Just turned 38 and I’m photographing trees now it seems…. of dear. Anyway, I had set myself an assignment to take a photograph while on holiday and the trees in Vanuatu definitely stood out as amazing subjects. Tanna, a smaller island to the south of Port Vila, is definitely a great place for foliage photography. Most men are walking around with machetes in hand just to keep the grass down as they go about their business.
We recently shot with the Sydney Swans and added a few of our own players for QBE insurance. My client was Workhouse advertising from Perth and the casting was taken care of by Film Construction in Sydney. Here are a few behind the scenes shots from the day and 2 final retouched images from the series. To shoot our hero talent in full sun without harsh shadows we used a mixture of flash and a massive 12 foot scrim. In post I retouched out the scrim shadow and aged our hero “experienced” player a little more…
“The largest above ground cemetery in the world” according to Spike Milligan. Although I nearly got shat on by a Pelican, it was actually a great location to shoot in.
If you haven’t been to a good photographic exhibition for a while then make some time for Gilbert Garcin. Currently on at the Australian Centre for Photography, Paddington Sydney, until June 11.
Monsieur Garcin found photography after retirement in his 60′s. His self portraits offer a mix of surreal and dadaist approaches, sometimes Escher like and sometimes nihilistic, which overall is timeless and refreshingly simple. Whilst in the gallery, seeing something this good can make me feel a little sick. Sick for feeling so artistically belittled… and in return a little inspired.
The images online don’t give justice to the beautiful prints.
I’m glad to say my new website is up and running!
The design is very similar to my last website, however it now runs on smart phones, ipads etc… There are new shots and even a few really old ones that I’ve decided to give another run. Other features include the ability to download a PDF folio of my work.
link to new website -> www.jeremypark.com.au
I thought to post some photography related links that I use when researching new gear or point people to when asked what camera to buy.
Obviously each persons requirements for camera gear will be different which is why I think these links could provide good starting points for research. With everything online these days it’s near impossible now to try out gear and software before you actually buy it. Forums and reviews seem to be replacing the in-store experience. Often disregarded though is the ergonomics of a camera which is why borrowing or renting first maybe a good idea.
http://www.dpreview.com/ offers forum style reviews and in depth independent tests on nearly all consumer any many high end cameras. A good place to start for most peoples needs.
http://www.dxomark.com/index.php is great place to go if you are into scientific analysis of higher end cameras and lenses. Without consideration for ergonomics, the site does get into an amazing amount of detail concerning tonal depths, MTF charts, discussions on true ISO etc. It also has a very easy to use comparison tool for many popular cameras and lenses. Interesting to see how very expensive cameras and digital backs actually under perform in some areas than more common and much cheaper 35mm cameras! I would recommend any serious photographer to understand MTF charts when buying lenses. Googling MTF charts helps here.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com world famous camera shop and now even cheaper with the falling USD. Worth a visit if you are in NY in only just to see all the goods being sold whizzing around on an automated train like system above your head. I use the site to get an idea of prices and range of products.
http://www.yodobashi.com/ The Japanese B+H, however, their main store takes up nearly two blocks and boasts around 11 levels of camera related gear. The website is always worth a look to see what is new, quirky and potentially not available anywhere else. (a web translator helps!). If you ever go to Japan then going there is a great experience… if you have a day or two free. Jenn and I flew there to buy my medium format gear as it was sold under a different brand name…Fuji instead of Hasselblad! And at about half the price, hence the flights hotels and food was all free ( I guess). Who knew Fuji make most parts in a new Hasselblad these days? A highlight for me would have to be the year round digitalised christmas carols being pumped out of the stores inhouse speaker system, adding to the surreal experience while you are in this digitised maze. Another highlight was drinking in a hotels sky bar in a nearby suburb and seeing the lights from Yodobashi lighting up the sky like a mini fireworks show….both highlights form a love hate feeling due to it’s extravagance. I hear the store lights are now rated “gloomy” due to the earthquake and resulting nuclear power shutdowns. Will the Godzilla of camera stores ever be the same again?
http://diglloyd.com/index-free.html offers independent reviews on some gear and gear related topics. Again a little on the nerdy side but breaks it down some technical aspects more than DXOmark.
http://www.pdnonline.com/ is perhaps the largest of photography magazines that with the webolution has become a great online resource covering anything and everything to do with photography. Unfortunately membership is the only way to unlock some of the meatier articles.
It has been a busy start to the year and the work has been extremely varied. This is one great thing about being a photographer… never the same thing twice! I spent a day in January setting up mini still life studio for shooting Redbull product for two a day shoot, rushed up to the bush north of Sydney to shoot Bear Grylls for Mens Health (spotted a baby non poisonous snake about 4 inches long which was not much of a meal), we found Elvis (and Mrs Elvis), street casted a lovely woman who has had the same hair cut as her prize winning Bichon Frise dogs since the 70′s, shot beer ads at 6am, shot health insurance adds with storm clouds looming and shot a germy school bag who has now come to life. Otherwise work has been pretty normal shooting for banks and a few magazines. I wanted to show at least one image which has been released from the recent Atacand campaign for UrsaClemenger. I produced this job myself and found real talent for the shots. By real talent I mean, they are real couples. The headline ” some things just belong together”.
I thought I’d share a few geeky type things that have probably been missed by many photographers. Well at least missed by me thinking I already had a fast laptop.
As cameras get larger chips inside of them, the programs we use to run them become more RAM hungry and the image files become larger, we find laptops generally slow down or need replacing by newer most expensive models to keep up. I’ve recently opened up my ’09 macbook pro and made some modifications which took about 15 minutes to install. The improvements resulted in a 50% increase in speed according to Xbench, a program often used to measure you computers overall speed and the data is even more secure than before. I read about it firstly on a very informative geeky website called http://macperformanceguide.com/ which is written by the same guy that has a great photography blog called http://diglloyd.com/. Handy to have computer information related directly to digital photography issues.
I replaced 3 things.
1. RAM. An obvious place to start. However, did you know that you can typically use more RAM than Apple suggests. Each computer has what is called address space, which limits the amount of RAM that you can run. If you put in more RAM than there is address space you have troubles. However, my laptop has the address space to now run 6gigs or RAM when Apple suggest 4gigs was the maximum it could use. That’s 50% more RAM. Programs like Photoshop and CaptureOne are key programs for photographers are are extremely RAM hungry, especially with the new 64bit processors which allow any free RAM to be used by these programs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacBook_Pro is a good place to check on your laptops potential.
2. SSD. A solid state hard drive. This is probably the biggest area of improvement which surprised me. Having no moving parts you get many advantages. Firstly the read and write speeds are 4 or 5 times faster than the fastest traditional spinning hard drives still found in nearly all laptops. Large files such as RAW images can be written in a fifth of the time. The analogy that I’ve read and which seems accurate it that is is like taking the give way and stop signs out of your computer. All the sudden programs open in split seconds and changes seem immediate. The second big advantage here is security. SSD’s have a very low chance of failure as there is no read arm or spinning hard disk. They are more shock proof as they are built like the compact flash cards in your camera. I’ve accidentally washed a compact flash card in the past which continued to work without issue. Thirdly SSD’s run at much lower temperatures. Lower temperatures help speed, (you may have heard of people cooling their computers to increase speed?) and more importantly less temperature means less chance of solder cracking in your circuitry. Logic board failure which Apple repair says makes your computer not worth fixing is often a result of a 25cent component ( such as a capacitor) failing due to burn out, or a piece of solder simply cracking under the heat.
Cost is a factor as traditional hard drives are now super cheap, however the SDD I bought OWC has come down in price from over $1200 to about $480 in the last year. http://www.macsales.com/ has alot more information about this.
3. Replace the optical drive for a back up 2nd hard drive. With nearly most shoots now delivered via FTP the cd burner has become redundant. You can buy a cheap enclosure that fits into your cd burner space inside the laptop and allows you to put in a second hard drive. A second hard drive is very useful for a few reasons. It can be a time machine backup, so even the secure SSD main drive is now backed up and super secure. It also can become home to your music files and iphoto files. Files that are large but not needed to be on your main drive, freeing up space. Free hard drive space is a factor in you overall computers speed, so having your main hard drive uncluttered is another big step to improved performance.
Total cost about $580 form the US delivered in under 4 days. 15 minutes to install yourself if you have the right tools and know the limits of your Apple warranty. I used carbon copy to transfer my old hard drive onto the SSD which I left running over night.
The previous Xbench result was 145. New Xbench result 225. Over 50% increase in overall speed. Which considering there are alot of things I didn’t upgrade, such as the processor or graphics card, means some areas such as read and write speed saw a much larger increase.