Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Dare's a Dare

This is a cosmopolitan. I had heard of one but never knew exactly what it was. A couple hours ago I tweeted that I had checked into a hotel on a trip I'm on and was dared on Twitter by Wuthy, AKA Gold Coast Journalist Robyn Wuth to order one. Now, a dare is a dare at any time, but when dared on a open social network, backing down is no option. So Wuthy, dare complete. I knew you being a journalist and all would need an element of authenticity, so I took an iPhone pic and threw my card in there as a "proof of life". Cheers!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Green and Gold

Ken Wallace is a nice guy, a very nice guy. In fact if I had to as some people say tried to "capture" Ken's persona in a photo, it would probably include a sunset, a flower and little fluffy baby mittens.
Along with what makes Ken a cool down to earth guy is a hardened steely resolve that is paramount to elite athletes.
In the 2008 Beijing Olympic games Ken Wallace came from behind to win gold in the Men's K1 500m final, after winning a bronze medal earlier in the Men's K1 1000m. Since then he's gone on to win a number of awards including Australian Institute of Sport Sportsman of the Year and an Order of Australia Medal.
I caught up with Ken at the Australian Institue of Sport Kayak and Canoe Facility to shoot a series of portraits of him.
You can view the rest of the series here. There is a behind the scenes shot here.
My thanks has to go to the Australian Institue of Sport for the oppurtunity and my assistant for the shoot Jovanka Pyman.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Cool Calm Collective

Well I finally get to blog about an actual photoshoot! I've been finding with a lot of my recent work that due to confidentiality clauses for one reason or another, I'm not able to release images via my blog or Facebook page until they are released. I promise to get them out to you as soon as I get the go ahead though.
Had a great shoot not long ago with reggae band The Cool Calm Collective. I came up with this pretty cool concept for them and pitched it, and it got knocked on the head, Ha! OK not exactly, but the powers that be decided to reserve that concept for a later date.
Instead, bassist and manager Jai Mitchell said, "let's just hang out and see what happens". We decided to all meet at his house, sit in his living room, then go out for lunch. The idea was to get real candid shots, almost like a bunch of housemates.
When I arrived in the living room, there was an old keyboard in the corner, and so much cool stuff that we just took a bit of time building a "set". I keep a ladder in my car, brought that in, and decided to shoot from overhead. You can view the setup shot here.
Next, I evaluated the lighting. Since all the shots were meant to look candid, I needed a way to light the room so that it didn't look "lit". To do that I had to make my light source as big as possible, so I fired a speedlight through a shoot-through umbrella pointed directly at the ceiling, essentially turning the ceiling into a giant softbox.
The final challenge was getting all the band members to show their faces without making them look like they were looking at the camera. I saw all of these Polaroids on the wall and we made a stack and got them to throw them at me. That way everyone would be looking up at the time I took the shot.
The final image is a composite of 3 shots to make it look like there were more Polaroids then there actually were.
After that we went to the 25 Hour Shop, this burger joint that has a old fashioned diner feel to it. The boss very kindly agreed to let us shoot in there, and we ordered a heap of food and, well just ate.
I got to use my new Canon 1Ds MkIII too, and am really happy with it. I don't normally like to get too into camera bodies but wow, I'm blown away. No one needs me to tell them how great of a camera it is, as there is a reason why it's the flagship Canon camera. But let's just say I'm glad I got it.
You can view the rest of the photos from this shoot here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Stock Photography - Play the game don't let the game play you

I took this photo with my iPhone while I attended the first birthday of the gallery 19Karen, if you can't make it out, it's a toilet paper dispenser in a toilet with the words "Fine Art Degrees" scribbled. I thought it would be ironic to put up while talked about stock or microstock photography, as it's hardly representitive of the techinical standard that stock sites are known for.
A lot has been said about the way that microstock has changed photography. No matter where you sit on the issue of photos being sold repeatedly for only a fraction of the cost of commisioned works to different buyers all over the world, there is one positive attribute that it provides for emerging photographers: A resource tool for gaining feedback
By signing up and submitting your work to a microstock agency, you get feedback on how your work fares in a technical context. Showing work to friends and people who like you anyway is great, but not exactly outside of your comfort zone. During the submission process through a microstock agency you are dealing with an actual human being who knows nothing about you, didnt got to school with your brother and doesn't care whether or not your photo gets accepted. Before the days of stock photography you had to get your work in front of a publications editor in order to have your work curated, often involving a lot of footwork and a great deal of luck.
Nowadays a stock agency will tell you how our work is on a technical level. You'll learn what you need to nail in a shot in order to get them over the line technically as far as focus, lighting, processing, composition etc.
What you'll learn is one half of the spectrum, of which there are 2 parts, the other being the creative and artistic element that makes a photo suitable for commercial application.
Even if you never make a cent selling microstock, when you're getting started you can't pay enough for honest feedback from a knowledgable source.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Position Available

Kenny Smith Photography is seeking a talented individual to play a key support role in digital photo retouching.
The role is available on a per contract basis and is designed to facilitate meeting ongoing business deadlines.

Description of Services:
To provide advanced photo retouching and some design and creative support to Kenny Smith Photography. This position reports directly to Kenny.

The successful applicant will demonstrate all of the minimum requirements marked in bold, with preference given to those who also display the additional qualities.

- Advanced Photoshop skills (advanced composite creating, complex retouching, adjustment layers, actions, color balance, curves, RAW, batch processing)
- 2-3 years rigorous background in art and design on a professional level
- Background in basic website design and maintenance, HTML, Flash, email newsletters, web publishing and Internet procedures, terms, and issues
- Excellent sense of color, color management
- Strong understanding and diligent maintenance of digital workflow
- Basic knowledge of digital asset management
- Basic knowledge of photography and lighting is necessary; knowledge of commercial and stock photography is a plus
- Proven ability to add value through collaborating with creative people and satisfy business requirements
- Strong organizational skills
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Ability to manage change
- Self-motivated and self-directed team player
- Strong, proven sense of initiative
- Experienced in meeting strict deadlines, juggling multiple priorities, and working in a team environment
- Detail-oriented; strong problem-solving skills
- Excellent time-management and project-management skills
- Must be willing to work non-traditional hours depending on work needs
-Ability to sign and adhere to industry standard confidentiality agreements
-Must currently operate a registered business

Please do not call. Email resume/questions/pertinent information to

Applications must submit a sample of current work with an online portfolio showing before and after samples