Sydney from Observatory Hill – A Panorama…

During the Sydney Drink & Click event with roaming photographic travellers Elia Locardi & Naomi Locardi I took one set of telephoto images (16 frames at 70mm) for a panorama from Observatory Hill.

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.

Not much in the way of nice clouds to add interest to the sky but we had some nice pastel colours just as the sun hit the horizon to the left. This sixteen frame stitched pano encompasses just under a 180 degree field of view from up on the hill.

Observing Sydney

Observing Sydney

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm, 2 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Sydney Drink & Click with Elia Locardi…

I attended a Sydney Drink & Click event with roaming photographic travellers Elia Locardi & Naomi Locardi.

It was a good chance to catch up with some old friends and make some new, and even to meet someone where we’d known of each other for years but never actually physically met – six degrees of separation style 🙂

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 spent some time at a pub in The Rocks, chatting & drinking and just before sunset headed up to Observatory Hill to take some photos. Unfortunately after days of terrible weather in Sydney we had almost perfectly clear skies at sunset so there wasn’t much help there.

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 29 mm, 1/25 sec at f/3.2, ISO 2000

Once the sun had gone down we ran a quick impromptu light painting session to give some of the other photographers some exposure to this technique

Nikon vs Cannon

Nikon vs Cannon

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm, 122.00 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Light Painting the Sculptures…

Joined good friends Gerry and Suren for a very late (got home at 1:30AM the next morning much to the wife’s disgust :)) light painting session at Sculpture By the Sea.

These are the last four of the six different sculptures we included in our compositions.

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.

For this one we’ve used red and green lasers to paint and scribble within the massive glass orb (a sculpture titled “Horizon”) with the light refracting and reflecting everywhere creating this crackled lighting effect whilst white and red light was used at a very low angle from the sides to paint and create the shadows on the ground. Lighting of the clouds in the sky courtesy of the city light pollution 🙂

Lightning on the Horizon

Lightning on the Horizon

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 32 mm, 402 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100

Here Gerry has done some fantastic work with the red and blue EL wires to create the lava flow of whispy light (back breaking work believe me!) and I had the relatively simple task of walking through the scene and quickly lighting each tent with orange LED light. Lighting of the clouds in the sky courtesy again of the city light pollution :). I was really pleased with how this one turned out and it’s definitely one of my favourites from the night

Blue Lava

Blue Lava

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 36 mm, 405.00 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100

Right on Midnight and the Demons come out to play

Demonic Drive!

Demonic Drive!

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 32 mm, 275 sec at f/5.6, ISO 200

Gerry wanted to do something with these fantastic infinity stairs before we left for the night and I wanted to give my orb tool a spin so…

Rolling up the Stairs to Infinity

Rolling up the Stairs to Infinity

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 31 mm, 177 sec at f/8, ISO 100

Berry Island Sunset…

I decided take a punt and try shooting sunset on Sydney Harbour from somewhere I’d never been before. Out came TPE (The Photographers Ephemeris) for a bit of research and I searched for some suitable locations which would hopefully provide a good sunset location on the harbour and wasn’t too far away to drive to.

Eventually I found this little place called Berry Island Reserve – right next to Wollstonecraft on the lower North Shore of Sydney. It was originally one of Sydney’s Harbour Islands, but it is now connected to the mainland by a constructed isthmus.

I couldn’t find many photographs of or taken from this location but Google Maps and TPE suggested that sunset would be behind the Shell Refinery on Greenwich Point and I was hoping for a ship to be docked at the refinery to include in some compositions. My only concern was that on maps it looked like there was heavy bushland on the whole point with no real access along the shore. When I arrived however I found a very well maintained ring track going around the island and right out to the point – bonus! 🙂

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.

I arrived at the point about 50 minutes before sunset to find these absolutely fantastic colourful striped sandstone rocks around the point and out into the water with a good selection of green mossy stuff as well – perfect for some foreground interest.

The skies had been very smokey since before sunrise but had started to clear during the afternoon so I wasn’t sure what we’d get by sunset. I framed up this shot with this fantastic rock out in the water with the sky producing this magical soft light about 30 minutes before sunset. I stacked a Lee 3 stop ND with the Hitech 3 stop Reverse Grad along with the CPL and set my ISO to 50 to get a longer exposure

Otherworldy Light

Otherworldy Light

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 30 sec at f/11, ISO 50

This one perhaps 10 metres around the point with the fantastic lined rocks and ribbons of green in the cracks taken just one or two minutes after sunset

Berry Lines

Berry Lines

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 30 sec at f/11, ISO 100

and just 5 minutes later we were treated to a brief show of vibrant red lines in the sky

Curves in Red and Green

Curves in Red and Green

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 25.00 sec at f/10, ISO 100

almost twenty minutes after sunset it was getting much darker so I could do some extremely long exposures – this one looking straight down one of the stripy cracks between the coloured sandstone towards what colour and light was left in the sky

Cracks in Purple

Cracks in Purple

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 154 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Sculptured Light…

Joined good friends Gerry and Suren for a very late (got home at 1:30AM the next morning much to the wife’s disgust :)) light painting session at Sculpture By the Sea.

One thing I love about light painting is that almost all of the hard work is done out in the field perfecting each shot (it can take tens of minutes just to take a single frame) so that:
a) you come back with very few images to even look at let alone post process (yesterday I came back with 32 light painting images including test shots and fails over a 6+ hour period)
b) you have to do almost no post processing on any image – they come out of the camera almost done

During the course of the night we shot six basic compositions/scenes with six different sculptures.

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 started at the “big red head” right at the end of twilight when it was almost totally dark and most of the visitors had left so we could get some access. Just as we were completing our setup a couple also arrived to take some photos and as luck would have it we had an impromptu model who agreed to participate in a little of our light painting madness

First we have a little before and after action – this first taken pretty much right on sunset (behind us)

Red Setting

Red Setting

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 60 mm, 1/2 sec at f/11, ISO 100

It was bitterly cold with a very strong icy breeze so I’m not sure how our model managed to stay as still as she did for the 3+ minute exposure. It’s a shame we didn’t get more time to work the scene and do it justice – the light dropped, the temperature plummeted and we only got two takes, but here we have

Red Head

Red Head

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 62 mm, 188 sec at f/8, ISO 100

Some before and after action with a sculpture titled “There’s Many a Slip ‘Twixt the Cup and the Lip” by Ken Unsworth – this first just two and a half seconds taken just before 8PM (about half an hour after sunset) so we’ve still got good glow in the sky

Riding into the Sunset

Riding into the Sunset

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm, 2.50 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Much later (9:20PM) we’re back again, and for this lazy 314 second image the very tall Gerry was able to create the fiery trail behind the bike and on the ground using red & blue EL wire, I’ve painted the ground using a red torch and the bushes with a green torch and we’ve used some zoomable white light torches to backlight and paint the front of our skeletal friend. Nicely positioned clouds provided by nature and lit by city light pollution.

Fire Trails

Fire Trails

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm, 314 sec at f/8, ISO 100