Saturday, 15 August 2009

Light II

Some more lighting situations . . .
High contrast sun and shadow.
Diffused light through a screen door. This is a merged image made from two shots, one focused on the door, and the second focused on the people outside then manipulated in Photoshop CS4.

This image is high contrast but boosted front light with a SB-900 flash.

Depth of Field

The Nikon 105mm lens, creates a narrow depth of field, generally depth of field is inversely proportional to focal length of a lens. For any given focal length, the depth of field varies directly with the aperture selected. That is, the wider the aperture (e.g. f2.8) the shallower the depth of field. If you use f22 you can maximize depth of field (the width of the focus area in sharp focus). Most lenses are considered to be at its sharpest at about 2 or 3 stops down from widest aperture, that is at f5.6 or f8, so you sacrifice sharpness if you maximize depth of field. Also pleasing bokeh (blurring of the background) is also effected as you widen aperture say to f-stop number f2.8 in a fast lens.

In this image of Hermione's eye you can see the band of sharp focus, the depth of Field (DOF)
D300, ISO 200, f 3.3 1/500 sec.
I have darkened the image so you can see this more pronounced. Interesting heh?


We see things using light, light is all our eyes can really see. Visible light appears to be colourless or white and although we can see this light, white is not considered to be part of the visible spectrum because white light is not the light of a single color, or frequency. It is made up of many color frequencies which is why when sunlight passes through a glass of water and lands on a wall you see a rainbow. If you shine the colours red, green and blue in a light and them overlap, you will see magenta. Mixing light where red and green light overlap, you will see yellow. Where green and blue light overlap, you will see cyan. You will notice that white light can be made by various combinations, such as yellow with blue, magenta with green, cyan with red, and by mixing all of the colors together.
Most colour we see is reflected light, like paint or dye molecules that absorb specific frequencies of light and bounce back, or reflect, other frequencies to your eye. The reflected frequency is the color of the object. There are some rules for light, for instance light travels in a straight line, the farther you are from a light source, the dimmer the light and the angle that a light hits a surface (the angle of incidence) is the same as the angle the light bounces off the surface (the angle of refraction).

The larger and closer the light source the softer the light and the further away the light the harder the light, it will have stark shadows. The character and quality of a photograph can be altered by the character and quality of light, so you need to think about how a scene should be lit, what lighting angles get good results, and what exposure settings will bring out the best detail and shading. A hard light (the light source is further away) will generate dark shadows and the direction of the light can place shadows in unattractive positions of a subject. One solution is to diffuse the light. Diffused light is softer and does not cast strong shadows. An overcast day is perfect for a lot of photography for this reason, the sunlight is diffused by clouds. the down side being that a white sky makes a very ordinary photographic backdrop.

Just to lighten the mood :-)

A couple More

Here is a couple more statues I snapped at Waverly Cemetery in Bronte, Sydney NSW where we looked for some relatives. None found, the real estate was too expensive for working class Irish catholics :-)

What about this for an inscription:

Since it falls unto my lot, that you should rise and I should not,
fill to me the parting glass, gently rise and softly call,
Goodbye and joy be to you all.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Crook as Rookwood

I was looking for a grave of Annie Elizabeth Tollis (Nee Wright) with my mum, its her grandmother and she was supposed to be buried at Rookwood Cemetery.
Rookwood Cemetery has been putting people in the ground since 1867, over 600,000 are down there, and it's one of the largest cemeteries in Australia.
Rookwood Cemetery is located in Sydney’s West, and covers more than 300 hectares, it contains a war memorial and memorial gardens.
We went to the visitors centre in the Anglican / church of England section (can't help it if my mums side is not proud Irish catholics like my dads) anyway they were extremely helpful.
In less than five minutes based on the name only the very helpful staff looked up the database and found the plot, and plots owned by the deceased and quickly researched any obvious linked burials.
We had a headstone, map to its location and details of all those buried in the plots before we knew it. We found it in the old Anglican section in a grave with two plots and a headstone marked Fredrick William Tollis.
In most cultures people expect to be remembered through headstones that include their names, dates of birth and death, special designs, and other relevant information.
Usually smaller grave headstones are most commonly used to mark individual graves these days, but to mark a group of graves or an entire family can take the form of elaborately designed statues that celebrate a specific theme, this is one of the oldest forms of funerary art.
Originally, a tombstone was the stone lid of a stone coffin, or the coffin itself, and a gravestone was the stone slab that was laid over a grave. Now all three terms are also used for markers placed at the head of the grave. Originally graves in the 1700's also contained footstones to demarcate the foot end of the grave.
Since gravestones and a plot in a cemetery can cost significant amounts of money, they are also a symbol of wealth or prominence in a community. (source: Wikipedia)
A spooky inscription:

Remember me as you pass by,
As you are now, so once was I,
As I am now, so you will be,
Prepare for death and follow me.

Creepy huh?

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

August on Mount Tamborine, Queensland

About one and a half kilometres from my house on Mount Tamborine in the Gold Coast Hinterland, Queensland is the Tamborine Mountain Gallery Walk it is the Art and Craft centre of the region.
The galleries and craft shops sell paintings, sculpture, ceramics, porcelain, glass, jewellery, woodwork, fabrics etc. Crafty crap in other words.
But there are lots of good cafe's for good coffee and lots of fudge and ice cream shops for the sugar hit.
My favourite spot however, is located at the southern end of Gallery Walk and it is the new Tamborine Mountain micro Brewery.
This impressive open plan complex is perfectly designed for the sub tropical SE Queensland climate.
It is located in a shared premise with the Witches Chase Cheese Company.
The cheese is made by hand on the premises in the cheese factory, and you can view production through large viewing windows.
Right opposite the Liquid Amber Bistro & Grill restaurant in the same complex. Perfect for a gourmet lunch after a few beer tasting trays.
Another must visit place requires a little bit more travel and as you criss-cross the plateau you pass many of these roadside stalls, all operated on an honesty system.
Also there are walks to the many waterfalls in the national parks that entirely ring the mountain. This helps prevent the leggo land estates from the Gold Coast ever being able to reach the plateau.
The place you need to get to is the Tamborine Mountain Distillery.
This is Australia's smallest operating Pot Still Distillery, but of world renown, and has won many awards at contests all over the world.
With the combination of rich red volcanic soils and fresh spring water and the abundant fruit and produce of the Mountain is fermented and distilled here.
Lemon Murtle, Cherry ripe, Chocolate Chilli, Wattle Toffee, Turkish Delight and all manner of exotic flavours in a base of Liqueur, Schnapps or Vodka, all distilled and made right there.
Tastings are a real challenge if you are driving . . .

Cape Daisy

Cape Daisy - Osteospermum ecklonis (Asteroideae)
From the sunflower family (Asteraceae).
It has been given several common names: African Daisy, South African Daisy, Cape Daisy and Blue-eyed Daisy and the plants prefer a warm and sunny position and rich soil and does not tolerate winter conditions. Perfect for higher altitude Queensland where I found this one.
Nikon D300, 105mm Macro lens ISO 200, f3.0 1/2500 sec

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

The Ekka

It's the Ekka and it's South East Queensland's largest annual event. The Ekka's official name is the Royal Queensland Show, but it's known by Queenslaners as 'The Exhibition' and the term ekka is short for exhibition.
It's held in August in Brisbane and along with the shows of Sydney and Melbourne, the Ekka is one of the top three agricultural shows in Australia and draws more than 600,000 visitors each year. Much like the Sydney Royal Easter Show, the New South Wales equivalent, the Ekka is both a festive, carnival style event with sideshows, showbags, thrill rides and food stalls along with a wide range of agricultural exhibitions including arts, crafts, farm animals.

These are some amazing arrangements of preserved fruit and vegetables.
The produce hall was a great splash of colour and a lot of work must always go into these displays.

Real banana benders . . .

Prize Queensland pineapples

Then of course its always fun down sideshow alley

Some interesting mobiles . .

mmm honey energy drink

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Hello from QLD

Its August and typical 22 - 25 degree days, sunny and still. Mount Tamborine is very busy as all states school holidays have finished and everyone else can now venture out without being over run by screaming kids. The Tamborine plateau is about 8 kilometers long and about 5 kilometers across at its widest part and is about 600 metres above sea level. From the escarpment you look directly down on the Gold Coast.

Geologically it is very old formed by the volcano directly to the south the remains of which is a huge crater that can be clearly seen from the air.
Mount Warning is the volcanic plug near the centre of the crater. While taking a look at the sunset a short distance from our house we noticed a new addition to the mountains scenery.

Antone Bruinsma created "Visiting Earth Angel" at the Beaudesert International Sculpture Symposium in 2008. Sculpturs have now been placed at locations throughout the Scenic Rim area. The Sculpture, is located at the Hang Gliding Lookout at the top of the Mountain along Main Western Road with the valley of the Scenic Rim as a stunning backdrop. Meanwhile back at home I snapped this picture in the back yard while watching the creek being remodeled by a backhoe. This is a Mulberry tree and is just starting to shoot leaves after being bare all winter (6 weeks is a long time)