General views


I know, I know, there was another post on here for a while, I took it down. Varied reasons, none of which matter all that much. I will be putting more stuff on here soon. Life has taken another change of direction and I will have a bit more spare time on my hands. Speaking of spare time… As I said in my previous post, what I do mostly when I’m not engaged in the day job is try my hand at photography. You’ll hopefully have seen my new photography blog, if not, there’s a link to that at the end of this.

I woke up to this today though. I don’t think I’ve ever won anything I was more excited about, to be fair I had to stop to think what else I had won in my life. 5th form speech prize? Let’s not make light though. I was beyond thrilled that one of my photos was chosen as being ‘student photo of the week’ by Fotoclasses They are based in the USA and in my view are the best photography courses available online . Fotoclasses have world class photographers as tutors and I had taken one of their courses. So for them to choose my photo from all their students around the world is totally amazing and and huge boost as I continue to figure out how my camera works. The detail is as follows, cut and pasted from their site. It’s such a huge honour for me. So I’m sharing it. The appropriate understated ‘kiwi’ism’, would be that I’m stoked.

Student Photo of the Week – Through the Tunnel

Getting off of auto is an important step in becoming a better photographer—but once you pass through that tunnel, there’s still a lot left to master. Here’s how one student used advanced techniques to capture this amazing image, Through The Tunnel.

There’s a sort of epiphany that happens when moving from auto to manual modes—a kind of passing through a dark tunnel and finding light that you never knew was on the other side. Sandy Abbot has been taking pictures for most of his adult life—but everything changed three years ago, when he decided to take a course to learn how to get off auto mode.

Now taking the Advanced Guide to DSLR Photography, Sandy had an idea in mind when he headed out to the rail underpass near Mt. Ruapehu. “I’d driven past the site a few times and on a clear day the mountain looks so awesome,” he said. “The road over this rail underpass is the first place you get a decent look at the mountain when you approach from the south. I thought I’d drive down to the underpass to see if it presented a good picture, as I knew the railway lines headed straight for the mountain when they emerged from it.”

The view was exactly the shot he was after, but certainly not without its own set of challenges—the biggest being to keep the contrast of the mountain despite the darkness of the tunnel. Using single point autofocus, he set the focus and exposure at different parts of the tunnel opening until he found a spot that captured what he was looking for. Through The Tunnel was submitted without any editing.

Tutor Eric Fletcher had a lot to say about the image—but the key is the fact that the train tracks are still visible even in the darkness of the tunnel. “I really like that the reflection on the tracks carries all the way into the darkness and to the bottom of the frame,” he said. “If the tracks fell into blackness with the rest of the tunnel, the image would be much less engaging, in my opinion. It might be the photo’s most important element actually, so very well done there.”

He also noted the repeating lines within the poles and beams that guide the eye through the depth of the image and to the mountains in the background. Those mountains could benefit from a slight increase in contrast, he added, and the horizon could be adjusted a bit so the horizontal beams are straight.

“It’s great on its own, but it has a lot of potential for experimentation also,” he said. “from adding a person to perhaps even trying HDR techniques to capture some details of the dark tunnel. You’ve got a great eye, and you’ve done a great job.”

Now that he’s off auto and trying more advanced techniques, Sandy enjoys shooting landscapes as well as birds—subjects that are both prevalent where he lives in New Zealand.

What’s the next “tunnel” you need to go through to advance your photography? Getting off of auto, or tackling more advanced techniques?


So that’s Oarsum!

My photography blog is at Things I see, photographed

17 replies »

  1. Congratulations Sandy, fantastic and well deserved RegardsGabrielle ___________________________________________________ gabrielle gibson property rentals & management limited m: 0274 305 301 e: PO Box 37485 . ParnellAuckland 1151

  2. Congratulations Sandy. Well deserved praise! I so enjoy seeing your photos, often of sights I remember well from home.

Leave a Reply to sandysview Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s