photography 101

You know how my 'about me' description says that sometimes my photos are terrible? Well until now I haven't posted any photos that I consider to be terrible. Hell, I've rarely even posted photos that I think are ordinary. Why would I? Well, I'll tell you why I am now: the only way I am going to avoid getting back a handful of failures every time I pick up a new batch is to learn from my mistakes. And, of course, from my successes. So, here are some don'ts and dos that I can take from my latest roll...

(don't judge me too harshly!)

don't take shady photos without a flash

This was such a sweet image in my head! A sweet Japanese boy in a sweet Japanese garden on a beautiful spring afternoon. The lush green, the crystal sky, the multi-coloured icy pole. But alas! There is none of that because I neglected to switch on the flash. Lesson Number One: if your subject is shaded with a bright background, use a fill-in flash to avoid images such as the dull, lifeless mass at the top of this post.

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don't take flash photos from a distance

Seems obvious, huh? Like when you see all the flashes going off in the stadiums at major sporting events and you just want to scream It's not going to make any difference!! At the time I took this shot, however, I was just concerned with getting everyone in the frame. Which has resulted in an unevenly lit image where the subjects in the background are barely visible (and what is visible looks rubbish). The worst thing about this is everyone looked smokin' hot that night, and the photo doesn't come close to doing these incredible ladies justice! Lesson Number Two: if you are lucky enough to be surrounded by such babes, don't be afraid to get in close.

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don't unload your film with the lights on

OK, I'm definitely open to light leaks. Sometimes it can look amazing, and add a whole new dimension to an image. Sometimes, though, it ruins photos. I don't think this image would have been amazing had the light not leaked in, but it would have been better than this. Lesson Number Three: if your camera does a mediocre-at-best job of winding on film, unload the film in a dark room and keep it in a light-proof vessel of some description right up until you hand the thing over for development.

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do get interesting silhouettes in front of a bright sky

The beautiful stars! I was super early for work one day so I stopped in the city to do a little skyward sight-seeing. I love all the tram wires over Bourke St Mall any time of the year, but when the Christmas decorations come out, the whole thing just bangs! I'm thrilled with this shot. The gorgeous colour of the sky (which unfortunately hasn't scanned as vividly as in the print), in addition to the glare off the Myer building, really conveys that distinct clarity and intensity that seems to only exist in the early mornings of super-hot days - you know, when it's not quite hot but you can just feel that it's going to be a scorcher? Dream! Lesson Number Four: a clear blue sky makes an excellent backdrop for anything that you want to silhouette.

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do take photos of dream babes

My oh my, these girls are so beautiful! There really isn't much more to say - just look at them! See Lesson Number Two.

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do take multiple exposures involving the sky, trees and people

There's that sweet Japanese boy! And he's visible! (Yes, this time I did remember to use a flash.) This photo conveys everything I feel about lazy spring afternoons in the park. It also puts me in mind of The Virgin Suicides. Maybe that's just because Brodie pointed out that Sofia Coppola likes to use shots of trees... But I digress - this image has my unabashed adoration. And makes the disaster shots above totally worthwhile.

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