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Archive for August, 2013

Crimson Sunset at Mrs Macs…

by on Aug.30, 2013, under Life, Photography

I joined Gerry at Mrs Macquaries Chair on Sydney Harbour for a sunset/twilight session with Sydney’s famous Opera House and Harbour Bridge with sunset directly behind. The skies were filled with smoke haze for most of the day (presumably from some early spring burning off going on somewhere near Sydney). It was very thick and hung around for most of the day and I was hoping for some deep blood red skies during sunset and twilight because of all the particles in the atmosphere.

We met up about forty minutes before sunset to be greeted with literally hundreds of other sightseers and budding photographers sporting everything from iPads and smartphones through to serious D-SLR kits and long fast lenses.

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.

The sun sets fast – one moment it’s a clear orb above the horizon and then it’s dipped below – just enough time to do one BigStopper (10 stop ND) long exposure before it’s gone. A quick three minute exposure (this frame I used f/8 and ISO 200 to claw back two stops and thus ten minutes – you only get one take so your guesses need to be in the ballpark – I got lucky (exposure wise at least) :))

Stoppin’ the Opera

Stoppin' the Opera

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 21 mm, 184 sec at f/8, ISO 200

Twenty five minutes after sunset and with a long exposure making the water glassy and reflective I fumbled with this vertical composition, trying to include the lovely mossy green foreground rocks with the sweet colours we were getting in the sky silhouetting some famous Sydney landmarks.

I’m in two minds with this image… I just love the top third – I think I got super lucky with the forced long exposure (I was manually exposing longer to drag in some detail in the rocks below and hoping the three stop grad at the top would still be enough to not blow out the top – and it was and the detail and colours turned out exactly as I wanted). I also love the line of green moss covered rocks – I’m just not sure about the rest and it all working together – so I’ll let the masses decide for me 🙂

Peas ‘n Pastels

Peas 'n Pastels

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 20 mm, 123 sec at f/11, ISO 200

The sky went through an assortment of yellow, orange and peachy colours from just before sunset onwards through a range of beautiful pastels till eventually for a few moments half an hour after sunset we had an intense crimson layer sitting on the horizon with deep blues above. It only lasted minutes but was worth the wait

Crimson Coat Tails

Crimson Coat Tails

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 35 mm, 62.00 sec at f/11, ISO 100

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Balls Head Panorama…

by on Aug.29, 2013, under Life, Photography

Trying out my newly repaired D600 and 16-35 with some stitched panoramas at Balls Head Reserve.

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.

This fifteen frame panorama set was taken moments after sunset and incorporates a roughly 200˚ field of view from the pastels in the east from North Sydney through behind the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the city and on past Balmain and Drummoyne all the way around to the reds in the west above the setting sun. I was thankful for the late appearance of the streaky cloud and haze out west which put some interesting reds in the sky out that way

Burning those Pastels

Burning those Pastels

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 35 mm, 2.50 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Almost thirty minutes after sunset and we’re well into twilight blue hour with this eight frame stitched panorama incorporating Sydney’s CBD all sparkling at night around to the still burning skies out to the west. With very long exposures for each frame it takes some time to complete the whole set – and the light was noticeably dropping fast so I was manually increasing the exposure time for each frame chasing the light as I went to compensate – I started at just over 30 seconds for the first frame on the right and by the time I’d rotated around to the last frame on the left I was out to many minutes

Chasing the Light

Chasing the Light

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 35 mm, 31 to 85 sec at f/11, ISO 100 + Lee 0.9 GND + Heliopan CPL x 8 Frames

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Sydney from Balls Head Reserve…

by on Aug.27, 2013, under Life, Photography

I finally got my Nikon D600 and 16-35 back from Nikon repair so I thought I’d test it out and try my luck with a quick trip down to Balls Head Reserve on the north shore of Sydney harbour looking across at the city.

When I left the sky was completely blank with not a cloud in the sky – so I wasn’t expecting much in the way of sunset colour but I was hoping we might get some sweet pastel tones in the sky on sunset and during twilight and I wasn’t disappointed. Better still we got some streaky cloud and haze out west which put some interesting reds in the sky out that way.

I mostly took panorama sets incorporating the pastels in the east behind the harbour bridge and the city around to the reds in the west above the setting sun.

This is a single vertical frame taken straight at the city about 15 minutes after sunset

Lavender City

Lavender City

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 35 mm, 10.00 sec at f/11, ISO 100

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Light Painting the Moon Bridge…

by on Aug.25, 2013, under Life, Photography

Headed to Cooper Park in Bellevue Hill (near Bondi Junction) for a little evening light painting with Gerry and Suren. After a little wander in the very dark woods we found the small stone bridge at the bottom of the gorge which was to be the base of our evenings fun and experimenting with light painting. It was extremely dark down here which was ideal for our purposes.

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.

We tested a number of separate component pieces before finally building up to this one single take. Just over 8 minutes of exposure time which involved Suren in the gas mask positioned on one of the nearby pillars having to essentially stay still for the entire take whilst Gerry and I added the various light painting touches (we “may” have gone overboard with the colours :)) – but here we have:

– Bare flash (full power) from below and behind to rim our menacing subject
– Snooted and zoomed flash (1/4 power) from out of frame on the right to light him
– Red and Blue EL wire to create the pillars of fire on the left and right
– Blue EL wire on the base of the bridge
– Green LED torch on the steps, pathways and trees at the far end
– Red LED torch on the stone sides of the bridge
– Red LED torch to provide a little side light to the nearby trees from the sides outside the frame
– some white (LED) light in the upper trees cross lit from the far sides outside the frame

Ethereal Fire

Ethereal Fire

NIKON D7000 + 17.0-55.0 mm f/2.8 @ 17 mm, 489 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100

Two Moon Bridge

Two Moon Bridge

NIKON D7000 + 17.0-55.0 mm f/2.8 @ 17 mm, 214 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100

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Sydney CBD Photowalk…

by on Aug.23, 2013, under Life, Photography, Street

I joined the SydCBD G+ Community for another lunchtime photowalk. We met up at the Town Hall Steps and then took a walk down Castlereigh St towards Martin Place. I travelled light and just brought the camera with the spectacular new Sigma 35/1.4 onboard.

When we arrived at the Town Hall we were greeted with a small but somewhat attention gathering protest – presumably against the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival which was starting here later that night.

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 think I was on a bit of a patterns and shapes bent on this walk – most of my photos were of abstract things – maybe it was the fixed 35mm or maybe I’m just wired that way 🙂

Shadow Art

Shadow Art

NIKON D7000 + 35.0 mm f/1.4 @ 35 mm, 1/250 sec at f/8, ISO 100

Ripples

Ripples

NIKON D7000 + 35.0 mm f/1.4 @ 35 mm, 1/80 sec at f/8, ISO 100

Our illustrious walk organiser Ali – shot wide open at f/1.4

Ali

Ali

NIKON D7000 + 35.0 mm f/1.4 @ 35 mm, 1/320 sec at f/1.4, ISO 100

Prada

Prada

NIKON D7000 + 35.0 mm f/1.4 @ 35 mm, 1/80 sec at f/1.4, ISO 100

and finally these backlit glass windows had these fascinating contoured patterns in them

Golden Contours

Golden Contours

NIKON D7000 + 35.0 mm f/1.4 @ 35 mm, 1/80 sec at f/3.2, ISO 100

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