ramblings of an electronic engineer.

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Sydney Trip: Day 1 – Harbour Bridge and Opera House

Having accumulated a reasonable amount of annual leave at work I decided it was about time to take some time off and go have a holiday. Normally I like to take holidays around public holidays to get a little extra mileage with my leave so noting that Brisbane had a public holiday on Wednesday for the Ekka and that Sydney Mini Maker Faire was on the following Saturday I decided to take some leave and head down to Sydney for 4 days with a day free at home either side of the trip to work on projects and relax.

So come Thursday (two weeks ago at the time of posting this) I flew down to Sydney for my 4 day mini adventure. After arriving in the city, dropping my bags off and having lunch and a coffee at a local cafe (one of 5 I visited during my trip) I felt it was time to do some exploring and photography. After a vague look at a map I headed off northwards towards the St Mary’s Cathedral then westwards towards the opera house via the botanical gardens and art museum.

It was somewhat unfortunate that in order to photography some of the points of interest along the way I had to shoot into the sun which messed about with the auto exposure and dynamic range of the shots. However I managed to fix the majority of the issues in post and came away with some photos I was happy with. Going another time though I’d definitely like to go out and photograph the opera house and bridge in the morning and at night.

To wrap up the day I visited a few shops in the city buying some board games to play back up at home, had dinner at a Japanese restaurant which served probably the best Takoyaki (Octopus Balls) I’ve had to date and finally went to a telescope viewing session  at Sydney Observatory. All in all a pretty good first day down in Sydney.

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Fox and Fiasco – In Recording

Two weeks ago on a rainy Wednesday night I grabbed my camera and headed off to my old university to photograph my friends band, Fox and Fiasco as they were recording their new album (which is yet to be released as of yet but is in the pipeline!). To be honest I really like nights like this, there is something relaxing about taking photos of friends doing something that they are passionate about and getting to hear some previews of the songs there were recording was an added bonus. From a technical side of things the recording rooms were pretty poorly lit which led me to predominately use my trusty 50mm f1.8 shooting wide open with my ISO bumped up to 1600 this combination (plus stopping down a little) was thankfully enough for me to get shots without significant amounts of movement blur. I will say though that even thought the rooms were poorly lit I the down lights created some very dramatic lighting and shadows which I quite enjoyed.



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After coming across this post on Petapixel on start trails I though I’d give it a go on the timelapse I made last week. Here is the result.


Here is the same technique applied to a timelapse in the same location as the picture above. I hindsight this picture is really out of focus.


I also tried it on a daytime timelapse of Hinze Dam a few months ago with interesting results.


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Timelapse: Santos GLNG City of Lights | Brisbane Festival

Last Friday my friend Matthew and myself decided to do some photography around the Brisbane CBD toped off with a timelapse of Santos GLNG City of Lights. The Light show runs for 10 minutes or so three times a night (7pm, 8pm and 9pm). We originally decided to shoot at one location for the first show of the tonight, however after we shot the first timelapse which each frame was a little overexposed we decided to stay and try again with more appropriate setting. For those who are thinking of going and want to shoot some pictures here are the setting we used:

For the timelapse we shot on a Canon 60D with a Tokina 11-16mm lens. Each frame was exposed at 2.8f for 1/25th of a second at 800 ISO. A frame was taken every 2 seconds for the duration of the show. For stills we used a  Canon 60D with a 18-135mm IS lens. Each frame was exposed at 5.0f for 1/10th of a second at 800 ISO.

I’ll post up photos of the day soon. Let me know if you have any questions.

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Perseid Meteor Shower

I saw this picture on /r/pics a few days ago of the Perseid meteor shower, photographer David Kingham spent 7 hours shooting to get this photo. The shot is comprised of 23 photos, 22 of the meteors/stars and 1 of the foreground been lit up at sunrise.

I had to overlay each shot that had a meteor in photoshop, lower the the opacity to 50%, rotate the image based on polaris to match them up, then erase everything on that layer except the meteor.

I was planning to go out and shoot the Perseids shower however as my friend pointed out the Perseids are primarily visible in the northern hemisphere, not here is Australia. So I guess this is something to remember for the next opportunity I get to shoot a meteor shower.

Bird Watching

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So normally I start my Saturdays by sleeping in a bit, however not this weekend. Early Saturday morning I braved the cold and lack of sleep in to go  bird watching with some friends at the spit. Equipped with my trusty 60D and 18-135mm I had a great time photographing the local wildlife and trying to remember a plethora of bird names. Can’t wait till the next trip.

Fist Shot of the Day

Bush Stone-curlew

Bush Stone-curlew

Bush Stone-curlew

Blue-faced Honeyeater and Rainbow Lorikeet

Rainbow Lorikeet

Silver Eye

Double-barred Finch (Left) and Male Superb Fairy-wren (Right)

Male Superb Fairy-wren

Besides birds there were also a couple of other photo opportunities.

Moth/Butterfly of some sort

Backlit Leaves

Wild Flowers!!!

This gallery contains 12 photos

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Weekend Timelapse

The weekend started on friday for me, mainly because universities don’t tend to run laboratories or tutorials during the first week. So come friday I decided to take advantage of the weather and go for a ride (30 km return) and take a timelapse of part of the Gold Coast.

485 photos later and here is what I got.

So this was my second try at doing a daytime timelapse and I’ve realised a couple of things.

1) I really could use a better tripod

From my first and second try at timelapses one persisting issue is camera shake. I plan to replace my current $30 tripod with something more substancial early next year, however in the meantime I’ll look into a few more creative fixes.

2) This sort of scene would really suit HDR processing

From looking through the final video a couple of times I feel that there just isn’t a particularly high dynamic range so next time with (hopefully) stable tripod I’ll have to give it a go.

For those interested in the technical aspects, I’m shooting with a Canon 60D, 18-135mm lens (18mm for this particular shot), f8 with a shutter speed of 1/2000 at 5 second intervals using Magic Lantern as a intervalometer.

I hope to post more photo/video trips as they happen in the future feel free to leave a reply with any questions you may have.