How do you pronounce Quinoa?

A pseudocereal often touted as a 'superfood' (bleh, don't lets get started on the overuse of the term superfood nowadays).

There is so much huff-and-fluff about this word and the correct way to pronounce it, not to mention a decidedly good measure of patronizing superiority accompanied by sarcastic laughing when people hear what they think is the incorrect pronunciation of the word ... so here's a little background that might help you not be THAT person ... the pronunciation snob.

'Quinoa' it's the Spanish spelling of a Quechua word. The Quechua people are comprised of SEVERAL indigenous ethnic groups in South America, the area it was first cultivated in for human consumption. (Another side fact - the Quechua are NOT one single tribe as mistakenly described by many)

  • The Quechua people call it kinúwa and pronounce it kee-NOO-wah.
  • Hispanics in Latin America pronounce it kee-NO-ah.
  • "In the know" foodie types like to call it KEEN-wah.

Pick your own path people ... just remember, pronunciation snobs are #LAME so smile, be happy and don't bring that party down.

Darwin Motocross Video with TEMCC rider Phillip Bodey
© +Auki Henry  & HighRPM

Cleaning the GoPro  'orbit cameras' during a break.
On location for +HighRPM - Photo © Ed Forman

What a better way to get the new gear christened than a baptism-by-fire stress test in typical Darwin conditions, shooting some sweet Motocross action in wet season humidity?

The new gear I am talking about is our Sony NEX-FS700RH rig that arrived recently and the sweet Motocross action I am talking about was a sponsors photo shoot with local rider Phillip Bodey at the Top End Moto Cross Club's track out at Palmerston over the weekend.

I had been waiting for the FS700 to become just that little bit more affordable before grabbing one and was delighted that the Christmas sales last year made that happen.  Picking one up for a (relative) bargain was a bonus that just sweetened the prospect of plenty of slow motion action footage that can now be planned for this 2015 production season.

The particular session for the weekend was originally planned around a sponsors photo shoot that +Edmund Forman had arranged with Phil,  and as usual when I was invited along it evolved into a stills AND video affair ... it inevitably does when we are on HighRPM duties though we just love grabbing the action when the opportunity presents itself, otherwise what kind of media team would we be calling ourselves really?

There are already some more engagements lined up for the FS-700 in the near future and not all of them are motorsports.  You'll have to come back to check them out soon!

Even though it is now 'off motorsports season' I still make a habit of having the video gear on standby ready to go. So when +Rob Russell and his wife Mel told me they had put together a synchronised Christmas light display just around the corner from my place I was glad to have a little outing with a couple of the cameras to enjoy the show.

I have to admit I am a bit of a nutter about the festive season, all my happy childhood memories are awakened with the carols and the tinsel and lights every year without fail.  December feels that little more relaxed than other months, perhaps it's just my perception but the general mood of people around me seems more buoyed and positive.  I was happy to see this was true of the small crowd gathering on the sidewalk and lawns across the street from Rob and Mel's place in Darwin's northern suburb of Moil to watch one of his twice nightly advertised displays.  Family groups with kids were walking in from other parts of the suburb and chairs were arranged for people to sit and enjoy.  Cars were even pulling in down the street carrying people from further afield who came to see the show.

Even though it was their first attempt at a synchronised display Rob and Mel did a fantastic job with their Chirstmas lights, with an appreciative family crowd and entertaining display the spirit of the season was most definitely palpable in the evening air.

Rob Russell
Rob & Melissa's display as featured in the NT News on 19 Dec 2014

The +HighRPM  crew filming on Season 1 of Autos & Angels
Filming has started in earnest for HighRPM's latest series "Autos & Angels" and I have managed to line up quite a list of impressive local cars and girls for the show.

This weekend we were kindly given permission  to use an underground car park in the heart of the city for as long as we needed to film the shoot with Darwin girl Christie Petersen, our first ANGEL of season one.

In striking similarity to her "Angel" title, 28 year old Christie is a logistics co-ordinator for Careflight and co-ordinates all the aeromedical evacuations in the Northern Territory, she told us her dream job was actually in the same industry but she would like to be aircrew jumping out of helicopter to save lives.  This is not the first time Christie has had the title of Angel bestowed upon her,  co-incidentally she was one of "Amber's Angels" training with world champion fitness trainer and lifestyle coach Amber Walker and having been in front of my lens before as part of that team.

Christie was matched up with our first AUTO of the series, a supercharged six, the classic lines of the VG Valiant Ute owned by Rob Anderson, we filmed the driver sequences for the car a few weeks back and Rob was only too happy to bring in the ute for us and patiently help with the shoot for a few hours while we worked with our guest stylist Angie Barker from Faces Artistry.

You'd probably think that the underground garage would be a cool environment this time of year (It's monsoon buildup time of year in Darwin) but we spent much of the down time gathered around the fan that  was being used to feather our model's hair!

Trying conditions to be sure but the crew got it done and we definitely got some great images and footage for the series.

Behind the Scenes Snaps - On Location with Christie Petersen

Shiny! Capturing the detail.  Image thanks to +Salvatore Finocchiaro 
Saturday 20th September saw our very first session of filming for Autos & Angels.

The day’s session was spent putting together the Auto driving sequences and driver interviews for Rob Anderson’s supercharged hemi powered VG Valiant Ute.

I also was fortunate to have Terry Finocchiaro from Sienna Productions came along to help out with the activities so we could work out a workflow template for future shoots in the series.  Terry will be concentrating mostly on the Angel shoots for each episode using the Arri Amira but he has worked with the team trackside many times for HighRPM so was keen to come down and try out some techniques rigging the on-car cameras.

There were definitely some constructive lessons learned and some new equipment already ordered to assist with better footage next session.  Although stripping back the weight of the DSLR on board camera to the bare minimum and using a very sturdy Camzilla triple-suction mount we found that the combination of non-stabilized DSLR video plus a single fixture point made for some rather shaky footage at times which we can hopefully iron out in post.   To mitigate this issue I have decided to go with the Spyder Pod vehicle camera mounting system from Digital Juice, it has a robust 3 point suction mounting system with 3 fixture point which will make for a rigid, no bounce platform to mount a reasonable weight of camera on (up to just over 22kg)

Next to organise will be the Angel shoot and we are currently going over a theme with our stylist Angie Barker and matching one of the numerous models who have put their hand up to be involved in the project.

Check back soon for more updates!

Darwin Wedding Photographers
Wedding photography.  I don't do it.

This comes as a surprise to many people who enquire about my services after seeing my portfolio, (and the disappointment of my friends who have asked) indeed you would be forgiven for thinking I did as I do have bridal shots in my galleries.  The main reason I don't accept booking for weddings is my unpredictable production schedule for shows like HighRPM during the motor sports season, and various other filming gigs.

I have been asked so many times however that I felt I should make a list of Darwin photographers that I could recommend that people try instead.  This list is slowly being compiled over time from the recommendations of people who have had great experiences for their own or friends weddings.

If you know of a Darwin wedding photographer that should be on this list for outstanding service please let me know.

Recommended Wedding Photographers in Darwin
All the photographers are listed below due to the recommendations of real people who have had experience with their services.  Please contact them and take your time to decide who might be best for your particular occasion.

Allison Cole Photography
Allison Cole is an enthusiastic young Darwin photographer who has refined her craft from some of the best fashion and glamour photographers around town.  She is very reasonably priced.

George Fragopoulous
George Fragopoulos is a photographer based out of Darwin, Australia.  George works in partnership with XSiGHT.
Customer Testimonial: "George Fragopoulos did ours and a few other friends. Words can not explain how they turned out or the comfort we felt during the whole process. He in short was Amazing"  - Andrew Doe

Mel Silva
Mel Silva is an accredited professional photographer with the Australian Institute of Professional Photography. Completed a Diploma of Photography in 2011. She originally studied the fundamentals of photography using film and proceeded to open her photography business in 2010.

David Hancock
David Hancock is one of northern Australia's most experienced editorial and corporate photographers. He works regularly for Australian Geographic and Outback magazines as a photographer and writer.

Sandi Robaye
Sandi Robaye from Speshal Moment's Photography is a military trained Photographer who now specialises in Wedding and Maternity photography. Sandy is an emerging member with the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers 2014.

Louisa Sams
Louisa Sams is a born and raised Darwin girl who has found a passion in photography and design with a strong backing of photojournalism experience through years of study at Griffith University completing a Bachelor in Communication; Majoring in Journalism and Public Relations.
A Royal Australian Air Force  F/A-18F Super Hornet flies in to Darwin
for exercise Pitch Black 2014
Exercise Pitch Black, the biennial war exercise in the skies of the Northern Territory hosted by the Royal Australian Air Force is now a routine part of the top end lifestyle.

For a few weeks every other year the RAAF and air forces from our friends and allies simulate war games to practice Offensive Counter Air and Defensive Counter Air combat to keep their pilot's skills honed and strategically current.  It's also a great chance for photographers, military buffs or aviation fans alike to get an eyeful (and earful) of some great military hardware.

I remember in my primary school years climbing on to the roof of my parent's house and watching in amazement as a USAF F-16 Falcon twisted and turned directly overhead. engaged in dogfighting maneuvers with the RAAF fighter of the day, the Mirage III.  Those days are long since gone, the Pitch Black format has changed considerably over the years, mostly due to public noise complaints.   The public opinion is as divided on the Pitch Black noise issue as they are on Territory Day Fireworks noise.  Interestingly enough though I managed to ask the director of pitch black media what the statistics were on noise complaints, the answer was surprisingly low.  In fact like a lot of things that are portrayed as being a big "public issue" it is a very vocal minority who actually cause a fuss and get the coverage solely on hype.  The majority of residents do not seem to mind the noise interruption for the few weeks window every two years.

Fortunately we still see the planes fly in and out of Darwin air base but their exercises are now done further afield on defence bombing ranges and over crown land.

Exercise Pitch Black Video

RAAF F/A-18F Super Hornet maneuvering display at Mindlil beach sunset markets. Darwin, Australia