Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Sketching Kit One (Canon Camera Bag)

I’m experimenting with what is the minimum amount of sketching gear I need. Specifically what can fit in my camera bag along with mu normal camera gear, The first kit consists of an A7 sketch book and the very compact little Cotman’s Sketchers’ Pocket Box produced by Windsor & Newton, a water brush, a soft pencil, a dagger brush and a jell ink pen. I also hand carry an A5 general purpose sketch book (shown below)which slots nicely into a pocket on my new beach chair.Sketching Kit One with A5 sketch pad
A7 sketch pad is good for small compositional sketchesThe original benefit of the water brush is it has its own reservoir for water, so I don’t need to carry a wash jar and water. However the water brush is really cool you can easily control how much water is required by squeezing on the barrel. I did find a need somewhere to blot off the pigment when I want to change colours, the back of my wrist was fine at first but I think I’ll start putting a little folder kitchen paper in the sketch box in future. The little A7 sketch book is really only good for simple sketches particularly a quick composition or notan sketch.
Trying out the Cotman ColoursThe watercolour is in half pan size and the colours really intense but the dilute down to wonderful translucent washes. I have already added a turquoise, in place of Chinese white, but I find the two greens (viridian and hookers green in the set a bit intense, and might swap one out for a mauve, indigo or even payne’s grey. Time will tell. This is a really wonderful little set and fits snuggly in the front of the standard canon camera bag.
Final I also have my camera, may canon camera is my designated beach camera at the moment, so I can always take a few photos as reference.
Photo - sailing inverloch
I Like my watercolour wash sketch a lot even though I didn’t get time to let it dry enough to finish off on the beach. I then remembered having some good results using my compositional sketch as the training style with google deep dream generator and dreamscope app so I put a few other photo/sketches through the style filter. The results are pretty amazing.
deep dream_photo/sketch 1dreamscope_Photo/Sketch 1deep dream_photo/sketch 2dreamscope_Photo/sketch 2

Monday, January 30, 2017

Post Beach Cleanup

1-2017-01-31_11-10-03_HDRI realise that painting and photographing an endless summer will involve a number of beach visit. Fine sand being the natural enemy of precision camera components, and particular hard on SLR camera. Thus I have designated my canon camera for beach duty. Not that I haven’t used my Pentax many times already at the beach. However the Canon camera bag is smaller and seems a tighter so less likely to fill with sand (or so I thought). after a few days of such beach duty The camera and bag had fine sand everywhere, so before I looked at dust on the inside I got out my hairdryer (I have one to dry watercolours) and gave it a good cool blast and use a soft watercolour wash brush to dust as I went. I also emptied the camera bag, took it outside, turned it upside down and gave it a long blast with the hair drier. That fine sand is pesky stuff but it does respond to a strong air flow.

HOWEVER SET THE HAIR DRYER TO COOL!  be careful not to overheat the camera or components

The all important question remains. What about dust on the sensor? Well I didn’t change lenses at the beach and the sensor appears to have no more dust than usual.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Notan Strip on my Hat

So why would I paint a set of Notan inspired grey shades onto my hat?_IGP1982_HDR

I’ve noticed that when I use a polarizing filter in the strong harsh light, The filter is definitely adding a warming effect into the colours and infact acting a little like a 2 or 3 stop neural density, My experience over the last couple of weeks and particularly a sunburnt nose saw me purchase a basic white floppy hat. Not a high fashion item but very useful on a hot sunny day. Then I realised that if a drop the hat to the ground and included it in at least one exposure I had a perfect reference tool to fiddle with the white balance in post processing, Adding a series of Notan reference tones hopefully will mean I don’t have to keep using my reference card, they are there on my hat.

The acrylic paints I used have, as usual darken once the dried so I may have to repaint the tones again a little lighter

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Festival of Sails & looking for Summer


_MG_0417-EditI went down to Green Point to watch the festival of sails making  their way down to Geelong. But the light on the sails didn’t last long. _MG_0442-Edit-2_IGP1961A squall soon raced across the bay and it began to rain, not exactly summer. Oh well home again…

Latter in the afternoon The afternoon bought plenty of sunshine and clear skies and I noticed that the back patio had a real 1960s Californian Hockney feel, aka endless sunshine. So I took a few sets of bracketed images from slightly different positions, with Hockney’s idea of “reverse perspective” in mind.


Friday, January 20, 2017

A Pleasant Surprise

Lower Tarwin Evening I was out taking some photos of hay bales across the road (in HDR) but the sun was getting a bit low, so I walked up onto the levee and took a series of Bracketed photos that encompassed a wide panorama out towards the river mouth. I didn't bother processing the HDR that night because I was more interested in the hay bales (wrongly). When I finally got around to creating the HDR series I was taken with the delicacies of the low angle light.

Monday, January 16, 2017

PhotoProject :: Art Of Photography :: Assignment 2 :: Low Angle

Whilst I am primarily doing this project in a sketchbook, and context on tumblr, I decided to present the outcomes here as well.


Originally I had planned to include the above photos, but my printer ran out of ink at the weekend and I decided to handcolour some laser printer prints using washes of Derwent Inktense blocks (water soluble crayons with intense ink colours).

low aop0002lowe0001low aop0003

I quiet like the results. The colours are muted and simplified, bringing the results into a more handcrafted feel. Perhaps the red was the least successful. You can learn more about the Art of Photography and specifically this assignment from the You Tube video below

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Right Place, Right Time

I had  parked beside the Oakliegh Football ground on my way to a show at the Caravan Club, “Feelin’ Groovy” The Simon & Garfunkel Project  (its a Jazz Influenced band with two female singets, playing the folk/rock and harmonies of Simon & Garfunkle, and it really works. There is a another performance coming up at the National Theatre.) Anyway I have digressed I was a little late but as I looked up I saw the last rays fo sunlight break through the clouds and climb into the sky. I had to turn back and get my camera and take a bracketed set of photos to make this HDR image. There are times when You need to realize you are at the right place, right time.

Sunset over Oakliegh Football Field

By coincidence the theme the week on Photo Friday is silence(The Sounds of Silence)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Enough already with the Notifications

I had planned to use instagram and twitter via my phone during the periods when I was travelling for my Endless Summer project. However leaving data on and getting hundreds of notifications from instagram and less from twitter I quickly discovered that I had used over 60% of my monthly data allowance in just 4 days! Wow, I seemed to be getting notification even though the apps where not running on the phone, The twitter beeps and tweets where the most annoying since they where not related to my posts or even things that would interest me anyway. they were just trying to grab my attention. The deeper worry is that in all this activity I feel like I am just yelling into the wind, not joining a “conversation”. So the solution is simple just log out of Instagram and twitter and turn off data. Silence … …

My cartoon creation Alvin people was actually one of the earliest Australian Twitter accounts, predominantly to link to and later post cartoons. My cartooning is having an extended holiday, but I decide to consult Alvin as he would probably know what to do. He readily admits he hasn't posted in years and after going through the forgotten password dance to resurect his account he managed to set off a cacophony of chimes, beeps, tingings, chirps and other electronic sounds. Clearly he could not find how to turn off the notifications either.alvin notifications

He did find you can unsubscribe from twitter using a link on the bottom of the web site

Monday, January 09, 2017

Beautiful Evening Light

Went for a walk in Jells Park, to the Oaks Picnic Ground and the night was warm and balmy but the light wonderful. I made a few HDR bracketed sets but I like this one the best.

Evening Light Oaks Picnic Ground I

It translated into a wonderful google deep dream style interpretation as well.


Sunday, January 08, 2017

The Summer People Series begins

_MG_0048-EditAfter mucking around with the frame within a frame idea. I remembered a painted I did almost a decade ago, of beach people in outline with a loosely framed sections of a stylized beach (it is about 900 by 900cm square). I still like it and despite a couple of decent offers have not sold it.

So I decided to update the idea of a smaller instargam-ish fashion image (only 20cm by 20cm) and just paint the background of the sky, surf and sand in bright acrylic colours in a beach sand inspired frame. Once I started I released I should also paint the brightly coloured (or not beachwear) but leave the people blank (representing they are only short term summer visitors to the beach). I also wanted strong outline so I found some Indian ink and cut some reed pens.

_MG_0049-Edit  _MG_0050-Edit


I like the result (at least this first attempt)

This is a small step in my EndlessSummer project, and you can follow along on my @Oz_EndlessSummer instagram

Saturday, January 07, 2017

A lesson I keep relearning

It definitely pays to check your DSLR camera setting BEFORE you go out with your camera to take some photos. I had been taken some night photo and had set the ISO to 3200. Then next day (in a hurry to get packed I grabbed the same camera. Also I don’t often chimp my photos, so it this case I had taken about a dozen photos before I realised. They all looked like this.

Damn... 3200 ISO!

Because I was taking RAW+ Jpeg the RAW images do Have a bit pf coolured in the default RAW rendering. Yet such failures are a good time to experiment. Just how much off the badly over exposed image could I expect to recover with some careful postposing of the CanonPrefect Exposure plug in recovery highlights CR2 RAW file?

I did try a few classic tricks with lightroom Like moving the highlight & whites sliders pretty much all thw way to the left but the image was starting to look a bit fake and badly posterized. So I decided to try prefect exposure plug in first. It did a much more natural job and the Dehaze preset seemed to recover from the highlights best. I could return to lightroom and use the whites, highlights and shadows sliders to a less extreme effect. Finally I darkened the blue of the sky by lowering the luminance of just the blue channel. Not perfect but a useable photo now (this is the bottom right photo on the over exposed strip above)

_MG_9784-Recovered Highlights

Sunday, January 01, 2017

First Endless Summer Art Work

Unfortunately its really overcast, not a perfect start to an endless summer, “Such is life”.
Network Aquatic INetwork Aquatic IINetwork Aquatic III
However it did give me the opportunity to experiment on a small canvas for #PatternsOfNature Series

network aquatic0002

Network Aquatic : Acrylic on Canvas 15 by 15cm (Jan 2017)