Friday, 27 January 2012

Learning new skills.

I saw this post on Chase Jarvis's blog today, which quickly made some interesting points about the different and constantly changing skills needed to be an assistant for one of the top commercial photographers in America.

It boils down to a simple premise; nobody can know everything, but being willing to learn is an invaluable tool.

His blog is great for learning about new equipment, inspiration and techniques, as well as behind the scenes videos and stories about his escapades as a successful shooter. He also made the jump into doing film productions as well as stills, which these days is becoming an expected service from many clients.

You can view his extensive photography portfolios here:  

Definitely worth a good look around if you're keen to learn something new.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

An interview with Steve Fine, Director of Photography at Sports Illustrated

Following on from the relatively short written interview with the editor-in-chief of National Geographic magazine, here's an interview with Steve Fine, the director of photography at Sports Illustrated.

At over an hour long, the presentation is not for those with short attention spans, but the tips and insights gleaned from his experiences and stories makes it worthwhile viewing for any photographer.

Some great sports photos come up during the discussion as well. 

Monday, 16 January 2012

An interview with National Geographic magazine editor Chris Johns.

I came across an interesting post on burn magazine yesterday, which is a blog for emerging photograhers, run and curated by legendary Magnum and National Geographic photographer David Alan Harvey.

He's definitely up there with my favourite documentary photographers, with a great eye for colours, light, timing and composition. A few years ago I bought one of his photography books, Cuba, which in itself is a photography lesson. 

But back to the original point, in this blog post David interviews the current National Geographic magazine editor in chief, Chris Johns. As well as holding the top position at the Nat Geo headquarters in Washington D.C., Chris has also had decades of experience as a photographer himself. The insights gleaned from their conversation are fascinating, with a frank and open discussion regarding the trials and tribulations of working out in the field for the magazine.

Following on from that post, there's a bit of a sneak peek at one of David's upcoming articles, showing several potential opening spreads in one of the picture editor's layout rooms.

Then in the following post, Senior Photo Editor Sarah Leen looks at three different options for the first few pages of the article. It's interesting to see how much of a difference editing and sequencing can make to the mood and feel of a story, and the post is interactive, in that David asks readers to comment on what layout they like best, and why.

It's quite difficult to choose a favourite, as I like them all. I would choose the top row, as I really like the surfer beach shot as an opener, but with only a small photo on the third page, as opposed to the three full page images of the other two, it has less impact visually. That said, with the fishing picture being a very strong frame and on the fourth spread page, I think it just wins out over the second row. 

Chris Johns makes the final call, but I'm keen to see what the final cut looks like in the June issue.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

SMASA summer cruise

Just a few shots from Saturday night's Street Machine Association of South Australia cruise. Some very nice cars came out for a run, with a good mix of American muscle cars, hot rods, customs and cruisers in attendance.

I inadvertently came across a group of classic muscle cars on Port Wakefield Road in the late afternoon, and followed them down to the Gepps Cross shopping centre, where hundreds of awesome cars were filling up the parks.

It was hard to know where to point my camera, with so much tasty machinery rumbling past as the sun sank towards the horizon.

The final meet point was at West Lakes Mall, which is conveniently only a few minutes away from home.

My legs were aching after walking and standing around for a couple of hours at this point, so after snapping some shots of the cooler cars parked under the night lights, I headed back home.

Monday, 9 January 2012

The new Nikon D4

A few days ago, Nikon announced the upcoming release of their new flagship digital SLR; the Nikon D4. There's since been flurried activity throughout the photography blogosphere and forums, debating the merits of the new body.

It looks like an amazing camera, and I think there will be some great images captured at the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games in London. The 2008 Beijing Olympics were held shortly after the D3 was released, and its exceptional low-light capabilities allowed the shooters to come back with pictures that hadn't really been possible before.

Legendary Nikon shooter Joe McNally was one of the pros allowed to play with the D4 for promotional purposes, doing some example shots for Nikon. 

Here's his blog post detailing the experiences with the D4 over the past few weeks of shooting with it:

Here's a link to the official Nikon USA site's current D4 page, for some more detailed info and specifications:

You can download a few sample images here as well:

American adventure sports photographer Corey Rich, whose work I came across years ago on the forums, has just posted a short film on his Vimeo page, shot entirely with the D4.

Even if you're not into photography and/or new technology, it's a beautifully crafted video with some very cool action, angles and locations, and well worth the download time.

 I'm very interested to see what people are going to do with this new beast over the coming weeks and months...and if they will be offloading their D3s bodies cheaply to get their hands on one.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Ella's new backyard #5

You can see photos from the first four posts here:

A couple of days later, it was time to christen the new outdoor dining setting with its first official barbeque...including ribs, steak and sausages.

 The girls had put out some salad and roast potatoes while the meat was sizzling away, and Scarlett was clearly keen to get stuck into it.

I've never eaten ribs before, and probably will never be able to, but they do look rather nice.

No prizes for guessing whose plate is on the right.

With all the food out, Scarlett was too excited to stay seated.

Ella had a bowl of noodles to eat.

She must have been hungry, but the cutlery choice seemed a little optimistic.
She then did very well in grabbing a roast potato with the big tongs, which aren't the easiest utensils to maneuver with small hands.

Scarlett was finding her dinner both tasty and hilarious.

Changing to a normal fork, Ella was able to tuck into her bowl of noodles, before running off to play in the cubby.

Not content with her bowl of food, Scarlett was slurping away on a vegetable puree.

After looking in the oven, it was exchanged for a rusk biscuit.

Ella made her way out of the cubby, and then went back inside, probably to watch the Lion King, before heading off to bed.