Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Memories are Forever – A Tribute to Samoa

After the past couple days and the devastation caused on the beautiful islands of Samoa, in the South Pacific, it has made me stop and reflect on my visit there earlier this year and the images I captured.

Some of the places I visited and stayed at have nothing left, lives have been lost and a nation that relies heavily on tourism thrust into chaos.

My time in Samoa was nothing less than brilliant. The people so kind, generous and sharing, the destination so beautiful, I threatened to lose my passport.

Here are a few of my images from that trip – we will be going through our whole library in the next week to add more.

We wish Samoa and its entire people a speedy recovery. Our thoughts are with you and we will return to your wonderful isles.

The team from Bluedog are now preparing a package of relief items to be transported next week.

Sunset Point, officially the last place on Earth you can see the sun set, Savaii Island.

The tattered sign read 'Wife Wanted' at the Crater Mans hut.

When I first heard the choir I thought it was tapped music, the sound was from angels.

Such beauty and calm.

Traditional tattooed men .

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

New Lowepro Camera Pouches For Protection of Compact Cameras

Lowepro have released four new fantastic pouches for compact cameras! Each is stylish, solid, flexible and colourful and show Lowepro’s commitment to keeping with the trends. They have caught our eye and better still one is right on time for the ladies to accessorise for Melbourne Cup Day!

The Volta A classic black solid carrying case with a sculpted, modern smooth finish and design. It’s slim and crafted of moulded EVA foam to protect contents from bumps and scratches. Comes in three different sizes and each has an interior slip pocket that can store a battery or memory card and an integrated belt loop. Zip is very good quality. Ideal for compact camera, mobile phone or MP3 player and the larger size can fit a GPS unit. VOLTA 10: available in Silver, Black and Red. Interior: 7.0W x 2.5D x 10.4H cm; Exterior: 8.0W x 3.3D x 12.1H cm. RRP $18.95 VOLTA 20: available in Black. Interior: 7.6W x 2.5D x 11.5H cm; Exterior: 8.7W x 3.3D x 12.8H cm RRP $19.95 VOLTA 30: available in Silver, Black and Red; Interior: 9.0W x 2.5D x 12.7H cm; Exterior: 10.1W x 3.3D x 14.0H cm RRP $21.95

Varia Pouch Colour accessorise with these! Made of stretchy neoprene it protects small digital devices. Handy detachable wrist strap and shuts securely with a dual-zipper closure. The Varia 10: available in Raspberry, Black, Teal, True Blue and Red. Interior: 11.5W x 1.8D x 7.5H cm Exterior: 12W x 2.8D x 8H cm RRP is $16.95 D-Pods 25 The latest release in the D-Pod family it’s built for today’s popular Canon G10 and the Nikon P6000 for instance. Composed of stretchy and protective neoprene, each includes: a memory card slot on inside flap; front pocket for batteries or small items; hook/loop closure for quick access. Multiple carrying options, plus a removable shoulder strap with sturdy metal snaphooks. The D-pod 25: available in Black. Interior: 7.3 x 4.3 x 11.3 cm RRP is $32.00

Melbourne 10 Just in time for the big race this is a fun, colorful pouch providing an easy way to carry and keep your digital accessories organized. 2 attractive print designs to choose from. Made of stretchy neoprene with smooth, single-zipper closures. Thread your camera strap through the side loop to create an instant carrying handle. Why not collect in multiples to colour-code all of your gear! The Melbourne 10: available in Black Chainlink, Arctic Blue Chainlink, Fern Floral and Red Floral. Interior: 11.5W x 1.8D x 7.5H cm RRP is $14.95

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Tips For Keeping Your Camera Sensor Free of Dust

At present South East Queensland is experiencing, the worst dust storm, so they tell us, in history. Well this got me thinking, what are we to do? Keep our cameras safe and sound in doors or get out there and record it? Well the answer is fairly obvious for us all, isn’t it?

Dust is a killer to the digital camera’s sensors! The sensor acts like a magnet and sucks that dust right in.

When working in dusty conditions, and let’s for the sake of things include windy beach conditions as well, keep your camera in a sealed bag when not in use. Consider using a cover for your bag to decrease the amount of dust/sand that can rest on it and then fall into it during opening.

If you can, DON’T change lenses in dusty/sandy conditions. If you have to, try to get into a closed space such as a vehicle to do this. Before changing your lens, turn your camera off and clean around the lens on the camera with a fine brush and cloth. Point the camera to the ground, not upwards – it’s the old law of gravity here working to help us keep dust out.

Try and predict which lens you may use the most for that shoot and have it already on. This is where all purpose lenses are handy in the kit.

Have a UV filter on every lens you own.

Keep wiping your hands. Dust and sand will settle on your hands and if you then go and change a lens could fall into your camera. Dust particles can be minute and unable to be seen by the human eye.

Keep a clean cloth for wiping your lens – DO NOT clean your lens with scratchy material such as a shirt. Use the special clothes to gently remove the build up of dust/sand from your lens.

Don’t clean your own camera’s sensor. I know there are people out there with all sorts of gimmicky equipment to allow you to do it yourself. Our advice is don’t do it!

Keep your camera bag clean. Vacuum it out and shake it upside down. Don’t forget the pockets too.

This image was shot during the dust storm sweeping acorss south-east Queensland today.
Image by Danielle Lancaster

Monday, 21 September 2009

Tips for Printing Your Digital Images

With the Bluedog Photography-Photo Planet Weekly Challenge giving participants the chance to win an enlargement of one of their prints we thought it perfect timing to pass on a couple of tips for that perfect print.

There are numerous ways to bring your photos into the ‘real world’ and photo printing remains the most popular still today. So why are so many people finding it a challenge?

  • Make sure your monitor is calibrated to your printer’s. Most respectable printers will assist you do this and you WILL notice a great difference. What may look like just right on your monitor may print too dark or too light.
  • Resize your image to the size you need the print. You may ask for a 6”x4” and due to your cameras aspect ratio and you not resizing your image correctly you end up with a cropped image. The relationship between the height of your photo to its length is called the aspect ratio. Traditional 35mm cameras produce a photo with a 3:2 aspect ratio which is the ratio that 6”x4” prints (and 5”x7” and 8”x10”) are based on.BUT we are now in the digital era and our digital cameras are different! And digital cameras vary amongst themselves. There are Olympus cameras that use a 4:3 ratio; other brands use a 3:2 and this does make a difference. We’ll talk about this more in a later blog but beware you may loose if you don’t resize properly.
  • Don’t skimp on cheap paper and ink. Quality paper and inks mean quality prints and today these are not dear.
  • Stay with one printer. Develop a relationship with your printer so they know what you like.

    Thanks again to the team at Photo Planet for providing the weekly winner with an enlargement!For more info on Photo Planet and their printing services call Gerard on +61 7 55312227 or email