Sunday, December 18, 2011

Oops, i've been away

I know I said I was going to constantly update my blog, but i've been away.. and or busy. So therefore, I have a few photos to show for the few weeks I haven't updated for. So lets just get started and straight to the pics.

I can't even remember the order these photos were taken in, but I think this is probably one of the earlier ones this month. This guy had won (earned) a contract with some NRL training camp where he gets to be on their watch list and potentially play NRL. I don't know NRL so it's a pretty rough idea of what it really is. 

It's a pretty basic portrait, but what I like about it is the full body portrait, which is something i've been conscious about lately. I'd gone through a lot of my work in the past, and a lot of portraits I always cut off their feet at the ankles, or thighs, which has always annoyed me. Either shoot tight, or shoot the full body, so now I like the full body look and i'll try this for a while and see how it turns out. 2 light set up, set off with the SU-800. 1x high up near his face and the other one was down low near his legs, to the right which filled in a bit of light. THe original shot was too dark down there, so the light really makes the image pop out, just that extra bit. Other technical jargon - under exposed the background -1EV to make it a bit more dramatic.

This story was about an elderly couple, pictured, who were about to lose their house in Gladstone, as they can no longer afford the rising rental prices in this town. I had another shot where you could see that this guy had his arm chopped off, we ended up running that, but the lady had he hand under her chin, which made her look silly. So I am personally a bit conflicted between the 2 and which I like. I like this only cos she doesn't look as weird, but the one where his arm is chopped off adds more to the story. If it wasn't for the paper, i'd photoshop the 2 together.. bu I can't do that... Lighting setup, again, another light off camera to the right (you can see the shadow behind them) in hindsight i'd rectify that to make it less obvious, but, too late. Only 1 light and under exposed the BG (background) -1EV as per usual.

Another sad story about some girl who's Dr or something shortage.. wasn't paying attention.. but lighting was clamped onto the stairs above them, wide beam to illuminate a large portion of them, and underexposed the BG to add a more dramatic feel to the image.

Now this is where I forget which comes first, so i'm just gonna throw them all up and briefly explain them all.

These 2 are probably my favourite portraits i've taken for a very long time. why? its nothing special? perhaps, but I really like the lighting and the environment he's in, Combine it all together and it makes a really nice photo. This guy didn't want his photo taken, which was the news I got told before I went out and had to convince him to get his photo taken. Turns out he was pretty cool, he didn't mind, but I made his life easier by having these photos done in 30 seconds. I shit you not. I got there a little early and had time to set up, The car park was in a perfect spot where you could see the refinery in the background, which adds interest to the shot, and most importantly, where he would be standing is in shade, no stray light interfering with the flash or anything. Told him to stand there, 'click click click click' "All done mate. See ya later." And that was that.

Speedlight was on a tripod on the boot of the car, right to his face. Nice rembrandt lighting . Simple.

Not into fashion photography. I dread it. The thought of it makes me uneasy. Not because I can't shoot it and not because I'm shit at it.. I kind of am, but only because I don't know how to pose the models. As a doco shooter, you capture things in motion, as it happens before your eyes. Editorial portraits/Environmental portraits are one thing, but fashion.. *shudder* just cannot. SO with this shoot I really kind of struggled in posing her, making it look.. fashion-like. We were in a clothes store in Gladstone and I had one of the flashes clamped onto one of the rails to the left, set at about 24mm to let off a wide beam of light. I wanted to be different and experimented with the 50mm lens. Shot it at 1.8 which normally isn't a good idea, but I really wanted to have the focus only on my subject. In a perfect world i'd pull out the 70-200 @200mm, but with the 50mm I was already backed up against the wall. So basically this is the shot we got. I like the shadow infront of her caused from the window behind her.

P.S they ran this image on the Weekend liftout, which In ever knew existed.. shows how much I know about my own paper.. oops.. Here's how it looked.

Similar set up with this shot, but shot it with the 28-70 @ 28mm. Again, I had no ideas on how to pose this model, the only thing I could think of was 'movement' so I asked them to find a 'flowy' dress. Ended up with this. Turned out better than I thought. I'm happy.

Brief: Try not to buy pets for Xmas as people dump them. This is true, and it pisses me off when people throw away animals cos they are no longer able to look after them. Such a shame. Having 3 dogs and Cats, this was somewhat personal for me. I wanted the image to be sad, somewhat. I really wanted to have a photo of a dog behind the cage looking sad, but that would make the RSPCA look bad, so I went for a happy medium. They wanted a shoot outside in the garden with the dogs running around. Wasn't going to happen. That was too happy a photo. We went inside the dog cage and shot it like this. I wanted people to see the bars, the sterile colours and the concrete. This would emphasise the point I wanted to make. 'These dogs will end up back in jail if you dump them.' 1x Speedlight, high to the left @between 35-50mm to get a beam not too wide, as the flash was about 2m from them.

Kids, read more books! this is my interpretation of that brief. On the job slip it asked for library workers to pose for me, they all bailed so we (I) found some kids to be willing volunteers. I really wanted the DOF and line of focus to run down the books and end up on the kids, however the aisles weren't long enough so that didn't happen. Shot with 70-200 @200mm, 2x Speedlights above high and adjacent to each child set at 70mm to get a nice beam and create that light on the ground under them. I'd like the BG to be a bit darker.. or have some interest in the background, but I didn't and there isn't, but the image still looks nice IMO.

Real simple photo showing off some artists painting, I don't know why I like it. I just do. I like the ambient WB which is Orange, and how it contrasts with the cold white flash.

Simple dance rehearsal photo. Nothing to it. No flash, 70mm 1/125? @2.8, some stupid ISO, probably 8000. Could be wrong.. can't be bothered looking at the EXIF data, if you want to, by all means do so.

Had to take photos of people out and about in Gladstone and I always saw these kids riding around at the skate park. So me being me, I wanted to shoot it. And I did. I had a really cool idea of doing portraits of kids while another one did tricks in the BG. This is how they turned out sorta. With our portrait model I had 2x Speedlights @ 70mm, as it was BRIGHT afternoon sun, and it would need a lot focused light to overcome the sun and get a nice blue in the image.

This is how it was meant to look, but stupid kid looked away. But it's still cool.

Just some photo I liked.

Finally, there was sport, always shoot sport. I was going to upload more softball pics but they all look the same. This ones different cos she gets hit by the ball. I laughed.

So that's the end of my blog. It was a long one, and i'm tired from writing it.. hope you enjoyed it as it's been awhile. Anyway until next time, probably next next week. I'll see you then!

PS I graduated.

I used the Observer paper cos I thought it'd be a good laugh. The girls at work found my graduation photos and posted them all over the office, and they ALL loved the Observer paper in my hands. haha.


Monday, November 21, 2011

November 16-20

SO it was a pretty slow week this week. Nothing happened, well, nothing too exciting anyway. The week started with a few basic portraits with a lot of emphasis on Christmas and doing things leading up to the day.

This was a pretty simple story from the Salvation Army and how we should all adopt a family this year and give to those in need.. fluff.

Robb Kidd is the local DJ in Gladstone with Zinc radio. sorta like a rock station and such.. I personally haven't listened to it, maybe because its on AM, but it's pretty big around here. Our editor is on there every morning giving the morning news and telling Gladstone what's in the paper for the day. This was for Xmas/Movember.. more fluff.

Now some more interesting stuff. These are probably my favourite shots of the week. These kids are pretty talented. They're both 15 but are heading to the UK to participate in the EPL training academy or something along those lines. They'll be there for 2 weeks, representing QLD and hanging out with the pros and learning a few tips while there.

The lighting is pretty much the reason why I like the shots. The sun was in a nice position, low and behind the subjects, creating nice natural rim/hair light on them, which makes them jump out. I added 2 flashes to the right of them (our left) set them at 85mm and fired them both off at about 1/2 power, not too much, but enough to make them stand out and look quite natural. Shot it with the 70-200 at about 200mm to get the real nice bokeh and to isolate them from the background. Had originally started with the 28-70 but the look just wasn't there. Really like this shot. Technically anyway. Something i'll keep in my folio. 

Again the week included sports. Cricket. same old same old. Tried to try a few new things but in the end, all the same.

This was actually shot before Cricket, but I can't be bothered switching them around. So this story, was some 18 year old girl who has an online store and she's since become quite successful in Gladstone selling ladies clothing. Again used some off camera lighting again, definitely my favourite thing to do when I get the time. I like these editorial shoots as it gives me time to play with lighting and time to chat with the subjects and experiment. This was with 2 lights again, one to the left and one to the right. The one on the left was aimed at her back, to give a nice rim light around her hair and arms, while the other, aimed at her face to light up the other side.

Again, shot with the 70-200 at around f4. I've found that 2.8 can be a bit hit or miss and I don't have the luxury to reshoot images if they're soft or out of focus. Really should shoot 5.6 to be safe. but, hey, it's working for me now. 

Shot some ladies only tea party as well this week. Again used off camera lighting. Can't tell too much in this shot (which i like) but the lights are set up to the left, bouncing off the wall which gives a nice soft light around her and in the room. Very natural looking, but definitely adds to the image. 

They had a small fashion show. Nothing special. I just shot. Same lighting set up. nice soft light.  Now the coolest thing i've shot this week and for a long time was, believe it or not, remote control car racing. very, very cool. These things get up to 80km/h and they flew around this race track. Got some massive hang time as well, as you can tell in the images.

The first few shots were done with the long lens, got some nice tight isolating shots which really showed the cars flying through the air without too much distraction in the background. Eventually the shots all looked too similar, so I wanted to try something new and got onto the race track. Chucked on the 16-35, wide angle lens and did some pretty cool low angle stuff. I shot the SHIT out of this event. Ended up with about 500+ photos of these cars flying around, and they flew pretty close past my head. Big adrenaline rush! On the wide angle lens, things look a lot further away than what they really are. These cars would have been about 30cm away from the front of the lens, while flying through the air at speeds upwards of 60km/h. Really really cool stuff.

This one ended up on the front page. Who'd have guessed that RC racing would make it to the front page. Ha! The problem about shooting  really wide, was that the shallow Depth of Field that I usually use to isolate subjects became non existant. Everything becomes sharp, and shooting at 'safe f8' made everything from me to infinity, relatively sharp. The hard part was that the cars, if in the wrong place, can hide into the background and hard to distinguish. So the shots that really stood out are when the cars are contrast in the clear blue sky. 

Anyway. Definitely the coolest thing i've shot this week. Really got the heart pumping fast with all those cars flying around, dirt and dust being kicked up. real fun. So, that's the week. Hasn't been too exciting but work is work. They pay me to shoot. Gots to do it! Anyway, until next week, all the best. I'll leave you all with a picture of a dog named Jemima and some drunk girl tryna show me her boobs.. Because I can. 


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekly wrap up.

Like I promised, i'd keep my blog more up to date now, since i've got a lot to shoot and no lack of motivation. So whats been happening in Gladstone this week?

Started the week with the standard R1 portrait (readers first) it's apparently an APN term which essentially means "take a photo of someone that the readers will relate to."

This guy, who owns a fishing charter company in Gladstone is feeling the pinch and loss of business due to the Gladstone harbour and sick fish fiasco. He runs his business out in the reefs, away from all the sick fish and dirty water and basically wanted his photo in the paper to say "Hey where I take you is safe!"

Remembrance day was a pretty big thing in Gladstone this week an quite a sombre experience. Not sure exactly why, but I guess it had something to do with all the old diggers standing around, the laying of the wreaths and some lady singing really opera-like sad songs, all added to the experience.

This is my favourite shot of the day. This old fella who's obviously seen some pretty horrific things in his life, seeing many of his friends die and maimed for this country. He slowly waddled up to the statue, lay his wreath and gave a salute. A great gesture to those who never made it home. Luckily for me, this made front cover. Editor was happy. Can't ask for too much more than that. I was summoned to her office where she told me the good news, after thinking "shit what have I done now.." 

We do a section called 'Me and My Ride.' essentially, people showing off their cars and fancy stuff like that. This week to my surprise and excitement we didn't shoot a car. We shot....

A 100 tonne crane. Really nice guy and really fun to shoot. I've been sneaky and been using my own gear to shoot for the past few weeks. Not that there's anything wrong with the D300s.. well there is.. but.. I've been so comfortable using my gear and at the end of the day.. I'm working towards my folio. Not going to give up an image for nobody! 

Been playing with a lot of flash lately and in this image I stuck a flash on the passengers side and set it off with the SU-800 Commander unit. You might be able to see the flash going off on the LHS. 

The weekend came and with that brings more sport, this week I went back to softball, but this time it was a higher grade and man, these girls can play. They got really into the game as well. Won't bore you with too many softball images, they're all similar to last weeks ones any way, but i'll show you this one. Which I fluked. Wasn't paying attention and then all of a sudden. Screaming and yelling. swing the 70-200 f2.8 across and machine gun away. Luckily a few frames were in focus and I got a usable enough shot. Shame about the white balance though. 

Which brings us to today.. nothing too exciting, except I got to go to my first house fire. House was already extinguished by the time we got there, but got a few good shots. This being the favourite of the series. 

And this picture will be front page for tomorrows paper =] happy days. I've finally started getting a few front pages that i'm happy with! 

Anyway that pretty much sums up my adventures in GLA this week. Hope you've enjoyed seeing what I do and the people that live in this town! I forgot to add in a picture last week from Gladstone's cup week, which i'll leave you all with to look at and enjoy. Until next week.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sorry for being away.. but..

I've gotten a job as a photojournalist, for those who don't know. Bit the bullet and made my way up north to QLD where i now live shooting news everyday. Do I love it? definitely!

It has always been a goal in my life to pursue a career in photography, better yet, photojournalism. It's been a busy few weeks and I must say, getting paid to shoot everyday is better than I ever thought it' be.

It's only been 5 weeks since i've started this new job, but its gone by so fast. My first few days were pretty nerve racking and the pressure of performing and impressing editors and co workers was a big thing. But luckily (I guess) they knew I came from RMIT and had tertiary training in photography and let me do a lot of things my own way, which I really appreciated. TO see my name for the first time in print was something quite special and I guess i'll never forget that feeling.

 Anyways, here's just a small sample of what i've been up to.

Having graduated from RMIT and learning all the things that i've learnt, I must admit it has made a difference.. 12 months ago had you of asked me, i'd have said no.. RMIT was just an excuse to go to uni and get a degree in a craft anyone can do.. But you'd be surprised how much you seem to remember when you're out and about. Obviously i'll get better as I go, but the fundamentals are there. 

But back to the photos.. As you can see, there is a wide variety of different photos ranging from my first ever car crash (non fatal) and a wide variety of sports and environmental portraits. I got crucified back home for having a lack of sports photography in my portfolio but i'm glad to say this is now a problem of the past. I'm getting more creative and going back to my love of using external flash during my portraits, which is something I want to maintain and keep a certain look to the images which i've been so used to shooting.

Hopefully, now that i've got a lot to shoot, i can keep this blog more updated than what I have this past year.. such a shame.. anyways. until then.