Photography

Catch Up

Friday, July 18, 2014

Pokolbin

Let’s see if we can try this thing again. A little catch up without boring you to death? This year, there’s been road trips to the countryside, something I’d longed for probably since we left Vancouver…

Coffee

Of course, there’s been plenty of coffee and cafes…

Nelson Bay

There have been beaches…

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and there have been beaches…

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and meals shared by the sea with loved ones from afar…

the florist

wandering through florists with my seestra( I may have picked up a few new show habits)…

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and more and more jewel collecting (my Odette NY collection is a little out of control)…

Arcade Fire

with bands that just never ever disappoint…

blockshop

and a little piece of heaven from India that works as a scarf, blanket, pillow, and will most likely end up hanging on my wall as art someday.

I’ve missed this space but mostly I’ve missed shooting film. My iphone has become the thing I document with in the last year, but after really looking hard at my life lately I’ve realised that I need to get back to doing what I love. And yoga. Film and stretching, let’s go.

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A Year Later

Saturday, July 12, 2014

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Still going to the same cafes!

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The Grounds of Alexandria

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Grounds of Alexandria

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The Grounds of Alexandria

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The Grounds of Alexandria is quickly becoming an institution. It was 11.10 on a week day and we could barely get through the door. It’s a very different spot with lots of little areas for you to huddle and hide. The place is quite delightful with gardens packed with wooden tables and seating, a chicken coop and resident pig.

You can order take away and sit in the beautiful gardens but we wanted to check out the indoors, so we waited for a table inside. It was jam-packed and we missed the breakfast menu, so we opted for an early lunch which starts at 12. I ordered the burger and oh my, I do declare it’s the best burger I’ve had in quite some time. The coffee was pretty damn good (I’ve tasted it before at a little cafe that carries their coffee in Miranda) and I want to go back to try out one of the snags at the sausage sizzle.

The design of the place is an indie photographer’s paradise and I enjoyed myself immensely. You must check it out!

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Finders Keepers Market

Thursday, June 6, 2013

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I finally made my way to the Sydney Finders Keepers market this past weekend. Finders Keepers has been around for about 6 years now and because I was living in Canada for the past few years, I had never actually gotten along to one. When I was describing what kind of market it was to Sean, he replied, “So it’s basically Etsy in the flesh.” And that is a pretty accurate summation!

Set in the fabulous Australian Technology Park (which is actually an old railway yard), Finders Keepers is packed with gorgeous hand made artisan goods. There is so much amazing talent in this country of ours and it was almost a little overwhelming. I came home with a gorgeously heavy wooden cutting board made of Australian gum, a beautiful brass necklace by iamtob and a cute around the world pouch and canvas tote. I also really loved the ceramics of Sian Thomas and Paperboat Press, these cute bags by Aija, totally fun textiles by Harvest, the indigo dyed pieces by Pom by Pomegranate, and these absolutely amazing paper artworks by Benconservato.

If you’ve never been, they are well worth the time. I know I’ll be going to the future markets pretty regularly from now on.

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Fuji X100s I Love You

Saturday, May 18, 2013

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Hi

So I finally picked up the first real digital camera I’ve bought in about 5 years and I must say, I think I’m in love. I’ve only just received it and have had a teeny play today, but I’m pretty sure we are going to become firm friends. The Fuji X100s is what I’ve been looking for in a digital camera. It’s light, compact, takes film-ish sorta photographs and looks like an old school manual camera.

I took these at a local cafe and were tweaked a little in Lightroom but I’m pretty happy with the results. This shot that I added to my facebook page was taken straight out of the camera. I think the Fuji X100s just killed my DSLR. Love!

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Once More

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

There is so very much I could say and tell you about. My life has done a 360 in the last few months and as I’ve been trying to process it and organise for it, there has been little time for keeping up with my usual routines.

And of course, the decision that we have made is once again turning our normal routines upside down for a brand, new start. After much deliberation, the Canadian and I have decided to move back to Australia. We don’t know if this is the right choice, but for now, at this point in time, it is the right one for us. It’s going to take lots of re-imagining and finding our way in the waters of a different kind of life again but I know that our adventurous hearts will guide us through.

We love and will miss the beautiful village life we’ve made here in Vancouver. I know I will certainly miss seeing those snow capped mountains each morning as I looked out our window. I will miss the ease and the stress-free day to day living a smaller city brings and hope that readjusting to the bigness of Sydney will be a fun change, rather than a troublesome one.

As I think of our new life, I have been imagining us close to the sea, taking daily walks by the beach. Fingers crossed that an apartment will be waiting for us when we are ready to find it in just the right place. I, of course, am overjoyed at being able to spend real time with my family and friends again and cannot wait to reconnect with them all. I’m already planning our Christmas gatherings. As excited as I am, we will leave here with heavy hearts, knowing that we once again have to say goodbye to people whom we love and to a place that will always be our home.

These images were all taken around Vancouver with my Polaroid 180 Land Camera and Fuji film.

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What’s In Your Kit? with Alice Gao

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Alice Gao is a photographer from New York whose work I’ve been following for many years. I first discovered Alice on flickr and was so pleased to see her launch a blog a couple of years back. Her photography is filled with gorgeous light, warm tones and textures, and she has the ability to make you want to live in the world she shoots. Alice shoots lifestyle, weddings, portraits and food. Her food images are shot in a way that makes you feel like you’re right there at the table with her and they’re constantly making me drool. You can find her work in the gorgeous Kinfolk Magazine and on Serious Eats.

Her instagram feed is one of the most popular ones around and she’s one of my faves. If the photographer can shoot images with an iphone that are just as beautiful as those shot with a DSLR, then they are serious talent. Check her out!

Take her away, Alice…


ALICE’S KIT

MB: What are your cameras of choice and why?

Alice: iPhone 4S – This has become my go-to carry around camera. It is always on me and perfect for my everyday snapshot (not to mention the addiction and draw of Instagram!). I’ve actually been kinda curious about doing a client shoot entirely on the iPhone, but I don’t think the client would appreciate that. :P
Canon 5D MKii – I’ve got two of these babies and use them on almost every shoot. I still remember that “ahhhhhh moment” (angels singing) when I switched to full-frame after years of using a Canon Rebel. 
Contax 645 – Medium format bliss. Enough said. 

MB: What are your favourite lenses to work with and why?

Alice: I am married to my Canon 50mm f1.2 lens and likewise the 80mm for the Contax system. That focal length is just perfect for me, because it’s how I see the world and how I compose things in my head anyway. The 80mm Zeiss lens on the Contax produces some seriously beautiful bokeh. Sometimes to travel more lightly, I’ll swap my 50mm f1.2 for the 50mm f1.4. It’s like 1/5 the cost of the 1.2 and still a wonderful lens.

MB: What equipment do you prefer to use to shoot portraits?

Alice: I like both the 85mm f1.8 and 50mm f1.2 for portraits. And if I’m shooting film, then definitely the Contax and the 80mm.

MB: Name a camera that you just love to have fun with and why.

Alice: I do love my Polaroid SLR680. It’s so fragile so I don’t take her out much, but I am seriously gleeful when I do use it. Sadly I have quickly gone through my packs of original Polaroid film and not quite willing to shell out the current eBay prices for them.

MB: What do you carry your equipment in?

Alice: It depends. For simple shoots, I just use a camera insert like this one and stuff it in one of my normal day bags. I like big bags, so this insert fits nicely in just about all of them. That way I’m not walking around screaming, “I am carrying a camera bag with lots of expensive equipment inside!”
Otherwise I use a Think Tank Retrospective 10. Not exactly glamorous but man can you pack a lot in there. For weddings and bigger shoots, I tote around my equipment in a pretty serious looking Pelican case.

MB: Is there one piece of equipment that you would recommend to a newbie shooter?

Alice: I’m totally biased, but I almost always recommend a 50mm lens to newbie shooters. Skip the kit lens and opt for the 50mm. Also, I’m a firm believer that the best camera is the one you have with you. For instance, think of the iPhone as more than a device for texting and checking twitter. Even if you just practice with your phone’s camera, you’ll still be practicing finding good light, composition, etc.

MB: Name one place you would love to travel to with your favourite camera and why.

Alice: Paris with my Contax! Mostly I am dreaming of the light hitting the buildings and small alley ways, the Eiffel Tower in black and white film, the bread… Lucky for me, I’m going this week. (Alice has actually already been to Paris and returned- check out her blog for Frenchie photographs-Amanda)

Thanks so much for sharing your kit with us, Alice. I think I may need to come around and steal all of it!

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Travelling with Cameras

Monday, June 4, 2012

If you are anything like me, the hardest part about planning a trip is deciding what cameras to bring and how to pack them. Whenever I travel, I usually have an assortment of cameras with me to document my journey, so it’s always a struggle to figure out the best solution for travelling light.

If you are just travelling for pleasure, I would consider the type of adventure you’re taking and whether or not you’re going to be able to physically lug (and I mean LUG) around that beast you call a DSLR. I’ve gotten to the point where carrying a big camera around whilst travelling is too much of a burden and I now really think about what kind of experience I want to have before I leave.

I generally try to limit myself to a few kinds of cameras. In the past I would bring the DSLR, a 35mm, a couple of Polaroids and any number of other quirky cameras like the Holga or Fuji Instax. After years of breaking my back lugging cameras through airports and dealing with the ordeal that is airport security, I’ve realised it really isn’t worth the stress on my shoulders and brain. And yes, I deal with airport security because I never check my cameras- they always come on board with me, no matter what. I’ve seen how baggage handlers “handle” luggage and there is no way I’m ever putting a camera in my checked luggage. EVER!

I now bring one 35mm or medium format, one Polaroid camera and one point and shoot-either digital or film. Obviously if I’m travelling for a specific shooting purpose then I would have to bring the DSLR and lenses and a Polaroid- there’s always a Polaroid.

My recent trip to Morocco was rather difficult because I had the Polaroid cameras I needed to bring for the workshops plus other cameras I wanted to use to document my trip. I actually ended up leaving two Polaroid cameras at home simply because I couldn’t get them in the ONE on-board bag that stupid Easyjet allows. Not one bag and one personal item like every other airline–ONE BAG! My on-board bag is usually chosen on the basis of what cameras I’m bringing and how I can best fit them in.

On international flights, I will generally take a backpack for all my cameras and then a smaller handbag for my personal items. I’m yet to graduate to the hardcore photography case but that’s simply because I’m not transporting two DSLRs, various lenses and accessories. If this is something you do, then you may want to look into one of those or a professional carry-on like this one.

My backpack is just a regular one that I will outfit myself to store cameras. I pull the velcro inserts out of my old Crumpler and Lowepro camera cases to make some buffers between the cameras. I also wrap my cameras. These camera wraps are designed for that very thing. I actually wrap mine in a soft case that my Peter Alexander pyjamas came in! They are soft and have a ribbon that you can wrap around the camera to protect it whilst inside a bag. It’s totally dodgy but it works! I’ve used scarves in the past too.

On smaller trips where I don’t take as many cameras, I will usually take a tote or satchel that is big enough to house a few cameras and my personal items. This camera insert is a great idea when transporting cameras inside other bags that aren’t camera bags. I will also take a pouch or two for little odds and ends like memory cards, rolls of film etc. Of course, there are an array of gorgeous photography bags out there for women who want stylish cameras bags and many of these are great for travel. I’m rather fond of this one.

I always make sure to have my film in plastic zip-lock bags for airport security as I get them to hand check it. I never put my film in my checked baggage because those X Ray machines are a lot more powerful and dangerous to film than the ones we see at security. Film under 800 ISO is apparently able to go through the security machines, but when I’m doing various flights in a short period of time, I’d rather not take the risk. It shouldn’t go through continually.

You just ask one of the security agents to hand check your film and they are always happy to oblige. I’ve never had a problem. I usually have bigger problems with my SX70 or SLR680 because they lay flat and the security agents have no idea what they are- they don’t look like cameras when they are folded. So I often have to open them up and explain what they are. Most of the time I think they are just intrigued and want to know how these weird looking cameras work.

It takes a bit of time at the security check point to get everything arranged back in the backpack again but it’s worth the hassle. How do you travel with your gear? I’d love to know if there are any new bags out there that people are enjoying. I’m always on the hunt!

p.s. This ‘travel shot’ wasn’t taken on any of those cameras. Total iPhone shot!

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