Friday, December 31, 2010

Fireworks at Broadbeach

I have decided to make a few resolutions this year…and for the first time in a few years I actually got to the fireworks at midnight.  So here are a few pics…
This one was my fave of the night :)

This is my first time capturing fireworks up close with my DSLR.   I found them quite challenging as you never know where the next one will be/how bright it will be etc, making them easy to stuff up!  I took all these images with my tripod, no cable release due to having left it at home by accident so was really happy with the way they turned out. I chose to shoot in portrait as I thought it would be better for the purpose.

This was my wild one - abstract shot :)
Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Some Holiday Funnies

Well I'm sure it has been done before but here is they don't call it the silly season for nothing…most of them I thought up while bored and recovering from the recent op...

The basics:

  • Depth of Field = how hard you think
  • ISO = how hypo you are
  • Aperture = how open your mind is
  • Shutter speed = how fast you can talk
  • Flash = you don't wanna know
  • Focus = what you don't have after a few beers
  • Tripod = something cool that makes people think you work for the paper
  • Noise = the sound when you turn the camera on to video mode
  • "M" mode = when you push all the buttons at once and see what happens
  • "P" mode = professional
  • "A" mode = awesome
  • Photoshop = the k-mart processing lab

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mac Vs PC

This is a very quick blog as I have not had too much internet time this week due to the home internet being down with "network problems".

I have been thinking a lot about the PC versus Mac debate since changing over this year from PC to Mac and having used both quite a bit. The reason I made the change - I do a lot of photography/design work.
I am talking about Desktops here as Laptops are generally not the best for photography/design work.

Reasons to stick to PC:
  • You do a lot of Ebay and need Turbo Lister (there is no Mac turbo lister however you can get Garage sale for mac at a cost)  This has really annoyed me since having the Mac.
  • They are cheaper.
  • You are really used to using a PC and don't want to learn a new platform.
  • You don't want to change your software over from PC to Mac due to expense etc.
Reasons to go to Mac:
  • So much easier to download fonts/actions etc for design/photography work
  • The mouse can move from side to side as well as up and down which is fantastic for scanning around an image quickly in Photoshop.
  • Macs crash less.  Maybe even never.  Ask anyone.  Mine will slow down when I am doing a lot at once but never crashes.
  • I-macs are compact which is a plus.
I absolutely love my i-mac and for design work it is fantastic. 

Main things I love about it are:
  • The screen is fantastic size/colours/brightness
  • Makes Adobe very easy to use
  • Doesn't crash
  • The mouse is fantastic
  • The search tool in the finder window where you can search your mac for any file really easily
  • Really easy to get photos off devices like i-phone, camera etc
The main things that have annoyed me though are here:
  • No turbo lister for mac.
  • It comes with a compact keyboard which only have numbers on the top bar (I changed mine).
  • The mouse batteries go fairly quickly.
  • Safari crashes more often.
  • The CD slot swallowed my SD card as they are very close together on the side - oops!
So this is my little wrap up, comments on this topic are welcome!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas is this month!

I know there are the people that hate Christmas - the shops, the crowds but I am one of those people who buys their gifts 6 months in advance and avoids the busy times at the shops over Christmas in favour of free activities for the kids and Christmas lights!  I love love love Christmas!

We went to see the Christmas lights near us last night and they were amazing.  I got talking to one of the people who put some up and she said to me "It's so hard to take good pictures of the lights"  To which I replied  "It depends what you're after."  This got me thinking about what you could do with the lights without all your gear and just a DSLR camera and basic lens even if you didn't have your tripod handy.  If you are planning to go see the lights though do take your tripod but remember to take some pics without as well for some fantastic fun abstracts.  If you find some lights and didn't bring the tripod don't let that stop you from playing with long shutter speeds!

Here are some images taken last night:

Black and white coversion, slight crop, watermark added thats all.  Taken without Tripod.

Slight crop nothing else apart from watermark - taken wothout Tripod

Slight crop.  Watermarked.  Taken with Tripod.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fun with Frames

If you are looking for a nice way to present your images on the internet (particularly facebook/web) I have found a couple of fast and free photoshop actions.

Here's an image of mine with the "outside, large centre" frame applied:

  • Totally rad actions have an awesome free facebook action which you can use for better image appearance when images resolution has to be reduced for upload.  You need to like their facebook page to access it.
  • Then apply a text frame action to the image, click on the text layer (in layers palette) and add in your custom text.   This is a whole collection of actions in here.
  • Click on the underlined link text to get the actions, you will need to use the facebook action first as this shrinks the file down to a good size for the frame.  
Below I have used the exact same pic with the "inside large centre" frame action:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Light trails & abstracts

I have a lot on my mind this week and haven't been getting a lot of sleep but that makes me quite productive in the post editing department!

Had a great Sunday afternoon/evening chilling out at Burleigh beach watching people fire twirling & my kids dancing to the beat of the drums.  The smell of was incense in the air and it was nice not to have to grab a jumper or rain coat!  Days like this make me love living on the Gold Coast.  The kids had a blast as well, and of course I had my camera and a few ops for some interesting fire twirling light trails.  All that and it was only a few k's from home.

Fire twirler at Burleigh beach

This pic above was taken hand held, and on bulb setting with one eye watching the twirler so I could see when I wanted to close the shutter!  Was a bit of fun experimentation for me.  This one was one of my faves.  The guy twirling here was extremely fast.

I like to get out without my tripod now and then to see what I can do - after all a lot of places are not allowing tripods these days so we can't always have it with us.  Also when there are crowds it can be a problem.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Guinea pigs and a teapot...

How could I resist another photo shoot with my new little pets - they still haven't been officially named yet but they are just so cute…playing with a few different little props to see what I can come up with.  I am officially in love with the coffee sacks I found - they add a lot of texture!  Have also been playing with some blurring around the edge effects and quite happy with results.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Photography thrills

It was quite exciting to get a newsletter today from Swell Sculpture Festival featuring a photo I took there.  Always a bit of a thrill to see your work somewhere being appreciated.  Funny the sculpture was by  "Shelly Kelly" and the pic was by me "Simonne Kelly"  No we're not related haha.

I am also feeling quite upbeat about the coming weeks where I have a couple of cute kids/family shoots to do and have been thinking about locations/props etc in advance.   I love kids shoots because kids are so honest with their expressions plus it's so much FUN!  

I am thinking my camera and I need some time together this week for sure - I have a few fun filters I want to try out.  Think the flu is starting to subside thankfully have just been left with the grandpa cough and wheeze now lol sounds worse than it is.  

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Today is a good day for blogging thanks to the flu Ash bought home from kindy and then shared with me. Kids are thoughtful like that.  I can't even find the motivation to go back to bed haha but somehow want to write.  Must be the Nurofen plus.

I loved this little story and had to share it - so true!

When Jack London had his portrait made by the noted San Francisco photographer Arnold Genthe, London began the encounter with effusive praise for the photographic art of his friend and fellow bohemian, Genthe. "you must have a wonderful camera...It must be the best camera in the world...You must show me your camera." Genthe then used his standard studio camera to make what has since become a classic picture of Jack London. When the sitting was finished, Genthe could not contain himself: "I have read your books, Jack, and I think they are important works of art. You must have a wonderful typewriter." - Anonymous

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Props Galore

Well I am on the lookout at the moment for props!  Portraiture props actually.  I am the creative type so love to make my own headbands, hats etc but lately I have become rather interested in all things vintage.  Off to Better Buys Southport I went today to find some genuine vintage things.  Not a lot in the budget but this place was great.  You could really spend time in there on a rainy day like today!  I ended up picking up  a couple of cheap funky vintage items and am very happy with them.  (You will see them soon popping up in my portraits).  I had been to the usual lifeline type shops earlier in the week and found a couple of things but really had to sort through a lot of junk to get them.

Then I went digging through the cupboards to see what I already had.  I found "Big Ted" the teddy mum bought for me when I was 1, who is still wearing the VERY 70's brown/orange overalls my grandma made for him.  2 very cute minky blankets, and the baby blanky my nana made for me when I was born.  Not a bad loot!

The idea I have is to have two areas of props - some nice vintage things and some bright, funky things so I can vary the photos a bit.  I get bored easily (the reason I don't have a tattoo) so this should keep me occupied for the next little while.

I have a few people lined up to photograph in the next couple of weeks so I hope this weather starts to clear a bit.

Image below taken at Bond University,  Props: some balloons and the pettiskirt that I picked up from ebay.  Then to give the vintage look It was desaturated and a texture put over the top in photoshop.  

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Rainy Days

Firstly let me introduce myself:  My name is Simonne and I am a wife and mum of two gorgeous girls Charli and Ashlee, (& a dog we rescued from the pound called Ralf and two guinea pigs.)  Charli is 4 going on 21 and Ash is 20 months.  These two cheeky monkeys were my inspiration for wanting to learn photography in the first place.

The girls - oh and that's not my house by the way - I like to keep some sort of standards haha...

I have started a few Facebook community pages because I love to connect with other photographers.
Here they are:
  • Photographers page - a brand new page where you can get better at photography and get heaps of helpful advice, tips, links etc.
  • Camera Gear (buy/swap/sell) - Buy swap and sell your camera and related gear for free on this Facebook Page - get your friends to like the page for more exposure to your ad.

I am sitting at my computer and it's raining on the "sunny Gold Coast", I really want to get out with the camera but it's just too wet.  This rain is sending everyone a bit mad including my two kids (alright the cupcake didn't help either).  It's a good chance to go through some of my photos though and it's quite interesting to see how far I've come.  I remember the awful feeling of really not knowing what was a good image and closing my eyes and submitting it anyway for some constructive crit.  Sometimes I fluked one and sometimes it was a blooper but that's how we learn.

These days I am feeling pretty confident with it all and like to play with different things.  My latest gear has been simple and very cheap - filters.  I'm amazed what you can get from china on ebay and just how cheap it is.  Occasionally the quality is not so good (with zoom) but for those just wanting to have  play its a very cheap way to try out some things before spending much.  I have noticed some things are just as good though like remote triggers etc, and on top of that they are about 95% off the price of the generic I looked at in store.  From China.  Including postage.

Props are also very cheap and easy to make or buy from 2nd hand shops/ebay.  It's amazing what a pair of glasses or a hat can do for a portrait.

For me right now its all about taking the next step in my photography.  Thanks to the Graphic Design course I have good basic knowledge now in the Adobe Suite, which I think is important for photographers in this day & age.  I have started up my facebook page and am in the process of getting my website together which is very exciting.  I am looking forward to the future with photography, we have become quite close!

My 1st Blog!

Alright peeps I have finally taken the plunge in to the unknown - the land of blogging!