Category: Lightning

A restored queenslander house under the milkyway at night. Photographed near Gatton Queensland Australia by Australian Landscape photogrpher Murray Fox in tribue to Dale Sharpe

Tribute to Dale Sharpe – Australian Landscape & Weather Photographer

My photography and video tribute to Dale Sharpe, the best Australian Landscape photographer and good friend, who passed away in an accident this week while storm chasing in the USA.

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Film Landscapes & Slow Motion Lightning

Finally got around to getting a roll developed and I’m 3/4 of the way through shooting another roll. I’m starting to get the hang of shooting film. For my film of choice for landscapes, Kodak Ektar 100, I’ve found you really have to nail the exposure for your subject (usually the land) and then filter the sky to keep it to say within a stop in brightness. Film will handle a much brighter sky, but you then have to try and pull it all back in post production on the computer.

Getting it right in camera using filters etc really pays off with film and saves you a bunch of time on the computer at a later date, when you’ve forgotten what you even shot lol! I’m using a Mamiya 645 1000s medium format camera, my go to landscape lens for the wider scene is the Mamiya 45mm. Film is Kodak Ektar 100. I have a local lab develop for me (just normal develop) and then I scan the negatives at home using an Epson V550. From there it’s really just getting the colours right and some sharpening in Photoshop, as well as removing any dust and scratches, probably the worst part of film.

This first photograph has to be my favourite film photo to date. I also shot this on digital, and I’ve even done Astro photography here, but the way this has come out, the colour, the soft glowing light, yeah, really happy with this one.

An amazingly stunning sunrise of an old broken down farm truck as the landscape is bathed in colours from orange to pink to red at Mt Walker near Ipswich Queensland Australia. Photographed on Kodak Ektar 100 by Australian Landscape, Storm and Weather photographer Murray Fox
Mamiya 645 1000s, 45mm, Kodak Ektar 100

I was pretty much treating this roll of film as a test case, I was bracketing most photos to see which exposure would work best (take good notes!) and photographing landscapes in various lighting conditions. On one recent storm chase I had some time so I broke out the film camera once again and captured this photograph. Those Ektar Reds are really popping in this one and the light that broke through the clouds really made this photograph work for me.

A storm cell approaches Purga just south of Ipswich Queensland Australia. Photographed on Kodak Ektar 100 film by Australian Landscape, Storm and Weather photographer Murray Fox
Mamiya 645 1000s, 45mm, Kodak Ektar 100

Finally, after another chase, I decided to see what I could do with a reverse sunset, that is looking east as the sun was setting west. This one didn’t quite work out for me, the main issue being if I kept colour on the landscape, none of it was up in the clouds yet, and if I waited for it to be in the clouds, it wasn’t on the landscape anymore. So this was more of a test/compromise shot, however I do know in this kind of light it would be much better to find an amazing subject I can get very close too and really highlight those colours on the landscape, wow golden hour smacks you in the face with this film!

A beautiful sunset as the last light of day falls across the hills. A river bends its way through reaching for the Brisbane River. Captured on Kodak Ektar 100 at Redbank near Ipswich Queensland Australia by Australian Landscape, Storm and Weather Photographer Murray Fox
Mamiya 645 1000s, 45mm, Kodak Ektar 100

So the plan is now to keep shooting more film and really start working on the composition and subjects. My confidence has increased a lot thanks to some major trial and error, time and of course, money, film costs every click.

Thank you very much for ready my blog this week. If you’d also like to check out a very short cool video I made yesterday with some slow motion lightning captures click below :

I sell all of my photographs as Fine Art Prints, Canvas prints and Prints on either Acrylic or Metal, if you’d like one for yourself, simply contact me and I’ll send you pricing details.

Until next time, enjoy!

Murray

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A bolt smashes down out of a rapidly building cell over the Ripley Valley in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia captured by Australian Landscape, Storm and Weather photographer Murray Fox

Ripley Stormcell

It was a long chase this afternoon. Storms were coming in from the west above the range but it was hard to predict what direction they were going to go once they came off the range. I headed out to a friends place at Gatton to get a better look and it soon became obvious I was too close.

Jumping back in the car I backtracked almost all the way back home and ended up at Ripley. There was lots of scud dropping down and the storm started rotating quite quickly. Hiking up a hill to get a look over the Ripley Valley I came across this amazing sight. There was colour in the cloud from who knows where, greens were popping in the core. Bolts were dropping down as well and the rain was coming on fast.

I took 3 series of 10 shot bursts and managed to nail this one shot with a bolt, very happy and thankful. Then the heavens opened and I had to walk back to the car getting absolutely drenched, I was not game to use an umbrella due to how lightning active the weather was and I carried my tripod as low as possible to avoid becoming a statistic. Thankfully my camera is fully weather sealed, just wish I was too!

A bolt smashes down out of a rapidly building cell over the Ripley Valley in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia captured by Australian Landscape, Storm and Weather photographer Murray Fox
Olympus OMD Em5 Mark II, 12-40mm Pro, ISO 100, 12mm, F/11, 0.8 sec

That was it for this chase, the rain absolutely bucketed down causing flash flooding throughout the area and built into once massive line that headed over most of Brisbane and the bay.

I sell all of my photographs as Fine Art Prints, Canvas prints and Prints on either Acrylic or Metal, if you’d like one for yourself, simply contact me and I’ll send you pricing details. All photographs are limited edition to a run of 30, once sold out I’ll never be selling or printing another one.

I’ve also added this to my Storm Portfolio, so be sure to check that out.

That’s all for this week, stay safe!

Murray

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Red and pink skies of sunset at Redbank near Ipswich Queensland Australia as a massive lightning bolt strikes down from a storm cell. Simply stunning landscape, storm and weather photography from Murray Fox

Sunset Lightning – Bolt of the year so far

Storm season is really kicking in here in Queensland Australia. The last week has brought wide spread storms to the region, some becoming very nasty super cells with tornados of all things. It’s the first time in my memory I’ve seen the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issue a tornado warning, with several dropping a few hours north of Brisbane and causing widespread damage.

Thursday saw a good chance for something around home, as I work full time I took all my gear with me on the off chance I’d have an opportunity to get something. Driving home I started to see cloud to ground lightning bolts (CGs) dropping to the west, but pretty close. I headed for the Brisbane River near Goodna as there is a great spot there with good views. Arriving I quickly worked out I needed a better view west so I moved a few k’s up the road to another higher spot.

As I pulled up I started to see the most amazing colour come across the scene. The sun was setting and throwing out amazing shades of red and pinks, with the actual storm cell being illuminated. I’m pretty sure I set a new record in getting setup and shooting. Camera on tripod, turn it on, into manual mode, aperture to f/6.3, ISO to 100, and shutter speed to live composite. I was getting a well exposed photo with 1.6 second updates. Start shooting. I normally run live composite for 20-60 seconds depending on cloud speed as they can start to look weird if they move too much. Second frame there was a massive flash in front of me, and this amazing bolt appeared on my screen.

Red and pink skies of sunset at Redbank near Ipswich Queensland Australia as a massive lightning bolt strikes down from a storm cell. Simply stunning landscape, storm and weather photography from Murray Fox
Olympus OMD Em5 Mark II, 12-40mm Pro Lens, ISO 100, F/6.3, Live Composite 1.6sec updates

We’ll jump for joy and high fiving myself, I quickly went live on my facebook page to show the scene and what was happening. As luck would have it, the colour soon faded and no more bolts dropped, I got “the” shot and my best bolt this year by far.

This ended up going a little viral on Facebook and ended up on Sky News Weather Channel, ABC News and Sunrise on Channel 7 the next morning, it’s great when others appreciate your work.

I’ve also sold a few prints on canvas of this shot now, if you’d like one for yourself, simply contact me and I’ll send you pricing details.

I’ve also added this to my Lightning Portfolio, so be sure to check that out.

With more storms due this coming weekend, hopefully I can get a few more shots in the back, it’s always exciting but extreme care must be taken, quite a few people were injured in the last round.

That’s all for this week, stay safe!

Murray

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