Touring Tasmania – RTBG Orchid House

Inside the Orchid House – Click to Embiggen

This lovely stone building with a glass roof housed all the tropical plants and orchids and featured this lovely fountain in the middle of it.  Had to wait for AGES to get a shot without people – you would think if you saw someone obviously waiting with a HUGE camera in their hand that they might want to take a shot, and possibly get out of the way?

No apparently but I waited and waited and eventually got the shot I wanted.  This is built out of the native sandstone from the island and its a lovely warm stone.

Someone had thrown a camellia flower into the fountain which tickled my fancy so I stood on the edge of the pool to get this shot – I shot at high speed so you can see the water droplets frozen in their falls and splashes which I like.

Then I wandered around admiring the plants and flowers, lots of ferns and orchids and also other interesting things I hadn’t seen before.

This is a hoya and was in full bloom – I only ever manage to kill these sadly as they are wonderful to have in the house

A begonia with amazing furry bits I hadn’t seen before – Click to Embiggen

A mystery orchid, many years ago I could have told you its name but now I would need a reference book.

A flowering bromeliad and an impressive specimen in size too

I think this is an Australian native – appropriately named the Matchstick plant

Then I headed out into the sunshine to the Rose Walk but it was too late for roses but there was a lovely brick wall with archways and this pretty purple thing that I think is a poppy, but I didn’t know they came in purple!

Is it a poppy?

Next stop, the very pretty and serene Japanese Garden.

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Touring Tasmania – Royal Tasmania Botanical Gardens

Anniversary Archway – Click to embiggen

The Royal Tasmania Botanical Gardens (what a mouthful!) are nicely placed in North Hobart just to one side of the Derwent Bridge.  I was heading home one afternoon and took a wrong turn and ended up on the wrong motorway, and on the way towards the right one I came across the turnoff to the gardens.  It was a nice afternoon and I had a couple of hours to took the opportunity to wander.

Its on a gently sloping site that gets sun most of the day, lots of landscaped lawn and lots of areas of interest.  I went to the Lily Pond, found the Anniversary Arch (above), Japanese Garden, Rose Walk and the Orchid House and I felt quite serene as I headed home, this time on the right motorway!

Lily Pond – Click to embiggen

I was too late for the lilies but the whole pond area was beautifully planted with much lush and mature growth.  I met a young duck who was having a nap and she followed me down the stairs to the arch, hoping for a treat.  Sadly I had nothing with me.

Much of the steps and pathways were made of this lovely stone, all mossy and green and inviting you to explore further.

Can you see the face in this tree – his giant nose caught my attention and then I saw the rest of it, that trunk is at least 5-6 feet in diameter.

The Archway was a delightful find and I took several images of some of the stone detail.  It was originally in the city and moved out at a later date.  For its age it is very well preserved, not sure what it was carved out of but it was quite fantastic

Detail from the Archway – click to embiggen

Next up the Japanese Gardens and Orchid House

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Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake Pano in LR6

Cradle Mountain at the end of Dove Lake Pano of 10 images – click to embiggen

This was the other panorama image I was excited to be able to process in LR6.  This is Dove lake from a small promontory off to the right, with Cradle Mountain in the centre, and the walking path and the other mountains off to the right.

This was 10 images in total and LR6 just blended them perfectly.  Some global adjustments and I did a little work on the Cradle Mountain peaks to bring the exposure more into line with the rest of the image.

Yes the sky really was that colour and not a cloud in it for the several hours I was out walking in it, was a beautiful day, one of my nicest in Tasmania.

I wanted to show a less cliche image of the lake and mountain, something different and I like that this gives some idea of the vastness of the landscape and yet still an intimate look at the plants in the foreground.

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First Panorama done in LR6

Blue Lake at St Bathans – click to embiggen

This is a shot – well actually its 7 images shot of Blue Lake at St Bathans when I was there a year ago.

I have taken several lots of shots to assemble into a panorama but the software I tried to do it in quite defeated me and so with this image I never bothered. Until now with the new Pano Merge feature in LR6!

Be warned it is SLOW – it takes a while to assemble the preview and then even longer to actually save it, but it is totally worth it!

Why?  Because I was then able to edit the whole complete merged image within LR as ONE image which was the problem I had before.  I couldn’t figure out how to do that, and consequently colours were patchy and inconsistent.

When I bought my new Acratech tripod head late last year, I specifically bought the one that has capability of working in Pano mode, and I got a rail so I could shoot properly, accounting for parallax, but til now never bothered to set it up.  Now I will.

I am SO happy to have this functionality, as a landscape photographer sometimes to do a place full justice you need to shoot at a certain scale and then assemble the images later as a panorama.  Now with this great new feature in LR6 I can and it WORKS!

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Lightroom 6 is now released

After a long anticipated wait LR6 has been released a few days ago.  I follow Victoria Bampton, the Lightroom Queen, and she has a LONG blog post about all the new features and everything you need to know.

The important things from my POV are:

– if you already own standalone versions on your PC you can still buy/upgrade those – but Adobe make it IMPOSSIBLE to find, but Victoria has the details on the link below

– I’m in NZ and I couldn’t buy it online but if you find a link to the real time chat, the people on the other end are AWESOME and really helpful, and I was able to buy my copy that way

– LR6 now has built in panorama features and I am really excited about that as I have several pano shots I have never processed because of the added level of difficulty

– LR6 is supposed to be a lot faster too

– if you bought LR5 sometime in the last few weeks, check with Adobe as you might qualify for a free upgrade

– there are new books and training courses for LR6 all over the place!

– there are improvement to editing functions with ND Grad filter esp, where you can mask out bits (like trees or mountains) that would normally have been effected – quite excited about that too!

Mine is installing now, quite excited!  Stay tuned for hopefully some previously unseen pano images to be posted!

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Touring Tasmania – Seven Mile Beach Sunset

Seven Mile Beach, looking towards where Hobart is in the distance – Click to embiggen

Well I spent three days sleeping after I got back from holiday and then a couple of days catching up on stuff so time to work on some images and post. In my first post I shared some shots of Seven Mile Beach on a sunny morning, these were taken a couple of days later.

Plane took off in the middle of this shot! Click to embiggen

It was quite close to the airport, and I happened to have my camera pointed in this direction already, getting the colour in the clouds when this plane zoomed up right in front of me!  Recompose and click of a few frames, and this was the one I liked most.

Dead tree silhouettes – Click to Embiggen

Everywhere I went in Tasmania I was reminded of the constant danger of fires, given the trees native to Australia are eucalyptus gum trees and full of highly volatile oils.  This row of trees was all black and burnt and dead, testament to a fire at some point.

Unfortunately I had very poor weather for sunsets and sunrises, it was very heavy overcast for most of the time I was there, which was a shame, but you do the best you can with what you have.  So I was pleased I did go out and capture these images.

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Fine Art Photoshop Grunge course on sale for $92 US

68% off the full price of the Fine Art Photoshop Grunge course I bought back at Xmas time – first time I have seen them have such a deep discount since then I think.

Limited time and runs out in 3 days so get in quick if you are interested :)

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