Rodney Campbell's Blog

Picnic Anyone?…

by on Jul.27, 2016, under Life, Photography

One of the somewhat bizarre aspects of this location at Glen Davis (and there are many) is this very nice picnic table. It’s setup here amongst the rubble and ruins however it seems at odds with it’s surroundings.

Picnic Anyone?

Picnic Anyone?

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 24 mm, 1/30 sec at f/11, ISO 100

I’m really not sure who exactly would be picnicing here (it’s on private property after all). Anyway we never did actually have a picnic out here. It does however provide a counterpoint to my background along with this very nice swathe of green moss in the foreground.

I’m not exactly sure what this particular building was for. Nor why these very large circular holes at intervals near ground level. These circular ‘windows’ were opposite each other on both sides of the building but only on the ground level.

Regardless, I found it made for an interesting composition looking through to the world beyond. I needed to bracket exposures for this final image. I took nine (9) exposures from -4EV to +4EV at 1EV intervals and blended them in post for this somewhat funky result.

Well Rounded

Well Rounded

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 24 mm, 1/40 to 5 sec at f/10, ISO 100

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. To see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer click any of the images below.

Lastly climbing the hill a little at the back of the ruins I shot back down the valley. The slightly higher perspective gives you a good view over the main ruins area. The main “road” leads right down the middle. In the distance we have Pantoney Crown (commonly called Capertee Crown).

NIKON D750 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 44 mm, 1/30 sec at f/10, ISO 100

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Firetubes…

by on Jul.25, 2016, under Life, Photography

These firetubes were one aspect of this oil shale refinery at Glen Davis that I was aware of before coming. I was keen to photograph these firetubes from below (and had even thought of from above using the drone :)).

Channelled

Channelled

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 1/60 sec at f/9, ISO 100

Apparently the building these chimney like tubes are in, was where shale was fed through tubes and heated. I believe they were called the retort towers.

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. To see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer click any of the images below.

Underneath the building you can easily get underneath these firetubes which go all the way up to the sky above.

Firetubes

Firetubes

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 1/30 sec at f/9, ISO 100

Thus if you plant yourself directly underneath the middle of where each of these four sets of tubes are you can look directly up through them. Do be careful however and keep a careful eye out lest you want a brick to the head.

There’s actually not just one set of four chimney tubes. Based on my aerial image I’d say there were around 18 sets in this building alone. At the bottom of this building however you can only gain access to about half a dozen of the sets. The images taken in this blog post show you a few of the different quad sets.

Falling Up

Falling Up

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 1/6 sec at f/11, ISO 100

One of this trickiest parts (besides not being killed by falling debris) of this is setting up your camera and tripod to be perfectly centred. It requires finessing your tripod and camera. You aim to get the sensor plane level (or perpendicular to the tubes). At the same time aiming to get your camera lens perfectly centred between the four tubes.

It’s painstaking work – and in fact sometimes when you do get it all centred the image looks wrong.

As it was with the very first image above. Because with this spot the remaining portions of the tubes varied in height with that top left one being much closer to the camera. So for this one to look “right” I had to shift off centre :).

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Glen Davis Valley…

by on Jul.24, 2016, under Life, Photography

In the heart of the Glen Davis Valley with the hills arrayed around us. This time in another fully interactive 360˚ viewing experience. Shot using the DJI Phantom drone. I’ve manoeuvred and hovered the drone just above where we’d parked and shot sunrise.

Glen Davis Valley

Look down and you’ll see us and our cars waiting patiently :)…

Glen Davis Valley

Glen Davis Valley

DJI Phantom 4 - FC330 + 3.6 mm @ 3.61 mm, 1/120 sec at f/2.8, ISO 155 x 25 Frames

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. To see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer click any of the images below.

The interactive panorama gives a good sense of what it’s like inside the Capertee valley here at Glen Davis. The end of the valley is behind us just past the ruins of the Glen Davis works oil shale factory ruins. Out in front the valley opens up after the small village of Glen Davis. That singular “mountain” and peak is Pantoney Crown (Capertee Crown) in the distance.

Soaring

Soaring

NIKON D750 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 58 mm, 1/1000 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100

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Droning over Glen Davis….

by on Jul.23, 2016, under Life, Photography

My morning landscaping complete it was time to start some droning. Unpacking the DJI Phantom in the back of the car it was time to send it up in the early morning light.

Glen Davis

Glen Davis

DJI Phantom 4 - FC330 + 3.6 mm @ 3.61 mm, 1/30 sec at f/2.8, ISO 146

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. To see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer click any of the images below.

Living in the city I’d never flown my drone very far away. There were a couple reasons for this including the lack of nice open ground and airspace. However the main reason you can’t is the radio interference which kicks in after reasonably short flying distances of just a few hundred metres away. All those WiFi hotspots and other radio interference really just messes with the reception.

Empty Lanes

Empty Lanes

DJI Phantom 4 - FC330 + 3.6 mm @ 3.61 mm, 1/30 sec at f/2.8, ISO 191

Out here however where’s there’s not even mobile reception it’s clear airspace.

I sent the drone up and flew out to the other side of Glen Davis (about 1.5km’s away). I had perfectly clear signal reception and could easily have flown much further I suspect. It was my first long range flight so I kept it simple.

Droning

Droning

DJI Phantom 4 - FC330 + 3.6 mm @ 3.61 mm, 1/30 sec at f/2.8, ISO 188

Took some stills and video of the now mostly abandoned town. The old streets are still clearly visible from the sky but many houses and buildings have long since vanished.

Oil Shale Mining

Oil Shale Mining

DJI Phantom 4 - FC330 + 3.6 mm @ 3.61 mm, 1/15 sec at f/2.8, ISO 212

I then flew back past us and over the ruins of the Shale Oil refinery. This shot from above clearly shows a number of the old buildings and structures on the site. Including that large still standing brick building with all those sets of quad chimney ports. This was the building I was using for my star and milky way images the previous evening.

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Rollercoaster…

by on Jul.21, 2016, under Life, Photography

Another one of my stitched panorama’s using my new Novoflex VR-System Pro-II panorama kit courtesy of Mainline Photographics. This one I’ve taken enough frames (tho I didn’t know it at the time :)) for a full 360˚ panorama.

Rollercoaster

Entropy * Photographic Exhibition

One concept; 9 Photographers; 9 Interpretations

I’ve just completed printing all of my exhibition prints for our upcoming exhibition. It was a careful painstaking job but a huge relief :). Seeing those big beautiful prints coming out of the printer was amazing. It’s so much more real when those photographs finally come out into the real world. There’s definitely something to be said for having solid fine art prints you can hold in your hand.

Less than seven weeks to go…

I’d originally planned to have my images mounted on black core Gatorboard. I had one test image professionally mounted but I and many of the rest of my group had decided the look just wasn’t quite right. There were a number of practical benefits for this system but in the end I believe traditional matting and framing will suit these images better.

Details:

Our exhibition will be at The Art Space on the Concourse @ Chatswood (Sydney’s North Shore). It’s showing from Wednesday 7th to Sunday 18th September 2016 and entry is Free. If you can make it we’d love to see you there.

What’s Next?:

Next step is to select and order all of the custom frames, and cut all of the mats for all the images.

The full 360˚ pano is composed of two rows of eight (8) frames (16 frames in total). There wasn’t enough data to cover the area at the bottom so to create the fully immersive 360×180˚ photosphere I’ve had to “fake” the very bottom :).

Below is the full flattened equirectangular image and thus the name “rollercoaster”. Deb thought it looked like a rollercoaster with the structure and the milky way arch curving up and down repeatedly through the frame. She’s much more creative and inventive than me – thanks Deb :).

Rollercoaster

Rollercoaster

NIKON D750 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 30 sec at f/2.8, ISO 6400 x 16 Frames

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. Click any of the images below to see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer.

It’s not perfect by any means but sometimes happy accidents do happen :).

Shoot for the Stars – Workshop

Are you are interested in experiencing this epic location for yourself… Interested in two nights of dedicated astrophotography coaching and tuition… If so definitely sign up for this excellent Shoot for the Stars × Capertee workshop being held at this location with Luke Tscharke & Jay Evans from Fri 2nd to Sun 4th September this year.

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