Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I seem to go missing a lot.

Sorry guys and those who happen to gaze upon my blog from time to time. I said earlier in the year that I would be more consistant with my blog postings, as you can see, it's been a lie.. i've been AWOL for a few weeks.. more than a few really, but it's been a really busy 5-6 weeks lately. I've shot a LOT and i'll try to give you all a glimpse of all the good stuff from this busy period.

The majority of my shoots these past few weeks have been the Title fight boxing match we had in Gladstone, which i'll get around to uploading soon, as well as Harbour Festival - pretty much the biggest thing in Gladstone. I'll get to those in a second, got to start from the start and before all that!

Kids athletics. I wanted to try something different and shoot it at a low angle and really show off the clear blue skies and the kids jumping in the air. I had a few typical telephoto shots which i didn't like that much, they just looked like every other sports photo out there. I really like wide angle photos and i've been using it for nearly everything lately, even sports.

A few weeks ago there was the shave for a cure campaign that i'm sure most of you are aware of. This girl who managed to raise over $3000 in over two weeks shaved all her hair off as well, all for a good cause.

Hard enough having to shave all your hair off, but to have to do infront of the whole school, that takes some real guts.

My favourite photo from the day, capturing real emotion and feeling within the frame. After she shaved her head she ran to her best friend and gave her a big hug.

There isn't too much to this photo, I just like it. This is the President of the Aviary and Bird Society of Gladstone, can't remember the name exactly, but it's something along those lines. He's just feeding this little budgerigar with a spoon which I found really cute. I was experimenting with a light modifier i had made with my flash, where i basically get a bit of black felt and mask off the unnecessary stray light that comes from my flash and direct it against a wall that creates nice soft light. ie. in this photo.

So by this point I think i've skimmed through most of the stuff before Harbour Festival, which like i said before is one of the biggest events in Gladstone. It runs for about a week and it has fete rides, showbags, fireworks, food etc etc. Basically like the Melbourne show, but with a large emphasis on the Harbour and water. To be honest, I kind of expected more, but i guess coming from Melbourne, it's hard to compare. Apples and Oranges, but not to say i didn't have fun, it really was good fun.

There were fireworks on most nights which was good to go and explore different angles and vantage points for shooting fireworks. This is along the mouth of the harbour, I'll try and find the other photos I took and post them up next time.

Like a lot of events there was a lot of music and a lot of performances. These next few photos are a mixture of Battle of the Bands, Youth Talent Quest, Talent Quest, Australian Artists such as Adam Harvey, Kate Cook from Australian Idol, Liam Burrows from Australia's Got Talent and other great shows such as the Buddy Holly musical.

I'd never had too much experience shooting concerts or live shows but I quite like it. It's damn hard with the shifting lights, those damn coloured lights which cause nasty colours and bleed out the images HARD. Trying to meter in these conditions is also pretty tricky, most of the shooting i did was with the spot meter, just to make sure their faces weren't blow out but also trying to balance the ambient lighting in the background as well. Turned alright I reckon.

Of course besides the music there are rides and fun stuff, kids having fun, riding rides, parents paying $10 a ride.. thats right.. $10 a ride.. damn.. Makes the Melbourne show look cheap as.. But good on them. What I enjoyed about shooting Harbour Festival was the freedom to shoot some more candid documentary styled photos, no more posing, standing there socials. I've always been a believer in candids and think they would sell a hell of a lot more than just socials.

For the past 5 weeks I haven't used my 28-70 at all. I mean, not even once. The last time I used it was during the boxing title fight, that was the 17th of March. Why I haven't used it I don't exactly know. 28mm is a nice focal length on the full frame but I guess i'm just a sucker for really wide angles. I've been using the 16-35 - although limiting to a degree in terms of f-stop and focal length, i've seem to make do with it. Moving in closer to a subject if need be to get that 'shot' I reckon the close you are to the subject, the more connection you feel with them. really dig it. Most of the shots below are 16-35 except the girl in the train. 50mm 1.4. love that lens too, just EATS light, paired with the D3s..

This last photo is one of my favourites, it's not 100% sharp, but given the situation I was in, where the only light to light her up was some very dim stage lights and the projector light from behind, i think it turned out quite nicely. Luckily for me she didn't move for the 1/3rd of a second i needed to expose this.

I shot the shit out of harbour festival, i think in the 5 days it ran for i would have easily shot over 3000 photos. definitely not good. Coming back from my holiday and being "out of it" for 12 days coming back to shoot was a lot harder than I thought. Before I left i would shoot the bare minimum. Shoot about 10 -12 frames per sitting, making editing a lot easier when time is tight. My first day back, shot nearly triple that. Must've been the nerves.

Last few days I had my first real adventure since being at the Gladstone Observer. I was called up at 9am on my day off and told to meet at the airport for a fatal that had happened on the highway. Immediately I lept out of bed and raced on down to the airport. I had the opportunity to sit in a little prop plane and fly over the crash site and take some snaps. Unfortunately It was a fatal, but on a photographic stand point. It was fun.

The life we live as news shooters is full of contradictions and juxtapositions. One's pain and suffering is good footage for us..

Head on with a fuel tanker at 100km/h never ends well. I would have loved to have been on the ground for this shoot, but being in a plane is still a good fun adventure. While I was up there I had to photograph a bulldozer that fell into a hole at the coal terminal. This was a nicer story. No one died.

I really enjoy shoots where I have time to play around and experiment. This shoot was for the front page where we needed shots of these girls to promote the new hockey ground that we have in Gladstone. $1mil + field.

I had a few stock standard shots of the girls together and if I was pushed for time, I would have left it at that. Luckily for me, it was the last shoot of the day so I could sit around and play with some ideas that I wanted to experiment with. I used the D300s for these photos and set up my wireless flashes behind the girls and fired them when the girls swung for the ball. The reason I had the flashes behind my subject was that I used the sun as my main light source - their face side. The light from behind is quite subtle, but noticeable enough. The lights just ensure they are not in complete shadow on the dark side.

I stood behind the net - for safety reasons - as they fired some hockey balls at me. The only direction I gave them was. "Aim for me, it'll look better." If i go back and shoot pro hockey players, i'll definitely use this technique again.

Alright, i'm nearly finished with this post! just a few more photos and you should be up to date.. should be..

I've never shot in a cemetery before, I would never have had the guts to do so, but that's exactly what I did last week. They had a cemetery walk as part of the Genealogy Society and basically people went around learning about some of the people who once lived in GLadstone. I must say I kind of did enjoy it. It was a real real challenge to try and shoot and more importantly, get correct exposure in a cemetery that has ZERO lights except for stray ambient street lights and the flash lights they walkers were carrying.

I quickly snapped this shot as the girl turned and was reading the tombstone in front of me.

Again, 16-35 f4, which kinda sucks in these situations, kinda wish I had the 17-35 f2.8 sometimes, but I think Vibration Reduction is more valuable than 1/2 a stop of light. I'll make do, it's worked for me so far. As you can see. The D3s eats light. Love it.

Sport, yeah stock standard.

And to finish off, kids playing with bubbles! ok.. that is about it.. that was a long post.. took me 2hours to write it.. granted, i've been piss farting around..

Alright, hope you all enjoy, i'll get those boxing photos up soon, but before I leave, i'll give you a bit of a teaser..


Until next time (hopefully not too long)