Tag Archives: #Italy

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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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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Print Project Judging

Time flies so quickly and I can’t believe it is so long since I have posted my progress here. My main focus for the year has been the Brisbane Camera Group Print Project Challenge. The images were submitted early in September and were judged last Sunday. There were 16 entries submitted by club members which were a very good response. While I did not place in the competition, I am still proud of my final images and the story they told.

The club is holding an exhibition of the images entered at Maud Gallery here in Brisbane. The opening night is Friday 17 November starting at 6pm. The exhibition will be open on Saturday and Sunday for anyone to view the images.

Earlier in the year I published my Artist Statement. The images I submitted and the fine-tuned Artist Statement follow:

Each of us, as Whitman writes, does ‘..contain multitudes’. Contacting the jostling crowd of inner selves, giving them a chance to speak and to act, can greatly enrich our lives.” (Julia Cameron, “The Vein of Gold” page 87)

In Inner Selves I have created five characters – Performer Pete, Judgmental Jack, Nervous Ned, Furious Frank and Rebel Ray – to explore the “jostling crowd of inner selves” we all possess. I have used the genre of self-portraiture and deliberately chose characters I know are part of my personality but rarely seen by others. In the work I show each character in front of a crowd, a literal and metaphoric representation of the judgment we fear when we let these inner selves out.

I begin the series with an image that represents the jostling crowd of inner selves and my five characters are hiding within the crowd. The final image portrays a growing acceptance of these characters without the fear of judgement as their existence has been acknowledged. I want Inner Selves to invite the viewer to reflect on their own inner selves and to encourage the acknowledgement and acceptance of them.

Each image began as a photograph before being manipulated in Photoshop to produce prints reflecting the vision I held for each of the inner selves. The artistic challenge was in self-portrait making and using Photoshop to tell the story through combining multiple images. I used obvious layers and rough selections to indicate that inner selves can be poorly defined unless they are examined. I also wanted to reflect that as humans we all have imperfections.

An outcome of this project was further development of my artistic and storytelling skills in photography. Also, there was fun in creating the characters suggesting more work on this theme may be possible in the future.

 

I was fortunate enough to attend the judging and to hear first-hand the feedback they provided. Their comments were very helpful and highlighted the need to be attentive to detail at all levels of the image making. A key area highlighted was the harsh lighting used in the self-portraits. This is an area I have little experience in even though I did attend a couple of lighting workshops prior to finalising my images. They indicated that their eyes were drawn to my shoes in a couple of images which was a distraction to the story being told. I had noted the same thing myself but ran out of time to try to fix.

Overall the Print Project Challenge was a valuable learning experience I know will hold me in good stead on my photographic journey. The ability to put together a number of images that link to each other and tell a story is not as easy as it may seem. This project has opened my eyes to some of the techniques needed to achieve this.

Also, from mid-September to mid-October, Marie and I travelled to Italy for 3 weeks on a photography tour and to the French Riviera for a week to relax and prepare to return home. This was my first time to Europe and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The historical areas were an eye opener. I came back with over five thousand images that I need to work through. Below are some images I took with my phone. I will display more images later as I process them.

 

Brisbane Camera Group has an annual competition for members and the closing date for image submissions is 23 October. I am aiming to submit some images again this year.

Hopefully my next update will not be so long after the last one. Thanks for reading and happy snapping!

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