More MagMod on Kickstarter

A while ago I backed MagMod flash accessories on Kickstarter and it was an excellent product and well worth my investment.

They are back again with the MagSphere and MagBounce (which work with the base MagMod kit of course!) on Kickstarter, two options to soften the light from your flash.

MagSphere and MagBounce on Kickstarter


Pic from the MagMod Kickstarter page – click for the link


There are 8 days left and I really recommend if you have a flash and want to do more with it without making it complicated and scary, then consider this range of products.  The quality is excellent, very sturdy and robust but still elegantly designed.  More importantly they are FUNCTIONAL and clever and click together with magnets and are just easy to use.

I shot an indoor wedding for a friend on the weekend and it was really crowded so I put one MagGrid on which focussed the light and gave a nice vignette around the edges covering up the background clutter.  Shot another wedding using the flash wirelessly with the light orange filter for some daylight tonings.  SO EASY!

Please head on over for a look, its brand independent too.

Posted in My Gear, Useful Tips for Beginners | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

One Four Challenge – Nov Week 4

This is the final week for the first month of the fabulous One Four Challenge created by Robyn over at Captivate Me.  I took part in this challenge because beyond the original post process in Lightroom I always do and an occasional BW treatment in Nik Silver Efex, I very rarely get creative beyond that.

So this was my opportunity to push myself in an entirely new direction with my post processing, and it has been a real challenge.  It felt a lot like my Week 3 entry was cheating because I only opened my first image into Nik Color Efex and chose a preset I liked.  It was still a completely different style of image for me but didn’t feel like any real effort went into creating the image.

This week was TOTALLY DIFFERENT!!!  This time I had a vision of how I was to process the final image :)

A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to attend a day workshop by Trey Ratcliff and he showed how he used different software programs in new and interesting ways (after that workshop I actually went and bought Photoshop, thats how amazing it was!).  There was one particular technique he showed that I wanted to try on this weeks Challenge entry.

There is only one small problem…….. I have NO IDEA HOW TO USE PHOTOSHOP!!

Anyway, long story short there are two images for you this week, the first one is my WIP image after playing with it in Photoshop.  The second image is my Challenge entry, with the PS image taken back into LR and tweaked a little bit further.

Image processed in Photoshop but its only halfway there

OK this is what happened here:

- imported my Week 1 image as the base image
– imported my Week 2 BW image as a layer
– used Hardlight blend mode to blend the two at around 74%
– toned the colour and saturation down a smidge

Final Image – One Four Challenge Week 4 Entry

Further processing in LR:

- created a large radial filter around the elephant and bough the exposure down a fair bit
– bought down clarity  and vibrance a bit
– tweaked the sharpness down until the corners and edges just went a bit blurry



Above are all 4 of my November One Four Challenge entries for your delectation :)


Posted in Image Processing, Photo Challenges, Waffle and Burbling | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

Sky On Fire over Christchurch Estuary

Sky on Fire over the Estuary at Sunset – click to embiggen

Went out hoping for a nice sunset with a lot of norwester clouds in the sky.  Tide was out in the Estuary but still enough water around to reflect the pretty colours in the sky.

Processed in LR with some local adjustments to intensify the colour a bit, and an ND Grad to add a bit more texture and colour to the clouds.

Posted in Image Processing, Photowalk or Fieldtrip, Posts with my photos | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

My One Four Challenge Entry Week 3

Week 3 Challenge Entry – click to embiggen

Ok this week I was completely outside of my comfort zone.  Beyond normal editing in LR and BW conversion in Silver Efex, I never do any other kind of editing.  My preference is for natural realism rather than the creative approach.

So this time I loaded my Week 1 entry up to Nik COLOR EFEX (which hardly ever gets used) and worked my way through the presets to find something that looked good with this image.

The preset above is Midnight – I liked the cooler tones and the soft hazy effect, like I am looking at the statue under the light of a full moon.  Tweaked the brightness up a smidge as it was quite dark and thats all really.

I did want to add a lighter vignette over top of this but couldn’t figure out how to do it in Color Efex, it kept substituting the second preset and removing the first, and I have been having major computer problems and got tired of trying to beat it into shape so here it is, my Week 3 challenge entry!

All feedback welcome!


Details on the Challenge are here for those who missed Week 1 and 2

Above are my Week 1 and Week 2 images for comparison


Posted in Image Processing, Photo Challenges, Posts with my photos | Tagged , , , , | 32 Comments

Yachts in Redcliffs Bay

View from Redcliffs Bay

A couple of weeks ago with a friend, we walked from Redcliffs to Sumner and back, with a stop for a drink and a nibble in Sumner.  Was a lovely evening and a great opportunity to scout out photo opportunities.

Today was quite bright and sunny but with enough clouds in the sky to make it interesting, so I headed out to Redcliffs Bay next to the Yacht Club and took a few images.  This one I particularly like the layers of clouds in the sky, giving you a feel for how flat and open it is here.

This bigger yacht was further around and you can see the surf from the mouth of the estuary behind it.  I liked all the shapes of the mast with all the lines coming off it.  Yes the sky really was that shade of blue and the sea really is blue/green like that :)

Processed in Nik Silver Efex

Of course I had to do a BW treatment on this image, processed in Silver Efex with a Dramatic preset and then a Landscape preset, didn’t bother to tweak further as I liked what I go above.

I hope you enjoyed a touch of sunshine today, esp those feeling the first fingers of winter reaching out to embrace them up north :)

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Melbourne 2010 – More Architecture

Have I said how much I enjoy the new perspective editing functionality in LR5?  Click one button and it does all the adjustments for you, analysing the image and straightening it and all the clever stuff!

It would help if I had framed up my images better, it has been an interesting experience editing images taken 4 years ago and wanting to smack myself back then, for not doing a better job :)  In reality, this kind of photography is not really my thing, have no real experience in it, but certainly feel like I could have done a better job if I was to go back now!

Take this image of the church archway for example, took two shots, one cut the stairs off so wasn’t useable, but this one chopped of the top of a spire on the left hand side even tho I did managed to capture the main framing above, it was all the stuff around the edges where my lack of attention to detail is revealed.  So frustrating!

So many wonderful building details, this decorative arch framed with fancy lamps – do they call these carrige lamps?

And from the inside looking out, notice the security camera.  It must be noted the importance of shooting RAW here, when you look at the unprocessed file, it is completely black, looks like a silhouette with no detail.  However when I started playing a bit with LR, tweaking the exposure and shadow sliders a bit further than usual, some detail in the brickwork was revealed.

Was the first time I tried editing an image that I would have considered unretrievable normally, and a testament to how powerful Lightroom really is.

I hope you are enjoying my trip down memory lane through these images, I certainly am!

Posted in Image Processing, Photowalk or Fieldtrip, Posts with my photos, Useful Tips for Beginners | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Melbourne 2010 – Architecture

One of the things that surprised me on this trip to Melbourne was seeing so much wonderful old stone buildings and architecture in the city centre.  I spent a lot of time walking the streets so I saw many of them and did my best to capture some images.

I have little experience and knowledge of architectural photography and even less 4 years ago, so forgive me if these images are a little quirky.  In trying to capture the interesting bits without power poles, cars, buses and people, my compositions are a little on the creative side.

I think this is the Theatre

Colourful planters outside the Theatre

Melbourne is a lovely city to walk in, the central area is not huge, and there are many sites to see and alleyways to duck down and explore.  The pavements are laid with slabs of a hard grey rock that I found very tiring to walk on, my calf muscles ached all the time I was there!

Manchester Building

So many of the older buildings were really creatively build, with much decoration and detail to make them stand out from the bland facades of modern buildings.  One even had gargoyles!

Detail of the top of the Manchester Building

I follow the lovely Leanne Cole’s blog and she lives in Melbourne and does lovely architectural images.  From her I realised that the inside of many of these buildings is also well preserved, but it never occured to me to go inside as many of them were clearly office or apartment buildings in use.

Taking photos of buildings in a busy city is hard!

Posted in Photowalk or Fieldtrip, Posts with my photos, Useful Tips for Beginners | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments