Rodney Campbell's Blog

Archive for August, 2016

Mollymook Meanderings…

by on Aug.21, 2016, under Life, Photography

At least once or twice a year my local photographic club has a “weekend away” – this year we were heading to the southern coastal village of Mollymook.

Out to Sea

Out to Sea

DJI Phantom 4 - FC330 + @, 1/600 sec at f/2.8, ISO 100

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.

Our “weekends away” are often a touch more than a weekend (three of four days). It’s great to just get away with like minded (read photographic enthusiasts) people. Just as important is to just focus on photography for a few solid days. There’s lots of good food, good company and lots of opportunity to go out together and shoot. When you’re getting up two hours before sunrise or staying out in the night to go shooting you’re definitely NOT the odd one out :).



NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 10 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Mollymook is located within Shoalhaven city on the South Coast of New South Wales, approximately three hours drive south of Sydney. The little village of Mollymook is very close to the coastal towns of Milton & Ulladulla.

On the friday evening we headed south of Mollymook, south of Ulladulla to the southern side of Warden Head for a very nice little sunset. The angle of the land here made it better suited for a westward facing shooting position along the coast towards the setting sun.

In the image above I’ve focused on this nice bundle of seaweed as my foreground interest in this vertical composition. Some nice colour in the sky and a lovely reflection provided by nature. A 3 stop reverse grad to hold down the sky and a CPL to tame the reflections and boost the colours.

Blue Daze

Blue Daze

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 13 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Then I moved out into this very nice pool of still water. It was perfect for some reflections, especially with some longer exposures. Here the trick was to get the polarisation angle right with the CPL. You need to adjust so that you can see down into the water where required (to see those fantastic underwater rocks and weeds). All the same whilst also maintaining the coloured reflections of the sky and clouds above.



NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 52 sec at f/11, ISO 100

It wasn’t one of those fiery sunsets. However those serene smooth colour tones in the sky are good for the soul. Not too shabby for the photographer either :).

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Autumn Light…

by on Aug.20, 2016, under Life, Photography

Each year I usually like to get out and shoot some autumn colour when it’s peak time here in Sydney. There’s not actually a great deal of autumn colour in Sydney itself. There are a few good locations for photography in and around Sydney. The best spots in our local area however are up in the Blue Mountains at places like Mount Wilson. It’s always a very popular spot for photographers and you have to get up there very early in the morning (read before sunrise). If you are lucky enough to be there on those few days when the leaves are in their peak and still on the trees you can get some magnificent images.

We’d actually missed most of the autumn prime being overseas (in Japan) during the peak time. So this year I didn’t get out to shoot any autumn colour at all.

Autumn Light

Autumn Light

NIKON D750 + 70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm, 1/500 sec at f/2.8, ISO 100

I was however fortunate to be in this right place at exactly the right time. It’s actually on the grounds of the school my two elder daughters attend. We were waiting with my youngest daughter for an event there.

It was late in the afternoon when I saw these fantastic trees being lit up by the later afternoon light. If I could just place my daughter in the right spot where she’d be lit up as well with the epic 70-200 shooting wide open…

Sometimes the autumnal gods do shine their light upon me…

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The Milk Factory…

by on Aug.18, 2016, under Life, Photography

The Milk Factory – a fully planned (for a change :)) 360˚ panorama taken here under the magically dark skies of Glen Davis. It was to by my last (usable) shot this evening before we headed back to the house for a well earned dinner (lamb roast… mmmm…).

The Milk Factory

Once again making use of my new Novoflex multi row panorama system resulted in things being somewhat effortless. The camera can be rotated horizontally and vertically around the nodal point. Whilst the click stops make it quick, trivial and error free in the dark.

I setup in a suitable spot to allow for the full 360˚ rotation and started taking the middle row of frames. With something like this you have to light paint each frame (so the foreground isn’t just complete darkness). Ideally you also get the overlapping portions of the frames to have relatively the same light painting between frames. To be honest it’s a bit of serendipitous pot luck really :).

I had to get my companions to move when I got round to where they were. I then tilted upwards and too the next row in reverse.

Finally I took two frames pointing straight up at 90˚ to each other. I don’t think the upward frames are strictly necessary. I believe the upward angled row with the Samyang 14mm is wide enough to cover the zenith completely.

The end result two rows of nine (9) horizontal frames and two upward shots for a total of 20 individual frames to stitch.

I didn’t take any downward facing frames so I had to fake the small dark area at the bottom (the nadir). This was required to complete the full 360˚ by 180˚ photosphere view you see in the interactive viewer above.

Below is the flattened 2D equirectangular projection view which I’ve cropped for a more pleasing overall composition.

The Milk Factory

The Milk Factory

NIKON D750 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 30 sec at f/2.8, ISO 6400 x 20 Frames

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.

Entropy * Photographic Exhibition

One concept; 9 Photographers; 9 Interpretations

On a related note – if you like this sort of work, or if you’d like to see some of my milky way panoramics and other astro photography in person. Please do come along to our upcoming exhibition titled Entropy where I include some of my work taken in remote outback Australia.

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.

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by on Aug.16, 2016, under Photography

The frosts had melted, by now the sun had actually been up for a couple of hours. It’s warmth had finally penetrated the heavy bank of fog. Down here at ground level in the base of the valley the fog was still very thick. So other than a sort of warm glow in the sky you couldn’t actually tell the sun was high in the sky. It was noticeably warming up however, so what was once frost was now dripping droplets of water.

Catchers Mitt

Catchers Mitt

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, 1/250 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100

These once frozen spider webs were now silken strands covered in crystalline droplets of water. Running down the strands as the frost melted.

Melted Silks

Melted Silks

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, 1/200 sec at f/9, ISO 200

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.

Rise Above

Rise Above

FC330 + 3.6 mm @ 3.61 mm, 1/320 sec at f/2.8, ISO 100

Flying the drone up once more this morning. Rising up above the remaining fog lying deep within the valley. It’s dispersing slowly but you can still see it’s thick blanket even here at 10AM. It had been a fantastic and most productive mornings shoot. Time for a late but well earned breakfast…

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The Australian Bush…

by on Aug.15, 2016, under Life, Photography

There’s something very typical and unique about the Australian bush. You can see a single image and immediately know it was shot here.

Even in the heavy fog the stark white trunks of the gums stand proud. A little slice of Australiana.



NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 65 mm, 1/60 sec at f/8, ISO 100

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.

Another plant which is very common in the Australian landscape. Any farmer would surely call this a pest but here softly backlit by the sun through the foggy landscape it can look beautiful. Just don’t let all those sticky stems grab hold of your clothing :).



NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, 1/80 sec at f/8, ISO 100

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