Monthly Archives: August 2013

TAFE Cocteau Madness Assessment Task


Using the Phillipe Halsmann photograph of Jean Cocteau as a starting point I want your team to design, plan & co-ordinate a shoot and create ONE image for assessment. There are two aims here: to work effectively in a team as well as create an image that is “surreal” in nature. Also, the objective is to capture as much as possible in-camera with little or no post-editing.



Apple is taking over the world. It is so pervasive in its many devices. Apple is stopping us thinking. Everything is within instant reach. Calab is a perfect example of the “connected youth” of day. He regularly multi-tasks, often he is using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all whilst having a conversation.

Calab has been integrated into the iBM iThinkPad. He is part human, part cyborg. He plays with his iPuppy, whilst connected to an array of iPhones, iPads & iPods. He holds an iCream (complete with Apple logo).


Technical Details

It will be shot in an ultra-modern yet grungy style. A backdrop will suggest he is part of the iBerspace Data Cloud. To enhance the theme images of computer circuitry will be projected onto the backdrop. A smoke machine will further embellish the scene. Whilst the interaction of the projected images, studio lights and smoke is an unknown the in-camera effect is expected to be fabulous! An added bonus is that apart from all team members wearing black, the fog should help conceal our bodies and we will morph into Caleb’s central torso.



Whilst the brief only requires one final image, it is envisaged that several variations will be explored. From these a final presentation image will be chosen. We may find that there are too many competing elements that distract, rather than support telling the story. Also, experimentation with arranging the chosen props may be required to achieve a preferred composition.

Alternate expressions may include:

  • Endless stare, where his thoughts are completely engaged with the cloud
  • Laughter at his amusement of a joke a friend has just shared
  • Horror, as the power has just gone off & he is disconnected


Jean Cocteau Original

Jean Cocteau Original Photograph

Concept Sketch

Concept Sketch

Lighting Schematic

Lighting Schematic

Final Image

Final Image

Team Snake - Helen, Caleb, Mark & Peg

Team Snake – Helen, Caleb, Mark & Peg


Just for fun I also did a quick video (18sec) timelapse of setting up the studio

I hope you enjoy!

Joadja Club Trip

Last weekend the Southern Highlands Photographic Society (SHPS) held a club field trip to Joadja. This historic village is nestled in the Joadja valley some 28 km from Mittagong in the Southern Highlands.

This site is of cultural significance due to kerosene shale being discovered there in the mid 1800’s. At its peak some 1200 people lived and worked in the valley. It is hard now to imagine a huge industrial complex of mines, a bank of retorts and a refinery. The shale was “cooked” in banks of retorts to release kerosene oil. This oil was then refined into paraffin was, kerosene, grease and oils.

Life was tough and the community was by necessity mostly self-sufficient.

I have visited Joadja now 4 or 5 times and I still see images everywhere! It is not an easy place to capture successful images. There is so much photographic material there, but there are mostly remnants and overgrown ruins of the original operations. The challenge is I think to try to un-clutter the mess. Instead of shooting wide, try going in close and concentrate on details. That being said I have also shot a number of very wide panoramas that I am happy with!

The bright sun just adds to the challenging conditions, especially if the scene has a couple of “hotspots” that spoil the composition.

Joadja is privately run operation more information can be found from their website Joadja Town.


Family Tree

Family Tree

Hiku Rust

Haiku Rust

Retort Pastels

Retort Pastels

Indoor Garden

Indoor Garden

Whomping Willow

Whomping Willow

Blue Danube

Blue Danube

Global Warming

Global Warming

Grab the bull

Grab the bull



#joadja #southernhighlands #historic #landscape #abstract

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SlideShow 0.1 Photomedia – A Success!

I was invited to present at the inaugural Australian Institute of Photography’s SlideShow night. It was organised by Hamish Ta-mé. His idea is to connect artists from different disciplines whilst giving artists the opportunity to showcase their work. This is especially important in regional areas such as the Southern Highlands.

12 photographers presented a vast range of works. The presentation style was based on a slideshow series called Pecha Kucha. Basically it is a style that the presenter gets 10 minutes to present 20 images.

Rather than just discuss particular photographs as they appeared on-screen, my presentation was a technical discussion about panoramic images including various techniques and solutions to potential problems.

I think later I realised that every one of my images had received awards.

It was also an interesting history lesson as I presented my images in chronological order, so it was interesting to see changes in both my technique and style.

The night was great fun and it was a privilege to co-present with such a range of wonderful photographers.

Hamish has also compiled a 7 minute video of the presentations by clicking on this link


Philosophers Falls pano

Philosophers Falls – TAS

Icelandic Glacier Pano

Icelandic Glacier

Sunshine Camp Pano

Sunshine Camp – WA

Joadja Tree Pano

Joadja Tree – NSW

#panorama #southernhighlands #landscape

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2013 Epson International Pano Awards

I just received my results from my three entries to this years Epson International Pano Awards in the open section.

Silver: “A Bridge Too Far”

Bronze: “Oxers Lookout – Karijini NP”

Bronze: “Into Mordor”

600px is not really suitable for viewing these images. Oxers Lookout is a 3m wide print hanging in my gallery space and is just stunning!

Silver - "A Bridge Too Far"

Silver – “A Bridge Too Far”

Bronze - "Oxers Lookout - Karijini NP"

Bronze – “Oxers Lookout – Karijini NP”

Bronze - "Into Mordor"

Bronze – “Into Mordor”

Print Print

#Epson #Pano #awards