Love Wins

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I took this photo last month in Broadmeadow while on my way to catch the train for a trip to Sydney. It was complete happenstance that I came across it but I had to stop and take a quick shot.

I thought I’d post it today as I think it sums up how so many Australians have felt throughout this survey and are feeling today. Love is love and I’m so, so happy that we’re almost there. Fingers crossed our parliament passes marriage equality before Christmas.

Photo © CJ Levinson 2017

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

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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

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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

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

Nobbys Lighthouse at Night


I watch the stars shine
Over the ocean
While waves crash
And the wind roars

I took this photo a couple of weeks ago while on a photowalk in Newcastle. I’d started to pack up my gear after getting a few shots of the sunset over the Newcastle ocean baths and with night setting in, there didn’t seem like much point hanging around.

On my way back, though, I stopped to look at Nobbys Lighthouse for a while. I’ve always liked the lighthouse but whenever I’ve tried to photograph it I’ve often struggled to get a photo I’ve been happy with, one that feels unique.

Looking at the scene now though, with the stars out and the water reflecting the light, I thought it looked quite striking and might make for a really interesting and different photograph. So I quickly set up my tripod to take a few shots.

Shooting at night, particularly with a moving subject, is often tricky as you need to balance quite a few factors to get your composition and exposure right, most notably your aperture and ISO. I find it takes some experimenting to get it right and it took me quite a few shots to get the effect I was looking for.

I like the result though. The colours and the contrast with the dark sky really make the image pop for me and I find it very peaceful, which was what I was hoping to capture. I’m definitely glad I stopped!

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2017

Dusk Silhouettes

Moments fade quickly
There is only how you live
And the way you love

I took this photo a couple of weeks ago now. I had thought I’d shared it after I took it but I just noticed that I didn’t. Oops! I guess I’m getting forgetful in my old age. In any case I really like the photo so I thought I’d share it now anyway.

I had popped down to the lake to shoot the sunset and I’d been down there for a while without getting anything interesting… it was one of those lovely days that you hope will end in a beautiful sunset but ends up being a bit of a fizzer unfortunately.

But just as dusk settled and I was about to give up, the light changed and this beautiful band of yellow light spread across the horizon – the day’s dying rays.

So I started setting up my tripod to capture the scene, fiddled with the composition, and then… just as everything was finally ready and I was about to take the shot… a mother and her son walked into the frame and started fishing!

I know there’s not much you can do when something like that happens – it’s just bad timing and it is a public area, after all – but honestly at the time I couldn’t help but feel a little pissed. I thought I’d lined up the perfect shot, only for someone to walk right into it. Plus I was there first and it was obvious what I was doing – couldn’t they have waited? I only needed a few seconds!

I grumbled a bit to myself under my breath and wondered what to do… I still had a shot lined up but usually I don’t like taking photos that have children in them without permission, particularly if it might show their faces (occasionally I will with street photography when they walk into a scene but again I try not to show faces). But the mother looked over at me and sort of smiled and nodded at me so I took that as permission and took a couple of shots.

It was actually nice watching them fish through the lens, they were laughing and having fun and I felt guilty for feeling a bit annoyed before. So I took the shots and then left them to their fishing and headed home.

When I got back I loaded the photos to have a quick look and this one immediately jumped out at me. The dying light and the colours and the water were beautiful, but it was the human element that really jumped out at me; the emotion, obvious even in simple silhouettes. And ironically, after all the fuss, I think it is that element that helps to make it a far stronger image than if they hadn’t been in it at all.

My only regret now is that I hadn’t thought to offer them a card, I thought afterward that they might like to see it. Oh well. Maybe next time.

Photos and haiku © CJ Levinson 2017