EyeEm Stock Library

I’ve been very busy lately working on uploading images to a stock library with a difference. If you’ve ever thought about selling your images online and don’t know where to start then look them up at https://www.eyeem.com/

Creating an account is easy and costs nothing then all accepted images are offered for sale under licence with the better images being further offered for sale when they partner up with the world’s leading photo agencies to get your work seen by even more buyers.

In their own words “The EyeEm app is the ultimate place to discover stunning photography, participate in photo briefs with top brands and sharpen your skills with daily tips, tricks and tutorials. Beyond inspiration, this is where you can sell your photos and earn 50% profit every single time”

OK, it can take a few weeks for your images to be initially reviewed but consistent uploading will soon get your site growing, especially as you can upload from tablet or phone. I’ve now got 840+ images on this site and starting to see the first sales.  If you want to see what your site would look like then check mine out at https://www.eyeem.com/u/jwimages

As I see it putting your images to work is much better than leaving them to stagnate on a hard drive somewhere plus you learn new ideas and techniques whilst you are doing it. Its a win/win as it also gives you somewhere to show off your photos on your phone/tablet via the app.

Need any help then drop me a line on jwimages@outlook.com

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Canon EFS 10-18mm IS STM Wide Angle Lens

Its been a while since I posted anything on here, been sorting out my images but recently I acquired a new lens, a Canon EFS 10-18mm IS STM wide angle. I’d been looking for a new addition to my equipment and since I concentrate predominantly on landscapes I’ve always fancied a wide angle lens that would go beyond the limitations imposed by the 18mm setting of my current lens. Cost was always a problem however, everything I found was far beyond my budget until I found this one, the EFS 10-18mm IS STM. Reviews for it were very promising and met everything that I was looking for then made even more interesting when a camera store in the city discounted it.

Couldn’t wait to try it out, spring was just around the corner but winter wouldn’t go away. the following were taken in the Barossa Valley just before the big storms hit, devastated the state and tried to flood everyone out. The images were taken at the 10mm and 18mm setting on ISO 100 for comparison.

10mm-1

10mm (1) taken at f/8 1/320 sec

18mm-1

18mm (1) taken at f/8 1/250 sec

10mm-2

10mm (2) taken at f/8 1/250 sec

18mm-2

18mm (2) taken at f/8 1/200 sec

Ok, at the 10mm end there is some distortion as can be expected from any ultra wide angle lens but choosing the right subject this can be acceptable or even corrected for with a photo editing tool. Overall though I’m really pleased with its performance, for the last two days the sun has been shining here in the valley so its time to really check it out.

The Race is on

For the fans of bicycle races out there my village in the Barossa Valley (South Australia) became the centre for the international bike race “Santos Tour Down Under”. We had the luck of hosting the men’s event Stage 1 on the 19th January and the previous day we also hosted the women’s event stage 3 as they raced around the southern Barossa. As a photographer an event like this was one not to be missed, as you all can expect the village was packed solid for the 3 lap circuit which saw them clocking up 130 Km as they hit the finish line. The bikes were only in view for seconds so this was a good opportunity to try out the sports mode capability of my Canon EOS 760D. Standing at the barrier with an 18-135mm lens attached gave me a good viewing choice but the speed that these bikes were travelling demanded more control than judgement. I set the camera to sports mode, the drive mode to continuous and the autofocus to AI Servo, this meant that once a bike rider was chosen the lens auto tracked him while the camera recorded 5 frames a second as long as I kept him in the viewing pane. I was quiet pleased with the results and have attached a couple for your comments. Even though I’m predominantly a landscape photographer I’m still trying out new functions on this camera as the opportunity arises.

Santos Tour Down Under

Santos Tour Down Under

Santos Tour Down Under

Santos Tour Down Under

Animals

Animals, they’re all around us, from the wild ones that we often can and a great deal that we can’t see to the domestic variety on farms and in the home. The list is pretty endless so its only natural that they find a place in my portfolio. The zoo is a pretty obvious place to find the more exotic ones plus there are plenty of wildlife parks showing native animals in Australia. The distinct advantages of course are that I can get in a lot closer and don’t have to travel too far to find a great variety, my visits to these places often result in hundreds of images to choose from. There still remains the problem of course of achieving the right image, apart from the Meerkats they don’t pose for the camera so everything is about patience and timing and a reasonable zoom is essential, I find my 55-250 lens adequate for the job.

Meercat

Meerkat, suricata suricata

2007-(131)R

African Lion, panthera leo senegalis

Then of course there are the crowds and the kids but who said anything about this being easy. I’ve attached three images to show that reasonable results can be obtained, the Meercat and Lion were from the local zoo and the otters from a wildlife park in England. So give it a go, its good practise and certainly a good day out.

2015-(069)

Asian short clawed otter, Aonyx cinereus

More images of animals can be found in this sites galleries as well as high definition versions available through my online shops.

Digital Cameras

Digital cameras, don’t you just love them, I was a sceptic at first where the best image was 6mp and couldn’t stand against 35mm when printed above 6 x 4 (that’s 150mm x 100 mm for the metric fraternity). I was still old school, 35mm colour and black and white negatives plus 35mm slide film, a fairly expensive hobby where you couldn’t see your results until you spent time in the darkroom. Being expensive and limited (max 36 shots to a roll) also meant that you thought a lot more about the shot before you took it, there wasn’t a wide margin for error.

My first digital camera was a 3mp compact (a Ricoh Caplio G4 wide) and at the time considered a toy against my 35mm Olympus SLRs but the advantage it did have straight away was the ability to view the image and if necessary take it again. Image quantity was limited to the space on the SD card and given the choice then of taking hundreds of low quality images or a few high quality images the choice was clear, high quality every time, if I took a shot then I wanted the best I could get, there wouldn’t necessarily be the opportunity to take it again, after all I could always get another memory card or just dump it to a computer file. It became a great little camera to carry around in the car and given it was early days still for digitals it did produce some really nice images at 2048 x 1536 pixels.

Cable Car in the Blue Mountains

Cable Car in the Blue Mountains

That digital camera was only the first of many (attached is an image taken on it in the Blue Mountains New South Wales) and I still have it to remind me. Currently I have a Canon 550D digital SLR and wouldn’t trade back to the roll film version for anything, these modern cameras are serious tools. This one is 18 mp giving 5184 x 3456 pixels and I’ll probably upgrade again one day but we all have to work within our abilities and for the moment this works really well for me.

More images can be found in this sites galleries as well as high definition versions available through my online shop.

The Right Light

There’s a lot to be said for choosing the right time of day to take your photos, your decision determines the mood of the final image. Previously I mentioned taking photographs on a bright sunny day, everyone’s favourite time, how often have you looked at your final result and thought that the images were flat, or in high contrast (very dark areas and very bright ones), how often have you looked at the result and thought that it looked ‘washed out’?  This is because what your eye sees is not what your camera sees, the eye will compensate rapidly for changes in lighting levels as you look around, the camera of course tries to record what it monitors in that fraction of a second the image is taken and is often fooled by the sky or the sun or reflective surfaces, even those with multiple sensors embedded.

Of course we don’t always have a choice when the shot can be taken, it greatly depends on where we are at the time but when you do have a choice you can of course help by choosing not to take in the middle of the day. At this time the sun is directly overhead so there are few shadows and therefore little sculpturing to give depth and shape to objects, trees or hills and images become flat as objects blend into each other and colours fade. You will have noticed how in late afternoon when the sun is across the subject that the shadows give objects that depth and shape and also observed that the colour of the light changes from being bright and harsh in the middle of the day to becoming warmer and softer as the day progresses.

Midday landscape example

Midday landscape example

Given a choice I’d choose mid to late afternoon every time for that warm effect and about an hour before sunset when I really want to add some soft enhanced colour into a landscape shot. The first image was taken at midday, the sun is high, shadows short and the scene is flat.

Late sunshine in the Barossa

Late sunshine in the Barossa

The second shows a mid afternoon image and already sculpturing is taking effect in the tree trunk.

The third image gives an idea of how the colour changes as the day progresses towards evening with the colour of the vines changing from light brown to a warm golden brown.

More Landscape images can be found in this sites gallery ‘Australia in View’ as well as available through my online shop.

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Australian Winter

Winter, even here in Australia just the thought of the word conjures up cold wet days, dull gloomy outlooks and evenings where we all prefer to rug up. There is another side of course, there are days where the air is so bright and clear that the colours jump out at you, where clouds in the sky add texture to what is normally a wide blue empty space all summer and where your mind screams at you to get out there and enjoy it.

Snow on the mountainside in Victoria

Snow on the mountainside in Victoria

Recently I had the advantage of being on a mountain during the winter with days of bright sunshine, clear blue skies and deep snow, ideal conditions to get away from the crowds and take those shots that you wouldn’t normally find. Just remember when photographing on snow that the light hits the snow and is reflected back, this will fool your camera into thinking that the image is brighter than it actually is and the result will be a dull grey picture. You can compensate for this by adjusting your camera compensation by a stop or two but this will vary by the day so bracket your shots, at least with digital cameras you can see what you have achieved and adjust to suit.

2012-(059)

The weather closes in

The beautiful days on arrival couldn’t last of course with a snowstorm arriving a few days later but not to worry, just more opportunities right…………..

More images of the Australian Winter can be found in this sites gallery Australia in View’ as well as available through my online shop.

Getting Closer

There’s nothing quite like getting in close and personal, getting in close to subjects often improves the image, a lecturer once told our camera club that if you wanted the subject to fill the frame then don’t use a longer lens just step closer, useful advice when on most occasions you just happen to have the one lens with you, though maybe not so practical when there are obstacles in front.

I have a Canon EOS 550D and often used the 18-55 IS lens and changed to the EFS 55-250 IS when the subject was just out of reach, often though that meant carrying around the zoom just in case I needed it, more unnecessary weight unless I’m heading somewhere specific and I know that I’m going to make use of it. Most days though the camera is just with me in a shoulder bag with the one lens, an EFS 18-135 IS which makes it lighter and more convenient for general use, especially when I’m climbing up hillsides on these hot days. This is Ok considering that I mostly take landscapes and use the 18mm end of the lens but every so often I find subjects where climbing closer would definitely help.

50mm-Image

50mm-Image

135mm-Image

135mm-Image

I’ve attached two images both of the same subject, a humorous haystack found in South Australia. As can be seen taking one shot at 50mm and the other at 135mm creates two very different images (in this case I couldn’t have walked closer as the farmer had built a barbed wire fence across my path).

The original concept though of getting closer still holds true, when you can do. I’m open to comment.

High resolution versions of my photographs are available through my online shop, please enjoy.

Sunrise, Sunset

OK, there you are, on holiday, or down on the beach for the day, or having a relaxing stroll in the hills, its early evening and the sun is setting on the horizon when suddenly the sky lights up in gorgeous colour, yellow, orange, deep red. You know it’s only going to be there a short while and you have your camera with you, hands up those who would take the shot, then another and then watch the spectacle, well who wouldn’t, I see a lot of hands.

OK, there you are, its 5am and you’re snug in bed when suddenly the day breaks in gorgeous colour, deep purples and blues leading to oranges and yellows before disappearing altogether, your camera is on the drawers next to you so of course you leap out of bed, race out of the house and capture the moment. Better still you get up in the dark and head to a favourite location to capture the moment as it happens, hands up those who would take the shot, then another and then watch the spectacle, I don’t see many hands at all.

Sunrise in the Barossa Valley

Sunrise in the Barossa Valley

Sunset Example 1

Sunset Example 1

Sunset Example 2

Sunset Example 2

Both of course can be spectacular but you can guess which one there are more shots of. For the record I’m not really a morning person, I will take sunrise if I have to be up or specifically plan to be up but mostly I concentrate on sunsets so that I can use them as backdrops to create something else.

One thing is certain, lots of cloud formations make more interesting displays so straight after a storm is a great time. One other thing is certain, most times that you wait for a spectacular sunset to occur the light just fades away to nothing so when they do occur capture it all.

Attached is a sunrise and some example sunsets taken with my Canon EOS DSLR that could only end up as backdrops.

High resolution versions of my photographs are available through my online shop, please enjoy.

Australia – Flinders Ranges

The outback, an unforgiving land of dry arid desert, wide open spaces and views that can go on forever that can be both dangerous and stunningly beautiful. For the photographer the scenes and opportunities are endless. The views attached taken with a Canon EOS digital camera are from a small part of this vast wilderness, the Flinders Ranges are about 430Km inland from Adelaide in South Australia to one of its best known locations Wilpena Pound, a natural amphitheatre of mountains that is now a national park and tourist attraction. There is a wonderful feeling of remote isolation climbing to the top of a bluff and not being able to see another person in any direction as you wait for the light to change to photograph the scene below.

More images of the Flinders Ranges can be found in this sites gallery ‘Australia in View’ as well as available through my online shop.