Tina Arena at The Tivoli Theatre.

How often do you answer the phone when you don’t recognise the number?

As a small business owner, I tend to answer all calls, and they tend to run the full gamut from potential clients to crank calls scamming for dodgy advertising. A couple of weeks ago I answered a call that not only cost me nothing but allowed me to photograph an Australian and International Singer on the first night of her Australian Tour. Definitely, a call I’m glad didn’t go to voicemail.

Canon Australia in conjunction with CameraPro in Brisbane arranged for three photographers to shoot the entire concert, as well as the Q&A session with Tina Arena before the main event, as it turned out this would be the only Q&A session for the entire tour, so quite an opportunity.

Canon also provided us with bodies and glass to try out, and I happily snapped up a 6Dmkii and a 5Dmkiv along with 24-70 and 70-200 f/2.8 lenses. I have both of these lenses, however, I really wanted to try both bodies and see how they would do in the low, and vastly changing light of a concert. My quick fingers also snapped up a 35mm f/1.4 lens, because why not.

So what is it like to shoot a concert for the first time? Well, it was a very enjoyable experience. It was also challenging, loud, crowded and awesome. I was able to try some new gear as well as meet some very interesting people.

A big thank you to Deanna from Canon Australia and Ryan and Alex from CameraPro.


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Lessons learned from a destination wedding.

As a photographer and someone who loves to travel, what part of a destination wedding should you start planning first? Flights, accommodation, racetracks within easy driving distance? I can’t quite remember what was second, however, I do remember that flights to France were the first thing I wrote down and started to work on. Over the years I have been fortunate to fly predominantly with Singapore Airlines, both professionally and for family holidays, so that was an easy first tick on the ever growing checklist, the only hard part on picking flights was to either go via Singapore or possibly Dubai. Singapore would be the quick get to France option, Dubai would be to visit friends in Abu Dhabi for a couple of days if possible. Time dictated Singapore so that was an easy decision made. For accommodation I went with Air BnB, both to save a little on costs and also to have more space and features. It is nice to be able to pack light and do laundry and to be able to cook the odd meal rather than eating out every time.  

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One thing I learned early on is that weddings in France are done a little bit different to what we typically do here in Australia, there has to be a State accepted ceremony which takes place in the Bride’s parent’s home town. This tends to be a small affair in the local town hall with only a few close friends and family present. After that, anything goes. My couple was married in Richemont, which sounds exactly as you think it does, as long as you know not to pronounce the T, and then they had a more formal ceremony and reception at a Chateau in Basse-Rentgen. Yes, the names just roll off my uncultured Aussie tongue.  

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As I obviously speak no passable French, regardless of implied accent on English words, watching and shooting a ceremony is a little bit difficult, to say the least. My game plan was to carefully watch expressions and listen to crowd reactions, and I figured that if people start laughing, take photos. Also, if people start crying, take more photos. I also made sure to take more photos in between. Just to be sure, after all, there are no retakes for something like this! 

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So what were the real lessons learned?

Firstly, regardless of country or culture, being asked to photograph a wedding is quite an honour, probably even more so when the clients like your work and ask that you consider flying several time zones away to show up for their big day. 

Secondly, always be nice to the clerk at the airline check-in counter, because your carry on bag filled to the seams with cameras and lenses and the odd Speedlite is going to be far heavier than what is usually allowed in the cabin. This is another area where Singapore Airlines always shines.

Thirdly, enjoy the day and try not to cry too much when the really emotional moments during a wedding occur, and there will be many, even when you have no clue what anyone is saying.

Oh, and as for that racetrack, I did consider Spa Francorchamps in Belgium, it was less than 2hrs away, but realistically it had to be the Nurburgring in Germany.

French Wedding

The bags are packed, the passports have been scanned and a leisurely lunch has been consumed, so now our trip to France to photograph a wedding in the Champagne region can really begin. So far no one has made a a fuss of my heavy camera bag, so fingers crossed I don’t have to check anything now. 

Next stop Singapore! 



A dry start.

As a way of easing myself into posting a blog, I thought it might be easiest to regurgitate a recent article.

24th Sept. 2016 P3 Solutions Beraking Rally

Held in the Yarraman and Benarkin State Forests, Round 5 of the QRC wrapped up the 2016 season on Saturday, with the outright event win going to Ryan Smart and John McCarthy in their Evo 9. Ian Menzies and Rob McGowan, also in an Evo, finished 2nd with 3rd place going to Marius Swart and Peta Davies in their VW Polo. Marius and Peta have recently had a bad run with transmission issues, so this would have been a satisfying finish for them.

This was the only Blind Rally of the season, which caused some competitors a few heart-in-mouth moments, particularly on SS3, and unfortunately not everyone made it out unscathed. The tulips in the road books are suggestive after all. Repeated stages went smoother with co-drivers able to make minor adjustments to the notes.

The field for this year’s P3 Solutions Benarkin Rally was made up of 34 entrants rallying over 10 stages, including two night stages, which always mixes things up, and it was interesting to see some of the cars fitted with lighter and slimmer LED lightbars, rather than the more traditional light pods that we have grown accustomed to.

In the 2WD category, Keith Fackrell and Tony Best in the Castrol liveried Escort took the top step on the podium, followed by Clay Weston and Brendon Wrigley in the Fiesta. The red Alfa GTV6 of Peter Flynn and Dominic Corkeron finished 3rd, and with just over 10 seconds separating the 3 teams, this showed how close the competition is for the 2WD cars.

The bright orange Torana driven by Allan Arney and Matt Roe finished a satisfying first in the Novice category, and no doubt this will encourage them to return next year.

As always, a big, big thank you to all of the volunteers, officials and spectators that came out to enjoy the blue skies and red dust.