{Tip} Accentuating the Wind

Most people when they see the photo below say to me “wow, fantastic, how lucky were you with that streaky sky”. When in fact on this day I had regular white fluffy clouds and I was lucky I had wind (lots of it) and that I brought along my ND filters.

On a windy day the temptation is to use a faster shutter speed to “freeze” the movement of tree foliage, clouds and anything else that is flapping and drifting in the breeze. On this occasion I used a ND3.0 filter to allow me to capture all this movement, in this case the high and low altitude clouds whizzing across the sky in two different directions. You might also choose to capture trees blowing or a flag fluttering.

So what is an ND filter and what does it do? ND stands for Neutral Density, meaning it is a dark shaded filter that is neutral in colour, or just simply put… translucent grey. Like putting on a pair of sunglasses for your camera. They are commonly available in various strengths (darkness) from a 0.3 through to a 0.9 which allow you to extend your exposure by 1 to 3 f-stops. By extending your exposure time you can capture movement with easy, think flowing water for example. If you dig around a little further you’ll also find ND filters that are super dark right up to the ND3.0 which is a full 10 f-stops darker. This allows for exposures of up to 30 seconds in the middle of the day…. Awesome!

So in this situation pictured I had some gnarly rock, some recently bushfire-burnt trees (that due to no foliage weren’t moving in the wind), and lots of fast moving white clouds. With a ND3.0 filter I managed a 20 second exposure to achieve this result.

    Long exposure with ND1000 filter to slow shutter speed down during daylight hours

Long exposure with ND1000 filter to slow shutter speed down during daylight hours

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Fun in the Sun – Grampians Wedding Style

{Kate and Kevin}

What can I say about Kate and Kevin besides fun, fun, fun!

The whole day revolved around doing the things they enjoy in life and the mood was infectious. I didn’t hear the word “serious” once… seriously!

There is a lesson for us all in that… just have fun in the sun Grampians Wedding style.



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Grampians Photographer – Guided Photography Tours for Groups and Individuals

Wow I’m bad at keeping myself updated on here. I’ll make up for it now with a more extensive blog on last weekends Guided Photography trip. I took the Williamtown Camera Club out for a few days to see the best of the Grampians National Park… my backyard.

Before I get into what we got up to I’ll quickly put it out there for clubs, groups and individuals alike that are interested in personalised photography guided tours to contact me for a some locations, options and prices.

Well we kicked things off on Saturday afternoon by walking to the Pinnacle. The walk is diverse, adventurous and the view ever-changing and spectacular.

The Pinnacle
Dead tree standing over the landscape


From there we went up to Reeds lookout in time for the sunset. With near on 360 degree views at the top, we needed to be scanning all round for the best light and photographic opportunities as they arose. Light changes quickly during the “magic hour” around sunset.


The jagged peaks of the Serra Range as we arrived
More photographers arriving to soak up the wonderful light
With the sun nearly dipping, capturing every angle becomes a challange
The last sun rays softly lighting the distant ranges
Last light. Lake Wartook lies beneath the peaks of the Mt Difficult Range
Long after the sun has set the light is often at its best.


After a senational dinner in Halls Gap and a good sleep we awoke early to ensure we arrived at Boroka Lookout before sunrise. Well was it ever worth it, we managed to witness a Grampians sunrise at its best with everyone in the group taking home some ‘keepers’.


Soft hazey morning and incredible colour with Lake Fyans in the foreground
Lake Lonsdale dwarfed but an incredible sunrise sky
Camera club members capturing their photographs
The first sunrays softly bathe Mt William
My tele lens allows me to capture Mt Rosea warming up nicely
With the sun now up the colour spectrum is still changing. What a morning!


After our sunrise treat we moved along to MacKenzie Falls. It’s the largest and most spectacular waterfall in the Grampians and the photographic experience for the group didn’t disappoint.


Mackenzie Falls. 30sec @f8
Camera club members in the process of capturing their photographs. 30sec @f8


If you’re keen to capture the best photograhic spots in the Grampians and witness them at the right time of day contact me for a guided tour. If requested I can also provide tips and techiniques to improve your photography. Contact me, Marty on info@martyschoo.com.au or phone 0427790783.

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Carbon Neutral – Rural Photography

The best thing about being a regional based photographer is the job diversity. A lot of jobs just aren’t work if you know what I mean. Does carbon neutral merino wool suits exist? You betcha! And I was there to capture another tree planting initiative on a country Victorian property where it all begins.

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Thai pre-wedding shoot in the Grampians

In the Thai culture its a big thing to have a great pre-wedding experience together including the photo shoot. This way it takes all the pressure off on the wedding day. May and Ryan are soon setting off to get married in Thailand but before they left we undertook the pre-wedding photos at a place that is dear to them. With a mix of sun, water and peaceful tranquility saw us playing in the central Grampians, canoeing and playing in the trees, and sipping champagne. What an adventure, what a day!

(Click on each image for larger and sharper)

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Back on Deck

Wow! After a few months off over winter to renovate our new little house in Halls Gap I’m back on deck and its been busy busy busy.

The last little while in no particular order has seen me at a few weddings, a Thai style pre-wedding shoot, a few interstate commercial shoots and finally I attended the big AIPP Event for photographers up in the Hunter Valley in NSW.

A few updates on my last shinanigans will pop up this week and I’ll do my best to keep things updated a little more often in between gigs in the coming weeks and months. They year is flying past!

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A Wedding in the Grampians National Park

Your wedding can be wherever you want it to be. Recently Jessica and Brian decided they wanted to get married on a mountain peak in the Grampians in Western Victoria and chose a location near Mt Stapylton for its stunning views. It would remind them of their Canadian home.

With great weather, and family and friends close by, the day was an outstanding success with great venues such as Mt Zero Olives close by. There is nothing better than a wedding with a difference. Make yours what ever you want it to be!

(Click on each image for larger and sharper)


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Marty Schoo – ABC Open – Interview

Get in to macro photography and learn a bit about getting up close to the landscape. I was interviewed recently by the ABC Open Online to get a perspective on macro photography from a photographer in the region. Some great links and the interview and can be found at the link below the image.


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A Beautiful Grampians Wedding

Weddings in the Grampians National Park and Halls Gap in particular are very popular and growing in popularity. And there is good reason for it.

What sets a Wedding in the Grampians apart from another? Great venues such as “The Valley” and others as well as great photo locations for wedding photographs throughout the Grampians National Park. This fantastic wedding was only a few weeks ago and was an absolute blast! Thanks heaps Yvette and Kriss it was great fun. Check it out…


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A very excellent Backyard Wedding

We need a Wedding photographer for our Backyard Wedding, can you help us? 

Wow, what a night! Warm, fun, relaxed, intimate, and a whole lotta rockin’. Congratulations once again Hanna and Jon it was a blast!

(Click on each image for larger and sharper)

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Stormy Grampians Weather

Well a day without taking photos is a day gone missing in my books.

The weather looks like its taking a turn for the worst for most. But for a landscape photographer bad weather usually means powerful, dramatic image results. I love it!

These images are all from the Halls Gap, Lake Fyans area of the Grampian region,  in Western Victoria.

Storm clouds forming near Lake Fyan | Grampians

Dark storm clouds brewing over Lake Fyans | Grampians

Storm clouds forming over Halls Gap | Grampians National Park

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Grampians and Halls Gap Floods

January 2011 brought unprecedented rainfalls across many parts of Victoria. Halls Gap received around  280mm in 48 hours! The changes to the Grampians National Park were quick, dramatic and not to mention expensive. 

Many roads and attractions in the Grampians National Park  have since reopened with only a handful still under repair. The photographs taken below are a mixed bag taken on both my Pentax K-5 and my little waterproof Lumix (necessary with the rain so heavy).


Silverband Falls before floods
Silverband Falls after floods

Landslide on Mt Victory Road

Mt Victory Road

Mt Victory Road

Mt William Creek

Mt William Creek

Victoria Valley

MacKenzie Falls during floods


Stairs down to MacKenzie Falls

Raging flood waters in stoney creek right near stores in town


Mt Victory Road

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Silverband Falls in Grampians Open

Silverband Falls in the Grampians National Park is once again open. The whole Grampians National Park, Halls Gap and the surrounding region were dramatically effected by the floods in January 2011. Check out my photos of the before and after of Silverband Falls. Better still come and check it out for yourself this Easter.

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Wedding Photographer

Finding and choosing a Wedding Photographer that is right for your Wedding Day is an important decision. I’m a creative Wedding Photographer that photographs in a relaxed and fresh documentary style. I photograph the day as it happens and believe that the photographer shouldn’t dictate any of the days proceedings. My unobtrusive shooting style will complement rather than influence your wedding day. For further qeustions and package prices visit my website at www.martyschoo.com.au or contact me.

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Events Photographer

An events photographer has to be versatile, quick, and creative. Events I have photographed include music festivals and concerts, motorsport and car shows, local events and carnivals, and sporting events just to name a few. Contact me for an estimate for your events coverage or to ask any questions.

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