Cottesloe

Winter sunrises in Perth can be spectacular – this particular morning there was too much cloud and the colour couldn’t get through. Cottesloe was wet, wild and ridiculously windy. Didn’t take a lot to slow the shutter down to get some water movement due to things moving around so quickly.

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Silhouettes are cool

I like them. I think they make powerful photos. I think they make good photos out of a possibly boring photo. I think they’re simple and easy and fun and a great alternative if you forget your tripod. D’oh!

These are the statue things (what are they? Sculptures?) in South Perth near the jetty from my last post. They’re photographed frequently and it’s easy to see why. Wish they didn’t put the bins in front of them though…

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That Boatshed

Yeah, again… it’s that boatshed. You know, the one in Crawley… if you haven’t seen pictures of it you’re obviously not from Perth, Western Australia. Because it’s possibly the most photographed icon in our city.

The great thing about this spot is it faces South and therefore can show colour from sunrise and/or sunset should there be sufficient cloud/glow factor.

These pictures were taken at sunset.

PS. I find the angles where only one window shows water and the other is dark a bit creepy. Anyone else..?

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Denmark, Western Australia

Ah, Denmark.

These photos were taken a long time ago (November 2014) and were part of the Esperance trip…shhh, let’s pretend they’re new and exciting!

Sometimes blogging is hard, ok?

Elephant Cove, Denmark. 

Possibly the coolest spot ever on the Southern Coast? (OK, definitely up there though!). These were taken on a nice still (and chilly) morning.

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With the help of the LEE Big Stopper, nice cool calm waters.

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And then over to the other side for a sunset visit at Greens Pool, Denmark

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Perth Landscape – Kalamunda

Every Landscape Photographer plays this game. For me, it begins in the morning when I get up and exit the house – what do the clouds look like? The game gets serious around early afternoon – are there still clouds? What direction are they in? How thick are they on the horizon? Will the light get through? Are they moving quickly? How windy is it? I guarantee you these are questions photographers entertain throughout the day until around the 6.30pm mark when a decision must be made. To go, or not to go. For me, this is usually a peak out the front door to check the sky. Sometimes, just by looking at the cloud formations you can pick when they will go pink just by what kinds of clouds they are. Other times the sky can be a complete surprise.

This was one of those nights. I assessed the sky and thought “mmmm… plenty of cloud. Possibly too thick for any colour to get through”. I decided to bite the bullet and go anyway. Living in Huntingdale, I have limited choices close to me so the options are varied. I chose to go to Kalamunda and scope the zig zag – haven’t had fantastic success up there and the city always comes out looking tiny but it’s a beautiful spot out in the bush and if the sunset is a bust at least it’s a beautiful setting.

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It started slowly. Minimal colour and limited spread to the surrounding clouds – the clouds were thick on the horizon which is usually not a very good sign. The light gets trapped beneath them and doesn’t show any colour. About 10 minutes after the sun had disappeared, the sky began to light up and eventually blazed in a show of orange, pink and red. It was lit for a good 40 minutes after the sun had gone for the night.

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Down South Western Australia – Esperance

Belonging to a family of more than one hobbyist photographer, it was only so long before a trip was planned that would be “photography only”. Cait [check out her blog here]and I packed our tents and our camera gear and headed down south. Not a lens was spared this trip = everything was packed into the lowepro backpack and contained a good 10kg worth of equipment. Not to mention my beasty tripod which would have to be around 50kg just on its own…that’s how it feels anyway..(you’re worth it, tripod!).

Guys. Esperance is as good as they say. Having not been there before, I did the usual google images search but I always wonder, “Am I only seeing Esperance at its best?” The answer is no.

Lucky Bay

Had a couple of photographic issues here….the water is stunning, but the bay itself is very flat and difficult to get an elevated view to show that amazing water…photos were 60% sky, 2% water and 38% sand. Uh, not good.

Sunrise:

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Esperance is definitely at its best when the sun is high and the water is lit up from above. Midday was a great time for photos – I know, we were weirded out too.

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The highest view of Lucky Bay was a stop off on the road down to the car park where the blue vista was most visible:

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We did meet the infamous “Lucky Bay resident Kangaroo” – and her two kids! Cuteness overload.

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The bays in Esperance are just amazing…tiny and pristine.

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We only stayed in Esperance 2 nights (after an uncomfortably frigid night at Lucky Bay we headed into town and stayed at a caravan park to escape the frigid wind and left for Denmark the following morning.

We couldn’t help but stop past Twilight Beach again on the way out though 😉

Colour Casts – the digital age

After recently purchasing an old film camera I can seriously appreciate the ease of digital photography. Being able to ‘fix’ errors in photoshop later and adjust colours and exposure encourages a whole new approach to how you take photos. I have found over the years as my photoshop skills and exposure increases I will compose my photos and adjust settings with the photoshop actions in my mind – i.e. I will assess a scene and think “Yes, this isn’t going to look so great on the camera, but with some contrast and saturation and a couple of dodge/burn layers this could be great” and it’s this that I’m talking about.

The other great thing about photoshop is knowing that you can alter a picture so that it looked exactly as you saw it yourself with the naked eye. Photographs (in my mind) should be natural and a reminder of what you saw when you were in that spot – I don’t like over saturating and “creating” new skies and all of that just to make a pretty picture.

The below photos are shots taken at Trigg Beach in Perth and were taking using a Lee Big Stopper Filter to reduce the light and allow a soft water/cloud movement. The negative effect of this filter is that it adds a colour cast to the shot – you can see by comparing the photos that the overall effect is rather green, especially noticeable on the otherwise cream sand and limestone rocks. It detracts from the colour of the sky and is unnatural to what a human eye would have picked up at the scene.

Enter Photoshop.

I used Image>edit>match colour>neutralise mask to change the tones in this image (cs5) and then played with the exposures in certain sections of the rockwork and the sky. The second image shows more natural colour and is truer to how the ocean and sky looked that day.

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Exmouth & Karijini National Park

Over Easter, we took an extended break to dip our souls into the red dust of the north west of Western Australia. We drove from Perth to Exmouth in a day and left at the exciting hour of 2am to reach Exmouth early so we weren’t driving Suicide Drive at dusk. What’s “Suicide Drive” you ask? It is the treacherous stretch of road that goes into Exmouth and during the last few hours of light is inhabited by all manner of suicidal animals including and not limited to: goats, sheep, cows, kangaroos, emus, goannas, snakes, birds, rabbits and foxes. It is a dangerous stretch of road and I’ve heard it is difficult not to hit something on the way in during an afternoon. Luckily we got through with no worries and got to Exmouth at about 3pm.

A cracker sunrise put good light (haha) on the trip:

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On the way through to Exmouth we stopped to re-fuel and get some lunch at the Overlander Roadhouse. We parked down the back under the shade provided by two big trees that were completely covered in Butterflies.

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I had a checklist of “things to see in Exmouth” and one of my top priorities was a Perentie. This giant goanna is the largest native to Australia and the fourth largest in the world making it a pretty impressive creature. They are referred to as the “Lizard King”, are an apex predator and therefore afraid of practically nothing. This makes them fairly approachable for photos as long as you don’t get too close (Perentie toe nails would be a nail technician’s nightmare). We were lucky enough to catch one crossing the road; it was young and very clean, showing off its great markings and trademark white throat. It tolerated us for a few minutes before shifting into 4WD mode and running into the bush.

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The fishing was not so great in Exmouth unfortunately; limited to the land we threw hard bodied lures, soft plastics and stick baits around with very little luck. But what a paradise! The water there was crystal clear and a beautiful aqua blue. We didn’t make it to Turquoise Bay (got to leave something for next time!) but I found Sandy Bay pretty impressive:

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As a photographer and not having much experience in this part of the country I was especially excited to watch the sun rise out of the water. In Perth it rises over the hills and sets in the water but I have never seen a sun rise from the ocean. It didn’t hurt that the sunrises in Exmouth were beautiful either.

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And then it was time for the trip to Karijini. I have been wanting to get to Karijini for years, even before photography became a focus for me. What a place! We timed our trip to Karijini a little earlier than the prescribed “on” season in the hopes that going close to the end of the wet season would mean plenty of reptiles and lots of great clouds. Being there only a few days meant we didn’t get to experience much change in the weather and the first few days were cloudless and an easy 32 degrees during the day and 16 at night. On the last day the clouds were fantastic and we heard that they were expecting heavy rain to arrive soon.

Arriving on Easter Monday it seemed a lot of campers had left by that stage and each day more people filtered out and no one new seemed to arrive. There were a few big groups of European touritsts but the most likely visitors were young couples and young families. We camped in the eco retreat in Grevillea Loop, site 95- a great spot as we were completely secluded from other people and right at the front of the loop- closest to the showers and the BBQ block.

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We had 3 full days inside the park but the last day was taken up with West Oz Active’s “Red Gorge Tour” so we tried to make the most of what we could see and do in 2 days.

First stop was Hamersley Gorge. About an hour’s drive out of the park and well worth the visit! I think it was the most beautiful gorge with its purple hews and beautiful green water.

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Then we used the afternoon to visit Hancock Gorge – the gorge I fell in love with when looking at other people’s photos. I couldn’t wait to get through it and it didn’t disappoint!

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We got up for a sunrise at Joffrey falls but the light didn’t come across and stayed a very muted colour unfortunately:

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So we popped around to Kalamina Gorge which whilst simple, was still very pretty. I think I liked the view of the water from up top the best:

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And to finish the day off we stayed and watched the sunset at Oxer’s Lookout.

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Day 2 had us down to Fortescue Falls, Fern Pool and then we circled back across Fortescue and into Dales Gorge then continued on to Circular Pool. Unfortunately we didn’t get to Fortescue Falls or Fern Pool early enough and half of each waterfall was cast in deep shadow making it impossible for good photos. When I go back to Karijini, I will ensure I am there at sunrise for well exposed photos.

Took an above view of the falls on our way back to the carpark at around 2pm.

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Circular Pool:

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And a last sunset at Knox Gorge. This was a better choice than Oxer’s only because we had it to ourselves and Oxers had been full of people and it was difficult to take long exposures on the platform.

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Trigg Beach

Another stop past Trigg Beach on saturday night (8th March). Arrived just on sunset and was flustered due to the sheer amount of other photographers there! It was one of those rushed evenings where you just have to pick a spot and hunker down rather than having the freedom to change your position and point of view. I was a bit sneaky and got in right behind someone to take a few quick ones, but I gave up and decided to shoot abstract instead. This is my second time shooting with the Lee Big Stopper 10-stop filter and I love,love, loooooooooove it! Also didn’t have time to calculate my exposure so did it in my head and hoped for the best- came out a little underexposed and needing fixing in photoshop.

I love this place!

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Dobermann Puppy

Our latest addition to the family….meet Scarlet. She is a purebred Dobermann puppy that we have eagerly welcomed into our family. She was bred by Bravadobe Dobermanns, who in our opinion, is the best Dobermann breeder in WA.

This little one is full of character- she’s playful, curious and has endless amounts of energy.  Amongst her millions of toys, her favourites consist of a) a string of plastic sausages held together with rope and b) one of my old socks. She enjoys terrorising our greyhound Tess and eating Vegemite.

Seasick

This is an old photo from Kalbarri, WA. We had decided to go out fishing in the morning and woke up to the town drenched in fog. I really like this image because at a first glance it looks like it could be the moon… but it’s the sun :). It also brings back very very vivid memories of seasickness and petrol fumes…as you can see it was extremely choppy and due to the low visibility on the water, we were going excruciatingly slowly!

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My 10 favourite pictures of 2012… a year in review

2012 is now over. I had a great year photographically… took a trip to New Zealand’s South island in November and also saw some beautiful sunsets and sunrises in Perth, Western Australia, my beautiful home town. I’m so lucky to live in such a naturally beautiful place.

2012’s gear comprised of my Canon 550D, my wideangle Canon 10-22mm, Canon 50 f/1.4, Canon 85 f/1.8 and the Canon macro 100mm f/2.8.

There are big changes ahead photographically in 2013 as January saw the purchase of my new full frame camera, the Canon 6D. I’m sure that 2013 will also see some new lenses join the fray, and perhaps even say goodbye to some old ones too.

With a few more weddings in the mix and lots of happy occasions ahead such as photographing a beautiful Albany wedding in February and my little cousin Maddie getting married in June, it’s going to be a fun year. Hopefully there will be some holidays somewhere in there, too!

These are my favourite shots from 2012:

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Cottesloe Beach Sunset

This location has been top of the list for quite some time; you know how it is when you see fellow photographer’s blogs pop up with the one location, and they’re all stunning photos? I would say at least 4 blogs that I follow in Perth featured a sunrise or sunset photo of Cottesloe beach within about 10 days of eachother – and it was a done deal, I had to go.

I kept an eye on the sky, waiting for a good opportunity to catch a sunset and with the weather we’ve been having lately, there’s been a lot of cloud around for 40 degree heat! The fateful afternoon arrived and my sister and I headed to Cottesloe and watched an absolutely beautiful colour formation appear. We shot with the sun behind us and you can see from the two photos below how much the colour changed as the sun went down.

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Setting Sun in Kalamunda

These hills are amazing. They’re alive with… well, not the sound of music… but definitely colour and life. There are animals everywhere- kangaroos, reptiles, birds… (also ticks, which my dog kindly brought home with us..not cool Tess), but mostly colour. You also can’t beat the smell of the bush. In winter, it’s even more captivating because the locals all have their wood fires lit and that, mixed with the smell of rain soaked eucalyptus is really amazing.

I believe this was the first outing I used my new 50mm f/1.4, and I really love this lens. The colour rendition on it is so much better than my 50mm f/1.8 and that extra bit of aperture is really fun to work with 🙂 (If you don’t have a nifty fifty, buy one immediately)!

 

Swan River Jetty

This jetty has caused me much pain over the last few months. I’ve been there numerous times to be disappointed by an array of things… water extremely choppy, dense cloud cover producing no colours, hoards of people, rain…all sorts of things.

This is my favourite shot so far..