I just got back to the mother land and slumped into a chair after being in transit, which is always quite draining, and was stoked to find a few early Christmas surprises on the coffee table.
Mons Royale had sent me down some new product to try out. They are a new underwear and base layer company that produces stylish new age garments that are 100% merino wool. As a photographer I can be sitting around in the back country for hours on end waiting for the right light etc and this is the kind of gear you need. Thanks Mons Royale.
I spent some time crewing the streets of Queenstown with Sam Hanna at the end of last winter. He has been skating hard and killing it. Manual also turned up on the coffee table, and had a few shots I had taken in the Sammy interview. Go check it out
FLYING WITH STROBES
I am going to be hopping on a plan to the States in a couple of weeks with some large flash equipment. There are a few things you need to take into consideration before getting on a plane with this gear so you don’t end up being classed as a terrorist and getting in a whole lot of trouble far from home. Because you are carrying a generator the size of a car battery with cords inside a large black box it can look a little sketchy to the xray guys and customs officers.
There are a few things you can carry with you to make this part of your travel flow with not too much trouble. For the full rundown on what you need cheek out Dan Carr’s blog. But pretty much you need to take the fuse from the battery out, and print out IATA specifications from your manual, and a copy of the non dangerous goods sheet based on UN recommendations for lead-acid batteries. Its good to keep a copy on you, and a copy in with the flash equipment in case you are transferring and will not be with your gear.
Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you’re having a great time. Sit back relax and have a beer. I hope you all have an exciting and prosperous 2010.
My last week in the tropics has been a blast. I have been applying a large amount of sunscreen due to being in the water for most on the day. It has been nothing but snorkeling, surfing, jumping and trying to find some time to fit in a bit to eat.
Me and Jimmy after a leap off jump rock
Tim discussing the best back flip method
This is Jump Rock – it is a fun spot to get a thrill if you haven’t had any adrenalin flowing through you in a while. It is not very high but if you are after a little more of a hit you can go off the top of the fence.
The sea weed dance
This bit of seaweed almost looked like it was dancing. When I first got in the water to test my underwater case was good to go, this was the first thing that was in front of me going back and forth with the waves.
Me cracking a kina
We would go down and find kina (sea urchins) between the rocks to crack open. The groper and other fish would come in pretty close for some food once they smelt it.
This big groper was keen
My flat mate used this towel to block the light from waking him in the morning after the blinds had been taken down for cleaning. I hadn’t really noticed what was on the the towel until the light shone through it and as I was packing my bags once again it was a good little phrase to send me on my way.
So I’m heading back to NZ now to pick up some camera/flash equipment and enjoy my first Christmas at home in a long time.
I have wanted to take my camera under water for a few years now, but haven’t been able to justify the price of an underwater case as I don’t make my income in this field. However, I think it will be a handy addition to my kit and something I can get some new and creative shots with.
I came across Dan Himbrechts blog (a talented photographer from my field) and found he had done a review on the DiCAPac waterproof case. It isn’t a full blown case with all the functions, you pretty much can only use the shutter button, so its very limiting and you want to be careful when taking it out in rough conditions. I wouldn’t be taking my 5D Mark II out in it when when the surf is 6ft.
But for a case that’s only $150 AUD versus $2000 for a proper one with all functions, it’s a a good deal and a chance to get creative in a whole new world under the water. I can see myself using it alot and already have some ideas I can’t wait to try out.
I was pretty excited to take it out in the water the moment I got it, so my good friend Jimmy came around and we headed out for a snorkel around a small bay in Sydney harbor.
This is Jimmy pumped on the snorkelling
There were lots of these cool little guys everywhere
This guy wasn't stoked on getting his portrait taken
This shot reminds me of when you are struggling to get to the surface, you just make it and get half a breath in before the next wave comes crashing down.
If you’re interested in this underwater case check out Dan Himbrechts blog.
I will have some more shots from the underwater world from my last week in this tropical climate before heading back for the Northern Hemisphere session in the States.
I’m going for a wave, catch ya soon.
So we did the trip up to Booti Booti National Park last weekend in search of some waves. It was good to get away from technology (phone, net etc) for a few days and just chill out on the secluded beaches.
The ocean eating away at the land
A few beers back at camp after a big day
We set up camp and got up early the next day to check the surf. It was small but there was a really fun left just down the road in the next bay. I was just stoked not to be surrounded by twenty other surfers like in Manly.
Chad busting a little air
The man himself (the beast)
Chad rips a wave pretty good, he has some skills on that bit of foam.
Later that afternon I went out from the point where we were surfing for a bit of a fish while the rest of the crew went for another surf. The next thing you know a hammer head shark came right up to the rocks where I was fishing - I couldn’t beleve it. It was about 1.5m long and it would take a decent bite out of you. I tried to let the guys surfing know but they were about 50m away and couldn’t hear me. Luckily the shark just turned around once it got near to the rocks and headed back out in to the deeper water.
Me waiting for the next set to roll through with my 400mm in hand
We run into all sorts of wild life up there, as well as the shark, my friend just about stood on a snake and there was the local campground lizard hanging around.
I would love to spend some more time at some stage exploring the coast line around Australia, there is still so much so see.
Chad ripping another
I am on my Virgin wireless modem and we are crewing on the motorway. I didn’t think it would work, but it is cranking - stoked!
Long Reach peninsular from Butter Box
We are heading up the coast to Booti Booti, which is a good zone to get some waves and it’s in a National Park so its usually uncrowded. Hopefully there will be some good waves. If not we have fishing rods, a poker set, and a few bottles of wine.
Butter had some nice bazzers
In the last week we have had some really humid days, and when it gets that hot you know there is going to be a good lighting show in the evening, so I headed out to Butter Box to get a wave and I had a chance to get some shots of the storm.
Three lighting bolts shoot down just out from Freshwater
A single bolt shooting down to the waters edge
Some more lighting.
Hi everyone. I have been quite busy getting set up and adapting to my new home for the next few months, so I haven’t had much time to update.
It’s been a really fun few weeks with all sorts of things going on, from live concerts, surfing, parties, boat rides and hanging out around the bbq in the evening. Here are a few snaps from over the last week.
The opera house spikes
I have spent a lot of time using the trains, ferries and buses the last few weeks and am just getting used to the hustle and bustle of this busy city.
I went up to central coast on the search for some waves with my good friend Tim, but there wasn’t a lot of swell. Here he is snapping a little turn.
There is meant to be a much larger swell coming through tomorrow, so hopefully I will get a chance to get some decent surfing images and pull into a few heavy barrels myself.
Looking across Sydney Harbour just after a lightning storm. I was rushing to get the shot but just missed the lighting.
Getting the shot
I went to a NAS concert in the city the first weekend I was here with some friends. It was a blast. Here are some pocket camera snaps
My new boat - haha
I have just recently had a birthday and was stoked when a lens baby turned up on the door step. I have wanted a tilt shift lens for a while but haven’t been able to justify getting one in my field of photography as I didn’t know how much I would use it. After having a play around I can see myself having a lot of fun with my new lens. It’s quite tricky to work and this is one of the easier series to operate but I can see the potential for some very interesting images being captured.
I went out the other day and had my first play with it. Here are a few snaps from the Composer lens.
I took these photos from Bluff Hill in Hawkes Bay looking down on the port as all the workers were unloading the ships. They are massive machines they use but they look so small from way up there.
These two were shots were taken in the hills not far from my place. It’s a really nice place to chill out before I make my next plans.
Last week I did the trip back up to Turoa to hook up with Wayne from Groovstar and most of his team that flew in from around NZ and Australia. It was far from the best weather report I had seen, with a slow front planning on sitting right on top of us for the duration of the trip. However we managed to get two amazing days with no wind which is rare for Turoa. I had the task of shooting their 2010 new outerwear range and it is quite an impressive range. They have really stepped it up this year and I can see why they are doing so well.
Anyway the trip went really well, and we got a lot of shooting done. Everyone was having a good time and the guys at Groovstar really put it on. Here is a sneak peak at some of the samples and what went down.
Josh Clark at the wreckers
Looks like the new gear is waterproof
The corpses of cars from the 50s rusting away
We found this junk yard in the National Park half way between Turoa and Whakapapa. It was a pretty interesting place, almost something out of a movie, with a big Rottweiler guarding the entry. It ended up being one of the main spots where we shot portraits of crew modelling the 2010 outerwear range.
Behind the scenes getting the flashes set up to shoot Groovstar’s new range.
Joram busting a tail grab
There was a lot of wet weather days so we spent some days lounging in the Grand Chateau at Whakapapa having tea parties while the weather cleared.
Rastafarian fast plant
Keep an eye out for the new Groovstar range in 2010. To check out what the Groovstar crew are up to visit Groovstar.co.nz