Even when things seem hopeless, always persevere

D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f14 and Shutter Speed: 247.7s ISO 100 Out front - Lee Graduated Filter 0.6x and Lee Bigstopper

D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f14 and Shutter Speed: 247.7s
ISO 100
Out front – Lee Graduated Filter 0.6x and Lee Bigstopper

Life throws alot of things at you, some good, some bad.. in the absence of any useful advice, persevere is the only course of action…well thats what I reckon anyway ;)

Cruising down the parade at Sans Souci on the edge of Botany bay things seemed pretty dire from the photographic perspective; the clouds were heavy, rain was falling and sandy shore and picnic areas were littered with rubbish providing that extra incentive to drive on..

However in the face of crap-ville (photographically speaking, Sans Souci is not really that bad ;) ) I pulled up at the carpark that I had found on google maps just near the ruins of a old sea pool / shark net..damn i love google maps, its like a treasure trove of stuff that when viewed from a dinky little satellite could be either nothing or something, in any case, without the maps i would not be there :)

I donned the rain coat and whacked my camera rain cover (code for plastic ziplock bag and rubber band) on and headed out into the rain. The location is actually pretty cool, fitting well with my minimalist phase :) there are a number of old poles which previously held some kind of shark net which just make for awesome subjects.

I forgot my freaking polariser which would have helped a bit in this scene, but, one must deal with these kind things…

Single shot, long exposure, the rain cloud had just passed and engulfed the opening of Botany Bay, i took a test shot, of 3 minutes, in which time a small wave sunk my tripod, so this was the second take on the shot

Exif love:
D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f14 and Shutter Speed: 247.7s
ISO 100
Out front – Lee Graduated Filter 0.6x and Lee Bigstopper



I cruised around to Glebe to take some shots of the Anzac Bridge from over on the expressway, which I did once before many years ago when I first got a camera – however I found that the view is now blocked by a great big boat maintenance shed :-/ so I wandered over to the very western side of the bay to see what was there and found myself in some boat yard thingy, probably private land, but the gate was open and no big dogs there :) . The morning light was about as dull as it could get and to be honest, the cup of coffee post photo taking could not come fast enough :)

However, my motto has always been, a good photographer will always come up with a decent image irrespective of the conditions, hence I persevered …I am not overly happy with it, but its better than sending them all to the electronic trash can :)

The colours were ok, but the strong variation in the sky meant the blues and yellows were very mottled detracting from the scene, hence simplifying it with a BW conversion seemed to be the right option and pushed the interest back onto the composition. I did like the way that the scene conveys all the different verticals, hence the title, of the masts, the bridge, the city skyline (particularly the Tower) and the finally the trees..

Exif love:
4 shot panorama image, single exposures.
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 @ 24mm Aperture: f16 and Shutter Speed: 15s
ISO 100
Out front – Lee Graduated Filter (0.9x)


As I regularly say to my daughter, you have a number choices which will lead you down different paths… in the case of the waterfall… into the same place, for my daughter :) not always the same place :-/

I did like the twin flows here, there was very little water, but i think it gives the rocks a bit more limelight.. and really its about the journey over the rocks not the end destination right? :) A really nice little set of falls at Mount Wilson NSW, Australia.

2 image shot, bracketed, just to capture those highlights and preserve the shadows, i could have done it with the underexposed version, however sometimes it's nice to be able to process with a full dynamic range there without having to wrangle the shadows too much.. shadows don't like being wrangled very much and tonight.. they deserved a break ;)

Exif love:
D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f16 and Shutter Speed: 30s (normal exp) 15s (underexpose)
ISO 100
Out front – Hoya CPL

The Ballet Tree

So its been weeks since I have gotten a chance to get out and spend a bit of time taking some photo's, between work, kids and domestic duties its hard to even fit a Sunrise session in – I have now finally tested the Samyang 14mm for what I originally bought it for.. astro work :)

I had a recent job doing a bit of night chopper work, which gave me the opportunity to further scope out this super cool tree that i have seen many times times in the past but never really stopped to take a decent shot. Also +Michael Domaradzki had a cool perspective on it awhile back which triggered the idea for some astro stuff.

So, finally i got a leave pass for a night out and thought.. sweet as, i can go and take a sequence of images and spend a bit of quality time by myself, you know, soul searching/rejuvenation etc. and surely no one else is silly enough to head out in the freezing cold at night at this spot, even though it is in a city of 5 mil….

This is a bit of how it rolled – parked the car and there was no one there it was around 9 ish, got myself setup and taking a few preliminary shots and a young couple turned up :-/ sure.. this is where i would have brought all my potential hot dates lol… anyway happy to share my quiet time and space i suppose :) Shortly there after a bunch of dudes in the their cars rock up and I am like.. yeah great this is gonna be trouble.. but no.. they just rolled out with some torches and freaked out when they saw someone else out, ie me :) …and my torch was much bigger ;) lol. so my night out with a bit solitude was not so solitary… oh well.

I did not quite nail the right position with the earths axis of rotation here, i was trying to get it directly behind the tree, the tree itself is actually quite small and the camera is positioned only a few metres from it, its probably a 3 metre tree which has been sculptured by the sea breeze. The light at the bottom right is the industrial lights over Kurnell on the edge of Botany Bay.

My original scope out image : https://plus.google.com/+GerardBlacklock/posts/KKZ3uh7TgDE

Exif / shot love:
184 shots over the space of 2 hours.
Images are stacked in +Adobe Photoshop just using the lighten mode, the foreground/black image needed a bit of work to ensure it looked sensible with the background.
The side lighting is kindly provided by the SLSA Rescue base :) could not have done it better myself, no additional torch lighting needed :)
D750 coupled with Samyang 14mm f2.8 @ 14mm Aperture: f/3.2 and Shutter Speed: 50.5 seconds
ISO 500
out front – a very bendy tree and some cool stars


Stick family

So my eldest daughter after lookign t the pictuire, says to me…
'hey dad, that looks like our family, the big one is you and the little ones are me, tickles and mum' :)

Even though she certainly lives up to her nickname 'chaos' with just about every day its a soul searching test of my patience, i still sit down at the end of the day after shes gone to bed and reflect quietly on the fact that I am lucky to be part of her life and a privilege to know..

way to go chaos… :)

Single shot, long exposure.

Exif love:
D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f14 and Shutter Speed: 186s
ISO 100
Out front – and Hoya CPL and Lee Graduated Filter 0.9x

Greener Pastures

I wonder whether these dairy cows ever have the desire to check out whats on the other side of the fence? what you can't see in this image is there is nothing between me and this paddock of cows besides a cattle grid, which I only recently learned about how they actually work. Cows have a great field of view with those eyes on each side of their big heads, however the disadvantage of this 360 degree view is that their binocular and depth vision is pretty crap, hence when they see a cattle grid, its not that they cannot balance their dainty udders across, its more they get the perception thats its very uneven due to the high contrast in light…

so waddayaknow.. you learn something new every day ;)

anyways onto the picture, some cows really enjoying some very lush grass..

5 shot pano, all landscape orientation.

Stadium Stairs

Its a long way down… and a lot further up.. lookign back on this, i can just feel the calf muscles burn.

Processed using +Nik Collection by Google hdrefex, great allrounder for automatically blending images.

Techie love:
D750 coupled with Samyang 14mm f2.8 @ 14mm Aperture: f/8 and Shutter Speed: 1.6s (normal) 1/5s (under) and 13s (over)
ISO 100
out front – Allianz Stadium

Forever and a Day

or until someone….

not that I am a pessimist or anything ;)

you could roll out a hundred different cliches together with the image, however, this time, i think the following is appropriate..

_this day
is one where you are not alone
but are with the only one
on top of the world_

congratulations peeps, whoever ya are :) partially taken at my favorite park in Sydney

+Kitten KaboodleInc , wait until you see the tiny planet :)

Oxford Falls

The best light for taking images of waterfalls is typically overcast and early morning or late afternoon, the soft light from the clouds and the less top down light create a much more dramatically lit scene than one at say close to midday and with the sun streaming down unabated. That said, and the last time I checked I can't control the weather.. (yet :) ), hence sometimes you have to run with what nature throws you.

This was one such time, the sun was high, the shadows harsh, I had already promised myself to come back in more favorable conditions but I thought I would give it a shot anyways..all things considered I reckon it turned out alright. Its a 3 frame panorama with extra frame bracketed, the image was first blended together and layered which then allowed me to subsequently mask and select what shadows / highlights I wanted. This helped reduce the effect of the harsh conditions..

Exif love:
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 @ 24mm Aperture: f13 and Shutter Speed: 8s (normal exposure) 1s (underexposure) and 30s (over exposure)
ISO 100
Out front – Hoya 4stop ND and Hoya CPL


What I really liked about this scene was the way the clouds, which were moving very fast seemed like waves on a beach rolling into the shore. This is a image from a few months ago at Circular quay, Anzac day sunrise to be exact.

This was taken using the B+W 10 stop filter and my 16-35mm f/4 lens, which is about a sharp as my 2 year old's plastic knife…. The combination of this lens and that filter creates 1) a fairly soft image but also more interestingly 2) lots of lateral aberrations, not just one colour, ie purple fringing, but depending on what side of the image you look at it could also be green…

Which leads me to a question for all you light room gurus.. LR is awesome for correcting this stuff, however I would like to apply the defringe (under lens corrections) to only selective parts of the image, to prevent it doing weird stuff to places where purple is meant to be ;) ideally i want to be able just to selectively apply it to the left side of some buildings for example..
I know you can use a control point, however it only gives you a option for defringe, not the full control ie purple/cyan control…

I pulled another swifty on this one.. I had taken a test shot at super high iso just to check the composition, the B+W filter is screw in so getting the compo right is a bit harder than when using the slide in filter types. In the final exposure of 309 seconds, the two boats in the foreground where a bit on the blurry side from the movement, hence I just layered a small part from the test shot onto the final image, even at high iso it was ok and really only accounted for a tiny part of the frame. That said even at the high iso the noise control is pretty darn good anyways…a little selective noise reduction and its pretty hard to tell ;)

Exif love:
D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f8 and Shutter Speed: 309.6s
ISO 100
Out front – B+W 10 stop ND.