Saturday, 25 May 2013

The morning after.........

These photos were taken after an agonizingly long night shift.  They all go for the same length of time but sometimes, they seem to last forever!.  I was tired and busting to get home to bed.  Funny how just walking out the front door of work can lift your spirits and give you an energy surge!  I walked to my car and studied the morning sky and thought that it had some real potential.

I had packed my camera bag and taken it to work with me that night hoping to get out in my break and get some long exposure shots but, alas!, that was not to be.  Still taking it with me had not been in vain.

Initially going down to the Newcastle Ocean Baths and getting a shot or two there, I then went over to the rock pools just north of the Baths.

A long exposure of light off the ocean baths turned out very well.  I am so happy with others from the rock pools, capturing the reflection of the beautiful golden morning light!

I only caught a few images but they have turned out fantastic!

Hope your are all well!


Friday, 17 May 2013

A little piece of History.

I can clearly remember this photo hanging on the wall of my Pa and Nans homestead on their property at Cryna, just outside of Beaudesert, Queensland. 

It is a photo of my Mum and her sisters and her brother John.  John died suddenly when he was 12 of meningitis and this is a rare photo of him. My Mum is on the left, then John, Laurie and Fran.

I had wondered for years how to reproduce this photo.  I did not want to take it out of the frame to scan it.  Photos from this era often faded badly when not framed properly. The chemicals used for printing old photographs sometimes turn to  a fine powder and just brush off the paper.  My father had a photo of my grandfather in his Light Horse uniform that was not framed. I remember that that photo had faded badly and that if you touched the image, there was a fine powder that used to come off in your fingers.  The frame for this photo was very well made and is the reason for the photo maintaining its condition over the years.

Mum would have been in her early teens when this was taken. She was born in 1928 so I am estimating that this was taken around about 1940 (?)

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology (can you believe; my iPhone 5 !) I think I have solved the problem. I took a photo of the photo with my iPhone and then processed the image in PS.  I had to crop out the frame and sharpen it a little. I also had to adjust levels slightly and use the clone tool in some places as there was some reflection of light in the glass covering the photo. I also used the  burn and dodge tools on those areas where the ambient light in the room was reflected off the glass cover.

It is a little piece of family history that needed to be preserved and then distributed amongst the family.  I am off to the printers on Monday for some copies to post off to my Aunties. I'll update the blog to let you all know how it went!

Hope you are all well and in good health as I am!



Monday, 13 May 2013

In the Flickr of an eye - The Lost Photos.....

When I first ventured into the world of digital photography, I was a big fan of Flickr.  

Then I was introduced into the world of blogging.  Blogging was good because I could put on updates about my immediate family and how we were going and my family interstate could see what we were up to and have a look at the photos to see how our children had grown and how much more hair I had lost!

I was so much into Flickr that I upgraded to a Pro account; unlimited uploads.  It was then I discovered that I could share my Flickr photos over to my blog with a click on a button from the Flickr website; no more double uploads of photos and doubling up on text, just 1 click and it was on my blog.  

After a while, however, I started to become disillusioned with Flickr.  It was not updating its' look and, quite frankly, some  of the one or two word comments on my photos gave me the impression that those commenting were simply fishing for me to reciprocate, rather than offering something constructive about my photography.  

I let my pro account slide.

Problem with that was the majority of those photos that I had shared across to my blog, were no longer visible! They had gone into the Flickr archive, awaiting me to re-awaken my Flickr pro account. As a result, the links for those shared photos on my blog do not work now.

I considered re-visiting each and every post and uploading individual photos but that would be so time consuming that I decided just to select a few every now and then and upload them as one blog entry.

Well, this post is the start to fix that.  I am gradually uploading those 'lost' photos & you are looking at the first batch.  



The Catherine Hill Bay coal loading wharf.  This wonderful piece of history is earmarked now for destruction.  It apparently would cost too much to renew & maintain.  I must visit again before it is lost forever!

Taken at Morpeth, NSW, Australia.  It was not a particularly stormy day but the use of the Burn Tool and the conversion to B&W really brought the clouds out.

This was at Morpeth also. Taken with the wide angle attachment on my Panasonic DMC FZ30

An abandoned petrol station in Boolaroo, NSW, Australia. The old pumps lying unused and the old mechanics workshop in the background make for a wonderful subject.

The Morpeth Bridge.  Converted to B&W Infrared in PSE.  

I arose early to catch the sunrise at Tornoto, NSW, Australia on the shores of the beautiful Lake Macquarie. I got some excellent photos that morning.  I had followed this Pelican as he swam quite a distance across the golden lake, through the moored boats and up to the wharf. 

Spring Snapdragons at Morpeth, NSW, Australia

Abandoned petrol station in Boolaroo, NSW, Australia

This beautiful old boathouse on the shores of Lake Macquarie at Toronto.  The sun rising highlights the lovely texture in the wood.

Catherine Hill Bay Wharf.  These chains here would be the thickness of a mans' body!  They were attached to rocks at the bottom of the bluff and were used to help anchor the coal ships as they were loaded with coal from the end of the very long wharf.

Catherine Hill Bay - the coal loading wharf.   A HDR photo from 3 bracketed exposures.

I love this photo!  It was not what I had expected but it works very well for me!  Capturing the pre-sunrise at Toronto, I had the shot lined up for a long exposure when this fellow cuts through my line of sight.  

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

A lesson in basics.

For those of you who follow my blog, you will know that I inherited my fathers' Voigtlander Bessa 1.   

A folding camera, it is totally manual....... no through the lens focusing or light meter; it is TOTALLY  manual.

 To measure the distance to subject I use a Voigtlander Range Finder or a tape measure and then set the distance on the focus ring on the camera lens.  This makes taking high aperture photos very difficult as they have a shallow depth of field and the focus distance must fall within that depth of field so it has to be spot on. 

In saying that though, the camera does work at it's best around f8 and f16. 

Another problem with high aperture settings is the limits on the shutter speed; the shutter is only capable of speeds up to 1/250, so there is a danger of overexposure.

Speaking of exposure, I have been using the 'Sunny 16' rule for exposure and then doing the math if I changed the aperture setting. The sunny 16 rule is this; set camera at f16 and set the shutter speed at the same number (or near equivalent) to that of the film ISO.  For each stop increase in aperture, half the shutter speed.  For each stop decrease in aperture, double the shutter speed.  

But that is exactly what I love about this camera. Although I shoot in manual mode on my DSLR, this camera demands the attention to details otherwise the film will be wasted; no checking in the LCD display and taking it again! And, only 8 exposures on a 120 film!

Once I have the settings finalized and I am ready to take the photo, I must 'arm' the shutter with the tensioning lever so that it activates the shutter when the button is pushed.

However, I have found an easier way in.....of all things...... an iPhone App called Light Meter!  It is free and it works a charm (See the results below!)

Speaking of the photo below......  I flew to Queensland recently on the Easter long weekend. I was only allowed 10kg of carry on luggage and therefore, could not take my DSLR camera bag.  Between my iPhone and the Voigtlander, I managed to get some good photos.  

This photo is of myself, brothers and sisters and Mum, standing on the front steps of the Queenslander house that was home to 2 adults and 5 children. It is only a very small house!  

For this photo I had to instruct my nephew James on how to hold the camera and use the Kontur viewfinder to ensure that everyone got into the photo and no heads were cut off (one problem I recall Dad having a number of times).  For anyone who has never used an external viewfinder mounted on the flash mount, it does take a bit of getting used to.  One has to leave both eyes open as you actually cannot see through the view finder.  What you do have in the viewfinder are 2 views; one indicated by a broken line which gives a parallex view of the subject (corrects the vision as if it were being viewed through the lens) of the subject up to 3 feet away and, the other, an unbroken line with gives the parallex view of the subject up to infinity.  As I said, one must have both eyes open; one eye to view the subject and the other to line up the viewfinder with the subject. There is also a white dot in the middle of the view finder that sets the subject in the middle but one has to be mindful of the broken and unbroken lines to keep the subject well into the composition. I hope you can understand that! I really have to stop and think about what I am doing every single time I use this camera.

James did an excellent job of composition and slow but firm button pushing to release the shutter with no shake for the camera!

Dad would be so happy to see his old camera taking photos of his family again!