Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘cold’

Weekend Wanderings: Morning Along Port Phillip Bay

The other morning a friend and I decided we would go out and take some photos at some bays that I’ve been to lately. We read that the forecast was going to be cloud increasing with showers in the afternoon, so it sounded like a good chance for a sunrise. So at six am my friend picked me up and I have to say I was shocked when I walked outside, it was 3.7ºC, which is 38ºF, really cold, cold for Australia anyway.  I don’t like that cold.

portphillipbay-beaumaris-bay-water-sunrise-3

First of all we went to a bay in Beaumaris as we thought it could be a good spot for a sunrise and we weren’t disappointed. The sunrise was also nice, not spectacular, but okay.  There was something there to work with.  I took photos around the piers using my Formatt Hitech and Cokin Filters.

melbourne-pied-cormorant-bay-2

After Beaumaris we headed to Davey’s Bay just past Frankston.  My friend wanted to go there and check it out. It might be nice for a sunrise, but by the time we got there the sun was too high and it was too bright to get any good shots, especially for long exposures.

When we got there there were some Pied Cormorants sitting on the end of the pier sunning themselves. We got as close as we could to them. I put on the Tamron 70-200mm 2.8 lens that Maxwell International Australia have lent me to try out.  I think the shots it took were pretty good.

brighton-beach-boxes-melbourne-5

We had some breakfast in Frankston and then thought we might stop at the Brighton Beach to look at the beach boxes. It is amazing how many people go to them to take photos. It was very hard to get any shots without people in front of them.

I’ve been there once before, but my friend hadn’t been there before. Being there in the morning isn’t a good time to take photos.  The last time I went was in the afternoon, and they weren’t so shaded.  I think these boxes are among the most expensive real estate in Melbourne, if you want to own one you have to fork out a lot of money.

It was a very cold morning with a very icy wind blowing, but the sun was shining.  As we headed home the clouds came rolling in and within an hour or so the rain set in.

I have a gallery for you now, a few more photos from the morning.  It is the start of the weekend here, a long one at that, and weather wise, could be good, maybe some bad.  I hope you have a good weekend planned, maybe lots of photography in there as well.

Up for Discussion: Winter Photography

Recently I put out a call for people who wanted to guest blog.  I like people guest blogging, it means a day I can hand over to someone else, and it means I may learn something new too.  I received an email from John Feist, and his blog John Feist Photography saying he was interested in doing a guest blog on Winter Photography.  I have no experience with this, and if I live in Australia for the rest of my life I will never experience it, so this was an intriguing idea for me.  So today I have a post for you from John.

Winter Photography

by John Feist

Picture_1

Shooting in winter conditions poses a number of challenges that the other seasons do not. Some are physical and others technical. It also creates some beautiful and unique opportunities. The key elements of classic winter shots include harshness, cold, contrast and lack of color.

In winter the photographer needs to understand how to dress in order to stay warm and still be able to move about to capture good images. Remember, snow is water and it can melt into your clothing. Being wet in the cold is no fun. If you are not familiar with being out for extended periods during the winter, read up on it before you go.

Another temperature related concern is your equipment’s operating temperature range. In most cases, temperature is not a concern. However, if you will be working in temperatures below 0F (or -18C) some equipment may run into issues as well. Check your gear’s documentation for details.

Snow is one of the elements we want to photograph. Remember that it covers everything. This means if you don’t know the area where you will be shooting, you need to be aware that the snow may be covering thin ice on streams, lakes, depressions and many other hazards.

When it comes to actually making images, all of the rules for good photography apply. There are some “gotchas” that need special attention. The biggest concern is white balance. Shooting in the snow throws the sensors off because there is so much white. Snow is also very bright compared to most of the rest of your shot. Normally the white balance needs to be well into the blue (cool) end of the range, rarely over 6,000. Try a couple of test shots to get your white balance. It’s a lot easier to have the camera capture good white than to have to remove blue from your snow in post processing.

Consider applying a couple of stops of exposure compensation as well. This also helps to offset the preponderance of shades of white in the snow. Again, a couple of test shots can save a lot of post processing time.

Shooting in bright sunshine in the middle of the day is always a challenge. In the snow it is even worse. If you’re going to be out in those conditions, have good sunglasses for both yourself and your camera! In bright sun use the lowest ISO setting you can. Obviously, you will be working with fast shutter speeds and probably smaller apertures. This is a good time to use your neutral density and polaroid filters. They allow you to get longer exposures and give you the flexibility to change your depth of field as needed.

It is better to under expose than over expose. You can bring out details from the underexposed areas, but those areas where everything is burned out are lost. By contrast, gold and blue light in winter can be spectacular. The image at the top of this post was taken about half way through golden light.

Winter is also a great time for some other techniques. With all the differing textures in the snow, long exposures can yield stunning results… another good use for your neutral density and polaroid filters! Be sure your tripod is on a steady base and that you are not dealing with wind that can shake your camera or even knock it over!

Picture_2

Winter, at least in my experience, tends to have lots of overcast days. That means lots of flat light that yields soft images. This can either be challenging when it comes to the sky, or result in some interesting skies with subtle shading and transitions.

Picture_3

Outside of gold and blue light, winter shots tend to have a limited amount of color. Taking your images into black and white is a great way to convey the stark harshness of the winter scene.

Snow gets blown around pretty easily, and can settle into some unexpected and unusual patterns. As with all photography, it is essential to keep an eye out for these. Remember, even here, the angles make a big difference.

Snow has an interesting cousin. Ice is another component of winter photography that produces beautiful images. Ice can extend your view, create interesting patterns and reflections as well as help to convey the cold environment in which you made the image.

I know a lot of people who think of winter and wildlife as mutually incompatible. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Yes many animals hibernate or migrate with the seasons. Those that remain have a variety of survival mechanisms and techniques that make them wonderful subjects. You will need a long lens and some kind of “hiding place” to get good shots as there isn’t as much natural cover available.

The bottom line on winter photography is that it has its challenges, but with a little understanding and preparation, it can yield truly beautiful images.

I live in central New Jersey (U.S.A.). This year, we’ve been “blessed” with great conditions for winter photography. I’ve been shooting for most of my life, starting back in the film days. I got serious a about my photography a few years ago. My go to camera is a Nikon D7000 with a Nikor FX 28-300 lens. For longer shots I use a Sigma 150-500. The camera sits on a 3 Legged Thing which is light enough to carry around all day, sturdy and flexible enough to shoot in a wide variety of conditions.

You can see more of my work on my website, http://JohnFeistPhotography.com. I also have a Facebook page and blog of the same name. love hearing from other photographers. Just drop me a note to info@JohnFeistPhotography.com.

When I’m not working to support my photography or doing things photographic, I also teach yoga and make some of the best oatmeal cookies around.

Finally, I want to thank Leanne for allowing me to be a guest on her blog. One of America’s iconic artists, Norman Rockwell, used to tell people that he painted winter pictures in the summer and summer pictures in the winter. His rationale being that this way he felt cooler in summer and warmer in winter. I suspect Leanne had a similar reaction when I proposed this subject!

Thank you

I would also like to say thanks to John for preparing this post for us.  I don’t know if I will ever use this information, as I rarely see snow, but I am sure many of you will get a lot out of it.  I am amazed at how difficult it seems to shoot in the snow, quite incredible. John also sent extra photos, so I thought I would put the above ones and the extras in a gallery for you now.  John is also going to answer questions, and comments, which is lucky, I wouldn’t know how to help anyone.  Thanks again John.

Don’t forget if you are interested in doing a guest post send me an email, leanne@leannecole.com.au

Weekend Wanderings – Taking a Walk with the Camera

On Thursday night the weather forecast was for a frost in the morning and some fog.  Can I just say I was excited.  Sure it would be cold, but the opportunity of getting out in the morning to a frost, or fog was too much to resist.  I just took the camera with the lens on it and away I went.  I also took my phone, I am trying to get in the habit of taking photos with my phone for Instagram. Which I did and if I can work out how, I will show you those images as well.

LeanneCole-banyule-6387-2I was hoping to get more of a frost, but when I got out, while it was cold, it wasn’t cold enough for a frost.  I am sure it will happen, but it didn’t happen the other morning.  The closest we get to seeing what it would be like if it snowed here is seeing frost all over the ground, and that only lasts until the sun comes up.

LeanneCole-banyule-6399When I got to the park you could see the mist coming off the swampland.  It is a common site here in winter, anytime it is a bit cold you will see it.  When I used to ride a bike, you would notice how cold it was when you rode past this part, it was always much colder than any other part of the road.

LeanneCole-banyule-6421A few weeks ago I took some photos of this same spot, I don’t know if you remember, here is a link that post, the area above is the same place I took photos, but back then there was no water in here, well, except for a small little bit.  Now it is full. We had a lot of rain a couple of weeks ago and it has done this.  It is so much nicer when it is full of water. The mist on the water just added to it so much.  Although, by the time I actually got here, there wasn’t a lot of mist around.  I knew I should have driven to the park.

LeanneCole-banyule-6451The house in the distance is the original homestead, or one of them, not quite sure.  It does stand out a lot, and the way that line of dead trees coming from it, it is interesting.  There were so many ducks in the water.  I scared them off a little and then tried to get photos of them taking off.  I didn’t do it on purpose, they just cleared out as I approached the water.

LeanneCole-banyule-6524There is lot of land like this around me.  We are a suburb of the city, but we also have lots of paddocks with horses and things.  Many people who come here for the first time think we live in the country, we don’t, but it looks like it.  It was one of the main reasons we bought our house.

As I said earlier I did take a couple of shots and processed them in Instagram.  I will put them in a gallery on their own now.

I really don’t do this enough.  I have lived in this area for just over 20 years and I have never really considered that when I live would be very photogenic.  I really need to change my views of this, and start thinking more about taking photos within a short distance of where I live.

I am going to put up the gallery now for you, with more images.  I hope your weekend has been good.

Taking a Break from the Motorbike

When I first started talking about the motorbike, I am sure I mentioned how sore my backside was.  Well, while riding around on the back, many times all I could think of was stopping.  I knew there was a small town on the way up to the top where there were some toilets.  So we stopped there.

The name of the place is Tanjil Bren.  Very quaint place, and one of those, if you blink you will miss it sort of towns.  It is handy because of the toilets, as it is another 15 or so kilometres to the top.  I have stopped here before, and one of the things I have noticed, but never paid any attention to is a log hut of sorts that is beside the toilet block.

You can see why I had never taken much notice of it before.  It has a couple of chimneys, a door and nothing else.  It doesn’t seem to have much purpose.  I expected to find not much inside.  It seems like a very strange structure.  Well to me it does, maybe to people who live up there, not.  But why build a log hut with no windows, a doorway, but no door and two fireplaces, or two chimneys.

A local was talking to Bruce so I took the chance to take a peek inside.

I was very suprised to see what was inside.  Are you?

It was like a little house, or a living room.  I imagine it gets used a lot in winter.  Would be nice in the cold months with the fires going.  I would love to know more about it.  It seems it is a very hard place to find some information on it.  So we will have to continue wondering what’s use it.  Perhaps if I go again, I will take a longer look and see if I can find more information about it.

The above photo was one of my favourites for the day.  I couldn’t wait to get it on the computer and start playing with it.  Which I have done as well.  I did the image as a single image HDR and then post editing was done in photoshop.  I am really starting to enjoy what is happening to my images.

I have been making some changes to various things.  I am trying to use twitter more, apparently it can be a good way to communicate, I’m not totally convinced, but time will tell.  Though, it is hard to think that it can be effective when I hardly have any followers.  I have also been doing some updating and changing to my field trip pages.  I really want to start concentrating more on those.

The direction of this blog has also been taking up a bit of thought.  I was really happy with what everyone had to say about the direction I wanted to go, and so in keeping with that, I have sent an email to the ANZ Netball Championships to see if I can get accreditation to a Vixens game.  So fingers crossed.

No idea about tomorrow yet.  Have a few ideas.  I will sleep on it.

Day Tripping

Today we went to Torquay.  Some friends are having a holiday there so we thought we would go and see them.  It is only a 2 hour drive.  I have never really been to Torquay before so it was nice to see it.

I went to the beach once to take some photos.  It was really cold and really really windy.  I tried to get a couple of shots, but time was also against me.  Taking my girls with me is never a good thing when I want to take photos.  So I took two images so I would have something to show you.  The one above is one end of the beach.

This is the other.  Completely different views.  I love the clouds in this.

I don’t really have much to say, it has been a long day.   I hope you enjoy the photos.