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Photography + Human Error

I was running late for a yoga class and dashed out of the studio at 5:15pm. Just as I was boarding the bus, I got a call from Jason.

“Have you got the props for our shoot tomorrow?”

I can not count the number of swear words that ran through my mind.

I told him where everything was in the studio and felt like crap for forgetting. Dave and Jason stayed back late and got everything we needed.

But then – it dawned on me – it was pretty brilliant that we had so many photographers in the studio. There’s no room for mistake, no human error.

If I wasn’t part of a big photography studio and was running this project solo, I would have had to stop the bus and run back to the studio, or worse, do the photo shoot without the props.

Where I failed, Jason and Dave picked up the slack.

The shoot the next day went swimmingly.

Cate Blanchett and Jas

Today Dave and I covered an event for Australia for UNHCR. Cate Blanchett was one of the guest speakers along with Sarah-Jane Clarke, Julie Mcrossin and Jane Turner.

We had a gruelling but rewarding time shooting the 400+ plus guests at the event in under three hours.

Jason’s May editorial

Jason, the head honcho, writes a once in a while editorial

Myself in 1987.

I joined the Studio in the late 1980s, when Sydney was riding high on bicentennial fever. We had four camera kits for seven photographers. The Studio was a quarter of the size it is now; hidden in a little alleyway in Pitt Street. We had three dark rooms and everyone learnt film processing, we did our own printing. Hand printed, no less.

When the studio opened in 1967, the photographers used to have a Graflex Speed Graphics camera that only loaded sheets of 5×4″ film. At each shoot, they could only take six (really good) images.

Shooting with film was completely different to using a camera today, we used a light meter all the time. We used medium format Bronica film cameras when I came on board.

These days, it’s a lot quicker to take an image and change things around relying on the LCD screen at the back, although we still use light meters at most shoots.

We had to dress more conservatively for our corporate clients but that’s changed with time. We’re not expected to dress corporately, it’s expected that we’re not cut from the same cloth.

The technology for cameras is literally moving in leaps and bounds. Each year, the advancements in camera bodies and Photoshop is pretty amazing. Because of this, photography as a communication is getting more advanced every three months.

Our work in the 80s now seems dated. Even work from the early 2000s ages quickly.

Photography as a field is at a really interesting point right now.

May 2011

We have a mix from Mexico, El Salvador and Papua New Guinea this month.

This month’s coffee is brought to you by these bad puns:

  • “It took forever and a Dave”.
  • “Hey, give me fries!” (Get it, give me five).

Dave post-hair

We had a last minute change at a photo shoot and Dave had to fill a talent position, fast.

I think Dave shaving without complaint shows his commitment to the Studio, he managed to avoid a razor for two years but only spilt a couple of tears when he was told his hair would have to go.

Have a great Easter five day holiday fellow Aussies! We look forward to hearing stories of your escapades.

Food shoot with Yalla

This was my first time assisting at a food shoot.

I fell head over heels in love when Cherie, the food stylist offered us “mineral water with lemon barley cordial and mint” as we stepped through the door.

It was fantastic to see people getting excited about cooking good produce. For each dish, we spent an hour perfecting the shot: adding herbs and sauces, taking away an almond sliver or adding crushed pepper.

Finally, after photographing the food at it’s best, we got to eat it. I may have pigged out.

The thing I enjoyed about this shoot was that it was natural. Everyone was down to earth and relaxed. There was no glycerine nor dry ice.

It was just honest, fresh food prepared with love.

And you can never go wrong with that.

Photo of the day

Live From The Field

Video of the day

Having some fun with Stirling Mortlock in the studio during a shoot for Herbs of Gold.

Stick around for a behind the scenes video.

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