This is one of those things that I’ve been meaning to get around to for a while now, and with all my recent preaching about springtime and new beginnings etc, I needed to take my own advice and get on with updating my portfolio.
So I’ve moved some things around, taken out some images and add some new work from the previous year.
I like to do this at least once a year. It just keeps things fresh and evolving, and I’d like to think my newer work is better than my old work. It also gives me the chance to compare and eveluate if and how my photography has improved over the year.
Please check out the updated galleries by clicking here.
Hailing from Zimbabwe via New Zealand where he gained a Diploma of Photography, Fransisco de Souza has travelled to many developing countries in Africa, the Indian Subcontinant and South East Asia. Fransisco works with non government orginisations and his work reflects his strong human interest and passion for story telling.
Fransisco’s images are largely photojournalistic in style and he has a talent for depicting people going about their daily routine, giving the photos a wonderful sense of place. These images are exuisite exercises in timing.
I also really love the huge images on his website that allow you to really take in the details, expressions and emotions of his subjects and draw you in to their stories.
I thoroughly recommend spending some time browsing through Fransisco’s galleries of India, Indonesia and Vietnam amongst others. Check out his website HERE.
After a long, dark and wet winter here in Melbourne the weather is finally starting to change. Days are getting warmer and flowers are starting to bloom. I could harp on for hours here about new beginnings etc, but suffice it to say that this really is a great time of year for making plans and being inspired. The warmer weather makes you want to get out more often and shoot. Just for the fun of it as much as anything else. And as we all know, the more you shoot, the more you learn and improve your skills. The days are getting longer too, which leaves more time for photography.
So use your time to get that project done that has been dragging on, or plan a new project, or projects knowing that you will have those extra hours to work on it. Shoot the many festivals that happen in spring and throughout summer or the blooming flowers in the gardens if that’s what you love to shoot. Shoot the wonderful sunrises and sunsets that happen at this time of year, and shoot all the ideas you had over winter that you didn’t shoot because of the rain or gray skies. Become inspired and fall in love with photography again.
About this time each year I like to look back over what I’ve achieved over the past year and mark myself against the goals I set myself the year before. Sometimes this is an encouraging process, reconfirming that things are on track. Other times it acts as the kick in the butt that I sometimes need to remind me that I need to work harder. Every time I think how the year has flown by and how little time we actually have to do what we love. The lesson I re-learn each year: Do it now, because you never know when you might get another opportunity.
Ok, enough pontificating. I’m going to take my own advice and get back to work now.
Confession: I have trouble with focus. No, I’m not talking about any type of ADHD condition (although that might also be an issue, but beside the point here). I’m talking about the act of making sharp photos. About what seems like the never ending struggle to make the camera’s focus system behave and see what your seeing. There is nothing more frustrating thing in photography than looking at the little image in your review screen and thinking you have something great and then finding out it’s too soft or completely blurred once you upload and view in on a large computer monitor. There are a few techniques I’ve learnt that help to improve my chances of making sharp images that are usable. I’ve also learned to lower my expectations of myself and not expect every single image to be pin sharp and perfect. Because no matter what the professionals say, no one gets it right every time.
If your subject is stationary and you have time, you could try auto-focusing and then setting the focus to manual mode before pressing the shutter. When you do this, the camera keeps the focal setting, allowing you to make several photographs knowing that as long as you don’t move the camera, your subject is in focus. This is a great way to shoot landscapes where you might take dozens of frames from the same angle over a period of time.
Moving subjects are more tricky. The way that works for me when shooting moving subjects is to use back button auto focus. Most cameras these days have this feature and it may be called something else depending on the make and model of the camera. Essentially it is what it says on the box. A button on the back of the camera that allows you to focus on your subject, rather than the traditional press the shutter half way to focus and fully to shoot technique. The advantage of this is that it separates the act of focusing from the shutter release and avoids the focus jumping from your subject to the background or other object when you press the shutter fully as can happen with some cameras. Using this in combination with a continuous focusing mode allows you to capture fast moving subjects such as cars or sports, or to capture a sequence of shots of a moving subject.
Still, don’t expect to get every shot pin sharp. That’s just putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. Remember, this is supposed to be fun.
Williamstown is a historic part of Melbourne with a strong maritime and transportation history, being situated where the Yarra River meets Port Phillip Bay. Once it was Victoria’s major cargo port with ships unloading their cargo to be transferred to trains and transported all over Australia.
Today Williamstown is one of Melbourne’s more affluent suburbs and gears itself towards visitors with an array of cafes, restaurants, gallieries and accomodation.
Here are a few nerdy Williamstown facts:
Williamstown was named after King William 4 of Great Britain
It has a population of 14,200
Williamstown was a popular stopping point for many on their way to make their fortunes in the Victorian gold fields in the 1850’s
Australia’s first telegraph began operating between Williamstown and the city of Melbourne on 3 March 1984
Being only 8km from the city centre and set on a curve in the river, there is a wonderful view of the CBD from across the water and this is what I wanted to try to capture. I set up on a warm night in late afternoon with the idea of photographing a view of the city’s skyline with the boats in the foreground to include a bit of Melbourne’s history. Kind of like Melbourne past and present. Here are a few of the better ones.