Sunday Night At The Gold Coast

After a few weeks of full on preparation for the Commonwealth Games, my workload has diminished a little and last night I took a stroll through Broadbeach precinct. It was a tad after 9PM and there were surprisingly few folk out and about given we are in the midst of one of the larger sporting carnivals in the world this year.

The streets had the look that cities get when the crowds have returned to their homes and all that’s left are the cleaners; those nocturnal souls who rejuvenate the sidewalks and parks at the end of day. The blowers that inflated the blow up castle were now silent, and it now spread across the ground like some invasive slim often seen in sci fi movies.

The beach, now deserted, had transformed into a tapestry of texture where thousands of feet had churned through it during the day.

Like an endless desert the night lights cast harsh shadows on the tapestry of sand

Coffee bars still plied their trade while groups of spectators sat watching one of the giant screens, scattered across the city, to see Australia pick up a trifector at the swimming.

Watching the games…. street style

Looking up at the tall apartment buildings, one got the feeling that, despite the enormity of the event, there were many vacancies as the lighted rooms were far out numbered by those which shed no glow.

Wandering the streets, I came across several stages that have been erected to provide spot entertainment for the crowds that have been expected.  I stopped a moment to watch a troop of performers.

A troop of gymnasts strut their stuff on a street stage in Broadbeach

One feature of these games, and a sad indictment on the state of our world today, is the level of detail that has been put towards public safety. Almost everywhere you will see security or police officers, often just standing about, ready to act should there be any reason. Any place where public will gather is shielded with concrete bolards sheathed in colourful covers, preventing any vehicle attacks.

Following the herd, I made my way back to the tram station and so on to Broadbeach South where the line ends. From here I decided that a walk back to my apartment would do me some good. A pleasant night for a stroll.

If you have spent time at the games, what was your experience?

Please leave a comment if you had a great time or what were your grips?

There’s Something Out My Window

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…..

It was a long way from the top of the palm to the fence when you still don’t have all your feathers

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.

No Matter how often the parents returned, he was constantly clamouring for food

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.

Despite the handy pot of honey, they seemed to prefer bread. Pooh would never have made that choice
 
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.

There was a few moments where he took a little time out from eating to just rest

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?