Sunday, May 30, 2010

drastic plastic

Having been intrigued by the claims that one of these 'toy cameras', made of cheap plastic and dodgy optics, could take photos that had buckets of built-in charm, I decided to see if they would work for me too....

When it comes to these plastic bodied toy cameras, the usual suspects are Diana, Lomo and Holga. Other makes/brands are out there, both new and second-hand, but the big three are purposefully made to be dodgy. Think bad vignetting, overblown colours and 'your guess is as good as mine' focusing. The Diana takes 120 film, which is still popular, and easy to get developed.

When you're using film, you don't just snap away like with digital. Each load just has between 12 and 16 shots, so you make sure what you aim at is worth it. You also can't see how the image turned out. So each film is a big experiment. Did you guess the light right? Did you keep it still, or will there be blur? Did you wind it on enough, or will pics overlap?

Of course, if you get something 'wrong', it may turn out all for the best! The whole ethos of these cameras is serendipity. What ever will be will be. Street level art with a click.

When I got back the developed film, I thought there was one good image from it. It had balance, some expected bad lighting, and not true to life colours, it looked like a natural toy cam pic, a pleasing blend of not-quite-right.

Then I had another peruse through the failures. And came across 5 more winners :)
These had overblown colours, and some overlapping of photos, along with the darkened corners from bad vignetting. Very cool....

Here are some small samples. The full sized images, suitable for printing/framing will be going up on my red bubble site for public sale.

Friday, May 21, 2010

All Your Base (Are Belong To Us)

The management at Yarra Valley FM radio asked me if I wanted a second time slot for another show. "Is the Pope German?" I replied. After a few blank looks, I made it simpler for them, "Yes" I said :)

Now I just had to think of what sort of show, and what to call it (A very important point for us marketing/designer types).

The outgoing show was aimed at older folk, and featured the sort of records that gather dust in every op-shop. "We want it pumped up a bit" said the management.

That gave me a general direction, but no specifics. This required a bit of thought...
I facebooked friends for suggestions, and was pleased with the response. Thank you fb fans :)

Then I went into my think-tank.

Now, my think-tank is a solitary place, a place where my thoughts can free-flow, swirling through layers and levels of my consciousness that are usually hard to reach. My think-tank is a very deep, very hot bath.

And then it came to me... 'Pumped Up, a bit of Energy'... YES!

It will be christened "All Your Base", with intro music found ~here~ (by The Laziest Men On Mars) and have sounds from the likes of Albert King, Ben Harper, Billy Thorpe, Blues Brothers, Springsteen, Chain, Chris Wilson, Cold Chisel, Creedence, Daddy Cool, Bowie, Deep Purple, The Doors, Eagles, Elmore James, Fats Domino, George Thorogood, Jerry Lee, Hendrix, John Lee Hooker, John Mayall, Mellencamp, Cash, The Kinks, Led Zep, Lloyd Speigel, Neil Young, Nick Cave, Ray Charles, Rich Harper, The Stones, Status Quo, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Suzi Quatro, Thin Lizzy, The Troggs, ZZ Top and of course Bob Dylan.

I'll even through in some modern stuff that I like :)

People also like hearing local items, so I'll be arranging interviews with local groups and identities.

The show is scheduled to start on Tuesday June 1, from 3 pm to 5 pm. It will be a fortnightly show.

You can hear it steamed live on the internet too from ~here~

And I'll be taking requests... so leave a comment with some music you'd like me to play...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Use your head!

Sometimes I need to be beaten about the head with a truth before it gets to sink in....
I can imagine God repeatedly hitting me with a bible verse while saying "Do ya geddit now? Do ya geddit now?"

Sometimes I'm too busy 'doing' to look around at what's actually happening. And poor management of a task can lead to needless suffering. Whether its mismanaging time, people, resources or money, doing good can be done badly.

Moses had the same problem. In Exodus chapter 18 we see him getting down to the daily grind, shuffling off to his outdoor office, where a long queue of people waited for him to hear each and every dispute they had. Moses then had to settle each dispute in a manner that didn't excaberate the problem. This went on day after day, as Moses thought that was the only way to be fair to all those people who followed him.

It took the wisdom of his father-in-law to finally get Moses to look at things in a better light. "The thing that you are doing is not good" said Jethro to Moses.

Now I'm sure Moses was a bit miffed by that. He'd be thinking "I put in 14 hour days sorting out the problems of all these people, I work hard every day to keep the peace, to make life easier for thousands, and you say I'm not doing good!"

Then Jethro gave his reasons: "You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people, the task is too heavy for you. You cannot do it alone."

Luckily for Moses, Jethro didn't just give him a critique of his work style! Jethro then gave Moses an answer to his problem: "Select out of the people able men... let them judge the people.." Spread the load Moses, entrust others to take the burden.
Moses was saved from a case of massive burn-out by taking Jethro's advise.

I've been sucked in at times to taking on too much, to believing I needed to carry the weight of the world on my own. This is folly. Even Jesus choose people to help him.

How are you doing right now? Are you doing too much? Are you delegating some of the load? Are you being wise with what you can do?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Digital Life Expo 2010

With a title of Digital Life Expo, you'd think things like 'Second Life' or 'World of Warcraft', but no, it's all about digital photography and photo imaging.

And its gonna be BIG. Held at Jeffs Shed from June 3 to 6. Its full of conferences with the big names in Australian photography, and a Trade Expo to catch up with all the latest hot gadgets and gear.

I'll be going to see what's available with lenses, tripods and cameras, but there's also printers, photo books, lighting, paper, flashes, colour management tools, software, frames and albums.

Get online at to find out all about it, and of course, how much it will cost!

I've been posting
my latest lot of images from my country trip and Logan Pub car show, so you can catch up with them here, and they are all for sale as framed or unframed prints, as well as cards.

Mix and Match - I'm currently experimenting with mixing my cameras and lenses - like trialling a Holga fisheye attachment on my Nikon digital, and a Nikon digital pin-hole lens on my old Olympus OM-1 film camera. Results are looking promisingly weird :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Logan Pub Car Show Pics

Perfect weather greeted us over the weekend for the Car Show at the Logan Pub, where around 12 beautifully restored hot rods and show cars were displayed.

Logan itself is a strange place... If you take away the Pub, there's a few farms, and a dry creek bed. That's it. However, the Pub has defied logic and become famous. It's won awards, been featured in books and newspapers, and carries the spirit of the outback pub into this century. Well worth a visit :)

I took some vintage and plastic film cameras with me, and the films will be a while getting developed etc. So while that's happening, here are some shots from my digital Nikon to keep you all happy. Higher resolution photos are being uploaded on my red bubble account.

While I was there, my music loving friend set up his 3000w sound system and we blasted Logan with 60,s rock and roll, and some of the world's best guitarists.