New Coastal and Maiko Wall Art

For a limited time, we’ve added new wall art to our store. They all are our favourites. But if we had to choose one… then our favourite is Apostles Beach, Pt Lonsdale Lighthouse, and Maiko in Kyoto.

They are printed on archival-gallery quality acid-free paper with high quality printers and ink. Available as frame or unframed prints, and artist-signed prints available too. Printed in Melbourne for Australian region distribution, and US and EU authorised makers. More details in the product descriptions.

See them all here Travel Photos Store.

Free Portrait Sesh Sat 13th Feb

A FREE PORTRAIT SESSION!!!! Sounds awesome right?!

Perfect for Lunar New Year & Valentines Day!

It’s our first public event since lockdowns, so we’re a little shy and nervous, but it’s a great chance to step out and do something different. We have professional experience in travel photography, but – like you – we can’t go anywhere. So, instead of stewing at home, we wanna get out and do pseudo-travel photography (pretend travel portraiture). So…

Let’s have some fun. Wear your best fashion, wear a top hat. Put that kimono on. Dust off that frock. Polish those boots. Do whatever you need to blast the lockdown lethargy and cobwebs off.

Why free? We really, really, really, wanna do portraiture again! We really wanna do stuff with the camera. We really wanna meet people again.

What does it cost? The shoot will be free. You’ll get two photos that will be small (not printable), but socially shareable. These will be AirDropped or emailed to you on the spot.

What can be paid for? More photos, professionally post-processed, printed on high quality art paper, framed, and delivered. Usually, a photoshoot costs money because it requires time to do properly. So, if you want something different and unique, let’s arrange that shoot.

Where? On the steps of the Old Treasury Building, Melbourne CBD.

When? Please book a time with us, which will be on Saturday the 13th Feb. Will we do this again? Probably not… for a very long time.

How long will it take? It’s free, so it will be a very short photoshoot, just 20mins or so, plus a bit of on-the-spot photo selection and post-processing.

FAQ continues… What if it rains? Great!

Gliding in Australia

Gliding is an amazing sport and leisure pursuit. There is always so much to learn; especially the wide variety of things you can learn about. Ok, I like to geek out, but you don’t have to. The best memories of gliding I have as a teenager was the late afternoon smooth silky air. The views of long shadow sunsets. Performing a very difficult landing during unexpected rain in my most hated glider: the Blanik (however, a proud moment). Also, the variety of people you meet, who have a wide variety of knowledges, expertise, and personalities.

Above: Wendy in a Melbourne Gliding Club glider (the high performance Duo Discus and DG-1001).

Recently, I got in contact with the Gliding Federation of Australia to see if I could do a shoot or two or more with them. I love flying. I love aeroplanes. I even used to be a member of the air force cadets.

Above: Some photos from when I was a teenager in the 1990’s. Me in the glider I spent the most time in, an IS-28, fling in the Interservice Competition at Leeton in a K7. My favourite glider the K-13. My old learner’s motorbike with the dream glider: the Club Libelle. Photos were taken on film, and photographed from an old album.

As a part of the presentation of photos that I’m building up is the story aspect. I was so lucky to work with the very patient and helpful Iain and Belen of the Melbourne Gliding Club. Special thanks to Sarah of the Gliding Federation of Australia for helping to make these possible. Featured below is Wendy, a great Melbourne-based model.

Above: Preparing for the day. For more information about gliding, please go to these websites:

Above: Take off

Above: In flight

Above: Pack away. Below: Thanks to Iain, Belen, Paul, Alan, Wendy, and Sarah; some are seen below. You’re a fantastic team.

We want to do more gliding and aviation photography. Please support us by either getting us in touch with people who can help, fly, or fund us.

Please like and subsrcibe to Travel Photos on YouTube.

Lensbaby

Lensbaby is a special lens. I’ve had mine for… since… I don’t know! Since forever it seems; at least 10 years. I’m sure you’ll recognise some of these photos showcased below and now you may realise how I created a particular effect. Yes, Lensbaby is my secret weapon.

What is a Lensbaby? It’s a manual focus / manual aperture lens that has unique characteristics that enhance through selective focus on a topic or subject in a photo. I use the original Lensbaby Composer Pro 50mm. This lens allows me to literally bend the lens in half to shape the focus point. I first got it for my Minolta cameras. Minolta later dumped their camera division onto Sony, so my Lensbaby is for the “Minolta/Sony A” mount. I’ve since dumped Sony in favour for Canon, so instead of abandoning one of my favourite lenses, I’ve got an adapter so I can continue to use it.

I’ll admit, I’ve been using my Lensbaby less since I made the change to Canon. I hope that this blog post will remind me to come back to to this. One of my favourite projects was(is) the City of Ghosts project. The origin of it is from this one image. Here I was initially using a standard lens, but struggling with balancing the lighting, and working with a model who had limited experience. All the standard approaches was giving me very standard pedestrian results, which I was not satisfied with. So, I switched to my Lensbaby, and got this image.

Outdoor night portraits of a young Japanese lady in Osaka, taken with a selective focus lens.

What I’d really like to do is come back to my City of Ghosts project. As you can see is that the original shoot was done in Tokyo. It was fun to do. We were in the iconic Shibuya crossing. The one that features on blockbuster movies. The one that has anywhere between 1,000 to 2,000 people crossing at each light change. As we were shooting, the model was cold (it was early November); I was cold; my assistant was cold. There were lots of Japanese interested in what we were doing. Foreign tourists photographing my model, me, us working. But, we all wanted to get the best variety of photos possible.

The shoot started with my standard general purpose 28-75mm f2.8 lens. As you can see, the photos were nice. You can see the crossing. You can see the context. However, something was missing. It had context, but I wasn’t yet satisfied with the visual outcomes, so I switched to my Lensbaby.

What’s next? More. I’m now in Melbourne, with new people, with new scenes, and with more skills and knowledge. I hope to work with a model and develop a story. Not just show a pretty model in a scene, but to make a story for people to experience.

  • Learn more about other great lenses like this at: https://lensbaby.com/
  • If you’re a Melbourne-based model, and interested in collaborating in the City of Ghosts project, please contact us
  • If you are interested in funding and/or displaying the City of Ghosts collection, please contact us.

The Resurrecting Dreams Project

For the first time since the foundation of Melbourne, and since the last pandemic, will we see the building and rebuilding of the small business sector in Melbourne city. I want to photograph – visually document – this process. This project is the opposite to David H Wells documentary project, Foreclosed Dreams: Foreclosures Across America (2008 to present). In contrast, Resurrecting Dreams will be the visual story of how small business begin, build, and succeed; a positivistic view.

Since Melbourne’s foundation in 1835 to February 2020, businesses have built the city into a vibrant, confident, and wonderful place. Melbourne was home to many amazing cafes, vibrant nightlife, unique fashion stores, fantastic bars, and brilliant sport life and allied health businesses. The coronavirus (COVID-19 or SARS CoV2) was persistent and dangerous, which necessitated citywide lockdowns, social isolation, and physical distancing to protect the vulnerable and reduce virus transmission. Consequently, a lot of the small business sector in the CBD was decimated in the eight months of these lockdowns in Melbourne. In November 2020, we achieved zero community transmissions, but at great expense economically, societally, personally, psychologically. As of January 2021, there are a myriad of vacant and available street level business spaces – and opportunities.

I have photographed small businesses in Japan doing their thing. Since I’ve moved back to Australia in 2019, I myself have to rebuild my own photographic business, and I’m learning how to do that for this city. I’m curious about how new small business owners plan, create, build, trade, struggle, and succeed. I want to show the resurrection of the dreams of small business owners and help celebrate their wins. Their wins are the real “trickle down” in the city economy. Their success means employment of many of the city’s people.

How you can help; contact me if…

  • You’re opening your own business. Let me photograph that process (even if you’re still in the looking-at-real estate options stage)
  • You know someone starting their own business
  • You’re a real estate agent for landlord: let me in to photograph the empty space
  • You want to help fund this project
  • You what to help exhibit this project (funding or other support needed)
  • You want to see it published in your outlet (funding needed)
  • You want to use the photos to tell the story for your brand (funding needed)

Model call: Outdoor clothing Melbourne Vic #ModelCall

Outdoor clothing modelling

I have an expression of interest from a client, and so I need to research options.

Who am I?  Andrew is a commercial photographer who has been based in Japan for nearly 15 years. For family reasons he’s returned and is re-establishing his business his business in Australia. You can see his old website at JapanesePhotos.Asia, his Model Mayhem account, Instagram, and Twitter for more background on him.

Who: We need both male and female models who have an interest and history of outdoor activities. Yes, you can suggest a friend to work with; we will consider their portfolio. Ultimately, the client makes the final approval of who we can work with.

What: The job is to model outdoor clothing and some equipment. If you have not done fashion modelling before, please research some suitable poses.

Pay: We need to know what your fees are on a per hour and on a per day basis. We are not looking for the cheapest models, but the most suitable, I just need to present options and cost approximations to the client. I usually pay from about $25/hr or $100 a day, but this usually depends on the job and the clients’ budget.

Portfolio: To present the best case to the client, we need a few things:

  • Your online portfolio (usually your Instagram or Model Mayhem account is fine). We assume that portfolios that include outdoor activities may be viewed more favourably.
  • Your per hour / per day payment expectations.
  • If you’re ok with sharing behind the scenes images of the shoot on your social media account, and if you’re ok to share many of the final images on your social media account too.
  • Your clothing sizes (for shirts, jackets, trousers, shoes – Aust size & cm); height, waist, bust, chest, hat/head sizes.
  • Availability (we prefer weekdays, but weekends might be possible)
  • (emailing a pdf with a sample of photos and the above responses will make it a lot easier for us)

Where: The shoot will be done in a National Park or similar place near Melbourne or the Yarra Ranges. Transport may be provided from either Epping or a convenient nearby train station. If we shoot in a National Park, we may be limited on the number of vehicles we are allowed in, so it is ok to have a friend drop you off and pick you up again.

When: mid July (probably on weekdays), TBA. The shoot may be timed for when you (the models) are available.

Makeup: Please do your own, a makeup artist probably won’t be approved by the client. Please don’t do high fashion or glamour, but suitable for outdoor & camping type of activities.

Accommodation: If this is a multi-day shoot, none is provided this time, so you will need to return to your home each day, which will probably be after sunset. We suggest to have a friend pick you up as you may be too tired to drive safely near the end of the day.

Wear: Most clothing will be provided. Please bring your own warm clothes for comfort in between shoots. We strongly suggest thermal underclothes (especially v-neck). It is possible that thermal underclothing may be provided, tbc. Please ask and confirm this closer to the time of the shoot.

Food & bring: Main meals (probably only lunch) will be provided, but please bring your own drinks and snacks. Portable battery charger for your phone with cables. Your own makeup supplies. A book or your music to help recharge and reset in rest periods.

Liability: Travel Photos PtyLtd and the client will consider you as a sub-contractor. Which means you need to be responsible for your own public liability insurance, your own health insurance, and so forth.

Final note:  Andrew and Travel Photos PtyLtd prefer to work with people we know. If we can do this shoot, there is a higher probability we will work together again.

Updates: This page was last updated on 10th July.

25th July 2019:  The client has put back the the shoot due to other projects being prioritised. Further updates will come when the shoot can be scheduled.

Mt Hakone volcanic activity

In March 2018 I visited Mt Hakone when family came to Japan to visit. One of the places we went to was the Mt Fuji area. We went to Lake Ashi on one of those touristy pirate ship cruises. We then went on a cable car up to the Mt Hakone caldera visitor centre. While there, we saw lots of warning signs, including ones that said that if sirens went off, we should evacuate the mountain immediately. However, the lines for the cable cars were really long, and that was just a normal, and not even considering people were finishing the day and were all coming down off the mountain yet.

Looking into the crater of the Mt Hakone volcano. More images available for sale at the stock library.
The Mt Hakone volcano at level 1 alert, which means access to the crater is possible because of no current tremor activity

Mt Fuji and Mt Hakone both are considered active volcanoes, just no recent activity that would prevent people from building a visitor’s centre and tourist industry. It was reported that on Saturday the 18th May there were no tremors on Mt Hakone. However, by Sunday 9am there were 21 (Japan Times), and a further 24 through the day. The Japan Meteorological Bureau announced that they closed access to the visitor centre and raised the alert level from 1 to 2, on a scale of 5. Level 1 means “Potential for increased activity”, and they put warning signs everywhere and evacuation sirens. Level 2 is “Do not approach the crater”, Level 3 is “Do not approach the volcano, Level 4 is “Prepare to evacuate the area”, and Level 5 is of course “Run like you’re Samuel L Jackson in a disaster movie” (JMA). At time of writing, not all parts of the JMA English website had been properly updated, but here is the detailed page: https://www.jma.go.jp/en/volcano/forecast_03_20190518171517.html

The last time Mt Hakone is thought to have erupted was some time in the 12th or 13th centuries. The alert level was last raised to 3 in 2015. These images and more are available for sale at https://ablyth.photoshelter.com/

Looking into the crater at Mt Hakone volcano. More images available for sale at the stock library.
The Mt Hakone volcano at level 1 alert, which means access to the crater is possible because of no current tremor activity

Sponsor a Maiko shoot

I don’t quite know how, but I was suddenly and accidentally offered the opportunity to do a photo shoot with maiko. Maiko are not geishas, but are like geisha apprentices. I’ve been on the look out for just this opportunity ever since I arrived in Kyoto in March this year… in fact, for the last few years I’d been looking for the opportunity. Now I have it.

A geisha and attendants preparing ahead of guests arrival
A geisha and attendants preparing ahead of guests arrival

As you know, geishas and maiko are very expensive. I am looking for a sponsor to help. The shoot is scheduled for the 2nd June (a Sunday), and I’ll have a few hours with them. The photos I get will be used by me for my own company use and promotional activities. However, any sponsors will have exclusive commercial use of them. If I get more than one sponsor, each will get a proportionate share of unique photos. This is of course important for maintaining a unique visual and aesthetic for your use.

Importantly, the Rugby World Cup is hosted in Japan very soon, and Tokyo 2020 Olympics are coming up, so now is the time to get your visuals ready ahead of that. Contact me for more information.

Free Travel Portrait Sessions

For a limited time only (at least until 31st May 2019), we will offer free portrait sessions to any travellers in Kyoto. Simply contact us.

An American woman in a beautiful kimono under the cherry blossoms in Gion Kyoto
An American woman in a beautiful kimono under the cherry blossoms in Gion Kyoto

Conditions: It’s super easy.

  1. First, follow us on Instagram.
  2. Arrange a meeting time/place: Contact us.
  3. Meet us in either Gion or Yasaka Shrine
  4. We do the shoot for one hour (it’s a short simple shoot)
  5. We’ll quickly process the best of the bunch
  6. Send you a download link (or use AirDrop right away)
  7. Post our pictures on your Instagram tagging us in, and mentioning good things about us in your comments

What we will do is shoot for an hour. Together, we’ll go to a cafe or other convenient place, and while you wait we select and quickly process some key photos. Our cameras are bluetooth and wifi enabled, and we carry our iPads with us anyway. A link to a folder with your folders will be emailed to you. Maximum of 8 websized photos will be sent.

Paid for upgrades will include

  • A higher quality shoot for better photos
  • Prints or a photo book made and delivered to you
  • Extra time or locations
  • More photos delivered
  • Full print-sized digital files (web-sized files print badly)
  • Other full upgrades are possible, please see Portraits for more information.
Lam, a Taipei-based American model in Ximen shopping district in Taipei.
Lam, a Taipei-based American model in Ximen shopping district in Taipei.

Workshops & Education

For the first time we’re going to start offering photography workshop courses. We’ve been asked a few times before to host beginner photography workshops, but because of time, we haven’t been able to follow through with that. Now, we can. We’re in Kyoto, and it’s the perfect place to help traveller photographers improve their game. There will be four main options:

  • Beginner Workshops
  • Intermediate Workshops
  • Mixed-levels Workshops
  • Special Skills (based on a specific theme or skill set)
  • Private tutorials

Full details are at: https://travelphotos.asia/workshops.html

Cherry blossoms in Gion Kyoto. Model: Brooke; Photographer: Andrew.
Cherry blossoms in Gion Kyoto. Model: Brooke; Photographer: Andrew.

All workshops will assume participants have a modern digital DSLR or mirrorless camera with interchangeable lens. Some Canon point and shoot cameras have easy to use Manual settings, and so these are often suitable too.

Beginner Workshops will assume that the participants have just got the camera out of the box from the store that very day (hopefully the day before). The focus will be to get participants aware of key concepts of shutter speed, aperture, iso, and white balance.

Intermediate Workshops are currently not offered. However, we will host two different special skills workshops instead.

Mixed-level Workshop Walk: Kimono portraits. Is an opportunity for everyone from post-beginner to intermediate level to learn how to use travel scenes, exotic environments, and local context to make next-level photographs. Currently, we’re organsing and searching for models who will wear a kimono and pose for us in Gion, so that there is a two-fold purpose, one to get great Japanesque photographs; and two, to learn environmental portrait photography.

Special Skills is a short introduction to a very specific genre of photography. Typically a theoretical explanation is given, basic demonstration, and guided practice is given. Currently in Kyoto, we will practice night photography.

More details and booking via: https://travelphotos.asia/workshops.html Contact us for more bookings.

Yasakusa Shrine Nishiromon Gate at night.
The main entrance to Yasaka Shrine at night