Day 22 Assignment – Capture the Decisive Moment

This assignment is a continuation of Day 21 Work the Scene, but as I am unable to complete that at the moment, I am submitting some photos I took of a martial arts demonstration by the Darwin Chung Wah Society for Chinese New Year last month.

I think they meet the anticipation requirement of the assignment.
Please bear in mind this was my first time using manual mode in an indoor stadium setting, just the second week of the course. The photos are unedited except for a bit of cropping.

1/400 f5.6 ISO 3200

1/400 f5.6 ISO 3200

1/400 f5.0 ISO 3200

Day 19 Assignment – Leading Lines

Create a photograph with leading lines that guide the viewer’s eye.
The lines can either lead the viewer into the subject of the picture or across the picture to the subject.
Decide whether you want the subject of the picture to be the lines themselves or something else.
I tried to find leading lines in a variety of natural and constructed situations.
I experimented with Lightroom and Photoshop to enhance my photos by using the exposure, whiteness, contrast and highlights controls; I used a vignette for the first time and I removed a person’s head. I tried out the luminance bar/arch but I wasn’t confident and need a lot more practice as I pulled it into some unexpected shapes with undesirable results.
The originals follow the enhanced photos below.
Elizabeth River Bridge from the jetty
Elizabeth River Jetty with the bridge in the background

Train tracks converging with the road approaching the bridge

Finn Road in the rural area before the bridge – accidentally replaced the original

Rapid Creek
Footbridge over Rapid Creek – two views
A grove of gumtrees before the footbridge
Cloud over Nightcliff boat ramp breakwater and Sunset Park
Golden path to the sun Nightcliff

Day 18 Assignment – Clouds

For this assignment we were to create one compelling photo of clouds.
Set the horizon on the bottom third line so that at least two thirds of the frame is sky.
Foreground is important so chose your location carefully.
Make sure the picture balances – use formal or informal balance – symmetrical or asymmetrical.
Spend time getting it just right by cropping.

This is almost identical to the original which I seem to have deleted.

Cropped and removed blemishes in Photoshop.

I love the balance of the little fishing boat on one side against the dark menacing storm cloud on the other.

This cloud balanced itself but I took a few other shots to include some foreground.

It was hard to find an example of formal symmetrical balance. I used the jetty lightposts.

Day 17 Assignment – Invite the Viewer In – Back to Front Composition

For this assignment we were to 
shoot a landscape scene arranging the shots using ‘back to front’ composition.
Concentrate  on the foreground.
Create a sense that the viewer can walk into the picture.
Try getting low, getting behind something. 
Look for patterns on the ground.

Day 16 Assignment – Landscape – Rule of Thirds

For this assignment we were to

shoot a landscape scene and arrange the shots using the Rule of Thirds.

To accentuate the sky put the horizon on the lower third line.

To accentuate the ground put the horizon on the top third line.

If there’s a subject or centre of interest, place it on the left or right line, don’t centre it.

Use the crop tool to refine the composition later.

Darwin City from Charles Darwin National Park

All 1/200 f8.0 ISO 80 4.10 – 42 mm

 

 

 

Darwin City from Larrakeyah

First three shots 1/1000 f5.6 to f8.0 ISO 200 to 400

1/500 f8 ISO 100

Day 15 Assignment – A Walk in the Park

For this assignment  we were to go to a local park and

  • identify subjects to photograph – Ask ‘What is this a picture of?’
  • decide on the context it goes in by asking ‘Does this support the subject?’.  If it does it’s in; if it doesn’t it’s out.

  • I found this assignment anything but a ‘walk in the park’. For a start it was difficult to decide on a subject. The choices were: children’s play equipment; a lot of greenery; and water features.
    Then, although I had spent most of the day revising what we had covered until now, I froze and felt almost as hopeless as I was on the first night shooting the sunset.
    I stuck at it however, and came up with these offerings.

    1/50 f4.5 ISO 80 Lens 80 mm

    Identify the Subject – I had noticed the fountain in the distance as we entered the park and climbed to the top of a hill to get an overall view.

    Decide on the context it goes in – I asked whether the surrounding park supported the fountain.

    I zoomed in to reduce the amount of park around the subject.

    1/20 f4.5 ISO 80 Lens 80 mm

    I narrowed it further by shooting a portrait view.

    1/20 f8.0 ISO 80 Lens 85 mm

    I also tried shooting the fountain off centre.

    1/20 f6.3 ISO 80 Lens 85 mm

    In the end I choose the third photo as it highlights the fountain and has the least amount of distraction.

    Other subjects included a bird on a nest metal art installation:

    Both 1/6 f8 ISO 80 Lens 100 mm and 143 mm

    I prefer the second shot as I think the pond detracts from the picture.

    Corkscrew Palms

    Both 1/6 f5.6 ISO 200 Lens 31 mm

    It was the pattern of the trunks that attracted my attention, therefore I prefer the idea of the second photo, though because it’s a bit blurry, I would have to return and step back a little to re-take the shot.

    I also took the opportunity to practise photographing flowing water while I was there. Again, the images appear darker here than on my camera’s display but I hope to be able to lighten them in post processing.

    1/30 f8.0 ISO 100 Lens 85 mm

    1/30 f8.0 ISO 100 Lens 24 mm

    1/30 f8.0 ISO 100 Lens 112 mm

    1/40 f8.0 ISO 200 Lens 80 mm

    1/40 f8.0 ISO 200 Lens 64 mm

    Day 14 Assignment: The Twilight Shot

    For this assignment we were required to take photos in one location from sunset to full darkness so that we could experience the changing light and the adjustments we needed to make to our settings.

    I found this chart when I was checking the time of sunset on the day. It shows the times of Civil, Nautical and Astro Twilight.


    I started shooting at 7.12 pm and took about 35 photos until 7.47 pm when it became impossible for my camera to capture any image, regardless of what settings I chose.

    7.12 pm 1/160 f6.4 ISO 400

    Within five minutes I had to widen the aperture and Increase the ISO:

    7.17 pm 1/130 f6.3 ISO 800

    From 7.18 pm I had to use the widest aperture on my camera f5.6

    7.18 pm 1/320 f5.6 ISO 800

    At 7.19 pm I increased the ISO to 1600 but that made the image too bright and washed out the colours.

    7.19 pm 1/320 f5.6 ISO 1600

    I tried including some foreground after that and adjusted the shutter speed and ISO settings to try to get a true representation of the colours – f5.6 aperture being the widest on my camera used for all.

    7.27 pm 1/100 f5.6 ISO 1600

    From then until the end of Civil Twilight at 7.34 pm I turned the ISO up to 800 and adjusted the shutter speed to between 1/30 and 1/100.

    7.34 pm 1/30 f5.6 ISO 800

    After that, while I was shooting in Nautical Twilight, I increased the ISO to 3200 and adjusted the shutter speed to between 1/25 and 1/160

    7.47 pm 1/25 f5.6 ISO 3200

    My camera didn’t make it to the end of Nautical Twilight, which is probably just as well as it was past dinner time and we were hungry!

    31 Days to Becoming a Better Photographer

    I’ve been doing an online photography course for a couple of weeks now, ’31 Days to Becoming a Better Photographer’, which requires posting photos to a Facebook group.

    1/320 f6.4 ISO 200 Off Nightcliff Beach

    I’m trying to work out how to do this from WordPress.

    I would like to post my photos and assignments here so people can view them if they are interested instead of on Facebook where they don’t have any option.

    Day 13: Find the Best Location

    Virtual Scouting

    I used Google Maps to locate Nightcliff Jetty, my favourite place to take photos. I had a look at some of the photos other people had posted on there. It’s a very popular spot and it looks like it has been photographed from every possible angle already. I’ll have to get creative!

    This assignment proved very useful in planning our upcoming trip to Hawaii. When I Googled ‘Hawaii photography guides’ it came up with three sites detailing the best locations for classic shots from painted forests and snow-capped mountains to volcanoes and lava flowing into the sea.

    Flickr World Map was also full of amazing shots.

    A search of my local libraries found a recent edition of Lonely Planet’s Best of Hawaii which is full of amazing photos a well as being a great source of information.

    I can hardly wait to make my own attempts!


    Sydney to Darwin – The big drive home

    Sydney – Tamworth

    On Monday, the first day of our 4200-kilometre drive home, we left Sydney just after 11.00 am and drove through the Hunter Valley passed vineyards, coalmining, horse breeding and sheep and cattle rearing country to Tamworth, stopping only at Wilberforce for fuel and Bulga to eat lunch.

    We got to Tamworth around 6.00 pm.The information centre was closed but we managed to find the tourist park we’d stayed at before.

    Tamworth – St George

    We did a bit of shopping before leaving Tamworth next day, then stopped for fuel at Barraba and had a pitstop at Warialda Apex Park. After getting an hour back when we crossed the Queensland border, we stopped for lunch in Goondiwindi and visited the information centre and the statue of Gunsyng.


    We got to St George just after 4.00 pm, checked into our cabin and went for a walk along the Balonne River.



    St George – Barcaldine

    On Wednesday we left St George for Barcaldine. On the way we saw an echidna, a very special privilege, scurrying into the undergrowth by the side of the road; and, a couple of herds of cattle being driven along the ‘Long Paddock’; again, not  something you get to see every day..

    We stopped for lunch at Meat Ant Park in Augathella, then fuelled up and drove on to Barcaldine through Tambo and Blackall.

    Barcaldine – Mt Isa

    Before leaving Barcaldine on Thursday morning, we visited the Shearers Memorial and the remains of the Tree of Knowledge. 



    Longreach
    was our first top for fuel then Winton where we watched the reconstruction of the Waltzing Matilda Centre while we ate lunch. The original was destroyed by fire in 2015.

    We had a pitstop at McKinley and fuelled up again at Cloncurry before arriving at Mt Isa around 6.00 pm..

    Next day we intended doing a tour of the Hard Times Mine but it was closed for maintenance so instead we just had a walk around town, drove to the lookout, went back to the cabin for lunch, then drove out to Moondarra Dam.



    Mt Isa – Renner Springs
    We left Mt Isa at 9.15 am and drove to Camooweal where we stopped for fuel before crossing the border back into the Northern Territory and getting back another half an hour, so it was now 10.55 am not 11.25 am as it was in Queensland. 

    We stopped at the Barclay Homestead around 1.oo pm and ate lunch, then at the Threeways for fuel at 3.10 pm before getting to Renner Springs at 4.15 pm, where we stopped for the night.

    The walking tracks were shortened by the recent rain but we saw plenty of birdlife around the motel and dam.

    Found this pair on our way to dinner.



    Sitting outside our room after watching our last outback sunset, I suddenly had a green tree frog land in my lap! 
    Renner Springs –  Darwin

    Between the resident cockerel and the ‘ventilated’ curtains, we didn’t need a wake-up call the next morning.

    So we started the last leg of our journey and left Renner Springs at 8.40 Sunday morning. We stopped for fuel at Elliot and Mataranka and had a pitstop at the explorer Alexander Forrest memorial cairn. We were going to eat lunch at Bitter Springs but it was closed due to a crocodile sighting so we continued on to a roadside stop just before King River.

    After lunch it was less than an hour’s drive to Katherine where we fuelled up, then on to Adelaide River for our last pitstop before the final drive home, arriving in Darwin at 5.30 pm.


    It rained for a week after we got home!

    Well that’s it, the end of another journey. Thanks for joining us. Hope you enjoyed it. Bye for now!

    Darwin to Adelaide Roadtrip – December 2017

    Day 2  Mataranka to Tennant Creek

    Checked out at 9.35 am and fuelled up.

    Along the way we started seeing what looked like small people by the side of the road. They were in fact dressed termite mounds. Some of them are quite realistic. I believe it’s something started some years ago by backpackers. 

    We passed the smouldering remnants of a few bushfires – not what you’d expect with the place looking so green and lush – then the Pink Panther hotel at Larrimah, then through Daly Waters and Dunmarra. 

    Had a pitstop at the George Todd Memorial. Hot water came out of the cold tap in the toilet, quite hygienic!

    It was 12.30 pm as we got to Newcastle Waters and we were going to stop for lunch but there was no shade so we continued on to Elliott where we found enough shade to cover us and the vehicle. After fuelling up at the supermarket we hit the road again heading for Tennant Creek. We went through Renner Springs at 2.00 pm, then on to the Telegraph Station, stopping briefly at the Three Ways to see the memorial to the Rev John Flynn, Royal Flying Doctor founder.

    Telegraph Station

    Fighting off flies makes it hard to pose for photos!

    The Rev John Flynn Memorial

    Dressed termite mounds

    The long unwinding road

    Lunch at Elliott

      
    Our hosts at the Tennant Creek Caravan Park while welcoming, advised us that it was 42 degrees and those cabins were like hot boxes – they hadn’t turned on the airconditioning in advance – and then handed Joshua his bedding, telling him he could make his bed himself. 


    They were right, the cabin was like an oven and it took both the old and new aircon units to eventually cool the place down. There was no cold water in the fridge and the glasses were hot. 

    Again, there was no microwave-safe bowl and, in terms of crockery and cutlery, there was exactly three of everything.  So miserly! 
    All this for just $150 a night.

    There was a shaded swimming pool which we all took advantage of while we waited for the hot box to become habitable.