Blog

26.05.17

DOUBLE TAKE DOGS

DOUBLE TAKE DOGS is a collaborative photography & art fundraising exhibition from Alex Cearns of Houndstooth Studio by Alex Cearns and Matt Mawson of Vectormutt.

https://www.facebook.com/events/444967489213918/ Please share with friends and anyone who has a dog, loves dogs, petted a dog, saw a dog once!

Photographer Alex and artist Matt have been friends for several years. Matt regularly draws sketches of Alex’s pet photographs and shares them online. Alex has commissioned Matt to draw images for her many times. Alex really likes Matt and his work. Matt really likes Alex and her work. They both love dogs and are talented, witty and funny. If you ask them!

Alex and Matt have wanted to work together for a while but had to find the right project. Last year they had a brain storm and it led to the idea of a joint fundraising exhibition, showcasing dog photographs by Alex, interpreted in a sketch by Matt. They knew they were onto something and upped the ante by deciding to donate their profits to an awesome dog rescue organisation, the Dogs’ Refuge Home of WA. Bingo! Double Take Dogs was born.

EXHIBITION DETAILS

– Held on Saturday 1st July 2017 from 6pm until 8:30pm
– At the Nedlands Yacht Club Club with full river views
– Gold coin donation on entry
– Matt and Alex will both be in attendance
– 36 photographic prints & 36 sketches on display
– All sketches available for purchase
– 50+ unique silent auction items up for grabs
– Raffle prize
– Dogs Refuge Home stall and DRH fundraising lolly stall
– Full bar available
– Finger foods will be provided
– EFTPOS machine on site
– Plenty of parking

PROCEEDS & BENIFICIARY
Many dogs are being abandoned at the Dogs Refuge Home of WA requiring expensive, but not life threatening, surgery. Profits will be donated to the Dogs Refuge home of WA to assist with these surgery fees.

MAJOR SPONSORS
We are indebted to Fitzgerald Photo Imaging and Ilford Imaging Australia for their support. Their generosity in providing printing services and smooth pearl fine art paper has greatly assisted in keeping costs low. That means more $$$ for the dogs! Thank you so much for helping us support dogs in need.

Please visit our event page and RSVP if you can make it. https://www.facebook.com/events/444967489213918/

Hope to see you there!

Alex and Matt

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17.05.17

2017 AIPP WA PET / ANIMAL PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR & ORANGUTAN GOES GOLD!

Earlier in the week, the 2017 W.A. Epson Professional Photography Awards (WAEPPA) were held in Perth. The awards run in each state throughout the year and lead up to the national awards in August – effectively the Golden Globes of the Australian professional photography industry, building up to the Oscars.

I entered two categories, ‘Portrait’ and ‘Pet / Animal’, and my hope was to win a silver award or two. My beloved image ‘Orangutan’, soon to be retired from Australian photography competitions, was the highest scoring print in the ‘Pet / Animal’ category and picked up my first ever WAEPPA gold award. I was humbled to also receive another gold award, two silver distinction awards and two silver awards, based on scores out of 100 for my other images (which are embargoed now until the national competition.) These results well exceeded my expectations, especially the gold awards, and I would’ve been more than satisfied if my good fortune had ended there … but the best was yet to come.

Yesterday at the presentation night ‘Orangutan’ was selected by the competition print handlers as their favourite image from 453 entries spread across all categories, and it received the 2017 AIPP WA Print Handler Award. I heard the news while I was thousands of kilometres away in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and I found it hard to comprehend. Could’ve been jet lag, but I knew immediately that this special recognition was something that might not come around again. Thanks so much to the hardworking print handlers!!!

Next I received word that I was a finalist in the ‘Portrait’ category, along with my good mate Steve Wise of 27Creative I Steve Wise. The category was won by the lovely Sarah Adams of Sarah Adams Photography with a meticulous set of beautiful images. Congrats Sarah!

And then the icing on the cake … I was named as the ‘Pet / Animal’ category winner – the 2017 AIPP WA Pet/Animal Professional Photographer of the Year. This is one of the highest accolades of my career and I’m still reeling from the result.

I’d like to extend a thank you to the AIPP, the AIPP WA committee of Steve, Kirsten, Amber, Shaireen, Des and Russell, the volunteers, the print handlers, the category sponsors, and the experienced local, state and international judges, for the time and effort they each invested in the awards. Thanks also to everyone who messaged me with kind congratulations, including several other pet photographers within WA and nationally. Your support means a lot.

The WAEPPA’s are as much about the print quality as the image execution, and a huge thank you goes out to Paul Maietta, Paul Jays and the crew at Fitzgerald Photo Imaging for their meticulous printing of my award images. PJ was instrumental in helping to get my entries across the line and we spent hours discussing each photo. Other staff provided invaluable input on what worked and what didn’t. This was a team effort and I’m so lucky to have the best pro lab in WA on my team.

I’d like to thank Sarah Adams for sitting in on the ‘Pet / Animal’ judging and relaying me my scores, and also for updating me during the awards night. And to Erica Serena from Erica Serena Photographer for advising me to darken up ‘Orangutan’ when she first saw it 8 months ago. It was well heeded advice from an esteemed industry professional.

Thanks also to Shaireen VanTuil, who was deservedly recognised last night for her contribution to the WA photography community. Two years ago I was lamenting to her that I didn’t have anything suitable for the awards, and not having a bar of it, she convinced me that I did. Turns out she was right, and I was just making excuses. Sometimes we are too close to our own work to see it for what it could be.

All of my images were photographed using #Tamron lenses and I’m very appreciative for the ongoing support of Tamron Australia and Tamron Lenses USA. Their super performance series range enables me to capture those millisecond moments and from them, develop the concepts I see in my mind’s eye. I know their lenses inside out and they are an interwoven, integral part of my photography.

And last but not least, I must give thanks to my two biggest supporters – my partner Deb, and my office manager Colleen. They go through every trial and tribulation with me, supporting me 110% and always having my back. Photography might seem like a solo occupation but it’s actually a joint effort on all levels – from business support, to home support, to printing, to trusted advisors, to equipment. None of us is an island. Or something!

Congratulations to Aaron Dowling of Aaron Dowling Photography for being crowned the Professional Photographer Of The Year for the second year running with his ethereal landscape images, and to all of the category winners and finalists. I’m honoured to be in your company and to call many of you my friends. http://stateawards.aipp.com.au/WA/2017-wa-awards

With gratitude,
Alexxx

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17.05.17

CAMERAS HELPING TURTLES!

As our Sri Lanka tour drew to a close, we visited Victor Hasselblad Turtle Conservation Research Center. Supported by camera company Hassleblad (a nice tie in to our photography trip), the centre aims to protect sea turtle eggs and increase hatching rates. Their staff patrol the beach all night looking for mother sea turtles who come out of the ocean to lay their eggs. They protect her during the nesting process, and once she has returned to the sea, they relocate the eggs to the safety of their hatchery.

Since it opened, the centre has released over 3 million baby turtles into the ocean, giving them a greater survival rate than if they were left to fend for themselves. The turtles are released at 3 days old and we saw hundreds of them swimming in their tank, about to embark on the biggest journey of their short lives.

Watching these vulnerable, adorable babies touched our hearts. We worried for them, almost died from the cute of them and wished them safe passage. They made me think of the many creatures who fight hard to survive, either in the harsh domain of nature or from the cruel hand of man. From the smallest to the largest, they all deserve our protection and care … as does our planet as a whole.

These powerful words by Carl Edward Sagan seemed apt.

Farewell Sri Lanka. xx

“Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar”, every “supreme leader”, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.” Carl Edward Sagan

Image taken with #Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 VC lens. Tamron AustraliaTamron Lenses USA Tamron New Zealand World Expeditions Stemish Travels – the elite way to discover Sri Lanka #SpiderHolster #Lacie#OnTourInSriLanka

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23.03.17

FINAL COURSE FOR 2017!

Over 200 people across Australia have participated in our workshops and due to popular demand, we are running one final Beginners Outdoor Photography Workshop in 2017.

DO YOU WANT TO MASTER YOUR CAMERA AND LEARN HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH ANIMALS? We can help! Our next workshop will be held on Wednesday 6th September 2017. Our workshops always fill fast, so don’t miss out.

WHAT: Photography CAN be easy and SHOULD be fun. Enjoy a relaxed, practical, full day of learning and photographic discovery with Alex Cearns, Houndstooth Studio’s multi-award winning, internationally renowned animal and wildlife photographer.

Learn Alex’s steps to stunning outdoor animal photography in the beautiful Woodlands Reserve Room at Whiteman Park, before finding prime photo locations for the incredible wildlife at Caversham Wildlife Park. This is an excellent opportunity to discover how to bring out the best in your animal subjects.

Alex’s workshop is aimed at beginner to intermediate level photographers and consists of a combination of theory and practical instruction delivered by one of Australia’s most respected animal photographers.

We invite you to come along and learn how to get the best from your DSLR camera. It’s a fun day with like minded people, hosted in a beautiful environment perfect for learning.

You can check out the latest selection of Tamron Australia lenses and see the Spider Holster Pro Camera Holster in action.

This workshop is strictly limited to a maximum of 18 people, with bookings in advance essential to secure your spot.

WHO: Do you have a DSLR camera but struggle to use it? Want to improve your animal photography? Keen to learn how easy and jargon free photography can be? Alex can help you! We personally guarantee you will see an improvement in your photography on this workshop.

WHERE & WHEN: Whiteman Park and Caversham Wildlife Park on Wednesday 6th September from 8:30am until 4:30pm

COST & INCLUSIONS: Cost is $495 per person and includes expert tuition, set of flash cards, meals, drinks, entry to Caversham Wildlife Park. Laughs are free.

LIMITED TO 15 participants – 10 places still available.

TO BOOK OR FOR MORE INFO – Please email Colleen from our office on info@houndstoothstudio.com.au or call 0413 174 069.

Here’s what participants had to say:

“This was a great refresher course for me. Alex’s energy is infectious and she is a wonderful presenter. I loved her explanations about how to get the shot and the examples were excellent. Great day! Thank you.” Fran

“This is a fantastic course that I would recommend to anyone needing inspiration and confidence with their photography. Alex is a great teacher – down to earth and easy to understand. I have attended several photography courses in the past and left feeling confused about the technical details. I’ve already put into practice the things I’ve learnt, with great results! Thanks so much.” Joanna

“Somehow Alex is able to explain and demonstrate how to use and control your camera much better than any other course I have attended before! Thank you so much for a fabulous day. I have learnt so much that I know I will be able to remember.” Liz

“It was great! I loved the anecdotes and examples. Was so relieved it wasn’t full of hard to understand technical stuff. Am recommending it to all my friends who have a DSLR.” Beth

“I had some real “Aha!” moments today. The practical session was excellent and the afternoon session was awesome. Thank you!” Anne

“What a joy! This course exceeded all my expectations! I finally understand aperture. Finally! Thank you so much.”
Mel

“A fantastic day. Thank you. It’s hard to single out a favourite part of the course, it was all fantastic! I think the shift in my understanding about the technical side of things was a huge help for me. Also loved the food, the jokes and above all the tips! I can’t wait to get out there to put everything into practice.” Steph

“Excellent value – worth more than the price!” Todd

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22.03.17

SNUFFLEUPAGUS!

We ordered two snuffle food mats from Fabulous Furrballs Jewellery and Pet Accessories for a Cause for our girls Pip the Black Beetle and Pixel … and they loved them. The mats slow down gutsy eaters and provide great mental enrichment. Plus all proceeds go to the animal welfare group of your choice. It’s win win! We opted for our purchase $$ to go to the WA Pet Project as that’s how we found out about this awesome product.

To order a snuffle food mat for your pooch (and to help animals in need) just message Lynne from Fabulous Furrballs or email her at lynnebowes@bigpond.com

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16.03.17

WE NEED YOUR VOTE!

Voting is now open for the Readers’ Choice winner in the Smithsonian Magazine Photography Awards.

Could we trouble you to take a second and VOTE for ‘Orangutan’ in the Altered Images category? To VOTE just click open this link http://bit.ly/2l9Eegw and then click on the VOTE tab on the web page.

Voting is limited to one vote per user per day and runs through March 27th 2017.

Thank you so much! xx

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14.03.17

‘I ride with Chloe to fight dementia’

This is Chloe. Isn’t she the cutest sitting in her dads motorbike helmet! She is 13 years old and has a very special purpose in life – to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s. It is such a big job for such a small gal, but Chloe takes it all in her stride.

Deb and I met Chloe and her wonderful dad, Ken last weekend and when I heard their heartbreaking but hopeful story, I knew I wanted to help them share their message. Ken and Chloe are an amazing team and they have such an incredible bond.

Here is Chloe’s story:

Born on the 14th December 2003 to Maltese and Poodle parents, Chloe was the smallest puppy in her litter and was picked on by her brothers and sisters. In 2004 she was adopted by Ken, Sue and their daughters Bindi, Kylee and Heidi.

It was unknown at the time, but Sue was developing early onset dementia. As Sue slowly forgot all the things she once knew, Ken was very happy that she now had her own little companion to love.

Sue would spend her time playing with Chloe, then walking with Ken and Chloe in the afternoons. Soon Sue’s dementia became critical and she was admitted to hospital. Chloe would go in with Ken to visit her each day and she would charm everyone who met her.

Sadly, Sue did not come home. At just 55 years of age, her life was cut short by her illness. She was a beautiful kind lady who brought joy and love to many people. Her whole family missed her very much. Ken was devastated, but the love from his daughters (including Chloe) kept him from feeling lonely. He spent lots of time with Chloe and found great comfort in her company.

When Ken was young he rode a motorbike and Sue would ride with him. After they got married and had a family, Ken and Sue stopped riding but always said that one day they would travel around Australia on a motorbike.

After Sue died, Ken decided to make their dream of riding around Australia a reality, and purchased a large road bike. Each Sunday he would go for rides but he always regretted leaving Chloe at home – so he devised a way to take her with him. Ken built a special seat for the back of his bike where Chloe now sits, complete with a seat belt, which protects her from the wind … though she does quite like it when her ears flap.

Ken and Chloe have now travelled over 150,000 kilometres together and have visited lots of places in Australia. Sometimes they ride alone and sometimes their friends from the Ulysses Club (an over 40’s motorbike group) ride with them.

After meeting lots of new friends and having them ask how they can assist people with dementia, Ken had the idea to start a charity called ‘I Ride With Chloe to Fight Dementia’. He designed badges, patches and stickers to sell, with the money raised going to Alzheimer’s Australia WA to help them continue their important work.

Please support Ken and Chloe if you can, even in a small way. You can purchase ‘I ride with Chloe to fight dementia’ patches and pins at http://www.iridewithchloe.com/ and follow their adventures on Chloe’s blog http://www.iridewithchloe.com/rides/chloes-australian-rides/

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10.03.17

JOG FOR A DOG!

The fabulous HBF Run for a Reason is back again on Sunday 28th May. Last years event was so much fun and I’m honored to be the Guide Dogs WA ‘Jog For A Dog’ team leader for 2017. But this means I need your help. I would love for you to join me for the event and together we can raise funds for GDWA. Last year we raised enough to train a guide dog puppy!

To register just follow the steps below. The early bird registrations close on March 13th so don’t miss out.

1. Go to https://hbfrun2017.everydayhero.com/…/guide-dog…/get-started to set up your personal fundraising page

2. Register for the event and purchase your ticket at www.hbfrun.com.au

Be sure to list the team name as ‘Jog For A Dog’ and I’m doing the 4km Walk (so select category D if you want to join me or other categories if you want to RUN the course)

3. Reserve your place for post-race refreshments and place your Guide Dogs WA t-shirt order by contacting Lauren at lauren.shepherd@guidedogswa.com.au by 13 March

4. Get your friends together and start fundraising. You can also check out my fundraising page at https://hbfrun2017.everydayhero.com/au/houndstooth-studio

Lets make this the biggest and best team entry yet! #JogForADog

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10.03.17

Peter Alexander Sleepwear

6th March is the 30th Anniversary of Peter Alexander Sleepwear. What an incredible achievement for our leading Australian sleepwear brand, started by Peter on his Mums dining table. We would like to wish everyone at PAS, especially our friend Peter, a very very happy birthday.

We are also thrilled to play a small part in the celebration of this milestone, by photographing two pages for the stunning 30th Birthday Catalogue. Such an honour! Thanks to pooch models Khan and George, and their humans Karen, Lee and Kim for their expert assistance.

View the 30th Birthday range online at http://bit.ly/2luHp2M

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10.03.17

HELP THE HOUNDS!

Earlier this week 22 gorgeous greyhounds were taken in by GreyhoundAngels of Western Australia. Twelve dogs have foster homes but ten of them still need a place to go where they can feel safe and loved.

All of the dogs need items like muzzles, collars, leads, old toys they can learn to play with, bowls, and decent dog kibble. Please contact GreyhoundAngels via private message if you can assist with any of these things. Alternatively, donations to Greyhound Angels will be warmly received to go towards helping the dogs in their care.

Please consider donating if you can. Every bit adds up and every bit helps. Greyhounds are the most maligned dog breed and they need our help and support now more than ever.

You can donate online via PC at http://bit.ly/2mXGPqH or if on a mobile device or tablet via bank transfer at:

GreyhoundAngels
BSB 302162
Account Number 0452619

And because we would never ask you to donate without doing so ourselves, Deb and I have donated $200.

PICTURED: Our beautiful rescued Greyhound Pixel.

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