Some light reading – levitation photography

Have you ever seen those photos of people, apparently weightless, floating in mid-air as though someone had turned off the gravity button?

A little light reading

A little light reading

It’s easier than it looks.

Ingredients:
Camera, tripod, smart phone with sound trigger software (ioShutterPro – from Enlight) and a remote trigger connected to the smart phone. Oh, and a subject willing to fly… For some reason Sharon didn’t want to do this, so I set it up to take my own photo.

How it’s done:
You want a fast shutter speed so use flash if indoors, or a fast setting if outdoors. In this case I was indoors and so I set the camera up on the tripod.

Switch to manual focus and focus on the spot where the jump will take place. I set up a second tripod and focussed on that, before moving it out of the way.

Set up the camera’s flash and set up the phone’s ioShutterPro software to use the sound trigger

Take up position – perhaps on a small step just out of camera sight, and jump, while nonchalantly reading a book. At the same instant make a sound to trigger the photo. It takes a bit of practice but soon you can coordinate it all together – for quite a decent effect :-)


100 miles for fish and chips…

So Sharon woke up this morning and says:
“I want to feel the wind in my hair, and walk along the shore.”
I looked at her. “It’s minus 2 Centigrade.” I protested. “And the lake is a bit manky”

“But I want to feel the sand beneath my feet…”
I reminded her that we do in fact live 160km [that's about 100 miles in the old money] inland.

“…and have fish and chips for lunch. F r e s h fish and chips.”
Ah, now THAT was the right thing to say. The best fish and chips on this side of Australia is in Bateman’s Bay, on the New South Wales coast. And it would be warmer on the coast.

What followed was a small flurry of activity – Sharon packing drawing gear and me, my camera and a few kilos of lenses. The car didn’t bend too much when we finally got it loaded.

Should be about a two hour drive with a quick shimmy down the mountain, a sharp right over the bridge and left onto the beach.

Two hours later, after traversing two patches of dirt road, and three sets of 40kph road works – devoid of any actual road workers – we were at a complete standstill halfway down Clyde Mountain. For an hour.

It seems that the truck driver who was trying to get home quick before he had an accident, ran out of road before he ran out of corner. He was fine, but his semi-trailer needed to have the round wheel bits vertical, and on the bottom, not horizontal and on the side.

Truck accident

Truck accident

And so to Bateman’s Bay. The last time we ate at the Boathouse, there was a friendly manta ray swimming beneath the jetty. This time we had a pair of pelicans. It took some time to be served, so Sharon went ahead to find a table – and perhaps a little time to sketch.

Pelicans

Pelicans

Pelican

Pelican

Pelican

Pelican – compact travel version

At length, I found that Sharon held a prime spot on the waters edge – first sitting in one place, then when someone moved, so did Sharon, until like a well crafted chess game she had reached the prime spot she now occupied.

Fish and chips

Fish and chips

I asked how the sketch went and Sharon looked a bit sheepish. “They moved.” she said simply, and shrugged. Clearly that explained everything.

The view across the bay was stunning

Bateman's Bay

Bateman’s Bay

When we emerged from the cafe the road was closed – it seems that a car rally was on its way and the inflatable finish line was being erected across the road.

We didn’t hang around, but headed off further down the coast to Broulee where the beach sand is fine and the familiar dire warnings against swimming filled the entire billboard – beware of rips, swift currents, sudden drops in the ground, sudden shallow bits, rough surf (I’ve never seen gentle surf), and if you survive the water, there’s always the manta rays, sharks, jellyfish – to add a little excitement to any paddle. We like to remind visitors that ‘Pandora’ – the planet of David Cameron’s epic movie Avatar – is where Australians go for rest and relaxation…

Beach safety sign

Beach safety sign

As for the beach itself there’s no vehicles, no camping, no horses and no fires. Ah a truly welcoming place. it was quite busy – so you could almost see from one family group to the next, and so on to the horizon. The sky was clear, and the sun surprisingly warm. I remembered a lighting trick from photographer Karl Taylor – and arranged the sun to highlight Sharon’s hair and used the flash to provide fill light for her face – I was quite pleased with the result – despite the lack of wind :-)

Sharon

Sharon

The light through the seaweed was quite magic

Seaweed

Seaweed

It being Winter, and close to the shortest day we decided to pack up and head home before we’d have to do the Clyde Mountain drive in the dark. We remembered the rally cars that would be coming the opposite direction, and as the last of the light disappeared we headed into Braidwood. The bakery supplied much needed bread and delicious country-baked cakes called lamingtons – a sponge coated in chocolate and coconut – very yummy :-)

And thence to home. Yep – just a quick run down to get some fish and chips and a good time was had by all… unless you’re a truck driver. :-)


EDM Drawing Challenge # 3

EDM drawing challenge 3  a bagI am really enjoying this new sketchbook and yet I am puzzling over it as for years I have selected sketchbooks where the paper has some tooth as this will take drawing media better. This sketchbook falls more into what I would call the “designer stationery” line as the paper is very smooth. It is made to take a fountain well – which it does. I expected to battle it all the way but I am really enjoying using it. It takes pitt pens well and to be honest is too smooth for watercolour and it definitely will not take a lot of water but if I am careful some nice effects can be achieved.

For those who live in the UK it is a A5 sketchbook I picked up at Rymans. It has no brand or marking on it and may have been a special buy long gone out of production. It has stitched signatures not glued pages. Rymans were in Canberra for a short while and then went out of business. As I said before it was in my notebook stash and must have sat at the back of the cupboard for at least 5 years if not more. The thing is I am looking at smooth paper with a different eye!

EDM drawing challenge 3  view of bagAnyway, EDM Drawing Challenge # 3 reads Draw a Purse Wallet or Bag. This is my current hand bag which I am using because it can act as a hand bag yet hold some drawing materials with ease. I picked it up over easter at the National folk festival this year. So it is still quite new but no doubt will get bashed around.

I drew it using Faber Castell Pitt pens and watercolour paint and Derwent watercolour pencils.

If you are interested here is the EDM challenge list  and if you scroll you can see my past efforts. The Every Day Matters drawing challenge has  a yahoo group, a flickr group and Facebook page.


EDM Drawing Challenge # 307

EDM challenge drawing 307 pearsEDM Drawing Challenge # 307 says to draw something raw. These pears are wonderfully sweet (I think it is the unseasonal warm weather we are having) Anyway before I munched into them I drew them. I used pitt pens with a watercolour wash. If you click on the image you will see a larger photo.

I bet you are thinking what is this with all these posts!?! Don’t worry I am bound to cave in soon and this run of drawing will end, and then, I will make room for Jerry to inflict his photos on everybody!

If you are interested here is the EDM challenge list  and if you scroll you can see my past efforts. The Every Day Matters drawing challenge has  a yahoo group, a flickr group and Facebook page.


EDM Drawing Challenge #34

It is early winter here but we have had a very warm Autumn and many of the trees are only just losing their leaves now.  EDM Drawing Challenge #34 states Draw a fall leaf.

EDM challenge drawing 34I decided to live dangerously and draw 2. If you click on the image you can take a squizzie at a larger version.

I am working in a new sketchbook (I filled the last one) and it takes ink well and although the paper is a bit smooth for watercolour I like the effect.   The frustrating thing is this a sketchbook that I picked up at a chain called Rymans. They were in Canberra for a while and then went out of business and in the closing down sale I picked up this sketchbook. It was not very expensive. I have had it for at least 5 years sitting at the back of the cupboard and because the paper was very smoothI felt it might not take wet media very well. Anyway I decided it was time to use it and so far I like it! I cant load on the water but if I am careful some nice effects can be achieved. Also since the paper is smooth I am enjoying using pitt pens on the paper.

EDM challenge drawing on desk

If you are interested here is the EDM challenge list  and if you scroll you can see my past efforts. The Every Day Matters drawing challenge has  a yahoo group, a flickr group and Facebook page.


EDM Drawing Challenge #232 Draw the last thing you bought.

These red wellington boots are not for me but for my daughter Eve. When I saw them I know they were hers. So the next time she swings by she will get them. Anyway they  meet the criteria for EDM Drawing Challenge #232 “Draw the last thing you bought.”

Eves new boots sketchThese boots are covered in white hearts and if I had thought it through I would have used masking fluid to define the hearts. But I didn’t and it took me an age to define them! Nevertheless it was fun.

My drawing is done in my current Canson sketchbook/journal using Derwent inktense water soluble pencils and Faber Castell Pitt pens

Eves new boots sketch

If you are interested here is  the EDM challenge list  and if you scroll you can see my past efforts. The Every Day Matters drawing challenge has  a yahoo group, a flickr group and Facebook page.


EDM drawing challenge #112 Draw something fresh

sketch of rasberries

It has been a very warm Autumn here in Canberra. Raspberries are still available at a reasonable price. I decided that these fitted the EDM drawing challenge #112 Draw something fresh. 

My drawing is done in my current Canson sketchbook/journal using Derwent inktense water soluble pencils, Faber Castell Pitt pens and the background is  inktense pencils and white acrylic paint.

sketching rasberries

If you are interested here is  the EDM challenge list  and if you scroll you can see my past efforts. The Every Day Matters drawing challenge has  a yahoo group, a flickr group and Facebook page.


Free online Drawing and Photography courses offered by Open2Study

Readers will be interested in this free course run by the Open2Study which is part of Open Universities Australia.
The Art of Drawing and Painting starts on 2 June 2014. I have heaps on my plate at the moment but I could not resist enrolling.

It looks like it covers fundamentals of colour theory, touches on perspective and the hands on is balanced with a touch of art history.

This is blurb from the Open2Study site where you can sign up (it’s free),  and the you tube promo

“Through discussions and visual demonstrations, you will learn how art has been expressed through history, the basics of colour theory, and how to draw and paint flat images and perspectives. Further, you will be able to understand the principles and styles of assimilating visual compositions. You will produce paintings and collages influenced by famous school of arts and painters such as Pointillism, Cubism, De Stijl, Surrealism, and Constructivism. This course is open to everyone who wants to try. It will provoke your sense of creativity and allow you to express yourself in a way that fits within your skill level.”

Also for those who carry a camera everywhere they go there is a free Photography course which is run out of RMIT University. It also starts tomorrow and Jerry has signed up for that one!

Once again this is the class description from the Open2Study site where you can sign up (it’s free) and the You Tube promo.

“You will learn about photography as a visual art practice, and how this can help you to become an engaging and active photographer. You will explore the work and concepts of contemporary photographic artists, which may trigger a new interest in what you photograph. In addition to this, you will also learn some of the practical skills required to further explore photography in exciting and creative ways. Finally, we look at the idea of a “digital darkroom” and explore ways that you can further your interest in photography through post-production knowledge and techniques.”

If you are interested in seeing what else is on offer in the Open2Study free courses visit this page