Monday, October 12, 2009

iPhone - my dSLR replacement (kinda)

I love the iPhone. I love the camera. For only a few megapixels, it's capable of some nice images and video too. I recently grabbed Chase Jarvis's new iPhone application, Best Camera.

And I'm loving every
moment of it. Definitely worth checking out and having a play with. I find myself out at lunch time and on the way to work photographing most little things I see, then processing and uploading straight to Facebook and Twitter.

Here's a selection of images we've all been taking of later. You can follow us on our various Facebook and Twitter accounts:

Matt: Twitter
J.P. - Twitter

Kane - Facebook

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hiatus for J.P.

Hey there followers, J.P. here,
So for the last few weeks (years really) I've been sitting around the house, being very very idle and not really motivated to do anything useful, I only go to work because I have to and because I need the money, but there's no excitement or passion about it. I find myself very... bored. I'm placing the blame partly on the Internet and my computer, I really am addicted to both.

This next week I'm going away to help lead on church camp for school kids during their holidays, I'm going to be running some photography workshops, I even made a short vid to get the kids into it. Hopefully I can instill some long lasting respect and know-how into them about our beautiful art, but when I come back from that, I'm going to be taking a 1 month hiatus from the Internet and even from my computer, except where I need either to run paid photography jobs. Don't get too stressed though, I'll still be out taking photos and doing videos, and driving to weird places at silly hours of the morning. I just won't be processing or posting anything.

So that is where I am at for now.

Take care, and I'll see you all upon my triumphant return,


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Brisbane Dust Storm

As seen on TV and online, there was a huge dust storm today in Sydney and Brisbane.

I could see the dust building up during the morning and I thought it was very cloudy or simply, foggy.

As it got closer and closer, I started hating myself for not bringing in the 50D to work. Doh!

Anyway, I headed out during lunch with the trusty iPhone and even managed to go out late with Kane to Wilson's Outlook for the potentially superb sunset. Alas the sky did not play ball, but we did get some nice Sun stock photos in it's incredibly bizzare blueish white orb later in the day.

Here's a selection of shots from today and a few videos of the event and shoot in the afternoon.

Saturday, September 19, 2009



Some my find this strange, but until today I've not had a backup system!

Here I am, a retired IT geek, turn footwear merchandiser (we all have day jobs), without a system in place, to save me in the event of disaster!

Well that all changed today...

I’ve gone from running 3x 80GB internal drives (the last two years), to the same 3 drives with a 1TB WD ext drive, (last two years to current) and now I've finally bought a 2nd TB drive for my drive caddy, so now my system is as follows;

3x 80GB (boot and programs etc)
2x 1TB drives (both external, both on USB 2.0)

Main TB drive for saving, and my new caddy drive for backup, runs daily overnight using MS Sync Toys 2.0.

I now have a USB 2.0 hub, which controls my iPhone charger, a CF card reader, and my backup drive caddy!

Welcome me to the future.

Backup? Do you run one? It’s a must these days.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Overpowering the sun, a look into my free-time.

Hey Hey Hey! I do hope that ya'll be well!

Ok, so I set myself up as a bit of a flash guru way back in my first post, guru is way too strong a word, as I'm very much still learning the ropes of how the whole flash thing works. So today I present to you quick video on my 2 light outdoor setup, as well as the resultant pic, along with a before/after look at my processing. Not to mentional all the tiny little mundane details that alot of people forget about.

Ok, first things first, the video:

Good yeah?

Like the pic at the end?

Yeah, me too.

If you didn't catch all the gear in the video, or can't see the video, here's my light setup:

Ok, so that was a pretty quick and dirty look into my light setup, now onto the processing, followed by the results!

Not too shabby eh? And now to explain my Post procedure:
- Import into Lightroom
- General preset - Punch
- Pulled the clarity right down to -14 (this makes the image look softer, very very effective for females)
- Increased the black clipping upto 8
- Sharpening (+50)
- Noise REduction (+46)
- Vignette (-100)
- Exported to *.tif, and into my favourite Image editing program (just to remove a few stray leaves from a nearby tree)
- Imported back into Lightroom
- Sharpening (+50)
- Noise Reduction (+50)
- Clarity down to -19
- Upped the Blue saturation (+33)
- Pulled the Blue Luminance down (-31)
- Upped the Vibrance to +55
- Pulled the Saturation down to -29

And now for the Final Result...(click through the photo to see a higher-res image)


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Come close, I must tell you something.

How are we all? Doing rather well I hope. Sorry about the incredible amount of time between posts, but I know that we have all been extremely super busy, but now that I've a little time up my sleeve, I thought I would share these few things with you.

Presenting, for your consideration, a Timelapse:



"That's a bit of alright!"

"Yeah, it's pretty cool."

You may have said something like that, or not. Your response may have been a little more like "It's so slow!"

And for that, there is a reason, and that reason is best explained by the following 2 videos. (taken for your consideration!)

And that's how I got the pics for my timelapse.

Interesting? maybe.

Quite silly? more likely.

The photos were loaded into Lightroom, in their own catalogue, and I grabbed the first image and tweaked, using autotone and punch presets, as well as a darkening gradient filter on the sky, and a lightening gradient filter on the land. I also applied some noise reduciton, sharpening, and a light vignette. Once I was happy with the first image, I copied and pasted those setting to all the images.

The time consuming element came in exporting the images, when you've got 5688 images (the number I quoted in the video was wrong!), Lightroom doesn't like exporting all that at once. I ended up having to export them in 500 image lots. Collating them together didn't take long, dropping the exported shots into Microsoft Movie Maker, setting a frame interval of 0.03sec, and BINGO! a timelapse video is born.

A boring, BORING timelapse video, in dire need of some sweet tunes. For musical inspiration I turned to the In B Flat project.... where I ended up recording my music from.

and that, as they say, is that.


Please enjoy, and don't forget to visit Kane's, Matt's, Mel's and My Flickr Streams!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

So you think you know what we've been upto...?

From whence it came, so too shall it return.

Ok, finally time for a bit of an update, this time with a video!

So it's been a little over a week since our Epic Missions southwards to the region near Coffs Harbour, Australia. And the going through of photos and videos has been time consuming, but enjoyable, and after much deliberation, I've decided to show you a video of the making of the above shot, Post-Processing excluded. If you want PP details, click through the above pic, and read the details on the associated Flickr Page, email me...or read on...

I apologise for my extreme Australian accent/drawl. I was quite tired while making this video. I also apologise for the Quality of the Video, I'm yet to find a free video editing program that will let me handle the *.mov files off the iPhone 3Gs. (if you know of any, let me know!)

If you didn't catch the equipment in the video or can't see the video,
Here's the equipment I was using:
  • Canon 40D + Sigma 10-20mm f/4.0-5.6 DC EX HSM
  • Cokin P-Series Slimline Filter + Grad 8 filter (P.121s)
  • Manfrotto 488RC Ball Head on Manfrotto 055XPROB Legs

...and the Settings:

  • AV Mode @ ISO100, f/22.0

The Post Processing Work flow for this shot went a little like this...
  • Imported the Canon RAW files directly into Photomatix3.2 64-bit Edition
  • Applied Tone-mapping (Detail Enhancer) with settings that made this shot look like pure awesome.
  • Processed and saved resultant image in a 16-bit *.Tif Format
  • Imported *.Tif into Lightroom
  • Applied the Auto-Tone and Punch Presets
  • Added a slight Vignette (-40)
  • Sharpening (+55) and noise reduction (+45)
  • Gradient filter to the sky, with -0.40 Exposure, +20 Contrast, +22 Saturation, +87 Clarity, and a slight green colour cast to counter-act the purple from the Cokin Filter
  • Gradient filter to the ground with -1.00 Exposure
  • Spot removal (because my Sensor is dusty as!)
  • Borders were added using the Mogrify Lightroom plugin, available here.

And that is what went into making that shot. Hopefully you've gained something from that.

We'll see you in the future with some more Videos!


Monday, August 24, 2009


Hey all, well Matt, Kane and Myself are back form our awesomely super Epic Missions to Coffs Harbour, and we're thoroughly enjoying going through and processing the photos. If their collection of photos from the trip is anything like'll take a while.

Slowly but surely photos from the trip will be released on our individual Flickr Streams, as well as a special write-up for this blog. W'e ve got photos, video panoramas, video tutorials and plenty of great location talk to bring your way, so please hang around and check back in for that...

But for now, we've got a million photos to sort. ^_^

Matt's Flickr Stream
Kane's Flickr Stream
J.P's Flickr Stream
Epic Missions Regular, Mel Sinclair's Flickr Stream

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Road Trip Time

Since the great floods of NSW in May this year, and Josh and I couldn't make it to Kane's wedding, we've had two nights stay stashed away down at Coffs Harbour.

So that means weekend roadtrip time.

A rough itinerary is as follows:

- Leave Brisbane in the afternoon between 4 - 5pm.
- Arrive in Coffs Harbour around midnight, depends if we stop for some star trails on the way.

- Sleep for a few hours at the hotel
- Go somewhere for a sunrise.
- Breakfast/sleep some more/scout
- Shoot Sunset
- Dinner
- Star Trails

- Sleep for a few more hours
- Shoot Sunrise
- Breakfast/sleep some more/check out
- Head home via the Waterfall Highway
- Arrive home sometime late afternoon/evening

Well try and put a few updates up when we are on the road and keep you all updated.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fun with light....

Matt and I spent the afternoon with some local photographers learning all about lighting and portraiture. A special thanks to David deGroot for walking me through this standard 3 strobe lighting setup.

It was a great afternoon, and the Cyber Syncs are so much

Here is a simple lighting setup diagram...

This is a very common setup, nothing too new going on here, but it's a good setup to know. The fill flash umbrella was a reflector, and the main light was a shoot through. Back light was just a bare strobe with a 1/4 CTO gell to add a little warming.

All strobes were fired using Dave's Cyber Sync triggers....

Main flash, Canon 580 EX II, 1/4 power, reflector.
Fill flash, Canon 580 EX II, 1/8 power, shoot through.
Back light, 1/32 power.


Simple Introductions...

Well, well, well... It's been a long time since I've had time to write a blog entry, so here goes. Since the other two have already posted some useful posts detailing what we've (yes, we) been upto, I thought I'd start with a simple introduction, I may even post a photo or two.

So, My actualy name is Josh, and I've kind of been designated the "flash/technical guru" of the trio. I also run a small photography business specialising in Weddings, Portraits and Events. Which at present has just been a few Weddings, a few Live music gigs of local bands, Band promo shoots, and a few TFP (Time For Print) model shoots. A sample of everything I've shot is slowly making it's way onto my website (linked above). I also have a rather healthy (or un-healthy, if you count the amount of sleep we sometimes DON'T get) addiction to shooting landscapes and startrails. My Flickr stream is a testament to that. I also love to travel to new places and embark on Epic Missions, with these two guys and shoot the views.

Here's a few to hopefully whet your appetite for what we have in store for your reading pleasure:
Taken at a wedding back in June (click through to see a larger version!):
The first day of the rest of your life

This was taken on a fairly recent Epic mission a few weekends ago where Kane, Matt and myself chased the fog well into the day:
Well son, I imagined that the Apocalypse would be warmer.

And when I say Startrail, I mean it! Here's what an hour of your life looks like:
The only thing you truly have is time. Use it wisely.

So there you have it.

Please stay tuned, because we'll be bringing you all kinds of updates on what we've been doing, both collectively, and individually, as well as tips, tricks, turorials and behind-the-scenes video footage.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Trainyard, models and a lot of balloons in the back of the car. Models are Cynthia and Gabby.

Ambient light mixed with bounced flash off the ceiling. Does it work? Well, kinda. It needs to be re-shot again sometime for sure.

Kane bought an I Phone, so now we have video, so here's a quick behind the scenes video.


A funny afternoon.

I was driving home, I'd not thought about the weather all day, and then I saw how the clouds were forming. Sunset and sunrise photography is addictive, I've shot half a dozen panoramic's from here over the last 6 months, but the clouds tonight were just right.

This is a 36 shot image, 12 sections with 3 shots at each section. The final size is about 3m wide by about 1m high, so if someone wants a to fill the pool room back wall, let me know ;)

I've almost finished my HDR/Pano work flow, guide thing, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

First storm of spring/summer

We are about to get drenched by the first storm this summer, funny
thing is, it's kinda still winter. Photos to come later.
Last week, we meet Gabby and Cynthia at the local train yard location in Brisbane, this spot is well known and well used by many local photographers.

Josh had setup a nice portable studio in one of the old train cars, once we snagged a few keepers from that location, we moved onto shooting some natural light shots outside. This was a morning shoot, so the sun was still low, casting some really nice light from camera left.

Pictured is Cynthia, hanging form a train car.

I often think that the location and the clothing the models wear always make my shots.... Cynthia is a natural.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Flash Practice

OK, I've had my new Canon 430 EX II for almost a week now, so I felt it was time to try some macro box stuff.

Here is a test shot, I kinda like it.

Lots to learn and improve, this shot is my benchmark.


Welcome to our new Blog!

Hi everyone.

Matt, Josh and I have decided to blog our crazy photography outings and adventures. Over time we will be positing videos, behind the scenes photos and all sorts of fun and mayhem.

So, follow up and join in the fun... comment and leave us ideas.

Stay tuned!