This weekend past saw me in Melbourne holidaying with a newer friend. When packing I decided not to pack my camera. My thought process being that I wanted to focus on relaxing, instead of feeling like I “had” to use my camera. Of course as we pounded the pavement of Melbourne’s CBD on Saturday the urge to capture the scenes that caught my eye was strong. I took out my iPhone with the intent of using it as my camera.
Weirdly enough I found myself stuck. I couldn’t use it. I felt ridiculous, wanting to use my iPhone in lieu of the camera I didn’t have. So I put it away. I replayed this in my mind that evening as I was trying to fall asleep. Without a camera in hand I felt exposed. Yet I have read probably hundreds of articles over the years about photographers who exclusively use their camera phones. Surely if they can then I can too? Everywhere we went people were using their phones for one thing or another.
So on Sunday I vowed to try again. This time it felt a little easier, I guess because I’d talked myself into letting go of the unease. I took photos that I’m happy with. Which is really all I want from my photography. I want to makes images I’m happy with, that I can hang on my walls to admire. Preferably with my camera as it seems I’m more comfortable using it as a device to capture things than I am with my iPhone.
This is a photo from 12 months ago that I found today whilst looking for another photo. As often happens.
I like that its in black and white. The blue colour of the sky wasn’t dramatic enough for me. Shooting in black and white is one of the things I love about my X-Pro1. Whilst I feel that I can see how a photo will look in black and white it’s nice to be able to look through the view finder as I’m taking a photo and see how it will appear as a black and white image.
Having only spent the past four years or so falling back in love with photography there has been a lot of catching up to do. Most of it has centred around post processing. I grew up with film photography. When digital photography became an option it was, for me, prohibitively expensive. I couldn’t justify the expense of moving to digital when my film cameras were continuing to service my needs.
Once I felt the need to take photographs again my cheap, dated pocket digital camera would not cut it. Eventually settling on a Fujifilm X-Pro1 I rapidly fell in love again with photography. However I was unsure how to go about processing my images. Following a recommendation from a long admired professional photographer as well as researching the options I finally settled on CaptureOne Pro and Aurora HDR.
It has taken a lot of time for me to feel like I am finally ‘getting’ digital post processing. I’ve watched a lot of CaptureOne & Aurora tutorials, reading and re-reading their user guides upteem times. It took me a long time to get over the fear of ruining a photo by editing it ‘wrong.’ I’ve embraced the fact that if I get any element of an edit wrong it can be undone. That’s certainly more freeing than dodging and burning in the dark room which could also be done wrong.
Buying a new iMac last year has also gone a long way towards being able to see my photos properly. I’m now going through old photos – like the one above taken in 2015 – and seeing there is a lot of photos that are actually ok.
Moving fast, trying to breathe life into something that should have given up a long time ago.
Back and forth. dashing here, there. Spraying something cold. It fires. then stops. Again. this cycle is repeated.
I see the tension pulsing through his body. Tamping down an underlying anger. This is not what he wants, not now. Now he should be relaxing. Not this.
I expect him to yell, can see it rising up inside. Not yelling at me. Yelling at the car. At life. At the world.
He contains it. Pushes it down. I watch as he takes control of his body, stopping it from doing what it wants.
How does he do that? Has his breathing changed? Perhaps. I’m not sure. I go to ask but hesitate. Will that make things worse? I let the question go.
Success. The engine turns over and this time stays running.
It sounds terrible. My untrained ears know this. It doesn’t sound like it used to. When it was not so old. I cannot describe it but it is a sound I have unconsciously came to know.
Now it sounds unwell. Old. He knows this but doesn’t mention it. Instead, as the engine continues to run he guides me to see what he’s found under the hood. It’s not the problem he thought was there but something else. It’s a good thing this knowledge as now he knows exactly what to replace.
I think perhaps, he is happier. Relieved. But tired.
The part can be replaced. The car will continue to function. Not as it was; its much too old for that. But for long enough to see him through until a replacement can be found.
This evenings sunset was a stunner. The sunsets over the past few evenings have been bland, with little colour in the sky, although the sun has reminded me of a large burning ball, which i guess it kind of is.
However this one was a show stopper. At the end of a long, tiring day, I walked into the tiny bathroom of our apartment, where a glowing pink light washed the walls. I knew immediately I had to step outside to see what the sky was doing. I was literally stopped in my tracks. With a view of the above, it’s little wonder. I like to see what the sky is doing at any given point in the day (not only at sunset or rise), so when a show like this is on display my heart races a little bit. I grabbed the closest photographic device I had, namely my iPad Pro.
Yes, I sometimes take photos with my iPad. I know certain people think this is crazy, but I’d rather get a photo, than miss out all together. If I’d have taken the time to get my camera out, find the missing plate for my tripod, put it on the camera, attached the tripod & headed back outside I’d have likely missed the majority of what was on offer.
I realise this points to my unorganised-ness (is that a word?) but still I was outside, enjoying the beauty around me & got a few photos while I was at it. Far better than sitting around inside, ruing not being organised enough. One day I will be. For now I’ll enjoy photographing with whatever’s at hand during those quick one off situations like a stunning sunset.
I recently had the pleasure of being onboard the PS Melbourne with over 120 other passengers and crew as she cruised along the Murray River making her way to Wentworth, in doing so leaving the Murray River & entering the waters of the Darling River. The day trip starting at 8am & finishing at 4:30pm was thought to be PS Melbourne’s first time cruising this route since becoming a passenger boat many years ago.
The day had quite the historic feel about it, with many of the passengers reminiscing about their first cruise onboard the PS Melbourne or the time they first met the man who made the Melbourne the popular tourist boat she is today, Mr Alby Pointon. Commentary provided by the Captains also pointed out historic things relevant to both the Melbourne & its owners.
Mr Pointon’s Granddaughter Ashton Kreuzer had the idea to run this cruise to kick off weekend celebrations at the Wentworth Junction Rally.
Ashton did an outstanding job, ensuring passengers were well fed, provided with coffee, tea or hot chocolate to keep the cold air at bay and be entertained with art & music.
As I’ve mentioned before it is not often that I find myself on the water, so I took the opportunity to make the most of it by taking my camera kit with me. Cruising at the slow pace the Melbourne takes afforded me the time to not only enjoy the scenery but to capture scenes ordinarily not seen by myself.
However the above photo was taken in the minutes before the Melbourne left the banks of the Murray where she was moored. Sometimes these moments of ordinariness are as important as those that are more historic. Here she is, the PS Melbourne doing what she does more often than not: taking on passengers who will for the first time or the upteenth time be settling in for a journey on the Murray enjoying the tranquility on offer by travelling at a much slower pace. It captures the beginning of another journey -albeit this day was more historic than most.
I can’t seem to stop looking at the sky. And not just at sunrise or sunset. Some pretty amazing skies happen during the middle of the day too.
Clouds that streak across the sky, stretched out as though they are trying to reach from one side of earth to the other.
Or large dark clouds, heavy with rain that doesn’t fall here. Or fluffy white clouds, that promise nothing but beauty.
Beacuse of the beauty in the sky, and for other reasons too I’ve decided to put my camera bag in the car with me when I go anywhere, even to work. Sometimes the most stunning sky presents itself after a fitfull night sleep or after a hectic work day. So now my camera will be on hand to help me remember the beauty.
Towards the end of the day last Thursday I found myself in an all to common situation. Having finished work & grocery shopped, I literally had five minutes at home to get changed, feed my dogs & cover the bird cage before heading out to a flex class. Hurriedly I dashed outside to cover the birds. As I got to their cage I looked up to see the sun setting, creating a section of sky that looked like it was alight.
My brain kicked into overdrive – telling me I had to capture what I saw. At the same time I knew i didn’t have time to get my camera, put it on the tripod, ensure I had the right lens on & then finally take some photos. I knew however this was not going to happen. All I could do was reach for the ever present iPhone, currently residing in my pocket & be content with the results.
After taking a couple of photos I turned to dash back inside, only to be greeted by a double rainbow on the opposite side of the sky. Granted, the second rainbow was faint but it was clearly there.
I knew I had to photograph it, and knew the clock was ticking. So again I used my iPhone, this time taking a panorama as well as standard photos. This was clearly a situation where the best camera is the one you have on you statement rang true.
The resulting photos certainly aren’t as good as they could’ve been, but considering the circumstances I’m happy that I managed to get what I did. If only time could be on my side every now & again.