Myself and fellow Blackheath, Blue Mountains photographer Penny Bray will be holding an exhibition of upper Blue Mountains wildflowers, birds and landscapes. The exhibition will be held at the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre at Govetts Leap in Blackheath from Tuesday 2 January to Sunday 29 January 2017. The gallery is open daily from 9.00am to 4.30pm. For more information phone me on 0402 849 009. My images can be viewed in the Projects section of my website under the "Blue Vision" tab . Hope you can make it along. Regards, Geoff
My latest project, Mono Blue , involves accumulating a collection of monochrome fine art landscape images from locations in the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Once curated, the final images will be printed for my solo exhibition in the auditorium of the National Parks & Wildlife Centre at Govetts Leap in Blackheath. This will be for the month of February 2015, with an Opening Afternoon to be held on the first Saturday in February. You can see a sample of images already selected on my project page.
I've just kicked off a new photo project, titled "Change". Autumn has always been my favourite season of the year, however it is particularly striking in the Blue Mountains - just to the west of Sydney, NSW , Australia.
I will gradually add a series of images of the changing environment (mainly vegetation) as we move from late Summer (when this first image was taken) to early/mid Winter. You will be able to follow my progress in the "Change" gallery under "Projects".
In this initial image taken with still 1 week of Summer to go, you can tell that change is just around the corner, and that the colour is just going to get more intense.
I hope you will return to review my progress.
22 February 2013
Recently, I was fortunate to go hot air ballooning during the Canberra Balloon Festival (a gift from my thoughtful wife). It was a fabulous experience, and I was able to take a fairly large collection of images. The flight was early in the morning, and as we drifted over the fields below, what constantly struck me were the wonderful lines, patterns and shadows evident in the strong cross-lighting of the morning sun.
Later, when looking through the images to do some editing, I felt strongly that many of the images would look great in monochrome, because it would emphasise the strong pattern of lines, shadows and textures. I have created a new gallery of images under the "Projects" menu above, where you can see the full collection of images that make up the "From Above" project.
Geoff, April 2012
While searching through some old photos recently, I was reminded of the importance of re-visiting and potentially re-editing images that we may have taken a while ago but overlooked. We sometimes have a large photo shoot, but only pick one or two "standout" images to edit, share or print. We can end up ignoring several other very good images that deserve a little tweeking and airing. We also tend to learn new editing skills over time, and this opens up the potential for re-visiting some of our older images.
The images in this blog post are classic examples of this. Some creative mono conversion has unveiled a collection of shots that were simply sitting on my hard drive, potentially never to see the light of day. Food for thought? Geoff
I've begun to be quite a fan of photo projects recently. I find that it's very easy to be unfocussed (no pun intended ;-) ) when my photographic activity consists of going out to find something that might be interesting to shoot. Sometimes I'll come home with a few good images, but this is by good luck rather than good management or discipline. However when I set myself a photo project with a particular theme and style, I find it far more likely that I can produce a series of images that I am proud of.
I've just recently added an extra set of pages to my website under the general heading of Projects , and added 2 photo projects that I did some work on during 2011.
The first is Streams which is a series of monochrome images in which I explored the movement of water in mountain streams. I chose to present them in mono because the emphasis could more readily be on light and water movement, free of the distraction that colour can sometimes bring to images.
The second is one I completed over the Christmas break, titled Shoreline , and again, the images are in monochrome to emphasise form and texture that can be found just by simply taking a stroll along the ocean shoreline for a couple of hours.
My happiness with the way these have turned out from an artistic point of view have given me encouragement to continue to set myself photo projects. Why not give it ago yourself ?!
Geoff, January 2012
I'm just making final preparations before hanging prints for my 2nd solo exhibition at The Wattle Cafe, Blackheath. My works will be on display for 2 months from Tuesday 8 March 2011.
Since June 2010, Wattle Cafe owners Paul & Leigh have encouraged artists to hang their works in the cafe, making for a pleasant decor for clients, and helping promote the work of artists at the same time.
The Wattle is located on the Great Western Highway that links Sydney with central western NSW.
The photographic prints are mainly landscapes feauturing the beautiful scenery of the Upper Blue Mountains, from Wentworth Falls to Blackheath. Included are sections of the Grose, Jamison and Kanimbla Valleys. Also included are some images of the beautiful creeks & waterfalls that are found in the area.
The Wattle Cafe serves mouth watering breakfasts, a broad range of light lunch meals, a great range of cakes and tarts, and terrific coffee. If you're in the area, fancy a weekend away or day trip, please call in and have a look at the exhibition. Geoff Smith
An extension of the trend to get back to shooting film has been the rise in popularity of shooting with Holgas and the like that take us back to the photos of the 1950's and '60's. That rough & ready look of the plastic cameras of the day, with pretty ordinary lenses that were prone to light leaks. Sure you got to capture images, but the quality was a bit hit & miss!
Well as smartphones have continued to develop and now come with resonable resolution, so have apps been developed that allow 'phone users to make the most of the onboard cameras as they going about their lives. An interesting extension of this has been apps like Hipstamatic that don't improve the integrity of 'phone images, but actually seek to replicate the look of the old plastic cameras that I mentioned above. If you're not familiar with the app, have a look at it here:
Once you take your photo using one of the included 'lens' and 'film' styles included (or with one of the extras that can be purchased at a small cost), the app processes the image in a way that adds random vignetting, simulates light leaks, out of focus areas, etc., and you end up with shots like the ones I've included.
Are they gimmicky? Well maybe, but I think they provide you with a simple tool to produce some very 'arty', nostalgic looking images that have a lot of visual appeal to them. Naturally, there has been plenty of debate about whether the use of these apps has a place in 'serious' photography. Some very interesting points are raised in this recent blog entry:
My own view is that products like this are simply useful tools that we photographers have at our disposal to make images that appeal to us. Sometimes we'll want to use equipment & techniques that give us the control to transform what we 'see' into the end result we envisaged, but at other times it can be exciting not to have total control over the final result. What do you think?
As my daughter Melinda's wedding day draws closer, I realised that I spent the last 3 weddings that I attended behind the lens, capturing some "reportage" style informal shots.
However this Saturday, all this will be in the hands of (at least) a couple of other very competent photographers. I'm not even taking a camera along, I'll just be caught up in the joy of the day!
However I did go out to Bass Point, Shellharbour the other day, for an informal portrait session with Melinda & Cameron, and this is one of the shots.
I wish them a very happy wedding day, and I'll be giving the photographers my full attention as they capture the joyous event. Geoff Smith
Just finalised a couple of images for the upcoming Members Exhibition at Project Contemporary Artspace in Wollongong, NSW, Australia. Gallery details can be found at:
A triptych titled "Life"
and a moody, misty landscape titled "Solitude"
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