The Wait Is Over

Ok, forgive me for being a little slow on this one, but I don’t normally make posts about these sorts of things (probably going to change from now on though). Anyone who has been remotely (excuse the pun) into the strobist movement over the last few years will no undoubtedly be aware of the long saga involving the release of the RadioPopper Jr’s. Well, after a ridiculously long wait and a redesign, they are finally here and now known as the RadioPopper JrX.

jrx_04_sm

Of course Dave Hobby, being the in the know guy that he is, got his hands on them over the weekend and has been kind enough to put them through their paces for the rest of us. Clicky here if you wish.

Now I have a slight dilemma, do I try and get my hands on a set of these or just pick up someone’s second hand Alien Bee Cybersyncs as people start offloading current set ups for them? Could just say stuff it and find some Pocket Wizards though…

You Gotta Love This City

The Whitlams sure got it right with their 1999 song “You gotta love this city” of the Love This City album. Sure, they were singing about Sydney and not Brisbane, but the song still applies. In the recent months I had been mulling over the possibility of packing up and moving south to Sydney or Melbourne because I was bored of Brisbane and desperate for a change but in the last week or so and after spending some time in the city, I don’t want to leave. Sure, it isn’t as big as the other two but I see that as a good thing. There is just this sleepy city charm about the place. Also like that it doesn’t take upwards of an hour to walk from one end of the CBD to the other…

Anyway, I made a last minute decision this afternoon to jump in the car and head for Wilson’s Lookout (see the blue marker on this map), a place visited frequently by my local snapping colleagues but never ventured to by myself. Well, this place was the last nail in the coffin for the idea of moving southward. Would have to be my new favourite place in the city and as the sun slowly sets behind the buildings and the lights start to flicker on, it is probably one of the most beautiful in town as well.

Losing It

It’s official. I am in a photographic funk and have been for quite some time now. Getting out of it is proving to be ridiculously difficult and is frustrating me beyond belief. The other day, I ventured into the city with the sole intention of taking photos. Of course, I lugged my gear around for a good 6 hours and took nothing. Nothing at all! The camera didn’t even leave my bag once.

I really am starting to think that the 40D is to blame. Now I know we aren’t supposed to blame our equipment but I was just much more pleased with my photos when I was shooting with the 20D. Everything about the images just seemed to pop more and I rarely ended up in situations like this. Looking at my normal sources of inspiration is proving to be not so useful as well which is a tad annoying… I am however going on a little shoot next weekend with an old friend from school, Hayleigh (blog, Flickr) so hopefully I will be able to take at least a couple of photos then haha. Actually, it has been a while since I have just wandered around town with some company and my camera, so maybe that is why I have started to lose interest.

In other news, I am now the official photographer for Oz Cruise Club, a site which I have been involved with for a fair while now. So I have an excuse every now and then to take photos at least ;). With the second and third official club group cruises organised and with me booked on them, I will be able to shoot a bit more than I am now. I will also be going along to land based events in Brisbane and also Newcastle and Sydney when I am able to organise flights and accommodation. We had a quick breakfast/lunch meet and greet last Wednesday which was great fun. Took my first large group photo with the strobes as well and well, I still have a lot to learn about lighting. Happy with the results none the less though.

And of course there was a ship involved as well (same one I went on back in February)

Slipping Standards or Just Being Cynical?

I remembered yesterday that I still had an account set up over at deviant Art so I decided to log in and see how long it had been since I showed it some love. Last upload was something like the 9th of October last year and the last journal entry was a rather emotional one from the 2nd of that month. So after getting used to the layout changes they had made to the site in the last nine months, I set about updating a few things and started looking around to see how my fellow dA users were going with their artistic adventures.

Now back when I used to frequent the site, the quality of submissions was over all very good. People had obviously put time and effort into taking the photos in the first place and then chosen only their best to upload and into the right categories. Now though it seems as though a blurry, over exposed photo of a man hole cover taken with an iPhone on a whim counts as serious street photography. There are photos that people have just thrown into whatever category they want (a webcam self portrait of an angsty teen and her equally angsty and immature boyfriend in the urban life one for example), photos of anything with way too many cheap and nasty photoshop filters applied to them that you can barely see the subject and an artistic nude section that could make some porn sites jealous.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still some great works of art on there, you just have to dig a little longer through everything else to find the occasional inspirational gem.

Pure Laziness

This isn’t about me being lazy as far as taking photos is concerned (although I have been), more about other things. Way back at the start of last year I managed to drop my Sigma 24-60 f/2.8 and it has never been the same since. It is fine if you are focusing on things closer than say, 80cm but any further and your images turn to mush. It never had any local warranty as I bought it from a guy overseas and because Sigma (along with Pentax) don’t distribute their products themselves in Australia I will have to deal with C.R. Kennedy again. These guys love charging Aussies way too much for nearly everything they sell and unfortunately handle the repairs for the brands they import and distribute here.

The cost of repairs shouldn’t be too much, it is just I can’t be stuffed dealing with the hassle of packing it up, sending it to them and waiting around until they decide to give me a quote for the fix. It is a shame too, was a very nice lens before I dropped it…

New Threads and New Ambition. Kinda….

Not a lot to say here other than I’ve been well slack. Uni last semester burned me out so I am taking a semester off to work a bit and recharge (another cruise didnt do the trick unfortunately, but here is to hoping the next two will…).

Jumping back into my almost forgotten 52 weeks project too, decided to just pick up where I left off and pretend there isn’t a few months between addition haha. So here we go, after just over a month of not touching my camera, managed to come up with this when I found a blank wall in the house.

Will try and not be so slack with this place too 😉

Inspiration

There are people who inspire us in all sorts of ways. Whether it be to be a better person in general or to achieve a particular goal, they usually go unrecognised. Tonight though, I will name a few people who inspire me to do more and try more with my photography. They are to thank for getting me out of countless creative funks and their blogs and galleries provide countless procrastination opportunities. Hopefully this will generate a little more traffic for them as well 😉

You may notice that the likes of Chase Jarvis and Dave Hobby do not take up any of the spots in my list. For all they do provide some inspiration for me, they aren’t the people I turn to when I’m flat out of ideas or just want to see some truly great photos. Besides, they get enough traffic as it is and I would rather promote the local talent that I honestly think is far better than the ‘main stream’ guys…

Firstly, we have Todd Norbury. I had my first encounter with Todd through the OCAU Photography forums (as is the case with most of those on this list) a couple of years ago and through his posts, I found the link to his Flickr stream. Liking what I saw, I added him as a contact and proceeded to follow his postings over the following months. One of his photos that always managed to stick in my mind was one he took at a horse racing event in Nowra towards the end of 2007. It taught me a few things, the 5D can keep up with sport, horse racing photography is way more interesting than I first thought and that I would kill to get a photo with as much pop as that one. Of course, when it came to being my turn to photograph a bush race meet, I had to check Todd’s shots before heading out to make sure that I had half a clue about what I was doing.

Then towards the end of August last year, I noticed a great set of photos start to appear on his Flickr stream. These were from what appears to be an annual road trip for him. Each time I saw there were new uploads, I had to check to see what interesting places he had been and what amazing photos he had taken while there. Looking over this set always leaves me feeling motivated and I am dying to get out there and make a similar trip of my own (end of semester holidays are looking like a good time so far). His eye for the details is definitely the thing that I keep going back for. I can spend hours looking over his photos and after wards, never feel like I have wasted a second of my time. If there is someone who drives me to get out and explore, it is Todd.

Next, we have my go to guy for portrait inspiration. Known to OCAU’ers as ya3, to Flickr’ers solely as Yakub and to the rest of the world, Yakub Erogul, he first caught my attention with his talent of creating these remarkable portrait sets with some very minimal gear. The next thing that drew me in was his unique post processing style. The colours he manages to get really set his work apart from pretty much everything I have seen before and mix this with his already keen eye and uncapped imagination, great results are sure to follow. One shoot of his that has always stood out above the rest for me has to be one of the ones he did with the wonderful Jessica. The locations, the mix of styles, the processing, the lighting and the raw creativity all combine to create a shoot that I can’t help but keep going back to and flicking through.

Lastly (for now anyway) is Chris Young, another fellow OCAU ‘tog (seeing a trend here?) who has provided me with vast amounts of inspiration over the last few months. He started tackling a 365 days of self portraits project not long before I decided to give the 52 weeks of self portraits thing a try and before I let it fall by the wayside Chris was pretty much always there to provide encouragement in one form or another for me. Apart from the comments on my photos, his own project helped me keep pushing through mine. It was great to see someone get so creative each day with photos of themselves. The mix of serious, not so serious, down right crazy and locational self portraits gave me a tonne of ideas for my own project as well as providing me with excellent procrastination material. And after having pretty much no interest at all to visit England, the photos from his recent trip there have made me want to run out and book the flights straight away. His eye for patterns, lines and the odd bit of serenity among the chaos keeps me checking his gallery at least once a day and I would kill to have just a little bit of the talent that Chris has. All of his holiday ‘snaps’ are travel magazine worthy.

So there we go, its taken three months to finish this thing. But trust me, it won’t be the last post like this that I make. It will probably take me another three months, but you can expect to see names such as David De Groot, Jonathan Yeo and Clarence Tang in the next installment.