Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Interview With Amelia Dowd

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

For her People I’ll Never Meet project of stealthy exposures from behind. Article coming soon.


1. Who are you and who the hell decided to give you a camera?
My name’s Amelia and I got my first camera when I was 10. It was a spice girls polaroid camera. I still have it, and use it.

2. Brilliant idea! Who did you steal it off?
My sister argues it’s hers. It isn’t. I maintain that.

2a: What’s your weapon of choice now, then?
I use, for this project, an old Pentax P30 i got from an opshop. And for this project I only use AGFA colour 400 expired film. Otherwise I shoot Canon DSLR.

Crossing the street

3. When was the last time your camera was smashed by someone who’s caught you out trying to take them from behind?
Never, I’m far too sneaky for that. I come in smooth and gentle, and they like it once I’m done. It’s like I was never there.

4. How do you choose your victims?
I go with my gut feeling. But it helps if they’re interesting somehow from the back (hairdo/backpack/hoodie/eyes in the back of head). Or if I find them attractive and am too shy to say hello. Which is often.

5. What happens when someone sues?
I run to Japan and start all over again. Under a fake name.

6. How many people have you posed for without knowing about it?
Too many. Mostly when drunk. I can only count because I’ve seen the results on facebook.

Old couple

7. Are you a ninja?
If you can count small, nimble and crafty as the defintion of a ninja, then yes, I’m a ninja.

8. You’ve made up silly little stories about each of these people haven’t you?
Sometimes. It helps in the knowledge that I’ll never, ever know them, that I create a little fiction for each. Maybe that helps me pick them, too.

9. Are people more exposed when they’re unaware that they’re subjects?
I think if you’re being followed and photographed without your knowledge, you’re very exposed. Especially if they’re moving.

10. I want to do this. Any tips for the budding strangertographer?
Get up early, or wait for sunset. That’s the best light, and people are tired in the morning and at night. They’re less likely to pay attention to you and there is bigger crowds. And emotion is more heightened because people are impatient and cranky and are trying to get somewhere. Go places you aren’t used to. Scare yourself a bit. Be brave, but most of all, be invisible.


High Dynamic Range Over The Balcony

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

Been a while since experimenting with any HDR photography.

Another attempt arises. Three shots of differing exposure on a meagre camera and only free software used.

Acceptable results.

New Farm Hill at Dusk

Boom Headshots!

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Every so often, you might find that a portable, graphical representation of your physical appearance is needed.

Was commissioned the other week to capture some headshot photos for Dion, a friend of a friend of mine so that he could apply for a position on a cruise ship. Went over and we had a light-hearted little snap session of about 300 photos, just on my little Olympus digital SLR. Of those 300, a few of them actually turned out ok.

Here’s some I prepared earlier, after a little adjusting and editing (and perhaps a touch of airbrushing).

Dion 1


Anyway, I’m in the process of putting together a portfolio, so contact me if you want some shots on the cheap/free.

On the Evolution of the Robert Mapplethorpe Photo Book

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

Dubious beginnings, a common trait of all good books, of ones worth remembering, worth recommending, worth reprinting, worth reproducing. We speak of both introductions and of origins. To introduce, our subject is what appears to be a book of photography by Robert Mapplethorpe, large and heavy, hardcover, nicely bound, and coming with one of those jacket-like cases you slide the book into — just in case you didn’t yet realise the book’s obvious value.

How it came to be here, sitting edgeways upon my floor, was that a girl from work asked the question if I had ever heard of the man, the photographer, Robert Mapplethorpe. I answered in the negative. The next day arrived this mass binding of pages and a warning about the material to be found between the two red pages, rather explicit gay bordering-on-porn imagery, the reason it was not to be handed around the office willy-nilly. Too large and bulky to carry, a good strapping to the floor of the Vespa saw it arrive home safe and sound.

I expelled a thought of wonder at who in their right mind would still buy a book of such massive expanse into physical existence. Flipped through the pages a few times, noticing the few celebrity likenesses the most and of course the overt homosexual content, one reason, I imagine, that our lender attracted a certain kinship to this photographer. Kinship, awe, and admiration, reason enough for this lofty purchase. That and a chance to strut it upon coffee tables when friends come to play, an aid to outward expression, or to lend to someone at work who will subsequently analyse its evolutionary origins in existence. Either way.

Tangible, an object, and replicable, an ideal subject. This photo book, still thriving it seems in an ever-changing environment, a fluctuating market, has evolved some very specialised traits that allow it to survive. It is big and well bound, suitable for showing off to friends; it has pretty pictures that when looked at correctly, in the right frame of mind, will challenge the viewer’s way of thinking about the word (we talking about art here); and it is about a quasi-celebrity photographer and so gives the reader some kind of knowledge about the history of society in which they are living. Other traits are common to virtually all books, such that it contains pages, a front and back cover, and is relatively portable. Perfectly fit for reproduction.

Designed? Surely not. This book evolved, dubiously, in minds, in markets, in existence, in this post, from its countless predecessors. It will continue.

Additional resources: Artsy

Photograph of a photograph of Arnold Schwarzenegger and a man in the tub

Photographer Required?

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

So I had this idea that I would like to get into a bit of photography, I mean, for more than just myself and a few shots for friends, just to try it out for a while. I have an Olympus EVOLT E-300 digital SLR and have experience shooting a few bands and weddings, but mostly I just play around trying to capture the light.

Anyway, just get in contact if you’d like to book a shoot for band shots, etc. Just getting some experience to start out with, then I might have to start charging.

In The Grass
Photo shoot for Hot Liquid Sex

Kidgell Street Night
A long exposure from the suburbs

Film Mode for Digital Cameras

Monday, April 14th, 2008

I do sometimes miss the good old days, days still early in the evolution of the consumer camera. A trip to the corner shop for a roll of film, loading it up and away you went with 24 or 36 chances to achieve perfect momentary photon capture. No instant review for the impatient snapper, and no willy-nilly shots aided into existence by the thought of a quick and easy delete. Wind and snap, wind and snap ’till the film’s exposed its last, then it’s off to the shop for development and the waiting game begins. The feeling you used to get when you got to see your photos for the first time was hard to top.

There is no question that digital cameras have revolutionised photography in the hands of the people, but in some ways it has also reduced the value and merit in hitting that shutter button. We’ve become a global community of trigger happy snappers, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but as I said before, I do sometimes miss the good old days.

So I propose a new feature for the digital camera, a feature I thought of when trying to deflect the volleys of “can I see it?”s and “let us have a look”s, not so much a feature but a way to alter the photographic experience, an emulation of the way things were back in the days of film. It would simply be a new mode that could be activated.

Film mode could include:

  1. A limit to the number of shots available, thus making the photographer think about each shot taken.
  2. No review available after an exposure, and no way to review shots until all the shots are used up. This could be handy if you’re sick of having to show people the photo after every shot.
  3. Limits to the automatic focus and shutter speed could be optional.
  4. For the real hardcore types the photos could be encrypted in a way that only photo print shops could decode, forcing you to get them all developed in one go.

Ok, I’ll see if I can think of some more and add them. And yes, I’m aware of the seeming silliness of placing such restrictions on cameras capable of so much more. It is meant to be a little tongue-in-cheek.

Optional “film mode” on a new digital camera design could be a handy marketing gimmick though. I’d buy one, or maybe I should just dig out my old 35mm right now.