Looking and listening this week

Looking and listening this week

So I was lazy and felt too overfed to do much, so I caught up on my YouTube watch later list, between family commitments. That said,  I have started culling images made over the last year, something I plan to do on a quarterly basis from now on. The Summer is a good time to work on tasks like this in air-conditioned comfort.I’m also looking into my workflow and hoping to finally reduce the number of applications I use. Jan

There is still some beautiful light to be had but that involves getting up even earlier than I do now to be in the right place or working later in the day when the temperatures are still near peak. I tend to hold off until after the Summer solstice but occasionally there are parts of Melbourne that only get good light this time of year and only when the sun is high. The town has these narrow lanes full of original buildings and details but the light is often blocked by office buildings


This is Hardware lane around mid afternoon. The opposite side of the lane is in complete shadow. There is a brief period when both sides of the lane are lit and you get light grazing across the bricks and features, usually between 12 and 2. In winter, the Sun is lower so neighbouring office blocks and weather combine to prevent that light from happening.

That just means I can’t get that grazing sidelight that brings out the texture and contrast. You have to work with what you have.





Listening to Lake Street Dive





You can’t cross the same river twice

You can’t cross the same river twice

The title for this post came from the book Equal rites, by the late, great author Terry Pratchett. Think about it, a river is not the same, even though it is in the same location to the last time you crossed it. The water has continued to flow, the process of erosion has acted on the banks and so on.

In fact, nothing is static, though it may appear to be at times and there is nothing we can do to change that, we can only take advantage of the opportunities that change presents us when we can. We also need to understand that change or difference isn’t necessarily wrong.

Light illustrates what I’m trying to say far better than I can say it. Here is the title image from my last post. It was an overcast day, shortly after rain had come though.


It is the same object featured in the title for this post. Two distinctly different images of the same object taken within a week of one another. The light is not the only difference though. All the decisions made up to and after I pressed the shutter are different. In effect the images show that I changed.

It may not always feel like we are making the progress we want but little by little, through each image we make and each little piece of experience we absorb, changes are taking place. I’m not the same photographer I was 30 years ago, ten years or even three when I first started this blog. I’m really looking forward to being a different photographer this time next year.

It is my fervent wish for all my subscribers and readers that you embrace change like an old friend with both arms open and make the most of what it offers you in the new year.



It took five hours from the time I first saw this faded sign for the sun to get in the right place to cast the shadows from the peeled paint like I know it would.


This is what I saw earlier in the morning and as the light was behind the sign  there was not a lot I could do with it then and there. It always pays to think about where the light is and where it can and will be.

Now I could have sat there and waited but I found other things to do.  Patience in this case is more like knowing something will come and being ready for it rather than just giving up and walking away…


Looking and listening this week

Looking and listening this week

Most of what I have been looking at recently are lighting setups that  I can use my newly acquired foam head to test out. Finding space to use for this is also sucking up my free time.


Listening to Stereopony, a now defunct Japanese band who sat on the fringe of J-pop, perhaps undeservedly, though admittedly, they don’t sound quite as intense as Monoral. What attracts me to Japanese bands is the fusion of west and east, You end up with these interesting combinations of eastern melodies or traditional percussion with western themes and instruments.




Waiting for a bus

Waiting for a bus

I recently mentioned the need to make opportunities and that has led me to using my phone for photography more often. I was at the bus stop with nothing better to do when I noticed the texture of the headlights grazing across the paving.


This is one of the images I made as I waited. I could crop out the blown highlight or remove the cigarette butts though I like this as is. Given this was hand-held in low light with no manual control I’m impressed and encouraged to do this more often.

Project update – Abandoned and worn

Project update – Abandoned and worn

All the necessary things fell into place to do a more serious session with the old tools I had collected. Since I had worked out the macro images I decided to start with them. There was also a new item that got separated from the group, so I thought I would share that this week.


These were all made in late afternoon full sun that provided a lot of light to work with but that also meant shadows. That is not a bad thing for these images as the shadows provided a bit of separation from the background but I like to see some detail in them.


I placed a large white reflector on the shadow side to put some details in the shadows. I also tried using that reflector to diffuse the light. These three images show the difference. The diffused light has very soft shadows and was a little too much, resulting an a flat lighting. The reflector was the best approach for what I wanted.

With the other tools, I repeated several of the compositions I shared previously. I made those previous images handheld and one thing I had not considered was getting the camera in the same position while on a tripod. That is proving to be difficult.