When we were asked to shoot explosion shapes for Old El Paso, I initially thought, “oh yeah, this is doable”. But as we worked our way through the approach, a few challenges came up. I had an idea of how to shoot the stills, in fact high speed photography is like shooting landscapes, most photographers have played around with it in some shape or another. However, when I thought about shooting motion, I started to realise the difference. With a still, we just needed elements, we could piece them together in post, if need be, to make a perfect explosion. But with motion, we had nowhere to hide anything. It all had to happen in camera.
After some testing, I worked out an unconventional way to make the powder create the shape naturally, and most importantly how to reproduce the shape consistently enough to capture what we needed, in camera, and with agency and client watching!
Shoot day at Rokeby Studios was a mixture of tiptoeing around expensive equipment while blasting coloured powder towards it. We shot a number blasts in super slow mo on a RED camera, then shot an equal number of stills afterwards for print. We all huddled around the monitors as we went and ooohed and aaahed at what fed through. It was an amazingly fun shoot. Here’s a behind the scenes pic of yours truly mid shoot.
I’ve posted one of the test blasts here (above). The final ad used a different coloured powder, but this test had a random stem in the middle like a flower. Here’s the final ad below:
I was on Stradbroke Island not long ago shooting an advertising project. Walking back to the car I saw these junior Surf Lifesavers walking on the beach on patrol. The colours of their uniforms and the perfect white sand of Stradbroke Island just punched me in the face! Luckily I was holding a medium format camera. I don’t even recall exposing I just lifted it, waited a second for them to walk into position on my frame and snapped! This shot really spells out summer in Australia for me. I wound up getting an honorable mention for it at the 2013 International Photography awards. Happy Dayz
I’ve been carrying my Hasselblad around with me, hanging with friends or on commercial projects. I’ll bring it out if I have the time and shoot a couple frames. Man do I loooove square format, Ii just feels right, and I suspect the 45 million photos a day on Instagram agree. All these were shot on a 500c using Portra 160 or 400
A couple weeks ago I was able to complete a project that was in the pipeline for some time. I had this story in my head with 2 elderly guys set in the brutal sport of MMA or Mixed Martial Arts.
I was discussing it one evening with good friend and art director Mike Fritz and after about a year finally everything came together and we were able to shoot it.
I have to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who was involved, First of all to Mike my co-conspirator and art director, my team of Josh Maguire and his assistants, special effects makeup by Sharon Robbins from ARC, styling by Michelle Michaelson and of course the amazing cast of Hugh, Stewart, Daisy, Tom, and Liam. Last but not least to the amazing venue which is a working MMA gym Phoenix Elite MMA and Conditioning, thank you!
There’s often this moment in a shoot, the minute you realize you’ve done what you and the client have set out to do and the rest is just gravy. Shit can get pretty weird after that, but in a good way, cray cray, but good.
I was shooting Cleve Hughes from Viviens for the Broadway on the Mall campaign a while ago, and that moment happened.
I’ve been lucky enough to work with award winning art-director Kieryn Humphreys a couple of times now, on shoots in both Sydney and Brisbane, and she recently asked me a couple questions for her blog Humperdink. You can check out our conversation here
Late 2011 I worked with Breanna Chalk and Jon Morris from Gold Coast City Corporate Communications to produce some images for the Gold Coast City Annual Report. As a long time resident I was honored to be involved in a project for a city that I love living in and calling home.
The City had put together a group people who had made a difference in the last year within our society, and we shot them with a modern clean style on white. Each person had made outstanding contributions in areas such as City Mayor, junior mayor, cultural ambassadors, disability and community activism, and volunteer services.
It was awesome shooting all of these great people and connecting with each one during the shoot. Below are some of may favs, plus a couple of tears from print.