Sunday, 29 March 2015

All Saints Anglican Church, Eurobodalla NSW Australia

Was driving pass a small rural town on the recent road trip and we saw this old church. I have to stop by and take some shot to the great architecture. I just  love everything old or vintage. There is character to these old buildings. 

All Saints Anglican Church in Eurododalla NSW Australia was established in 1881. It stands out when you drive by the town. It was on a hill so you can see it from far away. It's funny how most church are build on a hill. Anyway if you have a chance to visit Eurododalla make sure you visit the this lovely church.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Canberra's Old Parliament House

This shot was during Canberra's 100 year anniversary. The first time that I go somewhere far for the pure purpose of photography. My sister was very kind to me and let me borrow her camera to play with. She my first photography teacher and the other is the Canon 7D.

When I first start learning about photography, I was very intrigued with HDR photography. I did bracket this shot but the processing and software to create a HDR looks has became so better that one shot can do it these days.

There so much to is involved in the creative process these days that a software is more important than the camera itself. If I have a suggestion to someone new to photography. My suggestion is to get really good with Lightroom and Photoshop. Some people will argue that is not pure photography but photography was never pure anyway. It's an adaptive art and as a photographer you are an artist.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Countryside Landscape Australia

Was on the car back to Sydney from Canberra's Floriade and we end up with a storm and after the storm you get rainbow. We got out of the car and took some rainbow shots but I was aware enough to shot into the sun to get this memorable landscape.

Photography is all about light and the best time is when there's a storm approaching or during storm with some sunlight. It is a magical light. We're live to chase this kind of light and the addiction to capture this magical light.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Double Rainbow A Road Trip To Canberra

Was on our way back to Sydney from Canberra and we had a double rainbow on show. It was the first time I've seen a double rainbow. I didn't had a wide angle to capture the full rainbow at the time. But a rainbow without something in the foreground is not unique. So I have composed the shot to get some landscape in the frame.

It was cold but we have to stopped the car on the side of the road to capture this special moment. I have two great shots. One with the rainbows and the other a country side landscape.

When you feel you need a shot then do not hesitate to stop what your doing and take the shots. Live your life without regrets. I always have my camera with me when ever I go out. You're never know when a photo opportunities arise. So please take a camera with you everywhere with you. A phone doesn't count by the way.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Flower Friday Canberra's Froriade 2013

Canbera's Floriade 2013
When you surround by the a sea of flowers it's hard to make your photo stands out. Shot this during Canberra annual flower tulip festival 2013. Canberra is a very unique capital. It was created from scratch. There were two major cities in Australia, Sydney and Melbourne, both cities want to become the capital city of the newly formed The Commonwealth of Australia. So to balance it out, let make a capital somewhere between the two cities. That's the story I know.

About the Canberra's annual tulip festival. It it a celebration of Spring time in the capital. This free event attracts thousands of people to the capital. It was a joy to see so many flower in full bloom. The best attractions was during the night time where they have artificially light on the tulip beds. i haven't had the chance to photograph it yet. Maybe that is for this year.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Port Macquarie Panorama

Photograph Port Macquarie Panoramo by Travis Chau on 500px
Port Macquarie Panoramo by Travis Chau on 500px

What's the best view in the seaside town of Port Macquarie? It's probably at this spot where the Tacking Point Lighthouse is. I was using  a 50mm lens for over a year before I actually allow myself to buy another lens. So I have to stitched a panorama together in Photoshop.

So many new photographer just want to have all the latest gear and fall into the trap of GAS (Gear Acquisitions Syndrome) and not master the gear they have right now. I have listen to other pro photographers and learn my skills slowly with a 50mm lens and slowly build my gear and lens. Make sure the next camera or lens that you is an expansion or growth in your photography and not simply buy it for the sake of it.

Right now I am still using a 3 year old camera and still can take good photos with it. It is not the gear but the person behind the gear. Ansel Adams once said "The most important part of the camera is the 12 inch behind the camera."

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Road to Buchan Caves, Victoria Australia

A side trip to the Great Ocean Road, I was jokingly told my sister that this road was the "The Great Mountains Road". It sure was a scenic route to Buchan Caves. We basically drove around the mountain for over an hour and need somewhere to stretch the legs and take in the view.

We stopped by the side of the road up high in the mountains where this the best view we could find in the valley below. There was a funny scene happens before our eyes. There was a lamp farmer moving the herd to another places. I was setting up all my videos and camera equipment, the funny thing was the farmer directed the lamp into his home just 25 meters from us. I was disappointed that I didn't get the scene on top of the mountain but better luck next time.

This road was probably one of the highlight from my last road trip to Victoria. There so much to see and there's not enough time and of-course the means to do it all. I just love photography and especially travel photography. I once heard somewhere a life worth living is a life worth recording.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Sydney Harbour Bridge Blue Hour

I took a few photos of this scene before but with a 50mm lens. I am using a somewhat wide angle lens in this shot. It makes more dramatic cityscape. This shot was at the same time that I took my friend around Sydney.

He didn't bring a tripod and I introduced him to the table top tripod. I really enjoy using it, especially the size and versatile of the tripod. There's no excuse anymore to not to have a tripod with you any more. I just love my table top tripod. Just a quick tip, buy the quality one. It saves you in the long run. I have cheap out with Chinese brand before but it last me only one year. Buy a quality tripod and it could last you a lifetime.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Sydney Harbour Bridge Sunset

The last time I want to have this photograph was at 500px Photowalk in 2014. At the time I didn't bring my a wide angle so I just have to imagine what the photo was like. I saw another photographer at the photowalk had the same shot. A bit jealous about it, but I can always shot this location and can different clouds etc.

The difference was the reflections on the walkway. It was raining last year for the photowalk. Some of us raided the local bar and some very keen photographer didn't mind the rain and keep shooting.

Check out the video I did for behind the scene and some of my shots on the day. There was a Google Plus hash tag so you can check out other photographers photo.
Today, I have a friend from Melbourne visiting Sydney. I have to be a good host and show him where the best spot in Sydney.We spend the a few hours just simply enjoy the scenery and a cold beer. And after the sunset then the real photographers like to take photos. Not a bad Sunday afternoon really.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Grafton's Jacaranda mimosa NSW North Coast, Australia 2013

Grafton is Australia Jacaranda capital. Around mid Spring the whole town is in full bloom and it's simply beautiful. They have a parade to celebrate everything purple as well. I'm aware of the town about two years ago and in particular Jacaranda mimosa. The town is peaceful in the morning especially around the river.

I don't mind living here once my years of travel and exploring the world come to end. I have a land up here ready to build as a retirement home. Something small and cosy. It could be very cold in Winter.

I also made a video to document the event. It's okay as I was playing with video and editing video a few years ago. I'm getting better with video and editing by the way. Enjoy!

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Queen Elizabeth In Town

With the best harbour in the world and arguably one of the most beautiful city in the world. Sydney is playground for many tourists and most of them enjoy Sydney's beauties by cruise ship. Queen Elizabeth is an amazing cruise ship. It is old but has some great unique appeal about her. I haven't had the privilege to cruise in one yet, but it from what I've heard about cruising. It is amazing.

With the photo above, I want the foreground in the photo. If the photo lack the foreground then it's not complete as a photo especially landscape and cityscape. I'm using Photoshop to enhance the photo a hit but nothing dramatic like replacing sky or add stuff. I did clone some part on the edge when I straighten the buildings.

I prefer an 16:9 aspect ratio as it gives a wide perspective. Most of my photos are for screen and the best aspect ratio is 16:9. Lucky with the software like Lightroom and Photoshop and cropping is so easy. Tips of the day, play with your aspect ratio. An image appear different depends on the aspect ratio you display it on.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia

Yet another day shooting the Harbour Bridge. Usually after work or studying nowadays I have my photo walk. It is my exercise for the day. I start out from Darling Harbour and walk all the way to the Opera House's steps. It is a 5km walk I think, I haven't measured the distance and how many calorie I have burnt up. I'm not a fitness junkie, but I'm in to health though. 

Photography is a great hobby to have and save a lot of money on fitness and gym membership. Do your body a favour and take a self photo-walk and get healthy. Hopefully you have some interesting photos to share.

With this photo, I like the foreground in the photos. The umbrella makes an interesting foreground. Usually at this location, there's not much interesting foreground unless you but some people in your shot. But with people, they move and for long exposure it does not make great photography normally.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Alone Among The Crowd

Shot this after Chinese New Year Parade 2015. Spotted this lovely lady among the crowd with an interesting body expression. When I am shooting, my eyes are like an eagle eyes. It can spot interesting subject among the crowd.

It all comes down to practice, practice and more practice. Technically it is easy to master the exposure but what's make an interesting photos is the interesting moment in life and your subject matters. Hopefully I can share some values with this photo.

As for the technical side, I used bounce flash to get better quality of light on the subject. I don't use direct light as the main light. It is not the best lighting. If you could bounce the light, bounce it. It would be difficult if it's outdoor and you have nothing to bounce stuff on. I used the my palm to bounce the light for this photo. Yes you can bounce light of your skin. Try it and you be amazed with the physic of light.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Sydney Town Hall

For the past year or so the Town Hall have undergone a facelift and there was ugly construction equipments around. So if you want to take good photograph of Town Hall then this is the time to do it.

Did you know that Sydney Town Hall was once a cemetery? I didn't know that until last year when I went to Rookwood Cemetery Open Day where you get a true history of the city of Sydney from the dead. It was fascinating to me. When you become a photographer everything seems to have a child like curiosity to it. So I was fascinate with the experiences and even though it was a taboo subject of death.

The photo is not particular appealing as there to much dark sky. The best time was blue hour but as you can see from the photo, I was shooting this close to midnight. You can excuse me would you because I wasn't intend to shoot this location in the first place. But eventually I'll get a better version of this photo with the blue hour in it. I'll update this when I have a good photo of it.

Monday, 9 March 2015

The Rocks, Sydney Australia

This view is just under the Harbour Bridge looking back toward the city of Sydney. Usually people will rush to the Harbour Bridge or Opera House and missed out on some great photos opportunities. Even though the view from the this part of Sydney is spectacular, but as a photographer you must look at all directions.
I have been photographed on the North side of the Harbour and it happens to be Chinese New Year Festival coming up in Sydney. The city and the Chinese community is very big in celebration of another New Year, no fireworks but not less spectacular with many cultural displays. When I was on the ferry back to Circular Quay I saw they were testing the lighting on the Terracotta Warriors. So I have to forced myself to stay longer. 
I did photograph the Terracotta Warriors but didn't have a proper tripod with me so I couldn't composed the shots that I've wanted. But the shot on of the city above from a angle that I've never photograph before. The clouds in the long exposure and the moon was out makes the sky looks like daylight sky. That's the mystery of photography and it is so addictive. 

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Bird Cages Couple, Martin Place Sydney Australia

Martin Place was in the news lately for the wrong reasons. Rest assure that is it still a great place to visit and has many area to photograph. One of these is the back lane with bird cages hanging up in the sky.

I have photograph the bird cage by itself before but with some a human element into the frame it adds uniqueness to the shot. This was taken on Valentine's Day so the couple was out in force. This couple didn't know I took this photo initially and they start to do their own things. However, after a few frames they start to noticed me. They though I was photographing the bird cages, but with a wide angle lens, I got them into the frame as a nice foreground to the photograph.

The bird cages has many wedding photographers excited as a unique background to the wedding photos and if you ever in Sydney have a look around for it. If you into urban exploration photography then this is a great spot in Sydney for that. Not many unique decorations like this one around I reckon.

As for the post processing of the photo, I used Capture One Pro 8 to processed the photos. A little split tone was used. I only moved the shadow sliders and moved the sliders to your taste. With split toning, is a matter of experiment and there's no formula really. Every photo is unique when you do split toning. Split tones gives a great look and can lead you to places that you don't expect your photo can go to. Try it out next time in your post processing.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Canberra's 100th Year Anniversary 2013

Shot this during the balloon festival to celebrate Canberra's 100th Year Anniversary in 2013. This was just outside the Old Parliament House, but unfortunately the wind was high so they had to abandon the take-off. There was over 100,000 people attending the event from memory. So they just raised the hot air balloon for tourists like myself to take some photos.

With this particular shot, I was the first one to jumped in there and take this shot and there was 25 other photographers followed me afterwards. There was rods blocking the view and I had to come really close to the balloon. I saw other photographer a little timid about it, so I went in with my wide angle and get the shots.

When it comes to street photography, sometime you just can't be timid. I did ask first by the way and the balloon owner was very happy for me to take the photo. I was closed but not destroying anything. No harms done. I once heard somewhere, fill the frame and if you feel that you're close get closer. That's the secret to good street photography or any kind of photography really.

Unfortunately also that the important event like this didn't get much media attention either. Canberra is an plan city, it is Australia Capital Territory. It has it beauties depends on the season as well. Autumn you get beautiful falls colour and Spring you have gorgeous flowers blooming. The other seasons, Winter is a bit cold for my liking and Summer could be really hot. My suggestions Autumn and Spring is your best bet to visit Canberra.  

Friday, 6 March 2015

Wild Flower Crown

A photo shoot during the summer of 2015 in The Royal National Park. There was so many different wild flowers to photograph that I could be in the park all day. And yes it nearly took me all day to photograph the flowers there. 

I'll come back in Autumn to see what kind of flowers blossom. I'm new to photographing wild flower in Australia so you never know what season is the best for what kind of flower. You definitely see more flowers come out in Spring. But I might in for a surprise and keep the fun going I say.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Ship Wreck Lookout, Homebush Bay Sydney Australia

Not many people know about this location. I knew about this place from another photographer. This was my 4th or 5th time at this location. When I first heard about about it, I was very excited because it really closed to where I lived. So it is a great spot to photograph sunrise or sunset.

The other times I photograph it, there was no clouds or the weather was too poor, so I didn't get the shot I want. This time I'm pretty much wanted this kind of photos. The clouds makes a huge different to any photos I think. I also did a time-lapse piece and video about how to get to this place. The more people know about this location the better I reckon.

Also just a reminder for your comfort level. Just bring along insect repellent and you have more time photographing and not let the bugs bother you and makes the experience less enjoyable. Especially in Summer, I haven't photograph here in Winter yet, so I don't know if the bugs are out in Winter, I doubt it.

This place is great for biking and birds photography. They have dedicate spots for wild life photography. I don't have a long lens in my arsenal but if I had a super telephoto lens, I'll practice it here.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Blues Point, Sydney Australia

A few years ago I was starting to learnt time-lapse photography and one of the goal was to share Sydney in all it angles. I've called it Sydney 360. Unfortunately I have lost all 2014 footage of 2014 as my hard-drive was corrupted. Make sure you double up on your backup system if you feel that you can never take the photos back and the photos are important to you.

Anyway, I am starting to re-shoot some of the footage for my time-lapse again. It could be the best thing that ever happen to me. Luckily I didn't go to anywhere overseas otherwise the cost of the corrupted hard-drive could devastated me. So I encourage everyone to double backup on your hard drives. One onsite and one off site if you could.

Nowadays I am publishing as soon as possible all the photos that are worthy of publishing. I don't hesitate about people stealing my photos if I put up on-line. Most of my work are CC-Non Commercial, so if you really enjoy my photograph just use it for your personal use and give me credits for it. Link back to my website if you want to. I care about people seen my work than a few that might steal your work.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Botany Bay Long Exposure

Botany Bay, Sydney Australia by Travis Chau on 500px

When I first start learning photography, I have experimented with many types of photography. And the most interesting of those photography was long exposure. When you first tried it you're going to say "WOW". Can a camera do that?

What are the guidelines when you take long exposure photography? Clouds and water makes great photograph in long exposure. The light is always the key to any photograph, long exposure or not. So the best time to photograph for landscape at least is the golden hour and blue hour.

Camera settings and camera discipline is another key. You have to put your camera on a tripod. No cowboy here people. Depends on the scene and composition you going for, but to get a silky feel to the water you need at least 1 minutes exposure.

To get over a minute exposure you need a 6 or 10 stop ND filter(neutral density filter). ND filters are basically a sun glass for your lens. You want to cut out how much light you want to go into your sensor. It is a balance from there and you must know your exposure triangle really well other wise the maths could be confusing. It doesn't matter you get to see the back of the camera. That's another tip there for you. You could do by trail and error if you want to, but know the exposure triangle will certainly help in your understanding.

Colour noise is an issue we have to deal with as well. Somehow the effort of lifting the shutter up for longer than a few minutes required a great effort in the camera power and technologies. There's in built camera noise reduction but your camera is paralysed for the amount of time of the exposure. So for example you take a 1 minute exposure, the camera is going to take another minute to do noise reduction. So experiment with it if the noise in camera or in post processing could do the job

Monday, 2 March 2015

Ancient Chinese Beauties, Darling Harbour Sydney Australia 2013

Photograph Ancient Chinese  Beauties, Darling Harbour Sydney Australia 2013 by Travis Chau on 500px
Ancient Chinese Beauties, Darling Harbour Sydney Australia 2013 by Travis Chau on 500px

This was one of the first street shots I've done with a Micro Fourth Third (M43) camera. I only had one lens and one body at the time. I invested in a niffty fifty early on in the system as I know all the photographer have this focal lenght in their bag. So best to practice of a 50mm focal lenght first then move on to other focal lenght. It is similar view to what the our normal eyes see. So if you can see it you can frame it exactly as you want.

As for street photography a smaller camera system and a 50mm is ideal as you can get really close but without bothering your subject. The 35mm or 24mm is probably my next prime lens as some time in tight space you simply want everything in and the 50mm just a bit too telephoto for that kind of shot.

Nowadays when I go out for a street photography adventures I have two camera and 2 primes with me. A 50mm and a 120mm.  The 50mm is for environmental portrait and the 120 for tight portrait that are pleasing to the subject. The classic 85mm is a great focal lenght for it, but I'll find the 120mm give me more reach and I can get really tight and nobody notice it.

Have you seen a photographer bring out a 70-200mm for street photography? I have and it's bother me greatly. Especially when you photograph War Veterans and if you used the long focal length like its very similar to pointing a gun to them. NOT cool at all, please show some respect when you out shooting street photography.

As for the photo above, I shot this during Buddha Birthday Festival in Darling Harbour. They have performance on stage and the best view is behind the stage. There's more action behind the scenes. Most photographers will get photograph in front of the stage but for me the interesting photos are the one behind the stage.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Wollongong Botanical Garden

It was a surprise how big the Wollongong Botanical Garden was. I don't know the exact figure but compare to most gardens it a sizeable amount. 

I was visiting it in Summer, not the best time to visit a garden. So there's not much photo to share. But I like the garden designs and it surprising not very popular with tourists. It will be interesting in Autumn or Spring to go back for a visit.

The bridge is Kawasaki Bridge and apparently a replica from the original from Japan. A very well design and some people when photograph the bridge miss the reflection. So if you want photograph this bridge in the future make sure you have the reflections in you shot. That's a tip for you.