Sunday, 31 May 2015

Vivid Sydney 2015: University of Sydney

The fourth night out shooting Vivid Sydney was at The University of Sydney. I have visit the Uni for many times as a former university student myself at UTS just down the road from the Sydney. There was a charm about the old buildings at night that I was missing when I visited as a student back in the days.

Back in the days, my favourite spot was at the university bar. Yes they do provide stress relive for students studying for exams. That was the idea but some students like myself prefer it every day. 

I didn't explore the whole six lighting installment as the University. I have to go back for another round. I was with my sister and she's a photographer. Grab the shot and off again. For me personally I like to enjoy my photography more, that's why I do time laspse and videos. Soak everything in, the sight, smell and sound of Vivid Sydney at The University of Sydney. For the memories will never repeated again. Why not take it all in, live for the moment.

For the photos, I did some creative work in Photoshop. There was two projectors that was in my shot and the lens flair was ugly. So I just flip the image and make a copy of it. Do some touching up so it looks random and you've done. Add in a black and white layer then play around with the blending mode and opacity and you have the final photograph.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Vivid Sydney 2015 CBD Panorama

Out again shooting Vivid Sydney 2015. This time on the northern side of Sydney. There wasn't much going on this year in North Sydney as they have moved everything to Chatswood. But the view from the city from here is magical. I have to make a big panorama with it to share.

I was using a short telephoto lens to capture this panorama, using 3 photos stitched together in Lightroom CC. I manage to do 3 big panoramas from the same location as the light changes. I like thi one the best and it was also the first panorama. How strange things work out isn't it?

To enjoy Vivid fully, I recommend walking across the Harbour Bridge to Kirribilli. You get a different perspective from the bridge and simply enjoy the beauty of Sydney Harbour. Vivid Sydney 2015 is definitely a big success this year and it's going to get better and bigger each year. I'm glad I can document it.


Friday, 29 May 2015

Vivid Sydney 2015 Sydney Opera House

Vivid Sydney without the famous Opera House is not Vivid Sydney. I have to add this photo to my collections even though I have thousand photos of the Opera House. But during Vivid, the long exposure and the lighting makes each photo unique.

This was 4 photos combine to make this image. Firstly 3 photos HDR and combined with another photo of the Opera House where I have some what freeze the projecting video on the Opera House. All blend together in Photoshop with a bit of masking.

If the above description was over the top for you, don't worry it takes time to learn Photoshop and Lightroom. If you new to photography then start learning Lightroom first then slowly move on to Photoshop. You will find as I have that post processing could be just as fun as shooting the photo in the first place. 

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Vivid Sydney 2015 Down Pour

What was the most memorable thing about the first night of Vivid Sydney? The sudden down pouring of rain and guess what I was waiting and wanting it to happen. You get the reflection of any hard surfaces that normally you don't get in a normal day. That's why I love rainy day or night.

With this shot, I have bracketed to get all the light and with photo development software right now you can draw out some unique tones that one shot cannot  exposed for. I was using the new Lightroom CC to stitched this HDR photo together. A great addition to Lightroom in the new updates. Things can only get better from here and hopefully in the future Adobe HDR software keep improving and we don't have to look for 3rd party software to do specialized photography. Just Lightroom for all your photography development needs. We only hope Adobe keep on improving and keep us photographer merrier.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Vivid Sydney 2015 Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge during Vivid had a face lift with it outside border changes to colour with Vivid light. This year was no exception but I wanted something different this year but so far for the past 3 years since I've started photography. The Harbour Bridge offer the same lighting situation.

I don't know how they could do it differently. But for photographer like myself I need something different. Maybe I have to do some creative thinking on my part to make the photograph stands out.

The Sydney ObservaroryHill Park was where this shot was taken. Since we have Vivid the traffic around this part of town seems to be busier. Normally you could do a light trail but with lots of patience as you have to wait for the cars to go by. Certainly an image that is uniquely of mind during Vivid Sydney and the Harbour Bridge as no two light trails are the same.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Vivid Sydney 2015 Chatswood Jellyfish

There wasn't much real estate to play with however Chatswood had given me a great show. The projection onto a 3 sided walls make an interesting view. Didn't a fast wide angle lens so I just compose the best I could.

Since I didn't have a fast lens, I come back to my trusty Panasonic Leica 25mm f1.4 lens. If I could put just one lens this is the lens. It it fast enough to take in low light situation, and in this particular shot I want to freeze the fast moving subjects. 1/30 of a second was good enough to do it. I open the aperture wide open to do this. I was far enough that deep of field is not an issue.

Initially I was going to let my intervalometer do all the hard work for me, as I was photography time-lapse as well. It didn't work, so I overrode it and do it manually which sometime could be a pain. Luckily in future camera that I am thinking of buying, the intervalometer is built in. 

Monday, 25 May 2015

Vivid Sydney 2015: Chatswood

It was the first time that the Sydney Northern suburb of Chatswood joined the Vivid Sydney Light festival. It was a carnival atmosphere. You could feel the excitement and anticipation for the 6:00pm start of the show for those that was there. The young, old and somewhere in between was anticipated for the start.

This year the theme was octopus and they have two giants octopus hanging down from the ceiling at the entrance to Chatswood train station. You could not miss it when you take public transport to Chatswood. 

The other show was a looping sea creatures projection on to Chatswood Concourse. I took videos and photos so give me time for me to edit the videos. My computer is way too slow to edit videos. I know now the reasons why photographers are not keen on video, the computer power and the time to take to learn a new skills is just too much. But that's where the future in photography. A merging of the art and to survive if you happen to make a living on a camera then you have to multi-tasks these days.

I"m not making a living at photography or video productions. But I'm sure still want to learn it, what better way to document your life through thousands of photos and video footage. "A life worth living is a life worth recording." Jim Rohn

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Vivid Sydney 2015 Second Night Out Shooting

Second night of shooting Vivid Sydney I decided to check out Darling Harbour. Usually they have pretty good show going on at Darling Harbour. The atmosphere simply amazing at this place, a very festive crowd.

Saturday is the time to check out Darling Harbour as they have fireworks on every Saturday night. Too bad we only have two Saturdays to see the fireworks. I reckon they should have it on every night during Vivid Sydney. It is a promotion for the City of Sydney, why keep it for only Saturday?

The crowd was surround the water so what's the best thing to do? Go to the top of everyone and shoot down. That was what every photographers did and you get the best shot of everything with out any obstruction from ground level. And you don't have the crowd to to deal with.

They closed off some streets in the CBD for the night and getting to walk around in the streets just like during NYE. You get a sense of festive vibe to the whole Vivid Sydney. This was only the second night and last year the stats were 1.5 million people saw the Vivid Sydney. I bet this year could easily surpass it. Can't wait for the 10th year anniversary of Vivid Sydney, how big that's going to be.

There was a few disappointment light show especially Martin Place. Last year was so much better but this year they have commercialized it so much that it lost some of the magic of Vivid Sydney. I'm pretty sure later on we will have corporate sponsors some of the show. It will lost it purity and people will turn away from it. Just like any good ideas that have been corrupted. I hope it never happen.

Vivid Sydney 2015 Custom House Waratahs

Sydney Custom House usually put up the most amazing light show for Vivid Sydney. And this year was no exception. The place was usual quiet and not many show up due to the bad whether,but when the weekend comes along expect shoulder to shoulder at the Custom House.

I took a series of time lapse photos and pull out the best one out of the lot. When you have something spectacular like Vivid Sydney, you want to take in every moments. So I took photos and videos just to make sure I capture the memories for ever.

The waratahs was probably my favorite at the Custom House this year. Somehow this year lighting technology has improved somewhat, I felt the colours are more richer and guess what more vivid. All the buildings seem to get brighter and richer. You have to be here to experience the whole atmosphere of Vivid Sydney.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Vivid Sydney's 1st Night Opera House

How come every year the first night usually the Sydney whether turn bad? It was a good thing though, not many people in your shots. But the resilience crowd just pouring out to see the lighting spectacular. 

The Opera House is always the showcase during Vivid Sydney and this it was not an exception. Usually there was no foreground when you take this kind of shot. So I used the photographers in the foreground. Hey everyone are a photographer during Vivid, the quality is another question but they sure taking photos.

There are many more places to see during this year and I'm glad is over 2 weeks so you could take your time to explore all on offer. New places like Sydney University and Chatswood could be very interesting. Just a bit far from everything else in the city so the crowd will not show up, but I will.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Remember Vivid 2014 Cinemagraph


What was your most memorable of Vivid Sydney 2014? There was so much spectacular lights on show that it was hard to point out just one single moment. If I have to take a just one then I have to say the famous Harbour Bridge.

This year could be another big year as more venues are open to the light festival. Sydney university and Chatswood join the fun. Thank you for organising the event in 2 weeks otherwise it would be a struggle just to capture everything in one night.

Usually the first night of any Vivid is the most exciting as you see what's on offer. For me personally I usually take the whole tour before settle down and calculate my shots. This year I'm planning to cover it all. Just check back to my blog often during the month of June to warm up your day.

Below was a video I did of the first night last year. Enjoy!


Vivid Sydney 2014 1st Night from Travis Chau on Vimeo.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Lake Conjola Panorama and Lightroom CC review

Just download the new Lightroom 6 or Creative Cloud. I am using the photography CC, it's about $10 AUD. I think it is affordable for an enthusiasts to be on to get the latest photography software from Adobe. 

The new features are the HDR and merging panorama. My laptop usually struggled to pull the HDR and big panorama together but with the new updates it could handle the processing easily. I was impress with the performance. For video it is still a struggled for my computer though.

The photo above is an example of HDR and Panorama. I initially did HDR on 3 photos and then merged into a panorama. As you can see from the above photo it did a great job on it. But the great things it is still in RAW format. I can really push the exposures in post.

If you considering the Adobe Photography Plan then try it out for 30 days and see the improvement in your work. You no longer need Photoshop to do most thing for photography like merging and HDR. But if you want to go a little further in you processing then you could with Photoshop. 

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Garrison Point Sunset, Chipping Norton NSW Australia

When there is cloud about close to sunset that is when I am taking my camera out somewhere to catch some golden hour. This time was more closer to home. About 15 minutes drive and I am in a different world. 

I wish some of the residents and the people that used the area look after it more. I was shocked to see the rubbish washed on by the tides. You have nearly everything imaginable. There was old tyre, logs and many plastic bottles. 

In my photograph I try to exclude this stuff in the composition, but it should be like that in the first place. In Australia we have clean up Australia Day, how come we don't have clean up everyday? Just a though that's all. I was a cleaner once so I am obsessed with rubbish and cleanliness. 

It was a great afternoon for catching the sunset. It was not the best that I have seen but the photo turn out great. Every time you photograph something close to water you are bound to get some great shots. I am very happy with the reflections of the clouds here in this photo. 

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Somewhere in Country NSW, Australia

A road trip to country NSW recently and I stop by a wind farm and this was the road I was driving on. It was around mid afternoon so the light was bad for photography. I wish I could be here at sunrise though. 

I was waiting to get some shot of the car in the scene so you could get the feel for the road. I framed it so you get the winding road as the foreground and curling to endlessness. What a wonderful road trip and the attractions, freedom of the road and you.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Koi Pet and Garden Festival 2015

Just returned from the Koi Pet and Garden Show at Fairfield Showground. There wasn't much media attention to the event and hence the lack of turn out even though it was on a beautiful Sunday in late Sydney's Autumn. 

Koi fish and all other lovable pets that you could name were there at the show. From fish to bird and four legged friends. The event attract more of the participants than the Sydney residents. I was amazed at the amount of Koi fish on show. 

Mostly the Japanese community were out in force. The KSA (Koi Society of Australia) organised the event and they lack the marketing department to promote the event. I'm sure more people will attend if there was advertised on visitnsw or visitsydney. 

I took photos and videos of the event, so I got everything cover. Well almost, still not confidence with audio just as yet. Probably ask for an interview and make it a documentary type of video to share with everyone. Nowadays the people distribute the news worthy content and the media is in the entertainment business. 

Stay tune for the videos but for now you can check out my Flicker album for more photos of the event.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Sunrise in Mudgee, NSW Australia

After a long road trip around Central NSW, our last night before heading back to Sydney was at beautiful Mudgee. Mudgee is about two and half hours drive from Sydney. It was cold this particular morning and even my coffee mug was frozen in ice.

But I have to get up early for the sunrise. That's the protocol of a landscape photographer. The air still fresh and the wind can get to your bone. All for a shot like this to share with the world. I need to come back sometime this Winter to Mudgee, hopefully they have finished renovating the town hall. That was the shot I've missed during my stay there.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

3 Generations, Harry's 1st Birthday

A good friend of my invited me for his second son 1st birthday and I very happy to capture the memories for them. If you look back to your first birthday, do you have high quality photos to share with friends and family? I doubt you have it. As a photographer you are more than just someone taking photos, you are a family historian. When someone special no longer around, the photos are the only memories of the decease.

I just love family portraits, some photographer afraid of it but I just love it. Especially when it's natural like this and not pose at all. I don't mind posing by the way but if you could grab a shot without posing it is so much better. 

With this shot here I just love it, I took three generations in one photo. Harry in this photo was the only time the whole night that he had eye contact with the camera. The expression of mum and grandma just make the photo so much special to me and I hope this photo will be cherish for years to come.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Blue Lotus Flower, Victoria Australia

A friend from Melbourne took us to this lotus garden up about 90 minutes drive from Melbourne CBD. I was surprised to see a lotus garden down in Victoria but the friendly owners know about to grow it.

It was a wonderful day trip and a great family getaway. If you prepared a picnic for lunch and afternoon tea you could spend the whole day here and be lost in the beauty of lotus flower.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Lake Conjola Sunset, NSW Australia

Just processing the old photos I took late last year at Lake Conjola. I've done a few black and white and there were a few nice colour. This was the first day and Sydney and NSW south coast was experienced a down pour the whole week. So I was pretty lucky to get some colour out of the sky.

This was shot in HDR and process everything in Lightroom CC. There was a few new features that I really like. It much faster and makes developing photos more enjoyable. Still need a fast computer to run it though.

During the Christmas and New Year the caravan park was full and the price was double. I couldn't blame them for the price hike. Considering the view and location. It was better than most five star accommodations.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Buddha Birthday 24 Drums Performance

Buddha Birthday Festival organised by the Nan Tien Temple in Wollongong where the lay person to get connect with Buddhism. There were many activities and performances on for the weekend but this was probably the most spectacular out of it all.

The 24 drums performance captivate you to the end with rhythmic beats that pound to the core of your being. I have video footages of it as well hopefully good audio so I could share later. Unfortunately my main desktop computer is down at the moment so I couldn't do any serious video work. Once I get it fixed I'll will post up some videos of the day. But for now enjoy the photo I took of the day of the 24 drummers.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Ninety Mile Beach Bridge, Ninety Mile Beach Victoria Australia

Before seeing the 90 mile beach, Australia longest beach I went passed this bridge. It was midday or close to it so the light was bad for photography. I lower the sky because there wasn't much going on in the sky. The subject is this bridge so only include the subject in your frame.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Fairy Cave, Buchan Cave Victoria Australia

Buchan Caves is part closed to the border of NSW and Victoria. It is a sandstone still developing stage. It was a tight squeeze and you basically need good fitness to move around. I have experienced in other caves and this particular cave tour was less relaxing. 

The last cave I was in was in at Wellington Cave in Central NSW. It was more spectacular and less stressful as there was a small tour group. The tour guide was less pressure to push people through the cave. You have to excused the Buchan Caves staff as it was peak season, but if you have a chance then go on off peak season. Maybe you might enjoy it more than I did. 

Monday, 4 May 2015

Seagulls by the lake, Mallacoota Vic Australia

One of my last shot before leaving the beautiful Mallacoota Lake, Victoria. I am surely will miss the place. The place is just like a painting in every directions you look at. Simply words cannot describe my feelings. Simply let the photo speaks to you.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Banksia, Royal National Park Sydney Australia

A macro photo trip to the Royal National Park. I came back with many keepers. It was worth the time I spent in the park. You just by yourself and nature. What a wonder day trip.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Mallacoota Sea Shell, Victoria Australia

Sunrise at Mallacoota Lake. After taking numerous time-lapse shots which I haven't the time to put together as yet. I need a faster computer to put the raw files into a time-lapse movie. It could be one of my best time-lapse piece. Have to wait and see.

For this photo, the sky had lost it colour so I decide to put into black and white. I saw this rock with the seashell on it which I though it could be an interesting photo. Hope everyone like it like I do when I revisit the photos after 5 months has passed.

When I'm out shooting, I rather over shoot than under shoot. Especially a location that you might not likely to revisit again. I'm not sure when will be the next time I visit this part of the world but Mallacoota is a paradise on Earth. Every time I revisit my photos, all the wonderful memories of the place returns to me. I just love what photography is, a memory in photo.