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.