Monthly Archives: September 2012

Long Reef Photowalk

on3legs and PhotographyHotSpots Photowalk

On the 21st of October join myself and Rob Potter from PhotographyHotSpots.com for an evening of photography on the beautiful Long Reef Headland. Long Reef is situated on the Northern Beaches of Sydney and has some of the most photogenic seascapes you will find. Rob and I have both been to this location several times and always enjoy shooting here. Here’s your chance to check it out too!

The photowalk is for anyone, of any skill level. No matter if you shoot with a Nikon D4 or just your iPhone, you’re welcome to join us and fellow photographers for a spectacular sunset! Personally I find the friendships created one of my highlights of a photowalk, not to mention the photography tips and learnings that we will get from each other!

Save the 6pm, 21st October in your diary, we will meet in the top car park at Long Reef Headland, just off Seaview Parade, Long Reef… (Your naughty GPS may call it Collaroy!) I have checked the tides and sunset times to make sure this is the best day to be there… now it is just up to the weather gods… We will be there Rain, Hail or Shine!

You can just turn up on the day, however, so we know you’re coming it is best to RSVP. I have set the event up on Google+ and Facebook. Click on one to register…

Register on Google+ OR Facebook

the daily pic – Long Reef

One of my favourite Long Reef locations…

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Photowalk with Trey Ratcliff

Trey finally visits Sydney!

Me with Trey Ratcliff

Well, I guess it finally had to happen, now that world renown photographer Trey Ratcliff has moved to NZ he is only a few hours away. I found out the day before he was scheduled to arrive (as did everyone else due to a last minute change in Trey’s plans) that Trey was planning a photowalk in Sydney. I guess he thought he wouldn’t be able to sneak in and out of Sydney without doing a photowalk, it is almost expected from him in every city he visits!

You can call it a ‘man crush’ if you want, I would certainly say that Trey has changed the way I look at photography, and he has played an instrumental part in the way I take and process a photo, for me, I was looking forward to being able to personally say thanks and shake the mans hand. I have a lot of respect for him on two fronts. Firstly, his ability to take a great photo, he has managed to capture so many great images over the years and he is a damn fine photographer. HDR is not everybody’s ‘cup of tea’  and he cops his fair share of hate mail for pushing on with his art form. Secondly, as an entrepreneur myself, I am inspired when I see someone succeed in the way that Trey has, and he is such a humble guy, I think his success sometimes surprises him! So it was nice to be able to personally congratulate him on his success!

The photowalk begins…

Of course, the media is onto the fact that Trey is in town… this is Sunrise interviewing Trey… even they couldn’t get him to spill the beans on why he was here… it really is ‘secret’ business!

image by Phillip Conroy

Trey addresses the group, about 300 people registered on Google + and Facebook for the event, I was surprised to see what I would guess to be approximately only 100 show up!

Image by Robert Estherby

After Trey gave his introduction and by his own admission spoke for too long about his 28mm-300mm lens… it was time for a group shot. Eaton Zhou was quick to accept the challenge and he did a great job!

Image by Eaton Zhou

After the group shot we all headed off like a herd of cats… I found it amusing to see so many onlookers wondering what on earth was going on… so many people with tripods and cameras!

the daily pic – Opera House & Circular Quay

The last 2 images here are taken by me with my trusty D800… I took a few images that I was happy with, in particular I really liked these two… enjoy!

(Click on the photo to order yourself a print or to download (please see licensing for the rules!)

(Click on the photo to order yourself a print or to download (please see licensing for the rules!)

Categories: Australian Locations, Sydney | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The on3legs $25,000 giveaway

Here’s how you can claim your share of the on3legs $25,000 giveaway!

To celebrate reaching 1000 likes on my Facebook Page I am giving away $25,000! That’s right…. Twenty Five THOUSAND dollars!

I have loaded my online store up with one thousand $25 vouchers… all you have to do is place an order of $50 or more and enter the discount code 1000Likes when you check out and you will receive $25 off your order! It is that simple… and you can use this code right up until Christmas Eve 2012… you can place as many orders as you like using this code and each time do you will claim a larger share… so the more times you order, the more of the $25,000 you will get!

So what are you waiting for! Start claiming your share of the $25,000 today!

CLICK HERE to view and order your favourite prints

Sometimes picking the right print size can be a little tricky, if you need help feel free to shoot me a message on Facebook or you will find a link to email me on THIS PAGE

*Minimum spend of $50 required, code can be used as many times as you like until the code has been used a total of one thousand times, or reaches the expiry date of midnight on the 24th December 2012. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Facebook has no affiliation or involvement in this promotion.

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Trey Ratcliff is in Sydney!

Come and join in for the Sydney Photowalk…

Trey Ratcliff

At very short notice one of my favourite photographers and mentors is visiting Sydney… Trey Ratcliff is known the world over for his HDR photography style and his blog http://www.stuckincustoms.com

You can find out more details and register for the walk by clicking on one of the following links

FACEBOOK

Google+

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Is the TVC-33 the ultimate tripod?

A quick update after 10 weeks of real world use…

Well, after using this tripod now for a little over 2 months, I am pleased to say it is the best tripod I have ever owned. It does have a slight issue that has developed that I will tell you about shortly.

Is this the ultimate landscape photographers tripod? Well, I don’t think any tripod is going to come as close as the TVC-33. For it’s size it is light, it is very stable and it seems to be handling itself well… I can set it up low to the ground so my camera is just inches of the deck, and it only take me 20 seconds! The twist locks on the legs are still working fine even though I have had this thing in the sea, sand and mud over the last 10 weeks… I just wash it off with the hose when I get home after a day of shooting. The twist locks are much better than the locking mechanism that is on my Manfrotto 550XproB.

However, it is BULKY… so if you’re looking for something easy to carry around with you I suggest you look for a travel tripod, having said that, it mounts on my Lowepro Vertex 200aw, and whilst it protrudes way above my head it is so light, that I hardly notice it is strapped to my back, oh, and the added bonus I found out is that it helps to stop the magpies hitting as they swoop on anything that moves during their breeding season, these crazy birds just gor for the highest point and when the TVC-33 is strapped to my backpack it sits a good 12 inches above my head.

A small fault… a ‘known’ issue

My TVC-33 has developed an issue, and after emailing RRS, they have told me this is a ‘known’ issue… so it bugs me a bit that I had to have the problem, they knew about the issue so I am thinking they should have sent me an email and some parts to fix it… now this is MINOR… but for nearly a grand I don’t expect to have the slightest issue… what had happened to me was one of the leg locking mechanisms wasn’t working properly, they are spring loaded so they lock into place, and it was clear that one of the springs had stopped doing it’s job! I took it apart to have a look and sure enough the spring was bent, and after a little handy work by yours truly it was working again. I emailed RRS and as I said earlier they knew about the issue so they were quick to arrange to send me 3 replacements (one for each leg)… I am hoping these are improved so it wont happen again… I will let you know when I have them in my hands!

the daily pic – hut with a view

‘The little Yellow Hut’ -This is a piece of real estate money cannot buy… check out that view! That is the city in the background… I am not sure why this hut is here, so maybe you can enlighten me? It is on the northern end of Camp Cove Beach…

(Click on the photo to order yourself a print or to download (please see licensing for the rules!)

Categories: Australian Locations, Sydney | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Using a ND Graduated Filter

The Landscape Photographers Secret

Have you ever shot a sunset only to be totally dissapointed in the results? yup… most of us have… you see, your camera is only able to capture a certain amount of ‘dynamic range’, let’s say we need to achieve 100% dynamic coverage, your camera may only be able to capture 1/5th (20%) of this, so you have to make a compromise… maybe you will expose the sunset properly and have everything else as a silhouette, or if you want to have the foreground exposed properly, then the sunset will be washed out. Although it can be frustrating, there are a couple of solutions… the easiest in a lot of situations, especially for portraits in front of the setting sun, is the use of Fill Flash. Most cameras will have a setting for fill flash, and will meter everything well enough to give you an acceptable result. There are cases when fill flash just wont cut it, and this is where I turn to HDR (High Dynamic Range) or the use of Neutral Density Graduated Filters.

If you want to learn more about creating a HDR image, you can by checking out my earlier blog entry HERE

the daily pic – The Spa

As the waves rolled into this rocky channel the water bubbled and looked like a Spa Bath, I am sure it wasn’t as warm or comfortable as a real spa so I didn’t bother getting in… I have used a Lee 0.9 ND Graduated Filter and this is one single exposure with hardly any post processing, in fact, as you watch the video I will show you the photo’s as I preview them and you will see how well using a ND Grad filter helps me to capture the dynamic range of the sunrise. In the case of a flat horizon, I prefer this method over HDR.

Categories: Australian Locations, Sydney | Leave a comment

Walking the Wentworth Pass

Tranquility in the Blue Mountains

Yesterday I headed to the Blue Mountains with a friend to tackle the Wentworth Pass Track. After heading down from the Wentworth falls picnic area, it is a quick decent into the valley, this track is rated as hard, and whilst I would say it was difficult in some spots, I didn’t find it too hard… I think it is rated as hard because there are some sections that we had to use ladders, and there were definitely parts of the track that were a little tricky, I wouldn’t walk this track with children. After about one hour or so of hiking we were rewarded with a magnificent waterfall and lagoon as our first rest spot and photo opportunity. There is something about a waterfall that makes it special…

The main reason I took this particular track is for the waterfalls, the Wentworth Pass track takes you through the ‘Valley of Waters’ and as the name suggests… there is plenty of water! There has been very little rain in the past couple of weeks, and I think if there was more rain, we might have seen a few more waterfalls…

I packed my D800 and to keep it light decided to take just one lens, I decided on my Nikon 16-35mm f4 VR, my main reason for choosing this lens is that it takes a 77mm screw in filter. I have a ND400 by Hoya, it reduces the amount of light by 8 stops and it allows me to keep the shutter open for longer giving my shots that silky smooth water effect. As for a tripod, my TVC-33 is just too big to carry through the bush for hours on end, so I decided to pack my Benro Travel Angel. The Benro is a really light and compact carbon fibre tripod, I have taken it on several trips now and really like it.

Although I packed the ND filter, It was dark enough in most of the locations that I could shoot at ISO100, f22 for 3 to 5 seconds without the filter, as the water was moving so quickly this was enough to give me the effect I was after. I did use the ND filter, but in some of my shots I was getting a magenta colour cast in parts of the image so I need to work out why… maybe 16mm is too wide for it?

the daily pic – tranquility

To get to this spot wasn’t easy, we had to traverse over some very slippery and mossy rocks, and my friend that was with me ended up with a hiking boot full of water, and my cargo pants were pretty dirty after having to slide down a rock on my side… but, this shot was worth it!

(Click on the photo to order yourself a print or to download (please see licensing for the rules!)

Categories: Australian Locations, Blue Mountains | Leave a comment

Cradle Mountain I hear you calling…

Turning 40…

It’s kind of funny really, when I was 20, 40 seemed so damn old! Now my 40th is less than6 months away my thoughts on 40 have changed! 40 seems to be a very significant birthday for so many, and I sort of feel the same, maybe it is a celebration of making it this far… who knows, but I am going to spoil myself by ticking something off my bucket list. I am heading to Tasmania to photograph Cradle Mountain and the Freycinet Coast. Some of the best landscape Australia has to offer… but I am not just heading to Tassie, I am going to be meeting up with 2 award winning landscape photographers and joining them for a 7 day adventure of a lifetime. Michael Snedic and Luke O’Brien are not only going to show me some of the best locations in Tassie, they will also be teaching me some of their tricks of the trade, I don’t know what I am look forward to most!

Dove lake at Cradle Mountain – photo by Luke O’Brien

the daily pic – Temple on the Hill

I took this on my recent trip to China, One of the frustrations of photography when travelling is the amount of people at every attraction, most of the temples and parks in Beijing did not open until way after sunrise so I had to make do with whatever light conditions were thrown at me. I took this at the Summer Palace and lucky for me, this Temple was closed to the public, I was hanging over the edge of a stairway on another temple. I really love all the colours and details the Chinese have used in these buildings… enjoy!

Temple on the Hill – Summer Palace Beijing

 

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Burning Man 2012

Where on earth is Black Rock City?

Once a year more than 50,000 people flock the USA’s Nevada Black Rock Desert to form Black Rock City. This year marked the 26th anniversary of this strange event. Performers, artists and free spirits form a self reliant community to dance and express themselves. I came across this article with 40 photo’s from Reuters photographer Jim Urquhart and thought you may be interested in seeing what attracts 50,000 people to hang out in the desert… CLICK HERE to see the photos.

An aerial view of the festival in the Black Rock desert – Photograph: Jim Urquhart/Reuters

The Art Gallery at Night

At the end of the first official on3legs photowalk last weekend, we wandered past the Art Gallery of NSW… I just had to take a shot. I like the way they light these buildings up at night.

(Click on the photo to order yourself a print or to download (please see licensing for the rules!)

Categories: Australian Locations, Sydney | Leave a comment

The Forbidden City

Make a photograph…

It is so true that you don’t take a photograph… you make it. In fact, I am going to take the quote of the famous Ansel Adams that one step further and say that you don’t make a photography, you make a memory. For me there are several elements that keep me interested in photography. Making a memory is one of those elements… of course, the art of making a photograph is a part of that. To simply press the shutter and hope for a great photo would be ignorant. So what does it take to make a great photograph?

Henri Cartier-Bresson said “your first 10,000 photo’s will be your worst”… I would have to agree that one of the best way to make a great photograph is to take a lot of photo’s… slowly but surely you will get better. Stop waiting and wanting for the latest gear, stop making excuses that you’re too busy… make time to make photographs!

the daily pic – The Forbidden City

This was an amazing place to visit. As I was walking around I could see another temple on a hill, it would have the best ‘birds eye’ view of the Forbidden City… I made sure to find out where it was and headed there the next morning. The only downside in all of these temples is access times. Unfortunately, most of them open and close outside of the golden hours leaving little choice but to shoot during the day… I am still happy with the outcome of this one… all the people in the forecourt of the entrance really give you the scale of the Forbidden City… enjoy!

(Click on the photo to order yourself a print or to download (please see licensing for the rules!)

Categories: Beijing | 1 Comment

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