HDR +

That’s what I’m calling it in 2013!

I have been tagged as a ‘HDR’ photographer, and I don’t mind that, as I do use HDR as part of my process… but… I think that people immediately make judgement when they hear those three letters… (HDR). And I understand why, I see it too, you know, the ugly HDR, the badly done, over saturated, halo heavy and noisy yucky HDR images that all beginners put out on the net… we all have to start somewhere. A photographer that has discovered HDR for the first time is like a kid with a new toy for Christmas, they’re excited and want to show off their new found tricks… unfortunately, the new tricks are not nice… they’re hard on the eye’s!

For 2013, I am going to forge forward with what I call, HDR+ … why? I hear you ask. Well, 2013 is the year that I share with you exactly how I create my images, and it is so much more than just HDR. I spend a lot of time working on each image to make them look so much better than what HDR software alone could produce, I use photoshop with various other plugins depending on what I am after… some images I can spend over an hour working on, others are a quick 5 to 10 minutes, it all depends on what I want to produce, what I remember from the scene and what story I want the image to tell. The great news is what I do is not hard, and you can do it too… my mission in 2013 is to help reduce the amount of ugly HDR on the web… and help you make your images pop… you don’t even need to use HDR, the techniques I use work just as well for any image!

So where do we start… I will be running a free online 1 hour post processing session in the coming weeks, during this session I will share my screen with you, and you will see exactly what I do from start to finish. You will see how I overcome some of the issues of HDR software and I think you’ll be surprised at how easy it is… stay tuned for dates and times as it is going to be a fun session not to be missed… I hope you will join me!

Today’s iCandy – Coke is it!

I took this in the old Abandoned Dunlop/Slazenger factory. It has been empty for years and is quite un-nerving to wander around as you never know what may greet you around the next corner. I assume all the holes in the roof are from a huge hail storm at some stage… there is graffiti everywhere… and I mean EVERYWHERE! What I have been able to establish is that whilst graffiti artists are very creative… they’re extremely untidy people!

Coke Is It

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

Trey Ratcliff Back in Australia

This time Trey headed to Melbourne

Last time Trey was here he held a photowalk in Sydney, there was a great turn up and it was great to meet Trey and have a chat with him. About a week ago he announced that he would fly into Sydney then drive to Melbourne for a photowalk, the photowalk was held last night and from what I can see from the images he had a great turn out there too! You can check out the images from his photowalk on G+ HERE.

Today’s iCandy – 541am

Last year I spent a lot of time on the northern beaches of Sydney, for 2013 I thought I would head to the eastern suburbs more often. This is my first visit to the Eastern Suburbs and I decided to head to Coogee. This is Coogee Baths, and it was forecast to be a real scorcher in Sydney with temp’s reaching 43c, it was no surprise that by 6am the beach was starting to fill up… anyway, this is one I took of the baths at 541am (according to the clock on the Surf Club…

541am

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

Just another photo sharing site?

Is 500px just another photo sharing site?

Yep… basically, that is all it is… for some reason though, I like it. It has a few cool features and the user interface is nice and easy to use. There are some fine photographers sharing there images and it is easy to follow, vote and like stuff.

You can also sell images through the site, I am not sure how it works or how much you get as I haven’t bothered with that yet, I have been using 500px for about a month and I am just uploading an image a day.

If you want to find me there and have a look to see how it works, you can visit me at http://500px.com/bfewtrell 

Today’s iCandy – The Lonely Seagull

As you can see… just one seagull… I wonder where all his friends are? This is the Jetty at Coffs Harbour… possibly the loneliest seagull in Australia?

The Lonely Seagull

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Categories: Australian Locations, Coffs Harbour | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fuji X-E1 for Landscape

The X-E1 delivers

Now that I have Photoshop CS6 and I can use camera RAW to process the Fuji X-E1’s .RAF Raw files, I decided to test out the results. I headed out to shoot the sunset and with the Fuji firmly planted on the tripod, I had the 18mm f2 mounted on the front of it and I was ready to take my photo, and decided to use HDR for this one, I used the EV dial to take my 3 exposures, -2, 0, +2.

The 3 exposures in RAW

The 3 exposures in RAW (click on this image for a closer look)

I then took the 3 exposures and imported them into Photomatix (the software I use to create HDR images) and created my tonemapped version. I then did a little crop in photoshop and today’s iCandy is the end result. I am pretty pleased with the image quality of the Fuji and having full RAW file control in photoshop means I can seriously use this camera for landscape shooting.

Today’s iCandy – Bridge Glow

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Best Walk-around Lens

What would you pick?

I see this question often… what is the best all purpose walk around lens. In my opinion there isn’t one, this is why there are so many to choose from. I do have a favourite I will take if I could only take one lens and that is my 50mm f1.4, it is a great lens and on a full frame sensor is the perfect capture just about anything lens. For you folk with cropped sensor, go for a 35mm, it will give you roughly the 50mm equivalent.

Why do I like the 50mm f1.4? – it is light, fast and is good for just about anything, plus… quite a cheap lens too! You will have to move more, as this is a prime lens and will force you to think more about your shot, and in some cases you may have to take 2 or 3 shots and stitch them together later if you’re after something wider.

I am sure there are many different opinions, and all of them will be valid… feel free to leave a comment below and share with me what your ultimate walk around lens is….

Today’s iCandy – Watch your Step

I took this in an abandoned old building in Sydney. It was quite un-nerving as you never new what you would bump into around each corner. I really enjoyed shooting here though and have added my own tag in this picture (using photoshop of course)…can you find it?

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, Daily Blog Post, Sydney | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sydney Hot Spots

Diamonds in your own back yard

As the old saying goes… ‘There are diamonds in your own back yard’, it certainly applies to photography. Whilst I am always excited to find a new ‘hot spot’ for photography, I like the challenge of shooting something or some where I have shot many times before, but try to capture in a different way. I had a couple of concepts in my head that I wanted to try, one was shooting the Opera House from the northern side of Sydney Harbour, but rather than use a wide angle lens, get in nice and tight with my zoom. Another of my planned shots was to shoot Luna Park at night, I wanted to get nice and close and include every last detail… I wanted every light bulb to shine… I wanted you to feel like you were a child standing at the entry looking up in oar. Here are the results…

Today’s iCandy – Watching the Opera + Luna Smile

So today you get not one… but two 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!)

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fuji X-E1 Raw files

Forget the Fuji raw converter…

I think I already had said somewhere here that the Fuji raw converter is about as much fun as giving yourself root canal therapy! During the past week I upgraded to Adobe Photoshop CS6 and that includes the new Camera Raw that handles the Fuji .RAF raw files with ease… Now that I have this ability I will be shooting in RAW on the X-E1 and will run some tests over the coming weeks… but it is good news for those of you considering one of these as this was the ONLY thing that would stop me from seriously shooting with this camera, I will now be using it a whole lot more.  I am still waiting for an answer from the developers of my favourite HDR software ‘Photomatix’ to see when it will support RAW files from the X-E1, it will only be a matter of time as it already supports several other Fuji camera’s raw files.

Today’s iCandy – Redline Opera

I like working with car lights to see what creative things happen. Under the bridge this section is single lane, so all you have to do is wait until the cars travelling away from you get the green light and you will get red light trails, the headlights of the waiting cars from the other direction added a nice lighting on the railing to my left…

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

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!)

Categories: Australian Locations, Blue Mountains | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2013…

Sydney Australia is one of the first cities to celebrate NYE.. so there is a chance you are still counting down the hours. Myself and a buddy wanted to try some light painting to create a NYE photo… it was quite a laugh in the end. We decided to use sparklers rather than a static light source, and both of us had never really had any experience with light painting… We headed to a prominent harbour side location, with a plan of having the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House in the background of our image.

We practiced first with a torch and then decided ‘what the heck’ and decided to take the plunge and start using the sparklers, we had 60 of them… how hard could it be?

Well, it was harder than we thought… it was windy, so getting the sparklers to light was our first challenge. We had to work out where to stand, how big to write, how slow to move etc etc… it was becoming a real mission! In the end, we both ended up with an image we were happy with… here is mine… HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

The Outtakes

As I said in the beginning… there was a lot of learning (screw ups!)…

Rene, had bought these other cool sparklers that were the actual numbers… we thought we would give them a go..

firstly, we needed to work out how to mount them, as we would not be able to hold them still enough for a clean shot, luckily, Rene is like MacGyver and has a multi-tool and gaffa tape at hand… so we tape them onto a piece of metal bar that Rene had in his car … that seemed to be easy enough.

Setting up the shot

Setting up the shot

Next we had to get the placement right… this looked good… we would use photoshop to remove the tripod and stuff later…

Adjusting the composition

Adjusting the composition

All that was left to do was to light each number and capture our masterpiece… lighting them was easier said than done, so we decided we would light one at a time, and blend them in photoshop later… so here goes…

WTF??

WTF??

As you can see… this was an EPIC fail… can you see the number 2? … me neither… at least we had some fun and learnt something about light painting with sparklers along the way…

Have a safe New Years eve and I wish that 2013 brings you much joy and success… thanks again for being a part of my photojourney in 2012, I personally love hearing of how I have helped and inspired you to get out and create your own photojourney and hope you can join me again in 2013!

Cheers,

Ben

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

12 hours until 2013

Where are you for NYE?

Just 12 hours if you’re in Sydney… I am going to spend the eve with some of my good friends watching fireworks and enjoying a nice drinkie poo or two (or three), I hope you have something fun planned! Just after midnight I have something fun planned for you… I had fun making this special NYE image and I hope you like it too! Make sure you check in later to see what I am talking about…

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

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