Touring Tasmania – Cradle Mountain Park

So I horrified you all into silence with my last post (thanks to those who did comment BTW, I do appreciate it)

From the sublime to the ridiculous – a knot of wood on a dead tree trunk in Cradle Mountain Park  – this is on the track you can walk from the Ranger Station up to Dove Lake – I did the middle section through the forest of dead trees which a lovely ranger lady told me was the prettiest bit to walk through with a camera.

It was a gorgeous sunny day and it was a lovely walk, even though I got bitten by an ant on my arm.  It stung for a couple of hours afterwards but no major damage.

Processed in LR inc BW conversion – click to view large version with more detail.

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Pushing the boundaries even further – Bête Noire

Click to Embiggen

This is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, I know that.  And that is quite OK.  You should know that the blood is fake, its a mixture of corn syrup, chocolate sauce and red gel colouring.  Very sticky!

I was researching on Pinterest for some image inspiration for a shoot I am planning for a friend and went down the rabbit hole of some goth or horror themed images, and I quite liked the concept.  Its yet another stage in my selfie experiment that is an ongoing project when I get time.

Having never made fake blood before, that was the first stage.  Found some useful links online and I had most of what I needed in my pantry.  Made up a small batch yesterday and let it sit for the colour to fully develop.  The red gel has a very blue tone I couldn’t quite get rid of, so I hoped to be able to deal with that in post.

Next was the shoot, its in my bathroom which is quite small.  Camera on tripod down really low for an intimate angle, setup with my shiny new wireless remote and the RRS L-plate that lets me use it.  Stripped down and in the bath with the bowl of blood, and a pastry brush.

My visual inspiration was images from Psycho – I had planned to use the shower curtain but didn’t want to risk staining it red.  Brooke Shaden does a lot of bath images, admittedly hers aren’t quite as dark as this and thats also where I got ideas from.

I titled this image Bête Noire – the definition of which is “An anathema; someone or something which is particularly disliked or avoided; an object of aversion, the bane of one’s existence”.

My reason for calling it that was I felt this image would get strong responses, possibly a lot of negative response.  Having never done or posted an image in this style, I am not sure.

Original image as edited in Lightroom – Kim Klassen preset was used

Why did I do it?  Right now I am in a place where I want to explore new horizons, stretch my boundaries and discover new things.  I consider my technical camera skills are quite capable for the images I have been creating.  However doing the Awake course, and Brooke’s 30 Days of Creativity has inspired me to new and different styles of images.

Because I am working full time, and near the end of 3 1/2 years of study and in my last 6 weeks of research and writing my thesis, I have limited time to allow to creative pursuits.  So what I can do at home, with the resources I have at had, right now, that is what I *can* do.

Plus….. its fun!  Its hard to be the model and the photographer.  Adds a whole new level of difficulty.  But it also gives me amazing freedom to push my boundaries and really grow as an artist.

I know this is a provocative and likely controversial image.  Tell me what you feel when you look at it? Really would love all the feedback, good and bad!

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Old Farm Hut and Trees in Te Anau

Click to embiggen

This was taken at dusk, the last spot of light reflecting off the window of the hut.  I liked the stark lines of the trees against the sky and hoped I might make an image of it.

First I processed it as a BW in Lightroom which was alright but nothing special.  It was a little dark and lacked contrast.

So I took it into PS and had a play with adding some textures.   I was liking the slight sepia tone and wanted to add more of an aged forgotten print feel to it so added some overlays that darkened up the edges and put some water marks on it.

I really liked how with a bit of playing you can take an OK image and make it into something more artistic with some careful additions of texture and blend modes.

What do you think – does the BW stand alone?  Is the textured one better?

Which one works for you?

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Touring Tasmania – Hobart from Mt Wellington

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Mt Wellington is a huge presence that towers over Hobart and you can drive a reasonable distance up it.  My last day in Hobart I was hoping for clear skies but there was a lot of patchy low hanging cloud instead.  Still I made the trip up in my tiny little rental car.

You drive up the bottom slopes which are covered in residential housing and you keep going up and up and then there is a sign saying Mt Wellington Lookout 12 km.

That 12 km was the scariest, most hair raising drive I have ever done in my entire life.  The road climbs up the side of the mountain with a sheer drop on one side and solid rock wall on the other and it gets narrower and narrower AND NARROWER!!

Its two way and the big SUV were barrelling down taking up all the road, and I put my tiny little car nearly in the gutter trying to avoid them.  I saw one accident on my way up which surprised me that there was only one.

The hairpin curves were the worst, as they were even narrower and covered in forest so you couldn’t see anyone coming.  Honestly if there had been somewhere to pull over and turn around I would have, but instead you have to keep going up.

It was very popular so I stopped at a small park just before the top where there was a parking space, and walked to the side of the road – there wasn’t space to setup my tripod so this is hand held – if I had the choice I would have put my Lee filters on, but needed the tripod to do that.

Still the view was pretty impressive though I would have enjoyed it more had there been a more pleasant drive on the way down!

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Touring Tasmania – Devil’s Kitchen, Blowhole and Lookout

A somewhat delayed return to the tales of my Tasmania Road Trip, this time last year in fact.  When last we visited Tasmania I had been to the Tessellated Pavement.  A short drive over “The Neck” which is a very narrow strip of land connecting the peninsula with the rest of the island I headed to some other must see spots.

Above is a shot directly down from a lookout, I am a good 100m above sea level and its a straight drop down to the rocks, and as you can see the surf pounds it hard.

Looking up and across the bay, back to the Pavement you get this view instead

Down on the other side of the point you have this view, a huge rock at least the size of a bus being hammered by huge waves.  I took several images, trying to capture the biggest wave breaking over it.

As the waves come in, they flow up a narrow channel and the other side is an open blow hole.  On the day I was there it was pretty small waves, so the blow hole wasn’t particularly impressive.  Still I got some nice airborne spray droplets:)

Then a drive back through the wonderfully named Doo Town (I never stopped for a shot of the sign and I wish I had now) we headed round to Devil’s Kitchen.

Again I think it needed more surf to be really impressive but it was a LONG way down!

From here I headed on to Port Arthur, which was amazing, with wonderful buildings and loads of interesting history.

One day I hope I can go back when there is a storm, these sights must be incredible with really big waves coming in!

Click on any image to view a larger size.

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Intimate Portrait of an Artist

Despite getting very few comments here, my other art nude images got a lot of feedback elsewhere they were posted.  One suggestion was to try a sepia tone.

Here I have taken the image into Nik Silver Efex and used a Sepia preset I liked – the dark burnt border helps frame the image nicely.

Then it went into Topaz Texture FX and had some dust and scratches added and a texture to grunge it up a bit.

I like the feel and the mystery in this image, I purposefully worked it so the “details” were a little less prominent.

Does this more processed variation appeal more?  Yes?  No?

Edit – as mentioned in the comments, a comparison would help – this isn’t the exact frame I used for the image above but its the one before so close enough

Link to image on Flickr

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Photography is an expensive hobby

So I bought myself a wireless remote except the L-bracket I have for mounting my camera on my tripod doesn’t fit it as its for the 7D and not the 7D mk ii.  The hole for accessing the port to plug in the remote is in a different place.

Yes, dear reader, I spent $300 on getting a new L-bracket.  The exchange rate is particularly unfavourable right now *sigh*

Good news is both my bodies will have L-brackets, which is handy.  I intended to use the wireless remote for landscapes and long exposures, so this was a necessary purchase, just one I hadn’t planned on.  But I got a RRS bracket, so it should last the lifetime of the camera and will add to any resale value for sure.

Did I mention the remote cost $90 too….. and that was a cheap one!

BTW I got lots of views on my last post but hardly any comments. Not sure why?

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