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Posts tagged ‘winter’

Weekend Wanderings: Malmsbury and Getting There

Malmsbury is a little town on the Calder Highway which you go through on the way to Bendigo. Since the Calder Freeway was built the town is bypassed, I don’t know how that has affected the town, but it is still a lovely part of Victoria. There are lots of things to do there, especially if you like photography.

On the way there we couldn’t help stopping to take some photos of what was left of the fog. Winter here really is a great time to take photos. They weren’t of anything special, just things that we liked.

Malmsbury is a small town and one of the biggest things to photograph is the Rail Viaduct. It was built around 1860 and still takes trains, an import part of the route that connects Bendigo to Melbourne. It has quite a few trains on it, but I have to confess, I just kept missing them.


We had a gorgeous winters day for our outing, the sun was shining, a slight chill in the air and we had a very blue sky. We walked around the local park and took photos of the ducks and geese. Then to the viaduct, and then a quick drive around to the reservoir.

I have included a map for you so you can see where Malmsbury is.

I am going to put some photos in a gallery now. It was a great day and nothing like the weekend we are having at the moment. It is cold and wet here and the best place to be is inside. Glad I went out the other day when the weather was nice. I hope you are having better luck with the weather where you are.  I’m going to rug up and stay warm, work on the magazine.

Tuesday’s Bits and Bobs: Getting Ready for Time Away

It seems I’m doing the same thing as before, going out too much to take photos and not spending nearly enough time at home. I have decided to just enjoy it for the next week and a bit and then get things organized again.

Dynamic Range Magazine

I’ve been spending a bit of time looking at other photography magazines and working out what it is that I want this one to be about. I am thinking about you all and what you have said you would like. It is an interesting thing to examine.

Articles have been coming in and it is exciting to think that it is really coming together. Hopefully it will be ready and 20110707-untitled-5230available for you to purchase at the end of the month.


I have to get to this and start working out what images I want to be in it. I have hundreds of photos so I need to cull them down, should be great looking through them all and working out which ones.

Online Classes

I just want to remind you that I do offer online classes if you want to learn photography or learn how to use Lightroom 20100529-untitled-4700or Photoshop.  So if you are interested take a look at my website.

Apollo bay

Next week I am off to Apollo Bay with Kaz. I am sure it is going to be a great week, if not quite exhausting. Kaz wants to do everything and with only four days there I’m not sure how we will go, but we will do our best. It is such a beautiful part of Victoria and you get a different feel no matter where you go up the road. There are beaches, waterfalls, rainforests, lighthouses and Koalas. It is going to be great, cold, but great. I just hope the weather behaves.


Speaking of the weather we are having a very cold winter here this year. Well I think it is. It is about time really as the last few have been quite mild. I thought it might be fun today to go through my archives and find some winter photos. Some of these I’ve never shown here before, I don’t think.20100515-untitled-1784

I went for a day trip up to the snow a few years ago and took some photos and it was so amazing. It was really the first time I had seen snow like this in Australia. I had seen it overseas, but not here.

There are also some more photos of fog and such, cold mornings.

It is time for me to get busy and get some work done.

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


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!


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.


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, I also have a Facebook page and blog of the same name. love hearing from other photographers. Just drop me a note to

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,

Weekend Wanderings – Banyule Morning

This morning I got up a little bit earlier to go out with a friend to see if we could photograph the sunrise over Banyule Flats.  Well, we got there and we saw a little orange, but it was too overcast to get anything really.  It was so disappointing.


It always seems to be the way when I go, I so rarely get a good sunrise or sunset.  The above image was the best we got.  I will just have to keep trying.  I think the time of the year might be against me somewhat.


I took the big lens with me, with the intention of doing some birds as well, but the light was horrible and the birds move so fast, so the ISO had to be up so far, and even then, it wasn’t great.  I will have to try again some other time when the sun actually comes up and shines. So I apologise for the bird photos, but I had to show them, hopefully I will get better at doing them.


We ended up leaving and going to another part of the park and just walked around, tried to take some winter shots.


Winter has definitely arrived here, about time, though many trees are still losing their leaves.  The bare trees do look nice, a different sky would have been nice.


Glimpses of spring are around though, with the wattle or acacia trees flowers.  It is nice to see a different kind of colour.

I am going to put the above and some other images into a gallery for you.  How is the area around where you live at the moment?  Are you enjoying what it is offering?


Weekend Wanderings – Chasing the Moon

Yesterday afternoon I took off with some friends down to Sorrento and to the back beach there.  The plan was to take some photos of the beach before sunset, then photograph the sunset, go out for dinner, then come back to photograph the moon and get some shots of the beach in moonlight.  All day, before we left it would rain, then the sun would come out, then it would rain again.  We went anyway, hoping it would be okay.


The first part worked out fine, we got to the beach and took photos of the rocks.  The surf was wild, and some parts of the rocks where the waves were hitting them were pretty amazing.  Well good for Australia.  I loved the way the afternoon sun was hitting this rock.


We sort of got a sunset.  It rained a bit at the start and there was the promise of something brilliant, but it really didn’t amount to much.  I am showing you this image because it did rain and I think this effect is from water on the end of my lens. I’ve never seen anything like it before.  I had my camera set up to take a photo every 10 seconds.  I was going to see if I could do a time lapse series, but I don’t think I got enough images, and the rain did spoil some of them.


While we were having dinner we could see that the moon had risen and that it looked wonderful in the sky.  We could see the light from it reflecting on the water in the bay.  After dinner we just went across the road to take some photos of it.  I think this was the clearest image I got all night.


Then the clouds rolled in, and we could see where it was a lot of the time, but we couldn’t see it.

stpaul-beach-moonlight-rain-moonWe went down to the beach, but this was the best I got.  It was raining a lot, I couldn’t get my camera to focus, and I was yelling a lot.  I was so angry with the weather.  It has been so frustrating this winter with all the rain we have had.  I am so sick of it, some rain is nice, but not constantly.  I expect it to be cold, but seriously this is ridiculous.

We went home and I didn’t get some of the shots I wanted, but it was a lovely part on of the beach and I think we will go there again some time.  Of course as we were on the freeway coming home the clouds parted and there was the moon for all to see.  I thought I would take some when I got home, just out my front door.  Of course, by the time I got home and got the camera ready the clouds were covering it again.  I did wait a little while and I managed to get some.

I forgot to mention that part of the reason I was keen to get the moon was because I had borrowed a Sigma 150-500mm lens from a friend to take photos with.  Oh well, you can’t have everything, I’m sure the rain will stop and I will get to take some photos of the moon and the beach on other trips. Here is a gallery with some images, sorry, lots of the moon.


Weekend Wanderings – Teaching Around Heidelberg

This last week I had another opportunity to meet someone who I only knew through the blogging world.  Julie is from New Zealand and while she was over here for a holiday she did a One on One Photography session with me. Normally I do these in the city, but she was more interested in doing landscapes and farming sort of things, so I suggested we do the session in the parks and gardens around Heidelberg, basically around where I live. One of the great things about these sessions can be that I also get to take photos as well.


We had the perfect day, almost, anyway.  The sun came out the first time in a long time.  I took her to many of the places that I showed you in photographs the week before, but this time, the sun was shining.  It was a beautiful autumn/winter day.


I was showing her where my image for Monochrome Madness had been taken, and I decided to take another photo as it seemed different again with the blue sky and the sun creating shadows.


I love the way the sun comes through the bare trees in winter.  It is so warm and inviting.  The sun is always warm here.  I lived through a Danish winter once, and while the grey days were a bit depressing after awhile, what I remember the most is the sun coming out and I looked for a wall so it could warm me, but it wasn’t warm. It was so strange.


We went to the waterfall that I have discovered and took some photos of it.  We didn’t have tripods, so it was hard to get that soft look that you can get with running water, but there was a branch across the path so I rested my camera on that to see what I could get, and I have to say, I’m not unhappy with the shot.


This windmill is right around the back next to the Yarra River. I don’t know what it pumps water for, or if it still pumps water.  This is part of the park that I don’t really like going into by myself.  There have been reports of women being grabbed and such, so a place to be wary of.  It is sad that such a beautiful place has become a place to fear.

You can see from the sky that the weather was changing.  I had planned it so we would see if we could get a sunset over Banyule Flats, but unfortunately the clouds rolled in and there was no chance of it.  I don’t think Julie minded.  We got to see some beautiful birds, two black swans were hanging around us.  Then, what we thought were a flock of cockies flying over, turned out to be a flock of Herons.  We were serenaded all around by the Kookaburras.  Still can’t believe they want to build a freeway through this area.


I did go out last night, I could see there was going to be a chance of a sunset, so I made my husband come out with me.  It was almost over by the time we got there, but I did get this.  So I am so sorry Julie, that you didn’t get an image like this.  It was so wonderful meeting you the other day and hanging out with you.  I hope you learned some new things with your camera.

I have more photos, don’t I always.  Here is a gallery for you.  I hope you have been getting out and taking some photos.  I feel like my weekend is full of it.  I have been taking so many and am looking forward to going somewhere new this morning for more photos.


Weekend Wanderings – Fitzroy Gardens Part 2

Back to the Fitzroy Gardens today.  It was such a beautiful day and I got so many great photos that day, that as I said in last weeks post I am putting them into two posts and the second half of images I am showing you today. It is so amazing how late Autumn is this year, we are almost through the first month of winter, but the leaves are still changing, Mother Nature seems so confused now.

miniature village, Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne

In the gardens, near the coffee shop, is a miniature village.  Lots of pretend houses and gardens.  It is very cute.  There is a fence all the way around it, but the fence isn’t that high that it disrupts your view. Really only does that if you want to take photos at ground level, so we found out.


Near the miniature village is the Fairy Tree.  I had heard of it before, but never really took any notice of it.  It is amazing.  It was carved in the early 30’s by Ola Cohn, I believe the artists name was.  There is a plaque underneath it and I will put a photo of it in the gallery for you.  There is so much detail in the tree that we spent ages just looking at it.


This is behind the coffee shop, and I have taken the words from the website,

The “Temple of the Winds” rotunda is located north west of the kiosk and was constructed in 1873 under Bickford’s curatorship. The building consists of a domed concrete roof supported by ten Corinthian columns. The temple was erected by Thomas Julian and Co. at a cost of £275.

It is very similar in conception to the “Temple of the Winds” dedicated to Governor LaTrobe and erected by William Guilfoyle in the Botanical Gardens. Both temples are composed at 10 columns instead of the normal 8 or 12 which are more easily divisible by the four points of the compass.

I think that explains what it is better than me.  I just loved the way the light was hitting it.  I intentionally put the sun right behind it so I it would be blocked, but I love all the shadows coming my way.  I really like the contrast between the “Temple” and the bright green as well.


It is one of those gardens that you have to keep your eyes open, you just never know what you are going to see or where.  There are fountains and water features through out.  Though some we saw when we first got there had no water in them, so it will be nice to go there again sometime.


Technically this image was taken in the Treasury Gardens, which are right over the road from the Fitzroy Gardens.  We walked through as we were heading into the city.  We thought we were done with taking photos, but we found ourselves taking out our cameras once again to get more shots.  I love the idea of the garden with the city in the background.

If you missed Part 1, then click here to see the previous photos, Weekend Wanderings – Fitzroy Gardens Part 1 I am going to put the rest in a gallery for you now.  I hope you enjoy my wander around the gardens, and get to do some your self this weekend.