Early morning photography at Mahon Pool, Maroubra

I love getting out and about with my camera and particularly enjoy starting the day early, photographing a sunrise 🙂

Last Saturday we discovered a brilliant spot for photography – Mahon Pool, Maroubra Beach Sydney.

The first part of the morning I used my ND {neutral density} filters to create slow shutter speeds and movement blur in my photos….I love the effect the slow shutter has on the water – each photo is so individual…the swirling water looks like mist and gives the image an ethereal look.

So, what is a neutral density filter and what does it do?

As you all know {well I’m hoping you do} to SLOW DOWN YOUR SHUTTER SPEED you need low light….
So at dawn, dusk or night time, it’s easy….
But during the day {when the sun is shining :)} even if you set your camera to a small aperture {like f20} and your ISO way down to 100….sometimes the shutter speed is STILL NOT SLOW ENOUGH to record movement and blur within a photograph.

So, in comes the neutral density filter {ND FILTER.}

There are several different types of ND filter on the market. Circular threaded screw-on ND filters are the simplest to use, but have the disadvantage that stacking them together soon leads to vignetting issues.

A more recent innovation are variable Neutral Density filters, which screw onto the lens but have an adjustable outer ring, which you rotate to adjust the density depending on the light conditions and the effect you want.

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Variable Neutral Density Filter

Slot-in filters require you to first attach a filter holder to your lens via a ring adapter {the same size as the diameter of your lens – in my case – 77mm}, then insert square or oblong filters into the holder – the chief advantage is that, once set up, it’s easy to swap filters, stack them or add different kinds of filters to the mix. Slot-in filters are usually the most expensive option when purchasing ND filters.

Here’s my Lee slot-in filter set up below.

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Lee adaptor and holder attached to the front of the lens

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Lee .9 ND filter inserted into holder.

It’s SUPER easy to use the slot-in ND filter system.

I have 4 filters –

.3  – reduces the s/speed by 1 stop.

.6 – reduces the s/speed by stops.

.9 – reduces the s/speed by 3 stops.

‘The little Stopper’ – reduces the s/speed by 6 stops.

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So, how do they work?

Lets say you meter a scene at f22 and the s/speed is 1/250 sec in Manual mode.

Now, insert the .3  {1 stop} ND filter into the holder on the front of the lens. Roll the shutter speed dial till the exposure level indicator meets in the middle. The s/speed will now be 1/125 sec – 1 stop slower than 1/250 sec.

Remove the .3 filter from the holder.

Now insert the .6 {2 stop} ND filter. Roll the shutter speed dial till the exposure level indicator meets in the middle. The s/speed will now be 1/60 sec – 2 stops slower than 1/250 sec.

Remove the .6 filter from the holder.

Now insert the .9 {3 stop} ND filter. Roll the shutter speed dial till the exposure level indicator meets in the middle. The s/speed will now be 1/30 sec – 3 stops slower than 1/250 sec.

Remove the .9 filter from the holder.

See how it works? You can also stack the filters in front of one another in the holder – eg
I could insert the .3, .6 & .9 filters into the holder and reduce the shutter speed by 6 stops -{1 +2+3 = 6 stops.}

Another really cool thing about ND filters is that they enhance the colours and will create more contrast in your image.

So, experiment with ND filters and different shutter speeds to achieve some really cool effects in your images:)

Click on each pic to view as large image…..

The second half of our shoot I experimented with FAST and SUPER FAST shutter speeds. Using the Canon 70-200mm zoom lens in AV mode, I raised the ISO to 640 and varied the aperture from f5 to f7.1. The shutter speeds ranged from 1/800 second up to 1/5000 sec. Don’t you just love the frozen action of the waves?

Click on each pic to view as large image…..

If you have any questions about ND filters, please email me at bernasconiphotography@gmail.com

Chris 🙂

P.S If you would like to connect with me on Instagram – click here, Facebook – click here & Twitter – click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Langkawi & it’s STUNNING wildlife….

The Andaman Resort is located on the north side of the tropical island of Langkawi, Malaysia.

This 4.5 star resort is one of the best places I have ever stayed 🙂

Hidden away between a 10 million year old rainforest and the jade coloured waters of Datai Bay – this really is heaven on earth 🙂

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view from the beach

What I loved the most was the how the hotel was immersed in the rainforest…I could feel it. I literally felt immersed in it.

Our room was gorgeous, well appointed and the beds were super comfortable.

The amenities and service were fantastic – from the way they called me ‘Miss Christine’ and ‘the dancing queen, {more about that in another post!} the service in the restaurants, the cool ‘orange’ spritzers on the beach and the AWESOME band all added to the ambience of this beautiful hotel…

Each day, we sat on the beach and swam in the cool waters of the Andaman Sea…I love being nurtured by the sea….I think all of us have forgotten how wonderful it is just to float and be…I loved it….silently beneath the waves, taking it all in…fabulous 🙂

As the hotel is very secluded….{think partner} you can walk, listen and observe all that exists in this magical place.

I enjoyed one of the best massages I’ve ever had at the V Wellness Spa. I was massaged in an open air villa overlooking the Andaman sea…It was absolute bliss.

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There was SO MUCH WILDLIFE to be seen and enjoyed at the hotel..

I was lucky enough to see the Malaysian flying lemur {or Sunda} right outside my room…I mean literally…

The Sunda flying lemur is not a lemur and does not fly. Instead, it spreads out with it’s membrane and leaps amongst the  trees. It is strictly arboreal, is active at night, and feeds on soft plant parts such as young leaves, shoots, flowers, and fruits.

Each day, they looked like this…back from their night flight, resting and chilling out…

Look closely, there are three lemur’s..resting quietly, right outside my door…

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The next day, I saw something moving beneath one of the lemurs and quickly went and got my camera.

This is what I saw….

A baby lemur…peeping out…it was so fabulous, it was as if he was posing for the camera 🙂

The young are born undeveloped and helpless and attach themselves to the mother’s belly, in a pouch formed from the mother’s tail membrane. They are eventually weaned at approx around 6 months old,

How cool is that?

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I was also lucky enough to see a Oriental Pied Hornbill. These magnificent birds frequent the tropical rainforest’s of Asia and are characterised by an unusual, long ‘horn like’ bill structure. This large bill assists with catching prey, fighting, preening as well as nest building.

Again, this gorgeous bird was right outside my door 🙂

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The hotel had an abundance of monkeys that could be seen at all times of the day {we even had a cheeky monkey come into one of our rooms!}

My favourite was the Dusky Leaf Monkey. Characterised by its dark grey/black fur and two white ‘eye glasses’, it frequents the tropical rainforest’s of Malaysia..

This subject was SO much fun to watch…

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There were so many gorgeous photographic opportunities at this resort – my camera just wouldn’t stop clicking… 🙂

My advice? Start packing 🙂

For more information on this AWESOME hotel click here.

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Some more pics from the ‘Grateful Project’

Hi everyone,

I’ve had a wonderful weekend away in Canberra, a trip to the beach and lunch with a wonderful friend…

What are you grateful for in your life?

It’s not too late to join ‘The Grateful Project.’

Join me by taking a photo every day for a month of something you are grateful for!

This exercise will help with your photography creativity PLUS it’s great food for the soul.

If you’d like to be involved, Just post a photo everyday of something you’re grateful for onto the Christine Bernasconi Photography Facebook page {click here}.

‘Like’ the page and include the hashtag #berngratefulproject in the description and write a few words underneath telling the story of your photo….

If you are not on facebook, you can email me your daily photo to bernasconiphotography@gmail.com. Don’t forget to tell me what you are grateful for!!

Enjoy the pics 🙂

Day ten  – I’m grateful for the beautiful flowers and colour I experienced at Floriade in Canberra..

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Day eleven  – I’m grateful for the men that fought for us and make me proud to be an Australian.

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Day twelve  – I’m grateful for an afternoon at ‘Little Austi’ with Ray and Molly…The weather was fantastic and Molly LOVED her first visit to the beach.

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Day thirteen  – I’m grateful for my lovely friend Voula. Our friendship is so special. We pick up where we left off and connect with each other so well. She always makes me smile.

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Wollongong and the South Coast….something for everyone

We recently spent 4 days in Wollongong, a seaside city which is situated 80 kms south of Sydney.

We stayed at the Novotel on the beach which was a fantastic base to explore the entire area.

We spent lots of time at Wollongong Harbour, which is the only point on the East coast of Australia to have two lighthouses – one on the headland and the other at the entrance to the small harbour.

Our second day was spent exploring Minamurra Rainforest. This beautiful area is in Budderoo National Park near the village of Jamberoo. The walk is fantastic. It is a 4.2km round trip to the falls and back and in spots is a little ‘challenging.’ There are beautiful views over the  gorge and the walk concludes at the base of the Upper Falls.

We also visited the Nan Tiem Temple which is situated at Berkeley (about a 10 minute drive south of Wollongong). As the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern hemisphere, this temple nutures its devotees and the general public in buddhism and harmony between eastern and western cultures. It is set in the most magnificent grounds and is a beautiful place to wander around and reflect.

It was a great break away and of course the camera got a great workout 🙂

Today I leave for Italy, France and England so I won’t be blogging for the next 5 weeks…

Take care everyone, I’ll be bringing backs lots of new pics and experiences to share with you…

Chris xx

Please feel free to contact me in the comments section below or on Facebook , twitter  or pinterest.

North Haven…a touch of paradise

North Haven is a beautiful, sleepy town on the mid north coast of NSW, Australia

Its approximately a 4 to 5 hour drive from Sydney.

My grandparents and parents spent a lot of their younger years holidaying here.

When I was a kid my parents also bought me here for holidays 🙂

I have so many memories…the beautiful beach, ice creams at the shop, North Brother lookout, the break wall, the pub, the caravan park….Its a place I think of often.

When my children were younger, I also holidayed with them at North Haven….I guess its a place thats holds a lot of tradition in my family.

My parents live here now. They enjoy the quietness of the town, the community spirit, the dolphins on the river and the new friends they have made.

To me its paradise….

 

 

 

 

What a great start to the day….sunrise at Cronulla Beach

Sunrise really is a special time of the day.

The light is spectacular and I love nothing more than getting out on my own with my camera 🙂

This series of shots were taken at Cronulla Beach earlier this year.

I used fast and slow shutter speeds to record the movement of the water and the lone swimmer who was enjoying his early morning dip.

Do you like to get up and enjoy the sunrise?

Have a wonderful day….and don’t forget to click on the pics to view them as a slideshow 🙂

Please feel free to contact me in the comments section below or on Facebook , twitter  or pinterest.

 

 

Photo of the day….Twilight weaves its beautiful magic…..

I was lucky enough to visit the Cook Islands for 10 wonderful days. We stayed at the Pacific Resort, Raratonga. It was glorious. Absolutely glorious.

The food at the hotel’s outdoor restaurant was delectable and most nights I wore no shoes & a sarong to dinner…Such a beautiful, relaxing feeling to be barefoot in the sand.

The island of Oneroa looked so beautiful in the twilight.  It is such a romantic island and many couples come here for their wedding ceremony.

I just sat back, sipped my wine and enjoyed the view…..

Please leave your comments below  – I’d really love to hear them – or connect with me on Facebook , twitter  or pinterest.