ZW-SP S01 E02 (Street Portraiture)

October 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

*** Sorry for the sound quality*** The GoPro camera was in a protected case, therefore the sound is muffled.

Episode 2… Part of a series of small quick clips to give you ideas and to show how I go about the different aspects of Street photography. This clip shows how I capture portraits of the public, asking for permission and directing them. The video was shot on a very wide angled lens compared to my Photo camera lens, so there will be a difference in field of view.


ZW-SP S01 E01 (Backgrounds)

October 13, 2013 § Leave a comment

*** Sorry for the shakiness at the start***

Part of a series of small quick clips to give you ideas and to show how I go about the different aspects of Street photography. This clip shows how I work with people and the background. The video was shot on a very wide angled lens compared to my Photo camera lens, so there will be a difference in field of view.


Improving confidence in Street Portaiture

June 15, 2013 § 2 Comments

Glasgow Mela in on this weekend (Sat&Sun) 12-8pm at Kelvingrove Park. Apart from watching this cool culture event. As a photographer who may be scared of capturing portraits of strangers; as in approaching the subject and asking for permission. This could be an introduction to practice your craft. At any festivals / gatherings. People are more socially open, so you should improve your confidence, communication and technique at these kind of events before taking stranger portraits on the streets. Just a tip!

Here are some photos I had taken last year.

By Zeno Watson

By Zeno Watson


By Zeno Watson


By Zeno Watson


By Zeno Watson


By Zeno Watson

Approach the people whom you find interesting. Introduce yourself, tell them what you find amazing about them. Talk to them about their image, interest, hobby / profession. Ask to take their portrait. If they so “no”, that is the worst that can happen. If they say “yes” you capture them, and thank them. Smile! Be relaxed and be yourself, if you are nervous they may sense it. If you love, love photography! Then you should be relaxed and happy.

Another good tip especially if you are like me, and always shoot manual; is to have your camera setting ready to shoot. So you are not fumbling about with the buttons/dials when photographing a person, taking up a lot of their time.

After you have captured their Portrait. It is entirely up to you, if you want to show them the photo on the LCD screen (if digital), ask for their email to post them the photo you taken, and if photography is your business, then perhaps give them a business card.

Once you become comfortable in your technical skills, then you should try and be creative. Direct your subject to look in to the lens or look away from the camera. Choice of shot full body, 3/4 or headshot. Ask them to pose a certain way. The list goes on and on.

Remember there are people who say you can’t and people who say you can, both are right! No excuses, get out there and capture the photos.

Street Portrait

May 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

This fine lady caught my eye at the weekend at Red Road, Glasgow. And rather than shoot my usual candid style.  I just had to ask her permission to capture a portrait of her. She kindly agreed.

Street Portrait by Zeno Watson

Street Portrait by Zeno Watson

There are times when i really need the eye contact to make a more compelling photo, rather than shoot candid. And asking for permission was the correct choice in this instance.

Another point is normally when I take portrait head shots, I would use my Canon 85mm F1.8, but on that day I used my Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG, as it is my favourite lens these past few months. For it’s image quality, sharpness and it’s response.

What are your thoughts?

New Monitor and sepia tone problem

January 29, 2013 § 1 Comment

I recently purchased a new LED Monitor as it was time to upgrade from the old CRT one. And to cut a long story short I was finding my photographs where having a sepia tinge/tone when viewing them on screen, even though I did not add any post effect other than black and white. I tried calibrating my monitor, but then found that the RAW photograph being viewed in my Adobe Lightroom when exported as a jpeg, it looked different when previewed windows photo viewer. Also my photos where too high in contrast as well.

The solution was…

to open control panel:
– look for for colour management
– go to change “advanced” colour management
– go to tab “all profiles”
– at the bottom of the list under “ICC profiles”, there should be a profile that is called sRGB IEC61966-2.1. If there is not, then add it.
– If there is another profile for display listed, like “your monitor name” profile, delete it

Now my whites are looking white again, and not sepia.

If you have this problem I hope it helps.

The lazy photographer…

November 16, 2012 § 6 Comments

If you are serious about your photography, but are a sensitive person then do not read! If you want to think hard about yourself and push your abilities, then please read.

We live in a world today, where almost anyone with a camera calls themselves a photographer, and expect to be an excellent photographer in weeks, months or within a year or two. Some people even think if they buy the best flagship camera, then it is a given right to call themselves a professional or a fantastic photographer. If you are offended by what I have just said, pause, think and ask yourself why.

As a serious photographer you are bound to the trust of the person or subject being photographed. As a serious photographer, the quality of the photos should be down to your skill and not left to chance… What do I mean by that? You should not let the camera decide on the photo.

The most important element in photography is Light!

  • Have you studied light?
  • Do you know what the different types of light are?
  • Do you know what is the perfect type of light for a given situation?
  • What the correct white balance should be?
  • What is the difference between hard and soft light?
  • When is the wrong time to use a flash, and when is the right time?
  • Can you work without the inbuilt or an external light meter, can you look at light and know the setting using your brain?
  • Even more important… If you are constricted by the lack of light, what do you do?
  • If you find that you cannot answer all those questions above, then read up and teach yourself. It will improve you as a photographer.

You may look at the list above and say you do not think too deep about light, and that you just take a photo of what you see. However is that just an excuse to immerse yourself and deepen your thoughts and knowledge about light? Is there a laziness?

Not relying on those  automatic settings!

The next point I would like to make is not to use the “automatic” camera settings, which is the Green Box symbol or the little picture clues on most cameras. Ideally you want to be in control of the camera and not the chip and it’s software. Even if you use the “Av”, “Tv” or “P” on Canon cameras and “A”, “S” and “P” on Nikon camera, which stand for “Aperture priority”, “Shutter priority” and Programmable. As a serious photographer the last thing you want to be is frustrated, when a photo does not turn out the way you want it to be.

  • Did you photo turn out over or under exposed?
  • Was it too blurry or too noisy?
  • Did you camera give you the correct light reading and still the photo turn out too dark or too light?

These are common mistakes that can frustrate a photographer. However by learning exactly what your ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture is, how they relate to each other  in the exposure triangle, and how they individually affect your photograph. I am not tell you, go and learn from workshops, books, online etc. It will massively benefit you as a photographer.

So are you ready to use the manual setting “M”?

The three best ways of mastering the manual mode in your camera is by:

  1.  Educating yourself.
  2.  Learning from failure.
  3.  Practice, practice, practice!

There will be times when you need full control over the lens too, and relying on autofocus “AF”, especially in low light conditions and also shooting from the hip, you can be guaranteed that the camera will not focus exactly on what you wanted. Again time to go manual focus “MF”

Know thy Camera!

All cameras are different, all cameras have strong and weak points. Know your camera’s personality, know your camera functions inside out. KNOW HOW TO OPERATE YOUR CAMERA IN THE COMPLETE DARKNESS! And what I mean is, know by feeling where the buttons, dials, levers are, as well as their function.

Know thy Lens

The same applies to your lens

The points I have made are to get you thinking, to push you out your comfort zone,  point out any weaknesses you may have, to use manual settings – especially if you really are serious about becoming a master of the craft and not being just a lazy photographer.


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.

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