Rolling out first photography workshops 2017

First photography workshops 2017 to be announced next week.

This year we will be running a whole bunch of photography courses all around the country. Well not all around the country but we are trying from something in most states.

Excitations photography workshops 2017, will include a new revised Beginners guide to photogaphy. Our Intermediate Photography workshop has also reshaped.

New courses coming include the “Art of Seeing”, “Nature Photography”, “Photography as Art” and a bunch of others.

Art image of leaves frozen in ice. Fine art photography by excitations Mildura photographers

Canon 24-70mm F2.8 USM L Series lens for sale

Canon 24-70mm F2.8 pro grade lens for sale.

What is a Canon 24-70mm F2.8 lens?  Put simply it is Canons pro grade wide apeture standard zoom. Very popular lens, sells new usually for a tad over $2000.00.

I’m selling this lens because I found I use it very little… After checking  my metadata at the end of last year and I realised that I use the Canon 24-70mm f2.8 for less than a 1000 shots each year. I decided to try to live without it. So in January this year I removed it from my work bag… Not once have I really needed it. So off to Ebay she goes.Canon 24-70mm f2.8 lens for sale, Excitations Mildura

Rear mount Canon 24-70mm f2.8 lens for sale. Excitations Mildura photographers

Canon 24-70mm f2.8 lens front elelment

Lens with lenshood in place

There you go all pictures of the actual lens… Note the lens hood look like it’s been to a war zone… I lost the hood off this lens and got hold of a s/hand one… Not pretty but works fine. The glass is near perfect. There is slight wear marks on rear mount and the lens barrel has some play in it. If you are going to use this daily, it will need a service sometime down the road. If  used on weekends and holidays may never need a service.

Picture quality good wide open, very good stopped down a couple of stops.

So the big question is would I pick it up and clip it on the camera for any seriously important shoots?  Hell yes. Would I take it on a one lens only around the world trip for 2 years?  Not without having a service done first.

Last thing… Why do I not use 24-70 much.  Just doesn’t suit my shooting style/habits. I normally shoot wider or longer. And if I need standard focal length lenses I have those on my medium format outfit.

Link to Ebay page.

This mornings news or not news

Head scratching news that probably isn’t.

Take this mornings effort. Among the top news. Bachelor Richie finds love… I’m truely happy for him honestly… Whoever he is.

Apple has huge spike in sales. Fears now the company maybe in for an earnings slump. Then on the same page. US stock market surges on the back of Apple’s success??????

Fashion model falls during NYC fashion parade. Right in front of professional snappers. Room lights up from hundreds of “flash bulbs” going off. Funny cos I don’t know a single photographer who has used a flash bulb for over 40 years. Wide shot of scene shows only one photographer using flash. That photographer was also at the very bottom of the pecking order. How do I know that?  Well at a fashion show there is only one “Money Shot” location. Most important photographer (ie shooter will the largest possible audience) gets that spot. Everybody else gets as close as they can to that spot. The further away you are, the less important you are.

Also from that incident. Interesting to read that her career is over because of the stumble and this will be a great boost to her career. HUH. There was even “OUTRAGE” that somebody paid so much money to walk… Can’t.

Another publication that is always “outraged at the treatment of women” runs a photo story on a Plus size lingerie show. Yesterday they ran a photo story on designer liberating brides by “letting the nipple free” I always thought headlines using words like nude, naked, nipple, sex scandal, orgy, pervert etc where just click bait… But apparently they are legitimate news headlines.

Another beauty. Ivanka Trump goes off the rails during an interview. And apparently her dad kisses her as often as he can. Awesome… My day is complete.


Long weekend….

Four days on the road.

Four days, two photography workshops, 2 photo sessions, 2000 kilometres, 3 meetings in 3 states,  2 supplier visits, one delivery and two catchup with friends plus 3 loccation checks.

Now it’s back to work Wednesday…..

Your camera is not good enough!

Sorry your camera just isn’t good enough to meet our high standards

The camera in question cost several tens of thousands of dollars, but the man on the other end of the phone was adamant, my camera just wouldn’t cut the mustard for broadcast TV news. I was disappointed of course, having spent the best part of a day shooting covering the story. The camera in question, was on paper at least, up to the task. However, it wasn’t on the stations list of acceptable cameras and the guy wasn’t going to budge.  We subsequently sold the item to another network.

Fast forward a short number of years… I’ve noticed this last week the very same network that wouldn’t compromise their standards are using an increasing amount of news footage, clearly shot on mobile devices. There was a live cross the other day…. Total shocker, vision all jagged and jerky and the audio starting to breakup. Now I could understand if this was breaking news of some importance, but it was one of those padding stories, just put in to fill space on a slow news night. Then there was the dramatic storm footage…. We know that’s what it was, because the news reader told us so. Any of us could have produce similar looking video just by taking our mobile phone out side in the darkness and turning a garden hose on it while filming. But the one that surprised me most was another filler story run over the weekend. Clearly there had been an actual camera person present with a broadcast quality camera, because they used some of that footage. But much of the footage was again poorly shot and from mobile devices. In fact the quality was so bad I suspect it was most likely gathered from a  social media site which uses very high compression rates on their uploaded video.

I guess, anything to keep costs down is the name of the game. I’m all for citizen journalism and getting breaking stories to air in a hurry. I just wonder sometimes where we are headed. Digital television and HD video were supposed to improve our viewing experience. Now the buzz in the industry is Ultra-HD Video or 4k video as it is commonly known. Clearer brighter better…… What is the point of all this if the content providers are providing vision and audio which is way below standard definition quality?

Your camera isn’t good enough indeed….

Diasec Acrylic facemounts

Acrylic facemounts are very popular. Excitations announce the arrival of Diasec Acrylic.

So who cares I hear you say. Well… We do. With everyone jumping onto the bandwagon and offering acrylic facemounts of varying qualities. From good to well you know.

Diasec Acrylic is brighter, clearer and provides added protection for your treasured photographs against UV light. In case you hadn’t heard. UV light is the dreaded enemy of photographs. Fading your images away gradually, bit by bit, day by day. In some cases not so gradually.Some think that UV is only present in direct daylight. Sadly no. This isn’t the case, all daylight has varying amounts of UV attached to the package. More surprisingly,  UV is also produced, in quite large amounts by some domestic and commercial lighting in homes and shops.

What does this mean to you guys… Well the look and style of mounting will change ever so slightly to accomodate the new “glass mount” or acrylic facemount as it is correctly termed. If your print mount has to exactly match another of our acrylic facemounts already hanging on your wall. Please let Robyn know and she will try and match it as closely as possible.

Beginners photo workshop Mildura

Today we announced 3 new workshops including a Beginners photo workshop Mildura.

To be held at excitations barn studio on Sunday 15th March 2015 between 1pm and 5pm the workshop is aimed at newbie photographers wanting to demystify some of the jargon around photography. We all know when we start getting serious about photography it can all get a bit daunting. This workshop will help you out.

Subjects covered will include iso, aperture and shutter speeds plus a whole bunch of simple tips for improving your pictures. You can check out more details about excitations Beginners Guide to Photography Workshops HERE. There is a link there to online booking. Seats are very limited. First in best dress.

The other two workshops announced today include another Beginners Guide to Photography session on Sunday 23rd August (just a repeat of the earlier session) and a new Intermediate Photography workshop. Both of these can be booked HERE.

More workshop and traveling workshops coming soon.


Buyer be aware….

Yeah I know I’ve changed that saying to suit this post.

By far the vast majority of photographers out there who are taking money in return for their photographic expertise are genuine in their endeavors. Some are better value than others. All shoot different styles, and offer different levels of service.

However, there are a small number of cooks amongst us. Very dodgy customers if you like. That’s no different to society in general. Except every time someone calls themselves a professional photographer and deliberately goes out to defraud people I get upset… really upset.

Case in point. There is a female photographer working the Northern NSW Wales area, who it is alleged has been booking weddings, taking the money and then either not showing up to the wedding or not supplying  images after the day. Now I stress at this point, she hasn’t been charged with an offense, nor convicted in a court of law. That maybe be in part due to her  trading under several names and being very hard for consumer affairs to catch up with.

You can read one account of this story here.

The lesson to be learned here for a buyer of photographic services is. You should check out who you are hiring. Anyone can have a Facebook Page claiming to be a photographer, anyone can set up a website (and pinch pictures from other sites to populate it) anyone can be on Instagram or any other social media…. In fact having a business card does not mean they are the real deal. Make inquiries, use a bit of common sense and in all likelihood you will not be scammed.

Farcical weeks of email internet issues

Heading says it all really, started the new year all positive and ready to go!

Sadly we’re not through it all yet. I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice to say we lost our email/social media machine. Which in itself is no biggy. However the change over to a new machine has been anything but smooth. So if you have emailed us or in-boxed us on Facebook, then I’m afraid we may not have gotten back to you yet…

We hopefully are nearly on top of it. We have a lot of stuff to get out to you regarding all manner of things. Not the least of which is a new set of workshops locally and away.

Artistic integrity

Artisic integrity and photography…. What!!!

The idea of photography being art has never really sat well for me. Because so much of the photography I see, sure as hell isn’t art if you know what I mean. And the label “fine art photographer” is one I would be reluctant to wear, even if that genre was one that I was striving to join. Just try doing a search for fine art nude photography on the web and you’ll see what I mean…. Wowsers!

Today of course there will be much discussion again about whether photography is art with the news that former Aussie photographer Peter Lik, has just sold a single work for over $7,000,000 . Just watch the experts come out after that one.

Photograph of naked back and buttocks beside a weather beaten door with a potted succulent plant. From a fine art series by excitations photography in Mildura.From a series called “Curves and Spikes” by mildura photographers excitations.


However I digress once again. It took me many years to understand that me merely taking photographs was in some way an act of artistic expression. The first dawning for me occurred at the opening of a photo exhibition where one of my images was hanging, surrounded by many other works from other photographers.

One of the viewers of my work, a well known artist, asked me whether I had noticed the strong triangular lines created by a small island in the background which was repeated in the pose of my model. For a second, I was dumbfounded.  I didn’t know what to say. Of course I’d bloody noticed… The whole point of the models pose was the repetition of lines. Her integration into the landscape. Human form being part of our landscape was the dialog if you like…

Finally I said Yes… He  just smiled softly and nodded his head knowingly and moved on. At that point I started to believe that I did in fact have some artistry  in my vision. My way of seeing does have some merit. When I frame things within the view finder there is artistic merit.

Art photo work in progress of rock cave photo by Ian Mckenzie excitations.Which brings me, to artistic integrity. Being a photographer who earns his entire income from photography. I have become use to having my vision butchered by all sorts of people. Mostly well meaning people with varying levels of visual literacy. Mostly I take it as part of the job. It hurts, when someone doesn’t get it in any way shape or form. A couple of instances spring to mind.

One, a portrait of an elderly lady. Devoutly religious, we posed her inside a church, cross on the wall in the background another tiny cross in her hands. Sounds corny but it made a powerful image. It was  picked up by a publication to illustrate an article about the lady. Days later, the picture editor rang me to inform  me, the picture came up well AFTER  THEY HAD FIXED IT. His words. THEY had cut out the cross in the background, trimmed off the ladies hands and totally destroyed the context of the image. Even worse they had put my name on it. So much for artistic integrity.

More recently another producer of a visual publication had to FIX some of our images. Images that we had poured many hours into getting just right. Seems these people had changed the shape of their page layout and our pictures wouldn’t fit. So it was decided, without asking us, to just stretch the images out so they would fit the shape. Result a physically distorted set of photographs. Worse still, instead of using the high res files supplied, it was quicker to use the low resolution comping files…. The photos have come out a bit blurry… Must have been something you did when retouching them Ian… Again artistic integrity.