Here’s a panorama taken yesterday of Malpas Dam, located just near Guyra.
Tech info: Images taken with a 10 – 24 mm lens at 10 mm, with a polarising filter. The panorama was stitched together in Photoshop CS5 using 5 separate raw images. The raw images had a mild ‘shadows & highlights’ adjustment applied to each first. The stitched image was then cropped into a clean rectangular shape. Then the panorama was finished off in Lightroom 3 with +6 on fill light & +3 on blacks to increase the dynamic range further, a bit (+7) of clarity which increases the mid-tone contrast, a bit (+15) of vibrance which selectively increases the saturation of muted colours, a bit of hue adjustment (+8) on yellows to make the vegetation look even more lush, and a very little bit of darkening adjustment (-2) in the blues to make the sky and water punch even more as well.
The result is not at all subtle, but it seems to really convey the feeling of the Australian countryside at mid-summer.
This last Sunday, I travelled down to Mt. Wilson with a few fellow shutterbugs. There’s not a whole lot there, apart from some pretty gardens and a whole lot of photo opportunities… The weather was just about perfect for us, being a light overcast with gaps in-between. So we got just enough direct sunlight, but the shadows weren’t too dark at all.
Here’s a mossy liana twisting around and around….although it doesn’t appear so here, it was really quite dim where I took this shot. Exposure was 1/30 sec @ f6.3, ISO 1600. 28 -75 lens at 28mm.
The only way to get the angle right, was to place the camera smack on the ground and use liveview to show that I was pointing the camera in roughly the correct direction. Too many leeches, and too much mud, to get my head right down low. Hence I couldn’t really place the focus where I wanted it, which would be on the gnarly bit at the bottom-right. The focus is about 2 metres backward from where it really should be. Still, it makes for an interesting composition.
On the way back to Newcastle, we stopped off at Mt. Tomah Botanical Gardens. This is a branch of Sydney Botanical Gardens and has more cool-climate species on display (being at 1000 metres ASL). I could easily spend half a day here, and I’m not particularly interested in gardens or plants. A word of warning – if you don’t want to fork out for an a-la-carte meal in a licensed restaurant, bring your own lunch. They have a captive market here (nowhere else to buy food within 10km) and are milking it for everything they are worth.
Here’s a Protea flower…
And here’s some kids pondering the koi carp in the pond.