Sometimes, when we look through an old album of faded photographs, there is one that stands out from the others. We don’t always know the reason… but there is something in it that catches the eye. This week’s photo could be such an example, except that it was taken on a grey day, only three months ago, on a trip south through The Broadwater in Northern New South Wales. As I drove along the river’s edge I was taken by the serenity of the scene and felt compelled to turn back and try to capture the mood. The road, narrow and busy, forced me to drive some distance before I found a side road where I could make the turn.
The day was so dull and grey that it has made the photo almost seem like a Black and White even though it was taken in full RAW colour. Post processing has been minimal as everything I tried to do to make it less dreary seem to spoil the effect.
As in all things in the photographic world, the image is only appreciated at the wit of the observer and each of us will have his or her own take on what they think of it. Some one once coined the phrase about the eye of the beholder and me….. well, I kind of like it….. I’d love to get some feed back as to what you, the critic, feel about it…. Good or bad, there is no wrong answer, so please leave a comment below…
Waking this morning with the sound of the rain on the roof of my van….. Put me into a mood to spend the day relaxing and taking some time to catch up.Nothing in the cupboards tempted my taste buds and so here I am at the “Bulli” cafe at Marcoola Beach, just a few kilometres up the road from Maroochydore.
This little backwater block of shops is not a place you would normally stumble on as you make your way along the David Low Way towards Noosa. To get here you will need to turn off just after the northern end of the Sunshine Coast runway and head towards the beach. Turn in by the shops and you will find it secluded but busy at this time on a Saturday morning.
I was welcomed with a friendly greeting and shown the choices from the menu, as well as offerings from the specials board. I decided on the baguette, with avocado, cheese, tomato and bacon. To this I added an orange juice and a short black coffee. Total price $15.50.
Faced with a choice of inside and alfresco dining, I opted for a table just outside the door, but far enough under the awning to get protection from the drizzling rain. The outlook gives the impression of a little beach town, almost left behind from the maddening world, with a little park and pagoda across the un-curbed street and back-dropped by low sand dunes shielding it from the coastal breezes.
I found myself looking at a fellow patron, a couple of tables over, who looked extremely familiar. Try as I might, I could not get the brain cells to dredge up the memory of who he was, or how I knew him. Such a frustration… so much for relaxing the mind.
The orange juice arrived first, followed closely by the short black. With the number of people here, I had expected a bit of a wait but, within a very short time, the baguette arrived, nicely presented, and I tucked in.
Now baguettes are not a staple of my diet….. I don’t eat a lot of bread… but this one was definitely good. The bacon, not so crispy that it shattered (just as I like it) but cooked enough to satisfy most tastes. The coffee was strong, (just as it should be), and there was a refill offered not long after I had drained it. The orange juice was…. well there isn’t a lot that you can say about orange juice… it is what it is, but in this case it was cold and refreshing.
As I sit here writing this at the cafe table, the rain is starting to fall more heavily meaning that the walk back to my truck will be wet. This is, of course a sign that I should order another coffee and wait it out.
The group with the “guy” that has cause me so much frustration got up to go and I stopped him to ask…..Alas, He didn’t know me.. came from Brisbane and had a brother in North Queensland who looked just like him but none of this gave me that lightbulb moment. We parted company with me none the wiser.
Across the street, a family has become stranded in the pagoda as the rain increases intensity. Although it is not a downpour, it is enough to make even a short dash across the street uncomfortable.
This is November on the Coast, but today is definitely a jeans sort of day. It is not cold, but the rain kind of makes you feel that you need just a bit more cosy-ness in your day. Just the right sort of weather for brunching at Bulli in Marcoola
Nature is such an inspiration for so many of us. We see things every day that simply amaze, from the tallest of trees, to the deepest parts of the ocean. Technology has opened our eyes to so many things that we simply would have had no access to in years bygone. Sometimes nature happens just outside the window…..
My breakfast was disturbed by a ruckus going on outside the window. Looking out, I could see this little Noisy Miner sitting on the top of the fence with both it’s parents going crazy. Grabbing the camera I set myself up in the shadow of the door to see what photos I could get. Although they knew I was there, they paid me no mind as they came and went with tidbits of food to satisfy his seemingly bottomless hunger.
Eventually he fluttere d down and landed on a plank that I had set up as a makeshift workbench the day before. Knowing that these birds are some type of honey eater I got some old honey, that had crystallised in the cupboard and set it down on the bench, thinking that I might save them some effort. In the event, it seemed that some bread they had sourced elsewhere was more inviting and they spurned my offering.
They stayed most of the day but by next morning, had found a new place to be and I never saw them again. I wonder what may have happened to them. He seemed to be way short of feathers to be out of the nest. I was impressed by the way the parents looked after him. There was always one or the other keep a watch while the other was away looking for food.
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?