Monday, 26 August 2019

Daylight Fill Flash Saves the Day

Auburn Botanical Gardens - cherry blossom festival!
Guest speaker Costa Georgiadis, host of the ABC's Gardening Australia program, chatting with one of the officials at the opening ceremony.
These two examples demonstrate how important fill flash can be when shooting in bright, contrasty light. The problem is both the contrast and the brightness level. At ISO 100 the exposure on a day like this is going to be about 1/125s @ f16 (that's the Sunny 16 Rule). But at that tiny aperture, the speedlight has to work super-hard to produce enough illumination to work. However, by setting the Speedlite to fire in its High Speed Mode, syncronisation can effectively work at any shutter speed (if it's not in this mode, normal syncronisation stops at 1/250s). The benefit is a significantly faster shutter speed (1/1000s), no camera shake, plus the wider aperture (f5.6) means the Speedlite doesn't have to work so hard so recharges significantly faster.
Canon EOS5D MkIII, 24-105mm lens, Canon Speedlite EX580, 1/1000s @ f5.6, ISO400)
A lone bee going nuts over the cherry blossom...
Camelia flower given the JixiPix plug-in effect
Pieris Japonica or Lily of the Valley shrub.
Cherry blossom close up given the grunge, faded look using a combination of JixiPix Grungetastic plug-in and layers in Photoshop Elements...

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Sydney's Living Museums: Rouse Hill Farm

Rouse Hill farm is a property out west - funnily enough in Rouse Hill, a suburb of Sydney I had never been to before.

This is what Sydney Living Museums has to say about the property: "This house and farm have been owned by six generations of one family. Each generation has added another layer of belongings, improvements and memories, and today, every object and addition, every tear, stain and repair has a story to tell. With its grand stables and prize horses, orchards and elegant summerhouse, Rouse Hill House was once the social hub of the area. And although the estate was later subdivided as the family fortunes waned, the house and its stories still draw people to its door. Today Rouse Hill House & Farm also features the restored 1888 Rouse Hill schoolhouse, a section of the original Windsor Road turnpike proclaimed by Governor Macquarie in 1813, and the site of the doomed 1804 ‘Vinegar Hill’ convict rebellion." This is quite an impressive property - it's big with multiple outhouses, garden sheds, employees cottages, stables, schoolhouse and more. There's plenty of parking, the information centre is good value, as is the shop!

View of the front part of the farmhouse from the orchard.
Pic by Natalie Hitchens
The inside of the house is crammed with stuff!
Pic by Natalie Hitchens
Super Snipe detail
Pic by Natalie Hitchens
The summer house...
Pic by Natalie Hitchens
An old typewriter abandoned in one of Rouse Hill's outhouses
Pic by Natalie Hitchens
As with many farm properties, the grounds have the wrecks of several cars, including this massive Humber Super Snipe (produced in the UK from 1938), a testament to solid engineering. I suspect someone with a lot of time on their hands could renovate this one...
Pic by Natalie Hitchens
An arbour along the side of the bathhouse
Pic by Natalie Hitchens
This is a shot of the back of the main house with newer additions to the left and right, and a covered central courtyard.
Pic by Natalie Hitchens
Door handle details
Pic by Natalie Hitchens
View along the verandah at the side of the house
Pic by Natalie Hitchens
Another view of the Humber Super Snipe
Pic by Natalie Hitchens
Humber Super Snipe
Pic by Natalie Hitchens
Grapevine growing along the verandah of an employee's cottage.
Pic by Natalie Hitchens
Rusted timber saw and an old typewriter in one of the properties' abandoned sheds
All are HDR shots, processed in Aurora HDR 2019
Interior shot of the main drawing room.
The staff in the information centre warned us that this house does have a lot of stuff in it. They weren't wrong - every room is packed with masses of furniture, brac-a-brac, objets d'art, paintings, crockery. As you can see here, all the shutters are mostly closed and the interior illumination is minimal so I had to shoot at extremely high ISO (3200 here).
The dining room at Rouse Hill
Again this is a three-frame HDR shot like most of the images in this blog - because the contrast between inside and outside is so extreme.
HDR processed image of a rusty old ammo box in an outer shed...
The gardener's old potting shed - which contains no pots or tools...