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Portrait Concept

31 Jul 2010 at 10:54pm

Today I shot a portrait of sisters Marnie and Sian. They are both extremely talented musicians and they needed some imagery for a cd cover, website, promo gear etc. I am trying to work my way back into select portraits and so I gave it a go. This was shot in my dodgy studio that doubles as Michaels jam room. Of course the place is littered with beer bottles, wine bottles spirits, anything to make his drumming sound good! Marnie and Sian weren’t fazed at such primitive surroundings and we got a series of shots that I liked. This is the first of a few I will do up for the girls.

Oh and BTW they are available for hire if you need music at your next show, product launch, party or wedding.

Sian & Marnie Fenn – sianfenn@yahoo.com.au

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The Landscape 500 Prizes – Epson 3880

30 Jul 2010 at 9:01am

Now this printer is one to get excited over. I have one at right next to me as I type. I love this machine as it gives me the ability to proof my work before going off to the large Epson printer for our massive prints. It is every bit as good as the Epson 9900 in quality and is so reliable. I actually take one of these on my workshops to print out work we have completed. My recent APPA entries were printed on the 3880 which gives you an indication of the faith I have in this machine. You would be a happy camper if you won this. Thanks to Epson and Team Digital for this prize

PRODUCT NAME: Epson Stylus® Pro 3880
SIZE 17 inch wide (A2+)
INK MODE 8 colour
RESOLUTION 2880dpi x 1440dpi with Epson Variable-sized Droplet Technology
9-Colours pigment ink (C, VM, Y, LC, VLM, LK, LLK, Photo K, Matte K) with 9 slots 8 colour printing
Auto switching between Matte K and Photo K
Individual high capacity ink cartridge
Ink Capacity 80ml
4″x6″ Colour Borderless 1440dpi x 720dpi: Approx. 1.17 minutes (Premium Glossy Photo Paper)
A4 Colour 1440dpi x 720dpi: Approx. 2.02 minutes (Premium Glossy Photo Paper)
A3 Colour 1440dpi x 720dpi: Approx. 3.35 minutes (Premium Glossy Photo Paper)
A2 Colour 1440dpi x 720dpi: Approx. 5.80 minutes (Premium Glossy Photo Paper)
PRINTER DRIVER Windows® 2000 / XP / XP64 / Win7, Mac® OS X 10.4.X
HEAD CONFIGURATION 180 nozzles x 8 with VSDT
CUT SHEET Paper Size Borderless 4″ x 6″, 5″ x 7″, 8″ x 7″, 8″ x 10″, A4, 11″ x 14″, A3, A3+, A2
Thickness (ASF) 0.08mm to 0.27mm
Thickness (manual feed front) 1.2mm to 1.5mm
Thickness (manual feed rear) 0.29mm to 0.5mm
Width: 89mm to 431.8mm Length: 127mm to 950mm
TOTAL PRINT VOLUME 12,000 A2 sheets
CONSUMABLE PARTS Maintenance tank
MAINTENANCE PARTS Pump unit, flushing box, head cleaner, cap assembly
USB2.0 high speed (Compatible with 1.1)
10/100 Base-T/TX (Ethernet)
VOLTAGE / CURRENT / FREQUENCY 220 – 240V version
PRINTING 25W or less
STANDBY 5W or less
POWER OFF 0.4W or less
STORAGE 684mm(W) x 376mm(D) x 257mm(H)
PRINTING 684mm(W) x 1042mm(D) x 550mm(H)
WEIGHT Approx. 19.8kg (excluding Ink and Media)
Test Conditions
1. Under fluorescent light (Indoor Display Condition) with glass mount
2. The data is calculated by Epson’s accelerated test and it does not mean Epson guarantees periods.
3. The estimated longevity does not indicate the colour changing and the durability of the paper itself.
Light Source: Florescent Light
Intensity: 70,000 lux
Temperature: 24°C
Humidity: 60%RH
Glass mount: 2mm, soda lime
Fade criteria: Pure YMC 30% loss at OD = 1
Display-life calculation: Total illuminance/(500lux x 10hours x 365days = 1year)

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The Cartoon Look

29 Jul 2010 at 8:15pm

Have you ever wondered how photographers get that cartoon look in some of their portraits. That gritty dirty contrasty look. I have been trying to work it out for ages. I think I am almost there. Am I going to divulge the secret?? Hmm, you might have to get on my next workshop! Well thats if you like this look. If you don’t, and I suspect you won’t Hazel, then you won’t care a bit!!

I like it, it is fun to do and creative.

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The Landscape 500 Prizes – True North Cruise 2010

28 Jul 2010 at 3:41pm

Imagine taking your partner on the trip of a lifetime, your photography has struck pay dirt! All those times when you made them wait whilst you stuffed around with the tripod, getting the exposure right, waiting for the sun to come out. This is your chance to say, thanks honey for being the best assistant ever! Alternatively take one of your photo buddies and make it a shooting trip! Ok, Ok take the partner!!!

Night 1 Welcome aboard the magnificent True North in magnificent Sydney Harbour. Enjoy a sumptuous dinner as you are treated to an evening cruise on one of the finest harbours in the world!
Day 1
New Years Eve
Visit Sydney’s famed Taronga Zoo or take-off in the helicopter for a scenic flight over the Harbour. Spend the afternoon swimming and beach combing on Quarantine or Store beach as the chefs prepare a barbeque lunch like no other!

Then enjoy a leisurely cruise to Middle Harbour before taking up one of Sydney’s best vantages to witness the Harbour Bridge fireworks display – Happy New Year!

Day 2
After an early morning cruise along Sydney’s revered northern beaches – enjoy breakfast in the beautiful surrounds of Pittwater. Morning activities will include a walk to the Barrenjoey Lighthouse, beach combing and a scenic cruise past the Pittwater Yacht clubs. There may also be a chance to walk from Longnose Point to Flint & Steel Bay through the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park – Australia’s second oldest national park.

A helicopter flight to the Hunter Valley and wine tasting at our feature winery is sure to be a cruise highlight!

Whilst you are enjoying lunch the True North will cruise to Maitland Bay. Enjoy a swim or a bush walk through the surrounding national park. Sunset drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be served on the beach before an evening cruise to Jerusalem Bay.

Day 3
Wake up to the shrill of the Jerusalem Bay cicadas. Join the crew for a bush walk along the Jerusalem Bay Bush Trail or head out in the tenders for sight seeing and swimming. Then savour a lunch on the sparkling waters of Cowan Creek, or join the heli-flight to the Blue Mountains and enjoy lunch at Echoes Boutique Hotel – 2007 winner of “Restaurant of the Year”!

In the afternoon the True North will anchor at the mouth of the mighty Hawkesbury. From here we head out to Glenworth Valley for your choice of horse riding, kayaking, abseiling or quad bike riding. Or, maybe a visit to a local oyster farm is more your style?

And in the evening something special – a live band to make your last night onboard a night to remember!

Day 4 The True North will cruise back into Sydney Harbour for 0800 disembarkation.

The prize does not include Helicopter flights or Alcoholic drinks, so don’t try that on when you get on board, “Yeah Christian said it was on him” That is a big NUP. I’m a generous guy but stingy too!

Have a look at Michaels video to see what your up for in Sydney
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/9218126]

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Landscape 500 Awards

28 Jul 2010 at 3:07pm

People have been asking me for more details of the competition and when it is going to be launched. Well like all good things they take time. One question was what are the images you can enter?

I will accept any landscape image that contains man made elements such as cars, buildings, wharves, planes etc as features within that landscape. I will accept urban landscapes, streetscapes, seascapes, animals, closeups of the landscape, skyscapes and so on as long as the landscape is the more dominant feature. A closeup of a flower or a bird, however would not be considered eligible to enter. A portrait of a person is ok as long as it is an environmental portrait not a close up of a face. A wedding shot can also be included if the bride and groom are not looking at the camera and smiling but are a small speck in the background. In the end we all shoot different things and not always a straight landscape. The AIPP has a category for these images and they call it Illustrative. Well that just about includes everything we shoot! Confused! Don’t be, just think hard about what you are entering. In the end we won’t be that harsh with what gets in, just don’t enter something that is obviously not a landscape in the broad confines of this competition!!

Anyway it’s my comp and I make the rules right?

I expect the competition to go on-line some time next week. That gives you this weekend to get out and shoot that scene you have always wanted to get but couldn’t find a good enough reason.

The photos that will win this competition will be perfect in every way, composition, exposure, colour, contrast. All the elements needed to make a great photo. Most of all it needs to be something that will make the judges go WOW. I have done a bit of on-line judging now and you can get pretty frustrated with simple errors that will make or break an image. Things like, a crooked horizon, I never have those!, dust spots, filled in blacks, blown highlights. If you have any of these things go back and rework it. This is not just a competition it is a lesson in how well you can present your image and a benchmark to see where your work stands against other photographers. Competitions are fun and the excitement of winning a prize is actually usually better than the prize. When I was a top 10 finalist in the Hasselblad Masters Awards I just about wept I was so happy. I am a bit of a girl though!! All I got for that was a certificate but that hangs in my gallery and is my most treasured award to date.

More details to come, in the mean time the image below would be considered eligible to enter.

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Tony Hewitt & Peter Eastway Abducted By Aliens

28 Jul 2010 at 8:47am

Minutes after getting this shot the spaceship that made these crop circle came back. The bait had worked, they had their specimens for the horrific anal probe experiments! So you won’t be seeing any new work from these two photographers…………… I told them to think outside of the circle!

Word has it Tom Putt was abducted weeks earlier, explains a few things!!!

Nice circle work BTW. Those aliens know how to party!

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The Landscape 500

26 Jul 2010 at 12:29pm

Ok time to put you out of your misery, or to just make you more miserable. Today I announce the “Landscape 500”.
The most prestigious landscape photography competition to ever be held in the southern hemisphere.

You are the stars, you have the chance to take home the glory, you are ones who will be talked about for years to come. This competition will reward the best in enthusiast photography in Australia. Yes thats right, it is only open to non professional photographers and the images to be entered can only have been shot in Australia or an Australian territory. No shots of the Himalayas here, this is a competition to show we have the most beautiful country in the world and the best photographers.

The photographs entered must be of a landscape but can include urban, cityscapes or landscapes with people. No portraits or weddings please, Yikes!!

The winners will be judged by some of Australias best photographers, including Peter Eastway, Tom Putt, David Evans and Nick Rains. The prizes are awesome and I will talk more about them and all the competition details in the coming week.

So now start thinking about what you have that might win this competition. Why is it called the “Landscape 500”?, that is the number of entries that are allowed. Most competitions attract thousands of entries, this one is different, it is a limited edition you could say. Each person will be able to upload 3 images per entry but you will be able to enter as many times as you like, each entry of three images comes off the 500 allowable. So do the stats, 500 possible entries, 4 prizes, your chances of taking something away are pretty good.

Let the games begin!

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Update on the Gigapan video

23 Jul 2010 at 9:20pm

It looks on the video that we took a long time to get a shot from the Gigapan. It was more a bit of creative editing from Michael. A few people have asked me how long it actually took to shoot the 28 image stitch of Sugarloaf Rock and we estimate it was about a minute to a minute and a half. This could be sped up with changing the direction the gigapan takes the pics. Now if your shooting a pano on dusk you can get it to start and do the dark side of the image first and work it’s way across to the lighter side of the image. If it was a 30 second exposure for each image the exposure might even even itself out naturally.

When we did the pan at Sugarloaf rock the first time Ben has set the gigapan to shoot three bracketed exposures at each position, we stopped and started it again. Then we forgot to turn the image stabilizer off and started again. Then some dude walked into our shot. It does help to read the instructions. One great feature is you can save the order of that stitch and/or repeat it if you haven’t turned it off.

The stitch worked perfectly, try doing a perfect 28 image stitch with a three way head and an elbow bracket. It is painful and if it really matters you just won’t be confident that you got everything right.

So my thoughts are the gigapan is easy, a lot of fun and a brilliant tool for making REALLY big images. It isn’t for everybody, but if you are the sort of person that need perfection it would be pretty hard to go past this well made bit of kit. Sure you will have to lug it around but you didn’t see Ansel Adams complaining about his 8×10. He wanted the best shots and new that was the only way. So the question is, are you someone who cares about the nth degree, or do you shoot soulless happy snaps???

If you want to see the image we shot Benny from team digital has it on his computer.

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