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Sunday, 8 September 2013

2013 Federal Election wrap-up

Thanks god it's over...
After so many months of comment and conjecture, I think the country as a whole gave a collective sigh of relief.  If not for the outcome, at least for the end to the 24/7 discussion about politics and more precisely politicians. I travelled up north to cover the seat of Lyons where ultimately Dick Adams lost his 20 year strong hold to new Liberal candidate Eric Hutchinson.

 It was a crazy day with many many photos taken, some for online some for the paper, and some that ended the day on the cutting room floor, so I thought that I'd revive them from their early grave and show a selection here.
 Well, I'd better start with my lovely wife, Donna, who got wrangled in at the last moment when I realised it would be the first time ever that she'd vote! Coming from Canada where voting is voluntary and only becoming Australian 2 years ago this was her first opportunity to pencil her little number in the little boxes. A feat worth celebrating! I caught up with her on the way out of town at the Friends School polling station.

8am- We kicked through Bridgewater briefly stopping by a free sausage sizzle and photographing Eric and Dick for the first of many times in one day before travelling about 30km north to the small town of Bagdad to find the charming Jasangel Elliott who was working as a polling officer in full Indian celebration dress at the polling station. She was extremely happy to jump in a quick shot .

11am- We then moved x-country to New Norfolk to catch up with Greens candidate Pip Brinklow (pictured in red). It was great to have a chat to someone that I really knew very little about. Pip was really warm and genuine. So I hope that she stays around to contest the seat again in 3 years.

The Longford Memorial Hall. Beautiful light and residents rushed in the final hours of voting.
1 pm- Then in was back to home base to drop gun Lyons journo Duncan Abey back into the office and file some images quickly for web before jumping back in the car and travelling North to shoot the rest of the day on the other side of Lyons. If you can't see it from the map below Lyons is easily to biggest electorate in Tasmanian and almost certainly the most diverse, running from Port Sorell in the north, St Helens in the east through the Midlands and down to Sorell and Port Arthur in the south.

3pm- It was a mad rush up the Midlands Highway with a lightening (obligatory) stop at Zeps for a take-away pick me up, before heading straight to Longford to get pics of Dick Adams voting in his home town. Meeting fellow southy Blair Richards (to team up for the rest of the day). I was starting to feel like I was stalking Dick by this point. The late light on the classic Memorial Hall at Longford was amazing, only topped by the drive from Longford to Launceston. More Mad organising checking in, swapping cars and getting into the Launceston Mercury Office to catch up the sharp shooter Ross Marsden and Fear and Loathing esk Nick Clark and Bruce Mounster. The results started to flow through and it wasn't long before we were heading off again to interview and shoot Dick Adams (before he officially conceded defeat) and Eric Hutchinson (before he officially claimed victory).

New member for Lyons
 Eric Hutchinson
Dick Adams ended a 20 year reign of Lyons in his campaign office in Perth
8pm- It was a very mottled tone in the Dick Adams party room that evening a some watched hope ever dwindling on the big screen which others prodded at cold sausages on the table full of left over food. I really liked the Australian vernacular within the simplicity of the scene by the side door of the office and chose this location for the third and final image of Dick from the day.

Again we were racing to get copy and pictures filed and only had time for a whirlwind stop by the Bass Liberals office to shoot Eric and Andrew Nicolic celebrating and grab some more quick video.
 Rush Rush Rush to file. 10.30pm
Thank God it's over.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Back in Sydney for SOCAP

So after a couple of trips to Melbourne in the last few weeks, I'm now a little further north in the sunny city of Sydney for the SOCAP Symposium and awards. It's actually one of the more interesting conferences that I photograph with speakers primarily taking about customer service and complaints procedures. The topics though seem to always relate to what makes a great service or product and how you support your customers to give them the best experience. Universally interesting topics for anyone in business.
I was thinking about this on the way up in two situations that I've been through recently, Flying Virgin and a faulty Calvin Klein watch.

Travelling a little more certainly makes you appreciate the small things; Virgin now offering free tea and coffee, or just walking down the isle with water. They've also go an on demand entertainment app now which worked seamlessly. On the other hand my rather expensive CK watch which fell apart after just over a year was resolutely denied a warranty claim recently, despite the fact that it has no signs of damage or careless treatment.
The decision for me is simple- support those companies that have an attitude of proactive care and support rather than those that decide they would rather squeeze another $200 out of you for simple repairs.
So anyway, after all my ramblings, it will be interesting to see what O glean from this years SOCAP symposium. Stay Tuned.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

A long day at AIIA

It's funny how sometimes it's nice to do things just to prove to yourself that you still can. I don't know if that's just a slightly perverse way of justifying a 18hr day or what... But either way yesterday seemed to fit into that category. It was the annual AIIA iAwards held at crown. 

 Over 700 people, about 45 awards, Masterclasses, Breakout sessions, Plenary presentations, Marketplaces, Digital Marketplaces and of course a Gala dinner to top it off... oh and 1 lonely photographer frantically running all over crown trying desperately to cover it all.

CEO of Red Bubble, Martin Hosking and Ex-Premier of Tasmania David Bartlett during the Masterclass

 Add to that we were trying to social mediaise (new words, yay!) the event so we were downloading, retouching and uploading on the fly. It mad for a crazy day and a DamIT mine field. Added to which Crowns wifi was demonstrable slow and where we were working must have at some stage double as a WWII bunker as there was little to no mobile data reception.


Image by Scott McNaughton, leave this man a camera for 5 minutes and he out shoots you!
 My great friend Scott McNaughton, rocked up bright eyed and bushy tailed to give me a hand at 7pm,  I threw a couple of instructions, and a tonne of work at him and ran in the other direction. True to form, he took it in his stride and got everything sorted. Brilliant to work with "Proucy" again. Only problem being that I left him with a camera... then he goes and does this...

Ian Birks, CEO of AIIA during the government breakout session
 When ever I shoot this event it dawns on me both how far we've come in technology, and how for we still have to go. While the conference spent time talking about cloud computing, smart technology and the fact that by 2020 they'll be 57 billion devices connected to the WWW, THATS 57 BILLION!!! I spent 30 mins trying to send 6 Mb of images to a client who was sitting right next to me! Well let's  I started to wonder what the 700 people on the other side of the door were actually doing!

The Gala dinner at Paladium in Crown.
 Big shout out has to go to the team at Gener8 Events who put the whole thing together, ( all worked just as hard as me and were amazing to the end.
Great Gatsby Dancers (strangely modernised) for the entertainment)
All in all we stumbled out of crown at 2am, legs, back and pretty much everything else aching. 1600 images in 16hours of shooting. 

I still love photography.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Congrats Sam Stosur - A blog revived

Well I thought that it was time to revive the blog. See if I can keep some life blood into this time.
What a better way to revive it that say a big congrats to Sam Stosur who just minutes ago won the Californian open beating Victoria Azarenka. I've only met Sam a couple of times, but what an amazing ambassador for Aus.
Congratulations again. Sam.
See more here..

Monday, 10 October 2011

Pokies Politics

Last week I had to photograph Andrew Wilkie for the Australian Financial Review. It was a pretty busy day being sandwiched between a shoot for the launch of the Blunstone Arena Bellerive and some work for the Mercury.
We only had about 1 1/2 hours to shoot Andrew in between him talking to the public out in Northgate shopping centre. I was amazing to see him in action, everyone wanted to have their 5 minutes with Andrew Wilkie, and he was more than happy to oblige. As expected getting his away from the crowd to get a portrait was more than a little difficult so Katie (my assistant) and I set up a small studio shoot in a back alley and bided our time.
After a couple of false starts we eventually coaxed Andrew away for about 4 minutes to grap a couple of images.

Andrew Wilkie was amazingly giving with his time and genuinely interested in everyone that he met, I was left with a great impression of him as a committed federal representative.. if only there were a couple more out there!

Monday, 12 September 2011

More awesome..ness from Aussie Sports stars, Congraulations Sam

Congraulations to Samantha Stosur for taking out the US open womens single championship. Absolutly amazing. I met her last year during the Moorilla International, and apart from being an obviously excellent player, she was so friendly, happy to help and open. True Aussie!

Sam Stosur at The Moorilla International Feb, 2011, Photo: Richard Jupe

From The Mercury's Website...
SAMANTHA Stosur has produced the performance of a lifetime to break Australia's Grand Slam drought and win this morning's US Open final over Serena Williams in straight sets this morning.
Written of by all but her closest supporters against the raging tournament favourite, Stosur never flinched before a capacity 23,000-strong crowd and completed the 6-2 6-3 victory in just 73 minutes.
Read the whole article and see a video here..

13 hours 457km 5 lenses, 1700 images and 2 football matches

Sunday saw the A-League come to Tassie, It also saw 6300 people cram (read fit easily) into Aurora Stadium in Launceston. The Mercury was down a photographer in the north so I was sent up from Hobart to shoot the Melbourne Victory verses the Brisbane Roar for a pre-season friendly and the Premier League Grand Final with The New Town Eagles going up against South Hobart. I packed the ridiculously heavy 400mm 2.8L and a bunch of other lenses in the Toyota Aurion and headed off.

I was hoping for the same kind of attention that the media get afforded when the cricket comes to Bellerive Oval, a buffet selection of savoury and sweet lunches, free wireless and comfortable surrounds. Unfortunately the A-League in Launceston doesn't warrant such attention and I shovelled a small salad roll into my mouth before hitting the ground for the start of the proceeding.
The next 5 hours was a blur of shooting, downloading, uploading, grappling with mobile internet, shooting, downloading etc. Victory got up easily over Roar 2-0 and that’s without the goal that the umpire seemed to miss in the first half.. see below

The first goal for Victory that was disallowed, or at least the umpire missed as the ball bounced out.

Roar's Ivan Franjic is tackled by Melbourne Victory's Fabio Alves Macedo

The Premier league final was a pretty exciting afair, going into extra time with South Hobart ending up scoring 2 goals in the 30 minutes of extra time to end 3-1 up.

New Town's Adam McKeown, and South Hobart's Loic Feral, both attempt to head the ball

South Hobart's Jonathan Lo and New Town's Alex Gordon fight for control of the ball

Another problem you have with shooting a sport like football is that there are lots of players and unless it's a sport that you follow closely, you need to get numbers so that you can identify the players later. I usually track players after I know I've got a great shot until I can get their shirt number and then record in audio against that file. This technique also allows me the have the 'keepers' tagged so that hungry picture desks get their images quickly after a game. Over the two games I shot around 1700 images, so if the selections aren't already marked, editing becomes a nightmare.
Back to the little media centre to download, select, upload and battle with mobile internet before hitting the asphalt to get back to the Mercury in Hobart at 11pm. Thanks to my mate Chris in Launceston who dosed me up on coffee before I hit the road making the return voyage much easier!

Roars Mitch Nichols and Victorys Grant Brebner

When I was a little kid I use to go to the cricket with Dad. This was before the days of instant replays and big screens, after 2 hours of sitting around, I'd get bored and start looking around for other things to do. The moment I took my eyes off the game, sure enough there'd be a wicket, a six or some other pivotal moment. Shooting sport is exactly the same, and that’s why it's especially tiring, you are concentrating on the action while trying to predict the next move constantly for the entire game. Added to that you'll always miss some moments where an umpire or player gets in the way of an otherwise great shot, so you just can't afford to miss any other moment.