Thursday, August 14, 2008

Blogged Off

As from this point on, all Blogging will happen over here....

Seeya there.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

1st Frame of my 1st film developed right here at home.

Yes, it is true, I have joined the film brigade. I have 4 film cameras, 2 of which I was given, and 2 I got off eBay. I have bought all the chemicals and the gear needed to develop to a negative. I also got myself a cheapo film scanner. The frame in this post is the 1st frame from the 1st film I developed at home. Looking forward to doing more soon.

Monday, June 30, 2008


Drops, originally uploaded by norbography.

Water drops have always seemed to hard to get photos of, but now I know, it isnt that hard at all. Good light, nice drops and a macro lens is all you need to produce the goods.

Canon 5D, Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens and 24mm Extension tubes.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Particle Beam

Particle Beam, originally uploaded by norbography.

Oh, thats right, I have a Blog.

Well I better make an addition to it for the person that apparently views it once a week. Thank you fan.

This shot was taken on a windy night near the beach. I held a flash out in front of the camera and fired it. It caught the spray in the air and projected a blue-ish beam. I reckon it is pretty cool.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tracking that bird

Tracking that bird, originally uploaded by norbography.

More proof that I currently have a fascination with seagulls.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The yearly update

Time for a yearly update.

Carrying on from where I left off, just on a year ago. February 2007 to February 2008 has been not as much a learning experience as an experimenting experience. Now that I have a bit more confidence in my abilities as a photographer, I have started to try different styles and
techniques. Many times, completely stuffing a chance at a good phot, but it has been rewarding none the less. In late February 2007, I once again upgraded camera bodies. Out with the 1.6X crop of the 30D, and hello full frame goodness of the Canon 5D. Here is the 1st shot I took out of the box.

All photos can be clicked on for a larger view

Holy moly Batman, thats some severe vignetting! As it turned out, it was actually the 50mmf/1.8 lens had been dropped and theplastic backing had come away slightly from the body. Only about 1.5mm, but with the added size of the 5D's mirror, enough to upset things. Once that was sorted, it was situation normal again.

March saw a few trips out, the 1st being to Olympic Park at Homebush one night with a couple of blokes from Flickr. I was starting to concetrate more on composition than just wildly snapping things and hoping for the best.

That photo fo Homebush Park railway station was one of the better ones from that night. The lowlight abilities of the 5D certainly made shooting at night alot easier. And, the fact that it didn't have a built in flash certainly made you think about things.

A trip to Melbourne for a party in March also got me out and about. It was about this time that I started taking photos that I knew I would turn into black and white in Photoshop.

It must be part of your development (bad pun) as a photographer that you go through phases, and see things slightly differently.

I knew when I composed this what I wanted. Some motion blur on the trams, but the rest as sharp as possible. I now knew enough to be able to execute this. Obviously I was no world renowned street photographer, but I know a few months earlier I wouldn't have been able to figure out the right aperture settings to get that shot.

Did somebody say phase? It took a storm of biblical proportions to jolt me out of the B&W phase. Laying in bed one night, it sounded like a 767 had landed on the roof. After laying there blinking and rubbing my eyes, I soon realised we were having a cracking thunder storm. Oooh,
lightning shots. Something I had never tried before, but hey, how hard could it be?

Actually, it was alot harder than I thought. A couple of things. It is usually persisting down during a storm. And the other thing that makes you slightly cautious, are those bloody great arcs of light crackling around the sky and looking for a path of least resistance to the ground.
I took the above shot huddled under a petrol station awning, shaking like a leaf. The noise and light was unbelievable. It was one of those storms you dont get to see very often, or when you do, you dont have a camera handy.

As I said earlier, it was a time to experiment. And part of this was getting out and about a bit more. I had driven past this site at White bay thousands of times with out giving it a second look. But when photography becomes a hobby, ney, passion, you see things differently.

Not a great shot when seen large, but I loved the colours and feel of this one. And I could see potential in these derelict night scenes.

Obviously March was a busy month. I cranked out some macro work.

And old hard drive stripped down is a fascinating thing to look at and photograph. Well I thought so.

Also in March, the Sydney Harbour Bridge had a little celebration.

75 years old and they were expecting a massive crowd. Not being a huge fan of crowds, I headed in really early and got some shots I was very happy with. This one of the Cahill Expressway was taken in a very strange light and I knew it would lend itself to some slight desaturation in post processing.

April is a favourite month, as it is usually Royal Easter Show time. But this year, a friend of ours gave birth to young Jack, so it was my 1st chance to take some shots of a new born.

proud parents Paul and Ruth seemed happy enough with the shots to ask me to photograph their wedding. Gulp. But that was some time off. 1st, lets get to the show.

Fasion and Style indeed.

And how often do you see this?

An empty Show Bag pavilion?

Walking around the local neighbourhood at night, things are transformed, and something as simple as a speed bump, can look entirely different in long exposure photography.

Late April in Australia, we celebrate ANZAC day. A day for our war heroes to march and be proud. I would urge anyone who hasn't been to a dawn service, to get to one. To see these proud and brave men is a humbling thing indeed. It poured with rain last year and yet there they
were, in their thousands. It is a day full of emotion, and you dont have to be a terrific photographer to be able to get photos like this.


Before April was out, I got over to Cockatoo Island with a bunch from Flickr. Another must see for the Sydney photographers.

May saw me leave on my 2nd photographic road trip. This time I was headed for a mates 40th at Broken Hill. As it was, his mother got very ill and passed away. But I didnt find out til the day before i got to Broken Hill. Before that I had visited Bathurst, Parkes, Dubbo and

For someone who has never been to the outback before, it is a terrific experience. This is such a big country. With a few side trips and driving about, I had covered nearly 1500kms by the time I got to broken Hill.

Just to the west of Broken Hill is the old mining town of Silverton, a photographers dream location. red dirt, clear blue skies and derelict buildings.

In total I took about 2500 photos on the trip, of which, 139 are here.

Easily, one of my faves from the trip is the Moo Quartet.

June was a quiet month, we moved to the south coast and I had a cracking flu most of the month.

July was the wedding I had been asked to shoot earlier in the year. I had bought a new 50mm f/1.4 lens just for the occasion, and just as well. Lighting was terrible in a marquee out the back of a house. It was a top wedding, but hard work for me as a very amatuer photographer.

probably the best shot of the night wasn't even of the happy couple.

So my 1st wedding, and probably the last. I have nothing but respect for people that try wedding photography. It is a lot of pressure.

August, lunar eclipse time. Not nearly as exciting as I thought it would be, but I did manage to cobble this little montage together that was well received on Flickr.

Some odds and sods from September.

October started off with some more experimneting with some new ND filters. Hills Hoist take off.

And with the vege patch going in, it was time for some macro fun.

November, and I was lucky enough to spy a full rainbow, and have the camera, and a lens just wide enough to squeeze it all into frame.

It was also my 1st wedding anniversary, so the bride and I went away to
Bawley point and Mollymook for a few days. I had just acquired a Canon
80-200 f/2.8 lens. A magnificent piece of kit.

Both taken with the "Magic drainpipe".

November 24th saw the people do exactly what the sign said....

December was pretty quiet, but I managed a couple of animal shots I was proud of.

Both very different, but finally I was confident enough to try shots like this, knowing that I was half a chance at suceeding in what I was doing. It had taken the best part of 2 years, but I was finally getting somewhere.

January, 2008, and another animal shot.

I thought lightning was hard to shoot. At least you can open the shutter and leave it for 10 seconds and hope you jag it. Bloody Flipper wont pop up where and when you want him to.

February 2008. More experimenting. First, lets turn a very good camera into a pinhole camera.

Not my best image ever, but one that was very satisfying none the less.

Some more experimenting.

One of my better photos.

And that rounds out another year of norbs and his dSLR. Obviously I haven't learnt as much in the last 12 months as what i did in the previous 12 months, and I dare say, the calibre of photo taken may not be a huge improvement, but it does show with some persistance and sheer
bloody mindedness, you can achieve some reasonable results.

I hope it helps people get out and press that shutter button.
Photography is an incredibly rewarding hobby.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Lunar Eclipse August 2007

Lunar Eclipse August 2007, originally uploaded by norbography.

What is quickly becoming my most popular photo on Flickr, is the lunar eclipse 2007.

Was certainly interesting taking the photos. I had some time to fine tune the process prior to the eclipse starting. It was surprising just how dark it got once the moon was half shadowed by the earth.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Crop factor cameras and zoom.

A bird!, originally uploaded by norbography.

This BLOG entry has nothing to do with birds. Its all above zoom and cropped sensor cameras. I use this photo because it is perhaps one of my better shots with my 70-200mm zoom lens.

I must admit, I have had a bit of a bug up my arse for months regarding this topic. The thing that has burred me up is the statement you hear from some quarters re. cropped factor sensors giving you more reach! They dont. I am going to quote a few different sources here, but I am going to explain it as best I can.

A cropped sensor has no way of making the camera lense magnify the object you are taking a photo of. Full stop. Now, to quote some people far more eloquent than myself.

Dale Allyn says in a Flickr thread here Picture your film camera (or Canon 5D) capturing an image of the front of a school, from building edge to building edge. It doesn't matter what lens we use for the shot or the focal length.

Now picture a smaller rectangle drawn on that image that is about 38% smaller than the field of view captured by the film camera shot. It would exclude the the ends of the school building, some of the sky and some of the foreground, just like we were using a longer lens – just like a lens that was 1.6 times longer in focal length. That's the view that we would record with an XT, 20D or 30D.

This is how a crop factor sensor "sees" the scene. It's a smaller sensor than the film (or full-frame sensor like the 5D) and so the rest of the view is just sort of splashed off of the sensor edges. (Not really splashed off, but for our purposes here). It's sort of like having a projection screen set up in your house, but the projector is set so that 38% of the projected image is cast outside of the screen boundaries. We don't see or enjoy the details outside of the dimensions of the projection screen.

There is an excellent explanation here.

When it is all said and done, a cropped sensor gives you the field of vision of a longer lense, but not the reach/zoom of one.


Friday, August 03, 2007

Ominous Sky

Ominous Sky, originally uploaded by norbography.

I love when there is a weird light and this was one of the weirdest.

The 28-135mm lens took a dive a few months back, and every now and then it vignettes quite heavily. It actually helps in this photo. There was a very weird light tonight after I walked the dogs, so I went down to the boat ramp for a better look and a photo. 1 out of 25 turned out. :)

Monday, February 26, 2007

norbs, a photographic history...

Inspired by Admiral (at OCAU) and Mole2k (at RSC), I have tried my best to put together a bit of a dSLR journey, as done my norbs.

I got my very 1st dSLR camera in November 2005. It was a pre-loved Canon 300D. Add to that a couple of kit lenses and I was away. The very 1st photo I took with this camera is below.

All photos can be viewed in a larger size by clicking on them.

Shot using the Macro mode on the 300D, I was happy that it was a clear photo. I spent a good couple of hours out in the backyard snapping shots of all manner of things. Not knowing a damned thing about aperture or exposure, it was all done, Im ashamed to say, in Auto mode. At this point, I didn't even realise the exposure meter in the view finder was just that. Over the next few weeks, I dabbled with manual mode, only to take a hell of alot of over and under exposed photos. Hmm, this was starting to feel like I had made a bad choice. I knew bugger all about photography and it showed in my photos. I dont know how many times I went for a walk and took a stack of photos only to get home and find that most of them were rubbish. The read LCD screen on the 300D was showing them as being ok, but on the big screen, they were a mess. I had a lot to learn.

In December, Andree and I went away for christmas to her brothers place at Wagga Wagga and then to Albury and Culburrra Beach. Lots and lots of portraits, nothing too flash, but I got a few pleasing photos and people liked what they saw. Whilst in Albury, we went out on Andree's brothers speed boat for some wake boarding. Here is a challenge. Set the 300D to Tv (time priority) and away we went.

Seymour cuts a swathe.

And getting some air.

Wow, hey, look out, Im a sports photographer. Obviously, they aren't all that good, but they were a damned side better than I expected. I was still struggling with the whole photography thing. I had read about exposure, aperture and shutter speed, but it hadn't really sunk in. By the time the trip was over, I had a load of photos, but nothing that I really couldn't have done with the old IXUS point and shoot.

Late in January, we went down to my mums place in Culburra Beach. I was a bit nervous about using my dSLR on the beach. Sand and salt water aren't to kind to cameras apparently. Again, lots of experimenting, and again, lots of dud photos. But I did jag this one.

My foot.

It is still one of the most popular of my 1400 odd photos on Flickr. Nice and sharp and the colours aren't to bad either. February and March were lean months, the photography bug really hadn't bitten at this stage and I was fighting a bit of a nasty settlement case in court.

April, and the Royal Easter Show rolls around. Well, this has to be a good opportunity for a budding photographer. My girlfriend was overseas and I had heaps of time, so off I went. Movement, colour and lights. Wow! Snap, snap ..........snap. I had learned a little bit more by this stage, so I could almost figure out how to minimize depth of field.

Well I thought I had.

As you can see, I hadn't quite got the affect I wanted. That lovely blurry look as the clowns moved further away from the lense. What the hell I was I doing wrong. All would be revealed a few weeks later. I did manage another photo that was, and still is one of my faves.

This pup looked up just as I had finished focussing.

The next real photo opportunity I got was at Mount panorama, Bathurst. The Bathurst Festival of Speed was on. A couple of hours drive out west to see a stack of cars zinging around Bathurst. As it turned out, it was a crap day. Hardly any racing on and lots of waiting. Again, alot of photos taken and quite a few keepers.

The Torana goes over the mountain.

It was here that I realised there is a whole lot more to motorsport photography than just pointing and clicking the button. Panning became something I wanted to be better at. The changing light made things difficult, and it was after the day at Bathurst that I decided that I have to learn more about photography if I wanted to take a good photo.

May came and it really was the month the penny dropped. It was prompted by 2 things in particular. The 1st one was when I finally got my head around how aperture affected depth of field. I can even remember the moment it happened.


I remember taking this photo and thinking.. "if this doesn't work, I'll give it away". When I looked into the LCD after the shot I felt a rush. It had worked. So now, I realised what happened when I used a large aperture. And because of the bizzare way we talk about aperture, I had been messing it up every time. Small f stop, large aperture, small depth of field was how I remembered it from then on.

The second thing that happened was a meet up with 3 guys from the OCAU photography forums. All three had alot more experience than I did, so it was terrific for me to go out with them and learn a few things. Admiral, or Kris Dick to use his real name was more than generous with his time and patience. Amongst a few fantastic tips, he demystified the whole apeture mystery by saying something like, "Apeture just means hole!" It was like someone had turned a light on in my brain. Sure, it sounds simple, and I must sound like a tool for letting something so simple befuddle me, but I can't explain the differance it made to my confidence.

Just one shot from that night.

June saw me out and about, taking photos of everything and anything. It was the 1st time I had tried anything approaching arty type shots. Im not a huge fan of the pretentious photo's that you see hanging in gallerys around the place. But I thought I may as well try and see how it works.

Not exactly stunning, but it was high art for this little black duck.

The photography bug had bitten. And how. I was starting to understand alot more about it, purely by doing it over and over. But it did get me out there, and even, up early in the morning.

Sunrise, the 1st of many.

July was a big month. Thanks to the conclusion of a long running property settlement, I splurged and bought myself some new kit.

mmmmmm, good!

Yep, a brand new Canon 30D. Wow, what a differance. It felt solid. Its was heavy. It shot 5 frames per second. 8 megapixels. A groovy dial doodad on the back. It really was too good a piece of gear for this rank amatuer, but hey, you only get divorced once (I hope). With this baby in my grubby mitt, it was off on a roadtrip. Time to give this baby a work out. Canberra 1st stop.

An experiment with light painting.

The to Wagga Wagga, Wodonga, Castlemaine, Melbourne, Lakes Entrance, Eden, Naroooma and back home. What a blast. Plenty of early morning get ups and late nights. Lots of walking and talking to locals. I had a ball.

One of my faves from the trip.

August 2006 saw me out all over the place. Night time in the city. Down to the beach. Batemans Bay with work. All the time with the camera. It was beginning to be my main hobby. More and more, photos turned out the way I had hoped they would. I was actually getting the hang of it. I bought a macro lense and found out how much fun it is to photograph tiny things.

A little hoverfly.

September and back to Eastern Creek for some more car racing photos. This time I was alot more confident, and guess what? I stuffed most of the photos up. :) I was trying to pan at 1/60th of a second. Nup, not good enough for that yet.

Cortina goodness.

Heaps of outings and lots more photos. Lots more learning as well. Photography is like getting older. The more you learn, the more you realise you dont know.

October was a busy month. 21 days I went out taking photos. Either after work, during work or weekends. Nights, early mornings and just arsing around at home. Again, another busy month of learning. It was the month I went to Lilyfield train yards and did some urban type shots. It was also the night I thought I was going to be killed by a train.

A long exposure.

November was a massive month. Sculptures by the sea was on along the coast. What a great opportunity for some photos. But the big one was my wedding and honeymoon. The wedding was a great day.

Bertie, Gerg and Macca try and calm my nerves.

The honeymoon in Vietnam was a photographers heaven. Click that link for more photos from Vietnam, but here is one of my faves.

See, I can pan.

After a month like that, and purchasing a house in December, it was time for a bit of a rest. Apart from the chrissy rush, not much was done in December.

January 2007 saw macros come back. Portraits and crash zooming. Lots of experimenting to be done and lots to learn.

Which brings us to February. Now. Present. No more rambling. I still have a long way to go, but judging by the reception this photo has got, I am getting better.

The Opera House.

Thanks for all those people I have hassled with stupid questions and have given their time to help me understand this terrific hobby that is photography.