New Workshop Dates Announced

15 12 2011

Hey folks

For those of you that were interested in my next workshops, I have now confirmed the dates.

  • The next Seascape workshop is on Sat 11th Feb 2012 and Sun 12th Feb 2012 in Mona Vale
  • The next Off Camera Flash workshop is on Sun 5th Feb  in Alexandria.

More information on each workshop can be found in the tabs at the top of this blog.

Regards

Brent

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Namibia – Portraits

25 11 2011

Note: Please click on theses images to view them full-size… they go a bit fuzzy when reduced down.

On my trip to Namibia there were three genres that I wanted to photograph;

  1. Ruinscapes (Kolmanskop etc.)
  2. Landscapes (Deadvlei, Wolverdens etc.)
  3. Portraits

I was particularly excited at the prospect of spending five days living with and photographing the Himba tribes of NorthWest Namibia.  While I had seen plenty of natural light photography, I really wanted to try to make different types of portraits of these photogenic people.

Inspired by the incredible personal work of Joey Lawrence, I packed my trusty Paul Buff Einstein light and my two favorite modifiers (Paul Buff 64″ Silver PLM and Westcott Apollo softbox) and decided to really try and make some stylistic environmental portraits using off camera flash techniques.

I had a ball making these images and I’m pretty happy with the way they turned out.  The beauty of the Einstein is that it throws out plenty of light and I can easily overpower the sun.  When I combine it with the ultra-efficient Parabolic Light Modifier (PLM), then I can easily get well over f64 of light out of the light setup which allows you to do some interesting environmental portraits during bright daylight.

Here's our rig in action. Jimmy (our translator) is holding the monopod.

Sometimes we used the sock over the PLM, and other times we shot with the straight silver bounce.   Most of the time we had our light on a light stand, but occasionally we put it on a monopod (as in the photo above).  While this is a 240v light, I use the Paul Buff mini vagabond to provide 240v on location… It’s incredibly small and light.

I also used my neutral density filter with some of the shots to open up my aperture and reduce the depth of field…. again to create more of a stylistic image.   I hope you enjoy the images.





My Mission Australia Project To Help Youth Homelessness

25 10 2011

This is Maryanne.  At 18 she was kicked out of home and became homeless.  As Maryanne said, it’s actually very easy to become homeless and a hell of a lot more difficult to find a home.

I’ve always loved it when I can combine my love for photography with a philanthropic cause.  Earlier this year I went to Tanzania and made a video for St. Judes, the year before that I was in Uganda supporting an school for aids orphans.

I just finished a project with Mission Australia.  I photographed and made videos of four kids that either are still homeless or were homeless.  It was fascinating for me how different each of their stories were.  While some kids came from the stereotypical broken home,  others grew up in what you would call a totally normal family.

I enjoyed photographing the kids and trying to capture something of themselves in a dignified way.

I have made small vignettes of each of their stories.  If you are interested in understanding how kids can find themselves homeless, head over to my Vimeo site and check out the short videos.

This is Nate.  Nate’s parents were both heroin addicts and he was kicked out of home when he was 13.  He fell in with the wrong crowd and was led down a life of crime.  Nate was jailed at 17 for armed robbery.

After going through rehab, he started Mission Australia’s Creative Youth Initiative where they teach disadvantaged kids art and music.

This course turned Nate’s life around and since then he’s been going to TAFE and has almost completed his Diploma in Music Production.

I really enjoyed meeting all of the students.  I hope my photography and video editing help Mission Australia raise funds to help Australia’s young homeless problem.

Brent





B&W Graphic Portrait Project

14 10 2011

Here’s a project that I have recently kicked off.  I want to put together a body of work of models shot in front of very graphical buildings or backgrounds.   All the work is black and white and have strong graphical elements in it.  Here’s a few shots that I did as a test/starter.

This image of Carly was shot in front of the cool chain-mail curtain hanging around the building on the corner of Bent St and O’Connell St in Sydney.  If you haven’t seen this chain mail, it’s pretty cool.

Same building as above, but just around the corner, I really loved the black and white contrast of the steps and column.  Both of these images printed up nicely in B&W.  I’m enjoying the challenge of “seeing in B&W” as I scout Sydney in with a whole new mission.  Both shots were taken with one light, an Einstein shooting into a Parabolic Light Modifier.

Today I went scouting and found a few more locations that have potential…. see what you think….

I saw this wall in a courtyard and loved the black and white graphic patterns…. There’s a ton of it lining the whole courtyard, so I figure I can play with big patterns (if the model is close to the wall), or small patterns if the wall is in the distance.

This second shot is of a huge sculpture outside another building.  What grabbed my attention was not only the textures on the steel sculpture, but also the way the light was beautifully graduated around the curved surface.  I’m thinking that could be a pretty cool abstract background.





Playing About With Macro

16 06 2011

We have had about a week of pretty constant rain here in Sydney, so that drove me into the bowels of my photographic cupboard to dust of my macro lens.  I haven’t shot any macro for ages, but was reading an interesting article in Better Photography about a new utility from the folks that make Helicon Focus (the focus stacking software).  The new utility is called Helicon Remote, and it is very cool.   Helicon Remote fully remote controls your camera and automatically performs all of the focus bracketing that you need to do to create macro images with large depth-of-field.  Its a wonderful piece of software.  You really need to click on these images to view them at full size to appreciate the detail in the images.

The images that you see posted in this post were typically stacks of about 20 separate images that have been combined to create the high dof images shown here.

To create these images I used a single off camera flash.  I used a straight reflector on the studio light to create the reasonably directional shadow.s

Once the images were merged in Helicon Focus, I then just processed them using Nik Silver Effex Pro 2.  I’ve printed a couple of these out large and they look pretty cool.

What started off as a wet weather experiment has turned out pretty well for a first set of macro images in several years.

the Helicon Focus sofware can be licensed for $50/year and includes the Helicon Remote utility.  You can find the Helicon software here.





Off Camera Flash Workshop For Perth?

14 05 2011

Hey there Sand Gropers

I’m going to be visiting Perth for a few days of business in early June and was contemplating putting on a 1 day workshop for bringing models into your landscapes and shooting with Off Camera Flash.

I’ve been running this workshop over here now for about 8 months and it is very popular.  So if you would like to attend this workshop, just drop me an email at brentbat@gmail.com and express your interest.  If there is enough interest I will make it happen.

Not sure whether you guys just shoot “scapes” over there or what.  More information about the workshop can be found here.





Rockstar Shoot – Behind the scenes video

24 04 2011

This is my final post regarding the Rockstar shoot that I did a couple of weeks ago.  Boy it was a hoot, it is one of those shoots that keeps on giving… every time I go back to my RAW files, I find more images I want to process up (like the one at the top of this post)..

I have edited up a behind-the-scenes video that was taken by our trusty assistant Andrew Tiddy on the day (thanks Andrew, great job).

You can either watch it in-line here or if you want to really appreciate it, click on the vimeo logo in the bottom right and watch it in High Definition on the Vimeo site.

Music: Mediate by INXS