Sunday, 30 March 2014

The Watagans National Park


A little over half an hours' drive from our home is the Watagans National Park.  We have lived here for 5 years now and not once had we been there until this trip. What a place!  Great lookouts to showcase the beautiful Aussie bush, walking tracks and waterfalls.

So much to see and do up there; I wish there were more days in the week!  Still, I have a few days free coming up shortly and might just plan another safari up there to some of the waterfalls this time!

In the meantime, enjoy these Australian vistas!

Stay well!

Jordy



These photos are for sale, contact me  if you are interested.

All photos on this blog are © Life with Jordy Photography and may not be used without permission.


Xanthorrhoea or, Grass Tree at Heatons Lookout.  
Watagans National Park, NSW, Australia

Martinsville Valley #1 from Monkey Face Lookout.  Watagans National Park, NSW, Australia.

Looking east to Lake Macquarie from Heatons Lookout.  Watagans National Park, NSW, Australia.

Martinsville Valley #2 from Monkey Face Lookout.  
Watagans National Park, NSW, Australia.

Martinsville Valley #3  from Monkey Face Lookout.  Watagans National Park, NSW, Australia.

The Back Yard.  Martinsville Valley from Monkey Face Lookout.  Watagans National Park, NSW, Australia.

The Homestead.  Martinsville Valley from Monkey Face Lookout.  Watagans National Park, NSW, Australia.





Thursday, 20 March 2014

Catherine Hill Bay - Long Exposures


If ever you visit Newcastle for a few days, one of your visits must include the beautifully picturesque Catherine Hill Bay about half an hour drive south of Newcastle.   Originally named Cowper, the towns name was changed to remember the schooner Catherine Hill that ran aground in 1867.

It started out as a base for coal mining in 1873.  A large coal loading jetty was built and steam trains transported the coal in hoppers to waiting ships off the jetty.  The coal does not run there any more and the jetty has been allowed to fall into disrepair.  It is now past saving and is due to be dismantled (if it doesn't fall down first).

A very popular spot for its' lovely beach and heritage jetty, the town is made up of renovated miners cottages that give it it's quaint, old world style calmness and serenity; although it was not so last year!

Last year, large bushfires swept through the area threatening the town which was evacuated.  Historic buildings such as Wallarah House built in 1887 and built on the headland overlooking the bay were completely destroyed.  Thankfully the fire abated before any residential homes or lives were lost although the heritage buildings destroyed by the fire will never be replaced.  The embers blown by the wind from the fire front drifted on down to the old jetty where part of its' wooden structure that had been standing since 1873 caught fire and was destroyed.

I had not visited the bay since before the fires and so I took off for the afternoon last week to capture what was left.  The remaining jetty and burned out pylons made for an eerie scene and so I decided to get some long exposure shots.

Here are the results, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did taking them.

regards to all

Jordy


These photos are for sale, contact me if you are interested.
All photos on this blog are © Life with Jordy Photography and may not be used without permission.

Catherine Hill Bay #1,  NSW,  Australia

Catherine Hill Bay#2,  NSW,  Australia

Catherine Hill Bay #3,  NSW,  Australia

Catherine Hill Bay #4,  NSW,  Australia

Catherine Hill Bay #5,  NSW,  Australia

Catherine Hill Bay #6,  NSW,  Australia

Catherine Hill Bay #7,  NSW,  Australia



Sunday, 16 March 2014

A Valentine Sunset.


Last Wednesday I took off on a Photo Safari.

Popped into Valentine on Lake Macquarie for a recon before heading south to Catherine Hill Bay and then back to Valentine to catch the sunset over the lake.

Sunset can be very fickle at times!  Just when you think everything is aligning wonderfully, the lovely fluffy clouds that you hoped would look awesome, roll over, obscure the horizon, and play havoc with all ideas.  For this particular evening (as you will see in one of the photos) the setting Sun ended up behind a large band of cloud; I'd tear my hair out in frustration but, if you know me, you'd know that that would be a useless gesture!  I thought I may as well just stick around and see how it panned out.  As the Sun got lower, the light was reflecting off either side of the main cloud formation.  The movement of the cloud and the lower positioning of the Sun over the horizon as it went down actually gave some awesome light.  Not only that but the shapes of the clouds were so dramatic and the colours changed quickly as they reflected off the clouds and off the lake surface as the light faded.

For 3 of these photos I have used the same group of boats as the subject.  For one of these photos I was on full wide angle at 18mm.  For the other 2 I have zoomed into 34mm.  There are only a few minutes difference between each exposure but the light for each is totally different.  The other photos are opportunistic photos highlighting colours and shapes and there is a shallow DOF silhouette thrown in  'because it was there!'.

Also on this trip I re-visited Catherine Hill Bay.  Watch the blog for that post which will be in a couple of days.

I have been considering rising early for some Sunrise photos lately but will probably bide my time for a couple of weeks hence when daylight savings finishes here and I don't have to get up so early!

Hope you are all well.

Jordy

These photos are for sale, contact me if you are interested.

All photos on this blog are © Life with Jordy Photography and may not be used without permission.


Sunset over Valentine, Lake Macquarie, NSW, Australia.

Valentine on Lake Macquarie, NSW, Australia.

Sunset over Lake Macquarie at Valentine, NSW, Australia.

Journey to the Dark Side! Lake Macquarie from Bennets Park.  Valentine, NSW, Australia
Fleet's Out!  Toronto from Valentine, Lake Macquarie, NSW, Australia.

Twilight Sailing on Lake Macquarie.  Valentine, NSW, Australia.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Voigtlander Adventures


With my Voigtlander Bessa 1 bellows camera, I find that I am usually working with smaller apertures, reason being that the fastest shutter speed I can use on the camera is 1/250 and, if I were to open up the shutter then the exposure would be blown out because the larger aperture would demand a faster shutter speed than what is available to me

I reasoned that if I wanted to open up the aperture to get a shallower depth of field and keep the shutter speed within the camera parameters, then I should be using a slower film.  

I went out and picked up an Ilford PANF Plus 50 to do some experimenting.  

The reason that I want to get the hang of shallow depth of field for this camera is that I want to eventually use it for portraits.  The Voigtlander camera that I have is about 60-70 years old.  Back then, it was common to use the slower films (ISO 25, 50 & 64) because of their colour quality and less grain effect for portraits. 

I took the camera out to see what would happen.  It was a warm, sunny day with just a hint of cloud in the sky.  I went to the Carrington Marina here in Newcastle.  My intention was to take photos of boats, bollards, ropes and other assorted exciting objects that can be found on a Marina.  

Now, I don't have a dedicated light meter.  I use a Light Meter app on my iPhone!  That may sound funny, but in fact, I have found that it is very accurate and have used it before for my Voigtlander shots and have never had a problem with it.  

Anyway, it must have been the brightness of the day that sort of ruined my larger aperture hopes.  To keep the shutter speed at 1/250 or less, I had to use f8  or  f11 aperture.  My hopes for using f4 & 5.6 went out the window!

Nevertheless, I took the photos and here are the results.  Mind you, they haven't turned out too bad I think!

I think I will purchase this film again but plan more for a shaded area or a room that has decent natural light flowing in.  

Hope you are all well, as I am.

Jordy

These photos are for sale, contact me if you are interested.

All photos on this blog are © Life with Jordy Photography and may not be used without permission.


Carrington Marina #1.  Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Carrington Marina #2.  Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Carrington Marina #3.  Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Carrington Marina #4.  Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Carrington Marina #5.  Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Memorial to James Fletcher, 1st Mayor of Wallsend, NSW, Australia.



Monday, 3 March 2014

Murraya Paniculata

Is there a 'B' in Murraya Paniculata?    Actually....... there are quite a few!

We had some recent rain and the Murraya Paniculata (also known as Orange Jessamine) in our backyard has flowered profusely!   The shrubs are heavy with rain soaked flowers and the branches are hanging low.  

The flowers give out a beautifully fragrant aroma - heavy & sweet with hints of citrus.  The smell floats through our house (especially at dusk when it is thick in the air!)   Of course, the Bees love it as well!

I decided to get out and test my skills trying to catch the Bees as they flitted from flower to flower.  Once they land on the flower well, that's easy BUT, it's trying to catch them mid flight that is the most difficult; they are such fast fliers!

I couldn't get too close; I have an allergy to Bee Stings and, although I have not been bitten since I was a child, I am not risking an anaphylactic attack to find out if that allergy is still active!  So, I got out my trusty Canon EFS 55-250mm zoom and set it at f5.6 to allow for a shallow DOF and lovely Bokeh that comes with it.  I also shot in AV mode so that I didn't have to be constantly adjusting for exposure on each shot.  I also upped the ISO to 400 to get faster shots because there was a breeze blowing which meant for quite a bit of movement in the shrubs.

When I went out, it had not rained for a couple of hours.  It was an odd light. There was still cloud cover which filtered the sunlight down off the flowers but in the distance were heavy dark clouds; a portent of more rain coming our way!

These are just a few of the photos I took.  Some have been cropped for better presentation but are still sharp.  Hope you enjoy them.

Stay well my friends!

Jordy

These photos are for sale, contact me if you are interested.

All photos on this blog are © Life with Jordy Photography and may not be used without permission.


The filtered light through the cloud cover and the ominous storm clouds in the distance!