Monday, 16 November 2015

Stockton Beach Family Shoot

We had discussed it, picked locations, made arrangements and appointments over a period of months.  After getting rained out a number of times, and  trying to coordinate each of us being available on the same day because we are all shift workers, this family shoot has finally came to fruition!

Stockton Beach at Newcastle was the location.  It has facilities close by, sandy beach and, is in a nice little protected spot where the waves don't get too huge.

Photographing young children can be a challenge.  They don't stay still for long and if there is something interesting happening around them they will focus on that, (rather than some bald bloke running around with a camera!)

But it's all good!  I actually prefer to photograph children when they are involved in doing something; their expressions are so natural.  You could never catch that look if you tried to pose them.  Also, sometimes, as you line them up in the lens, they will look up from what they are doing and look straight at you so you must be ready to catch that too.  Most of the photos were shot with my 55-250mm zoom.  I stood back far enough so as not to be too imposing and let that lens get me in nice and close to the action.

We arrived at Stockton Beach at about 9.30am on a Saturday morning.  The place was fairly buzzing with Nippers Training!  For my overseas followers, Nippers is for young children aged 5-13 and is an introduction to surf life saving for when they are older.  It's a fun thing that teaches children beach safety through swimming, board paddling, beach sprinting and other lessons.  All of this action on the beach did take the childrens' attention away at times but, at least for the posed family photos they were all facing the right direction even though their eyes were looking elsewhere!

It was a beautiful day!  Slight sea breeze and a lovely Sun-shiny day.  Beat the hell out of the stormy weather we had been receiving for the 3-4 days beforehand! 

I was glad we had a fine day for the shoot, although I wished there had been a little more cloud cover (without the rain of course!)  On a cloudy day the light is soft and diffused and much better for portraits.  There are no harsh shadows created from the bright sunlight and the subjects don't squint back at you!  Oh well, just gotta deal with it the best you can!  

For photos taken in bright sunlight, if there is really dark shadowing, I can correct it in the edit stage. Editing in Adobe Lightroom 5, I decrease the shadow slider.  This brings out the details hidden in dark shadowed areas.  I then slowly increase the level of black so that the contrast returns.  A final touch on the clarity slider can also improve contrast and detail but, slightly decreasing the level of clarity can also soften the photo, which is very good for portraiture.  A photographer can also use a flash to 'fill in' the darker shadow areas on a sunny day but, that is not terribly practical when chasing kids all around the beach.

As part of my work flow, I always check to see how photos look in black & white.  Sometimes it can be more stunning than the colour!

They were so happy just to play in the sand, paddle in the water and collect shells.  As you can see they got sand absolutely everywhere and a great shell collection!  A few waves got the boys soaking wet but, what the hell..... it was nice and cool!

One more thing to say, some advice to give to all who may read this.   Print your photos, write the event, names and date on the back.   One day, when your are no longer here, your children and their children will want to know their history.

All photos on this blog and corresponding Google+ page are © Life with Jordy Photography
All Rights Reserved and may not be used without permission.

The photos in this particular blog post are not for sale.

If you think you would like a casual family photo shoot similar to this, 

The boys watching something that is obviously more interesting then me, their sister,
(understanding the moment better than the boys), strikes a pose!
Proud Mum & Dad!

'Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.'

This gorgeous girl so passionate about her sea shells!  As we were leaving for the
beach she picked up the bucket.
Her Dad asked what she wanted the bucket for.
'For the shells Dad!'

There are so many things a man can do with sand!

The development of a future construction business.

If I squash this hard enough..........

There's that guy with the camera again.  Hmmmm......

Mum?   Who is that guy taking our picture?

'Mum, This is my favourite!'

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

A Long Exposure at Merewether.

On this particular day the weather up and down the coast of NSW was a little unsettled.  Overcast, windy, occasional storms & rain.  As I contemplated the outside, uninviting world from the inside of my dry house & comfortable lounge, I realised that I could be making the most of the bad weather.

I knew there would be some lovely sea swell along the beach as a result of Mother Natures' bad mood, so I chose a spot with wonderful looking rocks where I could set up for a series of long exposure shots.

It wasn't raining when I arrived at Merewether but it was still overcast and a little windy.  The sea swell had died down a little but was still significant enough to provide some lovely movement for some long exposure shots.  The low cloud base looked awesome too!

For these shots I stacked 2 x ND8 filters.  1 screw in and 1 Cokin.  The sea spray made it a little difficult, having to clean the Cokin filter after every 2 or 3 shots but, it was worth the effort!  Every time I get some long exposure photos done, it reminds me that I have to have my camera serviced and the processor cleaned.  The majority of the time it is fine but a dirty processor shows up everything on a long exposure shot.  Spot Removal tool to the rescue!

I'm getting pretty accurate at estimating exposure time in Bulb mode too.  It always hurts my brain at first to work out the settings but after a few shots it all comes back to me!

All photos on this blog and corresponding Google + page are © Life with Jordy Photography,
All Rights Reserved and may not be used without permission

These photos are for sale, contact me
if you are interested!

A four second exposure really highlights the water rushing through the starting blocks here
at the Baths.

Merewether, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

I love the misty, eerie feel that a long exposure gives to crashing waves and running water,
especially when the rocks are in sharp focus!

Merewether, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

These mossy rocks look great against the softness of the long exposure!
Merewether, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

The long exposure catches the patterns in the water as it streams through a break in the rock.
Merewether, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

Look at the deep chasms cut into the solid rock by the constant ebb and flow of water over
the eons!

Merewether, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Sun sets on Redhead

As I have mentioned before on here and, I'll say it again!..... Redhead is my favourite beach in the Newcastle area.  It is pretty popular and at dusk I love to get photos of the sunset and the people on the beach.  It's kinda like a different version of street photography with everyone (and their dogs!) taking a leisurely stroll on the sand on a balmy afternoon.

I was shooting with my Canon 600D, and using a ND1 Grad filter for most of the photos, except for the action shots of surfers when I switched to my 250mm zoom.  When I purchased my 600D, I never really thought that I would ever need anymore than 3.7 fps but, after getting out and about photographing surfers, I am wishing I had something the next level up.  Trying to catch birds in flight leaves me thinking the same!

The Sun was in a perfect spot on this particular afternoon; it wasn't glaring down the lens and the light reflected wonderfully off the wet sand and lent itself to some gorgeous golden tones off the waves and the sea mist.  I love the sea mist that rises from the pounding waves; it leaves a soft background from the subject and, when shooting black and white, has a fantastic eerie feel to it.

Because we live on the east coast of Australia, the Sun sets to the west over the land.  The position of the Sun setting to Redhead Beach for this shoot (at almost a 90 degree angle to the beach) meant I had to wade into the water in some cases to catch the reflection off the wet sand.  Just gotta remember to keep an eye on the waves; digital electronic cameras and water don't get on too well together!  As we approach the summer solstice, the position of the Sunset will virtually be straight down the beach. That will be a great opportunity to get to the top of the bluff and catch some of those rays at the end of the day from up on high!

In the editing phase for most of these, I have used Nik Colour Efex Pro software using the Detail Extractor presets.  As it says, this software brings out a lot of detail before further editing in Lightroom 5.

Hope you are all well!  

All photos on this blog and corresponding Google+ page are Copyright © Life with Jordy Photography,  
All Rights Reserved and may not be used without permission.

These photos are for sale, contact me if you are interested.

Redhead Beach in Monochrome - Redhead, NSW, Australia.
I'll never tire of photographing the iconic shark tower at Redhead Beach.  Of course, as is my habit
with my photos, I always change them to black and white as a part of my workflow, just to see
how they would look in marvellous monochrome.  In this case, it has suited perfectly!

Redhead Beach Sunset #1 - Redhead, NSW, Australia.
How's the serenity!  There is something about strolling along the beach just watching the waves
rolling in, catching the reflecting light off the wet sand and the silhouette of those like minded
people who love to do the same.

Redhead Beach Sunset #2 - Redhead, NSW, Australia.
It's a dogs' favourite place too!

Redhead Beach #3 - Redhead, NSW, Australia.
Just before sunset the fishermen appear.  Casting patiently into the surf, I have never
actually seen anyone catch anything!

Seagull Security - Redhead, NSW, Australia.
Opened up the aperture to f5.6 to get the bokeh in the foreground.  I never actually noticed
the Seagull in this shot until I got home and reviewed the afternoons' catches.

Contemplation Time - Redhead, NSW, Australia.
Couldn't resist this composition when I noticed this swimmer sitting on the rock.  Of course, 
I just had to present it in black and white too!
Ripping up the waves at Redhead, NSW, Australia.
Captured nicely - f5.6 at 1/2000.  Using Nik Colour Efex Pro Detail Extractor preset has really
enhanced this photo to exactly what I was aiming for.  Lovely warm hues from the 
setting sun too!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Adventures (and some misadventures) in Film

For months now, I have had a few films sitting around waiting to be developed and scanned.  We'd had a few bills etc and so I left them for a while until the finances were looking a little healthier.

Finally, I put them in to the lab!  It was another week before I could get in to pick up the final product.

At the lab, the assistant told me there were some marks on the negatives.  I figured that it was probably just some dust spots.  Big surprise when I got home to look at the negatives.

There were 5 exposures on each Ilford PANF Plus 50 120 film covered in splotches and small white dots and with what looked like scratch marks across the negative.  The other 3 negatives looked great!  I posted 2 of the marked negatives (the ones posted below) to a film photo group on Facebook, hoping that someone could come up with an answer.  The most logical of these answers was that the paper back of the 120 film had been affected with condensation which had ruined the emulsion on the film.

It seemed to make sense.  I contacted Ilford by email and on their Facebook page to see if any of their experts could confirm the condensation theory; no reply as yet.  I took the negatives to my lab this afternoon and they were scrutinised closely.  It appears that condensation was not the problem rather, it appeared by some of the marks on the negative that the film had been damaged somehow in initial production.  I intend to contact Ilford again and post off a couple of the negatives to them for their opinion.  We'll see how that goes and I'll update with the outcome.

Anyway, the third film I got back was a Fuji NEOPAN Acros 100; one of my fav 35mm black and white films!  Nothing wrong with that - the whole roll turned out great!

Here are some from those 3 rolls, hope you enjoy them!

All photos on this Blog and corresponding Google + page are Copyright © Life with Jordy Photography,  
All Rights Reserved and may not be used without permission.

These photos are for sale, contact me if you are interested.

Watching the ships - Port Hunter, Newcastle, Australia.
Voigtlander Bessa 1 using Ilford PANF Plus 50 in 120mm.

This is my fav from this roll.  Looking down on the foreshore boardwalk from
the Port Hunter Lookout Tower.  I want to have this re-scanned at a 
higher resolution so I can enlarge it.  Before printing though, I want to photoshop
out all of the seagull pooh from the seats.  Is that too fussy?

The Commercial Banking Company of Sydney LTD - Newcastle, NSW,

Voigtlander Bessa 1 using Ilford PANF Plus 50 in 120mm.

Once through the door the inside of this building is beautiful!
Wonderfully restored, it is so worth a visit!

FJ 1926 - Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
Voigtlander Bessa 1 using Ilford PANF Plus 50 in 120mm.

I love to take B&W in the Hunter Street Mall.  The trees there really make for some great
dappled light and shade across the building facades.
Best seats in the house! - James Fletcher Park, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
Konica-Minolta Dynax 40 using Fuji NEOPAN Acros 100 in 35mm.

This is my favourite place to sit for lunch; except maybe during the hot summer.  It looks 
down to Newcastle Beach and out to sea.  From here I get to see migratory whales just off shore, and
there is a pod of dolphins that feed closer to shore and mix it on the waves with the surfers.

Birdy contemplating the future of the abandoned Post Office - Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
Konica-Minolta Dynax 40 using Fuji NEOPAN Acros 100 in 35mm.

This bird, like the rest of us, is probably wondering what is going to happen to this beautiful
building.  It has lain dormant for years and the inside and is falling into disrepair.  A grand piece of 
architecture is going to waste. 

James Fletcher Park, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
Konica-Minolta Dynax 40 using Fuji NEOPAN Acros 100 in 35mm.

I like this photo for its' simplicity.  

New arrival in Port Hunter - Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
Konica-Minolta Dynax 40 using Fuji NEOPAN Acros 100 in 35mm.

It is clear to see why the Obelisk at Newcastle was used as a point of reference for ships coming
into Port Hunter for years.  From the top of the hill here, the view is grand, and I couldn't
resist this shot over the rooftops of this ship coming into harbour.
The Obelisk - Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
There was a flour mill originally built on this hill in Newcastle.
The sailing ships used the Mill as a reference point when coming into
harbour. When the mill was demolished, the Obelisk was built on the
exact same spot to assist in navigation.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Lake Macquarie Sunrise

Lake Macquarie in NSW, Australia, twice the size of Sydney Harbour, is the largest permanent salt water lake in the Southern Hempisphere and has a 174km foreshore.  

Popular for boating, fishing and water recreational sports, it is very picturesque.

I was at Booragul the other morning to catch the sunrise over the lake.  It's an amazing place early in the morning; pelicans and other water birds hunting around for a spot of breakfast, rowers and canoeists out and about in the low mist, boats creaking on their anchor ropes and swaying in the gentle early morning breeze.  We'd had some rain in the previous days and the warmer morning was bringing the moisture out as low lying mist which dissipated as soon as it was hit by the Suns' rays.

The lakes' surface was as smooth as glass and I was able to get some wonderful reflections off it!

All photos on this blog and corresponding Google+ page are Copyright  ©Life with Jordy Photography, 
All Rights Reserved and may not be used with out permission.

These photos are for sale. Contact me if you are interested.

The 'Sharni-Lea' at Booragul, NSW, Australia.

Smoke Stack - Lake Macquarie, NSW, Australia.

Lake of Fire, Booragul, Ausralia.

Paddling on Lake Macquarie, NSW, Australia.

Through the trees.  The ketch 'Revival' is moored at Booragul jetty, NSW, Australia.
Booragul Jetty and 'Revival' at Sunrise - Booragul, Australia.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Dogs of Redhead

Our favourite beach here in the Newcastle area is Redhead Beach.

It is at the northern end of a 10.4 km stretch of beaches that go to the Lake Macquarie inlet in the south at Swansea Heads.

Redhead is popular with surfers and families.  The Surf Life Saving Clubhouse has a kiosk where you can get breakfast and lunch, along with a coffee.  Redhead Point marks the northern most end of the beach and features an 80 metre high cliff.  It is good to get up on top of the point and get some wonderful photos looking down the beach from up on high!  The cliff face has a great textured look and the colour of the rock changes depending on the time of day and reflection of light off the water.

Just south of the patrolled beach, there is an off-leash area for dogs.  It's a very popular spot on weekends and holidays.  The dogs love it that we can let them off and they can run and swim to their hearts content.  Our two never wander too far and it is just great to see them prancing around, so carefree and happy.  Mind you, there are some responsibilities that come with an off-leash area, the big one that we are always mindful about is taking plastic bags and a small 'pooper-scooper' with us for those accidents that will always happen in an excited moment!

The weather lately has been absolutely abysmal!  Rainy, windy days, and a cold front moved in..... except for last Monday; it was PERFECT.  Temperatures in the mid 20s, no wind; the perfect day for a doggy day at the beach.

It is also school holidays at the moment so, when we arrived, there were quite a few families and their fur friends already on the beach.  I had taken my camera and there certainly were a diversity of dogs to capture in their playtimes.

Who said dogs don't smile!

If you recognise your dog on here, contact me and I will email you a free high resolution file for you to print.

All photos on this blog and on my corresponding Google + account are © Life with Jordy Photography, 
All Rights Reserved and may not be used without permission.

I think a Doberman looks much better with its tail intact!

Always something to chase at the beach!

How many dogs can you see in this photo?

This is our dog Barney, he loves this toy which we twirl around and throw for him. 
He runs back with it and the end piece flies around everywhere as he runs. 
In this particular photo it has hit him right on the end of his nose - ouch! Just minutes after I took this photo,
 I threw it for him again, it went into the shallow water but Barney hesitated in picking it up. 

In no time the wave came in and washed it out off the beach. Barney raced into the water to get it but 
was too late! We all went down to try and find it, and Barney was running around in the shallows. 

After a while he just sat forlornly looking out to sea.

This is Moet. She belongs to our son Lachlan and his fiance Naomi. She is a Chipoo - Chihuahua Poodle cross.

If your human friend brings a ball to throw, be prepared to share!

The human friend of this cute little guy called him a Long Haired French Bassett. 
He was such an inquisitive fellow and very friendly!

Here we have Barney and Moet having a tug-o-war with Barneys' fav toy. 
Barney is the most considerate dog! He knows if Moet is on the other end he can't throw her around 
like a rag doll and is very gentle-dogly about the whole game!

This dog reminds me of 'Dug' from the animated movie 'Up'.  SQUIRREL!

I couldn't resist this shot.  The old Lab looking lovingly at his family!
As we were leaving we spoke to this lady about him.  
He is 13 years old and she was a little sad when she spoke because she knew that 
he may not be with them for much longer.

This Kelpie didn't appear to be with anyone. He was intently watching Barney as we threw the ball. 
When Barney took off to retrieve the ball, the Kelpie would run alongside Barney trying to round him up. 
He always kept a small distance though and seemed to love playing his own little game!

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Fuji Colour C200 & Street Photography

I love my street photography and, most of the time, I prefer to shoot in Black & White.  


If I am to shoot in colour on the street, I like the fine grain and sharpness I get from the Fuji C200. From skin to street signs and everything in between, the colour is accurate but with a softness that I don't seem to get in other colour films. It can also handle a wide exposure latitude as well, which is great for the different levels of light found in the street from sky to shadow. 

Photos taken in Newcastle and also in Redcliffe, QLD after a holiday earlier in the year.

I hope you enjoy these.

Photos on this post (with the exception of 'Blues Man') are for sale.  Contact me if you are interested..

All photos on this Blog and also on my corresponding Google + account are Copyright © Life with Jordy Photography 
All Rights Reserved and may not be used without permission.

Bellevue Street, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

The view from the Top! - Bellevue Street, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Coffee & Vinyl - Hunter Street, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Flags - Redcliffe, QLD, Australia.

Bus Stop - Hunter Street, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Rices Bookshop - Hunter Street, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

What's your fancy? - Hunter Street, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Blues Man - Redcliffe, QLD, Australia.