HDR is a funny thing, it can be a real show stopper. I have been introduced to a group of photographers and when I say I shoot mostly HDR you should see their faces… it’s priceless! When I show them my work they soon see that I have learnt how to make my HDR look more natural. In fact, a lot of them say that if they had not been told it was HDR they would not always be able to pick it. The reason people have made a judgement about HDR is that there is a lot of bad HDR out there. Mine was terrible in the beginning, and I thought I was the bomb when it came to making HDR. These days I look back on some of my early work and realise it is ghastly!
Many of you have asked me to share with you what it takes to do the ‘Photoshop Clean up’ after creating a HDR image. This is a really quick way for me to show you what it takes to create an image, this is sped up about 5 times faster so that gives you an idea of how long it takes me… enjoy!
I headed to Whale Beach. In particular I wanted to check out the Devils Cauldron, I have seen a few photo’s of it but never headed there in person to check it out, the tide needs to be low at the same time as sunrise for it to work, making this spot one of those you have to plan for. After 20 minutes of rock hopping and only one small slip over on the slippery mossy stuff… I managed to make it. The sunrise was quick due to the lack of clouds in the sky, I will definitely head back here to have another go although I was happy with this.
I often get asked questions over on my Facebook page and will answer them by hitting reply. I have decided that I am going to post the answers to these questions here on the blog. Lets face it, they’re great questions and there is probably more than one or two of you asking or thinking the same thing.. so here goes.
Hi Ben, I am really loving your work! so inspiring! I just recently graduated and now got lot of free time to go around exploring the world with my camera. Love your landscape work! Just wondering when is the best time to do landscape photos?
This is a great question. I find the midday sun really harsh and so for me (and many landscape photographers) the ideal time is when the sun is low in the sky. Sunrise and Sunset are therefor the 2 best times of the day, not only is the sun low in the sky, quite often the sun will project some really nice colours onto any cloud that may be about. Having said all of this, you can shoot at any time, and sometimes you will want to shoot in the middle of the day to get the photo you’re after. No good trying to shoot a crowded beach scene at sunrise…
Cloudy days are also great days to get out and about with your camera, the clouds are natures great big light diffuser and you will find the soft light can work really well. Cloudy days are my pick if I am shooting waterfalls…
I hope that helps you Tonga and thanks again for your question
Just a quick heads up on a new plugin from Topaz Labs. They have pre-released a copy of their new Topaz Clarity to me to check out and it is awesome… I used the new plugin as part of my process in creating the image below. I am really impressed. One day I will sit and do a write up on each of the Topaz Labs products. Remember, if you want to save a few bucks you can use the coupon code: ON3LEGS for 15% of any of the Topaz products. CLICK HERE to go to the Topaz Labs Website
I have been going through my catalogue of images from the last 18 months… I have so many, I could sit inside for a year without taking a photo and still have plenty to process and publish! On my road trip from the Gold Coast to Sydney I stayed in Coffs Harbour. It is one of those beachside towns that is just a nice place to stay, and I imagine to live. I only had the one sunrise as I had to get back on the road that morning and head south, so I had to make the best of it. This is a big jetty and I shot it from all sorts of angles. Sometimes I like to get down low, here I just placed the camera on the Jetty and shot away!
Every now and then I get an email from someone with something they would like to promote either here on the blog or my Facebook page. You would be surprised that most of the time I turn down the offers for stuff to be sent to me, usually I get offered a loaner or a discounted price to ‘road test’ their product. I am not really interested in this blog becoming a free for all where companies think they can use this as a platform to advertise stuff… sometimes my honest opinion upsets them too…
Anyway, when Ed from Expert Shield in the UK contacted me I was keen to find out more. I had looked at my Nikon a few times and thought why didn’t the Fuji X-E1 come with a fitted screen protector like the Nikon? Every time I chucked the Fuji X-E1 into my camera bag I would have to think about the screen… they give you a lens cap but nothing to stop the screen getting scratched!
When Ed from Expert Shield made contact I thought “what a great idea!” and emailed him back to see if he would send me one to check out. He was more than happy to, and I must say, that his product is exactly what I needed to protect my Fuji X-E1 screen. As far as screen protectors go, there’s not a lot that I can say. The Expert Shield product is well packaged, it comes with clear instructions and extremely easy to apply! I have applied one to my iPhone 5 and my Fuji X-E1 and both installations were quick and painless. (Click on any of the Photos to see it bigger)
To me, a screen protector is a screen protector, and if installed properly you should not even know it’s there. So I think it’s hard for anyone to make a screen protector that is different from the next… What I like about Expert Shield is that they guarantee their screen protectors from scratches and bubbles… and if you do end up scratching it, they’ll exchange it for a new one!
If you want a screen protector for you X-E1 or anything else for that matter… check out their website HERE and let Ed know I sent you!
That’s why along with all the bold promises of a scratch free screen and bubble free application, we actually guarantee your Expert Shield for the life of your device. End up scratching it? Simply return for an exchange, what’s more we don’t hide behind any rubbish small print. Easy.
The first image from the Aurora I managed to capture in Tasmania back in March had gone viral on the web… I have seen it all over the place. Thanks for sharing it! I went back through all the images I took that night and wanted to choose another one to process and show you. After looking through them all I think this is my favourite of them all. I love the way the Milky Way is featured with the Aurora.
I have teamed up with good friend Michael Snedic to bring you this 7 day photography workshop/tour. Michael has been a professional wildlife and nature photographer for 17 years and loves to share his passion for photography with his tours and workshops. After all the requests for me to run a workshop I thought what better way, than to team up with someone with all the know how of running a world class event…
On my trip to Mount Field National Park in Tasmania I knew that there would be the opportunity to try out a bit of macro photography. To be completely honest with you, I had tried macro in the past and found it very frustrating. Macro requires a lot of something I don’t have much of… patience. As I get older I am finding that I am becoming more patient with this type of thing, and in fact, I found it almost therapeutic to look for Fungi and when I found some, spend a fair amount of time working out the best composition and how I was going to get some light onto my subject. I really liked this cluster of fungi, someone on my Facebook page said they could imagine some fairies popping out from under them…
The Technical Mumbo Jumbo
I am going to let you in on a little project I have been working on. I have had so many of you ask me if you can come and do a workshop with me so I have arranged something special! A good friend of mine runs photography tours and workshops all year round and I asked him if we could do something together so I could invite a few of you along to hang out with us for a while… 7 days in fact! I have just about finalised all the details and once I have, I will let you know… This workshop will be all inclusive and in a really special location. I only have a few spots available so you will need to get in quick! Stay tuned and as soon as I have the details I will let you know…
I have added a couple more videos to the HDR Plus Video Tutorial Series. This time it is a full workflow video from start to finish with a few more advanced tricks and techniques. If you already bought the videos you will have the new vids emailed to you in the next day or two… for free!
I took this photo last year, and for some reason never got excited about the composition until now… I don’t know why because I really like it… maybe I have too many images on my hard drive and it just got lost in the crowd! Anyway, this is Long Jetty on the Central Coast north of Sydney. It is one of my favourite sunset locations in this area due to the fact that I can shoot the sunset over water. I wonder how long ‘Long Jetty’ actually is… I will have to pace it out next time I am there!