Friday, September 20, 2013

“Ye Auld Mug” T-Shirt

New Zealand has been abuzz with America’s Cup fever this week as we inch closer to what every New Zealander hopes will be the second time we successfully challenge for the cup.

So to get in the spirit of things I decided to create a souvenir t-shirt for all those supporters either at home or abroad who want to remember this awesome event in their own special way.

I have designed it so that the text can be customised creating a unique one-of-a-kind souvenir that allows you to put your own personal stamp on the experience. While the default text reads “OFFICIAL NEW ZEALAND SUPPORTER” this can be customised to read whatever you want it to say

It seems everybody has a comment to make on the subject and now you can too with your own “Ye Auld Mug” souvenir t-shirt.

Get yours today by clicking here 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Historic Taverns Inspire New Ideas for Artworks

One subject that seems to lend itself quite well to HDR photography is historic architecture. There are several historic buildings I’ve seen on my travels, that whenever I pass them I think about how I’d love to capture them in all their glory and turn them into a work of art for others to enjoy... like the Paeroa Hotel for example which I passed on the road on a nice sunny day recently.

These old buildings are a reminder of a by-gone era. Perhaps that’s why, for me they ellicit such emotion when I see them. I’ve applied a subtle painterly texture to this photo which may only be properly appreciated when viewed at full size on a stretched canvas print.

Click here if you’d like to purchase a Paeroa Hotel Stretched Canvas Print.


While I was about it, I decided to try again to capture the Northcote Tavern, another historic building in my local area. But this time I wanted to see how it might look being turned into a badge or graphic with a bit of typography added.

If you’ve read much on this blog you will know how I can’t help myself doing this. All those years spent doing Graphic Design for labels and logos probably. But who knows, perhaps others will share my love of these old buildings and be tempted to wear a souvenir t-shirt with their image on them.

Click here if you want to purchase a Northcote Tavern T-shirt 

I’m happy to do commissions too if you have something particular in mind. Feel free to leave a comment below.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

HDR Photography

Anyone reading this blog will probably know by now that I’m always keen to try something new when it comes to being creative and photography has been no different.

But anyone with a camera (or even a phone these days) can take semi-decent photos, right? So, I want to take photos with a bit of “Wow” factor.

For me, when I first started looking closely at other people’s photography it was HDR photography that always seemed to get my attention. So I decided to try understanding what this is and how to do it.

Here’s a couple of examples taken one rainy morning recently...

I think the trick is knowing what kind of subject matter suits this kind of photography. This technique doesn’t seem to work so well on everything. Of course there’s a lot of trial and error involved too.

One photographer doing a lot of HDR stuff and who’s amassed a huge online following these days is Trey Radcliffe. He puts a lot of his stuff up on Google+. Just Google his name and you’ll easily find him. He also has a blog called “Stuck In Customs”which is well worth a read. I only started noticing him since he moved to New Zealand which is where I live.

The above photos were taken only minutes from where I live, but now that I’ve figured out how to do this, I’m keen to travel further and find some new and interesting subjects to shoot. 
These are both handheld so they’re lacking a bit of sharpness — I can probably fix that by using a tripod.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Another Painting

Muriwai Beach – Painting

I love Muriwai beach. It’s such a rugged place. It’s one of Auckland’s famous west coast beaches. Places like this are just begging to be captured on canvas so I’m pleased to be able to make this print available for sale on SmugMug. 

SmugMug is a great place to buy and sell photography and other creative artworks. They have a good range of products including framed, mounted or stretched canvas prints. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Turning Photography into Framed Works of Art

When it comes to producing works of art and particularly paintings on canvas, I’m a bit impatient. And yet I’m constantly having new ideas about what kind of paintings I’d like to produce. That’s where photography can aid the whole process by speeding it up.

 Take for example the photo that I spoke about in my last post. These days with modern technology it’s a pretty simple process turning such photos into beautiful paintings by applying painterly effects and textures to the image on the computer and then printing them off onto stretched canvas.
I’ve been planning to make such paintings available for sale. If you’re interested in purchasing one visit my online store and order one today. Click here

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Getting the Hang of Photography

I’ve been taking photos for as long as I can remember. My brother and I were each given a blue plastic Hanimex camera when we were about 7 or 8 years old, back in the early 70’s. I seem to recall mine eventually melted in the sun one day when I left it in my dad's car on a hot summers day. My brother never used his, so at least I was given a second chance.

I was never really shown how to take a proper photo but have always had an interest in it. But it’s only in recent times, since I got myself a digital SLR camera that I decided to get serious about taking good photos.

Having spent most of my life following various other creative pursuits, the ‘art’ of taking a good photo feels a lot more intuitive than it was when I was young. But having said that, there are still a lot of technical things I still need to understand, but I’m getting there.

It took me the first 1200 shots on my new Nikon D7000 to figure out how to do this...

Essentially it’s the result of a whole variety of different factors, some technical, some artistic. One thing I’ve discovered is that something as seemingly simple as ‘patience’ can make the difference between a shot that is either mediocre or outstanding. Especially when you’re relying on certain elements that are outside your control, like the weather and capturing a scene in the best light.

I’ve decided to show off some of my photos on Flickr under my new D-Mac NZ brand.

See more shots on my Flickr page here.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Reviving Black & White

I have produced hundreds of pieces of artwork over the years, some of which has never seen the light of day or it’s potential was never fully realised at the time. So I decided to try recycling some of it and give it a new twist.

I did a lot of designs using black and white back in the late 80’s and then again in the late 90’s. I’ve noticed how Black and white as a fashion statement comes and goes, so perhaps these cushion and pillow designs will appeal to those who love the NZ outdoors and want to go with a black and white theme. They feature some of the Flora and fauna that makes New Zealand so special.

I thought while I was about it a messenger bag might look pretty cool with the same design on it, but in this case with a subtle accent of colour.

There’s something about the use of fabrics that really appeals to me. It’s an avenue I haven’t explored fully. Perhaps I should do so.

If you want any of these items you can purchase them by following these links:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Handyman Signage

As far as advertising goes, Vehicle Signage is a very cost effective way of getting your message out there. When Stu a north shore handyman called me I was happy to help him out. He had a few ideas of his own. He just needed help putting it all together.

Firstly he needed a logo. He had the idea of a kind of Super-Handy-man character. So I created this first, complete with his initials and the word HANDYMAN featured prominently on it.

Then he wanted to use a photo he’d taken of his wife and overlay it onto a large 'TO DO' list. This is because he’s found a lot of his best customers are women, who often have a whole list of things they need done.

So this was the initial concept I did for the side of his truck which included some additional graphics /striping to tie it all together. An important factor to keep in mind were the sliding door panels. The position of the graphics with these in mind was going to be quite important.

Stu also wanted to have some tools shown on the van somewhere. He’s got a tool for every job you can think of and he wanted this to be obvious. So I managed to find a really cool graphic in a stock photo library which I adapted by incorporating his initials and the Handyman wording...

Stu gets noticed everywhere. Often when he’s parked at the supermarket he’ll get people coming up to him asking him for a business card, so he’s got a bit of work off it already.

I got him to do a job round my place recently trimming trees. He did an excellent job.
If you’re on Auckland’s north shore and need a handyman, Call Stu. Tell him I sent you.

This is how his truck looked when it was finished.