Archive for April 2012
I always do a Recon (check of the area) of the site well before I photograph at that site. I determine where car parking is, foot access, where the tides should be at, what’s in the foreground/ mid ground/ back ground, where the sun will rise/ set blah, blah. I actually do put some thought into it. Some time ago I had found a great little dirt track that had trees hanging over the track sort enveloping it which resulted in a massive arch over the track. The trees were full of green and from what I could determine, the sun would rise behind the trees illuminating the track and hoping that the trees would throw out some shadows as well, hoping to add drama to the overall shot. I was willing to spend an hour there at least. It was a beautiful site even in the middle of the day.I had planned on how I wanted to photograph it, I had _That Mental Picture_ in my head of the final results. I figured it would even look pretty good in Black and White. I then placed that spot on my list of locations to photograph at dawn/ dusk in the very near future.
Well, this morning I got up at some hour that my watch didn’t recognise and drove to the site, all of my gear prepared and with a steaming hot coffee ready to go in my portable mug. When I arrived I found that the trees gone and the dirt track to be a road. The site had been bulldozed with a housing sub division well under construction. I simply couldn’t believe it. I felt as though that I had been robbed ! robbed of a secret location that I hadn’t told another photographer about because I wanted to be selfish. I stood in the early morning light, silent and dumbfounded.
I needed to regroup from this and find another location to shoot and I needed to get there before the sun broke over the horizon. I needed those golden 20 or so minutes to make getting out of bed worthwhile. Not an easy task to achieve considering that first light had already kicked the day off, so now I was not only robbed of a location by developers but also by time and it was against me. So I headed off back down the road, hit the main road and started looking, desperately looking for another location. Down one road to find its a dead end and nothing of any value, panicking I remembered that I knew of a location that was close and I could get there quickly but this spot is a hard location to photograph. I would have to work hard to make something of it. I arrived there to see recreational fisherman lowering their small boats into the water to go fishing. Not thats a problem for them but it was a problem for me because I could clearly see them from 200 metres away, so I knew that I had lost time, valuable time. Fortunately for me the tide was on its way out and had a long way to go so I could get some shots of the sunrise.
What I learnt from this mornings lessons was the following:
1. Always do a confirmatory recon (check of the area you want to shoot in)
2. Always have a back up location in case the first one is not suitable.
3. Don’t Panic
So these are the two shots, that’s right two shots that I feel as though are worthy enough not to be deleted.
Enjoy your weekend and remember, Happy shooting.
As a photographer you need to understand that being in front of the camera can be daunting for most people and its one of the most uncomfortable places to be. Women especially don’t like it because they believe that the photographer will expose all of their flaws, real or not, they generally are not fans of having their portraits taken but how do you learn what its like to be in front of the camera having your photo taken. Well by undertaking a Self Portrait Project and hopefully that will do one of two things.
1. Learn what its like so I can show people that’s its not as scary as it seems because I have done it, or
2. Improve my photography and lighting techniques.
Now you can always aim to have the stock standard photo of you standing there looking at your camera while the timer clicks over and then Boom, Photo taken ! and there you have it, You now have the stock standard self portrait with a surprised dumb look on your face. Straight to Facebook…..I think not. Trust me I have plenty of THOSE PHOTOS. So I decided to take it to another level completely. I come up with the Do I look Stupid Doing This ? project.
Since starting this project, I have found that its not as easy as I had thought, I also found that you as the photographer need to be creative to be able to put the person at ease, which is not always easy and you also need to develop workable with themes that suit the client that you are photographing. So I grabbed props from around the house and started and from there it went down hill ……fast. This is when I realised that I was about to expose all of my flaws to the world as well, I was going to be open to being criticised for having two chins. So here’s what I have done so far, flaws and all. I would love to hear what you think and if you think I need help, please let me know who to contact.
and the answer is Yes, I do look stupid doing this !.
Now if you haven’t heard of Google Plus, don’t go hanging your head in shame. Its a new social media platform that has been operating for about 12 months and has been only public for about 6 – 8 months. Google Plus has about 100 million active users so far and that is growing monthly. It has been reported that Google Plus had grown 67% in March alone. I would like to define what an active user is – Active users are defined as someone who actively logs onto their account daily, Facebook has a reported 800 million people who actively log onto their accounts daily, which is mind blowing ! This new kid on the block is not designed to be a Facebook killer but rather an alternative to social media platforms such as Facebook. The interface is clean, easy to use and the interaction with other users is really high but a word of warning, if you don’t interact with people such as commenting on peoples posts or post original content then Google Plus may well feel like a ghost town. Google Plus is not for everyone and neither is Facebook however for photographers of all levels of ability, Google Plus is like having the worlds photographers walk past your door every day, which is fantastic and that’s why I use it.
On the 31st of March, a nationwide photowalk was organised by Google Australia for Australian photographers who actively use Google Plus. It was an awesome event which was held in all major capital cities across Australia. The numbers that turned up in Sydney alone were simply amazing. They had 225 people which is beyond expectations and set a world record for a photowalk. These numbers haven’t taken into account the other cities where they had plenty of people turn up.
Brisbane – 66 people
Melbourne – 105
Perth and Adelaide – 35 each and numerous other smaller cities and towns such as Darwin had about 12 people register their interest and had over 20 turn up on the day. The Sydney event was also broadcast with the help of Weekend Sunrise which is a Breakfast TV show. So they certainly got plenty of exposure in Sydney. Everyone who attended the photowalk received a brightly coloured Google Plus T-shirt and there were some give aways such as camera straps that were given away during the event, unfortunately I didn’t win any of the give away prizes. Oh well maybe next time.
You might be wondering what a photowalk is, well its where photographers of all levels of ability get together and walk a predetermined route and photograph interesting subjects along the way. Some photowalks start before dawn and finish mid morning, some start late afternoon and finish after dusk which in itself provides good opportunities to photograph interesting subjects. Photowalks are also a great way to meet other photographers, network and improve your photography skills as you invariably learn from others as you go plus increase your fitness without you even knowing it.
These are some of the photos that I took throughout the Brisbane leg of the Nationwide photowalk. I enjoyed the event immensely and I would do it all again, even the very early start which was around 5.30 am. If you want to see photos from other photographers that attended the photowalks in any of the capital cities across Australia, simply navigate to www.google.com and place in the search bar the following: #thewalkdownunder where you will find video and images from the day.
I have also heard on the grape vine that there will be another event or photowalk organised by Google possibly in late June, which I believe is Google’s birthday, now if this does turn out to be true, I do ask that everyone stays away from the cake until I get there and it better be a late start this time.