Lock Up Your Daughters!

Ok, I am a biased father, but the lens has always loved my youngest son and now that he’s 16 ….. well, all I can say is ….. The kid’s got a future!

Recently, a friend of his took some shots of Dylan on an outing in Newtown that had that little something about them. In those candid shots, she captured a “look” – enough for several people, including his sister and myself, to suggest he get serious about some camera work, and get a portfolio together.

Tatiana lept at the opportunity to shoot Dylan, and today we did our first “shoot”, firstly outdoors, then in Tatiana’s garage studio. Tatiana was the photographer and creative director. I was her assistant and deputy creative director, and I did the processing.

I can’t decide between James Dean and a young Marlon Brando, but geez I reckon he’s

The Easy Guide To Creating Mounts

This Journal is subject to copyright. You do not have permission to copy it, in part or whole, and re-publish it. It is for information purposes only.

1. Introduction

By request, the purpose of this Guide is to provide a step-by-step demonstration of how to turn this:

Into this:

Call them mounts, borders, edges, frames, windows, structured negative space, or whatever, in the digital sense those black bits at the top and bottom of the image are part of the image. I will refer to them as Mounts. They are easily created by just about any image processing program. For the purposes of this demonstration I will be using Photoshop CS5, but the same functions exist in Photoshop Elements and CS4 and CS3 and so on. I will also show you how to use the same technique to create a fu

Please welcome ...

… my nephew Liam to RB! He may not be old enough to vote yet, but he’s already achieved something in photography I’ve yet to accomplish – win an award! Like his uncle, Liam’s a Canon shooter, and loves long exposure and IR photography. He’s also the new owner of my faithful IR DSLR, a converted Canon EOS 10D, and I note he’s already uploaded a shot taken with it.

Welcome to RB, Liam! I’m sure you’re going to get inspired by the awesome photography that’s here to enjoy.

Uncle Pete

How to perform CPR on a drowned DSLR

Speaking from experience (several times), there’s a few things you can do to help save your treasured DSLR from an early death from drowning. I’m not guaranteeing resuscitation in all cases, because water in your camera’s body is a complete variable, I’m just passing on what I’ve learnt.…

As with humans, time is of the essence when trying to save your drowned camera, especially if you are dealing with salt water. (In such an instance, corrosion starts almost immediately.) Primarily though, we are dealing with electronics so the aim of the game is to get the water out and dry your camera ASAP.

So, here’s some tips, in the order in which they should be done, if your DLSR gets seriously wet. Edit: I’ve changed the order of 1-3 to reflect comments from a techie who knows more about this than m

Back in business!

As some of you know, recently I accidently killed my well-used and much-loved Canon 5D Mark II body and the EF 16-35mm lens on it at the time.…

Imagine my joy when a package arrived a few days later from 1000 km away, containing a 5D2 body, carefully wrapped inside its original box. It felt like Christmas, and all because of the overwhelming generosity of Mel Brackstone in lending me her “old” one. Compared to how mine has looked for some time, Mel’s looks brand new! It’s a bit idiosyncratic, has a 1-point AF system, but it works just fine. (I mostly use manual focus TS-E lenses anyway.) With my 5D2’s battery grip on it, I was ready for business!

Yesterday I took Mel’s camera on its first trip to the Blue Mountains National Park, NSW, Australia. It felt good to be back in the saddle, and m

Tutorial Updates

Just letting you know I’ve greatly expanded my Tutorial on Tilt+Shift Photography, with sample images (and already planning a further update).

I’ve also updated my “List of Photographic Tutorials” so that all 20 are now listed and linked. The list also links to the several other Journals of photographic interest I have created over time, including my most recent post about Photographic Fakery and Mystery.

With total views approaching 300,000 I must be doing something right. My Guide to ND Filters alone is fast approaching the 200,000 view mark, and I am currently preparing a sequel, being a summary of all the questions I’ve been sent about ND Filters and my answers. (I long ago reached the character limit on the actual ND Guide.)


Fateful return to Weeping Rock

Weeping Rock below Bridal Veil Falls on Leura Creek in the Blue Mountains National Park of New South Wales, Australia, holds special memories for me.…

First, there was my quest to ascertain its correct name and prove it isn’t called Lurline Falls (or anything else for that matter).

Second, it was where I recently proposed marriage. Distracted, I also left behind my EF 16-35mm lens and had to trek down and retrieve it from where I took the shot above.

Yesterday, Tanya and I returned to Leura Cascades above Bridal Veil Falls. This is one of the shots:

I really wanted to shoot Weeping Rock in fog though, and yesterday was a perfect opportunity, so down we went.

At the exact same spot where I had left behind my lens 2 months ago, I set up for some shots, took them, and then made a big mistak

Photographic Fakery and Mystery in the Blue Mountains

Ironic isn’t it? The more advanced we become in restoring and digitising our photographic history, the more we realise how entrenched fakery was a hundred years before Photoshop. Here I’m talking about unacknowledged fakery, when a film negative is modified or combined with another to produce an artificial photograph intended to be viewed as the real thing.…

I have a story to tell, and it involves both fakery and mystery. It’ll be a bit over the shop, so let’s jump in with this:

“Weeping Rock” by Sam Hood, circa 1900

I sourced this photograph from the Blue Mountains Library – Local Studies pages at Flickr. The image is a fake. As the library itself acknowledges “Those who have visited the location will realise that the figures are out of scale and the photo has been manipulated, in order t

Journey to the Waterfall Capital of Australia - Part 3

This is the final instalment of our journey to the waterfall capital of Australia. If you missed them, read Part 1 and Part 2 first!…

Day Five

Our fifth day was special. Matt, our genial host at Ridgetop Hideaway, had invited us on a day trip in his 4WD to see and shoot one of the highest waterfalls in Australia – Merango Falls – and this morning was it. We headed off not long after sunrise. This was a real treat, and not just because of Matt’s hospitality. The thing is, getting to these falls means knowing your way around the area, having a 4WD, and, importantly, knowing the owners of the land you have to drive on to get there. I can honestly say I have no idea where these falls are, and even having a map would not help me find them again.

Matt had warned us the falls were a challenge to

Journey to the Waterfall Capital of Australia - Part 2

If you haven’t caught Part 1 of our journey to the waterfall capital of Australia yet, read it here

Day Three

As planned, dawn on Day Three saw us back at Dangar Falls. I found the walkway down to the bottom, but shooting front-on was out of the question. Apart from the fog and the amount of water coming over the falls combining to kill off any detail or contrast, the spray was just too much. Once again, it was a case of adjusting expectations and wants to what was possible and needed. The fog had to be turned to an advantage.

Fortunately, the walkway itself present opportunities. The next two shots were taken from the same spot, I just did a 180.

After lunch, we headed out onto Waterfall Way and west towards Armidale to do another reccy, this time of Wollomombi Falls and Ebor Falls. I

Journey to the Waterfall Capital of Australia - Part 1

I have made a discovery. I suspect that others have also made the same discovery, and it is that the Dorrigo region on the NSW North Coast is the waterfall capital of Australia.…

Crystal Shower Falls, Dorrigo National Park

How do I know this? Tanya and I have recently returned from a week long shoot in the Dorrigo region, shortly after heavy rains and flooding. The raging waterfalls shooting down the escarpment high above Bellingen as we drove up Waterfall Way were an exciting hint, and we soon discovered after our arrival at the top that there were slightly more than the 15 specific waterfalls we had on our hit list. According to Matt, our co-host at Ridgetop Hideaway and who was born and bred in Dorrigo, there are 235 “and counting” waterfalls to be seen in the area. And I’m talking so m

Somersby and the almost RB Meet

Last Saturday morning, Tanya and I made a return trip to Somersby Falls in the Brisbane Waters National Park just north of Sydney. We hoped to capture some good flow after all the rain we’ve had before we head up to Dorrigo for a week of waterfall shooting.…

We got there just after dawn, with no-one else around. Time was of the essence because Somersby Falls are popular and easily accessible for the hordes. For an allegedly Summer’s day, the light was fantastic. A deadbeat sunrise made worse by low cloud cover, no wind, and very muggy humidity. Tanya stayed shooting at the bottom falls, and after shooting at the top falls I went down further to where the track “ends”:

Click on image for MUCH larger view at 500px.

Before too long other photographers arrived. One was a nimble twentysomething

Update to Guide to ND Filters

Just a heads up that I have updated my Guide to ND Filters to describe and link to the new website of Lee Filters. They’ve leapt from backyard off-the-shelf dinosauric web design to state-of-the-art.

As I now say in the Guide, regardless of whether or not you are interested in spending the pennies on Lee, I recommend you check out this page on their website. I can only assume that they felt I was competition and had to do better! I’m joking of course, but then again, the Guide’s had 120,000+ views and counting …

I’m off soon to Dorrigo for a week’s shooting. We have 12 named waterfalls tagged and in our sights.


This Photograph Is Free

So this was the first sunrise I captured in 2012. It cost me nothing to take this image.

The petrol for the car to get to this spot cost me nothing. Someone else paid for it. The parking meter was still asleep so that didn’t cost me either. The camera I took the image with cost me $4000 over three years ago but it is fully depreciated and can’t be sold given it is chipped, cracked, scratched, dented and otherwise not looking too flash, and the per image cost just keeps coming down and down and is now about 3.8 cents. The lens cost me $1600 two years ago but it has been dropped onto a road and has a zero resale value. The Hoya ND x400 filter I used has been stuck to a wide angle adaptor ring for years, is scratched and not worth a penny. The Manfrotto tripod I used was a Christmas gift fr

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