Photo Blog 20

30 03 2009

I’m still surprised I made it this far. More than 3 weeks (if including off days) and I’m still trying :-)

BIG walk this evening with Victor where we went up to Newton then Newmarket and Parnell. I’d noticed last night that the view from Grafton bridge was pretty spectacular and so we stopped off there. Was earlier than would be best but because the sun was behind a cloud there was still some very cool light even if not as dramatic as the evening previous. Even though I didn’t have a tripod I tried to stabalize the camera on the railing and get an auto-exposure bracketed image to play with in Photoshop.

Wasn’t perfect but the result was still pretty cool so that is the first image for today:

Grafton Bridge (f4.0 1/4000 1/1000 1/250)

Grafton Bridge (f4.0 1/4000 1/1000 1/250)

We continued the walk and the only other image that was kind of cool was one of the Jubilee Building in Parnell. Apart from the car on the right of the image that I was trying to wait for (but another was about to pull in) the image isn’t too bad. Hopefully it isn’t over sharpened too much. There was a bit of camera shake and general bluriness that the sharpening helped control and I do really like how it brought out the brickwork.

Jubilee Building (f4.0 4/5)

Jubilee Building (f4.0 4/5)





Photo Blog 19

29 03 2009

Beautiful day today so I walked around town a bit and took a few snaps along the way. For some reason there seemed to be way more people than is usual for a Sunday afternoon and everyone seemed quite relaxed. Made me realize exactly how isolated I am most of the time and I really do need to try to integrate more.

I also need to start taking photos of people more often because we really are an interesting subject. Perhaps it might even make me more interested and compassionate (instead of my generally dismissive self)

The first pic was taken in Aotea Square where I was sitting against the fence and watching this group of ladies relaxing beneath a tree. I think there had been a matinee performance at the Civic because there were several groups like this that were dressed up more than what would be normal for a stroll on Queen St. The composition could be better but I liked the way they were grouped under the tree and spread out just enough that they could still enjoy the shade…

Aotea Square (f4.0 1/400)

Aotea Square (f4.0 1/400)

The second image was taken at the other end of Queen St opposite the Ferry Building. I really liked the contrast in the shadows around the windows and columns and the stark difference between the directly illuminated and shaded sides of the building. I also like blue.

Ferry Building (f4.0 1/800)

Ferry Building (f4.0 1/800)





Photo Blog 18

28 03 2009

I guess the point of this photo blog is to ensure that there is consistent approach to experimenting and getting better. That is all very well but sometimes there isn’t enough time to do a good job so there will be posts like today where it isn’t that great. I took some photos of an old Konica camera and played around in photoshop a bit.

The original image looks like was this:

Original (f4.0 1/13)

Original (f4.0 1/13)

And to at least make an effort I played around with some of the photoshop effects that I hadn’t looked at before. I quite like the combination of 3 of the effects so that is what I’ve made for the second image:

Sharpen, Crosshatch, Posterize

Sharpen, Crosshatch, Posterize





Photo Blog 17

27 03 2009

No time for a proper entry today! There be ghosts to capture and/or kill…

GHOSTBUSTERS!!!

GHOSTBUSTERS!!!

There is a party straight after work so I won’t have time to take photos later, and I needed to make the ‘costume’ at work. What you can’t see is my back which has some green bottles with a ghostbusters logo printed and stuck on the outside. Nice!





Photo Blog 16

26 03 2009

The problem with walking in the domain is that there are just so many interesting things that you come back with more photos than you know what to do with and quite a few that would be good enough to post here. I guess that is the thing with going out everyday and not just poaching from previous expeditions ;-)

Well, if you didn’t guess today was a walk through the domain after work, suggested by Victor for which I thank him! Took 78 photos of which I chose 5 that were good enough to do all the post-processing on but I’ll only be posting 2. The first is like, wow, one that I am really proud of. I guess if you press the shutter button enough times then you end up with some good ones. I was experimenting with partially obscuring the setting sun behind objects and getting some flare and on the way up to the domain I got the following shot:

Domain Foliage (f4.0 1/100)

Domain Foliage (f4.0 1/100)

What I really like is that by compensating for the over-exposure when shooting and shooting RAW I was able to retain a lot of the detail in the undergrowth. I think that this means the photo has an almost other-worldly atmosphere to it that could be in the middle of the forest rather than a city. The lens really produces nice flares too, such that they can be used constructively instead of detracting from the scene…

The second photo is another silhouette like in the previous post. This one was taken coming down Parnell Rise and is quite a striking and recognizable skyline. I really liked the colours of the sunset behind the buildings and while the photo didn’t quite capture them I still really like the gradient in the sky. I also quite like the fact that it isn’t strictly a silhouette and there is still some reflections off the windows of some of the buildings not perpendicular to my view.

Skyline from Parnell (f4.0 1/80)

Skyline from Parnell (f4.0 1/80)





Photo Blog 15

24 03 2009

Today’s photos came about after taking a walk around Victoria St. Well, to be honest it came about because at lunch we went via the post office and I saw the construction site on the corner of Victoria and Hardinge St so I went back with my camera after work.

I liked the cranes and the silhouettes they made against the sky so tried to capture that. I didn’t really do it properly and there was still too much light / lit surfaces for proper silhouettes.
The first image is the one that looked most like a silhouettes, a fact I made much more dramatic by reducing exposure in the darker areas (filling the blacks). This was taken from the roof of the carpark building on Nelson St which is why it seems I’m looking straight at the cranes instead of up.

Crane Silhouettes (f4.0 1/4000)

Crane Silhouettes (f4.0 1/4000)

The second image was taken from ground level much closer in. Here I’ve gone for the interesting lighting instead of the silhouettes as the building behind me was reflecting the light back onto the fence. The colour of the sky was already quite dramatic as it was taken perpendicular to the sun with the sun lower in the sky. I’ve tried to make it a little more interesting by warming up the image past what the real white balance would suggest. It looks good to my stupid colour blind eyes anyway ;-)

Warm Cranes (f4.0 1/2000)

Warm Cranes (f4.0 1/2000)





Photo Blog 14

23 03 2009

Well, it was getting late and I really felt like trying photos inside than braving the cold dark streets. Also there was popcorn. So today’s photo was taken with my 50mm 1.8 lens which is what gives the great background blur and focus on Victor. And Victor should thank me for not posting the many photos of him stuffing his face ;-)

Portrait 50mm (1.8f 1/50)

Portrait 50mm (1.8f 1/50)

I used a bit of noise reduction and then sharpening which is why some of the contours look a bit over sharpened (which I think looks cool).