Friday 28 September 2007

Journalist killed in Burma

It's just mazing the dedication shown by this photojournalist as he carries on recording the police violence in Burma as he lays dying. Lets hope it helps the people of Burma gain freedom.

Thursday 27 September 2007

Technology Obsession

Whilst away last week I had a revelation*, it occurred to me that I had been spending far too much time concentrating on post production whilst playing with Lightroom and Capture One v4.

I spent a day walking and enjoying the beautiful countryside of the dales. It shouldn't be too hard to create beautiful images in such a lovely environment, yet I found that every time I was taking an image I was looking through the viewfinder thinking things like:
"I'll crop that out"
"I'll clone that"
"I should be able to recover that highlight or shadow detail"
"If I increase the saturation on this, It'll look great"

Once I got a chance to review the images that even I can say quite categorically that everyone of them was irredeemably shite! It dawned on me that instead of working out why I was taking the picture and what it was I wanted to show I had instead become obsessed with the process.

After this I decided to slow down and consider each image as though pressing the shutter release was the absolute final moment of the process. The quality of my images improved dramatically.

West Burton Falls (what happens when you forget about the technology)
(Click to view large)

Maybe it's a good idea to forget about the technology and just concentrate on the stories you wish to tell with the images you create.
*that's when an idea comes to you, as opposed to a revelsation which is what happens when you put a choccy in your mouth and discover it has a coffee centre not peanut.

Tuesday 25 September 2007

Stile Style

We had a great a week in the Yorkshire Dales. Every day we did a walk around a different part of the Dales. It was great to be out in such beautiful country just us, our two dogs, the views and the weather...lovely

The only downside on our walks was the local farmers obsession with making complicated stiles. The British Standard Stile was nowhere to be seen and were replaced with simple slots in the dry stone walls. Having decide that these were far too functional and hardly made things complicated at all, the farmers seemed to be in competition to add extra complications: A gate, 2 gates, steps, missing steps, extra powerful springs on the gates. The variety was amazing.

At one point we hit 6 different stiles in a little under three hundred yards. This really slowed down our walks because the stiles are designed to keep out sheep but let people through. Our two cocker spaniels are pretty much sheep sized so lifting them through the gaps added a "full body workout" to a simple walk...still it helps keep you fit I suppose.

Rock & Rust
(Click to view large)

In Arkengarthdale we came across the ultimate of the breed; a tall narrow stile that was guarded by a sheet of corrugated iron. Travelling through the wall involved throwing 2 walking poles, 2 rucksacks & 2 dogs over it first! Whilst waiting my chance to squeeze through I became fascinated with the colours in the rusty corrugated iron and its juxtaposition against the rock.

When you are in the right mood inspiration can strike anywhere.

Monday 24 September 2007

Jon Gibbs - Take a bow

I am really pleased to see that Jon Gibbs (previously a shepherdpics photographer of the month and a fellow member of The Painting with Light Society) has won the prestigious Landscape Photographer of the Year 2007 competition. With this stunning image:

Storm over Scroby Sands wind farm, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England
by Jon Gibbs

In the same competition another shepherdpics featured photographer (who says I don't know class when I see it) and fellow Painter with Light Ian Flindt received a Highly Commended for this shot:

The Old Pier, Walberswick, Suffolk, England
by Ian Flindt

Big congratulations to both of them.

Saturday 22 September 2007

Not Down in the Dales

I've just got back from a pleasant week in the Yorkshire Dales. The Dales have been a favourite place of mine since I first crawled in its caves as a teenager.

I find the limestone landscape endlessly fascinating with rivers appearing and disappearing from cracks in the rocks, naturally terraced mountains, deep potholes and waterfalls round every corner. Man's influence seems only to have improved the beauty of the place with the dry stone walls and regularly placed field barns imposing a pleasing geometry on nature.

Whilst in Reeth I had the pleasure to visit The Scenic View Gallery

Gunnerside Bottom
by The Scenicview Gallery

It was a real joy to see a gallery with great landscape photography thriving in that very same landscape The gallery features a variety of landscape, animal and abstract shots all of which reflect the many moods of the dales.

Well worth a visit if you are up that way or just visit the website.

Friday 14 September 2007

Lightroom 1.2 & ACR 4.2 Released

Adobe have released a new version of Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw.

Mainly it seems to be just a bug fix update but there is now raw support for the following cameras:
Canon EOS 40D
Fuji FinePix IS-1
Leaf Aptus 17
Leaf Aptus 54s
Leaf Aptus 75s
Olympus EVOLT E-510
Panasonic DMC-FZ18
Pentax K100D Super
Phase One P 20 +
Phase One P 21 +
Phase One P 25 +
Phase One P 30 +
Phase One P 45 +
Sony Alpha 700

Tuesday 11 September 2007

I've got a gig

As mentioned in a previous blog I have decided to try avoiding the conventions of photography when it comes to exhibiting my work.

Not for me the conventional exhibition, no I've got myself a music gig. I will be exhibiting my pictures as part of a charity concert for Haven House Hospice, pictures will be available at special pricing and for each photograph sold £10 goes to the Hospice.

If you can come along it would be great to see you there:

Gig Poster - Click to view large

Monday 10 September 2007

Normal Service has now been resumed

Regular visitors will notice that has not been providing it's usual high levels of availability (well Ok the site has been deader than a suicidal dodo).

"Now, How do you work this thing?"
(Click to view large)

I can only blame myself as I tried to cut down the level of spam I was receiving using the .htaccess file but I messed up. I have reverted the file to a previous version and things should be OK now.

That's what happens when you meddle with things you don't understand.

Friday 7 September 2007

Your three legged friend

I, like a lot of photographers have a love/hate relationship with my tripod. I love the way I get sharper pictures,the way I have to consider my shots and the way it slows down my picture making. I hate lugging the thing around, cleaning sand out after a day on the beach and the way it slows down my picture making.

One of the joys of this here internet thingy is you can come across detailed articles about the minutia of life. One of my very favourites is this page on how to carry your tripod, don't say it's not educational here.

Tuesday 4 September 2007

We got an award!

Well September has only just started and it's a pretty fine month in my opinion. After an August where events conspired to stop me taking hardly any pictures at all, I managed to get down to Leigh-on-Sea for the dawn on Saturday morning and capture some interesting light.

Moonlight Fossett
(Click to view Large)

In addition I am chuffed to bits that this site has been awarded "website of the month" by Outdoor Photography magazine. It's actually for the October issue but magazines being what they are the issue is out now. A big welcome to all those hundreds (indeed hundreds, I checked my logs) of people who saw the article and decided to check out the site. Hope you will stick around.

The final piece of good news is that I have a gig. Yes a gig, not an exhibition. I have been invited to exhibit my pictures as part of a charity concert. More details real soon.

Yup, September is a good month.

Saturday 1 September 2007

Julian Barkway is Photographer of the Month for September

Julian Barkway is a photographer who describes himself as a passionate believer in 'slow photography' where time is taken to 'make', rather than merely snap, an image. His site contains a number of very inspiring images, well worth a visit.

Rock and Pebble
(by Julian Barkway)

Previous Photographers of the Month