Monthly Archives: May 2008

Walkabout Copenhagen

Lesson no. 1 in photography: Always bring your camera! Your chances of shooting an actual photo increases greatly!

Last Friday night on my way to the cinema. I walk along the lakes in Copenhagen listening to music on my ipod all the time staring a hole in the sky. Suddenly the elements come together and brings me to a sudden stop. The special warm contre-jour light of the setting sun, the reflection in the perfectly still water of Lake Peblinge (very rarely is the water that still) and the clouds which are sort of mirrored by patterns made by weed in the lake. I attach an ND grad filter and wait for the sun to fall behind a cloud so it doesn’t overpower the scene and burn out the sky and I shoot about a dozen shots. I chose this (click to see large):

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Sortedam Dossering and Lake Peblinge Sunset Panorama
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

A bit of Rawshooter and Photoshop post production (some painting with light, some LAB colour treatment and some vignetting) completed the photo. I didn’t want to brighten the buildings too much, just a subtle effect, it still has to look like an against the light shot.

I love it when I finally get a shot I’ve had planned in my head for months or perhaps years. But there’s also something really cool and creative about a spontaneous walkabout shot! Just remember that camera. Does make it easier!

Sydney Harbour painted with light

Well, I did warn you dear reader that once I got my Wacom tablet I would be painting with light like it was going out of fashion! I guess I forgot to warn you that I would also be writing about it like writing was going out of fashion! Hence every second post now has ‘painted with light’ in the title and is about … painting with light (I desperately need a thesaurus!)

The latest RAW file to be run through my digital darkroom with newly added tablet is a sunset shot from Sydney from October 2007. It was a gorgeous sunset on a Friday night with some beautiful orange hues and a nice bit of cloud perfectly placed behind the city as seen from Milsons Point. I’ll kick things off with showing you the end result (click to see large):

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Sydney Harbour Bridge Sunset Panorama
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

I am really happy with the result. I used painting with light subtly but I think the effect is remarkable. More about that in a bit.

One positive side effect to using the Wacom is that the digital darkroom in Photoshop is suddenly a lot more fun and so I am more creative. I always gave up trying to draw with a mouse  (try drawing a circle with a mouse, impossible) and always had to stop short of how I actually wanted the photo to look. But with the Wacom I just put the tablet in my lap, lean back in my chair and draw like it was pencil on paper. I used to draw a lot many (many!) years ago so using the Wacom feels very natural to me. I find I use it for a lot of different stuff in Photoshop, lasso tool, brush tool, masking etc.

So what did my digital darkroom add to the Sydney photo? Here’s a screenshot of the photo from Pixmantec Rawshooter (one day I’ll switch to Lightroom but I so love Rawshooter, it is so blindingly fast compared to the sluggish Lightroom):


I composed this using the 17-40 f/4.0 L lens on my Canon 5D with a cropped panorama in mind – I always intended to crop the bottom. The exposure is spot on so I didn’t need to do much in Rawshooter. I have warmed the white balance, added a bit of contrast, saturated the colours, applied a bit of colour noise reduction and reduced highlight contrast. I created the crop I wanted and I then export the photo to a 16 bit TIFF file for further digital darkroom work in Photoshop – this is where the fun begins:

  • I normally like water frozen in motion better than “long exposure” blurred water but in this case the water is bland. So I smoothed the water on a separate layer with a mask using a combination of motion blur and gaussian blur.
  • I used the lasso tool (using tablet) to make some selections for creating vignettes. I added a 200 pixel feather and on it’s own desaturated layer I blended in the vignette to create a darkened effect. I repeated this 4-5 times with different size vignettes, different “lassos” and I have the vignette I want.
  • And now “painting with light” (get me a thesaurus please!). Using different layers I use the dodge and burn tool on the tablet (with pen pressure set to change opacity) and I … paint with light! (there it is again).
  • I specifically put some light onto the bright areas of the bridge structure where the sun hits and I also brightened the buildings, especially the Opera House.
  • The top part of the sky was too blue, looking too much like daylight so I darkened it with a gradient layer and also desaturated a bit.

As I wrote earlier I am really happy with the result, I feel I accomplished what I wanted with this shot I actually made it look just the way I wanted. That doesn’t happen all that often, in fact that almost never happens. I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my own work so there are always many details annoying me (why I stopped drawing years ago) but the tablet certainly is a new favourite tool in my digital darkroom. Now I just need a thesaurus.

Hawk Dreaming and Big Bill Neidjie

I have been preparing this story for some time. It’s a story of great importance to me. It’s a story of great meaning to me. It’s the story of one of the most amazing places I’ve ever visited and the story of an amazing person. Maybe that’s why it has taken me forever to write this. I’m not much of a writer anyway so I have been staring at the blank screen many times without ever typing a single word on this story. I never seemed to get started, couldn’t find the perfect words and afraid to use my own ordinary words for this extraordinary story.

Well I suppose I will never pen the perfect words nor shoot the perfect picture. All I have are my words; my pictures. So here goes. The story of the Hawk Dreaming area in Kakadu National Park and of indigenous Australian Big Bill Neidjie, Gagudju Man.

Hawk Dreaming in Kakadu National Park

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Hawk Dreaming Wetland at Sunset Panorama
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Hawk Dreaming is a small closed off  area inside Kakadu National Park in Australia and no other landscape and place has had the impact Hawk Dreaming has had on me. This sacred place is truly magical for me and I was lucky enough to get to experience it on my own tour – just me and the great Andy from Aussie Adventures. That really allowed me to take it all in without the distractions of other people – just the way I like it, just me and the landscape.

Hawk Dreaming map Hawk Dreaming is a closed off area and there’s only one way to visit – on tour with Aussie Adventures, the only company allowed to go into Hawk Dreaming. I’ve already written about how I got my very own tour of Hawk Dreaming in August 2007, click here to read it. Perhaps you have visited Ubirr Rock in Kakadu National Park? If you stand on top of Ubirr Rock and look North you are looking at Hawk Dreaming! Click the map on the right to see large size, click here for Google maps link.

My Hawk Dreaming

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Hawk Dreaming & East Alligator River
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

I spend 3 days in this magical sacred land and I tried to savour every single second and take it all in – and shoot heaps of photos at the same time. What makes Hawk Dreaming so special is that it’s just you and the timeless landscape. It’s the complete opposite of Ubirr Rock. Ubirr is very impressive landscape and great aboriginal art, but it’s loaded with tourists, there are paved roads, the art is fenced off meaning you can’t get close etc. All of this is of course necessary to preserve and protect the art and the land but it does take away from the experience with all those people, signs, paths, roads, fences etc. I am constantly reminded of reality and can’t really connect to the landscape the way I would like. It is ‘touched’ landscape.

Hawk Dreaming is almost completely untouched. When you drive around Hawk Dreaming, when you visit the caves and see the art everything is pristine and untouched. No people, no paved roads, no signs, no fences. You are right there and there’s no filter between you and 60,000 years of history! It’s a humbling and spectacular experience. Hawk Dreaming truly is the crown jewel of Kakadu National Park. The following panorama is a wide view over Hawk Dreaming, the East Alligator river and Cannon rock. Ok, there is a small path made by the Aussie Adventure 4wds but besides that everything is completely timeless, untouched and authentic landscape. For me it’s like travelling back in time to thousands of years ago. The smoke in the air is from bush fires but even that is authentic. No bloody powerlines or paved roads ruining my view here:

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

View from Cave in Hawk Dreaming Panorama
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

As you can see Hawk Dreaming is also one of the places in Kakadu where you get more open savannah country (naturally there are a lot of trees in Kakadu) and this allows for longer open views of the landscape and the sunset as well. This particular Hawk Dreaming sunset is actually looking due South straight at Ubirr Rock:

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Pandanus Palm & Termite Mounds
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

No other place, no other landscape has ever had that great an impact on me. Yes I love Uluru and Kata Tjuta in the Red Centre very much but there are too many people and taken as a whole experience I would say that Hawk Dreaming has had the most impact on me on my 6 trips (so far) to Australia . This is partly because Hawk Dreaming is just magical and carries at least 25,000 years of history and partly because I had the whole place to myself so I could really take in the place and forget about the outside world. Like I told Michael and Alicia at the bush camp, all I needed was an internet connection and I could easily live and work there for the entire dry season!

Aboriginal art in Hawk Dreaming

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

The cave I showed you the view from is just one of the many caves in Hawk Dreaming with  aboriginal rock art. As I mentioned before, Hawk Dreaming is very special in that you get to climb the rocks to get to the caves and then study the art right up close and personal. The shot on the right is from the same cave as the panorama view above, the cave wall and art is a few meters behind me. The shot clearly shows you no fences, no signs, no people so you can really study the art up close and discover how very impressive it actually is.

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

The X-ray art (like the big Barramundi fish where you can see the bones etc) is very detailed and have beautiful drawn fine lines (and on rock mind you, not smooth paper). At Hawk Dreaming I had time – and the whole place to myself! – so I could really take it in and let the place and the art sink in. It does truly boggle the mind to sit there and think that people have lived here for at least 25,000 years. The pigments in the paintings have been dated by scientist to be at least 18,000 years old. It saddens me deeply to think how fast Europeans with no understanding of these people wiped out 65,000 years of indigenous history of living of the land and protecting the land. The first humans arrived in Australia as long as 65,000 years ago and aboriginals have lived in Kakadu for at least 25,000 years. That’s 250 centuries. Took less than 1 century for that to be completely changed after Captain Cook and his so-called ‘discovery’ of a country where humans had already lived for tens of thousands of years. Europeans arriving in Australia was inevitable but at least we could have acknowledged the indigenous people of Australia and tried to co-exist instead of declaring it Terra Nullis – uninhabited, which translated to “up for grabs!”. Which brings me to a very important part of the Hawk Dreaming story, a very important person.

Big Bill Neidjie, Gagudju Man

Big Bill is a legend and unique among the Aboriginal people for many reasons – and he grew up in Hawk Dreaming! Here’s Big Bill, as photographed by Australian photographer Mark Lang, click to see large.

Bill Neidjie

Big Bill Neidjie at Hawk Dreaming
Copyright Mark Lang

A big thank you to Australian Photographer Mark Lang for sending me this striking photo of Big Bill and letting me use it on this blog. Please check out Mark’s beautiful photography – some of it from Hawk Dreaming – at Mark has spent 3 years with Big Bill at Hawk Dreaming and is currently working on a book. Mark’s gorgeous shots from Kakadu and Hawk Dreaming are also featured in the Gagudju Man book about Big Bill, more about that later.

Bill Neidjie was one of the driving forces behind creating the Kakadu National Park in order to protect and manage his land for years to come making sure that indigenous Australians govern the national park. Big Bill has been awarded the Order of Australia for his services to conservation. Bill himself returned to live in Hawk Dreaming area in 1979 and is buried at Hawk Dreaming – and one of the caves in Hawk Dreaming has a drawing of Bill’s hand as a child. Jonathan Nadji, Bill’s son now lives in Hawk Dreaming and carries on Bill’s work of protecting the sacred land. Big Bill is also a legend for arranging and attending his own wake! You can read a bit more here on wikipedia and there’s a great article about him here including the wake story – but you should really let Bill tell it himself by buying his book!

Gagudju Man book cover Big Bill felt that something should be written down about the way aborigine used to live, the history should be documented for generations to come so the book Kakadu Man was born. It was re-issued last year as “Gagudju Man” and you can find it on bookshops in Australia or order it online here. It is incredibly fascinating to read Bill’s stories about growing up in Kakadu, aboriginal law, how the white man changed their life and the book also features gorgeous photos from Mark Lang – see the cover photo on the right. It is a fantastic book and must buy if you have the slightest interest in this or have visited Kakadu National Park!

Photographing Hawk Dreaming

I shot hundreds of shots during my short stay at Hawk Dreaming trying to take it all especially in the very short golden hour of the tropical Northern Territory. The sun light is unbelievably bright during the day and you only have a very short time of soft warm light and then it’s pitch black – so work fast! I feel I got some good shots at Hawk Dreaming but I could spend months here shooting, I definitely only scratched the surface during my 3 days there and hope to return and shoot some more.

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Cannon Rock at Sunset
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Hawk Dreaming Savannah landscape
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

More shots from Hawk Dreaming in my Kakadu Gallery.


If you made it this far despite my feeble writing skills then I’m very impressed! Hopefully I was able to tell you this story and convey how special Hawk Dreaming is without boring you to tears or you falling asleep on the keyboard. There really is so much more to tell but this post is long enough already and I’m not a good enough writer to truly express how I feel about Hawk Dreaming anyway. I’ll end by saying that if you are in the Northern Territory then you really should go to Hawk Dreaming! It will stay with you forever!

My 617 Panorama Camera Experience – part I

The whole world (almost) knows that I love the panorama format and I’ve always wanted to try shooting with a true 6×17 medium format film panorama camera. Digital Stitching is pure magic but for pure resolution and capturing a 3:1 panoramic view in one shot (thereby avoiding all the problems of moving elements) nothing beats a true panoramic camera!

Thanks to photographer Ivar Mjell from Ã…rhus, Denmark I will spend the next months with two cameras in my bag – my trusty old Canon EOS 5D and a Fuji G617 Panorama camera!  A million thanks to Ivar for letting me borrow and use his 617 camera, I really appreciate it! Check out Ivar’s website here.

This is the first in a series of reports on my 617 panorama experience, I will keep reporting my experiences through the next months.

First impression of the 617

It’s an incredible looking camera! It’s big. It’s heavy (about 2.5 kilos). It’s built like a tank! It’s 100% manual and 100% mechanical. Aperture can be stopped down to f/64.0. Any exposure longer than 1 second is on bulb setting – hold down the shutter release and bring your own stopwatch! You have to cock the shutter yourself. It has a lovely mechanical shutter sound when you fire it. It has a fixed 105mm lens (you can’t change lenses) which is about the same as a 24mm lens in 35mm format. The lens has it’s own ‘roll bar’ (or should I call it a ‘roo bar for you Aussies!) ensuring that if you drop this you will definitely crush your foot but the lens will be fine and safe no worries!

And one last thing, it absolutely dwarfs my Canon 5D!

Canon5D vs Fuji 617
My Canon 5D with 17-40 L lens next to the Fuji G617 (shot with crappy camera phone)

Second impression of the 617 in the field

I want to see what this monster can create loaded with the ultimate landscape film, so I purchased some rolls of expensive Fujichrome Velvia 50 slide film. The 617 cameras use roll film of course and you get a total of 4 exposures on a 120 roll so you get really good at changing film really fast! My good mate Markus was my driver and assistant on my first shoot – thanks mate! We went to the beach at Amager Strandpark at sunset to just get in a few shots of some sand, water and sky so I could get a feel for the camera and the Velvia film and here’s some of my impressions from the first time in the field:

  • First off the good news: I remembered to remove the lens cap! This is not an SLR, you don’t look through the lens so it would be perfectly easy to shoot with the lens cap on and never notice it 😀
  • It’s just fantastic to be able to look through the large and bright 3:1 viewfinder on a camera like this. So incredible to have a panoramic viewfinder, so different to digital stitching where I can’t see the end result in the viewfinder.
  • I don’t have a light meter so I measured the light using my Canon 5D at iso50 and used this as a guide and added about ½ to 2/3rds stops of light to the 617 (Ivar told me this was necessary). Worked fine, at least I hope it did 🙂
  • Bugger did I miss the RGB histogram from digital SLRs like my Canon 5D! Any histogram for that matter would do. I haven’t shot film for years and with digital you get so used to be able to check the exposure, see if any channels were clipped or the exposure is too dark etc. With this camera….nothing. I click the shutter release and get the lovely mechanical shutter sound and then… nothing. I really really miss some sort of feedback from the camera telling me an image was exposed and here’s the histogram for you to check mate! But no, just a nice mechanical click and you’re done.
  • The built-in spirit level is very useful for aligning the camera and getting a straight horizon. With such a wide view even a 0.1 degree tilt is very noticeable. Sometimes my eyes didn’t quite agree with the level though!
  • Did I mention how much I looooove looking through the wide panorama viewfinder?
  • But as much as I like this I have to admit the viewfinder could be better. I can’t see the whole 3:1 frame without moving my head from side to side when looking through viewfinder so composition definitely takes a lot of practice.

And a few impressions from my second shoot

  • I need a bigger backpack! The other night shooting for the second time I had my own Canon 5D and gear + Gitzo tripod + Fuji G617 on my back as I rode my trusty bicycle around Copenhagen. Good exercise!
  • It’s wiiiiiiide. I actually reckon 105mm is too wide (or Copenhagen is too small) for cityscapes, probably ok for landscapes but for cityscapes they can often become really cluttered, messy and busy compositions if you can’t single out a building or two using zoom. Shooting across the lakes in Copenhagen with the Fuji G617 and I tend to get absolutely everything in frame, like half the city! Some of the other 617 cameras come with interchangeable lenses and something like 300mm on a 617 might be better for cityscapes. I can’t very well zoom with my feet when I’m on the bank of a lake. Reckon I need a boat for this as well!

First 617 panorama results

My first results…they’re just absolutely legendary masterpieces of 617 panoramic photography!!!!! Heh, at least I reckon they are but I haven’t seen them yet of course! You see the exposed rolls of film are safe in my fridge next to the milk and the Ketchup. I have to get them developed first and then get them scanned before I have anything to show you so it’ll be a while. I can’t wait to see the first shots to see what the hell I created using this mechanical beast and see how my exposure was, see the quality of the Velvia 120 slide film, see how the DOF is etc.

Fuji G617 at Amager Beach

For now you’ll just have to settle for a shot of the camera at the beach at Amager Strandpark in Copenhagen – see image above, click for large – and wait for my next report where I hope to show you some actual results! (if not you’ll have to settle for a shot of the exposed rolls of films in my fridge and the Ketchup!)

Read more of my 617 experiences:

Painting the early Summer in Copenhagen

It’s been juuuuuust above 25 degrees for the past few days. In Denmark we call that “Summer days” and wear next to no clothes – In Australia we call that “bit cold today mate” and dress for Winter! Nevertheless, this past week we’ve had a “hot” spell and it’s fantastic having the internal batteries recharged by some sunshine and some heat.

As incredibly nice as the heat is it’s bleeding boring for photography. Cloudless skies and very harsh strong sunlight provides no dramatic light at all for landscape photographers and nothing happens in the sky at dusk. Well, the sun sets at around 9pm and the last hour or so before and after sunset can provide some ok light as long as the sky isn’t a big feature in the composition. I shot these two during the past week:

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Tycho Brahe Planetarium Panorama
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Nyhavn Canal Spring Sunset
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

The first shot is a 10 second exposure of Lake “St. Jørgen” and the Tycho Brahe Planetarium about 30 minutes after sunset. The second shot is the Nyhavn canal (I get a bit sick of shooting Nyhavn ‘cos it’s such a cliché shot but they sell well!) about 30 minutes before sunset. Both nights with very little to no wind creating some nice reflections. Both shots have ok light but look a bit flat and lifeless in the originals so I painted some drama using painting with light (I am loving my new Wacom tablet!). In the Nyhavn shot I went for the look of something between a painting and a photo.

I shoot my cityscapes just as I would landscapes. For me it’s the same. It’s landscapes that just happens to have some buildings in them (which is what I have at hand living in Copenhagen, not a lot of outback landscape here!). So like any landscape photographer, I love the warm sunny days but just want a few clouds and some dramatic light at dusk as well – not too much to ask hey 🙂 Well that’s life for landscape and cityscape photographers depending on natural light. We wait and wait for that special fleeting moment in the sky and hope to be ready, camera on lens cap off, when it happens!

Crocs, Boxer Shorts – and a Sleeping Buddha!

Continuing the newly started tradition of telling some of the older travel stories here’s the story of how I encountered a few crocodiles wearing nothing but boxer shorts and a camera.

I was camping in the Kimberleyland Caravan Park in Kununurra  in January 1998 in the middle of a 5 week 11,000 kilometer outback trip with Amesz Tours going from Perth to Perth the long way – through Darwin and Alice Springs! And in the wet season no less. Some would call it crazy, I call it a holiday! We had just made it through the Gibb River Road in the wet season and every day it was 40 degrees heat or more and with enough humidity, flies and mosquitoes to go ‘troppo’ (a special kind of crazy reserved for the tropics!) in a second. We had one day with 52 degrees heat and you couldn’t touch any rocks when walking in the Kimberleys or your hand would melt. So this nice caravan park with showers and a nice breeze from Lake Kununurra was a welcome two day change from hot bushcamps.

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

‘Sleeping Buddha’ Rock in Kununurra sunset
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

The caravan park is right next to Lake Kununurra and the above sunset of the ‘Sleeping Buddha’ rock is shot on the bank of the river from the caravan park. It’s a gorgeous place to camp.

The very next morning I wake up in a big pool of sweat – as usual. It’s just before sunrise and the temperature inside the tent is already reaching boiling point – as usual. I look out and my eyes cannot believe that the entire lake is on fire! It’s just before sunrise and the colours are something you would never believe unless you’ve been here in the wet season. I grab my trusty Canon EOS Rebel SLR camera and run the 100 meters or so down to the banks of the river. All the way I am staring at the sky in disbelief, we’ve seen some out of this world sunrises and sunsets every day but still this is something very special and barefooted I run towards the light. Now, when I’m almost at the river bank I hear about 3 or 4 splashes and startled by this sound I take my head out of the sky and look down – just in time to see 3 or 4 crocodiles swimming away rapidly! I stop dead in my tracks eyes wide open! It was not the first crocs I had seen on the trip but certainly the first that I almost ran barefoot straight into dressed in nothing but boxer shorts and a camera (normally when I run into crocs I at least prefer to do it in style and be dressed for the occasion!).

The crocs are gone in a split second or two and I don’t get the lens cap removed and the camera ready nowhere near fast enough. I get no photo, I just stand there saying ‘wauv’ to myself pausing for a bit until I remember…the sunrise! The crocs may have gone but the light show is still on so I manage to get a few shots with the blood red sky on fire.

I wasn’t much of a photographer back then so I underexposed them way too much but have managed to rescue them somewhat by scanning the Fujichrome slides using Vuescan software and working them in Photoshop. Here’s the best two, click to see large:

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

‘Sleeping Buddha Rock’ sunrise
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography


Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Sunrise at Lake Kununurra
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

I wish I could reshoot this with the camera and skills I have today but I still like the photos, the colours are spot on and exactly as I remember them from this special morning. I can’t help but think though how fantastic the photos would have been with a few crocs in the foreground!

Painting Frederiksholm Canal with light

I received my Wacom Intuos3 6×8 tablet this week and I already find it to be an amazing tool and it is so much better to work in Photoshop with an advanced tablet like this than a clunky mouse. The way that the pen pressure can be set to for example opacity really makes painting with light so much easier and much more creative and enjoyable.

The first photo to receive the “tablet treatment” is the following Frederiksholm Canal mirror perfect reflection from an amazing evening a few weeks ago:

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

A mirror of Frederiksholm Canal
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

This is an against-the-light shot so I used the tablet to paint in a bit of light on the buildings originally buried in deep shadows. I also used the tablet to paint a couple of different vignettes and for creating layers and masking for sharpening etc. In an attempt to really learn the tablet I moved the keyboard and mouse to the side and used the tablet exclusively. It was a great way to work and I found that Photoshop and the Intuous3 tablet were made for each other. I didn’t use a lot of painting with light on this shot, but I think in this case even a subtle use has a great effect!

This image is also a good demonstration of how much gold is buried, not only at the end of a rainbow, but in the binaries of a RAW file. I had forgotten I shot this a few weeks ago and looking at the very pale desaturated, high contrasty and very unexciting RAW file I thought “why did I shoot this?”. But against-the-light raw files are always the worst, they look awful until you begin massaging the information out of the RAW file and after some digital darkroom magic the shot appears and I remember why I shot it in the first place – the gorgeous contre-jour light and colours!