Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Maggie and myself rest up for a Polish Christmas lunch just waiting for us at her mum's.
It's going to be big, festive and I'll have to take away some snacks just to be able to enjoy them later!

Merry Christmas to the World Wide Web!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I grew up with every weekend spent on the ocean.  If I couldn't start dad's dingy I'd swim with my sister and our friends around the boat or to the closest shore which was more often than not a kilometer from the mooring.  I haven't been on a boat since I lived in Brisbane almost a decade ago and as I've found out I don't have my sea legs anymore and have picked up my mum's nausea instead!  Mum loved the boat as much as I but was was always wearing wrist straps to hold off the effects of sea sickness.

My last outing onto the ocean was terrible but out onto the Great Barrier Reef I felt ill and although I did 'purge the evil'.  Once I'd finished feeding the fishes I felt immediately better.  I can't begin to tell you how wonderful I felt but let's just say I was set to enjoy the rest of the day like everyone else.  Apparently the quick duck under the railings gave me a little shiner too.

I did stow my gear well before that adventure and didn't take it out for the rest of the trip.  I think some of my nausea was caused by looking through the lens and didn't want a repeat.

The trip out to the reef was made with the wonderful crew of Passions of Paradise.  I highly recommend them as they are great entertainers and fabulous people.  Especially one of our divemasters' who was instrumental in helping Maggie get back into diving.

Simon - our smooth talking, card shuffling divemaster.  The man is an absolute riot.

After two dives and a visit to Michaelmas Cay I can only say with a little sadness that the reef isn't looking it's once colourful self.  I remember swimming as a kid on the reef and the immediate colour and vibrancy of the coral would hit you right in the face!  Giant clams and a few anemone are all that remains of that once vivid memory.  The good new is the fish are still flourishing and looking wonderful!

I hope to go back and take in more of this wonderful sight and be prepared with more photos. ;)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Today Maggie was battling vertigo on top of a giant rock overhanging the gorgeous Joesephine Falls so I could get this self portrait in for the New Zealand edition of Jasmine Star's Workshop! I love my Maggie who is a gorgeous 32 year old today!

She was holding out my main flash to light me up whilst my old favourite was perched on a rock.  The second flash gave me the lovely starburst in the background.

I've been um-ing and ah-ing about entering this competition but the 5th of January will be my 30th and what a lovely way of spending it than in New Zealand and further setting the foundations for my future!

More to come from the trip including a complete lack of shots from our dive trip to the Great Barrier Reef!
I'll explain why in a later post.  ;)

Friday, November 6, 2009

On leave...

I'm on leave with my missus in Far North Queensland.  My folks are up here so it's a popular place to go.

From a wet Victoria we stopped in sunny Sydney.

Maggie's mum sent us on the way with sandwiches that I didn't think we'd get through but boy were they great.  A bit heavy on the spanish onions which was quite obvious when we found a quiet corner of the terminal to sit and bust open the zip loc bags.  Two other travellers sitting close by got up and took off!

I'll leave the trip there and with another note as I've got to head on down to mum's resturant for a little dinner.  I have forgotten to upload Burke & Diana's wedding photos for all of you!  I was so excited with that one shot I dismissed having to post further shots, heck, I've delivered the photos to them but I forgot about the fanclub!

I'll try to get some up when I get back home!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Burke & Diana

On fire.  I was on fire!  Burke & Diana tied the knot and what a great bunch on people.  The energy that radiated from the family on this day was a source I had to tap into!

I'm paying for it now because I have a mountain of photos to sort, edit and process so there's more to come on this beautiful couple.  Burke & Diana thank you for letting me be part of your special day!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Lisa & Joel

I'm getting a hang of this wedding thing but it still challenges me. 

Challenge, what a word.  It's like using "nice," it's kind of clinical, kind of boring, it hides more than what I'm letting on. 

Weddings, they seem great as I approach the day.  On the day I get a little nervous, a little anxious but drive through it trying to cover the good angles and let the day flow.  Whilst I'm buried in the emotion of the day it's great!  People are happy, there's a few stories that get whispered and I get to meet some fantastic people it's great but the next day I'll sit in front of the computer ready to process and I feel I've acheived little.

I plug through it, delete a few here, process a few there.  Black & white?  Hmmm, works well here.  A little warmth there.  The photos grow, they come alive.  The energy of the day is recreated and I begin to love it.

My oh my what a rollercoaster. 

Thank you Lisa & Joel.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The best weekend yet


It started off a little uninspiring as I bummed around Tony Ryan's Studio while everyone else got stuck into shooting with their models.

Ross my team mate for the Flickr strobist meet started shooting and I sorta-kinda shot as well but was getting as much inspiration from my shots as I was putting in.

Sweet F.A.

Lunch came and went and the gears started turning...slowly. Gradually I was getting back into my creative groove and then they started humming along nicely when I got a knudge, "Al, we're off to the laneway again. The Mustang is coming out."


I love painting a scene and creating a story with my photography and shooting with the Mustang really helped bring all of that out.

After that it was a quick blast home from Northcote to pick up my missus and celebrate a mate's birthday. Joe is a Country Fire Authority member and recently gave up a bit of his time to concrete our driveway and patio. Shooting his family and doing a simple couple portrait, whilst a little inebriated was the least I could do!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Splash and dash

A quick note.

I'm off for a shoot tomorrow but not before working on the old gate and hanging it....Maggie and I have a new concrete driveway! YAY!

That's the first thing in the morning, then the shoot, then birthday party.

Long day but soooo worth it.

Monday, September 7, 2009


I can't begin to describe the excitement, the elation and the satisfaction I feel when someone tags my flickr account.

Another fan of my work! Yay! It drives me on to acheive more and boy do I ever feel that much better about what I'm doing with this whole photography milarky.

During my work week when I've got a few moments to myself I load up the Canon User's Forum and my Flickr "groups" page ready to open up a new tab when time presents itself and to wonder through the pools. Some days the thumbnails hide a treasure and sometimes...well, I'll say it's dissapointing but most times the tiny image is an accurate depiction of what lays beneath.

When I hit a great image, I'll add it as a fav or leave a comment but if I'm pressed for time I'll copy the shortcut into a email I leave open all day. This email contains all the links to interesting galleries, shots, articles, etc that I find so I can read them in depth at home during my wind down from work.

Today, Ross Barker caught my eye in the Strobist Photo Pool with a beautiful head shot. I saw the thumbnail and said, "Wow." Once I'd added it as a fav that was it, Monday ran it's natural course as the busiest day of the week however when I got home I'd found that Ross had added me as a contact, YAY!

I love a tight headshot like Ross's. Bright eyes, high cheeks, every lash lovingly teased out and lighting that helps accentuate all those details. I also prefer that she hasn't had her skin smoothed out to buggery it detracts from the intimacy that comes with a headshot.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Handy tips for the Second Photographer

2nd Photographer. Most people sign on for the experience so they can improve themselves and at the end of the day "myself" is all they think of.

The first time I shot a wedding as 2nd, yes, I was lucky enough to be given a free run and some opportunities to develop but when it came down to it I was there to support the photographer.

I've been reminded of that wedding because of a post made by Jasmine Star. There were two things I should have done better.

The first was my dress sense. Although I was smartly dressed I didn't dress to the same standard as the photographer I was supporting.

The second was to know where everything was in the gear bags. I was able to work everything but was fumbling trying to locate gear.

I think I'll easily do better on the next round which is odd as I was swinging toward NEVER shooting weddings again after the first. Reflection tends to change you.

For now have a wonder through Jasmine's blog, I really do admire her style. Her blog design is "to die for." ;)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

New Kittens & A Family Portrait Opportunity

"Getting the cats before we have Vietnamese might not be good." I replied to Maggie tongue in cheek. Off we went for Friday lunch with a couple of my workmates.
Friday lunch at work is a fresh thing that I've been enjoying of late. Four workmates go out to a restaurant for food, the odd drink and some decent conversation and unlike the Friday night get together the wind down seems more effective.

After lunch Maggie popped down to the Lort Smith to pick up our new kittens, Murray & Lilly and brought them by work for a quick looksie.

They've settled in now and have run of the house which was an easy decision to make considering the proficiency of their house training. Kody, our Labrador loves them however Pokie, would rather they stay at one end of the house and himself in the other.

Here they are from their first morning here. They found some paper work and were spreading it around down the side of the bed.

On another note, one of Maggie's workmates, Chrissy, was quite impressed with my shoot with Laura and asked if I would shoot a family portrait for her. Maggie passed on my acceptance during a night shift and she was so excited she was literally speechless. Apparently she doesn't own a single group shot of her family together so it will be a first for me and I'm quite excited.

I'll draw up some ideas but this will be a shoot I'm really looking forward to.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dope, Soap & Hope

Here's one of a series of posts from Zack Arias. Derrick is trying to make a difference in his life but every so often he makes a difference in someone elses.

Read the post and more here

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Mini Meet

I'm finding it quite difficult to do anything today. My head is clogged up but I've got to do this post as part of my workflow.

Upload, rate, cull, process, upload to Smugmug and Flickr then write about it....blow nose, take tablet....uuuggh.

...and now leave it for a couple of days and you feel much better about it all. ;)

Now let's get back to saturday's work. I went to an old shoot local where I'd left a jacket behind and it wasn't open so a quick stop at a Burger King and then bustered to Rey's place for the shoot.

Parking was easy and I was the first one there by 15 minutes. Out came the windex and newspapers to clean the road grime off the balcony before the rest of the MUA's, stylists & our 2 models. Now I'll let it be known that Rey had a great itinery set out and we VERY loosely adhered to it. As a consequence I only shot with one of the models but I acheived a lot from the day.

Shooting in the bedroom was an awesome thing which saw me asking Rey for an iron so I could get all the creases from the sheets! I've never ironed on a bed before and no one had ever seen it being done before but it paid off!

Thanks to Rey for wrangling the models, MUA and stylists and lastly for allowing all of us to shoot in his apartment for the afternoon.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Flickring and a strobin'

Yesterday was spent with the people of the Melbourne Flickr Strobist Group and being the second time around for me I was rather revved up about it.

Firstly I needed to have breakfast and the best damned baked goodness is found at the Swiss Bakehouse on Stephenson's Rd. Bagels, I love Bagels and they've got them in spades.
On arriving at the Bakery I let Maggie order for us while I worked out the maths for Rolls...we were organising the catering today as well as shooting. Eyebrows shot skywards when I asked for,
"Fifty Rolls please and can I start with ten of the White knots?"
"Fifty please"
"One, Five?"
"Five, Oh."

After that and a little breakie in the car we both decided to head into Richie's IGA for cold cuts and drinks. It was all quite an ad hoc way of organising the catering but well seeing as I was settled on ordering Pizza (A Melbourne Strobist default) it was worth it and everyone loved the choice. "REAL FOOD! THANKS!" was the comment heard most. ;)

I tells ya, I've got to get a trolley or wheels back on my Pelican 0340 case because that mother is a bastard to carry when it's packed like a Esky.

The great thing about a Strobist meet is having to call on your creativity in order to set your lights, settings and work with a model to create a scene without any planning. Right there and then, create an image or go home.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What a weekend

The last two days have been filled with photowalks. Scott Kelby's through Brunswick then a flickr based Melbourne forum's run through Melbourne Open House and lastly with a short walk through St Kilda with my Monthly POTN walk.

I honestly don't feel tired. I feel as if I could take on two more days.

The greatest thing I've found in this old hobby of mine is the energy that it gives me and the people I get to meet through it.

I'll stop there but I'd like to build up one day to a blog with depth but for the moment, this is a slice.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Designed, setup, lights, camera, action!

I believe some time back when I was a regular blogger an event happened that made blogging for me a little less convienient.

One puppy + one laptop power supply cord = A shorted motherboard and no more laptop

Not long after that I dropped out of using my Livejournal account on a regular basis but now I'm back and I'd like to get my ideas down, record my progress and just to get it all out.

Let see how I go.