Photography

Cameron Corner – There and Back (Part 2)

The road to Tibooburra took us through flat and an often desolate landscape without many features to break the horizon.  There were some distant hills and very few trees.  Despite the barren landscape we still enjoyed the drive as the combination of the red dirt roads and deep blue skies is something that we never tire of seeing.

Plenty of road kill along the way meant that we spotted a lot of Wedge Tailed Eagles and I did my best to capture a few photos of them.

These birds of prey are magnificent creatures and I wanted to stop every time that we saw some but Danni had other ideas. Despite the protests I still managed to stop quite a few times but the eagles didn’t seem to like having their photos taken.  I would fearlessly walk as slowly as possible towards them shooting as I walked and every time they felt I was too close they would fly further away.  I would then keep stalking them until I realised how far I had ventured from the car.

 

 

All day during the drive the clouds were looking fantastic and I was keeping an eye out for a lone tree or some other feature that I could use as a focal point.  I finally spotted a lone tree in the distance to use so I left Danni in the car on the side of the road whilst I headed off towards the tree. By positioning myself in the right position I was able to compose the photo so the clouds were streaking out from behind the tree. There was also a cattle track to use as a lead in line to the tree.

The Lone Tree

We had planned our arrival in Tibooburra to coincide with the State of Origin game as we couldn’t miss the decider.  How was I to know that NSW would lose again and that I would be only of the two people in Tibooburra supporting the Blues!.

Tibooburra is quite an unusual landscape and has a lot of granite outcrops dotted around the area and even in the middle of town.

Billy Goat Hill

Wild goats were plentiful in the area and have adapted well to harsh climate and sparse vegetation.

We left Tibooburra the day after we lost the State of Origin and headed towards Cameron Corner – I couldn’t up with all the Queenslanders walking around looking superior!

It was interesting drive and we saw our first ever clay pan.

Clay Pan

 

We couldn’t visit corner country without having a look at the Dingo Fence.  At over 5,000 kms long it is the longest fence in the world and is still used to keep the dingoes away from the sheep in the South East part of Australia.

Dingo Fence

After a quick visit to Cameron Corner for a beer and a chat to the owners of the store we decided to head back to Fort Grey Campground to camp for a few days.  We were very surprised to find that we were the only ones staying there and it was nearly two days before anyone else arrived.  We had the choice of all the prime camp spots so we set up right next to one of the shelters to provide a bit of protection in case it rained.

Our Campsite

The shelter included fresh water and free gas BBQ’s which was totally unexpected.  As we were the only ones around we didn’t feel the need to pack everything away when we went exploring.

The only problem with this was the birds stealing our food – they ate nearly a full packet of chips and I caught one flying off with half a packet of Nice biscuits.

On one of our walks we were surprised to find Lake Pinaroo and even more surprised that it is was full of water!  A lot of the lakes that we have visited on our travels have been empty but this was one wasn’t.  It was a haven for the bird life of the area and in the evening thousands of Corellas literally covered all the trees on the opposite side of the lake.  It’s hard to explain the sight and sound of so many birds in one place and it needs to be experienced personally.

Until you get away from the city lights you do not realise how many stars there really are in the sky.  While I was waiting for Danni to wake up (I had convinced her that she should watch the sunrise with me and witness the Golden Hour) I took a few shots of the starry sky.

Stars of the Outback

 

The morning’s sunrise wasn’t a spectacular one but it give me the opportunity to show Danni why I get up so early for my photography.  The rising sun just lit the trees a beautiful golden colour.

The Golden Hour

We would have both been happy to spend the rest of the holiday camped right here as it was so peaceful (forgetting the thousands of Corellas that is) but we had accommodation booked at Silverton and we needed to leave after two nights.  At least it gave me time to shoot the sunrise and the sunset.

This was my favourite photo from Lake Pinaroo and was taken late in the afternoon as I was waiting for the sun to set.

The Cloud Makers

The next stage of the trip was to the historic town of Silverton which will be included in the next update.

If you would like to see more photos from the trip then head over to my Facebook page or my Flickr set.

Imposition

I recently had the pleasure of shooting some promo photos for the rock band Imposition.  Having previously seen them perform live I can tell you that they are an energetic band and definitely have a future in the industry.  The band members are Ashley Knight – Vocals/Keyboard/Guitar, Dane Richter – Lead Guitar, Daniel Harding – Drums and Jeff Henderson on Bass.  Despite the band only having been formed just over 13 months ago they perform like they have been together for a lot longer.  In the short time since their formation they have been garnering a following on the Central Coast of NSW and  have performed at many venues in the area.

The band has received good feedback on Triple J Unearthed and their fan base is rapidly growing.  For those of you in Sydney they will be performing on a regular basis at Hornsby RSL starting in 2014.

The band members are young and like to enjoy themselves when performing so we decided to shoot something fun for their promo photos.

Fun in the Park

 

One of the shots that we wanted to take involved us all spinning around on a roundabout ride.  The idea was to have a blurred background due to the movement whilst Imposition were all in the focus.   Anyone watching us would have thought that we were crazy as it is not that easy to achieve.  Dane, Jeff and Daniel would take turns pushing the ride around and then try to jump back on and get in position so that I could take a photo.  Unfortunately as soon as they jumped back on the ride would slow down and by the time they were ready for the shot we were either in the wrong position or nearly at a standstill.  Next time we will need some helpers to push us around.  We did end up with a shot that was a keeper.

The Roundabout

A shot like the one above is not suitable for anyone with a weak stomach as by the end of it we were all feeling very queasy and I am not sure if we could have gone on for my much longer.

It is surprising how many compositions you can find that work when you are in a children’s playground.  This mini rock climbing wall came in handy.

On the Wall

Leaving the park we headed to coastal rocks at Pearl Beach where we had a bit of fun with different poses and the fish-eye lens.

Band Practice

Back to Front

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I particularly liked this one that we took while at Pearl Beach with Ashley gazing into the distance and the guys looking more casual

On the Rocks

The next location involved a bit of bush walking but I’m not sure of the exact location.  We ended up in cave that overlooked Patonga and we could see Palm Beach in the distance.

We took a few shots around the cave but as space was limited and none of felt inclined to fall of the cliff the available compositions were limited.  Despite limited compositions my favourite shot was taken here and I applied a different processing style to and ended up with this shot.

Cool World

This location had stunning views and worked well as the backdrop.

Everyone enjoyed the shoot and we ended up with quite a few keepers that Imposition will use to promote themselves.  If you need an entertaining rock band that for a venue or even a private function they can be contacted through their facebook page Imposition.

If you or someone you know needs promo photos or live gig photos I can be contacted on the contact tab or by commenting below.

Cameron Corner – There and Back (Part 1)

As soon as we arrived back from our last trip to the outback regions of NSW my wife, Danni and I couldn’t wait to plan another trip to explore more locations.  After looking at a map of NSW and googling various locations of interest we decided upon a route that was a big loop around the NSW outback.

The Route

We had planned to leave bright and early on the Sunday morning and drive straight to Lightning Ridge but we are both impatient and as soon as the car was packed on the Saturday night we headed off.  We made it to Dubbo and caught a few hours sleep before continuing on to Lightning Ridge.  For those that haven’t been to Lightning Ridge it is an opal mining town and is dotted with mounds of opal dirt.  There are self guided tours that you can take by following the colour coded car doors.

Some of the locals seem very protective of their opal mines.

They Don’t Muck Around Out Here

A popular place in Lightning Ridge is the hot artesian baths which are a constant 41.5 C and is a very relaxing way to end the day.

There are quite a few odd looking “dwellings” around the town including houses made out of glass bottles, sheets of iron around caravans and a church that was built for the movie “The Goddess of 1967”.

Church built for the Goddess of 1967 movie

In the background of the church photo you can see all the mounds of opal dirt.  We hadn’t seen enough mounds of opal dirt at this stage so we decided to pay a visit to the Club in the Scrub and the Hilton Hotel at Grawin.  These are both very interesting places to visit and you are bound to see a few unusual locals around the area.  Make sure that you pack your golf clubs as the Club in the Scrub has it’s very own golf course!

Outback Golf Course

After spending a pleasant two nights at the Opal Cottage we packed the car up again and headed west towards Wanaaring where we had booked a nights accommodation in the pub at the bargain price of $65!.  I must admit that you get what you pay for but the bed was comfortable and the shower was awesome (hot and powerful).

Only the way we passed through a lot of wide open spaces and some scary towns.  You don’t feel very safe when you towns with every window and door barred.

Wide Open Spaces

We had planned to drive directly from Bourke to Wanaaring but a road train had become stuck on the dirt road and the road was blocked to traffic.  A quick look at the map and we found that if we headed north through Fords Bridge and further towards the Qld border that we could cut across and then drive back down to Wanaaring.  Fords Bridge is basically a pub on the side of the road but we stopped and had a few beers and lots of laughs with a few locals.  We don’t know how it happened but the quick visit turned into a longer one and we ended up playing a TV quiz type game on the front verandah of the pub.

Time for a Detour

Despite having a great time at the pub we had to head off again before it got too late as it is not safe to drive on the outback roads at dusk due to the wild pigs, emus and kangaroos that often cross the road without warning.  We nearly did get hit by a black pig that was was wide as it was tall and it came barrelling out from the scrub on the side and we narrowly avoiding colliding with it.

We drove for hours on the detour and didn’t see any other cars or people.  There was a scary moment for Danni (she said something like Oh Shit) when the car slid off the wet road and into a boggy patch and stopped.  It wasn’t a problem as I put the Navara into low range and drove it back onto the dry surface without any trouble at all.

If you look at this photo of the typical road you will understand how just a small amount of rain can turn it into a problem.

 

Road to Wanaaring

People of the outback seem to be having a competition to see who can have the most unusual mail boxes and this one was one of the most unusual ones that we come across.

Unusual Mail Box

Wanaaring is not a very big town and we didn’t stray far away from the pub while we were there.  We were lucky to score the honeymoon suite out near the clothes line.

Wanaaring Honeymoon Suite

We woke to a foggy morning and did a quick tour of the town, from memory I think that only 3 families live in the town and they were all related!  We had some time to kill as we needed fuel and the general store wasn’t yet open so we headed down to the Paroo River to cook some breakfast.

The fog still hadn’t lifted by the time that breakfast was finished but the general store was now open and we could fuel up for the drive to Tibooburra which is known as the most remote town in NSW.

Wanaaring General Store

 

Look out for the next instalment of Cameron Corner – There and Back, which will include Tibooburra and Cameron Corner.

The Lost City

Over the last weekend I headed out with my photography friends, Kath, Brendan and Don to a new location by the name of The Lost City which surprisingly enough can “found” in the Wollemi National Park.

To find the Lost City you need to first make your way to the Zig Zag Railway at Clarence NSW.  From there you head out along a dirt road adjacent to the Newnes State Forest until you reach the Old Bells Line of Road where you turn right.  You then continue along until you reach the Bungleboori Campground where you turn off the road and start travelling along a 4WD track which leads to a small car park which overlooks the Lost City.  I must admit that the drive along this track was quite exciting as I had not previously needed to leave my car in low range for such an extended period of time.  The track included some very deep holes, dodging fallen trees, driving over boulders and through small sections of water.  Don, our fearless 4WD leader assured me that there would not be any problems driving in and he was right.

The Lost City is comprised of hundreds of exposed Hawkesbury sandstone outcrops which dot the surrounding mountains.

Looking west over the Lost City

For me the main purpose of the trip was to be in a remote location away from city lights so that I could shoot photos of the night sky.  Having done my research I knew that it was the perfect time for the Milky Way to be visible and all we had to do was hope that we had a clear night sky.

While we were waiting for darkness we used the opportunity to grab a few shots as the sun was setting and it created some stunning colours on the exposed sandstone.

Sunset Rock

 

In the image below you can see the path that leads up to the car park where we camped for the night.  Having made quite a few trips up and down the path during the time that we were there I was a bit sore the day after.

Lost City Panorama

 

As the sun started to set the clouds began to roll in and we knew that we would not have a much time to capture the Milky Way so we acted quickly to work out the best compositions as soon as it became visible. We also had to contend with a wind that had started to blow quite hard.  During long exposures a wind causes havoc with things like trees and bushes and there is no way that you can keep them from blurring during the exposure.

The Milky Way

In the photo of the Milky Way you can already see the clouds appearing and it wasn’t long before there were quite a few starting to obscure the Milky Way.

The Clouds Rolling In

As a photographer you learn to make the best of the conditions that prevail so a longer exposure was used to capture clouds movement.

Cloud Fans

Without something of  a known size in a photo it is often difficult to gauge the size of what you are looking at so I made sure that I captured an image which included my friend Brendan.  By including him in the image it becomes a lot easier to put things in perspective.

In Perspective

Overall it was a very enjoyable and worthwhile trip.  We all ended up with some great shots and even had a chance to photograph a dome created by my friend Kath.

The Dome

If you would like any further information on the location, how the photos were taken or to purchase a photo simply use the contact tab on my website.

Vivid 2013

It is the time of year when Sydney literally lights up with the Vivid Festival.  From the 24th May, 2013 until the 10th June, 2013 Sydney comes alive with colour and light with buildings and iconic structures brought to life by an amazing laser show.

If you are thinking of heading in there I suggest that you arrive early (the lights are turned on at 6.00pm) or catch a train.  I have driven in there twice in the last week and the traffic and parking were a nightmare.

Opera House Blues

Vivid has their own Facebook page where you can obtain more information.

It is the 5th year that the Vivid Festival has been in Sydney and I have been to 4 of them.  Be aware though that it usually seems to rain a bit during the festival and the you may need to bring an umbrella.

The Pinball Machine

One of the scenes projected onto the sales of the Opera House is that of a pinball game.  The scenes take you through a game on the pinball machine from the launching of the ball, through hitting the bumpers, scoring points and getting the multi-ball feature.  When you take your time to watch it you will be amazed at what they have achieved.

Pinball Fun

A lot of the lighting displays are interactive allowing the crowds to create the light by pressing buttons or making movements.  The Sydney Harbour Bridge lights are created in this way with people on the Milsons Point choosing a colour and location so that they can light the bridge.  There are 100,800 LED lights used on the bridge.

The Coat Hanger

A great place to view the Harbour Bridge is Observatory Hill.  Not only during the Vivid Festival but at anytime as you can see different eras of Sydney at the same time.  You have the historic terrace houses in the foreground, then the Harbour Bridge and then the skyscrapers in North Sydney.  You can also throw the iconic face of Luna Park into the mix too!

Sydney Through the Years

If you do head up to Observatory Hill at night make sure that you take a torch and someone to keep you company as it is very dark and you can never be sure who is around.

On my third visit to Vivid I explored the area around Walsh Bay.

Pushing the Boundaries

A bit of fun with the fish-eye under and around the harbour bridge

Under the Coathanger

Walsh Bay with the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background.

Walsh Bay

An interesting technique to use for different photos is to move your zoom during the exposure.  This is what I did with the mirror balls below.

Purple Rain

CMC Rocks the Hunter 2013 Part 1

I applied for and was lucky enough to procure a media pass for CMC Rocks the Hunter which was being held at Hope Estate in the Hunter Valley from the 15th March, 2013 until the 17th March, 2013.

Being a big fan of country music I was very excited about being able to hear some of my favourite artists perform and also to photograph them from the media pit area.

There were some big name acts performing over the weekend and I was particularly looking forward to seeing the Band Perry and Big & Rich.

There were a lot of artists on the bill which I had either never heard of or not heard play before and the opening act of the Wolfe Brothers was one of those.

I was blown away by the energy produced by the Wolfe Brothers and can’t wait to see them perform live again.

 

The Wolfe Brothers 2013

The Wolfe Brothers were followed by Golden Guitar winner Catherine Britt, 8 Ball Aitken, Adam Harvey, Travis List, Cadd & Morris and Amber Lawrence.

The Friday night acts included Jack Ingram

Jack Ingram

 

Doug Bruce and the Tailgaters

Doug Bruce

With Adam Brand as the closing act.

Travis Collins and Adam Brand

Saturday morning started off with another great act that I had not heard before, Bob Corbett and the Roo Grass Band.  Again I was pleased that I had the opportunity to hear them perform as I was very impressed with their distinct sound.

The next act was the Legarde Twins who had turned 82 the night before!!  They are credited as the first Australians to take our country music to the USA.

Following on from the Legarde Twins was Tori Darke who I have watched grow and mature into a very professional performer with a big future in store for her.

Tori Darke

The cheeky Buddy Goode performed next with his tongue in cheek songs and innuendos and then Baylou.  Love and Theft from the USA were to be the next act but due to personal reasons one half of the duo couldn’t make it to Australia.  Luckily for the organisers and the crowd, Travis Collins is a local artist and he more than made up for Love and Theft.

Travis Collins

Travis got the crowd going by giving them some toys to play with in the form of blow up thongs and balls.

Flying Thongs

There were quite a interesting moments over the weekend and the crowd was full of characters.  I was pleasantly surprised at how well behaved the crowd were of the weekend.

The Friday night was a big night for alcohol consumption and I would say that there were a few people feeling a bit sorry for themselves the next day.

There were a few buck and hens parties being celebrated over the weekend which made for some very interesting photos including one poor guy taped to a chair and left sitting on the hill at the mercy of everyone walking past him.  His “mates” also put a sign on him saying free kisses and he did receive a few including a guy gave him a big kiss on the lips!

 

CMC Veterans

Free Kisses

 

To be continued

Christie Lamb

I had the pleasure of shooting some promotional images for country singer Christie Lamb.  For those of you that have not heard of her Christie have a look at her website and listen to her music.

The planning of the shoot took a bit work as Christie had to decide on the style of the photos that she needed, the outfits to wear and the sourcing of accessories.  As Christie had performed at the Campbelltown Catholic Club she was able to obtain use of a few locations within the club that we use for our shoot.

For her hair and make-up Christie was lucky to be able to have Lisa Mangion to available to work with us on the shoot.  Lisa is very popular and always in demand.

The first location was in the piano lounge area at the Campbelltown Catholic Club as Christie wanted a few shots around the piano and with her hair styled straight.

We were supposed to start shooting before the club opened but the hair and make-up took longer than planned and we ended up shooting with a few spectators.

The next location for the shoot was in the Cube and we had use of the stage for quite a few hours.  The old style microphone was one the props that Christie sourced for the shoot and we made good use of it.

One of the good things about the shoot was that Christie brought a long a variety of outfits and had a make-up artist/stylist on hand to change the look throughout the day.  This enabled us to take quite a few different styles of photos.

Danni joined us for a few hours and thanks to her we found a big industrial fan to give the wind blown look.

 After shooting at the Cube we packed up and travelled to lake at Harrington Park for a few shots with water in the background.

This was followed by some photos near Christie’s house and then as the light was starting to fade at a park in Camden.  It was a long and tiring day but very worthwhile as Christie was very happy with the photos and so was I.

Beyond the Great Dividing Range

Little Topar

While we are planning on a new trip to outback NSW I thought that I would share some of the images taken on our last trip.  Our last trip in the middle of summer in January, 2012 and we ventured from home to Hay the first day.  Not a lot of photo opportunities as the Hay Plains are a bit boring to drive along as there was not much to see.

Turlee Station

The next day we drove to Turlee Sheep Station where we would be staying for the next four nights.  With a few days of temperatures around 40 degrees, the air-conditioned cabin was a great place to be in the middle of the night.

The reason that we chose to stay at this location was because it was a short drive down the road from Mungo National Park.

Mungo National Park has a lot of historical significance as it was the location for the oldest human remains in Australia which were dated as being 42,000 years old.  Outside of Africa these are the oldest modern human remains discovered.

The highlight to me of Mungo National Park was the Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China

The road from Turlee to Mungo was not without its hazards.  We always had to be on the lookout for emus and kangaroos as there were plenty of them around.  Our way was often blocked by a ram that we nicknamed Nigel.  No matter what time of day or which direction we were driving from we would come across Nigel standing in the middle of the road!

Nigel the Ram

Nigel from behind!

When we drove up to Nigel he would just turn around and run along the middle of the road for a few hundred metres in the same direction that we were heading.

 

 

 

 

Mungo National Park is a great place to visit and not just because I am a photographer.  The tour guides were excellent and explained so much of the history of the location.  It was easy to see why it has so much historical significance to the Aborigines.

I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the classic windmill scene while at Mungo

Windmill of Mungo

While staying at Turlee Station we took a day trip to Mildura and shredded a tyre along the way.  We discovered that tyres do not last long when the wall is pierced by sharp stones!  We were lucky to find a tyre shop open and were able to buy a new tyre for the Navara.

Perry Sandhills

We made a slight detour on the way back to Turlee by visiting Perry Sandhills. The sandhills are slowly moving and covering the huge gum trees in the area.  Much to the amusement of my wife Danni, I did try my hand at sliding down the sand dune on a piece of cardboard and failed miserably!

 

 

 

 

 

On the way back from Perry Sandhills we spotted another iconic Australian scene, the rusted old car on the side of the road.

Outback Wreck

 

The lovely hosts of Turlee, Nathen and Sophie Wakefield, invited us to spend some time photographing them while they worked with their sheep.  Being a working sheep station in an isolated area, the whole family gets involved including the children.

Everybody has a job to do!

Their young daughter took it upon herself to rescue any lambs that had been separated from their mother.  She showed no fear walking through a herd of sheep that were nearly as tall as she was!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next town on the itinerary was Menindee and Kinchega National Park.  The stunning lakes of Menindee are often empty due to the droughts that we have experienced in NSW, however when we visited them they were overflowing to the extent that they were being pumped out into the river system.  This was the first time in over 10 years that the lakes had been full. I am not sure what it is but myself and other photographers seem to have a fascination for dead trees and there are plenty of them located in the Menindee Lakes.

Sunset at Menindee

 

Menindee Magic

 

The serenity at the lake was amazing and was only shattered when Danni decided that she wished to catch up with her friends on the mobile phone (unfortunately, there was full mobile service out there)

 

 

We stayed at a lovely Red Earth Motel at Broken Hill and used it as a base for trips to one of the most interesting and quirky little towns that you could visit, Silverton.  The hotel at Silverton has been used for many movies including Mission Impossible II, Razorback and Madmax.

Relic of the Past

Mundi Mundi Plains

Silverton Church

 

Silverton is full of history and people with character.  It is a haven for artists due to the beautiful and unusual subjects available to them.

 

Amazing sunset at Whitecliffs

We will definitely be returning to Silverton the next trip and will use it as a base a for a few days while we explore the area.  The next town that we were visiting was White Cliffs which is famous for its opals and underground houses.  We had planned to spend one day there and travel further north but the roads were closed due to flooding so we spent two days days in White Cliffs.  The first night was at the White Cliffs Hotel which had some of the portable rooms used to accommodate the Olympic competitors at the 2000 Olympics available for use motel rooms.  We witnessed the most amazing sunset while at Whitecliffs.

 

 

You can’t visit White Cliffs without staying at the Underground Motel as it is quite an experience to sleep in what is basically a hole in the ground.  They have a plenty of rooms, a dining area, a pool and bar.

Handy to know!

The Cullens

There were some wonderful sights and photo opportunities around the area and you can even try your hand at noodling for opals while you are there but make sure that you have a fossicking licence. We did find it interesting that the local council felt it necessary to have a big sign advising that you need a permit to bury someone in the cemetery.  I would not have thought that there were too many people running around burying bodies without a permit.  For fans of the Twlight series you will be pleased to know that I have found where the Cullens are staying for their holidays.

Welcome to White Cliffs

Some of the signs are confusing though, you have the huge welcome sign and then you have one like this which clearly indicates that they do not like tourists.

I think they are serious

Welcome to Cobar

After 9 days of driving and enjoying the sights it was time to make our way back home.  We decided to visit the home of Elvis at Parkes for a night to break the trip up as it was quite a long drive from White Cliffs.  The trip home was via Cobar which is famous for its mining history.

Elvis!

All in all we travelled 3,800 kms in 10 days  and can’t wait to do it again!!

 

 

Aleyce Simmonds

Country singer, Aleyce Simmonds

Aleyce Simmonds

One of my favourites from the shoot with Aleyce

contacted me recently as she needed some new promotional photos and website photos. After discussing the type of photos and the look that she wished to portray I then scouted around for suitable locations in Sydney.

The great thing about scouting around is that you often find beautiful locations tucked away just around the corner.  The location that we decided upon was Lake Parramatta Reserve. This a great location with bushland and a lake and it is located at North Parramatta.

As the best light for photography is early in the morning or late in the afternoon we decided upon an early start so that we could finish the shoot before too many people arrived.

These are some of the photos that Aleyce chose as her favourites after the shoot:

 

 

Johanna Hemara

Johanna Hemara contacted me last year as she was planning to release a CD at the 2013 Tamworth Country Music Festival and needed some photos for the posters and the CD.

The shoot took a bit of planning as we tried to find locations that suited the look that Johanna had indicated that she wanted for the CD cover.  We covered a few kilometres driving around for suitable locations and then stumbled upon a field at Theresa Park that looked great for want we had planned. The location was on private property so we sought out the owner and obtained consent to shoot there the following weekend.

We were assisted on the day by Lisa Mangion who did a fantastic job with Johanna’s hair and make-up.

The shoot was very successful and Johanna chose these four photos for use on her CD:

CD Front Cover

 

CD Back Cover

 

Inside Cover 2

 

Inside Cover 1

 

We even managed to have some fun with a 1920’s style as one of Johanna’s friends had an antique car which he drove up for the shoot.

Johanna Looking the Part!

 

Johanna hamming it up for the camera!

Look out for Johanna’s CD’s and live shows as you won’t be disappointed!

 

 

 

Just for a Photo

I was recently approached by someone wishing to purchase a photo that I had taken of a performer. They wished to use the photo on promotional flyers so that they could generate more income for the performer. When I advised them of the price the comment I received was “JUST FOR A PHOTO”. I’m not going to say how much the price was but will say that it was less than the cost of two new music CD’s. Nor am I going to name the person who made the comment as it is not my intention to embarrass them and the sole purpose of this post is to explain how my photos and those of other serious photographers are not just photos.

Have you ever given any thought to what goes into creating a good photograph?

You need passion, equipment, time, training, desire and skills. Photographic equipment is not cheap and it not unusual for a serious photographer to outlay between $15,000 and $20,000 purchasing cameras, lenses, speedlites, umbrellas, soft boxes, remote triggers, tripods, light stands, flash triggers etc.

The equipment also needs to be insured and that can cost another $600 to $800 per year. Then there is public liability insurance in case someone is hurt as a result of me or my equipment, that is another $500 to $600 a year that I need to outlay.

It doesn’t matter how good the equipment or the photographer is, most photos require some form post processing and software needs to be used. Purchasing software is not cheap either with the latest version of Photoshop retailing for in excess of $1,000. Then there are the multitude of plug-ins and associated software programs that are used to bring the best out of a photo. I would have easily spent another $700 on other programs used solely for photo processing.

I do not upload my photos straight from the camera. Before they are uploaded they are reviewed and culled. For the photographs that I consider worthwhile to process I then make decide on what work has to be done. For some photographs it is only minor adjustments such as sharpening, cropping and the straightening of the horizon that are required, whilst for others the processing time can be very time consuming particularly when they include performers as I always wish to show them looking at their best.

Photos are not able to be processed without a computer and the computer required usually needs to be better than the average computer on sale as photo files sizes these days necessitate the use a lot of computer RAM and to utilise more RAM you need a 64 bit computer.

Also with photo files increasing in size it becomes a problem trying to store them all and then you need to keep buying external hard disks just to store photos.

What about the cost of training? I have paid to attend numerous photography courses to help me become a better photographer. I also subscribe to photographic magazines which are used to educate me and improve my photographic and post processing skills.

How do you put a price on the countless hours of practice and self-teaching. I know for one that I have spent hundreds of hours developing my skills so that I can JUST TAKE A PHOTO.

Just getting to locations can be an expensive exercise, whether it is a music performance that I have to pay to attend (and there have been plenty of them), a National Park which I have to purchase a pass to enter or just the cost of the fuel and car running expenses to get to a location.

Particularly for landscape photos there can be a lot of planning involved including researching the location, checking of the tides, reviewing the weather forecasts, determining the best time to be there to capture the location in the best possible lighting conditions.

I and other serious photographers take a lot of pride in our work and I know that I am my own worst critic and will not upload a photo that I am not happy with. I may take a lot of photos but the majority will never be seen by the public as they do not meet my own very high standards.

When I upload a photo, it is one that I am proud to display and it shows that it has met my own high standards. So please, before describing a photo as JUST A PHOTO, give some thought to what the photographer has been through to enable him or her to take the photograph.

Jervis Bay Weekend

The last weekend of October, after a very hectic month at work I decided to take the Friday off and enjoy a weekend of photography with my mate Don.

After leaving home at 3.30am we headed to Bombo which is just north of Kiama, to visit what is known by photographers as “The Boneyard”.  The Boneyard is situated on the coast and is what remains from an old basalt quarry  – history of location.

It was an overcast day and the swell was a modest 1.7 metres which was enough for the waves to be crashing over the walls.

Thar She Flows

 

We spent about 4 hours at the Boneyard before heading to Kiama for a quick breakfast and then onto Jervis Bay.  Be careful shooting at Bombo as the rocks are difficult to walk over and I twisted my ankle when trying compose a shot.

After such a long shoot at Bombo we were both concerned about having enough memory cards so a stop in Nowra was required to buy another card each – Compact Flash cards are not easy to find in Nowra! Neither of us knew the Jervis Bay area very well so it was time for some exploring.

We visited Blenhiem Beach which is near Huskinsson and thought that it had a lot of photographic opportunities with the right weather conditions.  The photo below was taken early the following morning.

Blenheim Beach

 

Next stop in the exploration was Hyams Beach which is regarded as having the whitest sand in the world – I must admit that it was very white but can not vouch that it is the whitest.

Hyams Beach

 

Green Patch Beach was one of the next stops and we stayed there quite a while as the sun was setting – unfortunately the conditions were not the best for photography though and another visit will be required. My cable release also went for a swim and it did not like the salt water very much and refused to work properly!

Green Patch Beach

 

By the time we left Green Patch it was after 7.00pm and as we had not organised any accommodation we thought we had better do so pretty quickly.  We found an older style motel at Huskinsson for a reasonable price and after a quick shower headed into town for a quick dinner and a few beers.

The next morning we shot the sunrise at Blenhiem Beach before heading back to Nowra to find a replacement cable release (they are a necessity for long exposures).  I think I purchased the only Canon cable release in Nowra!  We found it in the discount bin at Harvey Norman after being told that they did not have any in stock.  I negotiated a large discount as I was buying something that I had been told they didn’t have!

Later that day we decided to explore a few more locations including a 5km hike to Steamers Beach (not easy with a sprained ankle).  As soon as we reached the bottom of the stairs at Steamers Beach Don spotted a Brown Snake before it slithered off into the bush.   As it was the middle of the day we tried some long exposure photos as ended up with a few like this:

Steamers Beach

 

After arriving back at the car for a well earned beer we explored a few more locations before finding somewhere to buy some lunch.

For sunset we decided to revisit Green Patch Beach and were pleasantly surprised to see a Wallaby with her joey on the beach.

Wallaby & Joey

 

Again the conditions were not what we would have liked but we have to make do with it is put in front of us.

Image

The next morning we headed out for a quick sunrise at Hyams Beach before packing up and heading home.

All in all we decided that the Jervis Bay area had a lot to offer photographers and is well worth another visit in the future.  It has beautiful beaches and plenty of wildlife.

I have a few of the photos from the trip available for sale on Redbubble

Pin-ups and Cars

The following images are the result of 3 photographers collaborating to shoot 4 girls that enjoy the pin-up style and 3 antique cars.

The photographers were David Haworth, Justin Ross and myself and the models were Thalia, Shona, Bec and Julia.  The cars were located at Grasmere near Camden and were owned by friends of David.

The cars were in daily use by their owners and they were happy to be given some photos that they could have framed for display.

Thalia

The above image of Thalia was one of my favourites from the shoot. Thalia is a qualified make-up artist and did all her own make-up.  If you would like to find out more you can contact Thalia on her Facebook page.

LeeLoo Loren

The photo above was my favourite from the shoot and Leeloo Loren (Julia) was definitely born in the wrong era!  She also looked after her own hair and make-up.

Shona Mercy

Since this shoot, Shona has stepped behind the camera and is really starting to make a name for herself as a photographer too. She now has a photography page on Facebook –  Miss Mercy Photography.  Shona’s make-up was by Carren Lee.

Bec Hardy

Bec Hardy looked like she had stepped back in time for the day and her make-up was by Carren Lee.

Blowing Kisses

It is not often that you get the opportunity to do a shoot like this so we made the most of it and shot until just before dark.  The owners of the cars even put on a great lunch for us!

Time for a Ride!

Shona & Bec

Shona – Miss Mercy

Bec Hardy

Shona – Miss Mercy

 

Bec (left) and Shona (right)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leeloo Loren

 

 

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