If you were to look through this blog you would find a whole heap of photos of my trip to Sydney. I can safely say that I really enjoyed that trip and taking lots of photos of the beautiful sights that I saw on a daily basis and one of the things that made it so enjoyable was my Lowepro Slingshot 200 All Weather Backpack! How can a simple camera bag improve on a family holiday? Well, to answer that let me tell you how it used to be.

On previous holidays I used to carry the old normal camera bag which apart from carrying all my photo gear it didn’t have much going for it. It was always getting in the way and it was damn cumbersome. Getting the camera out meant stopping, setting the bag down and fishing for it and then picking it up again and slinking over my shoulder just so someone wouldn’t run off with it. It was such a pain I tended not to put the camera in the bag meaning I was now having the bag over my shoulder as well as having to carry the camera. It was such a pain. Not so with the Lowepro Slingshot 200 All Weather Backpack. This is a photo of my favourite camera bag.

Lowepro Slingshot

As you can see my Canon EOS 550D Digital SLR is sitting in there as sub as a bug in a rug. It’s also holding my Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens, my 55m-250mm lens, my Sony DCR-SR300E camcorder as well as my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX50, my Flip UltraHD Video Camera as well as other bits and pieces. It even has a special rain hood to keep my expensive equipment dry when it rains.

The best thing about the Lowepro Slingshot 200 All Weather Backpack is it’s ingenious sling strap which allows me to easily get to my camera, even whilst walking, without fear of any of the other stuff falling out. I can then quickly slide it out of the way allowing me to easily compose and take my photos. I reckon I could go on for ages telling you how good and how it really improves your photo taking experience but perhaps it would be better if you could see a video of how it really works.

I highly recommend the Lowepro Slingshot 200 All Weather Backpack as the camera bag of choice for every photographer, both for its ease of use and for the amount of photo equipment it can carry.

After the post on Experiment By Taking Photos From Different Angles I decided I would do another series of photos on the same subject. It’s of the Serbian Orthodox Church of St Salva which I featured on my ScenicAdelaide blog.

What really stood out about this remarkable church is the many domes it had, five in all. It wasn’t the best of days as it was overcast but at least it allowed even lighting for the photos. Naturally I could use the same technique I portrayed in my post about changing the sky but I prefer to leave it the way it is.

That’s enough for now, let’s get on with the photos. The tallest tower in this first photo is actually the bell tower. I bet you it rings loudly on those religious occasions.

 

Serbian Domes2

For this next one I just got a bit closer, changing the angle, so I could get a different perspective.

Serbian Domes3

Finally there is this last shot. I particularly like this one because the angles are a stark contrast to the curves of the spherical domes.

Serbian Domes

 

Of the three which one is your favourite and what is it about the photo that makes it better than the rest.

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Do you guys remember the post I did on getting good and close to a bee with my Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens? Well that bee posed some problems in that it wouldn’t stay still for very long. So if your going to take photos of bees you need a fair bit of patience.

This time around I thought I would venture outside again and have a go at taking photos of spiders. Now I hate spiders, especially if I go thorough a web and then notice there’s a big one sitting right there above me, like what happened last night. That bastard scared the shits out of me. :furious_tb: :guns_tb: Anyway, arachnophobia aside I ventured outside to shoot me some spiders.

I think the photos you see here are of the Golden Orb Spider, also called the Golden Silk Orb Weaver. This spider isn’t all that bad looking as it has a fair bit of color in it. Apparently although it’s poisonous it’s not that bad that it would kill you. Something else that’s interesting is the females will usually eat the males. Oh well, at least they won’t have to worry about alimony and supporting the kids. :laugh_tb:

goldenorb

Naturally I had to use my Manfrotto Tripod so as to make sure there wasn’t any camera shake to spoil the picture. One thing that I’ve found with the macro lens is that like the telephoto it picks up every little camera movement.

goldenorb2

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There are times when your driving past and you come across something that you want to take a photo of but you know the sky’s looking really dull and boring. Of course if you have all the time in the world you can always wait for it to change :smoke_tb: or you could come back some other time hoping mother nature is in a better mood. Then again you could always take the shot and hope for the best.

So, not wanting to just wait around you take a few shots and you continue your journey. Once you get home you load the photos onto your computer only to discover that the sky looks just as crappy now as it did then. What do you do?

Well, I’ve heard how people can do so many things with PhotoShop and seeing as how I bought PhotoShop Elements 8 only recently I decided to give it a go. At first I tried playing with the colors and stuff but I found that too time consuming. Then I thought about changing the sky altogether. So I used the magic wand, several times, to remove the sky. Then I went outside and took a shot of clouds from the front garden.

Having done that I used the photos of clouds as a separate layer and placed it behind the original photo. Here are before and after shots.

Before

saucer

After

saucerblue

Pretty good huh? Still, there are some flaws if you look closely at the tree line. This is because of the original sky that can still be seen through the leaves. I wasn’t sure how to do that so I just left it. However, for those of you who want to get more I did find this post on Replacing The Sky In Photoshop Elements.

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I don’t know about you guys but I love to take shots of the city at night. I took one of Adelaide overlooking the Torrens and I thought it was pretty good, especially because of the reflection of the city over the water. I submitted it to Dreamstime but unfortunately they rejected it. One of the reasons was because the background was too dark. I thought OK, I mean it is a night shot after all!

Anyway, I decided the next time I took some night shots I would take it a little earlier so that not only would I get the lights, I would also get the night sky with hopefully some clouds. I figured that should add a lot more character.

I took this photo of Surfers Paradise from my room at the Maroccan Resort.

surfers paradise

I have to admit that this photo does look better than the previous skyline as the clouds do give it a more realistic look. What do you think?

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