About Me

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

Monday, November 18, 2013

Recent portrait for James Cook University


For a number of years now I have been responsible for producing a series of images for advertising use for our local university here in Cairns - James Cook University, affectionately known as JCU.

One of the main reasons I love the work is the fascinating people I get to meet. The entree into lives and fields of study I would otherwise know nothing about.

I can't profess to becoming an expert in any of these things but speaking to experts in their field certainly helps me expand my knowledge.

The other thing I love is the challenge. Very often I have a very short period of time (my subjects are always really busy people) in which to figure out how I'm going to make their portrait exciting and vibrant whilst being different from the others we've done.

And they're often in the last place you would ever choose for a photographic portrait - like inside a tiny little cubicle of a server room with a whole bunch of pretty unattractive (to the untrained eye!) wires and doodads everywhere.

In situations like this my first instinct is to reach for some coloured gels. Colour can turn bland into fun. I firstly reached for a couple of blue gels and two flashes. One pointed at the server box in the foreground and the other pointed at my subject - Postgraduate student Adam Rehn.

With only blue flashes though, the problem then becomes that Adam looks like a smurf. You can see the stripe of blue down the left hand side of his face? His whole face looked like that! So to overcome that problem I enlisted the help of a third flash to the camera right - this one gelled with a slightly orange colour to warm up the tones on his face.

The two blue flashes were sitting on top of computer doodads (the technical term I believe), whilst the orange flash was on a light stand and I was shooting through a hole in the stands filled with servers. A very tight squeeze!

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