Why personal photography really matters

A funny thing happened to me when I started getting paid for photography. The more I focused on my business and how to pay the bills the further I seemed to move away from my personal work. Most of the time it just ranked pretty low compared to making a living. I’ve since discovered that if you’re not careful you can stray so far off course that you forget the whole reason you…

Five tips for more inspired travel photography

I’m not sure what it is about travel that has such a powerful, often rejuvenating effect on the mind. I think being away from our normal surroundings forces the mind to slow down enough to take the time to be truly immersed in, and therefore truly see, another place. I’ve also found that travel can be a great remedy for getting out of a photography rut. Perhaps it’s the stories you see…

Photography from the Aztecs Exhibition

Last week I visited the Aztecs Exhibition, currently showing at the Australian Museum, Sydney. Although not a free exhibition I found it was worth every cent to be standing face to face with such awe (and dread) inspiring pieces from 500 years ago.

A word of caution re photographing: If you take your camera, flash is not allowed, so you’ll need to bump up your ISO because the light is quite low. I’m not sure if tripods are allowed so I suggest you ask first to avoid disappointment.

I photographed most of the images at around 6400 ISO and was just able to hand hold for most shots.  Some images were a little noisy, but I chose to leave my tripod at home because I didn’t want to feel restricted by it.

I love dramatic lighting at the best of times and felt that the way the pieces were lit seemed well suited to this brutal, yet intriguing period in history.

The God of Death (the second image in the gallery) really caused my stomach to turn. It had such an ominous presence and even when going through the photos I had the same experience. Of course, there were the blood curdling descriptions of the blood sacrifices which went into great detail and I found myself trying to imagine just how terrifying if must have been to live back then. Although I was quite surprised to read that some of the people that they sacrificed were treated very well for up to a year before they were sacrificed. It was also intrigued to learn they had a very advanced education system for their time.

At the end of the exhibition you’ll see all the Aztec inspired items for sale. I was a little sceptical when my husband went to buy some of the Mexican chocolate for $12, which I though was quite expensive. Surely it couldn’t be that special?  Boy, was I wrong!! It was so amazing that I’ve been thinking of going back just to get some more – the true chocoholic that I am. Just in case you’re interested we bought the dark chocolate with red peppers, find spices and cocoa nibs.

The Aztecs Exhibition is on in Sydney until the 1st of February, 2015 and there are lots of artifacts I hope you’ll also enjoy exploring and photographing as much as I did!

An afternoon at the beach – an exercise in slow shutter speed

The other day I spent a lovely afternoon at the beach photographing my niece, Gemma. As she somersaulted across the beach, I had lots of fun playing with different shutter speeds. In my photography courses I’m often teaching students how to get a sharp shot, but I wanted to illustrate that there are times when a blurred image doesn’t have…

How to add emotional impact to your portraits

If you’ve ever taken what you thought was a great photo, only to discover that a poor expression ruined your shot, you’ll understand why emotion can make or break a portrait. There are many different aspects to taking a good portrait, such as lighting, posing, composition, and camera settings to name a few, but without emotion a portrait will always fall flat. The saying “the eyes are the window to…

10 Tips for taking better Autumn photos

With such a visual feast of yellows, oranges and reds, it’s tempting to think it’s easy to create stunning photos in autumn.  However, from my experience gorgeous autumn scenes don’t always translate into amazing photos.  Below you’ll find 10 tips to help improve your photography as you venture into the outdoors this autumn. 1)  Focus in on the details For great photos of autumn leaves try zooming in or moving…

Creatively composing with colour

Although painting and photography may seem worlds apart, many of the principles of colour which are used in art, can be applied to photography with some eye catching results! Opposite colours (called complementary colours) attract the eye, helping to create dynamic images with strong visual appeal. Examples of complementary colours are red and green, blue and orange, and yellow and purple. Images with these colours often…

What everyone should know before becoming a photographer

A light-hearted insight into the not so glamorous life of a Professional Photographer Picture this ….. you’re at a wedding, photographing a beautiful bride as she walks down the aisle,  when suddenly your camera fails!  All the excitement of the day comes crashing down around you, you feel like you’re in one of those nightmares, where you can’t move and everything’s happening in slow motion! Back when I was photographing weddings, I found…