It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. I’ve been slowly working through my pictures from our last getaway in between other commitments and just… life. In September we roadtripped to another state for a family holiday. We made a few different spots – each one totally unique. On the first leg of our trip we stopped in Brisbane, via Glen Innes – a small regional town. The kids experienced their first ‘motel’, ate what they term ‘holiday cereal’ out of mugs, spent many hours playing eye spy and trying not to go mad with all of us crammed into a sardine can car. We first arrived in Brisbane, on a stormy afternoon, to an old Queenslander in the middle of the city. We only stayed for a short two nights in this house and I didn’t take my camera out to the city with me so I simply documented a few family moments around this old house. I’m looking forward to getting on top of my Lightroom catalog and blogging the next stages of our trip.
We’re just heading into warmer weather again and I think I’ve finally caught up on all my editing from last Summer! I put off editing this set because on the day I was testing out a new lens at a local beach one warm and windy afternoon and ended up taking way too many photos. After looking at them briefly on the computer I realised there were so many there I wanted to keep and figured it would take me a while to get through them. So I put it off, and off and off. But as we’re about to head off on another holiday and with several clients lined up I wanted to make sure my computer was a metaphorical clean slate. I’ve blogged way too many, but if I’m honest, I could have probably blogged double.
I remember being a kid and the most magical thing that could happen – even better than a double rainbow – was the ever elusive sun shower. I remember on more than one occasion running out my front door to dance in the rain and bask in the sun for the few fleeting moments that the two occurred at once. As soon as I heard the rain on my roof I grabbed the children and they spent two minutes basking in the sunshower and testing out their new umbrellas. While they were out there I took the opportunity to play with my shutter speed, moving it faster and slower, to see how some subtle settings shifts affected my images.
I love playing around with shutter speed and seeing what different effects I can create in-camera to alter the mood of my images. For a school project about his chosen ‘special place’, my son wanted me to take some photos of him on the swing at the park. I got what he needed within a minute and then decided to use the rest of our time there to experiment with panning using different shutter speeds. The great thing about panning is that you don’t need to be a perfectionist – even when you get it ‘wrong’, it can still look really interesting and sometimes the ‘mistakes’ end up being the best of the bunch. I’m excited to be producing some content for the amazing new educational site Unraveled about panning which will be available in the School in October. For just $10 per month you have access to all The School’s inspiring lectures and videos and you can already see my editing video for one of these images on the site.
If photography has taught me one thing it’s that there is never an absence of beauty. You find it in the places you least expect it. Even in the stalest of concrete environments you can find interesting textures that catch the light and shadows in new and interesting ways. Even in the dead of Winter there are new places to explore and beauty to be found. I’ve seen photos of this place before and it’s always intrigued me. It’s a relic of war – the white pyramids were built as ‘tank stoppers’ during World War II, and now make a mean place for a game of Hide and Seek. It sits in the middle of an unpopulated industrial area and below lies a cliff where the waves violently beat the rock, just next to which is the calmest and most peaceful of rockpools. In thirty minutes we explored all of it’s corners and there really was beauty to be found in all of them.
What I love most about photographing families is that no two are ever the same. Every time I go to do my job, the conditions are totally different – the light, the geography, the family dynamics – and I need to adapt my skills accordingly. I’ve always been the kind of personality that thrives on variety so I love the new challenge that every new family brings. Tracy contacted me earlier this year wanting a portrait session for her and her boys. She is herself a photographer so has plenty of photographs of her kids but desperately wanted some beautiful memories which included her to hang on their walls. Even when not professional photographers, Mums are often the ‘picture takers’ instead of the subjects but we must remember how important it is to capture ourselves these memories in these formative years of our children’s lives. They will want to remember us, every part of us, and we will want to remember “us” in many years to come too. I absolutely love this session and I just love the dynamic between Tracy and her two boys. They are fun and cheeky and energetic to the point that my quads were seriously in pain when I woke up the day after our session, but most of all they were joyful and head over heels in love with their Mum. Chasing them and hunting down those moments that they’d want to remember was tiring but so rewarding. I’ve probably blogged a few too many here but I just had a hard time narrowing it down.
We spent some time in alpine Victoria just as the weather was beginning to really cool down. On the insistence of many we went to see the apparently spectacular view from the top of Mount Buffalo. We drove along a treacherous road climbing up and up, winding around and around, through thick fog going about 50 kilometres per hour though it felt like 200. When we arrived at the summit it was dark, cold and wet and the apparently amazing view was completely obscured by the thick layers of fog. Others got back in the car nearly immediately to avoid the cold conditions because there was ‘nothing to see’ but I started shooting and asked to stay for just ten minutes to take a few shots. I have been chasing fog up a local mountain for nearly 2 years now, only to have it elude me. Then we randomly stumble across this magical place. So much foggy beauty, framed by the most glorious tall gums – to help me create what I think are some of my favourite moments ever captured.
It’s cold here at the moment and all I feel like doing is wrapping myself in a blanket and hibernating like a bear. I really miss the vibrance and energy of Summer but still trying to make the most out of the cooler times, relaxing more, not shooting quite as much and working through some longer term projects. We recently went to Victoria into an area I’ve never been before. A high altitude, alpine area that was wet, chilly and foggy with different tones than I am used to shooting in. It was a really nice change from the coast and of course the kids couldn’t have cared less where we were – they were just happy to be running and playing with their cousins.
Marlene and I have been friends for some time but living in a whole other state means we rarely get together. But with Marlene being an amazing documentary photographer herself, I feel like I already know her family so well. We have often talked about how similar our daughters are – they are just two months apart in age and certainly alike in personality! While we were in Melbourne we headed west to visit and have a playdate with our girls. It turns out they really do have a similar personality with both being really quite reserved and quiet around strangers! They were slow to warm up to each other but once we headed to the local park and they plotted some cheeky plans together, they loosened up and took great delight in filling up their boots and hurling woodchips in the air.