What do you do when it’s low to mid-30s day after day after day? You go to the beach!
Our choice of beach this past weekend was Surf Beach on the south coast of Phillip Island – an easy 90 minute drive from Melbourne. We had a fantastic southerly coming in off the Southern Ocean that brought the temperature down just the right amount. There weren’t many people there and as you can see, the water was amazing! Shallow and warm – perfect for a family day at the beach.
This is one of the reasons I love Australia.
Here’s a variation on slow photography using a slow(ish) shutter speed, but with a moving subject. Using my variable ND filter, ISO 50, and f13 I was able to get this shot down to 1/5th of a second. By panning with the runner I was blurred her arms and legs keeping the body and head relatively steady. The bright sun reflecting off the bay provided a great opportunity to turn the runner into a near silhouette.
I tried longer exposures, but with the bright background, the runner’s arms and legs were largely lost in the light and almost didn’t register in the image. The notion of a head and torso hurtling down the beach didn’t really work with the image I was trying to create…
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. I’m very much enjoying the break and a little bit of time to finish sorting out my images from last summer in Canada. This one is from the same place as my last post (over a month ago!), Algonquin Park.
This was a particularly wet, rather cold morning. My brothers and I agreed we’d get up early unless the weather was bad. I decided it was bad, they didn’t and practically had to drag me out of my cabin! I got going quickly and here are the fruits of my labour.
So, these are the same canoes as my last post, but from a different angle. Which do you prefer?
You might think I’m not here any more with the frequency I’ve been posting and commenting, but the truth is that I work long hours in an office environment these days and find myself reluctant to hop back on the computer in the evenings or on the weekends.
The fact is that, at the moment, technology consulting is my primary focus. I took a luxurious, self-indulgent couple of years pursuing photography full-time and while I found my photography skills improved immensely, my earning potential and my CV took a serious beating. Not discounting everything I’ve learned about making better images, the biggest thing I actually learned was that I have no desire to be a full-time professional photographer. I’m incredibly thankful that I took the opportunity to try and now I know that it’s not for me. I’m not cut out to be a full-time creative.
By no means should you take from this that I’m giving up photography or giving up blogging, but I am re-prioritising. Photography is back in hobby status. I’ll still shoot, I’ll still blog, and I’ll still look for opportunities to sell and exhibit my work, but it’s not my full-time gig any more. It’s back to the rat race for me. I’m commuting an hour and a half every day and working 9 to 11 hours and I’m loving the challenges, the brain-strain, and the many, complex relationships that make up a busy office.
Stay tuned and keep checking in. I’ll re-balance soon enough and start picking up the camera again. Hopefully, you’ll even start seeing images from Australia soon. For now, though, we’ll have to make do with pictures from this past summer in Canada. This image is from Algonquin Park in Ontario, Canada. These canoes had clearly seen some action. Despite appearances, they’re still roadworthy – I enjoyed many hours exploring the lake with anyone who was game to go out for a paddle.
While I do love shooting early in the morning, it’s always such a close competition between getting up and sleeping in.
Today was day two of a set of three workshops that I’m running at my kids’ school. The grade 6 art class has a photography unit that they generally outsource. This year, it’s my pleasure to teach the photo unit to three classes of 11 to 12 year olds. I’ve really been enjoying the workshops. I had a great time developing the teaching material and it was challenging trying to select the course content for such a broad subject given that it needs to be squeezed into just a half day.
The way we finally structured the class is to go through a very quick history of photography and run through the basic technical capabilities of the classroom cameras (Nikon Coolpix L26) discussing focus, exposure and scene modes. They then get 20 minutes outside to shoot. Then we bring them back in, teach them about light and composition and then send them out again with the hope that the second round of pictures are better than the first. They pick their best images, we have a quick Q&A and we’re done. Goes by in no time for me and they seem to be having fun.
When I agreed to do the workshops, my oldest daughter warned me that I needed to do a good job. She said the kids all talk about their teachers and she wanted to be sure that I would make a good impression. Hopefully I haven’t embarrassed her yet…
These are the “Official Drumheller Hoodoos”. Apparently, there are hoodoos all over the badlands, but this is the official protected site. While we didn’t cover a huge amount the badlands by any means, these were also just about the only hoodoos we saw. At least, the only ones of any reasonable size. I’m sure there were others, but we didn’t see them.
The funny thing about these hoodoos is that this is almost the only view available that doesn’t include the network of metal stairs, pathways and railings that surround this site. In an effort to stop visitors from damaging the site they have recently erected a rigorous infrastructure that nearly eliminates the ability for us photogs to get a shot of the natural splendour without ironworks sprouting around each corner. Thankfully, with careful scouting, there remains this one vantage point.