Landscape Photographer from the South West of Western Australia

Archive for October, 2011

Wyadup night sky

This is the shot I went down to Wyadup to take when I saw the whales playing. I went down at sunset so I could get to this vantage point before it was dark.

Wyadup night sky

Wyadup night sky


Whale playtime

I went down to Wyadup this evening to try for a shot with the stars in the sky. However when I got there there were about 20 whales going past. They appeared to be a lot of humpback calves and a few mums. The calves were having fun practising breaching. (I will post the result of the star shots later).

Wyadup Whales

Wyadup Whales


These are magnificent creatures. When I went to school in this area we never saw whales. They were killed before they got past Albany. Eventually whaling ceased, but only when the estimated number of whales (probably humpbacks) left was less than the whaling company’s annual catch. In other words if they hadn’t stopped then they probably would have within a couple of months due to lack of whales. It is fantastic to be able to see the numbers increasing each year, and just to be able to go down to the coast and see sights like this. I hope they never again get hunted to the brink of extinction.


Abandoned carriages

I came across these railway carriages in Bunbury that don’t seem to have moved for years. The graffiti artists obviously appreciate the space, and have done a pretty good job on them.

Bunbury rail carriages

Bunbury rail carriages


Bunbury Harbour

I was in Bunbury today and took this shot of the harbour. The major export seems to be woodchips, and the harbour is screened off from view at ground level. However from several vantage points you can get a reasonable view of the harbour and this was taken from the lookout near the high school. I like the contrast in colors the woodchips give, and the industrial look to the whole scene.

Bunbury harbour

Bunbury harbour


Osprey mother and child

I went down to Kilcarnup again today to get a shot of the Osprey chick in the nest before it grew up and left. They grow very quickly and in a few weeks they are nearly full size. Last time I was there the chick was only just tall enough to peek above the rim of the nest, but today it had grown a lot. It was still happy to hide behind mum when I appeared and I had to wait to get the shot.

Osprey chick

Osprey chick


When I have been there previously I noticed mum seems to get “cabin fever” about every hour and takes off for a quick flight. This time she was checking me out and with the strong sea breeze was able to hover directly above me – a bit scary because Osprey’s have formidable beaks and claws. I was lying on my back to get this shot – partly because I wanted to keep an eye on her! The nest is on a small limestone outcrop which is a small island, so they feel pretty sure that I can’t get to the nest. I am sure she just wanted to stretch her wings and to give me the message that I was to stay away.
Osprey mother

Osprey mother


Wonnerup House

We took our grandkids out to Wonnerup House when they visited in the school holidays. This building was built in 1859 after the earlier home burnt down. This building is one of the few in the area open to the public from that era. (Ellenbrook Homestead is another).

Wonnerup House

Wonnerup House


This next shot is of one of the rooms. The National Trust have set up each room with furniture and other accessories from the original era so that you can see how the early settlers lived.
Wonnerup house room

Wonnerup house room


Brisbane sign

I saw this sign in Brisbane.

Silly sign


More South Fremantle Power Station

I thought I would put up a collection of the graffiti in the station. There has been a huge amount of effort go into creating these. To give you an appreciation of the size of these, they are all about as high as you could reach with a spray can in your hand!

DSC_9134mural-1


DSC_9138mural-2


DSC_9142mural-3


DSC_9440-1

DSC_9452-1


South Fremantle Power station

This building is popular with many photographers – for good reason. There are endless possibilities – it is a terrific place to visit. All you need to know is where the hole in the fence is to get in.

Some of the graffiti is extremely good. They must have spent a fortune on paint.

I took a number of shots – some HDR, some not. The site lends itself to HDR because of the bright sunlight coming through the windows and the graffiti. In this image (non HDR) I was developing techniques for light painting, both the shooting and the processing. I used a ND filter and high shutter speed to block most of the ambient, and then lit this whole scene using a single handheld flash. After processing the image the major elements of the scene (eg the murals,the floor and so on) wind up as separate layers in Photoshop, allowing all sorts of creative possibilities. To illustrate this I placed a Harley Davidson emerging down the ramp!

South Fremantle Power Station

South Fremantle Power Station


School holiday fun – light painting

My grandchildren came to stay over the holidays. I bought one of those glow in the dark bracelet packages and entertained the kids by getting them to make patterns in the dark while I photographed them. We joined the bracelets together to make a string. Once they got the hang of it they made some pretty interesting patterns. Here is a sample.












For anyone who wants to try it, I used a shutter interval of about 15 seconds, and just adjusted the aperture until the images looked about right.


Milky Way over Canal Rocks

I have been intending to try this for quite a while, but there always seemed to be something stopping me – moon too bright, too much cloud, bed too warm! Last night all the planets were in line, and I had run out of excuses. The battery on my torch died just as I was finishing – fortunately I had a LED light on my cap to see my way back to the car!

Milky Way over Canal Rocks

Milky Way over Canal Rocks

Update: This image won a silver award in the recent International Loupe Awards with a score of 85 and was placed 33rd in the Amateur Landscape Category.

Silver award

Silver award


Captain Bunbury Hotel – Bunbury

While in Bunbury I was attracted to this (nearly) derelict hotel in the main street. It apparently was the Captain Bunbury hotel, but the building is crumbling. The upper floor is unsafe, and you can see that the balcony is propped up. However it is still operating two bars (called “The Reef”). The right bar – the black door – is fairly conventional. The second bar on the left (in the ochre part of the building) is the “R” bar – it is a “skimpy bar”! What attracted me was the color scheme(s). Black, zebra stripes, maroon, ochre, and finally a green and purple section! Incredible. Whoever decided on the color scheme shouldn’t give up their day job.

I tried photographing the hotel with a conventional stitch – taking shots as I panned down the street. However the result was almost too good and didn’t convey the ramshackle and crumbling feel of the building. I couldn’t get as far away from the building as I would have liked because of the construction site opposite.

While taking the shots I tried something different. I took a series of shots looking directly at the building. I started at the right, and after taking each shot moved one pace to the left, and repeated the process. I wound up with about 70 shots. I took a strip out of the middle of each and manually “stitched” them together in Photoshop. All the shots were handheld, and parallax errors were everywhere. This may be one of the worst efforts at stitching I have seen – it was made especially difficult by the trees which seemed to move all over the place. However I was pleased with the final result as the patchwork effect makes the building look as decrepit as it actually is. I have deliberately not cropped the image to accentuate this patchwork look.

It will be interesting to see what the eventual fate of this building is. A laborer from the construction site thought it should be demolished. However I am not so sure – if we demolish all old buildings we lose our history. Whatever happens I think this building deserves a more distinguished fate than it is currently experiencing.

Captain Bunbury Hotel

Captain Bunbury Hotel