Photo by Frank Gasteiger
Date: September 16th, 2011
Cate: Uncategorized

Tree Hugging – extreme

Tree Hugging - extremeITO apprentices at Outward Bound, Anakiwa





Date: May 15th, 2011
Cate: Editorial, Personal, Video

David Griffin on how photography connects us

Below is a fantastic TED Talk given by David Griffin, the photo director of National Geographic. David gives us a unique look at how National Geographic’s images come to be and he also explains the power of photography in general.
As David says, even the most average amateur photographers will take a few amazing pictures in their lives but a professional has to do it all the time.

It is a 15 minutes video and it is worth to watch it to the end.

Date: May 4th, 2011
Cate: Architecture, Commercial, Web-Design

APHomes website launched

The APHomes website launched today. Andrew & Michelle Pope, the owners of APHomes, have been building quality homes in Marlborough for over 20 years. They are proud to use 100% local suppliers and contractors and of course they decided to assign a local photographer to create magazine style photos for their advertising material.

We have been working with Andrew and Michelle for about a year and they love the images we produce. Sometimes the jobs have a very tight deadline of only a few hours until the images have to be delivered.
We work around around the builder who do the last bits and pieces, take some photos at dusk and do the post-production over night to deliver the images the next morning to the printer. And we never ever missed a deadline.

See some sample images below and check out the APHomes website for more photos and their houses and land packages and also check out their web developer Marc Newport and his stunning WordPress powered web-design.

APHomes - 6 Banksia Place

Date: April 25th, 2011
Cate: Editorial, Food, Portraits

Life in the land of milk and honey

A few days ago we got an email from Lisa Harper, saying:

“Thought you might get a kick out of the attached article (or part of it) from the biggest newspaper in Singapore that was published yesterday. Recognise the photo?!”

Lisa Harper - Singapore/The Straits TimesWe took the photo which is featured in ‘The Straits Times’ just a few weeks ago during a corporate portrait photo session with Lisa. Thanks to the article published, she is now fielding enquiries from Singapore.

Lisa is a farmer’s daughter and ex-scientist who is now a cheese-maker. She and her mother Julie run and manage Sherrington Grange, a large elegant farmhouse offering country accommodation and cheese making. Lisa’s brothers Hamish and Rob produce Manuka Honey.
Making cheese is something the Harper women have done for generations and Lisa’s cheeses are made from local Marlborough products; award winners and absolute delicious.
I am always curious when Lisa calls for a photo shoot of a new creation and the following cheese tasting becomes the highlight of the day.

Although beforehand Lisa told us she doesn’t like having her photo taken, she did do a wonderful job and for sure, she can say “cheese”.

Sherrington - Goat Cheese



Date: April 6th, 2011
Cate: Accommodation, Architecture, Commercial, Real Estate

Professional vs. Amateur

Affordable prices have put DSLR cameras in the hands of many people. You will find many parents toting around these large cameras, snapping shots of their kids, or snapping advertising pics for their business. The truth is, most don’t know how to use these cameras effectively.

Even worse, almost everyone has a friend, an uncle Bob, or knows someone with a “big” camera these days and entrusts them with once-in-a-lifetime events, like their wedding. The results are often disappointing. Uncle Bob is also great in shooting inconsequential stuff like commercial-quality photos for your company.

Remember, the images you present in your advertising, brochure, website, etc., do reflect the quality & appearance of your business.

Photography is much more than just having a “big” camera!

When you hire a pro photographer, you are paying for their time investment more than anything else. Many hours go into creating quality images and delivering a polished product that you will cherish. It is this time spent after the shutter is pressed that often makes the difference between just another snapshot and a great photograph.

Let’s take Real Estate for an example. Estate agents generally aren’t trained in photography. But they’re in the business of marketing property and try to sell a product worth hundred thousands of dollar with those photos. Photography sells real estate.
Buyers use photographs to decide which homes to see in person. Homes with poor photographs are often screened out of the selection process. So, attention desperate home sellers. Don’t want to lower the price on your house? Consider better photos ! Read more >>

Below are photos taken by a Real Estate agent and our photos (shot without flash lights). The agent’s images are first, ours are second.

Time the shoot favourable to the sun.

Elevation changes the point of view.

Use the ambient light to your advantage.

A general photography rule of thumb is the closer the subject, the better the photo. But in these photos you can see the impact of taking a few steps back (or using a wide-angle lens to give that impression). It gives the viewer more context and makes the place seem more spacious.

Level the camera straightens the verticals.

When the Real Estate agent saw our photos she said:

“It is hard to believe that it is the same house.”

Date: April 4th, 2011
Cate: Accommodation, Commercial, Tourism
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Autumn light

My wife thinks I am mad when she hears me saying “I prefer autumn and winter over summer.”
But the light is so gorgeous and I can take sun-set photos before dinner.

Image taken for Smiths Farm Holiday Park.

Smiths Farm - Holiday Park, Linkwater

Date: March 21st, 2011
Cate: Personal

Capture the moon

The moon came as closest it has been to Earth in 18 years over last weekend. Ken Ring predicted a major earthquake for Canterbury or Marlborough and nothing happened.

Why didn’t it happen ? Because my daughter Chiara captured the moon so that it couldn’t harm !

Shot handheld with Nikon D3s, 200mm lens and cranked up ISO setting.

Captured moon

Date: February 28th, 2011
Cate: Architecture, Editorial, Virtual Tour

Christchurch Earthquake

Last Tuesday the Christchurch community was confronted with a terrible disaster of immense proportions. We would like to convey our best wishes to those affected by this devastating event.

A while a ago I created a series of 20 Virtual Tours for the Christchurch City Council. Many of the buildings I captured are now seriously damaged or gone…

Date: February 14th, 2011
Cate: Accommodation, Architecture, Tourism, Virtual Tour

Google sees benefit in Virtual Tours

You may have seen it last week on the TV News. Google is now offering 360˚ Virtual Tours of the world’s top art museums.

If Google sees a benefit in Virtual Tours, you may should too !

A 360˚ Virtual Tour is definitely a great way to introduce new visitors to your website. And for past visitors, they can show their friends and family and relive the moment. A Virtual Tour really does allow a visitor to get as near to visiting your venue as is possible from their home.

Whatever your business – a hotel or function room, whether it is inside or outside, use a panoramic tour to show it in the best light possible. Think how important this is for a wedding venue, where the bride and groom will want to get a feel for their special day. Show your facilities off.

Adding a panoramic tour to your website will allow visitors to walk around. They’ll be able to do everything from zooming in, to virtually walking round your venue.

A panoramic tour definitely makes a location and your website more interesting and worth returning to.

Virtual Tours have been around a long time, but not many businesses truly understand the benefits they can bring. However, you do now! So now you understand just how 360˚ Virtual Tours can attract more visitors. A Virtual Tour definitely pays for itself.

As a sample, below is the Virtual Tour of the entrance to the Lake Timara Lodge – one of the country’s most luxurious and private lodges.
Click here to take virtual tours of the charming rooms at the Timara Lodge.

Check out a few of our Virtual Tours and see how they got embedded into existing websites:

Date: February 7th, 2011
Cate: Editorial, Photoshop Composing, Portraits

Garden Marlborough and WildTomato(s)

A few days ago, during a meeting with the WildTomato-Marlborough team, Jack Martin, editor and publisher of the magazine mentioned how fantastic my group-photo for the Garden Marlborough feature was and he got lots of great feedback for the image.

WildTomato - Garden Marlborough feature

The photo wasn’t an easy task. We had to take the shot at a particular day in September on a particular time, just before the volunteer committee meeting of Hunter’s Garden Marlborough team.
Bev Doole, who wrote the story, had requested from the committee to bring their favourite garden tool.

It was a grey evening with no sunlight to utilise and only a few minutes to get the shot in the box.
To light the group I decided to use a simple three lights set-up. Two SB-800 Speedlights, positioned behind the group and facing toward the camera to create a rim-light / hair light for the ladies and one SB-800 camera left as main light.
All lights were triggered by another SB-800, mounted on top of the camera.

The day after the shoot, I found out that the image would run over a double page spread and would need a 20 mm bleed in the middle. Sigh… thanks for telling me today.
So I ‘photoshopped’ the volunteer’s president, Viv Peters, a bit to the left to make room for the bleed. I also replaced her head with an image where the head is a bit more tilted.
It just looked more friendly. And because it was so much fun, I replaced a few other faces too.
Below is the original image. Find out how many faces got changed and get the change to win a … ;-)