Tuesday, 9 September 2014

NSW State Championship Swimming Photo Highlights

Short course season changes the game for me quite a bit. With only 25 metres to catch a front on Fly shot, I'm lucky if I get one attempt. The older kids (and I mean over 12yrs) get most of the way down the first 25 without a breath.

Breaststroke is still ok so long as the swimmer does the slow glide and not the quick bob up and down. Some swimmers do not come out of the water much at all, then they are just a head on top of the water but at these State Champs, we had some pretty stylish swimmers. 

The great thing about short course is that we can get pretty close up shots at some points where is would have been almost impossible in long course. If I had to be at the end of the pool ready for the fly, there is no way I would have time to get the dive shot first before running 50m to the end of the pool. Also, even with the 300mm lens, the 50m pool is too long for the backstroke start shot.

Poolside shots are one of my favourite to shoot so I was glad that I had a few this time.

Relays are usually a challenge. Photograph swimmer 2 lane 8 then swimmer 3 lane 1. My hand (where I write all of my people to shoot) ends up looking like a 2 year old got loose with a marker and scribbled a bunch of numbers down. 

This time, I got to photograph an entire team relay so that was different. We came up with these new Relay Combo Prints to best display them and there are already off the chart requests for them for upcoming meets. 

Decided to change up my shoot timing a bit for variety and ended up with this. One of my favourite shots of the weekend:

All of The State Champs Photos can be viewed here.

Nina Beilby is a professional photographer based in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia. You can see more of her work at www.ninabeilby.com.au

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Monday, 25 August 2014

Swim Presentation Event Plus Photo Booth

Well this swim team sure knows how to have fun. What a terrific night and a fabulous team event. The ballroom at the  Novotel Norwest was the setting and the room looked magical. Swim families were ready to celebrate the end of the swim season and welcome  in the next!

The evening started out with Award Presentations and dinner. 

A special presentation was made to 41 time World Record Holder, (7 of them from last year) and International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame recipient, Jenny Whiteley. 

Talk About Star Power.

In attendance were Ursula and Forbes Carlile MBE. Pioneers and Rock Stars of the competitive coaching and swim school world. It was wonderful to hear their story and watch them make some of the award presentations.

The dance floor was pretty popular. Kids and Coaches got to show off their dryland moves!

The most popular and fun for us was the Photo Booth that we setup in an adjoining room.

All dressed up and altogether, it was also a great opportunity for family photographs!

In all, a great night was had by all and I was very happy to be a part of it. Thank you...

Nina Beilby is a professional photographer based in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia. You can see more of her work at the following:

Website: www.portraitstudio.net.au

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Thanks for visiting!

Monday, 28 July 2014

Country SC Championship Highlights

 I like the Country Champs. The vibe is different. There is great team spirit as mostly the teams are there together for the most part of the day. They get into the event too, painting nails, parading mascots and some even wearing coloured wigs to brighten the mood as they cheer on their teammates.
Lots of our old favourites were there including Jarrod Poort, Ryan Leonard, Meg Bailey, The Coopers, The Woolleys, The Freemans and The Gilroys. Such elite athletes are wonderful to watch but just as fun are the younger swimmers.
Jarrod Poort
Ryan Leonard
Jenna Freeman
The younger swimmers have so much energy and enthusiasm. It is lovely to watch them. The photos too are priceless. I have photos of my own swimmer from when she was doing the fly and breast at 8 years old. We giggle at them now in comparison to her more recent photos were her technique has greatly improved. 

For me, the fun part is capturing the emotion. The concentration behind the blocks. The nervous warm up. Holding the stomach to stop the butterflies. Sometimes, you can literally see the swimmer run the race through in their heads.


Thursday, 17 July 2014

Here's What I Know - Last Day of Being 45!

With my birthday approaching, as it seems to do more and more rapidly each year, I find myself taking stock. What have I learned?  What advice would I give to my children?

Some might possibly find enlightenment in my experiences. Some may smile gently shaking their head from side to side with a knowing "girl, you haven't learnt anything yet"!!

Gosh this is a big one. I tried so hard to be acceptable to my family, my friends, my husband that I'd assumed a pseudo identity. After a while, it became tiring!

High School was painful. I found myself hiding in the music room, playing piano for an hour rather than sit with the rough group and pretend I was tough or the clever kids and fain intelligence. Graduation day was such a relief for me.

I entered the workplace with great enthusiasm only to find that it was worse than high school. Climbing the ladder, some people do not care who they crush on the way up. That is when I decided to go into business on my own. My profession is my safety net. Any eccentricities can be put down to the fact that I am a "creative". That is fine with me.

You get me and I make no apologies for it! You may take me as I am or choose not to be my friend....likewise, by the way.

Many an hour I sat on my window seat wondering where my real parents were. I just had to have been adopted. My true parents surely would not have treated me this way. When my brother and sister wanted to run away from home, I helped them! Who could blame them.

Yes they smoked with the windows up with a car full of kids. They threw wild all night parties. They slapped us. (we used to compare whose whack left the most impressive indents). They threatened to send us to boarding school when we didn't behave. Finally, the ultimate parental textbook "how to mess up my children" maneuver, leaving us when things got tough. But they also taught us valuable life lessons like how to use your children as slave labour and how to embarrass your kids in front of the entire school by crocheting you a beret instead of opting for the bought one.

Truely though, they were responsible for some of my most prized qualities and for that I am grateful. They were young, without positive role models and without a textbook. They did their best.

So my childhood wasn't ideal.

My brother was a Schizophrenic, Manic Depressive mess. He tried to kill me on a couple of occasions but mostly just savagely beat me.

Ultimately, he was placed into an asylum after I found him lying on the floor in the fetal position moaning incoherently like a baby. I'll never forget it.

He was killed shortly after his release from the asylum. Motorbike accident. My dad asked if I would be the one to tell my mother. I just knew she wished it had been me.

My dad never recovered and died of a massive heart attack at the age of 49. My mother has been slowly smoking herself to death since.

It gets much more challenging but I won't bore you with the details. What I will tell you is that all of these events have made me a strong, determined woman who is excited about living each and every day. I jump out of bed in the morning because I do not want to waste a minute. I am who I am because of my experiences and I embrace it.

Every day, I figure I have two choices. I can mope around and feel sorry for myself or I can get on with making the best of my life. Give back to the world. Maybe I can make a difference. I choose the latter, mostly.

Some days, I choose to mope. I'm normal after all. I allow myself these days (usually one) and tell myself that everything will be OK tomorrow and it always is.

I don't go to "work". Everyday, I make food for my family, I love them, I listen to them, I make photographs, I teach, mostly I drive. Here and there and here and there. I'm a taxi. I do laundry, shopping, cooking. You get the drift. I don't complain (my husband would beg to differ). I enjoy all of this. I catch moments for myself where I stop and say, how cool is this. Who'd have thought!

I love myself for who I am, unconditionally. Warts and all. I make mistakes. I cringe, I argh! A lot. I learn. Then I move on. The great thing about this is that it means that I'm not bogged down with hangups. I am free to love everyone for who they are. I understand that we each have something special to contribute. That everyone comes into your life for a reason. You are here for a reason.

I literally crack myself up! Makes me feel giddy inside. Try it! This is me!

Nina Beilby is a professional photographer based in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia. You can see more of her work at www.ninabeilby.com.au

Social Media:  Facebook  |  LinkedIn   |   Twitter

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Fashion Style Teen Portrait with Lighting Setups

One of my favourite portraits to shoot are Teen Portraits. They are happy to break the rules a little and do something a little less conventional, in this case a little more fashion orientated.

We were lucky enough to have the fabulous Mijung Park for Makeup and Hair today. We have worked together quite a bit but usually business makeup so this was fun for us.

We started with a natural look as in the picture above before moving to a more dramatic look.

For this first image, I used a three light setup. Alien Bee 1600 on the lowest setting with a 30 degree grid for the background which is my 50% painted gray wall.

A Beauty Dish to the model's left, almost beside her and pointed down at a about a 30 degree angle. Laying vertically about waist height was a silver reflector to bounce some of the light back up and rid us of some of the shadows.

Camera Settings
Canon 1D X
85mm lens
1/160th @ f5.6


Four small changes make a big difference with this lighting setup. 

I added a giant Octobox with a grid behind the camera to add some fill light into the shadows. 

I moved the Beauty Dish a little more to the models front. I raised the reflector to take care of more shadows and get that "glow" look. I decreased my aperture to cope with the new highlights.

Camera Settings
Canon 1D X
85mm lens
1/160th @ f7.1