Friday, October 27, 2006

Meet your public, Mandy Hall

Next in our series of interviews with the people you've been dying to know more about is a Q&A session with Ms Mandy Hall, of Pixels & Bandwidth and cockatoo fame. Mandy was one of our very first lost lambs but has seen the error of her ways and we love her like family.

Who are you and why are you doing this to us?

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I run a web company ( I have a degree in ceramic design, but don't do too much of it these days. I also make jewelery and draw a little bit. I started my blog about 3 years ago. I think I found Photo Friday just after that. Photo memes have helped encourage me to keep the blog up to date. I've always taken photos. My mum also takes photos as a hobby, so I spent a lot of my childhood following her and taking photos, then working with her in the darkroom.

Why so many birds? Are you a bird? A cat?
Hmm. You guys are a little obsessed with the birds, aren't you? Were you stalked by Alfred Hitchcock at some point? Ok, I admit I had a bit of a mental blank at some point and started submitting cockatoos to everything. I still don't know why. But then I found the Hall of Shame and I'm all better now. It couldn't have come at a better time in my opinion. I'm glad someone is out there keeping us honest, or if not honest, shamed.

What did you have for breakfast?
Peppermint tea. If you were here we'd have bacon and eggs - drop in any time, but not too early.

Have you ever been to the bloody big rock? No? How about Vegas?
Nope, I've flown over Ayers Rock in a plane a few times. Never been to Vegas. Is that an invitation? I'd choose Vegas, just so you know when you get the tickets.

Do you know Kerrin? Is she you? Does she owe you a life debt, perhaps because you saved her life or something?
No, never met Kerrin, except in the memes. Us Aussies stick together though, especially when it comes to birds. Everyone visit her site and tell her how nice she is:

What gear do or have you used? Are there any manufactures you'd like to praise or bad mouth here?
I've got an old Minolta 35mm SLR and all the darkroom stuff. I can't afford to use film these days and I can't be bothered setting up the darkroom any more. It was fun back in the day though. I'm glad I learnt to do all that before Photoshop came along. My first digital was a Canon Digital IXUS - it had no zoom and was only 2 MP, but it did the best photos in low light. Someone stole it :( Then I got a Pentax Optio 555 which is great. I like it cause it has a great zoom and people don't notice you using it. I use it as a backup camera now, cause it has an excellent macro. I currently use an Olympus EVOLT E500 with a wide angle 35mm lens & a 40-150mm lens. It's very good in low light conditions, which is what I wanted. The zoom is fun. I'm saving up for a dedicated macro lens for it, which costs almost as much as the camera, unfortunately.

What other hobbies do you enjoy or enjoy inflicting upon others?
I love live music. I inflict it on my friends and family by dragging them along to gigs or making them watch DVDs.

Where else can we see your photos? Do you have any side projects?
I have music photos on these sites: (homepage images and a bit of the gallery) (about half of the gallery) (main image on inner page) (a few of the photos in the gallery)
I enter stuff in DP Challenge when I have time: (my username is Mandyp) .
Entering challenges like this has really improved my pictures. I sell some photos here:, but I don't have many up there yet. My side project these days, which is rapidly becoming my main thing, is creating websites for musicians (see the top two URLs above) and photographing them. I've got a few of these photos going onto CD covers and a book. It's fun.

What is the best photo that you missed?
Mick Jagger - I was 10th row at the Stones last year, but security were SO tight. As soon as I pulled out my camera they were onto me. I got 15 shots off. He came over right in front of us just as security came to tell me off, so I missed him. There are lots and lots of others. I'm sure I'll think of them tomorrow.

Tell us your worst habit.
I'm not telling you! You never know where it might turn up! Haven't you heard of the internet? It probably involves chocolate...

If you weren't doing what you do now, what else WOULD you be doing? Photographer doesn't count.
Probably something that involves traveling. I'd like to be a writer, but I'm not very good at it. I'm pretty happy with what I'm doing right now.

What are you wearing?

And here are a few of Mandy's photos (birds not included):

01-Toadstool.jpg - little toadstool on my front porch, about 5cm high.Taken with my old 2MP Canon digital IXUS.

02-Lioness.jpg - Taken at Werribee Zoo in Melbourne. Taken on the Pentax.

03_Joe_Camilleri.jpg - Taken at Mordialloc festival in March this year,in late afternoon, so the light was great. Joe is pretty well known in Australia, has been in bands such as the Black Sorrows and JoJo Zep &the Falcons. Taken with the Olympus E-Volt.

10-St-Kilda.jpg - Sunset in St Kilda, Melbourne. Taken with the Pentax.

11-Mal.jpg - Mal Webb, solo performance at Revolver nightclub. Thescreen behind him was on a 5 second delay, so it looked like he wasyelling at himself. Taken with the Olympus E-Volt.

12_Oxo_Cubans_Mal.jpg - Mal Webb with the Oxo Cubans at the Mordiallocfestival in March this year. Taken with the Olympus E-Volt.

13-St-Kilda.jpg - Boat Ramp in St Kilda, Melbourne late afternoon justbefore a storm (no colour correction was used in this photo). Taken withthe Pentax.

15-Blue-Lounge.jpg - Promo shot for the swing/jazz band Blue Lounge.Taken underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Taken with the Olympus E-Volt.

18-Gerbera.jpg - One of my favourite photos. Lit with a small blue LEDtorch, which is what is creating the purple patch. Taken with the Pentax


Anonymous kerrin said...

LOVE the photos of ST KILDA and the Gerbera. Love yer MUM.
OOPS sorry I forgot that was meant to be our little secret!!!

8:12 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

Damn Kerrin, now you've given it all away!

10:57 PM  

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