Fisherman at Sunset

  The sun was setting, the last few minutes of light but still enough time to capture this fun moment; Man and Boy against the sea! While I was at the beach taking wide-angle shots, I kept my eye on this fisherman. Waiting to see if there was any action taking place… I was just about to give-up when I noticed his rod bowing against the strain. I took a few photos as he wrestled the fish towards the shore. To me this was quite a fun scene; the dynamic of man and boy, enjoying the moment together. The boy...

Red Bubbles!

Some for a rainy day?  When the rain starts falling I like to get out the macro lens and see what I can capture at home.  There were no bugs around the place so I decided to try and create something.   In this photo I took some food colouring into some water and then added a little olive oil.  Finally a little stir to get those bubbles going!I had my camera fixed on a tripod and used the remote release to fire the shutter.  Initially, the light wasn’t quite right so I added some off camera flash.  These tools helped...

With the end in mind

Sometimes it helps to pre-visualize the photo; that’s what I did here.  I was thinking that the scene could look interesting if it was converted to black-white using an Infrared effect.  So, the photo was actually taken in the middle of the day with quite bright sunlight (though with cloud as you can see here).   I processed the original image through Silver Efex Pro 2 for the conversion and then blended back in the original colour image (effectively selectively dodge and burn). The result is an image that looks like a dramatic moonlit night. These tools helped me work...

Looking Back for Inspiration

In New Zealand we have caps on broadband.  I’ve got quite a bit – 40GB but thanks to a guest that we had staying this month, its all been used up!   That means we’ve been reduced to dial-up speeds for the last week.  As you can imagine, this has limited how much I’ve been able to upload.   I’ve got a whole bunch of great images to show you and hopefully I’ll be able to post them in the next few days. I’ve managed to drip feed a few low resolution images to Flickr to keep some kind of...

Capturing those special moments

What a fun privilege, capturing moments from someone’s wedding day.  I would guess there is no other day quite like it for bringing together wider family and friends.  A day when happiness is king!  It’s important to get all of those “standard” images; family groups and important moments.  The ring, the vows that first kiss…The “fly-on-the-wall” is a fun way to ensure the other incidental elements are saved; these are the simple things that form the tapestry of that day. This photo I captured while the bride prepared; another wonderful privilege, to be there as the she transformed into a...

Make the effort

Sometimes you just have to make the effort to get the shot.  For me the early mornings are really hard; this explains how few sunrise shots I have!  The morning light often has the blue-ish look to it where as sunset has a golden glow.   Of course these days we tools like Photoshop and we can fake it to a degree. In this shot I hiked-up the hill at sunset hoping to get some kind of drama from the sun as it cast light over the valley.  Then I thought I’d wait until the sun was just going below...

Beach Boy

Now to try and remember what I did on this one…  I think the composition and expression was pretty good but it did look a little flat.  The option to go black and white was there but that lovely gold tone was too good to lose!  So, I took it into Nik Color Efex Pro 4 – extract details filter and then tweaked the levels slightly in Photoshop. I do like to use the Art History brush to create the “painting look” but it takes ages!  So, I took it into Alien Skin Software’s Snap Art 3 (watercolour filter), adjusted...

Fire In The Sky Over Mana Island

I broke my tripod last week and this is limiting the number of HDRs I’m taking.  Have you tried using a monopod for this?  Slightly better than useless…  Thankfully, there was a trash can nearby that was in just about the right location – it proved a pretty stable surface!  I’m glad that I still took this (hand-held by the way) series of shots – better than nothing I reckon 🙂The wonderful 10-22mm EFS lens from Canon works like a charm when there are a few clouds in the sky.  The clouds seem to tower over you as you take...

A little drama

A bit of drama!  This photo was taken using natural light, there was just enough to light the face.  This is another great example of the Canon 7D’s low-light capabilities, any noise cleaned-up with Noiseware.  I really hope that the makers of Noiseware bring-out a 64-bit version of this super plug-in soon.  It’s my favourite noise reduction tool but it requires me to run Photoshop CS5 in 32-bit mode.  My other main noise reduction tools are Topaz DeNoise and Nik Software Dfine.  To be honest I wouldn’t have bought Dfine by itself; it just doesn’t add-up (cost versus features).Once the...

Black and White Long Exposure

For this long exposure shot I used the rocks in the sea as a counterpoint.  For the lens I used the 24-105mm at the long end.  Again the key is to focus on manual before attaching the ND filter.  If you don’t have a camera release cable then set it for a 2 second delay; this helps to reduce any camera shake.  For post-processing I used Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro 2.  You can use this plugin either directly from Lightroom/Apple Aperture or Photoshop. Topaz Lab’s have a great BW effect plugin too and its worth checking-out too.   The ability to select film...