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Storm textures

Matt Granger

Credit: Matt Granger

Photographer: Matt Granger

Speciality: portraiture, strobist technique, events

Biography: Matt grew up in south west NSW and thanks to his father's keen interest in photography, can't remember a time when he wasn't surrounded by cameras. His childhood interest developed into formal study at secondary school where he used a manual SLR and spent time in the darkroom. Matt then went on to take screen studies at university, and his passion for photography grew alongside his interest in cinema. He has developed his skills through studying the masters of photography, taking a series of specialised short courses, and practice.

Matt Granger Photography was founded in 2007 and specialises in dramatic portraiture and events. Matt has developed a mobile studio that allows him to shoot portraits at any location.

Over the last few years Matt has been working with strobist lighting techniques, allowing him greater flexibility in shooting outdoors and on the move. Most of his strobist work is done on manual settings. Throughout 2010, Matt has been working on a personal side project titled Not Models, which includes portraits of over 60 subjects. The project wraps up in September with a showcase evening to raise funds for charity.

As well as commercial portraits and events, Matt is also working on a project entitled Strangers, where he approaches people in public to take their portrait.

More of Matt's work can be seen on his website, mattgranger.com.

Equipment: Nikon D300; Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II; Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM; Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM; Manfrotto 322RC2; Hoya pro and Marumi filters; PocketWizard Plus II radio transceivers; and Nikon SB-800, SB28 and Vivitar 285 flashes; SanDisk CF cards.

This was shot in a small field in a residential street outside Wagga Wagga, just before the storm set in. The ants in the field were going crazy; respect to the model who endured a couple of bites to get the shot.

Exposure: D300, 10-20 @ 10mm, f/14, 1/250, ISO 100, with two wireless flashes on manual setting.

Photo by: Matt Granger

Let's dance

This is part of a series of pole dancing portraits taken at a dance studio in Western Sydney.

Exposure: D300, 14-24 f/2.8 @ 21mm, f/13, 1/250, ISO 200, with two wireless flashes on manual setting through soft box.

Photo by: Matt Granger

What a drag

I was lucky to secure a press pass for the 2009 Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade. This shot was taken after the parade, as the two drag queens welcomed people to the party zone. I framed this to get the police pinning a guy to the wall before searching him.

Exposure: D300, Sigma 30mm f/1.4 @ f/2, 1/50, ISO 6400.

Photo by: Matt Granger

Tying the knot

This wedding shot was taken in September following a ceremony at the foot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Exposure: D300, 18-200 f/3.5-5.6 @ 36mm, f/6.3, 1/250, ISO 100, on camera SB800 flash.

Photo by: Matt Granger

After the ball

This was shot as part of a portrait series with a fairytale theme. This Cinderella shot was great fun, with lots of hair flicking and waiting for the background to clear. There was some Photoshop work done, including removing a child in background and adjusting the time on the clock face.

Exposure: D300, 24-70 f/2.8 @ 24mm, f/13, 1/250, ISO 200, with three wireless flashes on manual settings.

Photo by: Matt Granger

Back to nature

This was shot at dusk as part of a portrait series park near Garie Beach in the Royal National Park, NSW.

Exposure: D300, 24-70 f/2.8 @ 24mm, f/5, 1/250, ISO 160, with two wireless flashes on manual setting behind shoot through umbrella.

Photo by: Matt Granger

Anger

A simple seated portrait shot against a white wall.

Exposure: D300, 24-70 f/2.8 @ 24mm, f/5, 1/250, ISO 200, with two wireless flashes on manual settings. One flash behind an umbrella to the right, and a grid spot to give the highlight on his face.

Photo by: Matt Granger

Thin house

I am not much of a landscape or cityscape photographer, but it is hard to go wrong around Sydney Harbour. I really like this straight-on perspective of the Opera House. There was some work done in Photoshop (levels, saturation, and to reduce flare from the flood light) and I removed some people from the steps.

Exposure: D300, Sigma 10-20 @ 13mm, f/8, eight seconds, ISO 200.

Photo by: Matt Granger

Wonder

This was shot at a family picnic, indoors with an on-camera SB-800 flash unit aimed to the top right, bouncing off the ceiling.

Exposure: D300, 24-70 f/2.8 @ 70mm, f/8, 1/60, ISO 200, flash fired.

Photo by: Matt Granger

Shark

This was taken at a poker night — which the subject went on to win. Cards were captured using multiple wireless flashes.

Exposure: D300, 14-24 f/2.8 @ 20mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO 200, with three wireless flashes on manual setting.

Photo by: Matt Granger

Alone time

The reception for this wedding was a wonderful location on the waterfront. We ducked outside after formalities so the couple could get some quiet time, and we grabbed a few longer exposures. Most shots were long exposures with flash to freeze the couple — this one was actually lit by a lamp post.

Exposure: D300, 18-200 f/3.5-5.6 @ 24mm, f/5, 0.3 second, ISO 400

Photo by: Matt Granger

Elegant sadness

This shot is a composite of two images and was inspired by a classic photograph. We took two shots with the same set-up, messing up the hair and make up, and changing her top between shoots. It was shot against a cream wall.

Exposure: D300, 24-70 f/2.8 @ 40mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO 200, with three wireless flashes on manual settings. The two on subject were gelled warmer, and a red one lighting the wall.

Photo by: Matt Granger

Walter

This shot is part of a Noir-themed couple portrait series. Taken at night on the street, with a bare wireless flash behind for flare, and soft fill from front left.

Exposure: D300, 24-70 f/2.8 @ 24mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO 200, with two wireless flashes on manual settings.

Photo by: Matt Granger

Patriarch

This was taken in my mobile studio, in a cleared out living room.

Exposure: D300, 24-70 f/2.8 @ 70mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO 200, with multiple wireless flashes on manual power.

Photo by: Matt Granger

Queue for changing room

This is part of a superhero-themed shoot in The Rocks. This shoot was loads of fun, with bus loads of tourists standing around watching us shoot on a Sunday afternoon. This photo was one of the last taken, just after dusk. I had a wireless flash hidden in the roof of the phone box, and a second one off to the right lighting the women who pretended to be impatiently waiting for the phone box.

Exposure: D300, 14-24 f/2.8 @ 16mm, f/3.5, 1/50, ISO 800, with two wireless flashes on manual settings.

Photo by: Matt Granger

Athlete

Rose competes in Ironman events and this shot was part of a nude portrait study. For this series we painted her in silver body paint. This shot was inspired by a celebrity photo and designed to show her physique as a human sculpture. Taken in my mobile studio against a black backdrop.

Exposure: D300, 24-70 f/2.8 @ 24mm, f/6.3, 1/250, ISO 200, with two wireless flashes on manual setting (behind soft boxes).

Photo by: Matt Granger

Sydney Harbour Bridge

An eight-second long exposure at sunset. I used the skew tool in Photoshop to correct the distortion at this wide angle.

Exposure: D300, Sigma 10-20 @ 11mm, f/11, eight seconds, ISO 400.

Photo by: Matt Granger

Yoga

This shot was part of a nude portrait set taken with my mobile studio in the subject's living room in Chippendale, Sydney. This was his first time posing as a model, let alone nude, so instead of poses he did a series of stretches and I shot him in motion.

Exposure: D300, 24-70 f/2.8 @ 32mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO 200, with two wireless flashes on manual settings (one behind soft box, other snooted).

Photo by: Matt Granger

Debonair hustler

This shot is from a series of portraits taken in Newtown, Sydney, against graffiti and gritty urban backdrops. It was taken on a 35-degree day at 11am in the blazing sun — so I was shooting with full power flashes and a very small aperture to overpower the sun and get some dramatic contrast in the lighting. There was one softened flash on the subject and a broad bare flash giving some fill on the graffiti.

Exposure: D300, 24-70 f/2.8 @ 24mm, f/20, 1/250, ISO 100, with two wireless flashes on full power.

Photo by: Matt Granger

Classic

This simple seated portrait was taken with one soft box and a snoot for backlight.

Exposure: D300, 24-70 f/2.8 @ 48mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO 200, with two wireless flashes on manual settings.

Photo by: Matt Granger

Chris

This was shot at Manly dam in Sydney, as part of an action portrait series including mountain biking, jumps and running. This shot was taken at dusk. I set up a three-flash zone of light and shot Chris as he ran through the zone. He got a good workout as we took over 20 takes to get the photo. The ambient light was very low, so I was shooting at 1/30th of a second, using the synchronised flashes to freeze the action while getting the blue glow from the sky.

Exposure: D300, 24-70 f/2.8 @ 38mm, f/3.2, 1/30, ISO 200, with three wireless flashes on manual settings.

Photo by: Matt Granger

Summer love

This shot is from a series of couple portraits, "The year of love". It was shot near dusk at Woolwich in Sydney, with the couple on a walkway and me shooting from the next pier along.

Exposure: D300, 70-200 f/2.8 @ 100mm, f/2.8, 1/100, ISO 200, with wireless flash on manual power off to the right.

Photo by: Matt Granger

Rocks and house

After shooting a series of Sydney Harbour and the Opera House, I went looking for an alternate vantage point.

Exposure: D300, 10-20 @ 12mm, f/13, 20 seconds, ISO 200.

Photo by: Matt Granger

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