Kitchen interior

An image from last week’s interior shoot.

I’ve noticed recently, that kitchens have become the main feature in a lot of contemporary home designs. This kitchen is quite a majestic example in a large family home.

Although the builder said the dwelling was “all cleaned up and ready for photography”, this wasn’t quite the case. There were tradespeople attending to last minute details before the owner moved in that evening. I figured if everyone else could do their designated jobs without interfering with each other, I could do the same and worked my way around everyone as well. All those years photographing weddings has taught me well.

On of the several interesting features in this home were the chocolate brown reflective tiles and cabinets which added rich textures and contrasted beautifully with the drawers, floors and walls.

Photographically this posed quite a challenge, because it was difficult for me and my umbrella light not to be in a refection. On occasion I just had to take the shot and remove my reflection from some of the  images later in Photoshop.

It was a fun shoot and quite different from some of the more sedate interior assignments I’ve had where I’m the only one present. One of the laconic tradesman noted my light umbrella and inquired if I was worried about leaks inside due to the heavy rain that morning. Naturally he was joking, this home was built to perfection!

Portrait session using Speedlights

My first Executive Portrait assignment using Speedlights.

I let my client know this was the first time I was using this set up and she kindly embraced the situation. It’s always a good idea to do this when using new equipment so if you appear a little unsure, your client at least knows the reason.

Speedlights can offer so many possibilities when they do function; no cords to trip on and the freedom to move around and use any locality you wish. Because I was in a studio environment, the speedlights’ sensors communicated well but when I eventually need to use them outdoors, I’ll have to employ wireless transmitters.

My key light was a very portable Lastolite softbox which produced lovely, natural looking light and the fill was an umbrella reflector. I used my trusty old Morris slave flash as background fill because the speedlight I wanted to use, couldn’t “see” the other sensors and didn’t fire. Another good reason to get wireless transmitters for future sessions.

The final image will be used on a website displaying various individuals in my client’s field of profession. I was surprised to see that many of the images on the site had clearly been taken by a family member or friend. Respectfully, my message to all professionals is pleeez use a Pro Photographer to take your image. Not only will you look professional, but you’ll look great also”

Conference

I recently photographed a conference with a difference. This client is an insurance and finance company who like many companies, put on conferences and events to communicate directly with their customers.

I enjoy these assignments not only for the photographic challenges, but I find them informative and intellectually stimulating.

On this assignment at the Council Chambers in the Melbourne Town Hall, my client created a courtroom setting to show how various legal scenarios are dealt with. This was not only informative, but a really entertaining and creative way to keep their customers attention. All the “actors” were staff members, now that’s multitasking!

The image displayed, is actually a combination of 3 “stitched” images created to enhance the action on stage and the attentive audience by keeping the perspective close to reality. Using a wide angle lens would change the look considerably.

The stage was lit by spotlights and the room, by the natural light from the big windows. Because the room was quite dark, I used a tripod for some images to enable the low shutter speeds and smaller apertures required. Sometimes, I found it easier to rest my camera on one of the many shelves and pews available. Doing so, gave me better angles and were less intrusive than a clunky tripod.

Some additional work in Photoshop was required later, to lift some of the darker shadow areas.