Category: News

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

 

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.

Nailed It!

A weeeeee bit ago I was doing a fashion photo shoot, while the model was getting changed I thought I would give this modeling thing a try and you know what???????

I think I nailed it!!!

What do you think?

Where photographer tries to be a fashion model.

Where photographer tries to be a fashion model.

Cancer Doesn’t Kill Anybody!

The amazing and fantastic thing about cancer is that no one actually cares until it kills a loved one, and then they seem to care.

I would almost think it’s hard to believe in this day and age and certainly, as you get older that you have not met or been touched by someone that  has been lost to this deadly and unforgiving disease. Cancer doesn’t care whether you are black, white, Christian, Muslim, American, male, or female. Cancer will take your life, it will take the life of your loved ones and it will take the life of the people you know. It is unforgiving it is the black plague of our society and kills thousands of people every year.

There are different variations of cancer as we all know and each of these has different degrees of severity and in left untreated, they will all take your life.

Tomorrow is pink ribbon Day, this is a day that brings awareness to breast cancer to encourage people to get checked and also self-check. It is also a day of fundraising which I must say and it should go without saying it is more important now than ever.

Yesterday in Canberra the motorcycle community banded together as they do around the world to support this cause. They gathered at old Parliament house and road to Bungendore while raising much-needed funds along the way. While I didn’t attend this event I have friends which did and I also have friends which are suffering from cancer which also rode in this event and it was great to hear the fun that these people had in banding together to support such a cause.

So if you can do one thing tomorrow bring awareness to breast cancer and in particular pink ribbon Day. Go to work dressed in pink, by a ribbon or just open up a conversation that hopefully will encourage people to get checked.

Help us to reach a goal and fight cancer and help us to kick cancers arse because without your help it will take the life of someone you love.

 

Pink Ribbon Day

Pink Ribbon Day

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. 🙂

RIP Max “Tangles” Walker

Today Australia is morning the lose of an Australian legend – Mr Max “Tangles” Walker.  He was one of our best cricket bowlers in the 1970’s and although I am not really into much sports as an adult, I have fond memories watching cricket as a kid as it not only kept us off the streets but allowed for mate ship and bonds to grow that were and are life long.

Well today he bowled his last ball and is now an umpire in the great cricket pitch in the sky.

He was one of the boys and a real Aussie block even after spending nearly all his life in the spot light in cricket and then TV broadcasting.   He had an infectious smile and a personality made everyone turn their heads when he entered the room.

Cheers to you big fella, may your eternal life be filled with hat tricks and you be surrounded by golden ducks. 🙂

Max "Tangles" Walker and I

Max “Tangles” Walker and I

New Bulbs Will Help!

You ever get that feeling when you are out on location shooting and your studio lights stop doing that flash and POP thing that you have grown to love????

I have and it’s not a  nice feeling especially when you have people standing  in front of said studio light waiting for the blinding flash…

Lucky for me (ok ok ok not really luck but more planning as I like to be prepared for just about anything and have a backup plan for my backup plan) I have backup lights so I can swap them out for new ones. 🙂

The trick to this little plan is that you have buy replacement bulbs and when they are 200$ each you tend to put it off for as long as you can. So with the splash of 800$ I now can replace my old bulbs and have some spare as a backup plan. 🙂

All I can say due to the cost of each of these bulbs I am glad they last more than a few shots.

Elinchrom Replacement Bulbs

Elinchrom Replacement Bulbs

Put Your Hands Up If You Love Gala Events and Conferences!!!!

I think it goes without saying that my team and I love Gala dinners. 🙂

Once again we had the opportunity to photograph the state iAwards Gala dinners and had the pleasure to photograph the national iAwards and Gala Dinner for AIIA (Australian Information Industry Association) at the MCEC (Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Center) which included the conference during the day dedicated towards innovation.

 

National iAwards 2016

National iAwards 2016 – One of the great parts about my job is I get to follow leaders in lots of industries and on the odd occasions I get photos with them.

 

2015 was a great event and this year did not disappoint, if I was being honest I think this year was better. 🙂

I don’t know about you but where else do you find the industry leaders in the ICT take time out of their busy days to talk about innovation?    I must add I was also pleasantly surprised to see that the major supporter again for this year was the Victoria government.  Too bad the rest of the country doesn’t follow their lead and start coming up with real plans on expanding our ICT capability through innovation.

 

National iAwards 2016

National iAwards 2016 – The other two members of our team taking peoples photos before the Gala Dinner.

 

My teams day started at 8am when we started packing our gear and heading over to the MCEC from our hotel room which I must admit wasn’t that far as we stayed at the Hilton which is effectively the same building as the MCEC so it was a short elevator lift down to level one. 🙂

 

National iAwards 2016

National iAwards 2016

 

This year we decided to do things a little different and instead of processing the images after the event one of the team would post process them on site and have them ready for the iAwards organizers to use for social media, while myself and my other photographer covered the different area of the event.   In general it seemed to work well with images come from the photographers and moving through post with not many issues which was nice.

 

National iAwards 2016

National iAwards 2016 – Me photographing the handing our of the the awards

 

As the day moved through the conference, VIP lunches and into the Gala dinner my team sat back for a bit to take stock of the day so far and I think it is fair to say that not only were we having a blast but the information that was shared with the people that attended the day was outstanding.  I think we all had a new appreciation for innovation and some of the amazing things that are happening in the ICT industry across the nation. very very cool.

 

National iAwards 2016

National iAwards 2016 – Do you think they have enough screens?

 

The break in the event also meant that it was time to setup the portable studio against the media wall before all the crowds flocked in as we were setting up in the reception and pre-gala drinks area which is nice as we attract a heap of people to get their photos take. 🙂

Last year we had David Huey “Hueys” as the MC, this year we had the please of photographing Shane Jacobson www.shanejacobson.com.au (aka Kenny – The Dunny man) and without sounding a bit biased I can say he is really a great bloke.   Not only did I get to photograph him on stage but I followed him around chatting and watching him interact with the people that attended the Gala dinner.  He was more than willing an open to make everyone feel at home and was super dooper accommodating to my photographic needs.  One of which is a selfie with me. 😉

 

National iAwards 2016

National iAwards 2016 – Get down low and go, go, go

 

The night went off without a hitch…. oh… that was until the got to the pointy end where the person that won the $50,000 prize money had already left for the evening as she had a 6am flight. hahahahahahaha  Someone in the audience had her number so Shane was trying to get her on the phone to let her know….. but no answer.

 

National iAwards 2016

National iAwards 2016 – The team

 

Talking with Shane after we were both bummed that the winner didn’t answer as that would of a hoot to get her on the phone and add to was already was a very entertaining night.  Oh well.  They did get in touch with her and she did come back for her official photos.

 

National iAwards 2016

National iAwards 2016

 

Well we knocked off a bit after midnight, went back to the hotel room to process the media photos for the 6am deadline which only took me until 4am as the post processing during the day saved many hours.

 

National iAwards 2016

National iAwards 2016 – Having a bit of fun with Shane Jacobson while a video was running in the background.

 

At the end of what was a 20 hour day it was time to hit the sack and wake up early to pack up and head home.   My other photographer go a flight out at 6am so I said good bye to him at 3am so he could get to the airport. 🙂

 

National iAwards 2016

National iAwards 2016 – Packed house and WOW what a room and setup.

 

Lets bring on the after party… hahahaha

 

National iAwards 2016

National iAwards 2016

 

I have to admit the lighting and the volume that these lights have was fantastic.  The give sooooo much feel to the room and for a room this size it was a mighty feat to get them to be so effective without fogging out the entire room.

 

National iAwards 2016

National iAwards 2016 – After party band

At the end off all that it was time to have a nap and that my friends is the day in the life of a corporate conference and gala event photographer. 🙂

The Cost Of Taking Your Photos.

There is lots to say on the subject of the cost to run a photography business so I thought I would share the cost of what I have in front of me.

I am running out of space on my storage and need to buy some more hard drives.  Now the problem is I can not put any more storage in my main PC so I will need to purchase an additional storage unit where I can move the images from my main PC to.  Doing some investigation the unit to do this will cost me anything from 1,000$ that will hold 8 hard drives or around 1,800$ for one that will hold 12 hard drives. The cost of hard drives is around 500$ each.  Yes I can by cheaper drives and a cheaper unit but I value your images more than that so I buy the best equipment to ensure your photos are safe. 🙂

Lets run the figures – If I wanted to buy and fill the 1,000$ unit it would then cost me 4,000$ in drives that makes it a 5,000$ purchase, for the 1,800$ unit it would cost me $7,800. Yay!!!!!!

So when you ask me how much are my photos are, I hope this will gives you some understanding as to why I do not do it for free and why my services do not cost the same as your mate Joe who has a camera and used it once.  🙂

 

I think I need more hard drive space.

I think I need more hard drive space.

Tell Your Mum You Love Her!

Last night one of my Facebook friends suffered a major motorbike accident where are a car pulled on in front of him at 80 kph. He is now in hospital with bleeding on the brain, busted pelvis, spinal injuries and multiple hand fractures, if he does pull through I would think he has a very long road of recovery in front of him.
 
This accident reminds me how fragile life is and how, what we have today, can be taken away in a heart beat.
 
Today is mothers day, take some time to be with or talk to your mother.  Give back some of the love attention that she showed you over the years as she too needs love and attention.
There are so many people out there, where their mothers have been taken too early and I am sure some of them would give up anything to be with their mothers on mothers day. <3
Sunset Over The River

Sunset Over The River

The Night before the Dawn!

101 years ago on this ANZAC day eve there was thousands of Australian and New Zealand men ordered to board ships and take hold of what was Gallipoli but in reality it was one of the ANZAC’s major defeats.

I look at this photo some time ago and it shows the peacefulness of the sunset also the hectic and fire of nature

The ANZAC’s must have been going through a similar thing. The orders were to take Turkish land must of been a standard order until they hit ground where they were fired upon by multiple machine-gun posts that they were unaware of.  The battle turned into what was a prolonged and devastating offensive on both sides it became our pinnacle of hope through ANZAC Day.

Without the sacrifices of these men in this battle and  every battle before and every battle after we would not have our way of life. The ANZAC spirit is built into the Australian culture, they are us and they always will be, for we are a nation that is not afraid to fight, we are not afraid to die for what we believe is right and that is true today as it ever was.

Tomorrow attend ANZAC Day memorials, respect and love our country and respect and love your family but remember and pay back to the ones that gave up everything and the ones that continue to do so even today.

Spend some money on 2-up and have fun,  if you see anyone with metals be it theirs or the relatives show them the respect which they deserve, have a conversation, ask them about their history as am sure you will find some amazing stories.

RIP our ANZAC’s and Let’s We Forget!

A sunset to remind us of the sacrifices of the Anzac's

A sunset to remind us of the sacrifices of the Anzac’s

Behind the Computer Once Again

In my business people have an idea that we spend all our time photographing but the reality is that we spend most of our time sitting in front of a computer screen. 🙁

Today was one of those days but I must say I learnt a lot, made a heap progress with some ideas I have bashing around my head and I got to capture a fantastic sunset.

How was your day?

What a Way to End a Mentally Draining Day

What a Way to End a Mentally Draining Day

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

Nice…. A Day and Night Off to Sit Back and Relax!

With a shoot that was postponed as the client had to go away I had the day to myself to relax and catch up with house duties…  yay for a day off!!!!!

With half of the day cleaning and shampooing carpets and the other half watching “Highway Thu Hell” on Netflix which I think I am addicted to (thank god there is only 23 episodes)  I grabed a wine and watched the sun set from my back door.  🙂

And That Ends Another Day!

And That Ends Another Day!

I feel so relaxed that I think I am ready what another week…. Except tomorrow is a public holiday in Canberra, oh well what ever will I do with my time…… 😉

I know how about I organize a 5 hour shoot with a model, makeup artist and agent on a private farm, where we can capture natural and free spirit images.

If you have to work tomorrow have fun but those of us in Canberra will be enjoying the day and thinking of you…. ok ok ok maybe not..

Eat When You Can!

In my line of work as an event and portrait photographer I get to cover a lot of events but as with every event, one thing is key…. and that is time!!!!!

You are always running around getting shots here and there, with generally little or no time to rest, drink or eat, so as I race home tonight and ready for tonight’s event I get to:

  • charge my batteries,
  • download cards,
  • swap lens
  • get changed
  • whip up Veal mignon with mushroom butter, wrapped in bacon served with veg and baked capsicum, washed down with a chocolate milkshake.  yum yum yum

What wonderful things have you whipped up for tonight’s midweek meal?

Veal Migono with mushroom butter wrapped in bacon

Veal Mignon with mushroom butter wrapped in bacon

 

Has This Ever Happened To You?

Have you ever woken up on a Saturday morning and thought to yourself –

I really need to stop photographing so much so I can clean the house and tidy the yard so it doesn’t look like hillbilly central!!!

Nah me neither….. 🙂

Has This Ever Happened to You?

Has This Ever Happened to You?

 

If you want to see the before and after images side my side and a video how it was edited pop over to my sister site

Quick Portrait Edit For A Saturday.

 

Guns Guns and More Guns!!!

Heading north I drove through Lithgow and the people that are unaware Lithgow holds a very special place in our Australian history. It is where we built our small arms supporting our war efforts in the first and Second World War. It is also a place where we now build our current and future small arms for our defence forces.

At the Lithgow smallarms factory they have a museum dedicated to this past and have a room dedicated to pistols and revolvers. For anyone fascinated in our military history and firearms in general this is a must see as the collection here is amazing!!!!!

While the museum itself is relatively small the collection they have is vast and extensive. It takes in our Australian history and history of other countries around the world.

Lithgow smallarms factory

Welcome to Australia’s history

Downstairs is where they have the long arms while upstairs they have a room that has the most extensive pistol and revolver collection I have ever seen. This room has over 1000 pieces all of which belong to one individual that donated these to the museum and boy oh boy there are some real gems in there.

Take for example this little palm pistol. I’ve only ever seen these and books and never actually thought I would see one in real life, so goes without saying that I was blown away.

Lithgow smallarms factory

palm pistol

Lithgow smallarms factory

palm pistol

I think I must have spent a good few hours just looking at the multitude of firearms in this building, while trying to imagine the history behind each and everyone of the pieces.

Here is just some of the collection to wet your whistle.

Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory

Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory Lithgow smallarms factory

Two More Pictures before I Go!

I was looking through the other photos I took of this area and I have to share these two photos before I moved on and showed you the photos of the glowworms in the area up and around Lithgow.

These two photos were taken from the Kanangra wall lookout.

The first was a couple of hours after the sun had set while the second photo was  maybe an hour after the sun had gone over the horizon and after the New Year’s Eve fireworks I could see in Sydney.

Kanangra Walls - at night with the stars showing

Kanangra Walls – at night with the stars showing

The glow from the photo above is from the lights at of Sydney which were 80 km away and in the direction of the fireworks I saw only minutes before taking this shot.

Kanangra Walls - after the sun had gone

Kanangra Walls – after the sun had gone

 

Time To Relax

Christmas holidays are all about relaxing for me.  Some like to hang out with friends & family and some like to hit the tourist places.

I spend a lot of the year at events, parties and with lots and lots of people I didn’t know before the event, so for me this time of the year is about hiding and getting away from it all.

Spending time getting back to nature and grounding my soul for the year ahead.

It’s about having and giving myself time so I can in turn give that back through my work.

What do you do this time of year?

Kicking back and relaxing

Kicking back and relaxing