Category: How-to

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.

What’s The Time?

Talking with a client today about product photography got me all inspired to whip out the lights and one of my watches for the sole purpose to photograph it and produce this little video for you. So sit back for the next 60 seconds and enjoy the excitement that is post processing a watch. 🙂

Do make sure you watch the video or boy oh boy you will be missing out big time..   hahahahaha  Ok Ok Ok I have almost drawn out all my time/watch jokes but watch this space as I can get one last one in here just in the nick of time.

Quick watch edit

Quick watch edit

Take Advantage Of Man Flu!!!!

The last week or so I have been struck down the the dreaded man flu; one of the worst strains of flu around.  Much more potent than the general sniffles and sneezing…with full on delusions and rash decisions that come with man flu are the only way I can explain why I am putting on a full day photography workshop this Sunday the 21st Aug with the beginner in mind that will either be FREE or very very very cheap…….

I must be sick to be giving away a half day beginners guide to portrait photography workshop

I must be sick to be giving away a half day beginners guide to portrait photography workshop

ok ok ok before I go on let me tell you exactly what I am doing.

This Sunday the 21st of Aug I will be running two half day workshops.

Beginners Guide to Portrait Photography – 9am to 12:30pm

The first half I am putting on for FREE, nothing, nada, zip, zilch ZERO!!!!!!  This first half is for people that want to start photographing people but don’t really know where to start or what to do.  After all, how do you go about asking what things you can do to make the photo look better, when you’re not quite sure what to ask?

How do you extract the best out of a person and what is there to extract?

How do I know what best suits the person I am about to photograph and how do I make them feel comfortable and relaxed so I can get the best photograph?

What types of poses make different people look great and is there a difference between the sexes when it comes to posing?

Where should I stand or where should they stand?

If you have asked yourself these types of things then this morning workshop is for you.

Cost: Man Flu has taken hold and affected my better judgement so this work is FREE

Beginners Guide to Photographic Lighting – 1pm to 5pm

The second half of the day will talk you through What Lighting Is, how it effects us as photographers and how you can take control of it.

If you have ever asked yourself questions like:

How can I use flash when I don’t want to make everything bright?

I hear a lot of photographers hate flash!! Why?? Why are you teaching it if it is so bad?

When is the best time to use flash?

What types of flash are there and when is one better than the other?

Are there any things I need to know about flash photography that I can use every time?

Is photographic lighting just using flash?

Cost:  $49 Per Person – Yeah I know I must be really sick if I am only charging $49 per person for what would usually be much more, clearly my high fever is affecting my common sense.

While there’s clearly something wrong with me to be doing this, there’s nothing wrong with what i’m offering:  a FREE workshop and another stupidly cheap.  Come to one of come to both its up to you!

$49 is fantastic value for a full day of beginners workshop and one I don’t think I will ever repeat.   If you were ever going to go to a beginners photography workshop then now is the time or you may miss out forever once I come to my senses!

Numbers will be strictly limited so you must get in super dooper quick if you want to take advantage of this outrageous offer!

The ONLY way to book is to send an email to letting me know which workshop or both you want to attend and I will send you a confirmation email with further details.

Don’t wait a second longer or you will miss out.

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

Hey Look It’s Friday!

Oh boy what a week.  Covering events and portraits  through the week was fantastic but I must say it is nice to have a night off so I can get to bed before 2am and sleep into at least 6:05 am. lol

Once again the sunset tonight was spectacular and something I will never get sick of I dont think. 🙂

I will be posting a how to on this image tomorrow on my sister site so if you are interested in how to take and post process this type of photo have a look see tomorrow.

Until then I hope you have a fantastic night. <3

Thank God It's Friday

Thank God It’s Friday

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


How do you photograph a car wreck using speedlites?

This Sunday I am predicting that there will be a car wreck here in the south of Canberra, and I will be there photograph it, will you?

Lighting subjects can be a daunting affair and lighting something like a car wreck is like trying to tight rope walk across the Grand Canyon while blindfolded.  It can be very scary and full of danger.

  • So how do you even approach such a thing?
  • What are the lights and techniques you can use to light both the inside and outside of the car?
  • What are the tools you need to use to pull this off?
  • How can you control the different lights to bring the image to life or focus on areas that you bring to life?
Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT

Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT

My half a day one off lighting workshop this Sunday will answer just these questions and more like:

  • What is the best camera setting for using lights on location?
  • What limitations does lighting bring to a photo?
  • What problems will you come across shooting on location using multiple lights?
  • What is High Speed Sync and when/why should I use it?
  • How to use colored Gels on your lights to change the look and feel of your images?

This workshop will focus on lighting a car wreck and it will be on-location. Limited places and incredible value at just $49 so you will have to be quick to secure your spot in what will be a jam packed workshop.

For only $49 this half day offers incredible value and with limited spots they are sure to go fast.

For more information and to secure your spot before its too late email/SMS me using my contact details on my website

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!!!

Throw in a bit of extra into your Photography

If you are like me and just LOVE your photography, chances are that you have photographed just about everything on the planet..  Well your little planet…. 😉

And you are looking for something else to photograph.  Why don’t you throw a little bit a spice into your photography and document your life???

Yep!!!  Document your life through photos just as someone would write a diary, but instead you document using photos. Photos that represent you, photos that inspire you and photos that show feeling, passion and the love of life and photos..   😉

Take photos for the mundane, of what you might consider boring and see how you can spice them up so they bring interest.

If you want some tips and tricks pop over to my sister website Photographic Workshop where I will be going through some simple idea on how to make your images grab interest and tell a story..   but for now i’m off to enjoy my coffee with a touch of chocolate.



The secret to RAW emotion in your photographs.

Have you ever wondered how I can extract such raw emotion???

The answer is so simple that you might just facepalm yourself..

I go there!!!!  Yep… I know the RAW emotions that make up the images I want to create so I GO THERE!!!!!

I was on a shoot the other day when myself and the model were weeping…..  For me to understand and get my subject to go to a place I have to be able to do it myself. Anyone that has worked with me on emotive shots will testify that it can be a mentally challenging experience.   It takes a lot of energy to drag out the depths of your soul, let alone to do that in front of a camera, I must say results are spectacular.

RAW Emotion

RAW Emotion

What’s the Best Way to Learn Photography?

You probably already knew the answer to that question: there are a million and one ways to learn photography. Everyone has their own learning style, so there is no ‘one size fits all’ formula to plug yourself into and come out a great photographer. Maybe you’re the type who learns best by teaching yourself. Maybe blast through your learning curve when you have formal instruction. Maybe you need some combination of the two – some people do best combining internet learning and peer review together with taking a few workshops here and there.

So let’s hear it from you:

  • what are some your favorite ways to learn?
  • What are some of things about your camera that you haven’t quite mastered yet?
  • Where’s your edge and what’s the next level for you?

If there are enough folks wanting to learn a particular technique or style, we would be more than happy to give a workshop on it. But whatever way you choose to learn there’s one thing that stands true: you’ve got to practice, practice, practice. Get out there and shoot.

“Your first 10 000 photographs are your worst.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson


Guest speaker and photographic instructor

Last week I had the privilege of being a guest speaker and photographic instructor at one of the private Catholic schools here in Canberra called St Clare’s College.

And what a class it was! The class started off as every class does, with me giving a brief introduction of myself and some of my ideas and thoughts around photography and the industry. While the girls were fairly timid at the beginning it didn’t take long once they had cameras in hand to start getting into it and taking all sorts of photos of each other.

As I only had couple of hours I wanted to share as much information with them as possible to give them an understanding of what it is like to take portraits on a professional level. To do this I took in and set up my portable studio in one of their arts classes so they could see and touch the equipment while also getting a chance to use some of it in the practical component of the class, and I must say once they got over their initial shyness they had the studio lights popping as if it was popcorn at the movies.

We walked-through the process of postprocessing an image in Photoshop and some of the skills and techniques I use when dealing with portrait images, like skin and eyes, and not to mention hair, an I must say I was very surprised with how quickly the girls picked up all the information that I was throwing at them with not one of them having any issues using Photoshop and in post.  The amazing amount of enthusiasm that the class had made it a real pleasure to instruct, while the lab where we conducted the practical photo shop part of the lesson was outstanding. Each of the kids had a PC to their own motor with photo shop so they could follow along while I demonstrated on the projector.

After talking with the teacher she tells me the girls had a fantastic time and not only enjoyed the lesson but also learnt a lot in the short time we had. We are now in discussion of how I can go along and assist in future classes both for that year and the senior years where they get more into the lighting, and I must say that be a very exciting class to give.

I was hoping to get the chance last week to video and upload me editing the same image which I gave to the class, but unfortunately I spent most of last week on the road and out of town, so today is catch up day and with any luck I should have the video up this afternoon for the girls to view and follow the process.

Looking for a guest speaker or instructor for your photography class? Drop me a line as I would love to come along.

If you run a work in education and are looking for a guest speaker for your photography classes please don’t hesitate in dropping me a line is I’m always very keen to share my knowledge and enthusiasm with the younger generation.

Instructing at St Clare's College CanberraInstructing at St Clare's College Canberra

Instructing at St Clare’s College Canberra

Professional Portrait process video

Ever wanted to see how I post process a professional photo?

Check at the video below…

The portrait was for a professional that wanted to update her online profiles and while most would be happy with the out of camera…. me…. I think I can do some more to make it ROCK!!!

Professional Portrait Before and after, canberra portrait photographer

Professional Portrait – Laura Before and after

Auckland New Zealand – Marina and Harbour bridge post processing video

Working through the images I have taken on my New Zealand trip I thought I would share this post processing video on one I took early one morning of the Auckland Marina and the harbor bridge.

It was a fantastic way to start the day and with local knowledge on my side through a friend that lives there we had the opportunity to zip around in quick fashion and get a heap of great shots.

landscape photography

The after shot from my Auckland New Zealand Harbor Bridge and Marina morning shoot

The before shot from my Auckland New Zealand Harbour Bridge and Marina morning shoot

The before shot from my Auckland New Zealand Harbor Bridge and Marina morning shoot

Here is the video of the post processing at a little faster than I actually do it in real life.. 🙂

Sit back and enjoy.

This image can be purchased through my on-line store and comes in a variety of sizes and different print types.

So if you like it pop over and pick up yourself a copy or get the whole Auckland or New Zealand collection at a discounted price. 🙂

Early days

For those of you that haven’t been following me for some years I thought it be a good idea to post up a link of where I have come from.

Some years ago when I was putting my toe in the lighting world I started a project called the 365 project.

What this does is that you are to take one photo a day for a entire year.   As part of that I worked with and made friends with a lot of friends all over the world.

One such friend is Frank Doorhof.  He is a fashion photographer in out of the Netherland and a training on Kelby Training.  Talking with him, he has a history like mine and is progression through photography is like mine. It seems like I am trailing him and he is a great inspiration to my and my fashion photography.

Now it was a privilege that he asked if I would send him a guest post all those years ago and quicker than I could rip off a band-aid I sent him this.


Have you ever looked out the window only to see aliens coming to take you away for some probing? If you have, you are not alone.........

Have you ever looked out the window only to see aliens coming to take you away for some probing?
If you have, you are not alone………


New Zealand Lighting Workshop

I will be conducting an accelerated workshop in New Zealand around Photographic lighting.

It promises to be a great two-day workshop and with early bird savings and limited numbers you will need to get in ASAP to avoid disappointment.Read More