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)

Jul 5, 2011

Hanging by a thread - Photo 5 of 50

Ok, so its a pretty thick thread...
this be the Pacific Sun, one heck of a big cruise ship moored off Circular Quay in Sydney the other day...

Jul 4, 2011

Blending in - Photo 4 of 50

To become a spy, one must be invisible, able to disappear into a crowd or blend into ones surroundings just as these two are doing, becoming part of the window display : Spying 101, Chapter 3, section 2.1

Mannequins Photo 3 of 50

Promo for Project Runway I think... Not sure what the point of half dressed mannequins is though? Oh well, stranger things have appeared in the streets of Sydney

Jul 2, 2011

Flower box - Photo 2 of 50

Early morning walk at The Rocks in Sydney, these flower boxes were on the sidewalk along the road, had to crouch down a bit to take the picture. Two policemen on the other side started giving me suspicious looks, I musta looked kinda dodgy... Fortunately its still legal to take pictures of flower boxes in Sydney :)

Jul 1, 2011

The Guitar Man - Photo 1 of 50

Always wanted to do one of those 365 projects y'all are doing. but dammed if I can count to 365 .... now 50 that's a nice round number I can handle... Anyhoo, on my 50th year on this earth with my 50 mm lens I give you photo number 1 of 50.

This gent is one of 3 who frequent Martin place entertaining us worker ants during the lunch break, great music , mostly Latin and Jazz though...