Cee’s Black and White Photo challenge for this week is Geometric Shapes. I visited several spots along the Ballerine Peninsula in Victoria this week, I got some great shots, all with a geometric edge to them, some with multiple (Circles, Squares, rectangles.
Last week fellow Blogger Leanne Cole challenged us to think more about photographing in our own back yard. Leanne made mention of the fact, that in reality when you are travel you are usually held at the mercy of time constraints and cannot always be at a particular place and the ‘right’ time. Sometimes the weather is poor on the only day you are at a marvelous scenic spot. I know from recent trips, that you just have to shoot with what is handed to you. But what if you didn’t have to travel, what if you visit places in your own vicinity? There is lots of interesting places right in your own back yard, if you take the time to investigate, and being only a few minutes away you can go almost any time you like. It’s a great idea and in all honesty gave me the push to finally do something about a shoot I had been thinking about for awhile.
Near to where I live (less than 2km) is a Retarding Basin, for when the floods come, it is called Prospect Hill Reserve, there is also a soccer field there with a club house. There are walking and cycling tracks and many people walk their dogs, jog, etc. Summer evenings it is really quite busy. As you walk past the soccer field, and down the dirt track you would never know (unless you were told) about the Duck Pond at the bottom of the ditch. I have photographed it before during the day, early evening, but never at sunrise. So the other morning, I was awake anyway, so I grabbed a warm jacket and my gear and headed off to the Duck Pond. It was dark and quiet as I made my way down there, but it was not eerie or creepy, as I feared it would be. I wandered around and took a few pre dawn shots, found what I had hoped was a good spot when the first rays started to light the sky.
As I was standing there waiting for the sun to rise, the raucous from the wildlife (birds mostly) was almost deafening, But they were all so quick and it was still too dark I couldn’t really get any decent images. Slowly the sun rose and lit the sky, catching and reflecting in the water from the duck pond.
The Beauty of shooting in your own backyard, is that I didn’t have to get up super early, and I was home within a short period of time for a lovely cup of coffee……..the sunrise only latest a few minutes and was truly beautiful. Gave me happy thoughts for the day. It also go me out of bed early and got plenty of other stuff done too! So, take the time to investigate what is in your own backyard, it may not be a duck pond, or bushland, it may be a playground, some interesting architecture, but you can make just about anything seem interesting if photographed the right way.
I have been playing with various different looks of late, trying to find my thing I guess. This week’s Monochrome Madness Shot is a candid shot of my cousin – The Snake Wrangler, from when I was doing a photo shoot with his daughter recently (He thought I was just trying to get a close up of the snake!). I felt that this shot required something a little different for me, I have added a real depth and contrast as well as drama and grunge element to it. I didn’t want to make it look old, I wanted it to look dramatic and rough (a bit like my cousin) he is what they used to call a Man’s Man……he drinks, he smokes, he swears, he deals with dangerous animals for a living. But he really is a good Bloke and a great Dad.
This is my first attempt at One Photo Focus Challenge, I find this challenge fascinating and at the same time a little daunting. Everyone working on the same image to see what they can come up with. The possibilities are endless and I guess for my first effot I am playing a little safe. The photo is by Cee Neuner and I found it interesting and difficult at the same time to alter someone else image. I know I can and have almost destroyed my own stuff by playing around in Photoshop and with Nik Software etc (I always work non destructively these days). However with someone else’s image you cannot know what vision they had planned. I started off going in 3 different tangents. This first version, which is my final posted version is my favorite, all I really did was crop it a little, altered the light with a curve layer and then add a Nostalic 2 Filter from Nik SilverEfex Pro. I felt it has given it a soft old world charm. The foliage is still tangible and the door is bright and welcoming, as are the wrought iron chairs on the porch, just perfect for a late afternoon catch up over tea (or something a little stronger)!
This second version, which was almost my final one, there is something intriguing about the final look. Almost an animated feel to to. Again the image is cropped slightly and I have altered the levels with a curve layer. I then added a Poster Edge from the Artistic Filters and then added and Oil Painting Filter. I then ran through Nik Color Efex and heightened the saturation a little more. However it no longer ‘feels’ like a photo so for this month I decided to disregard it.
The next version I played with, by adding some Fog in Nik Color Efex and then I had another layer with noise and a motion blur and then a plastic filter to sort of simulate the look of rain. I have done this a few times, but I feel I am yet to get the feel right. I then overlaid an image of a window pane and made it look like the photo was shot from inside on a rainy day. I decided I really was not happy with it, but decided to keep it in the post as a point of reference. Perhaps someone out there could offer a few pointers on rain. I think I have puddles down OK, but just not the rain.
The Final Shot is Cee Neuener’s original – completely untouched
I cannot wait to see what everyone else has done.
This week’s Monochrome Madness, was taken in the back yard, (same time as week 1’s shot), I love the image of Buddy so much I wanted to do a little more work on him, so I saved him for this week.
I can’t believe I am running so behind on challenges this week, so I am spending today doing some catch up. It’s been a hectic week with work, and I know my friends will forgive me missing a challenge here and there, but I don’t want to.
So here is my First week Monochrome Madness……….Late. This is my baby girl, with my baby girl. She was visiting and we were sitting in my favorite spot in the back yard….my Zen corner having a catch up and a coffee……….I just happened to have the the camera too!