Sunday, January 31, 2010

Picture Postcard Family Photoshoot

My friends asked me if I could do a family photoshoot so they could share some pictures with their family and friends. So we went to Bicentennial Park at Homebush where the kids could run around with lots of lovely peaceful landscaping. The day was over-cast, making perfect soft light for portraits. I worked this one in Lightroom to create a 'post-card' effect. Thank you my dear friends, for such a fun day and for making such beautiful and heart-warming photos!

Family Photoshoot

Family Photoshoot - Jenni

Family Photoshoot - Emma

Wise Eyes


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Flash-Test Dummy

Determined to learn how to use off-camera flash, I enlisted 'My Li'l Helper' - the child mannequin I got 20 years ago from the closing-down sale for a children's clothing store. Usually she works as a hat-stand for my Vietnamese farmer's hat, but tonight, we ran a brush thru her 'Ranga wig and voila! a model that will stand still while I move the lights around.

So for this exercise, I actually read the manual (yes, really!) and discovered how I can use the built-in flash on the Nikon D300s as the commander, so that the SB900 flash will act as a wireless 'off-camera' remote light source. The trick to it is to go into the camera's flash menu, select commander mode and then dial the on-camera flash down to -- and set the off-camera flash setting on TTL (through-the-lens) way up, to around +3. Then flip the switch on the off-camera flash to commander mode also, and you're ready to go. I played around with various positioning, pointing the flash vertically straight up at the ceiling to bounce the light, or angling at 45 degrees, and then placing it at different places around the model: on the floor, on a table, left, right, front, behind. Here's a few frames - the last one I ran thru Lightroom to get the 'Sigorney Weaver / Alien' effect. So now I think I'm good-to-go with some real children! - which is just in the nick of time, as I have a family photo-shoot booked for next weekend - wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Elsewhere - An ABC Radio Travel Programme

ABC Radio National has a new Travel programme in the making called Elsewhere, presented by writer Beth Yahp to broadcast every Saturday at 4pm. Beth asked me to make her a head-shot suitable for the web-page, so it was a great opportunity to test out my new glamour Ray Flash extension - and I'm impressed!

The Elsewhere programme details can be found here:
The program comprises documentaries, features, interviews, readings, performances and talks drawn from ABC Radio's vast back catalogue, but will also include new work, blogs and essays from travellers near and far.

For those keen on tech specs:

Camera: Nikon D300s
Lens: Sigma 150mm macro at f3.
Flash: Nikon SB900 Speedlight on-camera with Ray Flash extender.

Here's a Ray Flash video link, if you want to see the flash unit in action - the ring light info is about half-way through the video. It is available in Australia from DCW in Canterbury.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Photoshoot for Melinda McDonald

The 2010 Portrait Project got off to a great start. Jeremy was in town for the weekend so we met my friend Melinda at Coogee Beach at 6.30am and the 'paparazzi' got going! Melinda was keen to have some portraits made for her web-page for her work as a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine. She was a fabulous model, keeping her serene smile glowing for the whole two hours, all the while experimenting with different styles and settings. Here's a handful of the day's best: