to post a special image on what for many people is a very special day: Easter Sunday. Whatever our own personal belief system may be times like Easter are a way for us to come together, with our own families, in a way that encourages us to consider the less fortunate within our wider world community. It should be a time for reflection, for quiet and for peaceful contemplation. It’s also a great time to take a step back from this very hectic and strike torn world in which we find ourselves and recommit to our real life’s purpose. Mine is to employ photography to share the wonders of our natural world and to explore and promote the positive aspects of the human condition.

The above image was made at sunrise on a bleak morning between heavy showers. Fortunately I was there ready for those few brief moments when the sun radiated through illuminating the rocks, beach and water in a glorious light.

Adobe Lightroom was used to process the original color image prior to further editing in Adobe Photoshop CS3 where the image was rendered into black-and-white then split toned resulting in warm highlights and cool shadows.

I hope Easter provides you and yours with a break from the rigors of day-to-day life and allows you all to find a sense of peace and purpose that you’ll be able to take with you into the future.

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography 

Sunrise from U-Beins Bridge_Myanmar

 

Hasselblad 503CW camera and Hasselblad 150mm f4 Sonnar lens with Kodak Professional Portra 160VC film

Hasselblad 503CW camera and Hasselblad 150mm f4 Sonnar lens with Kodak Professional Portra 160VC film

This is one of my favourite images, the making of which was a joyous experience. Taken toward the sunrise from U-Beins Bridge, Myanmar (Burma) the image is broken up into three areas: the water, either side of a large fish trap, and the sky above. The composition draws our eyes through the frame by the warm/cool color contrasts and by the line of the fish trap as it gently snakes its way through the foreground.

The bridge is constructed from teak, which is famous for it’s water resistant properties. Salvaged from the palace at Ava, a former capital, after it was deserted the one km long footbridge has provided passage for monks and lay folk alike for over 200 years. 

I was immensely fortunate to have had the opportunity to make numerous images from that morning with which I’m happy. Though at the time I didn’t understand the significance of that day, I now realise it was one of the highlights of my life, to date. I work hard to ensure similar days come my way in the future. To live in the light, albeit only for moments at a time, is a dream well worth a life time’s effort.

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

%d bloggers like this: