Rodney Campbell's Blog

Pastel’s On High – A Panosphere…

by on Jul.31, 2014, under Life, Photography

I took my favourite pastel infused panorama taken from the Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon Lookout and stitched just about the full 360º view before turning it into this obligatory Little Planet (panosphere) rendition

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

I call it Pastel’s On High and it allows you to see both parts of the Harbour Bridge itself leading into opposite directions – the bridge itself to the north and the onramp leading to the city to the south all set looking down onto the harbour and the city enveloped in pastel infused skies

Pastel’s On High

Pastel's On High

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 1/30 sec at f/5.6, ISO 400

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One Lens, One Hour, One Location – St Andrew’s Cathedral…

by on Jul.28, 2014, under Life, Photography

Right in the heart of the Sydney on George St – right next door to Sydney’s Town Hall is St Andrew’s Cathedral

I’ve shot in here a number of times before but now it was time to give it my One Lens, One Hour, One Location treatment with just the camera and the Sigma 15mm fisheye for company

To recap this ongoing mini project – one of limitation really – it was to go out and shoot with just one lens, one focal length for one hour in one location, on a nice overcast day to see what I could come back with…

Whilst the patterned tiles on the floor of St Andrew’s Cathedral are fantastic, as are the stained glass windows at both ends and down the sides – both low and high, and the fantastic sandstone columns are awesome – it’s that lovely ceiling that really captivates me…

Raise the Roof

Raise the Roof- St Andrew's Cathedral

NIKON D600 + 15.0 mm f/2.8 @ 15 mm, 1/25 sec at f/2.8, ISO 100

Inverse Curve

Inverse Curve - St Andrew's Cathedral

NIKON D600 + 15.0 mm f/2.8 @ 15 mm, 1/15 sec at f/4, ISO 500

Stained

Stained - St Andrew's Cathedral

NIKON D600 + 15.0 mm f/2.8 @ 15 mm, 1/40 sec at f/4, ISO 100

The Cathedral

The Cathedral - St Andrew's

NIKON D600 + 15.0 mm f/2.8 @ 15 mm, 1/30 sec at f/4, ISO 100

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Zenith Beach Sunrise – Nelson Bay…

by on Jul.26, 2014, under Life, Photography

Urgh… we’d just had perhaps 3 hours sleep after spending all day and night shooting and freezing… It was a road trip after all so at 5AM we’re awake to do it all again…

We were heading to Zenith beach near Nelson Bay. Upon arrival the location was awesome – primeval rocks along the coast and these fantastic pointed mountains just reaching up out of the bay. Unfortunately the cloud scenario was much less impressive – just a few tiny specks – it was going to be one of those days…

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

This place is a definite for a return trip someday – so many interesting structures and compositions – all we needed was some epic clouds and colour to match

We did get some pastel goodness which allowed me to put together a few images I was happy with

Sun at the Zenith

Sun at the Zenith

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 24 mm, 62.00 sec at f/11, ISO 100

First up this stitched panorama from seven (7) vertical frames with the trusty 16-35 f4 – I actually had to go back and redo a bunch of the frames as I went along since the area where the sun was going to come up was so ridiculously bright. This required a bit of massaging in post to get it to work for me but I do like the composition and it pretty much covers a 180º field of view looking both up and down the coast from where I setup out on the rocks

Actually if you zoom in real tight – way out on the right that little silhouette on the rocks is Suren sitting behind his tripod

Here’s a vertical composition from the same spot with the 3 stop Lee Grad stacked with the 3 stop Hitech Reverse Grad just to hold down the massively bright sky and the sun hasn’t even risen yet! – still more than 15 minutes till sunrise

Zenith Pointer

Zenith Pointer

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 8.50 sec at f/11, ISO 100

and that was pretty much the end of the nice colour – after that we were left with just a yellow stain on the horizon (Gerry has a much less favourable term for this – think of a regular bodily function :))

I did setup in this nice channel looking straight out towards sunrise over these very cool jagged looking rocks out in the water

Streaks and Leaks

Streaks and Leaks

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 20 mm, 1/2 sec at f/11, ISO 200

after that the sun rose and all the water spray droplets on my filters turned to sparkly mess. I tried a littlestopper and then a bigstopper long exposure but then gave up in vain but I can still heartily recommend a trip to Zenith beach

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Bradleys Setting…

by on Jul.24, 2014, under Life, Photography

On the spur of the moment decided to head out to Bradleys Head (near Taronga Zoo on the north side of Sydney harbour) for sunset

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

Oyster Sky

Oyster Sky

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 20.00 sec at f/11, ISO 100

I’d invited my friend Gerry to join me and it was looking promising but we just ran out of time. I barely made it in time – I arrived to Bradleys only moments before sunset – I quickly parked the car in the one spot that was left (thankfully) and as I got out another friend (Yogesh) drove up (he’d also decided on a whim to come here :))

The sun was setting fast so I dashed down to the water – I’d fully intended on shooting the small Bradleys Head Light Tower just off to the left. My intention was to shoot long exposures looking down the stone and wooden walk to the lighthouse (basically facing directly South) with some cloud and colour in the sky

Unfortunately it was looking totally grey to the south so I quickly changed plan and walked along the rocks towards the Doric stone column

An Aside: Sitting on the rock platform off the headland is a Doric stone column. It is one of six that were taken from the demolished Sydney Post Office and placed in positions in Sydney

The sun had actually set by the time I’d found a little spot and setup my tripod – I was rushing now – the clouds and colour to the west were starting to look epic so I was frantic to get a shot before it expired!…

Not one to shy from a challenge I decided my first frames would be for a stitched panorama (which meant ensuring my tripod was levelled for the rotation I was expecting (which takes some time with just a simple ball head and no levelling base or pano head))

Anyway I took two sets of frames for a stitched pano – the first 6 frames at 26mm and for the second I moved a little further forward towards that interesting diagonal rock with the green on top and went a little wider to 22mm for 5 frames – with the second I also added a 3 stop ND (to join the 3 stop reverse grad I was using) to lengthen the shutter times to smooth the water

Both panos stitched ok (and I included the Doric column – which looks so out of place here – in real life :)) and the colour was fantastic in both (and the water was nicer (to my eye anyway) in the second long exposure version but the first pano was much less distorted and had an overall nicer composition of the foreground rocks so was my easy preference

Bradleys Sunset

Bradleys Sunset

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 26 mm, 1/2 sec at f/11, ISO 100

My only problem now was to decide whether to leave the column in (as it really was) or clone it out – what do you think?

Bradleys Sunset

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 26 mm, 1/2 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Once those frames were in the can I set about taking some single exposures as the light fell rapidly and the sky continued acting very interesting

This one was my favourite – I really liked the composition I was able to get with this great diagonal rock leading down to the water and the sky was fantastic

Vortex

Vortex

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 13 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Then about half an hour after sunset I switched to a horizontal framing on that rock and started trying long exposures with a little light painting of the foreground rocks to bring them out of the darkness

This one is about 45 minutes after sunset

Bradleys Light

Bradleys Light

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 18 mm, 213 sec at f/11, ISO 200

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Temple Run…

by on Jul.22, 2014, under Life, Photography

Having finished our sunrise session at beautiful Makapu’u on the east coast of Oahu/Hawaii we headed off for the all important group breakfast – it was great to just sit, eat and chat with “dA Crazies”

After breakfast a number of people were going to continue the photographic morning with an exploration of temples and churches along the eastern coast of Oahu

Our first stop was the Byodo-In Temple located at the foot of the Ko’olau Mountains in Valley of the Temples Memorial Park. It was established on June 7, 1968, to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. The Byodo-In in O’ahu is a smaller-scale replica of the over 950-year-old Byodo-in Temple in Kyoto, Japan

It was a beautiful spot and a nice day for photographing the temple with a good cover of overcast clouds to soften the light

Looking over the bridge which is the entranceway to the temple at the base of the mountains

Byodo-In Temple

Byodo-In Temple

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm, 1/8 sec at f/13, ISO 100

A little ten stop ND to simplify the scene and let those high clouds really mist up the mountains

Temple in the Mist

Temple in the Mist

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 36 mm, 123 sec at f/11, ISO 100

It wouldn’t be a Japanese style temple if there wasn’t a pond jam packed with huge carp

Carpeted

Carpeted

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm, 1/500 sec at f/2.8, ISO 100

Gingerly

Gingerly

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm, 1/1600 sec at f/4, ISO 100

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