Category: Lighting

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

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

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. 🙂

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 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


Strange Birthday Party and Birthday Party Lights.

I must say as an event photographer that gets to also travel where ever the events are, I attend all sorts of parties but yesterday was a first for me.   While it was  a party it wasn’t for anyone but for the 1st birthday of FRoC (Female Riders of Canberra).

These are a bunch of motorcycle riders that just wanted to have a club for the ladies and it was their first birthday yesterday so why not get a portrait photographer to come along and get photos of the ladies with their bikes as a way to celebrate?

So that is what I did. 🙂

This shoot was different, though.  I knew the ladies wanted to get shots with their bikes and I know they would want the best lighting possible and I knew that my largest softbox was only 90cm x 90cm that is great for single or couple shots it isn’t really big enough for things like people and bikes unless I gang a few of them together.

Having done that a heap I wanted to avoid it as it brings in its only problems and as I also want to start to photograph the larger object or using a single light source I bit the bullet and bought a new 190cm Elinchrom Litemotiv and to say it is huge is an understatement.

Elinchrom Litemotiv 190cm used to photograph multiple motorbikes in full midday sun.

Elinchrom Litemotiv 190cm used to photograph multiple motorbikes in full midday sun.

It is fair to say after using it for this shoot and the amount of light and quality that this  pushes out in full midday sun, this is now a valuable part of my portrait and event arsenal.

Throwing my assistant in to be my model while setup the lights.

Throwing my assistant in to be my model while setup the lights.

As you can see from the image above there is very little shadow and it is almost impossible to see any bright patches on the grass from the massive 190cm Octa.  Very nice I must say.

Some more playing with this new softbox is on the card in the coming weeks to see where I can push it, which I will add should be a lot of fun. 🙂

Happy Easter From My Australian/Bilby Family To Yours!

Oh thank God it is Easter once again!!

I don’t know about you but I like the Easter holidays even though they only four days long, it’s a great time of the year to get out about spent time with the family. It’s not too hot and is not too cold is so the risk of being burnt to a crisp in the Australian sun is somewhat on our side.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family happy Easter and I hope you spend today relaxing with family, eating a shit ton of eggs and chocolate and if you can do one thing today. Put down the phone, turn off the Internet and spend some quality time with the people that you love!

Be safe and I’ll see you on the other side! 🙂

Easter Bunny versus the Australian Bilby

Easter Bunny versus the Australian Bilby

I WONDER What the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Will Be like

Tonight is the gay and lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney. It is an event like no other and captures the fascination and excitement of many while drawing in hundreds of thousands of people to line the streets of central Sydney.

Some people attend and participate in the atmosphere and some attend and participate because it is a hell of a lot of fun.

Tonight will be something different……  among the hundreds of floats there will be a float covered Wonder Women…  Yep if you ever had something for Wonder Woman then this is a must see…

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

This float like many others is there to have fun and enjoy the night but it also has a very serious purpose. They are raising valuable money for the National breast Cancer foundation (

I am sure we can all agree Brest Cancer takes the lives of way to many women…  It takes out mothers, wife’s, girl friends sisters and friends.  It does not discriminate and it not only effects the people that a diagnosed with it but all the family and friends.

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

So if you’re watching or participating in the Mardi Gras this year keep an eye out for the Wonder Woman float and throw a bit of love and money their way as they really out to bring awareness to what is a worldwide killer of women.

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

Oh by the way if you are interested the shield was a custom made by my mate Allan at Type 40 ( and I can not say enough about the quality of his products.

I had the very special opportunity of visiting his workshop when I was down in Melbourne last Aug and to say its a cosplay heaven is an understatement. yay!!!!  So go share some love with my mate Allan.

Hey Looked What I Packed!!!

Check out this video that shows some the stuff I am packing for my next little adventure covering the National iAwards conference and gala awards night at the Melbourne Convention Center.

My team comprises of two photographers and an assistant at the iAwards conference and another photographer in my team covering TheMHS conference and awards to be held here in Canberra, so it promises to be a busy week here at Brendan Maunder Photography.

Now I better run as I still have to pack the car and with a 7 hour drive in front of me I think I need a coffee.  🙂

If you a have large event that needs to be covered by a team of experts in the field, drop me a message as I am sure we can help and we do travel. 🙂

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.

What a Cool Collection of Talent!!!!

I attended the Canberra make-up Academy the other night to photograph the students work at one of their assessment nights and I must say the up-and-coming talent in this industry is awesome!!!

It was not only a good night to photograph new talent but also ran into some friends which I haven’t seen in some time.

Photos of this event are now up and ready for purchase from my online store which can be found by clicking on the menu on the left.

If you have any troubles please let me know and keep up the good work.

Photographing at the Canberra Makeup Academy for one of their assessment nights.

Photographing at the Canberra Makeup Academy for one of their assessment nights.

Gorgeous Eyes – Sneak Peek!!!!! With the Best Prop Award Going to Me!!!

Had the opportunity yesterday to photograph a new Canberra model to which I am grateful for not only her giving up her time but also once again Felicity the make-up artist who is always there to help me out and without her help and expertise.

There is a saying that eyes are the windows to the soul and is a portrait photographer is something I believe. I look into the eyes of the people I photograph on each them has a story, a story to which some are happy to tell and some are not.

When I saw photograph of Abby one of the things that struck me with her gorgeous eyes and how they drew the viewer in. She also has what I would think a unique facial structure that compliments her eyes and the shape of her eyes and it was for this reason that I was super keen to capture this and I must say the photos we have do actually do her eyes and a shape justice.

How can such gorgeous eyes be so sinister

How can such gorgeous eyes be so sinister

We spent the first half of the session in studio getting head shots and capturing the essence of who Abby is in the vision which I saw in her eyes.

Gorgeous eyes

Gorgeous eyes

Second half of the photo shoot we were using gorilla shooting techniques, where we will pull up on location with portable studio lighting and speedlites to capture a few shots and then will back in the car again.

One of the locations we stopped at was next to a farm and the reason why we selected this location was because of the long road that led up into the hills however after cracking off a few shots, we noticed in the background a biplane was preparing to take off.

It travelled down the makeshift runway on the farmer’s property to pull in just behind where Abby was standing and I must say I couldn’t have been more excited. To have such a prop appear out of nowhere and considering how she was dressed it was just photo gods were shining on us.

The only reason why we could get the shot was because of the gorilla techniques we were using and I had Anthony Caffery as my assistant holding the light so we could move and adjust rapidly to capture anything that was going to happen…. I just wasn’t really expecting a biplane!!! 🙂

Going to no expense in getting a biplane as a prop

Going to no expense in getting a biplane as a prop

We finished the rest of the photo shoot off in and around the Tuggeranong hyperdome where I think we captured some really interesting photos, some you will just have to wait a while to see.

Sneak Peak – Drowned Beauty!!! – Anna

Anna is just a fantastic person to work with..  She has been on many shoots with me and is always prepared to give her best and then some..

Her and I were chatting on set about a shoot we did a year ago where we started at around 8 pm and went until about 2am…  lol

It was a super fun shoot and I think we both learned a lot over that night.

Once again she didn’t disappoint and was super professional and pulled off the shots in what was very crappy conditions…  Which for us was fantastic as that is what we were after.. lol

Drowned Beauty - Anna

Drowned Beauty – Anna

Sneak Peak – Drowned Beauty!!! – Laurynn

Those that follow me would know that I was trying to get a shoot going over the weekend where I was going to put attractive ladies in the rain that was forecast…

Well after a lot of rain dancing it did come and we got a heap of shots.   This is one of the shots I got for Laurynn  🙂

See Rain Can Be Fun!

I will have a sneak peek of the other model Anna shortly..  So stayed tuned

Drowned Beauty - Laurynn

Drowned Beauty – Laurynn

Chasing the Sun with on Location Studio Lighting!!

Last Sunday I did an impromptu photo shoot that required a lot of running and a bit of organising to be able too pull it off!!

This was also probably one of the quickest shoots I have ever done. We pulled up at the location, I pulled out my lighting equipment, the model assumed the position and I snapped away.

Chasing the sun is always lots of fun!

Must say it was really handy to have a model which has a lot of experience she needed almost no guidance and very beneficial as we were chasing the sun setting and time is very limited.

I must say in the space of 10 minutes we captured a heap of images that not only matched my mind’s eye vision of the shot but also awesome in how they came together!! Here is just one of those images.

Fashion chasing the sunlight

Fashion chasing the sunlight

Other images from the shoot can be found my galleries of the menu on the left-hand side.

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

The beauty of the forest!

As she walked through the pines, she thought about the love that was lost. The crackling of the leaves and twigs below her feet echoed through the narrow pathways that led her not only through the labyrinth of the forest but also gave her some comfort the progress was being made.

Fresh pine allowed for the clearing of the senses that heightened her connection with the beauty that surrounded her, as she drifted in and out of her conscious mind.

What was it that she was thinking about?  Where was she going and where did she want to be?

The beauty of the forest

The beauty of the forest

The glitter Queen

I’m not sure how many of you out there have actually worked with glitter, but I can tell you, that it gets everywhere!

Gets in your hair, gets on the tables, it gets on carpet, it gets on the camera, it gets on the backdrop, it gets in your fingernails, and it gets all over your model.

This was a concept shoot which I have to admit turned out so much better than what will trying to go for. The colour and the make up along with the hair on the backdrop on the ground just really made it for me. It has lots of depth and dimension along with drama and beauty.

It really is one of my better shots I think.

What do you think?

The glitter Queen

The glitter Queen