Looking and listening this week

Looking and listening this week

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One of the reasons I’m drawn to photographers that work with celebrities is that they tend to be on top of their game and a lot can be learnt from pulling apart lighting, composition and approach. The portfolios of these three photographers are a good example.

Kenneth Willardt

Vincent Peters

Jesse Frohman

Just ignore the “beautiful famous people” in these images for a moment and look at them as portraits…

 

Listening to the distinctive voice of Katie Melua covering a classic Bond theme.

Out scouting

Out scouting

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Sometimes it’s okay to keep it simple, go out with minimal gear and just look around.

This weekend I spent some time in Melbourne doing just that and these are some of the images. I’m happy with the two images of the posts in terms of composition.  I want to go back and see what they are like when it is not overcast. The late afternoon light will also change the way these look in terms of colour temperature. The stonework and ironwork door details were just a starting point. I want to go back when the sun is higher so that is just grazes the stonework and brings out the texture.

I tend to try and work quickly, unless there is something worth more effort it is best to keep moving. The images I make on these occasions act as a notebook to jog my memory. They prompt me so that next time I’m in that location I may be able to improve on what I saw with a different lens or time of day.  My phone does a pretty good job of note-taking. I can throw together camera images, location details and other notes fairly easily.

Looking and listening this week

Looking and listening this week

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A late post this week as incredibly, I am almost at the end of another and another paper is coming together.

Back on the portraits theme this week, starting with Francesco Ridolfi, who I mentioned this time last year, followed closely by Alessio Albi and Joel Pares

In my last post, I mentioned a conference and one of the highlights was listening to Ben Roberts Smith VC.

If you ever have the opportunity, he is one of the best public speakers I have seen and his description of the action that led to him being awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery had 1100 people in awe. If you ever have an opportunity to meet or listen to Ben speak, do it.

 

Time of day

Time of day

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I had a lot on this week. A final paper to draft for the semester, a few deadlines for work and a two day conference Thursday and Friday. The conference was held in the Docklands precinct of Melbourne so that provided an opportunity for some photography that I could not pass up. I know the area fairly well so I got in shortly after sunrise on Friday just as the light was clearing the top of the office buildings. I got a mix of images and it was interesting to see the colour temperature change over the 40 minutes I was there. Unfortunately, the starfish was already being fought over by a couple of Seagulls on the pier and was sadly beyond help.

After the conference wrapped that afternoon I decided to go back and see how the light direction had changed the scene. This was a much shorter session as my camera battery gave out and after two days of walking around the conference venue, talking to colleagues and listening to presenters I was pretty drained myself.

It wasn’t until I got the images up on a monitor that I was really able to appreciate the different qualities of light and shadow. Although many photographers insist that best light is found during those times around sunrise and sunset, other times can work too. Time of day does affect the direction and quality of light falling on a scene but rather than avoiding certain times entirely, I tend to look for subjects that lend themselves to the available light or for the right light to create the look I want with certain subjects. If I want high contrast with hard shadows then I will seek the time of day and conditions that deliver that.  This was a great opportunity to rework a subject as the light changed and if I had the endurance (and a spare battery) it would have been good to get the sunset and twilight. That said I’m just happy to have been so busy and still find time to make images.

Looking and listening this week

Looking and listening this week

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My battle with mucus is drawing to close, leaving me free to focus on reading. Most of that is texts for a paper I’m writing this weekend but there have been distractions.

Mary Ellen Mark has done most of what many photographers aspire to.

Like many other models Helena Christensen has moved to the other side of the camera and taken advantage of her modelling experience.

Can you tell I’m back onto portraiture again?

Putting Jeremy Cowart in the list of shares this week would confirm it.

 

Listening to Alice Russell get a little crazy.

I have a Cead Hold

I have a Cead Hold

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Translation: I have a head cold… Nothing but mucus, mucus, mucus since Thursday.

Yes, I appreciate it could be worse but right now is bad enough thank you. Needless to say there are no photos being taken at present.

I would rather feel anything other than meh…

Looking and listening this week

Looking and listening this week

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Looking back over the last year of these looking and listening posts it appears recently I have gone overboard for portrait, beauty and fashion photographers. It reflects my current interest in photographic people but my bookshelves hold a lot of references for nature and landscape photography as well and my tendency to make so many macro images comes from my original interest in the natural world and the techniques I learnt to do that.

There are several of John Shaw’s book in my collection that I bought many years ago and although much of the technical content relates to film rather then digital his strobe techniques still hold up today.

Heather Angel is another photographer and writer that I have collected and she is probably the one that got me interested in Nature photography in the first place.

Listening to Amy Petty cover an Australian classic.