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Portfolio shoot – Marilla

I’ve been concentrating on photographic projects for the last few shoots, and really wanted to do a full portfolio shoot just so I wasn’t losing touch with the process.  A while ago, portfolio shoots used to be my photographic bread and butter…

Luckily, Marilla was happy to model for me since she needed some updated portfolio shots.  She was really nice to work with… Immensely patient and hardly paused when we had to climb over fences, etc.

I like these shots, but I’m not super happy that I’ve blown out some of the areas that we highlighted by the sun or studio lights…. It’s really something that I need to focus way more on.

I was happy that we were able to produce 4 shots that were really quite different from each other in about 2 hours. I did the makeup while Marilla provided the styling for the shots.  It was all pretty casual really.

 

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Make up shoot – Natasha Jenkins Makeup Artist

Tash used to model for me back in the day, but she’s now heading full steam ahead into being a professional makeup artist.  I always really enjoyed working with her, so I was pretty excited to offer my help to get her some portfolio shots for her facebook page.  Her page is here.

Here are some shots we created.

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I had completely forgotten how hard makeup shots were.  The attention to detail required is incredible.  Luckily, not only was Tash great to work with, but our two models were charming and beyond lovely.

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Fire & Ice

This photoshoot has been brewing for a super long time… I broached the concept with Rosie maybe a year or so ago, and we’ve both just had a heap of things on and haven’t had the chance to get it done, but I think it was worth the wait!  Really happy with how these shots worked out.

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Clique Monthly Challenge – Daily life.

The Clique Monthly Challenge for May was ‘Daily life’.  In the article The Age printed for this challenge, they pretty much said it’s a photo of strangers going about their business.  I’d assume this’ll mean lots of garbologists on a foggy morning, baristas surrounded by steam, etc.  Instead of getting out amongst it, I wanted to create a photoshoot that symbolized Daily Life to see how I’d go without a studio setting.

I basically organised some models to come along and completely ignore me.  I gave them scenarios to act out in.  The girls were great.  It was all a little stilted at first, I gave them virtually no direction, but it didn’t take long until the natural charm of the girls to shine through.

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This one was really just for kicks, but I did consider entering it.

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This is the image I entered.  I felt it was the most natural and yet told a story about everyone’s increased pursuit of healthiness which hopefully could mean an end to a lot of disease and heartache for future generations.

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In hindsight, I would have removed the branded berries from the shot.  Hopefully that doesn’t cause any negative scoring, etc.

Disappointingly but possibly unsurprisingly, the Clique Monthly Challenge stopped providing feedback after the first week… the checkbox simply disappeared.  It’s a shame because I really liked that, but I totally understand it might have been a massive undertaking and totally resource heavy.  Still a shame.

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Clique Monthly Challenge – Shine a light on what matters to you.

The Clique Monthly Challenge for April was ‘Shine a light on what matters to you’.  I assumed lots of people would put a spotlight on their kids or pets, or take photos of them in a stream of sunshine.  Instead, all the photos that won were just normal type photos on social issues; homelessness, waste, etc.  I did not win.. but only because my photo wasn’t good and I misunderstood the brief.

My idea was to use UV blacklight as my ‘shine a light’ to set myself away from the crowd… and considering I play indoor soccer 3 times a week I asked a friend to kick a ball around in the studio under the UV lights.  It was crazy hard.  I wanted movement in the shot, but because it was so dark everything was super blurry.  We probably took about 50 shots, and this was my favourite.  It didn’t turn out at all like I had in my head, but considering I really only put an hour into this I couldn’t expect much more really.

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Clique Monthly Challenge – Buildings and Monuments.

The Clique Monthly Challenge for March was Building and Monuments, and it was a bit of a disaster.  Entries closed at midnight on the 24th of March, so when did I start… 10pm on the 24th of March.  I just kept procrastinating until it was totally too late.  So while my partner was all comfy on the couch, I headed out with my tripod and my camera.

Some new apartments have gone up near us in a space that was previously parkland… very close by there is a bridge for the train, and I think that the bit under the bridge got a bit of a makeover as part of the developers deal to build on that parkland.  It’s all arty and stuff, just not so much at night.

The below photo is me running around with my flashing bicycle light while on a 30 second shutter speed.

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The photo that I entered though was facing the other direction, and while it was on it’s 30 seconds of shutter openage, a train when past overhead, lighting up the whole area.

I total fluke but I really like it.

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Black and White – Gioia.

I really liked working with Gioia.  I met her during the Clique Monthly Challenge (Water) and she mentioned she had a couple of ideas she wanted to work with.  Working with a model that has a firm idea about what she wants, and wants to work toward achieving it is the best.  I loved the shoot and am really happy with the way the photos turned out.

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Clique Monthly Challenge – Water.

I’ve entered into the Clique photographic challenge run by The Age newspaper to get me out of my comfort zone… and it’s been great so far.  I’ve put so much thought into it already, it can only improve my photography.

The first monthly challenge was water.

My original idea was to capture a person that had 2 buckets of water thrown at them… and freeze the action.  I wanted it to be fun, maybe have the person jumping and screaming, etc.  The spot where I envisaged taking the photo (a steep hill with a park and the cityscape in the background) was completely dried out and brown… so I thought maybe my backyard.

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I really liked the swirl of the water, especially in the first shot… but the shadows were a problem.  Technically it was quite hard… I was using a superquick shutter speed (1/2000) to freeze the water, but flashes and studio lights don’t operate that fast.  I was using flashes in the above shots, but they become really weak at that speed and don’t really do much.

I thought maybe instead of water, I could do the threat of rain, but I just couldn’t get the below image exactly like I imagined it in my head…

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Next, I thought I’d go back to water in motion, but with plants and fountains…

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I really liked these shots, particularly the last one and how the water looks like a fish with an open mouth…but the competition is more about photojournalistic images, and I felt I needed either a human element or for the image to tell a story… so back to the backyard…. this time on a less sunny day and more water (poor girls).

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After the shoot, I really struggled with the overall look of the image… I really needed a better, more interesting background and story, but I had run out of time.  The shot I submitted was:

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The Clique challenge is good because they give you feedback if you request it, which I really like.  Here is the feedback on the above image, it looks like I was close, but I really do need to put more thought into the overall image and not get distracted by the technical aspects.

 

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The Clique feedback is conducted in the following format.

The key elements are scored from 1 to 20.

1 -5: You really need to focus on that element of your photo

6-10 : You have done a sufficient job on that particular element of your photo

11-15: You have done a good job on that particular element of your photo

16 -20: Your have done a very good job on that particular element of your photo.

YOUR FEEDBACK

1.       Followed the brief :…………………………….             18/20

2.       Composition and framing:……………………..            17/20

3.       Lighting and Exposure:……………………….             18/20

4.       The photo has a focus:……………………….             18/20

5.       The photo engages with the viewer:………….            18/20

Comment:Nice job Adam. You probably wouldn’t be popular but if you cropped out the girl at the hand on the right at the green bucket you get a much stronger image. Play with the crop to increase the action

 

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Photographic Calendar

Gifts are crazy hard these days… most people can pretty much buy whatever they need or want.

So, how about a calendar for a special someone?  We have to take 13 images, but that’s pretty easily done.  Raquel and I were able to knock this up in about 3 hours…

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The people who make the calendars take about two weeks, so make sure you plan ahead.

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Ideas I couldn’t quite get from my head to the page.

 

It’s hard to admit when shots don’t quite turn out like you imagined.  I find it tricky to come up with unique ideas, it feels like everything in the photographic world has been done a million times before by people far more skilled.  Still, you’re never going to get better if you don’t try…

I had two ideas that I wanted play with.

1.) A series where everything is happy, cheery and colourful, and as the series progresses, the images are drained of all colour, resulting in a last stark dark image.  I tried this twice, and never quite felt like I captured it as I wanted…

I first tried with Amira and Kiara but I think the poses where too large and too numerous.

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I think the 2nd attempt with Hayley and Hayley went a lot better, but I’m not sure if the series would make much sense to anyone without an explanation.

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The second idea came from seeing a billion images of female models in intimate poses. I wanted to flip it and show a series where two girls share intimacy but one of the girls finishes the series with regret.

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The second try with Hayley and Hayley went less well I think.  I just couldn’t capture the emotions I was trying to convey.

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