Kevin Chamberlain Photography: Blog en-us (C) All Images and text copyright Kevin Chamberlain Photography (Kevin Chamberlain Photography) Sun, 04 Apr 2021 00:29:00 GMT Sun, 04 Apr 2021 00:29:00 GMT Kevin Chamberlain Photography: Blog 120 34 The Last Post Ceremony for William Lord Australian War Memorial The Half Flight (Wikipedia) was apparently the first aviation military force to serve Australia abroad on active duty and is considered the birth of the RAAF. The man honoured at the ceremony, my great uncle William Lord (my grandfather’s twin brother) an air mechanic and with his twin brother Hector (my grandfather) were members of this historic Half Flight. William was therefore one of the first airman to sacrifice his life for our country. See all photos here "Australian War Memorial", AWM, "Last Post Ceremony", Lord, "William Lord"Wall of RemembranceAustralian Flying Corp William Henry Lord -Air Mechanic died 22 years of age around 1916 and buried in Bagdad

Photo of the Half Flight with the Lord twinsPhoto of the Half Flight with the Lord twinsPhoto of the Half Flight with the Lord twins

It was a great honour to attend the ceremony and feel the respect given to him by the RAAF and dignitaries.  This, being the eve of the RAAF Centenary celebration, was no doubt one of the reasons why my Great Uncle, who in reality was just a young 22 year old air mechanic, was selected for this evening’s remembrance and honoured by the attendance of so many high ranking dignitaries which included His Excellency General David Hurley the Governor General together with Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley and the Chief of Air Force Air Marshall Mel Hupfield together with Mrs Louise Hupfield all of whom we were introduced to and spoke with. There was also The Hon. Darren Chester Minister for Veteran Affairs, and Warrant Officer of the Air Force Fiona Grasby among numerous others. A slightly edited version of the Last Post ceremony is available to view on You Tube

Walking into the Australian War Memorial and being part of such a reverential service was amazing and one we will never forget for the rest of our lives. The AWM staff and the RAAF personnel were so attentive and respectful. They told us as family of William Lord we were V.I.P.s and we were given respect and attention way beyond our expectations. Everyone was so kind and thankful for our participation. We gratefully thank all involved.

The honour was arranged by my cousin Robyn who I had not seen for nearly 50 years so it was very special to catch up with her and to meet her husband Stuart and her son Ryan with his beautiful girlfriend Clare.  Wow! What a mind blowing celebration it was!!! Obviously we don’t have too many photos of the ceremony but our thanks goes to the RAAF for supplying the last photos we’ve shown here. "Australian War Memorial", AWM, "Last Post Ceremony", Lord, "William Lord"Cousin Robyn Boyd, myself and Ryan Boyd taken just prior to the Last Post CeremonyRobyn Boyd, Sue Chamberlain, Ryan Boyd

Written by Sue Chamberlain

"Australian War Memorial", AWM, "Last Post Ceremony", Lord, "William Lord"Some of the Dignitaries at the ceremonyAir Marshall Mel Hupfield - Chief of the Air Force, His Excellency General David Hurley the Governor General of Australia, Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley and The Hon. Darren Chester MP Minister for Veteran Affairs

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) 1 aeroplanes AFC air Australian Flight Half Half Flight Lord mechanic pilot pilots RAAF the twins war world Sat, 03 Apr 2021 23:06:50 GMT
RAAF Airforce Centenary Flypast Event What a fantastic day the centenary flypast 2021 was! No superlatives are enough to capture how we felt being in the midst of the celebration. 

The Roulettes - Military aircraft display over Canberra skies for Centenary of the RAAFThe Roulettes Steal The Show piloting Pilatus PC-21 aircraftRAAF 100th Anniversary Fly Past Event Military aircraft display over Canberra skies for Centenary of the RAAFEven airforce officers were excited by the air displayRAAF 100th Anniversary Fly Past Event

In my mum’s hometown of Canberra 2 days after her birthday,  Kevin and I were treated by the RAAF to a brilliant view of the airshow – Kevin was in his element – his love of photography and flying filled by the display of so many different aircraft (although I didn’t spot a glider there!) flying over his head!!!  Thank you to the Air Force for putting on a wonderful display!  We were invited to a special viewing of the airshow as well as a magical Last Post Ceremony (held in the War Memorial) for my great uncle William Henry Lord and I was very excited to catch up with my cousin Robyn who kindly made all the arrangements for us, and her family. What a day it was!  I had goosebumps all day and tears were never far away.

Kevin’s favourites were the Roulettes.  They made for very interesting photography subjects as they blasted across the skies forming colourful patterns as the smoke trails followed the twists and turns of the aircraft. The daring and skill of the pilots must be appreciated.  It you are interested to see more, Kevin has some 45 images selected for our gallery and you can view them here.  Here’s one more teaser before I go…

Written by: Sue Chamberlain

The Roulettes - Military aircraft display over Canberra skies for Centenary of the RAAFSmoke forming beautiful patterns as the aircraft twist and turn.RAAF 100th Anniversary Fly Past Event

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) air display aircraft military RAAF Roulettes Fri, 02 Apr 2021 06:46:10 GMT
Travel Photography of Bay of Fires Bay of Fires - Beautiful, Pristine & Serene

Golden Sunrise Binalong BayGolden Sunrise Binalong BayLandscape photography and travel photography of Binalong Bay in the Bay of Fires Tasmania Taylors Beach Rock FormationsTaylors Beach Rock FormationsLandscape photography and travel photography of the Bay of Fires in Tasmania










Our 2019 summer saw us return to amazing Tasmania. We visited three main areas, Hobart and the Tamar Valley but Bay of Fires was the stand-out place for us this year. It wasn’t a photography trip as such but of course a camera is always with us and we did have some plans for this renowned place of natural beauty.

Binalong Bay is situated on the northern stretch of the Tasmanian East coast near St Helens and sits at the southern end of the Bay of Fires region. It is a protected region, sparsely populated and pristine with many beautiful white sandy beaches, forested areas and, of course the famous orange lichen coloured boulders which photographers love.

Bed in the Treetops MontageBed in the Treetops MontageLandscape photography and travel photography of Bed in the Treetops at the Bay of Fires in Tasmania We booked accommodation at a B&B called Bed in the Treetops which is owned and run by Mark and Paula - the most charming and friendly couple one could ever hope to meet.

Mark and Paula were a font of knowledge about the best local places and when we mentioned photography, their immediate response was the "lone tree" down on the Bay.  "Everyone photographs it" (apparently) but we didn't know this as we had only planned the holiday aspects of this trip.

Great landscape photos rarely just happen so we first went in search of the site so we could check out the location on foot.  Thus, our initial photos were a bunch of hand held images shot on my now somewhat outdated (but still much loved) Fuji X-E1.  Red Lichen Bay of FiresRed Lichen Bay of FiresLandscape photography and travel photography of the Bay of Fires in Tasmania Actually, I quite like some of these and they are useful images.  I find using a small lightweight camera handheld allows me to be very creative with finding angles and compositions that I can return to later with my Nikon D850 and tripod etc.

The next evening, after using our PhotoPills app to obtain accurate placement of sun angles etc., we were back with the Nikon for Golden Hour and Sunset.  Sunset Photography SetupThe Best Way to do Sunset PhotographyLandscape photography and travel photography of Binalong Bay in Tasmania This is my wife Sue with wine glass in hand offering advice on composition options...well no-one said landscape photography need always be hard work in remote areas!

Some shots captured on the Nikon that evening are below: Coastal Landscape Bay of FiresCoastal Landscape Bay of FiresLandscape photography and travel photography of Binalong Bay in the Bay of Fires Tasmania Landscape by the Ocean Bay of FiresLandscape by the Ocean Bay of FiresLandscape photography and travel photography of Binalong Bay in the Bay of Fires Tasmania








OK, nice but "no cigars".  Sadly, the magic just didn't happen that evening so we went home figuring that sunrise would be better and hoping for some kind weather the next morning.

Sunrise is pretty early in summer and it's not good to start drinking wine at this hour so this was a solo effort this morning.  Again, the light, the clouds and the angles just didn't quite marry up perfectly but I think a couple of good shots were captured.  What do you think? Lone Tree at SunriseLone Tree at SunriseLandscape photography and travel photography of Binalong Bay in the Bay of Fires Tasmania Golden Sunrise Binalong BayGolden Sunrise Binalong BayLandscape photography and travel photography of Binalong Bay in the Bay of Fires Tasmania










The Binalong Bay area has much more to offer travelers and we highly recommend adding this area to your itinerary when visiting Tasmania.  Mark and Paula also pointed out places like Blue Tier, a beautiful scenic walk with breathtaking views and St. Columba Falls.  There are majestic beaches and boulders where you can walk undisturbed for mile after mile.  If you are interested, I have put up some more of my travel photos of Tassie on my website.  You can view them here

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) commercial photography landscape photography sunrise photography sunset photography Sydney commercial photographer Sydney commercial photography Wed, 24 Apr 2019 02:14:13 GMT
Architecture Photography of the New Brokenwood Cellar Door I have previously blogged about “Things Sometimes Go Wrong”. Well thankfully, this is a story about how it could have gone wrong but this time perhaps intuition or experience stepped in to save the situation.

Entry to Brokenwood Cellar Door and Tasting RoomsEntry to Brokenwood Cellar Door and Tasting RoomsInterior & Exterior architectural photography the new Brokenwood Winery Rooms for Red Eye Construction Company

I strongly believe that Architecture photography should be “considered” work. It should be very well-planned with plenty of time allocated to the actual shoot itself and multiple site visits in order to assess the site, the conditions and how the changing light throughout a day can impact the different visual elements. Changes in the weather also have to be taken into account – cloudy conditions or wind can ruin a moment or even an entire shoot but sometimes a dramatic sky can significantly add to a shot. Travelling greater distances can be a further complication. Weather conditions may be completely different on location and of course if a shoot has to be abandoned or another trip made, this adds greatly to costs.

Sadly, most commercial shoots do not have enough of a budget allocated to allow for properly considered photography so my work is often something of a compromise.

The Brokenwood Winery location is some 155 kms away from my base in Epping and approximately a 2.5 hours’ drive (one-way). The day our shoot was planned for was 28th November 2018. Here are some of the Sydney Headlines for this day:

“City’s wettest November day since 1984”

“Second person dies as flooding causes chaos across region”

“Battered Sydney: One in a 100 year weather event causes havoc”

If you live in Sydney you no doubt remember this. The weather in Pokolbin wasn’t this bad but it sure wasn’t good. It rained plenty and the skies were gloomy.

brokenwood cellar door initial imagesIntermitent weatherWeather conditions were far from ideal but there were some periods of sunlight.

So what saved the day? Easy, my wife Sue and I decided we deserved a bit of a break away and we booked a room near Pokolbin for two nights arriving the day before – the 27th. We knew the weather predictions were dire so we begged for the opportunity to be on site a day early. The weather wasn’t brilliant then but we did get sunny breaks and this gave us the opportunity to shoot most of the exterior images in at least generally pleasing light. Just as well, because the new Brokenwood site is outstanding and I am sure it will be a new major attraction for lovers of fine wine. Much credit here must go to our client Red Eye Constructions for their superior building skills and of course to Brokenwood and their architect Villa+Villa and other contractors who contributed.

Alternate view of the Outdoor Terrace areaAlternate view of the Outdoor Terrace areaReflections in the restaurant windows show slightly brighter skies.

Outdoor Terrace area and window to The Wood restaurantOutdoor Terrace area and window to The Wood restaurantBeautiful spotted gum timber cladding is featured in the building exterior.

Reflections in the windows of the Lounge area.Reflections in the windows of the Lounge area.Reflections in the Lounge area windows lead the eye back to the Outdoor Terrace.

This shoot was budgeted at a single visit of 4 hours. However, achieving the creditable images we managed to capture involved us all-in-all in no less than five site visits over two days including one dusk visit.

We still didn’t get the ideal results we always crave and there were the inevitable delays – waiting for cloudy periods to pass, waiting for access to certain spaces while Brokenwood or restaurant staff were busy with final touches (opening was still a few days away). The light for many shots was never quite right and some spaces still weren’t quite finished. We certainly didn’t get the dusk shot we wanted. The weather had clouded over by the evening of the 27th and we couldn’t arrange for the internal lighting to be switched on. This was arranged for the 28th but had to be abandoned due to the wind and rain on that day.

Exterior Dusk shot "the night before". Rain had already settled in.Exterior Dusk shot "the night before". Rain had already settled in.Not exactly the Dusk shot we were hoping for. We weren't able to arrange for the interior lights to be switched on so this was the best angle - otherwise, the building looked dark and unoccupied. Tasting Room with circular tasting podsTasting Room with circular tasting podsA beautiful high ceiling space with the circular tasting pods hinting at the shape of wine barrels. Interior of The Wood RestaurantInterior of The Wood RestaurantAgain, views through the windows were a bit grey and gloomy but do not negatively impact too much on these interiors.










So what is the lesson to learn here? As I said at the beginning of this blog, architectural photography should be a carefully planned process with enough budget and time to achieve the quality result desired. An allowance for multiple site visits should be incorporated as often as possible.  Single site visits of limited time on limited budgets I am sure will continue to be a large part of my contracted work but...I’m just saying…

Have a look at more of our Brokenwood images here

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) architecture photography sydney Brokenwood Winery building photography commercial photographer Sydney commercial photography construction photography industrial photography Sydney Thu, 28 Feb 2019 06:20:25 GMT
Uluru Helicopter Photography Like most professionals these days, it is a requirement of our AIPP accreditation that we maintain a CPD program (Continued Professional Development). Accredited Master photographer I may be but I don't think I am even close to knowing everything about photography. My "daily grind" is perhaps shooting inspiring architecture or innovative products, perhaps something industrial or corporate but I don't normally do star shoots or landscape in Central Australia so for our CPD this year we elected to combine a “bucket list” destination with a masterclass photography tour based in Uluru, taking in Kata Tjuta. We tacked on further days traveling by ourselves to Kings Canyon and doing the Cave Hill tour described by Sue in our previous Blog.

Aerial Landscape Photography of Uluru Kata Tjuta National ParkUluru sunrise from a rather different perspective. Boy was it cold!Kevin's position leaning out of the open doors of the helicopter


One of the highlights of our photography masterclass was an aerial shoot at dawn at Uluru from a helicopter.

Yes, these are my legs dangling out of the open door with feet resting on the landing skids!  I loved being able to lean out with no doors and have the whole incredible landscape stretched out below my feet and away to the horizon.


Sue was right alongside and Dawn Helicopter Flight over UluruDawn Helicopter Flight over UluruSue and our fearless leader Ewen Bell prepare for takeoff to do aerial photography of Uluru at sunrise both of us were dressed for the incredible chill (and thrill) of pre-dawn air rushing past at up to 250km/h.



PHS Helicopter over Uluru at SunrisePHS Helicopter over Uluru at SunriseFlight in formation. A very fast camera shutter speed is used to counter the helicopter vibrations and wind interference which is fast enough to freeze the rotor blade movement.




There were 2 helicopters to cater for the whole group (nine in total) & we traveled at times in formation which added to the fun and created extra photo opportunities!

The aim was to capture the golden early rising sun as it skimmed across the red landscape, lighting the ridges and dunes leading to the glowing rock.  With our eagle’s eye view it seemed the ridges were like veins leading to the heart of the land or surface roots leading straight to the trunk of the greatest tree planted right in the middle of Australia. An awe inspiring sight.

Aerial Sunrise Photography of UluruUluru in all its glory - dawn lightAerial photography of Uluru at sunrise detailing the vein like landscape that surrounds the rock

While the dawn flight was part of the course, we were very, very lucky to be treated to a 2nd sortie on our last day, this time at sunset.  The air was much warmer this time and the ever changing light on this “land of sweeping plains” is something we will never forget.  Heartfelt thanks to Ewen Bell and Ian Rolfe who conspired to make both flights happen and gave us so many beautiful memories.

Intrepid Photographers after Sunrise Helicopter Flight over UluruIntrepid Photographers after Sunrise Helicopter Flight over UluruSue and Kevin with helicopter after aerial photography of Uluru and surrounds at sunrise


(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) aerial aerial landscape aerial photography ayers rock central australia helicopter helicopter photography kata tjuta landscape landscape photography red centre sunrise photography sunset photography uluru yulara Thu, 26 Jul 2018 04:39:19 GMT
OMG! A Photography Blog with only TWO Photos! Recently Kevin and I finished a photography masterclass in Uluru (more about that in another blog).  It was a feast of sunrises, sunsets, star trails, land and aerial landscapes but we also wanted to get a “feel” for this “sunburnt country” so we extended our stay for a few days.  On our last day we did an outback tour with SEIT Outback Tours to Cave Hill with one other couple who turned out to also be in the photography profession – one of those synchronicities that added to our journey.  We were very privileged to be welcomed to Cave Hill by not only Amata owner Stanley Douglas but also his daughter, Margaret and some of the children and grandchildren.  We learned about bush tucker, bush medicine and heard firsthand the stories of the Seven Sisters.  We climbed to the top of Cave Hill and experienced the 360 degree panorama – a stark country of blues and reds.  We shared morning tea, lunch and freshly dug maku (witchetty grubs) with the family. 

Documentary photography of indigenous Australian Margaret giving Bush Tucker LessonsBush Tucker Lessons from MargaretIndigenous Australian, Margaret, teaches bush tucker and bush medicine in the heart of Australia at Cave Hill Landscape photography of the view from the top of Cave Hill, site of the Seven Sisters DreamingAustralian Desert LandscapeLandscape photography showing part of the 360 degree view from the top of Cave Hill

Such a special day and it was not until we were back in the 4WD heading back to Uluru that I realised we had taken very few photos!  Would I remember the day?  Would I be able to share my thoughts and feelings without precious images?  My first response was damn I should have lifted the camera in my hand and gone mad!  Then it struck me that I absorbed so much of people and place by NOT seeing it through a viewfinder.  I hope I will never forget Stanley’s direct gaze, Margaret’s face as she talked about her wanampi dreaming or the little 7 month old gobbling maku in delight but after a lot of internal debate I decided no regrets.  This is not an original thought, I do not intend to preach or judge but I simply want to remind myself with this blog that sometimes you need to “see” with all your senses.  Without doubt we will return to Cave Hill and hopefully have the chance to document our experiences but for that one day it was brilliant to go with the flow and without cameras, phones or other devices.  Now, if Kevin doesn’t burn me at the stake for heresy, I’ll share this for whatever its worth.  Actually, to appease Kevin, I've now got some of our photography odyssey up on our website - have a look at Red Center Photography

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) central australia commercial commercial photography Landscape landscape photography photographer Photographer" photography professional professional photographer Sydney travel Uluru Sun, 22 Jul 2018 02:36:54 GMT
Seeking Inspiration to Push our Photography Boundaries After working two weekends in a row, Sue and I decided to “play hooky” and recharge our batteries with a trip to the Biennale at Cockatoo Island last week.  It was a glorious autumn day in Sydney so the river cat ride to the island was a great start.  We had seen some of the pieces on an earlier visit with good friends but this was an opportunity to wander with open minds and absorb the intent of the pieces and their connection to the theme of “Equilibrium and Engagement”. There have been some negative reviews of the 2018 Biennale – one critic suggesting it is “on life support” with many pieces that “have posed fascinating intellectual challenges for the artist but have little to offer an audience”.  Documentary photography of artistic shipping container installation at Cockatoo Island's Biennale ExhibitionText from the poem ICARUS Embodies Icarus ContainerYukinori Yanagi's Icarus Container includes text drawn from Yukio Mishima's poem, ICARUS

To be honest, there are some on Cockatoo Island that left us shaking our heads in bemusement but others that really DO draw us into the artist’s headspace and challenge us to step outside our comfortable daily routine and look at the world from a different perspective.  Yukinori Yanagi’s works are, in our opinion, amazing – the Icarus Container, Landscape with an Eye and Absolute Dud are powerful and confronting! 

How do they impact us as photographers?  The answer is “don’t know” but the pieces that attracted us made us stop, think laterally and discuss – 3 things we don’t do enough in our daily working lives.  Can we do this with one of our photography images?  Time will tell so watch this space!!!!  If you have an opportunity to take a day trip on Sydney Harbour to a fascinating island and explore some “artistic” installations, then we’d suggest you do it just to see and judge for yourselves!

If you'd like to see some of the sights that captured our attention, go to Sydney Biennale on Cockatoo Island 2018

Documentary photography of artistic installation at Cockatoo Island's Biennale ExhibitionDetail of Sydney Biennale 2018 Installation - Planes, ErodeMit Jai Inn's Installation is Planes Hover, Erupt, Erode

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) art photography cockatoo island corporate event photographer event photographer sydney biennale sydney commercial photography Tue, 08 May 2018 01:30:00 GMT
NSW Commercial Photography Awards Success in 2018 A few weeks ago I attended the the NSW Professional Photography Awards which were held in Canberra this year.  As a "new" judge (definitely on P Plates) it was very exciting and I was blown away by the amazing talented photographers we have in NSW and ACT.  Sue and I were also thrilled to be "Runner up" in the NSW Professional Commercial Photographer of the Year category after submitting 4 entries into the "Commissioned Commercial" Section. We submitted commercial architectural images selected from various commercial jobs we've shot in the last two years. We picked up one Silver Distinction award and three solid silver awards. Whilst we didn't win the category again this year, Runner Up is still special for us as it confirms our standards are still very high and very consistent. This result means in the past 6 years we have won the category twice and also finished finalist or runner up three times (we didn't enter in 2016).

Congratulations to all the winners on the night - your images are fantastic! A huge thank you to everyone at the AIPP (especially the volunteers), the sponsors and last but not least, Pixel Perfect who printed our beautiful Fuji Flex prints.

Thanks also and especially to my wonderful clients who booked me for these wonderful jobs - in order:

  • Schindler Australia - Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Melbourne
  • BKH Group -  Wynyard Walkway
  • Fund Operations Network - Westin Hotel
  • Australian Logistics Council - ICC Sydney Stairwell

If you'd like to have a look at our images, please go to

Kevin Chamberlain wins 1 Silver Distinction award and 3 Silver awards as 1 of 3 Finalists in the 2018 NSW AIPP Commercial Photography Award2018 NSW AIPP Commercial Photography AwardSydney Commercial Photographer's Professional Photography Award Winning Entries

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) award winning photographer commercial photography corporate photographer sydney architectural photographer sydney architectural photography sydney commercial photographer Mon, 07 May 2018 01:05:01 GMT
NSW Commercial Photography Awards Success Last week Sue and I attended the presentation of the NSW Professional Photography Awards in Darling Harbour. We are very excited to be "Runner up" in the NSW Professional Commercial Photographer of the Year category after submitting 4 entries into the "Commissioned Commercial" Section. We submitted commercial architectural images selected from various commercial jobs we've shot in the last two years. We picked up one Gold award (very excited about this as golds are rare) and two solid silver awards. Whilst we didn't win the category this year, Runner Up is still special for us as it confirms our standards are still very high and very consistent. This result means in the past 5 years we have won the category twice and also finished finalist or runner up twice (we didn't enter in 2016).

Congratulations to all the winners on the night - your images are fantastic! A huge thank you to everyone at the AIPP (especially the volunteers), the sponsors and last but not least, Pixel Perfect who printed our beautiful Fuji Flex prints.

Thanks also and especially to my wonderful clients who booked me for these wonderful jobs - in order:

  • Schindler Australia - Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Melbourne
  • BKH Group -  Wynyard Walkway
  • H W Barnwell Builders - Skylight

If you'd like to have a look at our images, please go to

2017 NSW AIPP Commercial Awards Display2017 NSW AIPP Commercial Awards DisplayAward winning images from 2017 NSW AIPP Professional Photography Awards

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) award winning photographer commercial photography corporate photographer Sydney architectural photographer Sydney architectural photography Sydney commercial photographer Mon, 29 May 2017 01:34:14 GMT
Demolition Photography - Liverpool Footbridge Newbridge Road A big reason I love being a professional photographer is that it you generally don’t know what your next assignment will be. It is fantastic to be constantly surprised and challenged. Some jobs can take you well outside your comfort zones! Often, I feel very privileged to be the selected person capturing small bits of history. Maybe I can inspire others?

I expect people who read this blog will be photography enthusiasts and might be interested in “seeing” some of my more out of the ordinary photo shoots. I hope so. This is the first blog in a series I plan to write about past assignments that surprised or challenged me greater than most others.

Liverpool Footbridge Night-time Demolition

In October 2016 a new client - Group HIS, a diversified design and fitout company - asked me be on site for an “all-nighter” to document the demolition of a substantial footbridge over a busy road in Liverpool. The site at 2-4 Speed Street Liverpool will be rejuvenated into the new Liverpool Super GP Clinic where Group HIS will take a leading role as they specialise in the medical, healthcare and commercial industries. Demolition of a Footbridge at Liverpool GP Super ClinicDemolition of a Footbridge at Liverpool GP Super ClinicBefore Image from Terminus Street

I’ve been on many construction sites but this was something new! It was a last minute arrangement so I wasn’t totally sure what to expect or what I would find when I arrived. Site induction completed I donned my PPE gear and attended the briefing conducted by the site supervisor from Mammoth Projects for teams from the demolition workers, engineers, crane drivers, scaffolders and a large team of traffic controllers. During the briefing, I was impressed by the professionalism of the people involved but I felt an underlying tension and I started to realise this was a significant act I was about to witness and capture. This demolition could be dangerous - things could go wrong! It depended on many elements coming together in a coordinated fashion. A mistake at any stage could result in a horrible disaster and on top of this, there were time constraints! The job had to be completed during the one night. If there were any hiccups, it would be a very expensive “bust”.  Demolition of a Footbridge at Liverpool GP Super ClinicDemolition of a Footbridge at Liverpool GP Super ClinicBefore Image - walking the bridge back towards the building to become the GP Super Clinic

This was obviously an intricate and very well-planned exercise - some 6 months in preparation but I could see, despite the best plans, some elements might be not be entirely predictable. My respect for these people grew as I began to realise the leaders were handling tremendous responsibilities. There was a lot at stake – including people’s lives!

The basic plan was to redirect the traffic, build a central scaffold support under the bridge on the roadway, position a large crane, then cut away the bridge in two halves using the crane to support then lift each half section away - over into an adjoining yard.

I was very well briefed but I had to make my own decisions from a visual and creative photography perspective. I knew what the action would be but I couldn't know, until I saw it, where I needed to be for each piece of the action. I didn't know what what obstacles I might encounter. It was going to be a long night!  Demolition of a Footbridge at Liverpool GP Super ClinicDemolition of a Footbridge at Liverpool GP Super ClinicCutting at both sides. Scaffolding is ready to support the structure after connections are severed.

For me, my main difficulty was that I needed to keep out of the way of the works but I needed vantage points where I could be certain to capture the action and points where I could return to at intervals to demonstrate the progress of each part of the demolition. I didn’t know which points might be best, as I didn’t have a good idea of exactly where or when the visual action would take place and I was aware that various obstructions might occur at different times. My MO was to circumnavigate the site on foot and keep taking photos from positions I selected. I would roam the site constantly during the early phases but over time, it became clearer where the best positions were.

Lighting was also a big issue. It was a dark and overcast night. I had assumed the construction team would erect good lighting but this proved not to be the case. The lighting was standard street lighting supplemented only by some spotlights on the crane beam. Lens flare became a major concern - dark skies-bright spot lights. High ISO settings and wide apertures were needed – definitely a tripod and cable release were valuable tools. But slow shutter speeds weren't generally a good option as I wanted people in the images to not "ghost out". Thus, I was operating at the extremes of my camera gear the whole night.

My photography started in the late hours of daylight capturing “before” images of the bridge and circling it to find the best vantage points. It turned out I could capture most images from just outside of the actual construction “roped-off” areas. As night descended and as work progressed, I worked out which was the main place to be but I still covered as many angles as possible – remaining ready to capture every aspect – using two cameras with radio triggers and two tripods.

It was a long night but fortunately everything went like clockwork. Even some threatening rain did not eventuate. The demolition experts knew exactly what they were doing and the bridge sections were methodically cut away. The crane was able to bear the loads and lift the sections away cleanly. As far as I could see no one was injured and the night was obviously a huge success. It was a joy to observe and to play my small role.

I felt privileged to be on site. To be there to capture and record for history the last images of a structure which had stood and served the local community for many years and to capture the very interesting process of how this feat was achieved.

I hope to be invited back to capture images of the finished Liverpool Super GP Clinic building for Group HIS.

Life as a photographer is rarely dull!

Congratulations to:

  • Group HIS
  • Mammoth Projects
  • RMA Group Ross Mitchell & Associates
  • Retro Traffic - Traffic Controllers
  • Gillespies Cranes

And all the people and other contractors who worked as a formidable team.

You can see all the photos here

Demolition of a Footbridge at Liverpool GP Super ClinicDemolition of a Footbridge at Liverpool GP Super ClinicCutting of the main beams begin

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) commercial photography construction photography Group HIS health sector photographer industrial photographer Sydney Liverpool GP Super Clinic medical centre professional photographer Sydney commercial photographer Thu, 02 Feb 2017 04:24:24 GMT
Epping Transformation – Urban Renewal or Madness? Whether we like it or not, where we live in Epping is being radically transformed from a quiet suburban location to a transport hub (Sydney Northwest Rail Link in 2019) and a high rise high density residential area – some say another Chatswood!

My wife Sue and I both live and work from our home in Epping. We have both lived in or about the Epping area pretty much all our lives and given that we are now both of, let’s say, mature age, it is with authority we can state that the Epping Urban Renewal now underway in our local area is both massive and unprecedented.

Sue and I prefer to take a positive view but it is hard to argue there aren’t going to be significant challenges and downsides – traffic congestion being perhaps the most obvious concern to residents. Roads & Maritime keep sending lovely reassuring leaflets but no resident I know believes the R&MS current intersection upgrades will deliver anything more than hot air. So will it be dark and stormy or sunny skies ahead?

Poly Horizon Apartments built by Ganellen - Chinese Developer PolyPoly Horizon Apartments built by Ganellen - Chinese Developer PolyStormy Skies, 20-28 Cambridge Street 501 apartments in three towers up to 22 storeys! Poly Horizon Apartments built by Ganellen – Chinese Developer PolyPoly Horizon ApartmentsA sunnier view, 20-28 Cambridge Street 501 apartments in three towers up to 22 storeys! Massive Cranes at work.

Notwithstanding, how can I, as a commercial photographer specialising as an architectural photographer not be intrigued by the changes?  There is and will be a loss of history eg. the Uniting Church on Oxford St will be torn down and replaced by twin 17 story towers.  This is balanced by some stunning new architecture, additional amenities and (they say) a new vibrancy. Easily visible from our town house at the end of our street (see photo), will be three huge towers up to 22 storys high. Poly Horizon Apartments built by Ganellen – Chinese Developer PolyPoly Horizon Apartments built by Ganellen – Chinese Developer PolyView from Chester Street in front of our home. Next year we will see 3 towers here up to 22 storeys high! A little belatedly perhaps, I have now taken it upon myself to begin a personal project to document as much of the local change as I can. I have some images dating back to December 2015.

I intend to build a gallery of images and post regular Blog Updates. I will also seek ideas, feedback and comments from residents and others about visual aspects I might have missed. Obviously, this is a project which will be ongoing for at least a couple of years and might at times be controversial. I have my own views about over-population and the incessant need for growth. Where will it end?

Oxford Central Property Develpment by GreatonOxford Central Property Develpment by Chinese Developer GreatonUniting Church to be Redeveloped. 30-42 Oxford Street - 254 Units in Two Towers each 17 storeys with a small public Piazza and some commercial space View North Oxford Street from Train StationView North along Oxford Street from Train StationThis skyline will soon be dominated by high rise towers. This view (to date) will include no less than 6 towers up to 22 storeys high!

We will see where the journey takes us! You can see more images here but I have many more to be added and will be constantly updating.

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) commercial commercial photography commuter living Epping urban renewal high density living housing photographer photography professional Sydney commercial photographer train station trains transport hub Wed, 11 Jan 2017 23:34:57 GMT
The Joy of Photography Event Photography of St Mary's Cathedral lit up with the Christmas IlluminationsEvent Photography of St Mary's Cathedral lit up with the Christmas IlluminationsEvent Photography of Sydney Christmas Displays and St Mary's Christmas Illuminations Even though I do this for a living I still get real joy from my photography and I know a lot of my family and friends do too. If you are reading this blog, chances are you also get a kick out of creating nice images and sharing them. It's an activity none of us will ever perfect so it is fun to learn and to constantly try new things. For most of us, Christmas and New Year is an ideal time to get in some practice and to store away some special memories of people and places.

Last weekend my wife and family wanted to head into the city (Sydney) to see the Illuminations at St Mary's Cathedral. I went along happily enough but without great enthusiasm or anticipation. I've shot the last couple of Vivid events and really didn't expect the Illuminations to offer anything quite as grand.

We drove in early and walked though the city to view the Christmas tree in Martin Place, then onto various other locations including the magnificent QVB building. I just carried my little Fujifilm X-E1 and took some tourist snaps. Doing this my enthusiasm built and soon (as usual) my family were waiting for me at every turn. The QVB is a beautiful space and offers so many photo opportunities (but don't try to set up a tripod as security will be onto you very quickly).

Sydney event photographer photographs the Christmas tree with Swarovski crystalsEvent Photography of the Christmas Tree at the QVB in SydneyChristmas Tree - QVB Building Sydney

We dinned at a beaut little sushi restaurant and then onto St Marys via Hyde Park.

We do live in a very beautiful city and sometimes it is easy to just not "see" it. Taking a bit of time and lugging a half decent camera helps you slow down and really "look". This is great practice - working on compositions and working through exposure and lighting considerations. Seeking out the interesting detail!

Then the Illuminations, finding a good position and waiting for the best light. Choosing the best compromise between shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings. There is no single answer, but I chose to use a wider aperture (focusing on the cathedral's wall) and an ISO of up to 400 (to minimise "noise" with a shutter speed of around a fifth to a tenth of a second (the images move). I definitely wanted to expose for the highlights here. The camera light meter is likely to lead you to over expose in this situation so watch for this and learn to read the camera histograms. Of course a tripod is essential in this scenario.

Event Photography of St Mary's Cathedral lit up with the Christmas IlluminationsEvent Photography of St Mary's Cathedral lit up with the Christmas IlluminationsEvent Photography of Sydney Christmas Displays and St Mary's Christmas Illuminations

You soon find yourself in conversation with other photographers and people around you. This then another source of joy - finding a reason to reach out and make contact with other people - again something that in big cities is easy to forget (or avoid) to do. A man set up next to me causing me some "camera envy" while he assembled an Alpha architectural camera complete with a PhaseOne 100 megapixel digital back - probably some $60,000 worth of gear (not counting what remained in his bag). He wanted to take a shot in front of me. I let him on the proviso he showed me and talked to me about his gear (maybe in my next life - or the lottery).

The evening couldn't have been better. We even had some lovely low level cumulus cloud filling the sky lit by the city lights.

Yes joy indeed.

I hope you enjoy some of my images. You can view all of them at here






(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) Christmas church commercial display event Illuminations light Mary's photographer photography professional St Sydney Wed, 14 Dec 2016 22:25:28 GMT
A Light Lament or Why You Should Always Have Your Camera I should have known better!

We are taking a break up on the Gold Coast but all day it has been a cold wind from the south and solid overcast…definitely a jumper day! We visited the markets at Coolangatta and being an optimist, I carried my camera… just in case. I’ve done this a lot this trip but most often it has just been a lump to carry and not much used. It was the same today.

Suffering from a head cold and lack of sleep I took a nap this afternoon while my wife Sue walked the northern beach. I said I’d join her for the trip south. I guessed by then we would be walking at about sunset, so maybe I’d carry my camera again.

I’ll blame it on my foggy mind because when I awoke and looked out it was still dull flat and grey out over the sea. Damn it I thought, I won’t carry that weight again tonight.

There is a view to the west when we enter the lift. In a corner of my mind I observed some sunlight and guessed the clouds were clearing. Something registered. I felt it but ignored it and took the lift down to meet my wife and battle the cold wind – better dressed this time in a jacket and jeans.

As we approached the south end of Burleigh I noticed a strange sunlight glow in the east! Weird, the sun is setting – isn’t that Surfers Paradise SunsetSurfers Paradise SunsetGlittering Sunset after a dull day. Note that digital zoom on a camera phone is going to give nasty "pixelated" results - particularly on my old lowish res phone. west? Then the penny dropped. The sun was now sending rays below the cloud layer and I started to cringe. Damn! This could be the best light of our stay and too late to go back for a camera. So out came the mobile phone camera knowing it would never be good enough. Cursing my stupidity.

The lowering sun was now beaming golden rays, sending glittering light to isolate the skyscrapers of Surfers and I knew, before long, this light would be skimming the bottom of the layers of cloud creating highlights of colour with gorgeous reflections in the water. All Sue and I could do was enjoy the splendour, learn the lesson and shoot some reference shots on our phones. Frustration! What I could have done with a tripod and a slow shutter speed plus a good camera and lens. This sort of light doesn’t happen often. Burleigh Beach Sunset and waterBurleigh BeachWets sand reflections and lovely low angle sun rays skimming the bottom of the clouds. A good camera and tripod could have created a masterpiece.

I should have known better. Now all I can do is lament my laziness and show you a few approximate examples (from our phones) of what we missed.

The light shines in peculiar ways! Enjoy and have a laugh with us.

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) Burleigh Heads choosing the best light landscape photograhy seascape sunset photography travel photography Sun, 23 Oct 2016 10:27:40 GMT
Corporate Headshots – Missed Opportunity? The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Think about your current corporate portrait for a moment. If a picture paints a thousand words, what does your portrait say about you?

If you have shot a “selfie” of yourself in your car, at a party or at a beach, is this really suitable for say Linkedin, your corporate web site or any other business related media? What if your image makes you look bored, untidy, old, unwell, nervous, arrogant etc.? I guess these are “images” of yourself you’d rather not display – yet I see many such images on corporate sites – or worse (perhaps) no image at all. You’d probably agree all these people are missing out on the opportunity to start with a great first impression. In fact, many are probably actively creating a bad first impression. "Corporate Portraits", Headshots, studio lightingLow Cost Headshot Style - Studio formatComposite of some headshots completed in low cost style for a leading international corporation at their Sydney CBD office - Corporate Portraits. Good portraits don't need to cost a fortune!

Perhaps your corporate portrait is rather more important than you first thought.

Everyone is a photographer these days. We all carry a camera with us in our phone. So one way to stand out from the crowd is to have a have a very good corporate portrait which has been created thoughtfully and is well produced. It doesn’t need to be professional, so if you have the skills and equipment you can do it yourself but you will probably benefit from a few good tips.

  • Think it out from the perspective of the viewer. What do you want them to “read” from your image? Confidence, intelligence, commanding, friendly/approachable, neat/organised etc. Pick out YOUR key points then work out how to display them visually.
  • In context with the above point consider; clothing, grooming (including make-up & jewellery), posture, expression, choice of a colour palette.
  • Consider the background/location.  You want the background to add to the scene but not to be too busy or distracting.
  • Consider lighting. How a face is lit can make a huge difference to the presentation of the person e.g. soft beauty lighting through to hard-edged, deep shadowed black & white. There are many options.
  • Your choice of lens and camera angle can also be used to create moods and impressions. e.g. a low camera angle, can help make a person seem more commanding. A wide angle (e.g. phone camera) is generally not flattering and best avoided. A "normal" lens to slight telephoto is genrally considered the better choice.

Dental Care worker and equipmentDentist, dental technician in her work environmentA more thoughtful and creative style. Focus is on the person but the image tells the viewer a lot more about the person and what they do - modern equipment and a person who is kind and caring Obviously a talented professional photographer is going to be the best bet for a lot of people and costs are probably a lot less than you think. It is worth making enquiries but please be sure to do your due diligence. Check out the photographer’s background and experience and ask to see samples of their work. Make sure they have a formal business structure and appropriate insurance. A safe selection method is to select from a professional accredited with the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP). They do the due diligence for you and they include a “Search For A Professional” function on their web site. Or, if you live in Sydney, you can just call me…

You can find more Tips in my PDF (follow the link)

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) commercial photography corporate photographer corporate portrait headshot photography sydney portrait photography Sydney commercial photographer Tue, 23 Aug 2016 06:01:21 GMT
Sculpture at Barangaroo - A Photographic Walk in the Park Even as a Sydney commercial photographer I find it is often not possible (or appropriate – I know this because of the “looks” I get) when I travel or am with family (who aren’t photographers) to spend all the time I would like, take all the camera gear I want or to be at the location at the time of day I would prefer. I am sure all photographers have the same issues so my question is "How do we enjoy the day and still get some good photos?"

Here are some of my photo tips illustrated during a walk I did today with some of my family at the Sculpture at Barangaroo exhibition. I really had no choice in the time of day and if I didn’t want to get left behind by my long suffering family, I needed to be swift in capturing the shots I wanted. All I had with me was my small Fuji X-E1 fitted with an 18-55mm zoom, a polarising filter, an ND filter and a grain filled cloth bag.  I was lucky with the weather though – a touch of Spring and a bright sunny day with no visible pollution.

The Grove  -  Two Pods made from Red Cedar Shingles By Margarita Samson 

This was a tough photo assi  gnment. It was a very popular sculpture and the challenge was definitely to get a shot without a bunch of people obscuring the pods. The answer for me was to use the two filters, camera set to Auto Aperture control - a small aperture (f/22) and a low ISO (200 minimum) to achieve a very slow shutter speed (27 seconds). The camera angle I used was probably not the best but was dictated by access to a convenient rock were I could use the grain bag to steady and position the camera. Scuplture at Sydney's Barangaroo Park titled The GroveNormal Scene and Activity - Hard to get a "clean" shot!Quick photo of The Grove sculpture surrounded by people

Sculpture at Barangaroo Sydney titled The Grove by Margartita SampsonMy Shot - Sculpture called The GroveMy photo tip to minimise people in a crowded scene.

I think the final results are worthy. Blurring out the people certainly makes it plain that the sculpture is the important feature whilst the blurred people show movement and activity. The composition, including some of the Barangaroo buildings in the background, pinpoints the location. The polarising filter helped to create the vivid blue sky.

This shot didn’t take long to set up but unfortunately a couple of long exposures did leave me lagging behind the family temporarily.

Harlequin Shuttle By Ken Unsworth AM Harlequin Shuttle Sculpture at BarangarooHarlequin Shuttle Sculpture at BarangarooPhotography of the sculpture Harlequin Shuttle by Ken Unsworth AM celebrating Barangaroo Reserve's First Birthday

This striking jewel-like 8 metre tall sculpture was a no-brainer really. It looked much less impressive when viewed straight-on in the bright sunlight. The option I took was to let the sun do the work of lighting up the stained-glass like panels which added much vivid colour and drama to the scene. Moving close in, almost underneath the sculpture with a wide angle looking up, emphasised the rocket like shape and created a sense of drama.  This was shot Auto Aperture/Auto ISO hand-held f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/180th, 18mm.

Horizon (Acrylic Sphere) By Lucy Humphrey

Barangaroo Sculpture PhotographyBarangaroo Sculpture PhotographyHorizon by Lucy Humphrey is part of an exhibition of Sculpture celebrating Barangaroo Reserve's First Birthday Sculpture Photography with Sydney Harbour BridgeThe Common View - Sculpture Photography with Sydney Harbour Bridge - Again, this was a very popular sculpture which attracted people to stand up close so they could see themselves reflected upside down. The common view I have seen others post on social media etc. is of course a view with the Harbour Bridge reflected in the sphere (see my sample). But this view was proving impossible to obtain without people in the background and I wanted to find something different anyway. I noticed the sun sparkling off the water and the way the pattern of the rocks inset within the sphere contrasted interestingly with the water. So I opted for a longer lens setting (56mm) – enough to keep me out of the picture and wide enough to allow me to use a square crop to surround the circle of the sphere. My final touch was to invert the image to form quite a different view. Camera settings were again Auto Aperture Priority f/9.0, Auto ISO at 200, 1/120th hand held. A tripod would have been great to use here but not practical on the day.

I would have loved to have spent a lot more time viewing and discovering many aspects of the other sculptures – all wonderful in their own ways - but lunch and a coffee beckoned the family and I can never say no to a coffee!

I have posted a few other images on my web site which you can view here.

Hopefully, you have been interested in my images and perhaps picked up one or two helpful tips. Anyone can take these types of images using very basic camera gear and have fun doing it without upsetting non-photographers too much. This was definitely not a professional shoot but it just shows that professionals still enjoy photography on their days off.

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) art photography corporate event photographer event photographer Sculpture at Barangaroo Sydney commercial photography Sun, 14 Aug 2016 10:25:56 GMT
Vivid Light Photography - Take Two After our aborted attempt to be part of the Vivid Light Festival at Sydney Harbour last Saturday, we bravely boarded the train during the week and steeled ourselves for a second sortie.  Armed with our trusty Nikon cameras, a variety of lenses and the mighty tripod, we strode down George Street to Circular Quay on a perfect Sydney winter's evening and were delighted to find the torrential flood of humanity on Saturday had dwindled to a mere trickle! What a relief!

Event photography of the Vivid Light Festival - Tunnel of Light at Royal Botanic GardensVivid Tunnel of LightVivid at Royal Botanic Gardens and Circular Quay Our first stop was the Royal Botanic Gardens, celebrating its 200th Birthday in a blaze of glory.  The tunnel of light and the will-o'-the-wisps under the ancient tree were a spectacular start to our evening.  From there we wandered past the Opera House and along the Quay to the MCA and Overseas Passenger Terminal.  There were so many highlights but the Opera House remains a front runner for us.  We captured some different angles this year and achieved some pleasing results - see if you agree.

The Vivid Festival finishes 18th June 2016 so time is running out but if you have a chance to be a part of it, we highly recommend you make the effort.  If you have an interest in photography, Vivid is certainly very inspirational and a great chance to practise night capture techniques.  Give it a go!  Otherwise, you will have to content yourselves with some sparkling photographic images of a very special event.  Have a look at our "city lights" in our gallery at:

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) Botanic Gardens Circular Quay city lights commercial photography event photography Sydney garden lights Harbour Bridge lights Sydney commercial photographer Sydney event photographer Vivid Vivid Light Festival photography Fri, 17 Jun 2016 09:43:43 GMT
Our Vivid Photography Experience This year we decided to split our Vivid adventure into 3 events – Taronga Zoo, Royal Botanic Gardens and Chatswood.  Great in theory and it seemed to be working when we visited the zoo on the Thursday before the June long weekend. Sydney event photography of animal illuminations at Taronga Zoo during the Vivid Light Festival taken by event photographer Kevin ChamberlainVivid Multimedia Displays at Taronga ZooEvent Photography of Vivid at Taronga Zoo - see link below to view photo gallery

We arrived right on 5.30pm and were lucky enough to have a pass that allowed a circuit on the sky safari.  To view the zoo displays and see the Sydney Harbour lights from that height was fantastic and although it was crowded at the entrance, once we were inside the grounds it was magical.  There were 10 exhibits, each one representing critical species from Australia and Sumatra that Taronga is committed to protecting.  Zoo staff were on hand to talk about each illumination and explain why they need to be protected.  It was relaxed and educational - a great family venue with some food outlets open so highly recommended if you haven’t yet visited.

The “theory” failed miserably on the Saturday of the long weekend when we travelled into the city.  I have NEVER seen so many people at the Quay and around the foreshores!  After arriving at Martin Place Station we took a couple of photos there.  We also managed to get some shots of Customs House as the “show” looped so you simply had to wait for the end of a loop then forge to the front of the crowd.  However, it was a vain attempt to get to the Botanic Gardens.  We were stuck in a sea of humanity being herded like sheep.  At one point we were at a standstill then started going backwards so Sue wielded my trusty tripod with its Really Right Stuff head like a sword and cleared a path to Phillip Street.  We then tried to back track to Macquarie Street and get down that way but ultimately admitted temporary defeat and retreated. Event photographer phtographs the Vivid light display called Sydney's Hidden Stories at Customs House on the harbour foreshores during the Vivid Light FestivalVivid Festival Photography at Customs HouseEvent photography of the multimedia display at Customs House, Circular Quay during the Vivid Festival 2016

Intrepid photographers that we are, we’ve decided to abort Chatswood and try for the Gardens one more time during this week.  Stay tuned for the next exciting episode in our Vivid adventure but in the meantime, have a look at some of the magnificent sights we have seen during this world class festival of light by clicking on the link below:

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) commercial photography event photography Sydney lights Sydney commercial photographer Sydney event photographer Vivid Vivid Light Festival photography zoo photography Tue, 14 Jun 2016 06:05:53 GMT
Professional RAW Files - Why Would a Client Request These? It is rare but sometimes I get asked to deliver my "RAW" files. These are the digital data files I capture during a professional shoot and before any post processing. Most professionals (I'd guess 99.9% of them and me included) won't deliver these files or won't deliver them except in extraordinary circumstances. Why is this?

There are many good reasons why it makes sense NOT to deliver RAW files but before I tackle this question, we need to understand what a RAW file is.  A RAW file is not an image in itself. It is simply digital data captured by the millions of picture elements on the camera sensor. In reality it is just computer code - a series of 1's and 0's. The RAW file does not become an image until it is processed by a Camera Raw Converter (software like Photoshop and others) and this processor needs to interpret the data and assign other values like a "White Balance", sharpening, contrast etc. before an image can be produced. Now a camera phone and many consumer cameras won't deliver RAW files - they instead immediately convert the RAW data and process it in the camera according to a lot of inbuilt automatic parameters created by those clever blokes in white coats who manufactured the camera. In this process the RAW data is compressed and altered in a permanent manner. Technology has advanced to a point where these images will generally look pretty good but there will be quite a few "misses" and even the best images are not "professional" quality.

The skill and expertise of a professional photographer in this digital era is both in the image capture (the composition, the lighting, the creative thinking and many other factors aligned to achieve the desired result) AND it is also in the the post production. The two cannot be successfully separated. A pro camera and modern RAW files will capture an amazing amount of data but viewing devices and prints can only display a limited portion of this data. Thus the photographer's interpretation of this RAW data is critical. Indeed in many cases, part of the image capture process will be to capture the raw data with a pre-conceived post production technique already in the photographer's mind. For example; an image may be deliberately over or under exposed in order to bring out fine detail in shadows or highlights.  More commonly, the photographer will capture a series of exposures of the one scene with the intention of later combining or layering parts of each image into a final composite exposure (see sample images below).

Therefore, it is often important for the person doing (or overseeing) the post production to have been at the shoot. If the post producer was not at the shoot they will miss many clues - like correct colour for one thing or what the real purpose or focus point for the image capture was in the first place. Thus, in many situations, a post producer not present at the shoot, will misinterpret the final image. This is a big risk for both the photographer's reputation - to be judged on a final result he has no control over - and for the client, who is very likely to end up with images that do not do justice to his/her original brief and may very well not be fit for the purpose.

Many clients do not appreciate that a lot of the photographer's post production work is not simply technical changes (i.e. colour, tone etc.) but can often be creative and artistic in nature e.g. decisions/actions to soften, blur, darken or lighten specific areas for a desired impact or emotional response.

There are numerous other reasons why a photographer will not want to deliver raw files but these are the big ones for me.  A new client generally chooses me based on samples of my finished images and visual style - my RAW files look nothing like my finished work (see samples below).  I always take as much time as possible to talk to my clients and clearly understand what they are trying to convey through photography.  Once this is done, if you want a professional image, then they have to let their photographer have control of both the capture and the post processing decisions. To me, these duties are inseparable and both are of equal importance in delivering the final professional quality image.

Sample of RAW file imagesSample RAW filesShot with deliberate intention to under-expose (to preserve bright window light details), then to be "stitched" together into a single image (see next image). Without post production, these images look dark and ugly. The photographer's (my) vision here would be easy to miss. Final interpretation from two raw file exposuresThe Finished ImageThis is how I interpreted and combined the two RAW files (above). This image could have been interpreted very differently or if only the RAW files had been delivered, probably the client would have over-looked these files entirely

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) Photoshop RAW processing Raw data commercial photography digital data files interpretation photography post production professional photography raw files Wed, 13 Jan 2016 05:03:57 GMT
Things Sometimes Go Wrong Over more than 10 years of professional architectural/commercial photography, even with experience and the best planning, things sometimes go wrong......

This event happened some years ago, in 2009, but the memory remains clear. My brief (for the builder) was to capture exterior images of a new high rise residential building at Milsons Point. As is too often the case, I had a very low budget to work with.

I decided on a sunrise start (the building faced East). This was after conducting my usual pre-shoot planning which involves obtaining lots of detail from the  builder (consulting to achieve a brief of the images they wanted),  looking at site plans, calculating sun angles and solar azimuth (at various times of day), checking out likely good vantage points, checking the weather etc. and in this process I checked that the building construction was complete with the building said to be now in pristine condition suitable for the photography.  I was assured all was ready. The day arrived, the weather was good, so off I went.

residential high rise buildingBefore ImageNote the large advertising banner and the abseilers circled in red Residential High Rise Image Milsons Point"After" imageBanner and abseilers removed - hours of work to do properly.

So What Went Wrong after all this planning?

Well... for a start I found there was a massive banner sign hung covering most of the 11th floor front windows - a bit hard to ignore and nothing to do with the builder. This was an obvious problem but being there, I felt I needed to proceed. Then I found another huge sign hung on the northern face plus there remained portions of a construction barrier/fencing bordering the northern footpath. The assignment was getting increasingly difficult.  Still, I thought, with a bit of clever Photoshop work and some selective compositions, I considered I could still get the shots. So on I ploughed.

What really was the final straw for me was, after the dawn shots, I decided to spend my own time (not allowed for in the budget the builder had) waiting for the sun to rise higher and really add some colour and contrast to the building's east face. I didn't notice at first but would you believe someone had selected that day to employ a team abseilers to clean all the windows!

After this assignment we developed new skills in Photoshop - cloning and healing to fix and remove.... not only the abseilers but....think about it (because I didn't on the day)....we had to remove all the reflections of the abseilers and their ropes from a majority of windows in the building. In places, there were even reflections of reflections.

All on a fixed low budget price!  I learned a valuable lesson that day - as did the client.

High Rise Residential ImageNorth East aspectShows both banners - fortunately no abseilers in this view. Pre shoot planning is vital and the right questions need to be asked.

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) architecture photography digital retouching how to use the clone tool in photoshop multi storey buildings photoshop post production residential highrise Sun, 25 Oct 2015 23:30:00 GMT
National Professional Photography Award Winner Kevin Chamberlain Photography is delighted to announce that Kevin has won 3 Silver Awards in the Commercial Photography category for 2015 at the recent Australian Professional Photography Awards. With the recent merge of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and the Australian Commercial and Media Photographers (ACMP) the standard of entries was amazing and competition extremely fierce so it is very gratifying to once again be judged so well by our professional photography peers.  A big "thank you" to everyone who worked so tirelessly to make this year's awards an outstanding success. Kevin Chamberlain wins 3 Silver Awards in the Commercial Photography category of the 2015 Professional Photography Awards2015 Professional Photography Awards for Kevin ChamberlainWinner of 3 Silver Awards at the National Professional Photography Awards in 2015

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) architecture photography architecture photography awards Australian professional photography awards award winning photography commercial corporate photographer industrial photography professional photographer Thu, 22 Oct 2015 23:45:00 GMT
Professional photographers now accredited For those who read my last blog I stated "In Australia, there are no government regulations to limit who can set up and call themselves a professional photographer". I am pleased to say that this statement is now no longer entirely true!

Just recently, The Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP), of which I am a proud member, announced that: "On September 18th 2015 the ACCC (Australian Competition & Consumer Commission) formally recognized the status of an “Accredited Professional” through the award of a “Certification Trade Mark”.

Essentially this means if you choose an Accredited AIPP member you can be assured of that person's professional standards.  More information is available at the AIPP website

Always look for the accredited professional logo when choosing a photographer.  It can be black or white, square or circular and sometimes in conjunction with the ACMP logo (the square white version is shown here.

Always look for the accredited professional photographer logo when choosing your commercial photographer. On September 18th 2015 the ACCC (Australian Competition & Consumer Commission) formally recognised the status of an “Accredited Professional” through the award of a “Certification Trade Mark”.Accredited Professional Photographer LogoAlways look for the accredited professional photographer logo when choosing your commercial photographer


(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) Australian Institute of Professional Photography find a commercial photographer find a photographer how to find a photographer how to find a professional photographer how to find a professional photographer in Sydney professiona photographer qualified photographer Wed, 21 Oct 2015 23:16:27 GMT
How to Choose a Professional Photographer  The obvious starting point is a Google search but is this good enough?  You will instantly find many people advertising themselves as professional photographers but because there are no government standards regulating who can set up as a professional photographer how do you weed out the wannabes and weekend warriors from the true professionals?

I'd suggest that a true professional is one who has undergone formal photography education (I'm not talking about one short course but rather a uni degree or TAFE Diploma) and has suitable experience in the field of photography applicable to your needs.  He/she should also have a proven track record - a portfolio of previous professional work together with client references etc - and a formal business structure (ABN, ACN) with insurances.  In other words, if you are using Google you need to do your own due diligence.  After all, anyone can buy a half decent camera and simply push a button, can't they?

However, there is a much simpler and safer alternative.  You can look for members of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography.  The AIPP have strict standards and ethics and have done this due diligence for you.  Indeed you could go straight to their website and use their Find A Photographer search function. Choosing your photographer from this source will give you a high degree of comfort that any member you choose is a true professional - you can have a look at my profile here (type chamberlain in the Search by Name field).  A great feature of Find a Photographer is that you can search by location, style of photography and name - a refined Google search so to speak.

This search will give you a "short list" of qualified candidates.  You can then look at each one's body of work and presentation to get a "feel" for the one who is the right fit for you. When searching for a photographer look for AIPP accreditation and photography industry awards such as Kevin Chamberlain, winner of NSW AIPP Commercial Photographer of 2015.Australian Professional Commercial Photography Awards and Master of Photography with 1 Gold Bar 2016When searching for a photographer look for AIPP accreditation and photography industry awards

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) Australian Institute of Professional Photography find a commercial photographer find a photographer how to find a photographer how to find a professional photographer how to find a professional photographer in Sydney professiona photographer qualified photographer Thu, 08 Oct 2015 05:04:02 GMT
What Should You Expect From A Professional Photographer I hope everyone enjoyed my last blog - a "tongue in cheek" comment on the subject of "Push My Button". Possibly your question now is - just what is it that a pro photographer actually contributes to image making? Let me start by saying, the irony is that in a world where everyone carries a smart phone camera and images are being snapped by countless millions - a brilliant professional photograph is more important than ever! Why? Because most people's first impression of a business or person is via an image. If you want to impress, you need your image to be the best and most striking it can be. This is what a pro photographer is all about - making quality and relevant images that tell your story instantly with visual impact. An average image won't cut it. A bad image can really do harm.

How Does A Professional Photographer Contribute

To begin with a professional will guide you through the preparation before a shoot. This step is often over-looked or under-rated. Experienced qualified professionals will have the knowledge, skills and training to help you work out exactly what the message is you want your image to convey and help you pre-visualise it.

Every nuance of a photograph can be important; choice of colours, background, style, centre of focus, composition and of course lighting is critical. For people; expression pose/body language, clothes, grooming, etc. For Architecture; site preparation, composition, features, sun angles, weather etc.. The factors are numerous and sometimes complex. All these subtle messages need to combine in a seamless fashion to create a striking visual representation of your intended story. Just as importantly, we need to be sure you don't send the wrong message or leave the viewer confused. Thus, much of a photographer's work is in the pre-shoot planning. Environmenatal Impact ImagePersonal Work - The EnvironmentThis image has impact and sends a clear message - a warning on the damage we do to our planet. The patch of blue sky is there as a message of hope... it is not too late to change our ways

The real skill is in the photographer's head and creative ability - the technical tools (camera etc.) are secondary. A skilled photographer can often make a great image with simple devices but naturally, professional cameras, lenses and lighting are additional tools which expand the creative options and quality output of the skilled photographer. Put another way, a professional photographer using a camera phone will still create stunning images but put a pro camera into the hands of the average person probably means they will still take average photos. The camera doesn't make the image - the photographer does.

An experienced and trained professional will have many years of education and practise in making fine images. We study all the technical stuff like how cameras and lenses work. We know about light theory, colour spectrum, diffraction, diffusion, reflection, dynamic range, chromatic aberration, lens distortions, perspectives, how digital sensors work, digital file types and their uses, colour gamuts, colour theory, printing options and techniques.... and I could go on for pages. However, we are also trained in art and art styles and history. We have studied composition and lighting styles. We have training in how to create and control lighting from all sources be it natural light through to studio equipment. We are proficient in post production techniques. Personally, when starting out, I spent 4 years in formal photographic education and I am constantly continuing that education throughout my career - not to mention the practise and experience I gain daily. Why do some people think the camera now does it all?

To summarise, a professional photographer has the skills, training and education, coupled with a creative flair, to assist their clients through the whole process of making relevant images designed to deliver the client's core message in images with positive visual impact. If you trust this vital duty to someone less skilled, you have to ask yourself if this represents good value for money.

For an alternative view from my professional association go to AIPP Why Use A Professional

Although you found me, my next blog will be about How to Find A Professional Photographer - not as easy as you think and prudent people will want to make comparisons.

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) accredited commercial media message professional professional images professional photography professionalism stand out from the crowd story visual impact Wed, 23 Sep 2015 07:10:05 GMT
WW2 Veterans Personal Portraits Photographing WW2 veterans has been an emotional and rewarding experience for Kevin and me.  We can fall into the trap of disregarding elderly people and forgetting that they were young once and lived through extraordinary times.  If you get a chance to spend even 5 minutes with these people, as Kevin and I have done during this project, you will be amazed by the stories they have to tell.  Since March, the AIPP Accredited Professional Photographers have photographed 5,500 veterans and the project has now been extended for two months, culminating on 11th November 2015.

To date, Kevin and I have photographed 61 veterans and hope to have the opportunity to do some more.  Our lives have been enriched beyond measure by each and every one of these vets - we really count ourselves lucky to be involved - and I would like to share a couple of special memories with everyone. Portrait Photography of Wireless Operator in 2/3 Composite A/A Signal SectionPortrait Photography of Wireless Operator in 2/3 Composite A/A Signal SectionProfessional portrait photography of remaining World War Two veterans taken in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Professional Photography's Reflections Project commemorating the centenary of the Anzac tradition. These are personal portraits of special men and women, some taken with family members and some with mementos of the war.

Sitting here, thinking about our experiences, I must say I am amazed by the response we have received from "our vets".  Not only have we been thanked profusely at the end of each session, we have received so many telephone calls, cards and letters in appreciation of our efforts when in reality we should be thanking them for all their sacrifices!  Our current generation could learn a lot about good manners from them.  However, it was during a telephone conversation with one of our lovely home visit vets, that I gained an insight into just how much this means to them.  He went to war with 40 men and fought with them for several years. Together they faced horror, overcame fear or learned to press on regardless.  After the war, they would meet and talk about their shared experiences in a way they could do with no-one else.  George is now the sole survivor of his group and can only talk to himself, which he says he does from time to time.  He is so very happy to know that he and his mates will be remembered thanks to the AIPP Reflections project.

The other lesson I have learned from these meetings is to appreciate every moment of every day.  Despite the years of war these men and women endured, they have an outstanding capacity to enjoy life.  One gentleman, 96 years young said "I fell off the roof a couple of years ago, which has slowed me down! No more tennis but still ten pin bowling on Tuesdays".  OMG I can only hope I am half as good IF I reach my nineties.

A huge thank you to each and every veteran we have been honored to meet and photograph.  We began this project to give something of ourselves to you and honor your courage but we have received much more in return.  I feel your lessons can be summed up in the quotes below:

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear" — Nelson Mandela

“Mind your own business and don’t eat junk food. Treat everyone the way you want to be treated, work hard and love what you do.” - Besse Cooper, 116 years young

If you would like to have a look at some of our personal portraits, go to

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) air force army heroes medals navy portrait photography Sydney portrait photographer veterans war world war 2 Wed, 16 Sep 2015 09:07:36 GMT
Pushing My Button I recently quoted a young man who wanted some Actor's Headshots. I wasn't in the office, I was a bit distracted and mentioned some numbers which I quickly calculated in my head. Possibly I was a bit cheap because the response I received frustrated me... more than a little. I was told Photography Skills training and educationJust pushing a button? Really?A good pro is not only creative but also very well-educated and highly skilled. We have high business overheads - a large part of our fees. Pushing a button is the last thing we do! my price was good, compared to some others who were way too expensive. After all, (he said) I'll only be "pushing a button". Correct?

My button was pushed there and then!

I haven't yet been able to set up a studio shoot date. You can understand I haven't been keenly pursuing it... but now I think it would be nice to do it.

I imagine my young client entering the studio at which time I will be able to mention that I've been using this studio since I finished my four years of formal study completing my Photography Diploma and how the studio has been so useful through 10 years of commercial shooting. And I won't fail to mention how much the rent costs along with all the other costs of running a business - car, computers, assistants, insurance, advertising etc. Then I can show him all the expensive photo gear I have, which we will be using on his shoot.  5 or 6 studio lights, stands, light shapers, backgrounds, tripod, cameras, very expensive lenses, laptop, hi-res monitor, software etc.

Maybe at this point he'll start to get the vibe I'm sending.

The next thing I imagine I'll do is stand him in front of the background and just ask him some start-up questions. OK then, I'll say. Can you get the background down that you want then choose and start positioning the lights? You know how it all works I'm sure. No doubt you've already planned what lighting ratios and moods you want to create and therefore which lights, settings  and light shapers you'll need. Have you figured out focus points and depth of field issues?

Maybe now he is starting to think I'm a bit crazy. But wait....

At this point I might help by setting up my tripod and ask him to go and grab my camera, set apertures, shutter speeds, white balance, ISO, resolution etc., then choose the lens he thinks is best, grab the radio trigger and the light meter and get the lights "tuned".

Now the fun can start....

Right oh, I'll say, I'm ready to push the button. I guess you've figured out the "styles" and "poses" you want and you've no doubt selected suitable clothing, hairstyle etc. Head on over - dress and pose yourself as you want. I'll wait whenever you decide to change styles and lighting moods etc.

Just say "ready" whenever you want me to push the button.

I'm not sure I'll get a chance to have him fire up the laptop then do the raw file edit and post production work in Photoshop...... But I can always hope. Just more buttons to push aren't they?

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) commercial photography portrait photographer portrait photography professional photographer Sydney studio studio lights studio photography studio portraits Mon, 14 Sep 2015 08:53:54 GMT
Framing Options - Acrylic Float Frames Use A Reputable Professional Framer?

There are of course many framing options so I recommend you visit an experienced framer or consult with your photographer about the best choices. Some choices will be purely aesthetic - what you like the look of and what will best suit the particular print considering its subject matter, size, print media, intended uses, colours, texture etc. and then of course you need to consider the visual aspects of where the print will be displayed. Other choices will concern physical and practical matters such as size vs weight or perhaps whether the print is seen as a short term display or as a family heirloom expected to last for generations. Cost would of course be another huge factor.  However, it is logical to expect that cheap ready made frames are unlikely to be suitable for long term display of cherished valuable prints. The old adage "you tend to get what you pay for" is often true. So, for those important prints, it is wise to use a well regarded professional framing company. Another factor is that professional framers are going to provide great advice and back-up should anything go wrong.Therefore seeking good advice on your particulr circumstances is a wise decision.

Acrylic Float Frames - A Stylish Option

Given the huge variety of options, today I will limit my comments to just one which I think would be perfect for many business applications but also in the home. More recently I've become a fan of the Acrylic Float Mount. This can be put into a frame but it need not be. Indeed, as shown in the image below, a border can be incorporated into the print to give the illusion of a frame. However, in most instances the print remains "borderless" and due to a hidden frame structure behind the print, the borderless image seems to "float" off the wall. For a really sleek modern look, this is often an excellent choice. 

As stated this Acrylic Float Mount would be an excellent option for my Commercial Clients - Acrylic Wall Mount Display PrintsAcrylic Wall Mount Display PrintsA great display option for commercial & corporate clients architects, builders, property owners, etc. - who often show large wall prints of their best projects. For example; a few years ago, I helped a large consulting design and engineering company - Hyder Consulting - obtain acrylic prints for their offices around Australia and these beautifully display their projects. A sample photo is shown at left.

Another client was the committee of a Residential Strata Block. They commissioned me to shoot artistic architectural images of their building for display as a set of three in their foyer.

Foyer Display Photo PrintsFoyer Display PrintsMetallic Photo Prints mounted in 6mm Acrylic Float Frame

This client was absolutely delighted with the finished results and tells me they get many wonderful comments from owners and visitors. If you haven't seen this type of photographic display, it is very striking. This display was particularly suitable here as the foyer wall had been built with such a display in mind, with three rectangular wall niches for the images (see photo). Acrylic Float Mounts is definitely one framing solution well worth consideration!

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) acrylic architectural photography commercial photography display prints frames mounts photo framing photo prints photography prints Sun, 06 Sep 2015 02:53:17 GMT
How to Keep Beautiful Photographic Prints (Mounting & Framing)  I mentioned in my last blog, "the print is the ultimate expression of the creative work". Why do I believe this?

In this digital age it is all too easy to rely on viewing and storing images on the many and varied digital devices. But how is this going to work for us in 10, 20, 50 or more years from now? Technology is changing at a rapid pace and I am old enough to remember "reel to reel" tapes, floppy discs, cassette tapes, and yes, even Beta video tapes. I have all of these at home but I no longer have a means of playing any of them.

So let's look again at the humble photo Frames, mounting, "matt boards", archival, protectionPicture FramesOne method of Keeping Treasured Prints Protected and Safe and on display graphic print. It is tangible and real. Once created it faithfully displays the original artist's intent and will do so for many generations (if well crafted and stored). It won't be "manipulated" or misinterpreted by poorly calibrated hardware or new software.

So assuming we have "consulted the professional" and now have a quality photographic print, how do we keep it? We could store it away in a cool safe place - a place free from harmful UV light, with low humidity and away from any harmful contaminates such as dust or airborne pollutants etc. but most people want to display prints so they will usually be framed and mounted or perhaps contained in a photo album. Even so, we still need to be careful about where we place these display prints. For instance, any print exposed to direct daylight or stored in a humid environment is going to suffer. So choose the placement of prints wisely. Avoid:

  • Direct sunlight or any bright light source (or use a cover when not being viewed),
  • Keep away from working fireplaces or radiators, and intake or outtake vents,
  • Keep away from cooking and bathroom areas,
  • Keep away from rooms which might suffer from high temperature or moisture extremes, or where dust or pollutants are more likely to exist
  • Exterior walls where possible. Interiors walls have less moisture and lower temperature extremes

Framing & Mounting

Many a fine print has been ruined by cheap framing and mounting. There are many options but commonly a print will be mounted on board (timber or cardboard) and possibly surrounded by a matt - all held within a frame and covered by glass or an acrylic panel.

Quality "acid free", chemically stable, materials must be used in the mounting board and matt (100% cotton rag or chemically purified). Any adhesives used must also be chemically stable. Otherwise, within a relatively short period, the print will be permanently damaged (fading, yellowing, discoloured, becomes brittle etc.).

It is important to include a glass or preferably a UV opaque acrylic panel as this becomes a barrier or filter to reduced the amount of ultra violet light striking the print and also to seal out pollutants as well as perhaps curious fingers. Prints should not be touched except minimally using cotton gloves.

Photo Albums

All the above comments are true for albums. Albums have the advantage of saving prints from exposure to light when not being viewed but unfortunately many albums sold in shops are really cheap & nasty containing harmful adhesives and unsuitable plastics (polypropelene is OK) which could quickly damage your valuable prints. Again, pay a little more and look for albums which advertise true archival acid free/chemically stable materials and polypropelene covers.

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) archival commercial photography framing mounting photo photo albums photo framing photographic prints storage of photographs Mon, 31 Aug 2015 01:14:53 GMT
How to Display your Photography in Print Photography Prints are the Ultimate Expression of a Creative Work

Working in the Commercial photography field as I do, one of the few drawbacks for me is that I deliver so much of my work as digital files. Therefore, I rarely get to see the finished work in print - let alone have any control or input once the digital file has been delivered. Yet "the print" remains the ultimate expression of the creative work and, contrary to what most people would expect, there is whole world of skill, knowledge and expertise (and artistry) required to convert even the best digital file into a superb print and the digital file itself will need to be adjusted to suit the intended output. There are many technical steps and artistic decisions to make. Mistakes at this point can render any beautiful digital image dull, boring or flat. I spent 4 years of formal photographic study and a very significant proportion of that time was devoted to the skills of print making. I'm still learning!

So Many Choices and Decisions

Some (by no means all) of these choices are;

  • Is my computer monitor correctly calibrated for colour and brightness. If not, what you see on your screen is very unlikely to be replicated in print.
  • What archival qualities are needed? Some prints won't stand the test of time.
  • How will the choice of photo paper influence the final print colour and tonal values (papers have their own varying colour gamuts and colour casts while other papers will block the shadow area or tend to "blow-out" the highlights)? Paper choices are many and varied from ultra high gloss fujiflex to metallic, regular gloss, satin, matte and a bewildering array of specialist art papers. Each type will influence the look and feel of the image differently.
  • How much do I sharpen the image?
  • Which Photo Lab should I use (they vary from cheap supermarket shop outlets through to the highly specialised Pro labs using the best (and most expensive technology).
  • Which photo process is best - (broadly; traditional "wet" chemical process or often nowadays digital pigment ink Moonrise over Miami BeachMoonrise over Miami BeachProfessional Photography Print of Moonrise over the ocean taken at the south end of Miami Beach on the Gold Coast Queensland options).

Consult A Professional

I guess what I am saying here is that if you want a seriously good print designed to last for generations and impress....then for goodness sake, please get a professional involved or at the very least, go and consult with a pro photo lab (I mean keep away from any in shopping centres for the good stuff). You might pay a little more but believe me, any extra cost will be worth it! We offer free advice (within reason) to all our clients wishing to print from our files. Ultimately, we have a vested interest in ensuring our clients  get top quality results.

We have used Pixel Perfect in Chippendale now for more than 10 years and have never been disappointed. There are other great labs but you won't go wrong if you start here. They are one of the best! Try

What About Mounting and Framing?

I haven't even mentioned framing and mounting choices...that's another world to explore so "subscribe" for my next blog!












(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) acrylic commercial photography corporate photographer mounting photo lab print papers print processes print types Sydney commercial photographer Tue, 18 Aug 2015 00:47:38 GMT
World War 2 Veterans Photography Word War Two Veteran Able Seaman Arthur Fuller and his wife JudithArthur and Judith FullerPortrait of WW2 Veteran Able Seaman Arthur Fuller and his wife Judith Yesterday we visited the home of Arthur William Fuller to photograph him for the Australian Institute of Professional Photography's Reflections: Honouring our World War II Veterans project.  Arthur served in the Navy as an Able Seaman, enlisting at age 17 in November 1942 and serving until April 1946.  He served on the HMAS Wilcannia which mainly did convoy work.  Arthur also served on the HMAS Swan in the south west Pacific area and was onboard in September 1945 when the Swan embarked General Eather, General Officer Commanding the Australian 11th Division, and his staff. On board on the same day at Namatani, General Eather accepted the surrender of Japanese forces in New Ireland from General Ito, the Japanese Commander-in-Chief.

When asked about his war experience, Arthur said that he was more fortunate than many service people. On shore leave, he saw soldiers whose experiences were horrendous and he didn't know how they did it.  After the war, Arthur returned to study and became a barrister and solicitor.  He lives with his lovely second wife, Judith and they have been married for 25 years with 9 children between them.

At age 89 (almost 90), Arthur is deaf (a consequence of his war service) and uses a stick for walking but it is his direct gaze and innate strength of character that struck both Sue and myself when we met.  His appreciation of our efforts to visit his home on behalf of the AIPP was humbling, particularly in light of the sacrifices he and his fellow service people made for all Australians.  It is we who say thank you and again, we are delighted to be a small part of this project.

Not all of the estimated 14,000 World War II servicemen and women from allied forces now living in Australia have heard of the offer to receive a free portrait to commemorate their service in World War II.  These portraits will also be donated to the Australian War Memorial. AIPP members are keen to photograph as many of these veterans as possible. If you know of anyone in your family or circle of friends, please tell them about this project and help them get in touch with us or register online at  For those in the Epping NSW vicinity, with the support of the Epping RSL we will be photographing registered veterans attending the Epping Club's VP Day lunch on 12th August 2015.  The Epping RSL has also kindly agreed to us arranging an alternate day on 28th July 2015 for other veterans.  Please contact me on 0421 057 693 to arrange a booking.

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) AIPP Australian II Memorial Navy portrait photographer portrait photography Sydney Portraits Reflections Regimental RSL Veterans War World WWII Wed, 15 Jul 2015 23:58:30 GMT
Reflections Photography Project Eric and Nancy HansenEric and Nancy HansenWorld War 2 Veteran Eric Hansen - 2/6th Australia Armored Regiment - C Squadron as a Trooper - between 1942 to 1945 seeing action at Milne Bay Papua New Guinea The Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) has undertaken this year to commemorate our unsung heroes of World War 2 by photographing as many of the 14,000 now living in Australia - see for more information.

As a fully accredited Master Photographer with the AIPP I am honoured to be able to donate my time to contribute to this massive project. Last Wednesday Sue and I visited one of these amazing veterans in his home as he recently suffered a stroke and is a little frail to visit a studio.  The experience deeply affected both of us and we would like to share a little of it with you.

Walking into the Hansen home was like stepping into Grandma's house.  Although Eric's wife Nancy called it "clutter", we saw it as a priceless store of memories, like the Pensieve in Harry Potter.  Family photos covered so much of the wall space and each one has its own story - we were privileged to hear a few while we were there. Eric was a dairyman before the war.  He loved his milk and usually drank half a gallon a day.  Milk was one of the things he missed most during his service in New Guinea where he was a Trooper in the 2/6th Australia Armoured Regiment - C Squadron. Eric's wife Nancy told us that the boys in WW2 were keen to go to battle in order to protect their families and their country.  They thought they were heading off on a great adventure!  The reality of war must have been terrifying and we can't begin to imagine the horrors they must have heard, seen and endured.  Over and above the physical impact in terms of  injuries there was the shock to the emotions and souls - trauma known as "shell shock".

When we arrived for our 10am appointment, Eric was dressed in his jacket, regimental tie, cap and medals - in fact he had been fully dressed and ready since 5am!  Despite the frailty and impaired vision imposed by the stroke, Eric stood tall and proud for his official photo - it brought a tear to the eye.  None of us knew he would be struck down with pneumonia that very evening!  The inner strength it must have taken to survive the war shone through during our photo shoot.  Eric and Nancy both epitomise what we call "salt of the earth" people - they have a fundamental goodness - who were both called on during those dark days of war to do extraordinary things.  It is a privilege to have an opportunity to immortalise that spirit, in our own small way.

AIPP members are keen to photograph as many of these veterans as possible. If you know of anyone in your family or circle of friends, please tell them about this project and help them get in touch with us or register online at the above address.

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) Army Australian War Memorial portrait photography Portraits Reflections Regimental RSL Veterans War World War II WWII Tue, 14 Jul 2015 06:42:32 GMT
Sydney Vivid Festival Did you brave the crowds and winter weather to visit this year's Sydney Vivid Festival? Customs House Sydney at VividCustoms House Sydney at VividThe Rocks by Day and the Vivid Light Festival by Night with Nephew Chris. A shot of the Light Display at Customs House, The Quay.

I haven't really been before but this year the family wanted to go, so naturally I hopped on the train with one camera, one lens and my trusty tripod. Gear was limited because I often get into a spot of bother with my family as my photography, sometimes, can take over any outing... well just a bit... occasionally. But I did have a certain dispensation this time as my brother-in-law Pete also had his camera, as did my young niece Lauren. Fun!

It was certainly worth making the effort. The crowds (we went on a Friday) were not too bad but bad enough to make expert photography difficult or impossible - still, along with many, many other tripod hugging photographers (not to mention the thousands of mobile phone cameras), we managed to get some good snaps. You can see some of mine  on my Client Gallery.

It is certainly great for Sydney to have this winter attraction and the crowds sure prove it is popular. Sydney is a beautiful city so why not show it off.

We spent several hours trudging around the Quay area and up under the Harbour Bridge. The show at the MCA was jam-packed but brilliant - with the colourful fast moving imagery (very hard to photograph well) but OK using high ISO and a sort of monopod use of my tripod in amongst the crowds. Then onto the bridge which  I found somewhat underwhelming from our up-close view point. But of course the highlight was the Opera House. The crowds were quite manageable here and I quickly found a spot immediately below the site of the projectors and this allowed me to capture the beautiful light-beams which added colour and interest to the otherwise now black night skies.

Overall it was quite a tiring evening, with lots of walking, shoving through crowds and carrying gear, with a final long walk back to where Pete had parked his car (thanks for the lift Pete) but we were all very happy and very glad for the experience.

I was lucky enough to get a second visit as another a nephew, Chris Chamberlain, is a keen photographer and wanted to go. Chris is into infra red photography and I have asked him to send me an image or two which I will be happy to add to this blog at a later time. "Infra Red",  Sydney Harbour Bridge Infra Red Image by Christopher ChamberlainSydney Harbour Bridge (Now Added)

We decided to arrive in the Rocks area for some late afternoon photography and then stay for Vivid. This allowed me to capture some late evening images of the Harbour Bridge and some more shots of the city skyline - but this time while there was still some post-sunset light in the sky. These images are my favorites.


If you managed to make it to Vivid this year, I hope you also had a fun time and if you took some photos, I hope they will be good memories for the future. Please feel free to add "comments" and any tips and tricks you might like to share.

If you didn't get to Vivid This year I hope you enjoy some of my images which might encourage you to make it in 2016.

Photo Tips for Vivid:

  • Take a sturdy tripod and perhaps a Neutral Density filter if you plan on arriving before sunset. Long exposures allow you to Blur the moving water. Adds colour and focus to the buildings/structures. At night however, be aware that the lights display are rarely static so long exposures will muddy the displays. In this case, there is no other option but to use wide open apertures and experiment with the lowest possible ISO settings - to avoid "noise".
  • Use a cable release and even mirror lockup if you have it.
  • A wide to mid focal length lens probably suits best. I like fast zooms. However, whatever lens you decide on, I'll bet you regret not bringing both wide angle and telephoto. There is ample opportunity for using the whole kit.
  • Get on site at the most popular places early and pick your spot. Pretty soon you will be crowded out.


(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) 2015 Festival Sydney CBD Sydney Harbour Sydney Vivid Festival Vivid Vivid Festival Thu, 18 Jun 2015 00:51:24 GMT
Winner NSW AIPP Commercial Photographer of the Year 2015 We won!  Kevin Chamberlain wins the NSW Commercial Photographer of 2015 award for his commercial photographyNSW AIPP 2015 Commercial Photographer of the YearKevin Chamberlain wins the NSW Commercial Photographer of 2015 award for his commercial photography 1 of only 3 times you will see Kevin in a suit - guess the other 2!

We realised we had a good portfolio of images to present this year in the NSW Professional Photography awards.  Nevertheless you are never quite certain until your images are judged.  We were able to watch the judging via livestream video (thank you AIPP) and this is a nerve wracking experience.  Seeing those images you have put your heart and soul into being presented in front of both a live and virtual audience, then listening to the judges' critical comments is almost too painful to bear.  Of course you are also observing and admiring the work of your fellow photographers (now your competition) and this is a humbling experience.  We were privileged to see some incredible work and were forced to compare it with our own efforts.  As heart stopping as this process is, it is still a fantastic learning experience and when one of your images gains an award it is wonderful.  Entering professional awards is perhaps the only true way you can measure your performance within the industry.

This year our images did not achieve the dizzying heights of Gold or Distinction but we did win a solid 4 Silver Awards in a challenging category, namely Commercial (which have to be from paid, commissioned shoots).  These 4 Silver awards, as a portfolio, were thankfully judged to have been the category winner.  Sue and I are very grateful for this award - our second now as we also won the Commercial category in 2012.  It is indeed an honour considering the experience and wealth of talent clearly demonstrated by our fellow photographers and we have to thank them for keeping us striving to be better each year.

Over the last 12 months we have been lucky enough to work with a number of multi-national companies who, by the nature of their projects, offered us some extraordinary photographic opportunities.  In particular we have worked with Schindler Australia, Global Switch and Zumtobel Lighting.  We would like to thank these clients for those opportunities and we look forward to working with them into the future.  The National awards are not due to be held until October this year so fingers crossed for a good result there.  We have been National Commercial Finalists for the last 2 years running so hopefully 3rd time lucky!

Have a look at our award winning images for NSW 2015 Awards at

(Kevin Chamberlain Photography) award winning photography commercial corporate photographer industrial photography professional photographer Fri, 29 May 2015 04:42:33 GMT