Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Lansdowne Jam

Every Monday night in Sydney a bunch of my friends head out to the Lansdowne Hotel to hang out, drink, and play together - I guess it's like our industry night - time where we can catch up on who's doing what. Daniel Goodacre aka "Danny G Felix" runs the night, accompanied by some very heavy muso's, playing a variety of soul, funk, hip hop, bit of jazz, reggae. Primarily though what I love about it is that music is music, and many of the musicians who come have very different muscial backgrounds, but all come together to listen and play. If you're a muso (or even not!) and not doing anything on a Monday night this IS the place to be!

Luckily enough for me the Lansdowne called me up to take some snaps of the band to help them promote Monday Jams - here are a few of them from last night.

The Lansdowne

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Botanical Statments website launch

A couple months ago I did a shoot for Tracy Hughes and her company "Botanical Statements". I was fortunate enough to shoot her product, it was a great learning experience for me.

Today she launches her website, take a look, I'm sure you will be impressed with her creations as much as I was, check them out here:


Like them here on Facebook

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dave Jackson photoshoot

The other day a good mate of mine Dave Jackson calls me up looking for some new promo photos for himself and his band, I was more than happy to help out a mate and spent a couple hours taking some new images for his profile. Dave was looking for a tunnel to shoot in and I suggested we go to this cool little tunnel tucked away in Glebe, and it turns out it was exactly what both of us were looking for.

Dave is an incredible saxophonist and can be found deep seeded in the Sydney Jazz scene, in 2009 he was one of the finalists at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival National Jazz Awards, you can find out more about Dave at his website: www.davejacksonmuic.com

Dave gave me permission to put up some of my work for my blog and I'm very happy to share these with you - most of these shots were achieved with one flash and a little bit of colour manipulation in Lightroom, to give it a darker, edgy kind of look…

Friday, October 14, 2011

Dasein: The Art of Being - Chase Jarvis

Please take 7 1/2 minutes out of your day and do yourself a favour. Watch. This. Video.

I know I go on and on about Chase Jarvis, but he really is a visionary for the modern artist. So many of my thoughts on photography align with his concepts and philosophy - if you are someone who is an artist whether it is music, photography, art, dance - it all makes sense when you realise that creativity is the key to our lives.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Magic Hour

Every day there is somewhere in the world where without fail there is a phenomenon photographers like to call "magic hour" or "golden hour" (I like to use the term magic hour because golden hour just sounds too much like golden shower...) This is basically where the sun gets ready to set and the afternoon light gives off a golden hue, which also happens in the morning at sunrise - it's a great time for photos but can be as cheesy as sepia if it isn't done well. 

This continues on my unashamed obsession with light - I love it!

Good spots in Sydney for magic hour:

- Spit Bridge, Mosman - yeah just ridiculously good. 

- Parramatta Road, Camperdown-you can position the sun in a way where all the traffic goes into silhouette - try a fast shutter for this one.

- Kent St side of the city - really interesting shadows cast on buildings

- The old bridge at Northbridge - I don't know how good that is yet, dying to do a fashion 
shoot there though!

- The airport?? I haven't tried yet but I reckon you'd get something cool there... 

Try mixing some flashes in for interesting results! 

Hunter Valley sunset

Friday, October 7, 2011

You frustrate me because...

I did say at the very beginning of writing this blog that I would share with you the ups and downs of my experiences in being a photographer, today's will be a downer - so if you're not into getting depressed I suggest you look away and wait till the next blog which will be much happier haha.

Today I took a breather. I wanted to have a look around at what's going on around me, who's doing what etc etc. It just makes me think though how many others are doing the same thing as me. Sitting on youtube, watching tutorials, listening to other people's opinions, reading other people's blogs.

Photography is an immensely popular past time. So I guess for me it feels like sometimes photography is something we ALL do and love - as much as I love producing images I feel like there are literally thousands of others who have been there before or are experiencing what I am doing now.

So what makes me different from the rest of you? Nothing. I get so insanely jealous and critical of other people's work that it totally does my head in. What is that? Why can't I just be happy holding my camera and making the images that I see? What is this incessant need I have that I have to do something no one has ever seen - and when does that outweigh who I really am as a photographer? When do my images that are 'iconically' me stop being me and when do they start being photos for the sake of exploring new boundaries or pushing new limits. I know that most of my ideas and thoughts have been done before, I just mean the inner struggle of what it means to be a good photographer that has his/her own style/brand.

My honest feelings are that I am no where near where I want to be. I also honestly feel like I am hindered by my gear - I am shooting on a D300s with 50mm 1.8's and 35mm 1.8's when I should be shooting on full frame bodies with 35mm and 85mm 1.4's and a nice 14-24 2.8. But then I read the pro's blogs and they say that equipment is bullshit… Here we have a society driven by consumerism telling everyone you need the best gear to make the best images (Even Nikon said it last week on facebook - "a photographer is only as good as the equipment he uses" ?!? Who says that?!?)  - then you have the pros saying all you need is an iPhone.

So what is it? I was supposed to have a day of relaxation and all it has ended up in is frustration. I'm frustrated by the thousands of different views by so many people, professional, amateur, beginner. I'm frustrated by the overflow of online forums and galleries where people post hundreds of photos per minute in a hope that we get a lucky break somewhere. I'm VERY frustrated by the camera companies who mislead people into believing that anyone can be a photographer if you buy their gear. I myself find this very blog disheartening because I only have 3 people subscribing to it and actually wonder whether anyone reads this at all. I'm not looking for a guilt trip, I'm just venting! ;)

What I find terribly frustrating is a very clear line in the sand between professional and amateur. The pros are more than ever so guarded about their profession because of the overflow of amateurs now entering the arena to take on the older boys and girls. I don't know what it's like for the rest of the world but in Sydney, well, Australia, I have no pros to aspire to, no one is as willing to talk and share like people like Chase Jarvis or Zack Arias or Jasmine Star. There is no one like that here in Australia.

With all of these people, pro, amateur, popular, unkown, where do I fit into all of this? Where do I sit? Pro? Amateur? I don't know. No professional recognises what I do - I have no status in the pro photographer's world yet. So when do I stop pushing my shameless self-promotion in people's faces just to get recognised? Where does all the noise stop and my photography is about me and no one else? That is probably my greatest frustration. The amount of crap I hear from all sides and not enough ENCOURAGEMENT. Too much biased opinion and not enough critical thinking. You cannot even begin to understand the amount of loneliness I feel from my peers. That alone makes me wonder if it's all worthwhile - it's all good when friends tell you great things, and I appreciate that so much, but other people who are photographers telling you that you are or you aren't on the right track - it helps so immsensly…

Ok vent/winge over. Sorry I put everyone through that!

And in celebration of taking shit images, here is one from my plethora of shit stock. Enjoy... or not. 
this was 3 months ago - crappy, grainy, random focus, badly composed, badly lit shot.
Dont worry I slapped myself after...

Monday, October 3, 2011

A couple mates, bbq, beer, and a wading pool…

Today I got together with a bunch of very talented mates who have a band called the sax summit, who needed some press photos, check out their site:

These guys are serious about having a good time, and they have been gracious enough to let me show you a few images from the shoot, so here's a tiny sneak peek!! Many thanks to the boys for their creative and bold input, and thanks to Gin for being an amazing assistant! 

These are just very quick and rough lightroom/photoshop edits so excuse the quality for now, I'll publish the finished product next week, enjoy! 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Things I suck at Part III - telling a story - Chaos at the Carousel

One thing I suck at is trying to add depth to my photography. Trying to tell a story from 1 image seems to be a rather difficult for me - I love seeing interesting things but trying to make a story out of them is what I feel seems to be lacking.... anyway, so I found an interesting topic to cover last night.

Last night Gin and I were flying back to Sydney from Melbourne, amidst all of the Qantas debacle that was. Strikes from ground crew, wet weather unseen for Melbourne this time of month for almost 100 years. All of it was a mixture for disaster, Gin and I were lucky to even be on a flight as many were turned away being told to come back in the morning for a connecting flight. The result was chaos at the carousel - 4 Qantas flights landing late, along with 2 flights grounded with returning luggage and over 1,500 people searching for answers, I hope at least some of these images convey some kind of reflection on last night...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Nikon releases "NIKON 1" Intelligent camera system

So nikon have just announced their new range of cameras to go up against the interchangeable likes of the Sony NEX range, Panasonic GF's etc etc. As exciting as this is for NO ONE (except all the people that think this type of camera will make them better photographers because you can change the lens on a point and shoot) there is a silver lining…

- It comes with an EXPEED 3 processor
- It can shoot at 60fps (electronically) and 5fps motor-driven (yeah no biggie my d300s does 8fps) but the electronic fps is interesting…
- A new 73-point focus system
- HEAPS of different movie modes with full HD
- The claim to have the world's fastest auto focus (not sure about that one… I guess so if you say so!)

These are major advances for Nikon and things could be looking very good for the next range of Nikon pro dslr's which are going to be released in the next 6 months or so… fingers crossed!

I just wish Nikon would bring out an electronic rangefinder that competes with the Fuji X100 pictured below - THAT I would buy!


Recently I've been having sleepless nights, and I'm not sure what the problem is, but I'm thinking that maybe I should take advantage of this... Once again tonight was a sleepless night, and with a plethora of work to do I got out of bed and ended up where I am now, doing work at Maisey's cafe in Neutral Bay.

I had an idea last night that whenever I get into bouts of, well, for lack of a better word, insomnia, I should take advantage of this moment and go out on little night time adventures with my camera, see what I can find at 4am in the morning during the week. I am indeed a creature of the night at the moment, so why not document something out of it instead of loathing about the shit fact I can't sleep?

Have you had any weird notions or delusions of grandeur? I do, all the time, sad thing is 90% of the time they remain in my head, and never eventuate, like many of you I guess... sometimes I wish I had an off switch for my brain!

Peace. Out.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Who needs a DSLR? Part II

Only 4 days ago I discovered the wonderful world of Instagram, of course I am not the first - it has become such a cult following and I fought against the urge for so long, but now I'm hooked. It further solidifies the argument that you don't need an expensive camera to make good photos. It's a good way to "practice" things like composition without the need for lugging heavy cameras around, since instagram I am taking more photos and getting my photography practice in without having to make such a big deal of it. WIN I think...

Here are some links to great professional photographers who use their iPhones and instagram to produce some really cool work:

Chase Jarvis
Zack Arias (click on the "Instagram" link)
Sion Fullana

Here's some of mine from last weekend:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Nic Jeffries Album Launch

Last Sunday I was privileged to be shooting Nic Jeffries' album launch at the Basement. It was an amazing turnout, packed audience to hear such a gifted young musician. Here is but a very small selection of shots from last Sunday. Many thanks to the Basement staff who didn't let me stay in one spot too long ;)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Help me select my new promo photos!!

As most of you know I am also a musician, and in that capacity I need photos to help promote my business as a solo artist. I REALLY don't like being in front of the camera, but I have to do it if I want to keep my dirty little photography habit going…

SO I'll leave a link on the bottom of this post, and you can go and have a look at my facebook page to have a look at the final 19 images I've selected. I'm trying to cull it down to three or four, so 'like' the pics you like out of that set - and the most liked images out of that set will go towards my promo images!

These were all taken with my camera and set up by me, just 1 grid spot taken in the lobby of my apartment, taken by my friend Erin Crawford, you can check out her awesome photos of Antarctica here.

here is the link to the photos: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.170967652970621.41760.104005656333488

Thanks for playing!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Playing with light Pt. II

This is not so much playing with light, well, it is a bit…

The more I delve into this newly found passion I have the more light interests me, rather than photography. So I guess in essence, "playing with light" as I have titled REALLY just means "experimenting with light" and various light sources. Kudos to Robert Lee for his CLS skills (sorry I stole your idea mate!) and to Keren Dobia for her tuition!

So last weekend I played at the Argyle, as I do every Saturday night (come down, it's fun!) and thought I'd take a few shots of Phil Hudson, the "Godfather" (baha). SO I thought I'd try a few different things with 2 speedlights and a set of pocket wizards to see if I can make something a little more unique than your everyday run of the mill "DJ in a club" shot.

f/8.0    1/5 sec    ISO1000
LENS: 10-24mm 3.5-5.8
POST: slight increase in blacks and saturation
This is a trick Keren Dobia taught me, put your flashes on a high power, with slow shutter, then your ambient light will blur and the flash will freeze the shot! Here I twisted the camera while holding the zoom on the lens still to get a tunnel of rings.  The flashes are two SB 900's used in CLS mode. Robert Lee is the MASTER of using two sometimes three speedlights to light up DJ's - say hi to him at Ivy on Saturday night! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Things I suck at, part 2. Street Photography continued

So it has come to note that some people may think I'm being a bit too harsh on myself, I probably agree with you - I am a bit harsh, but I think I have mislead you all with the premise of the argument.

On a philosophical level I don't feel like I have street photography down to where I can say, yeah, "I'm good at it" I feel like there is so much to learn, and going out on my walk tonight revealed to me how much I still have to learn, so in that regard, yes, for now, I still suck at street photography. As Zach Arias so eloquently put it "Everybody sucked at one point."

So the other side of this is the stuff that I know, doing things that are not necessarily ground breaking, but abstract and/or interesting. I find that so much easier to shoot because it doesn't involve directly pointing a camera at someone.

But I still stand by my statement, street photography is something I suck at, only because I feel like there are so many questions to be asked - it such a subjective area, as is art - what interests me may be absolute shit to you, so what then? What makes what I shoot right? Is my image still a worthy image if there is no real intent behind it? What if I take a shot that I look at and someone on here says "this is the most incredible work I've ever seen!" Yes, highly unlikely I know. How can I truly be honest about my work when I don't really know what I'm doing (in terms of street photography).

How do I know if asking these questions before you see the images is going to change your view and opinion on these images?

Sometimes all I want in the world is to take photos, but it's the questions that I have aforementioned that hinder my experience - it's quite frustrating but I guess any artist goes through that type of thing, I have the same blocks as a jazz musician.

Enough questions now pictures.

So I like throwing off the perspective with my abstract stuff. Twisting it diagonal, turning it upside-down, turning it sideways... Is it wrong? I dunno, but it works in my mind:

Things I suck at, part 1. Street Photography

So I thought today I might head out for a walk, and maybe walk into the city, bring my camera, take some photos of stuff that I find interesting...

DAMN that's hard. I found myself so preoccupied in my mind of what to take that I wasn't really taking anything of real relevance. I found myself in positions where I would question the moment, then walk away thinking "I should have taken that shot - it was a moment right in front of my eyes and I didn't capture it right then and there" Case in point after the break:

Friday, June 10, 2011

Playing with light

So last weekend I went out to see some mates play, their area of expertise is mainly dance music and thought this could be an opportune time to show you some stuff I have been playing around with long exposures and on camera flash.

Most of these shots you see are set to a slow shutter of about 1-2 seconds, blurring most things, with the on camera flash set to burst thus capturing the subject completely still. It's a great effect I never get sick of...

I have also been inspired by JJ Abrams' use of lens flare on his movies, so I've been experimenting with a bit of backlight, as you can see in some of the following :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Graduation Day!

My girlfriend Virginia had her graduation from her music education course last week, of course I had to bring my camera, so here are a few little keepers for you to check out! Happy graduation Gin! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Who needs a DSLR?

So many people have asked me "what gear are you using"? with the implication that having good gear makes good photos.

Chase Jarvis coined the phrase "the best camera is the one that's with you" and has developed an online ecosystem of users submitting photos developed from their iphones.

This theory that you don't need a pro level camera to take good photos is something I have been testing out lately and it has made me more aware of the sheer fact that photography is all about what we see and interpret, it's a way to capture our thoughts visually and share those with everyone.

Here is some of my own stuff taken on my iphone, enjoy!

more after the break...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

In tradition...

In the Filipino tradition they have 40 days of mourning, which involve prayer on the first night, then prayer every Sunday until the 40th day, of which there is a final prayer and then celebration. Here is some of the pics from the final night. Thanks to everyone who have messaged me privately with their condolences and words of support and love. Mum has since gone back to Philippines to be with her brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and cousins for a bit of R&R - something that is definitely needed. This blog ends my series on the tribute to my father, I hope that I can carry his spirit and his legacy of love for art through my photography and through my music. Thanks for reading :)

Final prayer 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Prayers and Preparations

Over the last two weeks I along with my family and friends have been helping to prepare my dad's funeral, here are some images from the preparations and evening prayer sessions held at my mother's house in Frankston. Thank you to all who helped in the preparations, and to all the people who played and participated in the funeral service. It was a beautiful, unique service, full of music and love, with a special appearance from our family friend Gil Askey, who put a New Orleans style twist at the end of the service playing trumpet and singing "what a wonderful world" and "When the Saints Go Marching In". My dad would have been so happy.

My Dad's remembrance table, surrounded in flowers sent from friends

more after the break

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Michael Matthews - a tribute

Michael Matthews - musician, artist, loving husband and caring father passed away last Saturday night in my home town of Frankston, Victoria. So much of who I am today can be solely accredited to my father's influence. I was brought into this world surrounded by a man who appreciated good music, and fine art. He could sing like Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Perry Como, and so many other crooners, he loved country music, played the guitar.

In his early 20's he used to use medium-format cameras and take photos for magazines, something I didn't know until my own passion for photography became apparent, and I gave him my old Nikon D60 for him to play around on. He took it to europe with my mother last year before he was once again diagnosed with cancer. As devastating this loss is to my family I would like to honour him on this blog by presenting you with a small series of images I made for him in the last 2 years just before he got sick. I love my father, and I hope you get the sense of this through these images. 

Thank you for passing your passion on to me. I could never repay the gift you have given me. I love you dad.  

Please feel free to click on any image to see a larger version.

more images after the break

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lens Dilemma

I am thinking of buying a new lens. Everyone says get a 24-70 2.8... I feel more inclined to go an 85mm 1.4, a little bit cheaper than a 24-70 2.8 or I can go relatively dirt cheap and go a 85mm 1.8... 

I currently have a 35mm 1.8 and 50mm 1.8 and love them both, but I'm finding myself being distractive and obtrusive rather than in the distance. If I was to shoot a wedding or a corporate I would think the 85mm would be far away enough to be out of the way and allow the event to flow... Plus an 85mm 1.4 would be great for gigs... I love shooting with primes, they're just good! 

What an incredibly nerdy boring blog, I need to shake it up with a photo. Here. A shot I took on my last shoot:

No Photoshop, no Lightroom, the file is straight off the camera. Taken on a 35mm 1.8. That is the very reason why I love prime lenses. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Plug a Mate Mondays! no.2

Keren Dobia

Kez and I met through a great Melbourne drummer that was studying with me at the Sydney Con, she was a keen photographer and took a lot of shots of us muso's back in the day. Fast forward 4 years later and she has blossomed into an professional photographer, with incredible award-winning images. She has also been instrumental on a number of occasions for giving me rock-solid advice, which in turn has helped me develop my understanding and style of photography.

A notable body of work she has produced is a series of reworked fairytales, from Goldilocks to the The Little Mermaid. When I was in Melbourne last year I got a little tour of her exhibition in Malvern and saw these works first hand. The immense amount of detail put into these works is extraordinary, and I recommend you check it out!

See Keren's website here

Monday, February 14, 2011

plug a mate Mondays!

On Mondays I think I'm going to start a regular series of plugs for other photographers. Sharing photos should come from every level of photography - whether you are beginner, seasoned pro, or somewhere in between, everyone has a perspective and it would be incredibly stupid and arrogant of me to ignore other photographers and the work they have to share with us as well.

Angelo Sgambati - http://www.angelosgambatiphotography.com/

I was playing at my residency last Saturday night at the Argyle when I happened to run into a particular individual, his name is Angelo Sgambati, and I used to play with him back in the day at Cargo Bar (word!). So I find out that he himself has become a photographer and everyone should really have a look at his work, a fantastic fusion of originality, beautiful lighting and proficient technical ability. Check out his compelling series on the Kokoda Trail - awesome!

"I'm articulate, sarcastic and charismatic. I'm animated, eccentric and artistic. I'm loud, inappropriate and juvenile. I'm original, real and unique. I'm a creator, a thinker and a daydreamer. I don't do things how they are meant to be done, I do things my way. I don't make sense, I have a purpose. This is my life, its not what it is, it's what i make of it. I'll never stop dreaming, I'll never stop loving and I'll never stop living..."

check it out! 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

a couple of mates and a couple of flashes...

Ok, so I'm a little bit excited about the shoot I just did with a couple of my mates, Phil and Paz. Have a look at these - do you think they were done in a studio?

If you said yes then think again! I took them in my hallway at home, blew out the background to pure white with 2 flashes, with a softbox in front. NIICE! Here tis below.

My First Ever Blog!

Hello out there!

So many people have been pushing me to start a blog about my photography so here I am biting the bullet...

I have now been making photos for people for 10 months now, on my Nikon D300s and it has been such a crazy journey to get to where I am now. I know it's such a long road ahead of me thought but in my mind I know it's worth it, in my mind seeing the end results of my work give me great personal satisfaction - something that was always hard to with my music (I'm also a bitter jazz musician who turned to the dark side of house music to make money hee hee).

anyways, I guess this is about my photography and you need to see proof of that, so here is a few shots from a shoot I did last night of a mate of mine in Sydney.

If you have any comments or criticisms I would love to hear them - it's what makes me become better at what I do!! Ciao for now!