Oct 25, 2011

Walking the streets - photo 35 of 50

Last saturday I went on my first ever photo walk in Sydney organized by a group of photographers hanging out in Google+ , it turned out to be an excellent day with a bunch (about 150 of them) of wonderful people and ended in Observatory Hill with a barbeque and drinks provided by Google who also provided T-shirts and camera straps for the event.

the rest of the album is on G+ Sydney Photo Walk

there's some pretty amazing work from the others on the walk, you can view them by doing a search in G+ for #sydneyphotowalk

Oct 9, 2011

lifes a yoyo - photo 34 of 50

anonymous - photo 33 of 50

everyday I get on the train and like the millions of other comuters stare blankly at the wall or deep into our little magic boxes... just another blank face among the hundreds of blank faces...

is it really so hard to smile and say hello...

Sep 9, 2011

the setting - photo 26 of 50

it was quiet last night at Chilli Jam, couldn't help but notice the lovely way they've set the tables

Sep 8, 2011

♫are you lonesome tonight♫ - photo 25 of 50

♫do you miss me tonight♫

"you ever wonder what it would be like to be a chopstick, just lying there on your white sheet and only the soysauce to talk to, a quick bite then dumped without a thought in the garbage bin"

♫are you sorry we drifted apart♫

Sep 5, 2011

Dearest Daughter

16 years ago today a miracle happened... a sweet little bundle of joy arrived and changed our lives forever... as each year has passsed that joy continues... just watching you grow and develop into the beautiful and intelligent young lady you are now and having the chance to be a part of that has blessed us in so many ways.

i hope and pray for only the best for you Isa. Happy birthday sweetheart!

(and no, I'm not going to take down this picture of you at 1 month old)

Aug 22, 2011

Aug 18, 2011

second glance - Photo 23 of 50

she listened for a while... started to walk away... a second glance... a fleeting moment... what might have been, a new love, a new friend... perhaps not...

Aug 14, 2011

Black Swans

beauty, grace and fiercely protective of their young. (just like me except for the beauty and grace part!)

this display was against another swan that was getting too close... the somewhat violent and high speed chase that followed was something to behold..

Aug 12, 2011

cowboys in Sydney - Photo 21 of 50

country singers in Sydney, they appeared to be promoting some kind of science initiative by the government... cowboys/science initiative, can't quite get the connect... Yeehaw!!!

Aug 11, 2011

Aug 7, 2011

A tree -Photo 20 of 50

"I read the news today, oh boy"
Seems to be all doom and gloom in a world intent on its own destruction...

Still , the sun rises and sets as it has always done, the trees still grow, the flowers still bloom, the birds still sing.

I guess while there is life there will always be hope.

Aug 2, 2011

The Lunchbreak - Photo 18 of 50

What better place in the world to spend your lunchbreak than in Sydneys Circular Quay, enjoyimg the clear blue skies and watching the ferries in front of the opera house...

Dragging yourself back to the office is always a problem though.... Long lunch anyone!

Aug 1, 2011

Growing old gracefully - Photo 17 of 50

Seeing this loving couple on the bench brought the thought to mind "Growing old gracefully"

So what does "Growing old gracefully" mean, seeing the ads on TV and magazines ( those glossy paper things with words and pictures in them) it seems to mean spending a fortune on wrinkle creams and hair products, dieting, exercising, popping a million vitamin suppliments all to stave off the ravages of time. Its about looking good, having the body of a 30 year old at 40, 50, 60?

I look at this couple and see the gray hairs, the wrinkles, the oldness and think this would make an interesting picture but as I look through my lens I see something more, I see a tender touch on the face, i see the loving looks, i see a smile... I've missed the shot, but feel strangely at peace, I've gained something more, something to look forward to as I grow older...

So what does it mean to you "Growing old gracefully?

Epilogue: trying to convince the wife I really don't need to exercise and diet so much anymore :)

Jul 26, 2011

Wandering around

Walked around town for a bit, ended up in Pitt st. Lots of shopping happening what with all the new stores popping up, mostly ladies clothes though... no interest there... Oh well....

Jul 21, 2011

Soaking Sydney -Photo 15 of 50

Wet, wet, wet... Sydneys copped a drenching like we haven't seen in a while... don't get me wrong, I love the rain, but four days straight in sunny Sydney is a bit much!

Jul 19, 2011

Winter blooms - Photo 14 of 50

Mid winter here and there are still a few hanger ons. Then again its been a pretty mild winter, havent had to hibernate or anything.

Jul 18, 2011

Jul 12, 2011

Sleep awaits - Photo 11 of 50

Clouds are out today
Gloom weighs heavy on my heart
Longed for sleep still waits...

Lesson for the day: watching the Harry Potter premier with the kids at midnight and having to go to the office a couple of hours later is not a good thing. (great movie though!)

Lest we forget - Photo 10 pf 50

War memorial in Martin Place

Jul 11, 2011

Young friends - photo 9 of 50

"so which light saber is the best, Mace Windu or Annakin?". The innocence of youth, too soon over... Don't grow up too quickly guys... (then again, I'm hitting 50 and I'm still being told to grow up! he he he)

Jul 10, 2011

Illusions - Photo 8 of 50

"Whatever I have accepted until now as most true has come to me through my senses. But occasionally I have found that they have deceived me, and it is unwise to trust completely those who have deceived us even once. " Rene Descartes

Jul 7, 2011

My name is George

About 10 years ago, the evening before a work trip to London, my 3 year old son came and sat on my lap and handed me his favorite koala bear very seriously saying "take George so you don't get lonely over there and so you don't forget me". Well suffice to say I didn't get lonely on my trip and I didn't forget my son either. Since then George has travelled with me overseas, to the office, going fishing, taking residence in whatever bag I might be carrying (George is all of 10cm tall so its not too hard).

8 months ago, George (pause, cue in sad music) disapeared. Though we search high and low we couldn't find him. While on holiday a few months later my son, knowing how special George was to me gave me George Jr. a Philippine tarsier from the, uh, Philippines... It wasn't quite the same though... (heavy sigh).

3 weeks ago, who should turn up but George, hiding in the back of the sock closet all this time!

We've introduced George to George Jr and they're best buddies now...

Point of this story... aside from my constant need to ramble on... nothing really, just wanted to share how precious my two kids are to me and the little things they do that touch my life in a really special way...

Thank you Isa and Rapha...

Product Shot 2 light setup

Been doing a bit of product photography on the side whenever I get some free time from being a full time hobbyist photographer.

Anyhoo, its relatively simple to do with some basic equiptment.

My current set up is

2 light stands - saw some on ebay for around $29Aus
2 umbrellas - these are quite cheap in ebay as well

2 flash guns , I'm using a Nikon Sb600 and a 900, but any flash gun will do.

1 camera and a 50mm lens

You need a way to trigger the flashes, so flash triggers - again el-cheapo on ebay, not as stable as a pocket wizard but its not like critical that it fires each time. I'm using a Nikon system so I can do without by using CLS which is triggered from on-board flash - iffen your flash has a slave mode you could use that as well.

You could actually do the same thing with just one flash, umbrella, and a reflector, white foamcore would do just nicely.

Umbrella on the right is actually pretty big for this, the 80 cm one on the left is just the right size.

The next image below is totally unecessary, just wanted to try out this app I found for lighting setups called Sylight

Camera settings:
I don't use a tripod so I have the shutter speed at around 60 or 80 on a 50mm lens

Apperture settings depend on the kind of look you want, blurred background then larger apperture, everyrhing in focus then smaller apperture, etc, etc. You do need to adjust the power of your flash accordingly, ie larger apperture is going to let more light in so you will need to turn down the flash.

I tend to set the flashes at at a 1:2 ratio
Ie. If one flash is at 1/32, the other would be at 1/64, this is not a fixed rule and you need to adjust according to taste. I've found that at the same settings the photos just look flat.


Generally speaking there are two types of product shots. The first one using a flat neutral background with only the product in the picture and the other a lifestyle type of shot where the product is shot in its natural environment, ex. A wine glass would be shot on a dining table, with a bottle of wine , plates etc in the background as props.

I'm finding that what seems to attract more hits on the internet is somewhere between the two types - Simple background with just a few props...

The styling is probably the hardest part of this whole exercise, deciding what to use as props, how much to use, where to position. The aim is that anything you add to the picture should highlight the product in some way.

Note: tried looking for product stylling courses but couldnt find any, endedup attending a food photography workshop at FoodPixels instead, got a lot of ideas from there.

What else... you need to be aware of the ambient light as well, if you have a look at the setup photo above the only other light open is a weak lamp on the left (need some light to focus with). The flash is powerful enough to overpower this one. If the main lights were on these shots would have had an ugly yellowish tint on them ... not that easy to fix on photoshop.

The same lighting setup can also be used to shoot portraits of unwary kids and dogs just going to the kitchen for a snack!

Where's Humpty now? Photo 7 of 50

Ever wonder what ever happened to Humpty Dumpty? Turns out that contrary to rumors, they were able to put him back together again. He has since left the Wall, got married had kids and moved to Sydney. Here's Humpty with mrs Dumpty and the kids at the MLC in Sydney. (not sure who the guy is at the back, uncle I think)