Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
Anyway here are some of the comments from some students this weekend:
Just wanted to say thanks for you class on Saturday morning.
I really enjoyed it. I now even know how to find the buttons to change things, even what they mean (YAY).
I could constantly feel the light blub clicking... Ahh, so that's what that means LOL. That stuff has just kept going in one ear and out the other for yonks.
I'm looking forward to 'attempting' to try get some photos of my 9month old niece this weekend.
Definately keen on doing another workshop with you at some stage.... Your a great teacher, and i think you have yet a lot to teach me! :O)
Cuba St Field trip - I learned how to put it all into pratice. At first I was just randomly changing settings until the image looked right, but once I finally got what depth of field meant, I could really start to get my head around it all fitted together. Great price. Hugely useful and motivating. Right length of time, great advice and input. I would like to do another one at a later date. Would rate 10/10. I moved from randomly trying to get a good shot at the beginning, to by the end making semi-educated changes to my settings to get what I wanted (although obviously I still have a lot to learn!).
Friday, August 26, 2011
My partner is busy using CAD to design the perfect posing wall for the studio which he will be building for me this weekend. I am so excited. We even did our first mini shoot in the space yesterday with darling Rochelle. Which gave me a better idea of how the light will play. Ohhh that light is yummy, southfacing, reflecting off of the white building across the street and flooding in through the skylights. The only building that actually has skylights that I can tell in Petone....Such a find!
Then there are the shopping angels which have my back...like the one that sent me to a beautiful fabric store just to drop by and say hello to the owner only to discover they had beautiful finials, and curtain rods that they were trying to get rid of....so 30.00 later I had the $300.00 worth of curtain rods I needed...Which Mike lovingly figured out how to put up for me. Then there was the chap who sold me $600.00 worth of the perfect liliac and sage fabric to create bunting for the munted parts of the walls, and he gave it to me for $32.00 because he was shifting shop and wanted to have less to shift with. I LOVE shopping angels.
I just wanted to shout out to all of the lovelies out there who have been such a beautiful gift to my life. This dream that I am living now would not have happened without all of the amazing people who have touched my life. You know who you are and know that I love you!
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
But she did win Wellington Photographer of the Year and deserved it one hundred percent!!!!!
So being the loud American that I am I am going to shout from the roof tops for my beautiful Kiwi friend and tell the World that Esther Bunnings is amazing and if you are not following her work you should. She is about to launch a book called Children of the Wairarapa. And if you are a fan of beautiful photography you should buy one of the books. And send loving thoughts to the gods of International Shipping because the poor incredibly organized woman has planned a book launch ordered the books with plenty of time to spare and the books seem to be lost somewhere in the land of international shipping. Send your book finding energy her way and wish her the best possible launch ever! I can't wait to get my hands on one of the copies...And get her to sign it because she is my hero!
We learned something at the NZIPP conference about practising the highly refined American art of Shameless Self Promotion. Well, being born and raised there it is something as simple as breathing for type A, Extroverted, types like myself....but instead today I would like to practice Shameless Esther Promotion because she is simply the shiz and I thought more people should know about her.
I adore you to bits Esther and I plan on trying to give you a run for your money next year. :). You have set the bar incredibly high so I best start training in getting my big jumps on. :) Thank you for your generosity, encouragement to us young (in photography) whipper snappers, and I am pleased to have you and Terry educating and cheering on our efforts in Wellington. You are our little royal family and we are lucky to have you.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
I love Wellington. I love that Kiwi men don't gawk, cat call, or generally harass beautiful women. They walk by as if nothing unusual is going on and when they get close enough they will throw a secret glance at the lady and pretend as if it were nothing more than just checking out some bit of dust that happened to fall in an interesting spot, and keep going. Beautiful Bailey was a trooper today and came packing two of the most stunning vintage bathing suits and wanted to pose in both of them. Mind you, this morning, I was screaming like a little girl running across the street in a freezing rainstorm after visiting the Sunday Market at Chaffers Marina. But for Bailey in her bikini Wellington opened a crack in its cloudy day and shined its warm sun on this girl. Did this surprise me? Not in the least, the light coming out of Bailey was bright enough and it made sense that it would attract an inferior light like the sun. I am writing this from the kitchen bench while the snow is falling in thick blankets outside. I love Wellington.
Friday, August 12, 2011
I rode the bus back from Rotorua and took the time to work on my Marketing Plan and redesign my shop based on the valuable information I got. I had a whole book full of notes that I spent 6 hours pouring over, restructuring, advancing and slashing previous limitations I had set for myself as if they were mere toy soldiers I could knock over with a flick of my wrist. My studio / shop was my only sticking point. I was a bit stuck on how I was going to make it all work and was kind of kicking myself for not taking out a bigger lease for a shop that was at the other end of Jackson street. I waited too long to make up my mind if it was the right move and it was since rented by a frock shop...darn. So I on that bus ride home put it out to the universe that I wanted something with more space and more natural light so I could shoot in studio. As i was walking up to my shop I noticed the shop two doors down had been vacated (twice the street frontage, twice the space, twice the light)....I rented it before I even opened my shop for the day. Wall #1 broken down....what is next....Whoo hoo.
The thing that kept resonating with me was not just the practical aspects of the course, but also this underlying mental games that we play with ourselves. It was brought to our attention by Sue and the Bebbs repeatedly that we were often our own worst enemies when it came to what we could achieve in our business....
So this new studio might be a big mistake....But "What IF" it is what helps me to crack it and really create the buzzing place I have always dreamed of....What if.
If you didn't go to the conference please stand up. Balance on one foot and use the other to kick your self in the bum please. You really missed out, big time. Next time set aside the money. If you have too, have one less coffee a day for several months and then use that to launch your business to the next level instead.
Next year will be in Christchurch, and if you don't go you are daft...there I said it. DAFT. It feels like a lot of money and time but the paybacks I have gotten every year are priceless...and if you don't put yourself out there and try to create something for the awards you will start to dry up in the creative parts of your brain. That is what I love about the Iris awards. They push me to push past my skills as a photographer, to set a goal and create something newer better. To become a more amazing version of myself through the art that bubbles forward in me. And grow a pair and go to the judging...Don't be afraid to hear the judges comments...They are what make you grow and get better. Every year I have gone to all three days and each year I walk out and see the world differently, with more detail, with a greater understanding of the stories that are unfolding in front of me. You can have this too. The best training in photography from my experience has been going to the judging each year...and it is free. If nothing else just go to watch the judging. You will be a better photographer for it.
So next year. The only thing left for me is to get a Gold to move to my Fellow. So here we go, It is my year to work on creating 10 Gold prints for next year....because What IF it actually happened? I am a firm believer in the ridiculous. Let the insanity begin.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Went out and did a proper Happy Dance outside with my family. Throughout the day it has slowly been dawning on me what has happened this week. I entered 10 prints and 9 of them were awarded...not bad for trying to figure this stuff out mostly on my own. I am so excited.... but after looking at the images that pulled off golds I feel like I am colouring with crayon pack of 8 where some people (the goldy types) have the whole 64 box with the sharpener in back.....I am dying to get that box. I will not stop until I have it bwaaaahhhhhh ha ha ha ha.
I see now so much clearly what can be done to push my images that much further and I am so incredibly excited to get there. I am already dreaming up things that I want to do for next years images. For me the thing that has helped the most has been following the advice of Peter Rossi and making sure that I am setting aside time each month to play and create some things just for myself. Watching this weeks judging has reinforced that even more for me...and my need to get my own printer. I don't think I will be happy until I print things myself....so that is the new quest...to find the ultimate printer. So at the moment I have ducked out on my boyfriend and my sisters housewarming party to write this only to be busted by them coming in and shaking their heads at me being on the computer again so I must sign off and get back to being social.
If you are thinking about competing do it. That is all I can say. I have grown and learned more as a photographer from attending the judgingings than I have from anything else other than shooting itself. Come to them they are free for goodness sake and will make all the difference in your shooting. BUt most of all enter because it is like going to the races without having something on the horses. Nowhere near as exciting.
Huge congrats to Sue Bryce achieving the next to impossible...but obviously not for her. She is the only person I have ever heard of to enter 4 prints and get 4 Golds in the same Category. She is my hero and I bow and her 64 pack with sharpener.
(Images will be supplied later when I have real broadband access).
Thursday, August 4, 2011
In the walk through there were some absolute stunner of images. I have two in this category and am quite nervous about them. This is not an area where I am trying to pull off a win in a category ( you really need to put in 4 to have a chance...three at a minimum). It is a place where I have put in the extra two images that I loved but that didn't fit the other two categories I was hoping for a win in. So not as much is riding on this except my hope for points to help finish off my Masters Points. 3 points still needed. Two in this category fingers crossed.
There was one that I saw in the category that I just adored I can't wait to see the actual print and see who did it....Stunning! Was of a Elizabethan woman...just magic. Will be interested to see what the judges say about it.
For this competition they start with showing a "run through" of the images where you get to see everything that is going to be displayed. You want to make sure you are there for that so you know roughly when your images will be coming up for judging, if you miss it you are afraid to go to the bathroom until the judging is completed for fear of missing one of your images. Sometimes something that comes through on the big screen can look completely different when you see the print. Often the highlights are blown out and the dark lumpy, often the colours are completely wrong to the end print so it is always hard from the seats behind the judges to make assumptions about what they are actually seeing. It isn't until the judging is done that you get to see the winning images displayed outside that you get to make your mind up solidly about things.
The exquisite printing of some of these images just makes me so inspired. I desperately want to invest in my own printer and start playing with art paper more. I am a bit frustrated this year with my printing and the lack of control I have had with it handing it off to someone else to do it. Going to start getting more control freakish about these things I think.
Now for some judges comments on some of the more outstanding images:
Image I know of Richard Wood's has just come up of his daughter looking at origami birds. I love this one when I saw it on his website: initial score of 81, Judges comments: treatment lovely, takes you into somewhere else, take it up into silver distinction, Expression, light play, textured background, creative piece, Critiques: direction of girls legs, foreshortened,light in her face lifted, staticness of the birds, other judge argued that. Final comment nice idea and have worked it well. Rejudging........86.
Pirate Kid Image: Steve Sharp argued: Believable kid, kid is in his own world, lighting is nice, wide angle works well, really effective, superior communication, I want't to be a kid again and I want to play with this guy. Door open bugged one of the judges, muddy color want to , he is a pirate should be grubby. Photographer has transported us there bring it to a gold please..........87 Final Score silver with distinction.
Two girls in a Forest:
Steve is arguing for a high gold. Has everything that we ask, ebb and flow, symmetry of girls, story telling, contemporary old fashion, complex image, luxurious as well as brooding, have to look around it a lot. An elaborate image, Beautiful.........93 final score!!!!! GOLD.
Right one of mine just came up the one of Eva, I am not thrilled with my printing of it but it got a bronze...So whoo hoo. No comments from the judges but I probably would have been cringing with them if they had. The blacks were a bit clogged up and it was a last minute printing job.....next time.....next time I plan on getting things done a month ahead and not last minute as per always.......argh.
Plucking Duck Image: If I had to guess I would say it was Richard Woods. The intensity of the look in the subject is fantastic so many elements you could look at it for ages. The boar on the wall....initial score 84, Tony carter, professionally handled. Would have gone higher if I could see more of the duck, commercial print quality, total control, He feels it is an early gold. Lack of detail around the duck seems to be the judges biggest issue. Interesting creative shot. Communication, guy does not give a flying bit about detail, face on chest looking at the duck. Russell willing to go gold. Feels need to go higher. Tony going up to 97. Loving being photographed doing the damage....Back country image. Must look at it quite a bit to take it all in. GOLD at 93!!!!!!!! Saw Richard in the audience grinning his ass off and starting texting after the judging so I imagine my guess was right.....I would not like to have been the image that was placed up after that image was scored.
Naked Woman on on couch with Dove, And mural of Demeter on wall: I LOVE THIS IMAGE! Scored as a 90 Image initially. Goddess, Richard Wood: Cropped off the toes or close too, give them room or cut off completely, Gold once and again, Moves your eye around, Figure has become part of the painting, she is a piece of art, the background and subject blend together, becomes something more than individual items, printing is exquisite, skin tone is exquisite. See as a piece of art that is working together. Enjoy the tension of the toes....really love the intimacy and tactile nature of the hands in the feathers of the bird, pubic hair honest shot (yes this was Russell's comment). Re scored as 94 GOLD.
Initial score of 83 for a Little Pirate or crusader. This person knows lighting, hair lighting separateing it off the background. Blended in beautifully. No harsh shadows or highlights. Silver distitinction, colour palate beautiful. congrats on the lighting. Tony questioned the story telling aspects, like the colour range, Russell loves looking at it and doesn't care what the story is because he loves looking. Enjoy looking at the lighting and construction. Silver with distinction at 85.
Little Librarian....I love this one of this smiling Librarian initial score of 87. Tony on 93, that woman is taking me where ever she is with that book, image is well handled, exquisite, doesn't like vignetting at the bottom, but likes the colour palate, isolated the lady off the background. Steve, don't know what to say bad about it his 84 is miserly he thought he would be talking people up. "I have a fence post up my ass at 85 too." Russell. Tony pushing for gold with distinction.........94 GOLD!!!!!
Judges just fought it gently out for a 96 for one of the most beautifully rendered portraits of a naked woman with an wreathed halo. My niece arrived and I was having a cuddle during the judging so couldn't document it properly but you have to see this image. I cannot wait to see the Print!
Bugger....first one to come up that didn't make the cut. It was my favourite portrait too. Sometimes you just get it wrong. Sorry Ella....not this time.
OHHHHHH Here is my FAVORITE!!! Beautiful Elizabethan woman. She is faded to white, just the merest hint of pastel palate, printed exquisitely, cropped to square. Inital score of 89.....BS!!!!!! Quick Tony talk it up!
Hand on right taking off, Dress in bottom, beautiful lined, total control, colour pallate, Beatuful posing, dress to the edges, calculated placement, everything is bold and included, Well thought through. Blur bothered felt it was messy and not well controlled. Tony feels comment about blurring is poppy cock. He feels total control. Arguing for Gold with Distinction. Rescore.......93 GOLD.
There are several entries to this category where the people who entered just really didn't read the guidelines well and put in some very heavily albeit on occasion beautifully done photoshoped pieces. Their inability to interpret where their images should be placed has cost them heavily as the judges are put in quite a strange position to try to see through the photoshop to what is left over. These images have tanked for the most part but the odd one has gotten through with a low bronze. Has frosted me a bit....as I don't feel they really should be rewarded in this category because it violates the rules. Being a stickler I know, but I would have hated to be a judge up there myself this year as it must have been a bit frustrating for them as well. One gold received so far and so warranted ...stunning peice of a man playing chess so simple and conveyed such a story. I can't wait to see it up close and to see who the author was. Beautiful. Also a stand out for me was one of a lovely girl wrapped in silk. I think I know the author and can't wait to go out and find out.
Cat image has just come up that is one of my favorites in the walk through. Beautifully centered, perfect capture of the personality of a cat I would definitely not want to live with. I am screaming in my mind for gold. They are debating Steve sharp is arguing for gold. Lets see if he wins....was at 84....91GOLD!!!!!! You are gonna love this one! Excellent capture, excellent debate among the judges. Good arguing Steve!
There was an image that the judges loved and commented on highly it was of an old what looks like Maori gentleman with a rough and tumble dog, and behind him is a swastika and he is wrapped in an old blanket and appears to be begging. Your eyes just travel right around the print and you are drawn completely into the story. Beautifully done. I think it got a silver distinction.
Gotta love Russel's comments..... that boy shoots straight from the Hip. I love the rawness and passion he brings to the debates. When he likes something he really fights hard. Just brought up a beautiful pregnancy image to a Silver from a bronze with his Alpha male commentary and interpretation of the scene.
As a whole, babies and smiling children have tanked in this category, just hitting in professional standard for the most part.........
Growling internally in my chair at the moment. There is a beautiful image that has come up of a girl sleeping but geeze even the judges are commenting that it is an average image but has been treated beautifully. If they had put it in creative it might have done better but I am just not buying the argument it should go to silver. Again wrong category.....it has been overworked so much. Liked the comments of the judges in terms of the issues with the dark lines 76 - rejudged to 80.....gonna have to see this one up close. Sue says she doesn't think it has been photoshopped too much....hmmmmm. Not really buying it from the cheap seats.
Lovely image up at the moment of a couple holding hands, photographed at a distance from behind. Steve is arguing that there is not much story....beautiful image but he doesn't really feel it is a silver. The rest of the judges disagree and find it a beautifully printed piece. Quaint piece of art, great space, great colour.
Final score silver with distinction at 85. Looking forward to seeing this one up close.
Beautiful portrait of a blond girl just came up debating a gold from Russell...Beautiful printing, high caliber, Steve states he will be coming up. only thing that bothers him is the pose...he felt was too serious but Russell felt this child had been here before. The more the judges look at it the more they love it. They seem to be solidly talking it up to a Gold. Presentation, pose and hair, child looking more into you than you are looking into her.
I think they will push it to gold.....84......................................90 GOLD!!!!! Excellent work!
Scene with a man in a church. Steve's comment that there are beautiful elements of crosses, coming back to his face could be a gold if the guy was giving me more in his face. Felt was a bit photoshopped and wasn' t going to debate that. Felt that the image had the potential, but that he should have been brought forward to tell the story better. Great debate about the image and interpretation of the image. That in enough shows the image has power. Debate brought up to a 82.
The most apt comment made by one of the judges was Richard Woods comment regarding the use of post production in this category was equivalent of swinging on barbed wire.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Today I came away with a solid idea that the key is in the details. It is tiny things that sometimes you just don't see because you are so darn close to an image that others pick up. I am already starting to brew up ideas for what I can do better next time.....
So went over and looked at the commercial category and see that I am one of two people with two Silvers....so now my mind gets ticking as to what the chances might be to place in the category....I feel so new to it, as this is the first year I have really done any commercial work, but there is that sliver of hope....that maybe....just maybe.....despite all the flaws that have been pointed out in the images, that now seem like incredibly huge red flags to a bull......maybe they might just like them enough to make me a runner up in the category or heaven forbid no I can't even think it. Crimeney it is a long time to wait until Sunday....
Now I am starting to obsess about the images that are in my favourite category of Creative....I have put some of my best from this year in there. Some risky choices but I can't wait to see how they fair.
Tomorrow I have two in the Creative Portrait Category. This is a new category and I struggled a bit trying to figure out where to put these last two images but I think they sit very well here. One is my favourite image of Ella, my 16 year old Muse...This one to me is the absolute representation of youthful beauty. There is a timelessness in this image of her....And probably more than any thing reminds me of the William Waterhouse posters I used to have decorating my room as a young girl. It feels timeless. Then there is the portrait I did of Eva Strangelove representing the darkly inspiring part of her stage persona. I love the elegance of her body and her hands...that is the two things that are so fetching about both of these women is there natural grace with with their hands. Irregardless of what the judges think, I know these are two of my favourite portraits that I have done of all time and it will be fun to see how they go.....so until tomorrow.