Monthly Archives: November 2012

10 Tips to Better Photos

Brand New eBook Launched

I am pleased at the response in the first 12 hours of this being launched. I announced it last night on my Facebook page and there has been dozens of downloads. It is nice to know that after many hours of compiling my tips and tricks that a lot of you are keen to take a look inside!

Taking better photo’s starts with you making the decision that you need to learn something new… as the old saying goes “doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity”. I decided to write this eBook hoping I would help you understand how to take creative control over your camera. The camera is a marvellous tool and used properly, you can create images that will not only impress your friends and family, but even you will sit back and stare at your photo’s in awe!

I see so many people that leave their camera on auto, and in some cases, that is just fine, but if you are wondering why you’re not getting the results you want then this eBook could definitely be for you!

My journey in photography has been one of a stop start nature, sometimes it is easy to make excuses and let ‘life’ get in the way. I decided to just ‘capture life’ and stop making excuses and rarely a day passes where I don’t take a photograph. At the very minimum I will post one on my blog and other social media pages every day.

In this modern day it is as easy as it ever has been to take and share your photo’s with the rest of the world, you probably carry a camera with you every day cleverly integrated into your mobile phone.

It’s now time for you to take creative control over your camera… Enjoy the journey!

Final PhotoWALK for 2012

The final photowalk for 2012 has over 50 photographers registered with over 30 confirmed. The last photowalk was a great success and I am hoping this one will be just as good, if not better! The photowalk is this Sunday Evening kicking off at one of Sydney’s premier photo locations,  Observatory Hill. We will end up in The Rocks once the sun has set and there is a good chance there will be a cold beverage or two enjoyed at this time!

If you’re keen to find out more or come along, visit the Facebook Event Page and register your interest… I hope to see you there!

today’s iCandy – Turimetta Star

If you have been following me for a little while you will know that my favourite sunrise location on Sydney’s Northern Beaches is Turimetta Beach. I get a lot of questions to the exact location of this beach, it is basically North Narrabeen. On the southern end of the beach there are some wonderful rock structures that create all sorts of interesting foreground to shoot… enjoy!

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

Categories: Australian Locations, Daily Blog Post, Sydney | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

30% off Christmas Special

Here’s you’re chance to save…

Struggling to think of something different to give for Christmas this year? Have you got someone who is just impossible to buy for? Do you know someone that loves to hang great images on the wall and stare at them for hours (okay, even just look at them from time to time)?, maybe you know someone that just loves photography?, Then I have the perfect solution for you.

I have hundreds of images on my site for you to choose from, from seascapes to waterfalls… and from today until Christmas day you can order as many prints as you like and you will receive 30% off your total order. All you have to do is enter the code ‘Xmas2012’ when you check out and you will save 30% off the total (excluding shipping) – you can come back and order over and over just use the same code… feel free to pass it on to your friends and family too!

Use this link: Order online now and save 30%

New eBook available soon

My new eBook “10 Tips to better photos” will be available soon! Just adding the finishing touches and then you will be able to grab a free copy… stay tuned to find out how!

today’s iCandy – Armidale Catholic Church

Whenever I am travelling I like to check out each destination to see what may be there to capture. On my recent road trip up to the Gold Coast I knew I would be stopping at Armidale for the night. I found out about this old church and wanted to get inside to capture it. I was up early Sunday morning and before anyone had arrived I found a lovely lady that gave me permission to go inside and snap away. I love the detail and architecture of these old churches and whenever I get the chance I try to shoot them, they make really great HDR subjects too!

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

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

Nikon S800c Android camera thingy

I wonder if Nikon are barking up the wrong tree?

I understand the temptation for camera companies to try to come up with something that with rival the smartphone, I can imagine the boardroom conversation of Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Olympus… etc. “How do we create a camera as popular as the iPhone?”… the R&D departments of these manufacturers would be in overdrive, whilst Apple and android developers have this market pretty well stitched up…

Nikon have released a camera, sorry, no, they call it an ‘Android Camera’. The idea is you can get better quality pics on the go and post them to all the social sharing sites… the only problem is it isn’t a phone, so it does not have cellular connection and only works on a wifi, so you need your smart phone with you as well if you want to post pics on the go

It looks like the Nikon Marketing department have done extensive research (not) and seem to think that using this new ‘Android Camera’ over your smartphone will result in more likes for your photo’s, making you more popular and helping you justify carrying the S800c and your smartphone everywhere you go!… watch the video if you like lame stuff…

todays iCandy – Smokey Sunset

Smoke always deepens the colours of a sunset or sunrise. I was on my way home from the Gold Coast and decided to stay overnight at Coffs Harbour. What a great place for photography! The harbour has many vantage points and it is one of the few where you can capture sunset, and sunrise… this was at the end of a rock wall that must have been built to protect the marina, and as I was watching the sun set with my family dolphins were frolicking in the water around us… perfect!

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

Categories: Australian Locations, Coffs Harbour, Daily Blog Post, Equipment Review | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Updated my D800 page

A few more thoughts and some pics!

I just love my D800. The camera is insane! Every time I get back from a shoot and load the images onto my iMac I am impressed with the image quality this beast puts out. Someone told me it is not a pro camera, but I can tell you I have put mine through it’s paces and it has not missed a beat… of course, I am sure the D600 would be fine too… you can check out my updated D800 page HERE

todays iCandy

I spent an afternoon photographing a location that I wasn’t supposed to be in, I think they call it breaking in, then I was taking photographs of what I wasn’t supposed to see, I think they call it trespassing, and now I am going to process these said photos and share them with you… but I think it was worth it… I can honestly say I felt nervous going into this abandoned building, for two reasons… firstly, I thought “what if I am caught trespassing”, then I thought, well what harm am I doing, I am not breaking anything, I am not vandalising anything, just capturing many interesting impressions left on an old building. My second thought “what if there is some freak or freaks in here that will bash me for my camera?”… not a big issue in the end… but a possibility! Of course, this one was taken with my trusty D800!

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

Hydra Pro 3 review

My thoughts…

Recently I was asked to review the Hydra Pro HDR software for the HDR one online magazine. The software itself has a sexy User Interface and is very ‘Mac’ like. I have been using Photomatix for some time now and so I can give you a direct comparison and say that I would still choose Photomatix over Hydra. I am sure that as time goes on the Hydra software will become better but for now it is suffering from a couple of issues, the main being that it struggled to process larger files from my D800. The second issue that I found is that you have a lot of ability to control the final output image, and some of you would say this is a good thing, and I agree, but it is only good if it is easy to use and in the case of Hydra it starts to get confusing when you start making more advanced adjustments.

I think that all HDR software developers stop trying to be the one stop shop and just focus on making a program that is really good at tone mapping, aligning and de-ghosting. We can use Photoshop and a host of other plugins to add the final touches… just my thoughts!

Make sure you head over to HDRone.com and check out my full review… it should be published in the coming weeks…

Today’s iCandy

‘Fire in the Sky’ – Sometimes the sunrise doesn’t look like it going to be that great, this particular morning there was a storm off the coast and the cloud on the horizon was thick and heavy… this moment as the sun broke through lasted less that 2 minutes… it pays to be ready!

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

Categories: Australian Locations, Daily Blog Post, Equipment Review, Gold Coast | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

One Month to Xmas

Is is Christmas already?

It is hard to believe that in one month from today it will be Christmas… the years do seem to go faster the older that I get! Christmas for us here in Australia means summer holidays, I am planning on heading out and about of the summer holiday period to grab plenty of seascapes whilst the temperature is in my favour (I am not a fan of the cold)…

today’s eye candy – The Quay

I took this one during the Sydney Trey Ratcliff photowalk. The city has so many great photo opportunities… the Quay is definitely one spot to make sure you head if you’re in Sydney with your camera!

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

Categories: Australian Locations, Sydney | 1 Comment

Fuji X-E1 and HDR

Your questions answered…

A lot of people must be considering the X-E1 as their next camera… maybe you are too! I get over 100 hits a day on my blog with the X-E1 in the search term and I have had over a dozen requests to test my X-E1 out doing HDR and to post my findings here. Finally… I have done just that.

The X-E1 is a great camera, and the only short fall that I can see at this stage is to read the .RAF RAW files the Fuji creates you need Photoshop CS6 (which I don’t have) or use the Fuji supplied RAW editing software (and it sucks!).

For me, I have my D800 for shooting raw and wanted the Fuji as an everyday walk around camera. It is much lighter than the D800 and the image quality is damn good… I don’t need to shoot RAW for everyday snaps so the whole .RAF RAW file issue doesn’t bother me too much.

I have a page dedicated to the X-E1 that I am always updating and adding photo’s to… you will find it HERE

How does the X-E1 perform when it comes to shooting HDR?

On my recent trip to Fiji I decided to test it out, here is the original photo, this is taken with ‘Average’ metering. Given the dynamic range of the scene the camera is not going to be able to capture all of the detail with the limited dynamic range of the sensor.

The Correct Exposure using ‘Average’ metering

To take the different exposures I need for a HDR image the Fuji is limited in the way that you can do this. You could use the auto bracketing but would need to fiddle with the EV comp dial anyway to get the desired range in the exposures so I like to just use the EV comp dial and forget about the Auto Bracketing function. Maybe they will have a software update like SONY did that will make the Auto Bracketing more HDR friendly. Until then, the EV Comp dial is very easy to access and use.

Selecting +2 on the EV Comp dial

Selecting -2 on the EV Comp dial

After processing the image with Photomatix pro, here is the final HDR image, I used Photomatix Pro, I have tried lots of HDR software and find Photomatix the best. Use the Coupon code ‘ON3LEGS’ for a 15% discount, you can get it from here -> Photomatix DOWNLOAD

The Final HDR image

Categories: Daily Blog Post, Equipment Review, Fiji | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hydra Pro HDR Review

Coming soon to the HDR one online magazine!

If you’re into HDR photography like me then you will know there are a few different software packages available and a few different methods for achieving the look you’re after. You will also know that there isn’t one HDR software program that does it all. Is Hydra Pro 3 the answer?

My friend Jimmy who founded and runs HDR one, the internets premier online HDR magazine asked me to check Hydra Pro 3 out and right a review for the magazine. I am just about finished with my testing and I am adding the final points to my review. Keep an eye out for it on the HDR one site over the coming weeks… maybe it’s the HDR solution you’ve been looking for?

today’s eye candy – No Kidding

This is the Kids Pool at Castaway Island Resort in Fiji. The sign reads “no running, no jumping, no diving, no kidding!”, They have an adult pool too, but this one was much cooler so we spent most of our time in it!

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

Categories: Fiji | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Sydney PhotoWALK

Any skill level, Any Camera… come one… come all!

It looks like my last PhotoWALK for 2012 will be a great one! I am joining forces with Rob Potter from PhotographyHotSpots.com for my last PhotoWALK of the year. We’re kicking off at Observatory Hill, it is known as one of the premier photography locations in Sydney, with magnificent views over the harbour. We will then work our way to the rocks as the sun sets and have fun capturing some night shots. Our last joint PhotoWALK saw over 20 photographers attend and we were treated to a magic sunset over Long Reef… we had people at all skill levels with all kinds of cameras from phone camera’s to DSLR’s. No matter what you have you are welcome to come along!

CLICK HERE for more info and to register

pic of the day – Clowning Around

On my recent Fiji holiday I spent a fair bit of time underwater. I love scuba diving, it is very relaxing and in a way, is how I would imagine flying to be if we could just strap on a flight suit and take off. I thought I would try my hand at some underwater photography. I was too scared to put my D800 into an underwater housing so I decided to get a point and shoot that I could take diving. I decided on the Panasonic Lumix FT3 as it is waterproof to 12 metres, and shock proof too! Panasonic also sell an underwater housing for the Lumix so it can as deep as 40 metres. If the housing was to leak I would not have to worry as the camera itself is waterproof.

My hat goes off to the underwater photographers, this is one tough gig! It is challenging when your subject is timid and moving, and underwater the rule is to get as close as possible as shooting through too much water will degrade your shot. Of course, the closer I got to anything I wanted to shoot, the quicker it moved away so I ended up with a lot of shots of fish’s bums! The Clown fish on the other hand will stand their ground. They’re breeding at the moment and they stay to protect their eggs, so getting a photo of them is a little easier yet still challenging as they move around a lot!

Here is one of my better shots….

Clown Fish protecting their nest

Categories: Underwater | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I am Back… more news on the Fuji X-E1 soon!

back from Fiji..

Sorry it has been a bit quiet around here lately, I have just spent the last 2 1/2 weeks on vacation in Fiji… I took 3 camera’s, My D800, My Panasonic Lumix mostly used in an underwater housing and my Fuji X-E1. This trip really gave me an opportunity to give the Fuji X-E1 a true workout and can say I am really loving this camera! I am slowly transferring the hundreds of photo’s and images I took across to my iMac and as will start posting some soon. I will also update my X-E1 review page with more of my learning’s about the camera, and I am going to do a quick write up on the Lumix too for those of you thinking about underwater photography… so stay tuned!

Categories: Daily Blog Post, Equipment Review | Leave a comment

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