Early Summer

Summer seems to have come early on the Sunshine Coast here in Queensland.  Hot sticky nights that are normally the preserve of January and February have begun to test the powers of getting a good night’s sleep.

Now this might sound like a good old whinge, but as I sit here enjoying a coffee in my “today” office at Banjo’s Bakery and Cafe on the Sunshine Plaza at Maroochydore, I find have discovered a tiny micro climate where the breeze is sweeping along the banks of Cormeal Creek.  How pleasant is this welcome break from the oppressive heat I have so recently stepped away from?

The view today, is somewhat less inspiring due to the development of the Plaza building on the opposite side of the creek, but in the fullness of time this will transform into a relaxing and tranquil space.

Banjo’s is one of my favourite coffee spots in the Plaza.  I am particularly fond of their Danish, be it the apricot or apple version, and it is the latter that is the pick for today.

 

After a very torrid week at my other job, I am taking a bit of me time to reflect on places where I have recently been and work through the photo’s that I took along the way.  The travelling, it seems, is the easy part of this travel writing business.  It is the editing and writing that take up the time.  Still I find playing with words a satisfying pass-time, made all the better by a good latte.

Some years ago I started taking photos of letterboxes that I came across along my travels.  The ingenuity that goes with the crafting of some of these is astounding, and this is especially the case the deeper into the bush one travels.  On a recent trip to Rockhampton, I drove along one stretch of road and found several examples, each seeming to be trying to outdo it’s neighbour for uniquisity.

GMail…..If you are handy with a chainsaw you can whip one of these up in a few minutes.  Good use of an old dead stump at the gate.

Cream Anyone?  There will be some who can remember the old cream can.  Some even who have dragged them onto the back of a truck before carting them off to the milk factory.  This one has weathered the years well and is still doing stirling service in its new role as a mail box

Shades of D’Arth Vader…….  Turned on its head, this “passed its use by date” gas bottle could be a reminder of Ned Kelly from the past or maybe D’Arth Vader from the future

This Hollow Log has found a new life set up on a tree fork and keeping the weather off the few letters that get delivered in this day of electronics.  Maybe it also doubles as a shelter for a wayward possum on a cold night.

 

 

 

      44 Gallon drums were common place on rural properties back in the day.  They still can be found storing liquid and, with the tops cut off, make an excellent storage bin or, like this one, a mail box.

 

Not sure obout this one….  Cooked the motor, perhaps

 

A bit more traditional, but liked the attention to detail with the tin coping around the eaves

All of these boxes were scattered along one short stretch of country road I travelled as I headed out to Seventeen Seventy and are probably the highest density of odd-ball mail boxes I have come across.  There are others out there that are weird and whacky which I will bring to you as I see them.

If you enjoy this post please feel free to share it with your friends and if you would like to leave a comment I’ll be happy to respond.  Thank you for taking the time to drop by……….

 

Something from the stream side where I look at all this nature……

A Junvenile Noisy Miner fallen from its nest

Something from right outside my back door today.  I heard a bit of commotion outside as I made my breakfast and looked out to see two very frustrated Noisy Miner birds fussing over a chick that had obviously fallen from the nest.  After it had fluttered under my car I decided it might be safer up off the ground so I made a sort of platform where it could sit in the sun.

In A World Of So Many People, I Will Meet 100 Strangers

 


Jesse Taylor is today’s new Stranger. I meet him as I was taking out my garbage. He was headfirst into the back of his van sorting out some wiring. I noticed the guitar and music gear and stopped for a chat. 

Jesse appears to be living the dream… He has taken his love of mosaic and combined it with surfing and manages to keep it all together travelling and singing in his renovated tradies van. Currently he does his gigs, mainly around the Sunshine Coast but nest weekend will find him playing at Byron Bay in between hitting the waves.

Writing most of his own material, Jesse describes his style as Folk but will dabble in other genres such as Jazz and Reggie.


Check him out online… Jesse Taylor Coastline will find him in a search engine. Good start to the project and after listening to a few of his songs I also get a new artist to follow as I do the long miles down the road


This picture is #1 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at the www.flickr.com/groups

An Artists Impression

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.

This is the original image taken from a car as we passed by her in the street. The woman in behind is kind of a distraction. This what the camera saw
With just a few strokes of my Apple Pen in an app called Photoshop Fix, the distraction has gone and there is a faint smile touching the subjects lips.

 

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.

Modern software can let us do almost anything with our digital images making a lie of the saying that a photo never lies.  This effect was achieved while processing the Raw image in Affinity for Ipad 

 

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.

 

The background of this photo is just a little bla with the uninteresting clouds and splash of blue.

 

The background of this photo was a bit bla and the people on the steps too dark and really just a bit inconsequential. Using Affinity Photo for iPad, I whitened the sky and brightened the overall scene make the people the stars of the show.

 

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?