Rodney Campbell's Blog

Archive for August, 2016


by on Aug.30, 2016, under Life, Photography

Spent an amazing couple of days (well five :)) travelling way down to Narooma at the end of last year. The name Narooma is said to be derived from the Aboriginal word meaning “clear blue waters” – it’s got that right. It’s a small coastal town on the Princes Highway on the far south coast of New South Wales.

I was travelling with a group of good photography companions, most from my local photography club and many of whom I’ll be exhibiting with early next month.

Delicate Sounds of Dawn

Delicate Sounds of Dawn

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 56 mm, 1/40 sec at f/8, ISO 100 x 6 Frames

Our eventual destination was to be a National Parks and Wildlife Reserve called Montague Island. The island is eight kilometres offshore from Narooma.

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. Click any of the images below to see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer.

I’ll definitely get to that later, but first we’d be spending two nights in Narooma. It was pretty stormy and rainy the first evening so we didn’t want to head out. We had a lovely dinner together in the place we were staying and then bunkered down for the evening.

In the morning we took to the western side of the town to have breakfast. It was a spectacular spot right on the waters of Wagonga Inlet. It was still drizzling and quite overcast but by the end of breakfast we were getting some small breaks in the sky.

The six (6) horizontal frame stitched panorama which opens this post was taken just after breakfast. It’s right on the small dock attached to where we ate. The water’s so calm and still, the light just starting to sing. This panorama taken handheld with the trusty 28-300 travel lens.

This closer slice shows these fantastic clouds like teased fairy floss just lifting from the distant hills.

Silent Moods

Silent Moods

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 56 mm, 1/40 sec at f/8, ISO 100

Narooma really is a lovely little town. It was a lovely morning out, perhaps the day was shaping up nicely…



NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 170 mm, 1/200 sec at f/11, ISO 320

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Roseville Lines…

by on Aug.29, 2016, under Life, Photography

I was home alone and a little bored one day. So… I decided to check out a spot I’d driven over on a number of occasions but had never stopped to take a look. That was Davidson Park underneath the eastern side of the Roseville bridge.

Roseville Lines

Roseville Lines

NIKON D750 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm, 247 sec at f/11, ISO 50

The Roseville Bridge is a concrete box girder bridge located adjacent to the suburb of Roseville where it crosses Middle Harbour.

It was the middle of the day but there was some cloud in the sky. With a nice strong breeze the clouds were moving through the sky quite rapidly. Looked like it might be daytime long exposure time…

Truth be told I was just here to check out the place for a potential future shoot here. Or even on the other side of the water in the mangroves there. Later on I also checked that spot as well :).

I wasn’t really invested in the shoot and it showed :). Still I managed six (6) long exposure frames in the time I spent at this spot. Unfortunately flare with strong sun hitting the front element killed a few of the frames. The flare was really bad (I could see it in the viewfinder). I did try and shade it with my body and my hat but alas it was difficult.

Still this was the first frame I took there. It’s also the one I was most happy with when looking at them in post. It was crying out for a conversion to monochrome. Some manual lens correction to try and fix some of the distortion from tilting the lens upwards and a nice vertical pano crop.

This final result under the Roseville Bridge is a manual blend of two exposures. One long exposure using the Lee BigStopper stacked with a 3 stop ND for most of the frame. The second a shorter 30 second exposure to reveal some details in the shadowed area under the bridge and a better version of the water below.

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Overcast Light…

by on Aug.26, 2016, under Life, Photography

Our last day in Mollymook and we rose to some grey overcast skies. Frankly it wasn’t looking good and it was threatening to rain at any moment.

Still an intrepid bunch made their way down to the southern end of Mollymook beach to see what the morning might bring. We arrived ad walked right out to the point very early (by 5:30AM)!. I was already up and shooting in the dark well before sunrise at 5:40AM.

Shattered Dreams

Shattered Dreams

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 20 mm, 95 sec at f/11, ISO 200

I must have been in the mood for seaweed this trip because yet again I grabbed a bunch to include in my foreground with foreboding overcast grey overhead. On the plus side we were getting pockets of really interesting light reflecting through the clouds in places.

The following was my favourite shot of the day. This is almost straight out of camera but it just symbolises the mood of the morning. Really overcast but with hints of that really beautiful light both in the clouds and all around. With a subtleness of colour and tone and an almost calm stillness to the world. The waves just slowly swished and washed back and forth inexorably dragging this small patch of grassy seaweed out across the wet sand to sea.



NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 20 mm, 31 sec at f/11, ISO 100

It’s just simply fantastic being out on mornings like these…

I first processed a colour rendition of the following and it had a similar look and feeling to the image above. This time however I decided to give it a much more sinister and moody interpretation with the dark monochrome conversion.



NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 10.00 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Finally the sun had well and truly risen (not that you could tell – it was still 100% overcast and the sun was really nowhere to be seen). I’d recced this spot much earlier in the dark when I’d first arrived. So I headed back to see if I could craft a composition here looking out through this gap to sea with the tendrils of water snaking in and out through the narrow channel.

Shattered Dreams

Shattered Dreams

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 1.30 sec at f/11, ISO 400

Thus it was the end of another really excellent camera club weekend away. So looking forward to the next one later this year.

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Entropy – A Measure of Disorder…

by on Aug.25, 2016, under Life, Photography

Entropy – A Measure of Disorder

One concept; 9 Photographers; 9 Interpretations

I’m a member of a small group of passionate Sydney based photographers (Parallaxis). We have been working towards an exhibition of our work in September this year. The theme is “Entropy” and we’ve each been interpreting and mastering our bodies of work.

Entropy – A Photographic Exhibition

Entropy - A Photographic Exhibition

Entropy - A Measure of Disorder

Entropy can be simply defined as “A measure of disorder in a system”. Each of us nine exhibitors have presented a panel of photographs that reflect our individual responses and interpretation of the concepts of entropy.

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. To see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer click any of the images below.

Less than two more weeks to go before the big day – it’s getting really exciting now :).

This is our official flyer for the exhibition and our formal invitation for you to attend :).


Our exhibition will be at The Art Space on the Concourse @ Chatswood (Sydney’s North Shore). It’s showing from Wednesday 7th to Sunday 18th September 2016 and entry is Free. If you can make it we’d love to see you there.

You may also like to check out all the other fantastic events going on in our city during September. We are exhibiting as part of Willoughby City Council’s Emerge Festival. The program lists the more than 30 events all through September celebrating emerging talent, arts, culture and community.

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Narrawallee Dreaming…

by on Aug.23, 2016, under Life, Photography

We woke early to head down to Narrawallee beach for sunrise. This spot was literally just up the road from the houses our group was staying in over the weekend.

I started out on the rocks in the middle of the beach looking for something interesting to include in my foreground. I found this nice little still pool filled with these nice jangles. A little bit of light painting with the torch to lift it out of the darkness during this three minute plus exposure. It’s 6:30AM and time to move on to another composition.



NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 195 sec at f/8, ISO 200

I moved out onto the sand to look for some separated rocks in the sand at the waters edge. Another long exposure lets me smooth the slow ebb and flow of the water. Again with a little light painting to lift the black rocks from the darkness.



NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 147 sec at f/10, ISO 100

Just after 7AM the sun began to hint that it was going to crest the horizon. As it did the sky began to light up in pinks and fiery reds. It was going to be one of those mornings.

I’ve found myself this nice little crater shaped rock formation to include in my foreground. As a result it was just a matter of composing everything else around it.

For the image below I’ve light painted the foreground and set my shutter for a nice bit of water streaking around me.

Narrawallee Earthfire

Narrawallee Earthfire

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 18 mm, 3 sec at f/16, ISO 100

Finally a more centred composition with a better unobstructed section of water between my crater and the rising sun. All the rockage is pointing towards my hero the rising sun in the sky. The pinks in the rippled clouds were forming nicely but the sun was very bright. As such I bracketed a set of frames here. I took five exposures from -2 & 2/3EV to +1 & 1/3EV. Finally in post I manually blended the exposures on layers in photoshop. Using a little manual blending plus some luminosity masking produced this final result.



NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 18 mm, 6 sec at f/16, ISO 100

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