Noticing The Details

As every photographer who is trying to photograph something that qualifies as tourist related knows, it can be difficult to photograph a thing in a way that isn’t commonly seen. I suspect in many cases when taking photos for a client they don’t necessarily want something overtly different, particularly if the image is in some ways abstract in the context of the larger thing. Luckily for me my client, whose family own three paddle vessels, doesn’t mind me attempting to capture the unnoticed details of their vessels.

I was drawn to this rope, wound as it is, awaiting possible use. I felt compelled to capture it. I still quite can’t voice why it is that I like it.

It could be because it’s not something I imagine when I think about paddle vessels. It could be that I know the rope and metal were at one point in a natural state unrelated to the finished product I see.

Perhaps I don’t need an explanation as to why I like it. It simply exists as something that I appreciate. And might actually print and hang on my wall.

A Black & White Setting Sun

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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.

Uncovering Knowledge

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Recently things aligned in my life to allow me to attend a photo walk that I’d been hoping to get to for over 12 months. Not living in the city the photo walk is held in was the biggest hurdle for my attendance.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was excited at the prospect of stretching myself photographically and learning a thing or two. It is not often I get two hours of dedicated photography time. I love the vibrancy of Melbourne at night but I rarely get to experience it with a camera in hand.

As our guides began going over their recommendations for shooting at night I realised I knew what they were talking about. Discussions of camera settings, rules to stick to & ones to break, I knew this stuff . I learnt it a long time ago. I simply hadn’t had the chance to concentrate on photographing life at night so that knowledge had been filed away. Thankfully the realisation of this simply increased my excitement. I slipped into the zone and pretty soon was surprised to find the two hours were up. The photo walk was done. The key now is to utilise that knowledge, practicing often so I don’t forget.

Kim.

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

 

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.

A Closer View

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Here is another instance where being on foot has allowed me to photograph an image I’ve thought about numerous times when I’ve been a passenger in a car, without having had the ability to stop to allow me to take photos.

I love the rhinoceros statues found throughout Dubbo. They immediately conjure images of the zoo in my mind & something about their various incarnations & locations brings a smile to my face. Of them all the mother & baby outside the zoo itself are my favourite. The material they have been constructed of implies a sense of life to the statues & it’s because of this material that they appear different every time I see them. The shadows in the crevices of their skin I find particularly fascinating & I wonder if I got that close to a real rhinoceros would I notice that too?

I think taking the time to experience a destination on foot is by far the greatest opportunity to get to know that place. On the flip side, experiencing a location by car does allow me to see a lot more of a place & if time during that visit allows or perhaps a return visit takes place then I can take a tour on foot of the places that captured my imagination while I was a passenger. Perhaps that is the best of both worlds?

Kim

 

 

Looking With Different Eyes

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Whilst taking a holiday is good for the soul, sometimes it can also be good for the mind. On holiday only days ago, I made sure I took some time out from catching up with my dearest friend to look for things of interest to photograph in her home town.

I had no expectations or goals to meet. I was on foot & alone which meant I was able to take as much time as I needed at any given location. I was happy to meander & observe the world around me.

I found myself lost to the beauty around me, capturing some of it with my camera but also happy to simply observe it. The sounds around me were particularly electric, consisting mainly of the raucous squarks of sulphur crested cockatoo’s.  I stopped & observed them a number of times during my walk, enjoying the site of large flocks of them & marvelling when for a few brief seconds they ceased their seemingly endless noise.

When my few hours of photography time was done I felt relaxed & at ease. That’s when I know a photography outing has been a success. Sure the resulting photographs are important to me, but equally as important is the feeling of reconnection, mediation & happiness. All I need to do is work out how to get that into my life a bit more often.

Kim

Not Perfect, But Not That Bad

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Often when I view my photos when I return from a photographic outing, I find myself disappointed with the results. I see flaw after flaw & rarely notice anything that I like about them. Yet when I return to them later on, after a a week or more, I seem to be able to see something that I felt wasn’t there originally. Something happens in that time frame, which allows me to see the photos in a different light.

I think the time gap between first & second viewing puts space between what I had in my mind creatively & the resulting images. In fact often I forget what it was that I had intended to photograph. This space seems to let me see the images for what they actually are. By no means do I think I create a perfect photo, but more often than not if I give my images time, I find I’m happier with the results.

I also notice this experience with sketching. I’ll sit down & made a sketch of something & when I’m finished I feel satisfied with undertaking the act of drawing, but don’t think much about what I’ve drawn. Yet when I go back & look at that sketch again, I see that what is on the page is actually ok. Sometimes I’ve even made a sketch that I can say is good.

So I’m trying to learn to put distance between the completion of a photo or a sketch & making a judgement on the quality of what I’ve produced. I hope each time I try this I’ll get better at not judging my work so harshly.

Kim

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