Sunday, November 29, 2009

[rainy] trip to Daylesford

I went to Daylesford with some friends on Saturday. We used two cars to get ourselves there in 1.5 hours from the city.

By the time we reached the visitor center in Daylesford, vast rain clouds were looming in the skies. Not a good sign for the rest of the afternoon :s

This is a typical Daylesford town street scene. I was amazed with the number of visitors to this town, much owing to its status as the ''spa center'' of Victoria.

Had some simple roasted chicken for lunch. Its the family pack, which includes a box of fries, gravy, peas and salad.

The Daylesford makers market was held in a small town hall, showcasing handicraft ranging from home made soaps to custom made Mac book cases.

Small weed growing at the entrance of the town hall.

The juggling street busker.

We then dropped by Paradise Bookshop just down the road. Its better than any Borders / MPH bookshop I've ever been to.

Upstairs is a never ending stock of ancient (aka. collectible) magazines, newspapers, music scores and comics.

There's even an Encyclopedia of Immaturity. Wow!

The Chocolate Mill is a favorite haunt for chocoholics due to its premium Belgium chocolate wards.

Over 90 types of chocolates are on display, which even cater for specific dietary requirements (eg. diabetics and lactose intolerant). I was just peeved off by the abundance of signs , eg.

No manners no chocolate. This applies to both Children and adults.
Do not lick the glass
Do not stand past this line.
Do not touch the chocolates
and so on and so forth.

Tried a slab of marble chocolate. It tastes really good and melts in your mouth! Yummm.. taste that Belgium goodness!

The milk chocolate tastes really good too.

We passed by a roadkill on the way to the chocolate mill, so we stopped by for a little while on the way back to take a closer look. It was crawling with maggots  :s

It was already pouring, so we stopped by Convent Gallery to have a look at some indoor attractions. Thank goodness we didn't pay the $5 entry fee, because the gift shop was really interesting to have a look at !

Herbal liquor.

The swear pig. Thank goodness I don't have one in my home, otherwise I'll be out of pocket money for a looong time.

This is quite interesting.

Retaining its former heritage, the premise is littered with Christian symbolism everywhere, such as this crucifix.

Mucking around with the sculpture at the entrance.

The finale was Lake Daylesford. Was the shortest visit ever (like 10 mins) because it started raining again! :s


Friday, November 27, 2009

Photoshoot with Grace (part 2)

Just a quick update with the addition of softboxes. 580 EX 2 strobe triggered wirelessly through a large softbox on tripod. 

Trying out some B & W treatment


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Photoshoot with Grace

Had another amazing photoshoot with Grace yesterday. This is just a small selection of photos (Yes, I'm increasing my own bar exponentially nowadays). I know, I still need much more experience with models :s

All images with the Zuiko 35-100 f2. Very sharp at f2 and nicely rendered bokeh.

Hope you've liked this series. Cheers.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Photowalk 25 Nov 09 : Docklands

Did a short photo walk at Docklands today.

This is 8pm, yet the sun is still brightly shining in the sky. The moon is peeking out a little in the sky too. A wonderful and cool sunny day.

I love it when the sun's long and soft shadows appear on the footpath.

Crossing the bridge over the railway tracks to Docklands.

Finally I reach Docklands, and the sun is just setting over the horizon.

There's lots of partying going on in the sheds to the right. I would like to try it one day with a couple of friends I guess.

The apartments at Docklands. Word got around that the insulation in these apartments are not to specifications because the developer rushed the job. Never ever take for granted that new apartments have good workmanship, even from 'reputable' developers.

The sun has set and the sky has a very nice purple tint.

A closer look at the NAB complex.

There's less light in the sky, hence its easier to do the ''silky water'' effect.

With even less light it gets tougher to even out the exposure, hence more risk of blown out highlights. Shooting RAW helps in this case, but with Olympus RAW files, you won't get that much exposure latitude anyway, compared to Nikon or Canon RAW files.

Thats all for now folks. Thanks for looking !


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Anyone can be a photographer, or can they?

I blogged about unethical wedding photographers a while ago. How about incompetent ones?

Case 1

A friend studying medicine was complaining to me about the photographer at his clinical school graduation dinner held last Sunday at Crown. This is a scanned image of the group photo.

I guess I can see why.
  • dark shadows in the background, to the point where it obscures some guy on the top right hand corner. Probably improper positioning of the strobe in the front. It should have been from the top instead.
  • Imbalanced exposure. The people in the foreground are very brightly lit while the ones at the back are sort of properly exposed.
  • Wires hanging on the top half of the picture. Looks like a security camera or some form of lighting.
  • White projector screen not taken away on top right hand corner
  • The lines on the floor are not properly framed at the bottom corner of image.
  • There's a grey mark on the lower right of the image, and every photo has it. What the heck is that?! (No.. its not the scanner's fault)
Since the guests are quite important (its the Med. school of the University of Melbourne for God's sake!), they should deserve better treatment. One of my med friends is a photographer and he'll be graduating next year. So if you're the organiser,  please get someone competent to do it. If you'd like some recommendations, you may contact me personally ;)

Case 2

A friend went skydiving in Queenstown, New Zealand this year, and he paid an extra 200 dollars for a few photos / videos to be taken while he was doing the jump.

This seems to be a technically competent photo, but on closer inspection, you can see some ugly dust marks on the lens. And they're pretty large ones too. Kinda reminiscent of the state of pollution in our skies nowadays, don't you think so? ;)

Maybe you could argue that 200 dollars isn't that much to pay for a job that requires some cloning / healing to get rid of the dust spots since the photographer also has to act as a skydiver too. But from a photographic standpoint, I would've expected more.

Whats the moral of the story?

One of my friends said that this is "proof you can earn money as a photographer even though you are pretty sh*t". I kind of agree with him in some way.

On the other hand, there are lots of crap photographers out there. Don't always hire the cheapest one at first sight, but always examine their work with a keen eye, and ascertain if their portfolio (and price) suit your requirements and budget.



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