Monday, 26 June 2017

Sand Dunes of the Worimi National Park

The sand dunes of Worimi National Park make for an amazing photo safari.

The lovely rolling, meandering shape of the dunes, the designs etched in the sand by both wind and rain, the light and shade cast by the Sun as it slowly set over this amazing panorama presents exciting challenges to be captured.  It is a very minimalist landscape without a specific point of interest so the challenge is to find or create that point of interest amidst the pleasing angles and rounded shapes of the dunes. 

It was a doubly pleasing afternoon safari, because my son Lachlan (a photographer in his own right - visit him at  Lachlan Jordan Photography) was able to join me; it's been a while since we were both free at the same time!  He was pretty excited because he had not been to the dunes before.

When we arrived there was a moment of uncertainty as some light rain started to fall but it turned out to be just a small shower passing over and out to sea.

Walking out on the dunes surprised me.  I was expecting soft sand similar to that of the beach but this was fairly compact and easy to walk on.  There was patches of soft sand but these were mostly found in the gullies amidst the dunes as the sand rolled down off the slope.

It is a very popular place.  Not only are there 4WD tours of the dunes but there are Camel rides and also sand boarding so, there were a few people hanging around.  There is also a 'road' that leads through the dunes to Birubi Beach which is popular with 4WD Clubs and individuals who like their surfing and beach fishing.  There is a Surf Life Saving Club on the beach also.  What does this mean for the photographer?  Trying to get a photo of the sand dunes without human or camel footprints all over it or tyre prints in the sand!  To walk to a remote area would have taken considerable time so I had to plan my photos carefully to avoid any of these distractions.

Most of these photos were shot using a Canon EF 70-300mm zoom.  Because I had that mounted on my Canon 600D (an APSC camera) it gave a 35mm equivalent zoom of 480mm when zoomed right out.  

We waited until the Sun was setting proper but it was a little disappointing.  The earlier light rainfall had cleared but there was still sufficient cloud low on the horizon to block any spectacular light or reflection off the cloud and back onto the sand.  Luckily, because of heavy rains in the weeks prior, there were little oasis of water in the flatter part of the park and these presented some great reflections of the sunset and lovely colour.  Mind you, those clouds hanging around made for a magnificent sky during the afternoon as you will see.

I'd love to be here for a Sunrise but it is about an hours drive from where I live and then about a 20-30 min walk to the top of the dunes so it would be a very very early start and then a walk on the dunes in the darkness so there will have to be some more planning before that occurs!

Click on the photos to view a larger version; looks much better!

The photos on this post and on corresponding
Google+ and Google Photos pages are
 © Life with Jordy Photography, All Rights Reserved
and may not be used without permission.

Taken with my Canon 50mm f1.8.  2 photos stitched for the panorama.

This photo is made up of 2 separate photos stitched to make the Parorama.  The person
standing on the dune on the left is my son, Lachlan.  

Sand People.  Using my Canon 70-300mm zoom I was able to get right up to
this group of people as they made their way across the top of the dunes.

The wind uncovers many secrets that have been lying dormant in the sand.

I don't know if this is a marker post or part of an old fence line across the dunes.  It was just there
in the middle of nowhere.

This is one of the photos used to create the panorama above.  Couldn't resist reverting the colour
to B&W.  Note the fantastic cloud formations that were present that afternoon!

Taken just after we arrived.  Camel Trek Adventures.  That light rain we had disappearing
out to sea leaving a rainbow in its departure.
Incredible cloud formations on the horizon!

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

It's all Black & White - Fuji Neopan 400 Pro

My first venture on Fuji Neopan 400 Pro out of a Canon EOS 300V.

These are photos that I did not include in a previous post which was about the Canon EOS 300V and not so much about the film.  So, I decided I should share the rest of the roll and talk about the outcome.

It seems like so many years ago (prior to the advent of digital photography), I always shot with ISO400 film.  In those days though, when our children (and me  hahaa) were much younger, I always shot in colour.  I guess I have matured (somewhat!) because now I love the shades of grey, the crisp tones, the contrast and, especially with black & white, the soft grain that gives a photograph a romantic & nostalgic feel.

So, I am trying to get through some different films just to get the experience of using them but also to be able to say that I have tried as many as I can, that are currently on the market.   I have a number of films earmarked especially the Fuji Velvia and Provia (which are slide films but have lovely saturated colour) and in the black and white mode I am particularly interested in some of the high ISO (1600, 3200) films for low light photography.

Anyway, I digress.....

I found this film to have a lovely soft, fine grain which was not what I expected from an ISO400 considering I usually shoot Fuji ACROS 100 for black & white.  This lends itself to the soft tones and shades of grey without harsh contrast.  I am happy with the nice sharp results too. 

I have noticed that, with this film roll, there is a very slight magenta cast.  I don't develop or scan my own film (YET!) and I think that this could be a result of the scanning process and not setting the scan for grey tones.  Usually, for some black & white, I desaturate in Lightroom if I think the cast is too heavy but in this case I enjoy the slight magenta cast.

These photos were taken in and around Newcastle, NSW, Australia.  From Newcastle Beach down to Merewether Beach and places in between.  The place is a photographers dream!

My next film foray is on Kodak Portra 160, 120mm using my Voigtlander Bessa 1 folder.  Only 8 exposures so I am being very patient with my subject choice!

The photos on this page and corresponding
Google+ & Google Photos pages are
all © Life with Jordy Photography, All Rights Reserved
and may not be used without permission.

Newcastle Beach looking up to King Edward Park - Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Jonathon Livingstone Seagull - Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Moors Restaurant - Newcastle East, NSW, Australia
Skateboard Tourist - Hunter Mall, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Flock of Seagulls - Merewether Beach - Newcastle, NSW, Australia 

Seagulls - Merewether Beach - Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Scotties Cafe - Newcastle East, NSW, Australia 

Rockface - King Edward Park - Newcastle, NSW, Australia 

Working the Harbour - Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Tugboat Escort - Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Newcastle Canoe Pool & Sailing - Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Two Dogs - Hunter Mall - Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Bronica ETRSi and 35MM N Film Back

You may recall that I wrote in an earlier article  (Jan 2019) about some difficulties I was having with a 35mm N  Film Back on my Bronica ...