Wednesday, 30 September 2015


Day 104 - Photograph Colour

Colour - hmmm. We had some very colourful nasturtiums for tea last night - but there are no more in the garden today.

Today I went to Tauranga again, to pick up something to study for my photography (more later ;) ). While there, I saw something that was truely colourful. So today, I give you colour:

Taken with the D810 and nifty fifty 50mm f1.8, at f2.8 and 1/125 sec. I forgot to set my WB, so in post changed it to daylight K5500, and did my usual triple curves adjustments and some post sharpening.


Until tomorrow

Tuesday, 29 September 2015


Day 103 - Photograph Light and shadow

LOL - again, today, I have gone out with my D200IR camera and the Helinon 135mm f2.8 lens.

This lens is totally manual. It does not have a chip in it at all, so the camera has no idea what it is that you have just shoved in front of the sensor. I have to set the aperture manually - like in the old days with film when you turned the ring around until the aperture was as open or closed as you wanted it.

I also nearly always shoot in full manual mode, selecting all three of the exposure triangle variables to match my artistic vision.

So I first choose my ISO - to be as low as I can, then I set my aperture, to define the depth of field (DOF) as I want it, finally I set the shutter speed. I only vary this when I need a faster shutter speed than my other setting allow, then I normally will play with the aperture a little before I resort to changing my ISO.

I love sharp images. At least, I love the part of the image that needs to be sharp, to be SHARP, and the rest to fade away into the background. DOF is an important part of my artistic expression.

The following images show light and shadow. The first has a shallow DOF, the second a wider DOF, but focused on the background, not the forground. Both were taken with the D200IR and the Helinon 135mm f2.8.

 EXIF data beneath each image.

1/500 at f2.8 ISO 100

1/100 at f8.0 ISO 100

Until tomorrow

Sunday, 27 September 2015


Day 102 - Photograph Texture

Another day of texture. Wow.

You know - I so love the drama that is created with IR photos. My D200IR is such a joy to me. I have been trialling an old Helinon 135mm 2.8 lens on it. Of course, with the crop factor, it is more like a 200mm lens, and it's age means closest focus is around 1.2m.

Because we cannot see IR light, focus is a bit of a problem. IR light does not focus on the same plane as visible light, it focus's either just behind or just in front of visible light - I am not sure which. So I have been experimenting to see where focus lies for each of my lenses. When the Helinon comes through, it comes through with flying colours.

To demonstrate, I give you texture:

Exif: 1/60sec f2.8, ISO 100

Until next time

Saturday, 26 September 2015


Day 101 - Photograph a Circle

I am a day late, I know.

Circle - its funny how I find this one such a difficult one every time.

But I remembered, I have my sewing machine out to make some stuff for my photography. (I made my own scrim, and am working on a soft box). Lots of circles on my sewing machine.


D810, Tamron 90mm 2.8 at f4.2, 1/40 sec (interesting, I thought the blur was the DOF, maybe it is the SS - what do you think?), spot metering, custom WB.

So here is a circle:

Until tomorrow

Thursday, 24 September 2015


Day 100 - Photograph a decorative object

Firstly, I want to say - WOW I made it to day 100! I am nearly one third of the way through this challenge. Yes, there have been a couple of days I have been unable to take a photo due to health issues, but I have caught up again by doubling up another day.

100 days of photographing something every day.

I initially started this challenge thinking it would be a fantastic way to get to know my new camera. Little did I know what way my life would take me.

Today I have been processing some of the images that I took yesterday. It is a great learning process. In post, I learn what I need to do better behind the camera. I love photography - there is always something new to learn!

So, back to today's challenge, a decorative object. I  finally decided on something that I think is beautiful, but unfortunately broken again.

D810 with Tamron 90mm 2.8 at f8 and 1/60 sec; ISO 1000, spot metering, custom WB.

And here it is:

Until tomorrow, when we photograph a circle

Tuesday, 22 September 2015


Day 99 - Photograph a flower

Yay - I am so happy to be photographing something that is not abstract!

It is Springtime. In fact, today is the Spring Equinox, the day that night and day are of equal length. The day that the sun rises directly in the East, and sets directly in the West.

I celebrated the equinox today by doing two photoshoots. It is my goal to do two a day, 5 days a week. I just love portraiture!

Honestly, I never thought I would, being a die hard landscape photographer, but portraiture is so much fun!

To be able to spend some time with someone, work with them to make some awesome images that capture that moment in time. Memorialising a life, and the beauty of that life. What greater satisfaction is there?

However, I digress. Today is about a flower.

The fruit trees are flowering, providing me with a few choices. The image I have chosen for today is a nectarine flower - actually a small cluster of nectarine flowers.

D810 and Tamron 90mm f2.8 at 1/80s, f9, ISO 100, Spot metering and custom WB.


Until tomorrow, when we will be photographing a decorative object


Monday, 21 September 2015


Day 98 - Photograph a House Number

A different kind of photo today!

After weeks of light and shadow and texture and patterns etc, we have something different.

Now as a paper girl, I see lots of different house numbers. There is an endless variety. But unfortunately, I am looking at them in the dark, and I am sure people don't want me lighting up their front yards with my strobes at 3am!

So instead, I went out locally and made some photos of neighbours house numbers. In fact, here in NZ we don't tend to put our numbers on the house, more so on our letter boxes. So really, I made a photo of a house number that was not on a house!

My assistant came out with me today, and I handed him the camera, (set up to my custom settings) and let him take a photo. We previewed it in camera, I suggest he move closer to his subject, and he made another photo.

The first image is mine, the second is his. Both have had my usual processing applied in post, with the addition of a clarity filter at the end of PP.

125 at f3.0, ISO 64, WB custom, spot metering.  Both were shot under the same parameters.

So today, I give you House Number(s).

Until tomorrow, when we will be making a photo of a flower (yay!).



Day 97 - Photograph texture

First - my EXIF data:

D810, Samyang 14mm 2.8 at f4, ISO 64, ss 1/80, custom WB, metering - other.

Texture - everything is texture isn't it? Satin and silk = smooth.  Bark and gravel = rough. So what sort of texture?

I chose to photograph texture that we see around us all the time. In our gardens, on our streets, in our parks.

Because I am using a super wide angle lens on a full frame camera, it creates interesting perspective. I have chosen to leave this just as it is, and only do my usual alterations in PS - namely my curve layer adjustments, and some post process sharpening. I do not sharpen in camera.

Today, I give you texture:

Until tomorrow, when we photograph a house number

Saturday, 19 September 2015


Day 96 - Photograph Light and Shadow

Today we went to Tauranga. We incorporated getting some supplies for a new born shoot I have coming up, with picking up our son who was returning from camp. (To see the newborn stuff go check out my fb page at .)

So we are standing there chatting to my son and his companion, finding out about the exciting things they have been up to over the weekend, and I suddenly notice something of interest. Light and Shadow!

I excuse myself, and start to frame the image, finding the perfect composition in camera. I had the D200IR in my hands, with the Tokina 90mm 2.8 lens.

Shot at ISO 100, 1/160sec at f8, with custom WB and exposure bias of +0.33, using spot metering.

Now I wonder if the image may have been better if I had changed my metering to matrix for this image.

So today, I give you Light and Shadow - in infrared.

Until tomorrow, when we look at texture,

Friday, 18 September 2015


Day 95 - Illustrate a Haiku

A Haiku - a verse consisting of three lines, the first line of which has seven syllables, the second has five, and the third has seven again. A Haiku normally does not rhyme.

What to write a Haiku about, and how to illustrate it?

Well, when Himself came home from work today, he said, "Let's go for a sail".

"Let's go out to the boat and take her for a bit of a buzz", I replied. "There might not be enough wind".

So, we drank our hot drinks and headed out.

Once there, we were underway incredibly quickly, considering it has been a few months since we took the lovely lady out, we just seemed to fall into the rhythm. Before long we were on our way, the sails were up, and she was vibrating beneath us, responding to the breeze.

That is what I love about sailing, feeling the yacht respond to the breeze, holding that power in your hands, working with that power, and creating momentum from it. The glorious feeling of being under way without the sound or smell of engines.


So I decided to write a Haiku about my lovely yacht.

So today, I give you - Illustrate a Haiku.

Again, please comment and reply with your own interpretation of the theme for the day.

Until tomorrow when we look at Light and Shadow


Day 94 - Photograph Texture

Exif data for today.

D810 with Tamron 90mm 2.8 at f3.2 1/60sec
ISO 64
WB - custom set.
My usual post processing as per day 92 with the addition of a blue filter to reduce brightness of yellow/green cast in image.

I actually went out to take a picture of Tuhua covered in cloud. It looks like an  active volcano when the cloud just hovers about the summit. But then, while talking to a neighbour, I spotted this beauty.

It reminded me of my post the other day when I wrote about circles and spirals.

The koru that this image shows always exemplifies for me the cycle of life. How we go around and around, but never are quite in the same position as last time.

Anyway, enough preamble - today, I give you texture:

Please fell free to comment and add your own interpretation of todays theme below.

Until tomorrow, when we will be exploring "Illustrate a Haiku"


Thursday, 17 September 2015


Day 93 - Photograph Patterns

Today, I forgot to set my WB, so I had to alter it in PS6. No worries, a reset to K6050 had it looking how remember it. The wonderful thing about RAW is that if you get the WB wrong in camera, you can always correct it later. Of course, I prefer to get it right in camera, but sometimes we stuff up ;).

Nikon D810 with Tokina 90mm at f8.0 and 1/125, ISO 64, matrix metering. I normally use spot metering, so that what I am focusing on, which is usually the 'ballerina' in my composition, is metered for rather then the whole frame. In this case, the whole frame was the ballerina, so I used matrix metering.

PP? Just the usual process, same as yesterday, but an extra curves layer which was used to lighten the image a little. I prefer to use curves over exposure adjustments, just because I do.

So today, I give you patterns:

Until tomorrow, when we have texture again

ps - please feel free to add your own take on the theme of the day to the comments below. :)

Tuesday, 15 September 2015


Day 92 - Photograph Texture

I remember as a child, laying in the dandelions on the lawn, looking up at the shapes of clouds. I think I used to spend hours watching clouds, and seeing things in their shapes. Clouds have always interested me. Their shapes, colour, form and texture. So much variety.

You know, it gets more difficult to think of something interesting to say as these themes repeat.

So instead, I shall just talk about how I made the image.

Firstly, I shot this with my D810, with the Tokina 90mm 2.8 lens at 1/2000 sec, f2.8 and ISO 64.

White Balance was set by pointing the lens at what I was making a photo of, and depressing the WB button (I have my WB set to PRE). This allowed me to set the WB to the frame.

I then ensured that my exposure meter was reading correctly, focussed, and depressed the shutter.

Now I always shoot in manual mode, with quality set to RAW. Why?

Manual mode allows me complete control over the creative process, I can create the image exactly how I see it. RAW allows me to adjust the image in post processing (the digital darkroom) to express the creative vision I had when I took the image.

Post processing - I use PS6, and with this image, I have created two curve adjustment layers, blending one as multiply and the other as soft light. Then stamp visible, and a light unsharp mask faded to luminosity, then a light gausian blur faded to colour. This gives the image a wee bit more sharpness. Then I have added my copyright, reduced the image size for the web, and saved it as a JPEG. This is pretty much my standard process.

So has this image been photoshopped? No - it has been processed with photoshop, but no 'photoshopping' has been done on it, only what we would do in a chemical darkroom.

So today, I give you Texture:

I hope you enjoy the image, and that you can join me again tomorrow.
Please comment and add your images to the comment section below.

Until tomorrow

Monday, 14 September 2015


Day 91 - Photograph Patterns


I took the D810 loaner out for a walk today, looking for patterns.

It is an interesting thing when you have your mind focused on an idea, a theme, a subject. Once you focus on something - you see it all around you.

Patterns patterns everywhere, but what will make a good photograph?

Several years ago, we bought ourselves a Dr Zeus Tree. It is a member of the Aloe family, and is intriguing in its difference from other similar looking plants like the Draceanas. The Dr Zeus Aloe Tree has spikey, cactus like leaves, much like its close cousin the Aloe Vera. Only the Dr Zeus tree doesn't have nice juicy leaves, they are thinner, more like the Dragon trees.

Fascinating plants they are. I love the pattern the old cut leaves create on the trunk, reminiscent of Washington Palms.

From now on I will include in my blog the EXIF data from the photo, for your learning pleasure.

For this photo, I squatted down to get on the level with the trunks,  turned the camera into the portrait position and composed the three trunks into the shot. I wanted the foremost trunk to be in focus.

90mm Tokina 2.8 at f3.1, shutter 1/60 sec, ISO 64, spot metering with custom white balance.

So today, I give you Patterns:

Please feel free to comment, give feedback below.

Until tomorrow, when we will be looking for Texture

Sunday, 13 September 2015


Day 90 - Photograph a Circle

The photo idea for today is a chandelier. So I looked at my light fittings. Funtional, classic, but not what one would call elegant exactly. Plenty of circles but . . .. .

So I think about circles in nature - nature doesn't really do stuff in circles, more in spirals. The ends may circle around to the beginning again, but in nature the ends never meet. Something only ever happens once. Everything is unique, and a one off. That is one of the facinating things about photography. You can photograph the same thing every day, but it never looks quite the same.

I guess that is why Monet painted the same scene over and over and over again. He wanted to express that scene in it's many variations, it's many moods, it's many nuances.

It might be an interesting project once this one is complete in another 255 days - photograph the same thing every day for a month. Different times of the day, different lighting, maybe even different places. Definately something to think about.  30 ways to photograph a . . . .

Anyway - I digress. Today is about circles.

I went looking for circular things, and came across Himself sorting through a jar of bits. There were several circular things amoungst the bits, so I compiled some together and made myself a photograph.

So today, I give you a circle:

Until tomorrow


Day 89 - Photograph texture

I went to the beach today. Lat in the day.

I have learned how to set custom white balance, something that I do before each set of shots with the infrared camera. So I have decided to do it with all my shots.

So I am out with the loaner No:1 camera (yes my number one camera is in for repairs and it could be a while), and I take a shot, and realise I should reset the white balance, see what a difference it makes.

So I reset the white balance for the ocean view, across the sand to Tuhua (Mayor) - our Island off the coast (East). All good. I peel off a few shots, reset white balance to take some portrait shots of the other half - practice makes perfect :) . Then reset again to take shots facing NNW.

When I come home and upload the images, I note in ACR that the east facing shots WB was actually 9100 Kelvin! Now normal daylight, which is what I usually shoot, is around 5500K.

So tonight, I give you texture, shot at a custom WB of 9100K:

I have to admit, I LOVE the colour of this!

Until tomorrow

Friday, 11 September 2015


Day 88 - Photograph a Table

Photograph a table. Hmm. Well there is always the kitchen table, but how boring is that? I dont have any 'nice' coffee tables - at least none that are not covered with either art supplies or camera magazines.

So I went walkabout, looking for tables. You know, I never realised that there are no public tables up here where I live, you have to go down to the waters edge to find tables. So off we went.

Now a picnic table is not the most interesting of subjects to photograph, so, I got my IR camera in hand, and starting shooting.

This is the image I finally settled on - A Table:

Until tomorrow


Day 87 - Photograph Light and Shade

Light and shade - everywhere on a sunny day. I just had to get out there and take a look around.

So I went out into the garden with the IR camera. Why the IR camera? Because I love how it contrasts light and shadow. I love the contrast that it gives images when you convert them to B&W, and I wanted to see what a flower looks like in IR.

So I removed the UV filter, so that the sensor would also get some UV light - might as well go the full monty!

And this is what I made - Light and Shade

Until tomorrow

Thursday, 10 September 2015


Day 86 - Photograph a silhouette

I had to wait until the end of the day to have someone to silhouette.

The loaner D810 arrived today, so I had to reprogramme it to work the way I like to work. Nothing more frustrating than having it refocus after I think I have set the focus on the back focus button.

Nek minute - errrrr eeerr  eerrr errrrrrrrr - grrrrrr goes Merran ;)

Anyhoo  - today I give you Silhouette:

Until tomorrow

Tuesday, 8 September 2015


Day 85 - Photograph Light and Shadow

I am down with the lergy. Head cold is really kicking in - with a sore throat. I have been confined to quarters for most of the day, so my photographic opportunities have been a little slim today.

However, light and shade is an interesting subject when you have an Infrared camera.

So here goes - I give you light and shadow - in infrared (with colour ;) )

I hope you enjoy

Until tomorrow

Monday, 7 September 2015


Day 84 - Photograph Diagonal or Vertical lines

Oh boy - I went out looking for diagonal or parallel lines (Yeah, I read it wrong!). They are everywhere, but how to make a photo so that you can see that they really are diagonal, and not just the camera on a tilt?

After looking about and wondering if I would be able to fulfil today's challenge, I came home defeated, and saw some interesting shadows on my deck.

Now, I have a big deck (anyone seen the video My Big Deck?), so there is plenty to have a shadow on.

So, this is what I saw - Diagonal lines:

Until Tomorrow

Saturday, 5 September 2015


Day 83 - Photograph a cross

We took the young fella to town to catch the bus this afternoon. I took the opportunity to take my cameras out for a walk..

Looking for crosses that are not religious based is always my goal for this assignment. I mean, how quickly do church crosses become a bit same old?

So today, I saw something that captured my eye - light and shadow making a cross.

So today, I give you, a cross:

Until tomorrow


Day 82 - Photograph texture.

Infra-red is a spectrum of non-visible light. Most modern cameras are insensitive to IR - the manufacturers make them that way, as IR focuses differently, and throws our photos into blur mode. So if you want to take IR photos, then you either need an older camera with a partially sensitive sensor, or an old film camera with IR film (you can still buy this!).

I bought myself an older camera that was sensitive to IR, and have played with it a bit, but found it limiting as the minimum exposure was 1 second. That is a long time to hold your camera still, so you can really only take images of landscapes from a tripod. I wanted to take portraits. So I bought a dedicated IR camera, and it arrived today.

I had so much fun today with the IR camera. Testing it out, seeing what it could do. Running it through its paces you might say.

While I await the return of my primary camera from the repairers (it had a faulty 'main board'), I shall experiment with IR, so I really get to know my way around the camera.

I love the magical qualities of IR. :)

So today, I give you texture - in Infra-red.

Until tomorrow


Day 81 - Photograph Curved lines

I just couldn't see curved lines yesterday. I looked and looked, but my world seemed to be full of straight lines. Restricting, conforming, straight lines.

More success today however.

Today, I received my new (old, but new to me) IR dedicated camera.

Today, I saw curved lines everywhere, so I captured some.

So today I give you - Curved Lines:

Until later

Wednesday, 2 September 2015


Day 80 - Photograph light and shadow

Light and shadow - seems to be a reoccuring theme ;)

The sun was in and out today. A few showers came through. Cloud cover a little over 60% most of the day. So, rather than looking for shadows, I looked for light.

Himself went for a drive and a walk, and he returned with photos on his phone. I excitedly gathered my camera and he took me to the spot.

So today, I shall share with you an image of today's photoshoot, as well as the image of the day.

So I give you - Cub
For the rest of the photos from todays photoshoot visit

Meanwhile, I give you the photo for the day - Light and shadow:

Until tomorrow

#MerranG #Photography #seal #365 challenge #art #New Zealand

Tuesday, 1 September 2015


Day 79 - Photograph texture

This morning, as the sun rose above the horizon, I was fortunate to be able to watch it in its glory.

Always after a storm, there is some magic to watching the sunrise. It is like affirmation that it truely still exists.

A couple of weeks ago, I was on my way home and watched the sun rise through a tree. I was disappointed that I did not have my camera with me.

This morning, I took it with me just in case, and lo and behold, the sun and the tree.

So today, I give you texture, or silhouette, or light and shade, hey, I am sure between my mate Ross and I, we could even write a pretty cool Haiku . . .


Until tomorrow


Day 78 - Illustrate a Haiku

The e-book which gives me my daily challenges shows an example every day for each challenge.

So far, every "Illustrate a Haiku" has just been words on a page.
So far, I have chosen to illustrate with an image.

Today, however, I have written an Haiku and created it in photoshop.

So, I give you, a Haiku:

Until tomorrow