Tag Archives: andrew croucher
Jane Bronwyn and I met at a previous collaborative photo-shoot where we captured some themed glamour shots for her Everchange clothing line and to improve our portfolios along with a few other designers, models and hair and makeup artists (See my previous Day of the Dead [Dia de los Muertos] post). She had recently asked me to photograph her new ‘Artistic Dimensions’ collection, I was honoured and grateful for the opportunity to say the least. In my humble opinion, her creative designs are an infusion ranging from raw, gritty but glamorous and chic with a bit retro and contemporary (See the Everchange collections here). Photographing her designs are fun and interesting, they are stylish and look fantastic in real-life and on camera/computer.
The photo-shoot took place at the White House Institute of Design using their white-walled industrial-chic style catwalk room as a studio and then later on we went for a short walk (painful for the models, who were in high heals) outside for some location shots in the late afternoon sun. We settled on a location that had a lush wall of climbing evergreen plants. The wall made an interesting back drop for the models to do their thing.
Setup and gear
I got to use different light sources and locations to achieve different looks for the 4 gorgeous models and their ‘Artistic Dimensions’ outfits. All of the shots in the studio used natural light for back (rim) light mixed with the indoor cool-white lamps, while the outdoor shots needed a reflector to bounce the late afternoon sun to fill-light onto the models.
My one and only Canon 50D was the weapon of choice, with the battery-grip (which is always on there), it was in-valuable because of all the portrait-oriented shots I required to take, and made it much more convenient for setting the manual controls. The lenses I brought along were the Canon 16-35mm F2.8L and my Canon 70-200mm but the 16-35mm stayed on the camera the whole time because I was doing alot of full-body shots and didn’t have enough space to use the 70-200mm (112-320mm on cropped camera) nor the time to change lenses because we were on a tight schedule and I wanted to keep the shots consistent.
On-camera and wireless off-camera speed-lights were used but I wasn’t too successful with those shots as they cast undesirable harsh shadows and I preferred the softer natural and available light, opting to raise the ISO for the indoor shots.
During the outdoor shoot, the sun was behind the evergreen wall, therefore casting a shadow and requiring the reflector to bounce the late afternoon sun onto the subjects. While I was doing the shooting, we had a volunteer assistant (one of the model’s friends) hold up the reflector for me. we tried the silver side and the effect was too metalic and shiny, then we tried the white side and it was unnoticeable, because where my assistant had to hold the reflector was too far away to light up the subjects. Eventually I chose to use the gold side as this gave a rich warm-colour cast onto the green leaves and models skin. At times the effect of the colour cast was too strong and made the post-editing process a bit longer. This required desaturating some yellow and orange colours from the overall image to balance out the tones.
You can see that I have chosen a few different post-editing styles to showcase my diverse skill set, from contemporary editorial to classic black and white. Some colour accenting black and white shots were used too, but I’m not sure if the client will like it. I really like all the styles presented here. And it will be up to the client to let me know which style I should do for all of them, or make some adjustments or simply keep them the way they are.
Designer: Everchange by Jane Bronwyn
Models: Katrina-Leigh Beasley, Rebecca Marie Zetterlund and Jasmine Hilder.
Melbourne Cup is an annual horse racing event in Australia, one that is so heavily invested in that it is touted as ‘a day that stops the nation’. Bars, clubs, hotels, workplaces and houses televised it, I personally could care less about gambling, horse racing and the getting caught in the hype. But watching and capturing the moments and reactions of those that did have some investment in this event made me excited too. It was contagious!
A spectrum of emotions experienced ranging from anxious anticipation to elation and celebration. The room was certainly alive and filled with cheer during the main race.
While most patrons lost their bets, some won their money back or made a little more, only 2 patrons picked the winning race horse and lots of loot.
Because The Vault Hotel is located in the CBD of Sydney. The patrons consisted of business people. The Vault Hotel had put on a special event for nearby organisations to have work functions and the women got dressed up, wearing their cocktail dresses, big, bright and bold hats and luscious red lipstick. Lunch was catered for while the races were projected onto the wall for the spectators. There was around 7 large groups while walk-in patrons turned up later towards the start of main race.
Because of the nature of the work functions, a lot of people didn’t want their photos taken. Nor did I want to interrupt them during their lunches. Some groups snuck-out of work and didn’t want their incriminating photos taken and posted on The Vault’s website for the fear of their bosses catching them out later.
This was a challenge for me because there were times I felt like a pest and I also didn’t want to dampen the patrons experience at The Vault, but I also needed to do my job, so I resorted to subtle candid and posed shots of the groups that allowed me to take pictures of them. After the main race had finished and the crowd was hyped up from cheering and celebrating, they were more open to photos.
What I took away from this experience is that a lot of times you will get rejected in these environments, people are a bit camera-shy during the day (or during work hours) and just want to enjoy their time out without the paparazzi invading their space (and that’s completely understandable), whereas in night events, people start the night camera-shy but after having a few drinks, they usually can’t get enough time in front of the camera!
You just have to shoot what you can without upsetting anyone.
A note on the gear used for this event: I packed very light because I knew it was going to be crowded so moving around with a backpack was not feasible. I took my trusty ‘gripped’ Canon 50D, a Canon 16-35mm f2.8L lens and an on camera Oloong SB690 speedlight packed into my medium Lowepro Toploader Pro AW 70 holster bag. In hindsight, I could’ve used my Canon 70-200mm for even better candid shots.
The Day of the Dead is a Mexican cultural and religious day/s of remembrance, prayer and celebration for the family and friends that have passed away, in connection with Halloween or All Hallows’ Eve, this event takes place from the 1st of October till the 2nd of November. Offerings and previous possessions would be placed on an ‘Altar of the dead’ or at their grave sites, such as alcohol for the adults, toys or ‘little angels’ for the children, food and various flowers are gathered to attract the souls of the dead to eat the ‘spiritual essence’ of the offerings.
This became the theme of a creative photo shoot held at Studio 1A in Marrikville, Sydney, on the 27th of October which involved a collaboration of numerous talents from various industries. Clothing designers, stylists and the models brought and made garments and items for the costumes, hair and make-up artists created looks to suit the models (Awesome Sugar skull makeup designs), props were brought in by the people involved, the studio owners and management created the opportunity and provided the facilities (Thanks Alex Ron, Pania Newport and Christopher Getts), the models posed and the photographers took pictures, everyone’s conceptualisation of The Day of the Dead theme came to a great final outcome with many great photos taken. If you are looking for ideas on how to recreate the Day of the Dead theme, with makeup, hair, costumes and other designs, take a look at what a hand-full of creatives from diverse talents can do together.
Here are my day of the dead pictures from this experience, Enjoy! (more photos will be uploaded as I finish them so stay tuned).
Happy Halloween and Day of the Dead!!!
Another place I call home, so many of Sydney’s landmarks can be seen from here including (from left to right) St. Mary’s Cathedral, Centrepoint tower, Fort Denison, QVB, Sydney Opera House, Anzac Bridge, The Rocks and Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Xizha Watertown – Venice of the East
A picturesque ancient water town in Wuzhen that has more than 1300 years of history, built south of the Yangtze River, these canals divide the town into 6 districts.
Delicate wood carvings and stonework decorate the bridges, streets and buildings.
A town rich in culture that can be seen to this day, with unique food and various folk festivals, it is also the home of Chinese literature, many famous poets and calligraphers moved here to pursue their dreams.
Top of The Peak!
It was a 3km hike from the tourist area of The Peak to get to this location where the telecommunication towers of HK are. The elevation is about 554m above sea level, but not the highest point of HK, to which Tai Mo Shan holds that title. Here can be seen views of Lamma Island, Central, Victoria Harbour and the surrounding islands.
The air was so fresh up here! People here were enjoying the sights, hiking, chilling out and doing tai chi and taking pictures. I was thankful the sky was so clear after a typhoon blew all the smog and clouds away for my photographic expedition.
I took this shot from The Bund, over looking the Hangpu River onto the stunning Pudong district skyline.
It’s not often we get a clear day in Shanghai! Pudong is usually covered in smog and fog.
It was summer holidays and the city was packed with mainland Chinese tourists, all wanting to get shots of this magnificent view.
My favourite shot of the day, sadly the actual Chongyuan Temple in Suzhou (which houses China’s largest Quanyin Statue) was closed for re-construction.
It’s been around for 1,500 years so I’ll forgive them for closing it during my holidays there!
In a short 30 minute window I had to capture as many quality shots of the Chongyuan Temple grounds. This spot caught my eye as I was jogging past it, which had a nice warm sun-lit pagoda showing off its beautiful colours and had a calming and meditative feeling. I decided to do a 9 shot panoramic capture to create this image.
Harmony at the Chi Lin Nunnery
The Chi Lin Nunnery is a large Buddhist sanctuary situated in Diamond Hill, Hong Kong.
The 33,000 square meter complex features an all wooden construction using Ancient Chinese techniques dating back to the Tang dynasty. No nails used!