Off-road to Mt Solus

There’s an old fire tower on top of a good sized hill deep in the forest near where I live.

It’s been staring at me from google earth for months and I’ve been working my up to riding to it.  The forest here being what it is (remote, noone there, no phone signal) I decided to wait until I had company before trying to get to the top on the bike

This is the tale of the ride to the top of Mt Solus.

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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…

new toys

I just bought some new stuff for my camera as I’m very interested in long exposure shots.

I got a B&W ND110 filter reduces light by 10 stops so enables long exposures during the day (interesting, but not *that* useful) or more importantly, longer exposures at or around sunset.

The longer the shutter is open on the water/rock/beach sunsets that I like, the smoother the water and the sky become. So focus onto something nice and sharp, like a jetty or a bold rock and set the camera to take a shot for 5 minutes, you’ll get (hopefully) amazingly smooth looking landscapes which tend to convert well to black and white.

I had a little go today, but I didn’t get anything totally fab, just the slight oddness of a daytime shot with smooth waves over rocks.

I need loads more practice, but at least I have something to aim for.

take a look at these guys if you have time

http://www.davidburdeny.com/

http://www.silverlandscapes.com
http://www.michaellevin.ca

Some target, eh? 🙂

club night

I go to a photography club every month in order to learn from other people, but also to have my photos judged by some top class judges from locally in Western Australia and also nationally.

I’ve only been going for about 6 months, and so far, I’ve managed to get at least one photo each time I’ve been in the top 3 of the submissions – at least I’m doing something right then!

Last month was no exception – managing to get 1st, 3rd and 4th in the open (non modified) class – I was pretty pleased as I think I’m improving month my month.

The club has a monthly theme, which I aim to have a go at if I can – however I’m normally rushing about at the 11th hour trying to think of something to take a shot of! So, in order to avoid that this month, I thought I’d start early. The theme is “abstract macro” which is tougher than it sounds. It really requires a macro lens, which I do have, although it’s only a 50mm which is really the wrong focal length.

Umming and ahhhing over what I’d take, I had a go with some flowers and a chilli in the garden, but as nice as the shots were, they weren’t abstract.

see what I mean?



Nice, might even do well blown right up onto a canvas, but not abstract enough for me.

So, onwards and upwards, we try again, this time, a different subject




can you tell what it is? I think the first and last shots kinda give it away, but I’m not submitting those 😉

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.

girl on film

An homage to the missus. Taken with the Holga and (mostly awful) Diana Mini.

looking good, wifey 🙂

more film pics

Some more scans of the latest films that came back

Perth from Kings Park – Holga + Kodak Portra 400

Perth – Murray St Mall – Holga + Kodak Portra 400

Sunset, Warnbro, WA – Holga wide angle pinhole + Portra 160 – this is really way underexposed, but I love the potential this camera has for sunsets.

Busselton, Western Australia – Holga wide angle pinhole + Portra 160