Skydeck in 2016

Jan 02, 2016

I got to skip the long queue by ordering a ticket online whilst in the line. The place was packed. I’m liking the remote phone control of the camera so far. Means I won’t move the camera whilst trying to change settings.
Melbourne from Eureka Skydeck

POSTED IN: Landscape, Photography

Elementi dei Santi

Jan 02, 2016

An amazing sunset with a fiery sky and mist on a surreal day. My last image taken for the year.
Twelve Apostles

New Year

Jan 02, 2016

So it’s a new year. Here is a shot from the Yarra River looking back at the city. This is another image I wanted to re-do as I felt I stuffed it up so badly last time.
Melbourne with the Yarra and Flinders St Station in view

POSTED IN: Landscape, Photography

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Yarra Night

Dec 30, 2015

This was my first time using a Sony app with the camera. One of the advantages of the mirrorless system is that apps are available to do various tasks like being a camera remote like I used mine for. The reason a wireless remote option is so good is that the settings on the camera can be changed and a photo can be taken without touching the camera. This means that when I try to align the images in post they will be perfect as I haven’t accidentally moved the camera trying to touch one of the physical dials or buttons. I also get a preview on my phone screen although it is low resolution. One gotcha is that the app defaults to shooting in jpg mode. That was ok for these shots but I would not like to shoot that way in the future. Thankfully this has been remedied. One note is that I’m deleting the previous post from a similar angle and merging it with this post as I feel I shot it a lot better this time. The first attempt was my first time using the Sony so I made some mistakes.
Yarra by the night

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Nov 18, 2015

Had the privilege of shooting this beautiful woman for a Christmas present for her father. We mainly just made bad jokes during the session. Naomi at Naomi Fearn Makeup Artist did a wonderful job with the makeup and also helped carry around an oversized reflector. She also helped Lauren relax and laugh which is very important. Lauren has a naturally beautiful smile so I wanted to try my best to capture it.
I tried a few different things during the editing of these images. For the first look I tried to colour grade it using complimentary colours. For the second I tried to produce an Emily Soto style image and for the third I just tried to keep things a bit more natural.
Lauren's Portrait Session

POSTED IN: Photography, Portrait

Caroline and Rod get married

Nov 18, 2015

It isn’t too often that you get to photograph a wedding overseas. My sister Caroline and her husbad Rod got married in Fiji at Sunset. It was a quick but beautiful ceremony amongst friends and family. At the reception which was held on the beach we were entertained by Mick Thomas from Weddings Parties Anything, a band that I loved to listen to growing up and is a favourite of Carolines. It was a privilege to be a part of this wedding. All the best Caroline and Rod!
Caroline and Rod Wed in Fiji

Model shoot with Farshad

Sep 23, 2015

First time using the a7r2 on a proper shoot. I’m mostly impressed but also very unimpressed with other aspects of the camera. Shot using the “holy trinity”, the 35L, 85L and the 135L. It’s good to be able to use the 85L again. It does better on the a7r2 than my Canon bodies. Both the 35 and 135 focus better on any Canon body. Hopefully firmware will fix that. Also the camera kept locking up for about 10 seconds or more at a time. Extremely frustrating.
On a more positive note it was fantastic to work with Farshad. We had been talking about doing a shoot for ages. I felt that we were both collaborating well together. Hopefully the results are worth the effort. I also tried a night shot for the fun of it. I think the a7r2 does well at iso 2000.
Men's fashion shoot in Melbourne

New A7Rii

Sep 13, 2015

Just bought a Sony a7r2. This is a 42 megapixel camera that is able to take my Canon lenses with the help of an adapter. Here are my thoughts so far.
Higher resolution
Lower noise
Higher dynamic range
Tilt screen
In body image stabilisation
In body level
Preview of things like white balance
Silent shooting mode
4k video
Good amount of custom buttons
Electronic first curtain sync
Wireless and ability to add apps
Discount on purchase of Capture One Pro
Terrible battery life
Less reliable autofocus
Have to use an adapter
Lack of dual card slots
Compressed Raw
Even worse compression when using silent shutter/bulb mode
Overheats in 4k video mode
Seems to gather way more dust than any dslr I’ve used
Needs to be turned off constantly and is slower to turn on than a dslr
USB 2.0
After finally taking it on a proper shoot. I’d already done some testing and concluded that the commlite adapter I’d bought for it was rubbish. Had to pay for a metabones which so far has been much better but way more expensive. I was weighing up between this and the 5dsr. In the end it was a tie between the 2 cameras. I almost didn’t purchase this camera because of the idiotic reviews by certain Sony “Artisans”. I’ve never seen such over the top biased views in my life. I leaned towards this camera only so that I could try something new and push my boundaries further. Taking it out on my first shoot I realise how clumsy I am with this camera. This is not a complaint about the camera but I’d been so used to shooting Canon that I had to re-learn how to shoot. I have absolutely no problem with learning something new if it has a benefit. I’m one of the few that preferred windows 8 over 7. Yes, it takes 5 minutes to get used to the new system but once you do you realise that it’s faster.
I noticed a level of dust and dirt that I’ve never ever seen before on my dslrs and that’s only after owning it for a couple of weeks. I think it’s clean now but it almost ruined my shots. I think the image quality is excellent on this new camera based on my first few shots. Seeing the image on the back of the lcd changes the way I approach a shoot but for the better I think. Focussing whilst on a tripod is just as simple as a dslr so that is quite easy. Extending my tripod up to it’s maximum level is also easy since I don’t have to look through the viewfinder any more. The camera seems to give an accurate estimation of exposure. All in all it seems a winner for landscapes. I’ll post more thoughts soon.

Mungo and Uluru

Aug 26, 2015

Day 1
We drove from Melbourne to mungo through mildura. We saw the lunettes at mungo and stayed up late for one of the clearest night skies that I’m ever likely to see. Saw emus and mobs of kangaroos, almost smashed into one of them. I’m shooting with the 5ds which is on loan from TEDs. The intervalometer function really saved me as the batteries ran out on my canon cable release. I had batteries in the car but as we found out later that night it was difficult to get back to the car in pitch black darkness (the moon was down).
We witnessed the clearest view of the milky way I’d ever seen and I believe witnessed the tail end of a meteor shower. Hopefully the images turn out. It really was surreal being in that environment.

5ds vs 5d2
The 5ds is clearly the superior camera. It feels bulky compared the the mark 2 but the additional features make it an amazing camera. I was shooting the milky way under a moonless sky and I realise that my trusty intervelometor had run out of batteries. I can use it as a remote but nothing else. This is where the 5ds saved me. I had fresh batteries in the car but that was so far away on such a dark night. It didn’t all go smoothly though. I set the camera to take 25 images. It captured a few then stopped. I thought the buffer might be the issue, it wasn’t. I finally figured out that the camera was calculating the interval multiplied by the number of shots. Well I was shooting at a shutter speed of 20 seconds which was much less than the interval of 5ish seconds. Silly that this is an issue but the workaround was easy. I put in an interval of 9 seconds and a shot count of 85. That was plenty of time to get the shots I needed.
The other issue I had with the 5ds was learning the buttons. Not an issue with the camera but I had fun trying to figure out which button did what. It all worked out eventually so no dramas. I really like the 5ds. It made me question my decision to buy an a7r2 instead. Unfortunately my a7r2 didn’t arrive till after the trip so I’ve had to use the 5ds instead. This worked out really well actually because now I’ve used both cameras. (UPDATE) After reviewing some of the images on the computer I am confident that the 5ds is a much better camera than the 5d2 and possibly has an edge over the a7r2 in terms of resolving detail. I may end up adding one of these to my kit once the price comes down. For now the a7r2 has arrived and I look forward to testing that camera soon.
Day 2
Got up early after a night of no sleep. Witnessed a kangaroo go arse over tit in an attempt to hop away from the car. Unfortunately sunrise was underwhelming at the walls of China. So we scouted out some shooting angles again for sunset. Saw more kangaroo’s and emu’s. Had a great sunset and went out to shoot the stars again. This night was even clearer than last night. It was amazing. The moon set to a blood red tinge as it had the night before. The clarity in the sky was beyond belief.
Day 3
Got up early again and shot the sunrise at the walls of China. This was far better than the day before although we didn’t have much time to enjoy it. Went to get on the road when I hit a kangaroo on the way to mildura. Stuffed up the car but fortunately no damage was done internally. Stopped for lunch at a nice little town called Burra. Saw a picturesque abandoned building so I stopped to take a shot. Saw many canola fields and beautiful landscapes as we drove. However we were behind schedule and needed to reach coober pedy by 9pm. Eventually we got there on time. The beds were very comfy after what we’d been used to at mungo. Got a notification that my a7r2 had arrived. Thanks Sony but you are a bit too late. Meanwhile I’m continuing to enjoy using the 5ds.
Abandoned house near Burra
Day 4
Got up early in the morning to get to the painted desert. I think this was worth the effort even with the amount of cows we had to stop for. We saw several mountain ranges that looked stunning but we were glad to leave the dirt road driving behind us. We pushed hard and made uluru by 2:30 and prepared ourselves before heading to the national park for sunset. The sky behind us was better than the sky in front of us but even though it was nice I had come here to shoot uluru. I want to leave here with some good shots. I don’t think I’m a good enough photographer.
Painted Desert SA
Day 5
Got up early for sunrise at Ayer’s Rock. We were the third car to reach the gate but got to the lookout spot first. Witnessed some lightning before shooting the rock. Climbed the rock or most of it at least. I’m too unfit at the moment. Ate lunch at a local cafe.
Walked through Walpa Gorge at the Olgas. It was beautiful. Witnessed sunset from the sunrise viewing platform. I will return tomorrow.
Uluru and Walpa Gorge
Day 6
Went to the olgas (Kata Tjuta) for sunrise. Then did the valley of the winds walk. It was the most amazing of the trip. Stopped many times to take pics. It was fun trying something different. Sunset was back at Uluru. Tried a slightly different position this time after being yelled at by park staff for being in a non-designated photo area. Seriously the rules here and at Mungo are very annoying. Had a decent sunset and went back to Yulara for dinner.
Uluru at sunset
Day 7
Got up early for sunrise and for once I wasn’t the first one to get to a certain spot. Luckily the photographer next to me set up in a position that I wouldn’t have set up in so it was all good. Took a quick walk around the base (not the whole thing, just the mala walk) and really enjoyed the walk. We were on the road by 9:30am and went straight for Melbourne. I was very tired at the end of this trip.

Dark and light

Mar 09, 2015

I love the mood that can be made by photographing a person with darker skin. It allows an experimentation with light that just wouldn’t work as well with a lighter skinned person. I love that even though we are all different as people we can all make art in interesting and unique ways. There is no race in the world that is not beautiful!
Black and white portrait

POSTED IN: General, Photography

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