The Tower…

Last weekend late in the afternoon (around 6PM) the sky was basically blue with a touch of light clouds when this huge black mass was approaching from the south west and moving east. It was interesting seeing the sky half bright blue and the other filled with dark, black foreboding clouds.

As it moved across and brought the light rain I setup my tripod upstairs and opened the window to capture some images (facing north) as the storm front moved across.

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 gallery viewer.

The first image includes the dark mass above with some relatively clear blue in the distance and the lovely sparse trees over the road being silhouetted as it reaches up into the sky.

NIKON D90 + 70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 100 mm, 1/60 sec at f / 16, ISO 200

The second (which I’ve titled “The Tower”) was taken after the majority of the storm front had passed over and it was now raining lightly. I took this with a long focal length and as shallow a depth of field as I can manage with this lens but with the point of focus being the tops of the trees on the other side of the road, putting the tower and the hills in the distance blurring into the rainy mist.

NIKON D90 + 70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 270 mm, 1/80 sec at f / 5.6, ISO 200

Leaves and Bark…

With all of the wind a rain recently huge amounts of bark and leaves had come down from the large gum trees and literally filled the gutters in the street.

I’d been eyeing the piles of stuff for days thinking it might make an interesting subject for some close up photography and I’d better get there before the street sweeper came through and destroyed my chance… So on a recent morning I got out there with my trusty Tamron 90mm macro lens (which I hadn’t taken for a spin for a while) and took the following images handheld lying down in the street (hoping not to get run over by traffic – we have a pretty quiet street so I wasn’t all that concerned :)).

For the first I know it looks like I planned this but it was a happy coincidence that that insect came and landed on the leaves I was just about to photograph.

NIKON D90 + 90.0 mm f/2.8 @ 90 mm, 1/100 sec at f / 13, ISO 200

For the second I loved the colours, textures and twists of these old drying leaves.

NIKON D90 + 90.0 mm f/2.8 @ 90 mm, 1/60 sec at f / 16, ISO 200

Smile…

Our local school held it’s annual Christmas Carols recently and I took a number of photos on the night.

Here is one of my eldest daughter taken a bit before the sun set (around 6:20PM) with the low sun backlighting her through the trees above her.

NIKON D90 + 50.0 mm f/1.4 @ 50 mm, 1/400 sec at f / 2.8, ISO 200

Ninja Restaurant – Japanese Food Photography…

Friends of our family have recently opened up their second Japanese restaurant. Both restaurants are called “Ninja” and the first is at Avalon Beach and this new venture is in St Ives (both in the northern regions of Sydney). If you are interested in Japanese food then I can highly recommend both restaurants – their food is more traditional restaurant quality japanese food and is delicious. They source in quality ingredients and their blue fin tuna sashimi and wagyu beef is divine.

We all (including my parents) went for dinner recently just after the opening of the St Ives restaurant and whilst we were there enjoying the food we were discussing having photographs of their meals for things like menus, flyers and so on. They asked if I’d please do some photos for them and photograph their dishes for their forthcoming lunch menu… I’d never actually done food photography before and there is a real technique and art to styling, lighting and taking food photos however I was willing to give it ago (since if I failed they could always get a professional in to do it properly :)).

NIKON D90 + 50.0 mm f/1.4 @ 50 mm, 1/60 sec at f / 2.8, ISO 2800

I knew some of the basic theory for doing this and so brought most of my gear (including lenses, tripod, reflectors, etc). My friend (who’s the head chef) would make the meals and bring them out and I would photograph them on the tables just outside the front of the restaurant – lighting choices were limited (basically it’s just ambient light at the front) – however there was a large white sunshade cover which covers the whole front of the centre where the restaurant is which softened the hard midday light and I just used reflectors (silver) and scrims (white translucent) to shape the light a little more. Seriously however there wasn’t a huge amount of science to it and I’m sure the “real” food photographers are now rolling over in their graves but I felt reasonably happy with my first attempts.

The images for their use (menus, flyers, etc) I took mostly from that sort of higher 45 degree or more angle – which is basically what they need for that sort of thing. However I did take images from a much lower perspective with a much shallower depth of field (the sort you might see in magazines or in prints on the wall) and those are the ones I’ll show here 🙂

NIKON D90 + 50.0 mm f/1.4 @ 50 mm, 1/400 sec at f / 2.8, ISO 200

NIKON D90 + 50.0 mm f/1.4 @ 50 mm, 1/200 sec at f / 2.8, ISO 200

NIKON D90 + 50.0 mm f/1.4 @ 50 mm, 1/60 sec at f / 2.8, ISO 400

NIKON D90 + 50.0 mm f/1.4 @ 50 mm, 1/100 sec at f / 2.8, ISO 200

Life is a Beach…

We celebrated the birthday of one of my daughters friends recently. The birthday party was held at Clontarf beach here in Sydney and it was an absolutely fabulous day – gorgeous warm weather, slightly overcast and not too hot – perfect day for swimming at the beach.

The girls all had a fantastic time celebrating the birthday, swimming and playing and I had the opportunity to take some nice photos. I stuck with the long lens (the 70-300mm telephoto) for most of the day. The Nikon 70-300mm really is a very nice lens and in good light the slower 4.5 to 5.6 maximum aperture doesn’t really hinder the shot making and the results are often very nice detailed and sharp images with good contrast and colour (especially so in the 70-200mm range).

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 gallery viewer.

Jumping off the pier into the enclosed protected swimming area.

NIKON D90 + 70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 240 mm, 1/1250 sec at f / 5.6, ISO 200

A shot of one of my daughters friends splashing up the water in front of her with her hands whilst running forward. This was a tricky shot to capture since I was quite a long way away and attempting to focus on the water splash with a minimal depth of field whilst everything was moving – this was probably luck 🙂

NIKON D90 + 70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 250 mm, 1/1000 sec at f / 5.6, ISO 200

My youngest daughter giving me the “look”

NIKON D90 + 70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 210 mm, 1/1000 sec at f / 5.3, ISO 200

and another one 🙂

NIKON D90 + 70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 220 mm, 1/1000 sec at f / 5.3, ISO 200

Finally a bit of water sports play on something inflatable that you can get tipped off 🙂 …

NIKON D90 + 70.0-300.0 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 210 mm, 1/1600 sec at f / 5.3, ISO 200