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Showing posts from September, 2007

Doorway to great photography

This doorway on a cross channel ferry caught my eye because of it's graphic qualities. I think it's quite appropriate to show a doorway as I hope to open one for you to thousands of wonderful images and hundreds of talented photographers. When you've been around as long as I have (well it's not all that long I suppose, being in my early 40s), anyway, you get to know things, like which are the best photographic agencies around the world. I thought tonight, why not share these links with everyone? So without further ado here are my list of top photography agencies.

1980's Hasselblad better than latest Pro DSLR

It may be time to dust off your old medium format gear and give it a new lease of life with a digital back. The results are stunning, better than the latest Canon Pro DSLRs and cheaper! Prices of digital backs have come down and you can now get one for around £5,000 in the UK, even cheaper second hand. Comparing the results between a 16mp digital back on an old 1980's Hasselblad C/M and a new pro full frame Canon DSLR is an eye opener. The quality from the Hasselblad is better. Images are super sharp, files stand up to interpolation better, there's more shadow and highlight detail, colours are spot on and the files are true 16bit from RAW. DSLRs don't actually generate true 16 bit RAW images. One way to try a digital back on your medium format or for that matter large format camera is to hire the appropriate back. It's not cheap but if you incorporate it in your costs for the shoot on the day then the extra quality could well benefit your work and give you an edge

Pictures that pose questions

This images symbolises the way our childhood seems to pass so quickly. Childhood now seems to be a little like a dream, like someone else lived it, although inside I am still that small kid sometimes. The telephone wires and the road perhaps signify the journey we travel and how we are linked through our ability to communicate. Then again perhaps it is just an out of focus picture of a little girl running along a road. The joy of photography is that I can present you with an image. You have to also do some of the work in interpreting it. All I can say is the photograph was meant to be and I chose it. I think photographs should get people to think and to ask questions. Cheers, Paul

Exploring the subject

The four images above were taken within a few minutes of each other. The subject is the side of a railcar. The aim was a series of images which explore a single subject with the emphasis on strong graphic compositions. Cheers, Paul

Popularity is not a measure of artistic merit

This bit of industrial design/architecture resides in the far corner of a supermarket parking lot in Belgium. At first it looks like and incredibly straightforward image but the more you look the more you discover. Click on the image to see the larger version. It never ceases to amaze me how diverse audiences respond to different images. Some images have broad appeal while others have a much smaller appeal but are liked with a passion. A word of caution to my colleagues out there. Popularity is not a measure of artistic value. If it were then most of the modern art museums would have to throw their exhibits in a skip. So what is an appropriate measure of artistic value. That's a tough question. I don't know the answer but what I do know is that if a few people respond passionately to an image I've made, it makes me happy. Cheers, Paul

Foundations for successful professional photographers

Descriptions about what it takes to be a professional photographer are often quite fluffy and insubstantial. So with my best analytical cap on I've decided look at what it takes to be successful professional photographer. Let's first clear a few things up. You don't need to own a camera, any camera at all, you don't need lights, you don't a studio and you don't need official qualifications. You can hire everything you need from cameras to studio managers and digital artists. You certainly need knowledge and skill but not necessarily a diploma to hang on the wall. To be a successful professional photographer you will have to develop four key foundations besides being able to make brilliant photographs and the traditional business skills which apply to everyone running their own company. The foundations are creativity, professionalism, knowledge and skill sets . Although this article is written for advertising and editorial photographers I am sure you will see ho

Sensitivity and respect in your comments

Many photographers upload pictures of people for comment on photo sharing websites. I think it is important to point out that comments made on a picture are often read by the person in the picture. On the whole I think that most people commenting on a picture do show respect and awareness of the subject's feelings and emotions. However sometimes a comment is made that reveals a lack of regard for the person in the image. Classic examples are comments which turn an attractive woman or man into a sexual object, or mock, trivialise or patronise the subject. Even if the person in the photograph will almost certainly never see the comments made on their image, I believe it is of fundamental importance that comments are respectful and that you only say what you would be prepared to say looking that person straight in the eye. The internet is vast and people on your screen can appear somewhat abstract and removed from the real human being, but each person you see in a photogr

Meet Willem Vermandere

Flemish sculptor, painter, artist and folk musician, Willem Vermandere sings from the heart during a visit to his house in West Flanders. Magda Indigo arranged a visit for us the last time we were in Belgium. Willem only performs in Flemish so his work is not well known outside Belgium and Holland although he has performed in the UK. Recently South African academics have also shown an interest in his poetic texts and his work is being translated into and performed in Afrikaans. Willem is a kind, warm, generous man who has tremendous humility. He is a legend in Belgium. It was a priviledge to meet him. I wanted to capture something of his spirit here. Cheers, Paul