Memories of Madiba: Nelson Mandela

Mandela-6Peter Bush recalls the privileged few times he photographed one of the world’s great leaders over his storied career.

When the huge shadow of the low-flying 747 passenger jet blocked out the sun from Ellis Park Stadium, I raised my camera in total disbelief. The slow passenger plane seemed to hover over the nearly full rugby stadium, before roaring on over the city of Johannesburg. The noisy crowd, which had fallen silent as the plane skimmed across the stadium, now burst back to life. The Zulu dancers in the middle of the playing field resumed their vigorous dance routine, with throbbing drums and high-pitched chanting.

Surprisingly, once again the music was drowned out as the jet made another leisurely sweep across the stadium. This was a prelude to the dramatic 1995 Rugby World Cup final between South Africa and New Zealand, finally won in extra time by South Africa, 15 to 12.

Before the start of this most memorable of all rugby games, myself and a number of other photographers had briefly met Nelson Mandela, the truly legendary ...full story

The sincerest form of flattery

Ripping off somebody else’s image isn’t usually a good idea (though our digitally-connected world makes it seem unfortunately common these days), but if you do it with the right intentions it can be a valuable technical experience.

So learnt the pupils of this year’s Kingsize Scholarship class when they were assigned the task of plagiarizing a famous portrait, using fellow students as subjects.

The idea was to try to emulate the lighting set up of these well known images as closely as possible, to gain hands-on knowledge of how such looks are created in the studio, explains course leader Luke White.

“By relinquishing creative control, the students were able to concentrate on simply deconstructing and replicating their chosen image as closely as possible without worrying about all of the other decisions that a portraitist must usually consider.”

Below are the portraits produced by the students, along with links to the original image and a brief statement as to why they chose the image they did, and what they learnt from the experience.

Ryan Meta: Portrait of Miley Cyrus in Vanity Fair, by Annie Leibovitz

1 Ryan Meta ...full story

Sneak peek at Auckland’s new photo school

UcolOne of the country’s most acclaimed photography education programmes is opening its doors in Auckland early next year and tomorrow perspective students can get a glimpse of what they’ll be in for come semester one.

The Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is launching the Institute of Commercial Photography Auckland in February 2014, and is hosting an open workshop at Kingsize Studios in Grey Lynn tomorrow to showcase the course.

The new school will be offering UCOL’s successful two-year Diploma in Photographic Imaging, previously only available at the institute’s Palmerston North campus, and staff will be on hand tomorrow to talk interested parties through the programme.

Head along to the event, open from 10am to 3pm, and you’ll also be able to take part in a professional studio shoot with models, studio gear and many friendly pros on site for guidance.

The Auckland institute will be based in Newmarket, where the industry-focused diploma will be taught in a new, purpose-built facility.

The school held a similar workshop today, where eager students were enjoying the chance to get hands-on with the studio equipment ...full story

Kids Photo Comp deadline looms

The deadline for submissions to the next round of D-Photo‘s Kids Photo Comp is in a week’s time, so get the best shots of your kids in today.

Last issue’s competition winner was Steve Griffin from Kapiti, selected by award-winning Auckland portrait photographer, Bianca Duimel.

Acting as guest judge for the competition, Duimel says Griffin’s image was a clear winner for her:

Beautiful capture, nicely lit, sharp enough to see all the details you need to, and great eye contact with the model, which is so important in a great portrait. I love the texture surrounding her, making it look as though it is winter, but she is toasty and warm. The colours chosen work very well together and give it almost a fashion feel.

The little girl looks relaxed, and the composition of the image is great. A few little dust spots, but other than that, just beautiful.

Further congratulations goes out to our two runners-up, Jo McCarthy and Kerry Myers, whose images can be viewed below.

If you would like a chance to have your favourite image of your kids ...full story

A remote solution for dangerous nature shots

On a recent safari trip to Africa acclaimed travel photographer Chris McLennan got to field test a newly designed photography toy for getting up close and personal with some of the region’s more dangerous denizens.

Car-L is a 4×4 camera buggy dreamed up by McLennan, a regular D-Photo contributor, and brought to life by engineer Carl Hansen, which safely houses a Nikon D800E and was remote controlled to get close up images of the wilder animals in the Botswana area.

Below is a video McLennan put together of Car-L in action, meeting a playful pride of lions and getting some stunning shots of the gorgeous cats in playful action.

Free day of gear play and learning

Photo ExpoThe Advertising and Illustrative Photographer’s Association will be hosting its annual photographic trade show in Auckland next Saturday, giving everyone the chance to check out all the latest gear, as well as sitting in on free seminars from top pros.

Photo Expo, previously known as Gear Fest, will be held on Saturday, November 23 at White Studios in Eden Terrace – entry is free, all the major brands will have their wares on show and there also be special show pricing and spot prizes.

And this isn’t just a chance to window shop, there will be dedicated product test areas, complete with professional models, to try out anything that catches your eye as well as demo shoots with professional photographers.

Additionally, throughout the day an impressive roster of industry professionals will be delivering a series of seminars, including fashion and beauty photographer Fiona Quinn, commercial photographer Alex Wallace, and NZ Travel Photographer of the Year Mike Hollman – see the end of the post for full seminar schedule.

Brands with their latest models on display include Nikon, ...full story

Win: D-Photo Facebook cover shoot


Having recently rolled over the 6000-like mark on our Facebook page we’ve decided to give the page a bit of a facelift – help us find our new Facebook cover image and, as well as getting your image in front of thousands, you’ll win a subscription to D-Photo.

Readers should submit their best photos for use as a welcoming banner atop our Facebook page and the photographer whose shot is selected will win a 12-month subscription worth $49.

All images should be sized to the Facebook banner ratio – 851×315 pixels – so crop skilfully and submit an image that speaks to all the creativity, insight, experimentation and inspiration we like to think D-Photo stands for.

Please send appropriately cropped images to with ‘Facebook cover’ as the subject along your name, address, email, phone and any additional details about the image you care to share.

Keep in mind that we will be placing the D-Photo logo somewhere on the image, so let us know if you have a preference.

Get your images in by Thursday, November 21 for a shot at the ...full story