Category: Behind The Lens

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

What Does The Smell Of New Studio Lights Smell Like?

Bloody awesome I would say. 🙂

Last year one of the schools I teach Photoshop, Lightroom and photography at asked for my advice on what they should get in the way of new studio lighting as their existing equipment was aging and needed replacement.

I gave them a shopping list that included 3 x Elinchrom 500, with some light modifiers that included med softboxes, umbrellas, and grids.   With stands and remote triggers I also recommend Canon 600 speedites with remote controllers, collour correction and theatrical gels.

When all the gear arrived the other week they asked me out to help them set it up and give them a quick run down of what was what and I would hate to leave them in the lurch, so I jumped at the chance. hahahahahaha

It didnt take too long to get the stuff out and put it all together giving them some tips along the way..  I did learn one tip

Where you are setting these types of lights up dont look directly into one when it is on full power from only 30cm away and make it pop…

If you are interested in lighting, Photoshop, Lightroom and photography shoot me a message as I know we can work something out. 🙂

New Elinchrom Lights With Modifiers

New Elinchrom Lights With Modifiers

How to Find the Dodgy Night!

I was doing a corporate shoot and I noticed that a couple of my studio lights were not firing all the time so I swapped them out on the day with the spares I take on these types of shoot but the problem was I didn’t mark which ones where the dodgy ones.

So today while I had a bit of time between shoots I thought I would crack out the lights and find the ones that need replacing and what better to find them than to take some self portraits.

This is just a couple of the ones I ended out with as I’m a bit rushed for time.

I Am the Star Lord

I Am the Star Lord

Nothing like a little black and white action when you have a over head light setup. 🙂



After all that I did find the bulbs which need replacing and I had a bit of fun.

Now is time to get ready for a 21st birthday party that I’m covering tonight and like every party and event a cover I’m sure it is going to be a hoot.

Have a great night and keep safe!

With The Sounds Of Christmas Fading

It makes for a great time to get out and capture all the Christmas lights while they are still around. 🙂

Christmas lights and lights in general can be hard to capture especially if you want to also capture a person or some other subject that is not lit up by the lights.  The resulting images will be that the either the subject will be dark or the lights will be over exposed.

The trick is to use some form of flash to light up the subject so that you can even out the exposure across the entire image and in doing so reduce the contrast between dark and light.  There are lots of ways to do this and some I will go into in the coming weeks.

If you are just out to capture the lights you may not need a tripod but it is a good idea if you are after sharp images due the the camera needing to open the shutter longer than you can hold the camera steady for.

What I tend to do is go out and give it a try.  I start with hand holding and then move toward using other supporting devices if the need arises.

Why?  because then I can travel lite and I have less equipment to get in peoples way.  After all they are also there to experience the joy that is Christmas lights.

So before the lights fade away for another year, grab your camera and head out to capture some lights.  Experiment a little, play with your shutter and aperture and just have a bit of fun.

Out to capture some Christmas lights

Out to capture some Christmas lights


Anyone Got Any Spare Speedlite?

With a free afternoon it is a good time to go out on location with a couple of speedlites and light modifiers to try out a few ideas that have been bouncing around in my head. yay for having some creative time. 🙂

These little lights are great for all sorts of things and give us as photographers great flexibility and creativity.   You can stick them in all sorts of location and put light modifiers on theme like umbrellas.

Do you struggle with using speedlites?  If so what do you find the hardest thing to understand?

Canon speedlites

Canon speedlites

It’s -6° and We Are Having Fun!

Wee bit ago I had the opportunity to participate in a collaboration between myself, two models (Laurynn and Rhett) , a make-up artist – Jakki from “Makeup by Jacklyne”,  Jaemi as our talented stylist from DayDream Styles and my lovely work experience assistant Emily.

Now the time of booking this photo shoot we kind of didn’t take into consideration the Canberra at this time of year gets very cold and on the very morning we shot this it was -6°. brrrrrrr

Me I was okay as I had thermals, gloves, beanie, double socks and not to mention a scarf and jacket. The poor models on the other hand were not so lucky and I must say they did a fantastic job considering it was extremely cold.

On the scene when it is -6°

On the scene when it is -6°

The make up artist was not faring so well as I was not sure she was really prepared for what was one of the coldest mornings we have had for a long time.

When I arrived on just before day break I cracked out my thermos with freshly made coffee and offered it around. To my surprise no one at that point wanted any,  what I can say after they had stood in the cold for a few hours they were more than happy to have a cupa, even if it was just to hold the hot cup. hahahahaha

The same was true for the gloves I offered to the make up artist, at first she didn’t want them but after s bit she was okay with the offer..

I must say the photos turned out really nice and the stylist did a fantastic job.  Her fiancee also needs to get an award for helping her set up the scene in the dark and freezing conditions before we showed up. 🙂

Look at how cute these guys look!

Look at how cute these guys look!

All in all it was a great day and you wouldn’t know looking at these photos that it was actually freezing!! That is the power of photography my friends….  🙂

If you are interested in having a one-of-a-kind photo shoot for your wedding or engagement drop us a line and I’m sure we can make it something very special.

Bloody Ronald McDonald!!!!

What is that saying about working with kids and animals?????  I think you need to add Ronald McDonald to the list… ha ha ha ha

Working through my photos from last nights Ronald McDonald House Charities Lexus of Canberra Gala Ball held here in Canberra at The National Convention Center I came across this photos and couldnt help but share!!!!

I can now tick off “Get Photobombed by Ronald McDonald while shooting one of rugby leagues top cheerleading squads, The Emeralds” from my Top 10 things I need to do as a professional event photographer list…. bwhahahahaha

Here I was just clicking away and Ronald McDonald comes out of nowhere!!!!!!  BAM!!!!!!!

I love Ronald McDonald….  😉

 Ronald McDonald Photobombing a shoot with The Emeralds cheerleader squad for the Canberra Raiders at the Ronald McDonald House Charities Lexus of Canberra Gala Ball held here in Canberra at The National Convention Center

Ronald McDonald Photobombing a shoot with The Emeralds cheerleader squad for the Canberra Raiders at the Ronald McDonald House Charities Lexus of Canberra Gala Ball held here in Canberra at The National Convention Center


I Am Officially In Love But You Will Never Guess With Who!!!

I have been working on a image for the last few weeks now and I must say I am in love with her…

Words can not express how she makes me feel when I look at her, and she brings a smile to my face when I see her.

She has passion, drama, softness and a whole lot of WOW!!!!!!  She just take my breath away when I look at her…

She is not slim shaker and in reality she is the size of a blue whale..  She is massive….  but I love every pixel of her…  She is beautify and amazing…   Her heart is warm and comforting but she such depth and is far from shallow…  OMG… Just amazing….

I cant tell you too much more but I just couldn’t hold back my love any more…

OMG she is amazing!!!!!

What I can show you as she is a bit shy is some side line info…   As you can agree she might be on the large size at 32,467 x 4,860 pixels but I love her even more…

Edge Of The World

Edge Of The World

NOTE: For those of you that might not know how large she is, she is 16 x larger than high definition. 

Get Out Your Cameras It’s Going To Rain!!!

Things move fast in my world…..

This time yesterday I was talking about how the weekend was going to be wet and raining with heavy rain coming our way, and how if you had a wedding on that you should get your photographer to get your photos in the rain, and if they are any good they will get some amazing shots with the use of lighting……

Well, that got me thinking, very shortly after my post.

  •  Am I just sitting here on my high horse saying these things and not being able to back them up?
  • Are people actually crazy enough to venture out in what will be very difficult shooting situations?
  • What would a professional makeup artist do in such horrid weather?
  • How would everyone stay warm enough so they don’t all die of exposure?
  • Would we be able to create images is heavy rain in such real-world situations?

With all those questions running around in my head there was only one thing to do!!!!!!

Assemble, or try to assemble a team of people that area stupid enough to follow me in this dream!!!!!

I put out the call out to my friends at around 6:30am and apparently I either have friends that don’t sleep or wake up early, but either way, I had two models and two make up artists confirmed by around 8am.

Now I am not sure about you but that confirmed that I do have some crazy friends. Ha ha ha ha

This shoot is going to be sooooo out there and sooo extreme in weather conditions that I did the rare thing and opened up a single spot for someone to attend and learn how this stuff comes together…. Yep that’s right…. only one single spot…. This person would be on set with us to learn how to take and use on location lighting is such extreme conditions!!!

I must say I have never seen anyone offer up such a unique learning opportunity as this and for that reason, the single spot was snapped up very quickly.

So as I lay here just about to get up I can hear the rain falling, and while most people hide away inside I am starting to get excited for our shoot tomorrow….

It is going to be challenging and it is going to be cold and it is going to be very wet but we will come away with some very unique images and learn a lot along the way.

The most important part is that we will all be having fun doing it!!!

BTL – A quick shot of my photo booth

Man I just love a good party and this is one.

The music is freaking awesome and the people are soooo much fun…

The dancing is going off like a fire cracker and that is just me. 🙂

Oh now back to the dance floor to get some action shots. Yay!!!!



Latina Dance Australia Ball Behind the Lens – Boy what a night….

I covered that LDA (Latin Dance Australia) ball last night at NIDA and boy oh boy, what a performance.

The stage was fantastic, the lighting was awesome the sound was perfect but all that didn’t come close to quality of all the performances.

That should all be very proud and from what I saw and experienced late night I can see why LDA is the biggest Latin dance studio here is Sydney.

When people talked about LDA they spoke of being with their family, they spoke about being with their friends and the spoke about being at home.

This culture is very difficult to create and can only be created in the hearts and minds of the people that attend of a very loving and supportive environment.

It was really nice to see and be part of I feel very privileged and honoured to have been invites to such and event and experience.

Here is just a couple of shots from the 3000 or so images I took last night.





Now to have a quick shower and head off to the FATD souths competition that is running here at Sydney Olympic Park Sports center, where I can bring you some BHL of ballroom and Latin dances from all over Australia.

See you later and enjoy the Sydney weather as it’s going to be a fantastic day.



BTL – ocean, sand and mountains

Caught up in the floods and cyclone winds that have been smashing the north of the north island of New Zealand we had to bunker down as our roads were flooded and impassable.

So what so you do when that happens???? Get some photos of the spectacular landscape that surrounds me.




BTL – Chateau Tongariro

Sitting at the Chateau Tongariro surrounded by active volcanoes is some what awe impsiring as a photographer. There as so many things to shoot and so many location to go but alas I am only here for two days. 🙁

The Chateau Tongariro sits at the base of Mt Ruapehu, one of New Zealand largest mountains on the North Island and is located almost in the center.

Right next door from Mount Raupehu is Mount Ngauruhoe – or better know as Mt Doom from “The Lord of The Ring”. These mountains are spectacular not only in size but their look. The are easy to get to and can be seen from the lawns of the Chateau Tongariro.

I managed to get a heap of shots of all the mountains and the Chateau Tongariro and I thought I would share one of my BTL shots.

BTL - Chateau Tongariro

BTL – Chateau Tongariro

BTL – New Plymouth, New Zealand

Well I finally have home time and the technology to post about my photographic trip of New Zealand?… Yeah!!!!! I wont get into how my I just love his place, or how spectacular the landscape is, or how friendly the people are as I will leave that for another post. 😉 What I will do is show you a quick behind the lens shot out of my front door. This is was taken in New Plymouth in New Zealand, which is half way up the north island and on the western edge of the country, and all I can say is this was a wonderful way to wind down from a day driving and a couple of drinks to watch the sun go down.

The view out my front door

The view out my front door

Looking out my front door

Looking out my front door