Amid Myriads of Stars
Amid myriads of stars in a new moon night, I felt that we are only a small creature when comparing to the universe. In that darkest night, the Milky Way could be observed with our naked eyes. I carefully set my camera on the spot while worrying about the incoming tide, even reducing its level from time to time. My brightest wide angel is Carl Zeiss 21/2.8 and it was used in this shot for foreground. I took two shots, one with 20 minutes @ f8.0 and iso 400 to make sure the rock's sharpness. I used hyper focus in the first shot. Another shot was taken with about 3 minutes @ f4.0 and iso 3200. I lightened the rock, located in the foreground, by light painting it with my small torch. Unfortunately, even the widest aperture of the lens (i.e., f2.8), I cannot illustrate the beauty of the Milky Way as it was. Hence, Carl Zeiss ZF 35/2.0 was used to capture the sky (i.e., iso 6400, f2.0, and 15 seconds). In post processing, three shots were manipulated in Adobe photoshop. Nik Software, tonal contrast, was used to boost details of the Milky Way. Note: (1) I set up WB to 3200k for taking these shots. (2) To make sure that stars will not move when taking long exposure shot, '600/focal length' was calculated. For example, I used 35mm., then 600/35 = 17s., which is the maximum exposure we could use in the shot. My originate idea came from this link: What Digital Camera Magazine ***(2.1) 600/focal length will be depend on the sky you capture the shot. For more info, please visit: Astropix.com or Wilmslowastro.com (3) To astronomer, please accept my apology in case that the position of the Milky Way in this shot could't be the right position as I manipulate this shot following my imaginary. Last but not least, if you would like to contact or follow my photos, please feel free to visit me at my Facebook Page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox.". Many thanks : )
The Last Moonlight
Shooting technique of this shot was similar to my previous photo that was taking one shot for the foreground and another shot for the star. Both of them, then, were manipulated in post processing with Photoshop. And, if you would like to contact or follow my photos, please feel free to visit me at my Facebook Page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox." Many thanks : )
Fiery sky over Opera house
Which one is your most favorite, impressive sunset photo taken in Sydney? For me it is this one, taken in April 22, 2011. Each year, I and my friends have about 30-40 photo trips, usually held in either weekend or holiday. We traveled around several Sydney’s beaches in order to take sunrise/sunset photos. Only a few trips were held at Botanic garden, located near the Opera house, including that beautiful day. We waited about 30 minutes before the sunset. At that time, I did not expect an amazing sky because almost all of the time in the afternoon the sky was filled with totally grey color. Suddenly, beyond our expectation, the sky turned yellow, red, and magenta. It was totally fiery, gorgeous sky to me. One of my friend spending almost 20 years in Sydney told me that this sunset was one of the most beautiful fiery sky over The Opera house that he had never experienced. It was really best luck to us, I though. ***Note1: I took this photo with Carl Zeiss ZF 85mm. x 4 shots in horizontal format, then stitching it in Photoshop. The color is real as it was. Only a little increase in saturation was adjusted. Note2 If you are interested in buying one of my photos, you could visit ===> my online gallery
One of the best seascape rock formation is Bermagui, on the south coast of NSW, Australia. Driving About 6-7 hours from Sydney, I really enjoy this location and it is my top destination when having an holiday. 2-3 days are suitable to explore this stunning location. Amid these rock formation, I though I am being in a mysterious fairyland. I could spend a whole day or two here and take some seascape photos without a boredom at all : ) Note: Lee Soft GND 0.9 (3 stops reduction) was used in this shot.
Light Rhythm of Sydney
This photo was taken at Luna Park, Milson Points on February 25, 2012. At that almost new moon night, the weather was forecasted as clear, 5% chance of rain, and about 5-10% of cloud coverage. I and some of my close friends waited until the sky was clear, then starting capture the stars and light of Sydney. From 02.00-04.00AM, I captured almost 40 shots (180 seconds each @ f/5.6, iso 200). A cheap remote control (about $15), ordered from eBay, served me very well. In post processing, I imported all photos to Photoshop by using [File\Scripts\Statistics...] command. Then, an image statistic window will appear. Use stack mode: Maximum and import all photos. Relax with a cup of coffee, then with in 5 minutes you will received a star trails shot, waiting to the next processing steps. Note 1: No filter used in this shot. I separately captured the bridge about 2-3 shots with different exposure and blended them later with the star trails shot in Photoshop. Note 2: The higher ISO, the more stars in the photo. Note 3:The longer focal lens, the more movement of the captured stars. For more information visit:500px.com/photo/5221531 Note 4: Tilt shift lens offer us much more prominent effect of star trails as we could capture the bride and the sky separately. Nikon 24mm. Tilt shift is the best in this location. Visit OAKY's star trail photo taken in the same night as mine with the tilt shift lens:500px.com/photo/5364559
Tide rhythm@Avalon Beach
Happy new year 2012 *** Thank for your votes : )
A peaceful morning
This photo was taken in a very windy morning at North Bondi, Sydney. The strong wind delivered cloud quickly. I would like to capture this movement. Hence, Lee Big Stopper (10 stop reduction) was used in this shot. Long exposure offered me very smooth sea water as well as moving and blurring clouds. However, three minutes were long enough to blur the movement and it was too long to make a fisherman in focus. This photo, present here, were manipulated by blending two exposure: one for long exposure and another shot for the fisherman. In addition, Singh-Ray Reverse GND 0.9 filter was used to extend dynamic range of this shot. In post processing, I need to eliminate blue color cast in the shadow, especially on the right corner while trying to maintain overall correct white balance of the shot. At the end, a little bit vivid color was intentionally adjusted in order to make this photo more dramatic.
This photo was taken at Coogee Beach, Sydney, Australia. It heavily rained last night. I didn't expect the fiery sky like this one in the following morning : ) The sky was too colorful. Hence, in post processing, I need to reduce Yellow & Red color about -15 to -20 in saturation!! Note: Lee Hard GND 0.9 was used to extend the dynamic range of the shot.
The beauty of taking photo with a small aperture (e.g, f16.0 - 22.0) is star-burst creation. The more aperture blades of the lens, the more number of points on the star. Practically, we get double the number of points from the number of blades. This shot was taken with Carl Zeiss ZF 21mm/f2.8 that has 9 blades. I used f22.0; hence, 18 points on the star happens. However, using very small aperture at night requires you slow down the shutter speed in order to capture enough light in the scene. Hence, at iso 200, 5 minutes exposure was used. With this setting, water was beautifully smooth like a big mirror, reflecting light from Harbour bridge and the city. Unfortunately, the moon and stars were also affected from slow shutter speed. Five-minute exposure was too long to capture standstill moon and stars.Theoretically, a veteran photographer told me that the maximum exposure we can use without getting star tails is 600/focal length (e.g., 600/21mm => 28 seconds). Hence, I separately took a photo of the moon and star by 15 second, f16.0, and iso1600 so that they wouldn't move in the scene. Later, these two photos were blended in Photoshop by using layer mask technique and changing the layer mode of the moon and stars to 'Lighten'
Orange Sherbet Morning
Taken @ Bronte Beach, Sydney, Australia Note: Lee Soft GND 0.6 was used in this shot
Sky Catch Fire!
This shot was taken in April 2011 from Botanic garden, opposite the Opera House, Sydney. SIX vertical shots from Carl Zeiss ZF 85mm. were stitched in Photoshop creating a huge file, 10,604 x 3,820 pixels. This fiery sky totally colored the sky to red and yellow. In post processing, I need to reduce its saturation (red -15, and yellow -15); however, it stills a little bit vivid in its way. Note1: When taking landscape photo, I usually set picture style of Nikon D700 as Landscape mode with manual adjustment as the followings: sharpness (+9), contrast (-1), saturation (0). Note 2: On the sky, I see Zeus (God of sky)’s face over the Opera House ; P
Catching fish catches my eyes
Taken at Turimetta Beach, Sydney (2010)
Golden Rush Hour
Sometimes I am super busy to handle my research and have no time to take photos. Fortunately, I could see a very beautiful view of Anzac bridge from my apartment's west window. And, I usually look at it when I want to relax. The bridge, in proximity to the central business district of Sydney, Australia, is very beautiful at dusk, especially when the sunset is gorgeous. From my window, I attached Nikon 80-200, f/2.8 to D700 and took this shot at 200mm. I have some photos of Anzac bridge and one of them that I like most is being presented. At evening golden hour, lots of cars were speedily across this bridge. I'd like to capture its movement; hence, I employed Lee Big Stopper (10 stops reduction) that allowed me setting the camera about 500 seconds of speed shutter @ f16.0. WB was set at Auto and picture style was Landscape (+9 sharpness; - 1 contrast; and +2 saturation).
Dull Rainy Morning @ Forrester Beach
My first visit at Forrester Beach, Sydney, was really impressive. We, about 10 photographers, scattered around the beach and totally wet as it rained all the time. Needless to say about our gear! I cleaned all of my filters several times until I gave up. However, strong wind, high tide, and rainy morning gave us a lot of fun. I took this photo with Lee ND 1.2 and 0.9 Soft GND. In post processing, I needed an hour in order to remove all water drops from the image. Totally tiresome process, isn't it?
Breath of Narrabeen
At that morning, standing in front of the powerful wave, I witnessed its rhythm and breath. Unexpectable wave allowed me only a couple chance to capture its beautiful movement thru rock formation path. I, and my camera gears partly wet after this shot. I really enjoy taking sunrise photo at this place, Narrabeen Beach, North Sydney, Australia. Note: Lee Hard GND 0.9 was used in this shot.
One of my friends said that the beauty of landscape photos mostly depend on either photographer's determination or his/her luck. If we are persistent enough, plus a little bit good luck of that day, we could have a chance to take a beautiful shot. His wordings drive me a lot. On terrible day, when I was willing to retreat, I count on those words. Dim morning could turn to AWESOME, colourful day. Just keep persistence. And, be preparing yourself for an incoming luck. Note: Singh-Ray Reverse 0.9 Soft GND + Lee 1.2 ND were applied with this shot.
I employed Lee Big Stopper (10 stops reduction) for this shot. It reduce the shutter speed from 1/30s. to 30 seconds that made the water dreamy smooth. The ratio (1/30s to 30seconds) is my personal fomular in quick situation that cannot waste any second. I adjust only ISO and fix the aperture to f11.0 as keepting the sharpness through the shot.
Second Big Splash
Coogee beach, located in Sydney, is a popular place to dine, surf, swim and take photos. This beach has beautiful rock formation at the left side and I like to visit it, especially in the high tide morning. In a windy morning, sea water strongly hit the rock, then creating a beautiful waterfall. This shot illustrated a second big splash following the first one in seconds. After taking these photos, my filter was sprayed with some seawater. Note: Lee Soft GND 0.9 was used in this shot.
Back in 2009, HDR technique was very attractive to me in case that I could extend dynamic range of the photo as well as gain vivid color. I experimented several methods and programs to achieve a satisfied output. Although its outcome looks very fantasy, I, at that time, was very happy and used it for several months. Later, after buying some Lee GND filter, I rarely use this technique as I prefer my photo to be realistic as possible. Presented here is one of my most favorite HDR photo taken in June 2009. Observatory hill park, located in Sydney, is a very popular attraction for tourists and locals. I took this shot with +2, 0, -2 from my previous Canon 5D and Carl Zeiss ZF21mm. at f11.0
* Taken at Little Bay, Sydney (2012) ** B+W CPL 105mm. and Lee soft 0.9 GND were used in this shot.
Located on the north side of Clovelly Bay, Shark Point is one of my favourite seascape photography when the tide is low. This spot is renown as dive and fishing locations. In the early morning, if tide is low, we could see some persisten fisherman around Shark Point. This shot was taken at very low angle. I set up the camera on a tripod only 1 foot from the ground. Speed shutter and aperture were set at 1/2sec @ f11.0 This speed shutter allow you capturing sea water fall from the rock. I manually focused at about 1.2 meter in order to receive hyper-focal distance. I need to take two shot for this photo; one for the water movement and another one I set the speed shutter at 1/8 to capture those fisherman. Note: Lee Soft GND 3 Stops was used in this shot. Note 2: According to the colour of my photos, I post process photos a lot! Some layers and filters are used to enhance the outcome. However, we need to have a start nice input first. I always use landscape picture style when shooting landscape. I adjust it a little bit (sharpness +9 and saturation +2) Hope this help you understand my process : )
One of my most favourite wallpapers for ever. This photo was taken from Bermagui, the south coast of NSW, Australia. And, if you would like to contact or follow my photos, please feel free to visit me at my Facebook Page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox." Many thanks : )
Circular Opera Comet
This is my second attempt in taking star-trail photo over the Harbour Bridge. To avoid light pollution from the city, 185 photos of stars were taken at this location in a new moon night with totally clear dark sky. Technically, each shot was captured with f4.0, 90 seconds, iso 200 at 18 mm. To keep the bridge sharpness, I took another shot with f16.0, 420 seconds. All photos were manipulated in Photoshop by blending in lighten mode. At the end, the AWESOME plugin, named 'Star Spike Pro', was used to fulfil my imaginary. Note: (1) You could see my first star-trail shot at this location and its shooting info from this link: Light Rhythm of Sydney (2) Originally inspired by David Kingham Photography. You could see how to process this photo from his webpage
Dawn at Coogee Beach
Note: Sign-Ray Soft Rev. 0.9 GND and B+W 105mm. was used in this shot.
Morse Code: "I Love You"
How do you say "I love you" in morse code? The answer is ".. .-.. --- …- . -.-- --- ..-" as seen in this star trail photo. On Friday night, I took star trail shots over Sydney Opera House and Harbour bridge, then combined all 154 shots (20 sec./shot) to 'morse code' formation. I wish all of you love this shot and forward this photo to your beloved persons.
Charming Rising Sun
NOTE: (1) Lee Hard GND 0.9 was used in balancing lightness of foreground and sky. (2) In post processing, I replace the crystal clear sky of original shot with more attractive one. (3) Generally, I like to use ‘Dodge – Burn’ tool for enhancing dramatic impact to the shot, such as bring out more detail, grasp viewers’ attention, or increase local contrast. I normally choose “Highlight” range setting for dodge tool and “Shadows” setting for burn tool. Carefully dodge highlights and burn shadows a little bit. Don’t go to far as it will make the photo unrealistic. (4) Feel free to visit my Facebook Page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox." for more of my landscape photos and digital darkroom techniques.
Note: Lee Soft GND 0.9 was used in this shot. Shadow and highlight were recovered in post processing, using PS CS6. And, if you would like to contact or follow my photos, please feel free to visit me at my Facebook Page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox." Many thanks : )
Starry Lonely Night
A small attractive lighthouse is at Bradleys Head, Sydney Harbour National Park. It area is an exceptionally popular lookout and picnic area. I set up my camera in low angle position for enhancing foreground impact. To achieve sharpness, I separately took photos of the foreground (@f11.0, 754 seconds and iso 200) and stars (@f4.0, 30 seconds and iso 800). And, if you would like to contact or follow my photos, please feel free to visit me at my Facebook Page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox." Many thanks : )
Light Gate : )
If you would like to contact or follow my photos, please feel free to visit me at my Facebook Page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox." Many thanks : )
I took this photo last Sunday at Avalon Beach, Sydney. I firstly expected a stunning rising sun, but, unfortunately it ended up with completely dim, grey morning. CPL filter was used in the shot to reduce lightness and reflection on the rock. Feel free to visit my Facebook Page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox." for viewing more of my landscape photos and digital darkroom techniques.
I took this sunset shot of Sydney Opera House last year. In that awesome evening, I loaded Kodak 100 in Nikon F3HP aiming to experiment with film camera. Surprisingly, an ordinary evening turned to supreme, vivid dusk. I was stunned and tried to figure out camera setting. Lee Big stopper and Soft GND 0.9 were used in this shot. Fortunately, exposures were right, resulting in a fantastic shot. After picking up the developed film and scanning it, I found that these photographs were really vivid and saturated. I needed to reduce its saturation about -15 to -20, especially RED and YELLOW colour. In retrospect, I have falled in love with film photography since studying Bachelor degree in Journalism. I have two film camera, Nikon FM2N and F3HP. However, recently, I have no chance to use them as I have turned to digital photography. **************************************** NOTE: Feel free to visit my Facebook Page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox." for viewing more of my landscape photos and digital darkroom techniques.
This would be my last upload photograph to 500px in 2012. Time fly! A year that I spent in this warm community has given a lot of knowledge, relationship, and opportunity to me. No wording could express my gratitude. Hope all of you, my friends, have a great vacation. Happy New Year, 2013 :D Feel free to visit my Facebook Page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox." for viewing more of my landscape photos and digital darkroom techniques.
Greeting by the Sea
NOTE: (1) Lee Hard GND 0.9 was used in this shot. (2) Feel free to visit my Facebook Page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox." for viewing more of my landscape photos and digital darkroom techniques.
Please feel free to visit my Facebook Page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox." Hope you enjoy my landscape photos and digital darkroom techniques there. NOTE: If you would like to capture the texture of water movement, you could try setting shutter speed at 1-2 sec. But, when aiming to present its moving direction, you could adjust shutter speed between 1/4 to 1/8 sec. Last but not least, setting it about 1/250 or above, if we want to freeze the sea water. Wait and see the result from your incoming shots, my friends : D
Peace after Storm
This shot was taken with Big Stoppers + Singh-Ray Rev. Final photo was stunning, especially peaceful feeling of the sea water. However, weird colour casts were generated! Blue-Cyan in sea water, Magenta on sky/cloud, and reddish-pinky light around the centre. I try to correct its WB in post processing, but this is the best I could do. At least, the final photograph looks like a fantasy and dreamy image. Hope you like it :D Happy Friday Night NOTE: View more photography technique and digital post processing in my page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox."
Painting by SEA
This photo was taken at Malabar Beach, Sydney. View "Behind the Scene" of this shot in my page, "AtomicZen.Blackbox."
The Last Stand
Singh-Ray Rev. Soft GND 0.9 was used in this shot. NOTE: View more photography technique and digital post processing in my page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox."
NOTE: (1) Singh-Ray Rev. Soft GND 0.9 was used in this shot (2) View more photography technique and digital post processing in my page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox."
Note: (1) Lee Soft GND 0.6 and CPL were used in this shot (2) Grasp more photography technique and digital post processing in my page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox."
Lee soft GND 0.9 was used in this shot See more post processing techniques or photography tips from my official page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox."
Kiama, NSW, Australia See more post processing techniques or photography tips from my official page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox."
Taken at Bombo Beach, Sydney. Singh-ray Rev. 0.9 Soft GND was used in this shot. See 'Behind the scene' of this photo and following more post processing techniques or photography tips from my official page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox." Many thanks for your warm supports : )
Freeze the Time
"... Too busy life in every dim day. In a beautiful morning like this, I wish to find a magic way to freeze the time..." Taken at Kiama Surf Beach, NSW, Australia, this photo was combined with two different shots, one for the long exposure FG, and another 1/30 sec. photo of the photographer at that scene. See more post processing techniques or photography tips from my official page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox." Many thanks for all of your supports.
Signature by the Sea
Lee Soft GND 0.9 was used in this shot. Fee free to visit my official page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox."Many thanks for your warm supports and comments :D
Fee free to visit my official page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox." NOTE: This photo was taken @Kaima Surf, NSW, Australia. Lee 1.2 ND + Singh-Ray Reverse 0.9 was used in this shot.
Joyful Flow of the Sea
Lee Soft 0.9 GND + CPL was used in this shot Fee free to visit my official page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox."Many thanks for your warm supports and comments :D
The Edge of the World
BOMBO Beach, NSW, AustraliaNOTE:Filter: Lee Hard Soft GND 0.9 + Big Stopper 10 stops Fee free to visit my official page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox."Many thanks for your warm supports and comments :D
Vivid Sydney 2013
Fee free to visit my official page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox."Many thanks for your warm supports and comments :D
"Behind the scene" Yes, I have craved for Nikon 14-24, but having reconsideration for a while as it isn't comfortable at on for seascape photography. A big 150 filter system from Lee is a bit expensive and don't mention about its size. Hence, for seascape photography, I found that Nikon 16-35mm. is far better as it is lighter, less expensive and versatile. A range of GND and ND, including Big Stopper, is available at reasonable price.However, sometimes, Nikon 16-35mm. does not serve you enough as it is a bit narrow. Hence, the vertical panoramic technique can assist me in capturing wider scene by taking two different shots; one for sky and another one for water (as seen in this shot). Then, I use 'auto-align layer' in PS to merge these two shots, getting wider result than a single shot.NOTE:- This photo was taken at Little Austinmer, NSW, Australia- Two vertical shots were taken with Nikon 16-35 + Lee Soft GND 0.9 Fee free to visit my official page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox."Many thanks for your warm supports and comments :D
Fog covered all Sydney City on May 12, 2013 (Mother's Day). It was an unusual occurrence. This shot was taken from Luna Park, opposite Sydney Opera House, which was completely disappeared in the mist. Fee free to visit my official page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox."Many thanks for your warm supports and comments :D
Foggy Mother's Day
Fog covered all Sydney City on May 12, 2013 (Mother's Day). It was an unusual occurrence. This shot was taken from Luna Park, opposite Sydney Opera House, which was completely disappeared in the mist. Fee free to visit my official page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox." Many thanks for your warm supports and comments :D
Location: Turimetta Beach, Sydney, AustraliaLee 1.2 ND + Singh-Ray Rev. 0.9 GND were used in this shot. Feel free to visit my official page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox."Many thanks for your warm supports and comments :D
Taken @ Kiama Surf, NSW, Tasmania Fee free to visit my official page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox."Many thanks for your warm supports and comments :D
Blissful Morning @ Kiama
Location: Kiama Surf, NSW, Australia Lee 1.2ND + CPL were used in this shot. Fee free to visit my official page, "AtomicZen. Blackbox."