Posts filed under Photography

Kathryn & Peter's Wedding day 25th October 2014

At Poet Productions, we are always happy to do weddings, especially when they are for people who understand and appreciate the poetry of pictures. On the 25th of October 2014, Kathryn and Peter got married. Although I was there as the Photographer, I was also treated as a guest of the family. It is a rare occasion when that happens and it has been a delight and honour.

The family on both sides were extremely helpful and relaxed as they helped organise all my shots. Kathryn was exceptionally organised and if it wasn’t for her detailed itinerary, not only would I have been late, I would have been easily lost. I can happily say that the new Suine family are good friends of mine that I am happy to have a unique association with. It is rare, as a photographer and videographer for weddings that the family as a whole (not just one or 2 people) band together to ensure a smooth day, even if the day is packed full of events. It wasn’t until I was politely coerced to stop taking pictures and eat my meal that I realised how much consideration they all had for me to feel like a guest.

The day began at 9am, with my arrival at the Bride’s home, taking images of the girls getting ready. It was then off to the Groom’s home where it became very clear that putting on a suit was far easier than putting on an intricate wedding dress and doing up a design in your hair. After the Groom’s bother dressed the nephews, the men were ready and I made my way back to the Bride’s home for family and dress shots.

I was extremely impressed at the intricacy of the dress, as it needed some kind of knitting needle to be buttoned up. It really tested my skills and I was shooting at the limits of my skills; as the room was taken up by four people, a big wide dress, a bed, and study table which meant that to get some of the images to look good, I had to press myself into the wall and pretend to be as thin as paint. I was yearning for my studio lights, a studio hall and an entire week to do some of these images. But again, the family was so accommodating and I was able to get the shots that we needed.

The ceremony was amazing, with vintage Italian and French cars sitting outside the Church, a full mass and a very upset mother and father as one of the little boys started to charge the Altar and the Groom’s brother had to haul the young boy back to his seat. After the ceremony, because the sun was extremely high, as it was close to noon, there were so few places to take group images of friends and family, that we settled for the drive way. Armed with my favourite light source ever (a 60” Silver Parabolic Umbrella) and with the help of the Father of the Groom and the roof, I was able to get everyone in the picture, even if the driveway wasn’t ideal. We still got some amazing family photos though, and that’s what matters

After following two vintage Fiat’s, and a Ferrari Dino (yes, that’s right, a Red Ferrari Dino) to the lawns of Parliament house, we took some pictures of the bridal party and tried to capture the beauty of this amazing event and the lawns of our old Parliament House.

We then followed the Bride and Groom to where Peter proposed to Kathryn, at the National Carillon on Aspen Island in the middle of Lake Burley Griffin. It was a little windy, so I changed the umbrella from the 60” Parabolic to a 46” White Elinchrom Umbrella. After a few minutes shooting, a big gust came by and toppled my light stand and my flash, the radio, the stand and umbrella flew over the bridge and I was lucky to have caught it in time after frantic pointing and shouting from Peter and Kathryn. Thanks for saving my gear!

This location was beautiful to shoot at. It was really hard to get the lighting right, until the sun just BARELY dropped behind the Carillon creating this beautiful and contrasty halo around the top of the bell tower. The sky was pretty much perfect, and with a beautiful and naturally photogenic couple, the shoot was easy.

The Reception was beautiful, the tables were beautifully arranged, with gorgeous fairy lights behind white mesh curtains along the walls. They made for perfect backgrounds. The cake was in itself a work of art and took my interest immediately as I walked in. What did worry me was how dark the hall got, especially when the band, Special K, began to play. The main lights were turned off, the ceiling was too high to bounce light off it, and now I was stuck with a massive dilemma – Do I stick my flash on my camera or do I keep using it off my camera… I bit the bullet and put my light on my camera, set the flash to ETTL (auto) and with as much diffusion paper I could stick on the end, I started photographing the dance floor and eventually shot the first dance, garter and bouquet toss as well as the farewell.

The images weren’t as good as one would get in a well-lit hall, but what I did get was a very dreamy set of photos. Dark, with blurry yellow lights everywhere; the party went on from 5pm to 1am (some stayed till 5am) and I think I was able to capture the blur and fast paced energy the party had for the evening. Everyone had so much fun!

When the night ended, I contemplated on how the energy of both families pushed me to keep going for 16 hours straight. It was amazing how much energy and happiness they have being together and celebrating something as amazing as Kathryn and Peter’s wedding day.


Posted on November 22, 2014 and filed under Photography, Wedding.


Leica M

The new Leica M (type 240) is probably the most rewarding camera I have ever used and have had the opportunity to have a considerable amount of time with. It is, to date, my favourite and most desirable camera available on the market.

Leica is a strange brand. Unlike Ferrari, Bently and the like, Leica is a luxury brand that is ridiculed by those in the profession, heralded as the bastion of photographic elitism, or brushed aside; but at the same time, it is used successfully, perhaps even better than other brands in the field. That being said, Leica is a difficult camera brand to learn, as it is almost completely Manual in function and for its price, you pay the same price of a flagship camera from Canon and Nikon but for a fraction of the features available.

To continue the Luxury Car analogy, Leica is a Ferrari, with just tyres, seats, an engine and the frame. Not only is a Leica stripped back, it takes it to the point where it can become frustrating and I begin to long for some kind of Automation. Unfortunately, the Leica can be seen as a Bently, extremely luxurious, dearly expensive and losing its mystique - because people who love cars don't give Bently the same kind of awe as it did Fifty years ago... Could this be the same for Leica too? I guess their current sales of the M Rangefinder is reassuring the brand will not be going anywhere, but I question if Leica really actually cares about its heritage, or just the 'shiny' heritage. There is definitely no shortage of disgruntled Leica owners and ridicule in the industry.

Either way, I have followed the famous red dot, and I appreciate the legacy, but as a new user, I demand a little more than just legacy, I also want value. Time will tell when Leica will also trade legacy for value... The M represents a step to the later, they traded a little bit of legacy for a truly Digital camera. Unlike the M8 and M9, the M represents Leica understanding the need to survive. Sales, for now, have proved them correct.

Australia Day 2014 Queanbeyan - Scruffy Puppy

What upsets me the most about Leica is that it doesn't forgive bad composition, does not forgive poorly selected settings and most of all, having a Leica in your hands as a new user, adds to the pressure to produce excellent images. This is the teaching I needed 10 years ago when I took up Photography seriously.

Australia Day 2014 Queanbeyan - Man recognises the Leica Red Dot

I had always believed I was a good photographer until I had to shoot an event with a Leica, and it was difficult. Out of the hundreds of shots taken, only a handful were useable and I knew at that moment, I relied too much on technology, just as almost 99% of photographers out there do as well. It's hard to admit, but when you are forced to not only compose, expose and shoot with nearly no assistance at all, that is when all those years in school, the years of experience, all the accolades given to you as a photographer for your quality work, reminds you that its not the camera, its you... You took a bad photo. It's an exhilarating experience and one I will expose myself to often in the future as I plan to master the craft of manual photography. I have relied on automation for far too long.

Australia Day 2014 Queanbeyan - Bored

It is in that one moment, that moment I realised I nailed that shot, took that one image that I desperately worked for that made me realise that I had scored one extra mark in the test. When that image is earned and earned well, that is where, I believe, the Leica brand shows its true colours and qualities that has made it unique and the only living brand that has stayed true to its roots. The image is not only sharp, its probably some of the sharpest images I have seen; quality I thought only capable by Photographers hired by magazines, but its there, with noise replicating grain-like structure and colours I have only seen in Kodak Portra 400 or Fuji Velvia. Unlike an SLR, I can still see the image taken, I can easily envisage by sight only if I know I captured the shot, especially when I know it will not arrive again. The scene through the viewfinder is fluid, and I finally understand why Henri Cartier-Bresson meant when he said that his Leica was like an extension of his eye. Putting a Leica to my eye was almost placing a filter with 35mm frame lines to see the world in. It is truly a beautiful experience, and one I wish I can share with more people through this site and through my work.

Sir Pepi

A Ring

Posted on February 23, 2014 and filed under Photography.