A man cave is never large enough. Some of my mates here in the country have three or four sheds, all chock- a- block with boys’ toys and the essential gadgetry and bits and pieces we blokes feel necessary to sustain our lifestyle.
Living in town there isn’t enough room for multiple sheds in the yard so all my essential goodies are stuffed into the garage.
There is only a narrow space for me to negotiate between my ride on lawn mowers, garden trailer, hedge trimmer, push mower when I want to access smaller goodies that reside in the shelving along one wall.
For quite a while now I’ve been seeing images, particularly landscapes where the photographer has upped the contrast and also the saturation to give the image a greater ‘pop,’ or ‘wow’ factor.
Sometimes it does have such an effect but to my eye, often makes the image look artificial, in some ways as if the image is the result of a poorly executed HDR work over.
Sometimes it seems to me that upping the contrast can have the effect of decreasing detail, particularly in the darker areas of an image. However, it often really enhances an image, particularly if there is greenery in the original.
Here are some images I think are enhanced by turning up the contrast, and also some where there is little discernible difference to be seen.
I’ll leave it up to you to exercise your own judgement on that question when you view the work.
I think you may agree with me that where there is greenery in an image, ‘turning up the contrast’ does make a discernible difference. However, the differences are less discernible where there is a significant drab element in the original image.
Well, day 10 of Part 2 has come and gone. It’s been fun and I’ve enjoyed reading your bloggs too.
The other day in response to one of my posts titled DEVELOPING YOUR EYE, one of my readers mentioned that he used a Canon Powershot digital camera.
My first digital camera was a Canon Powershot S45 which I purchased quite a number of years ago. From time to time I still use it. It records in RAW and although it is only 4 megapixels, it’s resolution and colour accuracy is phenomenal.
Unlike many more modern small point and shoot cameras, the S45 has a built in viewfinder in addition to its minute rear screen. The menu is easy to follow and the external controls are intuitive. Importantly for someone who rides a motor bike and often goes off road in a Landrover, the Canon S45 is built like a tank and it weighs about as much.
In some of my Developing Your Eye posts this week, I’ve used images taken in my backyard using a full frame 36mb Nikon so I thought for the curious among you I’d take some of the same images this afternoon using the little 4mp Canon for comparison purposes and to let the reader who also uses a Powershot know that I was not having him on when I told him I do too.
Although taken in RAW format, the following images have only been converted to jpeg using Photoshop’s Bridge converter and have undergone no further post processing.
The following four Canon S45 subjects are identical those made using the Nikon 36mp full frame camera.
Yesterday following a comment from a mate I made a conscious effort to reduce the number of words accompanying my images. Later that day I received an interesting comment from fellow blogger and photographer.
His recommendation was that I continue with my narrative style and pointed out, rightly too, that although an image is worth a thousand words, a comment can assist a viewer in interpreting what the photographer means and also reveals a little about the photographer himself/herself.
In recounting this, I’ve already broken my promise yesterday to limit my verbiage.
Accordingly, I’m reverting to my old style and, lump it or leave it, here we go.
Today’s exercise gave me a lot of fun and in some instances showed how rotating an image can make the photograph look ridiculous and down right impossible in real life.
Back in the dream time during my army years I was a proud young Lieutenant in my Regiment. All officers carried what is known as a swagger stick, a timber rod encased in brown coloured pig skin, and I was no exception. How proud I felt as I swanned around the parade ground, barking orders with my swagger stick tucked neatly under my left armpit.
Looking back now I can’t help laughing at how ridiculous we young officers must have looked to our subordinates.
Here is an image of my swagger stick in the horizontal position.
Now in the vertical position it looks more like tall telegraph pole, giving a totally wrong impression off its size. Same original was used for the rotation.
The red back spider is an extremely venomous Australian Spider often found inside houses but particularly lurking in sheds and similar places.
It is also the logo of a small, exclusive, invitation only motorcycle club of which I am a proud member. We wear the logo on our vests, helmets and also on a small discrete spot on our bikes. I’ve absolurtely no idea why the Red Back Spider was selected.
If we wore it the way I’ve rotated it below, it would give the impression we were in retreat. Not a possible scenario.
Here of course, the spider would be OK as it is advancing, definitely not in retreat.
She Who Must Be Obeyed is presently knitting pure merino wool pouches as life saving support warmth for animal rescue organisations. Baby kangaroos, known as Joeys and baby wombats are often found alive in the pouch of their mothers after being struck by vehicles on our roads and highways, particularly at night. They are placed in the woollen pouches for warmth and security until they mature and can safely leave the artificial pouch.
Here is a section of one such pouch prior to being sewn onto another section to make up the completed pouch..
Here is the same section after rotation
In the next image, this young woman was enjoying herself showing all and sundry how adept she was at tumbling and doing hand stands in our local park.
By rotating the image 180 degrees the image gives the appearance that the young lady is holding up the grass, totally impossible as we well know. Two other alternatives are either the grass is in a vertical plane and the lass is learning against it or, she is diving into something green. You can take your pick.
May Lane in St Peters, NSW, has been recognised by the local Council as an outdoor exhibition area. Business houses in the lane welcomed the decision by council and it is now a flourishing area for street artists, not graffiti vandals, to exhibit their work on walls in the lane.
Here are three examples of the lane’s street art that respond well to rotation.
So, another day done and dusted. Today, more words than yesterday and totally different images. What a hoot.
I remember reading somewhere that it’s fun to photograph soap bubbles in the sink before you do the washing up. I made a couple of images looking down on the bubbles but the result was just so so. Then I got a bright Idea.
Why not take the image from underneath the bubbles.
I set the self timer on my Olympus Tough 8010 to 12 seconds, set the camera to P, pressed the shutter button and carefully slid the camera to the centre of the sink base. The flash eventually popped, I retrieved the camera and after giving it a rinse and dry, downloaded the image. Here is the result:
Every year around the same time, Sydney hosts an event known as ‘Sculptures by the Sea’ along the cliff tops from Bondi Beach to Tamaramma Beach.
As the name suggests, sculptures of all shapes and sizes are displayed along the walk. Here are two sculptures which nicely fit our days theme,’Interact with a Surface.’
That’s yours truly in blue with the camera. This little group people were standing about 20 metres from the sculpture.
The following clever sculpture captured the reflection of passers in various places around its body.
At Canberra’s annual spring Floriade garden festival visitors can expect the unexpected and 2015 was no exception. The following two images show people physically interacting with a surface and the resultant image showing up on an almost vertical screen.
This next image shows my own reflection in the highly polished front wheel of a Harley Davidson Fat Boy as I made the shot.
Now along the lines of selfies, here I am in riding regalia with She Who Must Be Obeyed, aboard a ferry when we were en route to a motor cycle rally in Victoria. The highly polished windows made for a great reflection. Our Harley’s were safely stowed below on the car deck.
Just recently whilst driving to a nearby town, we came across a farmer herding a mob of sheep along the road. We pulled over to let them pass and some of the sheep were nicely showing in the rear vision mirror. Thankfully the iPhone was handy and here is the result.
As nude selfies are all the rage, why should I miss out. The other morning as I emerged from the shower I thought I saw a ghost in the bathroom mirror.
Dripping wet, I rushed to my office, grabbed a camera and here is the result. Fortunately modesty was not an issue. After all, I’m no Paris Hilton.
On a recent shoot of motorcycles and bike paraphernalia, I saw, though the lens that I was reflected in a helmet. I grabbed the shot and find the result quite interesting after cropping out other bike related bits and pieces.
The following image is one of my favourites. We were happy to have ‘Robert’, an American Staffy as a house guest for a while not so long ago. One morning Robert was giving me the eye, reminding me that it was walk time.
As usual, with dog and camera we wandered off to the river for some exercise and in Robert’s case a swim and a play. I had the camera ready for his return and as he sat to say thank you, looking up at me with his paws on my feet I saw my reflection in his eye and here it is.
I went a bit overboard with Photoshop but I like the result and that’s the way its going to stay.
So there we are, another day down and only three to go. What fun.
Cropping can be an essential component in the post processing stage of image presentation. For example, a specific element of an image may emerge as the most salient point and needs to be displayed as an individual image. This is where cropping is essential.
However, as we are learning in Developing Your Eye, it is necessary to not only look at what we are photographing but also to really see it.
This is where we all need to develop our skills in composition.
The following images illustrate that point.
The full frame image doesn’t have the impact of the cropped version.
The following full frame landscape view of Chambers Pillar and its companion outcrops is an interesting image.
However in cropped form, the Pillar looks even more enticing.
The following landscape shows the ruins of the historic Pommeroy Flour Mill not far from where I live. I made this image for a competition where ‘leading lines’ was the subject.
However, the historic mill itself is really the dominant feature of the image as demonstrated in the following crop.
The following image shows how infrastructure development in residential areas makes for interesting photography. At the same time, the telegraph pole, conveniently situate in the middle of the frame presents a perfect point from which to crop the image to emphasise the size of the machinery being used.
Of the two options, the copse of trees on the left side could be a distraction where the background hillside on the right has no distractions and that was my choice.
This ‘tired and emotional’ spectator chose to relax in the arena during a gymkhana.
In the cropped version the spectator looks even more relaxed.
The arena just happened to be in the dry bed of the Todd River in Alice Springs, Central Australia. The Control Tower signage is a classic example Territorian humour.
Now just in case the sign’s nomenclature offends, a judicious crop has saved the day.
In closing it’s important to note that the higher the resolution of the original image, the more detail and greater size you can obtain in most crops.
Die hard 35mm film photographers will happily tell you that capturing movement on 35mm film was always a test of skill, technical know how and lots of practise.
Nothing has changed with modern digital cameras and post processing programs, skill and technical know how are still a prerequisite for successful images of movement.
Cycling is a popular sport in my home town I thought local cyclists would be a great chance to capture some of them in motion.
Motor vehicles make great subjects for movement images and I made the following images of motor vehicles as they passed by our house. By emphasising the cars’ movement their speed appears greater than it really was.
Flocks of native birds regularly visit our yard and provide many photographic opportunities. Here are two images of the birds in flight showing different methods of capturing movement.
The first image was made using a Lens Baby Composer lens. This lens enables your selected image point to be clear with the balance of the image blurred.
The following image is one of my favourites showing movement. I was sitting having coffee in the Queen Victoria Building over Town Hall railway station in Sydney. In the stainless steel plating under an adjacent escalator I noticed reflections of pedestrians moving through the underground entrance to the railway station.
I made the following image by photographing a reflection in the stainless steel.
The more we seek, the more we generally find, particularly with leading lines.
Many man made leading lines often lead into the natural world and sometimes create a question or two in the viewer’s mind. Here’s an example in the Abercrombie National Park, Southern New South Wales.
Then there are leading lines made by the passing of human feet over thousands of years.
From time to time, it’s necessary to follow a man made leading line, complete with stone pile markers in order to get safely to your destination.
Sometimes, the leading lines are just tyre tracks. She Who Must Be Obeyed took the following shot during one moment of my motorcycle mania.
In the image below, there are two distinct leading lines. The faint one in the left foreground is the foot pad leading to the rim of the Wolf Creek Meteorite site IN West Australia. The distinct one leading towards the horizon is the vehicular track leading out of the area. The small dot to the right of the tree in the middle of the image is our Landrover.
Fences make great leading lines, as do roads. When they appear to merge their combined effect really concentrates the eye.
The walls, floor and ceiling of tunnels make multiple leading lines and the effect of parallax makes for interesting image making.
Be patient now, only three more man made images of leading lines to go.
Today’s challenge was great as it meant there was no need to venture outside into the atrocious weather we are experiencing as winter takes its grip on our southern highlands town.
In our garage sit our two long wheel base Landrovers. Inside the house sits our collection of Landrover scale models.
Firstly, here are three scale model Landrovers. Looking from left to right,their dimensions are:
1 6 and 1/2″ x 2 and 1/2″
2 4″ x 1 and 1 and 1/2″
3 2″ x 3/4″
Now, the two long wheel base Landrovers in the garage each measure 181″ long by 70.5″ wide.
One is green, the other is brown. As the smallest of the model Landrovers is also green, it was the logical choice for an experiment with size and scale.
Here is the visual result of the 3/4 inch front width model Landy, sitting on the what we call the bull bar on the Landrover Defender’s 70.5″ front width.
I think the scale ratio is about 94 to 1.
Apart from the colour, I chose the smallest model in order to make the real Landrover look absolutely enormous by comparison. I think I was quite successful.
For the curious, the greyish tapering cylinder on the right of the image is the base of our HF radio transceiver. This radio with its long range capacity is a vital piece of safety equipment when we travel into the isolated and basically trackless areas in Australia’s vast, largely unpopulated arid interior.
Our Australian Communications and Media Authority issues us with a Radiocommunications Apparatus Licence and lists our licence type as an Outpost non assigned appliance. I believe the non assigned tag means that our outpost is mobile. Sounds great don’t you reckon.