Thursday, August 09, 2018

Renée C. Byer on the Art of Photojournalism

All photos copyright of Renee C. Byer and The Sacramento Bee

I wanted to share this interview with you.

Award-winning American documentary photojournalist, Renée C. Byer, is best known for her in-depth work focusing on the disadvantaged and those who otherwise would not be heard. Her ability to produce photographs with profound emotional resonance and sensitivity earned her the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography in 2007 and dozens of other national and international honours, including that of Pulitzer finalist in 2013.

Well worth watching.



Sunday, August 05, 2018

What makes a great photograph great?

What makes a great photograph great? Now there's a big question. I bet if you asked 20 curators and 20 photographers that question you'd get a different answer from all of them.

I will try to distil the answer. You tell me if it resonates with what you feel and think too.

The usual text book answers to what makes a good photograph revolve around the composition, the lighting, colour, the action in the photograph, the content, story and emotion, but we all know that technically perfect photos, even of great subjects, can be uninspiring and uninteresting.

I think a great photograph goes beyond the individual elements. The sum is greater than the components.

All the elements work together, and as you look, something deeply personal unlocks in your brain. You have this moment when everything connects and makes sense. You go 'aha' I see it. You identify with the subject.

If you don't get that feeling from a photograph then it is just another snapshot.

Creating great images starts with the photographer setting out with a purpose and ends with audience understanding and sharing that purpose. When we recognise ourselves in the image we experience a powerful visceral effect.

For me that feeling comes from seeing how all the elements connect with each other, have a reason for being there, and help to tell the story. Beauty is indeed within the eye of the beholder.

As a photographer you have to ask yourself why am I taking this image. What am I seeing that is exciting my brain? And then you have to distil those answers down to their absolute essence within the frame, discarding anything that is not strictly relevant, anything that does not add to the image, and does not contribute to connecting all the elements together.

What do you think?

Paul Indigo

Friday, December 29, 2017

Christmas market image explained

From my new  #CreativeInsights video series.

In this video I explain the composition and why I think the image works. View the photo here Happy with sausage A man looks forward to tucking into a giant sausage on baguette at the German Christmas market in Leeds.

Thanks for watching. More to follow in the New Year.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

The photo and the experience are different

It’s hard to take a photograph that does it justice.

This is one of my favourite views in the world, looking toward Hout Bay from Chapman’s Peak Drive.

You stand there with the wind plucking at your clothes, enveloped by the smell of fynbos mixed with sea air and you feel the heat radiating from the rocks and ground around you.

Your heart beats a little faster as you try to take in the immense grandeur of the Cape Peninsula at the South Western tip of Africa.

How can you put this experience into an image? One way is to add a description, as I have done here. Captions are immensely important. But a photographer has other tools as well. Using the language of light, composition, colour and gesture all help us convey the feeling of what was like to see what we saw and photographed.

It's a real challenge and something to think about.

Thanks for reading.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Street photography. More than snapping people

Strangers united
This lady stepped forward, curious, and at that moment I noticed that she was aligned with two other people in the background. Instinctively I pressed the shutter, uniting this little group of strangers in a photographic composition.

The image gives form to the idea that we are constantly physically and mentally joining groups, sometimes at random and at other times out of choice, like the tour party in the background, aware or unaware of our behaviour.

I am pleased I noticed the moment everything clicked into place.

For me street photography is far more than just taking random snaps of people in the street.

Till soon,

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Tiny details that matter

On the Burg in Brugge looking toward the Tompouce, terrace filled with people enjoying the sunshine. In the background you see the Halletoren. Brugge is a magical place.

I particularly liked the way the light etched out the gables and lit the terrace and the small group standing chatting on the Burg. To the left of the frame the light is just catching the greenery in the flower boxes at the edge of the terrace. The lady with the grey hair on the left sitting in the sunshine helps balance the composition. All of these tiny details come together to create an interesting image.

A few minutes later and the beauty created by the light had gone. It’s one of those moments. When you see it you have to grab it.

Till soon,


Sunday, February 05, 2017

Photographer exploring the world

Raindrops colour abstract
Raindrops travelling down the window in little rivulets have always fascinated me. At night together with the lights of the city they make for a lovely abstract and colourful image. Beauty can be found everywhere, in the ordinary and in the extraordinary.

I don’t want to have a certain style, a look or only ever photograph one subject. I want to be free to explore and discover new things, the beauty in people, colours, shapes, landscapes food, black and white… everything.

The only parameter I consistently apply is to avoid over manipulation and digital trickery to create a fake scene. When you look at my work what you see is what I saw when I was there.

Thank you for visiting my blog.