Category Archives: Publications

2016 Annual Review

It’s that time of year again, where we get the feast on the best photographs of 2016 from all of our favourite photographers! I love going through people’s top 10 (or top 16) lists and love it even more when I see an image that I’ve somehow ‘missed’ from their feed during the year. I thought briefly about how I could shake things up, but figured that I would be making a change just for change’s sake. That has been our modus operandi this year ; that is, to consider why we are wanting to change the way we do things. If the change has a genuine basis to iron out a flaw or to encourage growth, than we’ve gone for it. If the change is merely because it’s what other people are doing and adding peer pressure to our creative processes, then we’ve tried to ignore it. If you’re here just to see photographs, then I thought I’d open up by sharing a video of our edited images to the beat of Grouplove’s ‘Itchin on a photograph’. If you want to see images in more detail, scroll below the video and hopefully, enjoy ūüėČ

January:

The undoubted highlight of this month was a one week trip to Tasmania with Luke Tscharke, Francois Fourie and Tim Wrate. We were supposed to walk the Western Arthurs but access was severed by devastating bushfires from which many parts of the country will never recover. Instead, we did a shorter hike to the Labyrinth and visited some local icons closer to Hobart. Locally, storm season gave some great conditions around Adelaide though the storms around here aren’t quite as speccy as in other parts of the country.

Mount Gould from The Labyrinth

Mount Gould from The Labyrinth

Tessellated Pavement as dawn cleared

Tessellated Pavement as dawn cleared

Secret Falls (well, not so secret anymore!)

Secret Falls (well, not so secret anymore!)

Marion Bay (where we went airborne and suffered a flat tire)

Marion Bay (where we went airborne and suffered a flat tire)

Western Arthurs from the air : Unfinished business!

Western Arthurs from the air : Unfinished business!

February:

This was a quiet month photographically as tends to be the case after a photography trip. I tend not to go shooting while going through the backlog of images from a previous trip. This was the trip video

March:

Around Adelaide, it definitely is a Mad March with the festivals in full swing. To suit the March madness, there were crazy skies one after the other! I managed to catch a couple of the lightshows along the coast but mostly, it was a case of being #dbreezied and just basking in that red glow.

One of many intense March evenings at Port Noarlunga

One of many intense March evenings at Port Noarlunga

And another ! (I shot this with Joel Dawson)

And another ! (I shot this with Joel Dawson)

April:

The highlight of April was a long weekend to Kangaroo Island. The weather was pretty wild at times which suited photography quite well. The changeable conditions meant that there was a moment of light around the corner. We based ourselves at Vivonne Bay and photographed the south coast areas. I also had a successful shoot at Lake Bonney during one of those precious weekends where the kids are sleeping over at grandparent’s ! The image of Lake Bonney has since been used by Nisi quite extensively as has a 15 stop image taken at Kingscote during our Kangaroo Island weekend. Autumn¬†colours were quite good this year though a little later than usual.

Lake Bonney at dawn : One of my contributions to Nisi :)

Lake Bonney at dawn : One of my contributions to Nisi ūüôā

Autumn Colors at Mount Loft Botanic Gardens

Autumn Colors at Mount Loft Botanic Gardens

The end of an amazing dawn at old Kingscote Pier

The end of an amazing dawn at old Kingscote Pier

Variable weather made for great conditions at the exposed Remarkable Rocks

Variable weather made for great conditions at the exposed Remarkable Rocks

Little Sahara on a blazing dawn

Little Sahara on a blazing dawn

The iconic Admiral's Arch

The iconic Admiral’s Arch

May:

Marianne had her first market where we tried to combine photographic prints of local icons with her pastel and watercolour art. There were literally no photographic sales while many greeting cards and assorted prints were sold. We definitely learned that these markets were not really an appropriate selling point for fine art landscapes and since then, Marianne has done two other markets successfully with just her artworks. I didn’t venture out locally too often save for one trip to Second Valley where I wanted to shoot from a different vantage point.

Looking for fresh vantage points of Second Valley

Looking for fresh vantage points of Second Valley

June:

The highlight of June was a 4 day trip to the Gold Coast, our first foray photographically. In that short trip, there were numerous experiences that we’ll remember. Dreamworld was the highlight for the children though our memories would be marred by a future tragedy which occurred there several months later on one of the rides we went on! It was a great opportunity shoot cityscapes, to visit epic coastlines, and last but not least, the beautiful forest scenes. The highlight for me was a half walk, half jog in Lamington National Park for a half day to visit its waterfalls. We’ll be back again some day no doubt!

Roaring seas at Fingal Head

Roaring seas at Fingal Head

First stop on my Lamington mission : Moran's Falls

First stop on my Lamington mission : Moran’s Falls

Last stop : Box Log Falls

Last stop : Box Log Falls

Cityscapes are lacking in our portfolio - I added a couple finally!

Cityscapes are lacking in our portfolio – I added a couple finally!

A quick visit to Springbrook National Park and the famous Natural Bridge glow worm cave

A quick visit to Springbrook National Park and the famous Natural Bridge glow worm cave

The gold coast from Currumbin - and a farewell!

The gold coast from Currumbin – and a farewell!

July:

Around this time of year, the rain starts to fall and the seasonal waterfalls come to life. One of my favourites is  Mannum Falls . You never know what you get with these falls as the appearances varies wildly from trickles to torrents! This year, with the heavier rains in late winter, the images I shot paled into insignificance in terms of flow when spring rains flooded the area. David Evans , David Post and I also partook in a cleanup day for photography hotspots visualised by Christian Fletcher. Port Willunga thankfully was already very clean before we took out the 1% mess down there.

Mannum Falls on my yearly visit - 2016 was a good one!

Mannum Falls on my yearly visit – 2016 was a good one!

Port Willunga : a very clean beach!

Port Willunga : a very clean beach!

August:

Without a photographic trip planned until late October I had a chance to release several instructional videos. I believe in giving back to the photographic community as all of my learning has been from free on line sources. As such, I created a series of free 2-3 minute tutorials (to capture the attention span of today’s social media viewing audience) that can be found on my youtube channel. To go with that, we also released a short video detailing how we achieve the ‘look’ of our images which tends to be a bright and vibrant feel rather than dark and moody. I did also enjoy a great morning down at Myponga beach . I also entered a few images into the Epson Panorama competition in the hope of breaking into the top 50 .

Myponga beach

Myponga beach

September:

Much of the weather this month was stormy and with steady rain. Adelaide had experienced double its usual rainfall by this stage which isn’t really saying much considering that it’s the driest capital city. Nonetheless, it did keep us indoors and planning for our upcoming talk at APSCON in October. We do like to be super prepared so we modified our workshop that we gave to the FOCUS group in 2015 to fit it into a 1 hour interactive session (delivered by me) and a 1 hour didactic session given by Marianne. Over the years, we’ve learned that the best presentations answer the ‘WIIFM’ ¬†(What’s in it for me) within the first few slides. I’ve found myself getting restless with presentations that don’t address the WIIFM at all and just meander along with no clear message.

Storms brought life to a local seaside waterfall trickling into the sea

Storms brought life to a local seaside waterfall trickling into the sea

October:

Pano award results were in! A couple of silvers and a bag of bronze for all entered images was again a what I considered a good effort given the quality of the entries but I did not break the top 50. Oh well, we’ll try again next year. After all the angst of preparation for APSCON, we did end up having a good time presenting to a very engaged audience who gave us great feedback. Our relationship with Nisi was a win-win (again) as two lucky attendees won themselves a V5 holder. Completion of our commitments was a huge pressure valve release for us and we could go to Canada with free minds! All was set to go , except for the expired passports which sat quietly, waiting until the last minute to assassinate our joy on departure day ……… Let’s keep things positive, we were only delayed 48 hours and still managed to have a great holiday with many wonderful experiences. In fact, there’s very little negative to say about the trip at all apart from our departure troubles.

Best scoring image with a Silver in the Epson Panorama awards :taken in 2015

Best scoring image with a Silver in the Epson Panorama awards :taken in 2015

Another silver award in the panorama competition

Another silver award in the panorama competition

November:

This month was clearly dominated by our trip to Canada and briefly to the USA. I’ve already been blogging each segment, so I’ve included some representative images. If you’ve been to New Zealand before, think Mt Cook National Park but all around you, all of the time. If you haven’t been to New Zealand or Canada, do yourself a favour one day and just take a drive through the pristine country . I’ll have to reflect back with time as to which I prefer , but this being the first trip to the Rockies has left me with the bigger impression for now. Here are some images which I took that have become favourites for now:

Muleshoe Lake off the Bow Valley Parkway

Muleshoe Lake off the Bow Valley Parkway

Clearing conditions at Bow Lake

Clearing conditions at Bow Lake

Whiteout snow at Lake Louise

Whiteout snow at Lake Louise

The light returns to our journey at Medicine Lake

The light returns to our journey at Medicine Lake

Glorious light at Pyramid Lake

Glorious light at Pyramid Lake

Post glorious light at Canmore

Post glorious light at Canmore

Kananaskis Country and Mount Kidd

Kananaskis Country and Mount Kidd

A fitting farewell to the Rockies on our last morning of shooting

A fitting farewell to the Rockies on our last morning of shooting

December:

There’s really nothing to add photographically this month . I have just been editing images from the last trip and keeping up with work and family commitments. I’ve tried my best to ignore the naysayers saying how awful 2016 was. Sure, a lot of crap went down this year, but surely a lot of good as well. The best thing about the ‘good’ is that you don’t have to look far to find it. There are good deeds, smiles, and joy around you all of the time and all it takes is for you to stop and notice it over and above the crazy events of the world. To round out the year, Marianne and I would like to say a big thank you to all of you who have been following us on social media this year and in the more distant past. ¬†We hope that in the future, we continue to provide some source of inspiration in particular to photographers who travel with family. And, for the first time, I’d like to say a big thanks to our sponsors, Nisi – without you guys, the Canada trip would not have been possible . ¬†(Wow, that was cool to use that ‘our sponsors’ line lol!). Also a big thanks to the many social media hubs and sites such as F-stoppers who have featured us during the year, Australian Photography Magazine for our ongoing article publications and Pikitia Postcards for being our best clients ūüôā ¬†Find the happiness in 2016 and may it stay with you and grow for 2017.

 

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Of Theft and Serendipity

As a photographer , how many times do you think your images have been stolen and paraded online without appropriate credit? Do you feel ripped off, that that particular image has benefited another while you have not reaped the rewards of said image? We know of many such images belonging to us that have been posted on other sites without so much as a link back or credit let alone permission to do so. The ones we know of have usually been reported to us by others who have happened to stumble across the image by chance. I suspect that this may be the tip of the iceberg. There was a time when we would name and shame every single one of these sites, demand a take-down or create polite but quasi-threatening emails. Then we grew tired, others would say complacent, to the point where these days we usually shrug our shoulders and simply join the site in an effort to control content. Is this a little too relaxed a viewpoint? I’d like to share a story which perhaps has changed our point of view slightly.

It all started in August¬†last year. An email from the editor of 500px blog contacted us with regard to writing one of those ‘A day in the life of…X…photographer’ features. We were excited. We weren’t going to be paid but heck, guys like Marc Adamus were doing this for 500px¬†so I figured , what could we lose? I then clicked on a few examples to see how people had framed their discussion. After a while, I realised that it was just the same theme with varying levels of epic photographs thrown in and varying levels of discomfort and hardship reported with doing the ‘landscape-photographer’ gig. You know what I mean, got up 3am , drove 2 hours with coffee on board, froze ass off at 5am waiting for light, nearly got disappointed , had epiphany when light BLAZED , ate at super secret awesome breakfast place only I know about close by, slept during day, did similar thing for sunset etc. We all know these hardships even if the general public doesn’t. We landscape photographers can all relate to it but did we, as ‘everlook photography’ ¬†really need to saturate the viewpoint any further?

I wrote back to the editor with a simple question. “Why don’t I just write something about photographing with kids instead?” Several days passed and I thought perhaps the idea was too frivolous but started writing the article anyway as something to post on our blog. Finally the email returned stating that they would love that article to go live and so the story had its birth.¬†¬†The original article in the link below received a¬†reasonable¬†reception in terms of blog responses but we were glad that we had sent¬†a message¬†out there that may inspire parents to take their kids out rather than feel trapped at home.

https://iso.500px.com/photo-taking-tips-for-photographer-parents/

500px article Read the rest of this entry

2014 Retrospective

The end of 2014 is upon us and we can all look back in the hope that we have achieved something throughout the year. This year has been quite a difficult one photographically but more importantly it has been filled with joyous non-photographic moments resulting from the birth of our second child Jaime and the ongoing adventures of our three year old Charlotte. In 2013, I had undertaken a ‘project 52’ but realised that this was probably not going to be a realistic aim in 2014 while adjusting to the new parental demands. In fact, I had found that during the weeks that I was lacking¬†photographic ‘mojo’ , doing the project was detrimental as I felt I was photographing for photographing’s sake rather than challenging myself in the right frame of mind. Despite not seeking many photographic opportunities, we were thankful to have a few fall our way with regard to commercial contracts (pikitia post cards, complete colour), publications and the opportunity to speak at events. ¬†We added a few images to our portfolio as well which is always pleasing! Now, on to the images!

January:

We took a short holiday to Innes National Park at the tail end of an oppressing heatwave and summer storms. It seems so long ago , yet I remember venturing out every weekend while we only had one child to contend with!

Lightning over Inneston Cottage.

Lightning over Inneston Cottage.

February:

The local outings continued but Marianne and I began to develop some anxiety with regard to the challenge of having two children. I am always reassured by the fact that billions of families before us have coped just fine with their children who have since developed into functioning , mature adults. Nonetheless, we arranged our first ever weekend away without Charlotte to give us one last ‘babymoon’. The location was Port Campbell on the Great Ocean Road where we witnessed some great displays of light.

Gibsons Steps Beach (DT)

Gibsons Steps Beach (Dylan)

12 apostles (ML)

12 apostles (Marianne)

March:

We had our first publication for the year in DSLR magazine’s reader contribution section. The unstable summer weather continued to provide opportunities for storm photography. Marianne by this stage was well and truly resting at 8 months pregnant.

Port Willunga Storm

Port Willunga Storm

Some of our images in  DSLR photography magazine

Some of our images in DSLR photography magazine

April:

Marianne had her series of images featured in the same segment of DSLR magazine. On April 5, Jaime entered our lives and things have never been more dynamic at home! The pitter patter of little feet will definitely soon be filling the house at all hours .

Jaime disguised as a photographic bundle of joy!

Jaime disguised as a photographic bundle of joy!

May:

Marianne’s image of Charlotte on my back was featured in SA motor magazine’s article about Eyre Peninsula. I managed to spend much of my parental leave with Charlotte to give Marianne a break at home with Jaime alone. The autumn colours were out in full force at Mount Lofty Botanic gardens this year.

SA Motor Feature: Gawler Ranges.

SA Motor Feature: Gawler Ranges.

 

Mount Lofty in colour

Mount Lofty in colour

June:

We took our first mini vacation as a family to Normanville for an extended weekend. It ended up being a very wild weekend of weather with limited opportunities but I had felt very eager to get out into whatever nature could throw at us! Jaime was 6 weeks and traveled well ; a good sign ūüôā

second valley storms

Storms lash the Second Valley jetty

July:

I had the opportunity to judge the amateur section of the Epson international panorama awards. One of our entries into the open section earned a place in the top 50 which we were very happy with. Local shoots were a minimum with ‘backyard calendar’ shots the flavour of the month!

17th place in the open nature category

17th place in the open nature category

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One of many ‘dbreezied’ moments of light happening when in no position to shoot a landscape!

August:

Canola is out in full force during September . Every year I try to make an effort to get to the fields around Adelaide but we only managed one very quick visit around Kanmantoo this year. We purchased an upgrade for our failing 24-70mm F2.8 lens which had been quite soft since inadvertent drop the previous year. The image below was taken with the 24-70mm F2.8 II lens which is an incredibly sharp lens (though very pricey).

Canola and blue skies

Canola and blue skies

September:

Much of september was spent organising an upcoming trip to New Zealand. I had one opportunity to venture our overnight and managed to get some great conditions for stars and dawn light.  I had the opportunity to speak to the Edwardstown Camera Club and gave a practical demonstration of photoshop editing.

Wheat fields near Kanmantoo

Wheat fields near Kanmantoo

Milky way at Second Valley

Milky way at Second Valley

October:

This was our big month photographically. Our trip to North Island was a successful one on several grounds. Firstly, we escaped the ill effects of seasonal child care bugs which Charlotte brings home. Secondly , we managed to visit many locations with our two children. Thirdly , we managed to split the photographic locations between us to bring home some images which were portfolio-worthy!

Cathedral Cove from the massive cave at low tide

Cathedral Cove from the  cave at low tide

Auckland traffic

Auckland traffic

Waitomo caves

Waitomo caves

Three sisters, Tongaporutu

Three sisters, Tongaporutu

Whitecliffs walkway

Whitecliffs walkway

Pouakai Tarn and Taranaki

Pouakai Tarn and Taranaki

Tongariro alpine crossing

Tongariro alpine crossing

Lush Whirinaki Forest

Lush Whirinaki Forest

Family friendly geothermal area at Kerosene creek.

Family friendly geothermal area at Kerosene creek.

November:

November was a real wind down month photographically where we spent most of our time editing images from the recent trip. In between, we photographed our children with the seasonal Jacaranda blooms along our local streets. Backpacker magazine also published our 2012 image of Lake Mackenzie as part of a feature of the Routeburn track. 500px featured an article of ours on their blog regarding travelling with children .https://iso.500px.com/photo-taking-tips-for-photographer-parents/ That article was subsequently stolen by ‘bored panda’ and went viral. This resulted in several press agencies wanting rights to the story which we ended up giving to Rex features. The article in its proper format has since been published in the Daily Mail that we know of and continues to be seen in random international online magazines in its bastardised stolen formats.

The Jacaranda Kids

The Jacaranda Kids

December:

This was our first Christmas vacation away with both sides of the family and we are pleased to report that it all went ¬†swimmingly well even if the weather wasn’t great for visiting the beach. We had our fill of cockle, seafood, roast and all manner of unhealthy foods before photographing the ends of the day when we weren’t too tired. In preparation for 2015, Marianne also did her first pet shoot !

Marianne's first assignment : Leon

Marianne’s first assignment : Leon

Adelaide's Victoria square

Adelaide’s Victoria square

Stars over Petrel Cove

Stars over Petrel Cove

Christmas eve at Port Elliot

Christmas eve at Port Elliot

 

What’s in store for 2015?

Marianne will be looking to establish photography as her part time career. We are hoping this will kick off and that she can continue this into the future with a focus on pet photography. We also plan to produce more video tutorials, ebooks and perhaps even run some workshops ! In April, I will be joining Rod Thomas for a trip to Karijini National Park and some time later in the year we may well be heading back to New Zealand’s south island! Stay tuned for more images¬†more blog messages and wishing everyone a productive 2015 ūüôā

Dylan & Marianne

View all of our edited images here in this video !