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An Excursion into the Mist

 Beautiful photo of Southbank_Melbourne- at night in the mist

Canon 5D Mark II camera with Canon 24mm f1.4 L series lens @ 24mm. Exposure Details: 1/8 second @ f1.8 ISO 640.

How lucky am I? On the way home from a recent class in the city I took a walk around the Southbank precinct. The still night and the encroaching mist provided fantastic photo opportunities and a very special 10 minutes to cap off a very busy day.

Without a tripod I made use of a fast 24mm f1.4 lens, at or around its maximum aperture, with ISO’s from 400 to 1000 to achieve acceptable shutter speeds for hand-held photography.

The first image from this series is all about light. The city lights themselves are the primary light sources, illuminating the low hanging clouds. The diagonal line from the footbridge that continues along the promenade adds a design element to the image and the impressionistic reflection a sense of balance with the actual city buildings above the waterline.

Reflection of footbridge and city skyline at night_Southbank_Melbourne

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24mm f1.4 L series lens @ 24mm. Exposure Details: 1/13 second @ f 1.4 ISO 800.

The bridge and its reflection is the major design element in the above image. The complimentary warm and cool colors balance the left and right sides of the scene.

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24mm f1.4 L series lens @ 24mm. 1/10 second @ f1.6 ISO 800.

I love the brooding mood in this image of Princess Bridge, Melbourne. The view through the left hand side of the image makes use of the notion of a frame within a frame. These warm colors are nicely balanced with those on the right side of the frame.

I’II present more images from this photo walk in tomorrow’s post. And look out for an announcement over the next few days about upcoming Night Photography workshops in the city of Melbourne over coming weeks.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography


Pic of the Week_Vista_West MacDonnell Ranges_Central Australia

Hasselblad 500CWi camera and Hasselblad 150mm Sonnar f4 lens with Kodak Ektacolor Pro 160 Professional film

Central Australia is one of my favorite locations. The region offers the adventurous photographer colorful characters, indigenous culture, the remnants of European pioneering settlement and a sublime, seemingly timeless landscape.

I made the above image along the West MacDonnell Ranges near the end of a fantastic day full of driving, walking and photography. It really doesn’t get much better than that. I was looking directly into the sun so I tilted the camera down to reduce the likelihood of flare. The back light produced a lovely rim-light effect highlighting the trees, the shape of the hills and the stony ground. I employed Adobe Lightroom 2 and Adobe Photoshop CS4 to render the original color file into black-and-white and then applied a warm/cool split tone.

If ever you get the opportunity to visit Central Australia make sure you allow enough time for a leisurely exploration along both the East and West MacDonnell Ranges. Ensure you’re in a position to be photographing at the edges of the day and you’ll likely produce memorable images.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Tone and Texture_Mount Buffalo National Park_Victoria

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

I love Mount Buffalo National Park. The drive up the mountain, the final stage of the trip north from Melbourne, really helps to get me into the right headspace for alpine photography. Of course the air on the mountain, like the weather, is often crisp and clear. It’s a wonderful place for short hikes with great views awaiting the more adventurous photographer. Anytime of year you’ll find lots to photograph.

The above image was made in the middle of the day with bright light burning out highlight detail and creating dark, hard shadows. I employed a polarising filter to reduce reflections and, as a result, hold much of the subtle highlight detail. What’s more, by reducing the reflectance and, therefore, the brightness of the highlights the shadows will be rendered lighter. It’s essential to understand that the brighter the light, the darker the resulting shadows will be. So, by reducing the brightness of the scene you will end up lightening the shadows.

From a compositional point of view I decided to tilt my camera down to exclude the bright sky and moved in close with a medium wide-angle lens to emphasize the textural elements in the foreground grasses.

The image is divided between the grasses on the top left and bottom right of the frame, and the dark water and reflection of the trees on the top right.

The original 35mm transparency was scanned with processing being conducted in Adobe Lightroom 2 and Adobe Photoshop CS4, where a subtle warm/cool split tone was applied.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

The Track Back_Trephina Gorge_Central Australia

Leica M6 Camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron-M series lens with Kodak Ektachrome 100VS Professional film

Situated 85km east of Alice Springs, along the West MacDonnell Ranges in Central Australia, and known for its sheer quartzite cliffs and river red gums, Trephina Gorge offers excellent opportunities for photography and hiking alike.

Today’s image was made, at dusk, from a viewpoint above the gorge. I’d hiked up earlier to photography the sunset and had to hurry to get back down before darkness descended. But the surroundings were so beautiful in the soft twilight that I stopped to make a few quick pics on the way down.

In putting together an interesting image I wanted to explore the space between the foreground rocks and trees and the cliff face beyond. The dualities of hard rock against soft foliage, the warm/cool color contrast and the relatively limited orange and green palette dominated compositional considerations.

The original film based image was scanned then processed in Adobe Camera RAW and Adobe Photoshop CS4.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Golden Reflections on Water_Mildura

Golden Reflection on Water_Mildura_MG_2197

Canon 5D camera and Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L series IS USM lens with Canon 2X Extender @ 140mm. Exposure Details: 1/400 second @ f5.6 ISO 400.

The city of Mildura is an oasis in the semi-arid Sunraysia region on the Victorian side of the border with NSW. A major producer of citrus fruits, grapes and wine Mildura has become a burgeoning tourist market providing the visitor with lots of photographic opportunities.

I will be spending quite a bit of time in Mildura during November and December 2009 as stills photographer for the Australian motion picture film Summer Coda. Due to other work commitments I’II be flying back to Melbourne on a weekly basis. It promises to be a busy, fun and exciting time. I should be able to continue my regular daily posts and hope to be able to post images from the shoot from the middle of November onwards.

The primary geographic feature of the region, and the lifeblood of the town, is the might Murray River. The above image was made in May 2007 while on assignment in Mildura. I was fascinated by the luminous colors of the river and by the lines and patterns caused by the wake of the boat from which I was photographing. The contrast in color balance from warm to cool adds an extra visual element to the image.

Processing was conducted in Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop CS4.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Water Lily_Kakadu


Water Lily_Kakadu_Northern Territory_MG_6972

Canon 5D camera and Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L series IS USM lens @ 235mm with Canon 2x Extender. Exposure Details: 1/60 second @ f5.6 ISO 100

Kakadu National Park is one of Australia’s most important and spectacular national parks. Providing the visitor with a great introduction to many of the regions key elements: landscape, wildlife and weather. While interaction with indigenous people is usually limited, dialogue with local tour operators, guides and national park officers provide the visitor with fascinating insights into indigenous culture.

Making great images at Kakadu is really no different than other locations. To maximize opportunities it’s desirable to be photographing with the best possible light. Early or late in the day is ideal. In the middle of the day overcast weather reduces contrast, helping to maintain detail in shadows and highlights. Alternatively, inclement weather often provides dramatic light (quality, direction and/or color) on the edges of the weather. That is just before and/or just after the onset of rain.

The other consideration in making great pictures is to be where and when the action is. A lot of wildlife is most active at the edges of the day (early or late). So its important to plan your trip so that you can be in position to record the light kissing the mountaintop, or (safely in the boat) on the water when the birds or crocodiles are likely to be both visible and active.

The above image was made from a boat on the Yellow Waters Cruise in Kakadu National Park. I have taken the cruise on two separate occasions: early morning in summer and late afternoon in early winter. Both trips were great as I got to witness and photograph the significant changes that occur to the waterway and surrounding environs at different times of year. The winter shoot (2007) coincided with the heaviest rainfall in the region for 100 years. Of course changing rain patterns worldwide do not always result in less rain, as is the case in Melbourne, where I currently reside. Other places will see significant increases in rainfall. The environmental balance can be a tenuous one. A local guide told me that, in the case of Kakadu, a significant increase in long-term rainfall would have a catastrophic effect on the local environment. I’m reminded of the saying that the only constant we have is change.

Image processing was conducted in Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop CS4, where a warm/cool split tone was applied.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography


Looking Seaward_Port Campbell National Park

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

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

The above image was made along the Great Ocean Road in the Port Campbell National Park. The image was made during twilight at the end of a wonderfully long day of travel and photography. I remember the mood being quite eerie as the approaching gloom of the blue, stormy sky began to overcome the last vestiges of daylight falling onto the foreground rock and sea.

After scanning the original image was processed in Adobe Camera RAW, prior to employing Adobe Photoshop CS4 for local tonal distribution and the application of a subtle warm/cool split tone. One advantage of split toning is that it further emphasizes the contrast between light and dark tones with the scene.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

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