DEVELOPING YOUR EYE PART II – MYSTERY – MANIPULATING LIGHT.

My approach to today’s activity has been to divide my images into two groups. Firstly, images where artificial night light has illuminated the subject and secondly where the beauty of natural light takes centre stage.

Here goes with group one, all taken in and from our town’s central park.

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THE ROTUNDA

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LOOKING TOWARDS A TRUCK’S MOVEMENT ON THE MAIN STREET
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THE SERVICES CLUB’S EVER CHANGING  ILLUMINATIONS
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THE HISTORIC COURT HOUSE ENTRANCE

Now for the natural light illumination of the subjects.

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A RARE COVERING OF SNOW TAKEN FROM OUR FRONT VERANDAH ONE DAY IN JUNE.
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LIGHT AND SHADE OVER PURPLE PATERSONS CURSE IN THE FLINDERS RANGES, SOUTH AUSTRALIA.

Hoo roo until tomorrow.

DEVELOPING YOUR EYE PART II -DAY 1-WARMTH-THE QUALITY OF LIGHT.

Natural light is my favourite source for illuminating the subject to be photographed, be it portrait, architecture, landscape or sport.

In today’s series of images I thought I’d add some of the settings I used for those of you interested in the technical side of things.

Sometimes sunlight creates extraordinary effects and if you are fortunate enough to have your camera at hand when this takes place, interesting images are possible.

I saw from my office window that the afternoon sum was creating a soft glow surrounding the house across the road. I grabbed my camera, fitted the appropriate lens and stepped out onto our front veranda to make an image. Talk about being ‘Johnny on the spot’ as the saying goes. In the few minutes since seeing the soft glow, a magnificent rainbow had suddenly appeared across the road and the light was extraordinary. Here is the shot made with my zoom set at 12mm, 1/80 sec, f4, ISO 100.  Notice that the two steel poles in  the right side of the foreground are not perpendicular. This is  caused by lens aberration in the  optics of an extremely wide angle lens. I chose not to correct this using Photoshop. RAINBOW copy 3

The next image was taken just as the sun set on the Sculpture Garden situate on a hill side just out of Broken Hill in outback New South Wales.  With the camera on a tripod and my zoom lens set at 24mm, I made the shot at 1/20th sec at f16, ISO 100.

The sculptures are bathed in natural light , particularly  at dawn and sunset.

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The main display area in the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery is bathed in natural light courtesy of large skylights situate at salient points in the roof.

The following image, which speaks for itself, was illuminated purely by the light from the skylights that flooded across it. I made this shot using  my zooms set at 24mm, 1/80th second at f4, ISO 100.

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This final image shows the afternoon light pouring in through the stained glass windows of the ‘Nurses Chapel’ of the old Prince Henry Hospital,  perched on the cliffs overlooking Little Bay and the Pacific Ocean in one of Sydney’s southern suburbs._DSC0014 copy 3

In this image I’m  particularly  attracted to the fact that through the lower section of the window, one can see the surf breaking  on the rocks at the base of the cliff.

In making this image I again used the zoom set at 24mm , 1/160th sec at f6.3, ISO 100

It will be fun to see what tomorrow’s challenge brings.

Hoo roo for now.

DEVELOPING YOUR EYE – DAY 10-ARCHITECTURE- GO MONOCHROME.

Monochrome photography has always fascinated me, right from the days when I first started to use a camera. I still make monochrome images, either using film ( rarely these days) or by switching my DSLR to record in monochrome. Conversion using Photoshop is also often used.

Some years ago, I sent a Nikon DSLR to Life Pixel Infrared in Mukilteo, USA and had it converted to only record images in infra red. It’s a fascinating alternative to pure monochrome, particularly for landscapes and architecture.

 

My home town is blessed with two magnificent cathedrals. Because of its location St Saviours Cathedral is favoured by photographers  as it is surrounded by open space. Here is an example in infra red. Note that IR renders greens as white.st xaviours & wollondilly_0044 copy3

St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney is another favoured photographic capture, this one again in infra red.

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My Harley Davidson made a great subject for a monochrome capture and although not strictly architecture its form shows structured curves, angles and shapes.

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Bridges too make great subjects for monochrome like this bridge over the Parramatta River in, Parramatta. Not IR this time. A capture in colour and converted to Monochrome thanks to Photoshop CC.

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Similarly, this image of the High Court of Australia,located in Canberra, our Nation’s Capital is a colour capture converted to mono thanks to Photoshop CC.photo L1010117 copy 3

The Man in the Moon makes a great fun monochrome image, again thanks to Photoshop CC’s conversion from colour.

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Finally,  I made this image during a hunting trip a little over 50 years ago.

Sitting in front of this primitive wattle and daub hut, a good example of primitive early Australian architecture, the thought that many years later I would be using the  image could not have been further from my mind, let alone comprehension.

I scanned the negative and created a JPEG copy. As an aside, I’m always amazed when I review my old negative and slide files and see how they have not deteriorated with the passing of time.  I wonder if our digital images will last the distance.

By the way, I was  a youth of tender years when my camera on the tripod recorded me and my rifles, both of different calibre, one a point 22 and the other point 222 for longer range shots.

The skin on the wall is that of a male red kangaroo. The property owner had a National Parks and Wildlife permit to shoot 800 kangaroos that year and I was his principal marksman.

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Well now,  ten days of developing our eyes has come to an end. I  enjoyed the challenge and I think I’ll sign up for the second phase. I hope you do to.

 

Hoo roo till next time

DEVELOPING YOUR EYE- DAY 9- A POP OF COLOUR.

Today is a bleak, cold and rainy day so I determined not to venture outside seeking a colourful door or something similar to photograph for todays challenge.

Here at Casa Creaking Bones, our colour choices revolve around autumn tones. However in the sewing room of She Who Must Be Obeyed I thought I may find some fabric hidden away that was bright enough to meet the criteria of ‘A Pop of Colour.’

Imagine my delight when I finally located almost a whole bolt of striking, multi colour, in your face fabric which I immediately snuck out into my Man Cave.

Then, woe is me, I read all of today’s instructions and discovered that I should,’ Keep it simple, experiment with only one colour.’

Back to the drawing board as the saying goes.

The sock drawer was my salvation. Only one colour. Red.

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Looking around for another popping colour I found this cap which also fits the bill, including my head.

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Harley Davidson also care for a rider’s posterior, not only on the bike but also when  relaxing in a favoured armchair. Here is a colour popping Harley logo from  one of my favourite cushions.

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Now that I’ve strayed from the  ‘One Colour’ instruction, I reckon I can safely show you the fabric I sneaked from the sewing room.

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The fabric is now safely back where it belongs and it will be interesting to find out to what use it will be put by SWMBO.

Now there is only one more day to go with this fun assignment so, see you tomorrow.

Hoo roo.

 

DEVELOPING YOUR EYE – DAY 8- TREASURE.

As time goes by, the value of some treasures increase, whilst others decrease.

For example, many years ago, prior to 0ur umpteenth house move, my parents decided to get rid of trinkets, mementos and documents they deemed to be of little or no sentimental value.

I just wish I had them now. Perhaps that is one experiences from my youth that has turned me into a bower bird. I find it extremely difficult to discard anything of a personal nature and, come to think of it, discard anything at all.

So you can imagine my dilemma when faced with making a selection of ‘Treasure’ when I’m surrounded by the things I deem to be ‘My Treasures.’

On reflection I thought that as my father has been dead for fifty years this year I’d use  ‘Treasures’ that formed a bond between the two of us.

My Dad was a chain smoker, there was always a ‘smoke’  between his lips from morning till late at night. He always kept his ‘smokes’ in his favourite cigarette case and I photographed it just a few minutes ago.

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It bears the image of a wolf, appropriate as Dad’s nick name was’The Lone Wolf’ as, according to friends who knew him he preferred the company of books to that of people.

Religion and music also played an important part in my dad’s life. He found the Church to be a haven where his fine tenor voice and keyboard skills on both organ and piano where utilised to the full by the local clergy from quite a number of denominations.

Dad tried for years to get me to take up smoking, singing, musical instrument and the Church but failed miserably.

As a lay preacher in the Church of England, he was bitterly disappointed that I only attended church when the regular parson was absent and Dad took the service. Strangely too, when Dad was practising his sermon on me it felt like punishment, not deliverance.

So, by the time I was twenty one and left home, I was sick and tired of Latin, Greek,Hebrew, French and German( the latter two from my Mother) and religion.

I knew of course that my father was a practising Mason and one day out of curiosity when visiting, I asked him to explain to me what was the attraction of freemasonry.

By the time he had finished I was convinced that Masonry was for me.

A few years later I joined Dad at his Sydney Lodge and eventually became a fully fledged Mason.

Now most people know that Masonry has a firm basis in religion and I found its application in the Lodge satisfying.

As a fresh faced Mason I was presented with a Holy Bible and it has become one of my great treasures. It sits proudly in my book case alongside my Dad’s and my Father in Law’s. Here they are together. 161907_0003 copy 3

Dad’s bible is on the left, mine in the centre and my Father in Law’s on the right.

I get a really nice feeling when, from time to time, I look in Dad’s bible instead of mine for a reference . That’s probably why mine looks in such pristine condition.

I held onto Dad’s regalia too and it sits, together with mine, and, in a way keeping us both close over the years.

Mine’s only fifty years old and Dad’s must be well over 90 years. You can see from the following photograph that mine shows little or no sign of wear but that’s a story for another day.

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Dad’s.

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Mine.

So, there we are, three of my treasures from days gone by.

 

Hoo roo until tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

DEVELOPING YOUR EYE – DAY 7- BIG

Big suits the Australian psyche. We like all manner of things that are big.

We like big sharks, big bridges, big rivers, big animals, big mines, big machinery, big lizards, big deserts, big cattle stations, big skies and of course, big footballers.

Many Australian towns like to exhibit the big things they are famous for.

Coffs Harbour is famous for its banana production, so it has the Big Banana. Adaminiby in the Snowy Mountains is famous for its trout fishing so of course, it has the Big Trout. Then there is the Big Orange.

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Then there are the big cattle stations.

The Kidman Pastoral Company holdings run to 101,000 square kilometres. That equates to a mere 38,996.31 square miles, roughly a shade more ground than twice the size of Switzerland.

Then there is Davenport Downs Station in Queensland. It only runs to 490,624 hectares or 1,212, 358.31 acres.

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Now for many years, Australia prided itself as being’Home on the Sheeps Back’ and the Merino sheep was a sure prize winner. The popularity of synthetics has put a dent in wool prices but in my home town, the sheep is still a good earner. So much so that we have the Big Merino looking down on us as you enter town from the south.

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As winter approached the local Knitters Guild got together and knitted “Rambo’ as he is affectionally known a giant scarf.

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It took a bit of effort to dress ‘Rambo’ but it was worth the wait. Even from a bit of a distance he looks impressive.

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Now you might ask, why a Merino Ram. There are lots of other breeds in the district. The answer could possibly be found some years back when a local marino fine wool producer achieved a world record price of A$ 2,690 per kilo at auction.When you think that the average weight of a bale of wool is 204 kilos, that bale brought in a lot of money .

Now our town is not satisfied with just a Big Merino. Oh no, we have a Big Snail too. We did have two of them but a tree fell on one and rendered it the way most of us prefer garden snails. This is the survivor in its original spot.

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However the powers that be decided that the snail needed another home and mysteriously one night it crawled up to the local art gallery and positioned itself on the concrete right next door. No wonder it looks miserable. Not a blade of grass to be seen.IMG_0793 copy 3

As I mentioned earlier, we like big things here in the Land Down Under. Take this ant hill for example.DSC_0029 copy 3

Termites made this little beauty  on the side of the Plenty Highway which runs from the Northern Territory in to Queensland. That’s 5 foot ten inches of She Who Must Be Obeyed giving you the idea of the hight of the mound.

Then of course there is Australia’s favourite mesa, Mt Connor in the Northern Territory, often mistaken by first time visitors for Uluru (Ayers Rock as it was once known) which is located some miles further along the highway.

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Then we have our big rock collection called the Bungle Bungles located in West Australia.

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Yes, that’s me looking inconspicuous.

Then or course, we have some big holes, take Wolf Creek Meteorite site in West Australia for example. Imagine the noise and destruction as the meteorite struck the ground. I can tell it takes a lot of energy to walk from one side of the crater to the other. Then you have to walk back, scale the crater rim and then walk back to your four wheel drive.

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Now I mentioned our love of big rivers. That includes rivers like the Finke River in South Australia that is dry more often than it is flowing . I grabbed this shot where some wag had stuck a kids bike frame right in the middle of the crossing. Like everyone else I drove round it and left it for the amusement of others.DSC_0082 copy 3

Then of course there is my obsession with outback Australia where we can find a ‘Whole big lot of bugger all.’

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However, there are plenty of living things that have adapted and thrived in our arid outback. Take this goanna or Perentie to give it its proper name.DSC_0070 copy 3

This bloke was a shade under 6 foot long and was on his way to find a decent sun baking spot when we stopped to take the ‘Whole Lot of Bugger All’ photo.

Now the goanna was fortunate that he didn’t leave his track crossing until a little later because big rigs don’t stop out in this area for anything. This big bloke rattled past in a big heap of dust with just a toot on his air horn.

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There are some really big dangerous critters lurking around northern Australia  including our Salt Water Crocodiles that account annually for quite a number of deaths among the unwary who venture into their territory. There are signs everywhere warning about them but fortunately, the fresh water crocks are not so dangerous. This bloke, a shade over 7 foot long was sunning himself/herself beside a creek crossing on Mt Stanford Station in the north of West Australia so I pulled up and grabbed this image as the big bloke slipped under the greenery floating on the still water.Croc near the road at Mt Stanford Station copy 3

It amused me as the crock kept an eye on me as I took the shot. With the camera of course. All of these beauties, salties included are protected.

We are fortunate or unfortunate, depending on your outlook, in Australia to have one of the worlds largest mobs of wild camels. In the Northern Territory they are in plague proportions and popup everywhere. This inquisitive beauty was fascinated by our Landrover near our camp at Chambers Pillar in South Australia.

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Chambers Pillar is a magnificent, big, rocky outcrop used by early explorers as aid to navigation. What a great big shapely rock.

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My excuse for being so longwinded and bombarding you with eighteen images is simply because todays subject is BIG.

It was a BIG but enjoyable task selecting the images and I must confess that the only image I took today is of the snail in the courtyard. Used the iPhone too, Not my BIG Nikon.

So, hoo roo till tomorrow.

 

DEVELOPING YOUR EYE -DAY 6-SOLITUDE.

In capturing today’s subject, solitude, it is suggested in the blurb that we consider the Rule of Thirds when composing the image.

One of the great rules of photography is that the rules were made to be broken and I follow that mantra in the majority of my compositions. That’s the reason the salient features of my images are generally in the middle of the frame.

You may also have noticed that many of my images contain what some may describe as scenes of desolation, uninhabited semi desert country and more brown than green.

That’s probably because like one of Australia’s favourite poets, Dorothea MacKellar,  ‘I Iove a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains.’

Today I’m happy to comply with the Rule of Thirds and also break away from my excessive ‘Wide Brown Land’ imagery.

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On a ride through the Flinders Ranges in South Australia I was fascinated by the wild flowers growing in profusion along the roadside and felt compelled to make to this image.

Rule of Thirds, certainly,  wide brown land, not a trace.

Solitude, absolutely. That’s one of the great benefits of riding solo.

 

Hoo roo for now

 

 

 

 

DEVELOPING YOUR EYE- DAY5-CONNECT.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines ‘connect’ this way;

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As we are ‘developing our eyes,’ instead of scanning the Oxford’s page, I photographed it using the micro setting on my little Leica Dlux 6, set the aperture at 1.4, and made the image at 1/20th second, ISO 100. In RAW of course.

Combined with todays WordPress blurb, and the Oxford definition, ‘connect’ provides us with a multitude of options and my choices begin with bridges:

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This is the highway and pedestrian bridge crossing Lake Burley Griffin from  the centre of Canberra City to the nations’s Parliament House, the roof of which can be seen in the background between the two spans.

Next we have the bridges over the Wollondilly River, just down the road from our place.

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This is a great example of ‘connect’ as we have road traffic and a pedestrian walkway on the bridge and overhead, power lines, connecting electricity  to both sides of the river.

Now not all bridges are created equal and this primitive version serves it’s purpose. It’s hidden away in one of our nearby National Parks.

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Then for a variation on the bridge theme, here is a cross water  bridge in the form of a ferry on Sydney Harbour connecting  the City of Sydney and Manly.

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Of course, electrical connections can’t be neglected as they are vital to our life style and what can be more important that an extension cord:

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Then there is a further connection between our feathered friends and ourselves:

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As I was standing outside making the shot of the orange extension cord contrasted against the green grass, one of our resident Magpies popped over, just to connect with the activity.  If you look at the lower edge of the image you can see my toes. No other snacks were on offer.

Now perhaps, apart from face to face connection and ignoring emails, Facebook and the other electronic means of impersonal connection, the poor old telephone remains as our  premier person to person connection.

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This one of ours gets a workout and it is conveniently placed next to a vast whiteboard where we note down connections we must make as a result of the calls.

Most of our calls relate to actual human connection and my share usually relate to activities involving my motorcycling mates:

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Here are a few of the boys, waiting for sunrise on a chilly, windswept hill a few miles from the inland mining city of Broken Hill. Those of you who follow my blog will make the connection.

On the ride to the Hill that year there was a slight disagreement over dinner at our motel. It’s cause, who knows, but the following morning all was forgotten and the boys connected in a most unlikely ‘biker’ way.

 

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The boys  weren’t aware I had camera in hand until it was too late. The spontaneous reconnection was recorded for their later amusement.

Hoo roo for now

DEVELOPING YOUR EYE-DAY 4-BLISS

Back in the 1970’s there was a very popular add on radio and TV celebrating four of Australia’s favourite passions

FOOTBALL,

KANGAROOS,

MEAT PIES, AND

HOLDEN CARS

in a catchy ditty.

40 years on and the first three are still major part of the national psyche.  Unfortunately, GMH will soon cease production of the Holden car.

I googled the old ditty this morning and listening to it brought back a flood of memories, including a reminder that one of the lines included the words’ Meat pies and tomato sauce, same again for the second course.’

So, for lunch today  She Who Must Be Obeyed and I enjoyed nice hot ,’Meat Pies with Tomato Sauce.’

For the second course I hoed into  an apple pie with vanilla and mango ice-cream. SWEBO abstained from such gluttony.

Knowing it would be absolute bliss munching into the pies with lashings of tomato sauce followed by the apple pie and its topping, I made images of both and here they are, absolute bliss indeed.

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Hoo roo until tomorrow.

DEVELOPING YOUR EYE-DAY 3 -WATER

Todays challenge invites participants to make a vertical and a horizontal image of the same scene. I interpret vertical and horizontal images in my photography as portrait and landscape orientation respectively but today I’ll use the words used in todays instruction.

Both of the following images were taken from a road bridge over the Wollondilly River just a couple of hundred metres from our house.

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You can see from the position of the walker with the dogs that there was a short delay between the making of each image. This is because  heavy vehicles crossing the bridge create significant vibration in the bridge’s ratings.

The lighting was poor at the time I made the images and my shutter speeds of 1/40th at f11 required me to brace my arms against the railings. Accordingly I had to wait until the vibrations ceased before I could take the second shot.

I prefer the vertical image as its orientation gives a more accurate sense of scale to this section of the Wollondilly River.

Hoo roo until tomorrow.