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:

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!