Photography workshop Spring Hill Station

Photography workshop on location at Spring Hill Station.

Holding a photography workshop on location hadn’t been on our radar. Sure we’ve run workshops across the eastern half of Australia. This however, was different.

It all started with a message from Terri. Asking us if we would consider travelling out to Spring Hill Station to conduct a workshop. Honestly, it took us about three seconds to make a decision. YES.

Hopefully our participants had as good a day as we had. A very big thankyou to Terri and Wade for hosting and organising the day. and to the ladies who attended. Thank you for attending, for  your wonderful contributions to lunch and your insights into real country living.Max photo dog leader. Spring Hill photography workshop conducted by Ian Mckenzie, Excitations, Mildura photographers.Our photo-walk guide, Max. iso 100, f4 @ 1/90th of a second 120mm. Light reflected  from gully wall opposite. Aperture prioity exposure to blur background.Red bank, grass against blue sky. Spring Hill photography workshop. Photo by excitations photographers MildiuraOur photo-walk took us down what is called “The Gutter”. The high sun angle was not our friend for the walk. Our challenge. To fined photos that worked in a great location with poor lighting. iso 100,  f4 @1/3000th (in hindsight I should have gone down to f8 which would have given me slightly sharper result as f8 is this lenses sweet spot.)low angle fence post Spring Hill photography workshops. Photo courses around MilduraMaking use of old fence post. Easy low angle. Using blue sky for some colour and contrast. iso 200 (because I forgot to come back down to iso 100 after a previous shot in shadows) 1/750th of a second at about f11Group of photographers at Spring Hill photography workshopSome of our team  in the gutter. Including Max, if you can fined Mr camera shy.Rusty gate close up photo, Pooncarrie Australia. Photoadventures with found an old gate after leaving Spring Hill for the trip home. iso 100,  f2.8 @ 1/800th of a second on a Canon 70D with 200mm lens so roughly equivalent to a 320mm (because of a cropped sensor).Semi arid Australian landscape. Creative image with sun flare and dry grass Photos from a photography workshop by excitations, outback NSW.The longer we drove. The bettter the light became. We stopped to play with some low light flaring out over the landscape. iso 100, f2.8 @ 70mm 1/500th of a second, focus point is tuft of grass in the forground. Wide open apeture to give shallow depth of field.large old tree silhouetted against a sunset near Pooncarie, NSW, Australia. Phot adventure photography workshops by excitations, regional Australia.We were talking about our wonderful Australian landscape. I think the words were something like. “You take an old tree like that one, silhouette it against a sunset like this and………” Jammed the brakes on. Jumped out of the old troopy and ran as fast as my old legs would carry me. Got there 30 seconds too late. Brilliant colour had already turned to average. But no complaints, a good way to end a great day. iso 100, f6.7 @ 1/250th 200mm lens. Cropped square to avoid a tree that I didn’t have time to run around.

If you are interesed in attending any of our Excitations adventure tours or workshops, head over to the main website and click on workshops and training to see whats coming up and where.

For the benefit of our class. All images here shot as Raw, and output out of CaptureOne 10 at our standard jpeg recipe, srgb, 800 pixels wide. No photoshop or filters.

Photographing Melbourne Market Yesterday

A morning well spent the Melbourne  Market.

The new Melbourne Market, or if we use the  correct name. The Melbourne Wholesale Fruit Vegetable and Flower Market. Is located at Epping, right beside the Hume Freeway for super easy access. To  say the market is big is an understatement.

Having the opportunity to photograph some of the operations within the market was a real buzz for us. We can’t tell you much about the assignment at this stage. Except to say it involves telling a story in pictures, of another Australian fresh produce to the world success.Overview of part of Melbourne Market Photography by Excitations, Mildura photographers, videographers and timelapse specialists.Overview of a very small part of the Melbourne Market. This only tells a small part of the picture. Much of the markets activity takes place away from the trading floors, in the massive warehouses that make up this incredible complex.

We though we knew a fair amount about production and distribution of fresh farm products… Wow this is a whole new world. So much time effort and labour goes into getting Aussie fresh produce all over the world in next to no time.  We saw super fresh, high quality produce. Growing in the field yesterday, sold, consolidated and repacked, quality controlled and on its way to the airport before 5am. That produce will be served up in restaurants and resorts on the other side of the world within a day of being harvested… Incredible.

We love telling visual stories. This has been one of the best so far. Following fresh Aussie produce from the farm to the point of departure for markets around our planet

More to come….


Summer sunset photo Mildura

Last nights summer sunset photo near Mildura

Summer sunset photo taken near Mildura. Panoramic format art styed photograph created by Ian McKenzie of Excitations, photographers Mildura.

While we were waiting for the main event last night. We spied with our little eyes. This tiny little bit of Mammatus cloud. Also known as Mammatocumulus. We were facinated by its shape and form. Naturally we decided it was worth “wasting a frame on”. One frame is all we shot. Which is a pity because while the rest of the sky show was amazing. Our images of it were not. Some days your hot…. Some days your not.

Anyway we liked the end result. We may fiddle with it some more. If you like it and would like to see a much bigger version of our Summer sunset photo over on our portfolio sight.

Storm chasing Mildura

Storm chasing Mildura and being cut off by heavy rain and hail.

It’s not often we get a chance to go chase a storm. Mostly because if your are a photographer you have lots of advanced bookings. the other reason, we don’t get a lot of storms to chase hear in Mildura. Probably a good thing… But I digress.

Last Saturday while sitting at the computer trying to get work out….. The ever present twitter feed beside me started to tell a story of an approaching front. A front with all the hallmarks of being a photo opportunity in the making. Sadly as I watched the electrical activity started to drop away to the South. Disappointed that time wouldn’t allow me the opportunity to follow the front South. I continued working. Pausing for a moment to post a note on FaceBook to the effect that any photographers south of Mildura should get their butts into gear and get ready for a show.

Then as the afternoon progressed. I took a peek outside… The sky was amazing and there was a storm almost on us. To early but hell…. It was a storm. I drove to Wentworth, getting held up by some heavy rain and hail, which was a bit uncomfortable as I had pinched Robyn’s car….  Great little rig but not built for storm chasing, or heavy  hail. All worked out well. Except the photos…. BORING. On the drive home, past a couple of NSW Police, so pulled over for a chat and told them about a medium sized Red Gum, situated in a public park that was struggling to stay upright. Day over or so I thought.

Thunderstorm passes over vineyard.A second, much smaller storm began to develop later in the afternoon. It was touch and go as to whether I would stop work again to try and cut it off. You see my preferred angle for late afternoon thunderstorms is ahead of the storm and to the East if that is possible. After setting out it was soon apparent  mother nature had other ideas. Firstly the storm front was moving mach faster than I anticipated. Secondly there were not a lot of roads available to me. Even less as the storm flattened out and heavy rain began pouring down. Followed a few minutes later by a barrage of medium sized hail stones. It was pull over and ride it out time. At least this time I was in the old Troopy, so no fear of getting Robyn’s car all dented.

As with most thunderstorms the rain and hail stopped almost as quickly as it had started. Two things became apparent almost immediately. There was much more ice laying around than I had expected and the air was filled with the distinctive aroma of shredded vine leaves. Not unlike the smell you get just after a mechanical harvester has past over a patch of vines. Thing is of course it wasn’t harvest time!

Hail damage vineyardI was able to take a few photos of the damaged vines and hail laying around before the storm moved off and I once again gave chase. Still hoping that I may get a shot worth keeping. As it turned out I manage to get one keeper. Not the amazing shot that all photographers strive for, each and every time they pick up a camera. Until next time however, it will do.
Thunderstorm NE of Mildura Storm chasing Mildura.

Lame I know…. Blood Moon

Tonights Blood Moon
Blood Moon photographed near Mildura

Nuff said really. A whole bunch of people will have been out creating amazing photos of this Luna Eclipes. Not this little doggy. One quick look, inside grab a camera and click.

Goodnight all.

Free flying a balloon at North Pole.

News in today, good friend of Excitations for many years, Kiff Saunders, has today  free flown a hot air balloon at the North Pole. Not the first time up North for Kiff. I think this is his 3 year at the pole but last two years balloon has been attached firmly to the ice/ship/something really strong. Last thing anyone would want to do up there is go drifting away. Weather must have been dam near perfect to be able to cut lose and let the bird fly free. Big yellow balloon and big red nuclear powered icebreaker in amongst all that snow and ice. Must have been really something to see (and do)

Technically they weren’t at the North Pole, about 1 kilometre away, but lets face it, I’m guessing no one is going to look at the pictures and say…. Oh that’s not the North Pole.

I’m also guessing that if you want to experience being in a hot air balloon at the North Pole or going for a swim there or just travelling to the top of the world in a nuclear powered icebreaker you should give Kiff a yell at Global Ballooning. Me thinks you may need to check your credit card balance before booking the trip. Maybe it would be more realistic to fly over Melbourne with Kiff or one of his amazing team of adventurers.


Avoca sinks at Mildura Moorings.

Sad news this morning, Paddle Boat Avoca sinks at her Mildura moorings.

Paddle Boat Avoca, Mildura, Australia.

The 137 year old paddle boat was recently sold at auction but it is understood the sale has not yet been concluded.  Hopefully she can be salvaged to continue her place in the history of navigation of the Murray and Darling Rivers. Information surrounding the sinking is not yet available.

Murray Meander 2014

A day with the happy go lucky bunch of fund raisers on the Murray Meander 2014.

Murray Meander, Berri, South Australia

This was part of an editorial shoot for the team at Excitations, something we haven’t done for a long while….. Well a few months anyway. After shooting the safe people shots and getting all the must have shots. We took some time out to get a few different angles to give our editors and clients some room to play with layout and design.

I have to say the folks on the Murray Meander 2014 were a great bunch to work with. And a barrel of laughs. Many of the participants had personel reasons to be taking part… Others were there just because it seemed like a fun thing to do and a good cause. The Murray Meander 2014 travelled the Murray River from Mildura to the Murray Mouth.

Murray Meander, Berri, South Australia

Murray Meander 2014

Murray Charity Meander 2014, Mildura to Wentworth
All the images here with the exception of the last one were photographed on the Murray River in the Riverland of South Australia. The last image was shot on the Murray River just below excitations studio at Yelta.

Straight 8 Packard Limo

Straight 8 Packard Limo, traveling in old world style.

Sighted this old beauty at  a recent wedding in Swan Hill. She wasn’t even the bridal car. Instead used to get the boys around town and from photo location to location. I’d love to be able to tell you the full story of this car but I’m probably the only McKenzie ever to draw breath who doesn’t know  anything about cars. Black sheep of the family you could say. The rest of the clan can pull an engine to bits in the dark while blind folded. Me… lets just say it’s a struggle to insert an ignition key into a slot.

Straight 8 Packard car parked at Pioneer Settlement Swan Hill.

I have no idea of what year this car was built. But it safe to say it wasn’t in the last couple of weeks. I can remember visiting family as a young boy and seeing cousin John, then not much more than a teenager working on this car. John, an avid collector of vintage and veteran cars and motorcycles has amassed an impressive collection of such vehicles. Anyway it was great to see the old girl again, even if she didn’t get to be the bridal car. That honour went to Buick, of a similar vintage. Which was in fact owned by our brides family. Kinda cool using historic family owned vehicles in a wedding.

Surfers Paradise at dusk.

This is a shot I’ve been going to do for years, Surfers Paradise at dusk.

Still didn’t get it the way I wanted it. Light just wouldn’t play ball. That and somebody had parked a great big ugly crane in the way. Bit of fancy footwork got rid of the crane and construction debris but nothing fixes light that isn’t  quite right. Shot on medium format, so will enlarge to monterous sizes with ease. I never cease to be surprised by the detail in MF Digital files. Simply amazing.
Dusk, Surfers Paradise, Queensland Australia

Surfers Paradise viewed over the Nerang River or Lagoon as a number of locals refer to it. Really looks a whole lot more impressive at full resolution. Downsizing to 600 pixels doesn’t leave a lot of the original goodness.