Roving-Eye Gallery update and newsletter #19 for July 2022
Hello to everyone and thank you to the new subscribers.. welcome aboard!
With the latest update just uploaded head to What's New - July 2022 | Roving-Eye.com and you can scroll back month by month for an easy catch up for previous months too!
If there is one word I can use to summarise this month and that is COLD!
My feet were wet from the freezing cold waters of the Upper Murray River for 2 days on a 400km Jetski expedition to the base of the Snowy Mountains and back.. followed immediately by 3 days of walking in the snow at Perisher and Charlottes Pass! No wonder I didn’t feel my toes at all for hours at a time each day for all these days!
It was well worth it though as I ticked 3 big photographic boxes and goals for this year being: Classic River Gum reflections in the Murray River, Rising moon over snow fields and the vibrant bark colours of Snow Gums in their element!
In fact I had several bites at the moon cherry which was just as well since heavy cloud cover threatened for the first 2 days of 3 but relented just enough to give me gaps to shoot the moon.. even if it was for as little as 30 seconds that is enough to get good shots if you are all setup, prepared and anticipating it’s appearance!
Modern apps are a marvel for this. I use “Photopills” to plan and predict exactly what will happen where and when for the Moon, Sun etc so I can be in position and ready.
I typically prefer the evening before full moon as the sky has some nice remaining colour in it with the Moon suspended at a convenient angle above the horizon and the contrast in light brightness terms between the moon and the sky is very manageable too.
Compare that to the full moon itself which rises well after sunset and presents major challenges and choices to be made as to what is the exposure priority, the bright moon (which is effectively a daylight exposure setting) or the dark foreground which is effectively a near nighttime setting.. but rarely both at the same time is possible without high levels of “latitude” in the image for post processing and of course the right base exposure to begin with.. very much a moving goal post each month if ever there was one and I am working at it every month to get closer and closer to the right judgement and balance between the two.
Nevertheless I was able to get a full moon just peeping over the ridge I had earlier marked out to give me some interesting tree silhouettes to add character to the (over exposed) moon so I could get the subtle colours of the foreground in the extreme very last light of the day! I was very happy with the result!
For all the landscape shots on this trip I used the Fuji GFX100S.. a “medium format” camera which delivers great detail even if the image were to be enlarged to a massive size (my ultimate reason for purchasing this camera!) and I have found it is also superb at capturing subtle colour. I so look forward to chasing down more colour scenes to show this to great advantage.
It was with some irony then that for the majority of the snow pictures I chose to treat them as black and white or tinted monochrome while leaving only a few “as is” in terms of the normally perceived colour.
I find most snow photos can tend to look too similar when viewed one after the other because of this colour similarity and I love the black and white treatment (of which there are many types!) because of all the inherent detail it can so easily highlight that can be missed in a colour version and so each image looked at in turn then starts to be viewed and appreciated as individual images instead of just more of the same!
While the very large image files it produces are enough to make the PC groan under the weight compared to “normal” cameras it has just enough capacity still to do me for a while thank goodness as getting new PC’s are an expensive changeover hassle and even upgrades in place can be expensive too so I like to work it hard for all it’s worth for a few years before a replacement almost becomes inevitable with increasing processing workloads all the while.
The Fuji is also delivering on the commercial front too with a client who has commissioned me to deliver an incredible 15 metre long seamless image for their new premises.. I will talk about that more next time after I’ve delivered the final image for installation and it is up on their wall!
As a complement to this written newsletter I am making a concerted effort at “behind the scenes” video of what it’s like working in such interesting locations and usually typically has some extra drone clips as well so if you’d like to see how my camera work plays out in the wild check my YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/AlexMcNaught/videos
Here’s the one from the Murray and Perisher trip! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5-0_7AXpG8
The month ended on a very special note indeed.. a wonderful video capture of not only a Southern Right Whale at the most northern end of it’s typical range, but also with a calf AND breaching! A “unicorn” whale combination if ever there was one!
The drone I was using has a very powerful zoom lens which is not only bringing me fantastic new compositional options but also bringing a benefit to such as the Southern Right Whale ID project run by NSW National Parks.
The drone can clearly capture the unique and individually identifiable markings of these whales from a great distance and leave the animal completely undisturbed while adding to the catalogue of known individuals in the endangered east coast population to be monitored and policies set to safeguard them with this kind of detailed knowledge at hand.
In fact it’s a great privilege to use the camera equipment to help contribute and make a difference in such a way.. you can see the whale video here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJ6idNGFScg
I have the next adventure all lined up to bring you images from an entirely different climate and part of Australia where I hope I don’t have to endure days of no feeling in my toes!
I am not sure yet if I will bring the August gallery update and next newsletter forward a few days to accommodate the end of August departure date or roll August and September into one update, it depends on the amount of images captured during August!
Of course that’s always an exciting unknown as to what will be seen next and part of the enduring, if somewhat unpredictable, charm of outdoors photography!
Take care and thank you for reading this far and sharing the journey!