Tag Archives: #photography

Keeping the Creative Juices Flowing

In these times of working from home, and with the recent relaxation of the rules regarding COVID19, there has been a real temptation to go out more on the weekends. However, we have exercised restraint as both Marie and I don’t want to have the virus as we are older and therefore more suspect to being hit harder.

So how have we been maintaining our interest in photography? We have had limited trips into the city on the last couple of weekends to do some street photography. I have also been practicing compositing using Photoshop to create altered reality images. This has been a lot of fun.

Here is a sampling of the images:

This one is really quite simple. The cranes and the circus rider sculpture with a texture overlay. The texture was some spider web in the corner of one of the windows at home.

Again, this is a simple image. The background and the woman walking through. The woman was taken from a street photography image. A texture was applied again created from spider web taken at home and manipulated in Photoshop.

The great part about having many images in my library that I haven’t used is it gives me a great selection to choose from for composites. The background scene was taken in Melbourne and the flying fish was taken up near Redcliffe. The texture was created by manipulating an image of water in Photoshop.

This image features a lot of manipulation. However, it is still only a composite of three images. This works for me as the window says “Smith & Daughters” and in the foreground are two young women who may well be sisters. The texture is an image of purple light onto a wall and manipulated in Photoshop.

Another three image composite. The texture was an image of the back deck at home manipulated in Photoshop.

This is a simpler composite being only two images combined. The background building has been posterized in Photoshop and the curves adjusted to get the effect. The bicycle wheels and pavement were placed on top using the hard light blending mode to achieve this effect.

How have you been keeping your creative juices flowing?

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Staying Home to Stay Healthy

A lot of things have changed since my last post. The COVID19 pandemic has resulted in the need to stay home to stay healthy. Fortunately I am able to do my work from home and have adjusted well in that regard. However, the same hasn’t been true for my photography.

Also, out of the blue, Marie’s hard drive containing her photos died. I spent time on restoring a backup to her new hard drive. However, some images were lost due to some issues with the backups. So it has been time to revisit our backup strategy to try to avoid a similar recurrence.

The photos I have made lately were when we drove past Forest Lake a few weeks ago and stopped to see the surface covered in a green plant. The City Council is trying to restore the health of the lake and this is a part of the process. Here are some images:

An overview of the lake
A close up of the lake surface
Looking towards a shore line and a water hen
Creating an abstract image out of a close up of the lake surface

I haven’t entered images into the last two monthly competitions conducted by the Brisbane Camera Group. In resigning from all my roles at the club, and the impacts of social distancing, I have lacked motivation to participate in the competitions.

One of my aims over the coming weeks is to further my photography education through online courses. I am hoping this will stimulate my creativity. In the last week, I watched a couple of Brook Shaden clips on YouTube. She illustrated how she created an image of herself coming out of a wall and the post processing involved. While it wasn’t an in depth presentation, it was enough to make me start thinking of the possibilities.

Lindsay Adler also has some interesting material on YouTube. I watched one clip where she explained how to look at a studio image and to work out how many lights were used to create the shot. While I don’t do much studio work, this was still very insightful on how lights are used to create various looks in images.

Well, that’s all for now. Until next time, stay safe – stay healthy.

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2020 Vision

2020 started in Melbourne after watching the fireworks on New Years Eve at Docklands. Marie and I had a wonderful time and what a way to start the year. A spur of the moment decision to go to Melbourne but it proved to be inspired. We both enjoyed the photography opportunities Melbourne offers.

From visiting art galleries, seeing shows and savoring the dining opportunities, we had no need to venture too far from the CBD area.

In fact we enjoyed our Melbourne visit so much we decided to change our February wedding anniversary holiday week from the Gold Coast to Melbourne.

We returned to Melbourne and one of our first experiences was a photo walk conducted by Melbourne Camera Club. We were made very welcome and enjoyed the walk. It was really well organised and we enjoyed photographing parts of South Melbourne before joining our fellow attendees for dinner at a local hotel.

Another highlight of our Melbourne visit was to see War Horse at the Regent Theater. It was a moving experience in a stunning theater. I would definitely see it again.

Other highlights were visiting the State Library (a truly beautiful building) and the Exhibition building for the Russian festival.

Here are some images from the visit:

20-Off

Image 1 of 21

The first competition month at Brisbane Camera Group was February and the topic was a song or film title. The definition was: “The image must bring to mind the title of a song or film which is in the public domain, either recent or historical. This can be achieved either by word association or scene association with elements of the image providing clear clues as to the title of a valid song or film.

February was my first competition submission as an A Grade member at the club. I was pleasantly surprised to receive one acceptance and two Merits.

Here are the images I submitted:

Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is – Acceptance
Searching for a Heart – Merit
What’s Going On – Merit

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30 Years

This month just seems to have been busy! I ran out of time to prepare images that met the Brisbane Camera Group monthly competition topic of “Transportation”. As I could use images from the annual competitions that hadn’t previously been used in monthly competitions, I decided to enter three in the Open section.

Two of my entries received acceptances and one received a merit. I was hopeful of a better result but I think effort to make new work in the set subject rather than pulling out old images for the open section will push me harder and build my skills better. The images I entered are below.

Romenade du Paillon (Acceptance)

Scanno Exit Reflections (Acceptance)

The Strongest Man (Merit)

At the Brisbane Camera Group Presenters Night, we were given a taste of photo books in all their shapes and sizes. My eyes were opened to the creative efforts some people make with there books. The following week we had a “workshop” session and I discovered websites and software available to create photo books and the various services that will print them.

While I had no plans to get involved in photo books when I attended these sessions, I came away motivated to give it a try. One of the options I was impressed with was the books available through chatbooks.com. This seemed like a great way to dip my toe into the water for very little cost. So, I picked 30 images from the week Marie and I spent in Caloundra in February to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. I have titled the book “30 Years – February 2019”. I am now eagerly waiting for it to be printed and delivered.

Marie has been working on her skills in taking in camera multiple exposure images. On our last photo walk, I have also been giving this form of photography a go to see what I can do with it. Doing it on a photo walk means one’s creativity is stretched to the max as you have to make the best of what is presented to you. This makes it challenging and difficult to get to come away with many “winners”. We also did a photo walk through the valley on a Saturday night which was an interesting experience.

Here are some of my recent images:

Looking to next month’s competition, the topic is “Impressionist”. The definition is “A style when the photographer tries to convey the feeling of a scene, a general impression, or suggestion of a scene. Lacking in detail these impressionist images emphasize colour over line and are often soft, dreamy, and have a painterly feel.” I am working on some images and plan to have three prints to submit for this topic. I am confident I won’t need to resort to finding images for the open section to compete in May.

Until next time, keep on pressing that shutter button!

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As 2018 Draws to a Close

Sorry for the delay in putting up this post. I decided to change web hosts and plans to save some money as this is a hobby site. This wasn’t the best idea and I have been sorting out performance issues since and have needed to upgrade my hosting plan to be able to do what I need to do. As a result very little financial saving has been achieved, just plenty of lost time.

Brisbane Camera Group held its Annual Dinner and Awards Night on 3 December. My prints did well (view them here) and I was happy with the outcome. Here is a list of my results:

Pictorial Monochrome Prints AB Grade
            1st – Walking Down The Alleyway
            3rd – Black Goat of the Family

Pictorial Colour Prints AB Grade
            2nd – Sienna Cathedral Ceiling

Nature Prints AB Grade
            1st – Galah

People Prints AB Grade
            2nd – Leanne in the Ring

Creative/Experimental Prints AB Grade
            2nd – Summertime
            3rd – Building Patterns

Social Documentary/Photojournalism Prints AB Grade
            1st – Preparing for Winter
            2nd – Anzac Square Redevelopment
            3rd – Artistic Weaver at Work

Being at the judging gave me an insight into how to improve some of my images. In Pictorial Colour Prints, my image was a tie for first place. The judges were required to judge these two images again for first and second placing. A key reason my image came second was the central part of the ceiling was off centre. In People Prints, my image was also a tie for first place. The other image was very different to my image. However, a key factor was not all of the shadow was in my image. If it had have been then I may have placed first.

These are tips for me to remember when preparing my images for future competitions. That said, I was pleased with my haul of ten awards in my grade for the print categories. There were two more moments in the evening that I am proud of. The Club Champion Monochrome Print is selected from all the monochrome prints that placed irrespective of grade. My print “Walking Down The Alleyway” was chosen as the recipient of this award. It was a very proud moment to have won the Champion Monochrome Print. Here is an image of me receiving my award:

Image courtesy of Lex Lucas.

After the judging, a couple of the judges suggested my image would have improved by reducing the impact of the sky. It could be either darkened or cropped as the key focus is the two people walking down the alleyway. Here is a copy of the image after implementing the judges’ suggestions.

At the end of the night I was awarded the President’s Award for my service to the Club over the year. This is a book prize and is tremendous recognition for my contribution to the Club. Here is an image of me receiving my award:

Image courtesy of Lex Lucas.

After completing my Print Project which was exhibited last month with other members of Brisbane Camera Group, I was wondering what to do with the many images that didn’t quite make the final six images. I decided to start a series based on “…everyone wants to be a clown…” and call it “Clownsville”. This series has been appearing on my Instagram account. Here is a selection of the images:

 

Now that the year is drawing to a close, I will have some time to think about what I want to achieve in photography in 2019. Club activities recommence in February but the first monthly competition needs to be planned for and images created by late January. The first topic is “Architecture” and it is defined as “The picture must be of a building intended for human occupation or use. It may be a picture of the exterior or interior and may be a detail of a limited part of a building or buildings that displays architectural angles and lines in a dynamic or colourful way (Monochrome allowed).” That will be my first challenge.

Wishing you all the very best of the festive season. May 2019 bring you closer to what you desire in photography and life. Thanks for reading my posts and following my progress.

See you in 2019! Keep on creating images!

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Print Project Exhibition

This month my focus has been on the Print Project Challenge. The submission date was 5 November and I just achieved this. I sent my images to Streets Imaging on Wednesday 31 October and collected them on Thursday 1 November after work. The paper stock was beautiful but the actual images were over sharpened and could not be used. I knew what I had done wrong and was able to go back to the previous version of the images and send them off for reprint. Fortunately they were ready on Friday 2 November for collection after work. I was then able to mat them over the weekend.

Opening night for the exhibition was on 16 November at The Maud Street Photo Gallery. Marie also had images in the exhibition along with 17 other members of Brisbane Camera Group. Marie’s images were stunning and she has taken a giant leap forward in her photographic development. My Photoshop skills continue to develop and I think my images are an improvement on what I presented last year.

Image courtesy of Marie Sinclair

My project is titled “It’s the Time” and is based on a poem I wrote 20 years ago. This project aimed to reinterpret the poem as a series of photographic images. Click here to read my artist statement and poem. Here are the images I exhibited:

There was no monthly competition in November. Marie and I assisted other club members on 4 November for the annual competition print judging. This is a hectic day and everyone was tired when it finished. I submitted 23 prints over 6 categories. One print was disqualified as I made a mistake in the entry process. I had 3 images in Nature but after the disqualification I ended with only 2 images in the category.

Marie and I are both AB grade members. It was disappointing that only 4 AB grade members (including Marie and I) entered prints in the annual competition. The results of the judging will be announced at the Club’s Annual Dinner on 3 December. The images I submitted this year can be viewed by clicking here.

Since last post I have submitted a number of images to my Instagram account. Here is a sampling of some of them:

My next post will be after the Brisbane Camera Group Annual Dinner on 3 December. I will then know how my prints performed and will be able to share that news.

Until then, keep on taking images!

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Print and Mat, Print and Mat

During the month Marie and I attended a natural light portrait photography workshop run by Ash Kashyap and the model was Helena Schutt. Portraits in natural light can be quite tricky and it is important not to have the model in direct sunlight otherwise there will be skin blow outs. Also, having the model too far into shadow can lead to flat images. Both Marie and I really enjoyed photographing Helena and we came away with some images we were very happy with. Here is a small selection of images I created at the workshop:

 

 

Each month at the Brisbane Camera Group Speakers Night, there is a digital show of images submitted by members. This show enables members to submit images they have been working on and share them with their fellow members without being critiqued or judged. For the show on 8 October, I submitted the following images:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The monthly competition topic was “Old Things” – images where the central feature is an object or objects that is old. It is not necessary to be antique. I entered one image in the Digital Projected Image section. The judging was conducted last Monday night and my image was an acceptance only. The judge said the background distracted from the subject. On reflection, I can appreciate what he said and it reminds me I need to pay more attention to all the detail in my images. Here is the image I submitted:

The rest of the month was spent on preparing and printing images for my entry into the Club’s annual competition. A maximum of 24 images can be submitted over 6 categories. My entry is 23 images. The categories are Pictorial Colour, Pictorial Monochrome, People, Creative/Experimental, Social Documentary/Photo Journalism and Nature. Nature was my weakest area and I only submitted 3 of a possible 4 images. Judging of the print entries will be conducted on Sunday 4 November 2018 so I should have an idea of how my images performed after that.

Our Print Project Challenge is also due for submission by 4 November 2018. I have my 6 images almost ready but need to do further work to fix a few issues before they go to print. All Brisbane Camera Group members participating in this activity will have their images exhibited in The Maud Street Photo Gallery. Opening night will be 16 November and the exhibition will finish on Sunday evening 18 November. It is always a proud moment to have your images on the wall of a gallery – especially Brisbane’s number 1 photography gallery.

Until next time, keep on making images!

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The Long Weekend and Image Preparation

Since my last post, Marie and I haven’t attended any workshops. We spent a “long weekend” at Noosaville on the Noosa River and a highlight was a boat trip through the Noosa Everglades. The waters are like a mirror and everything is reflected in detail. I have been posting some images from the weekend on Instagram. Here is a selection of them:

 

 

Each month at the BCG Speakers Night, there is a digital show of images submitted by members. These images don’t have to be competition quality. They are meant to be a reflection of current work. For the show on 10 September, I submitted the following images:

Jemma

Me and My Girls

Night Lights on the River


Tanya

 

Apart from our little break, this period has been quite busy. I have been preparing for the Brisbane Camera Group AGM which was held on 10 September as well as attending to a number of action items from the recent Committee meetings of the Club. Also, I have continued selecting images for possible entry to the BCG Annual Competition.

My Print Project Challenge has been developing slowly and further progress has been made. I need to create a maximum of 6 images for my entry. I now have 2 images that are well developed and 3 that a partially developed and 1 that is still back at the beginning stage. I still have time on my side but need to be careful that it doesn’t run out too quickly.

The BCG Monthly Competition wasn’t high on my list this month. As a result, I didn’t enter any images. It was more important for me to progress my Annual Competition and Print Project Challenge entries. In conclusion, here are a couple of images being considered for entry in the Annual Competition:

 

 

Until the next post, keep on clicking!

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Seeing Where the Light Falls

This month featured my first attempt at astrophotography. Brisbane Camera Group had an outing on the shores of Lake Wivenhoe and we were fortunate that the clouds parted so we could witness the Milky Way. Our club President provided guidance to those who had never done astrophotography before. The challenge is to avoid light pollution impacting on the image. Also, the full impact of the Milky Way is not evident until post production. Overall, it was a good learning experience. Here are some images from the outing:

 

Circus! Circus! Circus! was the title of a Cam Attree Workshop Marie and I attended this month. It was a great opportunity to photography Lucy Luxe as the Ring Master and Pete Hartwig as the strongest man. We also had models performing on the rings which was challenging to photograph. Our models were from aerialicious – Tami Dawson & Leanne Smith. Here are some images from the workshop:

 

 

 

Marie and I were fortunate to attend a studio lighting workshop run by internationally respected glamour and fashion photographer Peter Coulson. I attended his natural light workshop last year here in Brisbane and gained a lot from the experience. He has a couple of sayings that stuck in my head – the photographer’s job is to turn shit into chocolate. He also said that when socialising people ask him what his profession is. He responses by saying he is a photographer. When asked what he photographs, he responds by saying “eyes”. He says that models that can communicate with their eyes have a longer career than those who can’t.

The workshop was learning first with some time to put it into practice. The placement of the model relative to the light source and the image impact were demonstrated. A key focus was learning to see where the light falls. He advises not to get caught up in the beauty of the model, instead focus on the light and what it is doing to the image.

Here are some images taken at the workshop:

 

 

 

Weather was the set subject for this month’s competition at Brisbane Camera Group. I decided to enter the open section with two prints of images taken when Marie and I visited Italy and France last year. The aim was to receive feedback on the images in readiness of preparing images for the annual competition.

One image received a merit and the other an honour, which was a very pleasing outcome. “Morning Reflections on Lake San Domenico” received the merit and the judge indicated a spot at the bottom left corner of the image that I should have removed. Also, she suggested that I removed the sky from the top of the image so that it is only shown in the reflection. “Sienna Cathedral Ceiling” received an honour with no feedback on improvement. Here are the images:

Morning Reflections on Lake San Domenico – Merit

Sienna Cathedral Ceiling – Honour

 

My Print Project Challenge entry is progressing slowly. During the month I have taken more images as my ideas develop and take shape. A couple of images taken as part of these shoots have been shared on Instagram. These are not in the format they will take for the Print Project – they were just a bit of fun. Here are the images:

 

With the closing date for the BCG annual competition getting closer and closer, I have started to develop a short list of possible images I will enter. My plan is to enter prints only this year. The Annual Competition is made up of six subjects: Pictorial Monochrome, Pictorial Colour, Nature, People, Creative / Experimental, and Social Documentary / Photojournalism. I plan to enter at least 4 of the subjects at a minimum. If I have images that satisfy Nature or Social Documentary / Photojournalism, then I will enter these also.

Until the next post, keep on clicking!

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Learning from Amazing Images

Wow! What a month for photography exhibitions. Marie and I attended the Queensland Camera Group Print Project challenge exhibition. The quality of the entries from the members was very high and it was easy to spend time there getting lost in the images. Some of the techniques used were thought provoking for our own work.

The Professional Photographers Association of Queensland (PPAQ) Print Exhibition was the first time they had held such an event. It showcased the work of their members. Again it was easy to get lost in the images. We also spent time discussing various images with the makers and they were very happy to share tips and techniques with us.

We were confronted with many images that expanded our world view and showed some of the pain and suffering in the world today when we attended the World Press Photography Awards exhibition. We were struck by the power of photo journalism to tell a story in a single image. I wonder how these photographers can spend time in these environments and not come away with their lives being impacted by what they have witnessed and lived through to gather the images they made.

Our home club, Brisbane Camera Group, was the organiser and host of the Queensland Interclub Audio Visual Competition which is held every two years. Marie and I attended the awards evening where every Audio Visual submitted was played and the winners announced. This was a different way of seeing images and was very enjoyable. The quality of work was very good. A key to having an effective Audio Visual is being able to tell a story that holds the attention of the audience. This requires both well captured images and a suitable soundtrack.

Marie and I attended an Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop Workshop run by Ash Kashyap to improve our skills with this software. We came away having learned new ways to process our images. For me, I enjoy seeing someone else’s workflow as there is usually something I can take and use in my own workflow to improve my images more effectively.

The second Adrian Lowe Workshop was held recently. Adrian is the creator of the SMARTS process of evaluating an image. His talks are about learning about yourself and how you impact your photography. Using this knowledge, you learn to create images that are unique to you. That way you will stand out from the crowd and have your own style.

Construction was the topic of our July monthly competition. I submitted two DPIs taken with my mobile phone. One image had some work done on it to make it appear more “surreal”. The other was a more natural representation of the scene. The judge for the month was Melissa Anderson, an AIPP qualified judge who I have a great deal of respect for. My “surreal” image received an acceptance and the key take away was the treatment I had applied had confused the colour palette and there were aspects in the image that made it hard to know what the focus point of the image was. The other image received a Merit which I was very pleased about. The images appear below.

Preparing to Lay a Floor (Merit)


Under Construction (Acceptance)

 

I am still making slow progress with my Print Project Challenge entry. I purchased a couple more props for the shoot which should help. Last weekend I captured a few images of my nephew and his girlfriend for possible inclusion in the project. It was a lot of fun and I’m hoping I can make some of the images work into the story line. Here are a couple of images from the shoot.

 

My Instagram activity has been modest this last month. I have called up some older images and worked on them before posting. A few new images were also featured. They have been a mixture of portraits and other images. Here are a couple of images for you to enjoy.

 

Until next post, keep on clicking!

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