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.

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn Colours – Mount Wilson NSW

Don’t you just love autumn? The colours, the textures and the way the plants change….

This year in Sydney we’ve had a really warm autumn….25 degree days – for the last couple of weeks – even as I speak – today is going to be 25 degrees again!!

I thought I might have been a bit late to head up to Mount Wilson and photograph the colours…but they surprised me….when you are way up high the temperature really does its thing to the trees and landscape…

Here are some pics I took yesterday at two ‘Open Gardens’ at Mount Wilson…. ‘Windy Ridge’ and ‘Breenhold’  – Ray and I really enjoyed soaking up nature and being in the open spaces of these awesome properties.

I shot with two cameras {Canon 5d mk 11 and 5d mk 111} – I had my 24-105mm and my 100mm macro on both canon cameras – {thanks Ray for helping me with them.}

Remember to click on each photo to enjoy a large view…

cheers

chris

 

Wilbur & Woody…Assistance Dogs to the Rescue….

I know I’ve said this before, but photographing beautiful labradors and Golden Retrievers is SO MUCH FUN!!

Last week I had the pleasure of photographing ‘Woody’ & ‘Wilbur’ for Assistance Dogs Australia. my favourite organisation:)

These two 16 week old labradors {who are SO super cute} are involved in a new Assistance Dogs initiative – helping children with Autism.

The program is called ‘PAWS’ – Parents Autism Workshop and Support. For more info click here.

The pups are placed with a ‘Puppy Educator’ at 8 weeks of age to share experiences and offer help to a child with autism on a day to day basis.

These pups were gorgeous….enjoy the pics:)

Click on the first photo to view the pics as a slide show 🙂

 

 

Autumn really is SO, SO beautiful…check out these pics from the Southern Highlands of NSW

Getting out and about with my camera is one of my favourite things…

Last weekend, the Southern Highlands Botanical Gardens hosted the ‘Autumn Open Gardens’ weekend…

We visited the area last Sunday and for me, it totally nourished my soul and had me clicking like crazy 🙂

The first garden we visited at Bowral was ‘Bellagio’…WOW…who lives like that? They had a lake, an outdoor kitchen that looked like my indoor kitchen and two waterfalls…unbelievable!!

We also visited three other gardens in the rain and practised ‘what to do’ when the rain falls in relation to photography….hmmm…that was interesting 🙂

During the rain especially, we practised ‘macro’ photography…It is SO technical and had all of us on our toes…

Macro is an area of photography that I particularly love…as you focus on a ‘small’ area of a scene…lots of new ‘subjects’ come to light…..

Flowers, plants, statues and garden beds were all photographed..

Enjoy the pics..

Click on the first pic to start the slideshow….

 

Lake Eucumbene…..heaven on earth

I’ve written about Lake Eucumbene before…

It holds a very special place in the hearts of everyone in our family…

Every Easter, some, or all of the family head to a private property situated on the shores of Cobrabald Bay, Lake Eucumbene, NSW.

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This years trip was fabulous. We all enjoyed each others company, sitting around the kitchen table talking, eating chocolate, playing boggle and just being together.. Of course there was the fishing, but this year not one fish was caught!!

Naturally, I took the camera with me and really enjoyed photographing with my neice Claire and family friend Kimberley.

The weather provided many seasons in a day, which meant I could photograph many of the fantastic landscapes in so many ways…

We drove to Adaminaby for the annual Easter fair and then to the remains of ‘Old Adaminaby.’

I love the story of the original town of Adaminaby 🙂

In 1949, the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme announced that the town would be flooded to make way for a large dam – Lake Eucumbene.

The residents were given three options for a location for their town, and surprisingly chose a site 7km NE from the original town.

In 1956 the painstaking work began on moving the buildings to the site of the new town. Some buildings were demolished, other’s were left in their original location – St Mary’s Catholic Church was taken down brick by brick and rebuilt in its new location.

Within 18 months all 102 buildings were moved to the new town on the highway and life returned to normal for the residents of Adaminaby. In 1957 the flooding of the Eucumbene Valley commenced and by 1958 construction of the ‘Eucumbene Dam’ was complete.

Under the waters of Lake Eucumbene still lay the remains of the old town – including brick and stone building foundations, a brick pit, farming machinery, fence posts, the main road and the town’s six mile bridge.

We saw some steps and the remains of a couple of old buildings scattered along the edge of the lake.. I kept peering into the water wondering what it would be like to see the town in its watery grave…

In 2007 the dam’s capacity was at a record low of 9.4%. Parts of the old town ‘reappeared.’ Many relics, buildings, steps and farm machinery were ‘revisited’ by locals and tourists at this time.

The rest of the weekend was spent taking more photos, relaxing and enjoying the magnificent scenery.

If you would like more information about this fantastic part of NSW visit lakeeucumbene.com

Enjoy the pics. Click on the first pic to view all the photos as a slideshow:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balloon spectacular in Canberra

Phew, it’s been a very busy couple of weeks..

Lots of tours, photography jobs, competitions and more!!

Whilst I was in Canberra {one of my favourite places}, I met up with 12 other members from the click walk learn VIP group and we photographed the Balloon Spectacular.

It was a super early start, there were more than 20 balloons setting up in front of old Parliament House…It was fantastic!!

We followed them from the launching area down to the Commonwealth Bridge…the sunrise was amazing and the balloons were an awesome spectacle in the sky..

Here are my pics from the morning out…thanks everyone for your input and support of click walk learn…YOU MADE MY DAY!!

Breakfast afterwards was great, lots of conversation about photography and how to get the ‘perfect’ shot!!

Click on the first photo to view the pics as a slide show 🙂

 

 

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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