Monthly Archives: April 2012

Narrabeen Baths

OMG! I have hurt my Nikon D700!

I was down at Narrabeen shooting a sunrise yesterday morning and I was moving from one spot to another and slipped on a rock… I went down, the camera went down and now it doesn’t want to take a pic… I think it is every photographers worst nightmare, our cameras are expensive tools and whilst they’re built to take a beating, there isn’t much that can withstand being dropped onto solid rock.

As upset as I am about it, I just need to give it to Nikon to see if it can be repaired and keep my fingers crossed. In the meantime I still have my D300 so I will use that. My favourite lens was on the camera at the time I dropped it so I will have to get that checked too just in case I have done some damage to that. I guess I am lucky I didn’t break myself, I have a graze and a bruise or two… luckily that’s it.

the daily pic – Narrabeen Baths

I am happy with this pic even though there wasn’t much of a sunrise. The  lighting is a floodlight behind me creating a unique effect, there were a couple of crazy northern beaches people having a swim at 6am, even though it was only 13 degrees! This is a good spot and I will return to this area as there is a lot to photograph around Narrabeen.

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Categories: Australian Locations, Sydney | 1 Comment

Foggy Morning

Kodak Australia – Business as Usual

If you hadn’t heard that Kodak was in a little bit of financial trouble, or in fact, had files for bankruptcy then you probably live under a rock! Anyhow, the good news is I read a news report stating that Kodak in Australia and NZ were going to be unaffected by the parent company filing for bankruptcy. This means that supplies will flow as normal! As for Kodak NZ, it was set up as a wholly owned independent company in 1934 keeping it separate from the company that has filed for bankruptcy.

the daily pic – Foggy morning

Sometimes photographers will only look for the ‘perfect’ conditions to get the camera out, I was pleased, that despite the fog I headed to La Perouse last weekend as I managed to grab a couple of nice shots. This one is of the castle looking thingy that you will find in the middle of the park near Bare Island… I like the way the fog creates mystery… enjoy!

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Toe the Line

Why do we say what we say?

Sometimes I will hear a saying and wonder “where did that come from?”, for example, the rule of thumb apparently originated back in time when it was okay to beat your wife, as long as what you hit her with was smaller in thickness than your thumb… there is another theory that beer brewers would use their thumb to test the temperature of the beer during the brewing process. I am sure you would have heard the saying “toe the line”, that when I recently went on a tour of the Fremantle Prison I found out that this was what was said to get the prisoners to stand with their toe’s on the line so they could be prepared to go into their prison cells.

the daily pic – Toe the line

In the image below you can clearly see the lines that prisoners were ordered to stand along as they were prepared to go through to their cells.

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Bare Island

How I take the shots for HDR photography on my Nikon D700

I get a lot of questions in regards to HOW it is that I actually take the shots I need to create a HDR image, so I created a short video on my iPhone to show you how.

the daily pic – Bare Island

This is the photo that I took in the video above. I really like this pic because of the textures and colours in the foreground rocks. When I arrived prior to sunrise it was very foggy and I have a series of photo’s with the fog, it created quite an eery kind of feel so it will be interesting to see how they come out… keep an eye out for them over the coming weeks as I get them processed.

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Sydney Sights

Composition, composition, composition…

As a photographer the key to a great photo is composition, there are a bunch of rules in regards to composition, but for those of you that know me, I am happy to break the rules! Sometimes I will post a photo on a photography forum for feedback and it is interesting to see how many different perspectives other photographers will have in regards to composition. One of the techniques I love to use is leading lines, that is, I like to find something in the foreground that will lead the eye to something of interest in the picture, for example, you may use a fence line, a path or it could be a branch on a tree. If you have a look at some of my pics I am sure you will be able to spot where and how I use leading lines.

Sydney Sights

For me I think that living in Sydney has made me a little immune to the beautiful scenery we have, and as a photographer one of the toughest decision is where do I go next as there are so many options!  It is hard not to be drawn to Sydney Harbour. In this shot you can see how I have use leading lines to draw you into the image… enjoy

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Sensational Sunrise

the Lowepro Inverse 200 AW – a quick mini review

For years I have been buying different camera bags, and I am yet to find the perfect solution. I think I have found a near perfect solution as a ‘day pack’ or ‘travel pack’. In fact, I bought the inverse as it fits inside my carry on luggage when I am travelling, and is easy to use once at my destination, I also use it for around my home town, As it holds my DSLR and a second lens, filters, a bottle of water, my mobile phone, keys and stuff with ease! It can get a little heavy being a belt pack, I just use the shoulder strap that came with it and find that really helps to spread the load.

I also think the belt pack is a great way to carry all my lenses around if I was at an event or out shooting for the day, The lowepro inverse 200 AW would easily hold 3 zoom lenses if I didn’t need it to carry my DSLR and makes getting to my lenses a breeze. In fact I can fit my 16-35mm, 24-70mm and my 70-200mm in it (although it is tight with the lens hoods on). I would then just have my DSLR on my tripod or on my Rapid strap !

Lowepro are well known for making great quality gear, so it goes without saying that the inverse is great quality, where I find this pack differs from a lot of others I have used, it’s actually comfortable!

the daily pic – Sensational Sunrise

Here’s another of the Jetty at Port Macquarie. The colours in the sky kept changing so I have quite a few different compositions that I want to process… enjoy!

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the good ole days

Best beginner DSLR

I get asked this question alot… what is the best camera to kick off with? Well, just about every manufacturer makes a camera that is perfect for the beginner. Before you blow your hard earned on something that may become a paper weight, I have a few tips.

1.If you have a friend or family member that has a DSLR, get the same brand as they have. Firstly, they can shortcut the manual for you and secondly, you can share lenses.

2. Think about what you want to take photo’s of… some cameras are better suited to sport, some to landscape… same with lenses, they all have their strengths, and weaknesses.

3. Buy second hand, there are plenty of bargains to be had on eBay… you will save $$$$.

the daily pic – The good ole days

The Fremantle Roundhouse opened in January of 1831. It was built as a Gaol and eventually was used just as a holding cell/police lock up until the late 1800’s, then it became accommodation for the water police. If you caught yesterday’s post I explained that using photoshop was quite normal in the digital age. Here you can see I have used it to give my shot the look of an old film camera… sorry Mr Nikon, I know you have spent many man hours and many hundreds of thousands of dollars getting your cameras to produce amazing detail and colour… but I felt I wanted to get the look of the good ole days!

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A day at the Opera

Do you photoshop your photos?

I was asked this question over on facebook, and it sparked a healthy discussion so I thought I would write this blog post about photoshop. Firstly, there is post processing, and then there is photo manipulation. I am not into manipulating my photo’s, I will sometimes remove a distracting element or correct lens distortion, but that is about it, I have nothing against photographers that do manipulate their pics… after all, it is art!

As for post processing, anyone who uses a DSLR and shoots in RAW format needs to post process their images, and this is because they’re RAW. Every camera has the ability to sharpen and make colours pop, but it is in the camera’s control, a DSLR gives you the option to shoot a RAW file allowing you to tweak things like sharpness, colour, white balance etc. later as you see fit, hence, the need to use photoshop. Photographers have been using all sorts of techniques in the dark room to make their pics look better, now we just use the digital darkroom.

I also shoot alot of my images in HDR, and this requires the use of photoshop to get the best results. Sometimes I can spend an hour or more working on getting an image right… so to conclude, there is nothing wrong with using photoshop to get the desired result, don’t let anyone make you feel like it is wrong, or that you are any less of a photographer if you use photoshop, if it feels right… do it!

the daily pic – a day at the Opera

So here is a pic that I have used a few post processing tools on. Firstly, it is HDR, and I have used Photomatix to create the HDR, then I used photoshop, Topaz adjust and onOne focal point to finish it off. enjoy….

The Opera House - Sydney Australia

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And the winner is….

Congrats to Peter Cundy and Juliet Ryatt for winning a 12″ X 18″ print. Thanks for your support and helping the Ben Fewtrell Photography facebook page reach 100 likes.

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Government House

The new Nikon D4

Nikon have released a new professional full frame DSLR. The D4 is a 16mp Full Frame camera with a huge ISO range (100 to 12800), and from the reports I have heard (from the few people that have been lucky to get their D4 first) the D4 is a fantastic camera. One of the questions the critics have been asking is why just 16mp? Yet it is the modest pixel count that is going to keep the pro’s happy, as the D4 can achieve 10fps with no strings attached and can do this in a wide range of shooting conditions. You will need around $6000 and some patience to get yourself one of these bad boys! Great for journalistic and sports photographers where 10 fps will help capture the money shots.

the daily pic – Government House

I was in the city wandering around taking pics one morning and decided to see if I could get a photo of Government house. Unfortunately the gate was locked and so I had to shoot through the fence. I am planning to head back here some time soon, as admission is free and it is said that inside is well worth checking out.

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