Noble Photographic: Blog en-us (C) Noble Photographic (Noble Photographic) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:52:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:52:00 GMT Noble Photographic: Blog 96 120 A Family Essence

I picked up a crappy point and shoot camera and turned it off Auto in late 2011. I have worked my absolute butt off in the past 4 years. SO many times ive told my friend Gina (from Gina Marie Photography in Albury) that im giving up. She slaps me in the face and I keep going. Ive cried over how hard it is to set up as a 'no-digital-files' photographer, spent an entire 14 months searching for a print lab that works for me and works well with me (including a LOT of money paying for test prints at so many locations), read enormous amounts of photography material, watched hours and hours of tutorials and sponging up as much info as I can. Ive discovered my passion is families, I have discovered I love artificial light more than natural light (although I can now work with both, but i can create the EXACT look I want if ive got a couple of speedlights and modifiers with me. Even just plain old white cardboard as a modifier is a regular go to), I know my gear so well that I just pick it up and use it and know whats going to happen, I get that excited butterflies feeling before meeting with clients but its no longer that terrified nervousness that I had to pretend wasnt there for years, and im being smart about how I go about things rather than scrambling for whatever jobs I can get. In my mind I toyed with this photo idea for a few years but I just had to hold off and wait for my skills to catch up. I feel really proud of this photo because it marks a significant point in my 'journey' (hate that word.. its so... wanky) where everything is coming together, and where the aspects of my style FINALLY are coming together for me. And Im actually starting to see it.

]]> (Noble Photographic) Sun, 15 Nov 2015 06:49:50 GMT
Anxiety Project - Australian Photographer of the Year 2015 - Entry 2 ANXIETY PROJECT

Anxiety has become a quiet 'epidemic' of the 21st century. The statistics for anxiety seem to be varied, perhaps affected by apprehension from those with anxiety to talk openly about their experience. The six people in this 'study' have opened themselves up to the public. They believe raising awareness will help others talk about anxiety, and for some, having their experience visualised has helped them understand themselves a little better. The power of an image opens up a dialogue that in some ways is like opening a door.

Each photo in this series is constructed completely in camera, with minimal post production. I listened the stories of each person and created an image that best represented where they are with their journey at this point in time. I find hearing about the different experiences fascinating. Maybe because I also experience anxiety, having suffered a lot more in the past than I do now, but I remember clearly how bad it felt when it was at it's worst. I can empathise. 

I plan to continue this project. I would like to photograph as many people as are willing. 






]]> (Noble Photographic) Mon, 09 Nov 2015 06:54:10 GMT
2015 Australian Photographer of the Year - Entry 1 2015 Australian Photographer of the Year - Entry 1

This is my last year to enter this competition. Which is bitter sweet. It means I'm starting to build momentum with my business, creating images like these! 
These photos were taken in celebration of my clients 15 year wedding anniversary. What an amazing occasion! The light was amazing for the night, perfect for every shot. This beautiful family are blessed to live in an amazing place, high up on a hilltop. I felt really excited to be there with them and to capture these amazing shots. I think the 'story' in the photos speaks for itself. Enjoy!

]]> (Noble Photographic) Wed, 04 Nov 2015 10:01:36 GMT
Wodonga TAFE Live Shoot and Edit Woo! Live shoot and edit with some awesome students at TAFE! Thanks for the invite Ben :) 

This blog post is a re-cap of that day. 

The 'client' for the day was Gina, from Gina Marie Photography. This following photo and notes make up the brief Gina gave me.
Gina gave me this reference photo, she wanted this set up and lighting:

Gina wanted to be holding a ball of light, to have angel wings and soft focus... I did change the soft focus requirement. The photographer gets some creative discretion in this case :)

We talked about, and designed, the lighting set-up via 
The Kevin Kertz site is fantastic. There is a link on the site for a photoshop file where you can select (via switching on and off layers) different lighting equipment, camera, backdrops, etc. Here is how we thought the lighting set-up was most likely constructed. 

My gear list for the day was:
- Nikon D810
- Nikon 50mm 1.4 (Most images were taken at f1.6/ISO100/s250)
- 4 speed lights (with transmitters and receiver on 2, slave on the other 2) (2 Nikon, 1 SRL brand and I have no idea what the 4th one was). If you are after a collection of speed lights and dont want to go broke, check out (this listing is for the speedlight. If you buy 2 you get a free transmitter... which is great because the speed lights have built in receivers:
- 2 light stands with octo soft boxes (I bought these from
I also had props and a few other things specific to this shoot.

And away we go!!!

To create the 'ball of light' that Gina wanted in her image, I used a naked speed light pointing straight at my camera. This blew out the foreground, so I also took a shot without the 'ball of light' so I could use that foreground in the final image.

Lots of questions, problem solving, suggestions. I had a bolt of white tulle with me, as I thought that might add some softness into the foreground of the image. We also played around with shaking some behind Gina. We didn't like that look so scrapped it. 

To capture the wings we did a composite. Its easier to do a composite image than clone out the elastic arm attachment things. One of the students held the wings on one side of Gina, I took the shot, then repeated for the other side. The two sides were later composited in Photoshop. 

We then took a couple of shots of falling feathers so i could add those into the final image:

That was all the images needed for the final piece.

- Left wing shot
- Right wing shot
- Speedlight 'ball of light' shot
- Foreground shot (no speedlight)
- A few falling feather shots

Into the Mac Lab and I did quick edit of the final image in front of the students. 

To composite the wings, I take this section from the right wing shot:

and add it to the left wing shot. Giving me both sides.. no shoulder straps... and no assistants (as gorgeous as you are :)

The right wing shot is now on a separate layer. So I add a layer mask and paint out the parts I no longer want in the frame, making sure the sharp edges are gone. 

The two sides of the wings weren't quite even (in real life too!), so I've used the liquify tool to even those up. Corrected the colours (Gina originally thought she might like a bluer image). 

At this stage I also added in the foreground in the same way I composited the wings (you can see in the photo above that the foreground is blown out. I didn't take a screen shot of the image right after adding the new foreground in.. sorry). 

Adding in the feathers was a royal PITA (Pain In The A**). By the time I changed their raw data to where I wanted it, there wasn't much contrast between the feathers and the background.. I really could have done this better. BUT given I was on a very tight schedule doing this whole piece at the TAFE (I think we did the lot, start to final image, in 2.5hrs?) I didn't have the time to play around.. I just needed to take the shot and get moving into the Mac Lab. Its not my usual style to get a 'good enough' image, I like to try to get as close to what I want in camera so it's less editing time in Photoshop. BUT, I think the bottom line is.. deliver the final piece to brief - however you can. I ended up grabbing the most suitable images of feathers (as you would, and is why I had a couple of shots of feathers), preparing them, then duplicating and rotating the layers into different positions over the master image.  

Here is the final piece!

I finished up with some questions from the students.

Thankyou to Ben for inviting me to present at TAFE and for taking behind the scenes photos.
Thankyou to the students who were so enthusiastic and asked lots of great questions. Thankyou to those who assisted.
Thankyou to Gina who provided the brief, had her hair/make-up/outfit/props organised and ready to go.
 Phaedra x




]]> (Noble Photographic) Wed, 15 Jul 2015 05:53:29 GMT
Why I moved to a more personalised business model. Here is a little about why I do things the way I do.

1. Portrait photography is about connection, and I love to connect with people. This is why I no longer file share online... there is no personality or connection in that. I want to see your face, and your smile, when you receive your products.

2. I know for a fact that the majority of people are unlikely to get around to printing photos. How many of you have paid for professional photos, and they are still sitting on a disk or usb somewhere? This is why I have moved away from handing over lonely digital copies and I now sell printed and finished products. They are ready to hang on your wall. I will turn up at your house with a big present (yes, all wrapped and pretty), just so I can hope you faint from excitement. (Lol). I will then offer to mount it all on your walls for you. For me this is the cream of the crop service... that everyone gets!

3. I am absolutely passionate about preserving memories. The safest way to preserve photos is in print. Electronic devices notoriously crash… along with your precious memories. How many of you have photos of ancestors? Yes its true, after 100 years those photos are looking a little shabby and old, BUT they are still here! In 100 years I highly doubt we will even have a device that can read a CD or USB. They will be in the same piles as VCRs. Leave something tangible for future generation to enjoy, I can guarantee they will be curious about you and want to see you in photos. In the meantime enjoy your portraits hanging on your walls! 

~ Phaedra



]]> (Noble Photographic) Sun, 03 May 2015 22:12:05 GMT
Portrait of a Little Lady - Behind the Scenes video Hi all! here is a behind the scenes time-lapse of the making of 'Portrait of a Little Lady'. My beautiful little girl turned 4 and this is how we celebrated.
This photo is taken in our junky messed up shed. The portrait itself is taken using a Nikon D810 with a 50mm 1.2 (at f4/125s/ISO500), 1x speed light (at about 1/8 power.. I forget now) with soft box modifier (best one I've used.. from (you will see where I've got the light in the clip), little bit of natural light and a sheet to bounce some flash (stuffed in amongst some junk at camera left there). The time-lapse was shot using a Nikon D7000 at 1 frame every 5 seconds (on a tripod of course). I had my absolute most FAVOURITE lens on it.. the 18-105. Now that I'm using a full frame I really miss this lens. Its just a cheap kit lens, but so versatile and sharp! This is my first time-lapse, edited in iMovie (thankyou to Ben Eyles for the crash course). Enjoy :)

]]> (Noble Photographic) 4th birthday portrait portrait of a little lady time-lapse Wed, 29 Apr 2015 10:38:49 GMT

I will let the photos do the talking. This session was a challenge :/

One little person slept through the entire thing, what a sweetie. She was the one I was most worried about!

Phaedra x


]]> (Noble Photographic) Fri, 19 Dec 2014 08:29:24 GMT
>>The Lindsay 2014 Family Portrait<<

I Am no longer a Lindsay, but this is my family. This image took months to plan; co-odinating wardrobes, finding the right outfits, reminding, thinking about it, drawing sketches, changing posing ideas. I am so happy with how this came out. More-so it is a gift for my Mum and Nan, but a project very close to my heart none the less. It's so rewarding to have an image where we are ALL together. My Nan is almost 90, its nice to capture this while she is still here with us. The little baby is just 6 weeks old - likely the last of that generation. This is a really really special photo. 

WOW where did I get that massive backdrop?!! I did't. Its a manageable sized painters drop from Bunnings, clamped to the trusses in my Mums shed. The floor is the shed floor. 

How did I get my entire family to post like this in one single shot?! I didn't. This is 4 individual images. Not only would taking this in one shot be ridiculously stressful, it was also not possible due to some different commitments from each of us that morning. One of my brothers could literally only pop in for a few minutes, we had a baby due for her sleep, and another who had to leave for Melbourne as early as possible. I just worked around all of this, set up the set and lighting and took each family separate. While the people are how I wanted them - skin tones, poses, their character - the backdrop and ground needed a lot of work. Here is a snippet of how the image morphed in Photoshop:

The lighting was speed lights, a soft box at camera left, a shoot through umbrella at camera right and very conveniently there was a skylight so I positioned everyone under that. The shot with my Nan in it is a slightly different exposure, id say due to the sun (via the skylight) changing... I didn't notice this at the time.

As always, Im happy for you to ask questions. 

xx Phaedra

]]> (Noble Photographic) Sun, 14 Dec 2014 09:39:25 GMT
Gina in the Dark Hey all, I had the fun of photographing another photographer - Gina from Gina Marie Photography - and her daughters. Gina's husband was supposed to be in the portrait also, however he seems to have devised an elaborate plan to avoid 'family photo time'. Men. Why do you DO that. No seriously, tell me in the comments why.

(f4.0-1/60-ISO320 D810 with a 50mm 1.4)

This image was weeks in the planning. Gina was using this gorgeous chair in a shoot for one of her clients so we thought lets get the moneys worth out of it and use it in hers also. The chair is hired from Gather Vintage Hire in Albury. They have amazing things, check them out if your after a vintage piece. 

I made the huge black tulle skirt for Gina to wear. This was 37mt of black tulle right here. What a fun night that was to sew together! So worth it, and I will be making more in other colours for other ideas down the track. I have been sewing since age 4 (I kid you not. That is when I started using a sewing machine. I was hand sewing before then), its such an amazing skill to have. Fabric is my other love, so using fabrics to create photos brings my SO MUCH JOY. We found one of the girls dresses on eBay for $10 and the other dress was already owned by the girls. 

The lighting set up was 2 speed lights, the one on camera right was behind a big softbox, and one on camera left was bouncing into a shoot through umbrella. So slightly different light on each side of the photo as the right side of the photo is darker (with the dark chair and Gina's black skirt), and the left was lighter with the girls white dresses. I didnt want the white dresses overpowering the image, as Gina is the key subject. I then had my assistant (a big thank you to Samantha!) shine a small mag light onto the black background to create some separation between Gina's skirt and the wall. The light from the bounced shoot through umbrella threw some light on the wall behind the girls. 

While we were there I took a portrait of each of the girls. Just as a little add on. Each portrait captures their individual personalities. 
This is Keira, she's very relaxed and laid back. She's beautiful.

(f4.0-1/80-ISO320 D810 with a 50mm 1.4)

This is Sienna, she is like a little firecracker! Loves being the centre of attention, and for todays shoot she announced she was going to be in character. As a princess. She's adorable. 

(f4.0-1/80-ISO250 D810 with a 50mm 1.4)

And to finish off, behind the scenes:

Hope you enjoyed! 

]]> (Noble Photographic) Mon, 17 Nov 2014 03:10:04 GMT
Australian Photographer of the Year 2014 Entry

My six image collection entry to this years Australian Photographer of the Year. See for more information about the competition. 

Here is my walk through of my images.

Patricia Cenan is an amazing ballerina, who has come over from NewZealand to study Ballet in Australia. She is very strong (as you can see!) and absolutely so so sweet and polite. The lighting in this image was a large half window at camera right - nothing to defuse the light, and to camera left I had a large softbox set up and speed light at full power. The softbox was about 5 metres from her so just a bit of fill in for her right side. f2.5-1/160-ISO160. 35mm 1.8 on a D7000. 

Here is a behind the scenes shot taken for you by my 3 year old. Yes I removed the bar in post. Why? Because I wanted to, its less distracting and cleaner without.


Mason Edstrom started Ballet only 2.5 years ago. He's brilliant, AND the second nicest guy I know (Husband being the first). This image was taken in the same place as the one of Patricia, on the same day, only I turned off the speed light so it was just window light - for more contrast. Mason is muscular and the contrast shows this off. While Patricia is also muscular I didn't want her to look masculine, hence the speed light stayed on for her (to lower contrast). f4.5-1/160-ISO160. 35mm 1.8 on a D7000.  The bar was left in this image to help show the height of this jump. 

This image, believe it or not (actually you'll believe me in a second as I've got behind the scenes photos for you), was taken in my car. I knew the EXACT lighting I wanted, and I needed it very dark around her, with only defused backlighting and a matte reflector in front of her. My car was the easiest place to use for this set up. f2.8-1/125-ISO100. 35mm 1.8 on a D7000. I prefer the colour version, (in my portrait gallery on this site), but I felt it was important to keep things consistently black and white for the competition. 

Here we go! Windscreen shield over the window to keep the light out (foil side in.. otherwise id be getting a blue colour cast), opaque fabric over the window, white cardboard reflector.. my new favourite reflector. Perfect perfect light, exactly what I wanted. Minimal editing and SO easy. Literally everyone has access to this cheap 'equipment' (as long as you have a camera... and a car).

These two images were both taken in a room with a black floor and lime green walls with one smallish window. Perfect conditions for low key, contrasty images. Both of these were natural light, and it was just a case of positioning Mason so the light hit him in the right spots. 
f3.2-1/160-ISO125. 35mm 1.8 on a D7000. 

f3.2-1/160-ISO100. 35mm 1.8 on a D7000. 

Another taken in the room with the black floors and lime walls. For this image I used a backdrop with stretch grey fabric over it (easy to transport stretch... it doesn't crease. Not always easy to photography though, annoyingly. However it didn't matter for this image as I manoeuvred manual settings on the camera, and then in post, so it would appear black). 

Here is a lighting diagram. Ive never used this resource before so maybe the options were there but I couldn't find them... the window wasn't that big and it was a 1/2 wall window (with blinds so we closed most of them down), the backdrop was dark grey not white, BUT this depicts the layout of the set up at least

There you have it. All simple shots with simple lighting, but effective and interesting! Light is there to be manipulated, manipulate it!

]]> (Noble Photographic) Mon, 17 Nov 2014 01:43:40 GMT
Lisa's Glamour Portraits This is the lovely Lisa. Lisa's brief to me was that she loves blue and pink and will leave everything else up to me. Except hair and make up, Lisa's hair and make up was crafted by Shannan Houghton. I watched everything she did and honestly make up and hair is so intricate and detailed, even the way Shannan angled the straighter to curl Lisa's hair was intriguing. Hair and make up took around 1.5 hours. Afterwards I quickly set up next to a light filled window, opaque fabric, scrim, white cardboard, backdrop and a stool then I spent around 45mins photographing. After all the glammy outfits my favourite is Lisa in her blue check skirt! - the shirt she arrived in. 
Lisa chose 15 gorgeous images of herself for her folio. Lisa has ordered the folio box and a large wall print, so I will pop in photos of those once they arrive. 
Thankyou for being the wonderful you, lisa.

]]> (Noble Photographic) Sun, 16 Nov 2014 10:09:00 GMT
Hello Hello? Hi! Just a quick one to say I DO plan to get some action happening here on the blog, so hang tight :)

]]> (Noble Photographic) Mon, 27 Oct 2014 05:46:09 GMT