Thursday, 31 October 2013

How do I improve my photography¿

If you are looking to improve your photography or wondering why you are not being found more often, have you really thought about what you do?

What actions have taken to get found, to be noticed?  If you find that you are constantly looking at other photographers online and wishing that your images could be as good or praised then look at what you do when creating an image.

A lot of photographers spend time emulating those whom they determine are successful.  This is one of the reasons why many images produced by photographers are facsimiles.  It is difficult for clients to  see what separates most wedding and portrait photographers, especially those who love a plug in, as they look so similar.  Style over substance often. 

Spending time perusing and submitting images on Flickr, Facebook, Instagram or Pintrest and other online Photo locations may limited sources of influence giving a congruence of pictures.  Limiting our reference can dissipate the variance in images, they may become more polarised in style and subject.  Now it isn't possible to be truly original, to say so is just naive and arrogant, especially as most photographers have always taken influence from other artists and photographers. Surely, an original image is just a development of a previous idea.  The ability to create new ideas ironically comes from having many experiences, being introduced to extant objects. Using many points of origin as inspiration, peoples stories, reading books, watching films, listening to music, observing street life and even staring at galleries.  Just find something!

Chris Faulder
One way of helping you to produce new ideas is to take a day off, go out exploring with the iPhone, look around at interesting events, scenes and subjects.  Go by yourself,  use your imagination to create new ideas for future projects basing them on your own observations, thereby not being influenced by others around you.  Taking routes at tangents to each other, they may deliver something you had not thought of.  If your journey is too planned you may end up looking at what you usually do.   

By taking minimal equipment you will have to be innovative, using objects around you.  At Somerset House Chris Faulder and I had to find a way of diffusing his flash when trying to take a contre jour image in bright sun light.  The concave saucer substituted well enough as both reflector and diffuser.

There is inspiration to be found on Radio 4, and while they are still online listen to Grayson Perry's talks on art, at the Reith Lectures.

Silk Mews, good location in Kennington.

Jacob Epstein on self observation "what one sees and not what one knows about oneself and feels should be there".  Do you assume what something looks like, who someone is or even how you look?

Jacob Epstein
Phil Richardson, Toilet of London Midland Train.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

View your Kodak and Fuji negatives on the iPhone

Scanning negatives is very time consuming and can take up a lot of space on your hard drive.  Your keep rate was probably much lower on film as you couldn't delete the crap ones.

It is quite likely you only want to scan in some of your old negatives, to see which are good is difficult on 35mm film and even harder when they are colour reversal. This can be achieved via the iPhone itself.

First i used apps, which weren't that expensive but not that great.  When looking through my 'Settings' to reduce various settings so the  battery lasted longer i noticed in General/Accessibility there is a setting titled 'Invert Colours'.  This will make everything negative on your phone.

If you connect your iPhone to a power source and set 'Invert Colours' to off, then open 'Camera' you can view live your negatives in full colour and select the photograph that you need.

Image from iPhone using Negative Me app

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Soggy London - Night Time Photography Course: London

Soggy London: Soggy London: This was my first course booked with Melen courses. It was a night time and low light course on location in London starting out at Paternoster Square behind St Paul's Cathedral...

Millennium Bridge Paul Draper

St Paul's Panning Paul Draper

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

National Trust: Flash on Location Photography Course

Flash on Location Portrait Photography Course   £95
Using Speedlite Flashguns on Location at the Ashridge National Trust Estate.

Course Content
Meet at the NT Visitor Centre and learn creative flash lighting with your Speedlight Flashgun and wireless transmitters on location. The course covers HDR (Hi-Dynamic Range), Contra-Jour and Hi-Speed Sync keeping model lit and darken the background for dramatic effect.  In the afternoon you will photograph our models on location on the Ashridge Estate.

Aim of the course
To give you the confidence to use your flash both on-camera and wireless. Chose suitable places, working with the available light and location.  Overcoming the technical difficulties of using your flash on and off camera and with available light.

Good photography skills, understand how to use your camera, the apertures, shutter speeds and basic flash use.

Further Courses
If you have little experience using studio lighting book a One to One training session and learn how to use Studio Lighting and your Speedlight flashes.

Course Link