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Photography has changed the way I see the world around me.

Through it I discover new things and rediscover old ones. Like my island, New Caledonia.

This blog is just me sharing my world through my photography.

Hope you enjoy.

Posts tagged sunset
GION DISTRICT

Kyoto, Japan

After a very long day visiting the Monkey Park and Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama then the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, it was time for us to relax a little. First we headed back to the motel for a shower, dressed up and came down to the Gion District.

We love this neighbourhood. Especially it’s little streets and alleys that run along the back of all these restaurants. Everywhere actually, on both sides of the Kamo River and the main road that lead up to the Yasaka Shrine. In fact, the restaurants’ front doors are in those alley. Lively little streets with lots of, well, restaurants but also bars, cafes, boutiques, people everywhere and the occasional Gaisha or Geiko, as they prefer to call themselves in Kyoto, and Maiko, apprentice Geisha. You’ll also see many Japanese wearing traditional attire.

After wandering the streets and alleys for a couple of hours, we had dinner at Ponto, the third place along on this photo. Not haut cuisine like some restaurants here but what they call an Izakaya restaurant. A type of informal Japanese pub but Ponto looked more like a restaurant than a pub as we know it. Anyway, great food and drink, service is good, the view is magnificent and the atmosphere just wonderful. Oh and some restaurants have Geisha performances but you have to book in advance for those.

Gion District, a must when visiting Kyoto.

28 mm, 1/500th second @ ƒ/2.8, ISO 100

TORII SUNSET

Miyajima / Itsukushima Island, Japan

We arrived on Itsukushima Island, also known as Miyajima, with enough time to drop our luggage at our hotel and make our way back down to the majestic Torii of Itsukushima Shrine. This gate is humungous ! I’m 180 cm tall which is the high tide level on the torii. It must be at least three stories high. Every time I see these huge architectural feats I wonder how they were accomplished in their era. And how are they able to weather time for so many centuries. Just amazing.

I wanted a clean shot of this torii meaning I didn’t want anyone in the photo. So I took two photos. This one and another a few minutes after. Hoping people wouldn’t stay still longer than that. I used this second image to mask people out of this photo. Taken toward the end of golden hour, I really like the contrast with blue hour coming in. The luminosity on the torii is a warm coloured spotlight located just off frame to the right of the photo. Just perfect with that sunset.

38 mm, 0.8 second @ ƒ/11, ISO 100

THE OLD GREEN TRAM

I almost got the shot I wanted. So close. I was trying to capture light trails of a tram passing by and I did but most of the trails were either white or yellow. I was about to leave and had actually picked up the camera, when I saw an old green tram dropping people off. I set the camera back down on the edge of the fence, focused and as it took off I pressed the shutter button. The two second timer was still on and I ended up capturing the middle and end of the tram. So close. The green light trail really makes a difference. It’s a nice contrast with the warm coloured road but also matches the colour tones of the trees. Though it’s not exactly the shot I envisioned, I still like this photo very much.

The shot was taken from the Etihad Stadium in Docklands (Melbourne, Australia). I used the fence as a tripod, focused to infinity, two second timer and… captured everything a little too late.

4 sec @ ƒ/8, 28 mm, ISO 100

BANKING ANOTHER SUNSET

So let’s stay on architectural photos and head over to Docklands (Melbourne, Australia). With it’s glass facade and splash of colours, the National Australia Bank (nab) building is a delight to photograph. I was walking through the Etihad Stadium heading back to the hotel when the sun decided to show itself. I hadn’t planned on photographing at sunset as it was very cloudy and it had rained. As I reached this area, the sun decided to show itself, just before dipping below the horizon. Beautiful light appeared and disappear just as quickly. I think it lasted five minutes. Maybe ten but not more than that. I took a couple of photos. Horizontally and vertically. This was the best one.

I knew this shot needed a long shutter but I didn’t have my tripod with me. So I placed the camera on the edge of the cemented fence/railing and used the lens cap and cloths from my bag to prop it up to the right angle. Set the two second timer after the setting the exposure and that’s it. I always made sure the focus was good overtime I changed from horizontal to vertical shot.

1.6 sec @ ƒ/8, 29 mm, ISO 100

BREAKWATER YARRA

On my last post I mentioned I was at Yarra Bay Beach (Sydney, Australia) and that I had moved spot just after sunset because of, well, swimmers. As I mentioned, I moved about thirty metres to my right where there were hundreds of these boulders and cement blocks piled together to make a breakwater. I thought the contrast of these rocks with the dead white shells on them made for a good foreground. Then either the water or the breakwater could be used to lead the viewer to Port Botany in the background.

It was still windy and the water was choppy so I went for a long exposure to smooth out the bay. I did capture it during blue hour and edited for that but I wasn’t really satisfied with the image. So I made a copy and edited it in black and white. Now I was getting an image I really liked. Actually, the photo isn’t purely black and white. I added a dark blue split tone in the shadows. Just a touch to give it a silver effect. I have to say I discovered that by accident. I remembered reading somewhere that split tones are great when used on black and white images. So I tried. Now I like to adjust my split tones individually. I would find the colour and saturation of the highlights first, note the numbers and reset it. And once I’ve got the shadows sorted out, I would add the highlights back and play around with the balance slider to my liking. But I liked so much the effects of the shadow’s split tone, I didn’t even bother adding the highlights back in.

It goes to show, you should always try something new. I learned something from it.

1.6 sec @ ƒ/11, 18 mm, ISO 100

WINDY YARRA

I dropped my mum off at a lunch rendez-vous she had with friends at the Yarra Bay Sailing Club (Yarra Bay Beach, Sydney, Australia) and was pleasantly surprised by the area. I remember passing through here once before, a long time ago. So I decided come back the next day for sunset.

Sunset was around seven-forty-five, I arrive around seven o’clock. Straight away I found this composition. There were people swimming but luckily they were a fair way to the right. No where near my shot. It doesn’t show mush on the photo but it was very windy. Once I setup, I was trying to take photos whenever the wind died down a little. It was very difficult as the wind never stopped blowing. The shot I wanted was just after the sun disappears below the horizon. I had a bit of time on my hands so I chilled out a bit and snapped away whenever the colours in the sky changed.

About fifteen minutes before sunset, a family of five or six come strolling down the beach. They noticed me and you can’t miss the tripod and camera but I couldn’t help thinking ‘they’re not going to walk into my frame are they? I mean they can surely see that I’m photographing the sunset’. And funny enough (not!) they walk into my composition all the while looking at me. Unbelievable! I calmed down and thought maybe they’re just here for a quick swim and they’ll be gone before sunset. Nope. Lucky for me the beach drops a bit behind those rock before reaching the water so I couldn’t see them when they were in the water. They had put their towels on the rocks but thank goodness, out of sight. They were going in and out of the water constantly and it hard to get a shot without them it. I got this one though. The sun was disappearing below the horizon and it didn’t look like they were going to leave so I did. Not far, just thirty metres to my right for a possible blue hour photo.

I was trying to avoid the wind but not having the choice gave me a good photo. Not the photo I was after but a nice one nonetheless. I love how the wind’s blowing the sand between these rocks giving the image a dreamy effect. The lack of drama in the sky and it’s pastel colours, I think, add to that effect. I like it.

1/500 sec @ ƒ/11, 18 mm, ISO 100

THREE BAY SUNSET

I notice this area couple of years back while scouting for another photo. It’s a small, waterfront park in Kaméré (Noumea, New Caledonia). I had found two very nice compositions but unfortunately their foregrounds were littered with cans, bottles, wrappers and even a tyre. It’s a shame to see such a beautiful area ruined like that. Luckily I found this bare tree overlooking the bay. 

Sunset was absolutely gorgeous! I took dozens of photos but this is my favourite out of the lot. I love it for three reasons. The colours in the photo, the long exposure effect on the clouds but my number one reason is the light painting. There are different ways to light paint but in this case I used a small torch to paint light on the tree and the bushes. It’s hard to get the right exposure the first time out but after the third or fourth try I finally captured a photo I was happy with. I will definitely try this technique again. It obviously won’t work on all photos but in this instance where my foreground is in complete darkness, light painting can, not only, light up your foreground but add mood to your images.

So there you go, my first light painting. I hope you like it as much as I do.

30 sec @ ƒ/11, 18 mm, ISO 100

CLOUD FOLIAGE

Another photo taken at Naïa (Païta, New Caledonia). We strolled down to the beach just before sunset. It was a little windy and sun was setting just behind the tree line at the end of the beach. I took a couple of photos and started to head back when I saw this beautiful, leafless tree. And those fiery orange clouds against the blueish almost purple sky were just as gorgeous. It was then I realised the clouds were acting as foliage to the tree. I setup as quick as possible but by the time I took the shot, the clouds had moved slightly and the alignment wasn’t as I had seen. Nonetheless, I am very happy to have captured this unique photo.

Camera settings; 1/30 sec @ ƒ/11, 18 mm, ISO 100

SCOUTING THE DAM

I went down to the Barrage de Yaté (Yate Dam, New Caledonia) to scout the area for a possible photograph for a photo contest I'd like to participate in next month. The Easter weekend seemed to be the perfect time because there was going to be a Blue Moon. I decided to camp overnight in hope of getting a photo of the dam at sunset, at midnight lit by the moon and sunrise. Multiplying my chances of capturing at least one photograph for the contest. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't quite up for it.

Sunset was ok but very cloudy and not a lot of colour in the sky. The sun barely broke through the clouds and, I think, those were the best shots I came home with. After a couple of hours of sleep, I got up for the moonlight shots. I was hoping the full moon would illuminate the lake and maybe capture a few stars at the same time but that wasn't to be. Too many clouds over the lake. Though the full moon was in site where I was, she wasn't illuminating the lake. I waited a while in hope that would change but it started to cover up and rain. So I headed back to my campsite. Four hours later I got up for the sunrise shots but ended up staying in my sleeping bag. No, I wasn't lazy. Strong wind and heavy rain was pounding my tent. It stopped almost three hours later, which I took advantage to quickly pack everything up. Though I missed sunrise by an hour, it looked like there was going to be a few breaks in the clouds so I headed down to the dam and setup my camera just in case. The sun briefly popped it's head out and I was able to capture a small rainbow but the clouds came rolling back in. I was about to head home when I remembered I had couple of welder's glasses. But that's a story for another time. Suffice to say, shortly after it started to pour down and that was that.

This photo was taken just after sunset and just before blue hour. I was using a remote I had just bought and though I'd take a selfie with it. I think you might see me in more photos.

PLAINE DU CHAMP DE BATAILLE
Battle Field Plain

On the way back from a small hike in Prony with a friend and her two kids, we stopped at the Plaine Du Champ De Bataille lookout (Mont Dore, New Caledonia). On the opposite side of the road from there, are wind turbines, which the youngest of the kids is crazy about them.  So we went up close to them so she could touch and see how huge they are. She was in awe. It was on the way back down to the car that I saw this magnificent view with sunrays lighting up the valley below. I wish I had my tripod with me. I'm sure I would've gotten a cleaner image. I still love the photo though.

BURTY'S NEST - A TIME TO REFLECT

So at the end of my last time-lapse video, you would've seen this photo. I arrived early for this shot (and the time-lapse, of course) unlike the last one.

One of the reason I love landscape photography is because I find myself in front of beautiful scenes to relax and think. And sometimes reflect.

Rest in peace my friend and thank you so very much for that kind gesture 35 years ago. It has marked my life. 

BURTY'S NEST

You may have seen this photo in my last post as the cover photo of the time-lapse video. As I mentioned then, I've wanted to photograph this cemetery for a  long time and the death of my very good friend, pushed me to get it done.

We call it Cimetière Du 5ème Km (5th Km Cemetery). Situated in Noumea, New Caledonia. Most cemeteries are well maintained and some are just beautiful with colourful flowers decorating the tombs.

I arrived late for the sunset but got a chance to capture this fleeting moment of gorgeous colour in the sky. At the time I didn't think I had captured anything great and so decided to head back here the next day. In the end I prefer this photo to the one I took the following day.

TL - BURTY'S NEST

A sunset time-lapse over the 5 km cemetery in Noumea, New Caledonia. I've wanted to photograph this cemetery for a while but got round to doing it. They're well maintained and with all those gorgeous, colourful flowers on the tombs, I find it beautiful. The cover photo was taken the day before the video. I went back the next day for a different composition and the time-lapse.

The passing away of my friend this week seemed the perfect reason to photograph the cemetery. It also gave me the opportunity to reflect and remember him.

May you rest in peace my friend.

TL - KUENDU BEACH SUNSET

A time-lapse of the sunset at Kuendu Beach (Nouville, New Caledonia). The hut construction on the right is part of the Kuendu Beach Resort (IN RENOVATION NOW). I even captured a cruise ship passing by. I was disppointed at the time of filming but seeing it on the time-lapse, I like it.

NAUTILUS STREAK

My first photo from the Canon EOS 1300D that I won from a photo contest last week. A 20 second long exposure at f/11 with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II kit lens. Not a lot of details in the shadows and I had some difficulty getting focus to infinity. I put it down to my lack of experience with Canon cameras. 

A sunset photo from Baie Des Citrons (Noumea, New Caledonia). This is the main road that runs along the most popular beaches here. I have to admit, I have no idea what this building is. I just thought it would make for an interesting photo, the cool tones of the building and the sky against the warm tones of the road and hillside.

It took a while and a few shots to realise I would need a least three cars' taillights to get enough of a red streak and only one car's headlights for the white streak. I finally got my opportunity before bleu hour ended and got the photo I wanted.

LAST RAYS OF VITAMIN D

Copying one of my favoutire photographers here, Paul Zizka. He often posts landscape photos with himself in them to show the scale of things. That's not me in the photos though but a friend that I invited to tag along. I may do more of these kind of photos with someone in them to show thw scale of things. What do you think?

LOOKING OUT FOR SUN RAYS

I went up to a lookout tower in Mont Koghi (Dumbea, New Caledonia). I think it used to be a bush fires observation tower for fire brigades. It's just before you arrive at the Auberge du Mont Koghi. At this time of the year, the sun sets at the end of the valley of Dumbea. To the left is a gorgeous view of Noumea and the lagoon in the distance. You get a great view as well from the Auberge. A must for a sunset drink and a meal aftewards.

LONG PADDLING

A friend's son taking advantage of the last light to paddle on the waters of Anse Longue (Païta, New Caledonia). While the rest of us were enjoying this beautiful sunset and a refreshing drink on the outdoor deck. The water isn't deep here. You can walk out a few hundred metres at low tide. It's also beautiful in the mornings with the water as calm as a lake. If you lucky, you may see fish jumping out of the water.

ICY APOGOTI ON FIRE

A company had contacted me for a sunset photo over Apogoti Bay but, unfortunately, I hadn't any. I decided to head and scout the area for potential spots and came back with this one. I just had to shoot this amazing sunset over Apogoti Bay (Dumbea, New Caledonia). I almost missed it. I was about to head home when I notice the orange coming through. It's not the best of shots. I rushed it a little. But I'm glad I got it.