tgif tomorrow :)

I love the way the logs have just fallen here, with alittle mad scrambling and contortionist moves i was able to get this view, the view is almost 180 degree view, i had to clone out my foot at the bottom :)

Exif love:
4 wide angle portrait orientation images stitched together to make a mammoth vertical pano, then cropped back a bit ;)
D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f16 and Shutter Speed: 13s
ISO 100
Out front – CPL only, some logs and a few falls

In the Jungle

ya gotta view it large, seriously, money back guarantee ;)

Exif love:
a bucketload of landscape orientation shots stitched together in PS this is about a 180degree view.
D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f14
Shutter Speed: 13s
ISO 100
Out front – Hoya CPL.

Sylvia Falls

Valley of the Waters

I really love this walk, I love it even more early in the morning, like just after the crack of dawn, its a very popular walk and thats a great thing for sure, however sometimes you just want a bit of space and not run into someone every 10 steps, hence thats where the early morning start comes in.

I trekked down to these falls shortly after sunrise, passing Empress falls on the way and passed two people, one was a fairly elderly lady coming up the valley, which meant she had probably walked all the way round from wennie falls – which is not a stroll in the park, the second was a chap about my age (thats young btw ;) ) who was jogging, yes, you read that right.. jogging down the walk. I did not really know what to say to him, so 'gday mate' was about it, with a bit of disbelief admiration :)

Anyway's, the Sylvia Falls is a very popular photographic spot too, super easy to compose and most people go for the vertical, i did too when I first visited :) however this time, and its kinda a phase I am going thru, i want to capture a pano of the falls, giving a bit of texture and context to the scene, showing the falls (which are very cool on the black rocks ), the drop to the right and also the sharp incline on the left where the path is cut in.

Strangely enough panoramas are actually quite easy to compose and in my opinion much more forgiving than say the standard 6:4 format, I say this since the brain reads from left to right (in most languages anyway), thus the image taker has already the advantage that the viewer will natural flow thru image when looking at it, that said, its also very easy in panos to create that dreaded 'big empty space' so getting right up close and personal can often work much better – see the next image from this same spot for an example…

There is one key flaw in this image and I blame photoshop :) I cloned out / content aware filled the hand rail on the left, but by geez it did a rubbish job and I did not notice until the very end, I really should go back and fix that…

Exif love:
7 landscape orientation shots stitched together in PS
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 @ 28mm Aperture: f16 and Shutter Speed: 5s to 13s (note I changed the shutter speed as i took them to control teh exposure as I went around)
ISO 100
Out front – Hoya CPL.

Under the Radar

on so many levels ;)

So I thought I was a little deserving of an Easter weekend sunrise particularly given the fact that daylight savings starts shortly, and also there is no one to convince me otherwise at 4:30am ;)

The conditions are pretty variable in the Blue Mountains and this particular morning they really excelled ;) I decided to take the lazy man's option and just go to one of the Grose Valley Lookouts where I did not have to walk very far, after spending an entertaining hour or so in the car listening to some quality radio talk back it became quite apparent that there was gonna be no sunrise and I could have probably just stayed at home in bed and taken a photo thru a white sheet to get the same effect ;)

Given that I had driven over an hour to get there, i thought I better take a walk and at least have a look, kinda lucky I did, once I got to one of the little lookouts and had just set up the camera the clouds broke and the valley appeared, literally like someone had just pulled the curtain back. I madly banged off a few shots and before I knew it the cloud rolled back in and I was back under the white sheet, well that was sunrise done ;)

What was pretty cool was that the scene just looked like two completely separate parts, the valley below was completely separate to the burning sky above – talk about timing, this was about 10 minutes before the sun was meant to rise..

Exif love:
8 portrait orientation shots stitched
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 @ 35mm Aperture: f10 and Shutter Speed: 1.3s
ISO 100
Out front – Hoya CPL and Lee Graduated Filter (0.6x)

Solar Shed

10 years ago you would not have seen this, however out here where its like 80% sunshine you do not have to be a rocket scientist to realise that solar energy is the way to go now that its available and compared to initial uptake prices…dirt cheap.

Exif love:
5 horizontal frames taken in the searing heat..
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 @ 40mm Aperture: f10 and Shutter Speed: 1/125s
ISO 100
Out front – Hoya CPL and one lonely shed and silo

The Walk

Never to be put off by a bit of rain, a nice bushwalk in the local reserve with Chaos, Tickles and the boss was a great way to spend Good Friday.

Happy Easter ya'all :) and be a responsible easter egg giver (and eater ;) )

Burning Up

Just a little re-incarnation from one of the recent images with Buck and Bear (http://www.buckandbear.com/). Its also a follow on from the previously posted image, which did not quite capture my initial vision for the scene…

I made the first crucial mistake of seeing something in my head with this shot that was outside my Photoshop skills, the second mistake I made was trying to learn how to achieve it :) – I think, when it comes to Photoshop, the more you know, the less the restrictions become and the more you can get out of your comfort zone, as difficult as that can be.

To create the image and the effect is relatively straightforward with the hardest bit being the way the flames / disintegration is brushed in, this is the most time consuming part and requires a lot of patience and trial error to get the right profile, the use of a tablet and pressure sensitivity would make things alot easier too i reckon.

The image is a single shot with multiple layers created in PS , the easiest way to explain would just be to show the screenie of the layers :) Basically there is one layer with the subject which is distorted, this is then brushed over with different types of brushes (different sizes and different orientations) to create a coherent (or consistent) pattern of the flames/disintegration. This layer is also blended the original image and then processed in LR to get the BW conversion and other bits..

Exif love:
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 @ 52mm Aperture: f2.8 and Shutter Speed: 1/1600s
ISO 100

Crazy Dreams

under the moon

It's like you can see the end and you know the road is crumbling, but there is nowhere else to go..

Exif love:
D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35 mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f16 and Shutter Speed: 68.9 seconds
ISO 100
Out front – LEE GND (0.6x)


Hole - (c) Gerard Blacklock

Hole – (c) Gerard Blacklock

All this talk about compositing images and dropping skies in has done only two things for me :) 1) made me try it, and 2) convinced me it ain’t that hard :)

I guess its for some – but the wholesale dropping in of the sky – as I have done here, opens a new door to image creation but also another level of complexity of trying to create and capture images..

Anyway, for complete disclosure, which it what seems to be the key outcome of most discussions, this image is made from two completely separate images from completely different locations.

The processing was as simple as 4 layers in PS, a graduated mask and a duplicate mask to cleanup a few spots on the hill.

Moreton Bay

The impossible light

Sometimes I see a shot and think that would be awesome, but achieving it from a technical stand point can be a bit of barrier, i suppose more correctly its probably a effort barrier now more than technical, i think this image sums that comment up nicely.

Its a 3 frame wide panorama and as you can probably imagine with the sun on one side and detail trees in the middle its a pretty high dynamic range scene, one that the human eyes sees and goes, 'wow sweet' :) well mine do any way :) but the poor old camera (even with its whizz bang technology) goes 'arrghh too much light and shadow whatcha doing to me? ' :)

So to help out the poor camera and in all honesty I did not really expect this shot to work out (to a level worth pursuing), I bracketed each shot, this left me with a 9 shot picture (3 frames bracketed (-3ev, 0, +3ev). I stitched up the panorama with the brackets as separate layers and then manually masked the bright and dark areas to increase the dynamic range, by this stage i was thinking the amount of effort is not quite proportional to the outcome, especially when comparing to the long exposure shot I took a few minutes afterwards (see here: https://plus.google.com/+GerardBlacklock/posts/dUNKtPoh1Ay) the actually effort at the scene and also at the computer was significantly less for the linked image :)

anyway, it did all work to a level that at the very least deserved to be posted here on gplus :)

Exif love:
3 shot panorama (each frame bracketed)
D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35 mm f4 @ 24mm Aperture: f18 and Shutter Speed: 18s (over exp) 5s (normal exp) 1s (under exp)
ISO 100
Out front – LEE GND (0.6x)

Into the Unknown

Into the unknown - (c) Gerard Blacklock 11 vertical frames taken on a pano head D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 @ 24mm Aperture: f13 and Shutter Speed: 13s ISO 100 Out front - Hoya CPL and one tunnel

Into the unknown – (c) Gerard Blacklock
11 vertical frames taken on a pano head
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 @ 24mm Aperture: f13 and Shutter Speed: 13s
ISO 100
Out front – Hoya CPL and one tunnel

a bit like each day for me:)

Well truth be told it’s not really that unknown.. its a dark, damp and wet tunnel, great place for the glow worms…

Its a popular spot and this particular view is pretty cliche, however I have tried and smash my own take on it by making a panorama from a silly amount of vertical frames so I got that sense of enclosure from the heavy carved out rocks on each side, couple this with the accentuation of the soft warm light spilling over the edge in the afternoon sun and I think I am happy with it… for now :)

I took the same approach as I did with the tunnel on the other side of the road, which you can see here : https://plus.google.com/+GerardBlacklock/posts/BBPm5LgJjjU

Another view of this tunnel from further back can be seen here, this gives a bit more perspective on the area.

ya gotta view it large, its about 8,000px wide, which has been reduced from the original of over 19,000 px wide

Exif love:
11 vertical frames taken on a pano head
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 @ 24mm Aperture: f13 and Shutter Speed: 13s
ISO 100
Out front – Hoya CPL and one tunnel

The smiling Seascape

and yep, no dudes with umbrella's cloned in here :)

It is however a blend of two exposures, i basically had a short exposure to freeze any movement in the two umbrella dudes and a second exposure of long shutter speed to enable the detail in teh sky and the little gully to be brought out.

fyi the record that little patch of rock right at the bottom of the frame.. is slippery.. slippery like bum over head slippery ;)

Exif love ('cause I know your just hanging for it :) )
2 shots, one for the dudes and one for the shadow details…
D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f16 and Shutter Speed: 4s (for the dudes) and 10s for the foreground
ISO 100