Category: Ramblings

The Disney Fantasy docked in Cozumel Mexico

Time for a change – Where too from here?

Back home from our month long trip to the USA and it was amazing. We experienced so much and to be honest, it was a good break from photography. That’s not to say I didn’t take photos, in fact I have over 400gb of photos and videos from the trip, but I only used a gopro and my phone for it all. My Olympus got used once. For future trips I think that will be staying home.

It was good to have a break and to re-evaluate where I’m going with my photography. I love to shoot a wide variety of subjects but have pressured myself to create more often, to create to satisfy an audience of wonderful follower, and I feel this has actually hurt my creativity. There are things I want to work on, to perfect, and they are going to take a very long time to do so.

I really want to improve my landscape photography, and take it in a different direction. I’ve dabbled with film in the past and I think it’s really time to pull out all stops and get right into it. I currently have a nice Medium Format 645 Mamiya setup with 3 lenses that will let me learn as I go before looking at making the big step to Large Format 4×5 which is where I eventually want to end up.

Due to the nature of film, the time it takes to get rolls developed etc, this means I’ll have less photos over time to share, however if I get it right, the quality should improve dramatically. I’ll be able to spend more time photographing in the right light than using Photoshop to help create the light as a lot of my previous work does.

Digital will remain with storm chasing and astro photography for sure. With storms speed is of the essence and while film could work, getting those photos up quickly is best I have found. The processing of those photos will shift however, as I endevour to get more accuracy in with my creativity, it should be interesting to see what the results are. Astro, well the seasons pretty much over until around March now, so there’ll be a break from the Milkyways, but I will be working on some star trail photographs when the opportunity arises.

I’m also taking a step back from selling prints, training and generally trying to make money from my photography. Yes, I’d love to make this a full time passion, however the reality is, I have a great job, it pays well, and helps keep food on the table and my family safe. So while I will still sell prints if requested, the sales tools are removed from the website, you will have to contact me directly for prints (also means those that do are truly interested in one of my works) and I won’t be doing lessons as they are just too time involved which is better spent elsewhere.

Eventually once I have a collection of film created landscapes I’m satisfied with, those will be offered up as limited edition prints. But we are talking a few years down the track I suspect.

On the other creative side, I’m going to try and make videos work again for me. If you follow me on Facebook you would have seen the volume of vlogs I was posting up during our USA trip. These were all relatively short videos, around 3-4 minutes long, all set to music with very minimal talking, it was just sharing the journey. I’m going to explore this format further with my photography and see if there is interest for it. They will be more about sharing the locations than how to capture the photographs. Each video will however, link back to this blog where I will give further information about what was involved in creating the photographs for those who wish to learn more. Giving back is important to me and I find the typed word to be the best long term reference for such information.

So that’s how things are going to progress from here. I must say the Gopro Hero 7 Black I used on our holiday was simply amazing for both the quality of video and photographs it created. No post processing required, their Quik app automatically creates videos on your phone, set to music, a glowing review from me, will ask Santa for the new Hero 8 Black I think 🙂

Be sure to follow me on Facebook for the most regular updates, however keep visiting this blog for the most important ones. Again, thank you all for following me on my photography journey, I really look forward to sharing new and wonderful creations with you.

P.S. the photograph below is of our ship, the Disney Fantasy, docked in Cozumel Mexico (tequila tasting anyone?). Photographed using the Gopro Hero 7 Black, unedited.


The Disney Fantasy docked in Cozumel Mexico
Our ship the Disney Fantasy docked in Cozumel, Mexico on our 2019 Cruise
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Big Holiday & Adventure time!

2 years in the planning since our last trip from Australia to the USA we are doing it again, only this time bigger and longer!

We are hitting all things Orlando from Cape Canaveral to Disney World for just over 4 weeks including another special section in the last week (more on that as it happens!)

I’ll be uploading lots of travel type photos and videos to my Facebook page, be sure to follow me there for updates and I aim to post here weekly with an overall update and Free To Download Wallpapers of my best photos for all of you!

So be sure to visit often as the adventure begins.


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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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Amazing colour in the sky during this long exposure at sunrise over the Brisbane River near Ipswich Queensland Australia

Ramblings – Storms a coming and so is Vlogging!

This weekend just gone saw a few cells start to pop up around bringing much needed rain to the area. Nothing major built near me so chasing wasn’t really on the cards. I had a play taking a timelapse of a small cell that passed by home using my Samsung S8. It worked well but I also made mistakes. This is a new thing for me so learning how interval time affects speed of shots, how to lock down settings etc are all things I picked up on. I also need to secure my phone better to a more stable platform. I picked up a tripod mount phone holder for just this purpose so look for more of those in the future.

I’m always looking to change things up with my photography and I think the next logical step for me is into the realm of video. I’m going to start with Vlogging all of my trips out to take photos. I’m sure they’ll be rough to start with, we all have to learn somewhere. I also think people will enjoy this as they get an insight into how I capture my photos, pick up some tips on the way, and share with me the locations I visit. I’m pretty sure it will also be super crazing during storm season too if previous chases are anything to go by.

I’ll be starting that this weekend so keep an eye out, I’ll link to the video and my YouTube channel here and on my Facebook page.

The Ipswich Enviroplan Photographic competition has closed for another year. This is my local photo comp and I really try and get some great photos for it each year. I’ve got 5 entries in for the landscape and wildlife categories as well as a few in the flora section. Fingers crossed, should know in about a month I believe.

This photo below is of one of my entries, captured on the Brisbane River using ND filters to create a long exposure.

Amazing colour in the sky during this long exposure at sunrise over the Brisbane River near Ipswich Queensland Australia

That’s pretty much my ramblings for now. I haven’t been able to get out every week to get new shots and I had a failed attempt at an astro last weekend. Just waiting for the moon to go again before I can get more. This weekend I’m looking to get a landscape photo, and maybe have a shot at an astro before the moon interferes too much.

Until next time, enjoy!


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A beautiful young tree showing autumn colour surrounded by long winter dry grass in Ipswich Queensland Australia as captured by Landscape PHotographer Murray Fox using a Mamiya 645 Medium Format Film Camera , the Mamiya 45mm Lens and Kodak Ektar 100 film.

Fun with Film 17/06/18

I’ve finally gotten around to getting my first two rolls of colour film developed. Both of these are Kodak Ekatar 100 film. One roll I shot with my Lubitel 166u square format twin lens camera, the other roll I shot with my Mamiya 645 Medium format camera and a variety of lenses.

I used Fotofast in Brisbane for the development, very fast (2 hours) and well priced, best benefit is not too far from home either saving postage costs. Both rolls came out well developed and I think I only underexposed a couple of frames, both on the Lubitel which was before I got my spot meter. All the photos on the Mamiya using the spot meter came out perfect.

It’s certainly a huge learning curve. Not only do you have to get exposure right, but you then have to learn how to scan, how different films react to different light. I’m using an Epson v550 Photo scanner which does both 35mm and 120mm film well.

I’m still working my way through scanning the photos and putting the final touches on them but wanted to share with you what I have captured so far. None of these are earth shattering photos, they are about the learning process, trying different subjects in different light and learning all the steps with an aim towards knowing the whole process inside and out. Only then will I truly start to capture what I think will be very unique and stunning film photographs.

I actually love how this first photo came out. Using the Mamiya and the longest lens I have for it, a 150mm, shooting with the aperture wide open, the shallow depth of field is amazing with medium format. This is something I going to have to explore a lot more of. These lilies are not far from home in a little hidden pond, a nice discovery that I’ll be visiting again for sure.

Water lilies in the pond captured on Kodak Ektar 100 Film using a Mamiya 645 Medium format camera and a Mamiya 150mm lens by Landscape Photographer Murray Fox in Ipswich Queensland Australia
Mamiya 645, Ektar 100, 150mm Lens

This next photograph is my favourite so far from the Lubitel. It shoots in square format which really changes how you end up composing a photograph. I captured this at Governors Lookout near Spicers Gap in the scenic rim of South East Queensland Australia during the photowalk a little while ago. That early morning soft light, the slight imperfections of the camera softening the edges. I really like the feel of this, can’t wait to try it in some mist and fog. Pretty dang good for a $40 medium format camera from Russia!

Beautiful gum trees on a hill, one with the bark splitting from it as the early morning light bathes the bush near Spicers Gap in south east Queensland Australia by Landscape Photographer Murray Fox, captured on Film using a Lubitel 166 universal and Kodak Ektar 100 film.
Lubitel 166 Universal, Kodak Ektar 100.

Next is another Lubitel shot. The light was pretty harsh and I did underexpose this a bit. What it shows is if this film is underexposed, you still capture all the detail perfectly, but a blue cast that is not easy to get rid of can appear across the image. Especially in the shadows. Better to overexpose a touch and really get those wonderful Kodak Ektar colours.

Queens Park in Ipswich Queensland Australia in stunning autumn colour captured with a Lubitel 166 universal camera using Kodak Ektar 100 film by Landscape Photographer Murray Fox.
Lubitel 166u, Kodak Ektar 100

This next photo, shot on the Mamiya, shows what colour you can get when you get the exposure bang on. It also blew me away how narrow the depth of field is with the 150mm when used in close, I’m really going to have to watch that, but it will be fun to use it on the correct scene as well!

A beautiful vibrant colourful bird of paradise flower as captured by Landscape photogapher Murray Fox in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia
Mamiya 645, Mamiya 150mm, Kodak Ektar 100

Finally a photo of what I’m hoping to really use my Mamiya setup for, landscapes! I found this young tree showing some nice colour in a park near home. The golden hour light was falling across enhancing the gold even more. The lack of clouds wasn’t ideal but I do like the contrast of the blue on the gold.

A beautiful young tree showing autumn colour surrounded by long winter dry grass in Ipswich Queensland Australia as captured by Landscape PHotographer Murray Fox using a Mamiya 645 Medium Format Film Camera , the Mamiya 45mm Lens and Kodak Ektar 100 film.
Mamiya 645, Mamiya 45mm Lens, Kodak Ektar 100 Film

Let me know in the comments below which is your favourite photo from this weeks post, and if you shoot film, let me know what you are shooting gear and film wise, drop a link to your work, I always love to be inspired by others!

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Lubitel 166 Universal Murray Fox film photography landscape fomapan ektar 200 100 australia queensland

Ramblings – Exploring Film

Over the last year or so I’ve been playing around with film, in black and white which is the cheapest option I’ve found as I can develop at home quite easily.

It’s surprisingly a bit of a learning process. Digital cameras these days make life so much easier. My Olympus has live view in the view finder, will show me under and over exposed areas in real time, with a histogram overlay so getting exposure wrong is pretty much impossible. I’ve shot in RAW format for years which means every photo has to be post processed to bring back the contrast and colour and tweak it to show what I want to represent. I spend more time in front of the computer than behind the camera for sure, and I enjoy that process.

With film I’ve found I have to really slow down. Are my settings correct? Is my exposure right? I’ve had to re-learn measure exposure all over again. Every click of the shutter costs real money so you are double and triple checking every step, and also really considering the photograph, is it worth taking? It’s quite enjoyable and I find the results very rewarding.

I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at photographs I really enjoy, landscapes that inspire me, works that draw me in, and something I’ve discovered is the majority of those photos have been captured on film, and on large film to be precise. My recent trip to visit my family on the Central Coast of NSW saw me drop in to Ken Duncan’s Gallery (again!) and really spend some time viewing and looking at his works. They are printed big, on beautiful hahnemuhle paper, and framed wonderfully. These are the types of photographs I love. And it’s really interesting, you can spot the digital photographs he has taken with his awesome digital medium format cameras a mile away, they are sharp as a tack, amazing detail, but I kept leaning towards the photographs captured on film. They have a bit more glow, are usually a longer exposure, some of the details aren’t quite as sharp, you can see where the exposure had to be nailed to get it right at point of capture. And the has colours I don’t think digital can reproduce, they are just stunning.

I have two film cameras at the moment. A lovely Olympus Trip 35 point and shoot style 35mm camera that I generally load with black and white and use for street style photography or family snaps. It’s almost set and forget, just pick a focus zone and don’t worry about exposure, it nails it every time, yes, every single time, it’s an amazing piece of kit.

Olympus Trip 35 Film camera Murray Fox Australia Queensland photography
All that stuff around the lens measures the exposure, and powers the camera, no batteries here!

My next camera is a new purchase, a Russian made Lubitel 166 Universal. This is a twin lens reflex (TLR) medium format 120 film camera. It’s extremely simple and extremely manual in use, creates either a 6×6 or 6×4.5cm negative per photo (there is a mask you can change but you are looked into that option for each roll. You look down through the top to work out your composition, and use a little magnifying glass inside to get the focus correct.


Lubitel 166 Universal Murray Fox film photography landscape fomapan ektar 200 100 australia queensland
The cheapest medium format camera anywhere in the world, and gives great results when used right!

I’m working my way through a roll of black and white Fomapan 200 creative at the moment with this camera and absolutely loving the process. Working on a tripod (as I always do) getting the composition just right (the view is back to front so it makes you work for it!), measuring the exposure of the scene (I use a simple phone app), putting your settings in, cocking the shutter and then taking the photo. In 2 hours on the weekend I took two shots, total! And I loved it! The whole process of slowing down, really looking at the light of a scene, double checking exposure, framing, settings, and finally committing to the shot is really amazing to me.

My first roll is almost finished and this weekend I’m taking another little step in my film journey and shooting some Ektar 100 colour negative film. This is the modern landscape film of choice. Velvia 50 is what Ken Duncan uses a lot but it’s a lot harder and more expensive to use. The Ektar is very forgiving if you don’t quite get the exposure correctly and gives amazing colour and contrast. I’m really excited to see what results I can get from this film.

Medium format film, scanned in properly, will give a photograph file far larger than anything you can get from any DSLR digital camera, I’m talking hundreds of megapixels of data with a massive range of tones. I can scan a 35mm negative in at around 60mp, I can scan a 6×6 negative in at around 6 times that! The trick I use is I actually use my Olympus OMD Em5 MarkII digital camera, with a macro lens to take a photo of the negative, in hi res mode! Works startling well if you prep everything right.

All of this has me thinking about the next step in my photography. I really want to capture more landscapes with film, and I really want to have the full ability of selective choice in composition. I want big negatives that can give incredibly huge prints, I want the colours and tones that film gives with that beautiful fine grain. And I want bigger than 120 medium format! So now I’m saving, I’m working on getting a 4×5 field View Camera, a modern day version of what Ansel Adams used to use (although he was shooting bigger again with 8×10 I believe). A camera where it’s one shot per film, you need a dark cloth over you and the back of the camera just to compose, but you have the amazing ability to change the lens height, angle, swing for amazing depth of field, or custom focus bands. And a negative that is 4inch x 5inch in size, scanned size? @#%#@ huge!!

So I’m not quitting digital, I love my Olympus and it’ll be with me this weekend. But I’ll have the Lubitel and Olympus Trip with me as well, and they’ll be taking photos in a different way, it will be very interesting to see the results. I think film has a future in my work, some of the results that can be achieved with film are astonishing, and the process of slowing down, the time involved means more investment personally with every photograph taken. I look forward to a hybrid future of digital and analog.

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