Thursday, 20 December 2012

Better than an orgasm

by Dale Neill

'Everyone up by 3.30am. See you in the morning'
Groans, moans 'It'd better be good' ... more moans and groans.
'This isn't a holiday, this is photography', I say
'You haven't come all this way to take a tourist shot!'

We're in the south of Egypt, after two days drive across the desert; here we are on the edge of the Great Sea of Sand, a half day camel ride from the Libyan border. We are a  long way from the Nile. Talking of camels, we've all done the obligatory camel ride that afternoon. We have a better understanding about the schoolboy book title The Hundred Mile Camel ride by Major Bumsore!

Siwa is a tiny oasis town that Egypt and time almost forgot. The Egyptian Government did forget! Paved roads are a novelty, so is electricity and running water. My taxi is a  donkey cart driven by an entertaining  14 year old year old boy called Gomer. He beats his donkey repeatedly with a heavy stick. I ask him to stop hitting the poor donkey. He smiles and ignores me. I then tell him that if he doesn't stop I will get out of his 'taxi' and not pay him.Gomer beams a happy smile  'Its alright, its retreats from beating his donkey and taps her lightly instead.

Every woman  in Siwa is shrouded in a full burka. Its near impossible to see any part of the face let alone make eye contact. My one attempt to photograph a woman results in me being threatened by a teenage boy with a wooden club. I avert a confrontation when an adult shouts in Arabic and warns him off.

Because of Siwa's isolation there are rumours  inbreeding has created problems. I spot a number of kids in the back streets who give credence to the theory. The village elders have decreed a twice annual festival where young people from faraway towns meet for games and 'cultural exchanges' in a  quest for better cross breeding.

Next morning its dark and minus 4 degrees C. My photographers huddle around the 4WDs with their cameras and tripods. Our Bedouin divers fancy themselves as a cross between Juan Manuel Fangio and an extra from Lawrence of Arabia. 

Fifteen minutes later we are hurtling through pyramid-sized dunes at breakneck speed in pitch black. Egyptians believe its an insult to drive with lights on! When we stop I inspect the surface with my petzel light and say 'No, too many tracks. I want NO tracks. Let's go.'

We surge. I have no idea where we are or what direction we are going. As long as I'm on the Egyptian side of the border I'm not worried. We drive and swerve and slide in the sand another fifteen minutes all in darkness
'Stop here, this is it!' I yell.

The sky has brightened from starry black by only a quarter of a stop. I still can't see my hand in front of my face. Its time to find a position. Walking in fresh blown dunes is akin to walking in thigh-high viscous honey. Six steps forward results in moving just half a metre. In 10 minutes I'm breathless; my heart's racing and I'm using my tripod as a crutch.

Forty minutes later the 'big star' shoots rays above the rim of the dune. From the valleys between the dunes the moans and groans are replaced with shrieks of delight and 'Oh My God'. I here shutters clicking in the stillness. Someone calls out 'This is better than an orgasm'.
I adjust for a hyperfocal distance shot.
1/10 sec @ f22 200ISO, Nikon 12-24 lens, Fuji S3 Pro

Learn how to get everything sharp from 0.5 meter to infinity in my UWA Intermediate course in 2013.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

No gifts by request

by Dale Neill

Weddings are funny things. I guess I've shot about 500 odd weddings in my life with the emphasis on odd. Weddings are days of high emotion and ,,,,   sometimes high drama.

I once photographed a wedding where the celebrant was a self-confessed witch, but a nice lady witch. She wore purple robes with gold sashes, got the happy couple to jump over swords and sprinkled magic sawdust on their heads. It became interesting when I learned the bride was an adviser to one of the country's leading federal femaIe pollies. It became even more interesting when I learned later that my lovely lady witch was in fact a man. I only ever shot one witch wedding.

Over four decades lots of things have changed about weddings - the fashions, the style, the photographs and the locations. But one thing remains constant - the madness. All brides seem slightly less sane on the day they marry. Its almost a pre-requisite. And its not just due to the quantity of champagne they have tucked away in the lead-up.

Highly intelligent women, bristling with confidence, organizational skills and creative ideas seem suddenly to have overdosed on 'silly' pills. The first sign of this madness is a complete loss of the concept of time. Either time no longer exists or they believe the earth has stopped rotating for their wedding day.

So when I wrote my 'Survival Guide for the Once-Off wedding Photographer' I listed time-management as a key skill. Not only does the photographer and assistants have to have a battle plan, they must be clever enough and convincing enough to coerce the bride and groom into the plan. This starts three moths out from M day!

That's not the case here at all. No, I didn't remarry, in fact its not even a wedding and not even a  bride. Please no gifts by request.

I took the pics on 11-12-2012 the day before the earth will end. This is my lovely neighbour who was having an end of earth, fancy-dress party for her work mates. She found a 'never used' wedding dress at Good Sammy's for $60 and her outfit was ready. ( 'wedding dresses - never used'  - there must be story or two!)

If you want to know another way to make money from photography (apart from selling all your camera gear) join me on 17 August 2013 for 'So You Want to Turn Pro' at UWA Extension. (note: not yet open for bookings but place your name on the waiting list)

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Greased Lightning

by Dale Neill

Thirty minutes to pack up! That's all! Bugger!
Almost forgot my shoes.
Toothbrush, money, medication.One change of underdaks.
Five days away in sunny Jurien Bay - no telephones, no computers, no stress and almost no undies.
This is what I want.
A few books, mags, couple of bottles of red, that's it. In the car!!
Whoops - camera. Yep, one Nikon D700, one 50mm lens. That's it.
Bugger anything else - no tripod, no other lenses, not even a battery charger.
This was kick-back time.

Soooo, what happens...

Mother nature decides to put on this academy award performance of 'Greased Lightning'
The show was staged in good old Jurien Bay in Western Australia and had everything except Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta. There was thunder, lightning, power cuts, the smell of ozone. I thought I felt the presence of extra terrestials (or maybe that extra terrestial was an old GF)..

At nine o'clock I'd had enough. I could still feel the energy. I grabbed my Nikon and headed to the jetty to brave the lightning, thunder, wind and rain. Hand held - 2 secs in manual f8 on 320 ISO. Ah! and Nikon has this neat muliple exposure setting!! Its brilliant! Its even more brilliant after two glasses of red. I felt crazy, out their alone shooting on the end of the jetty hand held, muliple exposure, two second exposures. It was a good night to be in a storm and feel a little crazy.

But .......... it was all done in the camera! No Photoshop!
note: Thanks Miss I am Nikon for overlaying these two pics on top of each other

Join Dale Neill's UWA Intermediate Course and learn how simple it is to get great shots of Lightning and Fireworks

or if you think you know about that ....

Try Dale's UWA Advanced Digital Course and be among the 1% of photographers who know how to optimise their cameras for speed shooting landscapes, portraits and mactos!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Gretchen (Alex Spargo)

by Dale Neill

Late in 2006 I faced a  a dilemma. 

I had organised what I thought was one of the best practical 'cons' on  a group of 150 photographers for Light Fantastic 2007. I had spread the word around that USSR photographer Professor Betcherovka would present his famous PTFBS* (Russian) technique. Local amateur actor Gary Lawrence had researched the background, written the script and had the costumes and make-up ready. 

We had even dummied up photographs of Betcherovka's Moscow university and Gary standing next to USSR president Nikita Krushev. Professor Betcherovka would be accompanied by an attractive but stern ex GDR (East German) assistant Gretchen to translate for him.

All seemed going well for the giant con. But two female applicants for the role of Gretchen read the script, got to the last two paragraphs, looked perplexed ...  and declined. The script called for Gretchen to dress formally but in the last 30 seconds she was to shed her elegant black dress to reveal a red bustier, stockings and stilettos to 150 photographers.

With a week to go I was desperate. Then one of the applicants who declined suggested Alex Spargo. I met Alex and liked her immediately. She read the script and loved the role. Alex was used to being on stage and in front of cameras. She was formerly a body builder and had modelled with Arnie Schwarzenegger.

Gretchen and Professor Betcherovka were a huge hit at Light Fantastic 2007. Almost every photographer there was convinced they were the real thing. The con was disclosed when Professor Betcherovka asked 150 photographers to stand in the tiered auditorium and hold their cameras up.  The Professor then proclaimed that his PTFBS technique was an acronym for press the fucking button stupid! There were gasps of 'Oh no!' as the penny dropped.

'Gretchen' wiggled out of her elegant black dress, loosened her hair from its formal French roll and posed coquetishly in her red bustier. The good 'professor' invited all 150 photographers to photograph his assistant 'Gretchen'.

In ensuing months I met Alex's faithful companion Bronson who travelled with her absolutely everywhere in her little British Racing Green MGB. I was lucky enough to do a shoot with Alex and Bronson in the studio. Alex has also modelled for several of my UWA classes and private workshops.

Join me for Photographing Faces at UWA Extension.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Champagne & Prawn Filter

by Dale Neill

I made this image on my iPhone at South Beach tonight. At first it didn't look all that good. Then I drank half a bottle of champagne and ate a dozen prawns and the image looked so much better.
You can get the new Champagne and Prawn Filters almost anywhere. They really improve your photography.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

A Little Old Lady named Shirl

by Dale Neill

Then, this apparition appeared in front of me with Dame Edna sunnies and a ukelele under her arm. I asked her name and she said, 'Im Jezebel' with a wicked smile.

'But your name badge says Shirley'

'That's me darling; Shirley Jezebel'

I tried to sniff if Miss Jezebel had been drinking but all I could smell was 1950's perm lotion (man repellant)

Whipping my my trusty iPhone out of my holster I flirted with Jeza

'Shirley, can I get a photo of you?

'That's not a real camera' she said

'And your not a real Jezebel.

You look more a Valentine'

I flicked my iPhone onto Camera+ tap tap tap (my fave app) and shot my hot little Jeza in all her glory (actually she told me she's a Dockers supporter so she can't be that dangerous). You never know she might just make my music calendar.

Drop in and see the fabulous Fremantle Portrait prize exhibition at the Moores Building in henry St Fremantle, open 10am-4pm daily 6-20 October. 696 images from 22 counties with 65 finalists on exhibit.

Oh, and if you want to know how to work the buttons and knobs on your new camera or my favourite apps for your mobile join me for a UWA Photography workshop.

Q: What's the difference between a ukulele and a chainsaw?
A: You can tune a chainsaw.

Thanks Shirley!!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Sharper than a Rat with a Gold Tooth

1/20 sec @f2.8
by Dale Neill

Recipe: Select one ripe Alex, preferably one with a good curvy shape, add a single red bustier, two black stockings and some late afternoon mood light and slow cook for two hours! 

Rule 453A in the Order of Ancient Photographers says you should never use a shutter speed slower than 1/60 sec. Fast forward to the digital era and a new interpretation is look at the focal length eg 400mm and put one over that number for your minimum shutter speed - that is 1/400 sec.

Your personal sharpness depends on how many razor blades you had with breakfast. But your image sharpness depends on a mob of things other than razor blades:

1/6 @ f4
  • focal length
  • shutter speed
  • your breathing
  • your heartbeat
  • how much you talk
  • your age
  • your liquor intake
In this image i shot my friend Alex in her MGB with her beloved cat Bronson after sunset outside Monart Art Gallery on 1/6 sec @ f4, handheld. Yep! 1/6 sec. 
No tripod! 
No monopod! 
Not even a friendly gastropod!

I know ..... you think I cheated by stopping my heart beating. Well not quite. Mind you, Alex is one lady who has stopped the hearts of one or two men. That's why I carry a defibrillator in my Lowepro bag.

So, if you want photographs that are sharper than a rat with a gold tooth here's my secret ingredient - I stopped talking (although most people I know would find that hard to believe) and i did stop breathing. Plus I used a 24 mm lens and that always helps.

Of course, if you really do want a truly boring, scintillatingly sharp photograph head off to the zoo and find yourself an animal with texture standing in direct sunlight and use a speed above 1/1000 sec. I hope I made my point here.

One more thing,  I watched Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke the night before.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Zero Light (except the LCD screen)

In the early days of photography 'Not enough light' was often an excuse for putting your camera away. With ISOs up to 25,600 and lenses as fast as f1.2 there are no more excuses! Of course there will still be a few of the old guard, the light-deficient luddites and the halide-fixated old boys who still believe that anything shot above 400 ISO is a sin punishable by immersion in a vat of boiling developer.

From my 'Advanced' class yesterday we turned off all light and closed all doors. My light source was from the LCD screen on the back of my subject's camera. 6400 ISO, Nikon D700, 1/80 sec@f1.4.

Check out my Intermediate or Advanced courses at UWA Extension and learn how easy it is to shoot in low light.

by Dale Neill

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Pinnacles - Western Australia

by Dale Neill

The great landscape photographer Ansel Adams said'
'A great photograph is knowing where to stand'

I think Ansel was right.
My corollary to his thesis is surely
'An even greater photograph is standing there at the right time of the day'

The Pinnacles in WA's Nambung National Park is one of Australia's most recognised natural features, surpassed only by the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and Ayers Rock (Uluru). Every week thousands of Japanese tourists arrive by bus and Germans by 4WD to fire off a dozen or so shots before speeding away under a blazing midday sun.

Right place         Wrong time!

Belly dancer Janet Hof at first light in the Pinnacles, Western Australia
Shoot between sunset and last light and the results are magical. Do a three hour time exposure at midnight with a 20 minute moonrise at the end and you have sheer magic. Shoot in the middle of the day - woeful!

But set your alarm for 3am and avoid the three thousand kangaroos on your drive to the Pinnacles and shoot between first light and sunrise and get the most amazing images.

Wildheart partners: Dale Neill and Sam Oliver
Sam Oliver, my Wildheart partner, organised one of my workshops to the Pinnacles and invited a dozen belly dancers along for the weekend. Eva Cass ran a workshop in the local hall then all the exotically dressed dancers joined us for a  shoot at sunset. That evening they continued shimmying and strutting their stuff for patrons at the Cervantes Motel. This put a whole new slant on 'Deckie's Delight' on the menu!

If you've ever known  belly dancers you may have discovered they work on a different time zone to we mere mortals. An early morning wake-up is usually 11am, first coffee at noon and they start to wake up about 2 or 3pm. By 10 or 11 at night things are staring to really become poetry in motion. So I was a bit gob smacked to see carloads of belly dancers draped in motel blankets like bedouins arrive for our early morning shoot in the Pinnacles.
Not only was it still dark but there were still icicles on their false eyelashes and a ground temperature of zero and a chill factor of minus four.

English rose and belly dancer extraordinaire Janet Hof was there to catch the very first hint of light. Even before the rays of light touched the earth, they lit Janet's body and costume. I loved the way the light lit the landscape. No photoshop needed here. Simply, Janet and I were there at the right time of day!

Join Dale Neill in his Beginner's Digital Photography classes to learn what buttons to press on your camera and how to recognise the 'sweet spot' in timing.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

The 'Little Green man' didn't work

by Dale Neill

Last night I went walking with my X10 (that's a camera). During the day there had been 100KPH guts, rain and hail. Down along Marine Parade at Traffic light No 324 (yes they do all have numbers) I pressed the button for the Little Green Man. Traffic whizzed by on th wet slick roads. It was almost dark. The wind whistled through the rigging at the Fremantle Sailing Club. No LIttle Green Man.

But the lights were changing for the cars - Red, Amber, Green. As the traffic lights changed colour I noticed them reflecting on the wet back of a parking sign that painted with the blowing rain. Agianst the windswept sky the changing colours kept me amuse while waiting for my Little Green Man.

No matter where you are, what time it is, be observant. Look at the light - its direction, intensity and colour. Then, according to Margaret Bourke-White saturate yourself with your subject and your camera will all but take you by the hand.

For extraordinary photography tuition join Dale Neill at UWA Extension.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Its like asking someone to dance

by Dale Neill

Why do photographic judges prefer black and white to colour portraits? What are the three things you should always ask your subject? 
After 'Portraits-Memories Forever' its likely you will never look at your camera the same way again. 
I know you will never sit in a bus, train or cafe the same way again.
Portrait photography is as much about life as it is about cameras.
There's no need to be afraid or nervous.
Asking someone to take their portrait is akin to asking them to dance.
I'm only running one more Portrait course at UWA this year - this is it.
UWA 13/14/18 October

Friday, 31 August 2012

iPhones hopeless for photography

by Dale Neill

I just can't believe that anyone would waste their time taking photographs on an iPhone!

I mean you should look like a photographer to start with - carrying a  tripod and DSLR fitted with a foot long sub (whoops, lens).

Surely, no real photographers would ever try to shoot a photograph with something as small as an iPhone.

Besides, a real photograph should pass through at least a couple of hours of Photoshop before being considered worthy to be submitted to Section C of the Oodnadatta (south-east branch) Camera Club.

So I'm recommending that if ever you see a pretty girl standing in front of an advertising hoarding this morning as I did, you ask to wait there while you go and fetch your big DSLR.

I think I wasted my time here on Zoe - it took 1/125 sec to shoot and 2 secs through my favourite little app. That's faster than Usaine Bolt over 100 metres or Photoshop.

But its not a real photograph .................... or is it??

Want to learn more? Check out Dale Neill's Photography Workshops at UWA Extension.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

iPhone in the Hunter Valley

by Dale Neill

Here I am at Cessnock in the Hunter Valley. Getting here just took two flights, a hire car and two hotels. It was a tad easier travelling to Antarctica last year. But its worth it. Here to witness the creme de la creme of the photographic world strut their stuff.

James Nachtwey received two standing ovations from the 300 delegates. Alicia Sinclair stunned the audience with her her intricately detailed works of photographic art. Steve Parish was back to his dynamic best and Vick Bell showed why she is one of Australia's leading fine art portrait photographers with her sensitive, textured images.

Meanwhile I was in super relaxed mode and used my iPhone (and PicFX App) to image the old tree at the bottom of our valley at sunset.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Stairway to the Moon (Broome)

             Fuji S2 Pro, M exp, 1/90s @ f5.6, 400ISO, 70-400mm Nikkor on 400mm. 5.32pm 22Jun2005

Sometimes photography is just plain hard work; boring; frustrating and mind boggling. Well, at least that's what i've heard a few 'pros' say. Personally, i don't ever feel like I've really worked a day in my life. I have fun and I'm lucky enough people pay me to have fun.
Wildheart had run a  photography workshop in Broome, Western Australia. Broome is a magical, romantic old pearling centre with a colourful multi-racial population ofa couple of thousand. But in the southern winter all the grey nomad retirees head north in their caravans and motorhomes to sip chardonnay, watch the Eagles and check the internet to see how much their super has dropped overnight.
So there I was on the clifftop outside the Mangrove Hotel with my 400mm lens and camera mounted on my 40 year old tripod with a  shutter release in one hand and a glass of champers in the other watching this bloody humungous, awesome moon rise over the tidal flats. I was thinking life was pretty good.
Just a few metres away were two couples, with compact cameras and stubbies of XXXX (obviously Collingwood supporters). I heard the slightly raised female voice say,
'What do you mean you have a  flat battery?'
Her hubbies reply was a defensive mumble and inaudible. But her response was very audible,
'Dont give me that!!! last year at Uluru you had a flat battery then as well!!!!'
'Rhonda' was not happy.

I wandered over to see if i could lend a hand. The two couples were from Melbourne. Between the four of them they had two compact cameras. Both had flat batteries! They had flown all the way from melbourne to Broome to spend two nights specifically to photograph the 'Stairway to the Moon'. Not only was hubby not going to get the Stairway to the Moon, on my reckoning he was not going to get much else that night.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Honey, I shrunk my poodle

For about ten years I raced as a professional cyclist .... and I have to wear glasses. If I don't wear my specs I literally can't see more than the length of a 50mm prime lens. So when i was cycle racing and it rained, as it invariably did on race days I always picked up the comment 'Why don't you have little windscreen wipers on your glasses!'

At first, I treated these jibes from competitors and spectators with a degree of humour. But after the first two hundred comments they started to wear a little thin. So I started racing without my specs - actually racing 'blind'.  The comments stopped and so did my direction. If I was leading the bunch and i missed a  corner and went straight ahead the remainder of the lemmings followed me!

You may ask, and rightly so 'what the heck has all that got to do with photographing dogs? Wet hounds to boot'. Well, a client came to me with two brand new little French Poodles. Sure, they were cute, but ordinary cute. based on my theory that most people look better when you wet them I asked the poodles' owner to pop them into the sink with the coffee cups and give them a bit of a rinse. It was amazing. You've heard that saying 'Honey, I've shrunk the kids'; well this poodle shrank to half its size when put in water. Not only that, but my poodley little mate shook his little body at the same rate as a South American Humming Bird. My lens and glasses were completely covered with poodle spray. I could have used little windscreen wipers on my specs.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

The Three Minute Rule

Rules! Rules! Rules!
There's only one rule I follow religiously:
'I never microwave my camera for more than three minutes'
Forget the rule of thirds, the Golden Mean and the 5/3 rule. Put aside the sunny f16 and the Depth of Field 1/3 rule and develop a passion for your subject.
Margaret Bourke-White said. 'Saturate yourself with your subject and your camera will take you by your hand'
Feel for your subject, love your subject and develop an unstoppable passion for being involved. There is an eternity to obey rules after you die.
The shot:
I was in Andreh Pradesh in India a few days after the 2004 tsunami which took 15,000 lives. Our team rescued about 200 orphans and took them to the Hebron orphanage where I lived for a week. Two hundred meters away near the canal was a leper colony. The portrait is of a beautiful Indian lady with leprosy. 

Enter the Fremantle Portrait Prize and win $5000 cash. Entries close 1 Aug 2012.

Learn how to break all the rules, increase your love of photography and accelerate your learning by joining one of my University of Western Australia (Extension) courses.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Looking for Fresh Ideas?

Get out your weight belt and your underwater housing and take a look at what a difference a drop or two of water could make to your next portrait. 

Friday, 15 June 2012

Not just a waitress

If you want to create really boring images have lots of rules and guidelines - the 'Rule of Thirds', colour compensations, extreme sharpness and so on. Then, become really paranoid and engrossed with the technicalities  'Which focal length lens will I use?', 'Will I shoot RAW or jpeg?' and 'Should I use matrix or spot metering?'
Finally, subject your image to a severe 'MAC attack'. Run it through seventeen layers of Photoshop, assorted plug-ins and ten series of over-sharpening and HDR.
There is a really good chance you will end up with an 'A' level Deadly Boring Photograph.

........ on the other hand ....

  • take one lady
  • a mirror
  • a lipstick called 'Not just a waitress'
and you have all the ingredients for a creative image.

Low light and not even a tripod in sight.

'Creative images are not made in the camera, they are made in your mind.'

'Powerful portraits are not of a subject or even of a  photographer ..... the power of the portrait comes from the relationship between subject and artist in a split-second on a quiet Sunday morning.' 

Enter the Fremantle Portrait Prize and win AU$5000 cash. Entries close 1 August 2012

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Zero Photoshop - just Imagination

170 years before Photoshop was invented photographers were thinking on how to do interesting stuff inside their own brains and inside their cameras.
For those not completely addicted tp Photoshop you can still do this.
All I did here was use a slow shutter speed and ask one person to stand still. Photoshop time: 0.000 seconds!
Mind you, keep playing with Photoshop and you can sell your DSLR in 5 years with brand, spanking new one second shutter speed in your camera.
My talent: Stringed quartet 'Mill Pond' - watch out for them!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

FISH Eye on a FISHY Eye

Well, here's a dead certain way of getting a Deadly Boring image of mother-in-law or federal politician. 
The Canon Ixus 1100 HS is a budget compact- about AU$400. If you want to keep the kids amused for hours and develop an interest in photography, you could do a lot worse. 
My grandson used the fish-eye feature on the IXUS to create this cartoon like image of himself.
To buy a regular fish eye lens for your DSLR is gong to set you back many hundreds of dollars maybe even thousands.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Turn your CAT into a WOMBAT

Is this a miracle or what? I heard someone once turned water into wine and a mate of mine once turned into a  one-way street but turning a cat into a wombat without performing radical surgery is pretty nifty. Actually, I didn't do it myself; my eleven-year old grandson performed this feat of magic using his new Ixus 1100 HS - Fisheye. He told me his next trick was to turn me into a generous Grandad. Ha!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Yak not Mac

Sandy Chaney with her pet Yak
I watched SBS news a few weeks back and the thought police had been hard at work. Three of the five bits of vision had had sensitive bits pixelated out. Its fashionable to edit out people who are certain ages, genders, colours and religions. Pretty soon we'll be editing out house bricks and marsupial mice.
This Aussie beer ad for Matilda Bay Brewery - Fat Yak Pale Ale cashes in on this very nicely.
So photographers, put your left field caps on. rather than just 'copying' a sign or ad, interact with it and record the interaction.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Boy with Camera

Perth Royal Show 1960 Sideshow Alley - and Stewart's famous boxing troupe. Everyone was watching, transfixed by the action. I was there as a sixteen year old, with my Hanimex C35, fixed 50mm lens camera loaded with film (probably Kodak Tri X)

There's only one thing worse than taking a  boring photograph - and that's taking no photograph at all.

You could submit your favourite old portrait to the Fremantle International Portrait Prize opening 5 May 2019 and r share in a prize pool of AU$20,000.

Entries open 5 May 2019
Click HERE for details.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Tulle - look Mum, no Photoshop

There are ten thousand gadgets and gizmos to produce FX, And there's a million and one Photoshop plug-ins to do this, that and the other.

How about trying something really boring - liking buying meter of tulle for $1  and holding it in front of your subject.

You either have to grow two extra hands or you ask your subject to hold it. You can use it for straining your mull wine as well.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Don't eat your food before you play with it

That's what the mother eagle said to her baby eaglet 'Don't eat your food before you play with it!'
I noticed a travel company made a comment about their new photography competition. They said 'Please don't send us any more photos of landscapes - we are overstocked with pin-sharp, perfectly exposed landscapes. Please send us shots of real people having fun'. Have you got the message ?? 50,000 pin sharp landscapes are downright boring. But we do them because we're too scared to try something different.
So here's a little travel tip. 'Don't eat your food until you photograph it' 
Choose a table with really good natural light from one side (easier to read the menu also). When the meal arrives (hopefully on a white plate!) rotate the plate until you achieve good design then shoot at about 45 degrees.
If the meal is fantastic ask if you can slip into the kitchen and photograph the chef as well. Write down the details, restaurant, dish title, chef's name. This is all hot stuff for getting your story published and score more brownie points with an editor than a landscape.
If the meal is lousy, forget about photographing the chef and the tip.
Of course, if you happen to get food poisoning you can show the medicos in emergency what you actually ate.
Bon Appetite!

PS Deserts & Coffee in Warung Enak in Ubud, Bali. 
Top: Mango tart with glaze
Bottom: mango with sticky black rice and coconut milk
These deserts are to die for (rather than die from)
Goes fabulously well with their own brewed coffee
You'll have a gay old time at Warung Enak

Thanks to my mate Clive Addison who sniffed out Warung Enak