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

Click to Embiggen

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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Stepping In Front Of The Camera – Art Nudes

We were challenged in my Awake Photoshop course to take on a  project  – to make 30 images on a theme and to concentrate on learning as we go.  At the same time I was also taking part in Brooke Shaden’s 30 Days of Creativity and it sparked an idea for my challenge – to do a set of intimate self portraits.

Since my last effort I have acquired a wireless remote which made the process a lot easier but also provided much in the way of learning.  First problem was that my L bracket doesn’t fit when the remote is plugged into the socket.

Good ole Kiwi ingenuity, I stacked up a pile of books on my office chair and padded it with some clothing til I got it at vaguely the right height and used that as my tripod and it mostly worked.

Set the camera up in manual  ISO 400, F5.6 and manual focus.  The wireless remote was dead easy to use but its quite large and not easy to hide in your hand.  I also discovered when viewing my images that it shines a bright white light when it activates too!

These have been edited in PS to add some texture and structure to the edges, just a touch for added interest and depth, and it warmed up the tone of the image nicely.


Because I had the remote I was able to take a LOT more images and experiment much more and be more flexible.  It has other benefits with being able to focus as well (haven’t tried that yet) and I can use it with landscapes and long exposures, so a useful addition to my kit.

I know this kind of thing isn’t to everyone’s taste but it has been a very interesting experiment with many learnings.  Not sure where its going to take me, and it might be a while, but this journey is not finished yet.

A little cheeky, a little provocative and revealing?   What do you think?

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Burkes Pass Panorama

Please click to embiggen this – it is a three shot panorama of the hills in Burkes Pass.

Taken last August on my way to Te Anau, the weather was overcast, dull and grey all the way down for all 7 hours driving.  As you can see from the snow too, it was pretty cold as well!

Edited in LR where I have added some drama to the clouds as that is very much what the sky was like.

Too Dark?  Just Right? I love the Panorama feature in Lightroom, its so easy and does a great job.

Posted in Camera Adventures, LR & Photoshop | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments