Here we go

2018 in full swing.. every year I take a few shots from this location (Kirribilli, NSW), i never get bored of this view, its not very creative (like those puddle reflection images you see from here all the time :) ) but I still love it.

Sydney Sunset

… from Mrs Macquarie’s Chair

There is some really beautiful detail in this image, you can see the projections onto the Opera House sails (LHS), the Harbour bridge climbers, the lights of North sydney.
It can be quite tricky to capture sunset scenes when shooting directly into the sunset or light source, the large dynamic range in the light means you need ot bracket your images, even when the light does become more subtle and soft as when this shot was taken.

This image is a panorama of 3 frames, with each frame bracketed, you can see the result in this by looking at the shadow detail on the opera house and the full rich orange of the sunset underneath the bridge. There are quite a few ways to do images like this, in this case I have automatically blended the individual pano frames in Lightroom resulting in 3 DNG format files, these are then sent to Photoshop to be stitched together, there is then a bit of wrangling to ensure the perspective is correct and just some usual adjustments to accentuate the scene.

The endless fuzzy

So apparently, the thing at the end of the jetty is a place where you can go for a swim, kinda makes sense since the water seems like its knee deep for a long way out, not to mention the water is not that nice close to the shore – this particular scene reminds me of some scape conjured up by fantasy novel where you can punch on thru to the other side a rift or something, in any case it does fill me with some level of calm when looking at it :)

4 shot panorama, each shot in the landscape orientation
D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35 mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f16 and Shutter Speed: 4s
ISO: 100
out front: Lee Graduated Filter (0.6x)

Bjärred

Jetty fantastico

Our last night staying in southern Sweden we decided to head out and try and capture another swedish sunset. I can't be passing up a good jetty now and these did not disappoint, the beach, or what the Swedes call a beach was .. lets say interesting. Bjärred is only a 20 minute drive from where we were and with the ingenious idea of the swedes to actual make smart traffic lights (ie ones that sense your coming and turn green) we were there in no time. Plenty of jetties and cool boats which make cool photographic subjects and easy ones too.

After leaving the beach on the way back to the car we did spot a Hedgehog, pretty neat little creatures, with very little fear, we chased him into the bush to grab a few photos :) another animal checked off the list.

3 shot panorama, each shot in the landscape orientation
D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35 mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f18 and Shutter Speed: 2s
ISO: 100
out front: jLee Graduated Filter (0.6x)

Swedish Turbine

So, in Sweden they have a mix of energy production with the majority being hydro, kind helps when you have all that water handy :) they also have a few nuclear plants one of which is pretty large, the other source, which i think is about 5% of their power, is wind turbine, in southern Sweden around Lund where we stayed the countryside was completely dotted with these turbines. I would have to recommend that certain Australian politicians (and ex pollies) not to visit here since they are so significantly offended by the sight of wind farms ;)

I quite liked the sight, these tall slow turning towers to me simply represent a low impact renewable energy source, it was really cool that all you could see is a tower and a slow turning prop, all the electrical cables are buried under ground. The noise is well.. almost non existent.

I do like my lone trees in a paddock or on a beach, so it was cool to spot this lone tower on a late night drive on the first night in Sweden. The sun had just gone down (11pm ish) and the pascals had come out.

3 shot panorama
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70 mm f2.8 @ 50mm Aperture: f7.1 and Shutter Speed: 1/2.5s
ISO: 250
out front: Lee 0.6 Graduated Filter

Ben Nevis Waterfall

After camping overnight at this spot myself and my best photographic buddy for the holiday, aka chaos, walked the 20 seconds from our campsite to this little stream, which by the way was an excellent watersource, never tasted such pure fresh water in all my life.

We both clambered over the rocks and made our various compositions and I was particularly proud with chaos for chasing down those different views, I can't wait to see her images from the trip :)

6 shot panorama, each shot in the landscape orientation
D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35 mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f16 and Shutter Speed: 5s
ISO: 100
out front: pure mountain water stream

Trollstigen

So, the Norwegians love a good tunnel, but.. it appears from time to time they like a good windy road, maybe its the joy of watching people cycle up these or something to keep the motorcycle population happy, in anycase, this one (Trollstigen) is certainly a cracker, even in our little stationwagon punching on up this road it was pretty hair raising, especially when a bus came the other way!

The viewing platform up the top is neat, but I think I need a bigger camera, i could not fit all those norwegian hills in ;) even at 16mm and 9 portrait frames stitched together I could not get all of the big waterfall in :)

The bottom of the where the windy bit starts is about 300m above SL, this spot here is 700m above SL, not a bad hill climb.

It would be awesome to do a night time shoot here and get the car trails in the frame, however for me with the sun not really setting until 12 midnight there was no hope, I'll let that go to the keeper for the next visit ;)

6 shot panorama, each shot in the portrait orientation
D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35 mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f10 and Shutter Speed: 1/80s
ISO: 200
out front: just a few hills and a windy road with buses, summer skiers, mountain bike riders, campervans and motorbikes ;)

Park Couple

careful, that kinda snuggling leads to other things :)

you really have to view this large, you just cannot appreciate the expansive vista from just a thumbnail, plus, you need to zoom into really see what this couple are up to ;)

5 landscape images stitched together to give the panorama, noting that nothing else was cloned out, all pure timing to get only those two in the shot :)

Taking on a slightly different processing and feel for this one i really wanted to let the texture and shape of teh sky talk rather than bold colours.

D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70 mm f2.8 @ 70mm Aperture: f5 and Shutter Speed: 1/160s
ISO 100
Out front – nada

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.
https://plus.google.com/+GerardBlacklock/posts/9jXWanonyXT

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

Home Time

Home Time - (c) Gerard Blacklock

Home Time – (c) Gerard Blacklock
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 @ 24mm Aperture: f13 and Shutter Speed: 2.5s
ISO 100
Out front – LEE graduated 0.9x filter and CPL

Exif love:
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 @ 24mm Aperture: f13 and Shutter Speed: 2.5s
ISO 100
Out front – LEE graduated 0.9x filter and CPL

Sunday Park Sessions

Sydney park Sessions - (c) Gerard Blacklock

Sydney park Sessions – (c) Gerard Blacklock
4 frames stitched together and a few strays cloned out ;)
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 @ 70mm Aperture: f5 and Shutter Speed: 1/160s
ISO 400
Out front – CPL only

Sometimes.. and only sometimes do things in life (with kids) line up nicely, this was one such time and it has nothing to do with the people in the image :)

I noted earlier on in the arvo, whilst chained to my domestic duties, that the clouds were pretty cool, as luck would have it, Chaos and tickles were both pretty zonked from a big day at the zoo yesterday so it was off to bed during the daylight hours for them :) and at 6:30pm.. yes you read that right! i was cruising to the park with both girls in bed asleep (some credit to the better half there too i suppose ; ) ) which meant I got there just in time for some very cool clouds and sunset :)

Exif love:
4 frames stitched together and a few strays cloned out ;)
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 @ 70mm Aperture: f5 and Shutter Speed: 1/160s
ISO 400
Out front – CPL only

Vera St – Tunnel Madness

ya gotta view this large at 11 vertical frames its a crime not to

This certainly a sweet little tunnel, I have been here 3 times over the years and it never disappoints, each time I have come away with something different – it even has glow worms.. well i hope it still does. I battled the crowds on this day, a lazy Sunday afternoon meant there were plenty of people stopping to take a look inside the tunnel nail a few selfies, I even meet a nice lad doing a photo project for his HSC.

I have previously been here in the dark to do some light painting (with glow worms) https://flic.kr/p/eh1rgq and when its pretty well flooded https://flic.kr/p/oTW41f , this time I only had limited time and I really did not want muddy feet, so I opted for the view from right back at the entrance to this part of the tunnel, it also meant I could get the, rather new, Helensburgh sign in the shot as well.

I am sure I will be back in a few years again and I do wonder how it will have changed and what composition will take my fancy :)

11 shot (vertical orientation) panorama, only mildly cropped, I did have two layers (normal exposure and under exposure) in it, but my poor computer complained and refused to save it :(

Exif love:
11 vertical frames taken on a pano head
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 @ 24mm Aperture: f10 and Shutter Speed: 1/3s
ISO 100
Out front – Hoya CPL and one cool tunnel

Reclaimed

The lesser loved tunnel

The tunnels at Helensburgh are quite the popular tourist spot now, I remember years ago trying get info on them and it was a little more challenging and also not so well known. The other thing I did not realise was how close to the current trainline a few of them are – i have always driven there so never actually saw the current train station..

So, I had to make a somewhat impromptu train ride from the south coast back to Sydney and thought, sure why not, I'll jump off and take a few photos at Helensburgh.

Now, firstly, its been years..like really more than I can remember (sheesh I feel old now) years.. since I have been on the train down this way and I gotta say its actually quite a picturesque trip, i was gonna bury the head in a few serious sessions of Zombie call or crossy but found myself burning away the minutes away staring out the window at all the cool locations.
The train line follows the coast and often you have the escarpment on one side and the sea and rockshelves on the other – from the green dairy style fields near Gerrigong, to the fantastic view of Bombo and Kiama thru the industrial world of wollongong and finally up into the narrow strip of land where Austinmer and the seacliff bridge is, its not boring by any measure. It does not end there either, its then a tranquil run into the Royal National park dotted with various short tunnels.

The other great thing is you could actually just jump off at places like Coalcliff and its a short walk to the Seacliff Bridge and nearby rock shelf and beaches, time it well with the trains and you could just spend a couple of hours and then hop back on for the next spot :) now only if they ran in time for sunrise sessions ;)

Anyways, ya probably gathered I am a bit of a fan of it :) I do recommend it, its so much nicer than driving :)

Anyways, onto the image, everyone goes and looks at the Vera St tunnel, its more picturesque and you can walk into it, hence its poor neighbor (this image), which is covered with bog, blocked off and not as good for selfies gets much less attention – this is one side of it, the other side is pretty cool, but with a large steel pole fence and lots more water. I would have just climb over it but I did not particularly wanna get stinky wet feet for the rest of my train ride home :)

So, here's to you little forgotten tunnel, someone should really open you up and put a cafe or something there :)

This one is about a 10 shot panorama (vertical frames), I really like the cool roots of the trees which are reclaiming back the scar in their land.

Exif love:
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 @ 24mm Aperture: f9 and Shutter Speed: 1s
ISO 100
Out front – Hoya CPL and one poor lonely tunnel.