Posts Tagged With: Harbour Bridge

Free HDR Tutorial

Create stunning HDR Photos

I have just finished putting together the final touches of my free online HDR tutorial. I believe this is the most comprehensive free HDR tutorial on the web… CLICK HERE to check it out. I re-worked an image I took on easter sunday 2012 with my D700 and documented step by step what I do to create a HDR photo. I hope you like it… feel free to share it around!

Here is the Before and After shots from the tutorial

HDR Before and After

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More Fuji XE1 HDR

I am loving the X-E1 for landscape and HDR photography

I know, I have rattled on a fair bit about this camera in the past few months, but I do really think these mirrorless wonders will supersede the DSLR, especially for the majority of the market… I think they call them prosumers… anyway, to me it’s anyone that bought a DSLR for the convenience of interchangeable lenses and of course, the image quality.

The downside of the DSLR is the bulk and the weight, and this has been fixed with the mirrorless camera. The Fuji X-E1 I can carry with me all day, I don’t feel like I am weighed down, even the bag I have for it is small, and is easy to carry all day! In the past, it was a trade off, the heavier it got, the better the image quality.. the lighter, the less image quality and things like shutter lag etc. etc…. The mirrorless camera is lighter, almost like a point and shoot… yet it still has superb image quality! So you can have your cake and eat it too!

If you want to read my review on the X-E1 CLICK HERE to go there now…

Today’s iCandy – The shed by the Harbour

This is a HDR image I have taken with the Fuji X-E1. It is 3 exposures. I had the Fuji mounted on a tripod, and it is really easy to manually do the bracketing by moving the EV dial in between shots. Sure, it would be nice if there was a function for the camera to take bracketed shots at a spacing of 2ev… maybe in a future firmware upgrade (hopefully you’re reading this Fuji R&D). For now, this is a good solution and probably the easiest out of any of the mirrorless camera’s I have seen.

the shed by the harbour

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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!)

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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!)



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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…



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!



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My 2012 Photojourney

Here is a selection of my Photojourney for 2012. It was a year of learning, up until this year I never had worked out what kind of photography I loved, I now have discovered Landscape and what I call HDR Plus – The music is from around 1995 when I was in a band called ‘Sagacity’, I wrote the music and played guitar on the track, My cousin Darrin wrote and sang lyrics, his brother Matt played Bass and and another cousin, Brad played drums… a bit of a family affair! It was a lot of fun so I thought I would share it along with my photojourney for 2012… enjoy!

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Digital Artistry

It takes talent…

As a photoshop user (I use the term VERY broadly as I think I use about 5% of Photoshop) I can really appreciate how hard it can be to achieve certain things with a photo, and not to mention how long it must have taken. I want to introduce you to a friend of mine who is into Digital Art, this is a form of art where images are created digitally… in this case from several images. His name is Rob Potter and you may have seen his name here before, as he runs, he is a keen HDR photographer, but he also has a more unique string to his bow, he is a passionate digital artist. You can visit his website here

Here is his latest art work…

Now, you may look at this and not realise how much work as gone into it so make sure you scroll down and you will see the images he started with, and then have another look at the final image… it is hard to tell this was put together… nice work Rob! He said it took him 7 to 8 hours to get it right in photoshop… he has more patience than me (not to mention more photoshop skills!)

Surprised to see Santa!

Surprised to see Santa!


The images Rob started with

The images Rob started with

Today’s iCandy – Anzac Bridge at Sunrise

I like this image as it showcases the Anzac Bridge, the Harbour Bridge and Sydney tower…

Anzac Bridge Sunrise

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Another successful Photowalk

Observatory Hill to The Rocks

I started to worry about the weather towards the start of the walk, it was overcast and there definitely wasn’t going to be a sunset… just grey! I do like clouds in my photo’s as it adds drama to the shot.

We had a good turnout (I never did count the total numbers) but let’s call it 20+… we Kicked off at Observatory Hill, a purely magnificent location for photography, evident by the amount of wedding photo’s being taken up on this hill! We then slowly wandered down to the Harbour Bridge and finished at the Harbour Forecourt.

As always, plenty of friendly people attended of all skill level and it was great to see some familiar faces from previous walks.

A group of keen photo walkers

A group of keen photo walkers

What a great place to snap away!

Everyone getting some great shots on the Observatory Hill photowalk – Taken on the X-E1 in Pano mode


today’s iCandy – NightBridge

I took this towards the end of the walk. If you have been following me for a while you will know this is the composition of my award winning ‘Sunkissed Bridge’ shot… I thought it would be nice at night too!


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

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Rhapsody of the Seas

The Wacom Intuos 4 – a quick review…

Okay, so some of you are asking… what the heck is a Wacom Intuos 4???? and some of you are thinking… cool, I always wanted one!

Wacom are the company behind the Bamboo tablet, and many other professional graphics tablets. The Intuos 4 is one of Wacom’s more recent developments, I believe there is a Intuos 5 now, so I am sure that is even better than what I have. I went with the Intuos 4 after reading a couple of reviews about it. For my purposes, which is image post processing,  I have gone with the small one, and I find it is perfect! I mostly use it for when I am masking layers in photoshop. It is accurate and much faster than trying to use the mouse!

So for any of you photography buffs out there that are sitting on the fence when it comes to a graphics tablet… do yourself a favour and just go get one! You will never look back…

the daily pic – Rhapsody of the Seas

I headed into the city early one morning to see what I could capture and was lucky that there were two ships coming into Sydney Harbour, Rhapsody of the Seas and Dawn Princess. I got a couple of pics of each, this one of Rhapsody of the Seas docking at Circular Quay is my favourite… enjoy!

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Bridge to Beach Paddling Challenge

I headed down to the Harbour Bridge last Sunday Morning to test out the new Nodal Ninja Panoramic head and when I arrived, around 6:30am, I was shocked to see there was NO parking! Unbelievable for this time on a Sunday morning. It wasn’t long before I realised that it was the Bridge to Beach paddling challenge that was causing the early morning traffic chaos. Being the opportunist, I thought to myself it’s not very often that I see this many kayaks in one place, I should take the opportunity to grab a shot. What was funny was everyone asking me what paper or magazine I was from… They must not think that anyone else has a hobby crazy enough to get them out of bed before the sun wakes up!

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

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