Archive for December, 2014
Took my visiting nephew to watch the cricket last night.
We watched the Sydney Sixers take on the Perth Scorchers in the T20 Big Bash League (unfortunately the Sydney team was well and truly beaten).
My nephew loves his cricket so we had a good evening and he was extra pleased to get autographs and a few photos with some players after the game.
Percy Bates (1870-1949) was an inventor ahead of his time. He believed he could generate electricity using power derived from the motion of waves. To conduct his experiments in the 1920s, he hand cut a 12 metre long channel in the rocks near his shed-like workshop. The surge of the waves was enhanced as it moved up the channel.
Over the channel he housed machinery that he devised to turn this power into electricity. Pumps circulated the water through a system containing a turbine and connected to a generator. In 1925 he was able to produce enough electricity to light his workshop. In August, 1920 he had submitted his drawings to the Patent Office under the title “Improvements in and relating to the utilisation of wave motion”, and in 1928 he assigned the subsequent patent to “Wave Water Co Ltd”. By 1930 this small and unique experiment was producing 5,000 watts at high tide.
Well after sunrise the sun finally rose above the heavy cloud and Gerry and I were shooting down the channel again towards the now rising sun. It was very bright by this stage so he was using the Lee BigStopper whilst I was using the Lee LittleStopper along with a CPL and the 0.9 GND.
Unfortunately for Gerry he’d forgotten to use his viewfinder blind and after 5 minutes or so found his image had this horrible streak down the right side – light leakage through the viewfinder.
I learnt this lesson early on when I first upgraded to a full frame camera – something about the viewfinder being larger with a much larger prism causes this. Gerry only recently upgraded so he’s yet to feel the pain enough times to do something about it. I showed him my technique – I’ve tied a thin string onto my Nikon DK-5 viewfinder cover and tied it to the camera loop on the left side of my camera so it’s always there – with just enough reach to slip onto the viewfinder.
Anyway enough of the pain… I took five (5) long exposures with this setup from 21 seconds (underexposed about a stop and a bit) through a 52 second (normal exposure) and on up to 312 seconds with the idea of blending them later in post.
I first manually adjusted the source frames in Lightroom to get them ready for blending. Note that the “normal” exposure I took was actually perfectly exposed – no clipped highlights and no blocked shadows in the RAW file. The foreground however was very dark and the sky a little washed out so I wanted to rescue that a little from the other frames rather than pushing the pixels too much in the single source RAW file. Plus I also wanted to experiment more with some new found techniques I’d been learning and researching.
Initially I tried doing a five (5) bracket 32bit un-tonemapped HDR blend in Photoshop – which resulted in total BLEH! I mean seriously it was horrible – I’d have rather adjusted the single RAW file with much better results.
Then I tried manually blending portions of my five frames as layers in Photoshop using a combination of both luminosity blending and hand blending, and with a bit of extra love first in Photoshop and then finishing touches in Lightroom we have the final result.
Want to know what you get when you mix fifty children who’ve just graduated from and just finished their last day at primary school with a truck load of shaving cream cans…
Well imagine no more…
One of my daughters who is finishing year 6 this year and is off to high school next year is joining in on the fun in what has become a bit of a tradition on the last day of the year…
and so it Begins
anyone for a shave?
Who Am I?
Celebrate our Last Day
and as soon as I put my camera away I’m free game…
One more from dawn at Long Reef on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
It’s 5:56AM and just eight (8) minutes after sunrise – though even that is still a little blocked by the cloud right on the horizon to the right. Still the sun’s golden light of dawn is beginning to shape the landscape and soon the rocks of long reef are bathed in it’s golden glow.
I ran an impromptu session recently for my Arcanum cohort on filters for landscape photography.
As part of that I went through some of my recent imagery to find some examples of the before and after affects of applying some of these filters.
I used the following three frames to highlight some of the effects of applying various filters. Primarily in this case the use Graduated ND filters to balance exposures and the use of a strong ND (Neutral Density) filter to significantly increase the length of an exposure during the day.
It is quite a bit after sunrise at Lurline Bay (tho it still isn’t even 7AM yet :)) but it’s bright and the sun is already rising fairly high in the sky behind us so Gerry and I have opted to add some heavy ND’s to the scene.
As I mentioned to my cohort for this image I have used:
– the CPL to really pop those white clouds off a nice blue sky and pop all those nice colours in the scene and improve overall contrast
– the two (2) stop Grad ND filter over the sky to darken the sky portion by two stops whilst not changing the foreground (land and sea) exposure – this is to more evenly balance the sky and land
I’ve stacked just the CPL and the 2 stop Grad filters with exposure settings (f/11 @ ISO 100) appropriate to get me a shutter speed somewhere in the 1/4 to 1 second range. With rapidly moving water as we have in this scene, shutter speeds in that ballpark range generally result in water with nice texture to it. Basically the fast flowing water turns streaky and the crashing wave motion gives us nice streaky white lines set against some deep greens of the water.
In the next image I’ve used the same two filters as above along with the 6 stop LittleStopper – this adds a significant amount to the shutter length and shooting at f/16 and ISO 50 I’ve added an additional two stops to take my exposure out to 76 seconds. With shutter speeds of this and much longer duration the fast moving water churning below me turns more to foggy mist. Whilst the slowly moving water further out where it’s just slowly rising up and down due to wave motion turns instead to a flat glassy lake. Finally the slow moving clouds in the sky turn to subtle streaks of white set against the blue.
So here I’ve stacked the Lee LittleStopper (6 stop ND) along with a 2 stop Lee Grad ND (Graduated Neutral Density) and the Heliopan CPL (Circular Polariser).
Two very different feels from the exact same scene and composition.
Lastly below I have the first test shot I took – this with no filters (except for the CPL I believe) and is the straight out of camera RAW image. You can see here in comparison with the shot above how the grad filter has worked to even the exposure between the sky and land.
Tell it to me Straight