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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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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The Towns Family

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When Nicole came to see me about a family portrait shoot, it became obvious that we should do the shoot on the farm. Photographing Jono and their two boys Campbell and William in the studio didn't make any sense at all. They were farm boys and we needed to capture them in their element. We had so many options, the cubby house, a wonderful old tree, a rustic farm gate and a shearing shed gave us so many options for locations and backgrounds, and the boys didn't get sick of having the picture taken in the same spot. There was a bit of resistance at the start of the shoot, but that is quite normal. The one thing that I can offer in situations like this is time. Time for everyone to relax, and get used to the fact that I an there, and that I am taking pictures, and eventually we get what we need.

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Newborn Portrait Photography

Newborn Family Portrait Photography



Quiet moments just sitting and watching baby sleep, the delight in their eyes when they see your face, the amazing strength with which they can grasp you finger.Beautiful, quiet moments, captured in black and white, which will capture forever just how tiny this little person was.

In years to come, you will look at these images and shake your head in amazement as you pick up size 13 basketball boots that are lying around on the bathroom floor.Capture the closeness and security they feel when being held by Mum and Dad and marvel at the contrasts in size and texture.I don’t believe that your newborn needs to be dressed up in cute outfits or photographed in a birds nest or flowerpot!

 

They are an amazing, unique, wondrous person in their own right and in some ways I feel that it is disrespectful to the person to play dress-up at this special moment in their lives.If you don’t need to be in fancy dress to have a meaningful portrait taken then maybe, neither does your newborn child.Lets just concentrate on how special they are and the love and family that surrounds them, and we will end up with images that will be meaningful for the rest of their lives.This is a fleeting moment that is passed through all too quickly.

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Faces of Launceston 20 years

Faces of Launceston 20 years

 

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Faces of Launceston photographic exhibition

Faces of Launceston photographic exhibition

Faces of Launceston 1996

 

1996 marks the half way point in this project to document some of the people and faces of Launceston.

 

It is a photographer’s way to say thank you to the people and the city that have accepted our family so readily with warmth and genuine friendship.

 

 

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Blue Stone Bay, Freycinet

Blue Stone Bay, Freycinet

Early morning at Blue stone bay in Tasmania's Freycinet National Park on the East coast.

 

Accessible only by 4 wheel drive, we had arrived in the dark and stumbled our way down to the water to set up for dawn

The beautiful rounded boulders are a perfect counter to the rugged coastline and incoming tide. I remember that it was cold that morning and the rocks were slippery . My brother David was with me so I sent him out onto the rocks to add a human element to the picture

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Best time for baby photographs?

Best time for baby photographs?

THE FIRST YEAR

In the first year, time seems to speed up and slow down all at the same time. Days roll into one amid late night feeds, day time sleeps ,and an amazing number of nappy changes. Every day there are ground breaking moments: the first smile, the first sleeping through the night, first steps, words, and teeth. Let us capture these moments that are the initial stages of a journey of a lifetime.

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Slices of Life -Photographing Children

Slices of Life -Photographing Children
Childhood
 
Both parents and children have to adjust to the influences of school, and it is a bitter sweet period for the parents as you realise that your child now has a part of their life in which you are not involved. They are learning new skills and wanting to use them, and it is much easier for your photographer to build a relationship and to capture those special expressions and moments. At this stage, we ask the parents to take a step back so that the photographer has a chance to engage with the child in one-on-one conversation. Once this is happening, all those emotions and expressions are never far behind.
 
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Tasmania is a beautiful place to vist

Tasmania is a beautiful place to vist

we came to Tassie in 1988 as our own bicentennial project. Since then, we have made a life and a family home here

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After the fire

After the fire

came across this burnt out bit of bush just outside of town and had to stop and take some pictures. the fire had stripped away all the details, and given the scene an almost monotone look that was strangely beautiful

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Photo Tips -Neutral Density Filters

Photo Tips -Neutral Density Filters

Photography Tips -Neutral Density Filters

We all love those magic hours just around sunrise and sunset. Thats when the light is at its most amazing and everything looks great. But what about when the light isn't fantastic? In the middle of the day, you can do other stuff, or have a nap, but if like me, you want to keep taking pictures than a neutural density filter may be just the thing.  The basic job of a ND filters is to cut down the amount of light reaching your sensor without affecting the colour, and they come in various densities. The one I use the most is a 400x filter which cuts around 10 stops of light and allows you to use very low shutterspeeds.

less light entering your lens means that you need a longer shutter speed and so as a consequence, you can make images like this, the water moves during the exposure to give that soft dreamlike quality

Of course you will need a sturdy tripod so that the rest of the image remains sharp, and it also helps to make sure that there is no extraneous light entering through the eye piece 

 

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balancing the light at magic hour

balancing the light at magic hour

Those magic moments when the evening sky is the same brightness as the lights coming from the building you are photographing is the only time that you can get images

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pictures from ages ago

 

this is a sunflower i took this picture and I even painted the background. I had no work then

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