5 Tips for Smart Phone Macro Photography

For a bit of fun, I ordered myself the Olixar lenses for my Smartphone for Christmas. This afternoon I had a few minutes spare so I picked a small branch off our Boungainvillea and set it in front of the camera.
1. Macro Lens
I have the Olixar lens set. $22 from MobileZap. Clips on to any smart phone.

2. Tripod. It's really challenging to hold the phone still whilst focusing with the Macro lens attached  so I set it up on a mini tripod. This one is a Fotolux Mini Tripod - $25 from Photo-Shop Studio. Its not great but does the job. If you can afford more get a better tripod.

3. Steady the subject. The small breeze coming through the kitchen window was enough to move the flowers so that I wasn't able to get a shot so I had to stabilise it on a glass vase. You can use anything. Maybe some tape too.

4. Add Light. I added a little LED ring light onto the flowers so they popped a little and it was also a little easier to focus. You could use a torch or lamp or any other light.

5. Use th…

Why you need a better Linkedin Photo!

No Photo
You know yourself when looking over someone's profile on LinkedIn, the first thing you do is check out their photo.  I personally get messages and requests daily. If there isn't a photo, I delete it immediately. 

Bad Photo
If it is a bad photo, I think about it a second, then delete it. If it is a nice professional photo showing a confident business person, I definitely check out their profile and most likely add them as a contact.

First place recruiters look is your photo
Don't just take my word for it. The Ladders research into recruiter behaviour proves it. As shown in the heat map below, whilst looking over profiles, the first place the recruiter looked was the photo and they spent 19% of their total time looking at it. That's a lot of heat!

Professional Photos are not expensive...
Business Insider has some great tips on the do's and don'ts for you profile photo. And as it isn't that expensive, I would say it is an easy investment. My basic headshot s…

Fashion Style Lighting Setups

For this shoot, I collaborated with the wonderful Blogger and Stylist, Kirsty, with love. She selected the clothing and put the outfits together. You can read her full post here.
Hmm. There are probably things I would do differently but I wanted to try this for something different. With headshots, I pretty well use 5 standards lighting setups so it was good to break out of my comfort zone. I also got to use the deep silver parabolic umbrella which was fun.

The main light is the Beauty Dish and the fill light is the Deep Umbrella. Because the dish and the deep both have short and abrupt light falloffs, I added the small octa softbox for the suit. A strip light to rim the edge of the suit.

I really liked the quality of the Deep and Dish together. I will definitely use this again.

Profoto B1
Alien Bee 1600
Paul C Buff Beauty Dish
Paul C Buff Strip Soft Box
Profoto OCF Softbox Octa
X Lite Deep Umbrella Parabolic Silver Umbrella

For this one, I wanted something softer so we went for th…

Mum - its been two years now

Today, it has been two years since mum passed but I still think of her every day. Sounds silly because I'm a grown woman but I feel like an orphan. That last person you know who will undoubtedly and unconditionally love you forever, gone.

Unlike my Dad who was struck with a massive heart attack, Mum's demise was slow and painful. 

Diagnosed with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) or the more familiar condition Emphysema. They gave her 4 years. She lasted 5.

There were her countless daily medications. 

The immunosuppressant Prednisone, Morphine for pain, Ventolin to ease the airways, Bactrim to ward off infection and Seroquel for depression and more..

On occasion, all this was not enough. Her lungs would collapse and we had to call the ambulance. 

She'd have interesting reactions to certain drugs. Hallucinating about being surrounded by angels then whispering to me that we had to get rid of her phone because the police were tracking her calls. We'd have to find anot…

LinkedIn Portrait Editing Using Photoshop, Portrait Professional and Lightroom

With the prep, setup and shoot now complete, we are about half way through the process toward getting you a finished image. The above video is at 4x speed to give you a quick overview of the process involved in post production for each image selected. In actuality, the entire process takes between 5-10 minutes per image.

The images are uploaded using Lightroom where I do a run through and select my favourites. Selections are then uploaded onto my website for client proofing. I use Photoshelter for this process.

Once I have the clients selection, I send it to Photoshop (PS) from Lightroom (LR) which keeps my library in order as all changes made in PS will be saved in LR.

Here I get rid of stray hairs, dust balls and cat hair using the healing tool. I soften highlights with the clone tool and remove shadows with the curves adjustment.

I then use the Plugin Portrait Pro to take redness our of the skin, mildly smooth out shadows and bring a little more…

Time To Get Out Of The City. Blue Mountains Hike - Wentworth Falls

I could honestly spend every weekend cleaning and organising for the coming week but I decided that life is too short. If I sat around the house, the piles of dishes would taunt me. I've had a pretty stressful few weeks so fresh air and a change of scenery seemed appropriate. It was time to get out of the city!

With the wonderful roads now, it only takes an hour to get to Springwood and Blaxland. I remember visiting my Godfather here as a child and it was at least a 2 hour drive. I am definitely grateful for our roads. (but maybe not the tolls!)

First stop Lennox Bridge, in Blaxland. Opened in 1833, it is the oldest surviving stone arch bridge in Australia. Usually there would be water running under the bridge but we haven't had any significant rainfall in over two months. 

It's only Spring and already we are getting the hot high sun which makes for contrasty images. I would have come out earlier but had to vote in the local council elections! Next time though it will be esse…

Travel Landscape Photography Tips - Exposure

For fun I like to play around with longer exposures. The first image (above) is a 30 second exposure. You can do this on a bright sunny day by using a filter on your lens or at night without a filter.

10 Stop Solid ND Filter -  I used a BW 10 stop filter to get the top image. They are around $50-$100.

Tripod - Ideally a tripod is recommended. I actually forgot my tripod so set my camera up on a nearby pylon and used my lens hood to keep the camera upright and steady.

Focus First - once your camera is setup, focus the lens on the scene, then switch the lens to Manual Focus (MF). Then attach the filter. You cannot focus with the filter on because it is so dense you cannot see anything.


The light difference between the sky and the foreground can be greatly different. This means you will often get a correctly exposed foreground but there won't be any detail in the sky. I have two tips that I use that might be helpful for getting a better exposure.

1. Graduated …