New in town

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The continuing saga of commercial photographer Brett Stanley’s move from Wellington to LA

Starting up afresh in a new country was never going to be easy. I knew that from the outset, but I was prepared to take my time, and was not expecting anything amazing to happen straight away.

Before moving to Los Angeles in December 2012 I had been quite hectic with my business, and the act of packing two people’s lives into a three- by one-metre storage locker the night before I flew out took its toll. I pretty much slept until Christmas, and in-between the sleeping I ate. Badly. The food in America is amazing in its awfulness: the perfect mix of addictive and deadly that makes it so hard to quit. You can eat healthily but it just takes more effort, and I was here to experience the American way (for a time) so doughnuts, tacos, burgers, and pizza it was.

I don’t regret a thing. (more…)

Novel prophecy: Gavin Hipkins

This year’s New Zealand International Film Festival is bolstered, as always, by a strong array of locally produced films, and for audiences with an interest in photographic art, cinema, and literature, there’s one release of particular note – Gavin Hipkins’ Erewhon. The Auckland-based visual artist has been exhibiting his photography throughout the globe over the past two decades and, after turning his attention to film in recent years, has now produced his first feature-length project.

The film, described as a moving-picture essay, made its world debut at the Auckland leg of the festival this week, and travels down the country in coming weeks. D-Photo catches up with the artist to ask him about the transition from still photography to feature film:

Erewhon (Origins)

D-Photo: Can you tell us what your film, Erewhon, all about?

Gavin Hipkins: My film is an experimental adaptation of Samuel Butler’s anonymously published 1872 novel Erewhon: or, over the range. The book has been described as a utopian satire. The film charts the narrator’s journey from a Canterbury high country sheep farms to a fictional society where vegetarianism is ...full story

Learning the art of authenticity

© Daniel Bilsborough

Has digital post-processing killed authenticity in photography? It’s a common enough claim, but one workshop is looking to refute that, offering to develop software skills in line with the time-honoured processes of the darkroom.

Melbourne-based photographer Daniel Bilsborough has created The Art of Authenticity, an online one-day workshop aimed at teaching beginner- to intermediate-level photographers how to develop their photographs in Lightroom using the kind of processes and reaching the same outcomes you’d expect from working in a darkroom.

With the feeling that more and more people are skipping photographic fundamentals in favour of simply “finding the right app”, Bilsborough has developed his Lightroom curriculum through Djb Photography School to teach core skills like composition and creating a connection through imagery. (more…)

Virtues of diversity: Sara Orme

saraContinuing our series of interviews with the prestigious photographers who will be speaking at this year’s Infocus photography conference, D-Photo catches up with the uniquely talented Sara Orme.

Sara produces beautiful work across a staggering array of styles, from fashion, beauty, and advertising to lifestyle, documentary portraiture, and fine art. Uniting her diverse portfolio is a superb technical mastery and an organic ability to convey emotion that permeates all she produces.

You’ve almost definitely been exposed to images Sara has created in big campaigns for the likes of Tourism New Zealand, Max Fashions, and Campaign for Wool, amongst a long list of other impressive clients. But with a background in both psychology and art history, the photographer is just as at home outside the commercial world, shooting her own self-directed art projects.

Sara will be delivering a talk entitled ‘Traversing different genres in 20 years’ that is sure to be full of excellent advice accrued over a truly impressive career. We put a few quick questions to Sara so you can get to know her a little better before the big event:

...full story

The buzz of it all: Rachel Callander

_DSC0353-2 (2)Next month one of the biggest events on the local photography calendar kicks off; from August 3 the three-day Infocus photography convention begins in Rotorua. Organized by the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography, the event will see some of the biggest names in the business converge on the Emergy Events Centre for a programme of inspiring talks, hands-on workshops, industry exhibitions, and general merriment.

In the weeks leading up to the event D-Photo is bringing you interviews with some of the illustrious photographers who will be speaking at Infocus, so you can get to know them beforehand and gain even more from their presentations. First up we have the ever-lovely Rachel Callander, wedding and portrait photographer extraordinaire at Timaru’s Callander Girl Photography.

As well as being named New Zealand Wedding Photographer of the year in 2011 and pulling in a litany of accolades at the Iris Professional Photography Awards, Rachel is just about to release a very special photographic book, entitled Super Power Babies. Dedicated to celebrating the unique spirit ...full story

Aperture and Shutter Priority modes

In D-Photo’s continued push to help beginners move away from shooting in Auto mode, we speak with Matt Nixon of Photo & Video International about getting creative with the Priority modes

In Issue No. 53 we looked at shuffling that mode dial off Auto mode and starting to come to grips with exposure basics in Program mode. Now we’re going to get a little braver and explore Aperture Priority (often denoted as A or Av, for aperture value, on the mode dial) and Shutter Priority (S or Tv, for time value).

Why use Priority modes?

Most modern DSLR cameras will do a pretty decent job of exposing a shot when set in Auto mode, but by just pointing and shooting you’re not learning much as a photographer, and you’re sacrificing most of your control. As Matt Nixon from Christchurch’s Photo & Video explains, if you really want to get creative with your camera you need to move beyond Auto. (more…)

Introducing Edin Whitehead, Amateur Photographer of the Year

© Edin Whitehead, Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year 2014 - web

Those of you who’ve picked up D-Photo no. 61 have already been exposed to the wonderful work of Edin Whitehead, gracing the cover as this year’s New Zealand Amateur Photographer of the Year.

Whitehead came out on top of a truly staggering pool of 5783 entries, the most we have ever received in the competition’s history, with her beautifully tranquil image of a Western Cattle Egret, taken during a trip to South Africa.

We caught up with the 20-year-old Auckland University student, originally from Rotorua, to ask her how she felt about winning the top spot in the 2014 Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year competition:

“I think excited is probably the best word, once I got past the initial disbelief! I’m excited because for me, it means that I’m going in the right direction with my photography, which is really rewarding to know.” (more…)