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) and when its pretty well flooded , 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


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 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.

The Golden Path

Its always a pleasure to check out this spot (Goanna Head), you are pretty well guaranteed to have the whole headland to yourself, I am talking about humans here, you do have to share with the spiders snakes, wallabies and all the other characters about at the crack of dawn, its also a nice 20 minute walk thru the bush to the beaches which is always a bit more interesting when its pitch black and no moon.
I had done sunrise and was scoping out a few other spots further around on the headland when I stopped to take a shot of the track (I like track shots smile emoticon ), which as you can see is pretty cool with the trail leading the scene. Anyways, I setup the shot only to notice I was standing awfully f'ing close to a rather large fire-ant infestation, I thought, sure I wrap this one up now and move on.. but no, these little clowns had other ideas, within in seconds i got simultaneous nailed (thru teh sock) by three of these little f'ers which then consequently made me squeal like a 6 year old – and I then realised why they are called fire ants…
so here's to you not so little fire ants… you can keep your patch of path..

Exif love
4 shot panorama (vertical)
D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f18 and Shutter Speed: 1s
ISO 100


I did plan to hit this place for a completely different reason, there is a cool channel near here which during the December month lines up with the sunrise. I did get it last year, but was not overly happy with the result… its amazing that a whole year has gone past since then, damn it went fast! anyways, so I thought I would go back, however rather than capture it with a bunch of clouds and very little sunrise, I really want to get a nice sunrise with some cool colour, hence, it will have to wait.. probably until this time next year lol.

On the upside, whilst it was rainy and cloudy the tide was fairly low (and coming in) which meant this nearby rockshelf had quite nice conditions with the waves spilling over the shelf. The scale is a bit deceptive, its actually quite larger than it looks, if you look carefully you can see a crazy fisherman stick out there on the left where they hang onto whilst catching breakfast 😉

This particular image is a 3 shot panorama, 3 landscape orientation images at 21mm, it took a bit of time to get the same wave action in each frame such that when it stitched it did not end up with funny join lines. Its not perfect but still somewhat acceptable.

Exif love:
3 shot panorama
D750 coupled with Nikkor 16-35 mm f4 @ 21mm Aperture: f18 and Shutter Speed: 1.6s
ISO 100
Out front – Hoya CPL and LEE GND (0.6x)

Here I'll stand, and here I'll stay

Let the storm rage on

For those in the know, or should i just say, if you have a child around the age of 6, then these words would be pretty familiar. Its a excerpt from the song "Let it Go" in the Disney's animated movie Frozen.

I hear this song about.. 15 times a day now, so i pretty well know the lyrics off by heart 😉 But, I gotta say, I can't get it out of my head now, those chaps and ladies at Disney who write these things have a lot to answer for , damn catchy tunes which just stick in your head. Next I will be doing the movements!

Anyway, i found the words seemed to fit with this image, originally starting life as a 6 shot panorama it was then cropped down to get to the view you now see and mixed with a little bit of gerry's special sauce processing and voilà there you have it. The little nav aid standing out there, just where it will stay, while teh storm (or fog) rages on 😉

Exif love:
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70mm f4 @ 24mm Aperture: f18 and Shutter Speed: s
ISO 100
Out front – Lee Graduated Filter 0.6x


Probably not the best to compare a bunch of poles in the bay with ones family, however when I took it, i had them in mind 😉

On the left we have my wonderful partner in crime, in da middle is chaos and on the right tickles aka mayhem.

I really gotta break this minimalist phase.. every where i look at the moment everything seems.. cluttered 🙂 my new challenge is to portray clutter with a sense of minimalism 😉 now thats a task worth tackling 🙂

Originally a 4 shot panorama, the images cropped down to about 3 landscape orientation images to get the right positioning of the poles within the frame, oh btw, the rule of third gods will be pleased with me 😉

Exif love:
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 @ 48mm Aperture: f18 and Shutter Speed: 3s
ISO 100
Out front – nada…

+Landscape Photography +Margaret Tompkins +Tony Phillips +Dave Gaylord +Doug Hagadorn +Eric Drumm +Jeff Beddow +David D


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)

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

Fallen Black

I reworked this ( image into a BW version – I am not entirely convinced on the conversion and could not decide on whether to push towards a real dreamy scene where teh horizon was masked by the BW conversion or simply go with this, basically a straight BW conversion in LR.

+Chris Sutton this was for you – would have never seen the light of day otherwise 🙂

Exif love:
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70 f2.8 @ 70mm Aperture: f/10 and Shutter Speed: 186.1s
ISO 100
out front: Lee Biggstopper

Bean there


Just another variation on this rather large paddock with a lonely tree in it, oddly enough there are several trees in the same paddock but there are not really within walking distance if you know what I mean 🙂

This image was one of the first I took when hitting the field of beans, it was just as the sun was about to dip below the horizon and you can see the final shadows being cast on the beans. It started off as a much bigger panorama with another two full shots on each side, however at what was quite a wide angle there quite a bit of distortion in the bean rows and also the tree seemed to get lost. Thus, a judicious crop was in order, which left this frame, which is about 3 1/2 landscape orientation images stitched together.

Exif love:
single image
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 @ 70mm Aperture: f10 and Shutter Speed: 1/3s
ISO 100
Out front – 0.3x Graduated filter (i think) i am pretty sure I had that graduated filter on there, the light was very subtle since this was at 90 degrees to teh sun.


When I was a kid I listened to alot of music, particularly at the and of my schooling and as a result alot of songs trigger different memories, of different times and experiences, which is really cool, a song comes on and instantly without much effort i am taken back to the time, experience and feeling. Now, with less time for more music and possibly music replaced moreso with imagery, I now find that images have taken that space and now trigger memories of a time and/or experience. I hear ya, saying, 'der of course they would', but its still cool i reckon 🙂 as i look at this image, it represents a few days in my life that I am sure I will look back in years to come and reminisce over, for good or the bad :-/

This one tree, or what was left of it, was sitting out in a sea of emptiness with its comrades way off, out of reach, seemingly so sad and lonely, just handing on to the what it once was…..

SIngle image, long exposure and I can't decided on whether I actually like the BW version better 🙂

Exif love:
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70 f2.8 @ 70mm Aperture: f/10 and Shutter Speed: 186.1s
ISO 100
out front: Lee Biggstopper

+Landscape Photography

The Last Post

tread carefully

As I stood on the edge of the lake, perched on a few partially submerged rocks with the gentle sound of bird wings rushing through the air over my head I thought…. 'I am going to have to start wearing pants rather than shorts 'cause its fing cold…' 😉
Having grown up in a fairly cold area it has not bothered me so much and hence most often throughout winter I can be seen wearing shorts (with other stuff also for the record;) ), however this particular morning, I really wished I had something a bit more :-/

Getting back to the car and looking at the OAT (outside air temp), i realised that… yeah probably 1 degree Celsius is probably close to the cutoff temperature for short wearing…

This lake was, for the most part, like a mirror – in the mind numbing cold i really knew I wanted to capture the subtle tones of the sunrise (around 30 minutes before sunrise), however this is tricky, the dynamic range is such that the horizon, whilst not bright to the naked eye is quite bright for the camera and hence to nail the warm horizon colours you had to sacrifice some of the detail in the sky and water.

I did not use any filters here, no polariser, (I wanted the reflections) and no graduated filters, but a reverse graduated filter would have probably been useful..

The final image is a vertical panorama using three vertical frames, each one with the poles in the frame, since that was pretty well all that could be common between the frames for the software to stitch.

The little dark dots on the horizon are actually trees 🙂 the distance and the mirage effect causes them to appear like floating boogers 😉

Exif love:
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70 f2.8 @ 32mm Aperture: f/16 and Shutter Speed: 8s
ISO 100
3 frames stitched together in +Adobe Photoshop Lightroom as a blended panorama.

+Landscape Photography Community

*Wheres Wally i mean windmilly'

pick the odd man out:)

There was this awesome sign near here which said:


I noticed the sign some time ago and planned to get a shot of it, however life etc got in the way and also stopping on a road with some rather large roadtrains on it seemed not so appealing 🙂

The liverpool plains are the site of a proposed Coal mine, well it was apparently proposed back in 2008-ish when the then minister Ian Macdonald was around.. and we all know who well he handled coal mines in NSW lol.. nice one dude, corrupt much? anyways .. fastforward to now and apparently they are only gonna mine up above the level of the fertile soil of the Liverpool plains, aka the food bowl…that sounds like a excellent plan… on paper.. :-/

Its no wonder that people are so jaded by the whole mining issue now and at the and of the day it seems so hard to make a educated decision when there is so much spin and stuff that happens behind the scenes and you really can't know whos got whos hand in whos pocket…

Well anyway, here's a picture of the plains in its glory, taken with a favourite little lens of mine the nikkor 135mm f2.8, not quite as good as my 105mm f2.5 however on full frame this lens has been stellar and the sharpness quite incredible. The 105mm still beats it in contrast and rendition imo tho.

3 shot pano.. or was it 4 ? oh well it had a few shots stitched together and it seemed appropriate to convert it to monochrome.

ya gotta view it large, its all there in full res too..

Exif love:
D750 coupled with 135mm f2.8 @ 135mm Aperture: f/8 and Shutter Speed: 1/640s
EV -0.3
ISO 200
out front – Hoya CPL

+Landscape Photography

The Foothills

The great thing about cloudless skies is often you can get some lovely pastel colours as the sun retreats over the horizon. These hills in the distance are the last peaks for many kilometres and are the remnants of two volcanos from a few years back…20 million to be in a rough ballpark 🙂

This is a 3 shot panorama image with a graduated filter fitted (0.3x), capturing the fine pastel details is a challenge and getting the exposure just right can make the difference between a gaudy image and a pleasant image. In this image you can see that the sun has just gone over the horizon (behind the camera and off to the left) which leaves the horizon in the opposing direction filled with a warm glow, this only lasts a few minutes and is gradually replaced with a band of blue (sky), pink and purple (horizon).

I will post another image of this tree in a slightly different composition and a few minutes later to show what a difference even just a few minutes can make for the colours.

Exif love:
3 shot panorama, stitched in PS CC.
D750 coupled with Nikkor 24-70 f2.8 @ 44mm Aperture: f/8 and Shutter Speed: 1/20s
ISO 100
Exposure Comp -0.3EV (why i dunno 🙂 )
out front – graduated filter (LEE 0.3x) and a cool dead tree on the fence to a rather large paddock