Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Newcastle Photo Safari - Part 1

Took off this morning with my partner in Photography Crime ... my son Lachlan. We started at Honeysuckle along the foreshore of Port Hunter. From there we went to Nobbys Beach and hung out near the Surf Life Saving Club for a little while. There was heaps of sea spray from the surf that it appeared as a fine mist in some of my long distance photos.

As usual, i decided that some photos looked better in Bladck & White (as I think I am probably ALWAYS saying   ha ha!) Big ships coming into the Harbour, the spray of water on the sea wall splashing over the wall and onto the walking path, some guy madly paddling out into the rough surf, big clouds rolling in foretelling an approaching storm (which never happened!) All the great things that can go to making a great photo safari!

Anyway, we moved on from Nobbys and hit the Newcastle Mall. We got some Street stuff and had some lunch. The Port Hunter Lookout Tower (affectionately known locally as 'the Dildo'  ha ha..... wait til you see it and you will understand!) was open and gave us a good lookout for some up on high shots of the harbour. The tugboats were milling around waiting for the next customer and they always make for a good subject. I would love a job on a tugboat; I think it would be exciting! After that we walked through the Mall again, grabbing some more Street subjects.

It was a great day spent with Lachlan. Some photos turned out and some were just too boring but, I figure that the photo you never take will turn out to be the prize that got away! It's ok to be prolific; one just needs a clear sense of direction when in the culling process!

Here are some from the first leg of our Safari; one from Port Hunter and the others from Nobbys Beach. 

Stay tuned for more uploads over the next few days!

Hope that Life has been treating you well.


Thursday, 14 February 2013

Murrays Beach and Belmont on Lake Macquarie

Lachlan and I went down to Murrays Beach on the shores of the beautiful Lake Macquarie for a Photo Safari last week. He also has a Canon 600D and was eager to get some shots.

Murrays 'Beach' is not actually much of a beach. More a rocky type shore on the lake. It does, however, have some awesome walking paths through bush along those shores and a large pier for boats and fishing. 

It's a relatively new suburb (last 10 years?) with modern eco friendly houses built amongst the eucalyptus trees and scrub. Although it looks lovely, it would be a big concern during a bush fire. There is also one road in and out which also would be a bush fire concern but I guess if that ever happened, the lake would be the other means of escape. 

After Murrays Beach we took off to Belmont to catch the sunset there. Belmont is an awesome location for sunset photos; the yacht club, people fishing off the wharf, the swimming area. It is very popular with walkers, families use the BBQ facilities and, photographers go there to conduct trials on their new filters (ha ha!) Yes, I put on the ND8 filter for the sunset photos. I had originally mounted it on top of my Circular Polarizer filter, but at the widest angle on my 18-55 zoom, there was some very noticeable vignetting and I could actually see the filter on the corners. A little disappointing but this is how we learn through trial and error.

As I have mentioned before in a previous blog entry, the ND8 filter really highlights the golden tones of sunset; they look superb!  One of my fave photos taken on this safari is of the little boy running down the wharf to his mum. The long exposure required because of the ND8 filter captured the movement of him running in a part silhouette. I was a little disappointed that there were no clouds that afternoon. There was a stiff breeze blowing over the lake and the long exposure times would have captured some beautiful cloud movement. Maybe next time!

With the photos taken at Murrays Beach, I have changed them into B&W. The first photo in this gallery, of the fishermen in their boat, was actually the overexposed shot of 3 bracketed exposures that I had intended to merge as a HDR. Even at a fast shutter speed for the bracketed shots, the movement of the boat did not ensure a sharp alignment of the boat for the merge. When viewing the 3 shots, I liked the silhouette of the fishermen against the blown out background of the sun reflecting off the water. I highlighted the ripples in the water and the trees in the background using the burn tool. I really like the way it has come out considering I had never planned for that in the first place!

Lotta things happening on this Earth recently. I hope you are all safe and well!

Until next time..............


Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Storm Front - Newcastle, Australia

Gidday everyone!

As I said in my previous post, the weather has been rather topsy turvy lately. 

I had worked the weekend just gone and had the inkling to take my camera with me for something to pass the time during my meal break. How fortuitous was that; as I finished work there was a huge storm brewing out to sea and coming in for a landfall.

This storm was a remnant of Tropical Cyclone Oswald that had made it's way down the east coast of Australia after turning into a massive rain depression. It dumped huge amounts of water and many towns are still under water from swollen river systems. The odd thing about flooding is that towns along the way can be flooded days after the rains have stopped as the mass of water flows downstream to the sea.

On this day, the waves in Newcastle were absolutely seething white and foamy from the strong winds smashing the shore. The clouds were very low, black and ominous. 

The gale force winds buffeted me and I had to grip the tripod tightly to stop any movement during the exposures but also to keep the whole camera kit from blowing away! It was very difficult to keep the sea spray and occasional rain drops off the lens. When the rain did eventually hit, it did so with a vengeance and I had to make a quick retreat to the safety of my car. The rain came down almost horizontally and the sea spray and sand whipped up by the wind was stinging my face from the force.

A good camera clean was conducted that night!

I shot at ISO100 using an ND8 filter because I wanted to capture some of the water movement. 

I hope you have all been well as is the case with us.


The Sea Wall - Newcastle

Cotton Wool Waves

Newcastle Ocean Baths Board Walk

Newcastle Ocean Baths

Newcastle Sea Wall

Storm Swell

Storm Approaching

Surfs Up! - Newcastle Beach