Monday, 24 November 2008

More Christmas Gifts for photographers

Yet more things I want for Christmas you could buy your favourite photographer for Christmas.


Craghoppers Kiwi Trousers
The trousers with a leg pocket big enough to take a full set of Lee filters.

Craghoppers Winter Lined Kiwi Trousers
I have raved about these before - great for cold winter mornings.


Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk
I've been meaning to try this out for a while, reports are that it is excellent.

Falcon print positioner - Available from Silverprint
looks like it will save some time mounting prints

It's always a good idea to send your favourite photographer on a course with a master photographer. Companies I recommend are:
Northscape - Keith Henson
Visions of Britain - Jon Gibbs & Adam Burton
Landscape Photography Workshops - Kate Barclay and John Duckett

Friday, 21 November 2008

Christmas Gifts for Photographers

Here are a few ideas of what to get your photographer friends for Christmas. I offer this as a public service to all those looking to purchase a gift or stocking filler for the photographer in their life and definitely not a big hint to my wife as to what I would like for Christmas.

A couple of good books have come my way this year that I can recommend to photographers of all abilities:

The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos
by Michael Freeman

This is a great book to help you really start thinking about composition.

The Moment It Clicks: Photography Secrets from One of the World's Top Shooters
by Joe McNally

Either enjoy the great pictures in this, learn how they were made or do both!

For beginners I will as per usual recommend Understanding exposure:

Books I haven't read but look like they might be of interest (if someone was to buy them for me) are:


SanDisk CompactFlash 4GB Extreme III Memory

You can't have too many memory cards!

Op/tech Rainsleeve
I have been rained on a lot this year & some of these would have come in very handy!

Spudz Cleaning Cloth
Ideal for wiping sea spray off filters - though the camo print one does seem like a good idea ...drop that & you'll never find it again!

That should be enough to get you started, I'll be posting another blog on this subject as soon as I find some more goodies I fancy that make good presents for photographers.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Camera Simulators

Just getting to grips with your camera? Not sure about the relationship between f/Stops and shutter speed? Want to know more about ISO speeds and camera shake?

Well why not try a camera simulator. We have had flight simulators for years, so a camera simulator was an idea waiting to happen. I have recently come across 2 rather good simulators that may be of interest.

Camera Simulator by Paul Cheney
The SimCam by Photonhead

For a full understanding of what these simulators are teaching you, I recommend a good read of Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson or even my exposure cheat sheet.

Related Posts

Shadows and Highlights
Preflight Check List
Exposure Cheat Sheet

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Take A View - Award Presentation

I was fortunate enough to be asked to cover The Landscape Photographer of the Year award presentation on monday for Ephotozine. You can read my journalistic efforts here.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

What a difference a photographer makes (part 2)

In part one I discussed an evenings photography I had enjoyed with Ian Flindt and Kevin Goodchild. There I discussed the difference in our approaches to creating an image of Tower Bridge.

This time, I'd like to show the images we produced when left completely to our own devices in Central London.

Click on the images to view them large.

As the clouds came over and the more interesting light was lost, Kevin made use of his excellent observational skills. This image of a contemplative figure sat lost in thought, with the financial centre of Canary Wharf behind him really sums up the day for me. When you know that this was taken on the day that a couple of banks collapsed and the financial markets were in turmoil, it makes you wonder what the person in the shot is thinking.

by Kevin Goodchild

Ian managed to arrive well before Kevin and I and (quite characteristically) seemed to magic up some fantastic light. He then managed to wait till the people were in exactly the right positions to achieve this interesting and very beautiful composition. Shortly afterwards I arrived bringing my own personal rain-cloud with me!

City Hall, London
by Ian Flindt

As the sky clouded over the saturation of certain colours increased quite dramatically, and I found interest in a fountain right near tower bridge. The rust on this figure emerging from the water produced some great colours and helped me produce my very first nude abstract.

The Back Side
by Chris Shepherd

I find it fascinating that we were all using similar equipment and spent most of the evening quite close to one another yet we produced such different images. It really shows that it is the photographers eye, not their equipment that makes the picture.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

What a difference a photographer makes (part 1)

I always really enjoy getting out and taking pictures with other photographers. Recently I had the pleasure of getting out with two excellent photographers, Ian Flindt & Kevin Goodchild.

We decide to spend an evening around the Tower Bridge area of Central London. I thought it would be interesting to show how different photographers can interpret the same themes. This is a two part post. In this first part, I'd like to show how the three of us interpreted the same scene within a few minutes of each other.

Please click each image to view a larger version

Kevin produced a beautifully constructed image which uses the dolphin fountain to full effect. The eye is lead round the curve of the fountain, past some lovely reflected light, up to the bridge itself and then you finally notice that huddle of 3 figures, which add an element of scale and interest that would otherwise be missing.

Tower Bridge
by Kevin Goodchild

In characteristic style Ian elected to show as much of the context of the bridge as possible. He was able to find a new viewpoint and use wide angle to maximum effect, to bring the gates of St.Katherines Dock into the composition. The Gate, river wall and bridge work to create a dynamic zig-zag through the image.

Tower Bridge
by Ian Flindt

My images tend to have as little in them as possible and I felt I would be happier if I could get a clear view of the bridge. I found my way (through a gate that is normally locked at this time of night) down on to the lower pier. This gave me a chance to take the shot from river level with tower bridge towering over me.

Tower Bridge
by Chris Shepherd

In part 2 I'll look at what we produced when given a completely free reign.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Take a View - Take A Bow

I see that the winners for the 2008 Take A View, Landscape Photographer of the Year have been announced. Just looking through the images that have been chosen is a treat for they eyes and I can't wait to visit the exhibition at The National Gallery.

Two friends and fellow Painters with Light have been Highly Commended:

Summer Storm, Cromer, Norfolk
by Kate Barclay

Snowy pier, Southwold, Suffolk, England
by Chris Calver

Big Congrats to you two.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Mickey Smith is Photographer of the Month for November

I really enjoy the surf photography of Mickey Smith. There are some really great prints there, I especially enjoyed the images of surfing in Icelandt.

byMickey Smith

Why not visit his website and give your eyes a treat.

Previous Photographers of the Month