Posts Tagged ‘Adventure’

Colour or Black and White?

Its that moment when you are looking at the photos you have taken and you can see that they would look pretty cool as black and whites but does it really convey what you were trying to “say” when you took the photo?

I have this dilemma quite often.  I looooove black and white!  It reminds me of the original photography masters and a time when there was no choice.  You composed and saw your photo as black and white – end of story.  There are some interesting takes on why black and white is better or vice-versa; black and white indicates the recording of a historical event, whereas colour represents the contemporary, black and white also traditionally makes a photo “moodier” making it better for low light work, whereas colour is best for bright, sunny days and studio work, although the flip side to this last statement is that black and white can hide an over-exposed sky on a sunny day.

It is always going to be a debate.  Like Nikon vs Canon, Film vs Digital.  There is really no right or wrong answer as long as the work conveys what you wanted it to convey.  Thus reaching my current dilemma.

For a couple of years now, I have been working on a personal piece that I have not yet released.  Without going into too much detail (I could tell you but then I would have to kill you!!!), the premise behind it is based on mood and state of mind.  Now with this being said you would think that most of the photos would be black and white.  Surprisingly though, they aren’t.  In a lot of cases (not all) they are overly saturated bright colours, all are in colour and what may be even more surprising is the fact that all of the photos in this series have been taken at night.  That strikes out a couple of the arguments for black and white above!!

Last night I was going through some photos that I recently took in Varanasi, India, that may be included in the series.  Unfortunately, depending on the way you look at it, I think a couple of the photos look great as black and white which was not the purpose for which I took the photos.  Heres a couple of examples;











I quite like both the colour and the black and white versions for different reasons.  The colour does fit the bill as far as my project goes but somehow the black and white feels a little more powerful and eery.  The way I see it I have a couple of choices – keep them colour and consider them for my personal project or change my reasons/purpose for taking them in the first place and keep them singular.

Tell me your thoughts?  Do you have this trouble as well?  I’m not sure what I am going to do with them just yet…..maybe I’ll just have to sit on the decision for a while 😉


2011 International Loupe Awards

It was with great trepidation that I actually entered the 2011 International Loupe Awards this year.  I say with trepidation for a couple of reasons;  1) I have never entered an international competition before; 2) Not only have I never entered an international competition before, it is my first time entering as a Professional; 3) There is always a fear that the photos will come back with negative feedback.

I’ll skip over points 1) and 2) for now.  Point 3) however, is a sticking point for a lot of photographers, no matter what level.  I remember attending a seminar with the amazing Tony Hewitt where he gave his version of the same story.  He relayed that in his earlier days he had similar fears but he stressed that we had to seek this kind of feedback to grow as an artist.  I agree with this wholeheartedly.  We have to be open to the fact that something we create and that we absolutely love may be met with indifference by our peers.  As difficult as it may be, we need to confront these fears and put ourselves, well our work at least, out there to be judged.  That was my challenge to me by entering the awards.

Back to points 1 and 2 – So how did I do?  Out of the four photos I submitted I received two Silver – one in Sport, the other in Photojournalism and one Bronze in Landscape of all things!  I feel good about the results and certainly didn’t expect to do that well – so very excited!!

Side Note: Photographer Keith Ladzinski was with me when I took two of these shots so just maybe he was my lucky charm 🙂

Photographer Challenges

As a photographer you need to be able to identify how to get that photo.  If that means placing yourself in a situation where things may be difficult then so be it.  These difficulties certainly came to the forefront this past week working with Keith Ladzinski.

Its no surprise that I really love the work that Keith does but he works hard to get it.  A lot of thought, process and planning goes into what he does.  He needs to – some of his clients are some of the biggest in the world and they expect results.

Yesterday we worked on a shoot for Black Diamond with Nalle Hukkataival.  We shot from a few angles but the most challenging was the angle that Keith shot from.  I am sure that it is all just in a days work for him but to watch him on the side of the cliff really reminded me about the lengths that we need to go to sometimes to create that awesome image.

Check out Keith on the cliff-face……

Nikon Meets Sony

It has been an awesome week in The Grampians, Victoria!  Today was the grand finale shoot assisting Keith Ladzinski.  My task was to set up my baby – my Nikon 200mm F2 – and shoot/video back across the Taipan wall at Pro Rock Climber/Boulderer  Nalle Hukkataival.

The hikes to location have been brutal this week but today I added the extra 6-ishkgs of my favourite lens.  Now, it wasn’t enough to just video the climb with the 200mm……..check out my set-up below 😉










What you are looking at is a Sony Nex-5, connected to a LensBaby, connected to a TCE-20EII Teleconverter to my Nikon 200mm F2.  This gave me around an 800mm lens.  Sweet huh!!



Rich Clarkson Sports Photography Workshop

While I am waiting for the first batch of photos from the Tange Cup Ice Hockey Tournament to upload, I thought I would take this opportunity to post a link.  This link is the video taken during the Rich Clarkson Sports Photography Workshop that I attended in Colorado Springs, USA in May.  Most amazing workshop I have had the fortune to attend with some phenomenal opportunities.  Couldn’t recommend it more.  Enjoy………

Rich Clarkson Sports Photography Workshop, 2011

WA Super League Ice Hockey








Not having grown up in a really wintery country I haven’t really had the chance to experience a fast-paced ice hockey game in person.  Sure I’ve seen it on TV and the net,  but its just not the same as experiencing it first hand – would kinda be

like eating a meat pie in your lounge room watching AFL instead of being at the MCG.  This is certainly something that needed to change before I take on my photographic role at the upcoming Tange Cup.  So, on Sunday night dressed in thin socks, a pair of jeans and an ordinary jumper I headed over to Cockburn Ice Arena to experience my first live ice hockey game.

First mistake made!  It was freezing!!!  Having grown up in Victoria, I am used to a certain level of coldness but not quite like this.  I guess I neglected to remember that generally ice hockey = ice, which is normally synonymous with cold.  Mental note made that I would need more than just one pair of socks and a flimsy jumper to get me through the tournament.

As far as photography goes, the arena has a strange combination of lights.  There is very clearly both warm and cool lighting throughout.  This made things difficult white balance wise.  After fiddling around with the settings I found it was definitely better to customise my kelvin setting.  The other challenge was shooting through the netting.  Ice hockey rinks in the USA for example – yep I did see one, just no play – normally have either perspex or toughened glass surrounding the arena.

This is obviously to stop the puck escaping and causing imminent damage to whoever may be in it’s way.  Glass and perspex do present their own set of challenges.  Netting on the other hand, can affect the aperture at which you want to operate.  Another note made to remind me of this!  Other than those minor issues, I was surprised to find that photographing the game was similar to photographing LaCrosse.  It was fast, it had contact and you needed to account for the long extension, ie the hockey stick in this case, at the end of the athletes arm when composing the shot.  Right up my alley!!!

Needless to say I had an absolute ball and I am really looking forward to being part of the Tange Cup.  In the meantime, some of my handy work from the weekend…..










Welcome to Jeju!

Jeju City

Jeju Island!!  Thirteen hours, three planes, a couple of taxis and I have found myself on Jeju Island, Korea.  An interesting little island off the southern coast of Korea, kind of in line with the southern tip of Japan.  Jeju is one of the major honeymoon destinations for Koreans and the Japanese.  Basically an island surrounding one massive volcano in the middle, Jeju is again the location for Ironman Korea, 2011.  I say again because there has been a five-ish year hiatus here for Ironman due to swimming conditions.  This has been solved in the form of a protected swimming area and it shows all the promise of becoming one of the bigger Ironman events in Asia.

Jeju ForeshoreSo far Jeju has been the source of many surprises and some not so surprising.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I had it in my mind that it would be a fairly quiet, seaside, shanti-ish, under-populated island.  Boy was I wrong!  As you can see from the above photo, taken from my hotel room on my first night, it is heavily populated.

It appears that the main source of income for the island is fishing and a walk along the foreshore last night found me immersed in seafood restaurants.  Not the ordinary type of seafood restaurants but all raw sliced seafood.  Did I try it?  No.  Why?  There is NO english anywhere, well almost none.  No english speaking, no written english and unfortunately no menus with pretty pictures, so typical to the Asia I am used to, depicting what you are about to eat.  Call me chicken but I just wasn’t up for a case of salmonella last night!!  

As the sun went down, I noticed bright lights coming from the streets away from the foreshore.  Like a moth travelling towards a bug zapper I wandered over to find that there was a major shopping precinct carrying across a number of city blocks.  I have never seen so many sporting and adventure wear shops in my life!  All the normal ones like Nike, Adidas, Fila etc were there as well as a number that I have never even heard of.  Apparently Koreans have a major fetish for sports and adventure!!!

Jeju Foreshore Whilst wandering around in awe of all the pink and purple hiking boots, fluorescent running shoes and unbelievable numbers of rain jackets, I happened upon a rare english sign indicating that there was another shopping mall underground.  Following the stairs, I was amazed to find a further shopping precinct covering the same city block distance completely under the streets of the island.  It was very other worldly and almost clinical in nature; bright white tiles surrounding the walls and floors, fluoro light fixtures and then just an abundance of clothing hanging all over the place.

It has been fun so far though and I am looking forward to doing a bit more exploring to see what other surprises the island has for me.  Tomorrow brings course planning with Robbie and prep for the arrival of our team on Saturday.  Hopefully the rain that has been so abundant today holds off for the race on Sunday!

Jeju Foreshore and incoming stormJeju Foreshore - Raw Fish Restaurants












Swim, Bike, Run and 3 Proposals!

The inaugural Memorial Hermann Texas Ironman was staged today in Woodlands, Texas.  It was INSANE!!!  Of  the Ironman’s that I have been fortunate enough to photograph so far for Finisherpix, the atmosphere and crowd will certainly be hard to top.

An Ironman event consists of a 4klm swim, a 180klm bike ride and a 42klm run.  The whole race must be completed within a 17 hour time-frame, with certain hour cut-offs at each stage.

I got to photograph the field on the bike stage and then straight to the finish line to photograph the athletes as they came across the line – my two favourite things to do at an Ironman event!  We were all privileged enough to witness 3 marriage proposals.  Of course they all accepted.

So next, Korea in July……bring it on!!!

Finisherpix Adventures!

So, my American adventure is ending with a bang!  Here I am in Houston, Texas, contracted with Finisherpix to photograph the inaugural the Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas, Woodlands.

My Finisherpix/Ironman adventure started about 8 months ago.  I have had the great fortune to be contracted to cover events in Singapore, New Orleans, Houston and of course in Australia at both Port Macquarie and in my home state in the town of Busselton.  I am learning huge amounts from the amazing photographers that I am working with and in the process I am receiving invaluable training in leading international photographic teams.

Later in the year I will continue to work for Finisherpix photographing Ironman events in Korea, Japan, Taiwan and again in Busselton.

Excited much?? You betcha!!!

Good Fortune and Rock Climbing

I think I would have to say that I was one extremely lucky chick yesterday!!!

I have been here in Colorado Springs, USA, participating in the Sports Photography Workshop held annually by Rich Clarkson and his crew.

Yesterday virtually everyone else went to photograph motocross.  Not being one to follow the crowds I stuck to my original plan to head to Garden of the Gods for a session on rock climbing photography with awesome photographer Keith Ladzinski.  It turned out that I was the only one – I had the amazing Keith and his knowledge on all things adventure all to myself!!

The grand plan was to hoist lighting equipment up the rock face to light the climbers as they climbed.  Elly, Keith’s intern, was loaded up with gear and sent up the rock face to set up on a ledge around 30-35 meters from the ground.

Keith Ladzinski's Intern, Elly, hauling the gear up the rock face

Positioning organised, Keith did a couple of lighting tests.  The lights were tested successfully…….for around five flashes then nothing!  Nothing Elly could do on the rock face could correct it!  Plan A down….pick up Plan B!

With guidance from Keith, I managed to get some shots that I am really quite proud of and it has sparked an interest in getting out there and doing a bit more of this type of photography.  Bit of a change from Triathlons, Adventure Races and MTB!!

Enjoy flicking through a few of the photos!

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