Tag Archives: #Fotografica

Seeing Where the Light Falls

This month featured my first attempt at astrophotography. Brisbane Camera Group had an outing on the shores of Lake Wivenhoe and we were fortunate that the clouds parted so we could witness the Milky Way. Our club President provided guidance to those who had never done astrophotography before. The challenge is to avoid light pollution impacting on the image. Also, the full impact of the Milky Way is not evident until post production. Overall, it was a good learning experience. Here are some images from the outing:

 

Circus! Circus! Circus! was the title of a Cam Attree Workshop Marie and I attended this month. It was a great opportunity to photography Lucy Luxe as the Ring Master and Pete Hartwig as the strongest man. We also had models performing on the rings which was challenging to photograph. Our models were from aerialicious – Tami Dawson & Leanne Smith. Here are some images from the workshop:

 

 

 

Marie and I were fortunate to attend a studio lighting workshop run by internationally respected glamour and fashion photographer Peter Coulson. I attended his natural light workshop last year here in Brisbane and gained a lot from the experience. He has a couple of sayings that stuck in my head – the photographer’s job is to turn shit into chocolate. He also said that when socialising people ask him what his profession is. He responses by saying he is a photographer. When asked what he photographs, he responds by saying “eyes”. He says that models that can communicate with their eyes have a longer career than those who can’t.

The workshop was learning first with some time to put it into practice. The placement of the model relative to the light source and the image impact were demonstrated. A key focus was learning to see where the light falls. He advises not to get caught up in the beauty of the model, instead focus on the light and what it is doing to the image.

Here are some images taken at the workshop:

 

 

 

Weather was the set subject for this month’s competition at Brisbane Camera Group. I decided to enter the open section with two prints of images taken when Marie and I visited Italy and France last year. The aim was to receive feedback on the images in readiness of preparing images for the annual competition.

One image received a merit and the other an honour, which was a very pleasing outcome. “Morning Reflections on Lake San Domenico” received the merit and the judge indicated a spot at the bottom left corner of the image that I should have removed. Also, she suggested that I removed the sky from the top of the image so that it is only shown in the reflection. “Sienna Cathedral Ceiling” received an honour with no feedback on improvement. Here are the images:

Morning Reflections on Lake San Domenico – Merit

Sienna Cathedral Ceiling – Honour

 

My Print Project Challenge entry is progressing slowly. During the month I have taken more images as my ideas develop and take shape. A couple of images taken as part of these shoots have been shared on Instagram. These are not in the format they will take for the Print Project – they were just a bit of fun. Here are the images:

 

With the closing date for the BCG annual competition getting closer and closer, I have started to develop a short list of possible images I will enter. My plan is to enter prints only this year. The Annual Competition is made up of six subjects: Pictorial Monochrome, Pictorial Colour, Nature, People, Creative / Experimental, and Social Documentary / Photojournalism. I plan to enter at least 4 of the subjects at a minimum. If I have images that satisfy Nature or Social Documentary / Photojournalism, then I will enter these also.

Until the next post, keep on clicking!

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Communicating with Photography

Since last post I have been thinking more about how to communicate what I want to say with photography. This sounds simple but can be quite hard. There needs to be a vision of what I want to achieve through the communication otherwise I really have nothing to say.

On Sunday 25 February I attended a Fotografica “Communicating With Colour” workshop. This was very stimulating as we did all the practical work as a group. This enabled us to bounce ideas off each other and to develop the concepts we wanted to communicate. Colour can be such a powerful way to communicate in a photograph.

We worked with the colour red which is so powerful. A change in lighting can impact the colour and alter its meaning. By an adjustment to the hue, luminance or saturation of a colour can create quite profound effects and aid in getting the message just right in the image.

Here are some of my images from the workshop:

Progressing through the “Master Your Craft” course has also found me in the same territory – communication. A simple but key question is: “What do you want to say and how do you want to say it? How do you want the photograph to look and feel?” The challenge to me is that there is no right or wrong response to this question that others can judge me on. Instead, my reviewing the output tells me whether I achieved what I set out to achieve.

Creativity has also been a topic of interest while I was off work with the flu. It can be hard to concentrate when running a fever, and maybe I should have read a novel or two, but no – it was creativity. A few concepts that stuck in my mind include:

  • The biggest obstacle to creating is procrastination.
  • Inspiration doesn’t happen without doing the work.
  • Doing the work involves plenty of crap images for the one or two that are “inspired”.
  • Fear of succeeding is a major cause of resistance/procrastination.

The books I read were:

 

​​​​​​​Also, I posted some images on Instagram I had worked on recently. Here are a couple for your enjoyment.

 

 

Until next time,
Keep on creating images!

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Another Year Draws to a Close

Another year draws to a conclusion and it is time to reflect on what has been accomplished. Since my last post, Brisbane Camera Group has held its Annual Awards and Dinner. Neither Marie nor I received any awards this year because we didn’t submit any entries. There were many wonderful images so competition would have been tough.

Marie and I attended a conceptual (self) portrait workshop with fotografica which was a lot of fun. We had to bring props and have a starting concept to work with. I took along a hat, a tie and some bandages. Here are a couple of images showing the results:

We also attended the final meeting of the year for the Masters Apprentices Club. A number of their members participated in a project over the year and this was the night where they shared their work. There was a variety of work with members pushing themselves outside their comfort zones. I find it stimulates my own creativity to see their work.

Looking back over the year I did not participate as strongly as in previous years in the clubs that I am a member of. In BCG, I wanted to delay my upgrade to A Grade as I didn’t feel I was at that standard as yet. Also, I devoted a lot of my spare time to working on my Print Project Challenge entry. I found this work to be very beneficial.

Over the year, Marie and I attended a number of courses to further develop our skills. Not everything has been put into practice as yet but I am sure the knowledge will be used over the next year or two.

The highlight of the year would have to be the trip to Italy with a group of fellow photographers. This was my first visit to Europe and it was 19 years since my previous overseas trip which was to Boston, USA for a work conference. At a recent reunion of our Italy group, we each shared approx. 10 images from the trip. I found it amazing that only 2 or 3 images were similar. Also, the quality of the images was really high. Here are a few more of my images for your viewing pleasure.

It is now time to start to think about what I want to accomplish in photography in 2018. I plan to spend some time over the next 4 or so weeks to develop my thoughts and to make some plans. My initial thoughts are to participate in a project where I can expand my boundaries and move potentially from still images into a multimedia presentation. I am also thinking of entering the BCG monthly competitions more regularly this year. Another option I am tossing around in my mind is challenging myself to create and post an image on Instagram each day for 30 days or to do one where you are given a new topic each day for a 365 day challenge.

To those who have followed my posts over the year, thanks for your interest and support. I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a safe holiday period. All the best for the New Year – may it be photographically prosperous.

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Continuing My Learning and Development

Since last post, Marie and I have been busy gaining new knowledge and developing our skills. In preparation for our upcoming Italy trip, we attended a Travel Photography Workshop through Fotografica with Lisa Kurtz as our Tutor. The Workshop covered planning for your trip, what equipment to take, what to do on arrival, what to shoot and how, and storing your files. Here are a couple of images I shot during the workshop:

Tough Decisions

I Love My Coffee

Last Friday I was very fortunate to attend the Peter Coulson workshop on Using Natural Light. It was conducted here in Brisbane and it was a great learning experience. Some of what I learned about included selecting the location to shoot, how to modify natural light using natural means, working with models and metering for highlights and shadows. The key message Peter imparted was that talking to the models you are working with is of greater importance to the end results you will achieve than any of the camera technical considerations. As Peter instructed us to set our cameras to black and white, the images I am sharing will be black and white too. Here are some images I shot during the workshop:

Tanja

Mary

Amy

On Saturday morning, Marie and I attended a follow up session to the colour workshop we had done recently through Fotografica. We put to practical use through number of exercises how to tell stories with colour. We learned which colours were advancing, which were retreating and which were muted. The importance of ensuring the colours support the intent of the story we want to convey was emphasised. For example, if you want to tell a story of despair, producing a “beautiful” colour image would not give congruence to the story in the image. Here are some images I took during the session:

Example of Discordant

Leo Watching

For the Brisbane Camera Group Focus Night image show on Monday 12 June, I submitted 4 images which in hindsight may not have been among my best. A couple of the images appeared a lot darker than I thought they would. Here are three of the images I submitted (the 4th images was “tough decisions” above):

Confusion

I Love My Ice Cream

Peace Brother

I also submitted images for the Brisbane Camera Group monthly competition on Monday 12 June. I only submitted one in the set subject being “Self Portrait” and three in the open section. I must have confused myself as I submitted at least one of the poorer images I had put in the image show. The results from the judges will be learned on Monday 26 June.

Work on my print project challenge entry continues. Brisbane Camera Group had a Photoshop workshop with Andy Cross which provided some new skills for selections which will benefit my project. On Sunday afternoon I shot some more images to work with and to see how the story is coming together. Progress is slow and hopefully I will get there.

Certainly a learning and development time for me.

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A Busy but Fun Couple of Weeks

Marie and I attended the workshop “Shoot to Print” and had a fun day learning heaps. Andrew Merefield was the instructor and he provided the model for the shoot part of the day. Andrea Rose was experienced as a model which made our shooting easier. We took a number of images that worked well thanks to the guidance Andrew provided both to Andrea as well as to us in terms of camera settings and technique. A couple of images taken at the workshop appear below.

Last weekend was busy as we attended a “communicating with colour” workshop with Lisa Kurtz as the instructor. I gained a number of insights that I am sure will help my Print Project Challenge images. Using colour to convey mood or emotion can be a great way to assist in telling the story one wants to convey.

On Sunday evening we attended a night shoot with Andrew Merefield. Louise was our lovely model and initially we photographed her with the city skyline behind her as the sun was setting. We worked on a number of techniques including flash photography, using available light and ramping up the ISO, fun images using glow sticks and sparklers. Here is a couple of images taken at the workshop:

Also, over the last couple of weeks I have been playing around in Photoshop trying out different tools so I am better prepared for the work I need to do for my Print Project Challenge entry. In my last post I included my abstract image “Accident 1”. Since then I have taken that base and worked on it further to create ‘Accident 2”. I put it up on Instagram and it has received some favourable comments including the suggestion I print it on metallic paper. I plan to do that soon. Here is the image:

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