NEWS

The Cronulla `Walk the Walls' Street Art Festival - 9th Nov 2019. November 09 2019

The latest in the series of street art initiatives by the Sutherland Shire Council, & the 1st that I've shot. This image is actually a Hair Salon's shop window. So good.

I'm a big fan, now, having seen the imaginative art I shot earlier today.

The council's gone to considerable effort for this event, especially seeing the images are removed at the end of the gig. Traffic marshalls & attendants, witches hats by the score, all the artworks have relevant background details. Very good, council. 

I particularly liked the use of the `dot', as used by the Aboriginals in their beautiful artworks.

 

http://www.sutherlandshire.nsw.gov.au/Community/What39s-On-in-the-Shire/Walk-the-Walls-Street-Art-Festival/Walk-the-Walls-2019-Press-Releases/Walk-the-Walls-2019


A Celebration of Spring - Kirribilli's `Jacarandah' Street (McDougall Street) - 6th Nov 2019 November 08 2019

The air was thick with the scent of Chinese Star Jasmine, which has been planted en masse in the gardens along the street. The atmosphere was buzzing, with an air of excitement. 

I'd caught the train to Milson's Point around lunchtime Wednesday, after seeing some images a friend had shot a week or so previously. 

As I walked into the street, dropping down the hill into the canopy & then below it, the combination of the intoxicating scent & the sight of all the Jacarandah blooms stretched wayyyy down the street provided a sensory special moment. I wasn't expecting such a sight; but there was something else. Then it hit me. The place was heaving with people ! The street & the pavements were filled with people. Traffic was struggling to move through the scene, with a lot of blowing of horns & people walking in all directions. Crikey !

Mum & Dad had planted a Jacarandah tree when I was born. I think it was a `thing' in the St George & Sutherland shire at the time. I spent a lot of time in `my' tree, & I can still feel the roughness of the bark. 

 Kirribilli was settled very early in Sydney's `white-fella' history, & the houses have lots of lovely old-time character, adding to the appeal. Many of the residents are elderly, & would have lived here for a very long time. Way before the `selfie' generation & the internet. 

 The houses get an exquisite view in Spring.

Pretty hard to have a bad day when you wake up & look out the window into that. How beautigful. 

The canopy was colourful, vibrant & extensive, with the mature trees encouraged to drape across the street. I'd bought along a 24mm Prime lens to shoot, hoping there would be lots of wide-scale compositions. 

With the sunny day, the colour was intense. The adjacent park was a spacious respite from the activity on the street. Lots of tourists with selfie sticks & mobile phones on tripods, a Bridal shoot, a tent pitched in the park for shade for 1 group. Lots of group photos, lots of DSLR & tripod-toting photographers. I did what I could to get images without traffic or the crush of people. It was, at times, intense.

I love this image. Typical of the whole day, there's people moving in every direction, throughout the scene. Particularly like the colourfully-dressed people gathered & posing for a group shot, with a intent woman in a deep-red outfit & a broad-brimmed hat, crouched into the shot. 

I do urge you to get along & see this. It's a very beautiful part of Sydney, & it'll never look better than it does right now, but there's more to it than beauty. This is a remarkable snap-shot of our fast-changing society, caught in a very beautiful & unique time-warp. The poor elderly locals don't know what's hit them. A special shout-out to the cute young Asian tourist dressed immaculately in her Donald Duck top, being photographed endlessly by her girl-friend, determined to catch her friend in a colourful maelstrom of blossoms. It was that kind of energy, up & down the street. Catch the train to Milson's Point & walk the 150 metres into McDougall Street. Take a picnic & sit in the park. Whatever you do, don't drive .. 

 


Snowsearch - Crowther’s Forest, Bullocks Hill Trail & Brumby shoot. 17th Oct 2019. October 20 2019

It’s difficult getting your head around dressing for a Snowy Mountains Spring Snowsearch photography run when you live in a southern Sydney beach-side suburb. Outside temp around 3am is about 14 deg C. I’m pulling on Thermals now, because I won’t want to later. It's going to be a cozy drive ! Packing scarves, beanie & layers, without much commitment. As it turns out, I forgot my finger-gloves, & froze in each of the day’s 3 shoots. Started driving at 4.15am. 2hrs to Goulburn, 2hrs to Cooma. Fill the tank, & start visualizing the 1st shoot as I turn onto the Snowy Mountains Highway.

1st shoot was at Crowther’s Forest; a stand of young Scribbly Gums, just before Adaminaby.  Really beautiful to see, with smooth white trunks glowing in the mid-morning sun, whether from a distance or close-up. The wind was howling, the wind chill was impressive & I was tired & hungry after a 5hr drive. I enjoyed the hunt for a few minutes, told myself to `do your best’ for a few more minutes, & suddenly realised I was freezing. Realised I needed a coat, despite the warm sun.  Happy, though. Great to be shooting such beauty. The arty scribblings in the bark are the result of a grub gnawing it’s way through the day. Possibly, the inspiration for generations of graffiti-artists ? Unlikely. Nothing so noble.  Shot with a Nikkor 60mm F/2.8 Micro lens.

After brunch at Adaminaby Café (Steak Sandwich & a Flat White - awesome !), I drove through Kiandra, to Bullock’s Hill Trail. The snow hadn’t yet arrived (!), although intermittent Hail showers were blowing through. Mostly light, with hail the size of bean bag pellets.  In the image featured here, I’m ringed by 4 hail showers moving through the image. Lovely to watch as the showers moved into the distance. The light was beautifully-saturated clear gold & dark cloud, in as long as it took me to type this. Crikey. And so it proved. In the time it took me to shoot 5 sets of 6 & 7 images, the images were full of dark & gold. Never mind. It is what it is.

Did the set-up for  the 2nd shoot  in the hanging valley I’ve wanted to shoot for ages. Been here lots, without great light. As you’ll see, the light’s everything in the Australian bush. If you don’t get great light, the Australian bush is dark, even without the dark cloud of today’s shoot.  It’s my 1st Pano-gear set-up on Tussock grass, (I often free-shoot my images on trips, when I don’t feel inclined to set up the rig) & I found with a shock that it was impossible to get a guaranteed set-up. Didn't see that coming !. The Tussock grass is a complete ground-cover; thick as, & very spongy. And, the wind was up. Do your best. If it doesn’t stitch accurately, deal with it then. No worries, though. All good. Enjoying myself enormously, with 2 great shoots done. A 6 (portrait) image stitch, shot with a Novoflex Pro-ll Panorama rig, & a Nikkor 85mm F/1.4 Prime lens.

Next, to hunt for some Brumby images. I packed up the gear, & drove back towards Kiandra, turning onto the Link Rd, driving past the (closed-for-summer) Selwyn Ski Resort, driving through to 3 Mile Dam. Tired as I was, the landscape looked windswept, dark & uninviting. The cloud had thickened & descended, & the forecast Snow hadn't happened. Despite a half-hour snooze before the previous shoot, my tiredness was hampering my mood. However, I’d found a herd of Brumbies in a side valley on the drive in. Let's do this !

The 3rd shoot became a Brumbyathon. From the 1st sighting, they’d moved slowly up a ridge, parallel to the road. Moving slowly, I was able to plan an intercept, which worked. I had the pleasure of watching & shooting a mob as they fed & played & fed again. They're amazing to watch. The light was beautiful & hopeless as the cloud ripped across the landscape.  Eventually, I stopped shooting because my fingers wouldn’t work any more. It was a great shoot, & the closest I’ve been to them, at 5 metres at the end of the shoot. At that point, I’d started to feel a bit vulnerable, & began to back away, as they moved towards me.  I’d shot them in mock-battle play earlier, & was stunned at the sight. When they rear, they’re big ! In all truth, though, they accepted me. In fact, I was irrelevant. They were totally about fueling-up for the approaching night, moving slowly towards a sheltered valley I’d found them using in blizzards on previous trips. Shot with a Nikkor 70-200mm F/2.8 zoom lens. Blown-away, too, by the muted colours in the landscape. So good. 

 A couple of stallions doing what they do, with the rest of the mob ignoring the display of bravado totally. 

 Imagine a photographer under this ?. I suppose, if you jagged the correct settings, your last shot would be a ripper.

 How cute are you ?

I'm watching you ..

 

I left, totally amped at the experience. I've made a point of shooting the Brumbies as often as possible this last seaon, & got to know something of their habits. Such beautiful animals, & such survivors in an incredibly harsh environment. It was a profound experience; being able to shoot such a peaceful yet dynamic group of animals, particularly from such close range. Photographically, with Brumby shoots, I usually wish for more reach, but this time was great. So good.  I hadn’t got any Snow, but got hailed-on regularly, which was great fun, listening to the hail rattling on the Goretex shell. Just brilliant.

  

The drive home was as drawn-out as ever, with commitments the next morning ruling out a sleep or a stopover. Happily, the car is beautiful on the open road, & I enjoyed the drive home. After driving 1055 km in the day, I finished the trip as fresh as a daisy. Nevertheless, probably the last run for the Type-R. It’ll go shortly, making way for an AWD that’ll give me more flexibility & safety on back-roads & snow-filled roadsides. The Type-R doesn’t do chains & is too low for bush tracks. End of an era, approaching. Sigh .. 

 Footnote: you won't find Crowther's Forest on Google ..


My Favourite image - the chasing of Canola images around Canowindra (circa 2016) April 28 2018

My current Favourite image is really 2 images.

Canola & Trees in harmony on the Canowindra Rd .., &

A Study of Canola & Trees on the Canowindra Rd

I can't separate them. They were shot in sequence, & the success of that shoot marked the achieving of a particular goal. I still remember the impact seeing images of Canola fields in on-line image forums had on me. The shock-value of the most vibrant yellow I'd ever seen, often shot in superb contrast within delightful country settings. I had no idea where they were taken, & I'd never heard of the crop. I did my first Canola runs in the Spring of 2015. I was hooked, & I was unprepared. Canola season is early Spring, & I was still in Winter mode, trying for Spring snow-storm images. A couple of initial Canola runs with a friend that year had shown me that the Canola season had to be planned the same as the winter Snow runs. Long drives, with pre-visualised goals. The weather had to be watched. I didn't want to drive hundreds of kms to lose the shoot to rain. I wanted to shoot typical `Central Western NSW under Canola' images. That ruled out Pastels, so I didn't have to be shooting around Dawn. That was good... And, with my first `roo accident still very fresh in my mind, & having seen so much carnage on the roads from Canberra south to the Snowfields, I wanted to limit the Dusk & Dawn driving west of Goulburn, as much as possible.  

When the 2016 Spring came around, I was better prepared. I was hoping to avoid the `Canola-to-the-horizon' scenics that look so extraordinary in real life but so featureless & uninteresting on-line, & I'd found a site that looked exciting, although awkward to shoot. Lots of trees, mostly bunched near the fence, & sloping. I parked the car as safely as possible, fitted my longest zoom & started walking. If that sounds a bit random, yes. It is. Finding images is very difficult; shooting hand-held Panoramics isn't hard, but for every image that makes it onto a web-site, there's always lots of miles & lots of other images first. From memory, these images happened after Lunch (& there hadn't been anything before Lunch !!!), so I was feeling the pressure. The 1st image is a big scene, shot at 200mm; it has a great wide-field perspective that I love, with lots of points of interest across the image, but not so much depth that you switch off mentally. I was feeling a bit more positive.

 I continued walking, building a more condensed image in my mind.The 2nd image gave me a good connection with the features in the landscape. To see so many Trees in a Canola field is a rarity, so I was pretty happy after this. You're never sure the images will stitch, though, so you're on tenterhooks from that point until the images are successfully processed. That's always a relief, & both images were exactly what I'd hoped I'd find, with the weather & the Light being kind. These images came from the 1st of 5 Canola runs of Spring 2016, which was characterised by consistent rain events & heavy wide-scale flooding throughout the NSW Central West. As I prepare this Blog, 2 months later, the last Flood Warnings are being finalised, a long way downstream. These images can be found in the Country gallery, at:

http://imagesatmurrays.com.au/collections/country/products/canola-trees-in-harmony-on-the-canowindra-rd (above image), & 

 http://imagesatmurrays.com.au/collections/country/products/a-study-of-canola-trees-on-the-canowindra-rd (below)

 

Ask a Photographer about his or her favourite image, & watch the consternation build ... Images are typically gained after many months of planning & unsuccessful shoots. The first 2 images (see below) happened that way. When an image happens in that way, the pleasure is intense, as if to justify the struggle. Sometimes, though, an image happens quickly, & yet touches that perfect place in the brain. We often struggle to accept an image gained so easily, as if distrusting that an `instant' image can be as good. It's complicated ... My favourite Image can be expected to change, at any time.   

Previous favourite images can always be found in their Galleries;

`Turimetta Rock-Shelf - Serenity in Colour' - go to:  http://imagesatmurrays.com.au/collections/dawn-dusk/products/turimetta-rock-shelf-serenity-in-colour,

`The Cooma Rockfields - almost Africa ..' - go to: http://imagesatmurrays.com.au/collections/country/products/the-cooma-rockfields-almost-africa.


* The 3 Stages of a Dawn Photography shoot February 12 2017

I've wanted to write a Blog about how a Dawn shoot evolves for a while now. I had a Sunrise shoot last week which gave me some images that showed the 3 stages of a Dawn shoot perfectly. 

Photographers have to be strongly-motivated if they are to capture the scenes they want. A Photographer shooting Dawn would aim to be in position, rigged to shoot, at least 30 minutes before Sunrise. In this non-technical Blog, I've set out the timing & results that can be anticipated from a typical shoot. It varies widely, of course, depending on Cloud depth & positioning. 

This is written from a photographer's perspective, & covers the visual side of Sunrise. Some info about the Scientific side of Sunrise & Light-Diffraction follows at the foot of the blog. The images featured in this article will be featured on this website, & available for purchase, shortly. 

The early stage is usually between 30 & 10 minutes before Sunrise. The colours are clean & pure, pastels-based, tending to be more Pink & less Orange. The Sun is still well below the horizon, & it's rays are just starting to travel through the higher parts of the Earth's atmosphere, which holds less of the dust, petro-chemicals & salt-spray that exists in the atmosphere closer to the ground. In the Alps, where pollution is minimal, this early stage of Dawn & the last bits of Dusk can be just ridiculously Pink, with no hint of Orange.  To view this image Full-screen, go to: https://www.facebook.com/imagesatmurrays/photos/a.562948533816552.1073741836.468820293229377/1120474784730588/?type=3&theater

 

The later stage of pre-Dawn sees the Orange building & the Pink going or gone. The Sun is getting close to the horizon, it's rays are reaching the atmosphere closer to the Earth's surface, where they colour-up the more particle-laden air. At this point, particularly on clear-Dawn shoots, the photography's getting a bit tricky. The horizon's on the edge of losing it's highlights, in what I like to call `Horizon Burn'. To view this image in Full-screen, go to: https://www.facebook.com/imagesatmurrays/photos/a.562948533816552.1073741836.468820293229377/1119029498208450/?type=3&theater

 

In the post-Dawn stage, the Sun has risen above the horizon & the colours are diminishing fast. The Sun's rays are travelling through less atmosphere by the time we see them, so the colouring-up process is diminishing. When the pastel colours of Dawn change quickly & disappear as the Sun appears, it indicates that the thickness of the pollution that causes the colouring-up process is relatively thin. This `Boundary Layer' varies considerably, tending to be thickest in times of settled weather patterns & light winds. To view this image in Full-screen, go to: https://www.facebook.com/imagesatmurrays/photos/a.562948533816552.1073741836.468820293229377/1119637124814354/?type=3&theater

For a more detailed explanation of the process, where the Light Spectrum is discussed in detail, I found an exhaustive array of discussion on the subject. One that summarised can be found at: https://www.howitworksdaily.com/question-of-the-day-%EF%BB%BFwhy-does-the-sky-look-red-at-sunrise-and-sunset/ 

I preferred the Wikipedia coverage of the colouring process; it can be found at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunrise#Colors


Winter - the most Beautiful time of year .. July 16 2016

The most Beautiful time of year ?

Winter: that magical season. Gone so quickly ..

Some images make words superfluous.
 

This week's image: `Centre Valley - an intimate Skiiers Perspective' tells the story of a Winter's day, in Perisher Valley.

The scene is a celebration of Skiing at it's best. No-one around to spoil a special time, but tracks into the unknown, telling you they're there & hinting at what's to come. Poor visibility adds to the mood, conveying a sense of peace & silence.

Beautiful.

Perfect.  

Available as a block-mounted Canvas, in sizes up to 550 x 1815mm, this image looks best in a room with good levels of indirect Light. It's a special-size Panoramic image, with cost being dependant on size & despatch details. It can be viewed at: http://imagesatmurrays.com.au/collections/the-winter-gallery/products/centre-valley-an-intimate-skiiers-perspective, or bookmark the New Images gallery. Please contact me through the Website; I'll call you back & we can discuss your requirements.


Winter ! (what are you Good for ... ?) July 10 2016

Winter's good for lots of things ...

it's a great time to have a look around you; at that time when the days are shorter & yet we're spending more time indoors. And Winter's a good time to give your living space a little upgrade. 

This week's image: `3 Trees in Soft Misty Light at Mt Blue Cow (Landscape)' is an exciting image. Shot on a misty evening at Mt Blue Cow, the image has a dreamy feel, with background fog softening the landscape & giving depth to the subject. The markings of the Snow Gums are on full display. The subtle textures in the Snow ground the image perfectly. 

Available as a Framed Print or Stretched Canvas, in sizes up to 360 x 540mm, this image will look beautiful in any decor. My recommendation is for a stylish Bellini wooden frame & a 75mm White Matt. Perhaps: http://www.bellinifinemoulding.com.au/timber/b14402. Go to: http://imagesatmurrays.com.au/products/3-trees-in-soft-misty-light-at-mt-blue-cow-landscape, or bookmark the New Images gallery. Please contact me through the Website; I'll call you back & we can discuss your requirements.


Did Winter catch you napping .. ? June 27 2016

Autumn went on & on, & suddenly BOOM !!. Winter hits & we're freezing. And that's no fun. Here's my 2-point plan to beat the Winter blues' ...

1)   Buy this image

2)   Go skiing, & have your own adventure, searching to find where this image was shot. You can do it ...  you may even find your own special image !

And, at the end of the season, you'll have a glorious print on your wall, to help you relive the beauty of the Australian Alps. And all the cold will be forgotten.  

Available as a Framed Print or Stretched Canvas, in sizes up to 360 x 540mm, this image will look beautiful in any decor. My recommendation is for a beautiful Bellini wooden frame & a 75mm White Matt. Perhaps: http://www.bellinifinemoulding.com.au/contemporary/99901087 . Go to: http://imagesatmurrays.com.au/collections/the-winter-gallery/products/a-hint-of-colour-even-weaker-sunlight-battles-to-penetrate-the-cloud-at-mt-blue-cow, or bookmark the New Images gallery. Please contact me through the Website; I'll call you back & we can discuss your requirements.