Recently I shot one hundred images of the same subject: a tulip. Why? I wanted to explore the tulip as much as I could, to examine it closely.
I rotated the flower, changed backgrounds and lighting. Changed my exposure setting and aperture. The repetition of shooting the same thing over and over is a great exercise in truely seeing a subject.
I explain it more on this video. Enjoy.
Thanks for visiting, and best wishes until next time.
Some days you are just on fire creatively. Today was one of those days. When you are in the zone, you gotta stay there!
Sunday. Sleep in, coffee in bed with my partner and dog, Boofy. Then we hit the farmers market. I do all my produce shopping here for the whole week, and buy all my flowers there too. If you live in Sydney, you probably know Addison Road Markets in Marrickville. If you don’t, then check it out. I have my favourite grocer there- Con, the old Greek guy who always throws in a few extra items. We chat about the weather, cooking, the stupid people who come to the market and NOT buy produce, and anything else we can have a laugh about.
After breakfast at the markets, I come home and photograph the produce. Half the time I just buy things that look good. “Oh, that pumpkin will look great against black” I’m usually saying. My partner just rolls her eyes.
Today seemed special somehow. Despite the cold, (we are mid-winter here in Sydney- and yes, it does get cold) I was feeling very enthusiastic about shooting today. I knew it would be warm inside, and on a bright clear day, the sun streams into the dining room where I do must of my still life and food photography.
The light was right, the produce fresh and perfect, I was on my second coffee for the day and the heater was pouring out glorious warmth.
After the first few ‘warm-up’ shots with single-items like garlic and the potatoes- plonked proudly on an old wooden stool- I launched into a an all-out frenzy, with bunches of leafy greens arranged like flowers in a vase and fruit tumbling out of a vintage Japanese basket.
I finished the days session with a final flat-lay of produce- lots of greens, garlic and mud-caked potatoes- took a photo with my phone, and took a photo of my phone, taking a photo.
The light had gone, and the days shooting was finished.
Boofy, sitting there patiently waiting to go for his afternoon walk, looked up at me, sensing a completion to my work. I turned off my camera and grabbed my coat and his leash, much to his delight.
As we were leaving I turned around to look at the mess of tripods, lenses and vegetables in the dining room/studio and smiled. Today was a great day.
I’ve just returned from a week in Culburra Beach on the South Coast of N.S.W, Australia. A magical place of long, empty beaches, rugged sandstone headlands, a lake and Crookhaven river spilling into the sea.
Maybe 90% of the houses in this small town are holiday homes. A place you may not want to go to in summer, but in winter it is perfect. Quiet, peaceful.
The pack (my partner Denise and our dog, Boofy) love the beach walks and the roaring log fire.
Waking up to the sound of waves and birds makes a nice change to leaf-blowers and never-ending construction sites in our neighbourhood.
It was mid-winter, so spectacular sunsets was standard, as well as freezing cold winds knocking over tripods ( I damaged my new lens as it hit some rocks- now it makes a terrible crunching noise when I focus ) and sand getting inside gear bags and clothes. The pictures look calm and serene, but the conditions were quite the opposite.
I got sandblasted most days with icy (for Australian standards!) winds. I tried to make it seem ‘romantic’. That I was ‘braving the elements to capture the shot’ like an intrepid National Geographic photographer in the Arctic. (I have a vivid imagination) No, it was just winter on a beach a few hours south of Sydney.
I did feel, as I was packing up, and the sun had long gone behind the escarpment, that I had achieved something worthwhile. It is easy to stay at home, but the real thrill in life is getting out and exploring and shooting. Now that is a real reward, regardless of the images you capture.