Wyndham's lazy tidal system makes great patterns from the air.
The ND5 group - Christian Fletcher, Michael Fletcher, Tony Hewitt, Les Walkling and I - agreed not to share our recent images from the Kimberley and Lord Howe Island until the exhibition, so I am thinking I will be in trouble with Christian. Mind you, he's in Iceland at the moment, so hopefully he doesn't have internet...
In any event, this photo isn't going into the exhibition. It didn't make the final cut (and I can hear Christian saying that's just as well - but I don't listen to him too much or too often), and so I figure I can post it. Besides, I have to let everyone know about the exhibition opening in Brisbane at the end of this month and the one day workshop.
The workshop is being repeated in Melbourne in mid-April, but the exhibition is not. However, we have another exhibition at the Monash Gallery of Art which features our earlier work and an amazing video installation by Michael. For more information about the workshops and accompanying exhibitions, click here.
The photo above looks easy enough to take and in many ways it was. The challenge was finding just the right angle where the surroundings looked as though this river system went on forever. I had fifty or so shots out of which just three or four were to my liking - and the one I like the most is in the exhbition.
The photos were taken from a helicopter using a Phase One 645DF with an 80mm Schneider lens and an IQ180 back. The colour of the mudflats in the middle of the day was less than exciting, so I thought of black and white and then moved to a 'lith film' effect. The river itself has been lightened up using a mask and a curves adjustment layer, and then adjusted so that it stands out just enough, but hopefully not too much.
The taking of this photograph will be featured in Episode 6 of Tales by Light.
The following is a press release from Canon I have great delight in sharing!
Canon Australia and National Geographic Channel have announced their partnership to deliver Australian viewers a new television series that gives rare insight into the eyes of some of Australia's, and the world's best photographic storytellers.
Titled Tales by Light, the series will air in six episodes premiering from 8.30pm AEST Sunday 24 May on National Geographic Channel.
Tales By Light is the first television series produced by Canon Australia and is a natural progression for the photographic brand, explains Canon's Director of Consumer Imaging and Executive Producer for the Series, Jason McLean: "We see our role in imaging as enabling people to tell their stories, and what better than inspiring a large and passionate audience through the eyes of some of the best storytellers in the world. The partnership with National Geographic Channel is a perfect fit for us given their dedication to telling powerful stories through captivating imagery."
Produced by emerging cinematographer and Canon Master, Abraham Joffe, Tales by Light showcases Art Wolfe, Richard I'Anson, Krystle Wright, Darren Jew and Peter Eastway pushing the limits of their craft in some of the world's most extreme and fascinating environments. Each a master of their respective field, the photographers give rare insight into their endless journeys as visual storytellers - their challenges, motivations, and moments of joy in capturing an elusive moment by light. Shot in 4K resolution, the series is a stunning visual spectacle to immerse and inspire viewers through new ways of viewing the world around them.
To see a teaser produced by Abraham, click here.
Blenheim, New Zealand. Is shooting in the mist easy?
Photographs in the mist can look really great, but why? And if there is lots of mist around, is it easy to shoot great photographs?
I'm not sure if it is ever easy to come up with great photographs, but I agree that for people who live in non-misty environments, seeing a photograph of mist is a positive. For many readers, mist will be a rarity and so photographing it becomes more enjoyable. For others (perhaps the early risers), mist might be a regular occurrence and so photographs of it may not be so appealing.
I'm not generally an early riser, so I really enjoy shooting in the mist. What I like about misty photographs is the sense of mystery that is created in the background. Not only does it simplify the composition, it partially hides things from view and this intruigues me. I think most of us are much the same?
There are lots of different ways to shoot in the mist. With a telephoto lens, you can look for silhouettes (of trees and buildings perhaps), searching for interesting shapes and compositions. With a wider lens, I tend to position myself near something of interest. Generally, it can be quite clearly seen, but the background quickly fills in with the thickness of the mist.
This is how I have approached the river scene in Blenheim, New Zealand. For me, the image is two simple lines - the horizon and the diagonal edge of the river. I've also kept the colour simple with a limited palette of blues and greys.
It's not a competition winner because it's too quiet, but it appeals to me and I hope after reading a few of these newsletters you'll agree that not every photograph has to be a competition winner. The first person to impress with our photography is ourself. Not everyone will like your favourite shots, but you'll be pleasantly surprised how many people do. Sometimes it's just having the courage to post it on Facebook or Flickr and seeing what people think.
I don't expect to get massive sales of this photograph, but it's one that brings back good memories of the workshop in New Zealand last year. It was great being up early, wandering through the mists, searching for photographs. Tony Hewitt and I have another workshop in New Zealand this June, so if you're thinking about joining us, please book soon so we can get an idea of numbers. We're expecting it to be full of amazing photographs, plus you get to listen to Tony and I giving each other a hard time!
There's a great little e-brochure I've created which has all the details - click here to have a look!
Early morning looking over the Blue Mountains National Park.
Phase One 645DF with IQ180 digital back, 110mm Schneider lens.
The photo above will be best viewed as a large print. Why? Because there is a wealth of edge detail in the myriad trees and branches in the valley below. Take a look at what I mean:
Detail of the image above.
Now I'm not exactly sure how this will look on your computer screen, but hopefuly it will look reasonably crisp and sharp. Certainly the original file does to my eye and I will make a print on Canson BFK Rives paper tomorrow.
The photo was taken on the Canson Kayell Blue Mountains weekend just passed when Tony Hewitt, Alexia Sinclair and I entertained a dozen photographers and Kayell staff for a couple of days. It was pretty full on with early starts and unnecessarily late finishes, but great food and company. Thanks to Rob Gatto and his staff for making it all happen and Glen Tewierik at Canson for his company's great support.
The on-the-ground logistics were organised by David Glazebrook who lives at the base of the Blue Mountains and was ideally suited for the job with his inside knowledge of some great locations. This one I had never visited before, although it looks over Govetts Creek and the Grose River like many other lookouts.
In the back of my mind is a database of images and styles that I like. One that sits there is a finely detailed patina of trees and branches, with a dark background and edges etched nearly paper white. I'm still trying to capture the perfect example, so when I found myself looking out over this scene, I knew what I wanted to achieve immediately.
The photo was taken before sunrise, so the light in the valley is soft and even. In Capture One, I output the file with low contrast, but then in Photoshop I started working more carefully, building up the contrast. This was achieved in two ways, but with many layers. The first approach was to clip the shadows so they were solid black in places. You can see this in the detail above and I did this using curve adjustment layers. The second approach was to use the equivalent of the clarity slider in Lightroom and Capture One to etch the edges of the leaves and branches. I used the High Pass filter with a radius of 1 on a copy layer of the image, blended with linear light.
I've seen photographs of this location covered with a blanket of heavy fog, and while initially I was a little disappointed with the tiny patches of mist hugging the Grose River, I now think it was just right for what I was after. Mind you, I wouldn't mind a little more next time I visit!
Icebergs (small variety), Seymour Island, Antarctica.
Canon EOS-1D X, 24mm lens, f11 @ 1/200 second, ISO 100.
These cute little icebergs (each is about the size of a table) were found stranded on a remote beach at low tide on Seymour Island, tucked away in the Weddell Sea.
I've just returned from a voyage with Aurora's Polar Pioneer down to Antarctica, across to South Georgia, up to the Falklands and then back to Punto Williams in southern Chile. I travelled with Abraham and Jen Joffe and Blake Castle, who were shooting video while I was shooting stills. We all agreed it was a great way to earn a living and pinched ourselves several times that we were really down in the deep, deep south, experiencing some of the world's most delightful and exotic locations. All about our job will be revealed in the next few weeks.
On my previous trip to Antarctica, I spent seven days in overcast or heavy snowfall with just a two hour window of half-sunlight to play with. On this trip, we had a perfect blue-bird evening with a full moon rising just as the sun set on the other side. The following morning was just as clear, but by the afternoon, the weather had closed in and, as you can see from the unedited image below, the light was a little lacklustre. However, it snowed that night, giving us the four seasons in one day.
So while the light wasn't perfect on Seymour Island, overall there was nothing to complain about and I just had to make the most of what was there. I spent an afternoon walking along this beach, shooting a series of photographs that featured these amazing shapes. It reminded me a little of the beach in Iceland where the icebergs get washed up - it would have been great to see what Seymour Island was like at high tide!
The photographs were taken with a 24mm wide-angle lens with two exposures, one normally and a second with a ND filter so I could blur the water. I then joined the two images together. I find that the camera only has to move half a pixel during the 30 or 60 second exposure to introduce some unwanted blur. By using the normal exposure (at 1/200 second) as the base, everything is crisp and sharp. I then add in the long exposure as as second layer and brush in (through a mask) the blurred water. It gives me the best of both worlds and while it might not make too much difference in a small reproduction like this, it can be very important for a larger print or paper reproduction.
The raw files were processed in Capture One and the post-production completed in Photoshop. I also moved the foreground iceberg up a little bit to make a tighter composition (just in case you noticed a difference!). More from Antarctica soon!