Posts Tagged ‘university of southern queensland’

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You know once in a while you do a photoshoot that you really really REALLY liked?

I mean like you go back to review the shots and even think to yourself, “Dang, I’m good!”

Something that made you proud to showcase not one, not two, but really almost every shot that you took…so much so that just weeding out which shots NOT to be included on the DVD was the hardest task?

This was one of those times.

Meet my subjects.

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Lena, from Germany.

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Nina, from  Germany.

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Hao Chu, from Vietnam. AKA Heidi.

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I was told that it was Lena and Nina’s birthday present for Heidi. I found out later that it was actually Nina AND Heidi’s birthday. I’m sure they enjoyed their present. These photos are all over their facebook profiles now. I’ve even got compliments from friends just walking around the uni. Anyway, if they’re happy – I’m happy.

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The theme of the photoshoot was “Fairytale”. I did a bit of research of how cartoonists draw fairytale pictures like Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, etc. Okay, actually it was a single picture with all of the above in it with some other “princesses” of which I cannot remember the names. Here is my rendition:

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Too posed? I like it.

I should find the cartoon that I was looking at and insert it here…in retrospect I should’ve moved this shot to someplace else. I took the shot here because I liked the backlight on the trees. See that golden, greenish colour….I liked that and was trying to get it blurred enough to become some really nice rounded bokeh. After going through the troubles of posing the shot it would’ve been too troublesome to shift everything to somewhere else. Also, we were loosing light so we had to move.

This next shot was probably one of my faves…not this one exactly, but all the ones taken here I really liked.

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“Who wants to be that tree?!”

By the way, it was around this time and the individual shots (the ones where I introduced the subjects) that my Speedlight fell down again. Yup. AGAIN! “Friggin, stupid *#!@#$!!!” Everytime I do a shoot a Speedlight falls. It doesn’t matter how secure I make it it’ll still drop! I even put my SB-600 (the more expensive of the two) on the tripod which is heavier = sturdier. I was taking a shot of one of the girls and was backing up slowly. I backed into the tripod and it slammed into the ground – diffuser first. (I also dropped my SB-600 when I was taking Rick and Michelle’s Wedding) Last time I broke my umbrella, this time I broke the shot shoe feet on the plastic wireless flash receiver – Thanks goodness! I’ve yet to glue it back but I’ll do it before Wednesday (26th May 2010) because I have another photoshoot then.

This next series is AWESOME. Kudos to Steph for thinking of this shot. We literally stopped them as they were walking away to the next spot and got these shots. I got them to swing their heads as I was counting down the shot and got some great hair action!

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These were all taken in the Japanese Gardens at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba QLD, but theres not much to show for it, huh? So, I’m gonna throw in this shot just so I compliments the title:

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By now everyone was getting tired as it was cold, and sunset had just passed. We set up our last shots for the day and went home. We wanted a shot of them dipping their feet in the water but there just wasn’t enough time.

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Total duration of Photoshoot: 120 minutes.

As previously promised, I am flooding my blog with posts. This is for all you “Jiaren, you never update your blog” people. However, I’ll probably write some draft posts and leave this one headlining for a while just because this is what I should be doing more and I really like the results.

So anyway, this story began a long time ago…but that not important. Whats important is that it ended just a little while ago. Last Monday to be exact. Thats the day Jun left to go back to Malaysia. The day before that, Jun asked if I would be able to photograph our group at our university’s own Japanese Garden.

Of course I could!

We arranged to meet at the gardens at 4.30pm so obviously I made it a point to be  there by 5.30pm…

which I did…

…barely.

Good news is we all got there eventually and almost everyone obeyed the “all black” dress code.

We started off at the far side of the garden where there was a couple nice sheltered benches which would be suitable for a large group portrait. We tried a couple of shots but the sun was way too glaring so we swapped around and shot into the Sun. I set up two lights on both sides of the camera to makes sure everyone was evenly lit while I pull down the background exposure. Here are the results:

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JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9541I took over a hundred shots but I’ve weeded them to these few to keep from boring you, my dearest readers. After 20 minutes of positioning the lights, posing everybody, and getting the shot right without people blinking, we got some really good shots before moving onto the big red door. I like this door.By the way, have you guessed which one is Jun yet?

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9559See the smartie pants that didn’t conform to the dress code? *Ahem* *ahem* Will and Jun (Not the Jun thats leaving, we have two Juns in our group). Let me introduce you to the group.

From Left to Right: Will, Ted, Sabrina, Wilson, Stephanie, Neo, Jun, Ben, Edna, Shin Yong, Jun.

Next up is our group of lovely ladies in black.

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9567I like the above shot except for the cross shadows which make the girls look flashed straight on and defeats the purpose of strobing. (Phototip: The lights are meant to “look” natural and inconspicuous).

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9573Now with two flashguns shooting camera left at full zoom we can bring the background down to exposure without loosing the foreground. Remember shadows are our friends and almost this entire series was shot with the flash on full power or close to it.

Next we did some creative shots and laughed the whole way through.

This next shot is the “Eww, Yuck, its Jun” shot:

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9577This next one is the “PHeeewWWWIIiTTtTTT, Hubba hubba, it’s gorgeous Jun!!!”:

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9581This next one is just…well…I like the composition.JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9583So have you guessed which one is Jun yet? Now we come to our hero, “Neo, the ladies man”:

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9588…or would you prefer, “Neo, you disgust me!” look?:

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9593Okay, enough of that…lets move on to more group shots ya?! Moving not more than 30 meters away is the Zen garden. The little pebbles on the ground were beautifully carved when we got there. It looked like crap when we were done, haha!

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9608In retrospect these pics remind me of the Friends series opening sequence…

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9610Don’t you love how it looks in black and white…when everybody conforms to the dress code? Will and Jun had already left by this time because they had other stuff to do.

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9611Every good Japanese garden has a red bridge so it wouldn’t feel complete if we didn’t take a shot there:

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9622Theres actually four bridges at our Japanese garden. This is one of the smaller ones. In the middle of the garden is a small island which I’ve found to be a great spot for photographs! By now we were quickly loosing light and were about to wrap up so we quickly had to get it over with. Once the lights were set up I was ready to go. Check out the reflections!

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9633Sort of has a “The Bold and the Beautiful” theme going on, hey? Heres another:

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9636You can see the flash in the picture which I felt would pass as a lamp post or something. I tried to clone it out but preferred it like this. At this point we were exhausted and ready to pack up. Jun had other plans. She wanted one last shot with Ben, Edna, and Neo so with plenty of people around I used them as assistants to finally get some use out of the umbrellas which I’d been lugging around all day without using for fear of them being blown by the wind. Its happened once and broke the flash that way. I had just got it too!

JunsFarewellByJiarenLau-9640Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom! If you enjoyed what you saw please leave me a comment! Send me feedback, what I should or should not be doing! critic! We all learn from our mistakes. Let me leave by saying I appreciate criticism a lot more than flattery so don’t hesitate if there was something bothering you that you thought would look better only if…(I’ll leave the rest to you)

Take care and God bless,

Jiaren

Strobing and Misc

July 4, 2009

You know, its beeen a while since I went out shooting just for the fun of it! …and when I come to think about it, thats what its REALLY about!

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Its when I’m free from obligations that I actually push myself. Why I don’t know. I guess its because when I’m shootin’ for myself, I’m shooting against myself…and myself is very competitive…geddit? Also, I don’t feel confined to do what I know works and works well…instead I do things that others don’t think about…what others don’t see…and most importantly, what others couldn’t be bothered turn a second glance at.

Its when I can look at something simple. Something everyday. Something “normal”. For example, a calculator:

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Ok, nothing really special about that…just wanted an excuse to show off the tiny DOF of an f/1.2! Thats right! 50mm f/1.2 right there…at 50cm the DOF is a mere 6mm!!! SHWEEEEET!!! Here are a couple of shots taken at f/1.2…

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Notice how sharp the web in focus is? I don’t know why everyone keeps complaining about the f/1.2s?! They’re tack sharp wide open!

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Someone founds this little bead on the floor at church so I took a picture of it…(after the service of course…)

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Toowoomba’s own shopping mall – Grand Central.

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This, my friends, is where the f/1.2 REALLY shines! The picture is taken handheld at 1/60 with nothing more than a dim street lamp!

After that,…well…actually it was before that coz I just recently got the f/1.2…We were testing the shoot through umbrella for strobing…

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No comment.

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Needless to say this post will contain excessive Steph.

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Poor guinea pig Steph has to become my model for all my weird shooting needs…

After some fun indoor portraits we went outside to shoot some more portraits…real strobist stuff! This next picture is definitely my fave of this set! Check them out!

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By the way, thie series of outdoor portraits were taken at the University of Southern Queensland’s Japanese Garden…

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I also really like this above picture…

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Thanks Steph!

Thats about it for today…I also took some pictures of the Brisbane Floating Boardwalk which I’ve already uploaded on Flickr…will post about it tomorrow…I still have a lot of these sort of shots lying aroung the HDD but I needed to get some of it out to make space for next week. If you didn’t know I’m going to the Hillsong Conference in Sydney next week. We’re leaving this Sunday morning so I’ll try to keep the blog updated as the conference is held…Its gonna be LEGENDARY!