Thursday, March 13, 2014

Checking in

Wow, it's been a while since my last post and so much has happened.

At the end of 2013 I left my job at the university. Our department was downsizing due to restructuring, packages were offered, I applied for one and my offer was accepted.  I am missing my workmates and friends, and missing working in education, but I will be moving onto the next thing (be that education or other) soon.

Rather than take a new position right away I spent a while looking after my family, and on the 5th of March we welcomed a new arrival.

Welcome to the world son.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A change of perspective

It's been a while since my last blog post, apologies for that, life has been pretty busy.
I recently had the pleasure of taking my 3 year old daughter along to a photo walk. She had no instruction, and was able to take images of whatever she wanted.

The result was...
  • The walk for us went much much slower
  • We lasted a little over an hour into the walk
  • She came away with some fantastic images
Toddlers see the world from a vastly different viewpoint from adults, not only are they much lower down, but ordinary things, like shadows on the ground, or a discarded bottle are far more interesting. The sort of things which seasoned street photographers have retrained themselves to look for are more obvious to a toddler.

The images from the walk can be found in 2 albums, hers is here, and mine is here.

If you have kids, especially toddlers or pre-schoolers, then do this. Hand them a camera, show them how it works but not what to take, and let them go and do it. You may be surprised at what they come up with. If you do then I would be really interested to see the result.

And for the rest of us, try and get a different perspective on things, not just your physical viewpoint, but try and change how you see things, it makes for some interesting shots.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Silver and Cellulose

Having just picked up some images which was taken on 'old fashioned' film, I have been thinking about the differences between film photography and more modern digital shooting.

One thing which stands out is the success rate of shots on film is much much higher than similar shots on digital, so why is this?

Obviously, when there is a tangible dollar value for each click of the shutter there is a greater onus to 'get it right', there is also a limited number of shots per roll before having to reload.

All of this has the effect of forcing the photographer to 'slow down' and actually think properly about everything before committing the image to film. I have noticed a similar effect when shooting with a large, often heavy tripod. We often know what we should be doing, but digital is so cheap, so easy, so throw away, that clicking the shutter costs us nothing. We shoot first and think later and do often this means at end up actually missing the shot we were aiming for.

Thus far I have shot with Kodak Portra 400, and Fuju Velvia 50; both of which are vintage stock that have been frozen for something like 15 years. Both turned out well, and each has it's own unique feel.
The Velvia has fantastic contrast and very intense colours, the Portra is softer and has a subtler contrast and intensity.

Things I have learned...

  • E-6 processing is hard to find these days. Vanbar imaging did a fantastic job, I shall be returning there.
  • Some people will assume that you must be shooting digital, even though they see you winding on the camera after each shot.
  • Even though I know I am shooting film, sometimes I still look at the back of the camera after each shot. Film-chimping doesn't work terribly well for some reason.
  • No matter what you are shooting with, if you slow down, and think, before taking the shot, then your images will be better.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Google+ 2 year walk.

The 29th of June 2013 was the day that photo walkers world wide celebrated the 2nd anniversary of Google+ by doing what they do best, holding photo walks. As usual I participated in the Melbourne photo walk with the +Melbourne Photowalkers, and an epic day long walk split into 3 parts.

Part one started at the historic Astor theatre in Windsor, this saw the theatre full of photographers, then meandering up Chapel St. up to South Yarra Station.

Part 2 started at South Yarra Station and followed a winding route (which of course we saw more as guidelines and therefore completely ignored) to the Shrine of Remembrance. Due to a prior commitment I left the walk at this point, part 3 involved Albert park, beaches, and fire spinning.

Highlights of the walk included much street art; +Trace McLean and +George Darsas shooting each other out of windows; and an increase in the number of film shooters, as +Paul Pavlinovich+Hanna Silver, and myself all had old school film SLRs with us, although I did also have a DSLR. There were orbs to keep Orbaliciousness happy, and the usual food and refreshment stops with friends making sure that there was as much socialising as there was photography.

I have post processed a small selection of my shots so far, and will be adding more as they are completed, I may even remember to enter some of the competitions this time.

Once again, if you have never been on a Photo walk before I highly recommend it, and if you are in the Melbourne area we have a great one. Join the Melbourne Photowalkers Google+ Community and follow +Melbourne Photowalk on Google+ to keep updated, and get yourself along to the next walk.

Many thanks to +Paul Pavlinovich+Lady Fran W+Margaret Wong+Nat King+Chris Leighton, and +Paul Francis for organising, to the Astor for being so accommodating, and to all the regulars and newcomers for making this a very enjoyable walk. Apologies to anybody I have neglected to mention.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


I was looking through some old photos the other day and I found these 2, some early examples of me and a camera.

The first is dated 1984, making me about 8.

Photography had always been around, dad is a professional wedding and portrait photographer (now retired), and my brother Steve also took up photography as a professional. I grew up playing with everything from 35mm, through Medium format, and even some large format 5x4 photography, as well as studio setups and location shoots. I worked for a few years in the family studio before studying I.T. at university.

So in short, I can't actually remember when I started as it has just always been around, I learnt a whole bunch of stuff and played with a whole bunch of cool things, then got out of practice and forgot most of it. Then picked up again with digital and am enjoying being an amateur again.

Over to you photography friends, what is your background story, and how long have you been into Photography.

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