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As Above_So Below_Port Campbell_Great Ocean Road

Ocean, Rocks and Sky_Port Campbell_Great Ocean Road

Canon 5D camera and Canon 85mm f1.2 L series lens_Exposure Details: 1/4000 second @ f8 ISO 400.

I made this image late one afternoon in Peterborough on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. I drove down to the seaside, right next to the golf course, for a walk around. It was bleak and very windy. Just before I arrived back at the car the sun came out. I turned around and noticed the beautiful, fluffy clouds standing out against the dark, brooding sky. I ran back to the beach to make the above photograph. I made sure I timed tripping the camera’s shutter release with the waves breaking onto the rock outcrop, just off the shoreline. Moments later the sun disappeared behind a cloud and the scene’s luminosity diminished.

While the image features water, rock, sky and clouds it’s really an exploration of light, tone, shape and moment.

Image processing was conducted in Adobe Lightroom 3 and Adobe Photoshop CS5.

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

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Pic of the Week_Sand Dune and Cloud_Mungo National Park_NSW

The luminous quality of the light is enhanced by the blackness of the sky in this cloud and dune, sky and ground

Leica M7 camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron-M lens with Kodak Ektachrome Elite 100 Extra Color film

Mungo National Park, in far southwest NSW, is a harsh, arid environment. But long ago it was part of an extensive inland lake system that provided local indigenous people with a bountiful food supply and, despite common perceptions, allowed them to live in seemingly permanent settlements. This challenges common perceptions that Aborigines were nomadic people, a way of life that appeared backward to the conquering British Empire. It’s now evident that indigenous Australians adapted their lifestyle and practices to the environment in which they lived.

I rendered the original image, shot on 35mm color transparency film, into black-and-white to illustrate the inherent shapes, textural qualities and tonality within the image. The luminous nature and strong shapes present in the cloud and dune have been enhanced by the deep tonality of the sky.

The high contrast nature of this image, together with the grain inherent in the film, has produced a look somewhat similar to that normally associated with black and white Infrared film. I hope you enjoy it.

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Pic of the Week_Textures_Tidal River_Wilsons Promontory

Canon 1D Mark II camera and Canon 100mm f2.8 lens. Exposure Details: 1/125 second @ f7.1 ISO 100

The above image was made at Tidal River in Wilsons Promontory National Park on the southern tip of Victoria, Australia. It is a beautiful location that offers a range of photographic opportunities that vary with light and tide.

As you can see the colors present in this scene, really only a detail of the much larger Tidal River landscape, is full of color and texture. While wonderful to behold the challenge for the photographer is to make sense of all this information. A painter can choose to delete one or more of the elements on the canvas, while a photographer’s ability to include or exclude trees, rocks, water and grass is greatly reduced.

You can change focal lengths and, thereby, the angle of view encompassed by your composition. Moving closer or further away is another option, as is changing your shooting position (e.g. worms eye or birds eye angle of view) to alter the apparent relationship between elements in the frame and the relationship between foreground, mid ground and background.

A key problem faced by photographers is the need to deal with what is actually in front of the camera and, excluding a range of exotic desktop solutions and make overs, the best solution is often image design.

Canon 1D Mark II camera and Canon 100mm f2.8 lens. Exposure Details: 1/125 second @ f7.1 ISO 100

While color was probably the element that drew me into this scene, I find it gets in the way of what, in this case, are more important design elements. It is the tones, textures, lines and shapes within the frame that are the real subject matter of this photograph. A black-and-white, split toned rendering was required to quiet down and simplify the image and, thereby, emphasize its most important elements.

I hope you agree that, through the conversion to black-and-white the resulting photograph is a quieter, more subtle and, ultimately, more beautiful rendering of the scene. I’d be very interested in your comments.

The original color image was processed in Adobe Lightroom 2, while the black-and-white, split toned version was achieved in Adobe Photoshop CS4.

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Abstraction through Shape

Canon G9 camera

Canon G9 camera

Abstraction allows the artist to present the world in a way somewhat differently to how it would normally be perceived. I believe there are three ways by which the photographer can present the world: realism, by that I mean depicting the subject in a recognizable manner; suggestion, where the object is photographed in such a way so as to suggest something other than what it actually is; and abstraction, where certain design elements, inherent to the subject, are so dominant in the composition that they become the actual subject matter of the image.

The above image is a detail from the iconic Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia. By concentrating the composition on the lines, triangular shapes and tonal contrasts within the frame the image becomes more about those specific elements than about the building itself.

The image was made with a friend’s Canon G9 camera with which I was familiarizing myself and testing as a way of determining whether it would be suitable for a range of tasks he has in mind. Initial processing was conducted in Adobe Lightroom 2, prior to final enhancements being applied in Adobe Photoshop CS4.

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Texture – A Key Design Element

 

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

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

 

A key design element, particularly in black and white photography, texture describes the relative roughness or smoothness of a surface. While a rough surface has a more highly textured appearance than a smooth one, it is the correct application of light that enables the viewer to perceive surface details.

Maximum texture can be achieved with a relatively hard light, skimming over the subject from a 90° angle. This technique will enhance texture by increasing local contrast between the lit and shadow side of details on the subject’s surface.

Conversely a diffuse or soft light source will reduce texture visibility. The smaller the light source the more specular the light emitted, creating darker shadows and more intense specular reflections.

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Depth Of Field

Depth of Field (DOF) refers to the zone of apparent sharpness both in front and behind the point where the lens is actually focused. I say apparent because the sharpest part of the image will be the spot (distance) at which the lens is focused. Areas both in front and behind the point of focus that are covered by the DOF may appear clear, but will not be quite as sharp as the point of actual focus.

Of course you would normally select the most important part of the image, your primary focal point and the spot to which you want to draw the viewer’s attention, as your focus point. The eyes in a portrait are a classic example.

Did you know that there are 3 factors that control Depth of Field (DOF)? They are as follows:

  • The Focal Length of the lens employed
  • Aperture selected
  • The Camera-to-Subject distance

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