Friday, 31 July 2015

Bus stop, Sydney Australia

Taken on the driver seat while waiting for the traffic light. I couldn't held myself back as I know there was a photograph here. They were on the phones or playing with the phone which sparks my interest. Never a dull moment when you live in the information age.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Frenchs Forest Market, Sydney Australia

There so much to do on a Sunday morning like going to this great market in the northern suburb of French Forest. I was after some fresh organic produces as I am into health as well. A few week ago I was poisoned by a strawberries that I bought from an inorganic farmer. I did go to the farmer directly but I didn't ask the farmer directly if he sprayed the crops. With the price I was paying for the strawberries I suspect it was organic. But I was so wrong, my body reacted to it really badly and my most of my fingers became swollen/odema. 

Yeah so no strawberries for a while for me unless I know the farmers didn't stray anything on the crop. I am been looking around for the organic market around Sydney and this was one of them. I have to check out other organic markets as well. But I really like the feel and the atmosphere of French Forest Market. The parking was a bit tricky as well. There's enough parking but you have to there early and bring a trolley of some sort as I've learnt the hard way if you plan to buy a lot.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Bradleys Head ,Sydney Australia

I reckon one of the best view of Sydney city is from here. First time I was here so I was very excited to capture this famous northern suburbs lookout.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Sunday Cruising, Sydney Harbour

I'm going through my shots from last night and this photo grab me immediately. I had 3 shots, one without the birds, the second one was this one and the last one the birds was gone. If there was no birds in the photo then I reckon the photo is just average. But I was lucky to have the birds playing over the boat when I took the exposure. And this is Sunday in Sydney Harbour.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Newcastle Harbour, NSW Australia

This was the second time I've visit Newcastle, the first was about 15 years ago when I was a non-photographer. Everything seems boring to me at the time as my eye don't see things as they are now. How wonderful to have fresh eyes and a seeing things from another perspective. There was a few shot that I have missed so I bet I have to come back to Newcastle for another photo adventure.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Sydney's Government House

This was my first ever shot of the Government House even though it was one of the famous house in Sydney and so prominently on Sydney's landscape. I was passing it so many times when I was in the Royal Botanical Garden but somehow it just missed me until now.

I have to come back another time to have a look inside the house. With this shot here there was a big lens flair and that meant to happen. I was shooting at a lower f-stop to get the star burst effect from the lens element. The flair was really prominent on the Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f2.8. and if you don't want lens flair then this lens when shooting directly into the sun then you going to get lens flair. For me personally I don't mind the lens flair, it adds character and drama to the shots. Something to experiment with as well. 

With modern days lens, the manufacturer purpose was try to reduce it. I have to blame the "uncreative" photographer for such a plan. If you don't want lens flair then hide the sun or don't shoot straight into it. Problem solved. The colour cast on the lens flair which I don't like then just simple converted to black and white.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Cowboy Photographer

Just finished uploading some photos up on Flicker and post the one that I like on the Meetup group. It took me three days to finalised the post-processing of the photos. Yes most of are black and white and it took me longer than usual to post-processed it.

This photo probably my favourite out of all the shots if I could just pick one then this photo is that one. It tells where I was and what was the occasion. A social gathering of Sydney's photographers to cross the bridge and just happy snapping.

Check out my full album at Flicker now and make sure you have it on full screen. Now it time to edit the videos I took on the day as well. That's the life of a content creator.  

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Sydney Street Photographers Photowalk: Bridging the Gap

I have done the photowalk from Milson Point to Circular Quay so many times but never with a group of people. The organisers from Sydney Street Photographer Meetup group really care about everyone enjoying a great time. So it was fun to meet up and socialized.

This was organised on a Sunday afternoon and the walk starts at 1pm. The worst time for photography as the light was very contrasty but I played along with it and I reckon I came home with a few good photos to share. With street photography I usually like to converted into black and white. 

I'm still in the process of converting all the photos to black and white and do some dark room techniques of dodging and burning with Lightroom. That's my standard practice with black and white unfortunately. So when it times for post processing black and white, I take longer than colour photos for me. But I enjoyed the whole process tremendously so it's not a pain at all. 

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Hawksburry River Sydney Australia

I have planned my trip to Wollombi very carefully and hopes for some kind of fog that lifts up from the water at Hawksburry River. And it did and it was one of the most beautiful scene that I have witness this year. Too bad I didn't take many photos to share. My camera was on a tripod doing time-lapse so I was paralyzed for 15 minutes then fog moved.

I had a second camera with me but unfortunately I left the batteries home. I though I have packed it the bag but no, so unfortunately I have missed some great photos because of my carelessness. Oh well you learn your lesson and move on I suppose.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Wollongong Harbour

Just one hour drive from Sydney and you in a different landscape altogether. I love driving down to Wollongong as you have the Pacific on your left and mountains to your right. If you love driving then I highly recommend the Grand Pacific Drive. One of the best drive in NSW and the world in my opinion.

You pass many sea towns with many unexplored seascapes for the keen photographer. I was driving a relative to Kiama then back to Sydney. This photo was a quick stop to get some grab shots and I think I did the harbour justice with this shot I think.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Canberra in Winter

I though this photo in black and white was more suitable to the mood. It was an overcast day so if there was no colour then the natural thing to do was to converted to monotone. Usually when ever I heard the city Canberra, I think of dark and cold. There's no warm to the place and that's the reason why I try to avoid visiting Canberra during Winter. But I was so wrong, there's always some wonderful discoveries to be had no matter what seasons it is. 

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Old Parliament House, Canberra Australia

I have taken photo outside of Old Parliament House but never actually gone inside. This time I was a true tourist and explored every part of Old Parliament. There so much rich history happens inside this old but beautiful building. How come is it white? Maybe the architect was trying to copy the White House and some Greek or Roman architecture.

The reflection was real this time as they have a pool/fountain just outside the Parliament House. I could fake it but if I see water I always wanted to included the reflections. It is one of photography greatest gifts to capture reflection. Any calm water, there's going to be reflection. And remember to stay low and you get a great reflection shot. 

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

All Saints Ainslie Church, Canberra ACT Australia

The fascinating history of All Saints Ainslie Church in Canberra is worth studying. Every brick was brought from Sydney Rookwood Cemetery. The church was used to be a railway station in Rookwood. Once the railway was no longer using the rail to transport the dead then it was bought by church and relocated to Ainslie, however the construction with the bell is opposites in comparison to the original. I don't have all the facts about the reason why that was the case but it's fascinating to me.

I wanted this shot in my photo library since I first known about this railway station about a year ago. The drive to Canberra this time I have plan my visits with all the tourist attractions that I wanted to capture. This was one of the must have shot.

Monday, 13 July 2015

National Arboretum, Canberra ACT Australia

This was a special building in Canberra. After the devastating bush fire in 2011 and 2013 most of the bush-land in this region was totally destroyed. Came out the ashes of the fire was National Arboretum. A treasure in another 20 years time as the trees that has been replaced starts to mature. Especially the maple trees. It would be a wonderful walk around the place during Autumn when that's happen. Hopefully I live that long to see that happen. 

This shot here was a big panorama of the interior of the main building. They have restaurant and a bar there,so you simply can enjoy lunch with a wonderful view of Canberra. You definitely can see the Parliament house from the view of this building.

Also there was a bonsai on display and some bonsai trees are over 50 years old. Imagine the dedication to the art of bonsai to have the tree live that long. It's worth a visit for all Australian not just the oversea tourists. I highly recommended and please try to take the interior photo as I love architecture photography. How beautiful are those wooden beams? I used to play with wood working and there's something unique about wooden stuff that I just simply adore.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Mount Ainslie Lookout, Canberra ACT Australia

A relative from America just visiting Australia for the first time and I'm been a good host to show him around. He wanted to see the nation capital, so I spend a whole day show him the nation capital. This view from Mount Ainslie Lookout is probably my favourite spot in Canberra to catch the sunset.

I was up at similar lookout for the Centenary Fireworks in 2013 and on that day the sunset was one of the best I've witnessed and captured. I was a bit earlier than usual today but still manage a few good shots in including a time-lapse piece so I'm happy with the day trip personally.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Rookwood Open Day 2014

Rookwood Cemetery Open Day 2014 from Travis Chau on Vimeo.
I have not published this footage out to the public until today. It was a courtesy request from the Secretary of Friends of Rookwood that the final cut of the day be shown to the Friends of Rookwood first. I did that and have no responses back for 9 months. So I guessed it is long enough for them to see, so I though I'll share it today. Also, I have lost the original footages so this is my only version of it. Cannot do any adjustment to it unfortunately.

I think I covered the event to my best ability at the time. I think it was one of the community event in Sydney that every citizen should check out. The history of Sydney from the dead always truthful.

I'm heading to Canberra, ACT today to check out the All Saints Church that the tour guide mentioned in the video. After the initial videos, I haven't had the chance to visit Canberra to purposely capture the old railway station. I hope it as beautiful as describe. From the photos I have seen online, I think it should be Canberra tourist attractions. If the people know about the history of the building, they definitely will find it fascinating as I am.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Vaucluse House, Sydney Living Museum

Sydney Living Museum or in another word ghost house if you're a locals. There were rumours going around that the Vaucluse House is haunted. I have personally never seen such thing in my life, but it keeps the interest in this historical place in the heart and soul of Sydney residents.

I have driven passed the house so many times but never take the time to explore it history. A fascinating living history for those that have a wondering and curiosity mind. Since as a photographer my interest becomes wide and far.

Check out videos I took so you can get a glimpse of what's on offer at the house. I didn't included thee tea house which offer breakfast and lunch which worth an experience for a day trip to Vaucluse House. Or better still bring your own picnic and makes the most of the garden just outside.

Vaucluse House is one of the early Colonial history treasure and a visit to Sydney without visiting some of the historical houses is a great miss. I'm glad I have make the effort to explore my own city history. 

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Parramatta Winterlight Zoom Effect

Have you done a zoom effect before? If you haven't it could be the most fun with your photography since you have your camera. Photography is all about fun and leisure. If you not having fun then don't do it. A zoom effect is one of the oldest trick in the photographer handbook. 

So how does it work? Basically you take a long exposure shot and zoom while in the middle of the exposure. Obviously you must be on a tripod to make the zoom effect works. The trick is to experiment with your shots. You might take 10 to 30 shots before one shot that you really like. It's depend of the speed of the zoom and your subject. But it's fun and might amazed you for a change. 

The value of a quality tripod is way better investment than the latest camera equipment. Some people after the latest camera gear but they will not consider a quality tripod to take great photo. When at night, the best investment in your photography is a quality tripod. At least that's what I've found. I have been to places where I have nearly lost my camera due to the wind and luckily I was standby to catch the camera. So I rather spend my money on a quality tripod over a camera if I have a choice.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Bondi Baths, Sydney Australia

If you bored of Bondi Beach then you can relax in the Bondi Baths. Apparently it's over 100 years old. I have personally never swam in in the bath pool myself. If you going to the beach, might as well jump into the famous Bondi water. But it's one of the local favourite spot.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Bondi Beach Sunrise, Sydney Ausstralia

When you woke up early to catch the sunrise, it is a bit of a gamble as well as you don't know what's the landscape or any clouds in your shots. Usually with sunrise photos, the clouds make the greatest composition in your shot. If there were no clouds, then there's basically no photo. 

You end up just enjoyed the sunrise without any photos going back home. But this sunrise in Bondi Beach was not the most spectacular sunrise I have seen, but it's okay. I was disappointed with the Moon set though. I was at Bondi beach for that reason. To photograph a massive Moon set that I have seen for the past few days. But unfortunately I didn't see it today when I have my camera ready.

Shooting the Moon is a bit of trick as well. If you were using a long shutter speed they moon becomes blurry. White balance could be an issue as well. I usually use daylight white balance as the Moon reflect the light from the Sun.

For this early sunrise at Bondi Beach, I wanted some foreground so I lower the sky a little bit and included more foreground element. I took a few shots so I have more selection later in post-editing. Some good photographer have a better vision than I am, so they don't shoot that much. I'm not that photographer, so I rather have choices in my editing.

I did get soaked so basically for the rest of the day I was walking in barefoot exploring Eastern Suburbs attractions. I am still feeling the pain from the walk. But it's all fun though, however, I'll plan to have additional footwear when I am going out to a beach somewhere in my car. Hard lesson have been learnt.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Sydney Saint Mary's Cathedral

With a new zoom lens I bought earlier in the day. I went out shooting for the whole day to test it out.  Went to very low light to very high contrast situation. I was pleased with the results I got from the Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 lens. It makes the high investment worth it.

Sydney Saint Mary's Cathedral I have taken so many shots with video and time-lapse, but have lost some of the photo from last year. So I was keen to with the new lens to recapture it again. Also I did a hyper-lapse as well to make things difficult for myself. When I am upgrading my new computer you should see the new hyper-lapse I am creating. Hopefully I could produce more of it as I reckon it's another level up to just simple time-lapse and holy grail time-lapse.

I wanted the fountain to be in the foreground for this photo, without the foreground element, it doesn't get you into the photo as much as simply taking the photo of the building. When ever I can I always want to create a foreground element in the photograph. So foreground, middle ground and background. If you have three elements in one photograph, the chance of that photo been a good one is higher. Try it next time to include a foreground in you shots.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Parramatta Winterlight 2015

Just got back from Parramatta Winterlight 2015. It was organised by Sydney Street Photographers social group and I met the organiser a few weeks ago in Katoomba. We were shooting at the Winter Magic and I didn't know Raymond was an organiser of a very active Meetup group in Sydney. 

We exchanged business cards and through correspondent through emails and he invited me to join the Sydney Street Photographer group. This was the first time that I joined a photo-walk with the group. I haven't had a chance to meet up with everyone as I am late to the meeting as usual, but there's always more opportunities in the future to catch up on other photographers.

As for the Winterlight festival at Prince Alfred Square in Parramatta, this was my first time ever shooting this event. Basically we have a carnival atmosphere going on in the middle of Parramatta. One quarter of the park was turned into an ice skating rink. I haven't skated for a long time, but that's for younger people. I'm not young anymore, but young at heart. I'm sure I can still skate. Once you got the skills, you have it for ever. Just like driving or photography.

For some of the shots, I was using the oldest trick in photography book. Using a zoom lens and zooming while in the middle of the exposure. You get some random effect that sometime amazing and surprisingly unique photos. I had a ball shooting the event and a fun group to be around. 

Just socializing with people with the same interest as you was something that I should get more involve in. There's always the Internet and social media, but nothing beats a good conversation face to face.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Sydney State Theater

The Sydney State Theater is probably one of the most beautiful decorated building in Sydney. I've never been inside for a concert or a play but they have a tour of the theater and I think I might book in one day to visit the whole places. I definitely need a tripod and a fish eye lens.

Check out the State Theater website for a guide tour, I think it's worth the money. Better still visit it during a concert and you don't pay much more and you get the whole experiences of in a theater when a something is on.

This was shot handheld using a HDR techniques, the image stabilizer on the Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 is really impressive. I can basically go to any building without needing a tripod. But it's still better with a tripod anyway. You lower your ISO and get less noisy photos.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Queen Victoria Buildings (QVB) Sydney Australia

I have taken so many shots of this building but with a new lens on was just like having a new pair of eyes. The wide angle really makes the shots. Still I need a fish eye sometime to get everything in. Especially for architecture shots. 

The fish eye lens is probably my next lens. I'm eyeing on the Samsang 7.5mm fish eye and it quite affordable and the image quality is up there with the best M43 lens. 

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Three Monkeys Bar

I used to walk past this part of town nearly everyday and never actually photograph it even once. Now this part of town is forever capture in my memory banks thanks to the Internet and photography. You might be surprized that I didn't hang out here much, I think I only visited once in this bar. 

The sandstone just outside the door is worth photographing. The Three Monkeys has three different gestures about our three senses. Maybe when you going into this bar that what ever happens in there remains that way. I don't know the reason for the monkey gestures but it something unique in town. 

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Only In Winter

When was the last time you look you on your city street? I know you never noticed anything different. But when you have a camera in you hands, the world is full of fascinating things to capture. They I capture the building or the light? I was drawn to the light and the colour of the building. The master Jay Meisel said light, color and gesture. Light goes first and if you see the light your photograph will certainly improve in leaps and bounce. Capture light as an subject in itself in another word.

If this building was without the afternoon light hitting on it to bring out the colour then it t simply a a dull building under a winter afternoon. But look for this kind of stuff and hopefully you could see the beautiful in the ordinary when the light was right.

Photography is an art of capturing light, if you see the light then everything seems magical. That's why we're crazy to spend the big dollars on the lens to best capture the light. This was shot with my new lens the Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f2.8. So far I totally in love with this lens. I don't think it's going to leave my camera from now on.