10 Step WordPress Security Checklist

By | 2016-12-22T08:51:05+00:00 November 21st, 2016|Categories: Photography|

Security is a huge issue in web design and keeping your site safe from hackers is always a challenge. No site is invulnerable to hacking attacks, but there is plenty of common sense things to do to harden your site and make it much more likely to avoid the dreaded "hacked" notice. Start with these 10 tips. 1. PASSWORDS - Passwords are the gate to the kingdom. So don't give them away. The easiest way to have strong passwords is to use a password manager, so you can use a randomised 15 digit minimum character password. Take a look at any "top 10" passwords list, and you'll see that people still don't get this. Don't be one of those people. Your password should include upper & lowercase letters, numbers, and other characters. A password manager like LastPass makes this a breeze. 2. WORDPRESS UPDATES - Each time Wordpress is updated, the release [...]

Image size, resolution and resizing images for the web

By | 2017-01-02T12:27:34+00:00 December 13th, 2015|Categories: digital imaging, Photography, photography teaching, software discussion, web design|Tags: , , , , |

This is a simple yet ridiculously complex topic (yes I realise that's a contradiction, but it's nonetheless true), and one where there is an awful lot of misinformation floating around. Even from professionals (actually, a lot from professionals). But it is an area where a lot of non-imaging professionals have need of a different perspective and some foundational skills when it comes to resizing digital images for various purposes. So, this is my attempt to counteract some of the misinformation out there. Huge caveat here: My main field of knowledge is in photography. I have been fiddling with cameras my whole life, and have taught photography and digital imaging at local colleges for the last five years, and I feel like I have a  reasonably authoritative voice on the topic. I also make WordPress websites. While I can read and write HMTL and CSS, I am more a designer than [...]

High Speed Flash

By | 2016-10-22T09:42:29+00:00 January 30th, 2013|Categories: lighting, Photography|Tags: , , , , , |

I started to look into the various possibilities of high speed flash, and what I thought was a relatively simple area of photography quickly expanded and my investigations seemed to find no end. So I thought I should blog my findings here, as I was a bit frustrated about the lack of resources on the subject myself. So what is high speed flash? Well, it's one way to make high speed photography. I make the distinction to separate the effects of shutter speed from the effects of flash. Both can freeze motion. What I'm interested in here is the role flash plays in freezing motion, and looking at the various types of equipment that might be used in high speed flash projects. This post may well be updated along the way, as it's a pretty big topic...  (all of the shots above taken with speedlights at low power - click [...]

The Politics of Public Photography

By | 2016-10-22T09:42:29+00:00 January 20th, 2013|Categories: Photography|Tags: , , |

It's a weird world. It really is. The politics of public photography moves with the times of course, but right now it's in a radical right wing phase. Over the course of the 30 years I've been putting a camera to my eye, the way people generally have responded to the act of photography has changed remarkably. In my teenage years, shooting random stuff on the streets in Sydney, people hardly blinked at me. I used to sit on a bench on a bus street and photograph whatever caught my interest. On private property I occasionally got asked to leave or stop shooting (climbing the Opera House on a Sunday afternoon does come to mind ;)), but generally I could do whatever I wanted and no one seemed to mind. They instinctively realised I was just exercising my hobby. Fast track 30 years, to the politics of public photography in this the age of Instagram. I was planning to take [...]

From the trenches

By | 2016-10-22T09:42:29+00:00 November 30th, 2011|Categories: Photography, photography teaching|Tags: , , |

From my perspective as a photography teacher, I see how aspirational professionals view photography, and I'm a part of how it's taught. It's a massively changing industry at the moment which makes it a moving target as far as teaching is concerned, but it keeps us on our toes. At the end of the educational year, I thought I'd share a few perspectives on some trends I've noticed. Quality: The tricky thing about quality is that it needs a frame of reference. If you're 18 and you've never experienced film or the quality of a medium format image, and you've grown up with dodgy Photoshop techniques and jpgs, then how do you evaluate your work in regards quality? I push quality from day one, but I'm beginning to realise quality means very different things to people because of different frames of reference. I need to find a way to standardise [...]

Pre-visualisation and pre-production

By | 2016-10-22T09:42:29+00:00 December 5th, 2010|Categories: lighting, Photography|Tags: , , , , |

With many types of photography (studio and art photography particularly come to mind) the value of pre-visualisation and pre-production is enormous. Many photographers starting out don't spend enough time on the preparation side of a shoot, and it's often in that prep work that the value of a photograph is decided. As a photogrpahy teacher, too many times (way too many times) I have seen students come into the studio with basically no preparation at all. They know what their subject is, and they have their camera with them, but that's as far as it goes. What I'm talking about is at a totally different level. I'm talking about someone coming in to the studio with their props, their lighting plan, their colour scheme worked out, and their shooting tech sorted - like what f stop they'll be shooting at, what lens they will be using, and basically having the [...]

The role of ambiguity in visual communication

By | 2016-11-29T20:27:48+00:00 July 25th, 2010|Categories: Photography|Tags: , , |

I’ve been interested in all forms of communication for as long as I remember. From songs, stories, poems, books, movies, photographs and other visual arts, I was always engaging in art and story. But not all forms of communication are the same. Anything but, in fact. Indeed, the differences are often greater than the similarities. Take writing. Over a decade ago I undertook a communication degree at the University of  Technology Sydney (UTS), majoring in Writing & Contemporary Cultures. I absolutely love writing. It’s very specific. It’s full of details. It evokes imagination. It creates and peoples amazing worlds. During my degree I also took photography electives to rekindle my slightly lapsed but lifelong love of the static image as an art form.  And I found it was very interesting to study writing and photography at the same time. The differences intrigued me. They were [...]