Friday, December 11, 2009

Camera phones take great photos

Check out these three photos taken with a Nokia camera phone.
As with every landscape photo lighting is the key.
With the road scene at Taggerty, this was taken whislt driving, there is mimumal blurring.
Amazing how the camera phone adjusted its setting to ensure the result.
With the Albury photo (the building), I was standing still trying not to get run over.
The last one is Benalla bridge, a nicely lit time of day.
Camera phones are amazingly simple to operate, one click and your memory is snapped. You can adjust, resize and then of course email or send as an attachment with a text message... gotta love the technology.
Just need that built in as an option to the Nikon...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fruit Fruit glorous fruits

I love taking photos of fruit, they are the greatest still life subject.
They dont move and their detail is wonderful.
You can take the shots in a studio or out in the orchard!
Choose a still day, somedays the wind moved the leaves around!
Cherries are a favourite, their colour is to die for, as long as you can get the WB correct.
My Nikon doesnt particulary like red. But I love the challenge.
The plums in hand were an added bonus.
Bottled fruit is next!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Len Baby Lens Baby Lens Baby ahooo!

What fun, what possibilities for creativity, what freedom!

I gave this lens a test out and I loved it!

What simplistic features, with MUSE three basic components:

- 37mm Threads
- Focusing collar
- Lens mount
- Aperture disks


Now if you’re a Nikon lover, your camera will need to be in manual mode and check the manual for the adjustment for the diopter- if needed.

Using the camera in slightly different way holding the camera and lens focus using the collar, pull in or push out once focused use the front collar to tilt to the left or right up or down until your sweet spot is found.

For a pure creative indulgence you cant go past this baby lens, the endless possibilites attracted me, there are no hard and fast rules..
That’s basically it but what I like is the different aperture disks as these control the size of the sweet spot, the larger the opening the smaller the sweet spot.

Sounds easy?

I thought so but im still practising and practising, see an early result!
More to follow follow follow...

Want to know more check out

Friday, November 20, 2009

Lighting - do it how you want!

Lighting and studio set up are always big disscusion points.
For me i like to do not the norm, it makes for interesting shots.
The experts woudl say tsk tsk, but at the end of the day if you have happy customers you have done your job well!
A couple of my current favourites.
For me to review my lighting positions i use the Light cage @
just go to 3D workshop and then click on artificial lighting, then click on light cage. This hint was given to me by Madsens camera and imaging where I bought my studio set up.
These people have been in the camera business for 42 yearsRead more:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hay and sadness of breaking a lens

Insurance is great if you can get it!

I would like to find an insurance company that can insure against stupidity, as I dropped a lens, a nice 18-200 VR nikkor lens about 4 weeks ago.

But I’m elated as I have a new one now!
It’s like a comfortable pair of old shoes. I’m happy, the camera seems chirper and we are back snapping landscapes and objects close up with a nice DOF.

My camera just recently celebrated 10,000 shots. That’s 5000 shots per year, must remind myself to slow down to the 60 zone and enjoy the journey a bit more.
But thats about a 50/50 mix of work and personal so its all okay.
Here are some putting in the hay shots.
4 sec handheld, may try tripod next time, 24mm, f/ 3.8 @640 ISO.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

post exhibition excitment

Well its over!
The exhibition was great fun and its all over for 12 months now.

We had great fun meeting and greeting visitors and seeing the locals who were able to see our exhibition.
Of course we made lots of sales, took orders and made new friends.
Photo enthusiasts, professionals and lovers of photography came to visit and it was great chatting to all and finding out what makes them excited in this art form.
We had framed photos, unframed work, mounted work, images on canvas, art block and ice mounts to showcase our best!!
Here are two pics of the exhibition.

SPECIAL thanks to Don, Michelle, Bernhard, Di, Scott & Jim and all from Black Spur Inn team and all those who came along!
The positive feedback was huge, about our body of work, the venue and the Inn.
C u next year!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bearded Iris

I love these little guys all cheeky like, they look like they are poking their tongues out!!
Flowers with attitude!

3 more sleeps until my exhibition, OMG!
Enjoy the Iris selection today. I so enjoyed taking them!
Playing with f stops and DOF to create some surreal and real images.
What fun!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dont you love it when you discover something new?

Shh! if you are real good ill share the secret with you!

I have discovered a business who prints images on to canvas.
Now Im sure you will what!


They are very compeditively priced, have fast turnaround times, you can order online (yeah so ....but where can you proof on line as well??) are highly creative and
best of all, they care about your photos and you being happy with the results.

Strange creatures in todays world.

Check out: Brilliant Prints
And because im so impressed check out their other products:
I cant wait for my next arrival in the mail, lots of canvas, ice mounts and art blocks
and only 7 days until I set up for my exhibition


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Working with kids and animals

Don't they say working with kids and animals are challenging times for a photographer?
That can be the case, but I believe you have to be creative, quick and spontaneous - go with the flow.
In this case my subject grabbed my camera and took this photo of her self.

I simply enhanced her eyes and teeth to give her a surreal look.

With the calf, I got down to the same level and zoomed in quick and took the photo.

The other photo I simply tilted the camera and got a long titled shot.
I then placed a beautifier filter through Mr Photoshop and I have a great photo memory.

Have fun, play, enjoy your subjects and your photos will demonstrate the fun and spontaneity.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

WINE & FOOD EXPO Black Spur Inn @ 436 Maroondah Hwy Narbethong

Come visit all these small producers at Black Spur Inn
Sunday 18 October 2009
from 10.30 am - 5pm
Little Cathedral Wines
Girdwood Estate
Snobs Creek Estate
Gioiello Estate
Murrindindi Vineyards
Delatite Winery
Growlers Gully
Kinloch Wines
Sedona Estate
Mt Samaria Vineyard
Ros Ritchie Wines
Buller View Wines
Buxton Trout and Salmon Farm,
and me: Sam Hicks photography, business development and marketing.

There will be marquee stalls on the Lawn:

Alexandra Quality Meats, Wild Crust Bakery,Ashton Lodge Preserves,GSOGA Olive Association,Oi Olives,Plantsby Shelly,Little Food,Mandy’s Cakes,Carty’s Gourmet Nuts,Cathedral Honey,Strathbogie Ranges Olives,Misty Spring Berries,Hook & Spoon wine and food tastings, short lunch & music
see u there!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Self promotion

For some it’s a hard one to work on, promoting oneself.
I love marketing and to produce promotional items, it’s a great time..
I love the design part, working out a theme, a look a feel to work alongside you and your product.
I admit its tricky to step away from your business and objectively look inwards, say to create a marketing and promotional strategy but you can do it..
as Nike say "Just do it! "
The pull up floor banner came from and it looks smart.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ariel shots by the other half and a great flower micro shot

Okay he’s creative but he’s never been up in a helicopter.
And he took my camera, which he has had limited usage of and I thought you know he may get one or to shots but he took some great shots.

Here is a panna, for this shot I simply cropped the helicopter out of the shot.
The next shot I left the helicopter in to give perspective.

The other is a lovely micro flower shot I took with a fellow photographer.
We were playing around in the kitchen with lighting and using lunchbox lids as diffusers.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Over the last couple of years I have really loved exhibiting.

I love the stress, the thrill and the excitement of collecting the pieces together.

My first exhibition was of course with ceramics nearly 20 years ago and since then its evolved from ceramics to ceramics plus photos to photos.

Last year I was fortunate enough to have a fellow photographer come on board.
Don Wilson is a local landscape photographer and we exhibited over Melbourne Cup weekend at CEACA in Alexandra.
See enclosed flyer.

So guess what?
We are doing it again this year.

Even though this year has been a challenging one we will put on a great show over Melbourne Cup weekend at the Black Spur Inn in Narbethong - Details soon.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Books books and more books - e books

Book books and more books, just when you thought you had filled up the book case, now you can fill up the ol computer.
I was snooping around for a book today, looked in the bookcase and like clothes in the cuboard nothing I liked today.
So online I go and I found it.

Perfect Digital Photography By: Dickman Jay and Kinghorn Jay
Published By: McGraw-Hill Edition: 2
According to, this is a the second edition from Jay Dickman and Jay Kinghorn.

They go on to say
" In this completely updated, full-color work, a Pulitzer Prize-winning National Geographic photographer and an Adobe Photoshop Certified Expert guide you through the entire photographic process, from composition to printing and archiving.

The expert techniques inside this masterful guide help you greatly improve both the quality of your photographs and your proficiency in the digital darkroom.

Perfect Digital Photography, Second Edition covers the latest technologies, including digital SLR cameras, Adobe Photoshop CS4, and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, and offers tips for developing an efficient workflow.

Stunning color photographs throughout the book show you the results that you too can achieve."

I was so impressed with this e book I bought it..
Nothing like a good read on a lovely sunday afternoon....and you can never have enough books or e books!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Triptych always a group of three..

Did you know the traditional triptych comes from early Christian altar paintings?
Here I have created a modern one from one photo with a help from Mr Photoshop.

See before, during and after.
I cropped/ chopped the original photo in to three, played with the mode to lab colour, adjusted curves, saved each piece, then opened up a new blank file, adjusted the canvas size, made the background black and began layering.

Great fun and the results definitely have got a slight oriental feel.
Very different from the original photo and where I wanted it to be.
Sometimes you have just got to go along with the flow!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Upper Goulburn Wine

Wine oh glorious wine!
Did you you the Upper Goulburn wine has wonderful cool climate wines?

From the wine growers themselves "This is a super-premium wine-producing area.
Yields are low, and the ancient soil is full of gravel and minerals.
Here, the cool climate produces fine, stylish, wines with elevation being the key determinant of style. The many gold medals gained for the region's wines are for white wines as well as reds. The whites range through crisp, tangy, herbal, sauvignon blanc, elegant, aromatic riesling and pinot gris to spicy gewurztraminer.
Chardonnay is usually refined, stylish, and often European in character."

And they are superb to photograph as well!

Friday, September 4, 2009


Okay a little risque but I love forks, see my ring of forks, they are such great models to work with.
There was a slight shortage in the house for the few hours I was playing with them, all shiny like on black velvet. Soft light on from above in the studio set up with no flash.

Nothing like a good fork ring.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dead trees

The Dead Tree

My life is a dead tree;
Spring is a mockery to it;
But in the winter it shall bear the snows
And rear aloft its stark and hopeless branches
As bravely as another.

Thomas E. Moore.
Helen Rhoda Hoopes page 87 (Kansas City: Joseph D. Havens Company. 1927)

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Some times its great to get in close and personal, capture all that detail and sometimes its nice to stand back and get the full picture.
This fella was at Healesville Santuary in wonderful lighting.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Flowers, Flowers, Flowers

Flowers flowers and more flowers, you can sneak up on them and as long as the wind dies down you can get some great shots.
I just love the colour, the detail and the variety!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New lens like new car...mmm

Smell that leather, appreciate the interior, what colour is it?

How fast does it go, how many kms to the litre do you get?

Well it’s the same with a new lens.

What brand?, what is the mm range on it?

Is it macro?

Is it zoom?, does it come with VR or camera shake stopping features?, did you get any filters?, what can it do, are you happy with it!??

How does it work with your camera, how does it rate with another brand?

Oh I'm getting dizzy....

From one camera lover to another - a nice new piece of glass is another opportunity to explore and try new subjects.

To enjoy and see how they interact with you, your camera and your veiwer as you showcase the story you are trying to tell in each shot.

Call me a romantic...a thrill seeker of the frozen moment in time....thats me!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Merge to HDR

Isn’t the ol Adobe Photoshop’s merge to HDR command just a great tool to combine those multiple images with different exposures of the same image or scene?

This handy little tool although a memory grabber of the biggest proportions can result in you capturing the dynamic range of a scene in a single HDR image.

Most people try scenes, and producing stunning results, I have been experimenting with still life and having a ball!
More next time....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

oh strange little photo file

Ever wonder what happens to the photos that don't make the cut?

They sometimes end up in the rubbish pile file...
simple really
and they are gone.

But sometimes I'm feeling generous and if not in my case they end up in the strange little photo file.
You never know when you may need them.