Tag Archives: Photography

Perth Beach Wedding – Renae & Ywain

A few weeks ago, the gloomy weather in Perth decided to stay away, and the beautiful Spring sunshine arrived for Renae and Ywain’s wedding.   The weather was perfect – one of those days when you think to yourself “This is why I live in Perth!”   Renae & Ywain – thank you for letting me be part of your wedding day and capturing your love for each other!

The shoot started at the boy’s house.   It was also the day of the West Coast Eagles’ final in Melbourne, and this kept the boys entertained for a while!

We scooted quickly over to the Ocean Beach Hotel in Cottesloe where the girls were getting ready.  It was definitely beach weather with lots of people chilling at the OBH.  I just loved the amount of natural light streaming in through the windows that day.

Renae and Ywain had organised a 1958 Cadillac Fleetwood Limousine from JC Classic Automobiles.  According to the driver, John, it turns out that he bought and carefully and personally restored this American car as a labour of love!

After the wedding, the bridal party had a couple of hours to chill out and wander around the Surf Club and beach for photos.  Yes, we did get all the shoes off, but luckily no-one got too wet 🙂

There was an amazing sunset that day, so we just HAD to get back out on the beach one more time before the reception at the Surf Club.  I can’t believe how fortunate we were with the sky that evening.

The reception was held on the balcony of the City of Perth Surf Life Saving Club overlooking the beach where the celebrations continued!

ANCA WA Choral Festival Concert Photos

ANCA is the Australian National Choral Association – an organisation which aims to encourage and promote choral music and choirs in Australia.   The WA chapter has just been reformed and they had Choral Festival Day to mark this occasion.

No, this was not a “concert” – it was a festival where for a few hours, everyone first did a warm-up, then different choirs sang for each other and it all finished with a big “sing” – where everyone learnt a song together.

It was a fantastic session – the age range of participants ranged from Primary School to people in their 70’s-80’s!  So many choirs and people were interested attending that there weren’t enough seats in the venue!

I was there to take some snaps to document the day.  The hardest part was choosing the right time to click the shutter button as many of the items were quiet – so I had to time my shots with louder parts of songs, or right at the end just before or with the applause.  Maybe I need to investigate a mirror less camera body one day or some noise dampening for the Nikon D700 🙂

Here are some shots from the day!

PCCC Fundraising Concert Photos

A few months ago, I was asked to take some photos for a church fundraising concert.  It was great to see such a huge audience turnout for the concert, which unfortunately pushed me right to the backs and sides only.  However, there were many different acts so I was able to move around between items and get different angles.

The best part of the event was the last item where various ensembles all combined together!  It was wonderful to see the adult choir, childrens choir and orchestra all together.  Was it professional musical standard?  Of course not, these were all amateurs doing something for a good cause.  But what struck me was the gusto – the passion that they all had – well done to all!

Here are a few of my favourite shots from the day!

Perth Lindy Exchange and the D700

Last weekend, the Perth Swing Dance Society held its annual Lindyhop Exchange – called Hullabaloo!  It’s a fantastic long weekend of swing dancing, classes and social get togethers.  People from all over Australia come to Perth to socialise and dance!

Unfortunately, wifey and I don’t do many of the events or classes anymore – in the last few years we’ve just turned up for one social dance night only.   I guess we’re getting “over” it a bit.  Plus it’s hard to find babysitting.  Yes – I thought it would get easier when the kids got older, but they just end up with more extra-curricular activities!

We did get out to the Saturday night dance – it was the Hullabaloo Hop in the wonderfully character North Perth Town Hall.   The Hullabaloo Hop is the traditional night when they hold the Jack and Jill competition – basically a social dancing fun competition where entrants get paired up with some other random entrant, and you are judged on how much fun and connection you have with each other.   Entrants wear a number on their back to identify them.   We also had an extra special treat – the local Oz Big Band swung the house with many Basie and other swinging charts!

I took the opportunity to take my new Nikon D700 out for a spin.  Armed with my 50mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/1.8 lenses, and looking forward to using 3200 to 6400 ISOs, I had a ball!  The D700 performed better than I expected – photos even at 6400 ISO were usable with not as much noise as an 1600 ISO image from my old D80.   And there’s something about the D700 sensor – the colours just seem so much nicer.

Here’s a selection of some of the photos from the night!

D800 Rumour Roundup

OK.  I’ve got my mind set on full frame.   After a really long think over the last few weeks, I’ve chosen the D700. 

But then I had a look at the product timeline and saw how “old” the D700 is, saw that the actual price of D700’s have dropped in Australia and realised the D700 is due for an update.

But when?  How much?

It’s ALL rumours at the moment, but it’s entertaining googling this topic and seeing all the predictions (and how wrong many of them have been!).

Here’s a smattering for your enjoyment!

PhotoRadar – predicting a February or March 2011 release – http://www.photoradar.com/news/story/nikon-d800-release-date-news-specs#ad-image0

NikonRumors – predicting a March or April 2011 release – http://nikonrumors.com/2011/01/20/what-others-are-saying-nikon-d800-and-pro-mirrorless-in-marchapril-of-2011.aspx

DigitalRev – predicting 16 megapixels, HD video, early 2011 release – http://www.digitalrev.com/en/nikon-d800—the-best-goes-to-those-who-wait-6474-article.html

Nikon-D800.net – predicting 20MP, HD video, August/September 2011 release – http://www.nikon-d800.net/2011/02/nikon-taking-pre-orders-for-nikon-d800.html

Nikon-D800.net – a commentor says second week of August 2011 release – http://www.nikon-d800.net/2011/01/update-so-when-will-book-on-nikon-d800.html

Ken Rockwell – predicted 24MP, release in summer 2009, ship end of 2009 – http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d800.htm

Thom Hogan – predicting 18-24MP, HD video, announced end March 2011 – http://www.bythom.com/2011predictions.htm

TruPhotos – predicting a March 2011 release – http://www.truphotos.com/2010/12/30/d700-replacement-d800-in-3-months-time/

Rumours on DPReview.com – someone predicting 16-18MP, a March or April 2011 release, at $2,000 – http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1021&message=37438737

And there were a whole lot of rumours about a D700x or D700s in the past few years that were obviously not right.  (For example, Ken Rockwell predicted a Feb 2010 announcement of the D700x here:  http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d700x.htm and see another prediction for Fall 2009 here – http://nikonrumors.com/2009/06/26/nikon-d700x.aspx)

But then I thought. 

Do I need a Nikon D800?  I mean, I’m upgrading from a Nikon D80 with only 10.2MP.  The D700 will have 12MP and fantastic high ISO performance.  More megapixels will likely mean worse low light performance since each pixel site is smaller.

Do I need 16 or 24MP?   I’ve rarely blown up an image past 20×24 and that already looked superb at 10.2MP.

Do I need video?  I’ve already got a Sony High Definition handycam that works for me and my interest is currently in photography, not videography.

Another D7000 review

Don’t you love it when you stumble upon a great blog or website that you’ve never visited before?

For me – I thought I had seen all the good photography sites out there, but no..  of course not!

Nasim and Lola are a married couple (with two kids) who are both photographers!   They’re reviews are really personal, full of good information and hands on experience with the gear.

Here’s Nasim’s review on the D7000 – http://mansurovs.com/nikon-d7000-review

He’s also written a good article on full frame versus cropped frames here that’s worth a read if you’re having the same problems as me deciding!  http://mansurovs.com/nikon-dx-vs-fx




Perth Wedding Photography – Greer and Steve’s Reception

Greer and Steve were married a few weeks ago at the beautiful Caversham House in the Swan Valley region near Perth.    Everyone had such a good time at the reception – there was much dancing, mischief, great food and great company.  Greer and Steve are such a fun couple and definitely have real party loving friends!

I was asked to take photos only of the reception but it was a beautiful (but balmy) summer evening with a spectacular sunset – I was so excited to be part of their special day and I wish you both a wonderful journey of love together!

Here are a few shots from their reception…

Steve and Greer had some traditional Jewish wedding dances and fun at the beginning of their reception – it really broke the ice and showed the close friendships they had with many of their guests there!

How to organise thousands of digital photos

How to organise thousands of digital photos

The advent of digital photography has brought with it the problem of managing all those digital photos.

In the “old” days, it was quite simple.  People took less photos since there was a financial cost associated with every shot.  We would buy photo albums, slot in the 6×4’s, keep the negatives in the back.   And sometimes we’d make different albums for different occasions or themes – birthdays, holidays, etc.

But now we have a collection of tens of thousands of files, all floating around in virtual space.

How to keep track of them?

Let’s look at two ends of the spectrum.

Manual Photo Management

First is total manual management of your photos.  With manual management, you’ll be organising the actual JPG and RAW files on disk.  You may organise the files in folders by year, date, name of shoot, client, etc. 

The benefits of manually managing the image files yourself is that it could make it easier for you to backup files, burn files to a DVD, import into other and multiple software packages and email to others since you’ll know exactly where they are stored.  

The downsides is that it may be very hard to find a particular photo unless your folder naming scheme and organisation is very good. 

You need to be careful here.  For example, if your naming scheme is just to use a description of the event like “Wife’s Birthday”, what happens next year and the year after?  Do you put them all into the same folder?   This could be unmanageable.   Or some people might start moving JPG files based on the content like putting them in a folder of “My Dog”.  But what happens if the photo was part of photos you took at a picnic?   Would you make a copy of the photo of your dog and have it in two places?  What if you wanted to start editing that photo?  How do you keep track of where the duplicates are?

I use a folder scheme of “year/year-month-day description” to organise my photos on disk.  So my raw untouched photos of a birthday party taken today would be stored in a folder “2011/2011-02-01 My Birthday”.   I don’t make duplicates.  I don’t organise the photos on disk by content.   I leave that up to photo management software.   This way, my disk structure is extremely neat and easy to backup or burn to disc.

Automatic Photo Management

Second is what I’ll refer to as using photo management software.   Here, you will probably import your photos into software like iPhoto, Lightroom or Picasa and let the software manage everything for you.  Photo management software will likely organise your files on disk for you too, but you could get by without knowing where they are at all!

Photo management software will typically allow you to create virtual albums of photos, tag them with keywords, mark your favourite ones with a star or rating scheme, locate them on a map if they are tagged with GPS information and even scan them for faces.

The benefits are huge – you don’t need to worry about where the files are and you may be able to locate a particular photo much quicker.  Since the photo management software maintains an index, it lets you find photos very quickly and using terms that may be more meaningful to you like text tags, location, rating, etc that files on a disk using the manual scheme above won’t give you. 

The downsides is that you’re locked into that photo management software to do all extra things like emailing, backing up, etc unless you know where your actual photo files are stored on disk.

How do I do it?

I actually use a combination.  At the moment, I import all photos to disk specifying a folder scheme of “year/year-month-day”.  This way I know exactly where all my raw photos are on disk and this makes it easy to backup, archive or burn to disk.   It also makes it easy to figure out what date I’ve uploaded my photos to.

If I edit photos, I create Collections and Sets in Lightroom to organise photos by shoot and do my editing in there.  When I’m done, I export them into a totally different folder where all my edited photos for printing, emailing, exporting go.   Yep, my edited photos are in a separate location to my “raw” photos from the camera.  It’s like keeping your film negatives in one spot, but your prints in a diffferent box.  You wouldn’t want to mix them up – or worse still, accidentally overwriting the initial photos themselves.  At the moment, I also create separate Lightroom Catalogs for each year just to keep the performance up.

But this doesn’t help Wifey and the kids.  So I also import ALL the photos into iPhoto.  This lets the family take advantage of easier browsing, emailing and face tagging so that they can flip through the family photos quickly.

I don’t think there’s a right and wrong scheme – you just need to decide on something up front and stick to it.

Or else you’ll end up with thousands of photos with all sorts of wierd names disorganised in one big My Photos folder and ten years later the problem will be too big to sort out.

Time spent post processing photos

How much time do you spend post processing your photos?

I just shot a wedding reception on the weekend and I’ve tried to keep track of how much time I spend in front of Lightroom this time.

So far, I’ve clocked up as many hours as the shoot itself!   And I’m nowhere near finished.   With previous dance shoots, I average at least the same amount of time post processing as the shoot itself.

Unfortunately, my time so far doesn’t even include the time spent preparing the proofs and uploading them, etc!

Many people think that the move to digital photography means less processing time and everything is instant.    Sure, it’s “easier” to press the shutter button and get a photo.  But I think many people who might have worked in a darkroom before, now are doing that post processing on a computer.   And it takes TIME!

After attending a session on landscape photography by Christian Fletcher, I suspect that landscape photographers must spend an extremely large amount of time in post production to get the image right.   The ratio of time to the number of final images must be huge!

Do you find you spend a lot of time in post production?