Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Felix Kwan

I went to the opening of a new show at contact sheet gallery in St Leonards yesterday where I saw some exciting street photography by Felix Kwan. The show is called "Curiositas" and is a series of exposures of people in a busy street. Those standing still are sharp. People smoking or having a pensive moment. The rest are blurred to different degrees depending on their speed or if they have come too close to the lens. The image are overall well composed and have a first layer tha quickly gets your attention. As you look there are more interesting zones both in the detailed and the abstract areas. To do this kind of work that you can't direct you need to go a place where you expect something to happen then try and seize the best moments. Later you need a real willingness to discard what you wanted to work but which didn't and to identify what does work even if it was really accidental like a test exposure.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Decisive Moment at Contact Sheet

A great collection of images and text on the theme of the decisive moment. Historical, current revealing not just the content of the image but the motivations and process of the photographers, the intention and the random seen with intent. Curated by Paul MacDonald and Sandy Edwards there is a lot to look at and a lot to think about including many, many kinds of decisive moment. Some the classic interpretation, others the moment they clicked as photographers, another the moment he realised a photo had merit and many more. A treat.

Justine Varga :: Bill Henson :: Sydney Contemporary

A bit of a delayed reaction but working on the weekend upsets the rhythm. Not complaining. 

A month ago I went to Sydney Contemporary and found it overall a much more interesting experience than previous years. Lots of good painting and interesting installation but coming back to photography I found two artists who are very different really help focus in on what I like in photography. When asked I usually find the answer has to do with simplicity and emotional resonance. This could be reportage, street photography or an intensely glamorous portrait. I admire a lot of heavily worked images, illustrations of a concept in the artists mind, from a rough collage to a polished where does reality end kind of image but they don't really excite me. The more it's cut back the more I like it like a polaroid that seized a unique moment in a unique example. Nothing wrong with multiples though.

In this exhibition two artists struck me. Bill Henson who's work I knew and Justine Varga who's work I didn't. Justine makes cameraless images. Have a look 

Sunday, 9 August 2015

up and coming

I was asked to do a portfolio review a few days ago for some students at CATC in Sydney. At many student exhibitions there may be one stand out or some good ideas imperfectly executed but this trio presented a three out of three of excellent work on very different themes. They had really well formed concepts and cut back the images to make a strong statement. Each portfolio was presented differently and in a way that suited the subject and they were technically excellent. rather than feel we were seeing diamonds in the rough I had a feeling I also was being presented with something to aspire to myself.

HEATHER RAADGEVER presented a series on loss that is not currently on her website. I was at once delicate and strong and brooding. The images contained only a few beautifully rendered items but this minimalist beauty led you to capture a deeper mood of yearning and sadness. The images are presented in the form of a book with beautiful pastel images printed on art paper. The book format allows you to see one or two at a time and dwell on them before seeing the rest.

MICHELLE LAKE presented as series of large prints of landscapes. We all felt they reminded us of something. Not particular geographic places but archetypal places that we hold in our mind from life, dreams, books and movies. Once again beautifully printed with intricate texture and detail in the darkest and lightest areas without making it feel like we were looking at an over manipulated image. She has an uncommon eye for taking a common scene and making magic.

REBECCA MORRIN presented a folio of food and still life photographs that are impeccable. The images are clean and inviting and most importantly mouth watering. I liked the contras between her light and airy daylight shots and the crisp lit shots on gloss black. Her work was also presented in book form but I noticed it rendered even better on screen ( they looked great printed). This is not a problem but in fact a good thing as her ambition is blogging and instagramming and her images will have to draw attention on the small screen where images tend to be small and consumed quickly.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Successful Masterclass

There has been a bit of a gap in my posting as I did a very compressed training course for teaching that left little time for anything else. This Masterclass was one of the few exceptions to moving everything else aside.

The latest of my studio lighting masterclasses kept us indoors on the kind of rainy cold Sunday you wouldn't want to be outside anyway. We covered working with different kinds of lighting and modifers and how they can work for beauty and portrait images. We had a good day with our model Tamara Valentine from Chadwicks and makeup by Stephanie Tetu and most clothing from Bronx + Banco.

Some of the results follow:

James O'Connor

Nicole Wells

Theodora Vagenas

Theodora Vagenas

James O'Connor

Nicole Wells

The feedback I had was excellent. I tailor the classes to the people present to be sure to fill the gaps where hands on experience is needed to fill the gaps that Google and YouTube can't  . . yet . . until they go 4D!        for bookings

Thursday, 28 May 2015


My entry in the AddOn exhibition, not a concept I'm going to repeat.

fin collection - eleven

On Wednesday this exhibition opened at Sun Studio in Alexandria a space that usually hosts photo exhibitions. This time although some of the 11 artists work from a photographic base they are drawings paintings and sculptures. Amy is an interesting and dynamic person who counters the Zoolander stereotype and shows models as interesting people who also are very photogenic.

Amy Finlayson

 Tania Linney


What can I say it was excellent and not a Smiths concert. I felt conflicted having had meat before then horrible dreams of being chained to dying cattle that night after his video images.

the photograph and australia + world press photo

On the weekend I went to see these exhibitions. At the Photograph and Australia at the AGNSW I had been told to expect a good collection of historical photographs as in photos with content of historical documentary interest which is largely true. It also got me interested in some of the processes of theme like carbon printing. Carbon was used with gelatine to make prints that were fade resistant unlike silver based prints. There are some impressive examples by Frank Hurley. Another section talks about the popularity of "cartes de visite" which had a person's image on one side and about the size of a playing card. Apparently people collected them as we now collect friends on Facebook  There is very little showing any use of photography as a political tool or mirror as one sees in photography of the early 20th century elsewhere.  Not sure if it just didn't happen or it was a curatorial choice. So for the most part we are seeing people and places as they were. Some really interesting images in there and some surprisingly modern. This is compensated by the World Press Photo exhibition at the state library which is fully confrontational. The next room has the Sydney 1440 exhibition which is Sydney based and finally an exhibition of images of the Greek island of Lemnos. Modern day larger colour images have black and white wartime images pasted over them, each taken from the same viewpoint. The island is largely undeveloped and the scars of war have melted into the landscape.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Jack Stahel

More serendipity. As I went to pick up a gift I received one myself in walking past Kudos Gallery, Jack Stahel's exhibition "Imaginary Science" is very impressive and engrossing. The mind, science, art, nature, our urge to categorise and keep and in my perception that the keeping removes the life force. The pictures on various sites do not do it justice as there are details within details all reflecting on something.  until May 30

Jill Crossley

Just went to the opening of Jill Crossley's show "Unreliable Witness at Stanley Street Gallery. It's all organic mobile water but the camera framing captures magic compositions that only existed in that moment in that frame. Strangely as you look into the fine details you see fractal shapes as nature breaks down to it's math. Until June 6

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

jason moss

This cover shot on my website was done in collaboration with Jason Moss and shot with the OMD M1 and a 60mm macro lens I had just acquired and which I must say really impressed me. Love the magic.


I have been meaning to get this going for a while so here goes . . . 

There will be more chat once this is properly set up.