Retouching a nerve: Kelvin Gilbert

Self promotional work to gain clients in the advertising industr

Photographers familiar with the world of advertising will know what an achievement it is to be featured in the international Lürzer’s Archive 200 Best Ad Photographers Worldwide; this special publication goes out to thousands of influential art directors around the globe. Acknowledging the huge advances in CGI within the industry, the publication also recently began to publish a new special, dedicated to the 200 Best Digital Artists Worldwide – and local photographer Kelvin Gilbert now counts himself amongst that number.

A photography school graduate from Palmerston North’s Universal College of Learning, Kelvin has gone on to win accolades locally and internationally for his creatively distinctive imagery, including being named New Zealand’s Illustrative Photographer of the Year 2013. He now adds having two images published in the Lürzer’s Archive‘s 200 Best Digital Artists worldwide 15/16 special to his impressive resume. Kelvin chats to D-Photo about the win:

D-Photo: How did you come to enter 200 Best Digital Artists Worldwide competition?

Kelvin Gilbert: Earlier in the year I was featured in Production ...full story

Layer blending modes

01 - Blending Modes MenuDigital editing expert Hans Weichselbaum brings us the first half of an in-depth look at blending modes

Everybody working in Photoshop will be familiar with layers. After all, they’re one of the many assets of this program, but very few users take advantage of the layer blending modes. In general, there is more than one way to achieve a certain outcome in Photoshop, but quite often a simple change in blending mode, perhaps in combination with a layer mask, can get you there quicker and with less effort.

Here, I run through most of the available blending modes, with a short description of what each does. In a follow-on article next issue I will show you how to make use of blending modes in your day-to-day photography. Editing programs other than Photoshop (Corel PaintShop Pro and Photoshop Elements, for example) also use layers and blending modes.

Perched near the upper-left corner of the Layers panel you will find the pop-up menu for blending modes with a long list of choices.

Open an image, duplicate the layer, ...full story

Iris stars: Catherine Cattanach

Portrait Classic

This year’s Iris Awards were rather a big deal for Wellington photographer Catherine Cattanach. Not only did she top the competition’s category dedicated to classic portraiture, but the above image also won her the Highest Scoring Entry honour. The powerful photograph reduced many in the judging room to tears, scored a full 100 points from three of the five judges, and landed on a record-setting total of 99. So it naturally had to be the first subject in our serious of in-depth looks at successful individual images from the 2014 Iris Professional Photography Awards.

D-Photo: What was your aim in making the image?

Catherine Cattanach: I think I hardly need to say that my model is an incredible woman. She is my hero, and my aim was to show her strength. I wanted to communicate that while cancer is a serious and feared disease, it’s not the end of dignity or of femininity. Women are not defined by their breasts.

As one of the judges commented, the photograph presents everything so that the viewer has to accept it, because she has accepted it. ...full story

New Kids Photo Comp round opens

First place Sharee McBeth Dallas
First place: Sharee McBeth

D-Photo is once again seeking excellent family photography from its readers in the latest round of the Kids Photo Comp.

This new round has a deadline of October 6, so get the best shots of your kids in to us for a chance at winning an exquisite Moleskine Photo Book Plus from Milk Books, as well as have your image critiqued by a pro and published in the next issue of D-Photo.

Our most recent round was judged by portrait superstar Holly Spring, who picked Sharee McBeth’s gorgeous, candid image of young Dallas as the winner.

Spring says she enjoyed how the image’s narrative is handled, along with the stylistic treatment and shallow depth of field bringing focus to the subject.

“I love that there’s a little story and a touch of mystery going on in this image. Whose braided beanie does this little boy have in his hands, and why are his trousers down around his ankles? Most likely some rough and tumble with a sibling, and this is the ‘nek minnit’ shot.”

Congratulations also to Susie Whelan ...full story

On this weekend

If you’re keen to get out and see some fantastic photography this weekend there is plenty happening around the country:

Russ Flatt: Paper Planes – Auckland


Breaking from his distinguished fashion photography career, Russ Flatt exhibits two distinct personal fine art series of work, each exploring ideas of identity, memory and engagement with the past. The first is a series of detailed colour tableaux, the second black-and-white mug shot-like portraits. The free show is at the Pah Homestead until September 28.


Bev Short: All Woman – Auckland

Portrait photographer Bev Short travelled the country to create compelling, inspiring environmental portraits of empowered New Zealand women from all walks of life in this engaging series. The exhibition is showing free on Waiheke’s Community Art Gallery until the end of the month.


Ann Shelton: Two Words for Black – Auckland


Prolific Wellington-based art photographer, Ann Shelton, has a show combining a sample of her diverse older works alongside new series City of Gold and Lead, which she created while in residence at Tylee Cottage in Whanganui. The exhibition is ...full story

Holly Spring: Worldwide Whimsy


Adrian Hatwell heads along to a show and tell session by the recently-world-famous Auckland photographer, Holly Spring

Local photographer Holly Spring has catapulted into the global spotlight in recent weeks. At this year’s Iris Awards, Holly amassed a large store of accolades for her beautifully creative portraits, and jumped right to the organisation’s Master qualification. Impressive as that achievement was, it was landing a story on the international visual art website, Bored Panda, that brought Holly to the rest of the world’s attention – her images and story have since been featured in the news media in the US, the UK, Europe, South America, India, and beyond.

When the online Meet Up group, Image Central, announced Holly would be coming to speak to an intimate gathering of photography enthusiasts in Auckland this week, I couldn’t pass up the chance to hear how life as a global sensation was going. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all as glamorous as you might imagine; Holly expressed disappointment that much of the media had chosen an exploitative focus on her daughter, Violet, the muse and gorgeous subject for ...full story

Shooting jungle wildlife

Serere, Bolivia

Kelly Lynch offers insight into the gear, guidance and gumption needed for photographing wildlife living in the jungle

Deep in the jungle, Chocó stops suddenly on the path ahead, cups his hands together and mimics the grunts sounding from the canopy high above. He waves for us to follow him off the dirt track, and running over lumpy, leaf-strewn ground we skip around vines, over fallen logs and rippling tree roots. Looking skyward we see one red howler monkey craning her head forward in curiosity at Chocó’s continuing calls. This gives me vital seconds to lift my camera and furiously click before she turns and disappears behind a curtain of greenery.

Early each morning since our arrival at Serere, in the Bolivian jungle, we’d woken to sounds like a brewing storm whirling about in the treetops, and smelled the lingering sweet scent of howler monkey pee, but had never seen them. The monkey’s behaviour is typical of wildlife living deep in the jungle — notoriously shy. Despite hopeful wishing, it’s rare for wildlife to break camouflage and pose for photos, ...full story