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Fashion photographer Russ Flatt weaves multifarious narratives with his latest ambitious personal project

The career path from the incubator of art school out into the harsh reality of commercial photography is a fairly common one, but it’s a story that played out in reverse for photographer Russ Flatt. Having already established himself as a leading fashion photographer, both in New York and New Zealand, it was Flatt’s decision to go back to school that led him to the creation of his latest personal work.

Shooting for a steady base of regular clients since returning home to New Zealand in 2007, Flatt recently decided to tackle a Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Arts at Auckland’s Elam art school, part-time.

“I went back because I needed to get a fresh perspective on photography again, and to really explore the medium without the constraints from a lot of other people,” the photographer explains. “I did it for completely selfish reasons — for me.” (more…)

Beyond boundaries

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Windy Tree

Adrian Hatwell and New Zealand Photographer of the Year for 2013, Kaye Davis, look at photography’s past to chart the future

Innovation provokes a response, positive or otherwise, and this has never held truer in the realm of photography than in our era of easy access to powerful digital tools. Of this, photographer Kaye Davis is well aware. In her capacity as honours chair for the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP), and as a lecturer in photography, she often deals with pioneering imagery and ideas — along with the fallout they can generate. This year Davis takes an even more prominent role in the discussion, as her boundary-pushing images have won her the honour of New Zealand Photographer of the Year.

Davis topped the Creative category of the NZIPP’s 2013 Iris Professional Photography Awards with a series of intricate graphic prints, as well as impressing the judges with her Illustrative category entries. Amid tough competition from the country’s top photographers, Davis’s portfolio was found to be the strongest — a win she says she’s still ...full story

Panorama crop

Back in D-Photo no. 55, Mike Langford looked at three different images submitted for critique that could best be improved with a panoramic crop:

1. Lindis Pass

Lindis AOriginal

There is great atmosphere in this image, helped by the mist rolling in from the corners. All the same, two things are very distracting, the cyan colour of the sky and the brightness of the sky itself.

Lindis BCropped

If we crop out the sky altogether both problems are no longer there. What we get instead is this wonderful rolling valley, with mountains that are as high as your imagination wants them to be. I have added a little contrast just to increase the visual drama of it all. Great shot.

2. Glacial Pool

Glacial Pool AOriginal

What is distracting in this shot is the commonplace inclusion of the side of the road and the people walking. Take these away and your eye starts to ...full story

Shoot the Northern Lights with an astrophotography master

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A trip to the Arctic and Norway sounds like a pretty great trip in itself, but combine it with seeing the Aurora Borealis performing incredible light shows, and learning how to capture it on camera, and you’re heading into the realms of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Mark Gee, a Wellington-based photographer and one of the country’s leading astrophotographers, leads the Northern Lights photography masterclass, The Art of Night, from December 12–18, 2014.

Participants will learn from the world-class digital visual effects artist, who will condct daily hands-on workshops, as well as experiencing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities like dog-sledding expeditions, nightly Northern Lights hunts, close encounters with wolves, and reindeer-sledding in the Arctic landscape.

Plenty of Mark’s night photography secrets will be shared with attendees while capturing the light shows, which will not again be as vibrant as during this expedition until 2024.

There are only six spaces left so if this trip sounds like a pre-Christmas trip for you, book now.

Iris Stars: Andy Brown

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Christchurch wedding photographer Andy Brown is our next Iris Star, nominated by Clinton Lloyd to discuss this image from  the Wedding Creative category, which won a Bronze award though Clinton reckons it should have scored even higher.

Known for his emphasis on authenticity in wedding photography, Andy tells D-Photo about putting together this inventive shot, the idea for which he’d been toying for some time:

D-Photo: Can you tell us a little bit about the wedding this was shot for? Whose was it, where was it, and how did it all go?

This was from Grace and Ben’s wedding down at Longbeach Estate near Ashburton.It was certainly a highlight wedding for me, we had beautiful light to work with, the location oozed with rustic character, and Grace and Ben were a lot of fun to photograph.

The rustic building in the shot is wonderful – was that part of the wedding, or somewhere you took the couple specifically for the shot?

Yeah the whole area down there was really well suited for their wedding and the style they wanted to portray. ...full story

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