Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's been a busy couple of months

And look what just made it into beta to scare Facebook? Google+ is here to hopefully challenge FB on it's own turf, right some wrongs and give us another yet another social network to spend our time on. My question is, which post for which network? Are you going to spend time updating two [in my case... in your case maybe more?] pages on your comings and goings? Or will it be Posterous that you use to click once and be everywhere?

Google buzz came outta the gate and got slammed a year or so ago for being a little too open and friendly by automatically adding your contacts to everyone else's, thus instantly destroying one of the more delicate tasks involved in sharing your digital self - the task of controlling who gets to see what about you and your daily life? Google+ manages this by letting you arbitrarily create sharing 'circles' whose membership you can define in a highly dynamic manner. It's pretty elegant and it turns out, put together by an ex-Apple employee Andy Hertzfeld and the clarity and simplicity is evident. I was able to quickly find my way around, set up new contacts and manage existing ones and create posts etc... I think however Google do owe a fair bit to the layout of Facebook and the miles that interface has traveled.

On another note I'll soon be spending a photographic weekend with my buddy Brian Lomas and should have some image based fun to share after we've had a mad session of shutter clicking and burrito eating. 

In the meantime, work at Weta has taken some very interesting turns and I can but leave you with this cryptic image to describe my involvement:


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Caught my eye

Two photographers have caught my eye lately, namely Mitch Dowbrowner and Camille Seaman. They're both devoted and hard-working landscape photographers who really focus on waiting for the right moment when the light is right... if you agree that 99% of life is showing up, then these two not only show up but then wait the extra time for the moment to arrive.

You can easily see the influence of Ansel Adams in Mitch's photos, and it's unclear whether he's enhancing  the pockets of detail and nuanced exposure in his images by digital means after the capture, or by getting his fingers dirty in the developer tray [like Ansel did] during the enlargement process... but either way, if you've never seen his stuff, take a look at his online portfolio here:

[is this infrared? Digital or film? Mitch doesn't reveal too much on his site about how he shoots.]

Likewise, Camille Seaman's work exhibits the same decisive patience where paying close attention to the light is vital in the composition - she admittedly states she almost never manipulates her images post shooting. Something that I hadn't realised about her lighting choices for icebergs is that she says you need to wait for overcast conditions to expose their character, whereas I had assumed that bright sunlight would be necessary for sharp form relief... Here's her site:


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Still summer evening

Tonight, I discovered a Monarch butterfly who was sitting very still on a twig in our garden. It was a very calm evening in the last of the summer nights, and this allowed me to shoot a longer exposure and keep this guy a bit sharper and with deeper depth of field.

I backlit him a little using my iPhone and let some of the remaining colour show in his wings. Enjoy.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mike Davis on what makes a photograph good

I just stumbled upon a post by US picture editor Mike Davis about what makes a photograph 'good'. And its a clear, well written and useful summing up. It's particularly relevant to me as I continue to click away at things with the best camera I have with me in a mad and web-clogging fashion.

Here's the original post: And here are a couple of quotes that I think are particularly good:

"It's critical to understand that the subject does not make the picture, it is the photographer's insight and skill that elevate the subject to a compelling image. That's why most of the thousands of best photographs are not of inherently interesting subject matter. What makes them interesting is what the photographer did."


"A photographer asked me yesterday how he goes from producing one-dimensional newspapery photographs to making ones that are good. That’s a big question. A small answer is: Before you can make a good picture you have to set out with clarity and depth to say something about what you photograph and you have to make the image reflect the clarity and depth by using the medium’s tools to their fullest. Piece of cake."

So if you want to take better photographs, stop and think about what you're trying to say and how you're trying to say it.

and here's a picture:


Friday, November 19, 2010

I am going DAS


in an effort to learn to stop looking at the keyboard when I type, I've applied black duct tape to the keys of my work keyboard in the spirit of DAS keyboard... It's already hurting but I'm sure in about 2 weeks time I'll be typing faster and smoother than I am now... I think... [clunk... poke... clunk]...


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chortle in my pants

Recently Gizmodo ran a photo contest where entrants were asked to rip-off a famous photo. This was one of the entries, it makes me chortle in my pants.

A lot.

Photo credit to Steve McCurry of course for the original Afghan girl, and to Becca Alves for the fantastic imitation.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Well we did it!

The Hobbit will be filmed in New Zealand!

John Key announced last night that there would be a small adjustment to NZ employment law that would clarify the position of independent contractors in the film industry here - separating them clearly from 'employees' and preventing them from challenging that title if they'd been hired as contractors etc. This has effectively calmed whatever 'industrial uncertainties' Warners' felt could potentially affect film production here in the future and an agreement was signed, letting the project go ahead.

I felt pretty optimistic that it would for a number of reasons including this one: