Thursday 27 December 2012

Another Darwin sunset

Got some nice colours at the very last moment before it all went dark.  Used a slow shutter speed to get the nice water movement amongst the rocks.

An average Darwin sunset :)

Thursday 6 December 2012

A painted croc

A good lesson for me regarding keeping my image files organised and backed up etc...  I lost the original file for this photo - my best and favourite crocodile photo.  I only have a low resolution copy of it which is fine for the screen but not much good for print etc.  I have no idea what happened to the original... I discovered it missing a couple of years ago.

So one way to get something decent out of it was to create a digital painting out of it - where detail isn't so critical.  So I enlarged it a lot in photoshop to get a printable size but it was very pixelated,  and then ran Corel Painter over it to produce this picture which smudged out all the enlarged pixels.   I like the result but wish I had the original still!

Here is a higher resolution cropped part so you can see the painting effect better.

More storm photos from Darwin Harbour

Had some interesting weather and storms around Darwin harbour yesterday evening.  Most of it was fairly distant but we got some incredible "crawlers" travel along distance over top of us.

Here's a few of the better shots.

Monday 3 December 2012

Epic Anniversary Storm

Well my wife and I went in to have dinner at the beach for our 23rd wedding anniversary yesterday evening.   We were sitting peacefully at Nightcliff watching the sunset when I heard some angry distant rumbling behind us...  alas the mother of all storms was advancing from the east!

Well we ducked into town to Fisherman's Wharf to get a better view and it really was an awesome sight.  The bureau sent out a Severe Thunderstorm Warning as it had some pretty wild winds and lightning associated with it.

Pity about the rain on the lens for this one!

Sunday 2 December 2012

Storm season is kicking in!

Got up at 2.30am this morning when I heard some distant thunder and headed into Nightcliff.  Got some keepers as a little storm went by just off the coast.

Saturday 1 December 2012

Cape Le Grande Roos

Often I find when I go back and look at old photos I see an unloved discarded one that I now see potential in.  These kangaroos were at Cape Le Grande National Park near Esperance Western Australia.  We had driven down the West Coast from Darwin and were heading across to Adelaide to drive up the centre.  This was an awesome place but we unfortunately only had half a day there - I plan on going back there some day.

Friday 30 November 2012

My best lightning shot revisited

Tried darkening the shot a bit to get the lightning standing out more... and also cropped off the right edge as it was empty space...  does it improve things a bit?

Thursday 29 November 2012

Bayview Strike

Got my best close-up lightning capture just before dawn this morning.  Was awoken by thunder at around 5am and saw on the radar that it would be a home in Palmerston within 10 minutes or so.  I decided to try and get ahead of it a bit and rushed into town and ended up at Fishermens Wharf. 

Got a few ok shots as it came in but nothing really good.  I had horizontal drizzle straight at me wetting the lens and decided to pack up.  I was just driving out when I noticed the rain eased a bit and a big bolt landed to the north of me.  I grabbed the tripod out again, didn't even extend the legs and setup as quick as I could and got this one good bolt before the really heavy rain chased me back into the car.  I could put the camera side-on to the wind for this shot so water drops on the lens wasn't such an issue.

Wound the aperture all the way to F18 as I knew it would be very bright - and the exposure was perfect.  Luckily it was as I was somehow accidentally in jpeg mode and not RAW as I normally am - forgot to check that as I rarely change that setting!

At F18 it sure highlighted all the dust spots on my sensor with the big depth of field - so I had to clean up the image somewhat - also added a bit of contrast.  This shot is not cropped except for a bit of tilt to fix a slightly crooked horizon.

Sunday 18 November 2012

East Point sunset

Plenty of storm weather yesterday afternoon but not much lightning that I could find.  The sunset ended up being very grey but I was able to nab this little window that appeared for a few minutes.  This was taken at 120mm.

Wednesday 14 November 2012

East Arm Bolt

Just got this down at East Arm...  was the only bolt I saw and was about to pack up when it sprung out in front of me.  *Yawn* time for bed!

Monday 12 November 2012

Its cricket season

Saw this fella that I assume is a cricket camouflaged against the bark of a tree on the side of the highway.  I went for a drive hoping for a storm or two down the Batchelor way but it was pretty quiet.  The beauty of a macro lens in the kit is that you can pull up anywhere and find shots of bugs or flowers etc.

This guy on the left was about the size of a toothpick - I have no idea what he is.

Thursday 8 November 2012

A Blender render

Raytraced Port

Something a bit different today - I created this scene totally on the computer using the free modelling/rendering program called Blender (get it at  With these kinds of programs you basically define the shapes of your models, for example the bottles, with what materials and textures you want for their surface.  You have a virtual camera that frames your scene and things like virtual lights to light your scene.  The program will compute things like shadows, reflections etc.

The label on the bottle, the wood texture on the bench, the brick texture on the wall, and the cork texture, I downloaded as normal images using Google search.  I then "wrapped" these textures on the objects.  I also defined things such as transparency and reflection on the bottle and glass etc.  As you can see you can even define the camera's depth of field to give a virtual blur to out of focus areas.

To the right you see the bottle as its shape is defined.  Blender gives you various tools to shape things - I started out with a straight cylinder object and ended up with the bottle.

This is the type of program used in many movies these days to create whatever the makers want - for example a dragon flying around or something.  I'm still very much a beginner at this stuff but I do enjoy it - I'm still at the stage of modelling nice symmetrical objects like in this scene - its a lot trickier to do organic type shapes like a human head for example.  Programs like Blender also allow you to animate things so its not just for "still life" images like this.

Sunday 4 November 2012

East Point Crawler

Took this in the early hours of Saturday morning from the Museum boat ramp.  I missed a few as a lot of drizzle fell at the back end of the storm as it went over the water and it was too wet to try and take photos outside the car.

Tuesday 30 October 2012

The Morning After
A long exposure at East Point yesterday morning with the remnants of an overnight storm.  This was before the sun had risen and the scene was just getting a bit of reflected light from the softly glowing sky.

Thursday 11 October 2012

First lightning photo of the season

Noonamah Bolt
I went for a drive tonight and got this distant bolt from Noonamah.  The shot is heavily cropped and taken with a 120mm lens.  I set the camera to manual for a 30 second exposure at F5 and 100 ISO to keep the noise down.  The grass in the foreground is lit up by the carpark lights near me which I think adds a nice bit of background.

Sunday 30 September 2012

Last light lily

Took this lily flower at Marlow Lagoon this afternoon, just as the last rays of sunlight were lighting it up. I didn't notice the little water skipper bugs on the lily pad below when I took the photo.

Sunday 16 September 2012

Dry Season Sunset

A typical dry season sunset with lots of smoke and dust in the atmosphere to give the sky a bit of colour.  I took this evening on the Scotts Creek road.  Nikon D800E with a 300/4 lens.

Thursday 6 September 2012

Topend jungle creek

I don't know the name of this creek I found on the side of the Scott's Creek road a fair way in, but the natural undisturbed jungle and the soft glow of the late afternoon light made me think it worth capturing.

Just to give you an idea of the detail out of the 36 megapixel Nikon D800E here is a 100% of a small area on the nearby opposite bank.

Sunday 13 May 2012

Saturday 12 May 2012

Sunset in Black and White?

Sunsets are all about colour aren't they?  I must be crazy then as I somehow preferred this one in black and white - I just liked the textures and shapes that the monochrome conversion brings out...

Taken this evening at Fanny Bay.

Friday 11 May 2012

The new camera has arrived!

The camera has finally arrived and I'm keen to get out and use it this weekend.   This is a shot from early this morning on the way to work just as the sun peeped over the horizon.  I was hoping for more colour in the clouds but you get that. 

I'm really happy with the camera so far.  36 megapixels gives you amazing detail.  Unfortunately it came with a dodgy charger and/or battery but my cousin Naree has the same batteries with her camera and she has a spare which she was nice enough to lend me (I'll have to charge it up at her place until I get the replacement!).

So yeah stay tuned I will hopefully be a lot more active now and with a bit of luck I'll get some good shots.

Friday 16 March 2012

Out for lunch

Sorry about the lack of updates folks - but I'll be back very soon!  I've basically been without a camera for sometime but have the newly announced Nikon D800E on preorder - and I'm waiting for it like an excited kid!    In the meantime I've ordered the Zeiss 21mm 2.8, Nikon 24-120/4 & Nikon 300/4 lenses.

I'll hopefully get the new camera around mid April.

Here's a favourite from a couple of years ago for old time's sake! :)