Friday, 15 April 2011

A Visit to the Royal National Park

We had a delightful visit to the Royal National Park on Wednesday and I came home with some shots I am pleased with.

First we revisited the path where I did the Seniors walk in March and came across several different fungi.
Fungi on a rotting log

Canon 7D, Focal Length 100mm, 1/25 sec @ f/13, ISO 800, Flash
These were the smallest of the different types of fungi we saw (smaller than a five cent coin) and I liked the way the orange stood out from the green moss growing on the tree trunk.

After we drove to Bundeena for a delightful lunch at the RSL Club we travelled down to Wattamolla where we chanced upon a film crew setting up to shoot the waterfall.  They were a friendly lot and happily talking to us and explaining what they were about.  It was interesting to hear people who are just as passionate about their profession as we are about our hobby.

As the sun began to set in the west, I noticed colour start to come into the clouds over the ocean on the eastern horizon.
Looking out see over the lagoon at Wattamolla

Tripod mounted Canon 7D, Focal Length 24mm, 3 shot bracket exposure 1/50 +-2 Stops @ f/11,
ISO 800, No Flash

I liked the way the palm tree leaned over the water and framed the entrance to the lagoon.

The film crew waitied until it got dark before they began filming and while their lights were set up to illuminate the waterfalls I took the opportunity to take some bracket shots to try to keep some detail in the scrub on the top of the cliff.
Wattamolla Waterfalls
Trippod Mounted Canon 7D, 24mm, 3 shot bracket exposure 0.4 Sec +-2 Stops @ f/4.0,
ISO 800, No Flash

  1. By now it was quite dark as it was heading for 7 o'clock so we packed up and had a nice drive home after spending a pleasant, relaxed day just taking things as they came , never suspecting we would spend time with such interesting people.

The HDR images were processed using a Beta trial program,  Oleono PhotoEngine which is a free download until the end of May.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Cronulla Dawn

After photographing the sunrise at the Mahon Pool at Maroubra last week we did a follow up dawn shoot down at Cronulla last Thursday.

Having been to Cronulla before and given the earlier experience at Maroubra I had a better idea of what might be achieved this time.  It was certainly a different result as the tide and sunrise were not as well aligned.

As the sky began to brighten I arrived and set up, at first concentrating on the water in a similar way to the week before.  But once the sun rose up behind the low cloud bank I reframed the scene to capture the unexpected beauty emerging in the sky.

From the sun first rising until the colours faded was only twelve minutes.

The colours in the sky were enthralling and the rays of the sun were spectacular.  The other photographer was a bonus.

Canon 7D, 17mm focal length, 1/20sec @ f/11, ISO 100, 3x ND Grad filters.
Cropped out foreground to create a scenic panorama
Normally I shoot in RAW format and so was able to import this single file into Oloneo PhotoEngine and give it some HDR treatment as even with the ND filters I didn't have enough dynamic range in the initial image to do justice to the sun's rays and felt the photo needs to have some detail in the foreground to balance the colour in the sky.

Oloneo PhotoEngine is a new HDR program which is still in Beta mode and available as a free download from the Oloneo website ( ) until the end of May. 

Friday, 1 April 2011

Sunrise Photography

We went out to the Mahon Pool at Maroubra on Wednesday to catch the glow of sunrise with a high tide.  This was a new experience for me as although I have taken sunrise shots before this time I went out with a plan to catch both the colours in the sky and the action in the water in a more creative way.  Of course I could have chosen a more personally convenient time as I had a photo walk with friends around the Rocks during the day planned and an appointment to judge a camera club competition way on the other side of town that same night which made it a long day but did not want to miss the opportunity.

Arriving just before 7:00am we each scouted to find a location which suited our personal conceptions.  I have seen many photos of water flowing from the wall of seaside pools so wanted a different perspective which was to catch a wave as it crashed across the rocks.  To achieve this, I got down close to the shore for a low perspective with the rising sun in the background and used the cameras burst mode to increase the chance of getting the shot I wanted.

I like the misty effect of the water washing over the rock
Canon 7D, 24mm, 0.3sec @ f/16, ISO125, Tripod, Burst Mode.
Cropping and tonal adjustments in Lightroom

As the tide came in I noticed the turbulence of the water and the action of the incoming waves

Canon 7D, 1/13sec @ f/11. ISO125, Tripod, Burst Mode.
Cropping and tonal adjustments in Lightroom

Even though it ended up being a very long day, it was an enjoyable one.  As well as Maroubra, we had a pleasant walk in the Rocks and I spent the evening with another group of people who share my passion for photography.  As a matter  of fact, a couple of the competition entries at the club gave me reason to consider the landscape format for these two images.

I achieved something new and got a nice selection of shots I am happy with and plan to explore this style of photography a bit more.  What I really need to do now is remember to get out of bed early enough.

About Me

This Blog is about my journey as I try to rediscover photography and all it's pleasures. I took up photography with a passion following my retirement from work and have had ups and downs as I aspired to learn and become the best photographer I could be. I have no interest in becoming a professional in the field, merely that others may enjoy the results of my achievements.