July 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Photographs as they mature, become better!

When looking at old photos from late 1800’s to the 1990’s, we look at a period in time that has been captured and preserved. Even better if it is a physical photograph. Just holding that tangible piece of visual history is special!

Some of us walk about in the present time, wishing we were alive back in a certain decade, to capture that time period. We walk about the present day and we are so use to what we see, everything looks the same as the day, month or even year before. However remember this… Time does move on, in this present day whilst reading this post, it will soon become history. Inside your were you live will change, so will outside too. While you may think there is not that much to capture, there is plenty to document. Go outside and capture various streets, buildings, shops, transport and especially people.

Look at what they are doing, what they are wearing, is it the latest trend? Or is that the way individual/group dresses? Look at the technology on them, from watches, phones, music players, laptops. Go out and capture it, even though you see it everyday. Why? Time moves on you are documenting and capturing a certain period in time, that will be looked back on, like we look back on old photos of past decades and centuries. What was in abundance back then changes and become rare…

The time is now!

And remember to look after your photographs. Print your digital photos, as your hard drive will die one day, your backup CD’s & DVD’s will degrade.

Practice what I preach!

July 3, 2012 § 1 Comment

It has to be done!!!

I often say to friends on Flickr, it is very healthy to tidy up your gallery and get rid of photos, that just do not make the mark. I also do this in a Street photography I run Global Street Photography (GSP), where posted photos from my groups members have their photos removed, if they just don’t have enough substance, creativeness, emotion, magic, cleverness, or story to tell.

The main reason, and I practice what I preach is to keep your body of work strong. It is about being honest to yourself and listen to positive criticism too!

So I have reduced my Flickr Gallery from 743 down to 150, and I may reduce this further.

So here is my tip, remove the dead weight photos that clutter your on-line gallery, and it will strengthen your body of work.

Never be complacent

June 23, 2012 § 1 Comment

A great photographer should never be complacent!!!

This is just a quick post to say…

As a photographer you should always be striving to be your best. Never think you are amazing and be complacent. Always find ways to improve through reading books, internet and observing light and life!

Once you have the equipment you need, do not keep collecting, but spend that money on exploring your town, city, country continent and the amazing world beyond.

Do not become complacent, wrapped up in your safety blanket, get out and explore, create and challenge yourself. Listen to positive critism, and say to yourself, what can I do to take this to the next level.

Set that goal and achieve it!!


The importance of a photograph!

June 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

When everything else has gone, you still have a photograph

This is a short but very poignant post, a true story that could be anyone of us…

I was at an event recently, a family gathering where I knew the family well. It was a perfect scene of a really happy family. I am always thinking of the future… So I asked the head of the family would they like a natural unposed group photo of all the family together in such happy times. The response I got from one of the parents was they where not looking my best right now.

I naturally respected their opinion even though I thought they looked good. The really sad thing is in 30+ years from now, when the parents and the kids are all grown older. I am sure in time they may regret a little vanity for a perfect family group photo, that captured the magical time that cannot be captured again.

Time moves on,  and we all get older, but at least we have a printed photograph to remind us and our future generations the way it was.

The importance of a photograph!

How I got into Street Photography

June 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Being a child of the 70’s & 80’s I took many photos as a kid on various film cameras. I started taking photography seriously in the summer of 2000, when I bought my first SLR, an analog Canon EOS300. The reason I bought it was because I was going to Athens on vacation and I wanted to capture the magic and memories from such an amazing city. I then began to read up on books and the internet all about photography and the techniques needed to understand  and achieve decent photos. I learned about lighting, exposure settings & composition and practised these fundamental skills, on various subjects such as people, architecture and nature. Each year I would learn more techniques and apply them.

In 2004 I got my first digital camera, a Sony Cybershot P10, it was 5 megapixels and I was happy at the almost instant results of taking a photo and the photo could be online in minutes. My film SLR then began to collect dust, and I was happy with my small point and shoot. However my photography began to suffer. I became lazy… I relied on Autofocus, I relied on automatic settings and my photos began to look like everyone else. About 7 years later (2007). I got bored and my passion withered.

My new Passion which began in 2006 was Parkour, a discipline that enables a practioner (known as a Traceur) to overcome physical obstacles using their body to jump, climb, vault etc. It was mainly urban based and I found myself on the streets almost everyday training.  When walking to various training spots I would often see a lot of beautiful, interesting and magical things on the streets, I would often think, if only I had my camera… The photography flame re-ignited.

I used my latest at the time, another digital point and shoot, a Sony Cyber T100, but soon realised how limited it was, due to the lack of manual controls and the small sensor was poor in low light environments. I was finding Street Photography a bit frustrating as my camera could not handle the low light and dark winter was now setting in. So I decided in 2008  to save up and buy a Digital SLR, a Canon 40D.

In 2008 I then joined the online website flickr, which gave me fantastic support through like minded photographers and the fun and passion was in full flow. I now had full control of my focus and exposure settings all set to manual. I invested in my first decent wide angled Lens 17-40mm L f4 Lens. This lens was and still is great! The 17mm allowed me to get very close and often involved in peoples spaces, and this came across in my photos. The reason I never used a telephoto lens is I did not was my photos to come across voyeuristic and looking creepy, capturing shots from a distance. I wanted the viewer to feel a connection with the subject and their environment; to feel like they where there. To feel the emotion, see the  juxtaposition or perfect timing.

Further on I invested in two very fast primes lenses, which allowed better quality photos, through sharper optics, better low light performance and creamy bokeh should I need it for subject to background separation. Part of me missed the Analog side to photography, so I bought an old, but in perfect working order, a fully manual, all mechanical 1950’s former Soviet Fed2 rangefinder. So I can now shoot both Digital and Analog.

I have been shooting Street Photography (at the time of this post) for 3 years now and working on a couple of documentary projects in the last year, that I feel passionate about. Working with Analog film again is helping to sharpening up my vision and the techniques that I have learned. I carry a camera everyday with me, and it is exciting not knowing what could be just around the corner…

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