Tuesday, August 3, 2010

LED madness

Here's an image I shot recently to enter into a photo competition where the subject was entitled 'After Dark':

This is really homage to Jeff Newsom's 'I make gold records' series of images, although I'm certain that the spinning ball is not of his imagining only.

I shot multiple takes of this 30 second exposure counting and choreographing the run in, spin and then run out till I got the result I wanted. I held two 6v lantern batteries wired in serial to two automotive LED headlamp lights on the same circuit. This allowed me to create an inner circle of white surrounded by an outer sphere of red in one take.

Many people have asked why they cannot see me running around in the shot and the answer is simply that in an exposure of this length I'm not still long enough to be visible really. Against a lighter background I'd be more visible in the middle of the sphere perhaps. But not at twilight.

I didn't get anywhere in the competition but then I was happy enough with the image!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Printing large

I recently completed a commission for a client who is returning to the UK and wished to take back with them two images printed out in a larger format. The first was the view from their apartment window in downtown near the Wellington waterfront, and the second was an image that for them sums up the phrase 'The Land of the Long White Cloud'. I had Karim Sahai print the images for me and as usual he's done a stellar job. They're rich, correctly coloured, detailed and on quality paper with quality inks. They're 24" high and the cloud image is quite long!

Take a look:

To see the originals, click here: Water Like Denim and here: Post Office Square.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Long-exposure LED fun

Inspired by my intrepid friend Brian, I decided to order some LED's for a little long-exposure style imagery. This involved acquiring some automotive LED head and tail-light replacement bulbs as they provide good omni-directional light throw and excellent brightness at economical power usage rates compared to typical incandescent bulbs. LEDStuff.co.nz have a great range of replacement bulbs at
good prices so I got three colours including white, red and blue. These arrived the next day and the only other thing required was some power which I could get from the supermarket!

The LED's all required 12v so I connected 2x6v lantern batteries in serial and the resulting current gives me a long-lasting light and makes the whole thing highly portable:

The white light is the brightest mostly due to being intended for headlamp replacement. But the red gives a nice spectral response with a hot orange center and a red trailing effect it seems.

I used some leftover speaker wire as the means by which to swing the LED about.

I tried ball-shaped spinning patterns over about 12 seconds and found it difficult to get a properly spherical effect, but the results were encouraging... then when thinking about other forms that could be created I hit on the 'time-tunnel' effect. By walking backwards away from the camera during the exposure and spinning the LED on it's speaker wire tether, I managed to open the portal to the next dimension!:

That's me in the centre in warp-form gauging whether to jump though or not!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Jervois Quay, Wellington

Since getting access to a client's rooftop for shooting downtown Wellington I've had little chance to put together many of the panoramas. Here's a shot of Jervois Quay that has made it out of the gate however:


Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Recently a client requested a piece from my Art School graduating year. I've unearthed these black and white mural prints and put them on the site for perusal. They were created using Imagine 2.0 running on an Amiga 4000 in 1995. I output the resulting renders to a newspaper style line-film negative process and then enlarged onto large format black and white photographic paper from there.

Otago Polytech School of Art had a custom enlarger built for this purpose. I recall thinking that it looked like a sort of a steampunk inspired wooden train engine built from toilet-rolls and all sorts of odds and ends... it was on rails to facilitate focusing and different enlargements. I had to roll the resulting prints through large open PVC pipe toughs to develop and fix them. It was a lot of fun!


Take a look... click on any of the thumbnails to go to the gallery and see the rest:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Gizmodo photo contests

Gizmodo have been running shooting challenges for a little while now covering different techniques and subject matter... the latest being the self portrait. I'm finding the collection of ideas is fascinating with some really good entries - things that make me want to try it out - take a look:



Here's a couple of examples:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

URL switch


So... a few people have mentioned the fact that 'avfx' is kinda ... well.. what exactly? Nothing easy to remember that's for sure. I have purchased www.julianbutler.com and in the coming months will transfer both the photo site and blog site over to this much more easy and clear URL for my purposes.

In fact it's already live and points to the photos. But at some point, this will reverse and avfx will simply forward to www.julianbutler.com. Onwards!


Here's a photo: