About Me

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I'm a Cairns, far north Queensland, Australia professional photographer specialising in travel, editorial and environmental portraiture.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Cherry Blossom book project 5

As I was thinking about what I'd photographed that night I came to realise that I didn't really have much in the way of the girls interacting with the flowers.

Seeing as it was the cherry blossom festival I knew we needed some close-ups of the blossoms themselves. Shiori was busy with school stuff so I stole Haruna for a couple of hours and we took a walk along a river near her house where there was a long grove of cherry blossom trees.

I wanted to photograph her up close and personal with the trees. I started with a wide-angle lens so that I could get in nice and close for a sense of intimacy. As you can see it gives a sense of being up close with the flowers, but the trees in themselves don't look so spectacular.

I then got Haruna to hold a blossom up for me so I could grab a portrait. Again you can see the flash here - look at the reflection off her glasses. If I had a chance to shoot this again I would have taken my flash off camera and lit her from the side but that's OK.

It's a nice cheery portrait with a lovely blue sky. The hair sticking up actually looks like a real portrait of a kid rather than a carefully manicured image and this ended up being the front cover!

I had the extra images I needed and we were headed off when I looked back over my shoulder.

And this was the view that greeted me. Have a look at the image at the top of the page. That's what happens when you shoot a row of trees with a wide-angle lens. This is what happens when you shoot it with a telephoto.

Even though they're quite far apart from each other they look really bunched up and as a result you get a blur of bright pink. A narrow field of view means that you don't see the sky above, the apartments on the left or the river on the right. The whole viewfinder is full of blossoms. So I had Haruna run back down and then walk back along the path we'd just come.

And as they say in the movie business, that was a wrap. The publisher loved the images and they came out as I'd hoped. Bright, airy, full of life and very colourful. Every photographer has a certain style whether they know it or not. It influences not only what you photograph but how you photograph it. I tend to be pretty happy-go-lucky and the eternal optimist. Hence my pictures are often very bright and happy. Lots of blues and greens and happy colours. And that's how the book turned out as well.

Like I said it was one of my most fun jobs ever and I am eternally indebted to my family for helping me out so much. Not only did Terumi cook all the food, Mr N do all the driving and the girls do all that posing for me but they did it with a smile on their face and for that I say thankyou.

See you when we come up next year!

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