Sunday, August 29, 2010

Will I be able to play the piano again?

My little fella Murray survived his first dog attack with a few internal stitches, two drainage tubes, an Elizabethian collar and wounded pride because of 'that' collar.

"Stupid, stupid collar!" That seems to be the look on his face as he lays in the corridor, head on paws and fluid dripping down his once pristine white fur!

And I can't blame the guy becuase in terms of dress sense this is a pretty conservative household with Hawaiian shirts being as loud as it gets.  It looks like I won't be getting that 5D Mark II next month but at least this way I know my little buddy has a better chance of keeping his leg next month and that's worth a pallet load of 5D's.

Woah up there, boys and girls!  It get's a little disturbing from here!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I go out walking....

....with the dogs not after midnight.
I wonder if Patsy Cline is on iTunes?

Today I hunkered in and fixed the vacuum cleaner except for it's overheating issue.  It just shuts down which means more time to edit photos, ponder, chase the cats, bark with the dogs at the neighbourhood cats crossing the street.  It all happens down here at Chateau Gardner-Dygut.

Anyhoo, the location of a personal shoot has gone topsy turvy, upside down.  The rains we've been having have turned the forest floor of this place into a vitutal marsh which is just too fragile to trample over for a few hours so I had to find a new location.

Dogs in the car and off we went to try and find a hillside that I've hiked through.  I didn't find it but I did find another suitable location so that was one goal struck off the list. 

My other goal was to just enjoy the walk and keep Pokie from killing a roo.  He'd bolt in one direction, the roos would split up, Pokie would then give up and run in the other direction....bad dog.

Kody being a Lab just loved the wet grass and the occasional puddle.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New blog!

I'm SORTA moving!  

My wedding and portraiture will now be featured on and I'm of two minds as to what will happen with this ol' home on Blogspot.

I would like to give it a new face and keep it for personal shoots and projects but I don't want to blog myself out.

I'll think a little further about this as I like the networking that blogspot offers.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Autumn in Melbourne

I had an opportunity to tie together two long standing shoots.  Two mates and myself have been talking up shooting together to practice our craft.  

"Let's organise a model and we'll shoot somewhere!"

Around the same time when that enthusiasm was reaching a crescendo Autumn, a model from Ohio, had landed in Melbourne was also looking to shoot with me. (Catch her updates of her world trip here)

I had to combine the two events and I did.  We shot at an abandoned Brickworks in Brunswick which was just one great scene after another.  From backgrounds of heavy industrial equipment to an abandoned house and the rich earthy tones in the old kilns themselves this place was just awesome and then some!

This was my favourite composition of the day.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The people you meet...

eddings are a fabulous day.  If your coverage is but a scant five hours or a sixteen hour odyssey the time flies and always has me feeding off the energy of the day.

"Have you eaten Al?"  That's the most often asked question as I hate to miss an opportunity however during Chris & Tracey's wedding I had a chat to Tracey's mum.  As we looked out to Bass Strait with the sun caressing the cove discussing that great experience that is life she turned to me grabbed my arm and said, "I hope your photography will get you a view like this to enjoy for the rest of your life."

Well heck, I'm not just hoping for that to happen.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

It's the little things...

When you're in awe of the final big picture you tend to forget the little things that pulled it all together.

People, props, conversations or that fella that let you in, in traffic.

Over the coming weeks I'll feature a few items that will bring a shoot together.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I'm aching all over but it's worth it...

Yes, that ache through my shoulders, that salt on my skin was all from pressing a shutter.

No really!  I was just pressing that shutter a few thousand times this weekend.  A wedding saw me looking over a cove in Sorrento and being included in the groom's speech.  It makes it worthwhile when you're shooting for the salt of the earth and they take the time to really thank you from the bottom of their heart.

Thank you for having me Chris & Tracey!

Now I just need to sort through your shots, the cull is complete and now the processing has begun!

Sunday was a big ol' rush.  Wake up, pack the car and buster down to the National Water Sports Centre to watch a small round of the National Drag Boat finals thanks to an invite from Maggie's contractors at DTE Plumbing.  Troy & Paul are father & son and each race XL-erator & Puff. Due to the small meet they started late so I didn't get to see too much beyond practice but I've been invited back by the orgnaisation as Photographer next month. ;)


11:30, move on.  My uncle John is in town from Sydney and over lunch dad mentions that John is getting married later in the year.  Awesome!  Way too many dumplings and bean curd rolls were consumed before I shot off to Oakleigh to record some dance but I was lucky, so very lucky to be bestowed the enthusiasm and talent of Grace and Sarah. With Sarah we tried to build up several movements to create a monster of a movement.  It was one of the smaller movements that took my breath away and here it is because a post without a photo means nothing!

Monday, April 5, 2010

There's a few things I love...

My dogs and my missus are the most forgiving and understanding of all my worldly "possessions" and we spend a great deal of meaningful time together but this month marks the leash free season at the majority of local beaches in Melbourne which is a great time for us and our dogs.  Kody gets plenty of water to play in and Pokie enjoys the wide expanse of 'track' to sprint on when he's not feeling too clingy.

The weather is great for it at the moment as it means I'm very willing to wade out into the water with Kody.  As the days become shorter though the winter warmers will be put on for each walk.  It's not so bad walking down Carrum beach during winter but the walk back reminds us that it really is winter as we walk against the chilling winter wind.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Veronika & Dwayne

This weekend was epic.  One birthday party in the morning followed by a wedding between two of Victoria's finest.  Here's what has become my favourite image of the night and just a teaser of what's to come.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Portraits and mates

Must blog tonight, should have blogged yesterday, damn, didn't blog!

Okay here it is now.  I haven't blogged because I'm really! No, got me. It's one of those new whatszitsnames that I've yet to incorporate into my daily routine and it's not as if I've nothing to say or little shoots to speak of, I do!  I grew up speaking the language of man...grunts.  Eloquence was not my forte however with this old passion of mine I've now added focus and hope to see this blog take off and teach me to excercise my skills with writing.

Take for example, a couple of weekends ago I had the opportunity to meet up with an old, old workmate's sister who needed some shots she would eventually use to promote her endevours as a singer.  I spent two wonderful hours creating a great range of shots and furthering my off camera flash techniques which I had lost a little faith in over the past few months.

Hannah turned out very well with some very dignified portraits of herself.

A little one light portraiture was praticed and it was "full on awesome" to be able to hone my work with strobes, my directorial skills and spend a few hours creating great portraits rather than the usual 20 minute sessions I've endured in the past.

Fast forward to last weekend when another old mate made the post on Facebook declaring her boredom!  I pushed on her to get out on a Saturday and let me make a great portrait of her and her bike.  A little persistence saw Marisa drag a mate down to the grounds of the ACCA in South Melbourne where we caught up and I heard the sound of the new 09 R1 with a tasty set of Akrapovic pipes singing the songs of the big bang motor.

That was a treat in itself!


"Alright guys, I might be late from lunch.  I'm seeing dad while he goes through his next session."
With that I got the heck outta dodge! 

We chatted about work, the news, overclocking computers and mum heading back to Cairns to make
sure her resturant is okay as well as poke fun at each other.  It's a comforting feeling when you're just shooting the proverbial with family.  It's better when you realise how much it means to yourself.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Twice a month...get creative

Okay, okay, EVERYDAY I take a few shots and sometimes really create an image that I love but for most of the time they are images that I'll keep to remind me of who I was.  The other effect of constantly creating images is when I'm out shooting for clients is the images come to me easier.  It keeps the ol' gears going, it keeps my creative engine warm otherwise I'll end up pulling the photographer's equivilent of a ham string and "Brain go dark, Mongo no more make photo."

And that just won't do!

So from the sunrise in my mirrors....

To my dog on the dining room carpet...

To my missus' farrier...

To the monthly shoots I have within the community of local photographers...

To my dad going through a session of Chemo... all works to keep me going as a human being.  I love photography, I love to live it, I love want it gives me.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's bedtime

The light was right and I had only just sat back in bed and there she was smiling back at me. 
Have you ever stopped to stare at a smile?  The eyes have it when it's real.

Maggie, I love you.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day Five

It's a simple snack.  Spinach and fetta in a puff pastry triangle that once baked produces the glorious creation that is the pastizzi.  I love mine a little doughy so I don't bake it anywhere near as much as most but just enough to brown up the tips which ensures that most of the pastry gets into you rather than pastizzi fodder all over the livingroom carpet!

Maggie seems to becoming more brave on crutches and exploring the house.  The shower is a better experience too as we've got the process down pat.  Towels out, milk crate in the stall, lower, shower, dry and towels into the bucket and milk crate in the bath.

She'll be dancing soon!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

So much for commuting...

I started off that seven day post much like a lot of things, with a particular focus in mind and it didn't work out that way.

Yesterday a mate, Ben had a birthday dinner at Libertine's in North Melbourne.  Out came the pig before it was carved.  The ladies ooohed and aaaahed, the men grunted their approval and called him Arnie the pig.  I can't begin to describe how manificient Arnie tasted.  I've never used succulent to describe meat before because there was always something missing or something that detracted. 

Arnie was the best darned serve of pork I've had yet and serves up as Day four.

Wasn't expecting that!

An old mate of mine invited me out for a night of ice skating at the new rink on Docklands.  I invited Maggie along and we got there early for a sticky straight after work.

Little did we realise this would be such a poignant photo

It's a fantastically set up twin rink facility which also serves as the centre for Australia's Winter Olympic Efforts and the staff are top notch.  It's rare that you walk into a publically accessible area in Australia and you're greeted at the door by someone who loves their job.  Top notch.

After an hour and a half of walking around the rink was declared open for Friday night's recreational skate.  I began to break away from the wall and Maggie was gingerly making her way around.  After three successful circumnavigations Maggie slipped, tried to catch herself and slammed her knee into the wall which popped it out.

The next 20 minutes she spent in excruciating pain while the Ambo's tried to make their way through traffic.  She was bad but the staff and my mate, Marissa did their best to keep her calm and in check.

We were off to the Alfred and four hours later we were on the way back home with a splint and crutches.  For a friday night I was expecting a few more people in Emergency at the Alfred which was probably a reason we got through so fast.  Maggie's up for six to eight weeks of recovery now and I'm going to help her where I can.

So here's day three of the seven day project.

Life's not so bad on a local!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Seven Days - 1 & 2

A mate of mine made the suggestion on a local forum that the Aussie participants should start their own "Seven images, seven day" project.  Sort of a smaller brother to his 365 project.

I didn't think about it and just stuck my hand up.  What would I shoot?
Today is day 2 and I thought to myself, "Wait. I'm on a train for 4 hours a day, Monday to Friday. That's not a reason to not have subjects to shoot!"

It also gives me a chance to use my new equipment purchases everyday so I'm familiar with it's functions and the old gear because practice makes perfect!

Damn.  It's going to be a challenge but here's the first 2 days.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I pushed hard for this shoot in the Melbourne Strobist group.  We needed to shoot a subject other than models!  I do love being able to shoot them but there comes a point where we're shooting them to get them their shots instead of honing our creative skills.

That was the whole point of the shoots in the beginning but now there's so many shots to get whilst 'trying' to practice lighting that it boils down to 10 minutes to setup and capture an image.  Damn, that's harsh.

Six of us gathered instead to shoot ourselves and families and I was able to capture mine. The day started with lunch before we began to shoot.  It was relaxed and I got my shots whilst helping out some of the newer photographers and shooting the shit with some of the more experienced ones.

It may have been a little too relaxed though as I forgot about getting shots of the other guys!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

It gets busy but it feeds me...

Before I really got back into photography I use to sit on the couch a lot of a weekend and let the time pass.  I might limit, yes limit.  I'd limit myself to booking in one outing for the weekend and that was it and now I've got this thirst to book myself solid with an opportunity to shoot, shoot, shoot!  It's odd, when I was really into motorcycling it was great then I became sick of it after working in the industry. Bikes were the last thing I wanted to look at and then there was this period between photography and cars/bikes where I just didn't have any inspiration.

Now that a camera is what I grab with my wallet as I walk out the door it also gives me a reason to improve my blogging with something to write about.

Write frequently, improve.  I need to improve on my blogging, I need to excercise the ol' vernacular and it's much like what I do with my photography.  Shoot frequently and improve.

Saturday had me shooting with Nicole, Laura & Aimee and it was a lot of fun.  Special thanks to Gary who brought in his spankin' XP Falcon. I got to practice my photography and practice my directing skills.  Skills I want to weild with confidence.

I do love being part of shoots like this as it gives me a rare opportunity to be purely creative.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A big day

What are you doing on Australia day?

Not this year.  Maggie and I started off helping her brother move his fish tank out of his townhouse and into our home which ain't an easy task considering the tank itself is 6 feet wide, 3 feet deep and just as tall and you CAN'T forget about the cabinet it sits on either!  It's a tight squeeze in our little home but we'll foster them until he can find a more permanent home.  That was half the day.

After tearing it all down and putting it all back together Maggie and I finally got rid of our two motorcycles.  Lots of fun times but priorities change and we'll be back soon enough anyway.  The Super Tenere went to a mate I know through photography whilst Maggie's SV was sold to some very close friends and after all the delivering was done it was 7 o'clock and time to buster down to Murrumbeena to enjoy dinner with my dad, sister, brother in-law and her in-laws, Rick & Mary.

Jen & Dave recently overhauled their garden and patio areas in order to reclaim some gorgeous living area in inner suburban Melbourne.  It looks spectacular.


The Chicken may have been a little undercooked but among good company you over look these things.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This is my dad...

...and in July 2010 he'll make 66.

This part of my blog is for my dad so I can write here all the memories I've had with him and all the experiences I'll have with him in the future.  On January 19th 2010 he told me he might have pancreatic cancer.  He told me he would rather enjoy his time here and ensure he keeps his quality of life as constant as possible, I smiled.