Travel is one of the things I love to do so join me somewhere in the world

Dawn at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park in Utah.

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Dawn at  Mesa Arch  in Canyonlands National Park in Utah. The arch is an amazing natural stone arch perched at the edge of a cliff with vast views of the spectacular landscape in the distance. The hardest part about trying to photograph scenery like this is the sheer vastness of the image. The view goes on and on, and trying to make sense of all the elements is quite a challenge. I was travelling with my friend and fellow photographer  Peter Eastway having both been speakers at the Wedding Portrait Photographers International conference in Las Vegas.  We arrived in the dark, the carpark being about 1 km away and set up waiting for the first light the break over the horizon. Never having been there before, we only had our calculations to work out where we were expecting the sun to rise, and set up our cameras using our best guess. As we would be photographing directly into the rising sun, I knew that the window of opportunity to get a decent shot would be very narrow, and that as soon as the sun was fully up over the horizon, the scene would be rendered flat and uninteresting. Our only chance would be to capture the image at the very start of the sunrise. It is nice when you think about a shot before hand, make a plan, and everything works out pretty much the way you thought it would. The light was great, and lit up the landscape to highlight the mountains, and rock structures in the distance, and brought out the texture on the canyon floor. The light hitting the underside of the arch and the rocks below it caused the whole structure to glow and I was very happy with the shot. There was the usual flurry of activity, trying to get as many variations as possible before the light flattened out, but on this occasion, the initial image that I made was the best one. This image looks amazing printed onto a high gloss metallic paper and is available in our Art print gallery here:
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A visit to Canberra

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A visit to Canberra is always a great experience for a photographer. Not only do you get to feast your eyes on numerous exhibitions and architectural works, but you also get to play with your camera a lot! A visit to the National Museum of Australia has so much to offer. The building and the surrounding grounds are full of architectural angles and interesting juxtapositions so the longer you hang around, the more you see. Whether it is 50,000 years of Indigenous heritage, the story and artefacts of colonial settlement or just a look at Phar Laps heart this place has it all. In an internal courtyard, the  Garden of Australian Dreams is a wonderful subject to photograph. It is hard not to think about Jackson Pollocks Blue Poles ( which we saw at the National Gallery ) or of Jeffrey Smart and his very precise paintings of traffic signs. The square white box in the centre of the garden represents the Australian dream of home ownership with its own palm tree, and the floor is covered with maps of regional areas. This image is one in our Artprint gallery and looks amazing printed as a large square.
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Tuscany, Italy

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Seems like only yesterday, but it was in fact 6 years ago that I ventured out on a dark morning somewhere in the middle of Tuscany. We were staying in a small medieval  hill town which have views out across the valley, and after a splendid dinner in a small restaurant I planned out my shoot for the next morning.  There was a small castle on the top of the hill, and I had worked out a location about half way down the hill from which I figured I could get a nice shot of the castle.  The next morning I left in the dark and proceeded towards my chosen spot only to find that the road had been blocked and a detour was in place talking me right around the other side of the hill.  With no knowledge of this side of town, and my shoot plan out the window I started looking for something to photograph. The sun was coming up and I really didn’t have much time to play with, so I stopped at the local cemetery to see if there was a picture to be had - there wasn’t, but on my way back to the car, I decided to look over the edge of the hill, and was presented with a series of images that took my breath away.  The sun was creating some great colour in the sky and there was a low rolling mist that we had not seen before ( or after for that matter ) . The only thing that you don’t get to experience through this image is the doof doof music that was coming from across the valley as the people at the all night rave welcomed the morning sun.  From up on the hill, there was a great panorama of views and by zooming in with a long lens, I was able to create a series of images that were very pleasing to me.  This is probably a good time to talk about the fact that all of this type of photography that I do  is pretty much ego-centric , I shoot the images that please me, and while I am always surprised and delighted when other people love the images so much that they want to hang them in their homes,  in the first instance , they have to please me.  I feel very fortunate that I can make my living taking pictures for people. Whether it is a family portrait, or a commercial product shot, most of my working life consists of working to some sort of a brief. I have been lucky/worked hard to ensure that the people who commission me understand that they are asking me for more than just the loan of my camera, and that they want and need me to use my judgment and eye to create images that , hopefully, are more than they dared to imagine.  So when I go on holidays and am shooting in my role of hobby photographer, I want the images to be purely for my own enjoyment.  I think that the minute I start trying to make images thatI think people would like to buy, I will not only be less effective in making good images, but I will also lose the joy of having a hobby that I really love. This does not stop me from gaining just a little bit of extra joy if people decide that they would like to buy a copy of an image for their home! We actively encourage this, you can see some of the images that we have for sale in our Artprint gallery bit.ly/KuruvitaArtPrints This gallery has just a tiny selection of images, which we are  constantly adding to, so if there is something in particular that you are looking for, from Tasmania, Australia or from around the world,   send us a quick email, you never know what we might have. While the mist hung around for a while, the next half hour was spent making some of the best images from that trip, and as the morning light gave way to daylight, I felt like I had taken the images that were on offer that morning. With the sun streaming in I decided to head back, and came face to face with this beautiful deer just enjoying the morning sunshine. When I got back to our accommodation, Vicki was still asleep, and was woken by a hyper excited and happy photographer. 
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Every now and again, you come across an image that is just begging to be made!

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 I had seen these  vintage boxing gloves hanging on the wall at my Osteo’s rooms and thought it would be good to make an image.  Josh let me borrow them and I went searching for a wall that reminded me of an old time boxing gym ( The kind of place a young Rocky would have been comfortable in)  Luckily , Launceston has a number of options, and I found a suitable background to make my image. I love it when a single image can build a picture in your minds eye. Can you feel the place? The smell of sweat and lineament, the sound of a leather skipping rope twirling through the air and  someone on a speed bag setting the tempo. Shafts of light streaming onto the central ring, and a sense of hard work and melancholy all rolled into one. Frank was Josh’s grand father and a part of him lives on in this picture. I have made large prints of this image, and the bigger it is the better it looks. Shot on a medium format 50megapixel camera, the cracks in the leather and the patina on the walls really help tell the story of a bygone age.
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Monument Valley

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Between the ages of 8 and 15, we lived in Sri Lanka, where , at the time, there was no TV, so going to the cinema to watch the latest movies out of Hollywood was a regular part of our weekly routine. The movies that we all were most excited to see were the westerns. The Good The Bad and The Ugly,  in fact anything with Clint Eastwood, Chatos Land with a non speaking Charles Bronson, John Wayne, Allan Ladd, and so many more. So it was with much excitement that I finally visited Monument Valley. I had been speaking at the WPPI conference in Las Vegas, and at the end of it, my friend and fellow photographer Peter Eastway and I hired a car and set off to explore the 4 corners region around Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado   This one area of Navajo land was the set for so many of the epic Hollywood blockbuster westerns that I had grown up with. It had all the elements that the movie executives thought were required to set the scene, and in the process helped form a very clear picture in the minds of the world of how the American west looked during the time of Sitting Bull, General Custer and the Wells Fargo stage coach ( I can imaging it now tearing up the road, chased by a band of Indians on palomino ponies with the horses at full gallop and the wheel looking like it might fly off at any second! ) We arrived before dawn ( as all good photographers should!) only to find that there was a gate and an entry fee and worst of all, the office didn’t open until 8am, long after the light was of any use for photography.  Luckly for us this had obviously happened before, and waiting patiently at the gate as this lovely Navajo guy with a van who offered to take us in via his village and give us a tour of the area.  The asking price was fair and we had an amazing tour of the area, along with expert commentary. The images we got were just what we had hoped for so much so that we decided to hire him again the next day, start even earlier and get to some of the other stops in this great landscape.  John Ford Point, named after the famous western movie director gave us a stunning  sunrise, and it was so obvious why they should want to shoot movies in this wonderful location.  For all the pictures that I got over the 3 days that we were there, the enduring memory for me is a moment when I found myself all alone in this landscape. The van and guide where down by the road, Peter had wandered off to photograph something and I looked around and all I could see was the desert, the rock formations and the clouds above me. At that point, I realised that recording everything on my camera was going to be impossible so I put my camera down, lay flat on my back in the cool sand, and soaked in the  experience. 
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Sri Lanka

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In 2007, my brother Peter was writing his first book, Serendip, My Sri Lankan Kitchen, and his publisher sent both of us to Sri Lanka for 10 days. He was researching and  collecting recipes and I was taking local colour pictures to be used throughout the book. It had been many years since I had been in Sri Lanka , but more importantly, it was the first time that Peter and I had spent that long together since he had left home  to do his apprenticeship and I had moved to Canberra to go to Uni. Sri  To say it was a wonderful trip would be to understate what a great time we had. travelling around the country in a mini van driven by someone else meant that we could relax, take pictures and really get into the feel of the country without having to worry about where we were going, organising hotels or any of the other one hundred and one things that you need to organise when you are in another country. Peter had organised to meet some chefs and we went from one great experience to another, revisiting many of the places from our childhood in the country and reestablishing friendships and connections. On Dec 26th 2004 Sri Lanka was one of the countries hit by the tsunami that resulted from an earth quake in the middle of the Indian Ocean. At least 30,000 people lost their lives when a massive wall of water hit the south  and  east  of the country with water damage reported as far as 2 km inland from the coast.  This massive fishing boat was picked up by the waves and deposited high up on a rocky ledge above the water where it stayed, unable to be moved. I  tried to find an angle that simplified the image as much as possible while still showing all the elements. I enjoy  that when people see this image can make them stop and question "what is going on here?” There is a simple beauty to this image, which, when added to  the incongruence of a boat high and dry on the rocks,  attracts people, while at the same time standing as a monument to the powerful and destructive forces that created it and that affected so many peoples lives.  https://www.peterkuruvita.com/shop/cookbooks/serendip/
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Venice, Italy

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I wonder when we will get back to Venice? or any other destination around this world that is in lockdown! I doubt that we will be even contemplating overseas travel for the next couple of years - good thing we live in this amazing country, where our geographic isolation, and our firm affirmative action with the virus means that we can move around with relative ease. Add to this the fact that we have such diversity and area to cover, and we really could spend the next 5 years discovering our own country.  But it's nice to reminisce, and Venice is one of those destinations that sooner or later will end up on most people’s to do list.  As a photographer, it's hard to shoot something new in a location that is constantly being photographed ( can you imaging how many pictures were taken in Venice every single day before lockdown? The bridge of sighs, a rather depressing name that originates from when these buildings housed the main prison, and prisoners used the bridge on their way to execution. When we were there in 2015 the sighs were coming from the many tourists that flocked there ( the reverse angle shot shows just some of them crowded on the bridge that I was shooting from ( getting pretty much the same shot as I did!) Since then the city has passed laws that prevent you from stopping on the bridge because of the traffic jams it used to create.  These images and many others that I shot during our 4 week exploration of Italy are now in our Art print Gallery  https://kuruvitaphotography.shootproof.com/gallery/13119876 We have printed and framed a number of these images for clients to  help bring back those happy memories of their  time in Venice, and they look amazing!  Printed onto archival art paper, using pigment inks, these images will stand the test of time and will instantly transport you back to the sights and sounds of this magical city. The singing gondoliers and the lapping of the water in the canals,  the flutter of pigeon wings in St Marco Square,  and the hustle and bustle of tourists from all over the world in the cafes, is what I will remember of Venice, along with the gelatos and the gin and tonics on a hot afternoon.  Of course there are so many different experiences of Venice, and I took great joy in discovering the city in the early morning gloom of pre dawn, before everyone was up and when the light gave the city a soft warm glow. Walking down side alleys and minor canals ( sometimes getting terribly lost ) I would delight in an ancient doorway, seemingly unchanged since the 1700’s, or an unexpected church or gondolas tied up for the night bobbing in the tide.  Whenever I travel, this early morning time is my favourite for taking pictures. The world is slowly starting to stir and the pace of life is much slower. I leave our accommodation in the dark, usually having scouted out a location the previous day, so that I have a clear idea of where I am going and what I plan to do, so that I am not running around looking for something to photograph as the light is going through its morning routine. It doesn’t always work out, sometimes the light doesn’t really do anything, and other times I might get lost or be seduced by some other view that looks completely different in the morning light. Either way I’m out and taking pictures and if I don’t get an amazing image at least I have been practicing my art! Concert pianists don’t only play concerts, they spend a lot of time practicing scales and honing their skills, and this is what I do on just about every morning when I am on holidays.
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Art Prints Special!

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When Covid 19 hit last year and everything went into lockdown ( for some of you that was just the first time ) Vicki was in Albury NSW, looking after her Dad who was not feeling so good. When it became apparent that the whole country was going to shut down and that we would not be doing any photography work, I decided to go to Albury too so that at least we could go through the lockdown together. We were there for 9 weeks , only returning home when we were allowed to self isolate at home rather than in a government allocated hotel. All in all it was not too bad, in Albury we could still go for walks, and when we got back to Tassie we renovated Sams office during the two week isolation. We also hired a skip and got rid of heaps of junk that had been lying around for years. The only down side was that when we got back into work, our large format printer had been idle for nearly 3 months, and the ink had dried in the head and the short version of the story is that we had to get a new print head which ended up costing around $2500. Ouch!

 

I tell you this because we have decided to preempt this happening again by doing a monthly image which we will have available at a ridiculously low price ( its cheaper for us than another new print head! )

 

At the start of each month for the whole of 2021 we will be offering one of our Art Prints for just $100+P&H The prints will be 500mm on the shortest side, so a square image will be 500mmX500mm and a rectangle image will be about 500mmX800mm depending on the final crop . The offer will be live for 7 days only .

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Featured

Adventure on Tasman Island

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In April I had the pleasure of joining the Rotary Club of Tasman Peninsula on their annual fundraiser excursion to Tasman Island. Each Year the club organises a trip to this isolated lighthouse which stands just off the coast of Tasmania south of Cape Pillar.This year the weather gods were against the project and by about 10 am thick fog had descended and made helicopter flights impossible. With only a fraction of the people who had booked on the trip already on the island a decision was made to cancel the remaining flights, and to use whatever airtime was possible to get those already on the island back to the Tasmanian mainland. By the time the helicopter was grounded for good, there were still about 20 people still on the island, myself included, and we settled down to spend the night. As the friends of Tasman Island group had been on the island for the preceding week doing maintenance, we had plenty of food, sleeping bags and the 3 light house keepers cottages made for were comfortable accommodation.The fog lasted well into the night, so there was limited possibilities to take useful pictures at sunset , but the following morning we were met with a clear sky and I was able to take some images before the helicopter came to get us .The image of the lighthouse high on the cliffs ended up being awarded the Epson Signature Worthy Award at the Tasmanian Professional Photography Awards, and the portrait of Karl, who had spent time as a lighthouse keeper on the island, was also awarded a silver award at the awards.

 

Rotary has done a story about the excursion in the September issue of their monthly magazine Rotary Downunder, written by Rod Oliver which you can see here

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Just putting the finishing touches to some pictures from Italy!



 

 

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The highlight of our 6 weeks in Italy was staying a week with our friend  Carmine in the hills of Isernia. South east of Rome at the bottom of the high mountains, this little hill town has been  going since the 1100's. Steep cobble streets, and beautiful,friendly people made this a great way to start the trip and to see what the real Italy is like , without the hoards of tourists. In this town, we were the attraction and all sorts of people dropped by to Carmines house to say hello.

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Gallery Pejean now represents us!

GALLERY PEJEAN  
is delighted to announce it now represents
the acclaimed Tasmanian photographer
Philip Kuruvita

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Slideshow of Images from around the world

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Images from around the world

Images from around the world

Who doesn't like to travel? the chance to visit different places, immerse yourself in the customs, culture and food of different countries and to interact from people who live different lives to the one we do here in Tasmania.

Looking at the world through a camera, making images that try to explain not just what I  am seeing, but how I felt and interacted with the situation has been a life times work, and travel has helped me hone my skills. When you are in a new place, everything is new and exciting, and it seems that everywhere you look, there is yet another amazing photo opportunity. I see this as good practice for when you are home, in more familiar surroundings. It's harder to get excited about something that you see every day, but you must remember that there are people who have come to your hometown as part of their holiday, and are seeing it for the first time, and they are certainly finding exciting, interesting things to photograph.

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