Announcing a 1 Day Intensive Seascape Workshop

29 04 2009

workshop-banner12Hey folks

Lately I’ve had a number of people enquire about whether they can get some formal training on the way I capture and process my seascape images.  I’ve done a couple of one-on-one lessons which went down well, so now I am planning an intensive 1 day workshop that will cover all aspects of seascape photography from equipment, planning, the capture, and post processing of your images.  I will be sharing all my tips, tricks and secrets that I have accumulated over the past 5 years of shooting seascapes.

I’m going to limit the number of spaces to keep this group small.  So if you want more information or would like to view the workshop agenda, please go to this page.


Took Part In a Cool Workshop This Weekend…

27 04 2009

Oat in Action

On Saturday I spent the day with Oat and Nelson on their Off-Camera-Flash workshop.  Now this was definitely something different for me… a devout landscaper.  However it’s been something that I’ve been watching with interest for a while… in fact ever since Oat (aka HangingPixels) went to the “dark side” and crossed from being a landscaper into a photographer that photographs chicks in their underwear.

When I turned up clutching my tripod like a security blanket, it wasn’t long before these staunch Canon shooters started paying out on the “Nikon Guy”.  However this didn’t phase me…  those Canon guys can jibe me all they want….  water off a duck’s back!


Nelson strutting his stuff

Anyway, what can I say about the workshop… it was fantastic.  Nelson (aka NellyPro) and Oat really know their stuff, and after browsing their portfolio’s, their experience in off-camera-flash was very apparent.  I totally enjoyed the day.  Not only did they de-mystify off-camera-flash, but the location shoots were a blast and made me really want to start experimenting a bit more with this type of shooting.

The ballet dancer (Emma) that I photographed a few weeks back has agreed to come out on location and do some modelling with me, so I have some pretty clear ideas of how I would like to incorporate off-camera-flash into my landscape and night photography work.  Watch this space.

In the meantime,  for any of you Aussie photographers, if you are at all considering a workshop to improve your skills,  then I would highly recommend this workshop. If you want to reach these guys you can email Oat or email Nelson.

Check out this video that I made of the day.  This should give you a feel for the fun we had on Saturday.

The Best Photography Book I’ve Ever Read

19 04 2009

joesbookI recently was loaned a copy of Joe McNally’s first book “The Moment It Clicks”.  I’m sure many of you have already read this book, however for those of you that have not read it, I highly recommend it.  It is without a doubt the most enjoyable and inspiring photographic books I have read.   I loved the way you can pick it up, just read a few pages and totally enjoy each page for the story that was conveyed on it.

I am now making my way through Joe’s second book “The hot shoe diaries” which is all about off camera flash lighting.  It is written in the same style as The Moment It Clicks, however it is getting more technical and educational.  I am still loving his new book, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless the reader really wanted to start experimenting with strobist lighting… then it’s a must.

Here’s a link to Scott Kelby’s interview with Joe McNally about his book.

Highly recommended.


Photoshop Video Tutorial – Intensifying Water

16 04 2009

Now that I am using this new blogging platform, it is a lot easier for me to integrate richer media into my blogs.  While I have posted step-by-step photoshop tutorials in the past,  now it is easier than ever for me to produce and post them.  So to kick things off, I thought I’d start with a tutorial that I wrote about a while back on intensifying water.  However I think it really comes to life when you watch it in video.   Enjoy.


Why I’ve moved my blog site

16 04 2009

I have just moved my blog site from blogger to wordpress based on the advice of Christian Fletcher (thanks Christian).  One of the fundamental differences between the two blogging sites was the ease at which you can leave comments on WordPress blogs as opposed to the Blogger system where you needed to register etc. to leave a comment.

So I hope more of you comment, debate, discuss the topics that I write.  This will make it more informative and interesting for everybody.


A wonderful evening of photography – Forresters & Central Coast

12 04 2009

Well last Friday was the full moon and I was keen to get out. I went up to Central Coast with Kajo and we had a fantastic evening shooting 3 Central coast locations in ideal conditions.

Check out this video which will give you a taste of our evening (you can see of our light painting at the end.)

I thought I’d talk about one of my light painting shots and explain how it was captured.

Light Painting Some Unusual Rocks

This shot is called “Light Painting Some Unusual Rocks”… (pretty creative title eh?)

From a light painting perspective this is a pretty straight forward affair. First frame I laid down my “stage” or base shot. I used a 4 min exposure to capture the clouds wooshing past.

Second shot was a 30 second exposure where I was painting with my fluoro light.

In photoshop I combined the two images into the final.

If you want more information on how I did this, then I suggest you check out my eBook.

More later


Body & Form – My first studio lighting project

7 04 2009

I just finished a project that I call “Body & Form”. It is a huge departure for me from my usual landscape and night photography, but it was a lot of fun. Here’s what the project was all about.

Aim of project: I wanted to push my photography into new areas. So far I have quite deliberately stayed away from shooting people or wildlife because quite frankly neither of them interest me from a photographic perspective. However I felt like I was ready for a new challenge, so I came up with the idea of doing a dramatic studio shoot of a ballet dancer’s body. My major objectives were:
1) Start getting an understanding of studio lighting
2) Learn how to work with a model
3) Get familiar with portrait and retouching workflow in Photoshop

Now I’m pretty lucky here, my Mother has a school for full-time dancers who are training to become professional, so I had my choice of dancer and also a great space to shoot in. My local camera club had the lighting gear that I could borrow.

I had done a fair bit of research, I approached the dancer (Emma) and she was keen to be part of the project. We planned two sessions:

Session 1: was to be totally experimental, I wanted to achieve the following:
• For me to get comfortable working with Emma
• For Emma to get comfortable working with me
• For me to experiment with different lighting setups to see what works
• For Emma to get comfortable with the lights and camera
• For me to work out the sort of poses I wanted to shoot.

Session 2: was “The shoot” and was taken about 4 days later. It gave me time to process the test shots from session 1 and make adjustments etc. Emma and I spent about an hour reviewing the session 1 photos and talking about what worked and what didn’t, so when we started the next session we were pretty focused on what we each needed to do.

This video is a little 2 min video that I made up for a presentation I was doing at my local camera club on the convergence of video and stills and how video can give your stills photos context rather than the traditional stills slide show. If you are interested in the lighting and the setup I used, this video will show you which lights I used and how I positioned them.

What’s Next?
Well the first thing that surprised me was I enjoyed this shoot very much and found every aspect of it a lot of fun (planning, execution, post production etc.). I’ve already talked to Emma about doing some more modelling with me out on landscape location and she has eagerly agreed. I am now about to do an Off Camera Flash course (strobist stuff) and get some portable gear that will allow me to take the studio with me on location. I have 3 very specific ideas in my mind that will introduce Emma to some of the more interesting landscape and urbanscape locations that I have photographed. I’m planning on shooting this project in May.

I find that picking some specific projects is a great way of pushing my photography further. I hope this inspires some of you to pick a project that pushes you further. It was a lot of fun for me.