Happy New Year

A Healthy & Happy 2016

Happy New Year

Perth City, Australia

I end my posts of 2015 by once again showcasing the beautiful city that I live in. Perth is a clean, well designed city with a majestic river and crystal clear ocean right on its doorstep.

Old Perth Fire Station

The Old Perth Fire Station was built in 1901 and was the first purpose-built fire station in Western Australia.

Old Perth Fire Station

St Georges Terrace, Perth

St Georges Terrace runs parallel to the Swan River and is the commercial heart of the central business district of Perth, Australia.

St Georges Terrace, Perth

St Mary’s Cathedral, Perth

I included photos of St Mary’s Cathedral in last week’s post, but the architecture is so stunning that I never tire of taking photos of this iconic structure.

St Mary's Catherdral, Perth

Perth City Centre

Perth is the Capital of Western Australia which is the largest state in Australia. Western Australia is the second largest country subdivision in the world but is sparsely populated and has a population of less than 2.6 million people.

Perth City Centre

Perth Government House

Government House, Perth is the official residence of the Governor of Western Australia and has been ever since 1864.

Perth Government House

Perth Town Hall

Perth Town Hall has a rich history dating back to 1870. It is Australia’s only Gothic-style town hall and the only one built by convicts.

Perth Town HallKampong Phluk, Cambodia

I will start the new year with a post on the waterways of North Western Cambodia.

I wish all my readers the very best for 2016.

Merry Christmas 2015

Compliments of the Season

Another year has gone shooting past and all that is left for me to say is a very happy Christmas to all my readers. As we approach this special time of year I thought it would be appropriate to publish photos of the grand and glorious churches of my home city Perth, Australia.

Happy Christmas

St Mary’s Cathedral, Perth

St Mary’s Cathedral is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Perth. It is also officially the seat of its Archbishop of Perth. This beautiful place of worship is, for me, the most beautiful building in Perth.

St Mary's Cathedral

St Marys Cathedral interior

St Marys Cathedral - Perth

Wesley Uniting Church, Perth

Wesley Uniting Church is in the very heart of the city and it is one of the oldest church buildings in Western Australia. It is one of a very small number of remaining 19th century colonial buildings in Perth.

Wesley Uniting Church, Perth

Wesley Church organ

Trinity Uniting Church, Perth

Trinity Church is surrounded by Skyscrapers and is situated in the heart of the business district in central Perth. I took many photos of this wonderful structure but found the best time to capture its glory was before dawn when there are no people around and the surrounding lighting was perfect for a long exposure photograph.

Trinity Uniting Church

Google Nik Photographic Software

Nik Collection

A few weeks ago, whilst struggling with the ins and outs of High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography, I approached a friend of mine for help and he recommended Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro. HDR Efex Pro is a great tool for producing, editing  and touching up HDR images. It has the huge advantages of being simple to use and of working as a plugin directly to Photoshop. HDR Efex is part of a suite of plugins that, when purchased, come packaged together as a single bundle.

It has only been in the last week that I have found the time to start experimenting with the other products in the collection and, so far, I am very impressed. The Nik Software suite is made up of 7 separate tools that can reduce noise, selectively edit parts of photos, add filters to images and also bring out hidden detail through a sharpening process. The following photos have been edited using the Nik plugins.

Nik Software Photo Editing

I used nearly all of Nik plugins to edit the following sunrise photograph of Perth City, which I took from an elevated position at Kings Park.

First of all, I used HDR Efex Pro to combine three photos into a single HDR image and imported this into Photoshop CC.

Low light photographs can sometimes have quality issues and in particular too much noise. To resolve this, I used the Dfine plugin to reduce the noise levels and in particular to the foreground of the image. I then used Viveza to bring character and colour to the clouds and substance to the trees. Color Efex Pro was very useful for improving the contrast and comparing different effects. Finally, I brought out the detail and textures of the buildings using Sharpener Pro.

Nik Software - Kings Park

Viveza Photo Editing Software

One of the principle advantages of Nik Software’s Viveza is the ability to selectively edit parts of a photo without affecting the whole image. For example, sky and water often lose their lustre and detail in a photograph and can appear flat and lifeless. I used Viveza to adjust the colour, detail and tone of the clouds in this photo of yachts moored at a local yacht club.

Viveza - Yacht Club

Color Efex Pro

Color Efex Pro has over fifty different filters for re-touching and creating a wide-range of effects on a photo. I utilised this highly versatile tool to create these two very different outcomes of the same image.

1 Freshwater Bay - Nik

1 Freshwater Bay 27

Dfine – Noise Reduction Software

In the next photo I wanted to accentuate the calmness of the Swan River on a windless day at Freshwater Bay in Perth. The solution was to use the Nik plugin Dfine to reduce the noise and bring out the sheen of the water. I love the contrast between the clouds and the water that this creates and, every time I view this photo, it projects a feeling of peace and serenity.

Dfine - Nik Software

Sunset – Freshwater Bay Boathouses

Finally, I used the Nik Collection plugins to bring out the detail in this picture of the walkway and boathouses at Freshwater Bay.

Freshwater Bay Boathouses

Return to the Zambezi River

My next post will once again be devoted to the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe.