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Sneaky little mountains

There were a few mountains in Norway which did try and hide from us (prolly mostly me and my camera ;) ) but in this case my rally driving skills in the Skodastation wagon managed to pull over at the right time to nail this one trying to escape without ending up in some dudes hay field :)

I dunno where this was or what mountain, they all seemed to blur together after awhile, but this was pretty typical of every road in Norway :) Probably somewhere near Kristiansund…

6 shot panorama
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 @ 38mm Aperture: f8 Shutter Speed: 1/50s
ISO: 200
Out front: just another little Norwegian Village

Aksla Viewpoint – Alesund

Aksla Viewpoint - Ålesund - (c) Gerard Blacklock

Aksla Viewpoint – Ålesund – (c) Gerard Blacklock

ya gotta view this large and zoom in

The view from above the town of Alesund, a beautiful spot for sunset at 1030pm. I met a real nice young chap from Poland whilst up here, he was over for a few days on some cheap flights and apparently there is a direct flight from over there to Alesund. I reckon people who live in Europe do not realise how lucky they are being able to travel only a short distance to see such varied places, scenery and and also demographic. Try flying the 22 hours to Oz ;)

8 shot panorama image with each shot bracketed (0EV and -0.7EV)
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 @ 60mm Aperture: f16 Shutter Speed: 1/2.5 seconds Normal exp and 1/10s for the underexposed bracket
ISO: 200
Out front: Lee Graduated filter 0.9X

Alesund – At the midnight hour.

Ålesund, Midnight Hour - (c) Gerard Blacklock

Ålesund, Midnight Hour – (c) Gerard Blacklock

At the midnight hour.

Alesund is a real pretty city perched out on one of the many little peninsulas on the west coast of Norway, some say its the most beautiful city in Norway, it certainly has some very cool old buildings in the main touristy area which is the older part of town.
We stayed in the Alesund Scandic Hotel just around the corner from this spot, it was one of the few hotels we stayed in whilst in Norway, although it was definitely dated, it did have a nice outlook and a pretty darn good breakfast :)

When you think or search for Alesund the most common image that comes up is the awesome scene which can be seen from the lookout that is situated above the town, its a bit of walk up alot of stairs, but worthwhile, the next image will be from that spot and you will be able to see just where this little vista is located with respect to the rest of the town :)

The best thing about shooting sunset.. or more correctly twilight here was that most people were in bed so whilst normally the stop is teeming with people I was able to enjoy some quiet time to get a few snaps, this one is a 12 shot panorama which each frame bracketed to get the highlights and shadows. No reflections artificially generated :) it was glassy still.

National Tree Planting Day

National Tree Planting Day - (c) Gerard Blacklock

National Tree Planting Day – (c) Gerard Blacklock

Dear Australia, I am sorry for bagging you out a bit when comparing you to the Scandinavian countries :) So I think its only fair that we identify some of the awesome things our great country has, you know.. concentrate on the good things and less on the bad (like the dickhead politicians.. did i say that or think it ;) )

I live in a really great council area (now amalgamated.. :( c’mon gerry concentrate on the good ;) ) which has lots of really great community initiatives, one of which is the National Tree planting day 31st July). This was awesome, and all credit does to the Marrickville Council staff and volunteers (?) (http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/nationaltreeday/), it was great to be able to rock up and have everything there ready (gloves, water,and refreshments), and with a explanation of what to do, I know both our children loved it and I think we managed to plant more than we trod on :) . I really like the way there was a large selection of plants placed in the right areas ready to go, kinda makes sense.. but still great idea.

We are really looking forward to heading back to the tree planting spot in a few months to check out the progress,

Eide, Norway

Eide, Norway - (c) Gerard Blacklock

Eide, Norway – (c) Gerard Blacklock

This was our first night in Norway, we had kinda (well me really) underestimated how long it would drive between places and arrived quite late – what appears to be a cruisy 200 kilometre drive is painfully slow with windy roads and more importantly the need to spot every 4 seconds to take a picture ;)
Anyways, we made it to our accommodation in Eide and there was some trepidation out what our place would be like.. it was ok ;) lols I rate this over any Hotel in Kristiansund, especially at half the price :) and the view was pretty magical. It was nearly 12 midnight when I noticed some pretty crazy colours coming thru the window so I dutifully went and took a shot or two, this image was looking away from the setting sun and the real colour, however with the really low cloud moving very fast and the brilliant red sunset behind me the clouds in the other direction, over the house, turned into a crazy pastel pink. I even had to desaturate these cause they looked too weird ;)

On the right you can see the typical barn that alot of Norwegian places have, in there were a bunch of chooks and in a little pen next to it some young sheep, which the kids absolutely adored ;)
I do find it a little strange that they (the Norwegians) always build two or three storey houses, even though there is heaps of space…

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Extreme Waterfalling

at the extreme sports headquarters of Norway

The home to 'veko' (Ekstremsportveko – Extreme Sports Week), Voss, where crazy's get their craziness on and do crazy things like jumping off cliffs with dinky little parachutes and going over cliffs with water in little plastic buckets ;)

Not this little black duck tho, the most extreme thing I did whilst in Voss was stand on a slippery-ass rock and take a photo ;)

6 shot panorama just on dust with a nice glow in the sky.

D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70 mm f2.8 @ 50mm Aperture: f16 and Shutter Speed: 3s
ISO: 100
out front: Hoya Circular Polariser

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Sydney Park

I really like this park, its recently under gone some rework to tweak the water course and I gotta say it looks fanatastic and also includes lots more paths, stepping stones and all most important of all, more nice smooth areas for scootering :)

I have recently started running at this park, well running might be a bit of a exaggeration at this point, a slow jog that decreases in speed over the session :) with lots of space and and areas where you can run on the grass (rather than concrete) its pretty unique for the inner west. In the past I have taken plenty of images at this park, particularly of runners silhouetted on the hills and during storms and always made some smartass comment about nutters, I guess thats gotta stop now especially since I did even go running in the rain :)
Chaos and Tickles love this park too, awesome spot for riding the pushbike and barrelling down puppy dogs with the scooter :) (yeah tickles, i am looking at you here)
So, here are a bunch of pictures from a recent visit :)

Sydney Park

In Album 2016-08-24

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Lærdalstunnelen

I just had to tally up a few important things from our visit to Norway.. of the 900 road tunnels in Norway we clocked out about 80 of them in our trip, from dinky little things carved in the side of a cliff to the longest road tunnel in the world, at 24.5 kms the Lærdalstunnelen is pretty impressive its even got disco rooms for stopping bays ;)
Some tunnels I drove in had no lights, single lane and full of fog, luckily it was late and i did not pass anyone in that tunnel :) trying to reverse when driving on the opposite side is kinda challenging.
Now, australia has a few tunnels, but these (excluding the SNowy Mountains scheme) are nothing but childs play compared to what they do over here.. these guys do tunnels for the fun of it i reckon… rather than blast some rock away like we have for the Freeway outta north sydney they would have just tunneled it :) apparently they have quite the pride in their tunnel efforts! so me reckons that Westconnex mob should be ditched and we get hold of one of these Norwegian companies. If a country with 5 million people (thats the same as sydney) can generate 900 hundred road tunnels then imagine what they could do in sydney :)
Anyway heres a disco tunnel for ya, about 19kms into the worlds longest road tunnel.
4 shot panorama using the super wide 14mm Samyang

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Nærøyfjord

Probably one of the most touristy places in Norway, the fjord here was pretty cool, but to be honest after coming from Geiranger, Andalsnes, Trollveggen it was a bit of a let down and and given the the large number of tourists and cruise ships I would recommend one of the fjords less frequented by cruise ships :)

Typically I like to get shots when the like is soft and favourable, this is typically at the start and end of the day, however when your on holidays you don't get the luxury of choosing exactly what time you will be at a place. This was one such case, beautiful scenery but the light was pretty harsh and seemed to always be coming from the wrong spot :) however there was a few corners where a view from the back of the boat (over all the tourists) had some nice light in conjunction with a nice compo.

4 shot panorama, note the inclusion of the kayaker off to the right, in addition to the boat, it also gives some scale.

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Journey

I think image processing is a real two sided journey, whilst a necessity for anyone who takes images in raw format, makes panos, blending etc I feel the more I know the harder it has become! The more techniques I learn (which is actually not that many) the more it seems to take away from the actual image taking and the more time is spent perfecting the image. Looking at some of my recent files and I noticed a trend in files names typically ending with edit1-edit2-final-edit-final-final-edit ;) ahhh I remember the days of shooting in jpeg on a sony PS and in hindsight they seem to be better images :)

Anyways, this image I have learnt a few new techniques, one of which is the Orton effect, i musta been under a rock not to know what that is – for those uneducated folk ;) it was coined by a chap named Michael Orton back in the film days and was achieved by taking a couple of different frames each with different exposure and focus, one frame was actually way out of focus, this was then exposed with a sharp version to create a type of soft glow, known as the Orton effect. There are a few presets in common image manipulation programs which now replicate it, one that comes to mind is called glamour glow which does a similar thing, however I have tweaked this with the original technique in mind.

So here with have it, edit1-edit2-edit12-edit-final ;)

Its a blend of 3 frames with the orton effect used :)

(C) 2016 Gerard Blacklock, all rights reserved

Oslo National Museum

Oslo National Museum

So there is apparently some famous painting here, I never would have guessed with all the people crowding around a specific painting to take a picture of it, it was so awesome I was also drawn to take a picture of it :( or maybe just cause everyone else did ;) Edvard Munch’s ‘the scream’ it is a pretty powerful piece and thats coming from someone who has no clue about art :)

I reckon some of the other art there was even more amazing, I have alot respect for people who can paint / draw, unlike photography, its a real art that needs skill ;) Like this other one of a girl in front a castle, very cool

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Downtown Lund

Just a little city or more correctly, a town-scape :) at nearly midnight when there was just about no one around.

Lund is a really cool University town in southern Sweden, very progressive and full of interesting people and the occasional red squirrel (that's cool from our end since we do not have squirrels in Australia)

3 shot panorama image
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 @ 60mm Aperture: f11 and Shutter Speed: 6 seconds
ISO: 200
Out front: nothing and nobody, just a few lonely bikes :)

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Toy Boats

Not only do the Norwegians do alright at tunnels, their ferries are pretty smick too, although they are a bit bigger in real life than what is portrayed here when plonked next to a few Norwegian hills.