Archive for April, 2010

Fatherhood Friday 7: Emily turns 4

Happy Birthday Emily, 4 today!

Emilys definition of a superhero is: Someone who is Very Big, Very Old and Just About to Die… These are the only time you are allowed to be super.

Emily is very excited and possibly hasnt slept for the last 2-3 days and talking non stop. She told a friend of ours that he had to get her a present for her birthday that wasnt too expensive unless he was rich cause then it would be OK to get her an expensive present.Slightly Rumpled Fairy

Sam: This week Sam has become a bookmark thief, I have seriously reread the same page of my book 16 or 17 times. Possibly time for a new bookmark or a better place to put my book.

Word of the week “No!” also first possible sentence: “No Ta Dadda” when she didnt want to give me the toy she was playing with.

Sam with Walking Assistance

Diving Man Multi Pop

Diving Man Statue with three pops from from different angles with speedlite on the end of a monopod.

Nikon D70s, 18-70mm Lens at f16, 33 Seconds at ISO 200

WW2 Antiaircraft Enplacement

Misty afternoon looking out to where the Anti Aircraft Gun was mounted.

These are scattered all over WellingtonNikon F5 19-35mm Lens, Ilford Delta 400ISO Film

Motorcycle Protest Rally

A couple of months ago there was a big protest about the government putting the ACC levy up for motorcyclists.

I thought this would be a good time to go snap off some shots although when I got there it was a bit intimidating to say the least.

When I asked the guy on the left said cool but the guy on right wasnt in to it so I snapped the shot and left quickly. I especially liked all the gun club badges on the jackets… Possibly not people to mess with.

Really bad lighting on this one but once again I asked and one of them said cool. After I had taken the shot they asked me which paper I was working for 🙂 . Sometimes my Nikon F5 gives me some serious street cred.

Mostly I just liked this guys helmet which looked alot more fashionable than protective, also cool bike.

All images shot on Nikon F5 with 50mm f1.8 between f8 and f11 with Ilford Delta 400 ISO film. Sunlight was directly overhead with no clouds which made for very contrasty images.


Is it the end of the world?

Nikon F5, 19-35mm Lens at 19mm f8 at 20 minutes

Wrights Hill Fortress Tunnels

Today (25th April) in New Zealand is ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day, Where we honor all the people who fought and died in the various wars.

In honor of the occasion here are some shots of the tunnels beneath Wrights Hill Fortress which was built for WW2 to protect agains a Japanese invasion.

The fortress is currently being restored by volunteers and open on public holidays (like today)

All these shots were hand held in very low light so sorry if they are a bit blurry

Nikon F5 50mm f1.8 at f1.8, Ilford Delta 400 ISO film

Ambient light is not my friend AKA More painting with Light

For those of you who have been following this blog, you will have noticed that I have been trying different things with Painting with Light. The idea of this shoot was to try using some of these techniques in an urban setting, A kinda Urban Grafitti with Light if you will.

This was the first shot at it and I ran into some big problems right from the start. This sculpture is directly behind “The Behive” (New Zealands parliament buildings) so I thought there might be some issues with security guards. In standard New Zealand fashion two burly security guards rocked up and asked what I was doing but in a kinda apolligetic “we are just doing our job” way and then wished me good luck and hoped I got some good pictures.

Because the sculpture was lit from the front I had to shoot it from the back looking towards the road which was brighter than I wanted so I had to use a ND8 filter and an ND4 Gradient to try and balance the light a bit which then made the torch light too dim.

Nikon D70s 18-70mm Lens f8 at 58 seconds

With this shot I took off the ND8 filter but left the ND4 Gradient on and moved the location of the sphere into a slightly darker area of the image then reduced the shutter time from about 1 minute to about 45 seconds.

Nikon D70s 18-70mm Lens f8 at 45 Seconds

After noticing that there was a dark patch behind the “Banana” sculpture decided to try and see if the ball would look better closer to the camera. I think this image probably worked best of the 3 and also offers the best possibility to put someone inside the sphere since the flash will be out the side of the frame.

Nikon D70s 18-70mm Lens f8 at 34 seconds

All in all there was pretty much too much ambient light and these have been rather harshly tweaked in Lightroom and then Photoshop to get them looking any good at all. I think next time I try this it will be somewhere where it is nice and dark… Possible a cemetery… Should be interesting.

Oh and I almost forgot… I shot a heap of video of all this happening… Will try and edit and put on somehow…

Fatherhood Friday 6 Emily Plays Drums

All I can say is It seemed like a good idea at the time

A much more sleepfull week this week with Samantha having adjusted to the new sleeping regime.

Nickname of the week: Samington Lamington

4×5 Flowers

A shot of some decomposing flowers from a while ago.

Who needs a Lens Baby when you have a 4×5 monorail.

Linhof 4×5 Camera 210mm lens f11 at 1/60th second, Bowens lights, softbox directly above and another in from the right. Fuji Velvia 50ISO

Sycamore Seed

A Sycamore seed dropped in a dark room then lit with a speedlite set on multiple flash of 1/50th of a second.

This sounded kinda simple but doing everything yourself ment that I shot nearly 100 shots and only got a few that were any good.

Nikon D70s, 18-70mm f 11 at 1/10th second with SB80dx set to 1/50th second on multiple flash.

OK so I finally updated my “About” Page

Check it out 🙂

Oriental Beach Renewal

On a Dark and Stormy Night.

Replacing sand before a big beech volleyball tornament. The beech is entirely man made with sand trucked in from Golden Bay in the South Island.

I forgot to take my remote shutter release so could only get short (30 second) exposures and it started raining almost as soon as I got there.

Made for good dramatic clouds though.

Nikon D70s, 18-70mm lens, ISO 200 at 30 seconds

Zombies and Wookies

Not usually seen togeather… Can wookies actually become Zombies? Were these infact Zombie Wookies?

Must have been the Rugby Sevens

Nikon F5 ,50mm f1.8, Ilford Delta 400 ISO film

More More Painting with Light

This was an experiment I tried in my front yard last night.

Maglite without hood on a piece of string with a wireless speedlight off to the side on the left of the image.

I liked the way that the speedlite made it look like the light came from the sphere but I feel that there are too many strands to the sphere so might have to try using a solid bar instead of the string… Will post when I get a chance to try it out.

This is all experimentation for an upcoming project of Urban Light Graffiti which I hope will happen in the next few weeks.

Nikon D70s, 18-70mm lens at 18mm. f3.5 at 57 seconds. Speedlite on 1/8 power

More Painting with Light

Up above the Terrace in Wellington.

Experimenting with alternate portrait techniques

Nikon D70s, 18-70mm Lens, ISO 200. f22 at  25 seconds with 10W bike light… Subject moved after 10 seconds

Fatherhood Friday 5. Emily Lion and the week we broke Samantha

Another tough week although not as bad as it could have been.

Sam has been waking up 7 or 8 times a night to be fed or settled and this week we decided that we had had enough and it was time for a bit of “tough love” to recover our sanity which had been slipping a bit over the last couple of weeks.

The plan was to start on Sunday and not feed her between 11pm and 5am, this involved me getting up from 11 to just settle and put Sam back to sleep.

Night 1: Fed 3 times before 11pm… Woke at 1am and screamed for 30 minutes then went to sleep… Woke at 3am and screamed for 45 minutes…Woke 5am, Fed went back to sleep till 630am

Night 2: Fed 2 times before 11pm… Woke at 130am and screamed for 10 minutes… Woke at 3am cried for 10 minutes… Woke 5am, Fed and went back to sleep till 6am

Night 3: Fed 1 time before 11pm…Woke 130am…Cried 30 seconds went back to sleep… Woke 5am, Fed and went back to sleep till 645

Last Night: 1st feed 1120pm… Woke 130am for 5 minutes… Bit restless but slept til 615am

Hopefully this improvement continues!

Emily Lion

Come into the Light

This is a really quick mock up of an idea for a shot… It needs another speedlight to come from behind the girls to ballance things up a bit an reduce the all encompasing red a bit.

I like how Sam is going “Here I come!”

Water Bike Jump

Shot at an X-Air in Wellington a couple of years back

Nikon F5  80-200mm, f2.8 Lens, Ilford HP5 400 ISO film

Random Shop windows

A couple of random shop window shots from London

The trick with shooting through windows is to place the front of the lens directly against the window so you dont get any reflections and it also means you can use slow shutter speeds.

Nikon F5 19-35mm lens Fuji Velvia 50 ISO film

Giant Gum Moth

A really big Gum Moth. It was about 20cm from wingtip to wingtip

Luckily it stuck around while I went and got Camera and Flash

Nikon D70s, 50mm f1.8@f5.6  1/60 Second SB80DX

Lit up Flowers

Flowers in my back yard lit with 2 speedlites… One from directly below at full power (Nikon SB16) and one in from the left at 1/4 power (Nikon SB80DX)

Nikon D70s, 18-70mm @70mm, f22 at 2.5 seconds

More Painting with Light

Island Bay Skatepark on a cloudy but moonlit night.

In order to get the desired effect I had to do alot of running around. It took nearly exactly 30 seconds to run a curcuit of the skate park at full speed.

I was glad there was no one around to see me running round in the middle of the night at a skate park with a torch.

The gold coloured light came from the sodium street lamps running beside the road next to the park.

Nikon F5 Tokina 19-35mm lens, Fuji Velvia 50 Film, f5.6 for 30 seconds, 10W bike light used for painting.


This is from last weeks 4WD mission out past Redrocks.

I am assuming that this around about the SS Penguin sank in 1909

I like the fact that its a bit crooked. Not sure if it was built like this on purpose to break the waves that come from predominately one direction or if the person who put it there was permanently drunk.

Nikon F5 with 80-200 f2.8 set to f22, ND8 and ND6 Graduated filters, 2 second exposure

Fatherhood Friday 4 Sam only eats things that are small and round

Crap forgot that it was Friday today… Bout sums up my week…Better late than never.

This week Emily is starting to get excited because her birthday is not too far away.

She has been feeling a bit attention starved since Samantha has had a bit of a grumpy week.

Samantha has started refusing all food that she cant feed to her self and current favourites are peas and blueberrys.

Has been constantly grumpy and a little unsettled this week which included a half hour screaming session when she woke early one night and Amanda was out swimming… Probably due to more teeth and Daylight Savings.

Lets hope for a better week next week.

All things going well I will finally have a couple of days to concentrate on photography next week and scoping of rentable darkroom may be on the cards.

Your Not in this Alone

“Your Not In This Alone”

Found in an alley off Leftbank in Wellington just before Easter