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Showing posts from October, 2006

Get feedback from a wide audience

Here's a thought for today: It's interesting showing work to non-photographers because their reactions are purely about emotion and content. If you only show your work to other photographers and imaging professionals you may be missing out on important feedback. The greatest reward is when the audience you took the picture for likes what you've done. If you take pictures to show them on image sharing sites then that is your audience - mostly amateur photographers. If you take pictures to sell them then your audience are your clients or the consumers of the published material. Cheers, Paul

Outdoors social portrait photography

She absolutely loved this portrait. So does her husband. I was a little concerned about the strand of hair that blew across her eye but she felt it gave a more carefree and natural feel to the image. This was her favourite expression of the set of six I took in this pose. Portrait photography , at least in the UK, seems to be moving increasingly out of the studio. Instead of the stiff formal portraits with people dressed up in their best outfits, clients are now asking for informal reportage style images in a natural environment. The emphasis is on spontaneous and fun images which them at play and sometimes at work. Some photographers may think this makes things easier because you're out of the confines of the studio, probably working without a tripod but if anything it's even harder to master this style than studio work. In the studio you can control the lighting, there's no variable weather to contend with, no curious passers-by and basically anything can happen. So what

The cast

A young fisherman casts his line from Scarborough's harbour wall. I thought it best to upload a quick image to let you all know that I'm still alive and well. Working on a photographic project 24/7 at the moment so I've got very little time to go online. Lots of exciting things are in the pipeline and I'll keep you posted. In the meantime I hope you enjoy this image. Cheers, Paul 

Steve Bloom's Spirit of the Wild exhibition

"Steve Bloom’s Spirit of the Wild open air photography exhibition runs from 27 September to 15 November in Millennium Square, Leeds, UK. The exhibition was seen by an estimated three million people in Birmingham and Copenhagen. A free outdoor photography exhibition of 100 giant floodlit pictures, open 24 hours World facts and data of environmental importance. A short documentary about Spirit of the Wild showing Steve Bloom at work. The film runs continuously in the exhibition shop and information centre. Steve Bloom brings to us these breathtaking photographs showing the diversity of life from many places in the world; from the depths of the rainforest to the open expanse of the Arctic Circle. He shares his desire to capture the spirit and the beauty of the world’s wildlife and to engage the viewer with these images, but at the same time, show that this world is a fragile place that needs to be protected if these animals are to survive in the future. " - From the press releas


A group of girls get into a street fight in Leeds city centre. A young man nearby spots me and imitates a photographer while on the other side a passerby looks on in consternation. I was out doing some street photography when this scene unfurled in front of me and the old photojournalistic instincts kicked in. It's the second street fight I've seen in three weeks. This time no blood. I think the chap imitating the photographer makes a good post-modern comment on the ubiquitous presence of the photographer and cameras in our society. That's why I chose this shot out of the sequence. I got a few other good ones with the 17mm wide angle on my Canon EOS 5D, inches away from the action. I like the image because there's a kind of raw beauty about it. The onlookers help tell the story through their reactions to the fight. Photojournalists are the witnesses of our society and their images are their testimony. Cheers, Paul 

Waiting, ISPs and the case for digital MF cameras

Ferry passengers stand at the railings admiring the sunset as the ship leaves Calais in France, headed for Dover, England. At the moment we've got terrible problems with our internet connection - a fault on the line, which is making things difficult, like updating my blog. So apologies for the infrequent posts. On a forum recently a photographer was asking about the business case for investing in medium format digital equipment. The costs talked about for the new Hasselblad H3D system were in the region of 25,000 GBP. Extras like computer equipment to handle the huge files and a full set of lenses were also raised. I thought I'd share my thoughts on the forum with you here... "If you need a camera for a particular job, but not on a day to day basis then hiring it is an obvious way to go. I know a pro in London who doesn't own a single camera. He hires whatever he needs and charges it on to the client, as you would any expense ( for eg. lunch, travel, lights, model, sty

The edge

This young lady was actually walking along the sea-wall but it looked like she was heading for the edge because of the angle of view. I took the shot because I like the starkness and simple strong graphic appeal of the scene. Although this was taken with a telephoto you may want to have a look at the article below which I've just written about using a standard lens. Cheers, Paul

The standard lens

Love it or hate it the standard prime lens has a very special role to play in photography - yes I think even today with all those superb quality zoom lenses out there. The standard lens has a focal length about the same as the diagonal measurement of the film with which it is used. The angle of view with this lens-film size combination is roughly the same at a given distance as the angle that the human eye sees clearly. For a 35mm film camera (or a full frame DSLR), the 50mm lens is considered standard. The standard lens used to sold with cameras and it was certainly the most used before the advent of cheaper consumer zoom lenses. Four key things combine to differentiate the standard lens from all other lenses: standard lenses are prime (fixed focal length), they are usually extremely sharp, they have a wide maximum aperture (f1.4 ), which means you can achieve shallow depth of field and handhold in extremely low light they show minimal distortion and provide a 'natural