Guestblog Brendan Maunder

Today a guestblog by Brendan Maunder.
During our stay in the states for Photoshop World the blog is taken over by guestbloggers to entertain you as a visitor while we’re gone and have less time to update the blog. I’ve chosen the guestbloggers personally to give you different views from different people in different areas of photography and I think combined they will be a an interesting read during our time away from the Netherlands.


Brendan Maunder
First and foremost I would like to thank Frank for giving me the opportunity to not only be one of his selected guest bloggers but also allow me to share with you some ideas that will help you not only with your skills behind the camera but also your skills in front of the camera while having a heap of fun along the way. My name is Brendan Maunder and I am a freelance photographer located in Canberra Australia, with a particular interest in portraits and event photography and in particular the use of both speedlites and studio strobes to shape light so as to enhance the subject matter contained within photos.


Before we get started I just want to set the scene so we both know what to expect.


Here is what I will not do:
Bore the pants off you with some mumbo jumbo about photography and how you need to be in the moment or be at one with your camera.
Rabbit on about inverse laws.
Use more words that I need to, to get the message across.

Here is what you can expect:
To the point instructions
Creative ideas on lighting
Some wild and twisted humour
Explicit examples of how I create my images.

With that out of the way, lets get into it. J

For me as a photographer I have found that the work I do for my clients is somewhat SAFE. They want the perfect portrait or the perfect image and while this is good for the balance sheet it doesn’t really allow me to push my creative side and step outside the square so I had to find another way and for me it was to start my own 365 project as the beginning of this year.  If you don’t know what a 365 project let me enlighten you.  The general idea is that you take one photo for every day for one year.  The photo can be what every you want, however for me it is the perfect excuse to do the lighting and storytelling with my photos that is missing with my clients (Mental note: I need to find creative clients.), so what I am doing is to use creative lighting to tell the story of my life one day at a time and it is some of these image I would love to share with you today and in other guest blogs. – That is if Frank will have me back, so let him know if you like what you see… 😉


The first image is one of my simplest to setup and execute.  It involved 1 light and a light stand, a window with some blinds and an actor to pull off the illusion – aka Yours truly, me.


Here is the story: You are sitting in your lounge room at night watching TV when you hear a noise outside and some strange lights.  You get up to peer through the blinds only to see what the noise could be and what you see will live with you forever!!!


The setup for this was to have the bear Elinchrom Quadra high on a light stand outside the window pointing down so as it appeared as if the light was coming from the mother ship, while the subject to looked surprised/concerned.J


While this was an easy shot, it was paramount that the lighting was just right so as to pull off the illusion.  I wanted to have enough shadows so as to increase the drama while ensuring there was enough light on the subject to capture the facial expressions and mood.  To achieve this I moved the light as close as I could to the outside of the window and reduced the power down until while keep the shutter speed fast enough to ensure I was sharp.  There was very minimal post on this image as I, like Frank, like to get as much right in camera so as to save time but also come out with a much better image.



Let me share another early one from my project.
Here is the story:  You get woken early one morning by your daughter yelling “Daddy, daddy, daddy the ceiling is leaking!!!!!”. You climb onto the roof only to find that your evaporative air conditioner is possessed and you are sucked in to another dimension.



This setup took a bit of work as I had to move all my lighting equipment up onto my roof, along with sandbags and equipment to ensure I could stop things sliding off and to curtain death….


I hoped you enjoyed my photos, and I hope to write again soon.