I won this fortnight’s Canberra Flickr theme comp “Winter”

I won this fortnight’s Canberra Flickr group competition where members had to post their best three photos associated with “winter”. My entry that won was this photo taken at Kosciusko National Park in 2008:

Icy cold river, Kosciusko National Park.

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Don’t worry about all this processing

My photostream on Flickr has become a bit of a mess of highly post-processed images in the last week. It’s just a temporary phase, playing around with channel mixing in CMYK mode, and applying my grain filter to images that otherwise weren’t sharp enough or interesting enough to upload from Hawaii and elsewhere.

In general I’m not a big fan of such processing – I like photos to look real and believable, to put the viewer in that place, to feel what I felt as a photographer both physically and emotionally … the icy winds blowing off snowfields, the cheery warm glow of a sunset on a tropical island or the gloominess of a ghost town.

Over-processing tends to make scenes look alien or fake and can disconnect the viewer. That’s contrary to what I want to achieve with my photos so I’m usually quite subtle in my processing and very light touch with HDR. Of course that means that I very rarely get a photo featured on Explore but I can live with that.

Highly processed photo of a farm shearing shed.

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Experimenting with Photoshop Actions

Most of the time when processing my photos I’ll tweak and fiddle around with various settings, filters and effects. I also have a few actions for sharpening and applying vignette that a friend gave me. But I wanted to experiment with developing my own effect, to develop my own unique feel to my photos that some photographers have in their processing.

I don’t want all my photos to look heavily cross-processed or desaturated in a way that makes all my photo look uniformly bleak, cold or alien. I think the latest action I recorded today is over the top but I like it. I created it using Channel Mixer in CMYK mode to shuffle around the channel source ratios for the output channels (which I think works better in CMYK than RGB), plus Curves in RGB mode to alter the contrast in each channel.

I’ve also created a grain action that I’ve used in this pics of my friend Rachel Greaves that reduces a copy of the image to 20%, applies grain, then sizes it back up and superimposes it at 70% over the original:

Rachel Greaves.

These ones have a variation on the grain effect that applies it only to midtones, keeping the whites and blacks relatively clean by making a new channel and applying Curves to drop the highlights down to black and bring up the midtones to white then making it a selection for the noise filter.

Al Stoiche.

Richard Giles.

Margery Tongway.

This photo has natural grain from high ISO:

Tub of ice with shoes.

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My trip to Sydney, June 2010

I’ve been in Sydney the last couple of days catching up with friends, following up a few work opportunities and of course taking photos.

View the full set of photos from my trip to Sydney on Flickr.

First up was the Sydney Harbour Bridge:

Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Graffiti under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

… including under the Bridge and around The Rocks:

Park under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Stone driveway in the warm sunset.

I tried my hand at candid street photography but was too chickenshit to get close enough to anyone to do anything decent:

Woman holding sign on Sydney street.

… and went out for yum cha with some friends at the East Ocean Restaurant for brunch:

Yum cha at East Ocean Restaurant, Sydney.

I think this graffiti I found on some steps sums up my trip beautifully:

Today was a good day.

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