Tag Archives: #Portraits

Print and Mat, Print and Mat

During the month Marie and I attended a natural light portrait photography workshop run by Ash Kashyap and the model was Helena Schutt. Portraits in natural light can be quite tricky and it is important not to have the model in direct sunlight otherwise there will be skin blow outs. Also, having the model too far into shadow can lead to flat images. Both Marie and I really enjoyed photographing Helena and we came away with some images we were very happy with. Here is a small selection of images I created at the workshop:

 

 

Each month at the Brisbane Camera Group Speakers Night, there is a digital show of images submitted by members. This show enables members to submit images they have been working on and share them with their fellow members without being critiqued or judged. For the show on 8 October, I submitted the following images:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The monthly competition topic was “Old Things” – images where the central feature is an object or objects that is old. It is not necessary to be antique. I entered one image in the Digital Projected Image section. The judging was conducted last Monday night and my image was an acceptance only. The judge said the background distracted from the subject. On reflection, I can appreciate what he said and it reminds me I need to pay more attention to all the detail in my images. Here is the image I submitted:

The rest of the month was spent on preparing and printing images for my entry into the Club’s annual competition. A maximum of 24 images can be submitted over 6 categories. My entry is 23 images. The categories are Pictorial Colour, Pictorial Monochrome, People, Creative/Experimental, Social Documentary/Photo Journalism and Nature. Nature was my weakest area and I only submitted 3 of a possible 4 images. Judging of the print entries will be conducted on Sunday 4 November 2018 so I should have an idea of how my images performed after that.

Our Print Project Challenge is also due for submission by 4 November 2018. I have my 6 images almost ready but need to do further work to fix a few issues before they go to print. All Brisbane Camera Group members participating in this activity will have their images exhibited in The Maud Street Photo Gallery. Opening night will be 16 November and the exhibition will finish on Sunday evening 18 November. It is always a proud moment to have your images on the wall of a gallery – especially Brisbane’s number 1 photography gallery.

Until next time, keep on making images!

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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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3 Prints – 1 Merit & 1 Honour

This month has been busy with workshops and learning opportunities. Marie and I attended a Neon Glow Photo Workshop with Cam Attree via meetup.com. This was a fun, creative and experimental photo shoot, playing with UV light, neon makeup and body paint. The hair and makeup artist was Jessalee and the models were Bernie and Saskia. We took a mixture of head shots and full body shots. For me, posing the models was challenging and the biggest part of the learning experience. Given the nature of the shoot we needed to set our cameras to a high ISO. I shot with a 50mm prime lens that has a f1.8 maximum aperture. Some of my images are below:

We are still chasing the light and working to improve our knowledge. We also attended a Creative Speed-light Portrait Photography Workshop conducted by Ash Kashyap also via meetup.com. Ash gave an overview on how to use speed lights creatively and illustrated that best results are achieved off camera. He demonstrated the use of 2 and 3 speed lights and the impact they have on the results one can achieve. An advantage of speed lights is they are a lot more mobile that studio lights and you can take them virtually anywhere. However, speed lights do have their limitations and studio lights do provide better images within a studio environment. After the theory and demonstrations, we then practiced some shots with a model. The model is Kylie Fursey. Some of my images are below:

I have never been overly enthused to watch video lessons via the internet. If there wasn’t a written component to read, I would move on as I believed that learning via video was too slow whereas books or ebooks enabled me to skip to the topic I wanted to learn without having to go through all the waffle. However, this year I have discovered there is a wealth of information in online courses including video content. Currently, I am really enjoying working my way through the CreativeLive.com course “From Capture to Print” with Rocco Ancora as the course leader. I am learning so much especially about post production in readiness for printing an image. He is also explaining the impact on the image of your paper choice and how to use profiles to get the print results you want. I haven’t finished the course yet and am looking forward to the remaining lessons.

The Brisbane Camera Group Monthly Competition topic for June was “Abandoned”. I chose to enter three prints in the Open section and this was the first time I have submitted all my entries as prints. I was very happy to receive an acceptance, a merit and an honour. These images have previously been shown on Instagram.

Look Right Look Left and Smile – Acceptance

Surfing Gold Coast – Merit

Psychedelic Dreaming – Honour

 

The topic for July is “Construction” – images where the focus is on what is being constructed. Marie and I had a wander around Brisbane CBD last weekend to see if we could find any suitable images. We didn’t find anything that we were enthused about for this competition topic. However, as we were returning back to our car we came across a tree being felled. This proved to be an interesting set of images and while not construction, we could use them in the future in an Open or other competition. Here are a couple of images:

My Print Project Challenge is progressing very slowly. I have been looking for props and also trying to visualise how my images should look and what exactly I want to convey. Some of the images will need models and I have contacted my nephew and his partner and they are keen to assist. A shoot has yet to be arranged but it will definitely be in July. I am hoping that by the end of July I will have a few draft images to assess how well the concept is working.

Until my next post, keep on chasing decisive moments!

 

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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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50% Success Rate Continues

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks since my last post. The Brisbane Camera Group monthly competition for April was Sport. I did not go out specifically to shoot sport in the lead up to the competition deadline, instead relying on images I had taken over the last 12 months of surfers and beach volley ball players.

When choosing my images to submit, I was not happy with any of these images. Either they were not sharp enough or the action moment was just before or just after the moment I pressed the shutter button. I think that a burst of images may well have been the best option for some of these situations.

I chose to enter 2 images in the Open DPI section instead. These images are displayed below:

Into The Surf

This image was taken at Caloundra in February 2017. We had our annual wedding anniversary holiday there and this was one of the rare mornings we chose to get up and embrace the early morning light. I really enjoy this image but the judge only thought it was worth an acceptance.

Me and My Hula Hoop

This image was taken 1 April 2017 in King George Square, Brisbane. Marie had suggested we go into town to get some images and when we arrived I was keen to head to the mall. Instead Marie suggested we start in King George Square and so we did. Thanks to Marie I was able to get this image. The judge awarded it a merit and made a comment suggesting that I may have a tad too much contrast.

May’s competition topic is “emotion”. An extract from the Club’s definition reads as “Photos with emotion convey a mood or an atmosphere and pull the viewer into the scene; they tell or encourage a story and tug at the heartstrings. Photos with emotion may transport the viewer to another time or place, or evoke certain feelings that make them engage with the photo.

The deadline for submission is May 8 so I don’t have a lot of time to capture images that meet this topic. While I have noticed a few scenes as I have walked around at lunch time, I have been hesitant to pull out my phone camera and take a shot. If I am to capture some images, I’ll need to find some extra courage or alternatively endeavour to set up some scenes. Otherwise I will be competing in the Open section again.

Last Saturday, Marie and I attended a workshop on Conceptual Photography. I found this to be of great value as it has made me rethink some aspects of my Print Project Challenge. To be creative in approach requires me to be less fixed on my initial ideas and be prepared to test options to see if they improve the planned image.

For example, what would be the impact of subtracting an element of the image? We were given a list of items we could consider in our process to discover the image that best fits our concept. One danger I face is using something that is too cliché. Therefore, I need to think deeper to be able to convey my message in a way that makes the viewer stop and study the image.

My Print Project Challenge is coming along. I have acquired most of the props I need to start creating images. Then it’s a matter of doing the work, then reworking, then doing the work until the images are ready for submission.

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Portrait Workshop

Last Sunday morning Marie and I attended a Portrait Workshop put on by Brisbane Camera Group. The workshop was led by John Lomas and Peter O’Brien – both are very good portrait photographers who shared their wealth of knowledge and experience with us. We had lights set up to represent a studio environment and we had some members act as models and some members brought their children along to act as models.

The various styles of lighting were demonstrated and we learned about hard light and soft light. We were also shown Rembrandt lighting, butterfly lighting, broad and short lighting. The use of reflectors was demonstrated too. We were able to also use flash triggers once we started putting what we learned into practice.

Here are some of the images I took on the day:

 

 

 

 

 

In the afternoon we attended the second half of the Australian Photographic Society’s National & International AV judging which was held in Brisbane this year. Seeing the quality of the AV’s and how well they structured their stories provided inspiration to aim to create some more myself once I have completed my print project challenge.

 

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