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Showing posts from August, 2007

From enthusiast to professional photographer

A surprising number of photography enthusiasts do not have a clue about the absolute basics. Some of them are taking on commercial work and thinking of becoming professional. It's frightening. These days it seems like just about everyone wants to become a professional photographer. Thanks to outstanding modern Digital SLR technology, the ability to delete poor images and 'fix' others in Photoshop many enthusiasts believe they can produce professional results without having to learn and understand basic concepts. What's more the Internet provides a ready made audience of their peers and upload and share community websites ensure they receive a steady stream of praise for their efforts. All of this helps give them a false sense of confidence in their ability to be a professional photographer. I'm not saying the enthusiast without basic knowledge can't take a good picture but there's a world of difference between going out and capturing something on yo

Hold your horses

A horse mane makes an interesting subject for a minimalist composition. I like textures so this was a great subject. Working flat out at the moment on several major projects. Just not enough hours in the day to get it all done. So hold your horses, I've got loads of ideas for blog articles, but in the meantime just wanted to let everyone know that I'm still about. Thanks for your visit to my blog. There's plenty of stuff to read on here, check out the archives or do a search for something of interest. I'll try to add a new article this weekend. Cheers, Paul

Street Portrait

I spotted her in the crowd and she saw me. We looked at each other, communicated with a few gestures and as a final shot in the sequence she treated me to this one. Classic attitude. I wanted a bright colourful image, celebrating an individual's right to self expression. Cheers, Paul

Highly recommended blog

If you're looking for more than tips on how to take pictures and what equipment to use and you'd like to find out about the soul of truly creative photographer then take a look at Magda Indigo's blog. She's known almost as well for her well researched and informative writing as she is for her photography. And yes she is my wife, I love her very much and I consider it a privilege to share my life with someone as talented as she is, so if you've not discovered her work yet what are you waiting for? Cheers, Paul

The joys of wedding photography

These two little bridesmaids decided they'd had enough of being photographed. The family watched, highly amused as I battled to get these two little devils to pose. I got the shot later after giving it a few minutes break. I don't do weddings anymore, mostly corporate and advertising work now, but this wedding could not be refused. The reportage went brilliantly, the couple are thrilled, and they want this shot too. I find that people often like the off-beat moments. The days of the stiff formal, traditional wedding shoot seem far away, certainly in my neck of the woods. People want photography that reflects real life and has emotion. So although at the time it may seem a challenge that the child bridesmaids don't want to be photographed it is in fact a great opportunity to make a shot that's a bit different. The picture sums up my attitude to photography and life. Every hurdle and challenge is in fact a great opportunity to make something special. The best stuff in lif

Laura Lippman bestselling author

Best selling American author Laura Lippman. Here's an extract from her official bio: Laura Lippman was a reporter for twenty years, including twelve years at The (Baltimore) Sun. She began writing novels while working fulltime and published seven books about “accidental PI” Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001. Her work has been awarded the Edgar ®, the Anthony, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe and Barry awards. She also has been nominated for other prizes in the crime fiction field, including the Hammett and the Macavity. She was the first-ever recipient of the Mayor’s Prize for Literary Excellence and the first genre writer recognized as Author of the Year by the Maryland Library Association. NOVELS Baltimore Blues* (1997, nominated for the Shamus Award for best first PI novel.) Charm City* (1997, winner of the Eddgar ® and Shamus awards for best paperback original, nominated for the Anthony Award.) Butchers Hill* (1998, winner of the Agatha Award

Don't use your camera on manual settings

Antwerp successfully preserves a sense of tradition and history, here with the horse drawn carriage and the famous Cathedral in the background, making it attractive to tourists, while at the same time boasting some beautiful modern architecture. The picture above was a split second grab shot. As usual my Canon EOS 5D was set to AV (aperture priority) and I trusted my light meter to give me the correct exposure. As it happened the background sky was extremely bright and the foreground in deep shadow, so the background was a bit overexposed. Using the RAW file's information I was able to retrieve detail everywhere important. Read any guide to improving your photography, listen to photographers advice and you'll be told to set your camera to manual. Using program mode is strictly for amateurs we're told. Well I beg to differ and respected photography tutor John Wade shares my viewpoint. Camera design these days has advanced tremendously and automatic metering has become relia

Holiday portraits

Three holiday makers on a bench in Ostend in Belgium. The couple on the right didn't know the gentleman on the left. I love taking spontaneous portraits of people on the street. The couple didn't know this other chap on the left but by asking to take a portrait of them I brought this little group together for a few minutes. It was great fun. Several hours later I passed the couple in the street and we waved a cheery greeting to each other like old friends. One of the wonderful things about being a photographer is that it enables you to meet all sorts of people, not only the famous but also folk like you and me and the people in this picture. Cheers, Paul

Back from holidays

Peace. Scarborough, Yorkshire, UK. I'm back from my visit to the continent and I've got thousands of images to process with hopefully a few real gems. It's been an incredibly busy time but wonderfully refreshing. I've also got ideas for quite a few new blogs. Watch this space. Cheers, Paul