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Showing posts from June, 2008

Getting the light right

Glass artist and painter, Ivan, enjoys a cup of coffee. I used two medium sized softboxes and a flash with a honey comb to rim light the black beret so that it separated from the black background. You've heard it so many times before. Photography is about light. It seems obvious but I still see photography enthusiasts obsessing about cameras and equipment rather than concentrating on the one simple element they can use to improve their pictures - lighting. Yes, studio flash costs a fair amount but as the Strobists demonstrate you can use off camera flash and get amazing effects. Light modification devices abound, anything from a piece of foam to a Tupperware container will do. I've seen fabulous portraits created with just one naked light bulb. Then there are thousands of ways to modify daylight from using reflectors to black panels that absorb light (subtractive lighting). It's not equipment that is a limitation, it is rather a lack of imagination and creativity. So I ur

Facing danger as a journalist

'Tomo' BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen has written an insightful article describing how war reporters deal with danger as a routine part of their job. I can relate to the things he says having been shot at while doing my job. Few things though are as scary as being chased by a blood thirsty mob that take exception to your presence. Mostly soldiers, and police are under orders not to harm journalists. But of course you never know. And as Jeremy says about his lucky escape, all it takes is to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. That's what happened to my friend Tomo. He was in the SAS so he was very much in harms way. He was extremely fit and had received the best training in the world but he got caught in an indiscriminate explosion. The irony is he had taken the place of someone else on that patrol. So much comes down to chance. Tomo was near the end of his tour of duty and making plans for holidays. He wanted to get his diving certificate. Nobody gets up in the mo

Brass tradition lives on

Every year the Whit Friday Brass Band competition brings brass bands together in a wonderfully traditional event held in villages in the Saddleworth area near Manchester, UK. This year I photographed the evening competition in a small English village called Delph. The atmosphere was terrific. Enjoy. As always, comments are welcome. Cheers, Paul