2015 Retrospective & Resolutions

2015 has been another enjoyable year for us. Most of our shooting has been confined to specific trips so I can’t really do a month by month this year . Instead, here’s a bunch of images to show you what we were up to at various stages of the year.

A year of revisiting an old landscape friend in New Zealand. We remain resolute in returning!

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Roy’s Peak has been a great friend to us over the years!

A year of exploring the night with an electric candle. We hope to stay resolute to projects.

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In 2015, I set out to take a set of images to show the scale of the cosmos with me and an electric candle. This was at Lake Bumbunga.

A year where we received sponsorship from Nisi. With sponsorship, we hope to stay resolute to our own visions and true opinions.

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In October, we were contacted by Nisi to review their filters in exchange for a new set. We have not been disappointed to date!

A year where we produced 2m posters for the first time! We’ve made a resolution to print more of our images – perhaps investing in a large printer ?

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At 2m wide, backlit, this poster was printed in exchange for car hire for our New Zealand trip. Taken in 2012 and first printed this year!

A year snow for the kids. We have an ongoing resolution to keep them involved with our travels :)

Some snow at Dinner plain near Mount Hotham

A year to journey to the centre of the earth! This is a strange one but another resolution would be to make the most of any situation, and this includes not skimping on opportunities we can now afford such as the guided adventure into the depths of Karijini.

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The base of Hancock Gorge makes you feel like you are in a Jules Verne novel.

A year of publications with local and international magazines. We hope to maintain dialogue with our publishers!

One of several cover shots for Australian Photography Magazine

Cover art for 'The Scots' magazine featuring hiking in the Torridon region

Cover art for ‘The Scots’ magazine featuring hiking in the Torridon region

A year of ongoing trickles. We need to make a resolution to let our image archive do some work instead of sitting idle!

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This year we’ve established a few ongoing deals with print companies. Our favourite to deal with is Pikitia postcards! This image is one of their new line for Christchurch.

A year of meeting random people in random places! A new year’s resolution would be to seek out more networking opportunities (photographically and in our main occupations)

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We bumped into Tom Putt during his Karijini workshop in April!

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We bumped into Dale from dkphotography.com.au and Jordan from undersoulphotography.com while photographing the aurora australis

A year of transition to a new camera system! After writing about ‘GAS’ earlier in the year and succumbing to it, we should make a resolution to be aware of GAS even more lol.

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One of the first shots taken on the new setup with the Sony A7Rii paired with metabones and canon lenses.

A year of transition to a new social media platform : instagram! We can’t make a resolution to post every day but would like to be responsive to enquiries through social media in general.

40K followers in a year was beyond all expectations! Now we hope the 'reach' limitation does not kill the site for us

40K followers in a year was beyond all expectations! Now we hope the ‘reach’ limitation does not kill the site for us

A year of social media debate generation such as this post: We’d like to continue generating debate while maintaining civility and accepting opinions of others.

15 reasons why the modern landscape photography world is better than nature:
1. The pterodactyls are back! Particularly easy to find in coastal regions
2. We can warp ourselves into impossible precipices and proportions , so in awe of ourselves that we stretch out our arms to silent applause.
3. Sunlight can appear from anywhere, even in the middle of the night
4. We control the spin of the earth placing stars where we need
5. We control the brightness of stars, +60 if we need to see them at twilight
6. There are mountains and there are MOUNTAINS but many mere mountains are now MOUNTAINS
7. Our retina lost the ability to see cyan and green in open areas
8. UFOs with yellow engines apparently hover over forests, particularly waterfalls (at any time of day)
9. The world has become a warm fuzzy glowy place
10. Wildflowers have the capability to consume high quantities of anabolic sterols
11. Nature bends and flips to please our western left to right reading eye
12. There’s no need to hope for light, light just replays itself on order
13. There’s no need to position for light, light will bend for us
14. There’s no such thing as perspective, just a vision
15. Who needs movies, popcorn times ahead when the truth is debated.

The 'Bird Brush' is becoming increasingly popular with landscape photographers

The ‘Bird Brush’ is becoming increasingly popular with landscape photographers

A year of shooting images for ourselves. We need to keep true to our own needs and not treat every shoot as one for magazines, competitions, postcards etc.

One of our favourites from Karijini but I haven’t really put it on all of our social media sites

A year of shooting images for social media. We resolve to have fun while shooting!

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I’ve been doing more selfies this year – mainly directed at the instagram audience. And they’re kind of fun :)

A year of creating educational material. A target to set ourselves is to continue releasing material on our site. The next video may be about blend modes and the next ebook may be a location guide.

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Marianne has created our three current ebooks : http://www.everlookphotography.com/p944563685

A preview of one of our instructional videos.

A year of meeting fantastic photographers online through skype and discussing post processing.

A pleasure to edit scenes of remarkable locations such as this one by Craig holloway . See his images here : http://www.craigholloway.com.au/

A pleasure to edit scenes of remarkable locations such as this one by Craig Holloway . See his images here : http://www.craigholloway.com.au/

A year of attempting to win awards (yet shooting for ourselves as described above)

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One of Marianne’s four silver awards in the Epson Panorama Awards

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Image from Whitecliff Walkway taken in 2014 which made it into this year’s top 101 for the International Landscape Photographer of the year.

A year of judging awards , this time for FOCUS who put us up for a great annual dinner in November.

Great to have met Jacqui Dean, Adam Williams, Kate Holland, Brendan Goodger, Brian Bornstein, Luke Tscharke ( who killed it at the awards!) and so many others from FOCUS over that weekend :)

A year where we explored Victoria which we hope to explore further in the future along with the rest of our own great country.

Snow gums outside our accommodation at Dinner Plain

Revisiting the Great Ocean Road

A year where we had limited opportunities to explore our South Australian backyard which have not been doing. Perhaps many more weekends away rather than the big trips?

A rare visit to Port Willunga this year

 

A visit to Robe is always a joy even when the weather seems greyed out!

A year of #dbreezied moments from our own backyard. Damn you awesome light, you will not escape our cameras!!!

The mother of all #dbreezied moments!

The mother of all #dbreezied moments!

A year where we lost our beloved husky of 13 years to melanoma. Gizmo our 15 year old Jack Russell remains and we hope to keep him healthy and active.

R.I.P. Sanu 2002-2015

R.I.P. Sanu 2002-2015

Another year of family holidaying over Christmas. Every time we manage a family trip, it has always been a great success so we need to put the effort to organise more !

Dawn forays before family time

One of many dawn forays before family time

And most importantly, a year of enjoying family and life in general :) May this continue into the future !

The Toh clan at Middleton

The Toh clan at Middleton

Cheers to the 2016! Enjoy the video of the hits and misses from all the landscape images edited in 2015.

2015 Top 5!

The final 5 including some behind the scenes images of how they were ‘created’

#5 Mount Cook by Day :  This was a single shot taken from the SH80 at Peter’s Lookout. With a long focal length, the road is ‘compressed’ into a what appears more winding than it actually is. The catalogue shows a couple of verticals taken with plenty of headroom. We try to shoot for potential ‘cover’ images for magazines while on the scene these days. Once again, usually after shooting for ourselves. I like this image and I wondered if it may have been something more suited to social media and perhaps even for a postcard? I prefer another version of this scene later in the countdown.

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#5

#4 Marinner’s Falls manipulation: The walk to Marinner’s falls is officially closed due to the risk of falling trees. Indeed, as you walk toward the falls there are many parts of the path which require a duck under or scramble over these fallen trees.  Just before the base of the splashpool there is a high concentration of fallen trees which I thought framed the falls quite well at a longer focal length and with this composite, I tried to give a claustrophobic feel to being beneath these trees. The shots required varying degrees of polarisaition and focal points hence the numerous images required to make the final version.

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#4 marriners

#3 Mount Cook light trails : This scene was taken about 30-40 minutes before the #5. For the details of my inadvertent comp-stomp effort, follow the link to another blog post I made about this topic.

https://everlookphotography.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/how-to-deflate-a-hippo-in-5-easy-steps/

I first started from compete safety shooting the scene from the lookout itself but found that it was just too obscured. Since I was shooting solo, I could not leave my tripod setup in the middle of the road (even though no cars were coming). I would have preferred to have this shot with the same composition as #5 above but had to settle for the angle from a traffic island in the turnoff to the lookout.

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#3 trails

#2 Spal Pool Karijini : This image was taken from one of the most iconic locations in the Pilbara. I wanted to come away with something a little different to what I had seen from this spot. My specific aims were to have an image with completely smooth water to contrast with the rock textures (as most images I had seen had rough water in the pool), a warm cool contrast and some deep shadows to the image. It’s important to note that most of the images from this location look very ‘HDR’ but that is simply because it is how it looks! Believe it or not, when the light goes off the pool, that orange on the back wall really stands out but I tried to give more depth in this version by darkening that area. I would have loved to try more compositions with this lighting bad the tourist gods were not on our side and I had to give way to a family wanting to swim in the pool. It is one of my favourite shots for the year even if it is an increasingly frequently ‘trophy’ shot. In the RAW series you can see Marianne shooting away at another part of the gorge too!

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#2 spa pool

#1 Hopetoun Falls : We took the kids down to the platform just before lunch time on a winter’s day. When we arrived at the bottom there was very nice diffuse light above the falls. I have a strong preference for shooting natural light rather than creating it in post processing and perhaps in my mind, I was taking this image with some kind of mental protest against the trend of light painting in forest scenes. Nonetheless, this image is also one of my favourites simply because it was an image that didn’t need overthinking or artistic extrapolation. With all of the thoughts running through my mind during this year, one of the main principles that I personally like to hold on to, is that photography is the process capturing light and not inventing it. I’m very happy to have the majority of landscape photographers disagree with this in terms of artistic direction but it keeps things simple for me and is the real driving force for visiting and revisiting certain locations.

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#1 hopetoun

So that rounds out the social media top 5 for 2015! What did you think? Were they representative of our ‘style’ of photography or were there others you remember that didn’t make it?

2015 Countdown #10-#6

We’re into the top 10 now! Here they are along with the a screenshot of the lightroom catalogue from which they were taken :

#10 Robe Vacuum : This shot was taken on the last day of our winter holiday from one of my favourite locations for seascapes. At low tide, pools which are usually submerged . become visible with the rising and falling swell giving some interesting well like compositions. The key message from this shoot was not to give up with the light! I actually had and was starting to make my way up given that it was past dawn and promising light looked to be obscured by a thick bank of cloud. The lightroom catalogue screenshot shows the shots I was getting in the lead up to the light suddenly appearing and me needing to waddle as safely but quickly as  I could back to my previously set up position.

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Robe #10

 

#9 Wanaka Light : The Wanaka tree seems to have a love affair with social media. It is a rather unique location with the submerged tree standing before snow capped mountains in the usual aspect from which it is photographed. On this occasion, a few of us were shooting the usual compositions when light exploded behind us! I decided to move to capture this and ended up going with the long exposure as some of those grey clouds you see were rather unshapely (if there’s such a word). Once again the lightroom catalogue screen does a fair bit of pictorial description regarding the shooting rationale both in terms of angles and exposure durations.

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#9 Wanaka

#8 Feathertop Light : Marianne took this shot on a morning where I stayed home to attend to the kid’s breakfast routine. It was pretty chilly for our time in the area though snow only fell on the first evening we were there. Taking this scene at a longer focal length, we were able to maintain some of Mount Feathertop’s vertical rise whereas most shots we’ve seen from here have been wide angled shots where the risk is minimising a landmark which to the eye , is quite grand. From the lightroom catalaogue, you can see Marianne tried a few different compositions and a few different subjects.

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#8 feathretop

 

#7 Gibson’s Starlight : This shot was taken a couple of hours before dawn with a waning moon a few days before new moon. I went out shooting to shoot for both the milky way and and lit environment specifically. I wanted to show that it is possible to look for the right foreground lighting and photograph stars at the same time.  I wondered perhaps if the aspect of timing and the possibility of actually being surrounded by the conditions on witness in the photograph is an understated experience. I think that’s something that the undoubtedly cleaner composite images may lack, but in the end, how much does that count to the casual viewer? From the lightroom images, you can see that I started out wide but found that a wide focal length didn’t really give the same looming feel of the apostles that a slightly longer focal length did. You can also see some shots with the moon obscured by cloud where all is dark.

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#7 Gibsons

 

#6 Cathedral Pinnacle : This image was taken from atop the Hump looking down at the Cathedral rock formation at Mount Buffalo. There were clear skies that morning and I shot extra head room for a potential composite image which this image is. The sky was taken from a beautiful morning on the same trip from the Pinnacles lookout in the Grampians with the same lighting direction. The lightroom screenshot shows one shooting rationale I have these days and that is to get my main shots done before moving on to selfie fun!

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#6 cathedral

Next up, the top 5 !

 

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