Sunday, October 12, 2014


From now on, I will no longer be using this blog as my main point of interest as the new website is up and operating.

Here's the link:

Monday, October 6, 2014

Wildflower Hunt

Spring is well under way and the wildflowers are in full bloom. Some species of orchid have already reached the end of their flowering cycle, but there are plenty more out there. Walking through the dry October scrub we sense the new foliage that is emerging from the woodland floor. There are yellows, greens, reds, oranges, purples, blues, and just about every hue in between. A overwhelmingly non-directional buzz fills the air as the hover flies and bees search for pollen and nectar.

On the wayside by the idyllic bush walking path we find small diggings, the sign of nocturnal animal life hunting for white ants. A little further in and there is a thick blanket of white and yellow wildflowers covering the ground between the banksias and the taller white gums. Tucked in around the trees bases and clumps of decomposing bark we find small pockets of orchid species. There is an abundance of Cowslip Orchids, but we see others too like the Blue China Orchid, Enamel Orchid, Spider Orchid, and Wandoo Beard Orchid. The orchids are a unique find amongst a sea of beautiful wildflowers so each orchid is special.

The woodland beauties will be faded by summer, but not for long. This time in a year, the next year, and the one after that will bring new joy once again as each one reappears in fresh life. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

A Rare Fog

A chorus of birdsong breaks the silence across the beautifully still water. In the distance, a black swan is gracefully meandering the lake. Sumptuous and thick is the white fog blanketing the land. I have only ten minutes and finding a pleasing composition is proving more difficult than anticipated. I want to stay. I want to sit and watch the birds go about their tireless tasks. They are different to me. They do not have more pressing matters at hand and so the misty scene remains. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Garden of Sprites

After seeing this short poem, I couldn't help putting these two together.

Garden of Sprites
By Lyndsey Hylton

I sit in the garden
on a small marble bench
beneath the sun.
The roses bud,
and the lilies grow.
The water glows and makes music
as it falls down the stream
of little waterfalls.
I follow the stream
into a land of beauty
and wonder.
I walk around to see wild flowers,
patches of four leaf clovers
and small rainbows.
I follow them to find no gold,
but to find a smaller garden.
Little Sprites dancing
in the middle of a circle.
They dance in little trebles,
and hornpipes.
A celebration it seems.
I didn't wish to intrude,
but I found myself
gazing in amazement
as I sat in the
Garden of Sprites.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Garvey Park

For some reason, I had not made a trip to a little place called Garvey Park in Ascot until recently. The other day, my wife took us over for a peaceful walk along the river with our little boy. The river is hardly moving at this point where it passes by the quiet cafe and kayak clubrooms. One or two kids are having fun in the nearby play area. After breaking for a quick coffee and cake at the cafe, we take a walk downstream and the ducks watch us silently.

Toddlers are great fun to watch especially when they're yours. He is a little sponge and eagerly soaks in everything - couples walking
just like us, bikes gliding past, little waves lap the shore, sun streaming through leafless trees, cool shade under green ones.

This is certainly a spot I'll be back again to shoot. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Old Prime

Re-discovering an old prime lens recently, I have been enjoying the speed, brightness, and clarity it brings. A number of years ago from eBay, I purchased an old 85mm prime lens from the old olympus film series. Instead of paying more than $800 for a high-quality new lens, I was able to get an equivalent lens in excellent condition for less than a third of the price. Portraiture is an area of photography that I am keen to practise and this lens has recently been a great catalyst for me to do so.

Benefits for using good quality prime lenses:

- Great image clarity
- More compact design (i.e. less intrusive and intimidating for human subjects AND lightweight)
- Nice render of light with improved dynamic range and pleasing bokeh
- Noticeable reduction in minimum focusing distance

Below is an example shot of my son taken this morning. Light is always a significant factor to any image and yet you can see how the lens maintains such great detail in areas of focus. Being limited to manual focus (due to lack of electronic connection - old to new technology), it has also been a great exercise to practise focusing quickly; to me, fast and precise manual focusing is still far more efficient and practical, particularly in low light conditions.

Aside from a couple of slight adjustments, this was all achieved without the need for photoshop, meaning less time on the computer. Unless you particularly love editing, this is a big win. 

Good light control including lens choice is a critical aspect in photography. Megapixels alone are far overrated - 9/10 times the quality you can get with less than 5MP on a reasonably good sensor with good light and glass will exceed your average 20MP with poorly controlled light. In general, I have been very pleased with this lens and excited about the fresh possibilities that it will bring to my photography.

Key point: Lens choice is an important part of the photographic process and heavily influences the look of your final image. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

In Exhibition

For anyone who might be thinking of heading out to The York Mill Gallery, here's a little sneak peak for you. There's a lovely little cafe with great food and coffee and two more rooms for viewing various artwork and hand-crafts. 

Initially inspired by a photograph named "Old Morgan Road", the exhibition "Land" includes a range of colour and monochrome images. Each image has a close connection to our beautiful land, whether it be our sunburnt expanses or the wet top end. 

A big thank you to all those people who made the trip out for our unofficial opening on Sunday. It was a great afternoon enjoyed by all. The project has been a big undertaking with countless hours spent photographing, framing, and preparing artwork. It's also one that couldn't have gone ahead without the help and support of my wife Emily. 

Open for viewing throughout March, 2014.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Exhibition - 1 Day!

When I was a kid, I remember the anticipation of waiting for prints to return in the mail from my little box camera. It was a pleasure that has never ceased to disappoint. Even now, there is always something very special about seeing printed works for the first time and experiencing that little tingle in the spine as I look at the physical images for the first time. My hope is that you experience even just a fraction of this as you explore the exhibition. 

This all gets kicked off tomorrow at The York Mill Gallery in the scenic town of York. Things are shaping up very nicely and I'm quite excited to see it coming together. The exhibition will be held in the boiler room gallery at the mill from the 5th to the 30th of March. 

There will be 15 pieces on display, all of which have been printed using archival inks and high quality photographic materials. Of these, 11 are framed limited and open edition prints. I know you will enjoy seeing the pieces of art as they are all looking fantastic. There has been a great deal of work contributed to each piece and I'm now pretty happy with how it is all looking.

There are plenty of other attractions in the district including a stop-over at the beautiful Lake Leschenaultia, sky-diving, museums, and other art galleries. Finally, finding The York Mill will be easy with its distinctive brick architecture at 10 Henrietta St. 


Tuesday, January 28, 2014


After returning from this small town in East Arnhem Land, I already miss the welcoming families and the happy-go-lucky kids in the community. I am somewhat glad, however, to be returning to the more structured lifestyle with which I am more familiar. Although my time here was not focussed on photography, as usual I took the camera along in case I spotted any good photo opportunities. 

It is currently in the wet season here and thus experiences prolonged periods of cloudy skies and rain. This said, there were a few moments of sunshine between the storms. The buildup to the wet season would likely be the best time of year for photography in these areas. I was reminded to simply work with the conditions you are given. All in all, the trip presented me with a chance to practise using some new ND filters and gave me some things to learn. 

Here are a few of my favourite landscape shots from the trip. 

It is a pretty flat landscape, so looking for striking imagery was a tough challenge. I quickly decided it was a good idea sticking to the concept of simplicity. This seemed to suit the type of scenery and produced a few shots that I found pleasing. I wanted to really emphasise the subtle tones and colours throughout. The ND filters worked a treat and I was absolutely loving the extra freedoms afforded by their use. 

Key Points in Arnhem Land:

1. Plan a way to negate moisture - my gear quickly became damp from the humidity. 
2. ND filters are now on my must-have list to allow shooting flexibility.
3. To exploit the spectacular scenery here, shoot it from an aerial perspective.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Dreaming in Colour

Done well, colour management can breathe life into an ugly scene. Done poorly, it can destroy a beautiful one.

Colour is simply part of the broader spectrum of visible light. Advances in colour management must be the icing on top for modern developments in photography . Photographers of old could have only dreamed of having the tools available to us now. From colour film to digital sensors, the range of options we have at our fingertips is huge. Computer processing gives us still further creative control over our final product. A V8 gives you incomparably more driving freedoms than your regular hatchback in many circumstances; so also, we have now have the power to push our images in the direction of our choice. You can run your powerful car into a tree; so also, you can demolish the beauty afforded by colour if used wrongly. I've seen far too many photos killed by the thoughtless use of colour. It only takes a quick google search to find thousands of horrible, jarring images where some well-intentioned soul has taken a blunt machete to the concept of colour management - not pretty.

The trouble here lies in the complexity of the task. Making an image that satisfies all the demands of our eye is rather difficult and an objective I do not claim to have mastered. Thus, I often enjoy the simplicity of a strong black and white image. However, it is certainly one of my aims to bring strong and vibrant colours to my photography. It is imperative that this is done sensitively, however. Below is a recent image of mine that sparked this train of thought and demonstrates what good colour can bring to some images.

Here, it is the colour that makes the photo. It turns a nice photo into something special and brings the scene to life. As previously mentioned, good colour is the end product of a complex process with many factors including environment, angles, planning, camera settings, RAW processing, personal taste, and good luck. This is one of the first times I feel that I am beginning to scratch the surface of the possibilities afforded by good colour management.

Key point: If using colour, use it tastefully and thoughtfully.