Daily Blog Post

next PhotoWALK announced!

Observatory Hill to The Rocks

The View from Observatory Hill

It’s official! The next photoWALK will be on the 2nd December and once again I will be hosting this with Rob Potter from photographyhotspots.com (make sure you check out his site and add your favourite Hot Spots!)

The last photoWALK we held the sunset was one of the best we had seen all year! There was a great mix of people that rocked up from rookie to the more experienced and everyone had a great time. This time we are heading into the city, kicking off at 630pm with one of the best views of the Harbour Bridge at Observatory Hill and slowly making away towards The Rocks as the sun sets… finishing somewhere near a cold beer!

You can register for the event here through google+ or facebook depending on your preference… (click on your favourite) or just rock up on the day!

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Fujifilm X-E1 review

Is the Fuji X-E1 the camera for you?

Fuji X-E1

The mirrorless camera is fast becoming a popular choice for photographers… for me it was the smaller size without losing the ability to have interchangeable lenses. I looked at the Xpro1, the Sony NEX7 and the Olympus OM-D and in the end settled on the late to the market X-E1. After taking a couple of hundred frames with the Fuji X-E1 I have started a page with my thoughts and ramblings on this little mirrorless beast! I have really enjoyed shooting with this camera and hopefully my page will help you decide if this is the mirrorless camera for you!

Visit the Fuji X-E1 page

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HDR meets Watercolour

A fusion of art

I have had a few people ask me if they can paint my photo’s, and I always say yes… in fact, I am quite flattered when another artist recognizes my art as worthy to become their art. Painting has always been an art form that people appreciate, the amount of talent it takes to produce a great looking painting is more than we all imagine. I don’t know when you last had a go at doing your own painting… it is hard… so when I see a great painting I am bowled over.

To me, HDR is a way to take photo’s that ‘simulates’ what an artist is able to do when painting a picture. An artist is able to paint what their eyes see, usually they will stand at the scene with an easel and paint what is right there in front of them, and it is without doubt that an artist in this instant is capturing the high dynamic range of the scene, unlike a cameras sensor, that can only capture a limited dynamic range.

My good friends Rowan and Pania Gregson own and run the Boyd Gallery at Harrington Park in the South West of Sydney. I was at a function that Rowan & Pania had sponsored, and as part of their display they had James Boissett, an Australian watercolour artist painting a night scene of one of the local churches during the event. It was here that I met James and it wasn’t long before we were swapping tales of some of the best locations around Sydney Harbour and the beaches along Sydney’s coastline. One thing led to another and before I knew it James had agreed to paint one of my photo’s as a watercolour.

It was actually really tough to decide what picture to have painted, I knew James also loved Sydney Harbour and in particular, the view that can be seen from Blues Point. I had a photo that I had taken about 15 minutes before sunrise and the colours emitting from the horizon were amazing. There was a couple of issues with my image that had me set on going back to try and capture it again, there is a weird structure on the bridge (fireworks or something) and the mast of the sailing boat in the foreground is ghosted. I took this image before I really knew how to fix the ghosting… James was able to eliminate both of these distractions in his painting… and let me say… it looks AMAZING!

Here is my original HDR image…

My original HDR image from Blues Point

And after James worked his magic…

I am really pleased with how this came out, James was able to really capture the emotion of the pre dawn, a time of day by his own admission, he rarely sees (he can’t believe how early I get up to take photos!) I will be framing this myself and it will proudly hang it on my wall.

An amazing watercolour painting by James Boissett

Check out more of James Boissett’s work by visiting his website www.jamesboissett.com and you should also check out the Boyd Gallery website too www.boydgallery.com.au

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

Nikon D800 Review

well, at least I am making a start!

Nikon D800

okay, I have finally given in to the requests to give you my thoughts on the D800… I honestly thought there are enough reviews of this camera online already! anyway, due to it being one of the most popular questions I get I have started a page dedicated to the D800. You will find it HERE

Please don’t get too excited… I have only just started it, so I suggest you check back on a regular basis to get more juicy info on the D800. I will also be using some of the questions I have on the page, so if YOU have a burning question in regards to the D800 (or anything for that matter) then post it on my FACEBOOK page and I will answer it for you!

Cheers

Ben

Fuji X-e1 on it’s way

If you’re not up to speed with the mirrorless scene, the Fuji X-E1 in Fujifilm’s latest to hit the market and I think this will seriously take on the Sony NEX7 and the Olympus… I will post more news as it comes to hand… and I will road test this baby as soon as I have received it and let you know my thoughts so stay tuned!

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Nikon D600 v D800

Full Frame on a budget!

Wow… it constantly amazes me how quickly new cameras are brought to market. It wasn’t long ago that Nikon released the D800 and D4, these two camera are milestones in DSLR technology and then what does Nikon do? Bring out another full frame camera, this time at a price point that is less than we paid for a cropped sensor DSLR just a year ago. It matches or has a higher pixel count than any other full frame DSLR on the market bar one… the D800.

I remember when I got the D700, I had been shooting with a D300, and whilst it was good, full frame was better. I had both bodies and the D300 never saw the light of day, so I sold it, and the D700 to buy the D800! The D800 has come under some criticism, mostly due to it’s large RAW file size and slow continuous frame rate. Personally, I have never been happier with a camera in all my time as a photographer, in particular for landscape work I thing the D800 is the best available on the market today.

Nikon have now released a baby brother to the D800… the D600. It is a 24mp full frame camera with a 5.5fps continuous shooting rate. The D600 will be an easy transition from Nikon’s DX format D7000 with the added bonus of features found on the D800. Here are the differences in specs between the two cameras… maybe it will help you decide what is best for you!

D600 v D800

  • 24.3MP Full-frame CMOS sensor v’s 36.3MP CMOS
  • 10.5MP DX-format crop mode v’s 15.3MP
  • 39-point AF system with 9 cross-type AF points v’s 51-points, with 15 cross-type
  • Autofocus sensitivity down to -1EV v’s down to -2EV)
  • Maximum 5.5fps continuous shooting in FX mode v’s only 4fps in FX mode
  • 2,016-pixel RGB TTL exposure metering sensor v’s 91,000 pixels
  • 2x SD slots v’s one CF slot and one SD slot
  • No ‘Power Aperture’ aperture control during movie shooting v’s ‘Power Aperture’ aperture control during movie shooting
  • Shutter rated to 150,000 cycles v’s 200,000 cycles
  • Magnesium-alloy top and rear, polycarbonate front-plate v’s the D800’s full mag-alloy
  • USB 2.0 interface v’s USB 3.0
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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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What lens should I get next?

One of the most common questions I get…

As an enthusiastic photographer I get asked a lot of questions by a lot of people about all things photography! However, the most common questions I get are about what gear to buy. In particular there is a fair bit of confusion when choosing what lens(es) to buy. I decided it warranted it’s very own page so you can read about it HERE, I also go through the lenses in my kit and explain what I use each lens for and what I like and don’t like about each lens. Hopefully it will help you make a better decision when buying your next lens.

the daily pic – The Water Cube and Birds Nest

On my recent trip to China I spent most of my time in Beijing. I visited the Birds Nest a day earlier and rode a Segway around the running track inside the Olympic Stadium. This was one of the best vantage spots to be able to capture the two sights in one shot, I took it from the Bar in the 7 star ‘Pangu’ hotel building accross the road…

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

Categories: Beijing, Daily Blog Post | Leave a comment

My Gear

Photography Stuff

I have done some updating to the My Gear page, and will continue to add more info over the coming weeks. A lot of people ask me for my opinion when it come to photography gear… hopefully the My Gear page will help you decide!

As I try new gear I will do my best to update the blog, if you see me using something and you want to know more about it, shoot me a message and I will create a page dedicated to it.

Really Right Stuff

A serious Ball Head

Talk about quick delivery! It amazes me that I can usually get something that ships from the USA quicker than something locally! You would think that the Aussie sellers would get their act together…

I ordered a BH55 Ball Head from Really Right Stuff last week and it has already arrived. I will add a page dedicated to it once I get some use from it, but so far it is a very impressive piece of equipment!

My first impression is this will be the last Ball Head I will ever have to buy. It is well built and is going to take whatever I can throw at it… next is the carbon fibre legs to go with it… stay tuned…

Categories: Daily Blog Post, Equipment Review | 1 Comment

On The Bridge

Looking for Sunset Locations

If you have any ideas of great locations for me to shoot at sunset, let me know. I am using an app on the iPad called stuck on earth and it is great for finding new spots, but if you know somewhere that is good I will put your location onto my ‘must shoot’ list.

the daily pic – On The Bridge

I think I have some sort of addiction to bridges, jetty’s and lighthouses! This was the second time shooting sunrise at Bare Island La Perouse, the first time the fog was thick and surprisingly, I was pleased with the images… as you can see from this one, the fog was no where to be seen!

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

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