Better Photography magazine's blog is written mainly by its editor and publisher, Peter Eastway. Here you'll find a wealth of comments, ideas and, hopefully, you'll like some of the photographs as well. If a blog doesn't sit neatly into one of the other categories, then generally you'll find it here!
Click on the blog titles to read.
Maori Chieftan. Lumix GH5 Launch, Queenstown, NZ.
Lumix GH5, 18mm (37mm equivalent) lens, 1/1250 second @ f4, ISO 100
Life as a photography magazine editor is pretty good when companies like Panasonic invite you to test their new Lumix GH5 camera for a few days in Queenstown. And they looked after us very well with a series of photo opportunities designed to show off the camera's many features. We were off the plane for no more than 10 minutes before we were onto a jet boat, screaming across the river shallows at a rapid rate of knots before being dropped off to the Hilton where we were staying.
When we arrived at the Hilton wharf, we received a traditional Maori welcome. While entertaining, the background was pretty ordinary and not really conducive to a good photograph. However, to Panasonic's credit they had further plans for the chieftan and his wife the following day. After arriving atop a wind-blown mountain ridge by helicopter and being treated to a packed lunch and champagne (I told you life was pretty good), we had another opportunity to make some portraits of the maori chief with a far more interesting background.
More about the Lumix GH5 later in the week. In the meantime, check out the four frames I quickly grabbed (along with the other 20 or so journalists standing next to me).
Four photos - which would you use?
Now, I know you can work out which of the three frames was used in the hero photo up above, but the question is why?
Two photos by Gary Heery that appear in the Autumn issue of Better Photography.
Both are from Gary's book, Bird.
I have three ulterior motives for sharing Gary Heery's book, Bird, but the main one is to encourage all readers to take their photography to the next level by creating a portfolio or collection of their work developed around a theme. It's a great process and one that the world's best photographers follow all the time. And while it doesn't have to end up as a book, that's not a bad idea either!
Bird by Gary Heery is a collection of studio photographs of birds, from the highly exotic to the problematic and common. Some are in flight, some are tight portraits, some are rear views that, were they photographs of humans, we might consider failures. However, in the context of a bird, its shape, texture and colours, each of Gary's portraits is a beautifully executed document.
What I appreciate most is the variety of poses. As you flip through the pages, the interaction with the subjects continually changes and I think this is the mark of a highly creative mind - allowing the bird as much as the camera to dictate the outcome.
Gary Heery features in the Autumn 2017 issue of Better Photography magazine twice, once as an ambassador for the new Fujifilm GFX medium format camera, the second in a general interview about his life's work. Gary took Madonna's portrait for her first album many years ago when working in the USA and today he has a foot in several worlds, from fashion, advertising and portraiture to contemporary art.
The third motive is...
Vineyard east of Middlehurst, north end of South Island, New Zealand.
80mm lens on Phase One XF 100MP, 1/3200 second @ f3.2, ISO 200
Join Tony Hewiit and Peter Eastway on Middlehurst this June for an art photography workshop - details on website.
The human mind loves patterns and repetition. And when we talk about composition, pattern and repetition are key elements in this sometimes vague and mysterious art. However, there are a couple of things that I look for when composing pattern shots.
The first thing I try to do with a pattern shot is to fill the frame. By filling the frame, the viewer is lead to believe the pattern goes on forever - it is limitless. If the above photo of vineyards included the surrounding edges of the vineyard, it would create a completely different image.
The second thing I look for is variation. After filling the frame, there needs to be some point of interest for the eye to land on. In the image above, there's the secondary colour pattern of reds and blues, but this is quite subtle. More obvious is the roadway that cuts through the image. It is a centre of interest, a dynamic line, a break in proceedings.
So, which do you prefer? There's no right or wrong, just a preference - but at least it can be a creative decision.
Check out our Middlehurst video, created by Animoto.
Check out the book we created on the last Middlehurst workshop.
It's a 16MB download file you view in Adobe Reader or Acrobat (PDF eBook).
Eugene Tan's big print of the Amalfi Coast installed in Bondi.
Photo by Eugene Tan.
Canon has launched a new initiative that challenges us to do, well, anything at all. Called Show Us What's Possible, the idea is to push the boundaries and pitch some remarkable projects to Canon.
To kick it off, Aquabumps’ Eugene Tan brought an Italian influence to Sydney. The Bondi-based publisher and aerial photography pioneer unveiled his most audacious project to date. The result of a 12-month journey, and with the support of Canon, Eugene achieved his long-held dream of producing a ‘huge’ print of one of his aerial photographs for everyone to enjoy.
Over a 24-hour period, Eugene installed a 49-metre long, 13-metre wide, 700 square metre print of ‘Peppermint Fresh’, one of his most popular shots taken above the Italian Amalfi Coast. However, it was where Eugene placed it that was most interesting: on the bottom of the famous Bondi Icebergs swimming pool!
“The Icebergs exhibition is a melting pot of my passions: aerial photography, Italy, the beach, Bondi, and large-scale prints,” says Eugene. “I pioneered aerial beach photography in Australia over 10 years ago and have always wanted to produce one of my aerial images publically in a huge format. Icebergs was a logical location choice and the closest replication of the famous Italian beach clubs on the Amalfi Coast, which has become one of my favourite locations to shoot.
“For this to be at the iconic Icebergs pool in Bondi Beach, where Aquabumps started 18 years ago, is really a dream come true. I started Aquabumps because of my passion and love of the beach and to share my images with more than 300,000 people daily all over the world – to be able to show them this will be pretty cool.” Eugene Tan’s documentary film of the making of his art installation will be launched on Canon's Stories website (https://www.canon.com.au/explore/stories) and Aquabumps’ channels.
The latest printed issue of Better Photography magazine is not far away and will be posted soon. It will also be on sale in the newsagents. However, for online digital subscribers, you can login and download the magazine right now!
Issue 87 content includes: