Rockpool Sunrise

A spectacular sunrise in Sydney.

The Narrabeen Rockpools are a favourite spot I like to get back to from time-to-time, and although it is a bit of a hike and an early start, it has always paid off.

Rockpool Sunrise
Rockpool Sunrise

View Rockpool Sunrise on 500px | View Rockpool Sunrise on Flickr

Affinity Photo for iOS

This image was shot yesterday (as I write this) and was downloaded from my camera to my iPad. It was processed in Affinity Photo on my iPad Pro, and uploaded to this blog, and to 500px and Flickr using the built in share extensions.

Affinity Photo is an awesomely powerful photo editor, and marks, IMHO, the first real professional grade photo editing app for iPad. I think that I am really going to love this app. Affinity Photo has all the controls and capabilities that I would expect from a powerful imaging app, including HDR merge, panos and even focus stack merging.

I also really enjoy editing on an iPad Pro. The interaction of editing on a touch screen, and using the Pencil makes for a very enjoyable experience.

The downside to the process, at the moment, is that the DAM[1] functionality is provided only by Apple’s Photos app. While a decent app in some areas, it doesn’t allow true organisation and meta-data management. The limitations of Photos is the true limiting factor for serious amateur and professional photographers.

I hope that Affinity Photo or other another app will soon step up to provide DAM functionality.

Other apps are also emerging that position iPad for excellent photo editing. I plan to blog about Plotagraph+ shortly.


  1. DAM=digital asset management.  ↩

Zig Zag Station

Ello

There has been a lot of positive discussion on Ello about the future role of this relatively new social media platform. People like photographer Thomas Hawk, Ello co-founder Paul Budnitz and Ello user @bigpoppae have made eloquent posts in support of the site.

To me the very thing that makes Ello appealing is that there is a small community of people, most of whom share a creative bent – be that photography or other artistic endeavours.

I rarely use Facebook. I occasionally use Google+, and regularly use Twitter. But I find that Ello is the site that draws me in most, and I plan to interact there more than any other site in the coming year.

Zig Zag Station

The old Lithgow Zig Zag Railway line in Australia’s Blue Mountains operated from 1869 to 1910, after which it was replaced by a new deviation that operates to this day.

The Clarence Station was the centre of a railway town during this time, but today the restored station is the main remnant of the old town.

Around the old station lie a number of engines, carriages and other rolling stock that formed part of a tourist railway that operated from 1975 until 2012. Many of these items were damaged in the bushfires of 2013.

It is possible to wander about the site and view the rolling stock and station, with no fences or signs keeping people out. That said, some areas have asbestos, so it is best to avoid trying to go into any of the rolling stock.

The site is a bit overgrown, but represents an important piece of the early settlement beyond the Blue Mountains.

View this image on 500px, Ello or Flickr

Narrabeen Pool

Sydney has a lot of wonderful ocean pools, most of which are photogenic, particularly at sunrise and sunset.

The pool at Narrabeen on the Northern Beaches is perhaps one of the most interesting photographically, and is an extremely worthwhile destination for pre-sunrise photography.

The beautiful light in the morning twilight, coupled with still waters yet to be disturbed by keen swimmers makes this an excellent location.

This image, of course, use HDR techniques to capture the beautiful range of colours visible to the eye, but invisible to most cameras.

This image was created with a Panasonic Lumix GX–7 micro four-thirds camera and an Olympus 9–18mm lens, at the widest range.

View this image on 500px or Flickr.

Vivid on The Rocks

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

Feeding Time

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

Cronulla Pools at Sunrise

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

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.

Early Light

The Australian War Memorial in Canberra is a wonderful celebration of the contributions and sacrifices by the Nation’s sailors, soldiers and airmen at home and abroad. Whilst war should not be celebrated, we should never forget the hardship and loss suffered in the name of our national interests.

The War Memorial has a spectacular straight line view to Parliament House. From the War Memorial visitors can see what was fought for – democracy and freedom. From Parliament House the government of the day can see the reminder of the sacrifices made for that.

This image was made pre-dawn on a cool Winter’s morning.

This is my first post using the new Flickr web embed functionality. Let me your thoughts on how it looks.

Welcome to Uepi

Welcome to Uepi by DesParoz
Welcome to Uepi, a photo by DesParoz on Flickr.

Getting to Uepi Island Resort is an adventure in itself – it is one of the most hidden away places you can imagine. First you must fly to Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands. Then a domestic flight to Seghe. Then a short walk through bush to the water’s edge where you board a "motorised canoe" for the 40 minute ride to the very edge of Marovo Lagoon where Uepi is situated.

Marovo Lagoon is the world’s largest natural lagoon, and Uepi is on its very edge, near where it meets a deep ocean area called "The Slot".

This is the Welcome Jetty at Uepi.

Uepi is isolated, wonderful and spectacular. I think it would be my single favourite diving destination.

Dekudekuru Split

Dekudekuru is a reef close to Uepi Island Resort in the Solomon Islands. It is an ideal place for both over and under shots and images made from underwater shooting the nearby jungle canopy. This is due to the protected shallow waters of the reef inside a reef, and the nearby jungle canopy.

Under & over shots like this have held a lot of fascination for me for some time. There’s a reason that you see comparatively few of them published – they’re difficult to setup and difficult to execute well.

To make an under & over image you must shoot through air and water simultaneously, with the different lighting that brings. You need to minimise water droplets on the “dry” part of the image. And you need to focus near and far.

To create this image I used a very wide angle lens, used a small aperture for depth of field and shot in shallow, clear water on a bright, sunny day. Even then, this image was the best of quite a bunch, and is far from perfect. But I am quite happy with it!

View this image on 500px, Flickr or Google+

Red On Blue

Red On Blue. Photo by Des Paroz
One of the beautiful flowers growing around the gardens of Uepi Island Resort, located in the remote and spectacular Marovo Lagoon in the Solomon Islands.

I loved the colours of the flowering bushes, with the saturated reds and greens, and the blue sky really enhanced the overall scene. Just a touch of HDR has been applied to give the image just a bit more pop.

This image is part of my Photos of the Day album, which can be viewed in high resolution at photos.desparoz.com.

View this photo also at:

Wrasse in the Blue


Wrasse in the Blue, originally uploaded by BlueBeyond.

This colourful wrasse was swimming in a fairly consisten pattern around me as I was taking macro photos, so I noted the point at which it would come above me with a blue water background, and took a shot each time it came past that point.

Made in November 2005 during a photographer trip aboard the MV Esperance Star, a liveaboard then operating out of Brisbane’s Morton Bay.