Portal-licious

Portal-licious - (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock

Portal-licious – (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock
143 frames (startrails) (2 frames for the foreground exposures)
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f/5 and Shutter Speed: 60s (each star trail frame) and around 300s for the lighting painting frames.
ISO 800 for the trails. and 100 for everything else
out front – some funky windchime.
Lightpainting: lots of Blue EL wire around the base and EL footprints

super sized windchime
So I had a few hours to burn between jobs midweek so I ducked out for a quick squizzy at the Sclupture by the sea (http://www.sculpturebythesea.com/)
Things were pretty quiet and I had free reign of the place and only had to share this glorified wind chime with a few togs, including some dude doing some timelapse on a dolly, it would be very interested to see how they turn out, so if your the dude there msg me ;)
The lights on the sculpture are a bit of a pain and I did consider turning them off, but it would have been pretty obvious ;) the red colour makes this tricky since this is the colour that burns out first, i really need to do some more research on blending the dark shots to the startrails, anyone got any good tips?

Exif/setup data:
143 frames (startrails) (2 frames for the foreground exposures)
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f/5 and Shutter Speed: 60s (each star trail frame) and around 300s for the lighting painting frames.
ISO 800 for the trails. and 100 for everything else
out front – some funky windchime.
Lightpainting: lots of Blue EL wire around the base and EL footprints

Why

Why - (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock

Why – (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock
Single shot
Exif/setup data:
D7000 coupled with Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 @11mm Aperture: f/6.7 and Shutter Speed: 294.7s
out front – funky ass sculpture
Lightpainting: Coloured LED torch beaming up, Blue (x 2) and red EL

because you can – the chaos has begun

Chaos: “dad?”
me: “yeah..”
Chaos: “whats that funny blue wire?”
me: ” thats EL wire sweetie”
Chaos: “oh…… what do you do with that dad?”
me: “well..I wave it around in front of a camera while i take a picture”
Chaos: “that sounds like fun, can I do that with you?”
me: “isn’t it past your bedtime?”
:)

Single shot
Exif/setup data:
D7000 coupled with Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 @11mm Aperture: f/6.7 and Shutter Speed: 294.7s
out front – funky ass sculpture
Lightpainting: Coloured LED torch beaming up, Blue (x 2) and red EL

Nothing lasts forever

Nothign Lasts forever - (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock

Nothign Lasts forever – (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f/14 and Shutter Speed: 1.3s
ISO:100
Out front: Lee graduated filter (0.9x) and Hoya Circular Polariser.

time is nigh
I do like bold and punchy landscapes, however from time to time I come across a scene where saturation, even as it may well be in reality, does not quite match the scene and also the mood.
This scene of the mangrove appearing to be on the final straight I think needed a saturation level that matched the mood, whilst the pre-sunset colours were shaping up nicely and there was some very tidy warm colours in the upper part of the sky I chose to desaturate the image so that the colour did not detract from the composition, particularly the roots in the foreground.

I found the punchy bold coloured version left me as a viewer missing some of the finer detail, like the texture in the roots and left me in a confused state (not hard on a good day) about the intent.

Techie love:
I actually bracketed this shot and merged the frames, but in revisiting it, i found the single neutral frame was all goo, in terms of dynamic range, the sensor in this camera (D750) is certainly a improvement to that of my older camera (D7000)
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f/14 and Shutter Speed: 1.3s
ISO:100
Out front: Lee graduated filter (0.9x) and Hoya Circular Polariser.

As always, I welcome any suggestions, comments and improvements to my photography, they are always warmly welcomed.

Rocking Horse Evolution

Rocking Hporse Evolution - (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock

Rocking Hporse Evolution – (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock
frames, all edited in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (which is now forming a crucial part of my workflow with the D750)
Exif/setup data:
D7000 coupled with Nikkor 85 f1.4 @85mm Aperture: f/2.5 and Shutter Speed: 1/500s
ISO 400
out front – mayhem on a rocking horse

i am riding a white mare across a green plain with the hooves thundering on the ground as the wind catches my cape and sweeps back my hair
well.. that’s what she probably reckons it looks like ;)
far from being satisfied with walking and climbing, the ability of being able to mount, ride and dismount the trusty steed (worn in and dutifully demonstrated by her sister chaos) was high on the priority list. After several close calls, i think we can safely say, tickles, you have nailed the rocking horse. nicely done :)

check out those grandpa pants too ;)

4 frames, all edited in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (which is now forming a crucial part of my workflow with the D750)
Exif/setup data:
D7000 coupled with Nikkor 85 f1.4 @85mm Aperture: f/2.5 and Shutter Speed: 1/500s
ISO 400
out front – mayhem on a rocking horse

Bold

Bold - (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock

Bold – (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock
Techie love:
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f/13 and Shutter Speed: 1/13s
ISO 640
Out front: Lee graduated filter (0.9x) and Hoya Circular Polariser.

yet shedding
Sneaky Wednesday Sessions at Beachmere, I had a hour to smash before hopping on a burner to come home, I wish I had more time to explore other areas, like Bribie Island and a bit further north but alas not this time.
There is something relaxing about doing a seascape shoot and i find it quite therapeutic after a long day, the sensation of mud, shells and water under foot (excluding that fing sharp oyster shell – needs another session in the washing machine) washed all the worries away (except for that one that i better not be late to grab the plane)

Its a popular tree and I had wanted to visit another tree nearby , however upon closer inspection it would appears its fallen on its bum…so that one was out ( you can see it here
http://blog.avernus.com.au/solitude/)

For this shot I needed a quick shutter to freeze some of that water, rather than a blurry mess, which, btw looks alright, hence i need to bump the iso abit to keep things at f13 since i now know that the 16-35 is crap at f4 ;)

I timed it to get that dinky little leaf, but was a bit too slow, I really wanted it further up in he frame oh well..the CPL was key here to get some clarity thru the water.

Techie love:
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f/13 and Shutter Speed: 1/13s
ISO 640
Out front: Lee graduated filter (0.9x) and Hoya Circular Polariser.

man that tilt screen is worth every cent… :)

As always, I welcome any suggestions, comments and improvements to my photography, they are always warmly welcomed.

Ghouls, gals and the search for the portal

Ghouls, gals and the search for the portal - (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock

Ghouls, gals and the search for the portal – (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock
134 frames
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f/4 and Shutter Speed: 60s (each star trail frame) and around 500s for the lighting painting frames.
Iso 640 for the trails. and 100 for everything else
out front – expenise grave site.
Lightpainting: lots of Blue EL wire around the base, LED torch selectively applied with the street lighting off to the left

Sneaky Sunday Night startrails
I don’t think I would have ever thought that I would end up (alive anyway) sitting amongst a whole stack of rather upmarket grave sites taking star trails shots and eating pizza.
That said, the idea had crossed my radar a few times before and with the conditions just right with moon rise well into the wee hours of the morning this was another great location with very little light pollution (excluding all them planes)

Unlike the previous Malabar session I decided to make the effort and clone out all the boats and plane trails, alittle tedious, but for this one probably worth the effort.
All images loaded into a stack in PS CC and individual layers adjusted to remove the offending aircraft and boat trails.

Similarly to the previous session it appears my version of the +My Nikon Life Nikkor 16-35mm f4 does some weird stuff. It would appear that the right hand side of the image has significantly less sharpness than that of the left, this is the same as the malabar session which i had put down to some weird phenomenon, the fact that its noticeable even on a fairly low resolution jpegs has me concerned, reviewing some of the other images it appears to be severely exacerbated at f4 and improves when stopping down.

So, how does a lens be sharp on one side and not the other? maybe misaligned glass elements? has anyone else experienced this? anyone wanna take a few test shots at f4 to compare?

So back to the cemetery, no ghouls were spotted, but i certainly had my peepers nice and wide looking, a little bit.. well ok, lets be honest a swamps worth of blue EL wire and just a smattering of red completed the foreground shot, noting that the stock standard original foreground of the star shots actually looks pretty good also, the street lights off to the left (couple of hundred metres away) gave some nice natural side lighting.

No ghouls or grave sites were harmed nor disrespected in this session :)

Exif/setup data:
134 frames
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f/4 and Shutter Speed: 60s (each star trail frame) and around 500s for the lighting painting frames.
Iso 640 for the trails. and 100 for everything else
out front – expenise grave site.
Lightpainting: lots of Blue EL wire around the base, LED torch selectively applied with the street lighting off to the left

As always, I welcome any suggestions, comments and improvements to my photography, they are always warmly welcomed.

Gipsy Lady

Gipsy Lady - (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock

Gipsy Lady – (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock
3 shot HDR, processed using Google’s +Nik Collection by Google
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 28mm Aperture: f/8 and Shutter Speed: 1/250s (neutral frame) 1/2000s under exposed frame and 1/30s high key frame.
Out front: bigass chopper

a real mans helicopter has a mini cockpit in the back
Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane or more commonly known as the Erickson Skycrane.

Interesting thing about Erickson, the company, they have been steadily growing and with the announcement this year that they acquired Evergreen, yep thats the mob with the fire bombing 747’s ;) (ggogle it :) ) i reckon they have gotta be the worlds biggest contractor/supplier of aircraft for fire fighting…

Anyway, I do enjoy, each year, the familiar sound of the Sikorsky S-64 rumbling over head as they come over here to help with the bush fire season.

I made good use of the tilt screen feature of the D750 here, a shot that I would have had to have my ass in the air and my face on the ground… not a good look on the airport, trust me.

Techie love:
3 shot HDR, processed using Google’s Nik Collection by Google
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 28mm Aperture: f/8 and Shutter Speed: 1/250s (neutral frame) 1/2000s under exposed frame and 1/30s high key frame.
Out front: bigass chopper

Pastel, Maroubra and fuzziness

Pastel, maroubra and Fuzziness - (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock

Pastel, maroubra and Fuzziness – (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f/13 and Shutter Speed: 15s
Out front: Lee graduated filter (0.9x) and Hoya Circular Polariser.

there are two ways to achieve a nice softness/diffusion in a image – well the way I see it anyway ;)

1) you can use some funky filter in Adobe Photoshop during your post processing, or 2) you can do like I did here, simply place one’s tripod in some sand near a beach, start a long exposure and wait for the sea to come and wash over everything resulting in the tripod slowly sinking
– softness achieved, job done, in camera, purist reunite! ;)

I love the pastel colours in the sky, maybe because its I see them so much more that the blazing sunset or sunrise (which are fairly rare – for me anyway), maybe it’s the challenge in conveying that often very subtle colour which is always in the opposite direction to where most are point their cameras.

Maybe in this case, its because the pastel pink an blue in the sky compliments the fuzzy green rocks down below, in any case it was fun, except for the howling wind and spray, a prelude to http://blog.avernus.com.au/opening-the-portal/

Techie love:
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f/13 and Shutter Speed: 15s
Out front: Lee graduated filter (0.9x) and Hoya Circular Polariser.

As always, I welcome any suggestions, comments and improvements to my photography, they are always warmly welcomed.

Float it

Float it - (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock

Float it – (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock
3 shot Panorama
Techie data:
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 35mm Aperture: f/13
Shutter speed: 0.5s
ISO 100

Somedays photos just leap off the screen other days they teeter towards the trash can, this one was certainly the latter.

what would you have done differently? cause I am outta ideas, I think its also a Opera House fatigue thing too, I just cannot get excited about Sydney Opera House shots anymore.

3 shot Panorama
Techie data:
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 35mm Aperture: f/13

Shutter speed: 0.5s
ISO 100
Out front: nothing from memory :)

 

 

Opening the Portal

Openign the Portal - (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock

Openign the Portal – (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f/4 and Shutter Speed: 60s (each star trail frame) and around 300s for the lighting painting frames.
Iso 640 for the trails. and 100 for everything else
out front – Malabar bunker for munitions.
Lightpainting: Red and Blue EL wire around the base. Steel wool spin on top the building, LED torch selective applied..

time stands still as the universe parts
other dimensions, dark matter, particle mass, Large Hadron Collider (LHC), this stuff is soo cool, I remember learning about the theory of general and special relativity at uni at it was so intereesting yet was like turning your brain inside out to understand , needless to say I now remember nothing of it,… except it was damn cool and and that Einstein bloke was pretty clever ;)

Well, this session was a bit of a fail, however looking on the bright side, its certainly dark enough for a some trails!

15-20 minute bush bash to get to the location, in the dark of course and with the wind howling, followed by several setup shots and then another 2 hours of mind numbing boredom (oh I suppose you were not that bad Rodney Campbell ;) ) whilst huddling in a corner of the rock and bunker to keep outta the wind.

The sand and wind reminded me of Anna Bay and stockton beach during which my camera and lens filled up with sand !

I opted for a different take, rather than a clean set of trails, I threw everything at it, its chaos!

So Rod, next time we will just go back to North Bondi eh? 20 metres from the car, pizza down the road, no sand, no wind…

The star trails are made up of 117 shots stacked together in +Adobe Photoshop using the statistics method, this image was then manually blended with a couple of foreground shots. The blend modes varied from lighten to screen and were selectively applied

Exif/setup data:
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f/4 and Shutter Speed: 60s (each star trail frame) and around 300s for the lighting painting frames.
Iso 640 for the trails. and 100 for everything else
out front – Malabar bunker for munitions.
Lightpainting: Red and Blue EL wire around the base. Steel wool spin on top the building, LED torch selective applied..

No wildlife harmed or fires started, however i sustained many little burns due to that wind blowing that wool spin all over me. Might wear jeans next time ;)

As always, I welcome any suggestions, comments and improvements to my photography, they are always warmly welcomed.

Kawaskai BK117-B2

Kawaski BK117-B2 - (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock

Kawaski BK117-B2 – (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock
D750 coupled with 300mm f4 and 1.7x TC @500mm Aperture: f/8 and Shutter Speed: 1/1000s
ISO: 100

Lotsa good stuff comes out Japan, helicopters, camera’s submarines ;) sushi.. you name it there are plenty.
I like the BK117 helciopter, its a real work horse, its not as pretty and slick as the newer Bell 429 (although you probably should compare it with the BK117C3 / EC145) but its a proven reliable known quantity.
I really should take more shots of these since i see them just about every day :) Now that the skycranes are back I will be sure to grab a few shots of those monsters – now if only someone would bring in a few of the new russian MIL-8TMV’s? that would be cool

Techie love:
D750 coupled with 300mm f4 and 1.7x TC @500mm Aperture: f/8 and Shutter Speed: 1/1000s
ISO: 100
out front – Kawasaki BK117-B2

The grass is always greener on the other side

Grass Greener - (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock

Grass Greener – (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock
4 shot Panorama (bracketed – 0ev and +3ev)
Techie data:
D7000 with Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8 @ 26mm – Aperture: f/8 and Shutter Speed: 4s (normal frame) and 2s (dark frame)
ISO 100

unless its next to a septic pit :)
Welcome to the 5th hole of the Bondi Golf Course, if you have made it this far you will be punching for a 280 metre drive (yeah i can do that lol) up towards the poo factory. Don’t slice it.. at any point or your little golf ball is gonna get some serious airtime as it departs the course and becomes a whale gall stone :) do whales even have a gallbladder?

So you can see the photobombing Rodney Campbell down on the right whilst working his tripod for a vertical pano that you can see in this shot (https://plus.google.com/102418874970398612673/posts/gTZ2zLzSuHQ).

The sunset was unremarkable, even without the clouds there was not much in the way of sweet pastel colours, nonetheless I like the lines the green and fairway made here and once again my main subject feature is smack in the middle and the horizon is also pretty well in the middle, rule of thirds lovers are gonna hate ;)

4 shot Panorama (bracketed – 0ev and +3ev)
Techie data:
D7000 with Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8 @ 26mm – Aperture: f/8 and Shutter Speed: 4s (normal frame) and 2s (dark frame)
ISO 100
Out front: nothing from memory :)

As always, I welcome any suggestions, comments and improvements to my photography, they are always warmly welcomed.

Seascape to die for

Seascape to die for - (c) Gerard Blacklock

Seascape to die for – (c) Gerard Blacklock
D750 coupled with 105mm f2.5 @ 105mm Aperture: f/5.6 and Shutter Speed: 750s
ISO: Lo1

waiting for that perfect flow ;)

I ain’t gonna write anything about this – just use your imagination ;)

Techie love:
D750 coupled with 105mm f2.5 @ 105mm Aperture: f/5.6 and Shutter Speed: 750s
ISO: Lo1
Out front: some freaky skeleton

As always, I welcome any suggestions, comments and improvements to my photography, they are always warmly welcomed

Riding into the pastel sunset

Riding the Pastel Skies - (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock

Riding the Pastel Skies – (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock
D750 coupled with 105mm f2.5 @ 105mm Aperture: f/4 and Shutter Speed: 250s
ISO: 400

man vs wind

So, i rock up to the beach just in time to hear over the loudspeakers, which by the were very, very loud that the beach was closed due to dangerous rips and surf (not uncommon at this particular beach) on;y to see this dude on his kite surfer flogging it around the bay. Now, it a was well after sunset and the pastels in the sky were just fading and I thought surely this dude is heading in soon, but no, he was out there until it was dark, like really dark! certainly much more gutsy than me :)

The wind was absolutely howling this evening and the kite surfer was covering the length of the beach in 30 odd seconds, not only would this have taken alot of stamina to hold on and control but to come off at that speed would really hurt :) which he did a few times, face planted into a wave :)

This was taken with my all time favorite lens, the old school nikkor 105mm f2.5, its old, its beat up, the aperture ring is anything but snappy and its got quite a few dust specks in it but it still produces really sharp images and lovely contrast.

Techie love:
D750 coupled with 105mm f2.5 @ 105mm Aperture: f/4 and Shutter Speed: 250s
ISO: 400
Out front: nada

As always, I welcome any suggestions, comments and improvements to my photography, they are always warmly welcomed