Sunset 17/09/17


A golden sun
Reflects off the water,
Warms my face
On this Spring day

It was a lovely warm day today. The weather was lovely all weekend actually and I thought I’d go down to the lake to catch the sunset and mark the end of the weekend.

I took this while I was down there, just as the sun was starting to go down over the hills. I’m pleased with how the photo came out. The sun was lovely and warm and the colours were beautiful. I think it captured the scene pretty well overall.

Definitely a nice way to end the day.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2017

Belmont Lions Park Sunset

IMG_5919

As the sun sets
On another day
I let my thoughts drift
Far away

I took this yesterday evening while walking home after doing some shopping. I hadn’t been expecting to do any photography but luckily I had brought my spare camera with me anyway so I was still able to take a few shots when I reached the lake and saw this lovely sunset.

The sky was really spectacular and I tried to get down low to show a bit of a different perspective and get in as much of the sky as I could. It was interesting trying to crouch down, keep my balance and compose with a camera in one hand and four bags of shopping in the other but I think it came out pretty well in the end!

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2017

 

Sunset 9/9/17

Pelican on the Lake

Oh to have the wings
And grace of a pelican
How far I would fly

It was a lovely warm day in Newcastle today; while the nights are still cool, the days are very pleasant at the moment and it’s starting to feel like Spring has sprung. Which is good for me as I find staying motivated difficult during the colder months – I love Winter itself but I pretty much just want to rug up and stay indoors a lot of the time. So I’m glad it’s getting warmer now and I’m starting to feel like shooting more regularly again.

Given it was such a nice day I wandered down to the lake for an hour or two to catch the golden hour and the sunset afterwards. I got a couple of decent shots and really like this one. The pelican came into the frame just as I was about to take another shot, so I quickly readjusted and managed to catch it before it passed. Good timing!

The sky was very vibrant and I didn’t need to edit this too much beyond just some fairly basic adjustments. When you get a sunset like this nature’s beauty speaks for itself.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2017

Belmont Sunset

IMG_4567.PNG

The light on the lake
Shimmers like golden fire,
Reminds me of you

I took this photo last week while walking home after doing some shopping. I wasn’t expecting to take any photos and didn’t have my best gear with me but the light was so beautiful that I knew I had to stop and try and take a photo anyway. I’m happy I did as it turned out well in the end. It’s true what they say, the best camera really is the one you have with you.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2017

Dusk Silhouette

Belmont Dusk Silhouette

Blue and yellow skies
Fade across the horizon
As day turns to night

I took this photo a couple of days ago when I went down to the lake to catch the sunset. I took a whole bunch of sunset shots but I actually liked the ones I took around dusk more in the end. With this one in particular I thought the colours really seemed to pop and it just felt very peaceful.

I took a photo for a nice couple while I was there as well. They wanted a nice silhouette with their phone of them looking toward the setting sun. I was already setting up for the above image at the time so it was interesting that they wanted something similar. Great minds think alike, I guess.

I like how my photo turned out and I actually edited it on a 12.9 inch iPad Pro I bought recently, which was very interesting. Very different to how I normally edit photos but I can definitely see it becoming part of my workflow going forward as it’s so immediate.

I think I’ll post a review or some impressions soon; maybe it’ll help someone and it’ll give me an excuse to play around too!

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2017

Panorama of the Lake

Panorama of the Lake from Belmont

To me peace is
Sitting by the water
And watching the world
Go by

After a few weeks of really cold, wintery weather, we had a lovely warm day yesterday and I decided to wander down to the lake to take some photos and shoot the sunset.

When I reached the lakefront it was almost the end of the golden hour and the lovely glow was starting to catch some of the clouds as well. It was a beautiful scene and I wanted to capture as much of it as I could so I decided to do a panorama.

Normally I don’t like doing panoramas over water as it makes stitching the images together much harder but I thought the water looked still enough to give it a try. So I took six images handheld and it stitched together quite well in the end.

I really like the final photo. I think it captures the scene well and I like how enormous the lake feels, almost like you’re being swallowed by the water. It really does feel that impressive in person too.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2017

Playing with Fire

 

The photography group I’m part of here in Newcastle met over the weekend and we did something a little bit different from normal: rather than go for a photo walk or do some landscapes, we played with fire.

Fire is a really interesting subject to photograph as there are so many different ways to capture it and you’ll never get the same photograph twice. If you use a short exposure, you can freeze the flame and show its power; use a longer exposure and you can make the flame seem silky and fluid. You can even use sparks to draw in the air and create interesting patterns and images.

I’ve experimented with playing with fire and light before so I had some idea of what we’d be doing but it was a really fun evening and it was great sharing it with other photographers, swapping ideas. Our group’s organiser, Steve, was our fire model for the evening and enjoyed it so much that he didn’t even get to take photos himself!

We also were very careful about safety and made sure there was minimal danger. That’s one of the other things that has stopped me from experimenting with these kind of images more often as I don’t like shooting them alone, so it was great being with other people.

I was pleased with how the images came out and I particularly like the black and white ones. I like the mood and contrast and they seem to really pop in monochrome. I like the shooting sparks as well – they were fantastic and lots of fun to shoot.

Photos © CJ Levinson 2017

Sitting and Reflecting

CJ by the Beach

Sitting by the water
I hear waves crash
And gulls call
And my heart sing

I took this photo last week while doing a photowalk near Pinny Beach. I was feeling a bit tired after walking for awhile and had quite a lot on my mind, so I thought I’d sit, watch the tankers on the ocean and let my mind wander.

I sat for about ten minutes and it occurred to me while I was sitting there that the scene might actually make for an interesting shot. I really liked some of the contrasts (particularly the rock with the sky and water) and I thought maybe if I put myself in it too, it’d give an interesting sense of scale. So I put my camera on my tripod, set a timer for about 10 seconds and then ran like a maniac to get back before the timer went off.

It took a couple of shots to nail the timing but in the end I think it worked well and captured the scene nicely. I think it also captured me quite well too, which I wasn’t expecting. The camera happened to catch me looking out over the ocean again and I think that kind of quiet reflection is quite true to my personality.

I guess I set out to take an interesting landscape and ended up with an environmental self portrait instead, which was actually better. Funny how that happens sometimes!

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2017

Float the Boat 2017

There was an interesting event on last Friday and Saturday near where I live in Lake Macquarie – the first annual Float the Boat parade, with over 20 boats decked out with bright lights sailing to light up the lake.

The idea was inspired by some of the flotilla light festivals that have been very successful overseas and the idea was to follow both sides of the lake, with Friday night’s flotilla starting at Marmong Point Marina and ending in Belmont, with the parade on Saturday night ending in Wangi Wangi.

I caught the parade at Belmont on the Friday and it was a really fun event – it was very cold and overcast but thankfully the rain held off and seeing all the boats and yachts lit up was fantastic. Some of the designs were very inventive as well; there was one of a shark I particularly liked and a lot of the kids watching nearby loved it too.

Taking photos of the parade was an interesting challenge. I enjoy night photography but it’s not often that I’d choose to shoot fast-moving subjects at night as it’s very hard to capture them without motion blur and my gear isn’t what you’d choose for the situation.

So I ended up settling for a bit of a compromise by trying to exaggerate the motion to create some interesting shapes, then once the boats had finished I walked round to the Belmont 16s and took some photos of the boats themselves. I quite like how the photos came out in the end.

I also took this video which shows some of the parade out on the lake.

It was a really fun event. The plan is for it to become an annual event and be even bigger next year so I look forward to seeing it again in 2018.

Photos and video © CJ Levinson 2017