We are well and truly in comedy festival season, so here’s a selection of some shots that I’ve taken for some comedians over the last few months. Dan Ilic and I collaborated on some images for his upcoming ‘Dan Ilic is Legally Ambiguous live show’. I hope that you’re not offended by the Valentine Hitler image, it’s all part of Dan’s self-described rabble-rouser style and is in reference to one of his fantastic skits from his days on the Ronnie Johns show.
I worked with the lovely Shane Matheson to produce the bizarre image of Shane and the giant looming space hopper, which is a homage to one of my favourite movies posters of all time, designed by Justin Elterman for ‘I am Legend’.
I’ve just finished shooting a campaign for the launch of Sydney’s new Opal Card, which is the new integrated ticketing system for Sydney’s public transport. I’m really proud to have been part of such a worthy campaign. More photos to come soon, after they’re released byTransport for NSW.
I suppose I'm supposed to say that shooting for such a large multinational was complex with many variables to control and brand guidelines to follow, but, well it just wasn't. Umi is a new online brand for GE Money.
I stumbled upon talk of 'the new aesthetic' on a blog by James Brindle last week which has kind of blown my mind. It's all about those unintentional 'eruptions' (as James puts it) of the digital into our real world. James examines how we're increasingly improvising with the ways that we interact with the digital world to stimulate ourselves in myriad of fresh, new and unexpected ways. He's catalogued all of these things that we see everyday and opens our eyes to the fact that we're already well into a movement towards a whole new aesthetic. It's very exciting.
Really it's quite hard to explain but James does it very well with the visuals on his blog and also in his talk last year at Sydney's Web Directions conference (video is here). Below are a couple of examples of some street art in 'the new aesthetic' style (left: unknown artist, photo by Benjamin Norman & right: 'Dead Pixel on Google Earth' by Helmut Smits).
Recently chef Fast Ed stepped away from his duties at Better Homes and Gardens to introduce the new multi-drawer fridge from Mitsubishi Electric. It was such a pleasure to shoot Ed, who was the calm centre of the cyclone of activity around him.
I’ve spent some time trying to figure out how best to describe what John Safran does for a living. Is he a media personality? A comedian? A satirist? I've decided to stick with journalist Michael Bodey's summary of John as a 'serial provocateur'. It has a certain ring to it. Newly renovated Chippendale pub The Abercrombie was the backdrop for this portrait of John, who's due to finish writing his first book in late 2012.
'The Trial' isn't in reference to a difficult shoot - in fact it was quite the opposite. Director-Producer Nathan Earl has put together a television pilot that follows seven men who are paid to participate in a medical trial. It's based upon Nathan's real-life (and rather disturbing) experience from his backpacking years in the UK. I tagged along to take some behind the scenes photography.
I've just finished updating Tatura Milk's photo library. This was at times a challenging shoot because the factory itself is showing some wear and tear, which of course needed to be avoided in the imagery. On the other hand the weather was a fantastic complement to the exterior shots, with gorgeous spring sunshine and blossoms everywhere.
Until recently the old tram sheds adjacent to Harold Park Raceway were one of Sydney's most amazing locations to shoot. Ancient trams had been rusting away there for sixty years, complemented by a mix of discarded furniture, elaborate graffiti and rogue art installations, all in various states of decay and renewal. And beautiful light streaming through broken skylights.
I suppose part of the appeal was the knowledge that it would be only a matter of time before this secret place would begin the next phase of its life. It's just been locked down by Mirvac in preparation for redevelopment into something similar to the Eveleigh Carriageworks.
So in memoriam here are a few of my photographs of the sheds.
The Great Crusade campaign is being run by Qantas airlines during the Rugby World Cup. In this campaign former squash champion Toby Withers travels New Zealand with The Wallabies to track the team's every move. Toby has a dubious understanding of the game but that's not about to stop him from delivering cutting-edge commentary which may or may not relate to football.
My task was to re-create Toby (acted by Phil Lloyd) in action on the squash court for the 1989 cover of (faux) Highly Strung Magazine. I also shot some stills for the show opening titles.
You may have seen Phil Lloyd starring in the new ABC television comedy At Home with Julia, which prompted one blogger to ask 'is Toby going out with Julia Gillard?'.
This time around The Bedroom Philosopher (Justin Heazlewood) has assumed the guise of a lovelorn ticket inspector in his new music clip 'Tram Inspector'. Who could pass up the opportunity to watch Justin pole dance in an authentic antique tram inspector uniform? Not me.
This campaign focussed on the experiences of people who suffer arthritis pain. It was an interesting task to cast the talent for this - we met so many people from diverse backgrounds, all with their own story to tell.
Ah, insurance. It's not the most exciting of topics, but it certainly is key for photographers, with all of the equipment that we use. I've written a feature article on the perils of choosing insurance for Capture Magazine. You can check it out, along with some of my photographs, in the current issue.
I've just finished the first of a series of publicity images for Lawrence Leung's upcoming ABC television show, 'Lawrence Leung's Unbelievable'. We had fun making them.
I've just finished shooting Chris & Andrew of The Chaser. Is this becoming a series?
The Bulla Cream Masters print campaign has gone live, as evidenced by this stealth-mode iPhone photo that I took at Coles this afternoon. My portraits of George are now on Bulla Cream tubs and are also adorning ads in magazines like Good Taste and Delicious.
I've just been reading about the photographer Michael Wolf, who's won an honourable mention in this year's World Press Photo competition. Michael sets up his camera on a tripod in front of his computer screen and photographs images from Google Street View. He's an accomplished photographer who's won the contest twice in previous years. The images (part of a set entitled 'A Series of Unfortunate Events') are actually quite interesting and worth a look. As you can imagine, there's a lot of controversy surrounding this.
I just took some head shots of Julian Morrow of The Chaser. I love his glasses.
George Calombaris. Good god what a prolific chef he is. I just finished working on a campaign for Bulla Cream that featured him using the product. Now I can't stop noticing that every day he seems to be in a fresh ad, cookbook or newspaper article and all of this is on top of his work on Master Chef. It's very impressive. The Bulla Cream Masters web campaign has been launched with the print campaign to follow.
Last month I shot some behind the scenes photography for The Bedroom Philosopher's new comedic music clip 'So Hungover (Northcote)' in Melbourne. I remember first hearing (and loving) this song a few months ago on Triple R when I was driving about Melbourne. With all of its tongue-in-cheek talk about tram lines and Fitzroy-hip hangouts I assumed that I'd never hear of it again outside of Melbourne - yet how wrong I was. It's since nominated as Best Comedy Release in the 2010 ARIAS and has featured as Video of The Week on Rage and Channel V. The clip itself (by The Money Shot) has won lots of awards.
I've also posted an extended slideshow on YouTube, set to a song that The Bedroom Philosopher wrote in dedication to all of the people who volunteered as extras in the music clip.
Rumour has it that the team will be making a new clip in early 2011...