How many times do we hear the old cliche, ” a photograph never lies”. In the digital world this is now, most surely, a myth. The image that the viewer usually sees is processed, often in the camera This means that it is a rendition of what a programmer at Canon or Panasonic believes is the best way to interpret light, contrast, and colours from the original raw data captured by the camera.
I guess it may be true when we look at the RAW image as it is first captured. RAW data is the light that is captured, exactly as it falls on the camera sensor, when the shutter is pressed. There are, however, very few image viewers that will let you see these RAW images on the screen. The ones that do are usually editing software that allow us to make a lie of the final version of the image. We can make it darker, lighter, more contrasty, or change the way the light is represented from warm orange tones to cold blue ones. We can even substitute an unfavourable element within the scene for a nicer one that has been pirated from a completely different photo.
This being so, a big part of the photographer’s craft is in post editing. That is what happens when the RAW image is transferred onto a computer. To do this, the camera must be set to capture the RAW data. Most DSLR camera’s can do this, along with an ever increasing number of compact models. In many ways the RAW image represents the old film negative, and post editing is equivilent to what the technician did in the dark room when he processed the images of the photographs we placed into our old albums and then stored them away in the cupboard.
Even back in the film days, it was posible to adjust the way the light fell on a particular part of the image by a process called dodging and burning. One made the image darker, while the other made it lighter. This could be applied both globally or locally within the scene, depending on what was required.
Modern software programs, such as Lightroom or Affinity Photo, still follow those same methods, albeit in a digital fashion. You will still find a dodge brush or a burn brush in the tool box available to the photographer. In this, the complete art of the craft is more readily available to even the most amature of photographers. It means that they can take a photgraph, process it on their computer and then either print it or publish it on one of many online forums such as Facebook or Instagram. A great benefit is that the images can be stored on thumb drives and plugged into a TV or digital photo frame. This keeps the images alive, right there in the living room, instead of being hiiden away in dusty old albums that rarely see the light of day.
So what does this mean for the point and shoot photographer? Well, nothing much. The camera will usually produce a fine JPEG photogragh that can be printed or posted even with the limited adjustments that are availble to make it pop. However, if you want to do more, consider capturing your images in RAW format and have some fun with editing. There are a number of programs that will allow you to do this, from the free versions to those that you buy or subscibe to. There is a learning curve, but you will be more than happy with the better images you get as a result
What sort of images do you shoot? RAW, or do you let the camera develop the photo for you?
What editing software do you find useful when editing?
Ocean Street in Maroochydore, on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, is no stranger to hosting street parties and Easter Sunday 2017 was a street party of epic proportion.
And so, I took myself down to see what all the fuss was about. Parking was almost non-existent but I did manage to score a slot when someone pulled away just in front of me. Even so, I still had a walk of a couple of blocks before I reached the site.
Down along beside the Cornmeal Creek I ran into a bunch of young Koreans who were taking a time out and enjoying the day. They decided to ham it up for the camera and so will send them this shot as a moment of their day here in Maroochydore.
What is now an annual even, hosted by the Maroochydore Revitalisation Council, the festival is a celebration of culture from all parts of the world. This year there were artists from Japan, Budapest, Jamaica, as well as many other countries.
They presented their own particular brands of art and workshops across four different stages, scattered among the myriad of stalls, that had sprung up along the closed off street providing entertainment to the forty thousand odd folk who came to spend an evening travelling the world.
Food was a big feature of the street with street stalls dispensing everything from prawns to curry and rice along with the traditional and not so traditional burgers and fries. With queues lining up to satisfy their hunger, the stall owners had more than their hands full just keeping up with the demand.
While the flavour of the festival was whole world, there were many local businesses displaying their unique products.
I stopped off at Planet Macadamia to sample some of their roasted nuts. These are roasted and then coated with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon and they were absolutely delicious. One could buy a small bag for just $9.oo or double the size for only $3.00 more.
Nicki and Arnaud Coquillard set up their Devine Henna Design stand and when I came along, Ester Bodnar was painting an intricate tattoo onto the hand of one of her customers. With care these designs can be quite durable, reaching their best after just two days.
One stall that caught my eye was Bunked Clothing. Owner, Jed, was on hand to tell me about the unique properties of Bamboo Cotton. Needing less water than cotton and being far more pest resistant, bamboo cotton leaves a minimal environmental impact on the planet. All Bunked products are produced here in Australia and each design is limited to only 100 garments This means that there is only a limited chance you will turn up at a function and see your arch rival in the same outfit.
Jed also had on his stand, a different sort of cleansing product. He told me he was selling this on behalf of a mate. Bayberrie Caffinne Scrubs are a coffee and citrus scrub which, only adds to my conviction that coffee is good for you.
Another local vendor, Anti Craft, sold hand made headwear that looked similar to a bandana but by the clever use of a piece of wire was able to be fashioned into any number of styles.
Kim took some time out to explain the workings of the gear and demonstrated a couple of twists that gave the gear totally different looks
The Gypsy Collective had a successful day with their stall selling all things of fine design. Here one could purchase the brick a brac that goes to making a house a home. From artwork to wall hangings, photographs to homewares and jewellery, there was something that could tempt everyone. The online shop has the full range for those who missed out
After wandering through the stalls, watching the shows and sampling the food I felt that I have travelled well that day. It was another example of the talent and entertainment that is available on the Sunshine Coast. If you plan an Easter Holiday here, then the Ocean Street World Festival would be a fine addition to your bucket list.
One of the oldest places you’ll find in Sydney is The Rocks, situated almost beneath the Sydney harbour. It is a warren of streets and alleys that border the old warehouses near Circular Key. While much of it has been modernised there is still an old world charm about the place and it is easy to imagine the folks of early Sydney going about their daily business.
I decided to spend some time looking around and my first stop was in the park by the ferry terminal. Here crowds wandered along, many checking out the huge cruise ship that was tied up at the terminal. Signs alluded to an afternoon departure and many of the crowd towed wheeled suitcases as they made their way to the customs checkpoint.
I spotted an elderly gent sitting doing a crosword. The lines of age told a story of character but I didn’t realise when I took the photo that this was Mr Graham Courtney. I discovered, after talking with another busker, that Mr Courtney could be found doing gigs almost every day along the promenade and had been for years. The fact that he is an octogenarian seemed to slow him down not a bit.
Along the concourse folk took a few moments to stand and watch the buskers who entertained for whatever donations they were able to encourage from the pockets of the punters. I was intrigued with a suitcase that was sitting unattended on the sidewalk. Not a suspicious item in an obvious way but intriguing because it was set up as a makeshift drum. A young lady sitting nearby told me that her boyfriend was the owner and sure enough a young chap approached and began to tune up his guitar ready for a new set.
When I asked his girlfriend, Carolin, if he was any good, she replied that he had an unusual style but that, yes, in her opinion, he was very good. I decided to stay and asked if I could take some photos for my blog. Unfortunately, I only had a few spare coin in my wallet as I don’t tend to carry cash at all, but I emptied them out for the privilege of taking a photo.
We started to talk about the way people disrespect the buskers on the street by taking a photo on their ever handy phone camera without ever bothering to contribute to the entertainment being given by the busker. To me, this is the height of rudeness. These people, would think nothing of spending eighty or more dollars to go to a gig by a famous band, when the gig is right there in front of them.
As it turned out, Jack Dawson was incredibly good. His style was different but the sound addictive. Sitting, as he was, on the old suitcase, thumping out percussion in time to the rhythm of the guitar he soon drew quite a crowd. Jack does a lot of original songs and his CD was available for purchase as well as information to purchase on line.
From here I wandered further along the concourse and came across another crowd of people taking in yet another display of street talent. This time it was Emma Mohsen, a contortionist with a bit of humour. I first saw her in a very compromised position with Col from London who was lifting her up while she held her legs firmly wrapped around behind her neck
For her next trick, she called on Sam from Sydney to assist. She brought out a narrow frame with a very small glass box at the top. She explained that she intended to fold her body inside and shut the door. After some instructions to her volunteer crew she climbed on the back of Sam and proceeded to do exactly what she had said she would.
In no time she was firmly locked inside the glass structure still exhorting all and sundry to add to her donation box.
Moving on passed the wharf I came to the base of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This icon of Sydney was opened way back in 1932 and is the sixth longest arch bridge in the world. At its highest point it is 134 metres and until as late as 2012 was the widest long-spanning bridge in the world.
This is a place where tourist from all corners of the world stop to take a memory of their time in Sydney. Ehsan and Rashid from Iran were two such people and I stopped to chat a moment and take a photo on their own camera so that they could both be in it together.
One of the things about travelling is that one can rarely get a photo of everyone in the party without resorting to the dreaded selfie. Offering to take the photo is a great way to strike up a conversation and get to know more about the fellow travellers we share this world with.
From From here the other icon that sits beside Sydney Cove, The Sydney Opera House can be seen across the water. The angle here gives one a good view of the famous sails that make up its profile
The Rocks is as old as Sydney itself, established at the time of the first European settlement. Prior to this was Tallawoladah and the home of the Cadigal people. From the outset of European influence it gained a reputation as a slum and was frequented by convicts and prostitutes pretty much until the 1870’s
The buildings were made of Sandstone and that influence is still apparent to this day. The style of architecture was fairly drab. Tall straight and as featureless as a row of factories, they dominated the narrow alleys that criss-crossed the town.
Today, the Rocks has been reinvented as a tourist mecca with the obligatory market stalls that can be found both inside the sandstone buildings as well as under marques along the narrow streets. Selling all the usual fare that markets the world over do along with a share of Australiana to provide the tourists with a suitable memento of there journeys
And so my wanderings through the tourist mecca of Sydney came to an end and I attempted to find a bus that would take me to Glebe where I was to meet up with a friend. Not such an easy task and I soon decided that I would be far quicker to catch an Uber Car which, as has been my experience so far arrived in but a couple of minutes and I was soon on my way. Jack, my driver, had a great chat as we crossed the few kilometres to my destination. Still new to the job, he had a good knowledge of the city and with his pleasant personality I am sure he will do well in the job. The car was immaculate and at the end of the ride, Jack took some time to help me find the best place to set down, seeing I was a little unsure of my bearings. Thank you Jack..
It has been more than a year since I took any serious time off work. To remedy this most serious of situations, I have taken some weeks off during which I intend to spend some time in Sydney, the Philippines and hopefully some other Asian countries as well.
The journey for me starts by heading to Sydney where I spent a week with my son, Sean, who lives in the Eastern Bays area. After spending some time tossing up whether to drive to Sydney or fly, I finally decided that I would take advantage of the extra time a flight would give me and went on line to book a seat.
The cheapest fare I could find was with Webjet and so I commenced the process of securing a ticket. Now here is where things began to become a little unstuck. Each time I got to the point of making payment, the screen would freeze and I would have to start again from scratch. After the third attempt, I resorted to calling a consultant. He was happy to help and finally put through the transaction around $30 more than the online price. I asked why the difference and he explained that the fare I had online would have been sold out, and this was the next cheapest.
I pondered that for a while and thought I’d try again. Sure enough, my cheap fare came up. I called my agent back and after some reluctance, he agreed that I should be refunded the difference. The catch…… They would credit my account for my next flight. Really!!! Why would I use Webjet again? Again with reluctance, they agreed to refund the balance to my account. So much for always getting the cheapest price when you use Webjet……
So much for my rant.
The day finally arrived when I would begin my next adventure. After a late night packing the last of my gear, I snatched a few hours sleep and woke to track down a ride to the airport. This problem was solved with UBER. I downloaded the app and within ten minutes I was on my way.
Although it is an international airport, the Sunshine Coast Airport is small enough that it is not necessary to get there too much before departure but I planned on taking time for a coffee before the trip. Not such a good idea as, as in all airports the cost of coffee was a little on the high side. Still, it was wet and strong and I used it to wash down an omelette.
I arrived at Sydney domestic after the short hour and thirty flight and caught the bus over to International to meet up with Sean who works there. The rest of my day was spent wandering the Airport which is always a fascinating place to fill in time.