Head On

I was thrilled that the photograph ‘Ahmad’ that I retouched for Matthew Duchesne was one of three 2007 joint winners of the Head On Portrait Prize. I have included two other images that I processed in the series which help to tell the story of that afternoon. Head On is the nation’s major innovative showcase for Australian portrait photography, reflecting a diverse cross-section of new and traditional photographic practices. The show’s main selection criteria are the quality and impact of the image, rather than the celebrity of the photographer or subject. As a result Head On is regarded by the arts community and reviewers as the most critically important photographic portrait prize in the country.

Kids of Sydney

Kids of Sydney was a Milk & Honey Photography project that aimed to capture a portrait of a generation within Sydney between 2005 and 2007. The resulting volume collated these photographs into a coffee table book full of beautiful portraits which raised over $10,000 for the Make A Wish Foundation. Images from the series were also awarded prestigious accolades in various photographic competitions.

As Milk & Honey Photography’s digital specialist I undertook all image preparation and retouching for the book and associated media. It was my responsibility to design, develop and integrate the studio’s house aesthetic and ensure it was represented consistently thoroughout. It was wonderful to be a part of this very rewarding project with such impelling positive impact.

Leaving Pukaki

This short series of photographs are an excerpt from the end of a very different looking days shoot. Leaving Lake Pukaki behind us, the farther we drove, the darker and stranger the sky became. He seemed as reluctant to let us leave as we felt compelled to.

 

Chief Pukaki was an 18th century ancestor of the Ngati Pukaki, a sub-tribe of the Arawa. His birth was the result of a peace-making marriage between Ngati Whakaue and Ngati Pikiao of Rotoiti around 1700. Pukaki grew up during a time of armed conflict both within Te Arawa and against wider Bay of Plenty-Waikato tribes. He lived on Mokoia Island in Lake Rotorua and then at Parawai, which is now surrounded by the Ngongotaha township.

In Pukaki’s later years a major tribal war under his leadership resulted in Ngati Whakaue defeating their Tuhourangi relations, forcing them back to Tarawera and taking over the lands of Pukeroa-Oruawhata, where sits today’s city of Rotorua. Most of Ngati Whakaue then left Parawai to take up permanent occupation in the village of Ohinemutu, which remains to this day as a distinctive part of Rotorua. Around this time Pukaki passed away and he was buried in the Mamaku foothills, where the descendants of his elder son, Ngahina, still watch over him today.

 

The speed with which this storm encircled us was amazing. It seemed more akin to the turbulent storms that ravage Jupiter than one on our own planet. The transformations in the clouds you see here occurred within seconds. We were in the middle of an incredible mountainous landscape whose sky seemed determined to outshine the land with an opulence of artistry.

 

Bearflavoured

Bearflavoured was a series of projects culminating in a book curated by Aki Choklat & Christian Trippe that was released in 2007. It attracted submissions from a diverse range of disciplines and respected designers from around the world, so my inclusion as a photographer was unexpected and very rewarding. It was fantastic to later find that my short series of images were to represent the Bearflavoured project in The New YorkerNeo2 Magazine, and as the background of the Bearflavoured site itself.

A few Photoshop tools

Some more recent retouching. The ‘before’ images here are those I processed for proofing, so I had finalised all basic enhancements to colour, density and cropping prior to undertaking any retouching. All modifications were at the request of the client. You can mouse over the photo below for slideshow controls, which are at the bottom of the image.