Saturday, October 30, 2004

In Carmen's Garden

Some more for the flowers of Londonovit series. After quite a wait this large red bloom, it is probably some kind of canna, decided to open one stormy night. It seemed to enjoy its shower

A Happy But Wet Big Red Flower

Red Canna? Red Canna?

Some other flowers also appreciated the rain

Frangapanni Tiny Orchids

There are some more flowers of lihir at senior spin

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Photo Project: Always look on the bright side

Unfortunately I didn't get my old room back when I returned to Lihir. My old lodging were down in a shared house on the cliff top and a lovely spot it was too.

House on the Londonovit Cliff Top My Block in the Camp

My current room is in the camp and pretty basic, as most mining camps can be. It has no view to speak of and as if to aid the claustrophobia it is also beside the communication compound with all the satellite dishes and a high cyclone fence. In the overcast and wet conditions when I arrived this look pretty ordinary. So I got to thinking that I should really try to capture the dishes at their photographic best. A kind of photographic forced optimism project, and I must strongly recommend it as an idea. Grab your camera and go out and photograph something that has always seemed very ordinary. Look to find beauty in the mundane. A good time to look is in the dawn, morning, late afternoon and evening light.

Satellite Dishes Satellite Dishes

Satellite Dishes Satellite Dishes

Satellite Dishes Satellite Dishes

It didn't take long to see the photographic potential, in fact the available light photos were so rich in the evening light, that they have inspired me to do another screen wallpaper for the colour & light series. The instruction of how to save it as your screen wallpaper are over in the righthand column.

Click here to see the higher resolution image to load as your own screen wallpaper

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The rain sets in

After three weeks of glorious sunshine up here at Lihir (while I was down in Melbourne) the rains have set in.

View of he new geothermal power plant The clouds settle lower

I wonder if I should change my profession to rain maker?

Monday, October 25, 2004

Unexpectedly Creative Deformation

I took this photo from my hotel room in Brisbane, as dawn was breaking. I liked the colours of the morning light on the buildings but I was looking for a way to straighten up the buildings. The curvature being due to my zooming out to get a wider view.

Original Photo: Dawn in Brisbane

I was using the Deformation browse function In Jasco's Paint Shop Pro, when I happened upon a deformation called Curly Qs. It has introduced a pattern at a different level, abstracting the image but in some ways making a stronger composition that is reminiscent of a Salvador Dali or futurist painting. I've also stretched the tone which has enriched the colours a little

Curly Qs deformation

This is not something I am likely to "blow up", print and frame as an art work for the wall. However it might make a great image for a background to a title slide in a slide show, a card, unique coasters & table mats, mouse mat, a coffee mug, or a fabric square for your grandmother's patchwork quilt (I'm not kidding these are all currently available ways to use digital images) The creativity potential of digital images if really unlimited

Sunday, October 24, 2004

The day trip that took three

I am back up on lihir island. I had planned to do another photo journal of my trip. Probably one photo from each flight. BUT you know what they say about the "best laid plans"

The one day of travelling actually took me three days to complete. The three flights became six, and I only had window seat ocasionally, and that was on the wing or adjacent to the propeller. So rather than bore you with the details.and put you off travelling for life, here are a few images taken along the way. With not so many from the air this time.

Thurdays 21st

5AM Start in Melbourne
Sunrise at home

3PM Joeys in Georges St. Brisbane (look closely)
Scrap Metal Kangaroo

Scrap Metal Kangaroo Scrap Metal Kangaroo

7PM Brisbane Town Hall
Available Light Photo

Friday 22nd

10AM Waiting Brisbane Airport
People waiting at Brisbane International terminal

6PM Sunset Port Moresby
Sunset from the pool deck Airways Hotel

Saturday 23rd

8AM Wall Murals Port Moresby Domestic Air terminal
Mural on the wall of the domestic terminal

11AM More waiting/wall art at Rabual
Mural at Rabual Airport

11:30AM My Charter flight is ready
Kabin and Tarurur Volcanoes in the background

This photo is interesting for a few reasons in the background you can see the twin volcanoes of Kabin & Tarurur (smoking). They destroyed the old rabaul township in 1994. And Tarurur is smoking again. Behind my charter plane is a small jet that has been impounded at rabual after it had undertaken an unauthorized flight into bougainville. The view through the propeller below looks over the beautiful Duke of York Islands as well as back to the volcanoes

Looking back to the volcanoes

NOON Looking down on the Duke of York Islands
Azure ocean and reef, viewed from above

12:30PM Approaching PutPut (Lihir)
Gold processing plant at Lihir, from the air

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Exposure Value (EV)

I've read lots of definitions and I think I understand what EV might be, but I wish the definitions where simpler to explain, and even better that they might at least be more consistent!

EV appears to be a common way that digital camera manufacturers have chosen to "measure" and control the sensitivity of the image sensor, the aperture and shutter speed. It is the digital equivalent of the ISO, or ASA, film speed. At the most technical level it is a single number that quantifies the amount of light for a particular exposure. It can be used by the cameras light meter and electronics programming to calculate the correct combination of shutter speed and aperture. In the simplest terms it is a attempt to measure the brightness of a scene. Having agonized about explaining all that, the absolute value is not something you will normally see displayed or recorded. What you may find is EV used as an exposure adjustment. Unlike film, the sensitivity of digital cameras, can be adjusted.

+1 EV

0 EV

-1 EV

Many Cameras now come with simple up and down adjustments that let you change the EV setting. Positive adjustment will lighten an image. Negative adjustments will darken the image. Some camera might use an ISO equivalent adjustment as well or in place on an EV adjustment. The key thing to remember is you don't have to change film to change the sensitivity of you camera to changes in lighting

Monday, October 18, 2004

Flash intensity control for free

A really simply application of the ability to change the sensitivity of your camera, is to tame the built-in flash unit that your camera came with. I soon learnt to turn off the flash because I didn't like the "startled animal in the head lights" effect it consistently produced, even when photographing flowers!

Straight Flash

Since changing the EV lets you change sensitivity to light, you can in effect give yourself an intensity control for your flash. The actual flash will still be same intensity but your film will see the light as less bright when you use a negative EV adjustment. This is useful when the subject is close to the camera (as these dolls where) and you need to lower the intensity of the light from the flash.

Flash with -1EV

Flash with -2EV

Similarly a positive EV adjustment will brighten a photo. This may be useful when you can not get close enough to your subject. If your subject is close this may wash them out (as it has dome with the dolls)

Flash with +1EV

The Lunimousity Histograms where produced with Ulead's PhotoImpact.

Just a final word of warning, this "apparent" flash intensity control only works when your flash is the main source of light. It doesn't work for in fill flash, because the exposure adjustment works for the whole exposure of the scene. Don't take my word of any of this go try it out yourself.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Along the Grand Ridge Road

The Grand Ridge Road is a narrow dirt road that winds through South Gippsland.

This panoramic view is three photos spliced together

Looking south

The journey offers many sweeping scenic views, exactly the type I love to photography.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Watching the background

I'm not sure when or where I heard this but I do remember being advised "Take Care of the Background and the Foreground will take care of itself" (presumably a photographic parody of the "Take care of the pennies, and the Pounds will take care of themselves" axiom). Well background do have a big impact.

These flowers are in a pot plant so I just moved them around, to compare the color saturation on the final photo, other than re sizing to upload here, there was no editing/post processing of these image. The wonderful thing about digital cameras, is that a small calibration exercise like this is both fun to do and costs nothing other than your time.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Pondering my Wanderings

I was not sure why I chose the title wandering in the light for this blog. The light being the basis of all photography, and hopefully that is pretty self evident. PhotoGraphy literally means LightWriting (I Just discovered that in a H2G2 past called Bluffing your way through Photography) The wandering bit is a lot clearer to me now. It describes perfectly my efforts here so far. I've barely touched on a lot of topics I had in mind when I started but I trust I have stumbled across a few interesting things on the way.

If you are a bit impatient and looking for a really succinct Beginners guide to Digital Photography or How to take better photos why not try the BBC's wonderful take-over of Douglas Adam's pet project H2G2.

If you don't mind wandering, follow along I will get around to all the important stuff eventually. Why not join in by leaving a few questions or ideas in the comments.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Sliding into a New Audience

One thing that really appeals to me about digital photography is the fact that it is so easy to reproduce the image with light. In conventional film based photography this was possible with various forms of projection. I was quiet a fan of 35mm slides when I was younger. They where pretty much the majour force in camera clubs at the time. The problem is you needed special projection equipment and a darked room. The really unfortunate part is everyone from that era has nightmares of a night trapped in that darkened room with uncle bob's holiday slides.

Slide Show = Terminal Boredom. (circa 1960s & 70s)

With digital images there is a massive range of devices, you probably already have, that can be used to display your photos. Computers, TVs, Phones (yes pretty well all new mobile/cell phones come with nice coloured screens, even if they don't come with cameras).Yet there are few technical issues, like calibration of the screen, resolution, media, format and possibly what software to use. If you have ever had a digital photo printed and conpared that with the same image, displayed full screen, on your computer you'll know what I mean. Its just not the same (generally the screnn image is way better). Yet the key objective in my mind of exploiting these new media of light, is avoiding the fear of total boredom that the old slide nights conjured up!

Slide Show => Good use of a Terminal Screen (maybe)

Towards the end of my colour day

This is was one of the photos I took yesterday in my quest for colour.

I have certainly found thet softer lighting, in the morning and evenings or even during the day, but in the shade with some reflected diffused light, can help you capture more saturated colours.This image is used for the small image in my wallpaper below.

I also took the opportunity to actually do the creative image enhamcement exercise I had planned as my final test of Photoshop Elements. I took my wisteria photos and had a good play with the different filters and tools, see the towards the end of my colour day thread Sharing Photo Worldwide Forum for the outcomes.