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    • Canon Light Awards.

      For the last few years Canon Australian has ran a competition called the Canon Light awards. Its ran over a series of events throughout the country, Starting with a master class for a few hours then a 24 hour challenge where you are given a brief to shoot and within 24 hours you have to return with your shot and have it uploaded and ready for judging. The winner of each state then goes on to the grand final. The video below is last year’s grand final, to give you an idea what its about. 

      Next years grand final is next weekend so in seven days time it will be myself as one of the contestants fro this years grand final. So the big count down is on. Yesterday I was geven the time I need to be at Sydney airport and its early, so with an hour train trip before that its really early. So the count down is on, in the coming days I'll post a few more things here about the competition and how I got there and if possible I'll post during it, but 24 hours is going to be a rush I'll try and bring you along for the ride. So the excitment builds from here on.

    • Yes, that sums it up 24 hours, four photographers all flying in to one location from all over the country, all given the same brief and then unleased with identical Canon gear, given the keys to a hire car and need to be back with in time to print out an image or four depending on the brief, last year was four images, then wait for the judges to decide the winner. So an exciting weekend coming up, Need to be a Sydney Domestic airport at 6:15, which will be interesting, I've about an hour train ride from the airport so that’s an early start, I won't know where I'm going till I get to the Airport and told where I'm going. So I've got a 1 in 4 chance much better odds than the Sydney event earlier in the year when there were about 400 plus photographers there a lot of them professionals. Canon are videoing the event and will create a YouTube video like last year’s one.

    • Thanks Pathfinder, certainly going to be a pretty intense weekendthere I’ll get home around 10:30 Sunday night ready to get up at 5:00 Monday morning to go back to work. So a non-stop weekend there. Probably high on adrenaline all weekend. 

    • Back from the Canon Light Awards grand final now. Wow what a weekend, started off at 3:30am in the morning Saturday morning getting up at home to head out to the airport, to fly some where I had no idea where. Ended up getting home Sunday night just after 10:30pm with not much sleep in between, only to get up at 5:20am Monday morning back to work again. So a hectic weekend.

      I left the house a fraction late, Opps not a great start as we pulled in to the rail way station car park we saw the train pull out. Good think I had another two trains to catch before I would not make the time. I managed to get the next train so all good and so began my weekend of fun and excitement. I got to the airport and made contact with the Canon Rep there. She said to head to the Qantas terminal and meet at the large Christmas tree there. It wasn’t hard to find it was certainly large and she was the only one standing by it. The first order of business was to be handed an envelope and get filmed opening it to see where I was going to go. Destination was Tropical Cairns, Far north Queensland. 

      Only a few hours flight. Once we got there we picked up a hire car and headed to the Hilton Hotel to meet all the other contestants and get given our instructions for the rest of the weekend. 

      Our brief was to shoot four images that would show the colour of Australia each image had to be unique but be able to stand as a group of images. We were then matched up with a Conon rep who would be there to make sure we were safe and didn’t get over carried away putting our self in danger to get a shot. We were given our camera and lenses to shoot with everyone was given a New Canon EOS R with three lenses a 16-35, a 24 - 105 and a 70-200, a set of three filters and some maps of the area. We were given 24 hours to shoot our images get back to the hotel and have the images printed and mounted. All with in the 24 hours. 

      An so the fun began. 

      While driving into the hotel I noticed the main trees in the Centre of Cairns were covered in Bats, so I thought that’s as good a place as any to start off with.

    • From there I set off to try and capture a series of images with different colours in each with a dominate colour, to match the brief, With only 24 hours I was trying to work on the maps to see where a good sunset location would be as well as sun rise the next morning. So the race was on, so to speak, With knowing the area at all, I’ve never been up the Queensland coast (Covered a lot of the rest of the country but none of the Queensland coast) I was pretty much driving around looking for something that got my interest. Stopping here and there and taking the odd shot.

    • Trying to get four unique images each with a different colour, the idea was to have four images there were unique but would stand together as an overall theme which was the main brief while capturing the colours of Australia, So any colour that leaped out I tried to capture, some more successful than others. These red trees here for instances had buildings in front and no matter how I went to get an image I managed to get buildings of fences in the shot in the end this was the final frame I managed not a great image so I moved on again.

    • Another spot I stopped off at was a series of cascades as the weather was somewhat warm 41 Deg C and 71% humidity, Not the most pleasant of temperatures to work in, the Cascades were full off people swimming, in this case I was looking for  grey shot and came away with this one again not a strong image, I was starting to get a little concerned, I was getting snap shots and not strong images here and time was ticking.

    • I headed out to the coast to try adn find a location for sunset, looking for some options. As I got to the coast the clouds gathered, unfortuantely not the light and fluffy ones I prefered for sunset. As I was pushed for time rather than wast it I tried a few different shots there, again nothing that was showing me anything to exciting. This one taken upto me knees in the low surf.

    • Saturday night I got back to the room about ten and down loaded the imaged from the day to see if there was anything there that I could use as part of my four images and build on that. Unfortunately there was nothing there that grabed me as anything worthy of working on. So back to square one and only had till 12 the next moring to have four images printed and matted. So an early start to make the most of it, up at 4:00am ready to try again. Startign in the centre of Cairns, the parks by the water had the trees lit up so gave that a go certainly had colour. With the thought of four images spread tought out the day night dawn mid day and seun set etc, well the idea was four images that fitted the brief, I just didn't have the images. So only a slight problem.

    • Another attempt down by the water were some sculptures that I had a go at light painting, agian, nothing really excting, but now starting to get into an idea, times running out and still not really any images I was really happy with.

    • As Sunrise wasn't far off so walked along the water front till I found a posible position for the sunrise. Little less cloud this time compaed to last night so a possibility of some colour, so set up and wait. Better than the night before but again nothing exciting.

    • So by now the pressure was building to have four shots and really needed to be heading back by ten in order to print and mount by mid day. So walking around the water front I found a palm and managed this one. Hmmm now we're getting something interesting, light, shadow leading lines, water droplets for interest, this one might have been a posibility.

    • The same location a decent splash of colour nicely framing the plam tree. another possibility. At last a couple of shots that may be of use. Suns well up now and soon I'll loose any decent early morning light so back to the car and off to see what else I can find.

    • Found my self at the Cairns, botanical gardens, Bingo, colour decent light, a flower with water droplets, all I needed was my speedlites and I could make something with this. Only problem no speedlites provided in the kit. How ever I did have a bright headlamp. So by adjusting the headlamp distance I coud control the light. Had Colour, an interesting shot and I was off.

    • So walking throught the Botanic Gardens, I managed to find a whole series of flowers differnet colours to play with. In this case the lighting was natural with the sun hitting the leaf. So now I had two images I was happy with. Both colour and intersting.

    • Two down two to go. A different colour and the headlamp used agian. Light and shodow to give a feeling of depth to the image.

    • One more image to get, Walking through the gardens I found these aqua petals on the ground, Looked above and saw only green leaves so thoguth I had missed the flowers by a day or so, then spotted these still in flower with some bonus colour in the back ground with sun light on them. I light the aqua flowers with the headlamp and I had four images.

    • I was happy I had done my best for the 24 hours and managed to have my images printed with about 40 minutes to spare so really used all the avaiable time I had. We left the room and waited for teh judges to judge the winnng set of images. After about 40 minutes we were sumons back into the room and the Tony Hewitt the lead judge went through each set of images explaining the process and what the liked about each image and finally they anounced the winner Masa from Melbourne, Below is his winning images. So a great experince and fun weekend. Great feedback from the judges on all the images. So that wraps up the Canon light awards live for 2018. In the coming days Canon should be putting out a video of the weekend. There is already a short video up but a longer one should be coming shortly, I'll post that once its released as well.

    • I liked your images better! Especially some of your nighttime flower images. Great job, thanks for bringing us up to date. Did they do a video this year yet?

    • Thanks Chris. All the flower shots were in daylight but underexposed and light with a headlamp that you’d use for cycling or hiking. They have made a video not out yet that I’ve seen, they have a one minute wrap up one so far but should have a 6 minute one out any day. I’ll post a link when it’s out. Thanks.

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