Arthurs Pass

I took a trip to Arthurs Pass National Park last weekend to try and get some images for my diploma portfolio. I wanted to get some sunset images and planned to head for Lake Pearson. I hadn’t taken many images around the lake and hoped to get some sunset colours and reflections in the water. In the end the sunset wasn’t particularly spectacular but I did get some images with reflections. 





I stopped on the way home at Cave Stream for some long exposure images of the river and stars.



 All in all an enjoyable trip but I need to go back a few more times too get what I was really looking for, maybe a sunrise with ice would be fun too!

Just Smoke

It hasn’t been a good week for photography, too many other things getting in the way but I did have a go at taking some photographs of smoke very quickly one evening. As the intention was make a composite when I had finished I took a number of images and also used different gels on my flash to give the smoke some different colours in camera. I used a bare flash firing across the smoke at 90 degrees from the camera. Everything set to manual including focus and using a 105mm macro lens. The smoke came from an incense stick. 

Having taken the images I selected 5 and brought them into photoshop and using the transform tool and masking arranged them into the final image, some tweaking with adjustment layers on the colours and exposure finished it off. Quite fun and something to try again when I have a little more time.

Smoke 2012 05 14 21 52 13 DSC8715 ©RichardLaing 2012


Smoke 2012 05 14 21 46 09 DSC8689 ©RichardLaing 2012


Smoke 2012 05 14 21 48 06 DSC8701 ©RichardLaing 2012


Smoke 2012 05 14 21 54 45 DSC8736 ©RichardLaing 2012


Smoke 2012 05 14 21 55 06 DSC8739 ©RichardLaing 2012

And the final composite…

Smoke Signals

Church Interior HDR

I took a trip to Akaroa last weekend trying to get some images for this weeks diploma task, in the process I took a number of bracketed sets intended to generate HDR tone mapped images. Unless the light is very strong I generally take 5 images with one exposure between each image. I then process the -2, 0 and +2 images. I thought it might be interesting to show the starting images and result, and give a brief overview of the processing down on the images.







 I took the three images into Photomatix and starting from the Photographic preset I started tweaking the settings to get the balance I wanted in there image. I wanted to bring out the detail in the wood and the stained glass windows. When I was happy I brought the image back into Aperture and looked to see how best to finish the image. There were areas where the colour was not correct, purple colouring in areas of the roof, a quick trip to Photoshop was therefore needed using a new layer and the Color blend mode to clean those areas up.

Having cleaned up the obvious issues I then decided I need more texture so I used Color Efex Pro and the Tonal Contrast filter to bring up the detail, added a little glamour glow to give a slightly more ethereal feel and then back to Photoshop where I used a layer mask to paint out the effect in some areas. Finally some sharpening was added. Quite a lot of work was done after the basic tone mapping and I was pleased with the result. I wasn’t completely happy with the lights in the image but in the end decided not to try and remove them or replace them with one of the original images. 

Akaroa Church Interior


Rapaki Bay

I managed to get out from work to scout out a new location this evening, Rapaki Bay near Lyttleton. I arrived just after sunset and took a few long exposures to see what they would look like. Nothing spectacular but a few reasonable images, definitely worth a return trip now I know where it is and have some idea of what it looks like. The exposures ranged from a few seconds to over four minutes.


24mm for 5s @ f/10


14mm for 61s @ f/18


14mm for 65s @ f/11


14mm for 264s @ f/16