Elinchrom Skyport Transmitter Pro with Hi-Sync for Fuji Cameras - a brief introduction

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Elinchrom Skyport Transmitter Pro with Hi-Sync for Fuji Cameras - a brief introduction

For photographers who use the Elinchrom lighting system, one of the appealing parts of the kit has been the ability to take portable studio lights into the field, and do (more or less) whatever we could do indoors with them, out in the wild.

The Quadra / ELB battery powered system has been around for a while now - I started using it a few years ago with my Canon gear, but when I switched completely to Fujifilm’s X-Series cameras earlier this year, it limited a few of my options in terms of how I could trigger the lights. The high speed options went away - but as of now, late September 2018, they’ve released the Fuji version of that trigger; so naturally, I got in line to get my hands on one as soon as they arrived…

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Chronicle90 project at the Kage Collective

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Chronicle90 project at the Kage Collective

Over the past few weeks, we've embarked on a new project over at the Kage Collective - we've called it Chronicle90, and we're posting a new essay every day for three months straight.

As there are currently seven of us in the collective, it's broken down relatively easily into a different person each day of the week (though we did swap days after the first month).

In the course of those first seven weeks, I've been over to Canada and back again; so my essays so far have been in and around those travels, visiting family and friends where I grew up before moving to New Zealand and Australia…

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Photographing the arts: testing & transition

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Photographing the arts: testing & transition

I've written before about the friction of change when you upgrade or change photographic equipment; how getting a new camera can actually make you a worse photographer for a while, as you re-learn everything you've done by instinct for a long time.

Well...I've done it again. (Hopefully it doesn't show, except in a good way!) But sometimes, everything just falls into place.

I worked with Alex Berlage back in January on his marvellous show, There Will Be A Climax - so I was really pleased when he got in touch a little later to talk about his next project, and see how I could get involved on it...

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Photographing the arts: Inclusion & Exclusion

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Photographing the arts: Inclusion & Exclusion

For me, this show started in a warehouse, lying on the floor.

The director, myself, and a model needed to put together an image for the Mardi Gras brochure, before casting was even underway; so we worked together (on the floor) to come up with a look that could say something about the production, without revealing too much - either in terms of the show, or the body.

Because we did know at least that - there were certainly going to be bodies, on stage...

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How to hashtag (and photo credit) #likeaboss

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How to hashtag (and photo credit) #likeaboss

I get it. I do.

It's hard to remember to credit the photographer every time you post something on Instagram. There are so many hashtags and tags to include, plus the location, not to mention the caption - something sometimes gets missed.

But...what if it wasn't that hard? What if you could automate your hashtag / photo credits, for every show? And what if it was actually EASIER than typing them on your phone, even ONCE?

Oh, but it can be. It really, really can.

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Life at 320FPS & Life Between Trains at the Kage Collective

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Life at 320FPS & Life Between Trains at the Kage Collective

In November 2016, I spent ten days travelling in Japan - my first time in the country, and also my first few days with a new camera, the Fuji X-T2, so naturally it was a great way to test out and bond with the new equipment.

I only took three lenses, the same three I've used for a few years now - 18mm, 35mm, and 56mm, which work out equivalent to 28mm, 50mm and just under 90mm - a classic travelling kit of prime lenses.

The result of the trip is a pair of essays I've posted at the Kage Collective site, Life at 320 Frames Per Second in December, and Life Between Trains more recently in January...

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There Will Be A Climax at the Old Fitz Theatre, Sydney

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There Will Be A Climax at the Old Fitz Theatre, Sydney

"An assorted few are convinced they are stuck on a spinning revolve."

So that's pretty much all I knew about There Will Be A Climax, going into the dress rehearsal. There's a revolve - noted. Be ready for movement.

Over the past few months, I've been testing out a new camera, the Fuji X-T2, specifically to see whether I could use it for things like theatre - whether the autofocus would work in low light, whether it would be as good as the Canon gear I've worked with for the past fifteen years.

I'm pretty sure this show proved it is - and then some...!

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The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers Wellington Premiere - 15 years on

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The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers Wellington Premiere - 15 years on

Has it really been fifteen years?

As I mentioned this time last year, not long after I moved to Wellington in the late nineties, Peter Jackson started filming the Lord Of The Rings right in our neighbourhood of Seatoun, where I was living at the time. By the end of principal photography, I had been an Elf, an Orc, a Gondorian and a Rohan - most of them dead, if I'm honest - on sets all over the Wellington region. 

By the time the first film came out, I was also a photographer, with red carpet access for the Australasian premiere at the Embassy Theatre; and a year later, I was back - this time, with considerably more people lining the media pen, and Courtenay Place...

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High Fidelity at the Hayes Theatre

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High Fidelity at the Hayes Theatre

Over at the Hayes Theatre in Potts Point, they do keep busy. It seems like every few weeks there's a new production opening; most recently, the musical High Fidelity, from Highway Run Productions & director Neil Gooding.

As with everything I've seen at the Hayes, the cast and production are exceptional - in a lot of cases, they've come straight from a much larger show to work in this ~100 seat venue, so there's certainly no shortage of available talent in Sydney, at every level of production.

And the reviews reflect that; so of course, the challenge for me is to make it look as good - or better - than it did on stage, so the images that go to reviewers underscore the points they're making about the production, in a positive light...

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Wasted by Kate Tempest at the Factory Theatre, Sydney

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Wasted by Kate Tempest at the Factory Theatre, Sydney

When I got a call recently about a show at the Factory Theatre, and the director described it as 'written by an English slam poet', I didn't exactly know what to expect.

I mean, I've seen the occasional performance poet (Christian Bök at the NZ Festival springs to mind) - but it would be interesting to see how that translated onto the stage, and via the mouths of actors, into characters in a story.

Turns out, there's no question - Wasted is a play, that's clearly written by a poet; and that's fine, actually...

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First XV: Theodora (2016)

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First XV: Theodora (2016)

In some ways, this final image was the hardest to choose - probably in part because the work I've done most recently is so fresh in my mind, but also because I think I've been doing a lot of good work in the last year! If I can be allowed to say so myself. (Hey, it's my blog, okay!?)

Having already posted my favourites of 2016 at the start of this year, it shouldn't be a big surprise that my favourite image is one that was on that list - from Handel's Theodora, the Pinchgut Opera production at City Recital Hall in late November...

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First XV: The Dapto Chaser (2015)

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First XV: The Dapto Chaser (2015)

The Dapto Chaser is one of those shows that will stick with me for years to come.

For me, it's great when I have the opportunity to be involved with a production at several points along the way, from the initial publicity images through rehearsals and onto the stage itself - getting to know the production, as well as the cast and crew, as we get closer to the opening...

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First XV: Vivid Festival (2014)

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First XV: Vivid Festival (2014)

Today's image is a funny one - and a little different to most of the others. It's one I'm fond of nonetheless, which is why it made the list of course!

What looks like a random collection of glowing orbs is the out of focus blur of a number of coloured lights, suspended under the awning of the Museum of Contemporary Art during Vivid here in Sydney, in 2014...

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First XV: Angels In America Part 1: Millennium Approaches at Belvoir (2013)

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First XV: Angels In America Part 1: Millennium Approaches at Belvoir (2013)

This image marks a new beginning in my career to date, as it's the first production photography I did in Australia after relocating to Sydney in December 2012; fortunately for me, it was also a really great production, both in terms of how it looked in the images, and how it played out on stage...!

Belvoir's production of Angels In America is one I've written about before, and one I'm always happy to have another look at; so it's not so surprising that this image is one of my favourites from that year. Really, the hard part was choosing just one moment from the show...

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First XV: Eleanor Catton (2011)

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First XV: Eleanor Catton (2011)

This week's image isn't just one of my favourite images, it's one - by virtue of Eleanor's own success - that has been reused & reprinted far more than anything else in my career to date.

Of course, it's impossible to know the actual number of copies of this image; but I've seen estimates that the book sold 560,000 copies (with one copy of the image in the back of each of those); plus, the image appeared in countless media around the globe when she made the long list, then the short list, and then won the Man Booker Prize in 2013 - so I can scarcely guess the number of printed copies of all of those newspapers!

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First XV: The Arrival at the New Zealand International Arts Festival (2010)

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First XV: The Arrival at the New Zealand International Arts Festival (2010)

It's always tough to choose a single image from a New Zealand International Arts Festival - after all, I photographed for 24 days straight, usually working 17h days; so there are a few to choose from!

And 2010 was a particularly good year, between visiting companies and New Zealand works; but somehow I come back to Red Leap Theatre's production of The Arrival often, when I'm thinking about that festival. It caught me by surprise, I think - in the same way Giselle did two years earlier, I came into rehearsal not knowing much about the show, and came out a fan of the company...

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First XV: Giselle at the New Zealand International Arts Festival (2008)

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First XV: Giselle at the New Zealand International Arts Festival (2008)

If you've visited my website at all in recent years, you've probably seen this one already! Taken at a rehearsal for Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre's production of Giselle at the New Zealand International Arts Festival, it's been one of my all-time favourites for almost a decade now.

As with so many of my favourite images, it doesn't explain itself - but with a graphic shape and strong colour (if not quite clean lines), it lures you into wanting to know more...

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