Mar 29 2010

Chuck Bradley’s “Life Aquatic”-Commercial Work That Became Fine Art

Daniel Linnet

© Chuck Bradley

A little while back you might remember me posting about the fabulous still life work of Chuck Bradley and in particular his Life Aquatic series. Well, what started as a commercial job has now developed into an on going fine art project which is starting to attract some international interest from assorted art buyers and style makers.. Here’s what Chuck had to say about it.

“My Life Aquatic series came about quite by accident late last year when I landed a commercial shoot for a major client who needed a duck and duckling swimming in a tank.  They wanted them shot so they could swim across a web page. To execute the shots I had a large perspex tank built for this purpose.

After a long day and a lot of quacking, it occurred to me that the shots of the ducks were very graceful and poetic in their movements so once the commercial part of the shoot was over I decided to do a quick re-light, drop a black back ground behind the set and shoot the adult duck, just being a duck. The images captured showed the grace an beauty of the animal, above an below the waterline, a scene most never get to see. From this start I began looking for other creatures that would be as playful and graceful as the duck.

Living on an Island in the middle of Pittwater,  it’s my daily “tinny” commute to the mainland that finally brought about the inspiration for the creatures that now make up the later images in the series.

The reason I love this new series is that to me “It’s about the subject, not the post production”. I guess I’m striving to open up a world that no-one ever sees. “It’s organic. You find your subject, you light it, it is what it is – minimal retouching. It’s nice to escape overworked images and the trickery that’s so prevalent in this CGI world.”


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Mar 28 2010

Depth Of Field : Afghanistan through the lens of an iphone

Jose Fernandez

For something just a little different, AP Photographer David Guttenfelder captures Afghanistan’s largest-scale military operation since 2001 using a unique lens – his iPhone camera coupled with a Polaroid film filter app.

Some of you may know I have a small obsession with my iPhone camera and iPhone photography applications so I really enjoyed this set of images. In particular  image/slide 27, if that was my camera I’d be crying into my lowepro bag!  :)

These images also created a huge stir and heated debate on the online version of PDN magazine One of the questions raised was “Do the images romanticise the war?” due to the washed out colors and soft focus, making them almost dreamy and beautiful looking.

Do you think the style and feel of the these images take away the the fact that they are actually images of war? Let us know your thoughts.

Take a look at Depth Of Field : Afghanistan

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Mar 28 2010

Haiti, 70 days later

Jose Fernandez

If you’re anything like me these images really hit home documenting the hardship and ordeal the people of Haiti had to and are still going through. Click below to see some pretty powerful images of Haiti, 70 days later.

Haiti, 70 days later

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Mar 26 2010

PDN’s 30 New and Emerging Photographers To Watch!

Daniel Linnet

Hot on the heels of the PX3 contest winners, and off-course our world renowned Foto Priority Top 30 ;-) …………, Photo District News Magazine (PDN) has announced their Top 30 New and Emerging Photographers To Watch in 2010.

If their portfolios alone don’t blow your socks off, then make sure you read the interviews. Now that’s dedication!

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Mar 25 2010

Photoshop CS5 – A Sneak Peek

Daniel Linnet

Just in case you haven’t yet heard, there is only 18 days (and counting) until the launch of the new Adobe CS5 Creative Suite, obviously including the new Photoshop. So make sure you go to the Adobe CS5 launch page and register (using your Adobe ID) for all the up to the minute info or just check out some of the buzz.

Personally I’m still happily using CS3 but perhaps upgrade time is coming soon. From what I have seen so far there are some pretty cool new features to play with, including the incredible and very cool Content-Aware Fill feature which in my mind is alone worth the money. Here’s a clip I came actoss on John Nacks blog which demonstrates it.

Watch it full screen to better see all the details, and make sure you watch it to the very end. AMAZING!

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6 Responses to “Photoshop CS5 – A Sneak Peek”

  • Vote -1 Vote +1Jose Fernandez
    Says:

    that content aware fill is amazing! I want!

  • Vote -1 Vote +1Kim Welinski
    Says:

    I’m sold – that is absolutely fantastic! Look how fast it makes the changes. That alone is worth the price. Thank you Adobe :)

  • Vote -1 Vote +1Vincenzo
    Says:

    Bring on CS5!!!

  • Vote -1 Vote +1Daniel Linnet
    Says:

    I’ve got my wallet ready to go!

  • Vote -1 Vote +1Michael
    Says:

    the proof will be in using it though… I’d really like to see how you still end up with crisp detail after doing one of those edits. If it does that then I’m upgrading from 3 as well. You don’t always have the circumstances for the perfect blemish free photo, so this is a great feature.

  • Vote -1 Vote +1Daniel Linnet
    Says:

    Michael, I’m thinking that nothing is perfect straight out of the box. My thoughts are that once the original ‘hard’ work is done, the result might still require some final finessing to make it faultless. I’m happy to investigate though.

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Mar 25 2010

Canon unveils EOS Masters

Jose Fernandez

Canon Australia and New Zealand today officially announced the EOS Masters.

The below information is from Canons recent media release: Canon unveils EOS Masters

Showcasing the talent and leadership of six of Australia and New Zealand’s leading professional photographers, the Canon EOS Masters aim to inspire and challenge photographers of all experience levels to grow their creative photography capability.

“The Canon EOS Masters represent some of the most gifted and awarded photographers in their respective fields,” said Cathy Hattersley, Brand Manager – EOS Professional.  “We hope photographers of all experience levels and interests will find inspiration through the Masters to get out there, experiment with their photography, develop their expertise, and have fun trying something new.”

The Canon EOS Masters are already playing a role in inspiring and developing the skills of photographers with their individual monthly photographic challenges on EOS 1Wall In coming months, keen photographers can also look forward to hearing the pros’ top tips for taking the perfect shot.

Introducing the EOS Masters

Graham Monro – Wedding and Portrait

Photographer Graham Monro is the founder of one of Australia’s leading wedding and portrait studios, GM Photographics. A prolific photographer, Graham’s work has been published extensively throughout Australia, and internationally. Graham’s passion for photography was born out of a hobby which grew into a successful career in fashion and advertising, and most recently portraiture and wedding photography for clients in New York, Sydney and Singapore. Graham is a Double Master of Photography with the AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photographers), a Fellow of the NZIPP (New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographers) and recipient of numerous industry accolades. He has been a Canon user from the start.

Mark Horsburgh – Sports

Mark Horsburgh is regarded as one of the world’s leading sports photographers and specialises in the high-speed world of motorsport, where he boasts such prominent manufacturers as Ford, Holden, Porsche, BMW, Audi, Mini and Volvo as valuable clients. Mark’s core business is as the series photographer for the V8 Supercar Series, and also provides action imagery from Formula One, Le Mans, Moto GP and IndyCar events to major international agencies. In recent years Mark has built his business, Edge Photographics, into an industry leader.

Urs Buhlman – Commercial/Advertising

Urs has been a professional photographer for 28 years and still loves it. Urs spent his early career travelling around Australia, shooting commissioned annual reports, before moving into specialist automotive work both in Australia and abroad. The passionate Urs “lives and breathes” photography and is recognised as one of the region’s leading Advertising and Commercial Photographers. Urs was awarded the Canon AIPP Australian Photographer of the Year 2006, voted Top Advertising Photographer in 2008 and 2009 and also has a couple of D&AD (British Design and Art Direction) gongs under his belt.

Yervant – Wedding and Portrait

Yervant was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1958 as the son of royal photographer Hagop Zanazanian. Yervant won his very first award in photography at age 11 with an African landscape image that he had photographed.
Yervant was the first ‘Wedding’ photographer to win the ‘Digital Image Maker of the Year’ award in 1996, a category never before attempted, let alone won, by a wedding photographer. In 1998 Yervant became the youngest Fellow of AIPP in recognition of his significant influence in refashioning traditional wedding photography to what is now a standard mode within Australia and moreover overseas. Since then, Yervant has continued to receive international recognition and awards including being listed as one of the ‘Most influential photographers of the decade’ in January this year. Yervant also received the WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International) Lifetime Achievement Award 2010 in March this year – the only Australian and one of the youngest in WPPI’s 30 year history.

Mike Langford – Commercial/Landscape/Education

Mike Langford is a Master and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and a Fellow and Honorary Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP).
He has been a professional photographer for 30 years and an International Awards judge for 20 years. With a raft of awards to his name, Mike has been awarded Australian Geographic Photographer of the Year, Korean International Photographer of the Year, NSW Photographer of the Year, twice Australian Institute of Professional Photography Landscape Photographer of the Year and the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography Photographer of the Year, Corporate/Industrial Photographer of the Year and Landscape Photographer of the Year. He is co-director of the Queenstown Centre for Creative Photography with his wife Jackie Ranken.

Jackie Ranken– Illustrative/Landscape/Education

Jackie Ranken has been a photographer since she was sixteen and lives in New Zealand with husband and fellow photographer Mike Langford. Jackie has been awarded Master Photographer status multiple times in New Zealand and Australia. Her list of awards is long and includes, since 2002, eight category wins from the AIPP and NZIPP and a 2nd place title in the Nature and Environment series section of the Canon World Press Photo Awards. What matters to her most is that she is out there exploring who she is and expressing herself through her photography. She considers her ‘art’ to be classic black and white landscape photography. Her main career is pursuing her personal photographic practice and running the Creative Photography Workshops as part of Queenstown Centre for Creative Photography. Her main commercial work is editorial in content. She is the current NZIPP Illustrative/editorial Photographer of the Year.

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Mar 10 2010

The top 30 is back! Final SPW intake of 09.

Jose Fernandez

Our apologies for a delay in posting the final Top 30 of 2009. We’re blaming lots of things, but mainly Christmas holidays, travel, too much eating and definitely drinking, children, pets, photo shoots and technical issues. We hope it’s worth the wait. ;-)

Every time I sit down to run through this editing process I am astounded by the number of quality images presented by those, who only 8 weeks earlier knew NOTHING about photography.

This time we started with 1480 images which were presented on the final night ( wk 8 ) by each of the students. The first edit was easy, as images were selected based on initial impact. Basically, they stood out from the rest of the pack. Within a few hours the 180 were whittled down to 60 as we lost a great number to critical (or general) focus issues and slightly sloppy composition. From there things really slowed down, we compared, discussed and even argued over each image, and it’s merits.

This final selection was based on, originality of idea, overall impact of image (mood), use of colour and composition, and technical execution.

Congratulations to all those who made the final cut! I feel most would agree that these images hold their own on most gallery walls around town.

Click on the image below to reveal the top 30!

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Mar 7 2010

Scott McGale photographs “The Base” an installation by Spencer Tunick

Jose Fernandez

International Photographer Scott McGale braved a coolish early morning in Sydney last week to cover “The Base” an installation by Spencer Tunick. Below is Scotts account of the morning, sit back and enjoy!

©Scott McGale

©Scott McGale

It was 4.45am and I was just parking the bike near the Harbour Bridge,  a good walk away from the event site, knowing that I would be able to get away easily after the gig was over.  As I made my way to the Opera House, I was thinking, what the hell am I doing here?  I’m still half asleep, its just about to start pouring with rain, and I am going to take pictures of a few naked people lying around the steps of the Opera House!  I need coffee –  fast!

The event I was covering was called “The Base”.  The 2010 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, had invited photographer, Spencer Tunick, over from the USA to do his thing.  Spencer has developed a solid reputation for roaming the Globe and asking as many people as possible to take off their clothes so he can photograph them, in good taste, for art’s sake.

©Scott McGale

I first encountered Spencer in London in 2004 I think, doing the same thing over there.  A friend of mine was involved in the organisation of the event, and I ended up covering it for The Observer Magazine.  I have to say it was one of the most interesting events I have ever been to.  Spencer creates amazing body-scapes in an urban setting that are just incredible.  Hundreds, or thousands of bodies filling the horizon makes for fabulous images.  So when I got the chance to be involved with the event here in Sydney, I put my hand up straight away because I knew that there were some amazing images to be had.

After securing a rather large coffee, I made my way to the Media entrance to the event.  It was still dark, cold, and it felt like rain was just minutes away.  The Media were corralled into a very small, confined front, facing the left hand side steps of the Opera House.  I was there at 5.00am, but it was obvious that others had beaten me to the prime spots already.  I spent the next few minutes elbowing my way into a very nice spot on the railing at the front of the section, pretending to be very friendly to the other journos and photographers who had been up from the wee small hours before me.  All in all, there must have been about a dozen of us there at that time in the morning.

It was plainly obvious to me that if I was to move even one step backwards, I was going to lose my position at the front, so I resigned myself to having to stay put exactly where I was until the event started in a couple of hours. Bugger!  That’s about the time you start developing long and detailed conversations with the complete stranger next to you at the railing, who is also determined not to give up an inch of their position until the bitter end.  One thing that was clear to all of us, was that we could only see about 1000-1500 people that had turned up to take their clothes off on such a cold miserable morning.  And they were all right over at the other end of the steps from us!  The media was only allowed at the left hand side of the Opera House steps, and we were trying to work out just how we were going to get a good picture from this side, when all the nudies were going to be on the other side of the steps.  Typical!

After waiting ‘til well after the light started to rise from the depths of the shadows, did we hear that the event was going to get underway.  Drew, the PR man, who was regularly scooting up and down the media line saying just how fabulous it was going to be, announced that there was a record attendance of five thousand, two hundred people and they were just about to disrobe!  As it turns out, there were that many people, and they had been hiding either in the Opera House itself, or around the corner at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair.  Needless to say, this news raised our spirits and we all took up our positions with renewed fervor.  A cheer went up from the crowd, and naked body after naked body started flowing onto the steps of the Opera House until all but a very small corner, just out of shot, was completely covered.  It was still freezing at that time in the morning.  Nothing like the early winter’s morning in London, I might add, but cold enough to give a man a reason to wish it was a lot warmer!  And everybody was hopping up and down on the spot to get a little warmth into their extremities.  A few minutes later Spencer Tunick was introduced to the crowd and the arrangement began.

Using a loudspeaker, Spencer very carefully positioned the nudies so they were evenly spaced across the steps.  He also reiterated that everybody had to be completely naked, and that no undies, hats or jewelry could be left on, but he did encourage people not to take out any piercings they may have.

The Opera House was an exceptional venue for this type of event as the steps naturally tiered the bodies to full advantage and created a wall of nakedness of epic proportions.  That coupled with the iconic shell shaped roof, made for some amazing compositions that were wholly Australian.  The other factor that was in our favour on the day was the light.  As it was severely overcast, the light was incredibly soft and even.  Initially it was very difficult to get a good exposure below ISO 2000 without a tripod, but as the sun rose through the clouds and the event took shape, I was able to drop the ISO to about 400 to get some truly awesome images of a great event.  The feel of the images would have been vastly different if the sun was shining directly onto the bodies instead of being diffused through the soft clouds.

During the picture taking, Spencer directed the crowds into a variety of positions.  All this while, the more mainstream television stations were broadcasting the weather, on the half hour, using the event as a backdrop for their broadcasts. It was during one of these weather broadcasts, that there was a huge cheer from our end of the crowd on the steps.  After a minute of cheering, Grant Denyer, the weather anchor from Channel 7, leapt over the media railing completely naked and ran over to the nudies, turned to camera, covered his privates with one hand and held his microphone in the other and presented the weather to the cheers and heckles of the crowd surrounding him.  He just got it done when security “talked” him into returning to the media railing and to put his clothes back on.  In a defiant stance against the event security, before remounting the railing, he turned back to the crowd and proceeded to shake his bits for all to see, and to the great amusement and approval of the crowd.  Not too long after that, the event came to a close, and participants either retreated back into the Opera House, or made a dash for their clothes and a chance to get warm again.

©Scott McGale

©Scott McGale

It wasn’t until I had was back home in my studio did I get a chance to realize the magnitude of the event that had unfolded before my eyes.  Never before had I had an opportunity to witness that many naked bodies, in that sort of composition, with that quality of light before.  And I doubt if I will ever get the chance to do that again.  Somehow I feel that we, behind the media railing, had an even better position than Spencer himself, who was shooting from a raised platform high above the bodies.   Our low lying position, and the elevation of the steps gave us an unparalleled view of a wall of bodies. One, which I will never forget.

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Mar 7 2010

Digi Direct Canvas Print Winners!

Daniel Linnet

Thank you to all those who have subscribed for our regular updates. We look forward to keeping you photographically inspired!

As promised, we had 2x A2 Canvas prints to give away (valued at $149) courtesy of DigiDirect.

The lucky winners are georgie@greaterdata.com.au and melissajones@aapt.net.au Congratulations to you both!

Now go and decide on an image to print. We’ll be in touch with you shortly. :-)

Visit the DigiDirect Lab

By the way, we’ve had great reports filter in from various students that the guys at Digi Direct have really been looking after them on price and service. If you prefer personal attention beyond the slick website, pop in and check them out in the City or Bondi Junction, and don’t forget to mention SPW or FotoPriority.

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Mar 4 2010

Prix de la Photographie, Paris.

Jose Fernandez

Hi all, ok time for some inspiration (said in a heavy French accent) I was recently sent a link to The “Prix de la Photographie, Paris” (Px3) and was very impressed by the images submitted by both professional and amature photographers.

A little about the competition -

The “Prix de la Photographie, Paris” (Px3) strives to promote the appreciation of photography, to discover emerging talent, and to introduce photographers from around the world to the artistic community of Paris. Winning photographs from this competition are exhibited in a high-profile gallery in Paris and published in the high-quality, full-color Px3Annual Book.

Check out the Px3 website for all the latest winners from each category. I especially love the series that came second titled “Aftermath of War in Lebanon”

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