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That Wanaka Willow

That Wanaka Willow

Commonly known as thatWanakaTree, the Wanaka Willow is a tree that grows out in the waters of New Zealand’s Lake Wanaka.

Supposedly the most photographed tree in the world, the Wanaka Willow attracts dozens of photographers each sunrise and sunset to capture imagery of this rather unique vista.

As with all of our experiences on the South Island, Wanaka was a wonderful place to stop and make images of mountains, lakes and of course #thatWanakaTree.

Wakatipu Reflections

Wakatipu Reflections

A trio of images from the Queenstown area of New Zealand, featuring the stunning mountain ranges as a backdrop to the magic foreground of Lake Wakatipu.

The scenery around Queenstown is simply breathtaking and would keep any landscape photographer happy for years.

Wakatipu Reflections

Wakatipu Reflections

Magnificent reflections on Lake Wakatipu. Driving back from Glenorchy to Queenstown we spotted this great vista, smooth surface and great reflections, and pulled over as soon as it was safe to make some photos.

Old Paradise Wharf

Old Paradise Wharf

Roughly half-way between Queenstown and Glenorchy is the hamlet of Little Paradise, Mt Creighton. There’s not much there – basically just a lodge and the old wharf. This last site is a magic foreground for photos.

SUP Wakatipu

SUP Wakatipu

Taken from the Queenstown Gardens with the stunning mountains backdrop to the standup paddle-boarding and other water activities taking place on Lake Wakatipu.

A New Zealand Adventure Begins

A New Zealand Adventure Begins

Flightpath to Queenstown

Queenstown, a city on New Zealand’s South Island, is sometimes referred to as the ‘adventure capital of the world’, a title it has earned through the variety of outdoor and adventure activities that can be pursued in and around this alpine city.

Even the flight into Queenstown is regarded as the world’s most scenic approach, as well as one of the ultimate landings for thrill-seekers.

This is due to the need for the pilots to fly in over Lake Hayes, navigate through some very mountainous valleys and finally land on a runway that seems to lead straight into Lake Wakatipu.

Runway to Lake Wakatipu

The image at the top of this page shows one of the valleys through which arriving aircraft must fly, and a careful look will reveal an Air New Zealand Boeing 737 on final approach. The second image, just above shows the final valleys and peaks to be navigated, with the runway of the airport leading to Lake Wakatipu.

Skilled pilots of major New Zealand and Australian airlines regularly and safely make this flight, but it is nonetheless an amazing arrival for first time visitors and residents returning home alike.

Middle Earth

It is thrilling arrival to the start of an adventure to some of the incredibly picturesque landscapes in the world.

Passage to the Castle

Passage to the Castle

Passage to the Castle by Des Paroz on 500px.com

Castel Sant’Angelo must be one of the most photographed sites in Rome. Given that Rome is one of the world’s most photographed cites, that is really saying something.

Having captured several of the classic vistas of Castel Sant’Angelo, I set about finding different angles. This street leading up to the bridge across to the castle presented an interesting composition for an afternoon image, with the shadows in the foreground, and the brightly lit castle behind.

This image was shot hand-held, and some work was done in Luminar to get the lights and colours to match more closely the scene I saw on the day.

Image Data

  • C: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7
  • L: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO
  • E: Lightroom CC Classic, Luminar 2018

View this image on 500px or Flickr

Colourful Clarke Quay

Colourful Clarke Quay

Colourful Clarke Quay by Des Paroz on 500px.com

Singapore is a colourful city.

I didn’t tropical business-hub to be so vibrant and vivid, so as a photographer I was delighted to experience not just the modern architecture mixed with Asian heritage, but also the colourful expression of city’s colonial past.

We explored the city mostly by foot, but a boat tour from Marina Bay to Clarke Quay was a great way to explore a variety of locations, and to scout things out.

Along the river several colourful areas were quite photogenic. With the sun direction on the day, Clarke Quay proved particularly attractive.

I created this photo in the middle of a bright, sunny day. With the sky and the water, my polarising filter was critical to getting a good base image. I did some colour correction in Lightroom, and a little bit in Luminar and the resulting image represents the picture I saw on the day quite nicely.

Image Data

C: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7
L: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO
E: Lightroom CC Classic, Luminar 2018

View this image on 500px or Flickr

Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands

I love spending time around the Downtown Core area of Singapore whenever I visit the exotic Asian city.

The island nation has developed a unique combination of the old and the new, of Asian and western and of formal and casual.

Photographically, the Downtown Core is a dream. There are many buildings, bridges, and other structures to make images of and the waters of Marina Bay provide a delicate balance to the formations and the sky.

This image was made mid-afternoon, so a polarizing filter helped to reduce the glare.

Singapore is a great destination in its own right and is a comfortable stopover for travellers flying between other Asia-Pacific destinations and Europe. Well worth a visit, and for photographers, there are some great camera stores to be found with reasonable prices.

Image Data

C: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7
L: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO
E: Lightroom CC Classic, Luminar 2018

View this image on 500px or Flickr

Wangi Falls

Wangi Falls

Wangi Falls in Litchfield National Park is a spectacular place to visit for great photography opportunities. During the Top End’s dry season it is also a great place to swim and enjoy cool, clear water.1

Waterfalls provide an interesting range of shooting opportunities, with my preference being for silky smooth water as seen in this image.

This image was created in the middle of a bright, cloudless day, so to achieve the silken look I used a Lee Big Stopper 10-stop ND filter. This resulted in a 25-second shutter speed at f/8.0. This slow shutter speed also resulted in a smooth surface on the lagoon, and enhanced the reflection of the waterfall.

View this image on 500px or Flickr.

Image Data

  • C: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7
  • L: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO
  • E: Lightroom CC Classic, Luminar 2018, Photoshop
  • F: Lee Filters Seven5 Big Stopper; Lee Filters Seven5 Polarizing Filter.

  1. Always check and heed signage at all swimming spots in Litchfield – dangerous undertows can be present, and this is an area where saltwater crocodiles are regularly seen in the Wet Season, resulting in the lagoon being (sensibly) closed to swimmers. 
Crowds and Clouds

Crowds and Clouds

Late Autumn is a great time to visit Rome as the crowds are much smaller than they would be during the Summer months.

This image was created from the Spanish Steps, with a perspective down Via dei Condotti, an upmarket shopping street in city’s centre. The presence of the crowds gives some indication of what the city might be like in the busier months. I am glad we visited when we did.

It was an overcast day, but the use of filters and some image editing in Luminar helped to bring out the detail in the sky. The final image is much closer to the way I saw the sky on the day.

Take a look at my Italy 2017 Photo Gallery.

View this image on 500px or Flickr

Image Data

  • C: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7
  • L: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO
  • E: Lightroom CC Classic, Luminar 2018
The Temple of Castor and Pollux

The Temple of Castor and Pollux

Temple of Castor and Pollux by Des Paroz on 500px.com

The Temple of Castor and Pollux is one of the ancient ruined buildings in the Roman Forum.

Today the temple consists of three marble pillars, some foundational structure and little more. It can be seen from a variety of vantage points from around the Forum.

I composed this image to get maximal sky between the columns, providing what I feel is the strongest image.

A polarising filter was an important addition to my kit for this shoot, allowing me to minimise glare.

20171126 Vestal Temple
The Temple of Vesta is also a key feature in the Roman Forum, and from this vantage point we can see that there is another view of the Temple of Castor and Pollux.

This one also has reasonable sky, but there is a bit more clutter. Both are interesting images, but for my liking the featured image, with less clutter, is the better perspective.

Regardless of your preference, exploring a site and getting multiple image of a subject from a variety of vantage points gives maximum chance of getting a ‘keeper’.

Image Data

C: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7
L: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO
E: Lightroom CC Classic, Luminar 2018

Check out my Italy 2017 Photo Gallery.

View this image on 500px or Flickr.

Boats on Sanur Beach

Boats on Sanur Beach

Sanur is considered the original upmarket tourist destination on the Indonesian island of Bali, and remains a photographically spectacular place today.

The long beach looks over towards Nusa Penida island (which can be seen in the background of this image).

I only had a couple of days in Bali on this trip as I was visiting for a seminar, so didn’t have the flexibility to shoot at the times that would have better suited. That said, I did enjoy the chance to explore the beach, and really liked the traditional fishing boats all along.

The challenge here was isolating the subject. The beaches are busy, and there is a lot going on. I managed to isolate the image nicely and using a polariser I reduced the glare of the mid-morning sun.

View this image on 500px or Flickr

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

Perhaps the world’s most famous fountain (and certainly the most famous in Rome), the Trevi Fountain is a spectacular baroque masterpiece not far from the Pantheon in the city’s centre.

In my other Rome images I have discussed my preference for the pre-dawn blue hour as an opportunity to get nice light and few people. This image was made after sunrise, but before the crowds.

The image was created with a very wide angle of 7mm (14mm in ‘full frame’). A little bit of straightening was done with DxO ViewPoint, and basic editing in Luminar.

20171125 Trevi CrowdsThe small image to the right was shot in the middle of the day a couple of days before the post’s featured image in the middle of the day. You can see the significant crowds (noting it was late November), and the harsher mid-day light.

It really is worth getting up early for sunrise photography, and waiting around until the later evening for evening blue hour. In the European winter this is a little easier given the shorter days!

Check out my Italy 2017 Photo Gallery.

View this image on 500px or Flickr

Image Data

(For the featured image)

  • C: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7
  • L: Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm f/4
  • E: Lightroom CC Classic, Luminar 2018, DxO ViewPoint 3
Stormy Forum

Stormy Forum

Stormy Forum by Des Paroz on 500px.com

After shooting the Roman Forum one dawn, we visited the site, easily spending a good half day exploring the various Roman ruins.

Spectacular.

It was a brilliant Rome day, with beautiful weather, but some fairly ominous clouds came over the site, providing quite a spectacular sky.

I found a composition that I liked with the column and dome.

As shot, the image had some distortion with the straight lines of the column and the building on the right leaning inwards. I fixed the image with DxO ViewPoint 3.

Check out my Italy 2017 Photo Gallery.

View this image on 500px or Flickr

Image Data

I’m borrowing an idea I picked up on the interwebs — I think from Brian Matiash — to include some basic image data in these blog posts. So I will experiment with including camera (C), lens (L) and editing (E) details in brief. I might also add in data such as other accessories (filters, lights, etc).

C: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7
L: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO
E: Lightroom, Luminar 2018, DxO ViewPoint 3