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.
I’m always scouting around for great new locations for outdoor family portrait photography in the Blue Mountains and Penrith area.
Many of my clients live in the lower mountains, Penrith, Emu Plains, Glenmore Park and Mulgoa regions so its important for me to have a number of options for locations available at different times of the year depending on the season.
As we move into Autumn and then Winter more of my photo–shoots happen at locations in the lower mountains and Penrith area. One of my favourite spots is River Road Reserve at Emu Plains.
At the moment there are Autumn colours everywhere making for a beautiful backdrop to family photography.
This shoot took place at River Road Reserve and involved grandchildren assembling for some photos for Nanna. The children were great, they got on so well together and they all seemed to enjoy the time together which came through in the shots. Nanna was very pleased!
Brother and sister trying to look like they like each other
All the cousins together
Darren Edwards is a professional family portrait photographer specialising in family and corporate photography in the Blue Mountains, Penrith and greater Sydney region.
Probably the question I’m most often asked when I meet a new client or prospective client is “what does it cost”?
Its a fair question and I’m always happy to answer it but I believe the actual question being asked is “can I afford it?”
Almost 2 years ago I worked with a corporate client to photograph her day spa. In the brief for Spa Sublime we discussed an all day shoot of the various treatments available in the various rooms and spas. We needed models and the spa basically had to shut down for a day for the shoot to take place.
This was a big job with a carefully planned brief and shot list.
The result was a collection of beautiful images capturing the essence of the spa, its ambience and the luxurious treatments.
I spoke to Lynda from Spa Sublime recently to find out how she was using the images.
“We have and continue to use them in all types of media – brochures, gift cards, online, cinema advertising, magazine and print. They have been used in our successful award applications and become part of our brand”, Lynda said.
A good brand is all important in small business and creative imagery can help brand a business.
“People take notice of photographs, they really sell the business”, Lynda said. “You can’t put a price on your brand image, you can’t scrimp, its not luck it takes time and money.”
Given that the images have been used so extensively over the last 2 years and have helped brand the business and contributed to the Spa winning awards and continuing to be successful I wondered what percentage of her advertising budget was spent on photography.
“Its minimal, probably about 3%, the investment in good photographs has paid for itself”, Lynda said.
Corporate fees start at $160/hour with a minimum 2 hour charge plus post-production, half and full day rates also available. Images supplied on CD with copyright agreement.
Can you afford it?
Whether you’re looking for images to compliment your business or record a moment in the lives of your family, what price do you put on peace of mind?
I don’t do my own tax return because thats not my area of expertise. I let my accountant worry about that and I have the peace of mind of knowing its done right and done well.
You can’t put a price on that I reckon.
Darren Edwards Photography is a professional photographic studio based in the Blue Mountains and servicing the greater Sydney, Penrith 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.
I’m a bit old school at times, I ride a steel-framed bike, I like old fashioned manners, opening doors for ladies, respect for our elders and follow-up thank you calls to dinner invitations.
I also like black and white photography.
Black and white photographs are generally considered old fashioned or “traditional” because that was the first medium for photographs, well before hand-colouring, colour film and of course digital images.
Fortunately most cameras and certainly most photo editing software offer options for changing your colour digital images to black and white to achieve that old school look.
Most of my clients receive their images in colour but occasionally somebody will have a particular desire for black and white images. They can be to match other images on their walls but more often it is because they prefer them to colour images. Its an aesthetic thing I think.
I believe black and white photographs give an image a timeless quality. They allow us to see detail in an image, the tone and contrast are more obvious and we as viewers are not distracted by the colour of things. At times we can be led to feel a certain way about an image by the colours present in it. With black and white we are forced to imagine the colours or the temperature of the day. To some extent this gives greater depth to the image.
Many years ago I worked as a press photographer around the time newspapers were starting to use colour, particularly for their front page images. We photographers would carry around 2 cameras, one with colour film and the other with black and white. The editors would usually tell you which jobs to shoot for the front but a lot of times we would use our discretion. More often than not you would shoot the job with both cameras just to be sure you could cover all bases and supply a colour images for the front and a black and white for any of the other news pages.
Reflecting on that now it seems such an archaic ways of doing things.
Digital cameras and software allow so much flexibility with our images its amazing to think how far technology has come.
Using Photoshop to convert an image to black and white I like to use the black and white layer adjustment. I find the default settings usually work ok but I do like to tone the image a little to warm it up. I find the digital conversion to be a little cold so I add a little dark brown to add warmth, a little like a sepia tone but not quite as strong or obvious.
How do you like your family portraits? Do you prefer colour or black and white?
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.