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Pelicans are odd birds…almost prehistoric looking, with those enormous beaks (the largest in the avian world) that have been seen with birds and even small dogs in them !

They can live for 20+ years and can be found around the world. These, not surprisingly, are Australian Pelicans

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican. (or belly can)
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week,
But I’m damned if I see how the helican. (or hell he can)

I went to Ricketts Point today near my home in Melbourne ..a suburban beach which is home to a large number of terns, gulls, cormorants, albatross and a gang of pelicans

I loved how these guys were all cleaning themselves at the same time.

This one appeared too comfy to be bothered getting up..

This youngster thought the whole world is worth a laugh!

In more contemplative mood.

Today I thought about a beautiful pen which was passed to me after my Dad passed away over two years ago…since then it has been sat in a drawer…not used because I was scared I would damage or lose it…this pen had probably got used to being hidden away…for it has been sitting in my Dads wardrobe – at least since he had retired, and as I don’t remember him writing with it..probably some time before that. I have cleaned it, filled it, and written with it.

It’s a Onoto 6235…made in the late 1940’s by De la Rue (Onoto) London

Made of black resin, with a sage green pearlised inlay..gold banding and a 14k gold nib which writes like a dream.

It won’t stay hidden in the dark any longer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It Lensbaby’s 7th birthday in a couple of days

Not so long ago I bought a Lensbaby,  and have since had lots of fun! I bought a basic Lensbaby Muse with a plastic optic which comes with aperture rings (though I do tend to stick with the f4 ring which I personally like) The bendy lens – which also comes in the  ‘lockable’ Composer and Control Freak and the static Scout; and single and double glass optics – can be tricky when you first use it, as the only way to focus is to pull, push and tilt the lens to get focus and effect.

Link to my website

 

 

 

 

Trees are great…they grow older than we will ever do, they are the homes of countless birds and other animals, they help the earth to breath..

Here are just a few of my favorites:

 

 

 

 

Ok, I’m a psychiatric nurse and a photographer…of course I love people watching and photographing them !

The suggestion of Candid Photography often throws up a myriad of responses .. Can I photograph people without their knowledge? Should I photograph people in this way? Am I being sneaky, invasive etc?

The way I look at it is that I am photographing people as they are … yes, sure you can ask them if it would be ok…but you won’t get anything natural – and people being natural are interesting..

 

Melbourne is a city of Festivals which celebrate our multi-cultural diversity ..Greek, Italian, Spanish, Asian, Jewish ..this photo was taken at a Turkish Festival – I had been watching her for a while..her face was so expressive:

 

This was taken in a park …the couple had been deep in conversation – maybe not the happiest..

 

People can be alone in a crowd:

 

This was taken at Melbourne’s Exhibition and Conference Centre – locally known as  ‘Jeff’s Shed’  after former Premier Jeff Kennet – this being one of his pet projects whilst in office. He is now a Director of ‘Beyond Blue’ – a national depression initiative

 

I just loved watching this girl twirling her ribbon around..

 

A full face image of a Palestinian girl on a rally against the war in Gaza.

You can also find more of my work here

I recently tried Split toning for the first time and showed you the results in my Mangrove post.

Split Toning began in the darkroom, where tone was added to a grayscale images to produce warmth, depth and mood…different tones are able to be used for shadows and highlights. This effect is now is in the grasp of the Digital photographer with the magic of Lightroom, Photoshop and Aperture

A few days later, I have managed to have another little play around … now, I will admit that apart from texure work, layers,  cloning and the odd dodge and burn, I never use photoshop – I find it laborious ..so I’m going to cheat on this one, and send you a link to a PS tutorial – I don’t have a Mac either – so here is a link for Mac users

I mainly use Lightroom …it is where I learnt to edit my RAW images when I started photography 3 years ago – and I love it’s simplicity, but great workability.

There are basically 3 stages to producing a Split Toned image.

First start with your original shot – I have chosen this particular photo as it has lots of different textures..the sea, sand and wood – and I wanted to see how each were affected by the changes to take place :

Next convert your image into Grayscale  (Development page..right hand side at the top):

Now is the time to play ! You will find the Split Toning feature down the right hand side of the development page. Use the slider to work on your highlights, followed by low lights or shadows.

Personally, I feel the need to be subtle with the saturation ..a steady hand (or a sensitive mouse) is a must!

Here are 3 examples of different tones which can be achieved in minutes – however saturated with tones you want your photos to be, the result is smooth and seamless:

Experiment until you get the tones you want:

Please see my other work here

On my Mangrove post, some people have asked about Long Exposure, and so I thought I would share a little of what I have done.

An ND filter is wonderful – it comes in various grading, but the one I like the best is the ND400, as it allows you to take Long Exposure shots in the brightest of weather…in other words – you don’t have to wait till it is nearly dark to get those smooth or misty water shots, and end up stumbling back in the pitch black with all your camera gear, tripping up over heavens knows what as you go !

The filter reduces light values by 9 stops – so enabling you to shoot in very bright situations safely (eg solar eclipses) as well as making moving objects ‘still’ as with long exposure.

The only problem is that because it is black glass, you cannot view what you are taking easily, but with a bit of practice, you get the feel whether that horizon is straight !

And just some personal advice …don’t get too caught up with shutter speed and F-stops …you will be altering them as you go along with the change of light.

Keep your ISO as low as possible (I stick mine on 100) – try to keep your F stop high to keep sharpness through your image – always use a tripod and make sure your vibration reduction is OFF

All of the following images were taken in the early to mid  afternoon…for each one I will explain what settings I used to give you some idea of the effect.

My lens was a 10-20mm Sigma.

This photo was taken at F29 with a shutter speed of 8 seconds

 

This one was at F15 with a shutter speed of 16 seconds

 

This next one was taken in low light with F11 and the exposure time at only 3 seconds

 

 

I wanted to get a feeling of movement in the clouds and in the water…to show the wave receding back, so chose F18, with a 8 second exposure – it was quite a glarey day ..though not particularly sunny.

This last one, which although is not a good photo, it does show that classic misty shot which some people like (rather than the smooth water above) Setting were F29 at shutter speed of 13 seconds – note that this was taken just a couple of minutes after the first photo..by lengthening the exposure time enabled the misty effect.

I will try to answer any questions…so please ask away.