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Port Botany

and my favorite little breakwall, albeit pretty well the same as the other 30 along the bay ;)

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Hey look over here, its a sunrise picture :) the first sunrise I have done in 3 months :) I was thinking I may have forgotten what sunrise looked like
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The Complete Picture

The full set of images from the focus awards - Its taken a few years, but I find less thought and deliberating over the images seems to work better for me - basically just scroll through the last 12 months of my flickr images :) . Each year I say, i'll get my act together and select them with plenty of time, but sure enough everytime, its a Saturday night jobbie with some much valued advice from my dear partner :)

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28/11/2017
17 Photos - View album

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Focus Awards - Seascape

Every year I throw several images into the Focus Awards, an excellent local photography community which a mate introduced me to awhile back.. kinda glad he did :) ..

This year one of my favourite seascape images got second place in the Seascape Category, I have done very little photography by the ocean this year with only a handful of shoots at new spots. A family trip to Tweed heads got me a few new cool spots, one of which was where this image was taken, Snapper Rocks. Like most mornings when considering whether to drag ones ass out of bed to go and shoot some pictures, this one was no different, the temptation to grab that extra couple of hours sleep is sooo very tempting especially with a bunch of kids to deal with during the day :) kinda glad I did get out of bed tho....

Having never had to stand up on stage and try and explain a picture.. and hopefully won't have to again ;) I thought I might deconstruct this image and show people the images behind it and the starting point. I know I always wonder about how others process images and as someone who actually has very little skill in PS its quite useful to see the starting point and a bit of the process of how a image develops start to finish, so here is my stuff behind my final image.

This image, really is just a bunch of rocks in the ocean, I love it because of that, its not of a familiar place, its not recognisable as a location and it has a few elements which for me give it a bit of abstraction and minimalism, not to much to be too wild, just enough like adding lime to your beer but not drinking Bolivian hard pressed chilli-lime ale. There was some level of self awareness of what the final image would look like, I knew it would be a simplified scene, slightly desatured with yet a hint of green, think lime in ya beer kinda green :) I also remember it well since I was trying out a Leofoto pano head in the wild for the first time – thanks Kudos Cameras and Cameron, with out it this would not have worked and it tipped me over the edge to start using a pano head for ultrawide style panoramas.

The image is 6 vertical shots (@17mm) taken in quick succession as one or two waves rolled over the rocks, the shutter was 1.6 s and this was just enough to get a bit of motion in the water but also get through shots quickly before the water drained away off the rocks. I could have probably done it in landscape orientation, however the field of view would have not been as wide.

The 6 images used to make the panorama are included here, a stitched version (uncropped) from a series of images taken several minutes before as a test run are also included, more just to give an idea of the stitching of the images and the field of view. The final stitch and crop also included and also shows the removal of a few rocks and the removal of the skyline of Surfer's Paradise, this is done using content aware in PS, clone tool and also the motion blur. The motion blur is also used on the water near the horizon to give more sense of motion.

The cloud which is that cool abstract element is real and unadulterated. This part of the image just makes it for me and I recall watching this cloud float on by thinking what a awesome little cloud, I just gotta nail that in the right spot, it did move pretty fast which was handy.

Final processing was contrast, vibrancy and various selective applications on parts of the image, like the cloud, (some clarity), the rocks (lots of blacks and clarity) and accentuating the greens on the rocks. This was all done in Lightroom and an obsolete program called CaptureNX2 which I still dabble with for certain things. Photoshop was used for the stitching and clones etc.

Conveniently enough I also have a awesomely out of focus phone shot of my camera setup at the time. It had the 17-35mm f2.8 lens (thanks for the loan Cameron!) Lee graduated 0.9x filter and Hoya circular polariser.

I hope this helps some people understand whats behind this image and also the level of processing that went into it.

Thanks to the focus crew for a wonderful photography competition, its a hoot every year and a pleasure enter and support. Thanks to the Sigma for the awesome prize too!
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28/11/2017
11 Photos - View album

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Epson Pano Awards 2017

Every year I see the results to this coveted competition come out and every year I have said to myself, next year I'll put a few in there..well this year I finally did, albeit at the last minute, but thats my life at the moment :)

Firstly, if you have not done so already, spend 10 minutes or even better grab a cup of tea and spend half an hour to sit down and look through the winning images in the open and amateur categories, there are quite a few since they publish the top 50, but it is certainly worth it, there is some stunning imagery in there. It's also great to see such a large representation of Australian photographers in there, we clearly punch well above out weight for our population size.

https://thepanoawards.com/

This year a mate named Ray Jennings smashed a home run in the Amateur category with an amazing image of some smelly lake.. its not even a lake :) its a dam.. ;) .. out past Mudgee, in all seriousness check it out, its a great shot and a prime example of how to make a stunning image from regular joe location, there are no snow capped mountains there.. there are no wild scenes.. just a dam with a bunch or dead trees and some birds :) Great work Ray.

So i put a few images in, i really had my heart set on my macro panorama, i felt it had a bit of something extra but not enough to get it over the line.. anyways. my image from Queenslake back in the Easter holidays seemed to gel with the judges and got a gold for a place at number 32 :) , for me its a nice image.. but its just a bit cliche... i guess I have spent so much time there over the last several years I have forgotten to appreciate it's beauty.

So anyways, here are the set of images that I put in and got a result.

As mentioned, be sure to check out the website and see some absolutely stunning images, btw Jesus won.. no really :).. a dude called Jesus from Spain won.. check him out :)

#epsonpanoawards2017
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27/10/2017
6 Photos - View album

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Don't tread in the shadows..
there be monsters in there.

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Just another Norwegian town on some Fjord...

This place was one of our more..ahem.. 'interesting' accommodation choices, turned out to be a rather religious institution, whilst nothing wrong with that, it just was not very clear to the average punter looking for a place to stay :) .. luckily for us it was our night off the turps and no mischief to be had ;) ... Ironically I had to throw pebbles at the window to get let back in after my sunset shoot (that was about 11:30 pm :) ) .. musta looked at bit suss :)

Norway, everytime I open up the folder of images there is always another shot that jumps out at me, even after al this time
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Snow Gum Shadows.
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That very familiar House
#SOH
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Stuck

ya gotta wonder whats under the snow here! in some places you can now longer walk underneath the big gums since there is 2-3 metres of snow and the lower branches are also partially encased in snow.

Sadly, many of the snow gums in the kosciuszko national park are well and truly dead from previous bush fires, i suspect, unlike typical aussie bush which regenerates quite quickly after even the more severe bushfires, these gums may take many tens of years to come back... if at all.

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