CONNECTIONS BLOG

CONNECTIONS
Affinity. Closeness. Longing for connection. These shared experiences are what elevate our lives beyond mere existence. Good or bad, they are the muse for poetry, the rhythm of music, and the ‘heart’ in our heart. This body of work is about exploring just that: our humanity seen through how we connect with something outside ourselves. That moment when we bare our souls and open our hearts.

Seeing the World in Black and White

Christian has been awarded 3 nominations in the Annual Black and White Spider Awards. He has received 2 nominations in Advertising and 1 nomination in the Nature category. Celebrating its 9th year, the esteemed Black and White Spider Awards is the leading international award honoring black and white photography. Judging the awards are some of the finest industry experts. The judges include the likes of Curators, Gallery Directors, Academics and fellow Photographers.

An Award, that seems to just fit Christian like a glove, the Black and White Spider Awards look for photographers who are driven by their artistic eye and a desire to excel in this classic art form.

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The boundary between day and night.

  lonely

What happens in the shadows of our minds? What happens in the boundary between day and night. Everything seems so clear in the day, but like the deepening dusk, doubts creep in as the sun sinks below the horizon.

What is that special feeling of wonder, longing, apprehension, or uncertainty that the night brings? Is it the desire you are too scared to speak about in the day?

Wolgan Valley

I recently had the great pleasure of working and staying at the luxurious Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa. Set amidst the stunning scenery of the rugged Greater Blue Mountains on 40 acres it was incredibly amazing! I'm trying to work out how I can live there!

Food Photography

At Wolgan Valley they've thought of everything from decor to sustainability. The beautifully decorated suites have their own indoor/outdoor swimming pools, the veggie gardens sustain the restaurants and the resort is the first carboNZero©™ certified resort and carbon neutral resort in the world.  What a place.

finedining

We definitely felt spoilt after a weekend there eating the amazing food, lazing around the gorgeous pool, and exploring the valley.

homestead

The Heritage Homestead was built in 1832 and has been restored with loving detail so it is exactly as Charles Darwin first saw it in 1836. The Heritage Precinct sets the scene for authentic Australian barbecues with stargazing and storytelling or can be the perfect setting to celebrate that special occasion. Start saving your pennies for an unforgettable stay!

Sizzling Summer

What do Sydneysider do on a hot day to beat the heat? Its simple, we run for our sandy beaches. We complained last year that we didn't have a summer well the gods are making up for it this year, well and truly.  These shots were taken on Curl Curl Beach for a Suncorp campaign Natasha Lorenzen and I shot for Alice Bradbury at Asteron. I feel a little cooler looking at them.

Suncorp Campaign

A big thanks to our models Julie and Craig Tucker and Juliet and Gianni Pannozzo.

Behind the Scenes at my latest McDonald's shoot.

Its been a busy month at the Orchard Studio. We've been shooting McDonald's for the past couple of weeks. I'm forever impressed by McDonald's marketing and creative teams as they're always creating and reinventing new menu options. I find it's contagious and keeps me on my toes, forcing me to push myself with innovative lighting and discovering new ways to whet the appetite through the photography.

Here are some behind the scenes with Jacqui Hudson-Hing, styling guru to the fries :). Can you tell that she is a sculptor in her other life! As they say 'what she doesn't know about building a burger......'

A Regal Abode

I was recently asked to pitch for my favourite hotel in Hong Kong, The Regal Hotel. The Mushenko team stayed there for five whole weeks in 2008 whilst we were doing a rebrand for McDonald's Asia. It felt like home and the staff really looked after us. I've got fond memories of the rooftop pool and 5pm happy hours. We were shooting at 6am every morning so the canapés at happy hour were often dinner.  Thanks to Lucas Boyd for his help with this pic.

Perk of the job

I know I've mentioned before that one my favourite parts of shooting food is enjoying the food afterwards. This lemon curd was so tasty I thought I'd share the recipe with you. Lemons are in season now too.

Lemon Curd -use on toast, in miniature tarts, in meringues, mixed with mascarpone and cream and strawberries.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80g) chilled unsalted butter
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons

Method

  1. Whisk whole eggs, yolks and sugar in a saucepan until smooth, then place pan over a low heat. Add the butter, juice and zest and whisk continuously until thickened. Strain through a sieve into a sterilised jar. Lemon curd keeps, covered, in the fridge for 2 weeks.  Recipe from Valli Lee for Taste Magazine.  Styling by Wendy Berecry

Julianne's Kitchen

All you savoury buffs would have been very jealous of us this week!  Our tongues were definitely salivating over the delicious pâtés, fruit pastes, onion relish jams and terrines we shot for Julianne's Kitchen. You might remember her as the previous owner and head chef of Cloudstreet in Kirribilli.  If you do, then you'll be happy to hear you can buy her new range at select Harris Farms and Thomas Dux Grocers.

Connie and I used daylight for this shoot and shot with my Phase One Camera with a combination of my 120mm Macro lens and my 120mm Tilt shift. We really wanted to feature the jelly in the light and show off its texture. The best part was sampling the product at the end, especially as its homemade.

Some great behind the scene shots by Connie Moran.

Would I lie to you?

So yes I'm still talking about our shoot with Verity and Stevie English for the Hair Expo.   I've got a few more behind the scenes to show you.

This shoot was mental, The Orchard Studio was pumping as Annie Lennox belted out "Would I Lie to You" from the stereo. We had a film crew shooting as well as the stills Connie Moran and myself were capturing, so the song needed to be playing all day so the timing for the film was perfect. The concept was all about movement, mood and attitude. There was certainly a lot of that and it was contagious.  The mood for outfits on the models was glitter and shine, with them constantly dancing and snaking all over the floor of a black elevated stage set built in the studio.

The brief for lighting was hard and contrasting, the end effect needed to have a  monochromatic and metallic glowing look. We needed to light with continuous light so the videographers could work alongside us.  We used a beauty dish as front light with a profoto ProDaylight Metal Halide head, Kino Flo style fluoro rim lights behind, Dedo spots behind, and also had a flash head firing into lens from the background creating flare for effect.

All the six models did brilliantly. And of course the Team English stylists and creative director Verity herself were all (in Verity' speak):  F^*@%)N AMAZING !!  We couldn't agree more!

Behind the scenes images thanks to Connie Moran and Angela Mushenko.

Behind the scenes

 

I wanted to portray Lynda in a way that connected with her artworks, so we chose to shoot at the edge of the water and in a natural way. I used my Phase One camera and IQ180 80Mp back, the Schneider Kreuznach 120 TS lens, a medium California sun bounce and a large door-sized reflector.

I chose to use the Phase One for its dynamic range as I was shooting into the sun to create flare. I didn't want to use flash as I wanted to keep the softness and naturalness in the feel of the light, so I relied on reflectors.

Thank you to my trusty assistant,  Sussie Mellstedt and hair and make artist, Desiree Wise.  Great work ladies!

For the love of flare

[slideshow] On her recent visit to Australia, I was lucky to be able to shoot these promo shots on Balmoral Beach for the beautifully talented artist and my very close friend, Lynda Howitt. Lynda paints sublime abstract oil paintings with a classical romantic light and a soaring spirit that reflect her love of the ocean.  I wanted to portray Lynda in a way that connected with her artworks, so we chose to shoot at the edge of the water and in a natural way.

 

 

Shooting at the beach with the Schneider 120TS lens

I took my new favourite lens, the SCHNEIDER-KREUZNACH 120 mm TS f/5.6 Aspherical  to the coast to test, courtesy of a loan from L+P Photographics.  Check out the beautiful flare it gives when shooting into or nearly into the light. Magic! Also I had fun swinging the lens (does this make me a 'swinger'?) so that the plane of focus runs into the image (as opposed to parallel with the film plane normally). Is it just me, or is it a bit more evocative?? With this quality of optics on a medium format state of the art 80 Megapixel camera,  I can see some stunning large format fine art prints coming up!

Schlepping with Schneider

The good folks at L+P Photographics and Phase One gave me a Schneider Kreuznach 120mm tilt shift lens to try last week on my medium format digital system.  I tested it out with my Phase One IQ180 80 Megapixel digital back on a mini food shoot.  My verdict: yep I love it! I have other tilt shift lenses but the sharpness really was remarkable, the German glass gives the image a crisp quality from edge to edge. Some lenses show sharpness through contrast, but this one is through the glass and within the image. Of course the tilt and shift are great for changing your plane of focus also. I have to buy one now!!

Bold & Beautiful

[slideshow] I took my Phase One down to Manly this morning at dawn to get some inspiring shots.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the notorious Bold & Beautiful swimmers I'd heard so much about. They were decked out in pink speedos and pink hats swimming from the south end of Manly beach to Shelley beach, a 1.5km swim.

Seeing all the fit bodies on the beach made me wish that I went to the beach more often and that I went for a swim after my photo sessions. Shame my camera wasn't waterproof.

http://pacificjules.typepad.com/pacific-jules/

Want a new camera?

If anyone is interested in winning a Phase One IQ140 (40MP) Digital Camera System (Valued at $28,500) come on down to the Phase One IQ World Tour. I'm going to be there as a representative Phase One user, tickets are $65, there will be some very interesting photographers speaking (come have a chat) and includes a three course lunch.  Should be a good day. www.lapfoto.com.au/events_view.cfm?Event=115