Blue Mountains

New Year… New Site

coming soon!

I am working like a busy beaver to upgrade a few things on the blog… I never knew It was going to be this popular when I started, and your first blog post is like your first house, you’re only guessing what your needs are going to be, so when I created the on3legs website 9 months ago I had no idea what I really wanted. Nearly a year down the track, I have a better idea of what I want to be able to do with the site, so now I am going through metamorphous (well the site is anyway) from a pretty caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly… in the coming weeks you will see a change… the good news is what I do, and how I do it won’t change, so you will still get the same regular banter and images from me, but it will look nicer, be easier to navigate and I will also have a virtual gallery you can come into and look through my limited edition prints that will be available for purchase. The new site will also adapt to your screen or window size, so no matter what device, screen or window size you choose, the site will adapt to bring you the best experience… I hope you like it!

Today’s iCandy – The 3 Sisters

I am re-sharing this image with you… I have upgraded my software and computer and my internet is so slow… I am still trying to get all the updates I need so I can process any new images. However, this is one of my favourites, and yours too judging by the activity on my portfolio site, it is one of the most purchased and viewed images… 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!)

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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!)

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Auto no more…

Understanding Exposure part 3

Yesterday in part 2 I used buckets, water and hoses to explain exposure to you, hopefully you had a chance to read it, if not, I suggest you do so you’re up to speed before jumping into part 3! You will find part 2 HERE

Now that you understand a little more about exposure, it’s time to look at why you would want to be able to make changes to shutter speed, aperture or ISO.

Today we will be looking at what adjusting the shutter speed does…

Basically, you leave the shutter open long enough to allow enough light in for a correct exposure, just like in the example of the bucket, you left the lid off until it was full of water. What you need to know is  a faster shutter speed will ‘freeze’ motion whilst a slower shutter speed will ‘blur’ motion. Using a slower shutter speed is how to get silky smooth waterfalls, show motion blur in propellers and wheels and more… sometimes creatively it is important to be able to depict movement, and slowing your shutter speed will help you achieve it. However, if you’re taking a photo of something that isn’t moving, the last thing you want is for it to be blurry, if you want an image that is not blurry it is known as being ‘sharp’, to achieve a sharp image you have two choices, one option is to use a tripod to keep your camera from moving as the exposure is taken, the second option is to speed up the shutter speed so it is so quick, that any movement is ‘frozen’. Just remember if your subject is moving, even a tripod won’t help…

Unfortunately, if the available light is low you cannot just use a faster shutter speed, this is why flash is used in some low light situations. If you don’t have a flash, or don’t want to use a flash, it is possible that you will underexpose your image if you don’t let enough light in, and if you leave your shutter open long enough to let the light in, you may end up with an unwanted blurry image! In the next couple of days I am going to show you how to best overcome this issue using aperture and ISO.

the daily pic – Silky Smooth Water

This photo shows you what is possible with a longer shutter speed. I had to use a special filter called a ND (Neutral Density) filter that blocked some of the light from entering my lens, it allowed me to keep the shutter open for 20 seconds. To do this I also had to mount the camera on my tripod and used a remote to activate the shutter otherwise other parts of my image would be blurred. I wanted to make the water blurry, this is how to achieve the silky smooth look…

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

Categories: Australian Locations, Blue Mountains | 1 Comment

Silky Smooth Waterfall

Still getting the hang of the Xpan

I have been shooting with both my D800 and my Xpan each time I go out… I was consistently underexposing on the Fuji Velvia so I adjusted the way I was metering, and started to use a light meter to get better at getting the exposure right. My latest roll is definitely the best so far, and is only my 3rd roll exposed. I am really enjoying shooting on film as it really makes me think about what I am doing and has taught me to go back to the basic fundamentals of photography… light!

Here is a pic straight from the scan of the Fuji Velvia, I can see why so many landscape photographers really love this slide film, the colours just ‘pop’!

Xpan Shot on Fuji Velvia 50

pic of the day – Silky Smooth Waterfall

I love to try and capture the mood of a scene, and a waterfall is majestic for that very reason, the water is falling, to be able to capture that is a great challenge, especially somewhere as busy as Wentworth Falls, so many people kept walking in front of me as I was trying to shoot this… enjoy!

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The Three Sisters

Should I run a Photography Class?

I have had a lot of people ask me if I run classes… the short answer is no. However, it got me thinking, maybe I could run a session to help some of you understand how to use your camera better. One of the challenges with the modern digital camera is that it can be a little confusing, you know, with so many functions and buttons! My belief is that you cannot just attend a class/course and then take great photo’s, it is a process of evolution, you have to take a certain amount of really crap photo’s to learn how to take better ones… that’s how you learn… well hopefully you learn from your mistakes. If you’re interested then contact me by CLICKING HERE or you could shoot me a message on my facebook page

the daily pic – The Three Sisters

I took this from the echo point lookout, the view from this lookout is amazing! Here you can see why we call these mountains the Blue Mountains… Once winter is over and it is a little warmer I am planning on spending a day or two hiking around the area… enjoy!

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On Track

Icy start to the day

This morning was the first morning I had woken to ice on the car… it must have reached freezing last night and whilst in some cities that is  normal, we don’t get that many mornings that are that cold. One of the advantages of winter for the photographer is the sun rise is later in the morning, effectively giving me a sleep in! The downside is that it gets very cold!

the daily pic – On Track

This was from my visit to Clarence, the Zig Zag railway was operating the last service it will operate until the government helps them with some funding. There aren’t very many locations where you can stand on the tracks and safely get  a photo… enjoy!

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The Three Sisters

Panoramic

I love a good panoramic image, if you look at some of our more successful photographers, they are masters at capturing a panoramic image… the digital age has made it easier for us to be able to do the same, I have even got an app on my iPhone that creates panoramic images for me, and I got to say, it does a pretty good job!

the daily pic – The Three Sisters

When I was standing at the lookout in the howling cold wind, I had no idea what a great image I had captured… I could hardly feel my fingers and my face they were so cold, and it really affected my concentration, in fact, I think I was rushing… there is something to be said  for knowing my camera, and being able to shoot in these conditions. This is a panoramic image made from 6 photo’s that were then joined together using software. Of course I did a little bit of work to get them right, about 3 hours worth to be exact! I think it was worth it… enjoy!

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

Categories: Australian Locations, Blue Mountains | 2 Comments

one more Zig Zag

Sad to see the Zig Zag railway closed for now…

I found out about 2 weeks ago that the Zig Zag railway was closing due to the fact that they could no longer fund the operation. The Steam Train hasn’t operated for some time and now the whole railway was gong to stop. According to Yesterdays paper, the government has agreed to provide some funding to keep it going. So who knows how long it will be before we hear the clickety clack at Clarence railway station… hopefully the government won’t have it out of action for too long.

the daily pic – one more Zig Zag

Yesterday afternoon I headed to Clarence for the 3pm train out, so I could witness the final departure…

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