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Okay, so is the colour a bit strong? I was giving Tony Hewitt a hard time the other day about the colour in some of his Shark Bay photographs. Of course, he just laughed at me. I'm not wondering why...
Svartifoss is tucked away up the top of a hill in Iceland, not too far from that black sand beach where all the icebergs wash in with the waves (Jokulsarlon). You can take a car most of the way up and then it's a relatively easy walk. You see the waterfall in the distance as you approach it, but nothing really prepares you for the amazing rock formation from which it is carved. I'm sure our geologist friends are in raptures when they see it.
I have to admit it was a lot of fun, painting in sections and washing over the colour using the Wacom Cintiq 34HD touch. There's something about using a pen directly on the photo that just makes it work.
So, this is stage one. I'm still thinking about it. I will take suggestions. I am thinking of knocking back all the colour and I have a longer exposure as well which might work better in the pool. Or is the colour okay? I reckon I will get a 50:50 response! And I'd love to go here in winter when there's snow all around. Hmmm. Better not tell Christian Fletcher about this place... he is going to Iceland soon!
The photo as processed out of the raw processing engine is shown below. The techniques used in post-production are using layers, as you can see in our eBooks on this site.
If you're travelling to the South Island of New Zealand, Milford Sound is probably on your hit list. It is an iconic location and everyone should go there. However, when you get into Te Anau, which is the gateway to the fjords, you have a choice of going north to Milford Sound or south to Manapouri and Doubtful Sound.
Milford Sound can be reached by road. Doubtful Sound is reached by a combination of ferry and bus, followed by a ferry to take you around the Sound itself. Both are amazing locations, but Doubtful is less travelled and more expensive to reach. It seems less touched, although there are still plenty of ferries and launches to ship you around a myriad of coves and inlets.
My visit was on a rainy, overcast day. This is doom and gloom for some people, yet friends like Mike Langford and Andris Apse have always said that this is when the fjords come alive. This is when you see hundreds if not thousands of waterfalls cascading into the fjords, even if the peaks themselves are shrouded in cloud.
I've tweaked this image a little to give a sense of what it was like to be surrounded by these massive peaks which drop steeply into the water. And if you keep your camera out, every now and then a little islet would appear close to the boat, creating a great centre of interest.
New Zealand is an amazing place and for Australians, it's so close to home. I know I'm going to Patagonia and Bhutan this year, but I will also have three trips to New Zealand!
To understand my workflow, I have a series of video publications all about Photoshop layers for purchase or try my Landscape Photography Masterclass. Click links below for details:
How To Master Photoshop Layers - ebook, click here.
Landscape Masterclass, click here.
I think most readers will already know about the popular workshops I do with Tony Hewitt and Christian Fletcher. Plenty of room for Karijini, Kununurra is nearly full, New Zealand is full!
You can read about the Karijini workshop here.
Except of course the X-T1 is not a DSLR, rather a CSC (Compact System Camera). It doesn't have an optical pentaprism, despite a body design that looks like it does. Nevertheless, it is a large, bright electronic viewfinder that is very impressive to use. EVFs have come of age.
I was at a press launch on Wednesday at Sydney's Luna Park and had a scant few minutes to play with the new X-T1. The camera was set to capture JPEGs only and I didn't really take the camera off aperture-priority mode. Bundled into a Ferris Wheel cabin with Pro Photo Editor Paul Burrows, I soon found myself aloft, shooting with the new XF 56mm f1.2 lens. With the APS-C size sensor, this is like an 85mm portrait lens (or thereabouts) and at f1.2, it produces a simply delightful bokeh. And it is very sharp, as you can see the photo at the bottom of the page - it's a section of the image above.
The X-T1 uses the same sensor design found in the X-E2, for example, providing a very crisp 16-megapixel image. Megan Lewis launched the camera with a series of sensational photos and her large, metre-wide sample prints produced show that the camera is very capable indeed.
When looking at my JPEG files afterwards, all I can say is that I was very impressed with the clarity and colour produced by the camera and the lens. After all, it's the whole system that creates the end result, from Fuji's innovative sensor design (with no OLPF to soften the image) to the lenses themselves. Even wide open, the results are super sharp. This will be a fun camera to use!
For more information, visit the Fujifilm Australia website: www.fujifilm.com.au
I'll be honest: our Karijini workshop is a little slow this year, which is a pity because I love going back each year but Christian is thinking we need to go somewhere new. Well, new is good, but Karijini is so great, I'd miss it!
I've just posted a blog on my website which shows a few photos of last year's group having fun above and in the gorges. There are several pages - so click on through. It might give you a better idea of the locations and the adventure involved, from the eco-tents we stay in to the tracks and paths we climb down into the gorges. And why we need a good waterproof bag to get us to the end of some of them!
The photo above is an example of what we find at Karijini. It took me two trips to get this just the way I wanted it. The exposure is around half an hour after sunset, this particular frame a 16 second exposure at ISO 200 and f5.6 (the Rodenstock lens's maximum aperture). The detail is soft and grainy, partly because the Phase One sensor struggles a little in low light, and partly because it's not really designed for ISO 200 either. But I'm being super critical because when I look at the print, I love it. The result is an arty grain texture which is undoubtedly lost in the small rendition you see above.
A client has just purchased a 50-inch version of this, which is the reason you might be seeing this again. I made a few refinements to ensure it enlarged properly and, in the process, I was looking forward to returning in April to see what else I could find.
The challenge in a photo like this is matching the highlight exposure in the sky with the shadows in the gorge. Two exposures would be a good idea, but the light was dropping so quickly, I just kept shooting as I lengthened the exposures and raised the ISO. It really was almost dark down the bottom.
In post-production, the extended dynamic range of the Phase One back helps out, but if I had shot it on a Canon or Nikon, well, I could have bracketed and solved the problem with extra exposures. I could also have shot at f2.8! In darkening the sky, the trick is not to put the darken-edge along the horizon. I darken down into the landscape, but I also darken short of the horizon line, using several adjustment layers.
For further details or bookings for the 2014 Karijini trip, click here to visit our online shop.
Time to get cracking! Head On has four great photography competitions coming up and the closing deadline is 9 March 2014.
Naturally, Head On is all about portraiture, but being 10 years old, it's grown up and the formal name is now the Head On Portrait Prize. This is joined by the Head On Landscape Prize (Head Off it appears has headed off), the Head On Multimedia Prize and the Head On Mobile Prize. In total, there's around $50,000 in cash and prize up for grabs!
There's a $25 entry fee if you're a member, or a $30 entry fee if you're not a Head On member. Membership is definitely worth it if you plan on attending some of the great exhibitions and seminars planned for later in the year at the Head On Festival.
All is revealed on the new look Head On website - visit www.headon.com.au.
Phase One digital backs have struggled with low light and high ISOs. Well, that's not completely correct. Some of the Phase One backs produce literally flawless long exposures up to one hour - they are noiseless. But some of the other backs are limited to around 30 seconds (maybe 60 seconds on a good day) and they don't like moving too far away from their native ISO settings of ISO 35 or 50. You can do it, but you have to make sure you get as much light as you can into the shadows. In comparison to a modern DSLR, it's not so easy.
Well, all that might have changed with the new Phase One IQ250. Unlike existing Phase One backs which use a CCD sensor, the new IQ250 features a CMOS sensor (like DSLRs), so it is much more responsive in low light. The ISO range is from 100 to 6400 and it also allows exposures up to one hour (which is not likely to be necessary at ISO 6400, of course!).
The new back has a 1.3X lens factor (meaning it's like an APS-C sensor compared to a full-frame sensor on a DSLR), a series of micro lenses covers the sensor to focus the light, there's a wonderful live view feature, built-in wi-fi and geotagging.
For more information, I'm sure Richard at L&P Digital Photographic would be delighted to have a chat. Visit www.lapfoto.com.au
Good friend and Currumbin based adventure photographer Ted Grambeau has an international photographic career spanning 35 years. If you wonder how he has lasted so long, to me it is pretty obvious: he works hard at keeping himself top of mind with his client base. And, of course, he takes some amazing photos.
I've just spent half an hour ogling his website - http://www.tedgrambeau.com/folio - and being amazed at the standard of work. Early in his career, Ted worked for some of Australia's leading advertising photographers and you can see this experience in everything he shoots, from his sense of composition to his ability with light.
And as an advertising photographer, what better way to keep in contact with the people who hire and recommend you than creating a calendar with them involved!
Ted has produced a limited edition calendar for 2014, inviting 12 designer friends to take any of his photographs and design a calendar page. The results were really interesting - some I loved, some were more challenging, and isn't that what design is all about!
Ted described the project as, “A way of celebrating the talent I have had the privilege to work with, as well as revealing the creative depth in our own back yard”.
Whilst the Calendar will serve as a showcase for Ted within the industry, a limited number of only 250 of these collector editions will be for sale to the public - $49 each!
And as Ted says, at 490 mm square, you can take one or all of these pages and frame them if you wish. Postage and packaging is a little more – click here for details.