Polaroid cameras were one of the first instant cameras that used a self-developing film that developed the print shortly after taking the picture. The first commercially viable instant camera is credited to Edwin Land in 1948. There are two parts to the original Polaroid image, the image itself and also the frame. The image had dimensions of 1,8x2.4 inches in a frame of 2.1x3.4 inches with the image positioned near the top of the frame.
Lomography is a commercial trademark of Lomographische AG. It started as a movement following the discovery supposedly by Viennese students of the LOMO LC-A camera by the St Petersburg company LOMO PLC. These students were inspired by it's unique, colourful and saturated images. The camera itself is fairly basic being a fixed lens 35mm film, leaf shutter and zone focus compact camera which spurned a cult following in the mid 1990's. The only automatic function is focussing. Many camera shops today sell variations of the original LOMO LC-A, and the Lomographic Society International was founded in 1992 by the Viennese students that discovered the LOMO camera.
While passing through Kangaroo Valley in August I noticed on the tourist information board a notice that the Kangaroo Valley Chamber of Tourism and Commerce held a Winter Photo Competition. Despite only having my crop sensor Nikon D7000 that I use for touristy type pictures I decided to take a photo of my interpretation of Hampden Bridge and submit it to their competition. They must have only received two entries, as the judging panel awarded my photo second place.
From their terms and conditions, all entrants give the Kangaroo Valley Chamber of Commerce and Tourism (KVCTC) permission to reproduce any submitted images on its website, social media sites and/or in any future material produced by the KVCTC for promotion, advertising or marketing purposes. Use of a photo by the KVCTC will be free of charge and photo credit will be given where possible.
Not only am I interested in past photographic processes, I have an interest in emulating recent photographic processes such as Kodachrome 64. One such style used quite frequently is bronze skin tones. The technique I use is to apply Red Green and Blue values in the Curves option to Highlights, Midtones and Shadows of an image. Initial values are obtained using the Colour Sampler tool and modifying the values to fine tune the result. Other processing may be required to get the exact tone required.
I have had a second article on photography published by Woodlands Publishing in Sydney in their Creative Artist Yearbook for 2017. The article is about vintage photographic processes from 1839 to 1900 as described in an earlier post. It gives a brief history of photography and the processes in the mid to late 19th century, plus a brief description on the resulting images, the results of aging and the PhotoShop tools required to emulate these images.
The world's premier art/nude magazine VOLO has published Hollywood Glam, a collaboration between model Tyler-Jane Lumsden (https://tylerjanelumsden.com/) and myslelf in their 50th Jubilee Issue - https://www.volodaily.com/product/volo-50-june-2017-issue-body-art-issue/
These images are an attemted replication of the Hollywood glamour of the 1930's and 1940's as typified by George Hurrell but using today's technologies. Unlike most portraiture photography, Hollywood glamour was typified with harsh lighting and this is achieved with studio strobes using bare light, snoots and gridded beauty dishes.
The birth of photography is generally accepted as the public announcement of the daguerreotype process in January 1839 by Louis Daguerre to the French Academie des Sciences. The mid to late 1800's saw a number of photographic processes which exhibited great variations in their original form and also with later aging processes. With the advent of digital technologies it is possible to recreate the style of these vintage photos, though the purists who use the same procedures and similar cameras would disagree.
My favourite images are those using the wet plate collodion process with it's aging, and the platinotype process which was a variation of the ambrotype and tended not to exhibit aging characteristics.
A triptych of edgy shots of a French model converted to black and white. Lighting used was 2 gridded beauty dishes to restrict light spillage and give a slightly harsher look and feel. The camera was tethered wirelessly to a laptop using the CamRanger system so images could be downloaded to the laptop, which was connected to a data projector so the image is projected onto a screen. This enables both photographer and model to change poses and lighting as required.
curvecreation is a fashion blogger concentrating on the pinup style and pinup model Miss Osiria Rose. Her blog is Curve Creations Closet and is has the web site: http://curvecreationscloset.blogspot.com.au/ - and may be found on Instagram at @curvecreation. Here is a triptych of my first shoot for her blog taken at Wendy's Secret Garden at Lavender Bay.
I am shifting my focus to fashion bloggers in the hope of forming a long term partnership with up and coming bloggers who may be making money sometime in the near future. These images are from my first shoot with fashion blogger Shannae Percossi - fashionwithshannae. These may be shot in any location around Sydney, with or without off-camera flash as the situation dictates.
The Queen Victoria Building located near the Town Hall in Sydney's CBD is a Romanesque Revival building built between 1893 and 1896 and restored between 1984 and 1986 and refurbished again in 2008. Whenever I do a street fashion shoot around the Town Hall, I always do a set or two inside the QVB. This building has to be one of the most "camera/photographer friendly" buildings in Sydney, perhaps the only one.
One of my recent shoots was themed on 1940's Hollywood glamour style that was made popular by George Hurrell. This involves 3 light sources. The main is at 45 degrees and up high. It is usually a snoot or similar to produce harsh light with no softening. The second light is diagonally opposite for a hair light. The third is to light the background, usually to produce a mottled effect.
The model's makeup is important - it needs to be very pale with ruby red lips. Eye shadow should not be too dark, and eyelash extensions used to be long.
Some call it the "King of Bokeh", others say it is the "the best portrait lens you never heard of". First released in 1990, the Nikon 135mm f/2 DC lens is one of two lenses I use for the majority of my portrait work (the other being the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G). Though being an old lens with optics that are nearly 26 years old, the lens is sharp as a tac and the defocus control or focus ring gives you the ability to control the "out of focus" areas within the image.
As I mentioned in my first blog post, experimental and conceptual photography is another passion I have. One idea I followed through over several months to nail the concept and technique involved simple dance movements that emphasises motion and colour. How I achieved these images are described in the write up of my photography in Issue 2 of Creative Photography by Woodland Publishing. You will need to purchase that magzine to get the "How To" on these images.
I sometimes give workshops on off-camera lighting. These are designed for other photographers and include topics such as light theory (including the inverse square law), ambient and flash lighting, studio and environmental shoots, lighting equipment and their uses, hard and soft light, lighting setups, applications or uses for off-camera lighting and much more. At the moment these workshops are held at Exposure Studios in Tuggerah. on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
Many headshots and portraits are done with a soft focus to create an evocative mood. This is also used occasionally in fashion photography and also in adult or boudoir photography. The soft focus can be achieved in one of two way, either in camera by backing off on the focus a little, or in post processing with the use of Gaussian Blur and adjusting the opacity. The pose and composition need to be amenable to a soft focus, it will not work with all images.
I have done a few shoots with dancers, both for conceptual/experimental images and portfolio sets that include jumps. The latter have been with very experienced dancers and is an area I really enjoy. I must admit, I prefer the results from studio shoots than location shoots, especially for jumps and floor shots - the main reason being the clean and uncluttered background forces the emphasis to be on the dancer. I guess this reflects my approach to portrait photography anyway, a simplistic background with the subject being the mode.
Car and bike enthusiasts often like great photos and prints of the results of their many hours of restoring old and antique cars and motor bikes. Why go cheap on the photos and prints considering the money and time invested in your restored hot rod or muscle car. Or you may want enticing images for advertising for various functions, or more simply to show off your endeavours to it's best advantage in your club magazine. Photos are a great way to brag.
When doing location shoots I normally use a number of off-camera flashes in umbrella, but when shooting in crowded areas or where you need to travel by public transport it is impractical to bring all the lighting equipment. Fashion shoots in Sydney's CBD is one example where the only gear used is the camera and a few lenses. You are shooting only with ambient light. The trick is to ensure the lighting is acceptable and it needs to highlight the outfits and accessories.
The relationship between the model and the photographer is paramount. The chemistry between model and photographer can lift the quality of both to greater heights, and conversely a lack of any positive relationship will result in mediocre images. The models that I have shot a number of times are the ones where we have clicked, we are comfortable with each other, the shoots have been fun and the results are in the images we obtain.