Aussie Photo Adventures
Aerial photograph of patterns in the surface of a salt lake, Australia.

Places I’d like to be

22/08/2020 0

Here are a few of my photography hunting grounds. Or if you like, places I’d like to be, rather than stuck at home. Interesting times, […]



Late light on dry golden grass beside a highway in South Australia. Photo for Excitations Photo Adventures

Sometimes, well, most times, I’ll mention the old “F8 and be there theory” during workshops. I’m not sure who coined the phrase, but, I have a feeling it may have been a legendary photographer by the name of Weegee, real name Arthur Fellig.

A New York photojournalist with a knack of being in the right place at the right time. I seem to remember the story was something like this.

Mr Weegee, what settings do you use on your camera? His reply was the now-famous term. “F8 and be there”.

You don’t need to be hunting for images of gangsters, gunned down in the middle of the night to apply the settings. The picture above, which, you will occasionally see pop up as a header pic on this site, is a result of being there with a camera.
This image is pretty much straight out of the camera, a little slider movement to the right in saturation mode during raw conversion, and that is it. Oh, I think I may have been shooting at F11:)
The whole scene lasted about a minute.


stock photo from young woman running on beach at sunset.
Our most stolen photo:)

What can I do?

Well, the below link isn’t specifically Australian related, and some of the advice may be off-base, but it is worth a read.
It is probably worth two reads. Most photographers let image theft slip.

They are dismissing image theft as not worth the effort to attempt to recover compensation for blatant commercial exploitation of their hard work. I know, as I have been guilty of this on many occasions.

Close-up photo of a Common Heath flower. Excitations Photo Adventures regional Australian photo workshops and online training.
Our second most “borrowed” image. Mostly acquired by the “holistic health industry”. Once used on a book cover in the same market sector. It didn’t work out well for the infringer in this case:)

There are a few images I have that I would definitely follow up. And, have, with varying success.
Here is the link to defending copyright on the BBC’s website.


This is a great place to start.

The Australian Copyright Council.



We have an explanation HERE.


Our guess is, Covid normal will be, a series of small outbreaks which will be managed by efficiently geo-fencing the effected areas and life continuing everywhere else.

Excitations Photo Adventures will begin scheduling face to face workshops from March 2021. However, the workshops will have online content along with the physical event. The combination events are to safeguard against Mr Covid.

Photo Adventures will also produce a series of short, YouTube videos on a host of photography-related subjects. These will be free of charge. And they will be short. Nothing on this planet annoys me more than YouTube videos with 3 minutes of content and 15 minutes of self promotion:)

We avoid doing workshopsOver Summer. December workshops end up with only being me there because everyone has Christmas on their minds.
January people want workshops to learn their new cameras. But outdoor workshops in January is only for the most enthusiastic photographers.
March is the blast-off month. We’ll have a lot of new stuff, and the old will look a little different.

NEW VERSION OF AN OLD TECHNIQUEdigitally altered landscape of rotting post is The Coorong, South Australia, Excitations Photo Adventures.

Back, way back in the early days of my photography journey, I use to dabble with a technique called split-toning. Briefly, it went like this.

While making a chemical print in the darkroom, we treated the paper to several chemical processes to change the perceived tone of an image. Mostly we would make the dark tones more cool or blue if you prefer while shifting the colour of the lighter areas to warmer or brown tones.

We called that process split toning, obviously we also toned with single colours. For example most people will be familiar with the Sepia toning, which was in the days of film and chemically processed prints was simply another chemical step in the process of print making.

The above image, captured on the edge of the Coorong in South Australia is the digital equivalent of that process. You can find dozens if not hundreds of filters/plugin to do this. Or you can modify the colour of the darker tones and light tones separately in your chosen image editing software.

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Excitations Photo Adventures, photography instructor, Ian Mckenzie

Learn a little more about our chief instructor, Ian McKenzie. That’s the old bloke above, we have a Q&A session with him. Just click on the picture.


That was the heading. I should know better, but no, in I went, expecting, no hoping to find some new and exciting tips. After all, the first line of text under the heading said today’s photographers are not only photographers but hyper-creative entrepreneurs.
The fact that the article was illustrated by photos of these hyper-creative entrepreneurial types making images with their phones should have warned me. Don’t read on. But, I did, and I wasted ten minutes I haven’t got to spare.
The actual content of the article could easily have been cut and pasted from a photography magazine forty years earlier.

The following are my tips for creating a folio, whether it be for online or hard copy the basics are the same.Beautiful young woman wearing a red coat against a subdued Winter background. Excitations Photo Adventures, Photo training online and workshops, regional and remote Australia.
1- Your images have to stand out from the crowd (in other words, don’t copy other photographers)
2- Play to your strengths. (This is about you, it is personal)
3- Edit hard. (nope I’m not talking about Photoshop editing, toss out the junk, and by junk I mean images that aren’t up to scratch)
4- Start strong, (first impressions and all that)
5- End strong (make your last couple of images memorable)
6- Revisit #3 (remove more of the crap photos between your start and end )
7- Make your content relevant (showcase the subjects you want to shoot. If you wish to be a people photographer, show people images, not landscapes or kittens)
8- Ensure your folio shows you are competent technically (you would be surprised at how many of our modern creatives are clueless here, so here is your chance to shine)
9- Be yourself, don’t try to be someone else. If you are copying the style or ideas of another photographer, then you will be nothing other than a cheap imitation of that photographer.
10- There is no number ten because that would put this into the TOP TEN THINGS YOU NEED TO CREATE A PORTFOLIO and I won’t be going there:)

Warning, the above has been cut and pasted from 40 years of experience:)