Category Archives: Landscape Photography

Popping Colour

Colour pop is a photography term that is described as ‘a digital effect in which part of an image is shown in colour, the rest of the image being in grey or a dull monochrome’.

All in all it doesn’t sound too fancy. It is an effect that is used a lot in photography. Some might say it is being overused. It is not a difficult effect to achieve, many cameras and apps are designed to get the job done quickly and easily, and to give photos a dramatic look by converting them to grey or black and white, and keeping a select detail in colour.

However, even though it is considered a bit daggy by many photographers, it is very popular with the wider public. It is a fun look, that can be very effective. The viewers eye and attention is drawn to the coloured areas, making it altogether a striking image and a good experience for your eyes.

Naturally, I’ve played around with it, too, although trying to stay away from the cliche red umbrella in the black and white rainy landscape. It’s a fine line.

Using local scenes, this is some of what I’ve come up with so far.

colourpop

 

 

 


Not Like Van Gogh

Time again to say thank you to all and everyone who goes through the troubles of following the journey of az pictured, whether it be on the blog, Facebook, Instagram or with the Lens Cap Chronicle, my very own newsletter.

This journey would only be half as much fun if I had to make it alone. I may only be a small business, but I put my heart in soul into my work. Not like Vincent Van Gogh, who said ‘I put my heart and soul into my work, and I have lost my mind in the process.’ At least I hope so 😉

So here’s to you all and my thank you comes with a little visual treat, showing all the latest Instagram posts of mine, that have been featured on some of the collaboration fun sites that I follow.

If you want to check them out and get some creative juices flowing: @hiyapapayaphotoaday, @rainbow_wall, @tv_neatly, @shotwithlove, @seekthepositive, @365_today, @keepingwiththetimes, @its_my_week

IGThankYou


Part of Our World

This post is totally unrelated to photography, but totally related to az pictured’s daily fairings during school holidays, which just finished for us.
You see, my young one is a great singer. Choir boy, soloist, rock-star in the shower. And he has this tendency to burst into song ….. constantly and always and everywhere. Sometimes with no break for hours. Of course, he doesn’t even realize, that he’s singing. I am used to be working largely in silence and solitude. So when he’s home, shut doors are just not enough in this blue board house of ours.
Naturally, I love him to bits, he’s my baby boy, my fairy child.
But at the end of those school holiday song days that feel like they are 20 hours long, my mind is going in circles with bits and pieces of a gazillion songs, all started or partially sung, and none finished.
Just for fun, I spent two days writing down his musical bursts. Read them and feel free to test your musical knowledge, figuring out song titles/band names/stage pieces/advertising slogans/snippets from movies ………
And then imagine hearing this list back and forth, with a plentyful of ooohoooo’s and aaah aaah, lalala’s inbetween.
You are welcome 🙂

You gotta put your hands in the air, yes your hands in the air, doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo
Somewhere beyond the sea, somewhere waiting for me, I’ll go sailing.
The pines were roaring on the height, the winds were moaning in the night,
We must away, ere break of day …
YOU SHALL NOT PASS!
The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain.
I think she’s got it, I think she’s got it
Hm hm the fresh food people, bringing fresh food to you
I need a dollar, dollar, a dollar is what I need, yeah yeah
And she will be loved, she will be loved.
Papa, paparazzi
Take on me, take me on, I’ll be gone in a day or twooooooooo
Doesn’t that sound familiar, doesn’t that feel close to home, doesn’t that make you shiver.
Settle in to play ‘do you remember so and so’,
Number three is never say her name
Hold on, if you feel like letting go. Hold on, it gets better than you know.
I’m gonna take you for a ride on a big yet plane, hey hey
Tonight we are young, let us set the world on fire, we can go higher aaaaahhh
Degrumph went the little green frog one day, and the frog went grumph grumph grumph,
But we all know frogs go ladidadida, ladidadida, ladidadida
You’re unpredictable
Hey Mr Tallyman, tally the banana, daylight cometh we wanna go home
I don’t care, I love it. I don’t care, I love it, I love it
We will, we will rock you, sing it, we will, we will rock you
I love rock and roll, put another dime in the juke box baby, I love rock and roll,
take your time and dance with me
My life is brilliant, my love is pure, I saw an angel, of that I’m sure,
Forever young, I wanna be forever young
I won’t hesitate no more, no more, it’s not ok, I’m yours
High and mighty alone we are kings, whirlwinds of fire we ride
Providence brought us the crown and the ring, covered with blood and our pride
I am a gummybear, a yummy gummybear. I am a yummy, yummy, yummy, yummy gummybear, oh yea
Who will buy my sweet red roses, two blooms for a penny,
Any milk today, mistress, any milk today mistress, two blooms for a penny
Who will buy this wonderful morning? Such a sky you never did see!
Who will tie it up with a ribbon and put it in a box for me?
I’m nothing special, in fact I’m a bit of a bore
If I tell a joke, you’ve probably heard it before
But I have a talent, a wonderful thing, ’cause everyone listens when I start to sing
I’m so grateful and proud, all I want is to sing it out loud
Red: the blood of angry men!
Black: the dark of ages past!
Red: a world about to dawn!
Black: the night that ends at last!
And this is what she had to say, a pearl necklace, she wants a pearl necklace,
she wants a pearl necklace
Do you hear the people sing? Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start when tomorrow comes!
Be a man, you must be swift as a coursing river, be a man, with all the force of a great typhoon, be a man, with all the strength of a raging fire, mysterious as the dark side of the moon, of the moon
Prince Ali – fabulous he – Ali Ababwa, genuflect, show some respect:
Down on one knee.
We go together like rama lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong
Remembered forever as shoobop sha wadda wadda yippity boom de boom
Chang chang changitty chang shoobop, that’s the way it should be, wha ooohhhh, yeah
And it’s not easy to be me. Up, up and away, away from here, well it’s allright
You can all sleep sound tonight, I’m not crazy, or anything
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave
With what you wanna say
Down, down, the prices are down. Down, down
You got the moves like Jagger, I got the moves like Jagger, I got the mooooooooves like Jagger.
Collecting your jar of hearts, tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold
And she will be loved, and she will be loved
What do you want from me? What do you want from me?
Can’t read my, can’t read my, no-one can read my pokerface
Come on Barbie, let’s go party
In the circle,
I can go the distance,
Strangers like me,
Part of your world

PS For the record: the music taste in our house is eclectic at best. Nothing is off limits. It’s part of our world.

PPS When I say the ‘young one’, he’s not too far off being a teenager, and there is an every so slight change in his lower register already

PPPS If you’re puzzled by some of the song combinations you might want to check out this link and this one, they might explain a lot


‘I could never resist the call of the trail’

LightTrails1

So Buffalo Bill said. I can’t resist it either. Well, not quite the same trail, but a trail it is nonetheless.

For me, it’s the light trail. Chasing it with my camera has been something I wanted to do for ages. Since I finally have acquired a remote shutter release, this last Winter nothing stood in my way.

So I thought I’d share my first attempts and all the wisdom I have found whilst following ‘the call’ 🙂

Firstly, finding the right spot is not quite as easy as I thought it would be. Zebra Crossings are lit at night, so the reflections of the passing cars can be seen in the photos. More ghost trails than light trails maybe.

LightTrails3
The better spots are where you have a fixed subject, building, bench or the like, and the traffic goes past parallel, between you and said subject. You don’t have to worry about headlights.
If I say ‘worry’ I mean that headlights are just too bright and if you’re too close they brighten just about anything and everything and ruin the trail. Aim to get more breaklights than headlights.
If you thought your spot is awesome and only cars drove past: it may be a totally different story if you have only 4x4s drive past, as their breaklights are so much higher, it makes the whole photo look different.
That being said: Try to utilize the lights of a bus. I was lucky, getting a bit of an ambulance in one shot, too.

LightTrails2 LightTrails5
Avoid roundabouts. They’re like the Wild West, too many comings, too many goings, really hard to anticipate anything.

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Unless you have the eyes of an owl at night, I highly recommend a miner’s light of some sort. I got myself a $5 one from the Dollarshop. If you don’t want to wear it on your head, you can wear it on your wrist. Much better than having to take out the phone and shine it’s light around.
Needless to say to wear appropriate clothing. An hour goes by in no time, and many nights I was glad for my gloves and thermal underwear, thank you very much.
Good shoes protect your feet and ankles, as you might stumble around in areas that are a bit difficult to access, especially in the dark.
Make sure you’re safe, especially as a woman. I always tell my husband where I’m going, and I am most aware of my surroundings and very, very distrusting. Late passers by trying to start a conversation with me ‘what you’re doing’ sort of way could attest to that. But hey, the trail has to be safe, sorry guys.
With daylight savings coming soon, light trail time is over for this year, but I’m sure I’ll be hearing the call again next Winter.

LightTrails4


Location Barriers

Photography is about so much, equipment, practice, post-production, did I mention practice? One thing not mentioned a lot is location.
Location is everything. For portrait outdoor sessions I have my few favourite spots around town. Depending on what the clients wish for we can meet in the park, the beach, at the lake, each place in its own right special and different. It doesn’t need a sprawling meadow or towering mountains in the back to make a family photo look great. Sometimes a small patch of grass, some wild flowers, foliage from low hanging branches, rocks or pebbles and a gentle slope into the water are all that is needed.

In the end it’s all about the light, and when the light is beautiful, the photo will be, too.

That’s it for booked sessions. If I’m going on my own, to capture sunsets and stunning landscapes or cityscapes, it’s a whole lot of a different story.

Seriously, I admire fellow photographers who are able to show off their photos of a different location on every different day of the year. No idea how they are doing it.

Many are a one-person business, too, maybe it’s me … and I always thought I’m so organized ….

Anyway, many times all plans fail because there is some extra driving to be done, a re-scheduled soccer game, a lift to a party or to work, extra homework and the printer is acting up …. and the one night of the week with a beautiful sunset goes by without me and my camera.

Some locations have been on my mind for a while, but they are in ‘iffy’ places, dark, out of the way, secluded. The older I get the less I like the idea of being alone with my gear in an area where shouting might not help.

That’s when husband comes in. Very often he’s the savior, because when I say ‘oh I always wondered how it will be like on that cliff at sunset, we might have to crawl through some shrubbery’ or ‘remember that dark alley with the awesome neon sign’, he’s the one getting me to that location. And staying with me, while I take my photos. And getting me there a second, and a third time, so that I really get the most out of the place.
That includes road trips. So when I said last year ‘I really would like to go to Vivid’, he made it happen this year.

And while not in any way ‘iffy’, I was glad he was there to shield me and my camera from the masses, because even for a Tuesday night it was ridiculously full. I have to add getting hit over the head by a tripod, carried by a very eager fellow photographer, to my danger list.

So we went to Vivid, the light festival in Sydney. I am quite happy how things went for the first time. Now for a second, and third time …

Collage


One Lake View

I hope this blog post finds you all well.

Just a quick one, so that you know I’m still here. Very busy at the moment, daily at the lake or the beach or in the studio. Not enough time in the day, but enjoying every second of it.

This image is a recent one going into my ‘Lake Views’ collection. Gorgeous sunset, I was running late (got held up at the kids’ soccer) and was racing down to the Reserve and started snapping as soon as I jumped out of the car. Took about 2 minutes for the red and the sun to be gone, and the day to be over.

redsunset

 


It’s about the Journey

A little while ago I wrote a post about the ‘The Perfect Sunset‘. In it I stated that I couldn’t find any foolproof information about predicting whether a sunrise or sunset is going to be one of the breathtaking ones or not. While I haven’t found any more scientific information in that regard, I have found myself a little bit more scientific background information about determining the exact spot where the sun will set (other than local knowledge and experience).

You might have learnt at school that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, as I have. Well, it is true of course, but with quite a bit of variation. So, just a compass won’t help you much. A photo book I have in my possession recommends this Sun Compass. It is a cool little gadget, but as the explanation tells us, it is set for London, and one has to make adjustments of 5 Degrees per 500 miles. As I am pretty much on the opposite side of the world from London, this doesn’t seem very logic to me.

Some more searching found me this website which tells me (same as the local weather man on tv) the exact times for sunrise and sunset, the weather and a wealth of other information that can be quite useful when you’re thinking of going out to chase a sunset on a couple of days in the coming week.

But the best website that I found is this one which lets you type in your location and on the map you’ll see straight away the exact point of sunrise and the sunset.

Beautiful Lake Macquarie has many jetties. Jetties and sunsets go great together, always have, always will be. In my office I have a large map of the Lake. With the help of the Sun Calculator I have started to draw in the exact position of the sunsets. My iphone has a compass, so I always double check on that one when I’m out and about as well, that I am accurate. Over time I’ll have a perfect map and will know exactly which jetty I should aim for. I’ll share it with you then, promise  🙂

There may well be easier and better ways of getting this map done (I have no doubt that there are some apps out by now), but I do enjoy making my dot on the map every day. After all, some things are more about the journey than the destination.

LakeMacSunset2


Photography Bucket List

Bucket lists are fun to read. If it’s other people’s bucket lists that is. While they are important for many to outline their goals or dreams or wishes in life, I find it hard to write one for myself.

Mostly I know the things I don’t want to do, either because I have done or tried them already or because they just don’t appeal to me at all. And I don’t like to write down things which come down to fate, for example celebrating 50 years of marriage. I am not normally known to be superstitious, but maybe in that regard I am a little bit.

So any list containing only things I don’t want to do could only be called an ‘Anti-Bucket List’ which sounds terrible, and I won’t write this one down.

But recently I realized that I do have a proper Bucket List when it comes to photography. Because there are a number of faces, places or things that I would love to point my camera at. It’s not a huge list, and a number of points are unlikely and even impossible to ever come true, but there you go, just for fun (one can always dream):

Photography Bucket List – in no particular order:

  • Carnival in Venice
  • Scottish Highlands
  • Times Square in New York at New Years Eve
  • Montana
  • Icebergs
  • Polar Bears
  • the Ghan
  • Oktoberfest in Munich at night, with a security detail to keep me and my tripod safe in the crowds
  • Nordic lights
  • Richard Armitage dressed up as Thorin, in my studio
  • Sean Connery from 20 years ago, in my studio
  • Kate Blanchett with the Oscar and the dress she wore that night, in my studio
  • Inside the Ferrari Factory in Italy
  • harvest time in the Champagne, France
  • the Chelsea Flower Show
  • Mount Fuji
  • tiger cubs
  • a butterfly farm
  • spending a day with a glass-blower, watching them work
  • spending a day with a wood-carver, watching them work
  • Meryl Streep as she is in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’, in my studio
  • inside a LEGO factory
  • Musee D’Orsay in Paris, without people but a crew schlepping my gear for me
  • spending a day with a bookmaker, watching them work
  • inside Versailles, with no people there
  • Grafton, Australia, when the trees are in bloom
  • The city of Kingston as portrayed in ‘Assassins Creed – The Black Flag’
  • the Oresund Bridge, which connects Denmark with Sweden
  • Venice in Winter, foggy, gloomy, Black & White
  • the inside of the original Orient Express
  • the young Grace Kelly in my studio, I still think she was the most beautiful woman that ever lived
  • Douglas Fairbanks jr, as he was in that old movie ‘Sinbad’, this was my first crush, very many years ago 😉

BucketList


Going Market

It had been planned for some time but now finally it happened: az pictured went market.

Going to a local market or art fair is not as easy as it was many years ago when I was selling my paintings or even earlier still, when as a child I sold my toys at flea markets. So much more complicated these days, let me tell you!

First, one needs to apply. Insurance and all the paperwork and some enticing photos of your products need to be ready to be shown and, once accepted, contracts and agreements need to be signed, and rules to be obeyed and fees to be paid and things to be remembered.

And then the stall needs to be thought through, and stuff bought and printed and organized. And then all the products you intend to sell need to be bought and printed and organized.

We did a few dry runs in the back yard, to set up the marquee, tables and all (this was very important as I am so not a morning person, and to be problem solving at 6am is not my strong side!!). So when the big day came, everything went wonderfully smooth.

The organizing ladies from the 3 Peas Markets are wonderfully inviting and friendly, and the atmosphere was lovely. This cannot be underestimated. Market days are long, long days. Very few stalls can claim to be busy for 6 hours, just selling, selling, selling. There are potentially long dead times in between. Things have got to be nice, otherwise it’s just too grueling (very happy about the mozzy spray that was shared around – who would have thought there would be that much blood lust at 6am?)

All in all it went very well. I had a chat about all aspects of az pictured with a great many people who stopped by. I got to show the brag books with my works, especially the Restorations seem to be a success. I am reasonably happy with the sales. The market had strong competition with two other major events on that day, which drew a lot of customers away. I handed out what feels like a gazillion of leaflets and flyers and business cards (and kept reminding customers that Mother’s Day is in 9 weeks!!!), and as a result my website and facebook hits spiked like crazy, and inquiries and bookings have been made in the last couple of days as well. Yay.

Thanks to everyone who knows me and was able to come, it is very lovely to see a familiar face, you have no idea how much your support is appreciated  🙂  And if you missed it, the next market will be Sunday April 13th.

To see more visit my website or facebook page.

GoingMarket


The Perfect Sunset

One minute there were no clouds, it looked like it was going to be a dud, then the sky turned the most gorgeous pink and purple with a whiff of clouds that came out of nowhere in between.

Sunsets. They can be wonderfully serene and beautiful and nature’s beauty and all. But they can also be quite infuriating, because they are relatively unpredictable, and they don’t much care about photographing mothers.

It is a great misfortune that most of my days sunsets coincide with dinner, bath time, laundry, school notes, homework, brushing teeth, feeding the dog, reading and good-night kisses.

That is summer. Sunsets are just way too late, by the time the sun slowly goes down at the horizon I’m all buggered out and nothing will get me off the couch anymore and in the car, lugging my gear with me down to some spot at the lake to capture the skies hues. Obviously winter is pretty much the opposite, when it’s getting dark pretty much right after we just got in from the school run, but still I have managed a few lovely shots. Autumn and spring are my prime time for shooting sunsets. The batteries are always charged and the camera bag packed and everything ready to go.

I looked it up and, as expected, there are no scientific foolproof guidelines for determining whether it will be a great sunset (or sunrise for that matter). However, here are some things that I have learnt over time:

1. Skies are usually more interesting when there are a few clouds about, especially high clouds like cirrus or cumulus clouds. They do reflect the colours better and make the sky more interesting. Clear skies can give nice sunsets, but it is more of an afterglow and there are not that many colours.

2. Clear atmosphere with low humidity (colder months) generally gives more pinks and crisper colours. Also after rain, the sky looks better. It has to do with particles in the atmosphere. The big hazy sun ‘ball’ occurs more during warmer months when it hasn’t rained for a long time and there are more particles in the air, but also when it is very humid.

3. Be clear whether you are after the ‘sunset’ or the ‘golden hour’ or ‘twilight’ shots. Different things.

4. If bad weather is predicted for that evening or night or the coming day it could be great sunset. So listen to the weather forecast.

5. Sometimes bushfires can give an interesting tinge to a sunset. But since bushfire skies are unfortunately something Australians are just too familiar with I stay away from that.

6. If today is a cold day and tomorrow is supposed to be a much warmer day, the sky will almost always be red at sunset.

7. Don’t pack up too early. You’re already there, twenty minutes more won’t make a difference now. Stay and wait till the very end. Some of my best shots happened literally in the last 20 seconds before the sun was gone.

8. Always take one more piece of clothing that you expected to need. Warm socks and shoes in winter, I have had some soup with me some times. Mozzy repellant in summer and after rain, otherwise they might carry your camera away 🙂

These are the cues I have learnt for my area, which is between a large lake and the ocean. Obviously it will be different everywhere. Best advice is to keep checking the skies and if it is not pouring with rain and you have planned to go out and shoot, just go and do it. You’ll never know what’ll happen. Be grateful if it is great, this is nature after all. If not, well, find peace in the fact that you are not alone in this pursuit of the perfect sunset.

Find more of my work on facebook and my website.

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