Archive for the ‘Lighting’ Category

 

Corporate Photo Project

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

My last day of shooting for the Penrith Lakes Development Corporation project today.

Over the past month or so I have photographed 35 people who have played an integral part in the development of the Penrith Lakes scheme. These portraits will form part of a visual display at a handing over event in November, along with becoming a book of images and an exhibition of work.

This work was commissioned to celebrate the end of mining the Lakes and the valuable contribution of so many of the workers.

I’m very excited about the whole project and happy with the results from the weeks of shooting.

For the technically minded – each of the shots involved setting up three Elinchrom BX500s with 21 degree reflectors. As I needed to photograph each of the subjects at varying times of day from 9am to 4pm and anytime in between I wanted the lighting of the subject to be consistent as much as possible, therefore the three lights and reflectors.

The black and white images were captured in an old storage shed. These ‘hero’ shots are consistent in appearance and lighting and intended as an exhibition body of work.

The colour images will make up the book along with a brief bio for each participant.

I placed one light on camera axis and the other two out of frame over each shoulder of the subject. Large diffusers were also used to remove hard shadows from the sun.

Worker in front of excavator, Penrith Lakes Scheme.

Plant operator ‘Bluey’ with his excavator, Penrith Lakes Scheme.

Retired worker in front of old excavator, Penrith Lakes Scheme.

Retired worker Harry in front of the old 5130 excavator, Penrith Lakes Scheme.

Worker in front of weir, Penrith Lakes Scheme.

Rob pictured in front of the weir, Penrith Lakes Scheme.

Vegetation rehabilitation worker, Penrith Lakes Scheme.

Vegetation rehabilitation worker Richard pictured with some of the trees he helped plant over 10 years ago, Penrith Lakes Scheme.

Worker in front of final mine cut, Penrith Lakes Scheme.

Jim Stokes in front of the former Holchim site, Penrith Lakes Scheme.

Worker in front of final mine cut, Penrith Lakes Scheme.

Worker in front of final mine cut, Penrith Lakes Scheme.

Tree loppers

Tree loppers Tom, Dale and Kris.

Control Room operator Kearney.

Control Room operator Kearney.

Blue Mountains Photography Workshops

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

I recently had the pleasure of running a photography workshop at Wentworth Falls and Leura with a great couple, keen to advance their skills with the camera.

Julie booked the session as a Christmas present for her husband Mark. They take travel and family photos for their website www.havewheelchairwilltravel.net

Mark wanted to improve his landscape images and understand how to avoid the common issue of over or under-exposed images.

We talked about using the Rule of Thirds to help compose your shot. We also looked at using naturally occurring lines in the landscape to help draw the viewers eye into the shot.

Blue Mountains Photography  workshop at Flat Rock Wentworth Falls. How to shoot landscapes.

Blue Mountains Photography workshop at Flat Rock Wentworth Falls. This example uses the naturally occurring lines of the landscape to draw the viewer into the shot from foreground to background.

Another tip I gave Mark to help achieve correct exposure is to look for the brightest area of his (usually the clouds), expose for them and then ‘open up’ 2-3 stops from there. This method allowed him to use the inherent brightness range of his camera (5 stops) and keep his exposure within those limits.

Blue Mountains Photography  workshop at Flat Rock Wentworth Falls. How to shoot landscapes.

Blue Mountains Photography workshop at Flat Rock Wentworth Falls. Creative editing is another great tool for creating interesting landscapes using the Rule of Thirds principle.

Here is Mark, dwarfed by the amazing Blue Mountains vista.

blue mountains photography workshop

Mark enjoying the view.

I run regular group workshops and individual tutoring by appointment. If you or somebody you know would like to improve their photography skills and further enjoy your camera, get in touch by phone or email.

The Secret to Print Sizes for Your Wall

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

How to Size Your Family Portrait Photographs

Have you ever wondered what size you should print your enlargements?

It depends on a number of factors such as;

– resolution of your camera

– which room in the house you want to hang the image (living room, bedroom etc)

– how far away you will be from the image

Did you know that the viewing distance of an enlargement is best determined by the resolution of the image and the diagonal width of the print? Billboards usually have a resolution as low as 22ppi (pixels per inch) because they are viewed from such a vast distance.

Some photographers use the formula of 1.5 to 2 times the diagonal width to determine the viewing distance.

I was pleased to deliver this image last week. Shot at one of my favourite Blue Mountains locations, this order was a 48” framed print of this family from Epping standing at Flat Rock, Wentworth Falls. At 48” x 25” and 300ppi it has a diagonal distance of 54” meaning it would be best viewed at 2-2.7m away.

Think of that next time you are buying a new 80” tv. You would need to have your lounge at least 4 meters away from the screen to see it correctly!

Another formula for the resolution of the image is 3438 divided by the viewing distance.

So, to view this image from 3m (120″) away, I would divide 3438 by 120 to find the minimum resolution of the print as 29ppi. This is obviously very low res but as long as I wasn’t standing inside 3m from the image it would appear to be quite sharp and detailed.

What this all means is that your small mega-pixel camera need not prevent you from creating big enlargements, as long as the minimum viewing distance is not exceeded they will look sharp and detailed.

I’m not sure how practical that is but its worth giving some thought to I reckon.

family at Flat Rock, Wentworth Falls

Here is a link to a good discussion on print resolution and viewing distance.

Wedding Photography is a Seasonal Thing in the Blue Mountains

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Spring time in Sydney is ideal for getting married, and with the warm days and long afternoons its no wonder.

This is by far the most popular time for shooting weddings and the busiest time of the year for me. Over the last 6 weeks I have photographed some lovely and memorable weddings in Leura, Emu Plains and the beautiful Yarramundi House on the grounds of UWS Hawkesbury.

Each of these weddings was unique of course and I’d like to share some of my favourite images from each.

The first wedding was at Leura and the location was Leuralla open-air amphitheatre. This location is brilliant because of the stunning valley backdrop.

Leura amphitheatre makes a brilliant backdrop.

The happy couple arriving together.

Another shot of that valley just for the sake of it!

The reception venue was walking distance from the ceremony and shared the same valley view.

The second wedding was at the quaint little Uniting Church at Emu Plains. The service was very much a family affair with the grooms siblings performing the music, a friend delivering the vows and both parents joining the couple for a prayer at the end.

Here comes the bride. I love this shot!

The newlyweds leaving the church.

Don’t they look happy together!

Talk about upstaging the bride!

Speeches and toasting the couple.

Finally to the wedding of an old school friend of mine on his 40th birthday at the beautiful Yarramundi House at UWS Hawkesbury.

Congratulations Jason and Christina!

The girls preparing to walk down the red carpet.

A happy couple is easy to photograph.

Their daughters were flower girls and they did a great job.

The great location meant we were spoilt for choice when it came to backdrops.

 

Corporate and Commercial Product Photography

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

Glassware and liquids are some of my favourite products to photograph.

They require quite technical applications of light and photographic technique.

This wine bottle and glass were shot using a bright field technique to illuminate and give shape and form to the glass itself. I added a orange gel to a reflector and 12 degree grid for the background to give the shot its colour and form the graduated spot of light on the background.

To light the label simultaneously was a bigger challenge.

I used a snoot on the foreground light to give me a spot of light just on the label. When photographing glass one has to be constantly aware of specular highlights on the glass, these are the enemy of bright field images! It is extremely difficult to avoid all specular highlights but the careful use of a gobo or 2 can help to mask off just the area you would like to receive the light.

I used 2 gobos to mask off the label on the front of the bottle and keep any light from appearing on the glass.

The first image is straight out of the camera, note the odd specular highlight in the neck of the bottle and rim of the glass.

The second image is the ‘retouched’ version with the highlights removed and the tone curve slightly tweaked.

This type of photographic technique is great for most glass objects including drinks, vases and glass art pieces and of course crystal.

Image as shot in camera

Retouched image minus the specular highlights

Autumn Colours for your Outdoor Family Portrait

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Autumn in the Blue Mountains is a beautiful time for outdoor family portrait photography.

With the abundance of parks and gardens awash with the colours of Autumn leaves, the backdrops are stunning.

An outdoor family portrait photograph adds that extra special element of being out and amongst nature and more importantly enjoying that time with your family and allowing that joy to shine through the images.

This young family travelled up to the mid mountains to enjoy the early morning sun and Autumn colours for their photo shoot and we had a ball. Their 9 month old boy giggled and laughed and seemed to really enjoy all the attention he was getting from mum and dad.

I tried to incorporate the golden leaves and the morning sun in the shots as much as possible to give the images a nice warm feeling. The morning sun backlighting them really made the leaves glow and become a great feature of the images. This shoot was a nice way to start the day.

Family Portrait outdoors with Autumn colours

Darren Edwards is a professional family portrait photographer servicing the Blue Mountains and greater western Sydney region. With 20 years industry experience and the highest quality products and services your family portrait, newborn, corporate or fine art photograph is in good hands.

Click “Darren Edwards Photography” to see more images, “Commissions” to learn more about our products or “Contact” to make an appointment for your individual commission.

Family Portrait e-Photobook on your iPad

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

An e-Photobook allows you to enjoy your custom made family portrait photo album wherever you are with your iPad, iPhone or iPod.

I have one of the first iPads and I love it. I use it for so many things, its an invaluable tool for my business that I wouldn’t be without.

I take it everywhere with me so everything I need is at my fingertips – I can check my calendar and make appointments, I can take payments through PayPal, I can show clients any of the many photo galleries it holds, I can update my Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. With the addition of iCloud my phone and desktop Mac are all instantly synced. Its brilliant!

I’ve seen the new iPad and the screen resolution is amazing, making photo display and slideshows look even better than they do on the original.

Now that iPad is in its third generation and the iPhone is soon to be its 5th, these wonderful devices are more and more common, and the things we can do with them are becoming more and more diverse its exciting to be able to offer a product suited to this technology.

For years now I have been offering professional quality Photobooks as an alternative to the traditional photo album. They continue to be very popular and really are a beautiful document of any family or wedding. I’m proud to say I can offer an e-version of the Photobook designed specifically for the iPad, iPhone and iPod market.

You turn the pages with a finger swipe so it feels like turning the pages of a real book. Tapping your finger on the screen will zoom in to a single page view.

The benefits are that there are no dog-eared corners, finger marks and smudges and you can take the book everywhere you take your iPad or iPhone.

Darren Edwards Photography is a professional photographic studio based in the Blue Mountains and servicing the greater Sydney and central west region. With 20 years industry experience, outstanding products and value for money, your photographic commission is in good hands.

Click on “Darren Edwards Photography” at the top of the page to see more images or “Contact” to make an enquiry.

Timm Kölln – Photography

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Timm Kölln – Photography.

Timm Kolln combines two of my  greatest passions – photography and cycling.

I was lucky enough to receive his book The Peleton for Christmas last year and have thoroughly enjoyed the photographs and particularly the interviews with some of the world’s best bike riders.

Kolln’s book was a labour of love over a period of more than 5 years where he and an assistant carried around a white backdrop and captured simple but poignant post-race portraits. Some of the portraits were captured at the end of some the toughest classic one day races such as Paris-Roubaix, with dirt stained sweat painting the faces of the riders as evidence of their efforts and toil.

The text accompanying the images offers some interesting insights into the sport at professional level and the dreams and aspirations of its combatants.

As for me, I love to ride my bike, some of my greatest friendships have been forged through training, racing and competing against and alongside like-minded people. Its a tough sport at times but few things can rival the sense of comradeship after riding 100km over hill and dale with your mates, sharing a laugh, sprinting for speed signs and grinding to the peak of a climb.

Kolln’s books are beautiful, they can be enjoyed for their wonderful photography as much as for the specific subject matter.

The Setting Sun and Outdoor Family Portraits – Blue Mountains family, kids and pets portrait Photographer

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

It was a great relief to welcome the sun back last weekend after all the rain we’d had during the week.

This family portrait photo-shoot took place at one of my favourite parks in the Blue Mountains, its a great location for young families and as the evening approaches the sun sets and helps create beautiful light effects through the trees.

I like to shoot into the sun sometimes to give my subject that back-lit halo effect. I also really enjoy the way the sunlight refracts into streams of light through the leaves on the trees.

On most outdoor family portrait photo-shoots I find there is a 5-10 minute window of opportunity to achieve these back-lit shots as the sun sets, so it is rewarding to see the results in post-production.

I really like these shots, I believe they capture some of the essence of the relationship between these two young children. He was such a gentle older brother as he led his sister around the park and they nattered away to each other lost in their own conversation.

Darren Edwards Photography is a professional photographic studio based in the Blue Mountains and servicing the greater Sydney and central west region. With 20 years industry experience, outstanding products and value for money, your photographic commission is in good hands. 

Click on “Darren Edwards Photography” at the top of the page to see more images or “Contact” to make an enquiry.

Why use a Professional Photographer

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

While we may have a friend with a camera, or good old Uncle Harry or Aunty Betty with their you-beaut camera and lens package to help record our special day, there is a lot to be said for having a professional there to ensure the job is does well.

I recall seeing an advertisement for Kodak film many years ago which had a line that read something like “a great family portrait isn’t expensive, its priceless!”.

Another advertisement Kodak used had words to the effect, “capture the moment now, and enjoy it over and over.”

Photographing a wedding recently I was struck by how many of the guests had their cameras and phones out snapping away at the happy couple as the event unfolded.

I wondered how many of those images would be “up on Facebook” before the end of the reception, shared with friends across the country or across the world.

These days we all have a digital camera of some description, whether it be a digital SLR or a compact camera or even our phone. One way or another we are able to take a photograph and record a moment for posterity.

Many of these images are snapshots or happy-snaps designed to make a quick record of an event and share it with friends or family via Facebook or Flickr, while others are often more considered moments destined for an album or frame.

I recently received this feedback from a client who had commissioned a portrait with her family to give as a gift to their mother for her 60th birthday.

“Just wanted to pass on a huge THANK YOU! The photos were beautiful. My mum cried when she saw them.”

I love being a portrait photographer, sometimes it doesn’t feel like work, especially when the result has such an effect on people.

Getting back to the Kodak advertisement – what makes us cry tears of joy when we see a beautiful family portrait? Moreover what makes a beautiful family portrait, and how do you choose a photographer to create it?

The photographers I’m most influenced by have a gift for seeing a moment before it happens, they have wonderful anticipation for what is about to happen and incredible skill to capture that moment.

These are skills which take years to develop, through experience, knowledge and practice.

Having patience and anticipation helps to capture beautiful moments

I model my own work practice on these principles. I have been photographing people for 20 years and feel I have a keen sense of how people respond to being photographed.

The most difficult part of a good family portrait shoot is creating the right environment for something to happen. I like an outdoor location as I feel it helps this process by providing an open space not enclosed by walls. Out in the elements my clients feel the environment around them, they can explore and be themselves, if its cold they can cuddle into each other, its a physical event.

What follows is anticipation and patience – being ready for that moment goes a long way to producing unique and beautiful images to enjoy over and over.