Absentee landlord..

Wow – I’ve been really slack on here.  To be honest, I almost forgot about blogging – then you get into a bad habit of not making time for blogging and before you know it, months have passed and no updates .  Or in my case, 6 months.

Oops.

Life has been a bit rinse repeat of late – working hard, still recovering from my leg injury so off the bike and largely confined to the local area.  Not even a chance to go back to England as usual this time due to complications with my leg.

However, I’ve not been a total hermit – heres a sample of what I have been upto.. Read More

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Photo Sunday

It’s been a shocker, weather wise, over the last three of four days.  A massive winter storm system has swept in off the Indian Ocean unleashing torrential rain and howling gales (upto 130kmh winds) that have relentlessly battered the Perth coast, with Rockingham copping some of the worst of it.

The bad weather means I’ve not been able to get out to get any air or take any photos.

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experiments with motion

When the light is low and delicious it becomes malleable, flexible.  A static photograph renders what was there, sometimes better than others, but often not the feeling of being there.

But play with the light, with the camera, with the landscape, with motion and things become more interesting.

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Holidays, the end

And so came the day we had to go home – boooo!  We’d had a lovely time, but we still had 950km to drive back, so we had to leave early.  We packed everything back in the car remarkably easily, set the chiller bag in the middle seat for the girls to have easy access to food and drinks without having to stop too often.

We had a few viewing places around Denham still to quickly look at on the way, so I dragged the family out to a few places that looked out over the bay first

Then we went 15 minutes south to Eagle Bay.  Its well worth going here if you ever make it this part of the world – there’s a walkway on the top of the cliff and you look down on to the shallow clear water below and you can see loads of marine life.  In the 15 minutes we were there we saw a couple of sharks and a very large ray.  Its a lovely view that holds your attention for a really long time as you scan the water for more creatures.

The ray – this was pretty big and very easily visible, swimming across the bay and out to sea.  I zoomed in as much as I could, but didn’t get a better shot than this.  I recommend binoculars!

We set off home and drove back along the isolated roads, seeing lots of other 4×4’s and then a whole load of road trains that must have left Geraldton earlier that day at pretty much the same time.  These guys are huge – I gather they’re even bigger going across the top of Australia and also south along the Nulabour.

We drove back into the night and got home late that night – an easy but long journey.  Coming back into Perth was horrible – way too many people and bright lights – its amazing what a week in the country does for your perspective on things!

Hope you enjoyed the holiday series as much as we enjoyed the trip – I’ll be back to Red Wine Wednesday later 🙂

first shots

As I mentioned previously, I bought a B+W110ND filter – a wondrous thing which is basically a piece of very dark glass that reduces the amount of light into the camera by 10 stops.

For those that have no idea what I’m talking about – a stop on a camera is, for example, like the difference between a shutter speed of 0.5 and 1 second.

So if your camera was going to shoot at 1/125th second, adding a 10 stop filter means you have to shoot for 8 seconds to let the same of light in.  Which means you can have quite a lot of fun at sunset when exposures are already down to a second or so without the filter.  You have to check the exposure based on the aperture settings you want, frame the shot, get it to focus where you want, switch the camera to manual everything (inc focus), screw the filter in, which is so black you can’t see anything anymore.  Then work out the correct exposure with the filter on, set the remote timer and basically leave it to do its thing for the 200 odd seconds that is needed.

Anyway, all this technical mumbo jumbo is all well and good, but the upshot of the camera being open for at least 3 minutes is that the ocean is totally smoothed out and the camera has captured the clouds moving.

Like this:

And yes, I am pleased with the results!

Next step, more location scouting and to start thinking in black and white…

style

I was determined to be a cool street photographer.

I had designs on my camera collection down to a simple Leica M6 or M7 35mm rangefinder and a few tasty lenses, shooting exclusively in black and white and generally taking cool shots a-la Cartier Bresson and his ilk.


Well, the nearest I’ve got is my Trip 35 (which, despite being very cool and unflappable is still woefully underused)


and a couple of second hand autos from the 80’s

You might think I’m a bit gutted, and in some ways I am, but it transpires that I’m actually starting to like landscapes and also, rather incongruously, sports photography. Neither of which lend themselves to the Leica in any way shape or form.

I’m on the save up for an ultra wide angle lens for the D300 plus some very tasty filters that would enable me to take the shots that just can’t quite get with my current setup. Handily, I’d like to use said ultra-wide angle for sports photography too.

Here’s some recent landscapes that I’m rather fond of..






Okay, true, they are all sunsets, but I haven’t invested any time into daylight shots yet (plus I need better filters, mine are fine for sunsets, but tint clouds purple during the day). I have a few location ideas in mind which I think I’ll start to work upto in the next few months, especially as the cooler weather is coming.

So we’ll see how it goes, I might be getting up at the crack of dawn to catch that sunrise yet.

Kite Surfing

Saturday afternoon I popped out to Shoalwater where the kite surfers hang out and took a load of photos.

It was earlier in the day than the last lot and there were a lot more kits out and the sun was higher leaving more blue sky to get decent shots against.

I usually just watch them for 15 minutes or so to see who the better kite surfers are and where the wind is blowing, thus where they are doing the best tricks. Then, I take a few shots, gauge the speed and the angles, the background behind the shots and how many other kites are in view.

Then I get right up close to the water and hope to engage some of the better kite surfers to show off for me 🙂

Had a corking session this time – there were a couple of guys out who were noticeably more confident than most – one of whom was really happy to try to do tricks right in front of the camera. He came in for a few mins and I asked him to get as close as he dared so I could use the wide angle and get him really filling the shot – to which he obliged and I got some awesome shots! Hats off to you, mate – I didn’t get your name, but hopefully you’ll see this when I email you 🙂

Chatted to another photographer who had one of those waterproof baggy things around his camera – he was standing (getting his toes bitten by crabs) chest high in the water getting some serious wide angle shots. I’ll see if he posts his stuff anywhere – it’ll look pretty intense I’d say.

Anwyay, for your viewing pleasure – kite action – I have so many I don’t know which ones to keep! This is about 1/2 the “keepers” from the session.