On Track

On TrackPanasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7
f/1.7
1/600 sec
ISO 100

Before anyone accuses me of being incredibly stupid in taking this photo, I’d just like to point out that the trams were still under construction and weren’t at all functional when I took this photo.  There is no way I’d stop right in the middle of a set of active tram tracks to take a photo, even if it is potentially an amazing snap.  Anyway, I thought it was a rather great coincidence that the tracks bisect the “Tram Only” sign so that it says “to”, considering that the vehicle will obviously be constantly on-the-go.  Actually, the middle section spells out RAIN.  TO RAIN?  Kind of just sounds like “train”, actually.

Drink Up The View

Drink Up The ViewPanasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7
f/1.7
19.0 sec
ISO 100

There’s not really a much better view than this on a Friday night – to just kick back with a nice fancy cider and soak up the quiet night.  I wish I was rich enough to be able to afford a place that had this sort of amazing view every night, but unfortunately this was taken when I was on holiday.  Still, one can dream.

One can dream.

 

PS: I do realise that it’s only Wednesday today and not Friday, but I’m playing make-believe, because it’s been a long day.

Nocturnal Beach

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOlympus 40-150mm at 40mm
f/22
163 sec
ISO 100

This is probably one of my favourites at the moment.  I’ve always had a soft spot for extended exposures taken at night.  I finally got a chance to do just that when I was at Surfer’s Paradise at the Gold Coast.  It was a bit of a challenge actually, because I had to battle a pretty strong seabreeze.  I was surprised at just how much I was being buffeted around.  Of course, even the slightest movement would destroy a photo like this, so definitely find yourself a sturdy tripod if you’re going to try!  I was fortunate enough to find a little alcove next to a staircase that protected me from most of the wind.

PS: If you looks super closely, you’ll be able to see blurry white blobs near the water.  Those were seagulls walking around (how cute!)

Maximising What You Have

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOlympus 40-150mm at 40mm
f/4.0
1/15 sec
ISO 100

So I’ve been meaning to shoot more portrait photos for a very long time now, but haven’t had the means or equipment to do so.  I always thought that good portraits need plenty of equipment, space and a dedicated area.  Oh how wrong I was!

The biggest challenge that I’ve had is lighting.  It just always seemed like good portrait photographers had reflectors, at least one flash, backdrops, studios, etc., so it felt out-of-reach.  In what I suppose was a flash of inspiration recently, I found out that none of that is actually necessary if you’re smart about your surroundings.  I remember reading tips about maximising natural lighting in any given situation, but none of that really made sense until I tried it myself.  I used zero special equipment in the above photo (featuring Tiff, my fiancee).  It was simply a bed, behind which was a large window with the sunlight streaming through.  I initially found the sunlight to be just a bit too harsh, so closing the sheer curtains behind her gave the light just that extra softness I was looking for.

To be fair though, we were in a hotel room on the 21st floor, with a floor-to-ceiling window but still, the same principle would work anywhere, so long as you try and make the most of your environment!  It took a bit of fiddling with the manual settings, but after a while I was able to get it just right, so that Tiff really stood out against a brilliant white background.

PS: I actually think my photo ended up looking a lot like a stock photo.  I’m not quite sure if that’s a good thing or not?

Lines to the Sky

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPanasonic Lumix G 20mm
f/1.7
1/1250 sec
ISO 100

If it seems like I’ve been posting quite a few black and white photos recently, it’s because I happened upon Leanne’s blog, where she recently started issuing weekly black and white photography challenges (or “Monochrome Madness”, as it’s now called).  It’s been fun to get out there and frame/shoot photos that I want to be black and white.  With this photo, I realise that building-shots are a little overdone, but I just love playing around with geometry like that.

As an aside, I’m going to start watermarking my photos starting from now.  I’ll try to keep it as unintrusive as possible and I hope it’s not too annoying.

 

 

This way and that

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Olympus 14-42mm kit lens at 28mm
f/18
32.0 sec
ISO 100

I’ve always enjoyed playing with extended exposure, but its inherent experimental nature meant it was a hideously expensive experiment when I was only shooting with film.  Thankfully, it’s much cheaper to mess around with it on digital cameras!  In fact, the Olympus E-P5 has a really handy feature called ‘Live Time’, which will periodically update your photo on-screen while the lens is open.  Essentially, you get to watch as your extended exposure magically builds in front of you.  This really is as amazing as it sounds as it gives you a crazy level of control, especially over the exposure level.  It helps immensely to reduce the number of photos that turn out to be entirely black or white because you got the exposure time very, very wrong.

From Mountains to Water

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA E-P5Olympus 14-42 kit lens at 42mm
f/20
1/40 s
ISO 100

So you may or may not know that I live in Brisbane, Australia.  We don’t have soaring skylines or amazing historical buildings, but we’re fortunate to be blessed some quite nice natural landscapes around, such as the one here.  Technically this was taken on the Gold Coast, which actually has more than just the golden beaches for which it’s famous.  I really like the effect of having sky, mountain and water all in the one frame.

Maybe one day I’ll own one of those houses with their own boat dock….