With the worlds media heading to Rio for the 2016 Olympics, Canon professional service division (CPS) are ensuring that photographers will have the pick of the best equipment available with over 1500 L-Series lenses and 1000 Pro DSLR bodies on hand. Whilst some of the athletes are having troubles finding suitable accomodation, Canon have taken no chances with a secure room on-site stockpiled with Canon cameras, lenses and accessories.
An Australian has beaten over 5,000 photographers to win one of the world’s most prestigious photography prizes ‘World Press Photo of the Year 2016’.
The aim of World Press Photo is to celebrate and promote the work and high standards of visual journalism to a global audience. This year saw 5575 photographers from 128 countries submit a staggering 82,951 photos that capture news events such as the Paris terrorist attacks, the war in Syria and the refugee crisis as well as sports and environment issues.
The winning black and white photo shows a man passing a baby through a barbed wire fence on the Hungary-Serbia border.
Australian born self-taught freelancer Warren Richardson who is currently working in Eastern Europe took the photo during five day camp out near the Hungary-Serbia border where a group of about 200 people were playing ‘cat and mouse’ with the police guarding newly constructed fence designed to stop illegal border crossing. “It was around 3:00 in the morning and you can’t use a flash while the police are trying to find these people, because I would just give them away. So I had to use the moonlight alone” Richardson said in statement
The photos was captured on a Canon EOS 5DMkII using a shutter speed of just 1/5 sec, aperture f1.4, ISO at 6400 and a lens focal length of 24mm.
Francis Kohn, chair of the World Press Photo general jury, said the image “had such power because of its simplicity, especially the symbolism of the barbed wire”. “We thought it had almost everything in there to give a strong visual of what’s happening with the refugees,” he said. “I think it’s a very classical photo, and at the same time it’s timeless. It portrays a situation, but the way it’s done is classic in the greatest sense of the word.”
On Sunday 7th February Photo Genius took 12 keen enthusiastic amateur photographers to Australia Zoo for a fun, informative and full day of learning about cameras and photography plus of course plenty of photo taking with of some of the zoo’s amazing and beautiful animals. Photo Genius tutor Paul Farris talks us through the day and the first Australia Zoo Photography Experience.
After much excitement and an early start we arrived at the world famous Australia zoo, after counting heads the first thing to do was dish out the loan tripods and monopods to everyone in the group (essential for avoiding blurry photos when using long lenses), we then followed our zoo guide to the training room for a short three hour theory session where we covered the basic essentials of photography including understanding Aperture, shutter, ISO, exposure, focus modes, depth of field and more. With the important theory covered we left the air conditioned comfort and set off for the ‘Croccoseumn’ for a welcome break and the chance to enjoy an entertaining display that included giant snakes, native birds that soared above our heads, plus of course those prehistoric legends, the big Saltwater Crocodiles. This was our first opportunity for everyone to test out the theory and also get the big telephoto lenses out as there was plenty of action to capture from our reserved seating area. After the excitement of the Croc’s we started the afternoon practical session with photos of the Alligators, Dingo’s, Cassowary birds and Binturong before taking our seats at the ‘Dingo Diner’ for a much deserved lunch break. Once refuelled and keen to take more photos the group took a walk through ‘Roo Heaven’ to be amongst the incredibly tame and very photogenic Kangaroos as well as say hi to a photo shy Echidna. With lots more to see we then walked through ‘The Wetlands’ which is home to some amazing birdlife, the variety of colours making great subjects for our keen photographers. Next up was the Koala walkthrough which is a great way to get up close and take some fantastic photos of these very cute animals. Friendly and helpful Australia Zoo staff were also on hand for anyone wanting to pet the Koalas or even grab a selfie! The ‘Rainforest Aviary’ was the next stop followed by the Birds of Prey and Wombats – a great mix of subjects that tested our students and their skills under a variety of changing light conditions then as the afternoon was drawing to a close it was time for the Tigers. When we arrived we found a gorgeous and very majestic Tiger resting on a rock in the warm sunshine and not in the least bit fazed by the 12 photographers who had their lenses honed in on his every movement, for many this was one of the highlights of the day. Our final stop of the afternoon was a trip to Africa and an opportunity to take photos of the Southern White Rhinoceros, Zebras and Giraffes, although they were some distance from us we had some large telephotos lenses and teleconverters to play with courtesy of Brisbane Camera Hire so everyone had the opportunity to zoom in close and capture some great photos of these amazing animals.
I thoroughly enjoyed a recent workshop with Paul and Andrew – this being my second workshop with PhotoGenius and like the first I came away with further confidence in using my camera and a greater understanding of how to snap that perfect shot. The day itself was well planned and faultless. Both Paul and Andrew willingly share their knowledge. I would highly recommend Photo Genius workshops to anyone with a love of photography – novice or not.
Desley Morrison –
The Australia Zoo experience was amazing! I really enjoyed the day and got some beautiful photos! Paul and Andrew were on hand to provide assistance and feedback on our photos to ensure we got the most out of the day. Absolutely a must do course!
Calum Watson – February 2016
The next Australia Day Photography Experience is on Sunday 13th March.
Watch this short video of our first visit to Australia Zoo
A small selection of images taken by our students
Many thanks to Bradley Phillips and Desley Morrison for the use of their photos.
Photo Genius founder, tutor and photographer Paul Farris is amongst an assortment of photographers who’s work is featured in a photography exhibition in London that is also set to tour the world and be released as a photo book. Hailed as the most comprehensive collection of club and dance culture images ever compiled, ‘Lost in music’ is a major exhibition featuring over 500 images that capture and document the evolution of dance music and clubbing from it’s humble beginnings to global domination.
‘Lost in music’ has been received rave reviews from the UK press.
Time Out : ‘Lost in Music’ – The Critic’s Choice
The Guardian : “Slaves to the rhythm, 30 years of hardcore ravers in pictures”
MixMag : “These incredible images document the history of clubbing”
Before moving Australia and setting up Photo Genius, Paul worked in the dance music industry as a club DJ and was also involved in artist promotions and managed London dance music store record store Uptown Records.
Watch the video – ‘Lost in Music’
For those the don’t know, the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2016) is where the biggest technology companies get to showcase their latest products, gadgets and innovations to the press and gadget lovers worldwide. Attended by over 175,00 visitors, the show show first debuted in 1967 in Chicago but is now held in Las Vegas and amongst this years most talked about products are electric cars from Volkswagen, Super 8 camera from Kodak, lots of drones and most importantly some exciting new toys from Nikon.
Nikon chose CES2016 as the place to launch some great new products including the flagship professional D5 DSLR camera, SB-5000 flash unit, new kit lenses, an ‘action camera’ and the D500 DSLR which is the camera that has got us all excited!! We Take a look at the latest gear from Nikon including D5 D500 and SB-5000 speedlight
Nikon D500 - Professional cropped sensor (DX) DSLR
The Nikon announcement that had the team at Photo Genius excited is the new D500 digital SLR, this is much anticipated and long overdue replacement to the D300 / D300s and is a professional camera offering many of the features of the new flagship Nikon D3.
The key features (and what they mean in laymen terms)
Sensor : Just like it’s big brother (the D5), the D500 has a newly developed 20.9 Megapixel (cropped DX format) sensor. The newly sensor will deliver more accurate detail, colour and tonal graduations.
Expeed 5 image processor : fast in camera image processor allowing for continuous shooting of up to 10 frames per second.
ISO : The D500 gives you the flexibility to produce high quality images in dark environments with an impressive ISO range of 100 – 51,200 which is further expandable to Lo 1 and Hi 5 which is the equivalent of 1,640,000 ISO),
Autofocus : The D500 features a new ‘Multi-CAM 20K Autofocus sensor’ boasting 153 focus points of which 99 are cross type points. Just like the D5 this means more accurate focusing and significantly improved focus tracking then shooting sports and action.
Video : 4K and Ultra High Definition (UHD) video recording is also available at up to 30 frames per second, Other features include a built-in interval timer and 4K UHD quality time-lapse function, which allows you to easily create 4K UHD time-lapse movies in-camera.
WiFi / Bluetooth connectivity : With the new D500 you can transfer images to a compatible smart device using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology or the cameras built-in Wi-Fi (for faster wireless image transfer).
Other features include a 3.2-inch tilting LCD touchscreen and dual card slots for XQD and SD media
Price : At approx $2800 AUD ($1995 USD) for a professional spec camera, we think the Nikon D500 is the camera to look out if you want a camera packed full of features that is rugged and built to last and is fast enough to satisfy the sports and action photographers whilst providing the image quality demand of landscape and portrait photographers alike.
Nikon D5 - Professional flagship full frame sensor (FX) DSLR
Aimed at the professional and in particular sports and action photographers, the Nikon D5 is a feature packed camera that boasts a brand new 20.82 megapixel sensor (full frame) and also offers 4K video.
The key features (and what they mean in laymen terms)
Sensor : Whilst there are plenty of cameras boasting more megapixels, the newly developed 20.8 megapixel sensor will deliver more accurate detail and tonal graduations.
Expeed 5 image processing engine : The chip inside the camera that does a lot of the hard work and ensures the D5 can shoot at up to 12 frames per second for up to 200 RAW files – sports photographers are going to love this!
ISO : For lowlight photography the Nikon D5 looks set to excel with a ISO range of 100 to 102,400 which is further extendable to a staggering 3,280,000 using the Hi5 setting (yes that’s over 3 Million !)
Auto Focus : Featuring the next generation AF system, the D5 boasts 153 focus points with 99 cross type sensors, this means not only more accurate focusing but significantly improved focus tracking then shooting sports and action.
Video : With continued demand for camera that shoot high quality video, Nikon’s new flagship camera offers 4K/Ultra High Definition (UHD) video recording. The Nikon D5 can shoot 4K movies as well as Full HD (1080p) video in multiple formats.
Other features include a touch screen LCD and two camera options featuring either 2 x CF card slots or 2 x XQD card slots.
Price : Whilst the price has yet to be officially announced, the Nikon D5 is expected to retail at approx $9,400 AUD ($6500 USD) so it’s definitely a camera for the professional and serious photographers only.
Nikon SB-5000 Speedlight / flash
An unexpected announcement at CES 2016 was the new flagship flash / speed light unit the SB-5000 which key feature is built in radio control.
The key features (and what they mean in laymen terms)
Wireless control : The first Nikon Speedlight to be equipped with a radio-controlled Advanced Wireless Lighting function. This makes wireless multiple flash photography easier, the unit is supported by the new D5 and D500 cameras but an additional controller (WR-R10) is also available to make it compatible with other Nikon cameras.
Cooling system : Flash units generate a lot of heat, so Nikon have developed a new cooling system that cools the flash head and keeps the flash panel from overheating and enabling more than 100 continuous flashes.
Price : TBC
Interested in learning more about flash photography? Check out our flash / speed light workshop.
INSPIRED – a film by Nikon Ambassador Corey Rich.
Shot exclusively on the new Nikon D5, ‘Inspired’ explores what drives today’s most diverse and interesting professional photographers and filmmakers and is an interesting look behind the scenes of a pro photographer at work featuring sports, wildlife, fashion and film making.
Here’s our favourite Instagram posts of 2015….
We love photography, and any excuse to share images is a good one in our book! So Instagram is undoubtably one of our favourite apps and and a fantastic way to share photos from our travels, courses and experiences. So we present our favourite Instagram moments and pics from 2015. All of these photos were taken by Photo Genius tutor Paul Farris either on an iPhone, Nikon DSLR or a Fujifilm X100S.
Click on the links for larger images and visit our Instagram page
Comedy wildlife photography awards 2015
Animals and wildlife must undoubtedly rank as one of the most popular subjects to capture with photographers sometimes waiting hours for that perfect moment, of course not everything goes to plan and occasionally we capture something completely unexpected. The comedy wildlife photography awards takes a refreshing lighter look at wildlife photography and at the same time helping to raise awareness of the work of The Born Free Foundation for conservation and animal rights. Below you’ll find a small selection of this years entries including the winning photo by Julian Rad, make sure you follow the link to the website to view more great photos.
Silver runner up ‘You haven’t seen me…’ by Liam Richardson
Highly commended ‘Laughing seal’ by Julie Hunt
Photographing the cast of Star Wars for Time magazine
The world has gone Star Wars crazy this week with the release of episode VII Star Wars – The force awakens. We couldn’t let the week go by without sharing something Star Wars and photography related, so here’s a short video featuring Time magazine photographer Marco Grob who takes us behind the scenes as he photographs the stars of this years biggest movie.
'Beachin' . Eric longs for the beach, playing in the sand with his toys, he would lie there for hours and hours, reading his trooper books for boys, he never tanned under his suit, something that he did not mind, he'd watch all the tanners tan, and thanked Vader he was not of their kind!. . (thanks to all for the birthday wishes!, 41 today and still washing dishes! . #beach #haveyouseeneric #sand #summer #holiday #starwars @starwars #stormtrooper #darrylljones #fun #canonuk #studio #toys
Photo Genius tutor Paul Farris offers a cool tip for digital photographers.
I spend a great deal of time running photography courses and showing people how to take great photos with their digital cameras, but when I’m not there’s nothing better than grabbing my favourite camera (Fujifilm x100s), taking photos and sharing them with the world via our Instagram and Facebook pages. Until recently it’s not been easy to transfer photos on the go from my digital cameras to my iPhone or iPad for editing and sharing, but at last there is a simple solution!
With the recent iOS update (iOS 9.2) things have changed and Apple have recently released an adapter (lighting to SD card reader) that fits in my kit bag and allows me to easily transfer photos from to my devices. Sure some of the newer cameras have built in WiFi and another option is to purchase an Eye-Fi SD card, but these tend to be an unnecessary drain on the camera battery life – so for me this is a great solution and well worth checking out.
Paul Farris (tutor) Photo Genius photography courses Brisbane.
Brisbane Camera Hire has been looking after the rental needs of professional and amateur photographers alike for over 9 years. At Photo Genius we regularly pass customers onto them who often enquire about gear when taking part in our photography courses, so when we heard that they are moving to new premises in 2016 we though we’d catch up with BCH owner Susan to get the lowdown and also ask her a few questions. . . . .
Photo Genius : We remember hiring gear from BCH back in the early days when you were still running things from your house, how has the business changed and grown over the past few years?
BCH : Ah yes! Those were the days! BCH has occupied a few different premises over the last 9 years and we are about to relocate to our 7th location over the Christmas break. In the early days there’s a steep learning curve in building a business and you don’t always know whether it’s ultimately going to be a successful endeavor or not. Certainly it takes several years usually for a business even to turn a reasonable profit so I think it’s only natural that small business usually starts from home. The next step from running the business from home was then collocating with other complimentary businesses. I have done that now for the last 5 or so years. I’m very excited to be moving into my new shop in January which I will share with Michelle Kenna (professional commercial re-toucher, photographer and trainer). We have great plans to make it very girly and pretty.
Photo Genius : Are most of your clients professional photographers or enthusiasts?
BCH : I would honestly have to say it’s probably 50/50. The professional photographers are often hiring specialized lenses (like ultra wides or super long primes etc) which they don’t need all the time so just hire as needed. Enthusiasts are often testing out lenses to narrow down what purchases to make next or simply enjoy trying something new.
Photo Genius : What’s the most popular lens in your rental pool – and why do you think it’s so popular?
BCH : The most popular lens….. Oh I’d probably have to run a report to find that out for sure! But my gut feeling is that it’s probably either the 24-70 or 70-200mm lenses. I think these are the most popular lenses because they are just so necessary in every photographers kit really. They’re also a couple of grand each, so you’ve got to be committed to go out and purchase them. It can take awhile to save up for that sort of purchase. Next down the list are the nice fast primes like the 50mm f/1.2 or the 85mm f/1.2. My personal favourite lenses at the moment are by far the Sigma ART series. OMG – in love. That 50mm f/1.4 ART is to die for.
Photo Genius : You cater for Canon and Nikon users, do you see yourself stocking any gear from any other camera manafacturers in the near future?
BCH : Yes definitely. The next most requested cameras are the Sony’s. These will be next into the inventory. The Sony shooters are opting to utilize the Metabones adapters and still use all the L series lenses on them so it’s a good opportunity to expand the range without having to spend 10’s of thousands on a whole new range of lenses also.
Photo Genius : You’re a keen film photographer, do you get much opportunity to indulge and when you do what’s the camera and film you grab first.
BCH : Film is definitely my passion (see video below). I think the reason for that is founded in a few different places. I think the digital stuff feels a little too much like “work” for me as I deal with the gear full time in the hire business. I shoot totally differently with my film cameras. I enjoy the process of shooting film and the anticipation of having to wait to see your results. My dad gave me my first film camera – a Mamiya RB67 – a beast I can hardly hold! That one doesn’t get much use anymore but I will never sell it. I’m also very proud to say that of all my film cameras (and I might have a few), I use them all equally. My newest acquisition was for my birthday this year and that was a Hasselblad X-Pan. I’m half way through my second roll of film in that one and am awaiting to get my first roll back from developing right now!! I had lusted over that camera for a long time and it’s going to be a challenging one to shoot just because of that panoramic format, but I love a challenge. I don’t think I could possibly choose a favourite camera…. It’s like having a favourite child!!
Film wise though – I LOVE Kodak Ektar on a bright day at the beach, and black and white – definitely Fuji Acros. Jonathan Canlas introduced me to that film and it has a luminescent magic about it.
Photo Genius : You are moving into new premises in the New Year, is there anything new on the horizon we can look forward to?
BCH : Oh gosh, who knows. I’m playing it all by ear at the moment. I’m looking forward to picking up the camera and shooting again as it’s been too long. Definitely looking at getting a couple of the Sony mirrorless into the hire pool and in January we will be stocking some Profoto lighting gear so keep an eye out for that.
Photo Genius : You must have had some interesting and strange requests over the last few years – any funny stories you want to share?
BCH : Like you wouldn’t believe. I’m not even sure if I could tell the stories here though!! Oh well, what the heck. I’ve had people complain that the studio lights weren’t very bright (they’d left the bulb covers on the whole time, which were now just merely melted blobs of plastic), I’ve had a hirer take out over $10,000 worth of equipment to shoot for a “UK ad agency” but in reality he pawned all the items and is now currently in custody for fraud (see the BCH facebook page for the news story), I’ve tried to trouble shoot over the phone with a studio light that the hirer couldn’t get to fire – only to discover 20 minutes into the conversation that it wasn’t plugged in at the wall. I’ve been asked for the “Rain setting” for a forecasted wet wedding; I’ve been abused for a camera that “failed” when in fact the battery simply went flat…..
Actually – these aren’t funny stories at all! But it keeps life interesting I guess. I suppose anyone who’s hiring my gear to do anything super strange they certainly aren’t telling me about it!