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!!

Zeno

Creative thinking…

May 20, 2012 § Leave a comment


Making a standard object more interesting using creativity…

Quite often when I feel creative, I will set myself challenges. The challenge was to take something ordinary and make it extraordinary.

Below is a photo I had taken of a kids slide.

By walking in and around, working with angles I was able to capture the photo below.

The soft light from the heavy overcast clouds, helped to make this photo. And very often it is the elements that help to add the finishing touch.

More of my creative work can be found here.

Photo-shoot with Joe Manson

May 19, 2012 § Leave a comment


While keeping myself out of my comfort zone in photography…

I decided to use flash while shooting Joe Manson on his bike. I have always been a lover of natural light, and often opposed to flash, however using off camera flash, I have been converted. 🙂

My set-up was one manual flash speed light, 2 radio triggers and my DSLR. The sky was heavy overcast, and while that great diffused light is perfect for portraits, I needed a bit of an energetic contrasting feel to my pre-visualised shots of Joe. I asked Joe what his favourite moves and roots where at the bike park. The reason being I wanted to capture a true reflection of what Joe does best and not some uncomfortable jump or pose that really was not him.

The first jump was this one below, and I was amazed at the height he could go.

Because of my photography experience I don’t have to rely on burst mode, I can obtain the shot I want from pushing the shutter once and capturing a single photo of the moment and peak of the jump. It is important to be engaged mentally as when as physically when on a photo shoot, and not relying on the camera to make decisions but you being in fully manual and in total control, meaning the lens, the camera and the flash are on manual.

Whilst I love the gritty contrasting black and white urban shots, like the photo above, on the second jump, where Joe went up in the air but spun his handle bars 360 degrees before landing. I noticed his hooded top was almost the same colour as the graffiti on the ramp, and so kept this shot in colour, as to emphasise more Joe to his environment. As you can see the off camera flash helped to separate Joe from the dull background, and rightly so, as he was the focus of attention. The flash done exactly what I needed in highlighting Joe’s face and bike, as shown in the photo below.

I hope that gives you an idea of what went into the photos. I would also like to thank Joe Manson.

If you would photographs of you engaged in your hobby/lifestyle, a photo saying this is who I am and to show the family in the future. Drop me an email (zenowatson@yahoo.com) and we can come to an arrangement.

Behind the photo 004

May 18, 2012 § Leave a comment


I am talking about the FED2 analog camera.

I would like to thank the people who have sent me messages, left comments here on my Blog, on Youtube , Twitter and on Flickr about wanting me to do more Behind the Photo videos. Thank you for your support and encouragement.

More info on my FED2 camera can be found here

A slideshow showing photos from my FED2 camera can be found here.

Zeno

Increasing your hit rate

May 11, 2012 § 2 Comments


How to obtain more keepers in Street Photography.

As usual in my blog I like to keep it straight to the point and not waffle too much.

So here is my top 10 tips:

1. Always have your camera with you, switched on, and lens cap off.

2. Keep an eye out for distractions, as they will distract from the photo

3. Don’t rely on autofocus, as 9/10 times the camera will focus on the background (if shooting from hip)

4. Use manual settings for full control, and use them without thinking, but knowing.

5. My personal preference, but keep your shutter speed 1/250th or faster.

6. Keep an eye on the lighting conditions. (Direct sun, clouds, shaded area) manually adjust settings

7. Always anticipate / pre-visualise.

8. A strong photo is unusual, funny, emotional, memorable, tells a story, is clever and not just a random snapshot.

9. Know your lens and camera’s personality (know their weak and strong points)

10. Go out training, like you would in a gym but train your techniques until it becomes a reflex. Practice!

If you would like me to expand on a point, drop me a comment, or if you want to add some of your own tips.

The biggest obstacles are in our mind.

March 25, 2012 § 6 Comments


Logically lay to rest your fear and become confident.

In Street Photography  I often hear verbally, in emails and on-line comments, “How do you have the confidence to shoot so close to people on the street?” and “Have you not been punched in the face / Are you not scared of being punched?”

Having confidence comes with plenty of practice, as well as a state of mind. If you go with the mentality that, what you are doing is wrong or that harm will come to you. You will either not shoot Street Photography, or come across nervous and project negative vibes, that people will sense from you.

To break the mental barriers, think about this. You camera is nothing new, they have been around in the last three centuries. So having a camera at hand should feel natural, especially in this tech driven world, the camera is more prominent and used more than ever.

The next hang up… Taking photos on the street. Well Street Photography is nothing new. There are plenty of books of fine Street Photography over many decades. So what you are doing is not cutting edge or odd. It should feel natural.

What other hang ups are there? Taking photos of people without their permission… In most countries (do your research) you are within your rights, to take photos of the public in public places, within reason. You are not doing anything wrong, so relax and capture that photo.

Any hang ups left? “What if the person I am capturing acts negatively towards me?” Remember be natural, smile and say thank you, or compliment them, 90% of the time that will help you. Should they persist, then you can either delete the photo (if digital) if they ask/tell you. Alternatively you could stay strong and believe in yourself and your work and walk on. Remember it is your photo, not theirs.

People will rarely challenge you, although the chances of being challenge will increase if you get in their face or be insensitive in a situation. Use your common sense.

So if you are new to Street Photography, do not put up mental barriers with pre-conceived negative thoughts. Go out and have fun capturing photos like the many thousands of photographers have done.

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