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More Fapes

December 29th, 2008 by admin

Fake Bape gear has been blogged about on various sites in my network, however walking past a $2 dollar shop near a suburban Sydney train station I saw this:


Individually wrapped in printed bags, large cardboard tags, prints on the front and back, and sewn on sleeve bape logos, they were some of the best quality Fapes I have seen. The price blew my mind. $2. You can’t buy a no name totally blank t-shirt for $2. Amazing. I guess it has reduced the appeal of this formerly cool Japanese brand for me. I was never a massive fan, but I do own an original Bape hoodie I picked up on one of my Japanese trips. It’s a black label one, and quite subtle compared to some of the more outlandish designs, so it is not one I see copied at all. That along with a pair of bape jeans I have, are the only two Bape products I own, and now, I doubt I will buy any more. I do however have a few Ice Cream t-shirts, the sister brand of Bape, which has so far escaped the counterfeiters. It’s a tough situation for the owners of brands such as this, sure it’s flattering to have your product copied, however it does diminish the appeal of the brand when good quality copies are being sold at these sort of prices. An original Bape t-shirt can go for $130. Sure people buying $2 t-shirts are not going to pay that sort of money for any t-shirt, but the customers who are willing to pay big bickies for a premium label may now chose to spend their money elsewhere. Perhaps if it was priced at a midrange price point the brand may have become more accessible and mainstream, making it less likely to be copied? But then it may not have been as appealing, making the road to success that much more difficult. Tough call.

Christmas Traffic

December 29th, 2008 by admin

xmas traffic
Photo taken with Nokia N95.

Christmas for us usually involves a fair few kilometers to be travelled, visiting 2 or even 3 family gatherings. I don’t know why everyone leaves at the same time, but this was around 11am on Christmas Day, and it’s a scene repeated all over Sydney. Next year I think we will leave earlier or just stay home.

Hot Rod Chick

December 29th, 2008 by admin

I don’t particularly like the word “chick” when describing a female, and it’s even worse when a girl uses it to describe another girl. I guess it was a fitting application of the term here.

Hot rod
Photo taken with Nokia N95.

Hot rods on Sydney streets can be seen on the odd fine weekend, this was a very cool example I spotted on Christmas day.


December 25th, 2008 by admin

Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas

Con and Maria

December 24th, 2008 by admin

Last weekend Carol and I were lucky enough to photograph Con and Maria in the city. With the shops still bursting full of last minute Christmas shoppers, it was nice to just walk around the city in the afternoon creating these images. Con and Maria were great fun and we have no doubt their wedding in 2009 will be even more so!


Not this monkey…

December 22nd, 2008 by admin


Photo by Carol Pakula.
Recently the photographer’s blogsphere has been going wild at a post written by The Strobist. I’m not going to go into the reasons for and against it, that has already been covered by more experienced photographers than I. I will instead share two relevant situations I have recently experienced. The first involves a totally new client (potential client to be accurate). The deal was, a friend of mine saw a post on a forum, where the poster was asking for a photographer to shoot some exotic cars in some excellent locations. I read the post and was interested so I asked the poster to contact me, which they promptly did. The brief was very appealing to me, over a million dollars worth of brand new exotic luxury rides, to be driven by the editorial guys on some of the state’s most scenic roads. Sounds like a dream assignment for me. However, their staff photographer was sick and pulled out last second, so the best they could offer me was to have the expenses paid, i.e. food (most likely fast or truck stop) and accommodation (again most likely of the budget variety). I did offer my standard day rate, even a slightly discounted one as it was going to be two consecutive days. The reply was that their budget did not allow for it, as they already have a staff photographer. Hmm.

I thought about taking the gig anyway and using it for two things; one to build my portfolio with some exotic cars. The local distributors would also see the photos, since they were the ones offering their cars for review, which could also open some opportunities with them. And secondly, to form a relationship with this new potential client. The first point was what made me thing about taking it. The second is what sealed the deal for me not to. Reason being, if I did one assignment for them for free, why would they pay the second one. Every single client I have ever had, always paid for my first gig. Even when I was working in another industry (Finance and IT), and was asked to shoot a car for a national magazine for the first time in my life, one of the first things they mentioned to me was the rate of pay. I would have done it for free back then, as it would have been an opportunity to get published and I knew little about how the industry worked, but since they did offer pay, I gladly accepted. So I guess I have the blogs of inspirational photographers like Vincent Laforet and John Harrington’s awesome Photo Business News blog, to thank for that.

The second situation involves a well established client for me, one whom I have worked with for a number of years. This situation might be more about the fact that there were too many management levels involved, but, the gist is, I was asked to shoot for two days, and I offered my discounted rate. The person I was speaking to said that should be fine, and will call tomorrow to confirm. The next day someone else calls, and said it has all been approved. So during the shoot, one of the more senior members of this company hinted at doing this job as a freebie, I brushed it off without giving an answer, as I was quite shocked to hear this coming out of his mouth. When it came time to deliver the photos, I basically said that I was not going to provide the images until I was paid. I have usually provided the photos the day or two after the shoot for almost all of my clients, but this situation led me to change my tact a little. I was promptly paid and delivered all photos.

a small ego boost

December 17th, 2008 by admin

BEL garage evo IX
It’s always nice to see your work in place you don’t entirely expect to. With last weekends Final Battle well and truly over, I’ll post another pic from the weekend. Here is the Tilton Interiors/BEL Garage EVO IX, which I photographed a while ago at Wakefield Park. The owner was also nice enough to let me have a drive of the car around the track, which was quite an experience. It is an amazing car, massive power with amazing response, unbelievable grip and handling, and brakes to match. Anyway, the car was proudly displaying one of my rig shots from the feature of it in Auto Salon Magazine.


December 15th, 2008 by admin

After recovering today from Auto Salon’s last event for 2008, Final Battle at Sydney Olympic Park, I began sorting and processing the 2500 odd images I shot over the two day event. They will be going into a future issue of Auto Salon Magazine, so I can’t post many, but I will post this one.
I used my new 85mm f1.2 L lens for some shots of the contestants in the Lonsdale Miss Auto Salon competition, and it really blew me away. This is a completely unedited 100% crop pic from the 85, ISO400 f2.2. Click the image for a larger version, still a 100% unedited crop. Is there such a thing as too sharp? Naaa.

85mm f1.2L at f2.2


December 12th, 2008 by admin

I have been employed with Auto Salon for over 4 years now, in that time I have shot, at a guess, around 100 cars for Auto Salon Magazine and I have lost count of the number of shows/events/races I have attended and photographed. I do however, always remember my covers.

ASM Covers

This is 12 of the last covers I have shot for ASM. We quite often do not specifically know which car will end up on a cover, so if I think it has a chance, then I will usually try to get a few more shots suitable for a cover. See if you can guess which cars were shot specifically knowing they are “covers cars” and which cars weren’t.


December 11th, 2008 by admin


I heard about Din Tai Fung a while back but yet haven’t had a chance to sample it for myself. Until tonight. It’s famous for its steamed dumplings, which are a unique style, filled with a soup type of liquid. I’m a massive fan of dumplings, they are even a traditional Polish dish, known as Pierogi. Asian style dumplings are different, in that they have a greater variety of styles and fillings. DTF do dumplings very well, possibly the best I have had.


These juicy steamed pork dumplings were just delicious.


Some pork mince and beans on the side,

fried rice

along with pork fried rice.

clean plates

Clean plates at the end means that everyone enjoyed their dinner. It’s not the cheapest place, you need to spend around $40 per person for a big dinner, but the quality of the food is very high.


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