Rodney Campbell's Blog

Going for Broke…

by on Jun.30, 2015, under Life, Photography

Each year my local camera club which I’m a member of organises a weekend away somewhere. It’s a chance to just get out somewhere and focus on photography for a couple of days with very like minded people :).

Usually we just rent a large house or two somewhere relatively remote somewhere in our state and we spend two or three days in good company with good food and just go out shooting and talk photography, life and anything which comes to mind :).

A Lovely Box of Chocolates

A Lovely Box of Chocolates

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 160 mm, 1/50 sec at f/11, ISO 250

This year we headed out to Broke in the Hunter Region of New South Wales (about 160km North West of Sydney).

This whole area is wine country and little vineyards dot the landscape everywhere. In fact the two large houses we stayed in were right next to a winery.

We stayed at the fabulous Cicada and Hunter Moon Country Houses and I have to say they really have done a very nice job doing up these properties and our hosts did a great job prepping the place for the sixteen of us.

These two shots were taken looking down into the driveway of one of the other winery’s on the lovely drive out to Broke on the first day. It was a little past prime time for the Autumn leaves but it makes for a lovely chocolate box image none the less :). One of many more to come in the coming days.

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.

Going for Broke

Going for Broke

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 160 mm, 1/50 sec at f/11, ISO 250

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Keyed on Architecture…

by on Jun.28, 2015, under Life, Photography

One of the styles of imagery I really enjoy – both looking at and taking – is fine art black and white architecture long exposures with clouds streaking through the sky.

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.

AMPlitude

AMPlitude

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 28 mm, 246 sec at f/11, ISO 100

You need a pretty specific set of conditions of this style of photography. There is no exact formula but there are certain things which can certainly help including:

– a certain type of cloud cover/pattern – not cloudless and not completely cloudy – you want a sky which is predominantly blue with lots of fluffy separated pieces of cloud.
– something like 25-40% cloud and 60-75% clear blue is great.
– you need the clouds to be moving – and reasonably fast – ideally in one or two distinct directions (sometimes you get two different layers of cloud moving in different directions and the effect can be quite interesting).
– the direction of cloud is also important but you can often adjust for that by moving around your chosen subject building to get the lines you want.
– you of course need interesting architectural subjects – modern building often suit this style of photography but older or classic buildings can also work.
– sometimes very contrasty light works for the type of image you’re creating but I often like softer more subtle light on my buildings.

so for me – the conditions this morning were perfect for my take on this style of photography. It was time to swivel about on the expressway and point back towards the city skyscrapers behind us which overlook the Cahill and the harbour.

Up top is the famous AMP building which was Sydney’s first highrise to take advantage of the lifting of the 46m (150ft) height limit which was enforced until 1957. It dominated the city’s skyline for many years.

Sometimes even any old random apartment building can be made to look somewhat interesting as a monochrome architecture piece :).

Thrust

Thrust

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 32 mm, 245 sec at f/11, ISO 50

We then headed down off the expressway to ground level and directly below the AMP building. The light was getting a little strong and harsh by this stage (it was 7:20AM and almost an hour after sunrise). Still the results can be pretty striking.

AMPed

AMPed

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 307 sec at f/9, ISO 100

Fine

Fine

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 62 mm, 246 sec at f/11, ISO 100

and finally on to one of the newer modern glass structures along the quay offering up lots of opportunities for fine detailed structures and interesting patterns and shapes. The Gateway Tower at One Macquarie Place.

Dark Blade

Dark Blade

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 38 mm, 245 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Time to head home after a great morning out. Thankyou Gerry for the loan of the BigStopper mate; and thanks to Melinda for some excellent title suggestions.

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and then the Clouds came…

by on Jun.26, 2015, under Life, Photography

I was with Gerry on a cloud less pre dawn one morning at Circular Quay on the harbour here in Sydney.

Just before sunrise however, a hint of the first clouds and what was to come started magically appearing in the sky. When sunrise finally came the skies lit up with a wonderful array of pink tinged fluffy cotton ball clouds across the whole of the sky. I love it when this happens.

Rush Hour

Rush Hour

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 28 mm, 246 sec at f/8, ISO 400

The other thing which is fantastic about clouds appearing fast like this is it’s usually accompanied by wind pushing the clouds across the sky and into view. As it was this morning the clouds were moving across the sky very fast even though the air was relatively still down here at ground level.

We had been at the time shooting up on the deck of the Cahill expressway which overlooks Circular Quay and the ferry terminal. We were already pointing out into the harbour towards the famous coathanger and the clouds were moving in a nice left to right (west to east) direction.

Unfortunately I’d not brought any of my heavy ND filters today. I had grads and the polariser but I wasn’t expecting to be shooting after sunrise. It’s always the way – decide with all best intentions not to bring something and then I need it…

Gerry had his Lee BigStopper and his B+W 10 stop screw in ND so I asked if I could borrow the BigStopper (I know he prefers the colour cast from the B+W to the blue of the Lee).

We stuck with this view looking out towards the harbour and tried a few compositions with the addition of the 10 stop ND’s.

What is very interesting with both the image up the top and the one below is the way it looks like the clouds are stationary on the far left and then progressively look like they are speeding up as you move to the right where they are accelerating out of frame. I’m not sure if if was just because the wind was picking up or localised that way but I found the end result very interesting.

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.

Accelerate

Accelerate

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 28 mm, 246 sec at f/8, ISO 100

When the clouds finally came it ended up being a very fine and productive morning out. Time to make use of the great conditions and work with a style of photography I do enjoy… But more of that in the next instalment :).

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Martian Sunrise…

by on Jun.24, 2015, under Life, Photography

Another day, another sunrise opportunity (almost) missed…

A spectacular dawn was approaching, it’s just before 7AM and here I was at home lamenting the fact that it was Tuesday and I was soon off to work…

Still it’s quite beautiful and the colour amazing – feeling like I was on the surface of Mars viewing a Martian city in the distance with the firestorms sweeping overhead. Just enough time to get the 70-300mm and camera out and onto the tripod to shoot out the window…

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.

Armageddon City

Armageddon City

NIKON D600 + 70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 70 mm, 1/50 sec at f/11, ISO 100

I bracketed all my frames this morning thinking I’d need to rescue the highlights and shadows from the frames. I’m basically facing east here towards where the sun is just about to rise above the horizon. In the end however I’ve just processed the zero frames – it’s simply amazing just how much dynamic range you can now get in these modern Sony sensors in these new Nikon full frame D-SLR’s.

This Martian Rise is my favourite shot of the morning – the colour palette and the texture of the ribbons and layers of cloud was spectacular and this captures exactly my memory of how it looked and felt.

Martian Rise

Martian Rise

NIKON D600 + 70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 195 mm, 1/100 sec at f/11, ISO 100

The sun has now risen to the right so I’ve zoomed right in to reveal the shapes and colours of a new day dawning over new construction on Mars :).

Rising Skyward

Rising Skyward

NIKON D600 + 70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 260 mm, 1/160 sec at f/11, ISO 100

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Brainiac…

by on Jun.23, 2015, under Life, Photography

… and just when you thought it was all over, there’s just one more thing (as Apple would say)… Day 8 of the Week of Panospheres – no I hear you say – it can’t be so…

but here we have another yet to be published panorama from a recent weekend away to Broke in outback New South Wales.

Brainiac

Brainiac

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 26 mm, 1 sec at f/11, ISO 50

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.

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