Kawasaki BK117's

I reckon its one of the best choppers out there, very much underated.
Kareela Aviation (seen here) have one of the best and largest (i think) fleet of Kawasaki BK117's in oz, they also hold the RFS (Rural Fire Service) contract too :)
There is a Bell 205 in there too, the ute of the air and not even in the same class ;)

I rarely, actually, never, get in a helicopter unless I have to for work, however this was one exception for some aerial photography work from a AS350, probably the smallest chopper I would trust my ass in :)

Its the end of the fire season over here and hence some spare time for a bit of downtime for these guys, hence the effort to arrange the aircraft and tankers – these guys are fully self sufficient with the ability to fly maintenance (Baron fixed wing – not shown) dudes out to working aircraft across the state and provide fuel support.

This is a vertical pano shot, 3 frames, landscape orientation – cheers to my pilot for the day for some nice steady OGE (Out of ground effect) hovering to get me in the right position for this one :)

Exif/setup love:
3 Landscape orientation images stitched
D750 coupled with 24-70mm f4 @ 24mm Aperture: f/8 and Shutter Speed: 1/320s
ISO 100
out front – Hoya CPL.

Undecided

 

Undecided - (c) 2015 Gerard Blacklock

D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 18mm Aperture: f/18and Shutter Speed: 1s
ISO: 100
out front – Lee Graduated Filter (0.9x) and a polariser (HOYA screw in)

I could not actually decide which I liked the most – hence when in doubt, just throw it all in :) well in this case into a triptych.
I think its also a good example of how water movement and flow in a scene can change the overall feel look of the image. There was no change in the shutter speed, just in the timing of when to take the frame.

Can you pick which way the water is going in each frame? (in or out) which looks better? I typically find that taking the frame with the water flowing out seems to give better lines – this is not a hard and fast rule tho. Another important benefit of using the outflow is that your not crapping yourself when the big swamper comes thru and you got your eye plastered in the viewfinder trying to get that sweet frame and then blam ;)

Exif/setup love:
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 18mm Aperture: f/18and Shutter Speed: 1s
ISO: 100
out front – Lee Graduated Filter (0.9x) and a polariser (HOYA screw in)

 

Protection

Protection - (c) 2015 Gerard Blacklock

D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f/10 and Shutter Speed: 1/1.3s
ISO: 100
out front – Lee Graduated Filter (0.9x) a bit of a wreck or something and some rockage

did not help this wreck
view large… its a crime not too ;)

Whilst the colour and clouds were nice, i really liked this channel that ran between the breaking waves and outer rock shelf and the next set of rocks (which I am standing on). The small rock cluster, only standing several feet high created a calm little bay with the waves just bubbling thru the rocks and occasionally flowing over the top – I did wait for that set of waves, since that would have topped the image off I think, ie some nice water flowing over the rocks, but alas, patience got the better of me and at the time I was not overly impressed with the shot, only after i reviewed it on the the computer did it get a look in.

4 landscape orientation images stitched together in +Adobe Photoshop, the scene has a bit of the bendy feel to it due to the wide angle and in hindsight taking several steps back and running with 35mm focal length would have been a much better option, or even better swapping to a longer lens.

Exif/setup love:
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f/10 and Shutter Speed: 1/1.3s
ISO: 100
out front – Lee Graduated Filter (0.9x) a bit of a wreck or something and some rockage

There were 4 on the ridge and the little one said

There were four on the ridge and the little one siad.. - (c)  2015 Gerard Blacklock

8 Landscape orientation images manually stitched
D750 coupled with 70-200mm f2.8 @ 170mm Aperture: f/11 and Shutter Speed: 1/400s
ISO 100

watch out that farmer is coming with his chainsaw :)

I have often been accused of having ulterior motives for visiting various locations, mostly to do with the desire to take a few piccies :) sometimes its true others not :) However myself and chaos went out to Lake Lyell for a bit of timeout and to get out of the house, admittingly I did want to see what the place was like from a photographic point of view so it was a convienent coincidence i say :)

During the drive out I noticed a few trees and thought they look pretty cool but it was not until we actually drove back the way we came that the scene presented itself like this, four lonely trees on a ridge. Its funny how perspective and position make all the difference in a scene, there was basically only one spot from the road where the slope had a nice roll to it and the trees appear right on the horizon, probably be a cool scene from the other side too.. if you could access it.

Chaos and I had checked out the lake, found a good stash of blackberries and it had just started to pour with rain as we drove back. I saw the scene and the conditions looked really sweet but we had to get back and there was some crazy lightning around.

I had contemplated a sunrise session here, but that was kinda outta the question, however as luck would have it, later in the morning another blackberry collecting session was needed so chaos was very accommodating at the suggestion of lots of blackberries even agreed to be patient whilst I stopped and took a few photo’s :)

‘but dad, remember you can only take a 5 pictures, you promised to be quick’

so..5 pictures (or maybe it was 8) later we were off to the blackberries :). Thanks to +Cameron Fong for the loan of the lens which got me in the right range for this one.

Blackberries were awesome too, came back with a nice bucket load of them :) all in all everyone got what they wanted

This is 8 images stitched together as a panorama, probably only 6 were needed since i chopped a big bit off the left side..The light was not optimal, but it was either this or nothing, it would have looked great at sunrise..especially with all those pinks :)

Exif/setup love:
8 Landscape orientation images manually stitched
D750 coupled with 70-200mm f2.8 @ 170mm Aperture: f/11 and Shutter Speed: 1/400s
ISO 100
out front – trees and some ridge near Lake Lyell

Shopping Planet

Shopping Planet - (c) 2015 Gerard Blacklock

3 Landscape orientation images manually stitched
D750 coupled with 24-70mm f4 @ 70mm Aperture: f/3.2 and Shutter Speed: 1/3200s
ISO 200

its a wild world out there, luckily we got our hard hat

A recent gift from nan and pop was just perfect for this incarnation of a tiny panet, planetoid or what ever ya want to call them. This was the wet warm up session to the for which we are now at #37 (Alison Wonderland – I Want U) damn i love the public broadcast system in this country :) I reckon there would be a revolution if they cut funding to tripleJ ;) not only of the young folk, but also the old fogeys who grew up with the jj’s.

This image is panorama of three images, manually stitched together, there was basically nothing for the programs to be able to stitch it together except the grass and given the lightning speeds tickles was belting down the slope with her shopping trolley ( rice cakes and sugar included) there was plenty of discontinuity between the frames :)

cheers to +Kitten KaboodleInc for the idea of the tiny planet – it did not quite work exactly how I wanted, but chasing two kids at the same time whilst trying to set it up was…lets say challenging :)

Exif/setup love:
3 Landscape orientation images manually stitched
D750 coupled with 24-70mm f4 @ 70mm Aperture: f/3.2 and Shutter Speed: 1/3200s
ISO 200
out front – grass, tickles, trolley and hard hat.

 

Outer Tubes

Outer Tubes - (c) 2015 Gerard Blackock

3 images edited in CNX2 and triptyched in LR
D750 coupled with 24-70mm f4 @ 24 thru to 70mm Aperture: f/6.3 (typically) and Shutter Speed: 1/60s
ISO 200

so you togs think ya pretty hard core?

Well, i say you got nothing on these dudes! This is a place called ‘the outer tubes’, i’ll get to that in a second, its one only a few places in the whole world where you can do Land Based Deep Sea Fishing, specifically for those big-ass fish like tuna and marlin, yep, those ones you see dudes fighting on boats for hours on end.

The outer tubes is located just within Jervis Bay, basically the only point where you can get close enough to the water to throw a line in, everywhere else is like 50 metre cliffs :) This place as I understand it, is basically right on the edge of the continental shelf where the oceans real deep and cold :) and where the real man fish live. The name ‘outer tubes’ has absolutely nothing to do with the natural features of the landscape, there i was looking for some cool tube like rocks lol. Rather, its called this since the location is where the outer torpedo tubes where located for defending the bay back in the days when they thought someone would sail on in :) In any case there is still some remnants f the old structure and supports which now form part of this iconic fishing location.

So your thinking, yeah bunch of fisherman, how keen could they be? Well, this place is only open for a short time during the year and the headland is closed from 5:30pm to 2am in morning….yeah weird eh.. so these fisherman clock out here at.. yep 2am in the morning with all their gear for the 1km walk in. Its not a overly hard walk, but you will surely get a bit puffed with a backpack on and there are some awesome metal stairs at the end to get down onto the rock shelf.

So these guys carry it all in the morning, then carry it all out in the arvo..check it out, kiddie pools for the live bait (which they catch and refill the water every few hours), 2 stroke motor pumps, bacon and egg breakie not to mention all the fishing gear, these rods and reels are real man sized ones, and weigh accordingly! and cost a pretty penny too.

So, after a morning session out on the headland I saw the signs to the outer tubes track and was certainly intrigued by the 15 cars in the carpark all of whom obviously got there well before I did.. 2am it would appear :) So i hiked on in and you can imagine my surprise to come round the corner of the rock shelf to the sight of this shelf crowded with dudes and fishing gear! I hung around for about a hour or so just to grab a few shots – the guys there are pretty friendly but pretty cagey too, as most fisherman probably are when it comes to talking about theie fishing spots and techniques, luckily for me its pretty obviously i had no clue so i clearly was no threat lol :)

I banged off quite a few shots and it was actually pretty difficult shooting, the dynamic range was huge, the rock shelf is in full shade and the sun was pretty well blaring out in the sky and opposing headland! hence its a small triptych to show the location and people. The fish in the middle image was a tuna I think, probably as long as the dudes leg, these fish they basically cut up and reused as bait and burlie! these are bigger than the fish you see in the fish markets! However if they carried out all the fish they caught, it would be a long walk out :) and really, they are only after one fish… Marlin

To give you an idea of some the fish caught here…just check out this link…trust have a look and have a read
http://www.shimanofish.com.au/articles/land-based-game-fishing-.html

and this one… this is a great read, dudes jumping off the cliff in their undies and tied to a rope to pull fish in!
http://albaa.com.au/graveyard_jf1.htm

Now, onto the photography side – what has impressed me here was the Nikon D750’s dynamic range, I turned on the active d-lighting function (to high) to see what it could do, quite impressive, these are all single images no HDR (bracketing). Another interestign point is that I processed the images in both CNX2 (RAW2NEF) and Lightroom and whilst its not really a fair comparsion (i’ll explain further) the processing and end result from the CNX2 software, which imo is better, not by a tiny bit, but by quite a bit. The qualifier here.. I am by no means a expert in LR, I would actually classify myself as a novice, however I really feel limited by lightroom in its editing ability – possibly due to my ignorance. Ie one simple aspect is automatically correcting the colour cast – LR really struggles to get the colour cast right, using either auto or other wise (WB adjustment) I often find myself fiddling with the sliders until I get what I like and the sliders are so sensitive (WB and exposure but not others like the vibrance) its quite hard to get a consistent nice result. CNX2 is pretty good with the Auto Levels and colour cast correction. The other big one is the big one is the masking and control points, CNX2 and the colorefex plugins, even being a few years old just smash the masking and control point in LR, simply things like being able to ‘paint’ on and off effects (or control points or vignetting) seems difficult when compared to CNX2 or PS for that matter… Anyways, onto the picture,

Exif/setup love:
3 images edited in CNX2 and triptyched in LR
D750 coupled with 24-70mm f4 @ 24 thru to 70mm Aperture: f/6.3 (typically) and Shutter Speed: 1/60s
ISO 200
out front – Hoya Circular Polariser

 

Mystery Bay

Honeymoon Bay - (c) 2015 Gerard Blacklock

5 Landscape orientation images stitched together in +Adobe Photoshop
D750 coupled with 24-70mm f4 @ 70mm Aperture: f/18 and Shutter Speed: 1/3s
ISO 100

its like floating on soft monochromatic velvet
Next to honeymoon bay :)

Exif/setup love:
5 Landscape orientation images stitched together in +Adobe Photoshop
D750 coupled with 24-70mm f4 @ 70mm Aperture: f/18 and Shutter Speed: 1/3s
ISO 100
out front – Hoya Circular Polariser

 

Honey Moon Bay

where babies love happens

This is where everyone went in the 90s and early 2000's for their honeymoons.. ya know how i know that? 'cause now everyone that visits this place has kids around the same age ;)

A quick grab shot as we drove out of the place from our few nights camping there (chaos, tickles and da boss). This image is 4 landscape orientation shots stitched together, it was taken pretty well in the middle of the day hence the light is somewhat flat, however with the use of the Polariser the sky and the greens get a great kick to give it a little more to combat that overhead sun and the life of a mediocre image :).

This place is perfect for families with kids, the swimming , snorkeling etc is excellent, the sheltered bay means the water is particular calm, even more so than the water from the bay a few hundred metres out, which is pretty calm anyway. Perfect for a clever hungry shark too methinks ;)

Here you can see a typical day in the life of the holidays at Honeymoon bay, 30 odd degrees Celsius and the routine consists of a quick dip followed by a lazy lay on the beach, in the shade of the overhanging trees or in the sun, whichever you prefer, you can also sprawl out on the grassy knoll at one of the beach if your not a fan of the sand :) This is repeated through the day with intermittent breaks for food and beverages :)

I hope all you northern hemisphere inhabitants in the grip of the cold winter enjoy this one ;)

Exif/setup love:
4 Landscape orientation images stitched together in +Adobe Photoshop
D750 coupled with 24-70mm f4 @ 42mm Aperture: f/9 and Shutter Speed: 1/320s
ISO 100
EV -0.7 (just to protect those highlights
out front – Hoya Circular Polariser

http://blog.avernus.com.au/honey-moon-bay/

Life Past 16mm

old vs new

Sitting back in the campsite at Honeymoon Bay i spent some time studying the google earth / map of this lighthouse situated out atop some thumping great cliffs, I had never visited the place before, nor seen any images, however from the satellite view I was scoping out a panorama view with the lighthouse as the key feature.

I had a few images in my head of what I thought i could capture, as as with most images ideas in my head it all changed when i hit the location ;) firstly, what clown went and built that fugly scaffold tower with a dinky light on top right smack in front of the prestigious and majestic old lighthouse? planning fail moment, right there :) secondly… well, i think that fugly tower is deserving of second place too!

anywhos .. I spent quite a considerable amount of time circling the lighthouse looking for that nice pano shot with complimentary light, i did cave and take a few portrait orientation shots at 16mm (standby for those), after a few circuits and a couple of half baked panos i stopped and thought about what I wanted to portray in a panorama format…. i loved the old house and the line of the path and fence, I loved the warm light on the lighthouse, i didn't like the new scaffold structure, however I had accepted by that point it was now part of history, hence it needed to be included. It was just a matter of how to join these elements into a panorama that did not suffer from empty foreground or a flat view or whatever other pano fail feature :)

The light was not that wonderful, however, one must always make the best with what there is, by this stage it was lucky no one was around since I was wandering around like a nutter with the camera partially attached to my head trying to find that angle, that line and composition…

finally this popped out.. now if I had found this about 45 minutes earlier it would be covered in pastel pink tones and much nicer… but thats life :)

This light house sits on top of the cliffs at Point Perpendicular with a height of about 80 metres… thats base jumping material ;) what I will say is that it is a dizzy height, one which I momentarily looked at before retreating to the safety of the fence.

Exif/setup love:
5 Landscape orientation images stitched together in +Adobe Photoshop‚Äč
D750 coupled with 24-70mm f4 @ 24mm Aperture: f/18 and Shutter Speed: 1/25s
out front – nothing, the graduated filter was causing havoc here ;) there was a few rabbits around though…

http://blog.avernus.com.au/life-past-16mm/

Escapee

screw you punks I am outta here

Once seen never forgotten, even at 14 months tickles memory is disturbingly good, after one visit out this gate it was stuck in her head and was very determined to revisit the outside world ;)

6 images, assembled into a x-tych
Exif/setup data:
D750 coupled with Nikkor 85 f1.4 @85mm Aperture: f/2.0 and Shutter Speed: Typically 1/250s
ISO 400
out front – escapee

The Shoe Horn

or whatever shape you think it looks like
As with alot of the hot summer days on the north coast of NSW, a storm was brewing inland during the day which then turned into one crazy looking storm cell and consequently dumped a whole bucket load of rain, most days like this mean the sunsets get muted by the heavy cloud on the inland hills, however today was different :)

After visiting Byron Bay…and being very thankful to be able to leave the place ;) (i like my solitude some-days;) ) I noticed some breaks in the storms armour, letting thru some light and promising the potential of some colour, so with a leave pass from the boss and promises to Chaos that yes I will take her sunsetting soon… just not today cause it was late, wet, slippery and I was heading into tiger country ;) ok.. maybe not the tiger (four legs man eating etc) that most think of, but more the tiger snake kind :) anyway thats irrelevant. A quick visit to the local lookout to see if there that potential for colour was still there and low and behold, I met another tog who had been chasing the storm, seems they are everywhere nowadays ;) after a quick gear chat I donned the spray jacket and headed into the scrub bound for the rocks that form the base of Goanna Head.

After some scrambling, slipping and plenty of cursing I found a new little rocky outcropping which had all the potential of awesome selfie location – enter the Shoe Horn, the sun had just dissapeared over the headland and things were gonna get dark real quick. The problem with sunset is the longer you stay the darker it gets (well derrr i hear ya say ;) ) but consequently the harder the walk out becomes, unfortunately all the sweet light really occurs as the sunset has disappeared over the horizon which means in the shadow of a headland things are getting pretty dark…

So, that little bit of rock sitting out there in the ocean… I was gonna stand on that for my selfie, however, responsibility got the better of me, half an hour from anywhere and if I slip off there there is probably only one outcome ;(

So, to the picture..without me in it, probably better that way :)

Vertical Pano style
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f/18 and Shutter Speed: 10s
ISO 100
out front – Lee Graduated Filter (0.9x) and Hoya CPL, lots of spray, slippery ass rocks and sweet colour.

http://blog.avernus.com.au/the-shoe-horn/

The rough side of town

Smoothign out the rough bits - (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock

D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f/13 and Shutter Speed: 189.1s
ISO 100
out front – Hoya CPL. and Lee Graduated Filter 0.9x (3 stops) and Lee bigstopper

smoothing out the rough bits

Single frame, long exposure
Exif/setup love:
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f/13 and Shutter Speed: 189.1s
ISO 100
out front – Hoya CPL. and Lee Graduated Filter 0.9x (3 stops) and Lee bigstopper