Two years ago there was a golden field of wheat as far as the eye could see around this old house. Now, the land is bone dry and barren. There will be no winter crop this season, there is no water. The drought continues on and we pray for rain. Photographed with my Crown Graphic 4×5 Camera on Kodak Portra 160 film.
I made a big mistake when photographing this old shack, but thankfully film is so forgiving and I was still able to get a usable image. 4x5 Large Format landscape photography. Read the blog for all the details.
A gigantic Eagles Nest sits at the top of the tallest tree in the area, beautifully surrounded by the amazing core of the Milkyway. A photograph by Australian Landscape Photography Murray Fox, captured in Queensland Australia.
I had the privilege of being asked to shoot a cover photo and additional portraits for Queensland Singer/Songwriter Kim Wright. With his love of Country music, we both felt my love of country photography would be the perfect match to create something truly unique.
I knew location was going to be paramount for this job. After working out a few locations and a few missed starts due to unfavourable weather, I decided the Little Brown House near Gatton would be the perfect location for the shoot. Again, many thanks to the owners for permission to access their property.
There are no crops in the ground at the moment, but the earth is ploughed ready for later season plantings, and these would create some great leading lines in the photographs. I recruited good friend Craig Bachmann to assist with me. He proved invaluable holding light stands and reflectors as the wind was still quite strong.
We arrived on location around 5pm, plenty of time before golden hour and sunset started. We spent a good hour going through various shots and a couple of these pre shoot photos made it to the final 8 images.
Once golden hour started it was game on, and as we had already been through our paces the shot progressed quickly. This first shot was something I had visualised for weeks and it came out perfectly. What I didn’t predict was what sunset would be like, and wow, what a turn on by mother nature, couldn’t have asked for better. To get the framing I wanted I’m lying in the dirt with my camera, taking bracketed series of photos due to the huge amount of backlight in the scene. Craig is off camera right with a golden reflector beaming that beautiful light back on Kim and the house.
We then proceeded to take a few more photographs in closer to the house, some using flash, some using just the reflector. My goal here was to create some more personal photos for his album, as well as general promotional shots, the next photo having plenty of space to the right of scene for additional writing etc. The light was just beautiful.
We then headed out into the fields behind the house, to use the leading lines into the wonderful sunset and shot through the various changes in light in multiple directions.
It was quite a challenge to get the dynamic range of these photographs right. I had to bracket all my photographs capturing a base exposure, one that was 4 times darker and one 4 times brighter, then blending all together in post processing. Normally not too much of a challenge, except any movement by Kim resulted in it being almost impossible to amalgamate the photos. Kim was wonderful holding still for long periods of time.
Finally as the last of the colour faded, I grabbed one more closer in head shot for Kim, you can’t ask for a more beautiful or better back drop than this.
That’s it for this week, many thanks again for reading my blog. My photography is quite busy at the moment with photo shoots, one on one landscape workshops as well as my limited edition Landscape panorama Acrylic print sales. If you would like to hire me, learn from me, or purchase and Acrylic print, head to my contact page and drop me a message, would love to hear from you.
Well wasn’t this a challenge! My self and my good friend Craig had been in contact with a local farmer. He advised us his sunflowers were in their prime so we arranged a visit for Sunday afternoon to shoot it through sunset.
The massive problem was Tropical Cyclone Oma was approaching through the week and ended up sitting off the coast for a few days. The rain didn’t happen but boy did we get the wind. Capturing a stitched panoramic photograph can be challenging at anytime, throw in very strong winds with a close subject that moves around a lot, add just a sprinkle of low light as sunset occurs and I almost didn’t get a shot.
Thankfully, my previous experience with panoramas this year is really paying off and the final result, well, not blowing my own horn here but wow! This is the best panorama I’ve captured so far.
Timing was a bit rushed too as we first did a quick portrait shoot for the lovely couple who own the property, always great to give something back for being graciously granted permission onto their property. I’ve photographed in this area for nearly 10 years now and never have I captured a sunset with such a wonderful view as this.
Post production putting the final image together was also a super challenge. I ended up spending well over 5 hours putting all the pieces together and checking pretty much down to each flower everything joined up correctly. Hard work, but well worth the results.
Hopefully the rains come soon, everyone needs a drop so much.
I’m doing a bit more portrait work lately, it’s a change from the normal and being the obsessive technical type, a great challenge with lots of new things to learn. My first love is still landscapes and now panoramas however, so I may even explore the possibility of combining the two for something truly unique, stay tuned!
I’ve added this photograph to my Landscape Portfolio, and you may click here to find out more information about purchasing this photograph as a Limited Edition Acrylic Print.
I’m very happy to let you all know I received a commendation for my entry into this years Australian Photographer of the Year. My entry was 4 photographs from my Nightscape portfolio entered under the title, Rural Nights. With thousands of entries all competing, I’ve very happy with the result.
Astro season is starting again now, I look forward to capturing many more creative photographs using all the techniques I devised and put into practice last season. I have quite a few ideas already planned, as for me if I’m not out there taking the photos, I’m thinking about taking the photos.
Here is a copy of the award I received, and the photographs I entered. All of these photos are available for purchase as an open edition print on Acrylic, contact me for pricing and details (free shipping Australia wide!)
Let me know in the comments below which is your favourite photo!
I’m out hunting for more panoramic landscapes this weekend as we finally appear to have clouds. This morning was a failed attempt but I’ll keep trying until I get the photographs I want. That’s the fun of working with mother nature, you can never truly predict what happens next. Until next time, thank you for reading.
I’m a very technical photographer. I tend to research a lot before venturing into the field and sometimes you can focus on these things too much, rather than just getting out there and taking photos. This weekend was a little like that. I had a photograph in mind that I wanted to capture. Wyaralong Dam in the Scenic Rim can be stunning if you get the right sky.
Friday afternoon and there were high clouds north, but they needed to come south a few hundred kilometres in order to be where I wanted them. 10pm, I’m watching the sky, I ended up being so fixated on it I was still awake at 3am, the time I would have to leave if I wanted to get a photo, but the clouds never came so I finally slept, thinking about the photograph I haven’t captured yet.
Saturday night I took a different tack, I ignored the clouds, I got my gear ready to go, set my alarm for 3am and slept. Waking up and walking out the door, the clouds looked like they had potential, but regardless, I was going to go. Worse case this would be a good practice session to work towards mastering panoramas.
Arriving at the dam it was still dark but light would approach soon. I spent a good 30 minutes working out a composition, checking my settings, checking the tripod was level, and taking a few test series of shots. The light came through it’s various stages, from nice blue hour, to the pinks and reds of sunrise. However I had a problem. A bank of low cloud had moved across and was breaking up the great high clouds that had the colour. The end result was a bust, but I learnt a lot and was happy with that.
On the drive home, the sun had broken over the distant hills finally, some fast moving fog was rolling between the hills. Coming up over the rise of one hill I hit the brakes and quickly pulled over. The scene looked fantastic to me, the beautiful orange of golden hour was glowing across the sky and ground. Thankfully my gear was pretty much ready to go, put camera on tripod, level, focus and shoot.
A photo like this takes a long time to edit on post for me. Why? Because it’s 2 rows of 8 photographs, that is 16 full size photographs merged to one gigantic image. This will print MASSIVE and I think will look fantastic on anyone’s wall that loves a view like this. I’ve learnt that shooting two rows allows me to get more of either the sky or ground in the photograph (com-positional choice / ground for this one) and that really gives this photograph a great sense of depth. At full resolution you can see the cows feeding in the morning light way down the hill, the detail is amazing.
So my lessons this week are don’t sweat it so much, just make sure you get out there and shoot. This was a completely random location and it was about being there when the light was good, and finding a scene to suit.
Let me know what you think about this photograph in the comments below, I always love feedback good or bad. Until next time, stay safe and thank you very much for reading.
Olympus OMD Em5.2, Olympus 45mm. F8, ISO 200, 1/200 sec. 2 Rows of 8 Photographs
I’ve added this to my Landscape Portfolio that will gradually all become panoramas as I move towards the format, which I just love.