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Oh yes. 9 stops!

“Whats that mean?”

It means that it has an attenuation factor of 400!

nothing?

…it means it only lets 0.5% of light through it!!!

still nothing?!?!?!

…it means that a picture that you normally take at a shutter speed of 1/400 now needs 1 second to expose correctly!!!

***hears birds squaking noises***

…it means that you can take a 15 second shot in the middle of the day! Thats about as practical as I can explain it. I guess its good that this is a photoblog because a picture says a 1000 words, right?

Ok, right off the top I’m going to admit that that first pic isn’t Queen Mary Falls. Its actually Brown Falls but I have a very good explanation for that. Also, if you’ve been following my blog for some time then you’ll know that this isn’t the first time I’ve been here. I blogged about it and you can read all about it by clicking HERE.

This time however was a little different. Instead of a measly eight this time we had over 30 people join!!! Thats 6 vehicles  full! I was supposed to be leading everyone (because I was the most familiar with the location) but I was so  eager to try out the filter that soon wound up right at the end of the line. No worries.

First stop: Queen Mary Falls.

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A quick hike from the picnic spot opposite the Caravan Park and we were at the viewing platform. We’ve had heavy rain for the past 3 weeks or so so the fall was intense. Here’s the kicker. The best view is from below. Unfortunately, a boulder had fallen and it had been deemed too risky to allow people to go down so I wasn’t able to get a picture from there. After a good amount of picture taking we headed back to the picnic spot via an alternate route which had a collection of streams which were too beautiful not to photograph.

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This stream might look peaceful but that horizon where the water stops is the Queen Mary Falls drop! In the picture of Queen Mary Falls, this stream leads to the edge of the section closest to the camera!

Turn a good 180 degrees and you’re greeted with this:

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OK, heres the problem with the ND400 filter. Technically, its the same as having really dark sunglasses. REALLY  dark sunglasses. REALLY REALLY DARK SUNGLASSES. (sorry, caps lock turrets acting up gain) So dark that its almost impossible to see through…this is where the limitations kick in. In order to utilise the filter successfully you’re supposed to

1) compose you photo

2) put the filter on

3) take the shot

4) remove filter

5) repeat step 1.

Being myself I got tired of this after about the first shot… so I just left it on and made an educated guess as to the best probable angle. Granted these won’t be the best shots…in all honesty, I’m quite dissapointed with the overall results…but when I want to go on a proper photo  outing, I’ll be going in a small group so I can take my time to compose and adjust.

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Here are some of the people that came along.

After we got back to the picnic spot we had lunch before heading off to see the birds. My friend, Min, in all his wisdom bought enough bird seeds to feed a small country to pass out rather than letting us buy them from the shop for $1/bag.

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The birds will land on your hand/shoulders/head for you to feed them. Its great fun and everyone enjoyed it. I’ve posted some of the shots from the past visit which you can view by clicking HERE. I’ve been assigned to post the ones from this trip on the ANS Facebook page so I’m not going to bother having duplicates here.

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After the novelty wore off we headed up to Carrs Lookout, a nice little spot with a gorgeous view. Here is where the filter really shone! You can blur water with a small aperture. You can blur water in broad daylight with a Cokin P filter. But only with something like an 9-stop ND400 filter can you actually blur clouds!

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This following picture was taken with the ND400 filter + Tiffen 0.6 soft Graduated ND + Sigma 10-20mm at the wide end. Exposure time: 30 seconds in the middle of the day. Screw all the photoshop vignettes out there this is what real vignetting looks like:

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Beautiful day, nice breeze, green grass and a heard of cows lazing under a tree in the distance.

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After this we headed off to an unofficial border between Queensland and New South Wales before heading down to Brown Falls. We skipped Daggs falls because we were behind schedule.

This is Brown Falls:

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This next shot literally caused me hours of grief. You see I wanted to get close into the rocks and shoot the fall from below. The wind blew all this water vapour into the lens. I had to clean the filter, put it back on the lens, take the shot, and get out of there with the filter all dirty again. I didn’t know this before but Hoya HMC filters are a pain to clean! I mean I spent hours trying to get all the crap off but there are still streak marks on it. I feel like sending it back and getting the non-coated B+W version.

…all for this lousy pic so I’m obligated to post it.

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You can still see the vapour screwing up the top part of the picture. All in all a good day. Still need a dedicated day just for shooting but was fun none-the-less. Some guys had a dip in the fall, most didn’t. We headed back to the Toowoomba after an exhausting day and most of them didn’t go to church the next day.

Oops.

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*********ADVERTISEMENT**********

Here is a photo of the entire group that joined.

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I you came here looking for the photos of people that joined, follow this link to the gallery: Facebook Gallery

I’m excited! I’m really excited…

This is the first time I’m uploading my shots taken with film online…I use a beautiful Nikon FM2n + Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 AI lens that is the best camera I’ve ever shot with and a tank of a camera at that. Built to take the abuse and is rock solid. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of my camera…but someone else does.

I hope Jody doesn’t mind me stealing her picture :-) (Shoutout to Jody Siong)

You can read her blog by clicking HERE.

I shoot film exclusively for B&W…Today, my friend Shane taught me how to develop film. You can check out his work by clicking HERE. He taught me by helping me develop my first roll of B&W film, a roll of Ilford Delta 3200. After I get a job I’m definitely gonna develop my own film. Its being dried at the moment so he’ll help me scan in into digital files and I’ll go see ‘em tomorrow. THATS WHY I’M EXCITED!!! Looking at the developed roll though there seems to be a streak that runs across the entire roll which will probably be quite obvious in the photos. :-( Regardless, I’m looking forward to seeing the finished result and if they’re good I’ll make a post about it. I took the film about half a year ago and then realised that traditional B&W film NEEDS to be hand developed…so I stuffed it in my drawer as I couldn’t do anything about it…until today.

In the meantime, I’m shooting with Kodak BW400CN which is a C-41 process film (which means I can bring it into any photography shop and they can develop it for me. I just recently developed 2 rolls of this film at the shop. I wasn’t planning on digitizing them in any way but Shane was kind enough to do me the favour. (Shoutout to Kao Wen Sheng)

These rolls were taken around last September to November but I didn’t have enough money to waste on developing them so I resisted as long as I could. The pictures you are about to see are from November ’09 when my sister, Linzhi, came to Australia to visit.

Most of you know her as this:

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or this:

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The happy, weird, smiley, smartie pants with selective hearing. However, don’t be fooled. I’ve known this one for 23 years and it wears many…many faces. You can be sure because:

  1. Film doesn’t lie
  2. All these pictures are taken from 2 rolls of film so you know they were taken over a short period of time.
  3. You’re reading it here. Your one source of definite, undisputable truth.

If you know the both of us and know us well, you’ll notice she’ll regularly look at me with this face:

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It means that I’ve either done something wrong, am about to something wrong, or am thinking of doing something wrong. When you’re as in tune with her as I am you see her in a different light.

Where others see this:

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I see this:

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Where others see this:

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I see this:

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Where others see this:

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I see this:

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Then, if you’re observant enough you’ll notice that she has her own little mood swings where she does random things at random times.

“Yeah right, Jiaren. You’re SO making this stuff up!”

“No way, this is your one source of definite, undisputable truth!”

“Prove it then!”

“Fine. I will.” Presenting…

…Weird random self-happy mode:

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…Weird random self-sad mode:

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…Weird random self-standoff “first-one-blinks-loses” mode?:

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I think I’m made my case. :-)

Can’t live with her, can’t live without her!

All in all I love her and miss her already… :-( She’s great fun to photograph and fun to hang around with. She’s also single and available. If you’re reading this and still find yourself liking her give me a shout and I’ll hook you up. :-)

Cheers and God bless!

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So a little while ago I lent Brandon my macro lens. I didn’t need it so I said he could return it whenever he wanted. However, last week he made some last minute plans to go back to Malaysia. I figured I might need to lens for the wedding I’m shooting next week so we dropped it off at my place before he left. Yesterday, we got bored at home so we wanted to look for a park to visit…my housemate, Warren, recommended we head to Newtown Park. I’ve never been there before so I thought why not.

In the true spirit of “Macro Madness” there won’t be any pictures of the park itself…not because I don’t want to…but because I only brought the macro lens that day…and not a measly 55mm macro but a 180mm one…which is pretty much a dedicated macro lens and nothing else.   Now I can also go back to take some macros of the sunflower field:-)

Of course the Brow needed to stretch her lil leggies so she came along for an impromptu portrait session.

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By the way those are her legs…shes so furry her hands (as in front legs) tuck into it and dissapear when she sits like that. Her hands looks like this:

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If you leave her on the ground long enough she’ll start planning her escape route…

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…so we put her somewhere where she can’t run :-)

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Just kidding, haha…shes awesome…doesn’t run away unless shes at home where shes familiar with the floor…ask Linzhi, every few minutes we give a a good tickle under the chin…

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Oh, right…Macro Madness Day!

Sorry…

Sorry…

I tend to digress when I ramble…

In all honesty the park was pretty down in the dumps. It wasn’t dirty or anything it just wasn’t maintained very well. However, the flowers were absolutely perfect and down at a macro level its easy to ignore the rest of the place.

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Isn’t that just beautiful rose? Hows this next one for a good contrast?

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Same flower, different colour…but it just says something different…the red one has that classy, elegant feel where as this one sort of brings words like “natural” and “pure” to mind…or am I crazy?

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Don’t know what flower this is…any tips? I reckon I should’ve shot this closer though.

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I didn’t really care for this one…but its a little weird. It looks like they are four smaller flowers inside the large outside petals…theres actually a picture that I shot dead on center which shows it in focus but composition wise this one looks better so deal with it.

Need to go shower now. Have to sleep early, tomorrows my driving test! *Eek!* Wish me luck!