Best photos of 2010?

A lot of photographers have by now posted a “best of 2010” entry on their blogs.

I was prompted to do this by the Dyxum Minolta/Sony forum’s competition. There was only one photo that really stood out for me.

Celina Lee – Makeup Artist

After a lot of thought, I settled on my fashion shot of Rose from the AAD Fashion show as my second entry.


So why did these shots work for me?

These two shots simply “jumped out” at me the most. Celina’s makeup, and face expression instantly stood out for me. The fashion shot of Rose was more difficult, with many other shots throughout the year being very similar, sometimes even technically better.

The other photos don’t pop out with enough emotion and don’t connect enough. Thats it. :/

Don’t get me wrong I’m quite proud of the work and I think I’ve achieved fantastic results, but in the words of a critic that I trust, my shots can be a bit “flat” in terms of creating a connection between the viewer and the contents. I agree with her.

Apologies if this all sounds a bit artsy but this is stuff that is difficult to put into words, and (at least for me) far more difficult to learn than camera settings and lighting. It’s easy to understand because when you see it in a photo you know it, but it’s far more difficult to reproduce.

My aim this year is to focus on exploring this while I continue learning and practicing, hopefully producing truly breathtaking images.

[Update]Just in case there’s a chance of my post being misinterpreted, I want to add that when a photo isn’t working, it’s always</> the fault of the photographer. Its my role to bring out the best for a shot by making people feel comfortable and communicating to working together to produce the images. Things I need a lot of improvement on.

Technical stuff is easy, it’s just reading and experimenting. People and communication skills are far more difficult to learn. Just look at how all over the place my blog entries are and how little I talk during meets!

Runway fashion at AAD

It was a privilege and an honour to be invited by Annie to a runway fashion show held at the Australian Academy of Design. It was a finissage show for the Zeitgeist Becomes Form exhibition, which celebrated 40 years of German fashion photography.

The show was standing room only, with VIP guests and designers also exhibiting. It was also covered by stylemelbourne and I was later told that there were industry scouts in the audience!

I shot using my telephoto and did my best to capture the outfits. The pace is very fast, the aim is to get full length, 3/4 and closeup before the model finishes her run. I used some of these tips which helped a lot.

See the rest of the outfits on my gallery. My good friend Neil Creek was also there, getting amazing shots as always.

1930s Fashion Shoot

A few weeks ago, I worked with Annie for some fashion photography. Normally, I have the pleasure of photgraphing Annie while she’s in cosplay or modelling one of her stylish outfits. This time however, she took the role of designer / art-director as I photographed some of her unique creations for a uni assignment.

Celina was MUA for us on the day. It was great to work with her again and seeing her work. Sarah and Jennifer were our models for the day and they were lovely to chat to not to mention fantastic and very professional models. It was a full team effort!

The location we chose was the Manchester Unity Arcade. This was an ideal location, with the interior matching the time period inspiring Annie’s designs. The arcade is a somewhat public area, therefore lightstands and flashes were out of the question.

I shot available light, at maximum aperture (f2.8) ISO 1600-3200. I’ve been using the Nikon D700 and it performed wonderfully never missing focus even in the dim light. Eventually though, I was forced to use bounce flash as the light was simply too dim to capture the details of the long evening gown.

The suit was finished a little bit later and we had to shoot on a weekday. A weekday shoot meant more general public, and less time to prepare and shoot. We waited for the right moment, Sarah jumped in front of the lift doors and we shot the outfit. It was all over in 5 minutes but we got the shot!

Annie is very driven and passionate about all things fashion.  She designed and made  all four outfits herself. All this while planning a runway show! “Sleep is for the weak!” is her catch cry. She is one of the many people that inspire me to be a better photographer.