Learning Takes Time

Drying Billabong

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.

kim

 

Unexpected Tension

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Come outside. Quickly.

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.

kim.

A Good Sunset, Again…

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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.

kim

A historic day

FUJIFILM314-07-17KLC_Fuji_X-Pro1 july 2017_2017_DSCF2267I 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.

Kim.

There Is Such Beauty In The Sky…

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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.

kim.

In A Hurry…

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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.

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Digital Creations

Cairns rainforest panorama Painting

One thing that is nice about digital photography is the plethora of options available to post process images & the ease of obtaining the software & learning how to use it. I mostly stick to using CaptureOne, but every so often I like to ‘play’ with an image to see what else can be done with it.

In the case of the above photo I’ve used Corel’s Paint It to convert a panoramic iPhone photo into a water colour sketch. On becoming a water colour sketch the fine detail in the photo is lost, though I still feel it conveys a sense of the location.

The sketch also provides inspiration. I’m slowly teaching myself how to use water colours; my preference is water colour sketching. Perhaps one day I won’t need software to create this kind of look. Although the beauty of Paint It is I’m not limited to water colours. There is among others oil painting & pastels, two things I know I’ll never learn. Transforming my photos to digital paintings will suffice.

Kim

Construction On My Mind

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The construction of our new home has provided me with a lot of unexpected photographic opportunities. I initially thought that my photos of the build would be of documentary style only, showing progress as the house is built.

However I’ve found ample there has been opportunity to get creative with my photos. The strong lines of the house frame has provided me with a couple of fruitful photographic shoots, one of which I’ve already blogged about.

These two photos were taken after I’d mown our lawn (and weeds!) last Sunday. The garage slab had been poured then topped with water so it didn’t dry too quickly. I sat in the house & noticed the shadows cast by the frame. I took advantage of having my phone & took some photos.

Documentary style photography of the house build is important to me; this type of creative photography is proving to be equally important. It provides another way of looking at something that might seem mundane.

Kim

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Reaching For The Sky

fullsizerenderMy home is surrounded by a table grape vineyard. I enjoy keeping an eye on the progress of the vines throughout the year. They go from being heavily laden with bunches of grapes, to being empty of fruit as its snipped off by workers, then slowly as the season changes the leaves begin to fall, leaving bare branches. Long, woody & bent in weird ways, I love the architectural look they produce. Eventually they get cut short and tidied up, and in what feels to me like a blink of an eye green shoots start appearing, and a new cycle of growth begins.

I amazed by how quickly the vines grow. And by their tenacity. The vines behind my back yard fence grow up and over my fence, draping downwards, growing along the ground. I leave them there, because although there are no bunches of grapes on them, they are covered in leaves that are a beautiful shade of green. And they also provide a little bit of shade; at the right time of day my dogs happily take refuge in it or go looking for critters hiding among the leaves.

It feels to me like the vines in this photo are growing so much they are trying to reach for the sky. Of an evening, when the colours produced by the sunset are just right (which thankfully is more often than not), I like to take a moment to stop & drink in the beautiful view.

Unfortunately the view has now changed. The vines have been covered in plastic wrap to protect the still growing grapes. Lots of white plastic isn’t pretty, & of course it’s stopped those vines from reaching for the sky. I look forward to next season when I can get back to capturing photos like this.

Kim