Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2006

The joy of street photography

Street photography is more than a style , it's a way of seeing, a way of being, a kind of zen of photography. It requires being in tune with everything around you to capture that special moment, without prejudices, without preconceptions. It's liberating, a celebration of life and reality in all incarnations. Someone that shares my enthusiasm for street photography and is making quite a name for himself is Johnny Mobasher . His site is definitely worth a visit. I have written an article called Strategies for Street Photograhers in a previous blog which you may find interesting too. I photographed this little girl with her dad in the background, enjoying a moment in the street in Leeds.

The beauty of truth

Portrait of Mrs Madelain, 8 days before her death. She used to be a photographer, quite a pioneer in her time. We talked about photography. She posed for me on the veranda of the retirement home. Staring out to sea she seemed to be looking into the future. Mrs Madelain was patient, understanding of course all the steps required to get the image, metering the light and so on. In her day things were done even more slowly. There is beauty in truth and photography has the power to capture truth. This image is dedicated to Mrs Madelain and all those that seek to show the beauty of truth in their photography. Paul Indigo

Clarification of types of photographers

I've had great feedback about my previous post and one of the most interesting questions was , "What is the difference between a documentary photographer and a photojournalist?" Documentary photographers tend to stick with a particular subject for a length of time doing nothing else. Their focus and attention is narrower than a typical photojournalist. The photojournalist tells stories wherever he finds them and probably goes into an area for a few hours, a week, maybe a month and then moves on to the next story. The photojournalist is concerned with bringing the story to a wide public audience, their readers, while a documentary photographer wants to record something for prosperity or sometimes a specific audience. Documentary photographers usually take images for publication, but sometimes only for an exhibition in an art gallery or other public forum. Sometimes an organisation or company will commission documentary photography of its activities, but the pictures will o

Understanding different types of photographers

Photography is a medium. So are pen and paper. The same pen and the same piece of paper can be used to create a shopping list, write a novel or draw a masterpiece. You have to look at the intention of creator to understand what a photographer’s work is all about. Let’s examine some of the ways in which the medium of photography is used. There are plenty of definitions of photojournalism in textbooks and on the web. In my view, a photojournalist, someone that does photojournalism, is essentially a story teller. Images and captions are combined to achieve the highest goal of any photojournalist – that is to reveal the truth to their audience – the people that read the newspapers, magazines and visit the websites where their work is published. It is the photojournalist’s goal to show reality and to tell true stories that fundamentally separates this type of photographer from other photographers except the documentary photographer. The difference with the documentary photographer is that s

The bridge

Magda strides across the foot bridge near Bolton Abbey in Yorshire. She is someone who is determined to follow her own path. Photographs that capture something about a person don't always have to be full frontal portraits. As a photojournalist you choose a way to shoot your subject that helps tell their story.

Planet earth

One of the landscapes currently on display. See exhibitions. 

Critical success

The internet allows photographers to publish their images to a potentially huge international audience. Online systems enable them to measure the popularity of an image through seeing how often a picture is viewed or through ratings systems. And of course authors can get direct feedback through comments on their work. But is the approval of peers and the ratings they give a true measure of how good an image is. The short answer is no. Inevitably when any of us interact within community we create an online personal brand. People's reactions to a picture are influenced by the way they perceive the photographer's personal brand. Audiences often measure success in terms of expectations so that a beginner who suddenly produces a good image may be rated higher on an image than someone more experienced who consistently produces a high standard of work. The appreciation of an image is influenced by numerous factors. How then do you know if your images really are good? Like all succ

The value of preparation

Photography is instant. You press the shutter and capture a split second of light reflecting off your subject and registering on the camera's film or sensor. I've found that the most satisfying captures are often those special moments when the action unfolds in front of you and, just as everything comes together, you push the shutter. Magic. So it's no wonder that so many photographers go off half-cocked. After all photography appears to be one of the most spontaneous 'art forms' there is. In fact to create magic takes a lot of preparation. Before you do anything you should be considering what you want to shoot, the lenses you will need, the set up of your camera, background information on the location, know who you want to photograph or what. It's dedication and attention to detail that separates the photographer with a professional attitude from a happy snapper. Even papparrazi take the time to learn locations, habits of their prey, build up vital contacts and

New Exhibition

A new year a new exhibition. My wife, Magda, the other half of indigo2 photography and I have launched an online exhibition on our website . Magda has produced two superb Flash slide shows capturing the magic of winter and I've put together an exhibition of unusual landscapes . We'd love to hear what you think of our site and the exhibition, so please feel free to send us an email or sign the guestbook.

Capture the action

Think of an image that really means something to you. Not just an image that is pleasing to look at and contemplate but something that really touches you. I bet the image tells a story. It may not be the most brilliantly realised picture in terms of technique, nor perhaps the perfect composition but something about it touches your emotions and moves you deeply. In our world of over-hype the sheer volume of images that crash against our conciousness every waking minute is overwhelming. It's incredibly refreshing to reach over and look at the snapshot of a loved one, a favourite memory, perhaps something that makes you smile or evokes your empathy. I find myself tremendously attracted to photojournalism again. Good 'old fashioned' story telling pictures that reveal the human condition and that go beyond the all too common overmanipulated and Photoshoped to death kitch view of a reality that does not exist outside cleverly enhanced pixels. Of course digital and darkroom manipu

What makes us respond to an image?

Mowing the lawn in an old cemetry in South Africa. I think are several factors which can influence the importance we attribute to an image or how we rate it aesthetically. Without going into a philosophical discourse about it, here are a few key considerations: I don't think there is such a thing as a bad image or a good image, just pictures that are interesting and pictures that are not interesting. Whether or not depends on several things: Historical context. Older pictures tend to get more interesting Subject matter Technical and aesthetic qualities How well an image communicates an idea or emotion How unusual the image is. Unique views and rarely seen subjects are more interesting The caption or text associated with the image is extremely important to how we perceive it The way the image is presented. The same picture in a magazine, a book, on screen or in a gallery will all be perceived in a different way. Many pictures that work well on a computer monitor