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Shot of the Day #72

Firstly, I would just like to apologise for my absenteeism from Scott Photographics for almost a year now! I’ve been busy (okay..maybe lazy), but not enough to excuse my lack of enthusiasm for this site. So, I hope to keep this space active and interesting for all, so don’t go away just yet. I will be posting more pics and regularly too, for I now have a new full frame addition to my photographic bag of goodies. Stay tuned!

It has finally come to this, my first wedding shoot. Well, to be honest there wasn’t a whole lot riding on this, because it was just my sister’s wedding (…or is that worse?). No no, just kidding, in the end it turned out to be an epic day of fun photo shooting with heaps of smiles & laughter. We even managed to squeeze some beach photography into the glamourous shoot – I mean how relaxed is that for a wedding day!

Anyway, back to the image below – so in this you can see my lovely sister and brother in law. This is post-ceremony so the newlyweds are very much in the honeymoon phase already, hence the very genuine carefree smiles (no stinky “cheese” here). The low angle composition was a must for this shot, the ‘leading in lines’ of the almost prism-like vale was just too attractive for my photographic eye. Additionally, working hard in this shot is the shallow depth of field, allowing the subject to stand out and monopolise the frame. In fact almost every photo I took that day was in aperture priority and wide open on f1.4…bokehlicious (now I know why they have locks on the mode dial). Then again, so I guess my new bro (had to say it) is out of focus as a result of my 1.4 fascination, but its all good he won’t mind – in the end its all about the bride anyway!

Now, you might be wondering why on earth, in this day and age would you send this photo back to the black & white era (or not?). Well, as you might see occasionally with portrait photography it is an emotional affair, and as a photographer your job is to try your very best to convey emotion in your medium. So, in the most basic sense I feel that black & white compels the viewer to feel the emotion, without the colour distracting and doing all the work for you.

Nevertheless, please enjoy the image!

Shot of the Day no. Seventy Two

My favourite!

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Shot of the Day #71

Selective colouring is a very powerful tool in photography and easy to do. Along with the creative merits of combing two different colour palettes, it engages the viewer more than an ordinary black and white or colour image would. The coloured features of the photograph seem more significant and of higher value to the overall composition, especially in contrast to the almost lifeless grayscale features. This additional level of complexity to an image can intrigue a viewer, promoting them to think and ask why the photographer/artist did this, and generally hone in on the coloured segments?

In my case, it was really an opportunity that I thought was suitable for the effect. I think this composition is particularly suitable, for the same reason I saw this initially, it has potential for an abstract underlying narrative. Unfortunately, I am not much of a writer and not sure what that would be (…well, so much for that?!), but I think a bit of word play something like a motivational poster would make something of it. Then again the word “stop” on its own just isn’t that inspiring, is it? What do you think?

Top tip that was learnt here – get out of the your vehicle and compose your photograph properly. This photograph, in fact two (stitched for extra wide-angle-ness) were taken from the open window of my car, which like most cars in the US it was elevated more than usual. I would have preferred a lower perspective and a closer one too, especially on the stop sign. Although to tell you the truth I wouldn’t have seen this photographic potential if I wasn’t driving about in the SUV!


Stop Sign, Haleakala

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Shot of the Day #70

The island of Maui is simply spectacular! This small island in the middle of the Pacific ocean holds some of the most diverse landscapes I have ever seen. Maui has two defining  peaks that make up the island, the smaller peak (West Maui Mountains) is bursting with flora and fauna and teeming with waterfalls, whereas Haleakala the second volcanic peak is barren and lifeless, apart from a unique plant and swarms of tourists. Haleakala forms more than 75% of Maui, it is 3,055 m (10,023 ft) high and the huge crater that is pictured below is almost 800m (2,600 ft) deep. It is unbelievable how deep it is, I just imagine the world’s tallest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa, standing in the depression, but then again that doesn’t help comprehend it either!

This photograph is not just one but many, a total of nine portrait orientated photos are stitched together. With most large vistas I almost always opt for a large panorama to capture the scene I see and experience. I guess I wasn’t going for anything in particular – just getting the shear size of it for all to see! Top tip for shooting panoramas: remember to remove your polariser before commencing your panorama. Otherwise you will ruin the sky with dark blue patches, as shown below!


Haleakala, Maui, Hawai'i

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Shot of the Day #69

The majestic ‘Iolani Palace is situated in the Hawaiian capital of Honolulu, Oahu. ‘Iolani was once home to Hawaii’s monarchy, however only two monarchs,  King Kal?kaua and Queen Lili?uokalani lived in the palace before the monarchy was overthrown in 1893. Since 1978 it has been a museum showcasing Hawaii’s royal heritage, but for decades it has been a magnificent monument of unique Hawaiian (American Florentine) architecture. Fantastic to photograph!

For this composition I was trying hard to find the right angle, one which would include both the Hawaiian flag and the lamp post. Preferably, I wanted the flag to be perfectly stretched out in the wind, and to feature the lamp post without too much obstruction of the House. It took a minute or two just to capture the flag in a “full state”, because the wind was gusty. Additionally, as many of you might know holding that awkward stance to get your camera as steady as possible is quite strenuous! I bumped up the ISO to 400, and had my camera set to aperture priority mode at f4 to help with the low light. Ultimately this increased the shutter speed, which concealed much of my unsteady hand!

My top tip for shooting after sunset, and when you are likely fatigued from the day’s adventures, bring your ever-stable tripod.

'Iolani Palace, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

'Iolani Palace, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

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Shot of the Day #68

Summer has come to an end here down-under, but it has been great! Fortunately I have taken a good amount of photographs over the summer holidays, which will keep me occupied with all the sorting and post-processing over the cooler months. During the holidays I was lucky enough to explore Hawai’i, while I was there I surfed the famous Waikiki and took over two thousand images. This photograph below was taken on the sandy shores of Kualoa Regional Park, it is a sacred well preserved part of the island of Oahu, and also the location for many hollywood blockbusters such as Jurassic Park, Pearl Harbor and Godzilla. This place would have to be my most favourite destination on Oahu, it is so untouched and preserved, great for photography! For this particular photo I had to get pretty close the the waves, kneeling down with knees and elbows in the sand trying to get this. After about ten shots my luck had run out and my shorts were soaked, but I think I got it?

Chinamen's Hat, Kualoa, Oahu, Hawai'i

Mokoli'i "Chinaman's Hat", Kualoa, Oahu, Hawai'i

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