Vivid on The Rocks

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Vivid on The Rocks

Vivid Sydney is a festival of light that takes place every May around CBD precincts, including Circular Quay, The Rocks, Martin Place and Darling Harbour.

This image was created at The Rocks, one of the oldest parts of Sydney, with the CDB lit up in the background.

This is a HDR night image, using three images. I used a Gorilla Pod mounted to a light post to stabilise the camera and get a higher perspective. I used the Panasonic iPhone app to trigger the shutter release remotely.

View Vivid on The Rocks on 500px
View Vivid on The Rocks on Flickr

Around the Web for June 3rd

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These are my Around the Web links for June 3rd from 06:47 to 17:26:

Feeding Time

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Time to post an underwater image!

To be honest, I am not sure how exactly I feel about shark feeds.

In general, shark feeding can change shark behaviour—making them reliant on being fed at a certain time and certain place, and perhaps on food stuff they wouldn’t normally consume.

In the Marovo Lagoon region of the Solomon Islands the shark stocks were almost wiped out by overfishing, namely by fishing boats from Greater China who paid local communities for the rights to fish out the shark stocks.

Uepi Island Resort has worked with a variety of conservation groups and the local communities to build awareness of the value of sharks to marine diversity, and the value in terms of tourism dollars.

As part of this, Uepi conducts feeds under the pier whereby photographer guests can get in and shoot as I did, whilst eliminating waste food product. The feeds are conducted irregularly, at different times of the day.

There has been a noted rebuilding of shark life around Marovo Lagoon.

So a shark feed for the sake of an adrenalin rush alone I am against. But when it is being done as part of a concerted effort for conservation purposes I can support.

I did enjoy the adrenaline rush, but I also have to say that I was honoured to have the chance to document the experience.

Photographically this was a tough gig—the water was already a little cloudy on the day. Throw in the food stuff and a bunch of sharks to stir things up, and it made for quite a challenge.

I was under the pier snorkelling, with the pier itself affording some protection from curious sharks (they were never aggressive).

Meanwhile Belinda was on the pier above me with another camera. As they were both time synced, it was interesting to see the sequence of shots—in some cases Belinda and I made shots of the same ‘action’ from above and below.

View Feeding Time on 500px

View Feeding Time on Flickr

Do You Make or Take Your Photos

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The following article was originally published on my website BlueBeyond.com.au. I’ve decided to move it over here for reference.

Recently I read a great book called The Inner Game of Outdoor Photography by Galen Rowell , a renowned outdoor photographer from the US. This book is one of the best photography books I have read, even though it hardly even touches on technical aspects – there are no explanations of apertures and shutter speeds, except in discussing how to capture a particular image.

Instead, this is a book that delves deeply into the “inner process" of photography, and the important philosophical approaches that differentiate the snapshooter from the serious photographer. Irrespective of whether you shoot underwater or topside, outdoors or inside, close-up or wide-angle, your thought processes help you to identify potential subjects, backgrounds, compositional opportunities, lighting approaches and technical requirements to express your vision through a photograph.

One of the things that struck me on reading this book, and set my mind thinking, was that the essence of the language used by Rowell expresses his philosophy. Rowell never uses the phrase “taking a photo“ – instead he contemplates “making a photo”.

From our earliest introductions to photography, we are exposed to the phrase “take a photo", and indeed the common vernacular enshrines this expression as the standard amongst all of us. But if we stop for a minute to consider the expression, we note very quickly that it suggests a passive approach to photography – one of recording the moment.

It is no secret that the vast majority of photographers are snapshooters – people who are simply recording the moment. These “momentary records" have an important place – they show family, friends and scenes that are important to the individuals. They have a context and value to the snapshooter and those close to them. In many cases, however, these momentary records are otherwise unremarkable.

Early Light

Likewise, many underwater photographers are snapshooters, and again, their photos have a meaning to them that is also implied and contextual. They take good photos that trigger a memory for them.

In an effort to move beyond the simple snapshot, we invest time, money and effort into the process of photography. We get better equipment, we study composition and lighting, and we try to take control of the photographic situation. We are no longer passive “takers of photos" – we are looking for more than the momentary record.

We are now actively “making" our photos, not taking them.

To be active in the process of photography, whatever the setting, we need good technical skills, and good equipment. We also need a thorough understanding of our environment, the behaviour of our subjects, and how we can interact responsibly with them. We then need the mental approach to put all that together to make great photos.

Do you take or make photos?

Around the Web for May 22nd through May 30th

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These are my Around the Web links for May 22nd through May 30th:

Cronulla Pools at Sunrise

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Cronulla Pool at Sunrise

The pools around the beaches on the NSW coastline are stunning locations for photography—especially with the east coast sunrise.

There are dozens of these pools along the Sydney coast, with several picturesque ones at the southern suburb of Cronulla.

This image was made in April 2014 and really brought out the sunrise colours, and the contrast of the smooth waters in the pool with those of the ocean.

This was one of the first sunrise expedition with my Panasonic Lumix GX–7, with the one lens I am currently using—the 20mm non-zoom. I decided to learn the camera first before jumping into a variety of zooms.

View Cronulla Pool at Sunrise on Flickr

View Cronulla Pool at Sunrise on Google+

USS Bonhomme Richard in Sydney

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USS Bonhomme Richard at Garden Island

In August 2013 USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 06) paid a visit to Sydney’s Fleet Base East.

Bonhomme Richard is a Landing Helicopter Dock (aka Ambhibious Assault Ship) that is capable of carrying helicopters, STOVL fighters and a large force of embarked marines that can be landed by helicopter or landing craft launched from the LHD’s well deck.

Bonhomme Richard is of a similar size and role as the Canberra class LHDs shortly to be commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy.

Being a large ship, the challenge was to find a suitable location publicly accessible from which to get the whole ship into frame, without too much in the way of foreground distractions.

Being a beautiful Sydney day, the sky and the harbour were both quite blue, so the blue-grey colour of Bonhomme Richard also caused a challenge for contrast.

The old structure in the foreground became a good solution to both problems—it provided colour and depth, without being too distracting. The challenge was to frame it appropriately.

Around the Web for May 1st through May 17th

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These are my Around the Web links for May 1st through May 17th:

Around the Web for April 29th through April 30th

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These are my Around the Web links for April 29th through April 30th:

Around the Web for April 22nd through April 27th

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These are my Around the Web links for April 22nd through April 27th: