Namibia – Abstract Landscapes

8 12 2011

 

One of the highlights of my trip to Namibia was visiting the Deadvlei near Sesriem.  From the time I first saw photos from this amazing place I said to myself “this is somewhere that I just have to photograph”.   The textures of the dry lake bed…. the abstract shapes of the petrified trees….. the beautiful red/orange sand dunes surrounding the lake are all like something out of a Dali painting.

A light painted image taken at night.

I ended up doing three shoots at this location.  A sunset shoot, followed by a sunrise shoot, and then a sunset/night shoot.  Similar to Kolmanskop, this location was a photographers dream… lots of different ways you could approach the shoot.  Different compositions, lighting and post processing all combined to make this a pretty special and surreal landscape.

I deliberately went pretty hard with the post processing.  The reason for this was that there are plenty of lovely “natural prints”,  however because this is such a surreal landscape, I wanted to add a bit of surreal processing to the post production to create an image that was a bit different to everybody elses.  The top image looks incredible when printed large on fine art paper (and on super glossy).

 

I’ll follow up with a tutorial on my post processing for some of these images in a few weeks once I have finished my image processing.

 





I’m Off On The Best Photo Trip In The World!

2 11 2011

Photo courtesy of Paul Bruins

OK, Maybe the title is a bit subjective, but thats how I feel.  On Friday I depart for a 2.5 week trip to Namibia.  I’ve been planning this trip for over a year and now it’s finally here.

I am travelling with one other photographer (Analia), and her husband Rob.  Together we are spending two weeks in a

Photo courtesy of Paul Bruins

Landcruiser photographing one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

We collect our 4WD in Windhoek (the capital).  It will be all decked out for camping with 2 fold out tents on the roof, fridge, BBQ, tables, chairs, camping gear etc.  We then head down to the Quiver Tree Forest near Keetmanskop,  then off to Luderitz which is on the coast.  The reason we are going here is to photograph two incredible ghost towns – Kolmanskop and Elizabeth Bay.  Both are ex diamond mining towns, and when the diamonds ran out, the people moved out.  What makes Kolmanskop especially interesting is that the desert has started reclaiming some of the buildings, so you get these incredible scenes of abandoned houses with sand dunes in them.   For me this is going to be a fun exercise in light, composition and colour.

Photo courtesy of Paul Bruins

Then we start heading up North to Wolwedans which has some absolutely gorgeous big landscapes.  We are staying in a private camp site all to ourselves with 4wd access roads into the park, so we can photograph at our leisure.

Photo courtesy of Paul Bruins

From there it’s a short hop up to Sesriem.  Our only luxurious accomodation for the trip. Here we are staying at the Sossus Dune Lodge which is inside the gates of the park.  The reason for this extravagence is so that we can photograph the incredible Dead Vlei at night…. I’m just dying to do some light painting here,  I think that it is the perfect subject for it and I have only ever seen two images that were shot at night in this location.

Then we drive for 3 days right up the North of the country to a town called Opuwo.  We pick up our local guide who is going to take us out for 5 days with various Himba tribes.  There I want to really focus on some environmental portraits using off camera flash.  We will go and visit the Epupa falls and the desert country of the North West.

Then back to Windhoek via Etosha National Park for one night of Wildlife viewing.

And then as if that wasn’t enough… when we get back to Windhoek again, a super talented local photographer called Sigi is going to line up a model for a shoot in a great looking ghost house.

This is going to be a photo trip of a lifetime as far as I am concerned.  2 weeks in country… chasing the light… eating, sleeping and breathing photography.  Life doesn’t get much better than that in my book.

Stay tuned, I’m not sure if I’ll be posting from the road, but I’ll sure as hell be posting when I get back.

Brent





Sculpture By The Sea

28 10 2010

Hey Light Painters… I’m probably going to head out to Sculpture By The Sea at Bondi for some nocturnal fun on Sunday night.

Hope to see some of you guys n gals there.

Brent





Light Painting An Entire Freaking City!!!

28 10 2010

Check this out…. This is light painting on a grand scale… What a project.  50 photographers went to great details to light paint an entire city.  While the translation from Spanish is not perfect, it’s still worth having a read of what these guys got up to.  Absolutely amazing.

You can read the whole story here.

Brent





Tutorial: Kirsty At Middle Head Fort – Part 1… The Capture

16 05 2010

It’s been a while since I posted a tutorial, so I thought I’d do a tutorial on this image that I made last night.  This article will be in two parts;

  • Part 1 will talk about how I made the capture
  • Part 2 will take you through the post processing of the image.

So last night I was running a workshop for Northside Creative Camera Club on Light Painting.  I decided to ramp it up a bit and include some off-camera flash techniques as well.   We invited a lovely model called Kirsty to come and model for us.  Here’s how we did this shot.

Set up an SB900 flash unit in a soft box just out of frame on camera left.  The flash was close to Kirsty which meant the light levels dropped off quickly in the scene and allowed us to control the lighting on the bunker separately.  I was using Nikon’s CLS to control the flash power.  Camera was set on ISO200, f5.6, 30sec exposure.

As we triggered the shutter the strobe fired, and then we started light painting the bunker from camera right, and then from camera left using my olive oil can with a fluoro in it.  We also went behind the bunker and popped a second flash with a pink gel on it into the bunker about 5 times to create the pink glow.

The stars were captured separately from a high ISO shot (iso 1600, f5.6, 30sec) and then blended in using a contrast mask.

Thats pretty much it.  Even though it was a long exposure, Kirsty was sitting in darkness, so the flash pop gave her sharpness.

My next post will show the post processing step-by-step.

I hope you like it.  I am using a more stylised processing approach for these portrait sessions because I feel they lend themselves more to it rather than straight landscapes.

More later

Brent





This is cool…. seriously! Check this out. Off Camera Flash Meets Light Painting.

12 01 2010

Don’t you love it when an experiment comes together and works!  Well this one worked better than I thought.

Recently I’ve started getting more into Off Camera Flash photography and blending it in with my landscape and urbanscape images.  I came up with an idea of combining studio off-camera flash with creative light painting.  So I pulled together 2 lovely models, 1 awesome makeup artist and a bunch of strobist freaks for a  night of experimental fun.

The images that you will see in this video ARE STRAIGHT FROM THE CAMERA!!! I have not opened them at all in Photoshop, they have just been converted in Lightroom.

Credits:

Makeup by Glitta Supernova

Models  Catherine and Liliana

Strobeys: Australian Strobist Group

Music: Chamillionaire – Good morning & Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition

Light Painting: Yours truly.





Light Painting Article in Better Photography

29 12 2009

I just picked up a copy of the latest edition of Better Photography.  Peter Eastway has written up a nice article about a shoot I took him on a few months back to show him the ins and outs of light painting.

It’s funny what editors omit from their articles… he ommited to mention that he went on a seascape shoot with two Phase One backs in his backpack wearing thongs.  Now the trip out to the headland wasn’t too bad, but it was an incoming tide, and I think Peter got a tad nervous when we had a few dashes across the rocks in between waves.  Watching somebody dash across the rocks in thongs with about $80K worth of camera gear on their back was certainly one of the moments I won’t forget in a hurry.

🙂

BP