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31 August 2008
Now Playing: mirella freni and teresa berganza - stabat mater: sequentia
Topic: aradale

untitled #57

I've just returned from the most wonderful weekend away that I've had in a long time.

After weeks of excited planning and imaginings, myself, Karen, Greg, Tony, Sandy and Rob ventured up to Aradale Mental Hospital on the invitation of Melissa Kirkham, to take photographs within the buildings and grounds of the disused institution.

As I have stated to the four wonderful models I brought along with me on a number of occasions over the weekend, I could not have chosen a better bunch for this trip. The enthusiasm, respect and professional manner which they all demonstrated, not to mention their extremely photogenic appearances, made the weekend an absolute pleasure and made the job of capturing them, whether laid out in a morgue drawer or decked out to the nines, an inspiring and satisfying experience for me.

I also managed to sneak in some self-portraiture today, as well as posing for the very talented Paul Louis Villani.

And though I managed to create some wonderful images and enjoyed a very full weekend of shooting, I hope that the opportunity will arise again to visit this wonderful site and further explore and record its architecture, ambiance and history, both as a backdrop to portraits, fashion and narrative cinematic images, as well as on its own.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 15:43 BST
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22 August 2008
cat on a hot tin roof
Now Playing: beirut - gulag orkestar
Topic: mixed bag

cat on a hot tin roof

I've been a bit AWOL from the internets the past week or so.

I managed to catch a winter cold (only my second cold for the year, which for me is good going), and had a sore throat from last Saturday which moved into a fever on Monday night, then lots of nasal congestion on Tuesday and Wednesday resulting in excessive tissue burn and a split / fat top lip from nose-blowing. Luckily the paracetamol I've been dosing myself up on seems to be working its magic and my split lip is healing along with my tissue burn. Further proof that working in offices is bad for your health. The only two times I've been sick this year have been when I've been in an office environment for extended periods (NEIS course and current part-time temp work).

I also managed to max out my peak internet allowance last month (my billing month just ticked over this morning at midnight, thank goodness!), and as 12pm to 2am is currently my only usage time, being shaped down to 64kbps from ADSL2+ was just unbearably frustrating and I had to walk away from the computer.

I have also been spending a lot of time working through ideas for the asylum trip I'm going on next weekend. I'm taking along a small group of my friends as models, but will be joined by a bunch of other friends and artistic folk I know through RedBubble, as well as many artistic folk I don't yet know through RedBubble. I organised a little meet-up on Monday evening for the (non)-models I am taking up for the weekend to get to know each other before spending a weekend in each other's faces, and it was great to see the way they got along (which I expected), and their excitement and enthusiasm for the upcoming weekend was so awesome :o)

By the time I leave for the asylum I'll have done my dash for work external to my business for this quarter so I am excited to have September to work completely for myself. I'll also be heading up to Spring Migration in Yackandandah the first weekend of September and will take more photos there as well as possibly do some road-tripping with Pete Charlesworth.

I didn't manage to get shortlisted for the travel award I applied for. It was my first time applying for a grant / award like that so I am interested to read the feedback once the organiser has a chance to respond to me. I am okay with not being selected for a couple of reasons, the primary one being that, although I have unfinished business with Blighty I feel like I have more to do here before I leave these shores indefinitely (which my proposal being accepted would have led to).

My itchy-feet syndrome may be resolved in another manner anyway, but I'll reveal more if and when that happens.

In the meantime I've had the guilty pleasure of costume / outfit shopping, which is something I can so rarely afford. Having spent a lot of money last week on some great stuff for the asylum weekend (including some cute lingerie stuffs like the negligee shown above reduced to only $10!) I was concerned about covering my costs for the two upcoming weekends away, but my tax refund should cover everything well and truly.

In the meantime I have more shopping to do this weekend including buying a couple of new bras as all of mine are now too large (that's a sentence I never imagined having to say) and a number of Katie West's prints in her final internet print sale, and also Lou O'Bedlam's book of gorgeous polaroids *swoon*

I'm not going to go into the excitement of the outfits / costumes I found last weekend, but suffice to say when you find a particular costume that happens to fit you perfectly and it's almost the first thing you saw when you walked into the store, it would be sacrilege not to buy it.

Oh, and if you happen to have some spare cash lying about, I think you should check out the details of my print and portrait session sale which is on for only one more week; or maybe you might like to buy my book?

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 14:28 BST
Updated: 22 August 2008 14:30 BST
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11 August 2008
death in the afternoon
Now Playing: gorillaz - demon days
Topic: saatchi showdown

untitled #70

I have an image in the latest round of Saatchi Online's Showdown, you can vote for it here.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 15:32 BST
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10 August 2008
print and portrait session sale on now!!
Now Playing: the divine comedy - victory for the comic muse
Topic: photography

untitled #55

That's right! I'm having my first ever print and portrait session sale!

Until the end of August 2008 you can buy any¹ non-limited edition standard² size print from my website for only AU$45.00!³ That's 25% off my standard print price!

Or you can buy a limited edition print, framed or unframed*, and get a bonus non-limited edition standard size print of your selection for only AU$30.00 extra!³

And if that's not enough for you, I'm also offering 20% off my tailored portrait package prices until the end of August 2008!**

To take advantage of any of these offers:
- head over to my website and take a look around,
- then email me at propaganda@bronwenhyde.com with the URL of the image(s) you would like to purchase;
- or if you're after a portrait session fill out the contact form on my site or email me directly with as much information as possible and I'll get back to you with a discounted quote.

So what are you waiting for?!

The fine print:
¹ Some exclusions apply.
² "Standard" is defined as any single image printed at 7"x10.5", 8"x12" or 10"x10".
³ Postage & handling additional.
* Unframed limited edition print prices as shown in the 365days and alternate worlds stores, framed prices available on request.
** The portrait session can take place after 31 August 2008, but the booking must be made and the non-refundable booking fee of 30% of the total quoted portrait session price must be paid on or before 31 August 2008 in order to secure your booking and lock in the discounted rate.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 09:32 BST
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9 August 2008
faith in the nighttime
Now Playing: isaac hayes - the best of isaac hayes
Topic: jpg magazine

untitled #55

You still have a little bit of time to vote for my images submitted for issue #18 of JPG Magazine:
On Stage

And I've also submitted images to the new themes for issue #19:

And buy my book.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 10:40 BST
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morning ritual
Now Playing: john zorn - cartoon chamber music
Topic: exhibitions

untitled #44

Last night I went to the opening of the Melbourne Silver Mine's second annual Unsensored exhibition at Collingwood Gallery.

The place ended up full to the brim with admirers of the wonderful images created by 30 members of the group, all taken using analogue cameras.

If you're in Melbourne I highly recommend you drop by and check it out.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 06:44 BST
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7 August 2008
when i'm sixty-four
Now Playing: tv on the radio - desperate youth, bloodthirsty babes
Topic: photography

untitled #159

Five of my images appear in Issue .30 of F-Stop Magazine.
They can be found in the third row of the group exhibit.

Five of my images are also included in Release #64 of Phirebrush.
One is in the featured section,
and it and four other images are in the
bottom row of the first page and the
top row of the second page of the photography section.

Buy my book!

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 16:33 BST
Updated: 7 August 2008 17:04 BST
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3 August 2008
feathered friend
Now Playing: radiohead - ok computer
Topic: death

feathered friend

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 17:17 BST
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2 August 2008
boy's club
Now Playing: lou rhodes - beloved one
Topic: photography

boy's club

Once again last night on an online forum I was reminded of the element of commercial photography I particularly dislike. That of the "boy's club" mentality of so many male photographers in the industry.

Coming across a thread about model / photographer's releases started by a model (who, by the way, seemed to avoid the thread after that), I decided I'd share what I do in terms of a general description of the photographic agreements I have in place with my clients and models. Having seen the way subsequent photographers (including one woman in particular) were torn apart I guess I'm happy I got off with minimal notice the way I did.

What disturbed me about the thread was the derogatory manner with which the photographers assumed superiority over their models; as if models, like all good Victorian (the era, not the state) children, should be seen and not heard. Admittedly there are times when I am thankful I can model for myself just for simplicity's sake, but in many cases these photographers would be nowhere without their models. In addition, the way that the male photographers (including one who is only 26 and has only been practicing photography for two years according to his profile) tore into other photographers including one woman in particular who was willing to voice herself in this area and defend herself once attacked (for I can find no better description of the way in which some of these folk took to her comments).

To a large extent, forty-something and older male photographers assuming superiority over female photographers never surprises me. However to see that this is still something being fostered amongst the younger generation of male photographers saddens me.

One thing I've been aware of almost since I started pursuing photography is the (false) view that a photographer's skill is measured by the length of their lens or the dollar value of their kit. I don't disagree that using the right equipment for the job is valid, but just because you have a high-end camera, lighting and a studio in a fancy part of town does not make you a master photographer.

Many of the photographers I know of who have all the bells and whistles and make no bones about telling you all about them in detail, I find often take the most uninspiring and cliched images. Yes, they are technically perfect: well-lit, well-exposed, pin sharp. But they're boring.

And so many of those photographers love shooting nudes, which are also, for the most part boring. Because of course another part of showing how successful you are as a photographer is by how many young, beautiful female models you can get naked in your studio.

Not to forget, as the 26 year old male photographer above states in his profile, that it is important that his models be "tall and skinny fashion models for test shoots, and yes you need to be tall and skinny and (ideally) with an agency. It's not like I'm going to be mean to you if you're not tall and skinny, but I will point you to my rates." Le sigh.

All this is by no means to say that I am against male photographers in general – quite the contrary, I am regularly inspired by many male photographers (and males working in other areas like film and music). Nor that I am against nude photography – some of my favourite photographers create honest, raw, stunning nudes that not only beautifully capture form and the human figure, male or female, but also capture the essence of their subject as a person, not just as an easily substituted body.

But the three reasons I personally found the responses from some of these people irksome were:

- The assumption that you cannot write up a photographic agreement without having some sort of law degree. I have dealt with publishers, photographers and so forth who have put together plain language contracts that clearly state what is required of both parties, who owns copyright, what the usage rights are for each party and so on. As these documents are not full of legal doublespeak and therefore eminently more understandable to the average Joe (or Josephine) I understand they are as enforceable as any other contract as long as they are signed by both parties. The photo agreements I tailor to each client / model allows protection for both parties and clearly state what each party can expect from the other in respect to the shoot. In the event that an image or series of images of any of the models I photograph were to be sold for usage by a third party I clearly state that this would be subject to a further agreement, and in that instance I would seek legal advice. As it happens, to this date the usage requests I have received and accepted have all been self-portraiture so I have not had to deal with this element yet.

- That my view was dismissed because "Has it occurred to you that he is in Australia, which does not have the kinds of rights of privacy and publicity laws the US does?" I think that's a simplistic way to ignore someone given that many of our laws are similar, though admittedly (and thankfully) Australia is (thus far) less sue-happy than the United States.

- That as I was a photographer I was assumed to be male. The person (supposedly) defending my (naive, in their view) response managed to take the time to note my location from my profile, but didn't manage to read the word "Female" which appears above my location in my profile on that site. Because unless my name is a blatantly obvious feminine one (though Bronwen is just that, given that traditionally names ending in ~wen are feminine, and ~wyn are masculine, in Welsh grammar) the assumption is that as a photographer I must be male, and models should, for the most part, be female.

As I said: boy's club. And perhaps that is why I got off so lightly, because I was assumed to be male, though I did assert otherwise in my response.

To balance all that I have said above and make it clear that this is an element I dislike, not a blanket statement about all male photographers, let me introduce you to some of my favourite male photographers:

Lou O'Bedlam
Jon Jacobsen
Andrew Farrington
Brett Walker
Eamonn Harnett
Federico Erra
Patric Shaw
Simon Pais-Thomas

And since I'm in a giving mood, here are some of my favourite female photographers:

Katie West
Kristamas Klousch
Olive and Rose
Samantha West
Elle Moss
Bogna Kuczerawy
Lara Jade
Julia Galdo
Miss Aniela
Haggis Chick
Kate O'Brien
Ola Bell
Shannon Hourigan

All of which are doing wonderfully creative things, whether with honesty and raw imagery or with highly fabricated fairytale-like worlds, and many of which include nudity in their oeuvre in ways that are not banal and soulless.

Thankfully there are far more people producing wonderful photographic work within all areas of the industry than those who continue to uphold the "boy's club" mentality.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 13:51 BST
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31 July 2008
Now Playing: isaac hayes - greatest love songs
Topic: exhibitions

my life inside a box

My work can be seen in three shows opening over the next nine days:

RedBubble at the Rialto opens Monday 4th August. Featuring 40 works from artists in the Melbourne & Victoria Group, the exhibition can be viewed in the plaza between 7am and 6:30pm Monday to Friday until Friday 15th August. All work is for sale.

My Life Inside A Box, a new InnerNortherns photography exhibition, opens at the Northcote Town Hall on Tuesday 5th August 2008 and runs until September 2nd. The show can be viewed in the display area on Level 1 of the Northcote Town Hall, 189 High Street, Northcote during business hours and all work is for sale.

The Corangamarah Art Prize opens at the Otway Estate Winery & Brewery on Saturday 9th August and runs until 17th August. The exhibition is open from 10am to 5pm every day and all work is for sale.

You can also vote for one of my images in the latest round of the Saatchi Showdown.

And buy my book!

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 11:41 BST
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