personal work

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portrait: Janine vN

November 15, 2010

portrait using a gridded softbox

It’s been about a year since I last took a more formal portrait of my daughter Janine. Last year it was her with the steam-punk goggles, when I used a beauty dish (with a sock) as lighting. During a restaurant dinner last night I noticed Janine had ‘LOVE’ scribbled on both her forearms with a felt marker. I asked her about it, and she explained the idea behind ‘To Write Love On Her Arms‘. So I decided to include this tonight in the portrait of her.

Lighting her and the words on her arms was a slight challenge. I wanted a moody portrait, instead of just flooding it with even light from something like bounced flash …

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favorite image from the weekend – trampoline jump

Another photograph from the PDF event this weekend where I photographed the fire performer, is this one from earlier in the afternoon.  I noticed some event-goers taking turns at a trampoline.  I decided to shoot into the sun for dramatic effect .. but also to make the image more anonymous and therefore more about the feel of the day.  More about the mood than a recognizable portrait.  Shooting at high shutter speeds, I was able to freeze the action completely, and caught this guy in mid-tumble … as if mysteriously floating by.  Slightly surreal.

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fire performer at PDF

October 8, 2010

After I was so thrilled with watching and photographing the fire performers at their wedding, Katie and Nathan managed to get me a ticket to the PDF event this weekend. Due to work commitments this weekend, I was only able to visit tonight (Friday), and take in the activities and spirit of the event, and chat to random people. Magical.

Of the fire performers (and other participants) I photographed, I really liked the few images I got of Nichole .. and thought I’d show them here as a small glimpse of the event.

Shot with the Nikon D3, using the Nikon 85mm f1.4D lens
1/125 @ f1.4 @ 3200 ISO


A quick informal portrait of a photographer friend of mine, Sarah Smith.

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In 1998 I had the great opportunity to visit Madagascar to photograph stock images for a travel agent.  This guitar player in one of the markets in Antananarivo caught my eye, especially with the bold colors.  This photo from the archives is this week’s entry for the Alive for 365 project.

Antananarivo, Madagascar  //  Jan ’98
Nikon F90;  Nikon 80-200mm f2.8 AF-D
81A warming filter;  Fuji Sensia 100


My entry this week for the Alive for 365 project, is another one from the archives:
A typical London taxi photographed by panning the camera. Doing so with a wide-angle lens creates additional distortion during panning, and only the centre of the photograph is left sharp.

Date: March ’93
Pentax Z-1;  Pentax-FA 28-80mm f3.5-4.7  (zoomed to 28mm)
Hyper Program mode;   -1 EV compensation;   Fuji RDP 100 transparency film

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dynamic composition – changing your viewpoint (model – Carrie)

Near the end of the recent photo session with Carrie, I walked across the street to find another angle. Walking back, I noticed the sun just dipping behind the roof of this old train station. I thought it might flare interestingly if I caught the sun just on the edge there.

The problem was that I had to step into the street a few times when there was a lull in the traffic. The angle was a tough one since I had to, or rather, wanted to keep my camera at ground level to shoot up. I wanted the flare, and I wanted this angle to accentuate Carrie’s legs.

I resorted to stepping into the road, crouching down, pre-focusing, and then holding my camera away from my eye at ground level. There was no way I was going to lay down in a busy street! It took three tries, each with a series of images, until I “blindly” got the composition the way I wanted it .. with the right amount of flare.

Playing around with the controls in ACR (similar to Lightroom), got me to a retro- faded look I liked. The processing hopefully complements the sun-kissed image and add to the overall feel of the photo.

Settings:  1/250 @ f5.6 @ 200 ISO  //  no additional lighting
Equipment used:  Nikon D3;  Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 AF-S  … at 24mm

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Green Point Lighthouse is the oldest Lighthouse in South Africa.  I liked this juxtaposition of the older colorful lighthouse, against the drab blocky modern building. The tight composition reduced the urban landscape to geometric patterns.  This was shot on slide film (Fuji RDP 100) at sunset, hence the bold golden colors.

This photo is my entry this week in the Alive for 365 project.

Nikon F90x; Nikon 80-200mm f2.8D // Cape Town, South Africa; ca. 1998

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I took this photo of the Hotel du Louvre during a trip to Paris in 1993.  I carefully propped  my camera against a hand-railing  to steady it during the slow exposure of 1/4 second.  As I took my first frame, a bus drove past. I cursed my luck and took the photograph again. (This was pre-digital, and I was poor enough that every frame of transparency film that I shot was expensive.)  Anyway, I cursed my luck, thinking the bus would spoil the image I was after. However, when I saw the results, the ‘accident’ looked far better than the intended shot.

This favorite photo of mine, is this week’s entry for the Alive for 365 project.

[ Pentax Z-1; Pentax-FA 28-80mm f3.5-4.7 / Fujichrome RD 100 ]
[ Paris, France / April '93 ]