A return to my roots—but with colour.

Edit 06.01.01
Now blogged elsewhere on the web, at urbannaturegroup.blogspot.com

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Motion in the Ocean

No best-of's for 2005 here!

To quote U2, "You glorify the past when the future dies up!"

However, remember this?

Which then spawned this?

Well apparently it then spawned this?

Atget Re-Photographed though.


Time and Photography

Just added another gallery to my already growing number of galleries at flickr. This one looks at time and photography, inspired in part by a section of Stephen Shore's book, 'The Nature of Photographs' that deals with photography's ability to change our notion of time. Quoting directly from the book.

"A photograph is static, but the world flows in time. As this flow is interrupted by the photograph, a new meaning, a photographic meaning, is delineated."§

The impetus to push it further started on the summer equinox, with a small series of shots involving the rising sun on a windy day and a clothesline. So given the ease that I can shoot multiple frames from a single viewpoint it seemed logical to expand on this idea. It is not the first time I've done this. I have in fact used this technique on and off over the last couple of years with digital cameras, but now it seems to make sense as an idea unto itself. I know the idea has been explored by others in the past, now though, we have huge networks of machines communicating over vast distances with each other enabling people to see and connect in ways unheard of. Allowing others to see our slices of time minutes after the happen.

Train blurred

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§The Nature of Photographs ISBN# 0-8018-5720-1 pg 37


Post Humanity?

How Human are we in this Cyber World we live in?

This guy left a comment recently, I'm not sure if it was meant to be funny or not, but in checking his blog and trying to determine this I found a prolific writer, who either is really unwell or just a "sicko". I can see no reason why anyone would spend so much time writing so extensively if they were a "joke" or some sort of fabrication, but to where your heart on your sleeve in such a public yet anonymous way is obviously enormously therapeutic. How do you in this day and age of faceless and anonymous computer writing really get to know or understand a human being? All this adds to, is the further deepening of mystery that is the human condition I guess?

Normal programming to resume shortly :)


Beautiful Light - How Appropriate


Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.

Photo taken on 23rd Dec 2005


One of my favourite photography books

I bought this book in 2001. It is "The Nature of Photographs"by Stephen Shore.

According to my review on Amazon, "I stumbled across", it and and in the process gave it a rapturous review. Well now its worth $150.00, and that's US Dollars! I bought mine for the grand-sum of $18.00 Australian, in 2001, talk about investment very nice, and rightly so it's a great book and I pull it out every now and again and re-read it. Of course it doesn't refer to the huge revolution that digital/screen based photographic image-making has had on photography, but it's not meant to be a do all; and end all; kind of book, just a quiet gentle treatise on what photographic print can be or mean.

On holidays now for 6 weeks so postings here will frenetic or sporadic, depending on my mood. Also am planning on giving the Canon 350d a real test against my Nikon Coolpix 5400. Which in some ways is not a fair comparison, as they are 2 completely different cameras that allow the user to shoot in a particular way or not.

Photoshop tutorial blog Oi vey!

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Trippy Man!

Well the year is winding up. I'm happy with the way things have panned out on flickr, I've met some great folks and even seen some innovative uses of flickr itself. The Melbourne flickr crew got together for a X-mas do recently, here's some snaps, currently dealing with battery issues to get at the rest [my images], [MitchieGirl's]. Boy - ouch my head the next day! It was fun all round and I really liked the location, thanks to Scootie and Donina for organising it, will return camera in hand sans-alcohol for a revisit - one day.

Last week rationalised my archived images on CD, from 5 boxes to one using paper sleeves instead of Jewel Cases, and in the process have actually felt inclined to go back through my archives and start uploading some images. It's nice to know I can grab them all in one hit in a hurry know if needed, and lug them around or flip through them looking for a particular image quite easily.

This particular image I will never be able to reproduce, it's come about from a strange design feature, or is that fault, from my old Kodak DC260 camera. When the card started to get full it would compress the images and give them a whole new file name usually something like EX00000.jpg. Now also the battery readout on the LCD was notoriously inaccurate. So sometimes it would just die with out warning occasionally mid-processing of an image.


Meanwhile Elsewhere on the Web

I get a mention on Digital Photo of the Day, pretty happy about that, nice get to get noticed.

I need to re-edit this image it looks quite red in safari - too red in fact, compared to this one.

Movement over Water

I love this bridge, there are 2 of these in Melbourne.


Taken from the window of a moving train. Edited using Graphic Converter rather than Photoshop

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High Modernist Photography

Meanwhile normal programming resumes with an idea for a CD cover or interface design I want to start working on. I've always been a fan of high modernist photographers such as Paul Strand and Edward Weston, this object appeals to me as a consequence. Some editing in photoshop, but mostly in camera in my studio-shed.


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Treadmill Bikes & Bio-feotal-pigs!

Ok here's some goofy news that I doubt the veracity of, if somebody from the US reads this perhaps they can follow it up?

Ever wanted to take your treadmill outside and enjoy the geat outdoors, frustrated by the lack of mobility of this piece of gym equipment? Worry no more. The treadmill bike is here?

While I have no reason to doubt the veracity of this next story, you can just never tell on the WWW. Time based performace art reaches a whole new audience with the use of blogs and the interent.

Quoting the blog directly here.

We found these bio fetal pigs in our ceiling when we were changing the ceiling tiles. They were left by the previous owner Gael Bennett, in 1997 specifically for us ( or someone) to find later.

Like Music, like CG generated rock clips, thenyou'll love this webpage.

Insomnia has some advantages!

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Bonus Photoshop Workshops

Ok, just ran a weekend workshop. It went well - as usual ;) One attendee suggested that I run "catchup classes". So that is what I have done, set aside some dates for one photoshop catchup classes in January 2006.

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Good Samaritan

the front of the magic ticket

I want to tell you a story

A story that is small yet significant, profound but simple.

To tell this story, I need to start at the beginning. It's mid-week, at the end of the fortnightly pay cycle. Generally my pay goes in late in the afternoon, sometimes early in the evening. This particular night I am on my way to the train station to catch a train to the "Last Supper", the final get together with the current bunch of second year students, who have just finished, their Diploma of Arts [Applied Photography]. When I got to the station the plan was to buy a ticket that I can re-use for 10 trips, useful for an irregular PT user like myself. They cost $29.90. I got to the station and tried to buy one of these tickets. I wasn't able to, the transaction was declined.It seems that my pay had yet to go in!

So here I am standing at the station, iPod blasting in my ears, staring off into the distance wondering where I could buy one close by - on credit. When a woman who was walking past stops and says something to me. Something I could not understand as my iPod was turned up quite loud. After quickly yanking out my earphones for my iPod, I heard the woman ask
"Do you need a ticket?"
"My ticket is still valid, you can have it if you like."
As if I'm going to refuse an offer like that. So I gladly took the ticket, and headed off to the party.

So thank you kind woman, you have proved to me once again that people are usually kind, and helpful.

the back of the magic ticket


Three of four, new set set additions and 40,000 +

Number 3 in a small series of images made at the Queenscliff Music festival.

Shaft of Light from a tent at Queenscliff Music Festival

This weekend saw the usual jaunt into town, and as always the CBD was overflowing with possibilities. Once this sequence of images from Queenscliff is finished and I've processed, them to fit this page I'll start uploading the results here.

In the interim, I want to announce a couple of new sets of my work at flickr.

  • The Basement, brand spankin' new
  • Adventures Over 50 [while this isn't that new I shot a lot on the weekend with my ISO pumped up to 400]
Hit counts on my flickr account

Finally my photo-stream on flickr has clocked the 40,000 + mark, again try getting that kind of coverage in a small inner suburban gallery.

However, one of the things I don't like about flickr is that visitors to my stream get to see only my recently uploaded images, in the order that they are uploaded. Now as both my erstwhile readers will know, this is not how I work.

My methodology involves, wandering around with my camera and making images of anything and everything that catches my eye. Then back at home edit the images in terms of quantity, processing and context, ready to upload, once uploaded they are placed in their applicable sets.

Personally,I would like to see the option for guest and visitors to be able to choose how they see your photo-stream, i.e., do they simply wish to see the most recently uploaded, or the most recently added to set or even maybe the newest sets.

Finally after viewing this set on flickr you'll never look at a wheelie bin the same again!

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Number 2 in a small series shot at the Queens Cliff Music festival.

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Waiting for Lunch @ Queenscliff

Recently visited the Queenscliff music festival, lugged my camera along - of course, bit dissapointed in the end results ah, well, here's the first of several I thought worthy of posting here.


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Towers of Learning Lean on the World

Still life books

I'm interested in old books, I'm interested in Photography, I'm interested in Still Life, I'm interested in Light, I'm interested in Words.


Red - Symbols

Red Abstract

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More thoughts on Tom Waits

As I said the other day I'm reading a collection of interviews of Tom Waits, here's a classic quote by him, about music and popular acceptance of previously ‘forbidden’ or distasteful music.

“ Jazz developed nylon socks, it was out by the pool eventually"

This comes from a section where there is an ‘overheard’ discussion between himself and Elvis Costello,“ Summit Talk: Eavesdropping on Elvis Costello and Tom Waits” profound funny and intriguing, love this one the most so far![Although the Playboy Interview is pretty funny and full of quotable gems too] I'm starting to get the impression that Tom Waits is a musician's musician, one though that is able to bridge the divide between popularity and art. Now I know why I have enjoyed him and his music for so long.

On that note I'm off to a music festival today, so who knows what gems I'll bring back, photographically and sonically?

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Tom Waits

Currently reading “ The Tom Waits Reader. Innocent When You Dream”, Edited by Mac Montandon. It's a great read and I'm really enjoying being reminded about all of Tom Wait's music and prose. Much to my delight he lists several literary influences, that I too admire, Kerouac, Ginsberg, Bukowski, and Lenny Bruce, to name but a few. One influence that piqued my interest, is someone called Lord Buckley? It's also nice to know that I'm only missing two albums from his entire discography, Frank's Wild Years [on vinyl not CD] best stay out of the record shops today eh, and The Early Years Volume Two! With an entire chronological discography at my fingertips, I'll be able to set up a playlist on my iPod that will take me on an amazing journey.

Screen Grab of my Tom Waits iTunes album listing

Here is the article using my image on the Ikea Blog! Thanks to all at flickr - [ikea lovers] and positive fanatics.com, it's nice to know there are others out there who are as passionate about their work as myself.

And need to make another MAC, perhaps the classic wasn't enough of a current machine for you? Well here's a page where you can make just about any MAC you like.

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Want your own widdle Macintosh? Make one then.

true blue 'n yellow if you can't see the pic, this means flickr is down

It seems other folks are enjoying some of my own obsessions as much as I am, this blog, called, positive fanatics, about Ikea of all things is going to feature my work, shot at the Richmond store in Melbourne, Australia.

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Normal Programing Resumes


Concrete is beautiful and when photographed digitally can reveal a deeper surface altogether.

Hate what George Bush stands for, then watch him fall. Thanks to Trav for finding this one

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Art as Object?

All Kultured Out!

Rant Warning!

This weekend saw me hitting a few galleries on both Friday, and Saturday, not to mention spending some time shooting on Friday. I visited 3 shows on Friday, and 2 on Saturday. In order they were.

  1. A show at Fresh in Brunswick St, the name of which escapes me at the moment.
  2. ‘First Capture’, an Exhibition by First Year Fine Art Photography students, at Dantes
  3. The Current show at CCP in Fitzroy.[This will move off the front of the site eventually]
  4. “ Kiss my Gamut” The 3rd year graduate show at ‘The Foundry’ in Fitzroy.
  5. Natural Rhythm, Large Format Photography by David Roberts, 80 Gold St Collingwood.

The outstanding show for me was the 3rd year Media Arts show, followed by the 1st Year Fine Art show. [Disclaimer, both these shows of student work were by students who had either previously studied at PIC, or were taught by my old lecturers, at RMIT.] So today I'm going to try and hobble together some sort of exhibition review. My energies though are going to focus on the CCP show.

The current brochure for the show at the CCP lists the following Artists


One of these was not on display, and one was a projection which I assume runs at night. So already I'm down by two. Still I've got plenty to say about these remaining 3 shows.

great environments does not make great art

I'll begin with KIJEONG SONG. This person's work was entitled ‘Couples’. The opening sentence of the catalogue reads,
“KIJEONG SONG has been taking photographs of couples since 2001"
The next sentence then goes on to explain.
“ This series has developed an an interest in the ways in which intimate, domestic relationships problematise simplistic understandings of ethnicity, within today's multicultural society”
Yes I agree that these are issues that are worthy of contemplation, indeed given the erosion of our rights recently these are in fact the ideas that need to be talked about. What is is that makes us Australian, and conversely what is it that makes people ‘Un-Australian’? However for me the only thing I found intriguing about these images was the details of the couple's environments. This idea could have been taken so much further. The couples for example may have well been unrelated as most of the poses looked awkward and uncomfortable. The lighting in each of the shots was simple on-camera direct flash. A technique so well used by the likes of WeeGee, and Dianne Arbus. Here it just looked like… well simple on-camera direct flash. The harshness of the lighting really turned me off these images, combined with the awkward poses, and one image out of focus all together, this smacked of Un-professional work practises, or some one who just isn't able to work well with people and a camera? I did of course find the objects that are referred to in the catalogue as “overlooked”, but sadly this didn't get me thinking about identity in a multicultural sense, only in a personal history kind of way. Ultimately I couldn't get past the bad technique, which I'll sum up as, “Forced 35mm Snapshots”

More bad Technique hiding behind fuzzy theory

Gallery 2 at the CCP has a body of work by LEYLA STEVENS, entitled, Pale Worlds. It is a series of large format prints which appear on the surface to be portraits of people holding strange objects in strange environments. And indeed the catalogue blurb tells us that these are depicting… “ precise moments when someone attempts to undermine the structure of the everyday”.

Well I liked these images much more as they were quirky and colourful, Leyla obviously, knows and understands more about the central tenants of photography such as lighting and colour. The orange colour and the fabric running through some of the images were beautiful to look at. Overall the images themselves while not really obvious performance documentation were good examples of attractive art making. The minor technical issues I had with these images, such as the poor quality of the black and less than optimum quantity of digital information, were small and I enjoyed spending some time trying to draw parallels between the object people and locations. In particular the use of the orange onion bag and the roll of twine or string. I don't think I succeeded, and I don't care as good art doesn't ‘need to be understood’.

Great Photographic art work

Jane Burton's work, from the series ‘I did it for you’ was dramatic and cinematic, full of pauses and moments, frightening and comforting all in the one.

Basically a series of black and white images printed again, large, of night scenes in ordinary suburban locations.

Some of the prints had a female figure silhouetted in a window, in different poses, obviously staged. I find this a little troubling especially coming from a female artist. Does photography not have a bad enough reputation for being a ‘voyeur’? A small quibble I know, and as the other images are appear to be commenting urban identity and existence I can understand.

Something I don't understand is why this work is printed on type C paper? Which I assume has been through some form of digital processor. Fortunately it has been printed well so it's no biggie, just curious that's all?

So once again the CCP dishes up a mixed bag, I'd have to say that I regretfully don't make it to the CCP as often as I'd like so I have no real bench mark to compare the overall standard of this show, it also didn't help that there seemed to be two parts of the show missing. Nonetheless, Jane Burton's and Leyla Steven's work were very good examples of what can be achieved with a camera, and the prints were quite luxurious.

The CCP is an austere Melbourne Institution, it has been a focal point for much photo based work in Melbourne now for nearly 20 years. It is a publicly funded art space, with a subscription base of many many artists and photographers. However there never has been an avenue for written discourse and this is one of my biggest beefs of the space. One day perhaps they will have a letter to the editor page, or why not a blog?

The images I've used here are taken without permission.
Normal programming will resume shortly.

All of these shows from all the galleries visited this weekend had one thing in common. They got me thinking about presentation and the final product. Some were highly polished and well considered others were "done on the cheap" all were a relaxing way to spend a few hours.

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Sense of humour required

This shot from a fellow flicknaut is from The Sofitel in Queenstown, NZ, pretty damn funny if you ask me!

Self conscious???
originally uploaded by Kerryn from NZ.


Graphic Converter

Have just started toying with an application called Graphic Converter. So far, on the surface, it seems like a hard core processing application, designed to process large batches of images quickly and efficiently. It certainly doesn't work in any way shape or form like photoshop, for example, I can't seem to be able to find a way to duplicate layers. It has controls likes levels, but not curves though.


Winding Up

The end of the year is always is an exciting time. Teaching at two schools just doubles the fun. One of the groups of students I teach are having an off campus and on campus graduation show and have already uploaded a web site commemorating the event. The others are also having a show, and some of them have uploaded their photographic folios to the web as well.


Suburban Archeology on Flickr

A recent set of images I uploaded to flickr has drawn a fair bit of interest, lot's of comments and a link back from the blog of one of flickr's greats. A heartfelt thankyou to Swissmiss.

“ the darkness is as important as the light” Jared, PIC student

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Well daylight saving is here; thank god I am so over getting woken up at 4:00am! To celebrate, here's a self-portrait, and I confess it's cropped too, bit rare for me, but hey, we're in art school after all, right!

Fuck work

Speaking of flickr, I uploaded a new set on the weekend, a project I have had in the back of my mind for some time now. I've been collecting certain objects for many many years and finally had an idea on how to shoot them recently, in one of those rare but lucid moments that seem to be getting rarer these days.

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Darkroom Redux!

It's funny ya know, I remember a time when I would spend as much time as I could in the darkroom, now I have to spend an hour or two cleaning dust and cobwebs up before I can even start?

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Chance encounter?

A funny thing happened as we left the cafe/restaurant last night. We had eaten a very filling and spicy meal at LimeLeaves at QVC[ 13-15 QV Square Red Cape Lane Melbourne 3000 Australia +0396639777. As we stood up to leave we passed two guys who had been sitting on my right. One of the two stood up and asked me, “ Was Stuart Murdoch?”
I could do nothing but answer, “ Yes? But I'm sorry I don't know you?”
The chap them promptly introduced himself, and said he had been looking around for Photoshop workshops online and really liked my site, and my photography. Well blow me down, I was flabbergasted, chuffed and almost speechless!

Speaking of my website, I suspect a facelift this summer holidays, who knows?

Today an image from another pair, a recent decorative purchase that can be found in the sun room, as always, tweaked in Photoshop using Lobster. Tomorrow it's mate.

Rusty sign 1 of 2

An article in this month's Macworld has me ‘under the hood’ of Mozilla's great browser FireFox, tweaking a few settings has ramped up the speed of this browser, quite impressvely, looks like I'll use it for a while. Certainly when checking articles from NetNewsWire.

Why I love the web

Well it is Satdee after all? Brazil, anyone?

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Two of Two?

This image, I feel, would pair nicely with yesterday's image, horizontally of course, in a kind of in and out way if you like? Again, heavily tweaked in Photoshop using the “ Lobster” colour correction plug-in


These images are a kind of return to the homeland sort of pair, I've been long interested in the idea that ‘we’ as a culture are reflected in the environment we build and inhabit, an environment that is capable of as much repulsion as it is attraction. Originally I used black and white materials printed very carefully and subtly to get these ideas across, now, I'm using colour, light and composition, dunno if it's working or not, I guess my next "show" will tell me?

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Photoshopped creativity

As promised, here they come, all are heavily tweaked in photoshop using the Lobster plug-in.

Rusted pole in tweaked in photoshop


End of a burst?

Creativity comes in bursts, more on it's way I'm sure.

Ikea Carpark Arrows


condition - human?

The creative bursts just keep on keepin' on!


From some time spent in a retail store's VM studio, tiny bit of cropping and levels and sharpening in Photoshop, sadly; shot at 400 ISO, but hey you gotta take these opportunities when you can.

Spent a few hours in that place called the darkroom yesterday, fun it was indeed. Pretty pleased with the resulting print, am thinking that I may go back through my archives to get ready for a 20 year show in 2007, we'll see.

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Dusk in Hawthorn


Surprisingly minimal editing in Photoshop too?

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Live from Japan

Spent the better part of several hours on skype with my good pal Dan, chattin' away as if we were just in the kitchen havin' a yarn over a couple of cold beers.

Ain't technology awesome.

New Browser

Well a new bowser enters the market, it's called flock, will report back in a day or two - maybe?

Summer Photosop Workshops 2005-2006

Photoshop is considered a necessary tool by many, and it is indeed a powerful tool, I would argue however, it is but one of many available to photographers out there. Such are the vagaries of the commercial world I guess that is risen to market dominance, where to now for this app? It has everything anyone could ever need and more, I doubt I use anymore than about 1/3 of it's features, and yet they keep adding more. The only thing left for them to do is add true 16 bit editing and make it a vector based app like the long dead but still useable and graceful Live Picture, I would then devour it as an application for editing my photographs. I wonder then would backwards compatibility be an issue, well I'm not holding my breath for it to happen? Apple is now another contender in this issue, wonder what their software will be like?

My summer series of photoshop dates are now online, accessible form either, my personal site or my work site

Today's image, from my flickr set, 2005.10.15, no prizes for guessing who has inspired this one.

Homage to Smart

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While conducting a little research for the planned Melbourne flickr exhibition application, using the search term photography and the web, I came across this blog, brownglasses.com, very similar in look an feel to, daily dose of imagery. Both fantastic photoblogs. Funnily enough both Daily dose of imagery photographer Sam Javanrouh flickr, and Rachel James of brownglasses.com are on flickr. What I don't like about these kinds of photographers though is they are producing work that, shows how a powerful tool like photoshop is good at creating images that all look the same?

I'll give 'em this much however, uploading an image a day is no mean feat, and effort not to be sneezed at whatsoever,
“ good on 'em I say.”

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Have had a productive week or so, am going to upload the mages over the coming days. Here is the first in of several in no particular order.

Inspired by William Eggleston's similar image.

Webber BBQ

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Internet TV

Internet TV has arrived!

Try this tasty morsel

Photoshop Workshops

So, things are in some ways winding down for the year, one of my contracts ends in 2 weeks, the students at, PIC where I work for the other 3 days, are all focused on getting their final folios completed and gearing up for the annual end of year show. It is at one level, exciting and a real buzz to see the fruits of one's labours so to speak, but on the other hand it is a little saddening, not to mention financially testing. One of the ways I deal with the strain on the finances, is to run weekend workshops in Photoshop.

These are small scenarios, with lots of individual attention. They have proved to be popular over the years, and I am surprised and happy that people continue to want to pick up these kinds of new skills. Photoshop itself is a tool that while it's not the most elegent or forgiving of tools is a powerful one nonetheless. I'm glad to have been given the oppurtunity to learn and teach it. It has proved an invaluable asset in my creative arsenal, and there isn't a week goes by where I don't learn something new about it.

So if you know someone who is interested in learning a little more about Photoshop as a photo editing application, then send them along to my workshops, I'd be more than happy to share some of my knowledge of the application with them.

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Oh the humanity

Succinct, evocative and poetic, so says Dr.Paradox about "being human"

"...to be human is to have this intense drive to imagine and create"

With you all the way on that one!

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2 Warm days, and...

Phew, what a weekend, over 200 shots.

A new set as a consequence, 2005.10.15

Also dug out my Holga and "borrowed" one with a Polaroid™ back. With great light happening at the moment, and one contract winding down, all adding up to a nice creative burst.

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My current stats on Flickr

My current stats on Flickr

This many people have looked at my flickr photos!

What I find interesting is the ability to search and organise your photography and to allow others to search as well.

I'm glad that the sets link is second from the top as this is the driving reason behind my use of flickr.

I love that it's a live 24/7/365 online exhibition space.

I can organise my images in any way I see fit and re-organsie them as often as I want.

If people want t know more about me they can and from there I can link to several other pages or sites that help people build up an idea of who I am and what it is I do.

This weekend has seen me browsing my calender to add shots to eligible pools and tidy up my own searching by adding tags to my images. The first few months I was not clear on the power of these simple tools and now as my online portfolio is over 2000 images I really realise the importance of find the right photo quickly.

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Is that a Holga on your desk?

getting ready to shoot using a Holga Camera and Polaroid back

On Friday arvo, just gone, stumbled on some awesome flickr images made using a Holga Camera. I was inspired to go and get my own Holga camera, I also knew, that PIC, has at least one. So burrowing around in the store I found this one, with a Polaroid back, there was plenty of film as well, so back to my desk to practice and learn. I managed to blast through my 3 film packs by late Saturday morning, and produced this small piece as a consequence.


It seems that the only way to get a reasonable exposure is to wait for some decent quantity of light. Then when you do get it look out for the old light leak that Holga's are famous for. Looking back over the two days, I managed to pair two unrelated shots together and make this rather nice piece. I am now carrying a second camera with me this one is loaded with Kodak Portra 400 VC, so now, I'm back to using film for a while, not that I don't have a backlog of negs of various sizes and formats to scan and do something with? Don't worry the Nikon Coolpix 5400 is still running hot!

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Police Over Reaction?

Recently on the Corner of Elizabeth and Hoddle Sts in Richmond, I was approached by three police officers and asked.
“ What are you doing?”

You wanna now what I was doing? What I have been doing for nearly 20 years, taking a photos of our societies' zeitgeist. Images like this.

Police harassed me over the taking of this photo.

So I'd heard about the heightened sense of paranoia, that has swept the country of late. But had not really encountered it nor believed it. Well it is happening.

The 3 person foot patrol was out wandering the streets of Richmond, and just happened to walk past as I was taking this photo. The cops kept making wise cracks about justifying their activities to their boss, so their request for my details didn't sink in initially. I continued the banter about cops with coffee and donuts, so forth, and they then point blank asked me for some identification. They confirmed all my details were correct and re-confirmed that I was taking images for my own pleasure.[ I initially responded by talking about some of the features of the image that had drawn me to it, features that I hope need no writing about as the image chosen image shown here sums up my thoughts on the irony and ludicrousness of the image being displayed 20 feet in the air on a public and very busy road!]

Will this stop me from doing this? No. I will certainly not stop wandering the streets of Melbourne capturing the visual details that make up for a pleasing and intriguing scrap book of images describing who I am in relation to this city, what I've seen and where I've been. Will I respond differently to the next approach by police? Yes. How though I'm not really sure?

prohibited image made on private propertywithout permission

Enjoy these other images made, in prohibited places.

Or maybe you'd like to see a complete slide show of some of my urban landscapes

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...elswhere on the web.

I've been blogged at Utata.org, this the second one now since November, 2004, when I first signed onto flickr. The first was at flickrzen.


I shot this many photos in 2 months

As the term break draws to a close, I have just completed a back up of all my images shot in the last two months, 758 mg. I was expecting to shoot more, but sadly a couple of events got in the way. Nik's father is a builder back in her home town of Mildura, he has just built a display home. His sales rep wanted to furnish the house and as Nik's Dad had recently paid a visit to Ikea in Richmond he thought it would be great to house the furniture using their furniture. So we get a phone call.
“ Can you please buy some furniture and bring it up to us by Monday?”
“ Of course” says Nik.
“ We'll fax a list later in the week”
The List arrives — it's three pages LONG!

So we dutifully head off to Ikea on Friday morning, a wise move, Saturdays are a nightmare in that store. It took all of the day to buy everything on the list. Seven trolleys full in total. Don't even get me started on the whole issue of finding someone high enough up the food chain to help us organise the temporary storage of the trolleys as we went in search of a means of transporting the goods to Mildura. We had already spent the morning looking into options and decided we would try and book a Furniture van and tow it behind my Magna, station wagon. We were picking this up on Saturday, around 1:00pm. [Perfect timing to escape the annual event that pre-occupies Melbourne's collective psyche, a time when I try and get a cheap flight out of Melbourne, often easy if there is at least one interstate team playing.]

We spent the best part of Saturday morning getting organised, and then headed off to pick up the Van. A saga develops!

We had tried to book one type of van the company claimed that none were available, so we settled for second best. We arrive at the depot, three of the damn things are sitting there! Back on the phone. It seems that they weren't prepared to give us one as the destination of this one way rental already had too many up there. Back out to the trailers and we spent 45 minutes trying to get the trailer we had booked unlocked. No luck even after several phone calls. Then another long phone call to the company. Finally after a much discussion we got the trailer we had originally wanted. No thanks to the company, we hired it from. The rest of the day involved wheeling trolleys out of Ikea, and loading the van. When we'd finished, things didn't look right and my poor old car wasn't coping too well with the 900kg trailer, plus load.
I decided we needed to re-load the van and re-distribute the weight more evenly.
It took an hour.
Not counting the 20 minutes or so it took me to reverse into our drive!
That night was dinner at Pete and Sue's. I was wrecked and barely made it to 10:00pm.

Me and Nik @ Chalrton

Sunday was the big day, and surprisingly once on the open road the car trundled along ok. After four hours we stopped at our usual stop in a place called Charlton. Great Hamburgers and steak sandwiches there, at the Mobil on the south end of town! Then on and upward to Mildura, when, somewhere south of Ouyen, it started raining, it didn't stop till we got to Mildura, thank god we had the covered van!

Finally in Mildura we set about unloading, and this time I got some help from Nik's Dad in how to reverse and we unloaded the trailer in no time, off to the depot to finally rid ourselves of that 900kg beast and home for a quiet evening meal and an early night.

The drive home was so different to the drive up, in fact I drove all the way home. We did stop for a short break at one of the many picnic spots that dot the highways of Victoria. Which in itself brought back a whole heap of memories about Sunday drives and picnics. Still I will do it differently next time, perhaps with a small 3 tonne truck.

At least I now know how to reverse a trailer!

So back to my original thought. Whilst backing up my lastest round of images, I scrolled though them all for another look using iView a neat little freeware app for managing photo-libraries and of course after 6 weeks or so I managed to see some images that looked like they were worth a revisit. So this process of dealing with my images served a twoflod purpose. It allowed me the oppurtunity to revisit the images and decide their visual merit, it allowed me to remember what i'd done over the last 6 weeks and where I'd been.

God I love photography.


Time runs out!

Intriguing blog, indeed?

Been a few hectic days around here of late. A return trip to Mildura, pulling a furniture van full of furniture, and a funeral whilst there, thankfully the van stayed behind.

Driving these kinds of distances often allow plenty of thought, from the frivolous to the meaningful. The problem is, you can't jot down your thoughts whilst driving, even accessing gadgets that could help in this process are not easy to engage. So I'll just have to hope that some of them come back to me.

We stayed at a relatives house while in Mildura. It's a house we visit at least one every 18 months or so. I always enjoy spending time in other folks houses as it allows you the luxury of just observing light and how it plays around a space.

green wall

With 3 days to go I got nothing achieved that I wanted to this term break. Didn't even shoot as much as I'd hoped. Even flickr seems to be quiet these days?

Art and Activism, is this an oxymoron?

This online game allows you to examine your tags at a site called del.icio.us. [It's a site to store and sort your bookmarks, Location free, browser free and OS free.] It may or may not offer an interesting insight into one's surfing habits and interests. Mine makes me look completely 2 dimensional, ah well.

am I really THAT two dimensional?