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Kakadu


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Wow, what a busy couple of weeks.

I thought stopping in Darwin to rest would be a good idea, but it seems there is always something on, but I am not complaining as I got to fulfill one of my dreams this week…..to visit Kakadu!!!

We stayed at Cooinda and went on the Yellow River Cruise. You can see why it is called Yellow River.

Yellow River Kakadu

Kakadu Yellow river

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had previously flown over the falls in Kakadu and I would still like to visit them in person, but on this trip we got to do the Yellow River Cruise and have a look around Cooinda and then on to Jabiru and Ubirr to see the aboriginal art.

Obviously Ubirr was a very special place for the aboriginies as the art is prolific and really good, probably the best I have seen.

Aboriginal art

great examples of aboriginal art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a great opportunity photography wise to shoot lots of different animals and birds and the cruise was great as they gave you plenty of time to take photos. Paul Arnold a photographer also does Photography Cruises out of Cooinda at a great price.

The accommodation in the budget area was a bit rough, but the beds were really comfortable and the dongas had air conditioning and the pool was to die for.

What they didn’t let us know was that in the budget accommodation there are is a camp kitchen but no pots, cooking or eating utensils, fortunately we threw the picnic basket in at the last minute and it was a life saver.

I traveled with Jan & Chris our friends from Qld, their daughter Ang and Hans and Cora friends from Holland. We had a great time together and all got on very well.

These were some of the birds we saw on the Yellow River Cruise.

Brolgas in Australia, Northern Territory,

Brolgas at Kakadu

 

 

 

 

 

yellow river cruise, sea eagle

sea eagle kakadu

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were privileged to see a Jabiru catch his dinner and then eat it.

Jabiru Kakadu

Jabiru catching fish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

jabiru at Kakadu

Jabiru eating a fish he caught himself

If you have any questions about anything you read or see here, feel free to ask me. Wishing you all a great week and will have more next week.

Disappointed with some of your photos?


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How often have you got home from a trip or a fantastic day out and loaded your pics ready to show them to your family and friends and you look at them on the computer screen and realize they aren’t showing what it was really like?

You are so disappointed, because you wanted them to share the great time you had.

Well despair no more, there is a way you can learn to bring the photos back to life.

All those photos of special moments that you have sitting on your computer but haven’t done much with them, we will show you how to make them the best they can be in this months “Photo Dash” (see the link below)

An interesting thing happened to me the other day. I was down the beach taking a sunset photo and somebody walked past and said, “the photos never looks as good as the real thing.”Without thinking, I said,”mine do.”

Red at night shepherds delight

This was taken 20 mins after sunset as the red filled the sky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

She stopped and gave me a real look of surprise. I realized afterwards that I probably sounded really conceited, but it wasn’t meant to be, my images do look like it was. So that made me once again realize that not everyone knows how to achieve this.

But you can learn.

Not only can you fix the photos you already have, if you do both streams of the Dash then we will actually help you to improve the shots you actually take in the first place as well, in the Dash Blend.

Have you done photo courses before, but didn’t finish them, you got stuck on something and it all seemed too hard?

Choose the Gold or Platinum options you will get offered after you have signed up and you will have a professional photographer to be your coach and to walk beside you through the course.

They will be your personal coach, to answer your questions, show you what you can change and even help you with your particular area of interest.

Surely a professional photographer as a coach for a month will cost an arm and a leg?

NO, for the price of a cup of coffee a day you are able to have this great opportunity.

What are you waiting for, click on the banner below and get your camera ready for the 1st May.

Cheat sheet – general photography


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Not really cheating, more like memory jogging:)

Composition

Horizontal Falls, Western Australia

I find that there are so many things to remember when you are learning photography that you remember some and get them perfect only to realize you had missed something else, so what can we do?

I have lists in my phones note section that are like cue cards to help me remember. When I first started photography, way before mobile phone days, I would read my cue cards to put everything fresh in my mind before I went out on a photography shoot.

Now I shoot all the time, I don’t need them so much, but as I specialize in nature and landscape, I still have notes on portraiture, children, sports, etc, so if I am doing one of these, I always read my cheat sheets to make sure everything is fresh in my mind.

So let me share some basic cheat sheets:

General -applies all the time

Before leaving home checklist

(CHAMP)

– check batteries and charged and have a spare (CH), Clean your camera lens and take a microfibre cloth

– check memory card and make sure I have a spare formatted one. (M)

– Phone and some money (you never know when you might need them, especially change   for parking meters) (P,M)

-water

-Tripod, flash,filters, remote shutter release, any other accessories (A)

Main checklist for taking photos

– Check your settings especially ISO and IS (image stabilization)

– Walk around the object or area looking at different angles, don’t forget high and low.

– Where is the sun? Which way are the shadows falling?

– Can I see my shadow in the shot?

– Frame your image and look around viewfinder or screen for anything that takes away, distracts from subject? (trees growing out of heads, rubbish in the shot, eye snags at edge of frame  etc)

– Move closer.

– Check your horizon is straight.

-Which composition rule are you using, rule of thirds, golden ratio, spiral, rule of odds? (To  learn more on these go to http://www.juliaharwood.com/aspect-ratio-photography-rules- of-composition/)

– Are there any interesting colours, patterns, textures?

– Can I create a leading line?

– Is there something I can use for foreground interest, if not should I move closer?

– Try a different angle, lay down on the ground or find something to stand on.

– What is the main character or object I am photographing?

– What is the story I want to tell about that person or object?

– Is there anything in the shot that distracts from the story I’m trying to tell?

– Take a shot, check the screen, does it look how I imagined?

– Do I need to change the settings?

– Would it be better with a larger depth of field or a smaller one? Change the f stop.  F2=narrow depth of field, f11=large depth of field

– do I want to freeze the action or create silky water? Am I using the right shutter speed?

– Is the shot a bit blurry? Do I need a tripod or can I use a higher shutter speed or ISO?

– Take another photo and re check, when happy fire away, take lots from different angles,  take some from further away and some from close up. This gives you options for post  processing.

Surfs up

Jackes Point Kalbari Western Australia

That’s it for general, in the next post I will add cheat sheets for specific areas such as portrait, night photography, animals,children etc.

How to Create Images That Stand Out


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In such an over saturated market like photography, how can I get my photos noticed.

Digital cameras and smart phones with cameras are everywhere and  it seems that every moment in life is captured and shared, so how can we create images that stand out from the crowd?

There seem to be so many great photographers out there.

With the advent of social media every person who ever picks up a camera has a captive market. People see so many amazing photos that they go, “wow look at that, I wonder where that is I want to go there,”

a palm frond frame

framing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very few few people say “Wow, who took that amazing photo?”

So how do we get them from looking at a photo, to asking who created it and wanting to see more of this persons work?”

There are many ways to do this. Good training and good work ethics still apply, but this isn’t enough.

Whenever you pick up your camera to create art as opposed to just taking the snapshots of life, you need to ask yourself a few questions.

What is it that makes me want to capture this scene, object, person etc?

What is the story I want to tell with this image? What story is going to capture people’s imagination?

Think about what types of books sell best? What emotions compel us to want to own something for ourselves?

Start with these as ideas to create images.

Who or what is the central character?

What is the mood I want to capture?

Now look through the viewfinder. What elements that I see add to the story? What elements take away from the story?

I once read an article that said something to the effect that, when we paint or draw, we start with a blank canvas and add to it, when we take a photograph we take an overcrowded canvas and remove from it.

We need to simplify, to create a story that doesn’t answer all the questions, a story that leaves room for the viewers imagination, a scene that will draw the viewer in and hold their attention.

Old Shearing shed

Days gone by

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will add further articles that will help you do this step by step. For now though, when you go out to take a photo, slow down and take time to decide what you really want to share before you even pick up the camera.