Archive for May, 2010


Ruins of an old gold mining town in Central Otago, New Zealand

Nikon F5, Tokina 19-35mm Lens.

Verns Head

Slightly macabre but an old school image from a number of years ago.

This is a scan of a black and white print. No Photoshop involved. I cut a hole in a piece of wood and then placed a tablecloth over it, also with a hole cut in it, then a plastic plate had a chunk cut out and the model was kneeling on the floor.  Developer was painted on with a brush to get that uneven effect.

The actual print has more detail around the face. This is one of my Favourite pics I have taken.

Looking back it could have done with some garnish.


Flower Macro using extension tube.

Straight off the camera with no processing.

Nikon D70s, 50mm f1.8 Lens, Nikon PK13 Extension tube, Nikon SB80DX Speedlite

Fatherhood Friday 11: We like books… Sometimes to Eat.

Colds,colds,colds, colds with a slight outlook for COLDS! Will they ever go away? Even the weather has taken a steep dive towards winter.

At breakfast this morning we sound like a household of chain smokers with pretty much everyone having a cough of some sort.

Emily: With all the bad weather we havent been able to get out and have a run round much this week so even with a cold Emily still has energy to burn.

Emily said something Hilarious earlier this week, but I forgot to write it down, and when I asked Amanda what it was she looked kinda annoyed and wouldn’t tell me so I’m assuming it was partly to do with her. Hopefully my brain will kick into gear and spit it out later on.

Samantha: Favorite place to be this week has been sitting in front of the book shelf looking at books, pulling washing of the clothes dryer and staring out the window at birds.

Has reverted back to waking up every other hour at night so we are waiting for her to get a bit better before having to “break” her sleeping habits again.

New word for the week: “ook”

“Must get more ooks!”

“Im sure there are more “ooks” in here somewhere…Wait?… is that a lion?”

Nikon D70s, 18-70mm Lens, ISO 200, Nikon Sb80DX Speedlite.  f4.5 at 1/30th second with Speedlite at full power bounced off the ceiling.

Great Beards

If you want to see some great beards you should go hang round and wait for an ACDC stadium concert to get out.

These types of pics are why I love Delta 3200 film. Flash would have detracted from these images even well positioned flash and you can be a lot more stealthy without it.

These two guys were waiting for friends and heckling me pretty much every time I went to take a photo (I did miss a few shots because I was laughing so much). It made for a pretty amusing time.

Nikon F5, 50mm f1.8 Ilford Delta 3200 ISO film. f1.8 at 1/80th second

Im on a Boat…No Wait Im on a Caravan on a Boat

Seen near Balclutha in the lower South Island.

I guess they couldn’t decide between a caravan holiday or a boat holiday… Win for Kiwi ingenuity.

Nikon D70s, 18-70mm Lens ISO 200. f8 at 1/80th of a second

Bird and Smoke

Yes this was done with Photoshop. No birds were injured in the making of this image.

Same Shot 3 Ways with IR

Here is a comparison of the same shot but taken 3 different ways.

Shot 1: Boring!

Nikon D70s, 18-70mm Lens ISO 200. f8 at 1/320th second

Shot 2: Same shot but with Cokin 007 filter straight off the camera.

Nikon D70s, 18-70mm Lens ISO 200. f8 at 2 seconds with Cokin 007 filter.

Shot 3: Using Cokin 007 filte rand processed, much more interesting!

Nikon D70s 18-70mm Lens ISO 200. f8 at 2 seconds with Cokin 007 IR Filter then converted to black and white with photoshop.


Waves breaking against the cliff at Castle Point

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

Amusing Sign

Seen yesterday at a children’s indoor playground in the nappy changing area.

I wondered if  “Carefully” is a person and if they needed to be there while I used the bottle and where I would take it out to or if the centre was in actual fact run by small children.

Sony Mobile Phone

Fatherhood Friday 10: Sam Likes Steak

Once again colds featured a lot this week (welcome to winter) and there has been a fair bit of tired and grumpy behaviour all round.

Samantha: Still learning words at a rapid rate of fire. The current cold has made her lose her voice so when she tries to scream pretty much nothing comes out and she gets a very confused look on her face (which is amusing but also kinda a bit sad) so the house has been a bit quieter this week.

She is also attempting to stand on her own by putting herself up on things and then letting go to stand unassisted.

New phrase of the week: “uh oh”

Sam Likes Steak

Emily: Aside from having a cold, Emily has been pretty well-behaved this week. One of the highlights has been watching Emily and Samantha chasing each other round the house while laughing and squealing with delight. unfortunately the cold and rainy weather has ment we have had to stay inside and she is getting to the point where she needs a bit of a run around to burn off some energy but I don’t want to take her out because she still has a cold and something resembling a smokers cough.

Scary Emily


Seen at the top of Aro Valley

Nikon F5, 50mm f1.8mm Lens

Goldilocks, Princesses and the Three Lions… The Full Book

This is a book me and Emily (3 years old) made. Emily put things where she wanted them and then said what had to be written on each page and I took the images.


Storm is a Comin

Storm coming in over Makara.

Ended up getting very wet and having to take shelter for about an hour before heading back to my car.

Nikon D70s, 18-70mm Lens. f4.5 at 1/200th second

Opps I Fell Asleep…

I hate it when that happens…but the metal grill looks soooo soft and inviting 🙂

Nikon F5, 50mm f1.8 lens, Ilford HP5+ 400 ISO film


Seen in Civic Square in Wellington

Nikon F5, 50mm f1.8. Fuji Neopan 400ISO

Fatherhood Friday 9: Emily Counts to Hungry

Survived Emily’s birthday party last weekend with only minor injuries (mostly mental ones to me) and managed to get things back to normal in only a couple of days. Possibly scared some of the kids into believing there actually were pirates in our back garden but they felt better when they found the “pirates” gold coins that were made of chocolate, I’m sure their parents probably hate me now after sending their kids back overhyped on sugar.

Colds were the order of the week with Emily bringing one home and sharing it round everyone here (not really her fault but was amusing that one day only Emily had a cold and the next day we all had one).

Emily Quote of the week:  “96…97…98…99…. I’m Hungry”

Emily riding her running bike round the, still being constructed, bike track.

Samantha: Copious amounts of Snot. Has been literally getting into everything and I mean EVERYTHING! She has worked out how to open cupboards and drawers and is showing much interest in CDs and the things under the television. You can say “no” move her away and watch as she goes straight back to what she was doing.

Word of the week: “Hot” used continuously for almost half an hour after making a grab for a cup of tea that Amanda was drinking.

Samantha at Lollypops Playland on Emily’s birthday.

Old Car

Old car parked in the loading zone behind the Leftbank Shopping Arcade.

It seems to turn up every now and then with a band playing on the back of it.

Nikon F5, Tokina 19-35mm lens, Ilford HP5+ 400 ISO Film

How it was Done 2

Here goes another “How it was Done” Post

This is the setup for the image that I use for the header of my page. I took this middle of last year and hopefully it again shows how you can get good results without much of a studio or too much equipment.

Equipment Used: Portable Backdrop Kit x 1, 500W Electra Compact Flash with barn doors  x 1, Superclamp x 1,  Nikon SB80DX Speedlite x 1, Nikon D70s with 18-70mm Lens x 1, Remote shutter release x 1, Tripod x 1.

Shot 1: This is my lounge complete couches, bookcases and even folded washing stacked randomly around. I did move one couch so I had enough room to set up the portable backdrop kit across the room so i could hang the studio light off it pointing directly down and then used the barn doors to create a circle of light on the floor.

With shots like this I usually use something like a chair to act as a reference for focusing the camera.

Lens at 28mm f3.5 at 1/8 second without flash going off.

Shot 2: Same shot as before but with the camera lens shut down to f18 and at 1/125th of a second. Using a reasonably fast shutter speed with studio or speedlites means that anything not in the direct light will be much darker.  Even though you can see some of the surrounding things in the room these will be easy to remove in Photoshop later.

Shot 3: Enter the model (me). Using the remote shutter control with the camera set to 2 second delay I fired off a couple of shots to see how the lighting looked. I was pretty unhappy with the result since it left no light in the face when I had the hood up. Apart from this the general feel of the spotlight effect was pretty good.

Shot 4: I added a speedlite to the shot which was set off by the main strobe and set it to half power. This fixed the problem with their being no light on the face while still maintaining the spotlight effect.

Shot 5: After checking the lighting on my computer I decided it was “Go Time”. Since this was a dark and dramatic lighting situation I tried to put as much tension into the pose as possible (the way the shoulders are held and the was the hands are clasped). The remote is palmed in my left hand so you cant see it and the speedlite held in place by my feet and legs. It wasnt the most comfortable pose that’s for sure, with any movement making the speedlite move and have to be repositioned.

This shot was the best of the ones I took. All up with the test shots I took around 140 images.

Shot 6: Ok I now have the image I want so its off to process in Lightroom.

Corrections Made: Sharpening, Noise Reduction, Vignette (to remove more of the background), Desaturation and Black Clipping (again mostly to remove the background).

As you can see this still isn’t perfect, especially with the light stand in the right of the frame.

Shot 7: Final Image.

From Lightroom into Photoshop to remove the last few bits of background and generally tidy things up and then a quick crop and Done!

Final Image Nikon D70s with 18-70mm lens. f18 at 1/125 second


I Never Knew The Greatest American Hero Wore Sandals

Who knew?

Nikon F5, 50mm f1.8 mm Lens. Ilford Delta 3200 ISO film…No Flash

Fire in a Bottle

Another shot from the “Fire in a Bottle” series.

Nikon D70s, 50mm f1.8 lens. f1.8 at 1/80th of a second. ISO 200

IR Haunted House

Entry for EOS Photo5 Competition for 2009 in the Practiacally Black section

Nikon D70s 18-70mm Lens, ISo 200, Cokin 007 Infra Red Filter


Boat launching tractor at Castle Point.

Nikon F5, 50mm f1.8 lens, Ilford Delta 400 Film

Fatherhood Friday 8: Birthday done but party Saturday

Survived Emily’s birthday last Friday (she even managed to sleep in til 715 which is around 45 minutes more sleep than usual). She had a great day with far too many presents then going to an indoor playground with a friend and then a dinner party with all her adult friends and more presents.

The thought of having 10 to 12 four-year olds round for a party is somewhat daunting and is becoming a logistical nightmare which will be worse if it rains on Saturday like it is supposed to. The things we do! Hopefully this isn’t setting the bar too high for all birthdays that are still to come.

Now that she is 4 her most common saying has turned into “I know that!” about most things so apparently when you turn 4 you now know everything about everything.

Emily on Car Ride at Karori Carnival

Samantha: Getting even faster with crawling and getting better at pulling herself up on furniture and walking along it. Also getting better at disappearing and turning up in places she isn’t supposed to be, such as CD shelves, power cords, book shelves, heaters etc…

She also seems to be learning words (not proper words but understandable what she means) at a very fast rate of a couple of new ones per day.

Not too much mischief this week from either 🙂

Sorry about old pic but didn’t get a chance to develop the 2 black and white films I shot last week which had some pics of the girls on them… Hopefully will sort after the party madness.