Friday, 12 December 2014

World Of Wearable Arts Part 2

Having re-looked through my photos again you can't help but marvel at the amazing work which has gone into these garments. Most are not practical day wear obviously!!, however as Art they are spectacular.
It really is worth heading along to the Auckland Museum and marvel at the amazing world of wearable arts.

My first subject is actually made up of wood strips. The lighting around the subject was very low so I needed my tripod again.
I was lucky that this object was set back in it's own little cubicle so the other lights didn't; really effect it much. I opted for a lesser exposure on this so dropped to -1.3. ISO I kept at 100.

F3.2 1.6sec -1.3 ISO100 24mm
The next two subjects are very cool. The first is the rear of the garment I posted early and thought I'd best share the level of detail at the rear of the dress. Incredible and very colourful.

F3.2 1sec ISO100 32mm
The last one definitely is not everyday where. The church is amazing and perhaps one of my favourites.
F3 1sec ISO100 24mm

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Tonemapping or HDR

With so many plugins and filters these days HDR has lost a bit of it's flare. Anyone can do it, even on an iPhone!! which is probably why I have spent very little time doing any HDR stuff over the past few years.
In fact having reviewed my image library I surprised myself.
The last evidence of any HDR photography was way back in 2008, when I got my first digital DSLR the Canon 450D

So why should I revisit the world of tone mapping?, Well for one thing I now have a new PC with plenty of grunt to handle 16/32bit Images with ease, and my 24mp Canon CR2 files.

My subject for re-visiting HDR was a nice old red Jaguar on display last weekend. I wasn't looking to create anything surreal but just to enhance a few features and provide a good depth across the colours. Not keen on these heavily processed images, but rather the more subtle ones which still keep the subject real.

So here is my result
3 Shots at , -1, 0 +1, F16, 1/160 ISO200

I have dropped the red saturation slightly which has given the car a more Pinky finish, which my daughter gave me the thumbs up for :), and I masked the Chrome areas out so I could adjust these individually.
The +1 shot was a tad over exposed so I ended up having to pull the highlights back to compensate.
I then used a small amount of Luminace through the Noise reduction settings to smooth the body tones out, and finally added an edge vignette.

I think HDR is something you either like or you don't, I'm not fussed either way and occasionally a subject comes along that you think "Hey, why not?"

Here is another shot showing you the three exposures next to each other.
The RAW files went through the Camera RAW plugin with minor individual tweaks, Then loaded up the Photoshop HDR merge function and kept most adjustments to the tone panel.

+2, 0, -2 F11, 1/160 ISO 200
Final image (cropped and straightened)

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

World Of Wearble Arts

If you have the time head to the Auckland War Memorial Museum and take a look around the WOW Exhibit. There are some amazing wearable art pieces which really show case some great talent.
I'm not a fashion expert by no means, in fact  Jeans and a T-Shirt is a about as fashionable I get these days.
Here are a couple of shots. Please note Flash photography NOT allowed :)
To find out how to deal with low light shooting read my A to Z n photography under E for exposure

Monday, 8 December 2014

Aircraft Photography - Spitfire

I'm extremely lucky to be living 30minutes from an airfield which boasts several vintage warplanes including the much loved Spitfire.
I never get bored of photographing this aircraft and I'm always on the hunt to capture it as often as possible.

A few weeks ago the War birds society had an air show and rather than go with the crowds  I opted to position myself on the opposite side of the airfield just below a large tree line.
This proved to be very good for 2 reasons. [1] The sun was behind me for a few hours, [2] the aircraft generally made low level passes across the neighbouring field prior to flying over the run way.

I realised quickly that my zoom lens could possibly be an issue in having to focus and compose as they came low across a tree line then down onto the field. However I love a challenge and this day certainly provided that.

After figuring out roughly where the flight path was I set a manual focus across the top of the treeline and then sat patiently.
The first shot, came as a surprise, The spitfire came in very low and very fast. I had to track very quickly and got myself caught up by nearly falling into a ditch :)
Then after reviewing the shot I realised I still had the B/W setting on, but it looked ok and so I decided to leave it.
Quickly flicking back to Standard AdobeRGB Colour I re-focused and waited for the return flight.
The second was a little easier and I was happy to have the sun directly behind me as he rolled.
Often at air shows you are limited on where you can go so you have to go with the flow. But if you can get the sun behind then it will make all the difference.

The Black and white image had a much slower shutter speed (used AV mode) which came in around 1/100. even thou I got caught short I'm actually happy with the result as the motion blur gives it some depth and the prop motion blur is nice..
The second photo was taken with a much faster shutter speed by this time I had flicked back to Auto focus.  Perhaps the only thing I could do better was to drop the speed so as not to freeze the prop so much, however I like the angle and the fact that I have slightly cropped the wing, gives it some character.
Here are the results
F8 1/100 ISO200 Manual focus 280mm
F9 1/400 ISO200 300mm Auto Focus

Christmas Street Lights

Of course it's Christmas so a few of our neighbourly streets are really getting into the swing of things.
So after an evening stroll I waited for the lights to go down and the show lights to come on then grabbed the Tripod and camera and cruised up for a nosy.

Not a bad start but will cruise up again once more houses come on line.
F3.5 ISO100 Exp +/1 1 at approx. 2 seconds Focal Length 24mm

Sunday, 7 December 2014


I have been working on trying to get a descent shot of a Kingfisher for some time. Recently I came across a small haven close to home whereby they sit on the estuary bank when the tide is low then swoop down to feed on crabs.
They are difficult to capture especially when they persist on sitting in trees on the far side of the bank.

However patience paid off and after about 40minutes of waiting, this little beauty flew across and sat in a tree about 10metres away so I had time to compose this shot.

  F5.6 1/320 9 Point AF, WB set to Cloudy, Length 200mm, Centre weighted

My next mission will be to try and capture one during feeding time so will have to watch the tide chart and arm myself with the fastest lens I have...oh and must take my gumboots (waders for you Americans)