Warm Sunshine

The last moments of warm sunshine as sunset approaches.
A bit like social media pre-covid, it was heading downhill, now its just completely smashed by darkness.
Suggest me some new social media friends, ones with nice pictures, thought provoking topics and sentences not punctuated by instagram hashtags and wanky stories..
surely not too much to ask rightΒ πŸ™‚

If no one believes in a god… does it exist ?

If no one believes in a god… does it exist ?
ever since being a little kid i always thought it would an absolute cackle when aliens came and looked upon our planet and race, surely this ants nest of people and the plethora beliefs and gods would bring a giggle to any self respecting alien…
Don’t get me wrong.. a belief system is good, if a god does that for you then fine, but it all seems a bit warped now.. thinking politics and religion right now.
on a lighter Sunday note, heres another tree with his pal the rock.

We speak for the trees.

We speak for the trees.
Interesting week for tassie and the forests down there with the Bob Brown Foundation which is trying to end native forest logging – I don’t really understand all the legal arguments to be honest, but its nice to see a voice for the trees and one that has some grunt.
Here’s todays fun fact – did you know that the Dr Seuss book ‘Lorax’ was banned in a school in California because it unfairly portrayed the logging industry πŸ˜‰ and .. get this.. a rebuttal story was made from a hardwood company..
“When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realize, too late, that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money”
here’s a picture of an enlightened tree, in a area of NSW where most the trees seem to be nothing but skeletons of their former selves.

We speak for the trees – (C) 2020 Gerard Blacklock, all rights reserved

Snow Trees.

Snow Trees.
One of the most enjoyable things about taking photos in the snow is the search for the perfect tree, the tree that stands out and is isolated from its surrounds.
Looking back at my GPS track for the morning and it looks like a crazied lost drunk dudes path! – quite often i spot a tree in distance, barely visible in the fog which looks awesome so i spend 10 minutes trudging thru the snow to get to it only find out its actually not as good as it looked, but then i spot another and so the process continues
This little gum was one of the better ones and coupled with some nice cloud it made for a nice scene.

Snow Trees.

One Tree Hill

One Tree Hill - (C) 2019 Gerard Blacklock, all rights reservedIt should be added that the sublime beauty of the facture notates the exploration of montage elements. – just brushing up on my art critique phrases πŸ˜‰

– just brushing up on my art critique phrases πŸ˜‰

Sinking - (C) 2019 Gerard Blacklock, all rights reservedLet this sink in. In my life time the number of fish in the ocean has halved and there is more plastic then fish. My life span is like a grain of sand on vast beach, what will the oceans look like when my kids are my age ? No fish out here, but there are top predator eagles, like this one hovering over some typical knoll in the finders ranges.
Let this sink in.

In my life time the number of fish in the ocean has halved and there is more plastic then fish. My life span is like a grain of sand on vast beach, what will the oceans look like when my kids are my age ?

No fish out here, but there are top predator eagles, like this one hovering over some typical knoll in the finders ranges.

Little Tree @ Little Bay

D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35 mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f14 and Shutter Speed: 2.5s ISO 100 Out front - Hoya CPL and LEE GND (0.9x)

D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35 mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f14 and Shutter Speed: 2.5s
ISO 100
Out front – Hoya CPL and LEE GND (0.9x)

I love my lonely trees on hills – this one is part of the golf course at Little Bay. I was visiting there with +Rodney Campbell , +Tom Testone and +Kitten KaboodleInc and I noticed that were some pink pastels developing off to the west so a quick change of location and position I got this tree nicely silhouetted, the pastels did not really eventuate, however it was a bit of bonus to get the moon in there too.

Exif love πŸ˜‰
D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35 mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f14 and Shutter Speed: 2.5s
ISO 100
Out front – Hoya CPL and LEE GND (0.9x)

Energy to Burn

Energy to Burn - (c) Gerard Blacklock

Energy to Burn – (c) Gerard Blacklock

So, its the end of the weekend, well it is for the folk in this timezone πŸ™‚ and I gotta say, its probably lucky the weekend is only 2 days long, I don’t think I could physically take much more than that πŸ˜‰
Amongst the plethora of activities this weekend was a visit to the Sydney Botanic Gardens where they are celebrating the centenary of a whole bunch of trees, I always enjoy the gardens, there is always something new to see and its a great place for a picnic, i think I can even get over the cost of parking nearby, but I guess there is always a premium price for convenience.

So, wandering on through the gardens Chaos had a whole bunch of questions (per usual and at the usual rapid fire rate), one of which was, ‘how do you know how old the trees are’ sounds sensible, i dunno really know, thankfully the good folk at the gardens had made this answer somewhat easier with little special signs on trees which had clocked over 100 years. Some highlights were the big Hoop Pines and the weird looking cedar tree, i think we came up with a pretty good gauge for a old tree, if you can’t reach around it, its probably pretty old πŸ˜‰

Now the next question which had a fair amount of currency was, ‘can i climb this one?’ to which the response was, ‘if it ‘aint in a garden then yes’

So in typical Chaos style, no shoes and no fear she was into them πŸ™‚ This tree was a South American variety, the name which slips my mind atm. But it had these awesome roots which were just perfect for climbing up into the tree.

If you do check them out, be sure to have a look at the native Australian bees (non stinging too) they have a great hive there where you can get up close and personal to them.

Exif love:
D750 coupled with Nikkor 85mm f1.4 @ 85mm Aperture: f2.8 and Shutter Speed: 1/250s
ISO 640
Out front: chaos and the tree

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚ …and my torch was much bigger πŸ˜‰ 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 πŸ™‚ could not have done it better myself, no additional torch lighting needed πŸ™‚
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

http://blog.avernus.com.au/the-ballet-tree/

Rooted

enjoy the freshness

I think its a Tallowood tree, I saw this tree many many years ago and the only thing that has changed…is the moss, its got a little less than before…oh there was also some more bush litter (branches leaves etc) but really… all those years could have just been a few days for all I know. As cliche as it may sound, time really does stand still in forests like this, time in the scale of humans anyway (unless they cut it down)

I took a number shots of this tree, i bracketed this particular frame thinking that I may need to blend the images together to achieve the full dynamic range, however the D750 did a pretty good job with a single shot, and this particular moment had some nice filtered light thru the trees and a small amount of fog rolling through the undergrowth..

I did get a few strange stares from the bushwalkers as I stood in a mozzie infested creek amongst the forest tree litter, but for once, my mozzie repellant worked… i only got bitten about 100 times rather than a million πŸ˜‰

Exif love:
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f/16 and Shutter Speed: 3s
ISO 100
out front – Hoya CPL….

http://blog.avernus.com.au/rooted/

Gorillas trees in the mist

Some days it feels like there are monsters hiding in the shadows just waiting to pounce

On a lonely drive across the hills of Comboyne , through many muddy roads and intermittent rains showers I noticed this small tree perched on the hill. It looked so vulnerable sitting there almost encased in the fog with the large trees looming behind, seemingly wanting to take its place on the ridge.

Only moments after taking the picture(s) the ridge and tree disappeared and the rain caught up with me…

This image is a panoramic image made from 3 frames, something I learnt with this image and scene was that when +Adobe Photoshop (or i guess any other stitching software) attempts to stitch the and blend the frames its does a good job except it never quite gets the blending right in that pea-soup grey area and results in banding, not particularly evident until contrast is added. It kind of makes sense , blending a gradients would be quite tricky. Thus a future note – I am not sure how to avoid it, but in teh post processing one thing that minimises the telltale signs of it is to locally reduce the clarity or midtone contrast in the banding area.

Exif love:
D750 coupled with 300mm f4 @ 300mm Aperture: f/8 and Shutter Speed: 1/500s
ISO 250
out front – a ridge, a farm, a tree and some fog πŸ™‚

http://blog.avernus.com.au/gorillas-trees-in-the-mist/

Emotion

Tree - (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock

Tree – (c) 2014 Gerard Blacklock
Panorama – 3 frames (non bracketed) stitched together in Adobe PS CC2014
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f/8 and Shutter Speed: 1.0s
ISO:100
Out front: Lee graduated filter (0.9x) and Hoya Circular Polariser.

After being fortunate enough to get to the Focus Awards (http://goo.gl/hBQtGQ) on the weekend (Thanks Ray for the tix), there was a very interesting talk by David Oliver (http://www.davidoliver.com.au/) regarding the idea of creating emotion in a image, this was quite insightful but also quite confusing since as a concept, emotion in landscapes is one tricky concept. For landscape images that have a person or human connection this idea of emotion can be more easily achieved, but a landscape with no human elements and true in the sense of a landscape this idea just about escapes me. Looking at the winning images, which are all quite stunning I feel the term mood could be used in place of emotion for a landscape, particularly where there there is no person or human connection.
I also think the mood is something a bit different to the ‘wow factor, for me a image that makes me go wow is often a result a of the initial impact, often generated by distinct processing or colour, the mood however is something which is more on the lasting side then initial impact, for me the wow factor/initial impact often wears off as I analyse a image and dissect it. The mood, however is something that develops and improves with the age of viewing the image, a bit like a good wine πŸ˜‰ take this example,

Hence, I have promised myself, at the very least for the next few weeks while I remember πŸ™‚ I am going to try and look at a landscape with the specific purpose of capturing and conveying this idea of ‘a mood’ – now exactly how I am gonna do this is, I am unsure of, but it would seem the use of light and selective application of light and often not what you can see but what you can’t is something that can go a long way to getting this mood…. So, here’s a image which i think has no mood in it πŸ™‚ I like it, but I am not happy with it, for me it rates a little better than a snap. It has my favourite element, a single tree but is missing something.. here is a image that I think has mood, but, its created by peeps πŸ™‚ http://blog.avernus.com.au/park-life-2/

How would you generate mood in a frame like this? long exposure it? BW conversion? selfie? I did try a BW conversion, but I can’t bring myself to destroy the colour….

Techie love:
Panorama – 3 frames (non bracketed) stitched together in Adobe PS CC2014
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f/8 and Shutter Speed: 1.0s
ISO:100
Out front: Lee graduated filter (0.9x) and Hoya Circular Polariser.

As always, I welcome any suggestions, comments and improvements to my photography, they are always warmly welcomed.