Tag Archives: sun

Darwin and MyLife 2.0

Darwin, Centennial Park, Park trees against the light “G’day mate and welcome home!” says the Aussie stewardess to me with a big smile. All I said was “hello” with that “hallooww” Aussie twist to it. I should have been an actor. But thanks! Good to be home. I live at least 3 different simultaneous lives and it means I am usually home somewhere in the world. Good thing I do multi-tasking.

It is very good to be “home” again. I have spent almost a full year of my life in Australia so it qualifies as life no. 2 I should say. I touched down in Darwin 4am Friday morning; looked at my watch and counted 30 hours since I left my other life. Has to be hard to be worth it.

Darwin is a bit of a love or hate it affair but like Cairns – the more I’m here the more I love it. A cosmopolitan multi-cultural energetic tropical town with emphasis on town. It still is very much an outback town with some weird and crazy territorians even if there are now big flashy hotels and lots of new construction as Darwin is undergoing a rapid expansion. Weird and crazy. I fit in completely. I forget how much I love the tropics. It’s life reduced to a pair of thongs; shorts and t-shirts and 4wd trucks. It’s about 33-34 degrees tropical melting heat during the day and probably 25 degrees at night. It’s even hotter here than last year, the build to the buildup to the wet season must have started early as we do have some clouds and higher humidity. The heat, the sunrays are pure energy for a cold-blooded reptile like myself who depend on the sun to heat us and energize us. Why do we even attempt to live elsewhere but the tropics?

Darwin, Harbour cloudscape Darwin is I reckon the most multi-cultural city in Australia and you meet some raw but very friendly and charming characters. Darwin was completely erased twice, first by 350 Japanese bombs in World War II then by Cyclone Tracy. Erased from existence but rebuilt and I think this pioneering self-reliant strong spirit carries on in Darwin. As nice as the tropics and Darwin is; it helps of course that Darwin is the gateway to nature at it’s very best as there is not that much to do or photograph in Darwin itself. Kakadu National Park is to the East; Kimberleys to the South-West and my exploring starts Wednesdays!

There’s only a 7½ hour time difference at the moment from MyLife 1.0 to 2.0 but add 30 hours of getting here and land at 4am and it adds up to serious jetlag. This time it’s been at it’s paranoid best and especially bad, causing 2 sleepless nights so far. Seems to get worse with age; like stuff getting stuck in your teeth. I calculate I am still about 10 hours behind on sleep since Wednesday. It has to be hard to be worth it. Sleepless nights are hard. Paranoid twilight-zone experiences like The Machinist with Christian Bale. The things that get written in my notebook during paranoid sleepless nights read awfully strange in the morning. Fortunately I’ve learned a lesson from the last 2 trips and have nothing booked for the first days here; need some days to normalise.

Darwin, Centennial Park, Palms at Dusk So I’ve basically been tired all day for two days and just relaxed under palm trees in Centennial Park. Yes my friends I admit it’s not all work (I try and convince friends that photography is work). Work starts Wednesday! Which is why the only thing I’ve photographed so far is sunsets in the park; as seen in my 3 fairly ordinary photos to the right of extraordinary tropical colours.

I want to get up and run to Kakadu (all 300 kilometers) to get some landscapes but all good things to those who wait. Need energy back first; then we create art!

I know you’re itching to get the last part of the metal detector saga but nothing happened in Singapore. Not a single beep. Disappointing. Means that alien abduction implants can easily be smuggled through Singapore airport!

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen PhotographyHawk Dreaming brochure PS. Visiting the brilliant Tourism Top End information center it was cool to find the Aussie Adventure Hawk Dreaming brochure – with my photo (see left) the front cover (see right). I knew it was used in the brochure but still cool to see it live. I think it’s the best brochure in the territory; I’m not even biased! Making my mark in the territory one brochure at a time!

Good night Sun, Good evening Moon

Charles Baudelaire once wrote:

“This life is a hospital where every patient is possessed with the desire to change beds; one man would like to suffer in front of the stove, and another believes that he would recover his health beside the window.
It always seems to me that I should feel well in the place where I am not, and this question of removal is one which I discuss incessantly with my soul.”

Being eternally restless I have this ongoing conversation with my soul and it appears I need to change hospital beds with increasing rate. I am aching to go to on my next photo trip. Back to the heat, the outback, the dust and the untouched magical landscapes. I live for capturing those moments. Copenhagen is familiar and thus boring presently but can fortunately still surprise me. Friday night Nature the Artist treated me to this special sunset and moonrise, click to see large size:

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

Moonrise & Sunset at Lake Peblinge
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

This Moonrise & Sunset was a bit of a lucky punch but then luck favours the prepared. Circling the lake half an hour before sunset listening to music with my head in the clouds; suddenly all the elements in the composition come together and my internal “photo!” critical event is trapped (perhaps I’ve worked in IT for too long). I setup shop and hope the clouds stay around, pick up colour and please do not block the moon. Nature was kind to me letting all the elements stay in place and gently lit the scene with delicate soft light and dusty colours. The composition is my classic style ‘I shoot landscapes even in a city; I ignore that they are buildings instead of rocks’.

Less is more and vertical stitching

This is one of those shoots where Nature did all the work. The RAW files are perfect, I only set the white balance I wanted and added some slight saturation. I developed the RAW files in Lightroom 2.0 and used my normal PTgui stitching workflow for this – see tutorial – with one difference. This photo is 4 horizontal shots stitched vertically so for projection you must choose ‘Transverse Cylindrical”. I lightened the shadows slightly in Photoshop and created a vignette.

Attempting to attract the eyes of people & potential customers on the web using small images on a web page means most of us are sometimes guilty of over saturating shots. Colours are the easiest way to attract eyes to a small thumbnail so we sometimes go to 11 with the colour volume. In this case I wanted to preserve the very delicate soft subtle light and colours so I kept the volume down so to speak. It may appear understated on screen but in a large print this is a gorgeous look. Super saturated sRGB colours do not always transfer well or look natural in CMYK so it’s a good idea to keep the volume down a bit. Sometimes more is more but often less is more!

…17 days to take off…

A subtle discovered moment of Hawk Dreaming

I received a lot of feedback on my Hawk Dreaming post and I’m grateful you liked the story and my writing. I do like writing although I’m a terribly ordinary writer (actually that’s an insult to ordinary writers) but hey, words are cheap on a free blog! Click my Travelog link if you’re bored out of your mind and can’t think of anything better to read!

As a follow up to my Hawk Dreaming story from a few weeks ago, here’s a photo file that I recently dug out of the archives and processed. It is the very last rays of sunlight at Hawk Dreaming lighting up parts of Cannon Rock and I used my Wacom tablet and painting with light in photoshop to subtly enhance the light. I made the rocks glow a little bit extra and I darkened the grass slightly. I particularly like the long narrow cloud above the rocks, a perfect painterly composition.

If you ever wanted to know what a perfectly tranquil sunset at Hawk Dreaming in Kakadu National park feels like then this is better than a thousand of my words:

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

Hawk Dreaming Glowing Rock at Sunset Panorama
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Imagine sitting here at the end of a very warm day in tropical Kakadu National Park. It’s just you and Nature. No civilisation visible anywhere (ehm, apart from all your camera gear and the 4WD). Time does not exist. The sun sets very quickly and the light changes from hard, glaring and bald to soft, warm and subtle. The wind settles down in time with the sun and there is suddenly not a single sound in the world and Time seems frozen for a brief moment as the sun sets. A new world awakens as the sun disappears and the sound of nocturnal creatures come alive. The last remaining evidence of daylight in the sky are captured on camera until total darkness signals the end of today’s awe-inspiring show by Nature. You realise you haven’t said a word for 30 minutes and can’t recall breathing. You wish this would last forever. This is why I shoot landscapes.

Well, I told you the photo is better than my words. Oh and one of the nocturnal creatures coming alive – mosquitoes! So do remember some strong repellant like Bushman or you will be eaten alive and become a permanent part of Nature!

Fresh eyes on old photos

One of the disadvantages of going through unprocessed RAW files is that it’s possible to miss some excellent but not so obvious shots. Just like in the traditional darkroom days you have to visualize the end result (Ansel Adams talked a lot about this) because an unprocessed RAW file can look rather dull. So sometimes I end up picking the obvious shots and miss the subtle but better shots like the one above. That is one reason why I never delete a single RAW file from my travel photography. They’re a bit harder to re-shoot than say a photo from my home city of Copenhagen.

Like good music it’s the albums which are less obvious that’s usually the classics in the long run. Obvious becomes tiring quickly because it’s … obvious. So I love going through old RAW files because with fresh eyes I’m sure to spot some yet to be discovered subtle gems!

Photographer, sunlover, stormchaser, weatherman

I miss the sun. I miss the tropical heat. I miss light. Any light that isn’t gray will do. I wasn’t build for the cold dark Northern Winter (did I mention I also hate snow?) so this is clearly not my best time of the year! The reward for getting through these Winter days up here in Scandinavia is the long lovely Summer days. They do seem awfully far away at the moment and a Qantas flight down under seems an awfully attractive response to Winter. Either that or hibernation until Spring dominates our weather.

As a landscape and cityscape shooter I study the weather and especially the clouds constantly. I look for extraordinary light and sky when I shoot my landscapes and cityscapes. First thing I do when I travel to a new place is note the time and the place where the sun rises and sets. You can’t predict extraordinary light but you can certainly improve your changes of catching it if it happens!

Extraordinary light doesn’t mean it cannot be very cloudy and the sun doesn’t even have to be out. The sky and the light just have to have some drama! 100% sunny summer days with no clouds are lovely – but not good for my photography either. I need dramatic light! The worst days though are the totally overcast totally gray days which we unfortunately get a lot of in the Danish Winter. The light and sky in these days are so dull, boring and depressing it’s like all the colours and light in the world was stolen by a black hole in the ‘Verse. Days like that my camera does not get a work-out. I need my extraordinary light fix and will chase it forever!

Here are some examples of my never ending quest for extraordinary light and as you can see cloudy days work fine as long as they’re dramatic!
(as always, click to see large size on my website)

Click to see large size on my gallery!

Storm approaching Brisbane. Some very dramatic clouds passing us quickly.

Click to see large size on my gallery!

Winter Sunset in Copenhagen. Just after sunset and the few sunny days here in Winter can provide some nice colours

Click to see large size on my gallery!

Just a perfect clear warm sunny day on Fraser Island – but with nice fluffy clouds

Click to see large size on my gallery!

Hail storm in Copenhagen. A unique shot on a unique day, I have yet to see this sort of storm in Copenhagen again. Half the sky was pitch black, the other half was clear and allowed the setting sun (behind me) to light up the buildings.

Well – I’m off to look at either Qantas flights or hibernation possibilities!

Chasing the sun

I am now also a Sunchaser. I am on the west coast and the best bit – watching the sun set into the Indian ocean and Western Australia sunsets are stunning! I almost forgot how good they are in real life and not just on photos, how special it is to see the sun fall straight into the Indian Ocean. So here’s what I did the other day (click for larger size):

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Get the train to Cottesloe Beach, sit and enjoy the 29 degree warm Spring day

Click to see larger size

Watch the fantastic cloud formations light up behind the Indiana Teahouse

Click to see larger size

Stroll the beach in the dusk light

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Watch some blokes decide this sunset is so good they have to jump in a boat and chase it to the horizon – and then wishing I had gone with them!

Perth

If you jump on a plane in Sydney and fly 5 hours and 4300 kilometers west you would be forgiven for thinking you would land in another country. Well, you don’t, you are now in Perth in Western Australia the worlds most remote capital!

Perth is beautifully situated right on the Swan River and presently home to an estimated 1,5 million people and that is growing rapidly due to the oft mentioned “mining boom”. Western Australia is rich on minerals (richest mineral soil in the world) and the mining industry is doing incredibly well. Fortunately Perth is still the way I remember it – an outback country town with a few highrises thrown in! A very nice change from too-hectic Sydney. Perth has that great laid-back remote outback Western Australia feel and almost all of the 1,5 million live in the suburbs so Perth CBD is very small (and totally dead and slightly spooky after 6pm). Most streets are fairly wide, most houses are only a few floors tall. Most of CBD is one big construction site at the moment though, trying to adapt Perth to the many new inhabitants building new highrises.

Been a long time since I’ve been here, spent a long time here in 1999 in another life starring another me. Bit weird revisiting (like a never-ending flashback) so I put myself to work straight away shooting pictures, my main reason for being here (the few Perth shots I have from 99 are shithouse, backpackers, alcohol and photography don’t mix). Here’s a few of Perth more at my gallery.

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Perth with purple dusk light as seen from South Perth across the river

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Perth at night from Kings Park

Outback Western Australia

I love outback WA, so beautiful and so remote. Just to try and put it into perspective: WA is about the size of Western Europe but home to only 2 million and the 1,5 million of those are living in Perth! So that leaves 0,5 million people for the rest of Western Europe!

Some day I will revisit and re-shoot the fantastic far north outback of Western Australia. The Kimberleys are one of the best spots in Australia. Not on this tour though, wrong time of the year to go far north now, pretty much has to be in May/June/July. Fortunately Perth is so remote you only have to drive a few hours north to get to places like these, more at my gallery:

Click to see larger size

The Pinnacles in Nambung National Park

Click to see larger size

Sand dunes of Lancelin

I need a holiday!

Yeah I know sounds pretty stupid to need a holiday but I’m so exhausted! This trip was always about photography first, holiday maybe second. But the past 3 weeks I may have overdone it and wore myself out as I tend to do, doing nothing but photography full time every day trying to get to as many shooting ops as possible every day. I love, live and breathe photography don’t get me wrong but it’s a lot of work. So I need a holiday. I also need a new left foot! Something wrong with the one I have now, something happened to it doing those 200 kilometers walking in Sydney. My left shoulder is not really keen on the heavy camera bag anymore either. So these last few days of my trip I have traveled around by taxi, taxi to and from Kings Park, to and from the beach etc. Soon I will be shooting my shots out of the window of the taxi and annoying the taxi driver to no end: “Just a bit forward mate. Stop. Go back a bit. Stop. Left a bit. No too far. Back. Stop. Forward. Turn around. Go right. There. Perfect shot. Ah bugger the light is gone…forward!”

Randomness

  • You gotta have your fun living in the remote outback. Which is why you will see roadhouses advertising “25 hour service, 8 days a week” and pubs in the middle of nowhere advertising “Ocean View!”
  • Ah the joys of photography at dusk. Mossie bites on my right hand this time! Where are the Germans, I need a bit of your mossie repellant!
  • Big sign on the Transperth train saying “if you witness criminal or anti-social behaviour on the train report it by calling this number”. Anti-social. Hehehehe that could be me, I’m not very social, not a real people’s person – so I better watch my behaviour on the Transperth trains!
  • Always take the weather with you – and I do! Have had fantastic weather the whole trip, even here in Perth (Spring is not normally that warm here) it’s been up to 27-29 degrees and sunny. Have had sunshine basically non-stop since 23rd of August!