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Monthly Archives: July 2017

Mind-Blowing Photography

Practice!

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! Sometimes those mistakes turn out to be something unique and innovative that you can build on.

Work the subject!

Try shooting the same thing in as many ways you can that capture different aspects about it. After you shoot look through your shoot and critique your work. Be mindful of what worked and what didn’t and why. Editing your shoot is an important part of the learning process.

Study the work of other photographers.

Find something that inspires you and pay attention to what you like and try to mimic it. Then try to make it your own by bringing in something new and different.

Familiarize yourself with photography software!

Digital software is today’s darkroom & developing an image is just as important as how you shoot it. My favorite way to digitally polish my images is through Lightroom. It’s amazing what it allows you to do to an image without exposing yourself to chemicals or wasting photo paper and developer. The preset filters are a great way to intensify the tone of the image, but you must know how to fine-tune them to make the image just so. Photoshop is also an important tool.

Learn Lighting!

I suggest photographing a subject at different times of day and compare them. If you have access to professional lighting equipment try shooting your subject lit from different angles, diffusion vs. Hard lighting, etc… There are jobs just dedicated to lighting on high-end shoots, so there are no limits there if you have the budget. Really think about how the light conveys your message to the viewer.

Go with your instincts!

Make sure what you are shooting is fulfilling something for you. There is no point in shooting something you aren’t enjoying. It will show in your work! The more you are passionate about it, the more creatively you can capture it! I’ve worked with so many photographers that have talent, but take on shoots they don’t enjoy and it showed in the quality of the images. For example, I could never understand why somebody would hire a nature photographer to shoot their portraits. Somebody that isn’t a people person doesn’t take flattering photos of people no matter how much technical knowledge they have. On the other hand, if you see all people as beautiful and you have a natural talent for making a person feel good about him/herself, then portrait photography is a great niche!

Analogue Photography

Analogue has a further specialised meaning. It refers to a signal where the output is proportional to the input, normally in relation to the combination of a device and a media that can together measure, record, or reproduce continuous information.

For example, older telephones converted the vibration of sounds to electric current, which travelled a wire, and upon reaching its destination was converted back into amplified vibrations. A tape recorder converted sound information to magnetism on the surface of the tape, and these fields were later converted into electrical current by the reading head, which was in turn amplified and transformed into vibration of a speaker.

On this basis, the sensor in a digital camera is also an analogue system. Each of the many millions of pixels in the sensor is a light-sensitive photocell, which generates a tiny electrical current in response to light: the brighter the light, the stronger the current. It only becomes a digital system when the brightness levels are coded into the binary (digital) record of that image.

The word “digital” comes from digit, as in fingers and toes. We count on our fingers (sometimes our toes), and so digit has also come to mean numbers. Digital systems use numbers to store and manipulate information. But I digress…

Film photography is not a true analogue process: it’s a chemical process whereby exposing light sensitive photographic film requires chemical solutions to develop and stabilize the image.

So, there’s another irony to our new terminology. Digital photography is underpinned by an analogue system, and film photography is not a true analogue process. Only the first non-film cameras were wholly analogue systems: they recorded pixel signals continuously, as videotape machines did.

To add further confusing, there are two different spellings of the word. “Analogue” is the traditional English spelling, while the phonetically simplified “analog” is American. However, in the USA both words are used. Analog generally refers to electronics devices, while analogue is often reserved for use in the sense something that bears a resemblance to something else (or so I understand).

Cycling Lends

What they did help provide however was a fantastic and totally unexpected atmosphere. With the arrival of a the long train of support vehicles, police and in particular the French gendarmes (yes the French police with their comedic siren exploited brilliantly in the Pink Panther films), then I begin to notice a faint tingling on the back of my neck. The helicopters overhead then raise the anticipation to fever pitch and I begin to focus on a stretch of road in the distance. No riders yet. But the helicopters remain. My dog Jip stops fidgeting and barking and pricks his ears up attentively. Someone further along calls out, “They’re here!”

That magical sunny day (they forecast rain you know) will live with me I hope, always. Now, I intend to capture ordinary people’s passion for cycling, and this is how I and other would be snappers might go about it.

Loaded with a camera and lens capable of taking action and sports shots (I use a Canon 50mm f1/8 which can be purchased for between £60-70), I locate myself at points along various cycling routes – road or off-road. Organised events will also provide opportunities. One eye should be on the weather beforehand, as a torrential downpour could render all your preparation as useless.

Care will be taken not to take photos of younger cyclists unless parental consent is given. Moreover, care will also be taken not to take a photo if it might hinder the cyclist’s concentration, thus causing an accident (such as on busy roads).

All about Smart Phone Photography

What a surprise! The photography possible with this machine is far better than any camera owned previously. It takes shot after shot of incredible photos whose detail can be enlarged and studied. Like the camera before it of course it takes videos as well.

This is a far cry from the first camera that my brother gave me when I was around 8 years of age. It was quite small but the photos I took have survived and are a record of the family history from those early years. Film had to be inserted and then the photos developed through the local chemist. It meant saving my pocket-money to redeem them.

From that time to this photography has been one of my hobbies and the quantity of shots from just about everywhere travelled or experiences enjoyed are filling albums and taking up storage space around the home. That is unnecessary with the new technology. The computer stores anything needing to be kept while some photos are printed immediately either through my printer or the local shop.

The difference in convenience and cost is astronomical and the pleasure of taking photos has increased enormously thanks to the new smart phone.