30 May 2013

Arthroblog No 6 - Psoriatic Arthritis

Dr John Quintner
The name psoriasis is derived from ywra, the itch. The British dermatologist Dr Robert Willan [1752-1812] was the first to recognise psoriasis as a distinct condition. Previously it was thought to be a form of leprosy and grouped with this condition by Hippocrates [460-377 BCE]. As a result, those afflicted with psoriasis could face rejection by their respective communities, as reported in the Old Testament. Over the centuries this confusion resulted in sufferers being sentenced to death by the Church and, in 1313, as ordered by Philip IV, King of France, to be burned at the stake. The association of psoriasis and arthritis was described in 1818 by Jean-Louis-Marc Alibert [1768-1873], and the term “arthritis psoriasis” was used by Pierre-Antoine-Ernest Bazin [1807-1878]. In the 1950s the eminent British rheumatologist Professor Verna Wright [1928-1998] of Leeds proposed the term “psoriatic arthritis” and in 1964, the American College of Rheumatology classified it as a clinical entity distinct from rheumatoid arthritis.

27 May 2013

Arthroblog No 5 - Fibromyalgia

Vanessa Watson
Fibromyalgia iterally means “pain in the muscles and fibrous tissues”. In centuries past, it was embraced by muscular rheumatism, neurasthenia (“nervous exhaustion”) and fibrositis (Shakespeare’s “foul rheumatic breed”). After puzzling over 20 years of circular arguments from North American rheumatology, sufferers can now be told that their pain and other baffling symptoms (fatigue, sleep disturbance, mood changes etc.) closely resemble those seen in all sick or injured animals. This recently developed stress response hypothesis has major implications for treatment. 

By entering The Fremantle International Portrait Prize you are supporting the Arthritis and Osteoporosis Foundation of Western Australia.
Your best portrait could win AU$5000 cash, a Nikon D800 camera, an Apple Mini iPad or a GoPro Black edition camera. Entries close on 8 July
Click HERE for details.

26 May 2013

Photo Tip No 11 - Costuming

To add some 'pizzaz' to your image, having your subject in dress up clothes and costumes can really work.

Whether it be kids or adults, a fancy dress party, a carnival or simply just for fun it all has the potential to add zip and colour and impact to the final image.

Within the community there are groups of people for whom costuming is an everyday part of their lives. Dancers and theatre performers are often a good source.

Anytime there is a parade, festival or street performer gives the photographer opportunities. In most cases the subjects are more than willing to pose for the cameras. A friend of mind recently visited Venice for the Carnivale, Hundreds of performers in exotic, extravagant costumes were delighted to pose.

Then there are the groups of people where uniforms area part of their everyday life - police, firefighters, nurses and butchers.

Occasionally I encourage a portrait subject to drop into a recycled clothing shop and find something unusual at a bargain price. Its simply amazing what can result.

In the above photograph I was shooting some middle eastern (belly dancers) at the opening of their new studio. The electricity wasn't connected so I used natural light flooding a in a large east-facing window. Never underestimate the value of available light.

The Fremantle International Portrait Prize is offering a AU$5000 cash first prize for your best portrait. Entries close on 8 July 2013.

24 May 2013

Six things to improve your photography (that won't break the bank)

Six things to improve your photography (that won't break the bank)

1. Use a genuine dedicated lens hood all the time (about $50)
This will reduce flare, improve contrast and colour saturation and make the image look sharper

2. Stand somewhere different ($0)
Stand on the same spot as everyone else while on holidays or on tour and guess what? Your photographs are bound to look more or less the same as everyone else's.

3. Shoot in the 'sweet spot' ($1.95)
Boring photographers tend to shoot between 10am and 3pm. Keen photographers like to shoot sunsets and sunrises along with the other 20 million keen photographers. Creative photographers will shoot in the 'sweet spots' between first light and sunrise or sunset and last light. There's a little app for your phone called Sunset and Sunrise by Peter Smith that works it all out for you.

4. Separate subject from background ($0)
Whether its a portrait, macro or wildlife shot there are three things you can do to make your subjects stand out from your background:
  • focus separation - use aperture wide open and a longer focal length lens
  • colour separation - example: pink subject and green background
  • tonal separation - example: light subject and dark background or vice versa
5. Treat your shutter button like a butterfly's wing ($0)
Too many people 'stab' at the shutter button resulting in camera shake.  As you shoot, STOP talking, STOP breathing and gently push the button like you were touching the wing of a  butterfly

6. The colour and the white ($0)
In portraiture the eyes have to be sharp. Don't just focus on the face or the eyes generally, focus on the line between the colour and the white of the eyes!

And if you would like a chance to win AU$5000 cash,a  new Nikon D800 camera, an Apple mini iPad or a GoPro Black Edition camera submit your best portrait to the Fremantle International Portrait Prize. Entries close 8 July 2013.

23 May 2013

Arthroblog No 4 - Gout


From the Latin, gutta, gout describes the tears of noxious fluid slowly dripping onto the affected joint, commonly the big toe. Hippocrates told us that women do not "take the gout" until after the menopause, and that eunuchs “do not take the gout” at all. An attack of gout can be bad news if not treated quickly, but if chronic gout is left untreated things can get quite ugly, with irreparable joint damage, kidney stones and even kidney failure. The good news is that there is effective treatment for this form of arthritis.

By entering The Fremantle International Portrait Prize you are supporting the Arthritis and Osteoporosis Foundation of Western Australia.
Your best portrait could win AU$5000 cash, a Nikon D800 camera, an Apple Mini iPad or a GoPro Black edition camera. Entries close on 8 July
Click HERE for details.

21 May 2013

Portrait Tip No 10 - High Key

The High key effect is achieved by having large areas of white space and small areas that are black, That's it in a nutshell

If you want to be more pedantic you are shooting an image with idea of creating a large area of positive space. This means lots of highlights and even blown out highlights, where you have lost most or all highlight detail.

The areas of 'shadows' (the dark bits) should be relatively small. Typically, these dark areas may take in eyelashes, lips etc. Remember that if they are meant to be black they should be absolutely black.

Typically high key is useful with babies, young children and younger women. The High Key effect has  been used for fashion, cosmetics and advertising.

The image above was shot on a Nikon D700 1/5 sec @ f3.2 using a24-70mm zoom lens set on 26mm. ISO was 640.

Enter your best portrait in the Fremantle International Portrait Prize for your chance to win $5000 cash, a new Nikon D800 or a GoPro black level camera. See www.fremantleportraitprize.com.au
Entries close 8 July

20 May 2013


REVISTED is a fascinating exhibition of selected images from the 2012 Fremantle Portrait Prize.

2012 winner of the Fremantle Portrait Prize Louise Cooke (second from left) with Sandy Chaney, Dale Neill and Abbe Harman at the opening of REVISITED at the Epson Gallery.

The images were selected by Ben Walton from Team Digital to give photographers, artists and others an opportunity to view some of the best images if they had missed out on seeing the exhibition in Fremantle last year 

The 2012 winner Louise Cooke was there with husband Darren, along with third prize winner Garry Sarre and finalist Steve Wise.

This is a great opportunity to view some of the most creative and dynamic photographic  portraitists from Australia and overseas.

To enter the 2013 Fremantle International Portrait Prize you simply need one portrait. Entries close on on 8 July 2013. More than $10,000 in prizes including $5000 cash, a Nikon D800 camera with 50mm f1.8 lens, an Apple mini iPad and a GoPro Black Series camera.For information and entry details click here.

The Epson Photographic Gallery is located downstairs at Team Digital 268 Lord St Perth. Revisited is open during normal business hours Monday to Friday until 21 June.
Enquiries Jenny 08 9328 3377. Free parking.
The 'Ice' Men - Ben Walton and Garry Sarre

Arthroblog No 3 Rheumatoid arthritis

When you see the word arthritis, think of warm, swollen, tender and stiff joints. Rheumatoid is more difficult to understand - it means “like rheumatism”. Rheumatism stands in much the same relationship to the science of medicine as the term Mixed Grill does to the art of cooking. It was once thought to be the result of a “peccant humour” or “rheum” which flowed through the body from the brain downwards, stirring up pain in the organs it traversed, and swelling of the joints into which it flowed. 

18 May 2013

Portraits That Win Awards

Having a perfectly exposed, beautifully lit, pin-sharp image of an interesting face may not be enough to be short-listed in a major photographic award. 

What is it that makes a judge sit up and look twice and select one image over another?  Is it the impact value, the colour, size or narrative element within the frame? 

Or is it something more extraneous and indefinable?
Dale Neill's portrait images have won awards at the Australian Professional Photography Awards for 12 consecutive years. He has also been a keen  observer of the judging processes at national, state and local levels.

 In this workshop Neill makes some analytical comments on what seems to makes an image a winner.

Shoot's 'Portraits That Win Awards' Workshop is on Sat 8 June 10am-12noon. ($49)
  • Portraits that send judges to sleep
  • The Emotional image
  • The Narrative print
  • Is there such a  thing as the 'perfect' portrait lens?
  • Black and White or Colour?
Tel Dana at SHOOT Workshops on 9228-8232 or email  enquiries@shootworkshops.com.au to make a booking. Limited paces available.
Be quick, just two places left as of 19 May!

Your best portrait could win you AU$5000 cash or a new Nikon D800 camera in the 2013 Fremantle International Portrait Prize   

 Entries close on 8 July 2013.

Resolution and Resizing

Getting your photograph ready to enter a competition like the Fremantle International Portrait Prize can be a problem for those not practising this regularly.

Competition organisers need to specify certain parameters to ensure that images are neither too big or too small.

George Garbeck's website is particularly useful in guiding you simply, step by step, through the Resolution and Resizing maze.


The photograph at the right was resized according to FIPP guidelines.

The longest side measures 2048 pixels. The resolution is 72dpi.

The file size is 1.7Mb. The image was saved in Photoshop at Quality 11 to achieve the size.
                                                                  Photo: Kota Kinabalu, Borneo. Fuji S3 Pro. 1/30 @ f4. 12mm w/a lens, 800ISO. 5.45pm 19-10-2006. ©DRNeill

Your best portrait could win you AU$5000 cash or a state-of-the-art Nikon D800 camera. Entries close 8 July.


17 May 2013

Arthroblog No 2 Scleroderma

Wendy Smith
Scleroderma, also known as systemic sclerosis, is a rare connective tissue disorder that typically affects women between the ages of 30 and 60. Though the term scleroderma (from the Greek for "hard skin") was coined by Giovanni Batista Fantonetti (1791-1861) in the 1830s, the disease has far earlier origins. The initial case description may have been made by Hippocrates in the early 4th century BCE, when he described a man with general itching and thick skin. The first modern description was published by Dr Carlo Curzio in 1753. Despite its long and varied history, surprisingly little is known about either the underlying causes or the factors that regulate disease progression. There was little interest in this disease again until the mid-late 1900s. Now it is a clearly defined disease with extensive and ongoing research into its pathophysiology and treatment options.

13 May 2013

Portrait Tip No 9 - Break the Rules - Photograph people eating

The paparazzi love hunting celebrities and some celebrities love to be hunted. Celebrities enjoy exposure on the way up ... and on the way down. But rarely when they are on top.

If there is one thing that a celebrity dislikes - being photographed with spaghetti dangling out of their botoxed lips. If there's one thing that's going to distort regularity and distend those cheekbones its a mouthful of tucker.

But its quite OK to photograph ordinary folks like you and me chomping on a steak or fiddling with a frittata. And kids, well they are especially fair game.

               Nikon D700, 50mm f1.4 lens, 640ISO, 1/400 @ f4.5 Aperture Priority   Dale Neill © 2012

There can be some unreal, psychedelic interactions between kids and certain foods. Melting ice creams, fizzy drinks, chips, fairy floss, hot dogs and black licorice allsorts are all great, just to name a few. And the younger the kids the better it normally is.

So get along to your local food hall, fete are fair and catch the expressions in the annual FOOD V CHILD quests.

I walked into the Margaret River Bakery for coffee a little while back and saw these four teenagers sinking their fangs into these burger bombs. 'Keep eating' I said as i pulled my camera off my hip and fired off a couple of shots.

The 2013 Fremantle International Portrait Prize is a major, prestigious and ethical photographic award in Western Australia. With AU$5000 cash First Prize and a Nikon D800 for the runner up its also one of the most attractive competitions to enter. All profits go to the Arthritis and Osteoporosis Foundation of Western Australia.

Entries close on 8 July. www.fremantleportraitprize.org.au

11 May 2013

Portrait Tip No 8 - Recipe for Pineapple Angel Cake Portrait


Most photo chefs would love to bake a delicious Pineapple Angel  Cake Portrait  with superior colour, texture and atmosphere.

  • Girl preferably with long hair
  • Pink dress
  • Green door (with texture)
  • Breeze of at least 15 kts
  • One can Coca Cola (full strength)

I find I get better results with the Pinepapple Angel Cake in the morning rather than the afternoon when  the ingredients start to get tired. I usually allow the girl to drink the can of Coca Cola about 15-20 minutes before the shoot.
Then max the volume on your boom box; tracks of One Direction playing What Makes You Beautiful or One Thing.
I switch my Nikon D700 onto Custom setting 2 which simulates Fuji Velvia film (that puts the SAT into saturated).
I don't normally use a tripod for portraits because it puts a barrier between the chef and the oven. But the light in my 'kitchen' when a bit like the MCG on a gloomy winter's day.
I usually request a  15-20 kt wind to be blowing through the kitchen when I photograph long hair.
I leave the images on the sensor for about two hours to settle. Then I carefully remove the memory card and place it in a Dick Smith card reader. Mr Mac does the rest.
Your Pinepapple Angel Cake should be ready in less than a minute.

Your best portrait could win you AU$5000 cash First Prize or a Nikon D800 Second Prize in the Fremantle International Portrait Prize. Entries close on 8 July. All profits go to ths Arthritis and Osteoporosis Foundation of Western Australia.

For information and entry details please visit

Tech gumf: Nikon D700, 24-70 zoom set at 62mm, 200ISO, 1/400 @f2.8

10 May 2013

Photo Tip No 7 - Look for Expression

Sometimes the opportunity arises to capture a candid portrait of someone. Most often the result will be somewhat contemplative but, hopefully, the image will reveal some inner aspect of the person that might otherwise not be seen if he/she was aware they were being photographed.

This image was captured in the millisecond that hired workers attempted to break a union picket line outside an iron ore mine in Newman in Western Australia, The expression on the man's face just seemed to sum up the full hatred these men and women felt for their non-union opponents. Titled 'Yours For the Rent', this image won Second Prize in the 1989 Australian Rothmans Press Photography Award (in the Spot News category though it could equally have placed in the Portrait section).

Technically this was before digital photography existed and, from memory, the details were something like an 80-200mm zoom lens on a Nikon FM2 (Ilford XP400 film, hand developed and printed in the bathroom of the local motel using a portable darkroom - which was really just a wooden box with trays, paper, chemicals and an enlarger wedged into it).

Anyway, the lesson is that portraits do not have to be pretty. They don't have to be positive either. To most of us the darker side of life can be as fascinating as the lighter side. Any human emotion lends itself to portraiture, and real emotion will trump a studio pose in most cases. So keep your eyes peeled next time you are caught up in a protest rally (or even on the sidelines of the kids' footy game!).

09 May 2013

Arthroblog No 1 - Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS)

Amber and Rachael both have EDS

Meet the two men whose names are attached to this syndrome (= things that run together). Edvard Lauritz Ehlers [1863-1937] was a Danish-born dermatologist who presented a patient with lax skin to the Paris Society of Syphilology and Dermatology in 1899. In 1908, Henri-Alexandre Danlos [1844-1932] drew attention to the extensibility and fragility of the skin. In 1936 Frederick Parkes-Weber [1863-1962], an English dermatologist, recommended that this group of rare genetically-determined disorders of collagen formation be known as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
Rachael and her Mum
In Russia, the disorder carries the name Chernogubow Syndrome, after Alexandr Nicolaevich Chernogubow. In 1892 he presented two cases to the Moscow Dermatological and Venereologic Society.
EDS is best known for loose-jointedness, hyperextensile skin and easy bruising, but there are many other ramifications, including frequent joint dislocations and chronic Pain. Six types of the disorder have been identified. 

08 May 2013

Photo Tip No 6 - BEG


If you enter into photography competitions regularly and you find that your best result these last three years was Third Prize in the East Widgemootha Royal Agricultural Show (Division Three) you just may have a problem.

It could be that your photographs are just so damn boring that they are giving the judges a dose of the ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzs.

If you're regularly entering sharp, head and shoulder  images of old men or old women from third world countries; guess what? So are half the population.

I've called this the BEG principle
When all else fails, BEG for a result!
Be Bold, be Emotional, be Graphic!

If you're timid, the chances are your subject will lack confidence and your image will have all the spice of reheated three day old porridge. Be BOLD, take risks, work on the edge, try quirky. You have lots of time to be shy and retiring after you die.

Tear jerking images that grasp your heart by the aorta valve and left ventricle are likely to work. The tear in the eye, the quiver of the lip, the wrenching of clasped hands. Emotion is much easier with two people because they can react to each other - pain, sorrow, loss, love, delight, flirtation, sadness. These all work.

I recently witnessed a portrait getting the highest score in a state wide competition for pro photographers. It was a portrait of a dog (amputee) sitting sadly on a stylish chair just in from of a framed family portrait of mother, father, two kids and the dog before the amputation. The judges were overcome with emotion. They pleaded the case for the three-legged hound and hypothesised on the fate of the family. 'Perhaps a car accident' ventured one judge. It was a damn fine image which brandished emotion like an 80 pound sledge hammer.

Take a long hard look at the lighting you are going to use. Remember the word 'Photography' comes from the Greek for writing with light; make it work for you! Get the image as sharp as asurgeon's scalpel..
Then power into the image with your favourite bit of software to maximise the grain, textures and monochrome tones.

You could win $5000 cash or a Nikon D800 or a mini Apple iPad in the 2013 Fremantle International Portrait Prize! Check www.fremantleportraitprize.org.au for details. Just $15 enter. Entries close on 8 July.

Photo Tip No 5 - Make Me Feel Special

I want you to imagine a sign on your subject's forehead that reads:

'Make Me feel Special'

There are occasions when the subject may be lacking in confidence or shy or perhaps they believe the photographer is not really interested in them just in getting the photograph.

So go out of your way and make them feel like they are more important to you than anything else in the world for a fleeting moment.

And a warning! If you spend more time looking at your camera worrying about shutter speeds and f stops you've lost the subject and the image right there and then. Your subject is No 1.

The Fremantle International Portrait Prize offers more than $10,000 in cash and cameras. Foir full details and entry check here www.fremantleportraitprize.org.au

07 May 2013

Photo Tip No 4 - The Imperfect Portrait

Producing the 'Perfect' portrait - a pin-sharp, exquisitely-lit, head and shoulders portrait may delight the subject and elicit favourable comments by others; but its unlikely to win a major portrait competition.

Why you ask? If its so good, why won't it win? The answer is simple - because so many photographers produce similar images. Its just a bit too conventional, a bit too easy. If your portrait is similar to another 300 images it is likely to struggle to be in the top ten percent.

Whatever you like to call it - 'left-field' portraits or thinking outside the box, to be truly competitive, you need some inspiration as well as perspiration. Here are three ideas:

    Remembrance Day Service Hellfire Pass Thailand 2009. APPA and WAPPA silver award winner

  • Place your subject in an environment that tells us about the person
  • Avoid the over-controlled pose - look for spontaneity
  • If possible, tug at the heart strings
Technical excellence alone is not the answer;  neither is purchasing a $10,000 camera. I know professional photographers who have won the top professional awards in Australia using point and shoot compacts and a pin-hole camera made from a Sunshine milk tin! 

Saturating yourself with your subject and your surrounds and lighting to suit your subject will give you a head-start. Add an ounce of emotion - and you are on your way.

You could book for Shoot's 'Portraits that Win Awards' seminar on Sat 8 June 10am-12noon. ($49)

  • Portraits that send judges to sleep
  • The Emotional image
  • The Narrative print
  • Is there such a  thing as the 'perfect' portrait lens?
  • Black and White or Colour?
Tel Dana on 9228-8232 or email  enquiries@shootworkshops.com.au.

Enter the 2013 Fremantle International Portrait Prize for your chance to win $5000 cash, a Nikon D800 or an Apple mini-iPad www.fremantleportraitprize.org.au

05 May 2013

Peter Ramshaw Launches 2013 Portrait Prize

(right) Peter Ramshaw, webmaster for the Fremantle International Portrait Prize, presses the button to officially launch the 2013 Award.

The launch coincided with the annual Moondyne Festival in Toodyay, Western Australia.  Toodyay is about an hour and a half east of Fremantle and was home to one of Western Australia's most famous bushrangers, Moondyne Joe. The small wheatbelt town on the trans-Australian rail line was jumping today with more than five thousand visitors.

Within a few minutes of the official launch the first entries started arriving in what promises to be the biggest and most prestigious photographic award in Western Australia.

The FIPP Committee (L-R) Sandy Chaney, Dale Neill. Ivor Metlitzky, George Woodward, Peter Ramshaw, John Quintner, Abigail Harman, Lawrie Beilin.

The Fremantle International Portrait Prize is open to all photographers, of any age, of any status, anywhere in the world. The FIPP is simply seeking the very best portrait images in the world to judge and exhibit in the Moores Contemporary Art Building in Fremantle.

Prizes for 2013 top $10,000 with $5,000 cash first prize, a Nikon D800 and an Apple mini  iPad and more. One third of all entries will be shortlisted and the top one hundred images printed and hung in the exhibition.

You don't need an expensive DSLR to be in the running. Neither do you have to have technical perfection in your images or to put your images through a hundred hours of Photoshop. Although a carefully crafted, technically exact image may have advantages the Fremantle International Portrait Prize is as much about a celebration of life, love and emotion. We are looking for passion, exuberance, brilliance and a creative approach to portraying humanity.

Entries close on 8 July 2013 and all proceeds go to the Arthritis and osteoporosis Foundation of Western Australia.

03 May 2013

Portrait Tip No 3 - be brave - dISObey the rules

I'm sure you've all heard them ad infinitum - the Rule of Thirds, the Golden Mean, the Sunny f16 rule and so on and so on. There's a photographic rule for almost everything we do. It possibly all started with the Great Yellow Emperor, otherwise known as Kodak including a slip of paper in each roll of film telling the photographer what time of day to expose the film how to stand, the aperture to use and of course the sun needed to come over your left shoulder!

A 'rule' that has pervaded photographic circles for half a century is Never Use 400ISO or Higher. The warnings were dire - a massive infection of grain (or the digital equivalent of noise), degraded tonal values or being made to stand in the corner of your local camera club.

I'm not suggesting using high ISO all the time. Heaven forbid! But when the time and circumstances are right be brave enough to play with that ISO button and dISObey the rule. The only photographic rule i follow religiously these days is I never microwave my camera for longer than three minutes!

I shot the image here as part of my H2O series. It was taken at 8.38pm at night in January in the Swan River in Perth using a Nikon D700, 1/80 sec @f4 using a 24mm prime lens. (oops another rule broken - using a wide-angle lens for a portrait!) I used 4000 ISO. (Four thousand ISO).

For your chance to win a Nikon D800 or AU$5000 cash enter the Fremantle International Portrait Prize. Entries open on 5 May 2013 and close on 8 July 2013.
Nikon are a major sponsor for the 2013 Fremantle International Portrait Prize