Posts Tagged ‘studio’


Darren Smith – A Thousand Facets

Some time ago I was approached by sound artist Leah Blankendaal to collaborate with her on an installation based around distortions and refractions. Our ad hoc coffee shop manifesto nailed down one absolute: both of us wanted the exhibition to be experienced in fantastic reality, rather than virtual reality.

This series carries a culmination of interests for me. I love pure aesthetics. I love science. This falls somewhere in the middle, and while produced using digital media the results are absurdly analogue. Here’s a taster to take the edge off  Monday. You’ll have to make your presence felt at Kurb Gallery to complete the set and to absorb the sound component.

Opening night is 6pm Saturday Sept. 21st 2013 at Kurb GalleryA Thousand Facets runs from September 21st to 27th.

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We’re moving

Our little patch of Townshend Road, Subiaco, has seen a lot of changes since the mid nineties when we set up shop there. In fact a quick audit of the area between Hay St and Subi Oval has us as the oldest business. True fact.

Anyways, we’re gorn. We’re leaving East Subi for the gentle vibe of West Subi. We’ve heard tell that, with favourable winds, you can hear the breakers at North Cott on a Sunday. Importantly we’ll still be within coo-ee of Jean Claude Patisserie and we’ll be closer to a train station (Daglish) as well as a pile of our mates.

From June 1st 2012 you’ll find us at 298 Hamersley Road. Subiaco.
Melbourne skyline at night with blurred squiggles


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Farewell Adrian

It’s been two weeks since we said goodbye to Adrian and now that we’ve nearly recovered it’s about time that we shared a few details for those of you that couldn’t make it and to say thanks to those that dropped by. We threw Adrian an ol’ fashioned studio party with a great mix of people and even threw up a few lights on a stand, with a camera there to capture it all.

A dozen or so images to wish one last farewell to Adrian – here’s to you, limey.


Get the Scoop on 2020

…Had a cherry of a shoot a few weeks ago and really wanted to share it. Now that the Spring edition of Scoop is hot off the press, I’m able to lift the lid on what was a blindingly fun series of sessions with some of Western Australia’s finest thinkers and do-ers. 

These and a few other pics sit behind interviews about the hopes, dreams and vision of these fine folks for a betterer Western Australia by the year 2020.

When approached by the chaps and chapesses at Scoop, they had this great idea for a natural looking window lit photoshoot in a lovely old studio, unfortunately that’s not ours, not that ours ain’t a damn fine piece of space mind, but I really wanted it to still have a natural thing going on so I set my cogs winding.

I wanted the reader to see hints of studio equipment, to get a sense of sincerity that would contrast with some studio artifice. Art Gallery of WA Director Stefano Carboni looks nonplussed about his missing arm and architect Gemma Smith is waiting for her ride into the future at a bus-stop-in-the-studio. If you’re a good looking bloke with a face that can tell a story like CEO of the Aboriginal Legal Service of WA, Dennis Eggington, then that may be all that’s needed for a mighty pic.

2020 Vision portrait of Bradley Woods of Australia Hotels Association.
2020 Vision portrait of Dennis Egginton CEO of Aboriginal Legal Service. The most interesting part of the behind the scene’s process was the book that Professor Samina Yasmeen, Director of Centre for Muslim States and Societies, is holding. The arabic script is translated from the title of the Peter Allen song, “emoH ailartsuA llaC llitS I”. You got that, right?. 

Samina didn’t want the script to appear as a label for herself or people that have immigrated, but as the title of the book. I hoped it might hold some interest as it may well be the first time some people had seen how the word “Australia” appears in Arabic script. Thanks Langford Islamic College, in particular Sh. Muhammad Agherdien, for kindly translating and writing it out for me.

Good on yer Darren Smith, for your fine assisting, not to mention your idea to have eco-educator and hotelier Sharni Graham shovel soil across our studio. Even bigger good-on-yers for cleaning it up thirty-odd times! 

So if you want to see the Hon Brendon Grylls MLA shouting his head off at me, Tim Kenworthy, a 21yr old CEO standing on his hands, not to mention a few other interesting peeps, drop into your local caff, order yourself a decaf flat white with 1 big sugar if you are like me and have a nosey through Scoop issue 57 Spring 2011.

2020 Vision portrait of Gemma Smith, Architect at Hocking Heritage Studio.
Still reading? OK, let’s play a game. One of the sitters was upgraded to business class, so to speak, and doesn’t appear in this feature. Instead he has his own feature in the next edition of Scoop. I’ll give the first person to pick it a sweetie if they comment. ;) 2020 Vision portrait of Stefano Carboni, Director of the Art Gallery of Western Australia


On the black art of wine bottle photography

Reflective objects. Some photographers love them. Some love them a little less.Every bottle is a lens and a mirror all at once. Photographing lenses and mirrors comes with its own set of special challenges. Transmissive reflective objects really sort the sheep from the goats! Reflections of the photographer’s workspace, whether that be the studio or location look bad to us. The curve of the bottle very effectively brings the reflected scene into sharp focus, distracting from the key feature of every bottle; the label artwork.

We take the whole reflection thing very seriously. No really we do… if there was some way we could photograph bottles without seeing the light, you know with x-ray or infrared, trust me, we’d be doing it. We harbour a distaste verging on the pathological for those hard edged, bright slicks of light you see in most bottle shots. But illumination is a must so we’ve cooked up a rig in our lab that delivers very soft bottle lighting – just the way we like it. It’s as if your bottle is being lit by interstellar dust. Kind of.

Stella Bella Muscat
Back on earth we have a few other little problem solving tips up our sleeves. Whenever we shoot bottles we ask that you bring us samples that have the seams at the side of the bottle. A bottle seam running through the label is bad news particularly if your label has some foiling.When selecting bottles for photography pay attention to the orientation of the cap in relation to the label. Cork capsules can be spun to align with the label. Stelvin closures can’t be spun in real life without opening the bottle. You probably new that though. Can’t find a stelvin lid that aligns perfectly? Not to worry, a little retouching will see Mr Stelvin’s tie straightened.

If your label doesn’t change from one vintage to the next talk to us about using the magic of pixel punishing to provide you with a set of bottle shots that will see out the decade.

Label designs featured in this post are from top to bottom;

Stella Bella by Steve Boros of Braincells
Fermoy Estate’s Ton Schulten Collection by John Pallett
Vasse Felix rebrand by Studio Bomba
and Frankland Estate by Steve Binnie of First Nature Design