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The Simplicity Shadows

I do like playing with shadows especially when it creates and adds to a portrait. The drama and mystery around shadows and darkness that it can bring to an image add interest and intrigue allowing the portrait to stand out.

Take this portrait for example, if it was completely lit and you could see her outfit and a hair at the back of the head, would it have the same interest or do you feel that the added shadows bring something extra?

Utilising shadows in a portrait

Utilising shadows in a portrait

Spring Equinox and The Ice Queen

Yesterday marked the Spring Equinox and with the temperature hitting 29 degrees Celsius it was the warmest day we have had for many months and with that, what better way to celebrate the onset of the warmer weather than to create the Ice Queen!!!!

This was a photo I took a few months ago and have been sitting on it as I wanted to create something special! The last few weeks it has to seen me playing around with edit and ideas, it has been creating edits, deleting edits, creating edits, asking many friends for their input and deleting my edits once again..  hahahahahah

There was also something that would always both me about my edits but I think with this image I am almost completely happy with how it has turned out so instead of spending the rest of my life editing one image I figured I would release it!!!!!

For your viewing pleasure, may I introduce you to the Ice Queen!!!!

 

The Ice Queen

The Ice Queen

Special Sunrise!

It seems to be a think of late that most weekends I get up early to capture the first rays of the day in a different location in and around Canberra. To day was not different except for the fact that my daughter asked to join me in the pre-dawn shoot. <3

Now to put some context into this, she is a teen and last time I checked teens are like vampires… they don’t get up before sunrise, so it was really nice to have her along.

While mother nature had very different ideas of what I could shoot with a heavy cloud cover we did happen to grab a small bit of sun as it was peeking through the clouds. 🙂

Sunrise across the lake

Sunrise across the lake

Hey Look Its Friday!

Since the weekend is upon us it is time for people to go to the party and have some fun, for me is also time to party except I generally party with my camera in hand while I capture the fun and excitement of the events that are part of being an event photographer.

To celebrate the end of the week and the start of the working weekend I snuck out to capture a few quick photos of the sunset as the colors in the sky were just amazing!!

Friday Sunset

Friday Sunset

 

So put on your dancing shoes and get ready for the wild weekend and maybe, just maybe you might see my face through my lens at an event near you. 🙂

 

The Eagles Nest

Waking up this morning an hour or so before sunrise I peeked out my window and to my surprise, the sky was clear as a bell which was weird considering the forecast was for rain and cloud but hey… I wasn’t complaining as I could use my early morning wake-up to sit out to the arboretum and capture the sun rising over our city before it started to wake.

I must say driving around Canberra before dawn on a Saturday morning is actually quite pleasant. The traffic is almost non-existent and in winter time the area is crisp as a new hundred dollar bill. Not that I’ve actually seen one of those in some time. lol

And getting to the arboretum was not surprised that there was no one around, not even any birds. Not sure if it was the cold weather or the fact that it was too early, maybe even a combination of both, either way, had the place to myself.

On top of one of our lookouts at the arboretum as sculpture there that is made up of all different types of metal shapes to create what is an Eagle’s nest sitting on top of the Eagle’s nest as you can see is an Eagle. Surprise surprise. During the daylight hours, it’s interesting to have a look at how they put this thing together but I must say I prefer the silhouette of the structure against the rising sun and the blue skies.

The Eagle's nest at the Canberra arboretum

The Eagle’s nest at the Canberra Arboretum

In the background, you can see Black Mountain with the fog on the clouds rolling across it as they moved from the hills towards the lake. While you can’t see it in this picture the tower was illuminated green. Unfortunately, I was unable to capture an image they are satisfied with that showed off the color but I guess that is a good excuse to go back.

Behind-the-scenes of an early morning sunrise

Behind-the-scenes of an early morning sunrise

Spending a few hours before dawn, taking the time to take some photos and take in the surrounds is a great way to start a weekend and a great way to ground yourself.

Were you sleeping while I was up capturing these photos for you also out and about capturing similar memories?

Sun rising across the nation's capital

Sun rising across the nation’s capital

Behind-the-scenes of the rooftop pool shoot

A week or so ago posted a picture of a lady in a blue dress next to a swimming pool and in this post, I wanted to go along give some insight into the background and the behind-the-scenes of making that shot.

I had with me my Elinchrom Quadra along with my Elinchrom 100 cm x 100 cm softbox hoisted up high on a light stand. Luckily for me, I had an assistant holding the light as the wind was blowing a gale without their assistance there was no way I could use any sort of like fodder modifier like a softbox as a thing was turned into Mary Poppins and flown off the roof.

In the shop below you can see that I had softbox roughly about 3 m away from the model. The placement of the softbox was as close as I can get without having the shot and I did this on purpose to ensure that had soft as possible light. Because of the high winds, I removed both external and internal diffusers as there was a high chance they were going to blow off the roof, and I really didn’t want to go collect them. 🙂

Behind-the-scenes of the pool shoot

Behind-the-scenes of the pool shoot

As you can see shot was taken in full sun’s on the left side of the model without the artificial lighting that part of her body would have been incomplete shadow and to be honest would have looked like crap, so the only way to get around that is to punch a light into the shadows to reduce the contrast between the left side of her body and the right side that was in the sun.

The light itself is fired by a remote trigger that sits on top of my camera gives me about 70 m range so was able to get back a considerable way and take the shot using a 200 mm lens.

After a little bit of mucking around and getting the exposure right to rest, you could say is history.

Model by the pool

Model by the Pool

Another weekend down

Wow, what a fantastic weekend and OMG what a sunset we had this afternoon.

After a weekend here in Canberra with two consecutive mornings hitting  -8° I took the opportunity to take my family camping. hahahaha

Yes I know right! Completely batty and completely insane but with all the cold into super frost that we experienced we got time to bond and capture my own memories, only to get home this afternoon and be greeted with the most amazing sunset.

What memories did you capture over the weekend?

Amazing Sunset after Subzero Temperatures

Amazing Sunset after Subzero Temperatures

An Afternoon by the Pool!

Over the weekend I had an opportunity to capture some interesting photos from the top of the building with the rooftop pool. I must say it was an interesting shoot as the wind was blowing and the sun was out and to be honest, it’s not really the best environment to be shooting but I think the outcome is spectacular.

Luckily for me, the make-up artist was happy to hang around and hold my Elinchrom soft boxes and lights from blowing off the top of the building, I even had to take off the two diffusing panels as I thought they were going to blow off the building never to be seen again.

Here is one of the images that we captured and I’m sure that those trees behind had leaves that morning. hahahahahaha

Glamour on the Rooftop

Glamour on the Rooftop

In my next post will show the behind-the-scenes image and walk you through the set up an understanding of why a position to light where I did and the power on which it was on, along with my camera settings and other information required to set up the shot. 🙂

Invest in yourself

Today is not only my birthday but it also marks a new beginning in my photographic journey. It is a day in which 2 new Canon 5D IV arrived on my doorstep to close off the final pieces in part of my photographic business plan.

It marks the day which I now have all the equipment I need to be able to shoot on location at events and the images I take are sent live across a wireless network to portable Wacom Workstation Pro table, where an assistant will process before uploading the images to either my online store or a Google Drive account where my clients can access them within minutes of the images being taken.

For competitions, I can now shoot while these images are being worked on in the background and never need to walk away from the action. Competitors can now get access to view and purchase images of themselves and their achievements within minutes, not hours, days or in some cases weeks.

Gala and awards clients will now have access to their images before the celebration drinks have been finished and allow them to capitalize on their own marketing of their events.

For weddings, the bride and groom can have access to their images in the fastest possible time as they can not be processed while we are still shooting the event.

2 Canon 5D IV's with battery grips and 64gig super fast SD Cards

2 Canon 5D IV’s with battery grips and 64gig super fast SD Cards

Over the last month, I have been investing heavily in equipment as to bring the dream of being able to delivery super high-quality professional images to you in lighting speed, speeds that are not normally associated with progressional event photography.  I know you are going to love this new service as it takes event photography to a whole new level.

Bring on a new beginning and remember to always back and invest in yourself. 🙂

Teenage Depression Is a Real Killer

Would you believe that one in four teenagers suffer from some mental illness and depression?

The statistics around depression in teenagers is mind blowing and frightening, it takes the lives of our children and debilitates many others. Fighting the scourge is one, we as a community need to band together and tackle the social issues as segregation become more complex every day.

Fighting depression, especially in our children, is something I feel very passionate about and why I donated my time to photograph the inaugural Arbonne Foundation Charity night here in Canberra.

It was an evening of fine dining, lots of laughs and more importantly raising money to help our children. The night raised $7500 and will go a long way to supporting our children through grants and other means.

If you’d like more information over to their website at http://www.arbonnefoundation.org/

 

Anyone up for some fun?

Anyone up for some fun?

 

Behind-the-scenes

Behind-the-scenes

 

Me with my game face on. lol

Me with my game face on. lol

 

Soft Silky Morning

Looking through my window down across the valley and onto the hills of the Brindabella mountains, I see the soft clouds as they roll down the hills weaving their way through the valleys, trees, and closer houses. The soft overcast day brings with it very soft light that almost removes all shadows from between the houses and hills.

This for me is the perfect photographing weather as it removes all shadows and harsh light to give even contrast across the entire image. The only problem with this is that without shadows you have no depth and you have no dimension but it does give me the ability to create my own. This my friends are why I have battery-powered studio lights that I can take on location. It allows me to shoot almost anywhere and create the images and shadows to bring it look that I’m after.

Let me give you an example, look at this image below, and ask yourself.

  • Would this image have the same impact if it was without shadows?
  • Do the shadows add to the feeling of the image and why?
Soft Vale

Soft Vale

For this image, I used a 100cm x 100cm Elinchrom softbox that had two defusers, giving me a soft light that wraps around the subject bringing highlighting the soft texture of the skin while allowing the light to penetrate through the Vale and not over exposing it.

Storage storage storage!

Can anybody ever have enough storage? I don’t think so!

I know I have been putting off buying extra storage for some time now but unfortunately it has come to a point I cannot avoid it any further so I have lashed out and bought a new NAS (network access storage) that hopefully with its 48 TB of data should give me enough to keep me going for the coming years.

I must say it did take me some time to select the device as there are many out there, however, I feel the one I got is at the top of the game in the NAS arena. It is not only storage device but also serves as a server for many different applications and will allow me to stream videos and photos directly while also integrating with IP security cameras to allow real-time monitoring and alarm systems. All in all it’s a very clever little device but most of all it will allow me to ensure your photos are kept in a secure fashion where they can be retrieved and archived for longer periods of time to give you the confidence that any photos we take will not be lost.

One of the other cool things about this device is it has built-in backup to the cloud so everything that it stores locally is replicated and backed up in the cloud in a secure Google vault that is encrypted so no one can get access to it except myself in the event of a complete hard drive failure in my office. Not that this really becomes an issue anymore as I have multiple hard drives that use RAID 6 to store data which allows for up to 2 hard drives to fail at any given time while keeping the integrity of the data intact.

The only time I would need access the cloud data is in a major incident with the building burns down or someone breaks in and steals the computer hardware but that is relatively unlikely however I am prepared. 🙂

 

Synology Diskstation DS1815+ with 8 x 6TB hard drives

Synology Diskstation DS1815+ with 8 x 6TB hard drives

 

Synology Diskstation DS1815+

Synology Diskstation DS1815+

If you want to know more about these crazy little devices shoot me a message and I am more than happy to share my experiences as I know buying this type of hardware is not only expensive they can be hard to manage.

What Is In A Badge????

When you own a Ferrari, it’s not about how hot the car is, the deep rumble from the exhaust as your accelerate away, nor the way the people stop and stare as your drive past….  It is all about the badge…  🙂

It is interesting when you photograph things like Ferrari’s, BMW’s, jewelry, watches, etc, things that have been photographed thousands of times before.

  • How do you make it look special?
  • How do you bring the feeling and passion to what is just an object?
  • How to you stir the feelings that are deep down inside of people looking that something they already know and understand?
  • How do you take a photo of something that has gazillion photos of it already and make it look new???

For me, the answer is in the lighting, composition, and just going outside of the box. 🙂

Ferrari Badge

Ferrari Badge

 

The lines and shape of things can say a lot. Capture them. :)

The lines and shape of things can say a lot. Capture them.

When shooting things you have to make sure you get a variety of shots. I start with the basics to ensure I get the shot and then move onto other ideas once I know I have the images in the bag.

The Love And The Passion That is Farrari

The Love And The Passion That is Ferrari

 

Using a bit of darkness can put a bit of mystery into a shot and make the viewer’s mind work a bit harder keeping them drawn into the image longer.

Darkness can be your friend

Darkness can be your friend

 

In the next two images, I changed my camera settings so that the subjects in the background were our of focus while the subject in the front was in focus.  This brings the attention to the subject. I could have focused on the person at the rear to blur the person at the front to give the same result.

Shallow depth of field brings the attention to different subjects.

Shallow depth of field brings the attention to different subjects.

 

Shallow depth of field brings the attention to different subjects.

Shallow depth of field brings the attention to different subjects.

Product photography, when mixed with portraits, can be a very effective way to get your products out there.   If you want to know more drop me a message.  My details can be found on my contact page.

Don’t Let The Rain Scare You!

A lot of photographers run away from the rain and the dark clouds.  I am not one of them.  The drama in the clouds the extra saturation in the landscape and the clean air always make for fantastic photos…..

Sure you might get wet but we are not made of sugar and you will survive.

The dark clouds formed and the rain started to come down so I jumped on the bike to chase the light like you only can on a BMW RR 1000s super sports bike and I must say I love the results. <3

So next time when the rain starts so falling go hunting for great photo ops… you will be surprised where you will find them.

 

BMW RR1000S in the rain enjoying the sunset

BMW RR1000S in the rain enjoying the sunset

 

Ferrari’s are HOT!!!!

What a freaking awesome shoot today…  Man, it was amazing…  I had two super hot models, with outfits that were amazing, makeup that was on point like you wouldn’t believe and a freaking super hot Ferrari…..

The best thing is that I also had the photographic gods on my side as they gave me lots of cloud cover to get some really stunning images. <3

Here is just one of the heap of portrait and car images we captured.  I know you are going to love it as much as I do.

 

Ferrari Couple

Ferrari Couple

If you are looking at getting married or just after a one of a kind photo shoot like this, drop me a line from my contact page. 🙂

Wow look at the weather!!

After a few weeks of on and off, rain and the days getting cooler it is great to have a day where the sun in shining and the air as still the sun is bright.

What are you waiting for????  Get out there!!!!!!  Let the sun touch your skin and breath deep to take in the world around you…..  Oh and don’t forget to take photos. 🙂

Breath Deep And Take in The Fresh Air

Breath Deep And Take in The Fresh Air

Dark To Light and Light To Dark

One of the great things I love about shooting sunsets and sunrises is that they are always changing but still the same.  They bring their own feeling to the shot and the random formations that the clouds and sun bring is always mesmerizes.

The darkness is so close to the light but everything is still visible and to be able to have such contrast next to each other is truly beautiful and breathtaking……. To think most people don’t even release this is just outside their door or window and all they need to do is to stop and take a few minutes to watch this and I must say, for me seeing this puts life back into perspective.

What will tonight’s sunset bring and are you ready to watch it?

Light To Dark

Light To Dark

The Light Within The Storm

Hey, can you see that….  Yes that my friends is the end of the year fast approaching and boy what a year it has been.

This time of the year can be very stressful for a lot of people for many reasons but let me just say that within ever storm there is light and the sunshine at the other end.  So as we get into the silly season do take some time out to think of others. <3

This photo was taken looking over Lake Burley Griffin here in Canberra after a light storm rolled through the area a bit before.  It is made up of about 40 individual images to give this final image.

All my images are for sale and can be found on my on-line store and if you want to learn how to take these types of photos I conduct a one-on-one workshop and will be posting up a few workshops over the Christmas break so stay tuned.

 

Sunshine through the storm

Sunshine through the storm

Brought To You By..

Tonight’s sunset while it is lacking clouds it is has a feeling of a new beginning which fits tonight’s sponsor as tonight’s sunset is brought to you by…..

There goes another weekend as tomorrow is the start of another working week for those of you that work Monday to Friday. 🙂

Hope you are having a great Sunday night and getting in some relaxation before its back to work.

Do you have anything planned for the week ahead?

End of another weekend sunset

End of another weekend sunset

Oh So Many Posts In One Day…

Yeah, I know I don’t want to overload you guys with post but WOW….

Look at this sunset!!!!! Fair dinkum it is freaking awesome.  Man, I just love this time of year.  It is warm but not hot, you can have your doors and windows open and don’t need air conditioning but the best part is are the sunsets.  They are truly spectacular!!!!!

WOW - What a sunset???

WOW – What a sunset???