Monthly Archives: April 2013

Looking For A Cover Shot

After sending some NZ snapper photos to my fishing buddies, Nick offered to show me a similar style of fishing here in Oz.

Nick is a very keen fisherman, who fishes various competitions. His boat is something to behold. Definitely not your average tinny. It is more like a racing boat. Apart from the seats & cockpit it is all flat casting platform. Even with Nick, his brother John and myself casting from one side it was extremely stable. The boat is bristling with technology. The sounder has maps and GPS built-in. It also features side to side sonar, so as well as the sounder looking directly below the boat, additional transponders point out the back to cover some 25m either side of the boat. The amount of detail it can resolve is astounding!.

On the front is a bow-mounted electric. This unit is linked to the GPS system and has a remote hanging on a pendant . You can get it to plot a course, or just press a button and it will maintain the current position – automatically adjusting for changes in wind and current.

Overall it was a relatively slow day on the fishing front. However, I still caught my personal best bream and on a lure as a bonus. I also caught several other species. We had fun and I got some great photos.

I generally like the shallow depth of field with a high contrast washed out colour in post, but this is not mainstream fishing magazine cover style.

Will one of them be a cover shot? – probably not , but I will keep trying….

John waits for a hookup

John shows off his 71cm flathead

Mark with his personal best bream

Nick prepares to unhook his first bream of the day

Nick shows off his 37cm bream

Nick shows us how to pose fish for cover shot






NZ Snapper

At Easter I was on Waiheke Island (just off the coast of Auckland, New Zealand) to shoot my mates wedding. Mark had organised me to stay at Villa Pacifica. Cliff and Gaye are wonderful hosts. Cliff is a photographer and fisherman, so we hit it off immediately! He generously offered to take me snapper fishing. So naturally I assumed deep-sea fishing miles off-shore. However, I was completely wrong as we fished between 100-200m off the rocks in less than 10m of water.

In fact often he fishes from his kayak and when the tide cover the cockle beds will catch large snapper in about 1m of water!

Cliffs technique is to jig soft plastics with light gear across the rocky bottom. The snapper are not shy in taking the jigs and certainly a lot of fun to catch.

If you are planning a stay on Waiheke Island I can highly recommend Villa Pacifica.

Cliff holding an nice snapper caught on soft plastic jigs

Cliff holding a average size snapper

Mark holding his personal best snapper

A fine catch

Cliff prepares a snapper fillet

Snapper fillets






Mark and Manon

I was thrilled to be the photographer for Mark and Manon’s wedding at Mudbrick Vineyard, Waiheke Island, New Zealand. The whole day was about family, friends, food and wine. Mark and Manon told me it would be a low-stress chilled affair, and indeed this was the case. After the ceremony guests were treated by a special cultural show which included traditional island songs and dances. The light was very bright and challenging during the ceremony, but the sunset afterglow on the wispy clouds was fantastic (if not all too brief).

The Bridesmaids & the Flowergirl

Beautiful Bride & Flowergirl

Just Married

Mudbrick Vineyard

Local Maori dance performance

Local Maori performing the Haka

Enjoying the dance performance

Mark & Manon Wedding Dance








Rule #1 of Photography

We all have heard various rules of photography such as don’t shoot into the sun, compose on the thirds, watch for distracting background elements etc. However, I think the first rule of photography should be :


After fishing rivers around the Lake Taupo district, my mate Roy and myself stayed a couple of extra days to explore around Rotorua.  During the day we checked out various tourist spots. The distinctive Hydrogen Sulpide smell certainly takes a bit to get used to. However the geothermal activity is just astounding!! Apart from the tourist spots where you can see geysers, bubbling mud and multi-coloured pools there are so many spots around Rotorua where the lake edge is bubbling and steam is venting in parks and even out of the gutter where roadworks are being carried out!

At night we tried our luck for trout in Lake Rotorua. It is reported that the lake has one of the highest populations of trout in New Zealand. Apparently in summer the water temperature often gets to warm for the trout so they seek respite in the cooler currents of spring-fed streams that empty into the lake. Advice from the local tackle store said that you would need to wade out some 100-200m from shore. Even here the fish are able to take advantage of the subtle temperature changes. I thought that carrying a backpack that far out into the water then trying to wrestle with a rod a camera and a flash would be a recipe for disaster…

As we left the unit at the caravan park I joke to Roy about leaving the camera behind would almost guarantee that we would catch a big fish. When we arrived at the stream mouth there were about half a dozen other locals, all lined up fishing a largish pool that marked the junction of the stream and the lake. There were also considerable numbers of sizable fish jumping, just to add to the excitement.

It certainly is a different fly fishing experience to cast smelt (baitfish) patterns in the dark. After losing a few fish Roy lands a very respectable brown. I am not sure why, but I keep losing fish by snapping my leader. Each time you curse because you have snagged the bottom, but then the bottom suddenly takes off. These are very hefty fish indeed!

Finally I stay connect to a very solid fish. Roy tells me to hurry up and land it, but at this point it is still stripping line off at an alarming rate. A local offers to help land the fish, as neither of us has a net. The fish is huge and almost does not fit in the net. In old terms it is 12lb – a double-figure fish. Generally a fish this big is regarded as  a “trophy fish” and you get it taxidermied and hang it on your wall. However, I have no intention of killing such a fine fish and the only thing I would like to hang on my wall is a great photo.

Dang – No DSLR!

Luckily I have my iPhone, so at least a get a “record” shot, but not a great shot.

We end up having a brilliant session, with several monsters lost and some “smaller” 4lbers landed

Ah well – I guess next time I will have my good camera with me…

Mark’s personal best – a 12lb brown trout

Roy’s 7lb brown trout


Mad Hatters

Two of our recent class tasks required us to use Photoshop to create montages.

The brief consisted of creating  two crazy hats (one for him, another for her):

Exercise 1: Her Most Fabulous Hat

Using the renaissance profile image provided, create an image in Photoshop with the following dimensions :

30cm wide x 80 cm height @ 300 res

NOTE: the woman’s head must be at the bottom of the image and her hat must be the tallest thing ever seen.

This is an exercise in IMAGINATION composing a vertical image, by creating a collage by cutting and pasting in Photoshop.

The main thing is that you use found images to construct her most fabulous hat…that is a big vertical hat.

This is GRAPHIC : think Poster as opposed to a painting – “The Madder The Better!”

Exercise 2: His Most Fabulous Hat

Same as previous exercise, using the statue of David as the starting point. However this time construct a hat made of ancient SCULPTURE parts.You will need to think how your collage will work matching the marble look of David.

Note the angle of the head is from the bottom looking up: you may consider having his hat getting smaller at the top to complete the perspective illusion.


My first interpretation came about researching the Renaissance. I kept discovering references to Archimedes, cranes, pulleys and similar devices. You will notice from the detail images that all the parts connect and there is a flow between them.

Some have commented that maybe this piece could represent how a woman thinks, but I will let you draw your own conclusions…


“Vitruvious Woman”

“Vitruvious Woman – Detail 1”

“Vitruvious Woman – Detail 2”

“Vitruvious Woman – Detail 3”


For a bit of fun, I then created Marg’s Family Tree. You can see I even included Santa’s Little Helper!

“Marg’s Family Tree”

“Marg’s Family Tree” – Detail 1

“Marg’s Family Tree” – Detail 2

“Marg’s Family Tree” – Detail 3


His hat at first was much harder to settle on a suitable design concept.  I had quite a few false starts with stacking various statue components together. These initial attempts were frustrating as I  just could not seem to arrange the pieces satisfactorily. After a while I realised that repeating elements seemed to work best for me.

I have called this first piece “Under Control”. In the details you will notice that a duplicated Nike figure (with extended wings) has long puppet-like controls to David’s golden lion epaulettes. Also, the column is actually composed of repeated and inverted Colosseums.

“Under Control”

“Under Control” – detail 1

“Under Control” – detail 2

“Under Control” – detail 3

Inspired by the repeating pattern concept, I then used horse head figures to create “Better A Horses Head Than Arse”. I love how the repeating pattern of horse heads looks like a spine.

Notice in the detail the top of the hat is a distorted image of The Duomo in Florence (which is just up the street from the Museum where David is on display).


“Better A Horses Head Than Arse”

“Better A Horses Head Than Arse” – Detail 1

“Better A Horses Head Than Arse” – Detail 2

“Better A Horses Head Than Arse” – Detail 3

By the third piece I was just getting silly, but having a huge amount of fun. I think it is funny that at first everyone thinks they are lovely butterflies arranged on a stem, until they have a closer look….


*********************** NOTE **********************

Do not scroll down if you are offended by male genitalia…







“Dick-Head” – Detail 1

“Dick-Head” – Detail 2

“Dick-Head” – Detail 3