Monthly Archives: June 2013

Wet Wet Wet

Feeling inspired by my images from my Photographic Scales post, I thought that I would photograph some local waterfalls today. I assumed they would be spectacular given the tremendous amount of rain we have had over the last week. However the mist and steady rain rolling up the valley instead of creating a nice ethereal scene completely obscured the view. A complete white-out. Here are a couple of my consolation images.

A misty Southern Highlands

Belmore Falls Lookout


Southern Highlands Mist

The view of the escarpment is disappearing fast


A misty Southern Highlands

Low visibility in the Southern Highlands

#southernhighlands #belmorefalls #landscapes #mist

feel free to share this post using this shortlink:

Photographic Scales

I was recently on a landscape workshop and commented that I was often slow to get started. Someone said that’s ok, it is all part of performing your photographic scales. I have heard this term before and it makes perfect sense. Any pursuit requires regular practice. This idea translates easily to photography. If it has been some time since you have taken an image do you find that you sometimes struggle to capture an image that you are happy with.

Practice not only involves getting technically better, but extending creativity. You have to exercise your eye and your imagination.

These are not intended to be award-winning images, just an exercise in photographic scales. I am happy with the results.

How often do you practice your photographic scales?


MKImages Photographic Scales_56

Photographic Scales #56

Photographic Scales #52

Photographic Scales #50

Photographic Scales #49

Photographic Scales #48

Photographic Scales #45

Photographic Scales #40

Photographic Scales #38

#landscape #abstract #wabisabi

Feel free to share using the shortlink:







Spectra Light Tower

I have been in Hobart attending the annual Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) Nikon Event. I was lucky to photograph the amazing Ryoji Ikeda’s “Spectra Light Tower”. It comprises some 49 lights that point skyward as a huge beacon. Depending on the weather the beam can reach as far as 15km. The installation included ethereal music that had a very low bass note that really penetrated your body and did not feel that comfortable. Luckily the many speakers surrounding the light installation faced in, so you were only affected if you were up close. I believe it was only displayed during the Dark MOFO festival and now has been dismantled.


Spectral Light Tower 01- (love the Southern Cross)

Spectral Light Tower 02 – (contrasts with Cenotaph Monument)

Spectral Light Tower 03 – (a definite “beam me up Scotty” moment)

Spectral Light Tower 04 – (onlookers in quiet reflection)

Spectral Light Tower 05 – (soap bubbles waft in the light stream)

Spectral Light Tower 06 – (like moths to the flame)

Spectral Light Tower 07 – (ghostly figures)

#hobart #spectra #dark_mofo

feel free to share a link to this post:








Cloud Portfolio Three

Anyone that follows my work, knows that I love clouds (eg my Cloud Abstracts post). Here is a simple portfolio of black and white cloud images. All were taken in Mittagong in the Southern Highlands NSW.  All shot hand-held on the Phase. Very limited editing in Capture One. I cropped, added contrast/detail and dialed in the cyan and blue to stop clogging up the blacks too much.

Mitto April Cloud #2

Mitto April Cloud #13

Mitto April Cloud #16

Mitto April Cloud #17

Mitto April Cloud #41

Mitto April Cloud #60

Mitto April Cloud #62

Mitto April Cloud #74

#clouds #fineart #squareformat #blackandwhite

Feel free to share using this shortlink:

Man vs Fish – Does Fishing For Spawning Trout Create An Ethical Dilemma?

Every year if the conditions are suitable the resident lake brown trout of the lakes in the Snowy Mountains make a pilgrimage up the source rivers to spawn. Two major lakes Jindabyne and Eucumbene are very popular fishing destinations. Does fishing for spawning trout create an ethical dilemma?

Every story has two sides, so this is a summary of the issues as I see it:


  • Over crowding.
  • Amount of fishing pressure.
  • Not a subtle form of fishing, often an over-weighted rig is required (especially true of fly fishing).
  • A minority spoil things for the majority – unfortunately this is true of any pursuit there is always someone who leaves rubbish, is rude or does not follows the rules.


  • Most of these fish sulk in the lake the rest of the year and are rarely seen by anglers.
  • Usually there is only a very short window between when the fish start their spawning run and the close of river fishing.
  • Seeing large numbers of fish (often very big fish) is very exciting.
  • Fishery officers regulate the fishery. They check licenses and enforce catch limits.
  • Taking of fish > 50cm is limited to one per day.
  • Very social and in most cases convivial fishing, you get to say hello and chat to fellow fishers.
  • Most fishers are happy to share a part of the river where normally someone “dropping in” on your part of the river would be considered extremely rude.
  • We catch and release all our fish.

Apart from the main rivers we also fished a couple of the smaller tributaries.  In the shallow water the fish were easily spooked so we reverted to un-weighted globugs and waiting until we saw a fish to cast to. The fishing was as challenging as it was exciting.

It was interesting to watch the effectiveness of a “hybrid” fishing method. A standard fly rig of globug and nymph is rigged on spinning gear. The key difference was that it allowed the use of a series a heavy split-shot to make sure the rig was in contact with the bottom of the riverbed. With the recent rain the river flow certainly was up and it was very difficult to get flies down in the strong current. However, heavy spinning gear and braid just sliced through the water like a cheese-cutter down to where the fish were holding on the riverbed.


Eucumbene Spawn Run Crowd

Welcome to the craziness of the spawn run

Eucumbene Spawn Run Fishing with friends

Our fishing is about enjoying the company of friends as much as the fishing

Mark Kelly Eucumbene Spawning Brown Trout 01

A beautiful brown trout in full spawning colours

Mark Passfield Releasing Eucumbene Spawning Brown Trout

Mark about to release a beautiful brown trout

Mark Kelly Eucumbene Spawning Brown Trout

Just about to release another beautiful brown trout

Mark Passfield Releasing Eucumbene Spawning Brown Trout

Mark releases another fish

Mark Kelly Eucumbene Spawning Brown Trout

What a big mouth!

Mark Kelly Releasing Eucumbene Spawning Brown Trout

About to release my biggest fish of the trip

#fishing #flyfishing #Eucumbene #trout

feel free to share using this shortlink:






Art Nouveau Pattern Assignment Part 2

In part 1 I described how I created the patterns for my TAFE assessment task. We were also required to show the use of the patterns. I was wondering how best to display these when I came up with an idea to create a catalogue. Since my patterns are a fusion of Nouveau, Tartan and Alien styles I came up with a set of pattern “Brand” names. I also designed my logo!

I printed the catalogue as A3 photographs and presented as a folio.

The blog resolution has not have adequate resolution to show all the detail, but hopefully you can get a sense of the final designs. “Lace” is my favourite pattern.

Looking at the various patterns it shows that whilst a pattern might look fabulous on an iPad skin, that does not necessarily translate to a dress for instance.

Neddy Designs Art Nouveau Catalogue cover


Neddy Designs Art Nouveau Catalogue page 01

page 01

Neddy Designs Art Nouveau Catalogue page 02

page 02

Neddy Designs Art Nouveau Catalogue page 03

page 03

Neddy Designs Art Nouveau Catalogue page 04

page 04

Neddy Designs Art Nouveau Catalogue page 05

page 05

Neddy Designs Art Nouveau Catalogue page 06

page 06

Neddy Designs Art Nouveau Catalogue page 07

page 07

Neddy Designs Art Nouveau Catalogue page 08

page 08

#artnouveau #design #ipad #iphone

feel free to share using this shortlink:











Art Nouveau Pattern Assignment Part 1

Our major assessment task this semester was to design our own patterns. The patterns had to be inspired by a particular style such as:

  • Bauhaus
  • 1950’s
  • Art Nouveau

An additional requirement was to show the use of our patterns in various applications including:

  1. Tiles
  2. Fabric
  3. Wallpaper
  4. Phone/iPad skin
  5. Tattoo

During research I was drawn to Japanese styles ie Art Nouveau.

What was not immediately clear was that our lecturer expected us to derive patterns from our own ink drawings! I am not used to drawing freehand so really struggled with this task. In hindsight my approach was wrong as I had a particular Art Nouveau design that I was trying to reproduce and not concentrate on just making interesting marks, patterns and shapes. I persevered and ended up with some 43 pages of various blobs and brush strokes.

Ink Marks used for Art Nouveau patterns

Ink drawings used as pattern components

I numbered, then scanned each page as a PDF. The originals served as a quick reference catalogue. From each page I picked only a tiny part then assembled a pattern by copy past  and transforming the components. A pattern was then very quickly created by simply duplicating the group of components, occasionally offsetting or reflecting. A final step was a matter of replicating as required then filling in with different colours.

Art Nouveau how to build a pattern

How to build a pattern

I was amazed! from maybe 4 brushstrokes I was able to create a whole set of different and varied patterns. It looks like I have an endless supply of material that could be used.  Also, now I know how brushstrokes can be used, I would focus a lot more on just form and shape rather than trying to create an entire pattern component.

Mark Kelly Art Nouveau Pattern 02

Pattern 02

Mark Kelly Art Nouveau Pattern 03

Pattern 03

Mark Kelly Art Nouveau Pattern 04

Pattern 04

Mark Kelly Art Nouveau Pattern 08

Pattern 08

Mark Kelly Art Nouveau Pattern 09

Pattern 09

#artnouveau #patterns

feel free to share using this shortlink:




Fine Art Photos That Look Like Etchings

In an earlier post I outlined the steps to convert a photograph into a fine art etching. Below are some more examples of the technique.


“Waratah I”


Kangaroo Paw

“Kangaroo Paw”


Paper Daisies

“Paper Daisies II”


Sun Orchid

“Sun Orchid”


Flannel Flowers

“Flannel Flowers”


Fallen Gums

“Fallen Gums”

feel free to share this using this shortlink:





Helens Wonderful Wagga Kangaroos Banner

My friend Helen is a whiz with fabrics. Her main area of expertise is quilting and she runs patchwork & quilting classes.

In 2015 we will commemorate the centenary of Gallipoli and there will be a re-enactment of the Wagga Wagga Kangaroos 1915 recruitment march. Helen was asked by the organising committee to recreate the banner that was carried in the original march. After sourcing an historic photo she used software to create a huge poster. This comprised some 54 A4 sheets and formed the basis of the banner template.

All the pieces were sewn in place as applique on a standard domestic sewing machine. The banner took over 100 hours to complete over a period of ten weeks. You can see the extraordinary amount of detail from the photographs.

The banner was presented to the Honorable Dr Brendan Nelson who is the patron of the historic march. The banner is also to feature in the 2015 Anzac Day March.

The Australian War Memorial will also include images of the banner on its website.

For more information on Helen’s classes go to



patchworkbliss kangaroo banner 00

Completed Banner

patchworkbliss kangaroo banner 03

Helen completes the final touches


patchworkbliss kangaroo banner 05

Banner detail 1

patchworkbliss kangaroo banner 07

Banner detail 2

patchworkbliss kangaroo banner 08

Banner detail 3





How To Make Fine Art Photos That Appear As Etchings

As part of a TAFE poster assignment, I had mocked up a couple of different layouts. I thought rather than spend a lot of time and effort on an idea that may not work, I would complete a rough sketch. Unfortunately, I could not find a sketch that suited my needs but I found a suitable photo that I converted into a sketch instead.

I remembered that I had some time ago developed a method of taking making a fine art photo that appeared as if it were an etching. I certainly do not claim to be the first, or that this technique is unique, just that it can give interesting results when the following these steps.

Step 1A – Take photo (subjects that are sharp and contain a lot of detail generally work best).

Step 1B – Make 2 x copies of the background – (this will leave a spare copy of the colour to re-arrange layers in Step 6)

Step 2 – On the second copy of background Use “Find Edges” filter (result will depend on each image).

Step 3 – Use “Find Edges” filter again (optional – may give an improved result when filter is applied again).

Step 4 – Convert to monochrome (lots of different techniques available – try image->adjust->desaturate or for greater flexibility add a Black and White adjustment layer).

Step 5 – Increase contrast (again lots of different techniques available – try adjusting curves by making an “S” bend or using levels).

Step 6 – Flatten all layers (EXCEPT the spare coloured one), then re-arrange layer order so the monochrome etch layer is sitting below the original coloured photo, and start painting some of the colour visibility.

(NOTE I use a black and white copy of the image as a mask. I then paint on the mask using a 10-20% opacity soft brush to gradually reveal the colour. I find multiple applications of a low opacity often give a better result than a single brush stroke at high opacity. Also the colour layer has reduced opacity to give colours that “watery” look)

Step 7 – Continue using a low-opacity soft brush to brush through colour from underlying photo.

Step 8 – Finish image with sepia background

NOTE there is no “right” or “wrong” way, you just have to experiment. Sorry, if you are looking for an automated conversion, this is not it. What I like about the technique is that the hand-painted colour has a very attractive artistic  style.

Also somewhere between Steps 4 and 5 you could also consider removing or fading any distracting elements (such as messy backgrounds)

I have also discovered that some images just do not work well with this technique. It is a case of just experimenting to see what works for you and hopefully this article will help getting you started.


Waratah etching step 01

Step 0 – take photo

Waratah etching step 02

Step 2 – apply filter “find edges”

Waratah etching step 03

Step 3 – try applying “find edges” filter again

Waratah etching step 04

Step 4 – convert to monochrome

Waratah etching step 05

Step 5 – increase contrast

Waratah etching step 06

Step 6 – start hand painting to reveal colour

Waratah etching step 07

Step 7 – continue brushing through colour

Waratah etching step 08

Step 8 – finish with sepia background

feel free to share this using this shortlink: