Stephen Paul

Me-2Steve Paul has been a member of Corio Bay Camera Club since October 2012, but his involvement with photography goes back much further. Here Steve tells us a bit about his photography.

What is your photographic background?

My parents gave me a Box Brownie when I was 11 or 12. I was on holiday and trying to take a photo of a seagull at Torquay in England. The camera slipped and I took (as I found out later) a great shot of Torquay harbour and the Grand Hotel on the Hill.The negative was given to the Hotel and used as a Postcard. I think I may have got a few bob for that one. The only print I had I cannot find – Lost in the move 6 years back…

What are your favourite subjects and/or locations?

Birds are my favourite, followed closely by waterfalls and sunsets. I went through the BIG multi photo panorama phase and enjoyed it immensely – a couple of the panos are included among my photos below. A couple are on the wall at home. As far as favourite places – Muloorina Station near Lake Eyre, Lake Mungo (but not so much now because of the boardwalk) and Hopetoun Falls.

Who or What inspires you to go out and take photographs?

Nadia (Steve’s wife – ed.) – we love bushwalking through national parks and snapping anything that moves ..

What do you like to communicate through your photography?

I just hope that people viewing the photos will enjoy the view and get something out of what I did and where I went .

What sort of gear do you use/have you used in the past?

I started with the Box Brownie, then an old Pentax MX (my first SLR). Since then a succession of Canons – 300D, 400D, 60D and now a 6D. I had an Olympus for a while for the extra length on the zoom lens but soon found it too soft for anything decent that I wanted to do

What’s your favourite piece of kit?

Photographically it’s my Sigma 120-400 mm  lens. It can be a little soft at times but in good light it’s hard to fault. At the moment though, its all about the Quadcopter,videos and aerial stills. Next year the Quad will be bigger and better and with the club’s new projector the HD videos should be quite a show. I hope others will also take an interest in videography – when I take waterfall shots I usually also take a 30 second panoramic video to remind me of what I saw and heard !!

Which of your images is/are your favourite(s)? 

Hopetoun Falls is a 3 shot pano and the light was just right to light up the waterfall spray. Also a 7 shot pano hanging on my wall of the Melbourne skyline taken from the Harbour Trust control tower next to the Yarra – I’d like to re-do this now that the Big Wheel is there but security won’t allow it.

What do you think is your greatest photographic achievement?

Bell Miner – Everything about the photo works – the shapes, colours and even the “upside down” bird. It has one a few prizes including a Judges Choice Medal from the Hervey Bay 2nd National competition.

Is there anything that you’d like to improve in your photography?

Yep – I need more confidence to take portraits – I’m sadly lacking in that department but just can’t seem to get motivated enough to try portraits. I also need to step up with night/star/fireworks/lightning photography — more practice required.

Any other thoughts?

I hope to travel more around Oz – and take more time. I am hopeless with Sunrise. I’ve only ever taken one photo of the morning sun. By being on the spot I hope to be able to do that and I now have a collection of places to stop when we are heading North or West. So that will make it easier by not having to look for spots. Some places that are supposedly “spectacular” were, in my opinion, not worth the trouble of going across a desert etc to get there. Most are worth it though  – the Bungle Bungles for one – its a hard drive in but wow!! The next road trip will be a bit later in the year to try and get into mid W.A. for the wild flower season in August/September.

I enjoy my photography and I enjoy competing against other like minded souls – We should all enjoy other people’s work as we do our own.

Below is a selection of Steve’s photographs – click on the images to get a larger view

WarneetBoats002

Warneet Boats – A beautiful calm sunset at Warneet – love the colours .

Twins-Plus-Ant

Twins Plus Ant – Don’t know if that is an Ant or not. This was one of the images when I delved into macro work. Took quite a while to get this and then found the bonus Ant.

The-Hayshed

The Hayshed –  A 7-shot panorama taken near Mount Buangor one evening. The detail in the full version is amazing. I used a Panosaurus on my tripod for this one.

RossBridgesmall

Ross Bridge – Taken as a 5-shot panorama in Tasmania. Judged for a competition with comment of “Chocolate Box Photo.” Still don’t know if that’s good or bad??

ooops

Ooops – Just caught him in the landing wobble – he did manage to stay on the pole …

New-Holland-Honeyeater

New Holland Honeyeater – snapped at the Ballarat Bird Sanctaury – Just quick enough to grab it on a plant with the same colouring. .

 

Hopkins Falls - Just outside Warrnambool - Lovely spot lots of small birds and the falls when its running - But was really really windy - tried to fly the quad and nearly lost it .

Hopkins Falls – Just outside Warrnambool – Lovely spot lots of small birds and the falls when its running – But was really really windy – tried to fly the quad and nearly lost it .

Hopetoun Falls-2

Hopetoun Falls – This is the middle frame of the 3-shot panorama it was about 11 am and the Sun just got through the canopy and lit up the spray – Magic..

CrocRedeye - Took this through glass at Ballarat Wildlife Park. Bad colours inside that building so I changed it to a black and white and painted in the red eye .

Croc Redeye – Took this through glass at Ballarat Wildlife Park. Bad colours inside that building so I changed it to a black and white and painted in the red eye .

Chough

Chough – Down at Serendip a few of these flew in squawking and carrying on – caught this one being VERY angry ..

Blue-Moon

Blue Moon – A prize winner from way back in 2004 – my first attempt at altering reality – The moon was above the glass building at Highpoint but there’s a lot of Photoshop in it ..

Bellminer5Framed

Bell Miner – Lucky with this one at Melbourne Zoo and he just hung like that about 4 feet in front of me eating the scale on the gum leaves..

Australian-Hobby

Australian Hobby – saw this little guy on the way to Pyramid Hill. Bit unfortunate for his breakfast but that’s life when you’re the smallest and fastest raptor in Australia ..

Apple-Blossom

Apple Blossom – This was the start of the drop-shadow frame period. Just liked how this small section of blossom looked.

Airborne

Airborne – was at the Jet drag boats at Melton – This guy was the other entertainment .

321-Ignition

321-Ignition – One of the Drag Boats from Melton. The winner from memory