Mixing it up

Sometimes I have images that in themselves are pretty straightforward but always look as though something is missing. Looking through my files I came across this image of part of the Roman arena in Verona Italy that I had taken on holiday.

Original

Original

2015-(116)

Final Image

The subject was interesting enough however there was nothing distinct about it that would make it stand out (ref the original image). I then stripped all the background from it, darkened the remains to resemble a night scene and changed the structure of the stonework to give a very grainy effect. Behind the image I added the moon with a blue tint and lined up the two, in all I was quite pleased with the final effect, open to comment.

The second image was treated similarly using another part of the same arena stonework, in this case the arches once cut out gave a window effect so I added the sunset taken at Verona that evening behind the arches and gave a hue to the stonework to match.

Archway

Archway

These are just examples of what can be achieved with a little effort so never delete shots just because they don’t look interesting, just mix it up a little.

Camera Canon EOS  550D with EFs 18-135 IS lens. More images  can be found in this sites galleries as well as high definition versions available through my online shops.

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Posters

Ever thought about creating your own posters?, its not that complicated when you consider all that is needed is an image and the right slogan, photo editing tools will allow you to add text to an image in a range of fonts and sizes. Having searched the web for some appropriate slogans I set about matching them up to some images that I had that needed something extra.

2014-(129)It seemed obvious to start with a flower, there are so many good quotations around them.

Looking deeper I came across this weather vane and the following text just jumped to mind.

2015-(009)In conclusion I’ve added this example for a little deeper thought, 2015-(010) Its not that hard once you try, I’d recommend anyone in having a go.

For those who’d prefer to just buy posters you are welcome to browse my current submissions in my online shops at Fine art America and Rebubble.

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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Digital Manipulation 1

Bit of a mouthful, in other words things you can do to an image to change it into something else, or enhance it. The question is often asked whether an image should be changed at all, well I think that it depends on what you are trying to achieve. If it’s a record shot then change nothing, what you record is exactly what you want to remember. However lots of us photographers are not after record shots, something for the history books or the family album what we are trying to achieve is a final impression, a mood, a feeling, creating something that you enjoy looking at and others will enjoy also. I’ve seen some wonderful landscapes taken by the pro’s who have staked a location and waited for the right season and time of day to take the shot in, I wish at times that I had the capability to do that. For most of us though when photographing landscapes nature is not always kind enough to present the ideal environment, just the right lighting or just the right colours and often this could be the only visit, you are locked into that day and time of day, so take the shot anyway and back on the computer give it a little help.

 

Take the original tree, remove the dull sky, boost the colour and lighting on the tree itself, embed the new sunset sky as a background and boost its colours to suit.

Happy, then merge the sandwich and save as a new image “Winter Sunset’.

The result is a more pleasing image after manipulation, of course if you prefer the original record shot then you still have the dull flat tree shot…..

Rome, the Dream

Rome, I dreamt of going there for a long time, even when I lived in England and it was only a short flight away, every year there always seemed to be somewhere else I had to go. When you have a young family life’s like that.  Now I live in Australia, the family’s grown up and all I had to do was go. The dream became reality in 2011, armed with my trusty Canon EOS 550D and a couple of lenses I was determined to record every living moment of it, from the small hotel we booked into to the splendour of the preserved ruins seen from the Palatine hill, Rome truly is a wonderful city.

The Coliseum of Ancient Rome

The Coliseum of Ancient Rome

The views attached are of The Coliseum (a must see although if you are intending to visit the old city ( Palatine) next to it then I suggest that you go there first, the queues are much shorter and the ticket also gives entrance to the Coliseum afterwards so you can bypass the long queues and just enter). The Vatican City, just for the splendour whether you are catholic or not and the Saint Angelo Bridge leading to the castle which is in itself interesting enough but there is also a café on the top where you can sit in a gun embrasure with coffee and enjoy some great views of the city.

Vatican City

Vatican City

Add to this the numerous piazza’s with their beautiful fountains, restaurants, cafes, markets and wonderful buildings like the Pantheon, 2000 years old and still in use today, the very ornate cathedrals and older churches. The list is endless, every road I walked seemed to lead to something new to see and record.

Sitting in a small café one lunchtime enjoying pizza and a local beer (what else) gave time to reflect and enjoy the moment, 8 days was definitely not long enough for me, and will I go back, well I can dream can’t I.

Saint Angelo Bridge Rome

Saint Angelo Bridge Rome

Further pictures of Rome can be found in this sites gallery ‘Images outside Australia’, as well as 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.

Australia, the Barossa Valley

Barossa Landscape Australia
Barossa Landscape Australia
Australian Landscape

Barossa Landscape in Autumn

Australia, a land of variable landscapes and conditions, being so huge its understandable that there can be tropical rainforests in one area and arid deserts in another. Living near Adelaide in South Australia the climate is more what you would expect in the Mediterranean and out here in the Barossa Valley the area abounds in Vineyards and Wineries so naturally my photography encompasses views of the area as the seasons change. During autumn (March to May) the vines change to a golden colour and the lighting gives images a warm feeling, an ideal time for photography. Continue reading