Thursday, April 30, 2009

The AC/DC Einstein

Was given an assignment to photograph Elliot Brenchley last night, a 12yr old boy from Townsville, Qld who is a finalist on ABC television's Young Einstein. Didn't 'float my boat' until I heard his topic - "The life and times of AC/DC". AWESOME!!!!!!!! I am a big AC/DC fan so I loved spending time shooting Elliot and talking AC/DC. This kid knows everything about the band and I mean E V E R Y T H I N G.

Canon EOS 5D, EF 16-35mm f2.8L - 1/200 sec @ f5.0, ISO 400
Canon EOS 5D, EF 70-200mm f2.8L - 1/200 sec @ f5.0, ISO 400
Canon EOS 5D, EF 70-200mm f2.8L - 1/200 sec @ f7.1, ISO 400

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Creative labelling at its best!

Bought this bottle of NutrientWater while driving home from an Airlie Beach job last week. Looks like someone might have been drinking something other than water when they came up with these directions. Love it!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cowboys v Manly and how the papers used my pics

Had a nice run again in the papers with my pics from the North Queensland Cowboys v Manly Sea Eagles match. For the keen snappers out there - most of my pics were shot on EOS1DMkIII with 400 AF-IS f2.8L at 1/800 f2.8 on 2000iso. The light at the stadium is terrible, about 1 1/2 stops darker in the in-goal areas, wish they would upgrade the lighting to make it level all over the playing surface!

Just got my new PocketWizards!

Just took delivery of my new PocketWizard FlexTT5 and MiniTT1 after a LONG wait. I can't believe that B&H Photo insist on full payment for a product even when they are on a lengthy backorder. Oh well, I was happy to pay but them having close to $1000 of my money for 2 1/2 months seem a bit rich.
There has been quite a lot of negative feedback about the actual range of the new PocketWizards. When I placed my order they advertised range up to between 800 and 1200 feet. I notice now, following many negative reviews, that the spec page has changed to a range of 30 - 1200 feet depending upon variables. Hmmm. I will do my own short video review and post it on here soon.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Seagull Whisperer Wallpaper giveaway

Just came back from a short but lovely family break at Horseshoe Bay in Bowen, Qld, Australia. It is one of my favourite beaches in the world and hopefully it stays just like it is for generations to come. (Read: STAY AWAY DEVELOPERS!)

Shot a nice pic of my daughter Emma chatting to the gulls with my Canon G10 'snap' camera. If you like it feel free to grab a copy that suits your screen resolution by clicking the corresponding link below.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Drive The Paparazzi Crazy

The Argentinean magazine Paparazzi wanted to do something noticeable for its 5th birthday. They hired agency Publicis to create these racy sun shades and place...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Back pages & spreads of my pics from Cowboys v Titans

Had a nice run in the papers with my pics from the North Queensland Cowboys v Gold Coast Titans. Very crappy game and shitty shooting weather (rainy) but managed to come up with some nice pics to please the editors. For the keen snappers out there - most of my pics were shot on EOS1DMkIII with 400 AF-IS f2.8L at 1/800 f2.8 on 2000iso.

Click images to view fullsize newspaper page

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Nicole Kidman and I make a lovely couple!

Tidying up some cupboards today and I stumbled upon this piece of movie memorabilia. Ahhh, the days Nic & I spent together, the afternoon sunsets, long walks on the beach, romantic dinners... (It's just ashame she didn't realise I was there too!) :-)
It's a bit tattered but it's the Bowen Independent from May 17, 2007 and of course my matching pic below it.

Have a happy Easter everyone!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Wallpapers to share

A couple of weeks ago I got up at an ungodly hour to support my wife in a fun run. 300 competitors milled around and when the start gun went and they headed off all that was left were 2 lazy unfit slobs. So I nodded to the other bloke and proceeded to read the paper and wait for the runners to return. I had my Canon G10 snapper with me and took this pretty sunrise pic and thought it would make a nice desktop wallpaper. Feel free to hoover one up by clicking the link that corresponds to your widescreen monitor resolution.

JR - The footy star!

All round nice guy and master dribbler John Rillie made his commentary debut tonight but surprise, surprise - he was calling rugby league and not his lifelong sport basketball. Was great to see him on the sideline at the Cowboys v Titans NRL game - keep it up JR, I'll watch for you on The Footy Show soon!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

$15.00 per image is an insult to freelance photographers!

I have just had a call from Britt Carseldine, the project manager of the QLD government image library. Britt has given me an indication of the future plans of the government and their new image library. It does sound like they have really thought carefully about this project and unlike many government/corporation image libraries this one may actually be well organised and technologically up-to-date. What I would like to see however is the Queensland Government Image Library spell out clearly for all photographers (maybe on a Q.G.I.L website?) what is meant by the conditions below -

  • "non-transferable, non-sublicensable right to reproduce the licensed images an unlimited number of times in any and all media for all purposes applicable to Queensland Government communication."
  • "The images will be managed by the Queensland Government Image Library team who will process the requests, and distribute derivatives of high resolution versions of these images to Queensland Government communications officers for their communications and marketing materials as deemed appropriate."
Where can the photos actually be used? Who can the photographs be given to? If the grand plan is to create a modern, usable image library that can ONLY be used by the actual Queensland government then I for one applaud their efforts. I long for the day when corporations/government departments don't just give out non-transferable, non-sublicensable photographs to anyone who wants one!

I guess with this blog post I have probably blown any chance of continuing Queensland Government work (although I hope I haven't), however I feel it is important to stand up for photographer's rights and argue the value of a good photograph. Whilst the chat with Britt doesn't alleviate my frustration at being offered $15.00 for a photograph it is good to know that they at least are thinking about the value of imagery... but maybe not the value of a good photographer :-)

Received this email today from the Queensland Government, I am literally stunned with this request and would be very surprised and disappointed if ANY freelance professional photographers in Queensland gave away their images like this. Please tell your photographer friends and would love if you left a comment at the bottom of this post!
The new Queensland Government Image Library project is seeking to purchase various selections of high resolution Queensland images by Queensland based photographers as royalty free, whereby the State of Queensland will have a perpetual, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-sublicensable right to reproduce the licensed images an unlimited number of times in any and all media for all purposes applicable to Queensland Government communication.
These royalty-free image CD/DVDs will be purchased and stored in a new secure Queensland Government Image Library. Here they will be viewed as thumbnails by a group of authorised Queensland Government communication and marketing officers across all Queensland Government agencies. The images will be managed by the Queensland Government Image Library team who will process the requests, and distribute derivatives of high resolution versions of these images to Queensland Government communications officers for their communications and marketing materials as deemed appropriate.
At this early stage we are seeking expressions of interest from a selected group of Queensland photographers, including yourself, who have been recommended as experienced freelancers to Queensland Government agencies. We are inviting you to supply a selection of approximately 200 of your web viewable images according to the brief below, from which we will select 65 to then be supplied in high resolution jpeg format sized at A4 (8x12) 300dpi. Successful photographers will be paid $1000.00 inc GST for one DVD containing 65 images we select from the 200 images submitted.
All Queensland Government agencies will be encouraged to acknowledge the photographer in editorial material and wherever practical. Obviously we cannot guarantee this acknowledgement in all circumstances but it may provide a good pr opportunity for your work as a side benefit.

Brief for royalty-free DVD of Queensland images

* the use of images with recognisable people will require signed model consent forms, and likewise areas requiring property releases would require a signed property release.
* Queensland Government agencies have full access to the Tourism Queensland image library so we are not currently in need of any tourism type images unless they are significantly different/creative in comparison to those in the TQ image library.
* We would like to focus on images that give a Queensland feel (traditional/contemporary/real life) and in that regard are very interested in images of regional Queensland.
* We will need metadata supplied and embedded with the chosen images in the following format:
* Short Unique Filename only containing letters and numbers
* Description
* Creator/Author
* Keywords (what, where, when, who)
* Location
* GPS data (where able)
* Image file format, size, dimensions, resolution, bit depth,
colour mode, colour profile.
* Copyright and contact information

Outlined below are some areas where we have gaps in our image library to give you an idea of some of the images we are looking for. This list is a guide and as such we are open to other images you may suggest as appropriate for our Queensland Government Image Library:

* Climate change: wind farms, solar panels, hybrid cars, watertanks, native gardens, washing car with bucket
* Health and lifestyle: cycling, surfing, walking, people (not recognisable) exercising, walking dog, fishing, boating, food images
* Indigenous images where people are not recognisable
* Brisbane and regional Queensland landmarks and infrastructure
* Queensland industries: mines and mining equipment/technologies/services , marine, aviation/aerospace, architecture and design, biotechnology, creative industries, environmental management, urban planning
* Regional: various regional agricultural industries, aquaculture
* Regional: streetscapes and regional town landmarks
* Streetscape: streets of traditional Queenslander homes and modern/eco architecture
* Creative images representing Queensland corporate/business sector
* Creative images of Queensland icons
* Creative images representing Queensland research/innovation/technology/culture

The Queensland Government Image Library team would like to receive a disc of web viewable versions (1000 pixels on the longest side at 72ppi) by close of business Friday 24 April. Please include your postal, website, email and phone contact details on the disc so we can respond to your submission. All submissions will be treated as highly confidential and not be used other than for proofing and selecting photos.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Another reason why I love DropBox so much!

Just discovered by chance that I can sync my 1Password keychain easily between all my Mac's. If you're not using DropBox I would HIGHLY recommend it! Check this video out.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

iPhone's actual screen resolution in Safari - did you know?

Just discovered something interesting while looking at Google Analytics reports (see below) for and The 7th most used screen resolution was 320x396. Must be iPhone I thought at first but isn't the resolution 320x480? Well, I've since discovered that while the actual screen resolution of the iPhone really is 320x480 the resolution in Safari when eliminating the address bar and the navigation bar is actually 320x396. So there, something new I've learnt today!

Technical timelapse assignment - want to help?

Hi readers!

I am fortunate enough to have landed a great timelapse assignment that is slightly trickier than normal. I am 90% sure I have it all sorted but would love some feedback on some of the "tech" parts.
  • Camera is to be mounted on a train, which will be travelling all over the state of Queensland, Australia (area - 1.85 million km or 715,000 miles)
  • Images are to be captured over a five month period in various increments from sunrise to sunset every day
  • Images are to be transmitted immediately after capture
  • Images need to be of a high enough resolution to be used as single 'stand-alone' photographs as well as be put together in resolutions from full HD down to YouTube size
  • I want my client to have access to any of the images at any time they require
I am fine with the type of camera, the software and so forth but I thought some of you might be able to help with the final transmit part.

The camera will be connected to a mains powered netbook running Windows. I was considering using DropBox and having the camera put its captured photos in the DropBox folder which would then instantly sync with the DropBox web interface and any computer connected to that DropBox account.
The computer will have a 3G wireless data card connected to Telstra's NextG service. The NextG service has excellent coverage (as shown below) however undoubtably it will be out of range at times.
Here are a couple of questions...
  • Any recommendations on a particular netbook/notebook? It will only be running timelapse software and wireless connection software as well as the background DropBox software but will need to be on and reliable for five months.
  • As the netbook will be unattended have you got any good tips on achieving maximum reliability?
  • Any idea of the longest run of USB cable that is reliable? (from netbook to camera)
  • Should I set up some sort of remote software so I can log in to the computer and fix any problems?
  • Any other things I am forgetting?
[Click image to see fullsize]

Ricky Gervais - "Animals"

Just stumbled on these videos of Ricky Gervais live on stage with his comedy "Animals". I am a big fan of Ricky Gervais - make sure you check out his free podcast at this iTunes store link and also his Ricky Gervais Guide To... series at this iTunes store link!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Robbie Fowler hits the pitch in Townsville

Today was Robbie Fowler's first public training session with his new team, the North Queensland Fury FC. Unfortunately I was away on an assignment and couldn't make it. A colleague of mine, Ian Hitchcock who shoots for Getty Images was there and put together a nice set of pics that you can check out at this link