Saturday, 28 February 2015

Lake Conjola in Black and White

I was in Lake Conjola, a few hours drive from Sydney for  a long road trip. This place is pretty busy during summer and very family friendly. My sister was with a few other families from Sydney to have a short vacation before Christmas and Boxing Day.

It took us 4-5 hours to drive from Sydney to Lake Conjola. It was the distance was that long but we photographers and if you just simply take the highway you're miss out on the photo opportunities. So whenever we saw a sign to some destination we never been to before we simply dropped by and have a look.

The drive to Lake Conjola was two and half hours but we end up took 5 hours to get to Lake Conjola. I didn't get much photo opportunities during my two nights at there and the last day I woke up early to get some photos of the lake. The sun didn't show up but I managed to get a few long exposure shots in.

The boat in the foreground is blurry because of the motion with long exposure. It shows some dynamic and life into the shots. Do we need to see sharp image everytime? I could have shot the boat by itself and blend the boat in for a sharp image in Photoshop. That's a tip there if you want a sharp image from foreground to background and still maintain a long exposure feel to it.

Friday, 27 February 2015

The Twelve Apostles, Port Campbell Victoria Australia

The Twelve Apostles is part of The Great Ocean Road. A once in a life time road trip and this was the final destination. A journey over 1,071 km, 11 hour and 11 min without traffic by direct route. But I took the scenic route down the coast that took over 9 days to get here.
I've came to realise what it means by the Australian National anthem "our land is girt by sea".
Once you have being struck by a travel bugs you just simply want to travel more and more. Every journey leave a mark somewhere in your consciousness and this journey truly leave a mark in me forever.
You go to places that you only heard, read or seen in TV. But to see in person is truly remarkable. When you look at the grand landscape of The Twelve Apostles you come to respect mother nature and the force of nature. The photo above doesn't show how powerful mother nature was, it looks peaceful and calm in the photo. But let me assure you that I saw my tripod move. And I have a heavy tripod. I was nearly blown away to Antarctica. It was cold even though it in Summer and the wind from Antarctica or the Southern Ocean makes it even worst.
The sunset and sunrise was remarkable. The Twelve Apostles situation in the south so you basically get great light on the lime stone at sunrise or sunset. I highly recommended you stay for at least one night at a close-by Princetown to see the sunrise. With a normal hours or sunset you have to fight your way through the crowd. When it was sunrise you simply there by yourself and enjoy the view for yourself. 
The Great Ocean Road is a journey that every Australian should take. It is 5 and half hours drive through winding road and every turn you have view of the great Southern Ocean. It reminds you of the anthem and how lucky we are as Australian.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Bells Beach, Victoria Australia A surfers paradise

Before visiting Victoria and going on the Great Ocean Road. I was very curious to see the surfers version of Mecca. The surfs from Bells beach is amazing. It basically every 10 seconds you have a good surfs. I'm not a surfer myself but I'll learn how to surf one day. The only surfing that I've ever done is on the net.

There was a lot of people there watching as well. It's now became a tourist attractions now days. People just as curious as I was as well. The view at sunrise is probably amazing and add to the addiction of surfing. Every time you can have your hobby nears the sun you are happy bunch.

Surfers or photographers are the same breed I reckon. Surfers are chasing the perfect waves and goes to great length to get to the best beach. They travel a lot as well to chase the perfect wave. The thrill of adventure drive them so as photographer. I reckon the two can be a great match especially if you live on an island like Australia.

The best life of both world if you love to travel, surfing and seascapes photography. Everyday just wake up early to catch the sunrise and after finish photographing you can go for a surf. And repeat the process at dawn. That's a lifestyle that I am willing participant one day.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Mallacoota Sunrise, Border of NSW and Victoria Australia

If there was heaven on Earth then Mallacoota is close to it. It's 7 hours drive from Sydney or Melbourne. Two major cities in Australia. It's an effort to get here either way. There is a huge lake surrounds by mountains and to the East you have unspoiled National Park and beaches.

It was Christmas Day 2014 when we arrived at Mallacoota and passing the Victoria border to another state. It is so funny when I look at my life so far, the major dates in my life I have travel. I have celebrated one of my birthday on a aeroplane to Taiwan. So passing to another state didn't surprise me at all.

The weather was bad, we were lucky enough to have a powered camp site for one night before going further to Victoria. We were using a quick release 3 second tent and it held up to the wind and rain. I was impressed with the design. We bascially camp next to the Mallacoota Lake, the best accommodation is camping I think, just for the view alone was worth the cost of the camp.

We scouted Mallacoota for locations and it was spectacular. It was closed to midday when we arrived and the light was harsh. So after set up camp we just drove around, to see how big the lake was. And it's big. We settle for the sunset photos locations and came back for the sunset. Unfortunately it rain on us and I didn't get a great sunset photo.

The next day I woke up early to catch the sunrise. We drove about 7km from our camp site to this beach. I was amazed with clouds and quickly set-up my tripod and camera to do some time-lapse photography. I did get all the angles for time-lapse. I haven't had the time or the computer to put it together yet. I'll do soon.

The reflections from sky with the slow fast moving clouds will make a spectacular time-lapse. I haven't developed the raw files as yet. But from what I've seen it amazing. Watch this space.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Chinese New Year Parade

There is a big Chinese community in Sydney and Australia. And every Chinese New Year, the city of Sydney and Chinatown was the centre of attention. The big attraction every year was the twilight parade.

Usually with street photography and in particular the parade, I like to photograph the beginning of the parade or the end of the parade where you can full access to the people and of-course the characters. There so many cultures in one big country called "China" and the representatives show up in different costumes and accessories.

It was a photographer heaven really. Every year there something different with the theme changes with the turn of the new year. This year was the year of the goat/sheep and it was very interesting how people interpret the themes. I was photographed the parade last year and it was fun so I was back for more.

As for the photo above, it is probably best sum up the whole parade. You have beautiful Chinese girl in cultural costume out on the street. I did use bounce flash to lit her up. The light is soft and beautiful, great for portraiture. I was lucky enough to find a location where I can set up a impromptu studio on the street to bounce some light. I've learnt a new techniques of improvising out on location. You must take your camera out and practice, practice and more practice.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Newtown Mission Church, Sydney Australia

There's something magical about being a photographer and a child like adventure that so is addictive. Someone suggested that photographers have an addiction to photos and videos or simply visual beauties.

In one of my self guided photo-walk, I discovered Newtown Mission Church and the incredible art work of Kon Parris. A photo-walk is a self discovery as well as feeding the addiction. The Koori people of Australia have a "walkabout" where by wondering through the great outback and visiting ancestry sites. A self discovery and adventure before granted adulthood. 

Kon Parris was inspired when looking up at the church ceiling and imagine something up there similar to the Sistine Chapel. He envision if a big murals were up there. And with the church approval, it took Kon 7 years to completed the Revelation Ceiling you see right now in the church.

It is in need of maintenance. Your support is appreciated and the purpose of me sharing this gift from Kon Parris. It is a master piece  that future generations can still enjoy, and the important messages in it. It is way better to see it in person and I hope my photo can do it justice.

You can visit the Newtown Mission Church to have a look yourself. They are photographer friendly place and very accommodating. Please donate some thing back in return. Either monetary or photos you have taken. They have visiting hours just to see the masterpiece from Kon Parris so get in touch with the church.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Uloola Falls Trail Royal National Park, NSW Australia

Summer in the Royal National Park is one of the best time to capture some great wild flowers. It is best if you have  a macro lens and a tripod. Other wise just enjoy the experience in being outdoor.

Uloola Falls Trail is not the most popular trail in the Royal National Park. There's no view along the side, unless you into wild flowers and macro photography, then this is the perfect track for you. It is 5.8km long and roughly takes you 2 hours and 50 minutes one way to the fall. This track was used to be an unseal road, great if you have  four wheel drive but somehow it is closed for cars. So the track has no steep climb and basically you just simply walk on a gravel road all along the track. It is also wide, roughly 4 metres in width, just enough for cars,but the road has been abandon and is it unsafe for normal two wheel vehicles.

The trail can become a loop from Waterfall station to Heathcote station. Depends where you park your car, you can catch the train back to your car after the walk. And I highly recommend you do so, it is roughly 6 hours altogether for the loop. It is for advance walkers only.

Although the track is relatively easy, it is also close to 3 hours one way, so take your time. Just a tip for photographers, if you going to take the track for macro photography. DO NOT take all the shots on your way in, leave some for the way back. That's your rest time. There no where in the track where you can sit down so take your time when you do go. Bring lots of water and lunch or snacks. Enjoy a great day out and bring back some great photos. Enjoy!

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Glow Worm Tunnel - Lithgow, Blue Mountains 2013

Back in 2013 one of my cousin from Vietnam was visiting Sydney. So me and sister were a willing tourists guide. We took her to a few places and one of them was the Glow Worm Tunnel in Lithgow, Blue Mountains.

The trip was long, it was off road and you still have to hiked in for about half an hour. But it was worth it. You need a 4x4 drive to get to the place but our car can still make it. You just need to drive very carefully that's all.

It was Spring when we went to the tunnel and there was a perfumed from the wild flower that was so invigorating. I didn't have a macro lens at the time and a 50mm lens just could not get closed enough. It's hard to described, there's lots of complex aroma. I can smell citric but it complex than that. I never forget the smell of it. Too bad after our visit to the worm cave there was a big bush fire in the region and most of the forest in the area was destroy. It will take a few years for it to grow back.

I was devastated to hear on the news about the bush fire. I was there just a few months back and saw the beauty of the place. But the good news the forest will grow back, the eucalyptus is very resilience to bush fire. They have adapt to the Australian environment. And in 2014 just a few months after the bush fire, we were up there for Autumn and we saw life. So in a few years the forest will be back to it's full glory.

At for the photo above you have to look closely to see the glow worms. I have added some made man lights into the scene, it was pitch black in the tunnel. This is where the skill of a light painter comes into play. Just don't limit yourselves to one genre of photography. Explore all the possibilities and grow each day as an image producer and you want your photo to have some stories behind it as well.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Flower Friday: White Wild Flower

Sorry I don't know the name of this flower. It is wild in Royal National Park. It's probably native to Australia. If someone know this flower let me know I have change the colour a bit so it's not original.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Into the Light Vivid Sydney 2013 1st Night

This was the first night that I have shot Vivid Sydney. My sister is a photo enthusiasts and she had shot the previous Vivid Sydney. I just pick up photography probably 6 months or so before this so everything was new to me.

My sister suggests that the first night we should go around to every spots to see what it like first then seriously photograph each location at a later time. I didn't know anything better so I follow her suggestions.

We took the ferry from Pymont to Kirribilii across the haboour and walk back toward the Rocks and Circular Quay. It was free then but like all government services they start to charge once it becomes so popular.

We photograph the Harbour Bridge with the light decorations and you could see the Opera House from the bridge. Yes you can see but it hard to photograph it. If you have a small camera and high ISO capability in the camera then from the bridge you get a different view than most people.

We make our way slowly to Circular Quay and it starts to pouring down. I saw the light and wait for people to walk into the shots. I took a few frame and I knew this was the shot that I wanted. Also my sister shared that every time Vivid Sydney was on, it starts to rain. So a tip prepare for wet weather if you going to photograph Vivid Sydney.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Anderson Park, Neutral Bay Sydney Australia

I lived in the West of Sydney and I hardly explore the Northern suburbs of Sydney. One it is an effort to cross the Harbour Bridge it doesn't what kind of transportation I use, it's going to take over an hour just to get somewhere close to the Northern suburbs.

I used to study up at UTS in Lindfield, a Northern suburb. But I didn't get into photography then, there was no sense of exploration even though I nearly everyday I drove into a National Park. I wish I could turn back time and actually explore the every piece of the Northern suburbs especially the beautiful beaches they have up there.

So when I get into photography, I start to explore things around me. One day I just wondering across the Harbour Bridge and let the road that me to what ever place. It was a self guide photo-walk. Why wait for some famous photographer to organise something. Do it yourself. If you live in a city, why not explore a part of a city that you never seen before. I'll guarantee you came back with new photos and new experiences.

This particular photo was sitting in my hard drive and it doesn't do any good to me. I wish I have more time to edit all my photos and share it to everyone. But  it hard to to it, hopefully in 2015 I start to post at least one photo per day and write up something about it. A photo tell 1000 words but somettime you still have to tell people, a reminder if you will. And it is my story, my journey. I once heard Jim Rohn said "A life worth living, it's a life worth recording." Why not you start something right now? Don't wait. Also Jim Rohn said "Discipline weight ounces and regret weight tonnes." Which one do you want to choose?

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

La Parouse Fisherman

La Parouse is a great place for seeing sunset in Sydney. It is my favourite spot in Sydney to just let life goes by and absorb in the beauty of nature. I used to work about 7km from La Parouse and usually after work I dropped by here to catch the sunset.

It takes me over 1 hour to drive home from work with the afternoon traffic. But after enjoying the sunset and maybe a meal there as well. The trip home took about 40-45 minutes. The word is drive there, with the afternoon peak hour traffic you're be crawling not driving.

This photo was part of my timelapse. I set up my shots and this fisherman somehow want to be in my shot. I'm not the one that shout out "Get out of my shot." I was in a public place and no ones has the right to say that. And I know there are tools in Photoshop to get unwanted things or people out of the shot. It takes a bit of work but with the software this day it just a few clicks.

Also if your the one upset over a small things like people in your shot then you've missed the opportunity to enjoy the experience while present at the scene. Are you listening to your inner feelings, let the beautiful sunset or sunrise captivate you. Heal your soul, foods for the heart. I know some landscape photographers hate that because landscape photography is a reflection of who you are right at the moment it clicks. Some guys just don't get it and that's why the photo show up. Hopefully with with my photo you can see my inner feelings right at that point.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Terracotta Warriors Wedding

What were you doing on Valentine's Day? Hopefully you are the lucky one that have a Valentine to share the day with. For me personally my love is with photography. Sorry girls but I enjoy freedom and solitude. Not anti-social or anything.

I remember Valentine's 2014 I was a wedding photographer for one of my sister friends. Wedding photography is challenging business. It requires all the skills you need to become a great photographer. If you  really want to get good at weddings photography, ask a friend that you can become a second shooter at their weddings. Don't promise the world and upset the professional who make a living photograph people. If you see a good angle share it with them or don't get in their way.

For the photograph above, I was going on a photo-walk and I knew they have the Terracotta Warriors display was on. I came across a wedding party and join in the fun, this was just a snap shot of the wedding party.

I did hunt down couples as it was Valentine's Day after all. So I have  a few interesting couple shots, Check out my Flicker for more photos I took on the day.  At the beginning of the day I was heading to Cockatoo Island. A place where I have photograph numerous time, and every time there's something different to photograph. I share my though on it another time.

Check out DigitalRev TV on the boys take on Love Vs Photography. I though it was very funny. You have to love the boys at DigitalRev don't you.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

East Gardens, Sydney Australia

Photograph Eastgardens Sydney Australia by Travis Chau on 500px
Eastgardens Sydney Australia by Travis Chau on 500px

A mate from work share with me this place. I was into photography a few years back and sharing my work with him and he was absolutely impressed.. I was beginning to shoot time-laspe photography and looking for new locations to practice it.

He shared with me on top of East Gardens shopping centre could be a great place to do time-laspe with the smog from the industrial manufacturers. I was impressed myself with the location as you can see all the way to Botany Bay and basically have 180 degree view of Sydney from another angle.

So after work instead of driving back home and stuck in traffic I drove to the top floor of the car park area in Eastgardens and catch some sunset. It was different as I usually go to Botany Bay to see the sunset there. This view was different I have the industrial manufacturers as the foreground.

I was still shooting the Canon 7D at the time and basically have to used the twisted lens method and manual focus and manual exposure everything. There was  a few shots that I have blown up the exposure. It was a learning curve for me at the time as well.

Anyway, a few days later I show my mate at work the finished time-lapse video and he was impressed It takes time to developed and rendered out time-lapse video. It is not easier as people think but the effort worth every pain and time shooting and processing the photos.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Melbourne Cricket Ground (MGC)Victoria Australia

Shot this up above the Eureka Skydeck, the highest building in Melbourne. The glass makes bad reflections to get the best angle up there. I took a few photos with there with some creative thinking to solve the reflection problem.

The MCG is a very famous sporting ground in Melbourne and Australia. It hosts many major events. The ground full to capacity is a sight to be seen to believe. Victorian loves their sports and this ground represents it.

The effect from the photo was done in camera. If you went up to the Skydeck there was a some sort of tube/telescope that point to the major landmarks around Melbourne. I was placing my lens next to to it and created the effect in camera. This was not my idea, my sister did it first with her smart phone and I just followed with M43 camera.

Some people might not get the photo, but I shoot photo to please me not to please anyone. So who cares if you don't like it. Just another perspective  on the famous ground that's no one have seen before. It is not necessary better, just simply another perspective.

With photography you have to experiment and push some boundary. You've never learnt anything if you afraid to experiment. And it's fun, isn't that it all about? Next time if you have a chance to go to Melbourne check out Eureka Skydeck. They are photographer friendly up there, tripod is allowed.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Flower Friday: Wild Flowers Common Fringe Lily

Photograph Wild Flower Purple by Travis Chau on 500px
Wild Flower Purple by Travis Chau on 500px

Usually I don't go out photograph flowers but this time I took out my macro and photograph flowers all day. With macro photography and especially outdoor flowers, it is all about the light. The day that I took this photo was overcast so I have a big soft box ahead of me.

When it comes to macro photography is all about the background. There's something magical about seeing something so small in a large print or in my case on a large monitor that surprise and so addictive. I wish I could have the patients to do it more often. Maybe I need to invest in a macro lens for myself. I was using my sister camera to took this photo. Shot this with a Canon 7D the classic one. Canon just release a new  Mark II but for macro photography any camera with a macro lens can do the job as as fine. The trick is to bring your tripod with you.

There so much resource online  of where you can learn macro photography. It is an escape from the real world and mesmerised in the beauty of the small things. Check out Tim Cooper on the B&H Event Space where Tim introduced macro photography to the novice or season photographer.

I put up this flower and didn't no my research on it and someone on the internet did the research for me. So if you really want to know the botanical name of this flower then it called Thysanotus tuberosus or Common Fringe Lily.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Sydney's New Year Fireworks 2014

What's the best spot in Sydney to see the fireworks? And more importantly to photograph it. The answer is not simple and all depends.

Depend number one is how motivate are you to get the shot? If you out of town and a must get shot then Mrs Macquarie Point is the best place to see it and photograph it at the same time. But there's a catch you have to get there really early. I mean in the morning you have to get all your gear and lunch, dinner and party equipments there and enjoy a full day and night of celebrations. I haven't done it myself but I'll do it one day. Yeah so if you out of town and you really want the shots then the best bet is Mrs Macqaurie Point.

Depends on you budget as well. They sell tickets to the best vantage point for the fireworks, so you don't have to camp early. Depends on where you want to photograph, the ticket could be high. And it is not a guarantee you're going to get the shot. People want to rush to the best vantage point when the fireworks start so you still might fight people over it.

Depends if you know someone hate crowd or not. The hotels in Sydney has some great view of the fireworks display, but be warned you must book early, like at least 6 months in advance. You have to photograph through glass window so something to cover the lens and the glass window so you don't get reflections is a must before you go. There's a product out there, sorry I've forgotten the name. Google it. Great investment if you happens to shoot cityscape a lot and stay in hotels regularly.

And if you like me, not motivate enough to camp .or don't have budget to buy ticket to the vantage location then the spot in the photo above is the place you want to be. It is a secret so don't tell anyone. Just between you and me okay? Promise?

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Size does matter

The debate about Micro Four Third system is over, there so many people right now that enjoy the system and creating beautiful photography with this system. Your truly includes, most of the photos on this blog are created with a M43 system.

I though I share some videos of why others use the system and is it the right system for you. Maybe the size and compactness of the system might win you over. My camera bag is very small and I have all the tools I needed for a multimedia situation.

Here's the list:
Cameras: Panasonic Lumix G5 and Panasonic GX1
Lenses: 14-42mm kit lens, Pan Leica 25mm f1.4 and Sigma 60mm f2.8
Tripod: Manfroto table tripod
Flash: Canon 430EX
Audio: Zoom H1
Filter: 46mm Hoya polarising filter
Cable Release: 2 X Meyin
Other Accessories includes spare camera batteries, AAs, AAAs, electrical tape and microfibre cloth and lens cleaner.

For my kind of photography this is the kit that goes with me everywhere. If there just one product that I can recommend to anyone is the table tripod. It gives you the photo that you won't otherwise get it.

Check out the guys below as what in their bag and you be amazed that it is so much stuff in just a small bag. Depends on your photography you don't have to struggle with your camera to make a good photo.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Capertee Valley NSW Australia

Just got back from Capertee Valley. The widest valley in the world. Yah. I was planning to shoot the stars but too cloudy tonight. Oh well next time. This was my third time shooting this location and I'm still not happy with the photos that I've got.

The first time I was there was afternoon, the light is okay but not spectacular and there was not a single cloud in the sky. I was in awe of the size of the valley but photography wise it was just a snapshot. Usually with good landscape you need good light which mean sunrise or sunset.

The second time I was there was around 9am, it is still magnificent view but the light was too harsh and I took a few snapshots. This time I drove two and half hours to get to this location. Initially I was planning to shoot some stars spot and maybe experiment with stars trail. Unfortunately with my current camera, I can't really do long exposure because of the camera limitation. Also tonight there was too many clouds around, so no stars spot but I know where the location to shoot it now. There was no light pollution around there and it great for astrophotography but just the distance from where I live makes the trip difficult.

You can't have everything go well in outdoor/landscape photography and especially astrophotography. But that the challenges we must overcome to get the shot that is truly memorable. 

Monday, 9 February 2015

ANZAC War Memorial, Sydney Australia

"The ANZAC War Memorial, completed in 1934, is the main commemorative military monument of Sydney, Australia. It was designed by C. Bruce Dellit, with the exterior adorned with monumental figural reliefs and sculptures by Rayner Hoff." Wikipedia accessed January 2015

The Memorial is initially dedicated to the first New South Welshmen involvements in the first world war. However in 1984 the building become a place to commemorate all the men and women servings in all the wars.

The architecture is unique in Sydney and it is the end of the ANZAC march on ANZAC Day. If you into street photography this is the day that you have to take out your camera and documenting the events. Please use a camera smaller camera. It is disrespectful to point a big zoom lens in the ANZAC faces. Another great reason to go into mirror-less I reckon and why would you want to use a big telephoto zoom lens for street photography?

I have seen photos of the Memorial during the day and it is okay. You can still get the reflections from the Reflections Pool during daylight, however, if you want to have the lights of the city then blue hour is what you have to shoot the Memorial. So much more drama to the photo.

I didn't have a wide angle lens at the the time and I have to took to two shots to get everything in. Photoshop is so much easy to merge photos that I don't hesitate to merge photos later. Also I was using a table tripod, which mean my angle on the shot is very low. I wish I could capture the whole reflections but the tripod didn't let me. Yeah I used cheap Chinese made one, I don't any more. Table tripod is great and no more excuses to not having a tripod with you all the time.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Falls Reflections, Autumn 2013

Mount Wilson has many great private gardens. If you talk to the owner, it is a labour of love. This particular garden has taken the owners over 40 years to develop into the scale it is now. The last time I was up in the mountain, the owner is selling the property. I hope the new owner still have the passion for gardening as the old owner did.

Not sure if it is sold already, but the new owner will definitely love the garden that already there. Could you imagine working on a garden for 40 years? What dedications and commitments to make it works? I could imagine what's the land was in 40 years ago when there was nothing here. Just bush and forest with Eucalyptus tree everywhere. 

A remarkable about human achievements in a lifetime work. What the human hands can produce. Turning something ordinary to something extraordinary. But a sad story is unfolding as well, the owners are getting older and unfortunately the same drive and passion is still there but the body is weary to keep the garden of this scale.

A walk into a garden during the Autumn makes you wonder about life, how the season changes. Life is a cycle of constant changes and in Buddhism it is called impermanent. A mark of Buddhism and if someone teaches Buddhism and not emphasis this point then it is not Buddhism at all.

I still remember one of the poem from Ho Chi Minh, a Vietnamese leader growing in the Vietnamese public school system. "An trai phai nho ghe trong cay" translate to "if you eat a fruit remember the grower". And to the owners of this garden a big "THANK YOU" for sharing your passion with us.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Betka Beach, Mallacoota Victoria Australia

This was shot during a recent road trip to Victoria. I think this was Boxing Day. Me and my sister woke up early to catch the sunset. I had a disappointing photography wise during my visit at Mallacoota. The sun never shows up until this morning.

I set up my tripod to take some time-lapse photography, After I finished my sister encourage me to go out to get some great rocks photo. She went to the beach first to explored the beach. I was attending my camera for time-lapse photography. So I didn't go out till I have all the shots I wanted for my time-lapse.

My sister is a tablet and phone photographer these days and never take her Canon 7D out. It is too heavy and she wants to share her shot on social media straight away the tablet and phone does a great job at it. But she came back after half an hour and take out the Canon 7D with a big wide angle zoom.

I followed her and began to explore the coast line. Unfortunately the sky starts to open up again and I only manage a few shots in before its started to rain. My camera is not weather seal so I have to run back to the car. 

The shot above was one of the few I have managed to get before the rain pouring down. It makes the trip and the stay at Mallacoota worth it. If there was heaven on Earth this place came closed to it. It is an effort to get here and I don't think I'll visit this part of the world any time soon. However, I can relive it again and again with this kind of photo. 

When you're a photographer you want to travel and explore the world around you. So isn't time you pick up a camera? The Iphone doesn't count by the way. Go with mirror-less system that's the future of photography and it's light and compact. I was a phone photographer before I self talk myself photography. Your memory is too precious to rely on a phone even though it's getting better but it's not comparable to a real camera. I have lost some photo and memory because I was using a phone, but that never happens again. 

Friday, 6 February 2015

Flower Friday: Tiger Spots

Just continues with Flower Friday here is the shot I think might be interesting. I called it "Tiger Spots" as you can see from the colour the reason. I am fascinated by nature and all the mysteries of nature.

How did I get this kind of shot? I was using slow shutter speed and turn the camera during the exposure. Yes, I know I'm breaking the rules. Photo must be sharp right? Who told you that? I say learn the rules first then break the rules. How could you be original if you just follow the rules.

Yes I did shot this flower sharp, however I like this kind of style. Something different for the viewers. Not necessary better by the way, let me make that point quite clear. Photography is an art, it is an expression of the artist. And art is quite subjective.

Do you have your own style? Let me tell you a secret...come closer. I don't have a macro lens. Yes if you want to photograph flowers you need a macro lens. Or something to get closer to your subject. Otherwise you shot is just a snapshot. A macro can really get in there and makes interesting photography. But if you don't have macro lens, try this technique you might enjoy it.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

"K" Hyde Park, Sydney Australia

"K" Hyde Park, Sydney Australia

I had two shots of the reflections about 10 metres to the right of the photo. I look at it in the field and though to myself that's a reversed "K", how about I go to my left what will happen? As exactly as I though, a "K" was what I saw. Took only one frame of it and here it is. Lesson learnt "work your scene".

I also went across where there was another photographer was shooting the Anzac Memorial Building. Not sure he's got the reflections or not, at night without a tripod? What's wrong with DSLR shooter? Or maybe he was using a Sony a7S probably not cos' this shot was taken in 2013. Sorry if I offend any DSLR shooters out there.

Reflection is a gift to photographers. It adds so much interesting element and a dreamy feel to any photograph. I also love to shoot just after the rain has stopped. There so many reflections from the water that your photos are unique.

Whenever there is water, hopefully calm water you're going to get reflections. Not it is your job as a photographer to compose the frame to get the best composition possible. It comes down to practice, practice and more practice. There's no way out unfortunately. There's no Photoshop filter that can fix a bad composition. The more you shoot, the more you train your eyes to see reflections and it will comes naturally I promised. I see reflections everywhere I go. Or I look  for it and trained for it so I see it. 

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Light Painting Watsons Bay, Sydney Australia

Took this during the first full moon of 2015.  I have made a commitment to photograph on full-moon for the rest of 2015. This particular trip to Watsons Bay, I came back with 17 frames altogether in a shoot. Usually I fill up the memory cards or the batteries run flat on the camera.

Out of the 17 shots I think I have 2 potential portfolio shots for my effort. It is not the quantity it is the quality of the photo. With night photography and especially long exposure photography. You come back with not many frames, but every frames is special to you. 

Light painting is also an experiment I am going to do in 2015. I have a dabble in it a few times but never actually make a commitment to shoot and experiment with it. I have chosen full moon as the moon will illuminate the overall scene (ambience) and I light paint in the subject.

The equipment you need is very simple. You need a tripod, a camera that can shoot in bulb mode, cable release, torch (that's your brush) and a lot of imagination. But the most important ingredients is to have fun.
I love the clouds with long exposure photography. There's something magical about full-moon. Can't point it out yet, still discovering its secrecy. I'll post more photo and stories of my experiment with light painting and become a lunatic in 2015.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Ballast Point Park, Balmain Sydney Australia

I don't photography sunrise very often when I first start photography. The effort to get up early and drive to a location which mean sometime you have to get up at 4am in the morning to catch the 5am sunrise.

I used to work a grave yard shift which starts at 4am so getting up is not a problem. But getting up for a hobby might be a bit more challenging. It's strange how we are motivated. Not problem to slave away in a job which pays minimum  hourly rate, and we hate it but still doing to make a living. I got out after 7 months of grave yard shift. There must be a better way of earning a living was my reason for me to quit.

Getting up for the sunrise has it advantages as well. You drive to the location, not like stuck in traffic for rush hour work and basically crawl to work. An easy way to develop a heart condition with the modern lifestyle.

This particular morning I was very fortunate to witnessed a storm developing. The clouds and the lights just moved every seconds. I shoot time-lapse so you know it was beautiful, still using my Canon 7D at the time by the way. Some people reckon the time-lapse was short....that was meant to be like that, Time-lapse photography compressed time from say one hour to 15 seconds. See below for the time-lapse video. Please no not complain that is too short. I have learnt to combine time-lapse together but shooting time-lapse is challenging. Especially with the post-processing it.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Newtown West Connex Protest

What's is like to be involved in a protest and document the event as a photo journalist? Simple answer, it was fun. I didn't expect to be involved in the protest but that's what spontaneous can gives you.

I did my own photo-walk from Central Station to Newtown in the morning and just dropped by Newtown for lunch. After that I just simply wonder around King St, Newtown and I happened to came across an organised protest against a proposed motorway. The locals are very passionate about environmental issues. They fear that the potential motorway will greatly impact on traffic and the environment.

There was at least 3000 locals came out in force, a rough estimate. But somehow the media report to be 1500 people. It seem to me 3000 was the right number. The media didn't report correctly. It's on someone payroll. It is so corrupted these days that who ever pay their bills they report favourably on important public stories. Where's the integrity in pure information? Or the media is simply another propaganda machine.

I once heard a famous quote somewhere that all photography is propaganda. I think the author of the quote used to be a photo journalist. When I photograph important public event I usually don't crop in post. I leave the photo as it is. I try to keep the integrity of the photo as pure as possible. I will use the darkroom techniques of dodge and burn. And I only display black and white. I think photo journalism should be in black and white. That's just my opinion. But people like to see colours.

You can check out my Flicker album on the event/protest. There's over 200 photos from protest. From the start to finish. There's other photo journalists around but the editor of the local newspaper only interested in a few photos. But I don't have anyone paying my bills so I can publish as much as I want. If you like it share it around for me.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Monorail Farewell, Sydney Australia

A sad moment in Sydney, the monorail serving the city for 25 years finally had it last day. So many people turn up on the day that I actually couldn't get a seat or ticket for the last ride.

If you happen to visit Sydney you might get a glimpse of the past with some monorail station are still around. This shot was taken at Darling Park and it one that you can spot right now in Sydney. It was a day of celebration for a good public servant retirement.

The day was gloomy which marks the end of an era in Sydney's transportation history. When ever I go to town, if I was lost I just follow the monorail line and it will take me back to where I want to go. Some people the lines make an ugly sight to the city, but for others it was a futuristic and the future of the city. For me personally it makes a great guide to the city.

A newspaper report on the day is here for anyone want to read further

For more photos from the event check out my Blurb book, Please DO NOT buy it. There was a few photos that I was not happy with. Great to see it digitally but when I print it out I was not happy with the results. It had to do with my experiements with Photoshop. So please do not buy it.