Photographing a literary legend.

Photographing a literary legend in their private home, while they were in a writing block and busy with little time to give to the session. This is how the job was set up from the client and the personal publicist of the legendary Bryce Courtenay.

I never get nervous photographing anyone with a profile, they are just people like all of us. On this day though things could not have gone worse. I was late leaving the previous session which was out of my control, there was roadwork’s along the freeway and the address given took me to a dead end street!!

When I finally arrived about 45 minutes late I expecting the worst and thinking I was going to have to shoot this very important image in 10 minutes without any preparation. I was greeted by a very smiley completely relaxed Courtenay who immediately said “well you’ve had a bad run haven’t you “. It caught me totally off guard and put me at ease instantly. He then went on to say, leave all your gear there, come inside to have a drink and relax. It was the complete opposite of what I had been prepared for, especially considering how late I was arriving. We went inside, where he gave me the tour of the house, from the writing studio, to the rose garden. We sat in his lounge room talking about photography and it’s power as a communication tool and as art. He showed me one of his favourite photographers Sam Haskins and his two most popular books. All the while his not so young pup Timmy was with us, I was told he has written everyone of his books with Timmy by his side.

It was clear straight away that this was going to be how I photographed him, with Timmy at his feet relaxed on the couch beaming that smile through my lens. To top it off, as I was packing up I mentioned that my wife was at home sick and that I would now be going home to cook for us and to make her feel better. He disappeared for a moment and came back with a container of his own home made soup that he wanted to pass on, this gesture would again ease the rest of my day.

It’s not often you meet a true old world gentleman who has everyone else’s wellbeing at heart. I only met him that one time but it made a lasting impression. It is exactly what I aim to deliver as a professional photographer, content with a lasting impression.

*** Image Embargo until 12 Midnight 20th January 2010***Bryce Courtenay is one of the authors being printed on the 2010 Austsalian Legends Stamps. For further information please contact Julia Balderstone  tel +61 3 9696 5899 mob +61 (0) 413 852 796

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Week 9, WorldSkills Australia (WSA)

This week is a slight departure from my weekly theme. I had a little gap of a couple of weeks ago while shooting this job for WorldSkills Australia over in Perth for the 2014 WSA National Competition. It is a 3 day long national competition which sees competitors from skill and trade based vocations doing battle against each other and themselves for the chance at making the national the team to head to international competition.
I have now had the pleasure of covering this job four times while working with the team at WSA to deliver images for on going media coverage. It’s a pretty wild week, that includes bump in and bump out plus opening ceremony and other pop up items. What I really look forward to is seeing the concentration in the eyes of the competitors, it is a really tough event as they are on full display to the public while completing their tasks. Then it comes to me, while lens can do a great job of getting in close to the action and eyes it is really a matter of me getting in there.
It’s a difficult thing to judge as I never want to disturb anyone but to give me the best angles I need to be in their with them. Over four competitions and eight years of shooting this I can only remember one person getting ago with me. To give you some stats to let you know what kind of strike rate that might be, there has always been between 420 to 500 competitors per event.
That is is around 2000 people I have seen go through the national competition which has always seen me deliver well over 10,000 images each time. As you can imagine the data has also grown over that time and the recent 2014 competition saw me collate and deliver over 14,000 images and just over 250 gig.
All in all it’s a great event and wonderful organization and client who I get to be involved with on many levels to deliver this job. My huge thanks to Simone for her determination and dedication in getting this event going and completed with a calm and composure.

Ultimately a huge thanks to the competitors who allow me to get so up close and personal to deliver the images they love to see after the event.

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Week 8, Stairs

Week 8, Stairs. Possibly an easy subject matter they are everywhere and if you walk anywhere and don’t drive from your home garage to your work garage you’d use them everyday of the week. I wanted them to graphic as always and knew I wanted to photograph possibly Australia’s most famous stairs (with a visitor) but not give everything away in doing so. I had a guest with me for some of the images this week which took us back to when we met with me running around and getting lost in subject matter while traveling.

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Week 7 Laneways

Week 7 (with a short break) Laneways. I truly loved doing these this week particularly that I am planning on shooting a portrait in one of the lanes as soon as I can. My green lanes just happened to be a bit of a chance find while on a film set but I did wait to be the last to leave location in the rain so I could shoot them. My partner in themes was with me on one of the days this week and was amazed at my knowledge of some of the places around the city. As I am progressing with these themes each week I can see a nice body of work coming together. It may well become a special one off bespoke book. #sydneyphotographer #commercialphotographer #photography #manfrotto #manfrottotripod #canon5d3 #canon #commercialphotography #canonlenses #sydneycommercialphotographer #laneways #lanes

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Are we always at work?

Are we always at work now days?

When you have your own business can you ever shut off and just take a break. I was away recently and most of the people I was with (me included) were on their devices checking in and checking up on what’s been missed. It seems very difficult to just be away and enjoy leisure time.

In the visual world a photo is everywhere. I tend now to not take a camera with me on short trips away, it doesn’t always mean the time is spent in recreation as everyone is now a photographer or an iphotographer. The phone fills the place for many people and with such advancements in technology but then it’s also what you do with it.

These are a few images from mine on a recent trip. I found myself at work very quickly and it was easy to do as well.  

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Look Up Sydney

Some more in my new series of “Look Up Sydney”. This was a short walk around the city last week looking at just a couple of city blocks where two new buildings dominate the skyline. The new ANZ building is from http://www.fjmt.com.au/projects/projects_cs1.html

It’s a great looking building that is very striking with the morning sun on it, the top of the building looks like a sun collector.

The JP Morgan Building which is also part of the Westfields re-development of Centre Point Tower. The shape gives a feeling of a rocket silo compared to the other square buildings around it. The building was completed by http://www.johnwardlearchitects.com/projects/category/2-office

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