Archive | September, 2011

Real or……..

29 Sep


When you look at an image today you sometimes are aware almost immediately that it has been altered. Really, that is okay as you would have had to been asleep for the last twenty years since digital made its first baby steps to not realise that the digital darkroom is very powerful. Darkroom techniques are not new, it is just that anyone with a digital camera and a computer can distort the real image that was captured. The name Photoshop is now used by non photographic people to describe all sorts of electronic trickery, and free less powerful clones of this amazing tool are available at the press of a button. What does that all mean to us in the photographic community? Well for me it means I have another tool in my arsenal, however getting the image right in camera will always be the goal. Having said all that, these manipulating tools are great fun and can be used to produce images that can never be captured in reality. The following image is obviously the real deal, with trees, stand and dust spots on the lens filter from a near by excavation side helped by near gale force winds.

Help, rescue us……………….

26 Sep

I have said enough times here and in other ramblings elsewhere that I believe in this being the lucky country, but maybe sometimes we Australians’ get used to the fact that good luck will prevail and once again “she’ll be right, mate”. Not this time, when it comes to our failing health system, that we have for so long-held up to overseas visitor as yet other reason that Australia is the best country to call home, we need to roll up the sleeves and have a red-hot go at fixing it before it is too late.

I have recently read that the only solution to the under delivery of health services is to implement a user pays system a la the good ole US of A, I beg to differ, we don’t have a massive population with rapidly declining resources and crushing debt from global peace keeping activities, rather we are resource rich and under populated. A couple of years back, the federal government, gave schools far and wide large sums of money to erect multi purpose halls for every activity our next generation requires, bravo. This stimulus package although clever in design was poorly managed and allowed for wide-spread profit taking, however the kids got their multi purpose buildings, so let’s do it again, only this time lets really do it right.

I am just an ordinary Australian who loves photography and despairs at seemingly obvious problems not being fixed. I my simple  opinion we should publicly ask for suitably qualified persons from planning, construction and acute medical backgrounds to come forward and given the immediacy of the situation, be aided by all tiers of government to push forward and design, construct and staff these multi purpose medical “halls” just like we did for our kids. Give them tight deadlines, give them specific requirements, promise them the nation’s gratitude, throw in financial incentives and we will see that “can do” Aussie spirit rise to the front. The nay sayers’ will of course scoff, but of course they won’t come up with an alternative solution. We need, as a nation, to fix this now, having 18 ambulances ramped at one major hospital yesterday is just not acceptable. The heroes that save our lives deserve better, the nurses, doctors, paramedics and all the backup staff have a difficult enough time without substandard and poorly resourced facilities. I wondered yesterday as I watched in awe the fantastic crew of one of our rescue choppers lift off to save another life, how soon before we see rescue helicopters circling receiving hospitals in a holding pattern due lack of beds for their patients…………………..

Macro from a compact…..

20 Sep

With all passions, hobbies or even some may say obsessions, the adage bigger is better usually holds true, but more and more with digital camera technology, easy to use and light on the pocket compacts are becoming a very viable alternative to large, expensive and even complex DSLRs. They take the traditional snapshot, most have a movie function, they offer incredible resolution, can be dropped and submerged and have a useable macro function. So off to the beach, pool, footy or shopping for that special lounge suite, think about taking one of these great little image capturers along for the ride. Would I get rid of my full frame,full function DSLR ……… way and just for thinking it you should slap yourself with a large stick. But seriously have a look at these, this little crab was about half the size of a match box and was taken handheld using a chocolate ice cream encrusted handkerchief as a diffuser. No worries about sunscreen on mortgage busting lenses, the sand washes off in the sink and it fits in the pocket of your boardies……Truly, fully sick dude.

Any light you can find…..

9 Sep

those of you that know me realise that I follow the K.I.S.S. principle  as much as possible. Probably because I can relate to simple. Last night I was lucky enough to be asked to shoot a function in Brisbane at the beautiful Gambaros restaurant, and whilst doing some portfolio shots for some of the performers I realised that the lighting equipment I had (speedlights) just weren’t achieving the look I wanted. So remembering words from the awesome Joe McNally, use what you got !. So by positioning these fantastic artists under a downlight and positioning a speakers lectern with a white table-cloth draped over it as a reflector, the desired look jumped off the cameras LCD screen and with very little PP some great images were achieved.

It just goes to show, think outside the square, use up some digital film (its free) and try something new.

Global warming or ?…….

3 Sep

Today, I took the weekly drive down into northern New South Wales to take the kids to one of their many activities. It is held a lovely seaside town call Kingscliff, the trouble being that the seaside is moving closer and closer to some of the towns building and clubs ironically including the surf life saving club. Walls of sand banks have been erected and the once easily accessible beachfront looks like a shabby building site with hastily placed fencing and signage. Now I am not about to jump either way on the global warming debate, and from what I have read and discussed with people far smarter than I can ever hope to be, there are compelling arguments for both sides even if the warming camp is both more passionate and vocal, but when you see the shoreline change at Kingscliff and the recent hurricane in the States, that amongst other things went so far north that a number of the cherished covered bridges of Madison county were destroyed, you do start to think that old mother earth is cleaning house a little. Once again I think I will take the moderate line and say that I believe that we humans with our pollution of many kinds are certainly contributing to climate change, but also believe that our wonderful home world is also in an evolutionary cycle that we are powerless to halt. Do what you can to be kind to our home, its for our kids to enjoy as well…….

Things are not always what they seem….

1 Sep

I was in my sons’ room this afternoon helping him clean up and the afternoon sun was streaming through the window, which happens a lot here on Queenslands’ sunny Gold Coast. As we moved clothes and other random ( his word, not mine) stuff around we both noticed that dust particles were being captured by the stream of sunlight. My son grabbed his iPod and tried to capture the scene but he got reflections from the walls and furniture, and the there was too much light coming through the window which was causing the image to blow out. We quickly rigged two black panels, one to camera right and one reducing the area of light at the bottom of the window and grabbed the Nikon D5000. Bingo, first frame at about 85mm,f5.6 iso 200 and all we had was particles reflecting light and a pure black background. The boy took a couple and I took a couple and then downloaded to the iMac, fiddled for a minute in iPhoto printed to the Epson 1410, framed in an Ikea frame and onto the wall in his room as an artwork. I positive that no one will guess what the image is of…… Great fun, quick project and a bit of bonding. Photography just has so much going for it. Thanks to Sylights free iPad app for the lighting diagrams…easy to use and makes explaining image capture so much simpler.