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King Parrot Profile by Okavanga

22nd February 2015

Animated Rainbow Star Divider by Gasara

There have been delays in approval of submissions with some being timed out, and I apologise on behalf of my fellow admins. I have now opened up some of the main submission galleries to auto-approval of 1 submission per day.

Free Flower Icon 5 by RevPixy

Please let me know if you would like other galleries on auto-approval or if you have any other suggestions on how to refresh the Group.


Animated Rainbow Star Divider by Gasara

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Features and Journals

Caves, Cameras and Creativity

Journal Entry: Thu Mar 26, 2015, 7:42 AM
Deep in the heart of East Gippsland, Victoria, Australia, lies the tiny village of Buchan. Set in the most beautiful, rolling hilly countryside, Buchan has one huge claim to fame - it is the site of some magnificent subterranean limestone caverns, rather prosaically known as the Buchan Caves.… Naturally, I had to try to take some photographs while touring through these underground marvels with their stalactites (c- ceiling) and stalagmites (g - ground) and the fabulous hanging curtains of limestone deposits which have built up over millennia from water slowly percolating from the surface into these hidden river courses. I shot about 80 frames during the tours, and the first two images below gives you the idea. Unfortunately, these are just about the only shots that are worth posting in terms of conventional images. This is not because of any limitation of the camera or lenses. That Canon 5D Mark III has such a clever exposure system that I did not need to use flash, but just let the ISO (sensitivity) be determined by the camera itself making use of available light. No, the camera was not the problem. Nor was the availability of light. There were plenty of lamps cleverly positioned to maximise visual impact, as seen on those two shots.

Buchan Caves 1 by Okavanga  Buchan Caves 2 by Okavanga

The problems that arose were three fold. First, other people crammed into a small, dark space moving slowly along low tortuous passages, all wanting their snaps and getting in one another's road. I could deal with that by hanging back or pushing forward out of their way. Second, while the was enough light to capture images, the quality of the light was poor - different sections of the tunnels had different light sources - tungsten bulbs, LEDS, halogen lamps. Consequently, what photographers call white balance was impossible to control. A white limestone deposit would be reddish at one location and bluish somewhere else, notwithstanding what coloured inclusions were actually present. The solution to that problem lies in post-processing - adjusting the white balance to give consistent results based on a standard. The third problem, however, was much more difficult to solve. If you look at the third image, you may see what the difficulty is. It shows lots of stalactites (reddish orange), a great mound of white (?) limestone, and lots of dark areas. Without the presence of the people in the lower right corner, how would you know what the scale of this image was? Evidently, this is a large space, from the smallish size of the people, but what size? Take the people out of the image and there are no visual clues - no sense of how big or small things are. Of course, when you are there you can see, but the camera can't do this without some form of marker. Just to labour the point, check out the fourth image and ask yourselves what size are the onion-like stalactites? They could be tiny like marbles, or about the size of grapes, onions, tennis balls.... If you guessed plums, then you would be correct.

Buchan Caves 3 by Okavanga  Buchan Caves 4 by Okavanga

So, without putting a scale marker into each shot , the viewer has difficulty assessing the scale of the images. I've chosen to take a different approach to resolving this problem - a creative approach where I make use of the shapes and tones to create abstracted images, whilst trying to keep some element of their origin.

The fifth image is a half-way house between the the "real" and the abstract. It is the same area as shown in the first image, taken at a slightly different angle, and altered using the solarization filter in the Color EFEX Pro 4 software suite from Nik/Google. Solarization alters the ratio of positive to negative colour and tone within an image. At the extreme white becomes black, red becomes yellow and so on. But the strength of the solarization technique lies in the intermediate settings to develop changes in tone.  Now, in this image there is a strong sense of water cascading down to the right hand corner. Of course, there is no water - it is solid limestone, but the impression is what matters.

Limestone Abstract 1 by Okavanga

Stalactites, hanging form the roofs of the caves, are often wet from water that slowly runs over them before evaporating to leave the chalky deposits. The impression of dripping and damp  is often very strong. In the next image, I have transformed that feeling into one of gloopy treacle-like flow, again making use of the solarization filter. By darkening the foreground objects, the stalactites, and lightening the background, the structures seem to stand out. Alternatively, the viewer can treat this as solely an abstract image, and read whatever they like into it. The following image has been similarly filtered in order to bring out the rhythm of the rocks, and the final shot becomes even more abstract and presents an optically ambiguous image of limestone formations where background and foreground appear interchangeable.

Limestone Abstract 2 by Okavanga  Limestone Abstract 3 by Okavanga

Limestone Abstract 4 by Okavanga

The Buchan Caves offered quite spectacular views on a personal basis. For photography, however, unless you have lots of time plus some professional lighting and some form of spatial marking, results can be pretty bland. In order to overcome that last difficulty, the photographer can use modern software and a creative mind to make different types of images, in this case abstracted forms.


David aka Okavanga :iconokavanga:

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Rivers and Creeks

Journal Entry: Sun Mar 22, 2015, 7:00 AM
Although Australia is considered a dry continent with vast areas of sandy and rocky desert, there are plenty of rivers and creeks in Victoria, the main rivers rising in the mountains of the Great Dividing Range and Australian Alps. Here are a few shots of some of the rivers and creeks that I encountered during my recent trip. The first is of the mighty Murray River, Australia's longest river at about 1500 miles. It flows from the Alps, westward, and then south to reach the ocean not far from Adelaide in South Australia. At this point, near the small town of Corowa, the Murray forms the border between Victoria and New South Wales. Geographers will notice the flood plain either side of the river itself, and botanists might be able to tell which type of eucalypts line the bank. The second image, taken at Corowa, shows a common mode of river transport. Further downstream by a couple of hundred miles, paddle steamers ply the waterway.

The Mighty Murray by Okavanga   Murray River Trees and Transport by Okavanga

My third shot is of a much smaller river that runs through the Seven Creeks Park near the delightful town of Euroa just off the Hume Highway - the main motorway running North from Melbourne. The flat countryside in that area is in contrast to that shown in the fourth image - part of the Ovens River as it flows through the Canyon Gorge near Bright in the Alps. This was once part of an extensive gold field where dredgers moved up and down the river extracting the gold from alluvial deposits. Now, it is part of an extensive network of extraordinary walks and hiking trails. Branching off from the Ovens River is the quaintly named Morses Creek, parts of which are shown in the next few images. The Morses Creek path winds it way up to the gorgeous little hamlet of Wandiligong, through idyllic countryside, alongside little streams, and through meadows and woods full of screeching bright red parrots and humming, buzzing insects - an absolutely glorious area.

Seven Creeks, Euroa by Okavanga  Canyon Gorge, Bright by Okavanga

  Morses Creek by Okavanga   Morses Creek 2 by Okavanga   Morses Creek Detail by Okavanga  

Prior to reaching the Alps and Bright, we had stopped off for a few days at Glenrowan, a very small town associated with the infamous Australian "hero" Ned Kelly. Glenrowan is but a stone's throw from the King River Valley, another area of outstanding natural beauty, and of extensive vineyards! The last two images are of the King River as it lazily winds through the land near Milawa.

King River by Okavanga   King River 2 by Okavanga

That's enough meandering for now!



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ArtWorldToday is a Group for anyone who enjoys art. You don't have to make it to be a member. Art comes in all forms and what is art to one person might not be art to another. So you must be kind to other members. We will have beginners as well as established artists in this group, so there is a variety to look at.

My husband and I used to live in a town that had a active Art Walk. We enjoyed going on the First Friday of every month. There were so many talented artists in the town we lived in, and this was a way for people to notice them. We have since moved and the town we live in now doesn't have a Art Walk that show cases artists the way our old town did. I miss the environment of the Art Walk, I miss the getting to know the artists and I miss seeing all the new artwork.

I thought fine I will make my own First Friday Art Walk here on the web. I hope that we will build a fun group with lots of networking, interaction and support amongst artists of different types and abilities.

Not everyone can go to an Art Walk but here on the internet we can have our own form of Art Walk. On the First Friday of every month we will feature new artists for the month!
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SoulcolorsArt Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the request :)
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Deena-Lee-Sauve Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Is this group active?
I have submitted many times in the correct folders and I never ever get an answer!!!
Been waiting several days again most time they just expire!
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ReSkull Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2015   Traditional Artist
thanks dudes for adding my Fu#$ ing avatar to this group! :woohoo:
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Manink Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2015  Professional Filmographer
Wow, thank you so much!love-love-love by KitLightning  
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Sweetlylou Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much for the request ! :iconsunflower-plz: :iconbeauroseplz:
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