About Rattimoth

Middle aged with freckles, the rest is subject to change without notice.

Workbook Task 6

This task involved writing a pitch.  We were given several options, and I chose to pitch to The Big Issue for my recent photo essay “Growing up is Optional”.

The Big Issue

GPO Box 4911
Victoria 3001

Attention:  Alan Attwood, Editor.

Dear Mr Attwood,

One in three Australians is over the age of 50, and that number is growing.  With the move away from extended families living in close proximity, I believe that many  older Australians are looking for new activities to fill their leisure hours, activities that will keep them active and provide interesting memories.

As a member of that age group,  and also a diploma student photographer, I have recently created a photographic essay on the joys and benefits of motorcycling for older Australians, something that I also enjoy, and an activity that has helped me to rapidly make new friendships, and settle into new communities on two recent interstate moves.

I would love to show you my images, which showcase the friendships formed, the strong bonds and the community benefits of helping older Australians to remain active.  I believe that this is an issue that suits your publication by raising awareness that aging isn’t all about lawn bowls and bingo, but instead can be filled with a sense of worth, usefulness and belonging.

I can be contacted via return email at dragonsdene@gmail or by telephone to 0406 115 255
Thank you for reading this far, I do hope that we will be able to chat soon.

Kind regards

Carol Shearman

CATC College student.


Media and Documentary Assessment 3 – final draft



From commencement of this assignment, my chosen publication has been The Big Issue. After researching their ethics and publishing guidelines and purchasing several issues, I believe it is an ideal fit for my essay.

The Big Issue is not political, the issue referred to in their title is that of homelessness, and their mission revolves around helping those marginalized by it.  The magazine has no political agenda, and as I had decided not to use a political slant to my story, I felt that they would most appreciate the other viewpoints offered, including aging Australians keeping active and social, which is a very current topic, but not a politicized one as yet.

While I believe that some of my images may have been better appreciated by the magazine in colour format, I feel that they will understand that monochrome does give them a timeless quality and appeal that will blend with any words they choose to use.  Another method that I employed to help improve my chances was to ensure that several images had enough negative space for a title, or perhaps even extra text and a title on the cover page.

After making these choices, I had to consider what equipment would be needed to get the quality and style of images I wanted.

Fortunately, having great access to, fellow motorcycle riders, meant that if my own equipment didn’t provide me with the images I desired, I could arrange to hire more suitable equipment and retake them.  I started shooting images very early on in the assignment to ensure that I had the time to allow for this eventuality.

Fortunately, my equipment was up to the task, as I am very fortunate in owning a comprehensive kit with three bodies and several quality lenses of varying focal lengths, along with a good tripod and flash unit.

I found that my full frame body provided me with the best images, this was hardly surprising, most of my quality lenses were purchased with that body in mind.  The two lenses that did most of the work for this assignment were my 70-200 f2.8 and my 24-70 f2.8.  I did take a small number of images for special effects with an 8mm fisheye, and eventually used one of these images in the final presentation, for it’s effective point of view.  Despite taking several experimental images with my iPhone whilst riding, I decided not to use them in the final presentation, although I was quite impressed with their quality.

Every image that I used in the final presentation was shot with natural light, and this is where my 5DII came to the fore, excelling at taking interior images at high ISO and clear images through car windscreens and other less than optimum conditions.  I felt very justified in making the decision to upgrade to this body, it has yet to let me down for any assignment.

I do regret not having purchased a Neutral Density or Polarizing filter for my lenses, but I didn’t allow for that expense, or for the non-availability of those filters in large sizes.  I have since ordered them, and look forward to extending the capabilities of my lenses with them in the future.  I was grateful that the quality of my images meant that post production was limited to cropping and conversion to a suitable monochrome for the mood that I wished to convey.

One of the great benefits of choosing a subject close to my heart was that I already knew many of the people who would be the subjects.  By getting to know them beforehand, I could make an educated list of images that I wished to capture and easily ask for co-operation.  Of course, as my assignment progressed, my shot list changed frequently (as I blogged about several times), but each time, my fellow riders were very accommodating.

I was also introduced as a student photographer to many motorcyclists, and that went a long way into gaining acceptance for any  other shots that I desired.  I was very careful not to impose and to make sure that all people featured in my shots were given access to both prints and digital copies of images that featured them, and to give the various clubs digital copies for reproduction in their newsletters and archives.  I learnt a lot about being accepted by strangers and how to approach them on an individual basis, something that I was quite uncomfortable with before undertaking this assignment.

While I approached this assignment with one point of view, my research and experience led me to adopt a different approach, and I learnt a lot about flexibility and making sure that I took any opportunity to capture images that could have more than one context, as I could see the changes unfolding almost every time I took any images.

This experience also taught me a lot about different ways of using my equipment, and stretched my knowledge of all areas of my ability, I tried techniques and used settings that I had never before entertained, including a lot of manual focus to get just the right look for the images that I was after.  I also added a couple of things to my kit wish list (is it normal to have a never ending wish list???).

I really enjoyed the challenge of this assignment, a lot more than I expected going into it, and I am quite proud of the images that I produced along the way, even the ones that didn’t quite fit the theme I had in mind.  I have learnt how to express an emotion through a shot that doesn’t involve faces, how to tell an entire story with just a few images and how to create edit images for maximum emotional impact.  I would love the chance to continue this series and make it a lot more in depth.  However, I feel that this would require a much longer time frame, given the weather dependability of my chosen subject, and would complete it, like this one, as a freelancer before submitting.

Workbook Task 5 – Event Photography quiz

This workbook task was carried out as a class assignment, with discussion and input by all class members to build comprehensive answers.  The questions and answers as discussed are listed below.


What are the essential skills for the success as an event photographer:


  • Tech skills – you need to be able to change settings rapidly
  • Confidence
  • People skills
  • Time management skills
  • Prep skills
  • Fast thinking
  • Flexibility – events change very quickly, particularly once underway
  • Reliability
  • Professional
  • Physically healthy



What are some essential questions you will need to ask the client before the event?

  • Key people
  • Output type required
  • Delivery of images
  • Parking
  • Security
  • Contact details
  • Time frame
  • Transport
  • Sensitivity
  • Who is to have copyright
  • What printing/usage rights are required


What are some of the technical considerations of shooting in a large, crowded and often dark space?


  • Wide angle / telephoto – both should have some zoom for flexibility
  • Low aperture lens, to cope with low light – at least a 1.8
  • Flash
  • Appropriate bag for carrying gear without being in patron’s way
  • Memory card
  • Monopod


One business model for event photographers is to not charge a fee to the event organisers to shoot, but rather sell images directly to the guests who attend the event (some times with a percentage of the sales going back to the organizers).


What are some of the advantages to this approach?

  • Makes you perform
  • Make substantial amount of money


Consider the workflow that would allow you to sell images directly to guests.

  • Business cards
  • Minimal editing
  • Fast turn around

What are two reasons a client might request images before or immediately after the event has finished?


  • Social media
  • Newspapers


Consider the workflow you would need to implement to enable you to deliver final images prior to or immediately after the conclusion of the event?


  • Jpeg
  • Cds, USB
  • Minimal editing
  • Basic editing presets


Consider a strategy to ensure all this information is efficiently and accurately recorded for every image:


Iphone notes


Forms for clients to fill out before images are taken – image numbers that compare to those clients can be recorded on this form as soon as they are captured.


Double booked photographer, why might they be unhappy?

Lack of coverage for their event




What is the minimum equipment for doing this event

  • two bodies
  • wide + telephoto lenses (one on each body to minimize time changing lenses)
  • batteries – for both camera and flashes
  • flash
  • take charger
  • bag
  • comfortable shoes that look good
  • tripod
  • food and bottled water
  • notebook / pen

Workbook Task 4

Names:__Carol Shearman and Denise Tongara

Brief: Working in groups of two, you have been briefed by City Weekly magazine to photograph a CATC lecturer or student to illustrate a feature story about Think Education’s dynamic Melbourne campus.

Your portraits should capture the energy and excitement of working/studying at CATC as well as giving a sense of the environment.

At a minimum, you are required to produce 2 environmental portraits of your subject suitable for:

  • The magazine cover
  • An opening ‘lead’ shot

Part One:

Research the requirements of the magazine and consider how the commissioning publication uses images.

Consider location, your visual approach and equipment requirements.



Denise Togara and I are working together on this task.  I feel that having two photographer’s points of view and input will lead to a more successful outcome for a first project of this nature.

CATC college Melbourne is a vibrant and lively place to work and study, well located near transport, it draws students from all areas of Victoria, many of whom travel several hours each way to take advantage of the high standard of teaching and facilities provided.  As the images will be used in a brochure to promote the college, we feel that it is important to take the pictures with identifiable objects or surroundings,not just seated at a computer working on a task.

As students ourselves, we asked each other, what attracted us to study here?  what part of the college really sums up the atmosphere and professionalism of all the staff??  And we then explored those areas first, and left other areas for later exploration, being confident of finding a suitable location fairly quickly.

There are several considerations in place and we have decided to solve any problems as they arise, which will make us better prepared on the day of the shoot.

Pre Production

Firstly, a model is required, we are unable to use a fellow class member, instead, having the pool of available CATC students and staff to explore.  We approached Cameron Durham, a fellow first semester student, studying graphic design.  Don is a young motivated student, with a distinctive style and similar interests to my own.  He travels quite some way to attend the college of his choice.  He wants to study design to “replace all the bad designs in the world, with good ones”  A lofty long term goal indeed! As he was kind enough to agree to give up his daily break for us, I offered to supply any props that we needed.

Cameron is only available for our shoot on his break at 10am Thursday, so it is important that Denise and I are completely set up and ready to go when he arrives.

As we wanted to feature graphic design images in our portrait, to give context and to help Cameron feel more comfortable, we wandered around various areas of the CATC campus, with those restrictions in mind.  Classrooms are going to be difficult, as so many of them are in use, the Library is very suitable as it has lovely natural light, and several areas that will showcase the CATC and it’s student’s work in a positive light.  The mural in the courtyard would be a very creative and colourful background, but being outdoors, is a little weather dependent.  The breakout room was also considered, but the proliferation of black lockers does make lighting difficult.

Ultimately, we decided on two locations within the Library environment, with a back up location of the windows outside the campus building.  A backup location is very important for this brief, as we will be very limited in time, so if the library is quite busy, we need to be able to move immediately to another location that we are comfortable with. The display of graduate students work, the bookshelves and the computer desks will all work as backgrounds to create a sense of efficiency, resources and professionalism that we feel will project a positive image of the college as a learning institution.

Part Two:

Your subject is a very busy person and their time is very limited.  You have been allocated a maximum of 30 minutes to produce the two compelling images.

Consider how to use the time most effectively, or if required, negotiate for more time.

One of the methods we intend to use to make the most of our limited time is to take more test shots of both the primary and backup locations at similar times of day, in both overcast and sunny weather conditions, so that we are confident in our camera settings as a starting point.  This will minimise the time spent on test shots, and maximise the limited production time. We are confident that by having two primary shoot locations, and a backup location, we will be able to produce strong images that will be of benefit to the college, the model and to us.

The backup location has decoration to the college signage done by previous students, and it adds colour and life to the background.  As this location is a public thoroughfare, we will need to give consideration to the crowding issue, but test shots with a long shutter speed and a fellow class member as a model show that the passing foot traffic could actually work to our advantage, creating a dynamic image with a great sense of movement, while not detracting from the subject or the message.


Test image of backup location

F 6.3, shutter speed 1/25 ISO 100 @52mm.. this image is deliberately blurry as I was taken by the thought of using a slow shutter speed to have movement in the image from passing pedestrians.. however, none were passing in my first shot!


Test image of backup location

F 13, shutter speed 1/5, ISO 100@52mm – again, deliberately blurred due to unaware models (sorry James and Andrew!!), as I was focusing more on shutter speeds required to get decent motion blur from pedestrians… naturally, I will use a tripod for the final shoot.

Test shots of the library from two separate angles show that a tripod will be needed to minimise camera shake, and a high ISO setting combined with a wide aperture will overcome the lighting issues without the need for external lights.  Being able to use the available natural and ambient light, even though it is mixed in colour, means that the set up times will be minimalised, and there will be less disruption to other library users.


Test image of main location

F3.2, shutter speed 1/100, ISO 800 @ 56mm


Test image of alternate angle, main location

F 3.2, shutter speed 1/100, ISO 800 @ 56mm


Come the day of the shoot, and the sun is shining.  A rarity in a Melbourne summer, it would seem.  Drat you mother nature!  The shadows outside are harsh and very unflattering for both Cameron and for the building that we wished to feature.  We head inside.

Fortunately, despite the hectic pace of trimester end, the library is almost deserted, but we realise it won’t be that way for long.  Fortunately, we have our preset settings, and we can work quickly against the available backgrounds, chatting with Cameron to help him feel at ease and taking several images from slightly different angles to increase the chances of a great shot.


Here are my two submissions, I think the second would make a great cover image, the first being a good story image.



one two



I have NO idea why these thumbnails are a different size, wordpress is hating on me today :<

Assessment 2 – Task 3 – Report – final draft

This report will accompany a power point presentation, images and a pdf of my previous blog entries on research as the final submission for this assessment.



Assessment  ShearmanC_MD_02_Task003 – Digital Workflow report


This was an interesting assignment, research and consider approaches to the production of images for the media.  Shoot images, and put together a presentation of those that best tell the story you have pitched. (summarized from previous assessment brief).


As mentioned in my earlier assessment, my choice was a series of images of older Australians (particularly Ulysses Club members) enjoying the social aspects of motorcycling.


As my images involved people and social activities, I approached my local Ulysses club branch (of which I am a brand new member, having recently relocated) and asked permission to photograph a few of their upcoming rides and events, explaining exactly what I had in mind for the final images.  Fortunately, they were more than happy to accommodate me, and in return, I provided them with digital and print images for their website, newsletters and general archive.


This approach, while making my research and image taking much easier, as I had wonderful access, meant that I was actually taking images for two purposes at the same time, so I had to shoot a lot of images that weren’t necessarily going to be useful for my assessment.  This created a larger amount of images to be catalogued, sorted, edited and put through my DAM.  However, the advantages far outweighed the disadvantage of extra work, even though my DAM process had to be altered to accommodate it.


As my normal DAM is to backup to my external hard drive, backup again to a separate NAS drive, then import, cull, catalogue (adding metadata and keywords), edit, save in two separate locations (one for PSD and one for final version JPG), then rename to keep the file names sequential, resize for web and backup the final files off site, it can easily be seen that this would not work for keeping the same images in two separate catalogues, making it difficult to locate just the images that I wanted for this assessment.


I decided, in the end, to treat the assessment and the club images as separate entities, projects by different clients was the way that I approached it.  I performed my usual DAM, as mentioned above on all of the images as if they were solely for the Ulysses club, so I created a folder for each of the dates that photographs were taken (see screen shot below), edited, applied Adobe RGB colour space, as required by this assessment, as it was applicable to all images that I was editing for internet and print publishing, and applied the final parts of DAM process to each folder as they were completed.





Image 1 – Screenshot of folders with naming protocols for the first part of this assessment (note, as this folder contains images from a particular month, there are folders that do not relate to this assessment, and I have moved one folder across from a different month for the purpose of having them all in one screen shot).



After the final images were completed under this process, I selected several of my favourite images (a total of about 75) for the assessment (knowing that I would be culling, but wanting a good selection to choose from), re-edited them, as I had decided on monochrome for the assessment images, and most were in colour, then created a new folder system for these copies, and put them through a separate DAM process, where they were imported into a new catalogue, given extra keywords in a custom metadata template (see screenshot after this paragraph) and exported to the new folder system and renamed with a sequential system unique to this assessment.


The final images were backed up again under these names to both my local hard drive (external to my laptop) and my backup NAS hard drive (on a totally different system).  They, along with the original Ulysses copies, will be backed up to DVD in my monthly back up (which may become weekly as my volume of work increases) and sent offsite for secure storage in a fireproof safe at my mothers residence.




Image 2 – Custom metadata template being applied to final images for assessment (both high resolution and edited web versions)


All in all, while there is definitely room for improvement in this DAM process, particularly in streamlining image importing and processing for two catalogues, overall, I am happy with the results that I have achieved with this part of the assessment.  My images were easy to find and compare, easy to cull and easy to import and export, both for web, email, printing and delivery to both the Ulysses club and the Powerpoint presentation that I created for this assessment.


Week 8 – planning an environmental portrait.


To capture a portrait of a fellow CATC student (not in your class) that captures the CATC experience and promotes the college

Pre Production

Find model – what are they studying

– how do they specialise

– are there props that they can bring

– discuss appropriate clothing

Timeframe – must be available thursday morning

Locations – Classrooms

– Library

– Mural, consider lighting

– posed with student work?

– stairs or breakout room

Styling – consider clothing and props and surroundings

Shots required – cover and lead shot

Cover shot – Colour – Plenty of background and negative space for text and title.  Consider using rear wall of library, subject on a chair with bookshelves, dioramas and windows adjoining IT room in background, as these would be easy to put text onto

Lead shot – Colour?? will process as colour and monochrome.  Subject sitting at row of monitors, with mural in background.  BW would be better without mural.  Remember to style and neaten desks.

Discuss location, visual approach and equipment requirements with partner and with subject

After careful consideration of all of the above, we have decided to use the library as our location.  It showcases the resources available at the college, as well as re-inforcing the quality of teaching by displaying graduating students work in the background.

Test shots below of the two aspects of this location show that we will need to use a tripod to minimise camera shake, a high ISO to overcome lighting issues and a wide aperture for the same reason. Using these setting parameters will also allow for a high shutter speed, to minimise subject movement, while allowing the photographers to make use of the available light.

Using available and ambient light, while difficult, due to the mixed nature of the lighting, will mean that set up time is reduced and there will be less disruption to the other library users.


Your subject is busy and you only have 30 minutes to produce 2 compelling images.

Discuss how to use the time effectively.

Our model is a fellow student, Don…. who is studying Graphic Design.  As we will be photographing him on his morning break, time is of the highest priority, so we will be doing test shots at similar times of day before the shoot, so that we are confident in our settings as a starting point.  This will minimise time spent on test shots with Don, and maximise our production time.

Backup Location Ideas

As the library is often busy, a backup location is absolutely essential

After scouting the campus, we plan to use the windows on Little Collins St.  The decoration to the signage by previous students adds colour and life to a traditional background.

Consideration will need to be given to the availability of this location, as it is a public thoroughfare, but with a long shutter speed and a tripod, that would actually work to our advantage.

Test image settings

Outside 1, Aperture F6.3, ISO 100 @52mm, Shutter speed 1/25

Outside 2, Aperture F13, ISO 100@52mm, Shutter speed 1/5

Inside 1, Aperture 3.8, ISO800@56mm, Shutter speed 1/64

Inside 2, Aperture F3.2, ISO800@56mm, Shutter speed 1/100

Workbook 3 Task

Names:___Carol Shearman____                     Group___________________

Brief: As discussed in class, a successful editorial portrait requires a strong idea and an understanding of the audiences’ social/cultural background and political views.

Working in pairs, choose two editorial portraits that you think successfully exploit their audience’s shared social/cultural experiences  – or political views – to create meaning and open debate.

Image 1


Images sourced at

http :// www. flickr.com/photos/mohain/817979654/

Photographer Guy Boden.  More of his work can be seen at



What do you think the photographer wants us to feel about their subject.

Looking at this portrait, I feel that Boden wants us to believe that his subject, while creative, is also a business person, someone who makes a living doing something they love.  His use of monochrome creates a timeless feel, giving me the feeling that this man has been involved in this industry for many years

Who do you think is the audience for the portrait? Consider their age, education, social/cultural background and political views.

I believe that the audience for this portrait would be experienced (and consequently post 30) artistic professionals, well educated in the use of technology, but partly self taught, they would have an artistic and creative background, again, perhaps self taught, although I feel that they would be more likely to have professional qualifications in their field from this image, as it shows an organisational level that would come with discipline and that implies teaching.

I don’t believe that there is a political statement in this portrait, it is purely about the subject in their creative/working environment.  However, having said that, it could certainly be used in a publication where political support of the arts was an issue, particularly if the subject had any affiliations with lobby groups or government funded arts organisations.

What techniques has the photographer used to engage the viewer?

Consider the editorial context, location, lighting, posing, framing etc.

There are several techniques obvious in this portrait, the use of heavy vignetting at the bottom of the image draws the eye to the lighter spaces, where the viewer engages almost immediately with the subjects eyes.

The slight distortion from the wide angle lens bring the focus onto the subject, while a deep depth of field makes the background still identifiable, thereby creating interest from  viewers who would understand the technology involved.

The styling placement of an electric guitar in the right background, where it would certainly not reside during a normal working day reinforces the creativity of the subject, while the acoustic hung on the wall gives the impression that the subject prefers to use technology over basic tools.

The relaxed pose of the subject is at odds with being surrounded by what is a working environment, although his placement surrounded by his equipment implies that we have caught him just taking a breather while his mind works with the next idea.

Although a window is visible to the left, it is obvious that the subject and the rest of the room have had artificial light introduced, with the placement of the subject taking advantage of the ambient light to create a traditional portrait lighting setup and give a relaxed ‘at home’ feel.

Image 2


Image sourced at


Photographer Brian Smith.  More of his work can be seen at


What do you think the photographer wants us to feel about their subject.

The bright, high contrast of this image makes me feel that the subject (Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin) is a very dynamic personality, someone who lives life to the full and who gets what he sets out to.

Who do you think is the audience for the portrait? Consider their age, education, social/cultural background and political views.

Even without the context of the magazine article underneath (the only version of this portrait that I could find :/), I feel that the image is styled to appeal to a broad spectrum of viewers, from those that avidly follow ‘celebrity’ news,  through to business people that would be not only in competition with him, but hoping to align themselves with him and investors in the company that the subject owns.  They would be aware of the subject’s enterprises, even without the props, as an airline /aerospace entrepeneur, adventurer and philanthropist through other media sources, and would be drawn into the article, hoping to read about his latest exploits, directions for his companies and perhaps even investment opportunities.

Politically, I believe that this would appeal to people who support private enterprise over government regulation, to those who are quite capitalist in nature, but also want a human touch to their news and current affairs.

What techniques has the photographer used to engage the viewer?

Consider the editorial context, location, lighting, posing, framing etc.

By using an outdoor location for this image, the photographer has reinforced that the subject is a person who doesn’t live in the boardroom, despite being the founder of a multinational business.  The background of the sky and clouds reinforces the knowledge that the sky is where his business started.  It also reinforces the idea of dynamic leadership and adventure.

Having a hill (perhaps a mountain??) in the background also give the impression that the subject has risen to the top of his chosen field, he’s ‘king of the hill’ in layman’s terms.  It implies that he has done the hard yards to get where he is, and is not a flash in the pan, but rather has drive and purpose.

Posing the subject looking up and out of the frame, while not a traditional portrait pose, gives the impression that the subject is always looking to the future, for new opportunities and for new ways to move his company forward.  This is re-inforced by his outfit, which refers to his company’s venture to be the first commercial space airline (correct term?), and the steps that they are taking to achieve that goal.

The lighting is quite warm, the subject faces into the light, looking towards a brighter (and by implication, better) thing yet to come.