NATURE

FINE ART, NATURE

IN THE GREENHOUSE (Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne)


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All I can say is working with a 50mm f1.4 lens (since the autofocus on my 18-200mm 3.5-5.6 telephoto ‘walkabout’ lens started going downhill), is proving challenging.

I think the hardest part is trying to decide where to put the focal point on an object (or flower) that I can’t see clearly.  For 4+ years I’ve been zooming in with a telephoto lens to take close-ups (unless I’ve got my macro lens with me of course).

The image above has been rotated 90 degrees, but it wasn’t until I converted it to B & W that I decided where I’d crop the image and erase some distracting bits.

I’m still not up to shooting in monochrome yet.  I just can’t see the potential in-camera.  Perhaps I never will.  But then I haven’t used my 50mm lens very much in the past.  Practice. Practice………….Practice (says my inner voice).

NATURE

MORETON BAY FIG (Ficus macrophylla) – Treasury Gardens, Melbourne


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I’ve never pretended to be a landscape photographer.

Partly because I say I rarely get to a location where I can take Landscape photos.  I seem to associate the word ‘Landscapes‘ with countryside or mountains.  The truth is that there are some landscape scenes within my inner city surroundings – I just don’t seem to see them.  I’m always looking at the small details around me (and rarely at the big picture).

When I walked through the long avenue of Moreton Bay Fig trees to my medical appointment yesterday, I was determined to try to capture the height of these enormous trees and the long avenue in these gardens.  Finally, after many attempts, I feel as though I got the composition right.  You really need people walking down the pathway to put the tree height in perspective.  These trees are massive and their root structure above the ground is often long like the tentacles of an octopus.  The Moreton Bay Fig trees are grown along the east coast of Australia….mainly in the northern states. These trees in the Treasury Gardens (just below the Treasure Buildings on the eastern edge of Melbourne’s CBD) were probably planted in the early 1860s to get to this height.

I wonder how tall they are in the wild?

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NATURE

HEALESVILLE, Country Victoria


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(Have been without the internet for the last week or so, today is all about catching up with fellow bloggers and the most recent news).

In the meantime, here’s an image taken Sunday afternoon up at Healesville in country Victoria.  Great light and a perfect Spring Day for Father’s Day DownUnder.

I have to admit I was concentrating more on walking through damp leaves and hidden muddy puddles and not slipping down the steep slope (than holding the camera still and trying to capture the fern-covered hillside).  Most of my images were a wee bit disappointing.

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FINE ART, LANDSCAPES, NATURE, ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS

THE BOAT SHED – Ornamental Lake, Royal Botanic Gardens


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I haven’t done any Street Photography on the last 3 visits to Melbourne’s CBD and am feeling totally uninspired in my attempts at Black and White Photography at the moment.

There seems to be no ‘light’ in my vision.

With the warmer weather of Spring, I have no real excuse for not getting outdoors and experimenting, but this new blog of mine seems to be lagging in the new image department.  This morning I converted this relatively recent photo to B & W to keep the ball rolling.  But I need to fossick around for some new material.

I know.  Excuses, excuses.

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NATURE

CLOUD COVER – St Kilda


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I’ve never been particularly satisfied in making images of clouds in Black & White – they always looked so washed out and smudged……until last week, that is.

These fluffy balls looked unreal in the original colour version, so thought they might make an interesting conversion to B & W, especially over the apartment blocks and hotels lining the beachside road in the inner bay side suburb of St Kilda.

(The colour version of my afternoon at St Kilda beach/pier is located on my Nature Blog at http://vickialfordnatureblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/st-kilda-pier-boat-marina-beach ).

FINE ART, NATURE

Toadstools in Black & White


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I’ve been busy with other activities recently and had less time to spend on photography, but I’ve always wanted to try some landscapes and nature photography in Black and White.

Yesterday I had the chance (albeit brief).

On a roadside stop while up at the nearby Dandenong Ranges (the range of hills overlooking the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne), I was lucky enough to make some images of large toadstools on a grassy roadside edge and in the nearby field.  While I made the photos in colour, I tried converting a few to B & W and this is the result.  The lens used in these two was my 50mm f1.4 – at f3.5 and then I tried f1.4 on a toadstool hidden in the grass.

Unfortunately, a barbed wire fence stopped me getting on the other side of the patch and I shot mainly into the light (resulted in some over-exposed areas in some images).

I’ll look forward to trying again sometime.  I must admit, getting up off the ground was extremely difficult with my stiff back and neck, so I don’t think I’ll be getting this low down next time though.  The ground was covered in pine cones and twigs from a nearby tree, so it was a bit prickly and uncomfortable too.  At least now I know what it feels like to lie on a bed of nails!

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FINE ART, LANDSCAPES, MELBOURNE ZOO, NATURE, ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS

A LONG DAY (INTO LATE AFTERNOON)


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I’m way behind in reviewing photos I’ve made recently, but decided these were worthy of my Black & White Blog (as opposed to my other blog Living With Nature).

After all, they ARE  Black & White and that’s what this blog is all about (not necessarily Street Photography).  The fact that I started with street photography doesn’t mean every post will be along those lines.