Posts Tagged With: opera house

Elia Locardi in Sydney

Workshop + Photowalk – 10th Feb

screenshot4If you like HDR then you will Like Elia Locardi’s work. He runs a travel blog over at blamethemonkey.com and has some stunning images. Elia is running a digital blending workshop here in Sydney on the 10th Feb and then hosting a photowalk from the Opera House Steps at 5:30pm. The workshop has a fee of $60 but the photowalk is free to attend.

I have registered for his Digital Blending workshop, in 2 hours I am sure I will pick up a trick or two! If you’re interested in learning more about using photoshop this is a good value workshop – Elia has more info on his website HERE, I will also be attending the photowalk afterwards… To check out more info and register for his Photowalk CLICK HERE (you will need to be on Google Plus to register)

Today’s iCandy – The Great Wall

If you go to China, this is one place you have to visit… it was the highlight of the trip for me…

(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: Beijing, Daily Blog Post, Sydney | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

Using Topaz Adjust

make your images POP…

There is plenty of cool software and plugins out there, so many that you would need to stop feeding your children if you were going to buy them all… I was asked the question, “If you could only have one plugin for photoshop, what would it be?” – and this is a tough question, I have so many that I love… but in the end I decided on Topaz Adjust… I wrote an article on HDR One explaining exactly why I love this plugin so much and I even show you how I use it! CLICK HERE to go to the HDR One magazine and have a little peeky boo at the article!

If you want to get Topaz CLICK HERE and you will be re-directed to their site… enjoy!

Today’s iCandy – Sydney Opera House

This is the image I ended up with after I used Topaz Adjust… if you want to see how I did it, then you better click on the link above to the HDR One magazine and check it out!

Sydney Opera House

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

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

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

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

Ken Duncan’s Christmas Message

My Christmas Wish sung by Gina Jeffreys

Ken Duncan, one of the many great photographers that inspire me has created this video, Merry Xmas!

Today’s iCandy – Opera Crystal

I took this back when Trey Ratcliff was in Sydney. He ran a photowalk here and whilst the weather looked gloomy, clouds always add something to an image. I used photomatix to process this one, if you want to buy photomatix for yourself, I have arranged a coupon for you to get 15% off. All you have to do is enter the code ‘ON3LEGS’ when you check out of the HDRsoft shopping cart and you automatically get the discount! They also have a free trial version so you can try before you buy if you’re not sure… have fun!

Opera Crystal

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

A day at the Opera

Do you photoshop your photos?

I was asked this question over on facebook, and it sparked a healthy discussion so I thought I would write this blog post about photoshop. Firstly, there is post processing, and then there is photo manipulation. I am not into manipulating my photo’s, I will sometimes remove a distracting element or correct lens distortion, but that is about it, I have nothing against photographers that do manipulate their pics… after all, it is art!

As for post processing, anyone who uses a DSLR and shoots in RAW format needs to post process their images, and this is because they’re RAW. Every camera has the ability to sharpen and make colours pop, but it is in the camera’s control, a DSLR gives you the option to shoot a RAW file allowing you to tweak things like sharpness, colour, white balance etc. later as you see fit, hence, the need to use photoshop. Photographers have been using all sorts of techniques in the dark room to make their pics look better, now we just use the digital darkroom.

I also shoot alot of my images in HDR, and this requires the use of photoshop to get the best results. Sometimes I can spend an hour or more working on getting an image right… so to conclude, there is nothing wrong with using photoshop to get the desired result, don’t let anyone make you feel like it is wrong, or that you are any less of a photographer if you use photoshop, if it feels right… do it!

the daily pic – a day at the Opera

So here is a pic that I have used a few post processing tools on. Firstly, it is HDR, and I have used Photomatix to create the HDR, then I used photoshop, Topaz adjust and onOne focal point to finish it off. enjoy….

The Opera House - Sydney Australia

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