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Family_There’s Nothing More Important

Portrait Photography is best undertaken in controlled light conditions

Canon 5D camera and Canon 85mm f1.2 L series USM lens. Exposure Details: 1/30 at f4.5 ISO 200

Having photographs of your loved ones is a great benefit of being a photographer. The older I get the more importance I place in making these pictures and the happier I am to share them with my own family. Though not always easy, it’s absolutely worth the effort.

The above image features my dear old mum, Mary Guy, and my younger sister, Gabrielle Luhrs. The photo was made at my mum and dad’s house in Hamilton, Victoria.

It was one of those bright, sunny days when folks are happy to go outside and be photographed. The problem, of course, is that bright light spells death for the portrait photographer. To make a good picture under such conditions you have two options: use diffusers, reflectors and/or flash to control the light or, alternatively, move your subjects into softer, more flattering light. I do both, but usually favor moving the subjects into open shade where the light is less harsh and they can open their eyes.

Referred to as the windows to the soul the eyes are probably the easiest way by which the viewer can interact with the subject. What’s more when the eyes are open their color is revealed and wrinkles are reduced.

The above picture was made under my parent’s front verandah. It wasn’t hard to bring the two of the girls closer together. I utilized the overhanging creepers and background shrubs to fill the surroundings and allow the eye to travel easier towards the subjects. A very subtle vignette and a lovely warm tone were applied to further enhance the photo.

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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Pelican_Murray River_Victoria

Black and White photo of a pelican photographed with a telephoto lens

Canon 5D camera and Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L series IS USM lens with Canon 2X Extender_effective focal length 360mm_1/500 second @ f7.1

I was fortunate to be able to photograph this beautiful pelican on the marvelous Murray River in beautiful Mildura. It was a simple matter of setting the camera to a relatively fast shutter speed, balancing exposure and firing off a few shots as the bird swam past.

What a feeling to be so close to such a wonderful creature. Pelican’s are remarkable and their antics make them great fun to watch.

The textural qualities of the water and the bird’s black and white plumage determined that a black-and-white rendering was appropriate. I added a vignette around the outside edge of the frame to help lead the eye towards the pelican and enhance the feeling of light closer to the centre of the image.

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

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Pic of the Week_Wheel Cactus_Central Victoria

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 L series USM lens @ 105mm. Exposure Details: 1/30 second @ f4 ISO 100

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 L series USM lens @ 58mm. Exposure Details: 1/20 second @ f10 ISO 400

Cairn Curren is a small settlement about 5 minutes drive from Maldon in Central Victoria. It’s a lovely area, noted for its reservoir and associated sailing club. I made the above image on the road between Maldon and Cairn Curren. The wheel cactus, while fascinating to behold, is a weed that has caused considerable difficulty to farmers in the area. Nevertheless, this small object, measuring only about 200mm in diameter, looked appealing from the road and proved interesting subject matter.

To make the image I moved in close and lay down on the ground. Shooting from a slightly elevated position allowed me to isolate the cactus from its surroundings. The fact that the surface of the cactus exhibits both smoothness and hard, prickly spikes provided an interesting duality. The dark vignette, which I added in image processing, helped to emphasize the near roundness of the cactus and, in so doing, highlighted an important design element. The repetitive nature of the crisscross pattern on the surface of the cactus provided the image with a sense of symmetry.

Adobe Lightroom 2 was employed to render the original image into black-and-white and to provide the strong vignette around the image. The image’s warm tone was applied in Adobe Photoshop CS4.

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Fallen Tree_Dog Rocks_Central Victoria

 

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 L series USM L series lens @ 24mm Exposure Details: 1/10 second @ f22 ISO 400

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 L series USM L series lens @ 24mm Exposure Details: 1/10 second @ f22 ISO 400

Most folks think that wide-angle lenses are for photographing vistas. While that may well be what they’re designed for I find them most useful and fun when used up close.

Walking right up to the subject with a wide-angle lens tends to monumentalise the subject, placing extra emphasis upon it. While a telephoto lens tends to isolate the subject from its surroundings, the wide-angle lens acts to place the subject within its surroundings. This encourages the viewer to consider the relationship between the subject and its environment.

This particular image was made under relatively high contrast conditions. I chose a fallen tree trunk that was illuminated and employed a large Depth of Field (DOF) to help lead the viewer’s eye along the line provided by the tree. A vignette was added in Adobe Lightroom 2, where the original color image was also rendered into black-and-white, prior to a few finishing touches in Adobe Photoshop CS3.

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography 

Leaves_Dog Rocks_Central Victoria

Canon 5D mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm L series USM lens at 105mm Exposure Details: 1/125 second @ f4 ISO 400

Canon 5D mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm L series USM lens at 105mm Exposure Details: 1/125 second @ f4 ISO 400

Here’s another image from last weekends workshop in Central Victoria. It’s a close-up shot of leaves at Dog Rocks near the top of Mount Alexander.

It was a beautiful day and I allowed plenty of time at the location to provide all participants with time to wander around, experiment and become attuned to the transforming power of the low-angled light.

The above image was really easy to make. One concept I frequently emphasise is ‘the brighter the light, the darker the shadow’. The sun, which was still bright, highlighted a bunch of leaves causing the surrounding leaves to go into deep shadow. These darker leaves provided a natural vignette by which to frame the sunlit leaves.

This is a fairly straightforward image that shows the subject in a mostly objective manner. Over the next few days I’ll post some images that illustrate a more subjective approach to landscape photography.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Duck_Lorne_Great Ocean Road

 

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

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

Here’s the second image from last Saturday’s Landscape Photography workshop I ran in and around Lorne on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. I was photographing reflections in the water when I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, this lovely duck swimming towards me. I made several shots until, when the duck was around 2 meters away, it veered away from me to continued feeding.

The image was processed in Adobe Lightroom where it was rendered into black-and-white. I also utilized Lightroom to add the TV screen like vignette. Adobe Photoshop CS3 was employed to add contrast and a subtle warm/cool split tone effect.

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography 

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