27 January 2011

How are Gracious-Light the site, blog, and Facebook pages related?

I was asked how I saw my blog and Facebook sites working (thanks, Dave, great question!)

Here's what I had in mind:
1. Gracious-Light.com (http://www.gracious-light.com/ which is hosted by Smugmug) is the gallery and sales room for my photography. It's the place where you'll find all my photos that I think are good enough to be saleable.

2. The Gracious-Light.com blog (http://blog.gracious-light.com/ which is hosted by Blogger) is where I'll provide articles about photos I've added to G-L (that's Gracious-Light, in case you hadn't worked out). It's where I'll also share information about my photographic journey, information about things I've learned, details on how I process photos, my views on my photography and my art, and so on.
I think of this as the forum for more in-depth and formal discussion about the work I do in Gracious-Light.

3. The Gracious-Light Facebook page (
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Gracious-Lightcom/136556413075627) is where I'd like to have informal conversations about my photos, where you can tell me what you think, where you can ask questions, and so on.
I think of this as the chat over coffee.
Note: This post is also available as a discussion topic in the Gracious-Light.com Facebook page.

4. Finally, my personal Facebook page is where I keep in touch with friends and family. All the wonderful, personal, and newsy stuff. This is "personal", whereas the Gracious-light sites (gallery, blog, and Facebook) are part of a world of photography with, hopefully, a business context.

Now, given that I'm new to Facebook and all of these means of keeping in touch, it may not all work out the way I had envisaged it.

So, if you have any ideas on how to make this work better, I'd love to hear from you.

26 January 2011


I finally succumbed to using Facebook. You'll find both my personal profile there, as well as a page for Gracious-Light. I'll try to post information there that doesn't need a full blog post.

You can link to the Facebook page either from Gracious-Light.com or by clicking on the Facebook button on the right hand side of this blog.

Let me know what you think by leaving comments on Facebook.

05 January 2011


I've created a new gallery in Gracious-Light called Art. I've discovered that occasionally I like to push the limits in editing my photos to change the feel of the image. In the past, I've done things like using extreme white balance settings (see Golden Rock Pool, Terrigal in Nature/Coastal). But this time I've gone further. I especially like the softness produced by using a negative Clarity setting in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (and Adobe Camera Raw) combined with highly saturated colours.

What I like about the combination is the feel of the resulting image. It's all about colour and shape/form, and less about the object photographed. I realise that this isn't everybody's cup of tea, so I won't be at all offended if you don't like the result.

Here is an example of a before-and-after comparison:


Colour bleed, Wattamolla
So, tell me what you think of these images.

Summer Holidays!

I love summer - the bright sunlight, the hot wind, the deep blue skies, the sound of cicadas - it's definitely my favourite season.
It is also the time for holidays and, for me, this means opportunities to take photos. With sunrise being so early in summer (5:30 am), I have to get up very early (around 3:30 am!) to grab a cup of coffee and drive to my destination so that I'm there one hour before sun-up.

Darling Harbour

My first destination was Darling Harbour. The weather at the beginning of the holidays was rather overcast which meant that taking photos of the lights reflected in the still waters is a perfect way to get colour on dull, cloudy days.

(See Abstract Reflections and Flag Reflection in Abstract and Design)

Royal National Park

Next, I discovered some "new" sites, thanks to the Free Photo Guides Australia. I haven't been to the Royal National Park for years and years. So I decided to re-visit Bundeena, Wattamolla, and Garie Beach. They are all lovely places and the drive to Bundeena is also beautiful at this time of the year.
I was especially taken with Graham Grocott's photo of early morning beach fishermen (see his article on the Royal National Park):

© Graham Grocott
The seas were a lot quieter when I was there, but the sky made up for it by being dramatic:


My last destination was Armidale. I visited my close and long-time friends Steve and Joy. The trip was simply an opportunity to catch up as well as going on a long drive. I love the solitude of long distance driving. I took my camera "just in case" and ended up taking 350 photos over two days, which is a lot for me. Just as well that I had a spare memory card because I filled up my main 4GB card!

I took a number of photos at Dangars Lagoon at Uralla, just south of Armidale, because I love reflections in water. The Armidale weather also played its part by providing a foggy morning - one of my favourite weather conditions. Whilst I generally take photos during dawn and dusk, I drove out during the day to Guyra and revisited the Gara River crossing on the Guyra-Ebor Road. It was amazing to see the difference a wet summer makes compared to a dry winter (see Gara River, Guyra and Autumn poplar, Guyra).