Travels and Stuff

I love Melbourne!

I need you to picture something with me. Picture a wonderful blue sky Autumn day, it’s about 24 degrees (75f) and the air is moving lazily through the tall skyscrapers of Melbourne Australia. It’s about 5:30 in the afternoon just as the shadows grow long and the light turns golden from the setting sun, a scene that never ceases to be beautiful. I see two people having just looked at each other in the eye and taking turns and exchanged vows of love, of commitment, of honesty and trust. Then one by one they looked at each and when asked the question of whether they will take each other to have and to hold, in sickness and in health until death do they part willingly and happily they each said.

I do.

I capture this wedding ceremony with my camera making sure, damn sure that I capture all of the moments before me. When the moment comes where the husband kisses the bride my camera, shooting at seven photos a second captures during the six second kiss forty two perfect photos. Because you know, you can never be to sure :)

The ceremony took place in an outdoor cafe along the beautiful Yarra river during the yearly festival called ‘Moomba’. I was warned light heartedly that it would be a little crazy, which is to say that normally a peaceful city is turned upside down with thousands of people walking around in a festival feel in the air. I worried that as people walked by people would call out, heckle and interrupt the ceremony.

What struck me a beautiful moment however was during the whole ceremony not a single stranger as they walked by witnessing the ceremony as made any offensive comment or any comments at all. In the moments where I could steal a glance I saw lots and lots of people just standing and witnessing what was going on. They all had warm smiles on their faces, some taking photos but enjoying the moment of watching two complete strangers marry each other. During the kiss they even applauded with family and friends. A truly beautiful moment. 

We left the cafe and went on our photowalk. With all the nervous tension in the air now evaporated the blissfully happy couple could relax. 

This is where things turned wonderfully wonderfully weird.

Walking throughout and finding a place to pose and take photos group of girls walked by and one of them, well there is no other way of putting it. Was wearing a chicken outfit. Why? Because it’s Melbourne and if you want to wear a chicken outfit you pretty much can. They all ‘awwwwwwwed’ as they kissed for the photo and well before I could stop myself I asked the happy couple of they would like a chicken in the photo, for you know.. The memories. They laughed and agreed!

We laughed our heads off as the chicken posed and I snapped away the photos. I am always blown away by how wonderfully random weddings are, how this city is how and know that this memory will just grow funnier over time as the happy couple grow old together and remember a time when a woman dressed as a chicken posed with them for the wedding photos.

I love my job!

 

 

Watching Ed Sheeran

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So it's been a fairly long time since I have seen a show. We were able to get tickets and so we thought what the hell. 

 

The show it self was raw and poweful.. He was able to have the presence of a whole band and yet it was just him.  

 

What I also noticed how people just loved to capture what was going on with then cameras... I was caught up in the moment and so I took this shot..  

I had a ball!!

Photographing Music

So this is a grape vine, at sunset. And that’s all you can say about that really, when you get right down to it. However for me, it’s not. It’s music. 

Let me explain as that probably makes no sense whatsoever. 

So I was on a photo shoot for an engagement (a week before the wedding) somewhere in country Victoria, probably in the middle part but the name escapes me, probably something with the word ‘Valley’ in the end. Anyway I was there shooting the happy couple and the magic hour came and went when just as I placed the camera back in the car, closed the door when I turned around, the sun had just set and it turned the world into a golden yellow. Mid goodbyes I stop talking grabbed my camera and ran up to the vinyard and started taking photos like a madman. 

It was then I realised that I was receiving rather strange looks from the new Bride and Groom to be. It is one thing to hire a photographer that is always extremely keen, but it is another who runs away in mid conversation to take a photo of something strikingly pointless. 

The photo in the can (what I call a shot still in the camera, don’t know why it’s not a film reference but I motion picture reference, and I don’t even think it’s that, anyway I started calling it that and it’s stuck, so if I say that please don’t look confused) wasn’t anything like it was going to be when finished. 

Walking back to the car with an amazing amount of satisfaction on my face I was asked politely what that was all about, I replied that I was able to capture something truly wonderful. When asked I answered, 

‘Music’

Later I was able to make the photo resemble the photo I had inside my head. I didn’t use photoshop but just tweaking the contrast and the shadows a bit made the shadows stand out and now when I look at the wire in the middle of the shot I am reminded of music written down on a sheet of paper. 

It’s one of those shots that just comes around once in a while. I always look at this photo and think one thing. “When you feel the urge to run to a shot but think you probably shouldn't. Unless you are putting yourself in danger you should run, run as fast as you can and take the shot. More often than not it will all work out for the best, if it doesn’t. Well then you just had a bit of exercise and that’s always good for you :)

-ak

A Planned Mistake

So here is a completely planned mistake, and I love it!

During an event it’s likely that I will take about 3000 to 4000 photos. I kind of go a little nuts when I am lost in the moment, the result is besides making sure i nail the photos for the client I make sure I have a chance to experiment a little, otherwise how else will I grow as a photographer? So anyway with this shot I came away with about ten that were just wonderful but I settled on this photo

Why do I like it so much? Well it shows two people lost in the music and the moment. I wanted to capture the movement and that feeling of being lost.

I can stare at this photo for hours :) I hope you like it.

Cheers

Andrew

 

Photographing Heston Blumenthal

So I was really lucky to be hired to photograph Heston Blumenthal! After the official shots were taken I asked him if I could try something. I asked him for a minute or two to take a couple of shots saying "It will either work really well or be totally crap" he said "sure mate lets do it!" 

We took a series of shots in about 30 seconds and I showed him them in the camera where in colour he just looked orange...

He gave me the very best "I'm going to be supportive but deep down I think the photo sucks" when he said "oh yeah that's greeeeeeaat" 

I told him not to worry, the photo will be in black and white "oh of course!" He said smiling :)

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, you never know how a photo will turn out. It's worth giving everything a try.. If the photo ends up being kind of capita still a memory. But you won't know unless you try :)

Swish!!

#nophotoshop

Being Very Clear

I need to be very clear right at this point in time. And when I mean clear I mean crystal. What I am trying to be is about as crystal clear as a glass made out of crystal and it is astonishingly clear. The kind a bartending holds up to the light, exhales a breath of amazement and gathers the chaps around and shows them (without letting them touch naturally) the mind blowingly clear crystal he just produced with household cleaning products.

Ok here we go. That Lamborghini you see above, it not my car. Not even close to my car. The red car behind is not my car as well. If it were, if any of them were it would be a point of concern. You see I have left my car at shopping malls and such before and then walked out to carpark purple fish when I should of walked out on green chess piece and wandered around for a while thinking I have lost my car.

If this was my car, if any of them were my car then it would be amazing indeed. For I am Australian, my car is in Australia and those two before you are located in Detroit USA. Also my car is a completely different make and model entirely. So there you go, neither one of those cars are in fact mine.

I asked if I could have the car. The owner said no.

Not my car.

A lovely car though.. As it drove off the noise billowed up the streets like a bull with it’s testicles kicked. The sound echoed off the buildings and was carried by the wind for quite some time.

It’ a Thursday, around 5:00pm and the set of Happy Endings is just wrapping up. It has been a hectic day of acting, more acting and even more acting. If you thought this industry glamorous then you are mistaken..  It’s not, it’s really not.. What it is, is bloody hard work. The main reason is that the actors have to look so perfect all the damn time. No matter what time of the day or night (and allot of day scenes are shot at night.. doesn’t that blow your mind) and no matter what personal tragedies are going on in their personal lives once they step on the set and into the lights they remove their person personas like shedding a bathrobe to step into the shower and become the character..

Think it’s easy? It’s not. Here’s an exercise. On Monday morning walk into work nice and early and then be nice to everyone there… Really damn nice, walk around and high five every one. Pat a few people on the back and laugh at a really pathetic joke. Then as 10:00 comes, do it again.. Then at 11:00, then at 12:00… Then at 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00..

Take a break for 15 minutes to apply makeup.

Then sit in a chair and do nothing for about three hours.. Don’t go home though, you aren’t done.

Then at 20:00 do it again.. 21:00, 22:00..

Then at 23:00 you get to go home.. but tomorrow you have to be back at work the next day at 5:00am and they want you to do it all over again but with a different outfit because your boss wants to try this one out because the last outfit ‘wasn’t quite working’

So as I see people walking around the set with an amazingly positive and joking attitude I did marvel at the energy of everyone. Everyone, and I mean freaking everyone wants to make a really wonderful film.. From the guy bringing the 15th sandbag to hold down a sunlight blocker. To the mic guy, to the directors, actors and the sea of other crew members I don’t know the names or titles for.. Their bustling makes me feel ashamed to be standing there watching it all.

Almost.. I was too busy eating from their snack bar and watching my partner be amazing to be too ashamed :)




 

Let me explain this Beer Can

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So let me explain this beer car. 

It's about 6:30pm and I'm standing in the main Street of Detroit, just outside the affectionately and artistically named "Central Municipal Building of Detroit" I sit and go through I my photographic gear. Ileana and a small crew are driving around the city doing reaction shots for a car chase scene so I have some time on my hands. Sitting against a stone pillar which I consider way to high for a "municipal building" I chap walks up to me and offers me a beer.

To offer an Australian a beer is a big deal. No it doesn't mean we are now engaged to be married (we stopped doing that about twenty years or so ago) but it is a gesture of friendship which can't be ignored. So I enter the group of people known as the crew and we start a chatting. 

It was a really nice day. Warm, not to windy and perfect to enjoy a beer... I was only half way through and the crew having walked off todo what a crew does when a stranger in an outfit that broadcast "I go to the gym and I care how I look" walks by and asks me.

"So what's going on here?" I explain to him we are a film crew.. Bending the term 'we' to pretty much breaking point. He takes a look around and then asks.

"You filming that Transformers 4 here?" 

"No it's a Bollywood movie, called happy ending"

"Oh!"  He said in surprise.." I see filming going on all over this here town! Ain't that a thing!!" He said.. And having satisfied his curiosity and well having nothing else to talk about save me asking what a 'thing' is he walks off.. After taking about ten steps he turns around and waves and says "you have yourself a great day now you hear!?" 

"I will!" I say back , projecting my voice a little to loud. I didn't want to disappoint him so I planned to have exactly that.. A great day"

That is possibly the third time. A stranger in Detroit has been as nice to me as possible. This is a city where it is apparently a place you do not want to visit. Honestly when it comes to this city, I can't wait to go back! 

“Take your shoes off!” She said in her rasping gravely voice “take your bloody shoes off!”

The metal door frame siren is a continuous beep as the looming figure of a broad shoulders overweight man looks back at his wife in pure scorn.

“My shoes!?”

“It's the shoes! I took my shoes off, you need to take yours off as well!”

He reaches down, lifts the leg of his jeans and with shaking hands slides his thumb in between the right tanned worker boot and slid it off.. Then grab the other shoe exhibiting all signs of a man that had enough, a man who was trying to hold onto his temper and failing, a man who is about to fall all intensive purposes is about to blow.

With both shoes in his hands muttering “I'll take my shoes ofd, you see I'll take my bloody shoes off!' he half shoves half throws them to the awaiting security officer.. The shoes bounce off the awaiting man's chest and falls to the conveyor belt and one to the floor.

The security officer looks down, then he looks up, he breaths in and out.

"Sir, if you show any more aggression at this stage you will not be processed.” he monitored by of the broad shouldered man.

“But the bloody shoe-” he began to retort

“You have been warned once sir, I will not warn you again. If you show any more aggression then you will not be processed. Sir do you acknowledge this?”

All this happened whilst I stood patiently to have my item scanned, on a Thursday morning, on a humble flight to Sydney.

I follow them through, ignored for the first time in forever by the bomb inspection chap. And as I walk I expect to hear the continuance, no the escalation of the argument so passionately started before.. Instead the the wife walks up the man, now hunch shouldered and looking the very picture of ashamed. Her right arms moves to the centre of his back and rubs it up and down consolingly. “sorry love” he said and smiled sheepishly. The words are lossed but they walk off together. The arm however is still rubbing. They walk close and together and I smile to myself at the love of an old married couple.. It has cracks, it is a little worn and maybe frayed a little on the edges but the endearing spirit of two people ten twenty or so years into their life's journey is something truly to behold..

Is there anything more beautiful than an old married couple still acting in love? More beatiful than young love, for all its fire and energy.. Two young logs thrown together and the flame lick higher and higher.. But no coals.. Nothing substantial.. A small gust of wind, a little water and it's all gone.. And old married couple.. That like two large logs burning on a bed of coals. It says “we may not burn the brightest, but we have been her almost all night and darling, we can burn for allot longer yet. So burn with me, burn with me”

I even love the silly jokes that are only funny to them “Oh darling I don't need sugar, I'm sweet enough” or “I swear you are deaf as a post… What!?” with a grin to follow..

Old love.. There is nothing like it..

Maybe a puppy in a onesy'

“Oh no the Camry is a blood good car!”

“Bugger of! The Camry!?”

“bloody. Good. Car! Take my word for it she goes”

“She goes does she?”

“Like the clappers! Really bloody responsive too”

I'm seated in row 19a and the two guys behind me in 20a and 20b set their volume to 11 and start and continue to talk about cars for the entire trip..

I really don't like cars.. Well they start to interest me when they reach the $200,000 mark or the one time one cars you get at concept shows.. But a Camry? That is not worth a 40 minute discussion. This is the time I pull out the blessed noise cancelling earphones. They drift away into white noise and I kick back and relax

Sydney here I come.

Hello :)

So I love writing.. I love observing this weird and wonderful world around us and on the odd occasion I love to write what I see down and record it. This happens mostly when I travel as that is usually the time I see the world at it's weirdest and most wonderful. I can hardly regard the profound amazement of my inside lounge room and what is happening on the tv right now!

Well not twice anyway.

So this will be the place that I will write for the joy of writing, tell for the joy of telling and show some photos that explain what I see. They probably won't be the best photos so please don't judge me harshly on that. Oh and another thing, please don't tell Mrs Mailoux my grade twelve English teacher that I am doing this. She has suffered enough from reading my prose.

Ok here we go.

Oh another thing, I will most likely flip flop from reminiscing of the past or current event. So if it doesn't make any sense and the ensuing confusion it causes, again I'm sorry. 

Sorry sorry sorry.

Enjoy :)