A few things got me writing this post: Brighton Beauty photographer John Farrar’s Facebook status “I’m a photographer not a tog!“, a “I’m not a photographer, I just love my dSLR” comment from my last street photography subject, a statement on composition from Frederick Van Johnson of Shut up and Shoot and my wife commenting on the people that have helped with lighting test shoots these past months.
Should press pictures with half blinks be banned?
Wind back the clock and….
I’m on a train into London reading the Metro. Page 25 in the “Guilty pleasures” section has a photo of Kate Moss and Jamie Hince leaving Soho’s Box. “.. after what looks like a damn good night. The notorious party girl ..” reads the text.
In a story “Our blunderful wedding” in today’s printed version of the METRO, page 3, a couple share their horror story. There’s a catalogue of errors and it could have gone worse, but not much! I was going to turn the page until I spotted the word “photographer” in the last line of the order of service (disasters list).
“5PM: Photographer says it’s too dark to take photos and he has another job – but he will charge for his time”
I was stunned.
“When you find yourself beginning to feel a bond between yourself and the people you photograph, when you laugh and cry with their laughter and tears, you will know you are on the right track.” – Arthur Fellig
I don’t recall how I came by this kickstarter.com post, but I remember knowing it needed bookmarking and sharing, both for kickstarter’s way of getting projects off the ground and the monster camera San Diego based photographer Tim Mantoani’s using. As a fan of medium and large formats I’d love to see what my father would do with such a beast.
Kickstarter looks to have done its job nicely, as of November 6th the site says “This project will be funded on Saturday Nov 12, 1:51pm EST.” yet also shows “$16,005 pledged of $10,000 goal”.
The camera is massive, as you’d expect for something that takes photos on Polaroid film 2 foot tall!
No photos for this post, go check out Behind Photographs Archiving Photographic Legends!
My father has been a photographer for many years. In his retirement he’s still going strong, experimenting with lenses, getting high quality primes from old film cameras onto the dSLR. He also refurbishes darkroom equipment, bringing old classic enlargers back into service.
Despite the number of people that now print from digital with inks, my father and I included, there are enough still willing to up their bids to secure the hardware he restores. And it’s not just to the UK, people as far as Hong Kong are included in his customer list.
My father prints a fair number of photographs. He’s done many paper tests finding out which of the many bands work best with each of his printers and ink combinations. He found that the results were extremely varied. One didn’t work with one type of ink, the absorption being so slow the sharpness of the image was lost and the paper stayed wet for many minutes. Others while appearing to be a good white resulted in a quite visible green or blue cast.
He’ll print photos, sometimes with different crops and processing and leave them standing on the piano in the living room.
“Live with them” is a comment he’s made on the selection of a final image from a set.
Over time the initial picture you’d have picked may fall out of favour as you notice some small detail or quality that makes another image more appealing.
In Lightroom it’s easy to select and reject images down into a small manageable set. I’ll then export them, copy them to other devices and view them in slideshow mode, letting each ones qualities or flaws have time to sink in. Shooting a lot of portraits it’s often the expression of the subject rather than a technical detail that often tips the balance for me.
I’ve joined yet another profile site for models, photographers, make-artists, photoshop wizards and supporting services.
It’s left me wishing that they all had better geographic searches. Despite being a small island in comparison to the USA it’s still quite a large land mass when looking for local people to work with.
The weather in the UK is very variable, making it ideal for trainee pilots looking to clock up flight time in varied conditions but not so great for those planning outdoor shoots. It’s why I’m looking to team up with a number of local people who would be willing to join a group for “At the drop of a hat” photoshoots.
If you’re such a person drop me a line via the contact link at the top of the page.
There are a good number of photographers who have and continue to inspire me. My father got me interested in the early years, watching B&W prints develop in the tray in the darkroom was magical! Trey Ratcliff of StuckInCustoms.com with his vivid HDR work got me back into photography with a dSLR after years of shooting film. Natalie, aka Miss Aniela, introduced me to the clone shot and layering. Teppo Moisio and his 100Strangers project got me out of my comfort zone and working with total strangers. Mark Weeks taught me a few things about lighting that became the basis for my own Expodisc differential metering technique. Mark Sayer aka ..Goose.. did many inspirational edits, sadly no longer in his photostream. Rodney aka RCKM and his acting and raw emotion in front of the lens. Drummy with his brilliant Endworld photo series went on to be the Grand Prize Winner of the global Sony make.believe competition!
Introducing Roderique Arisiaman aka “dracorubio”
Roderique has created some jaw dropping creative self portraits. Every few weeks I check his photostream on Flickr and find yet another image that’s pushed the envelope that bit further. He’s entered the “Artist Wanted – The Power Of Self” competition again this year. If like me you like this sort of art do the guy a favour and help him follow in the footsteps of Drummy. No logins needed to vote, just a click of the mouse.
Wanting to know a little more about the man I managed to catch him on Google Talk after trying in vain to get a popular alternative to work due to problems with their login servers. It turns out we’ve got a lot more in common than I’d have guessed. I could have chatted for hours, here’s some of what was said:
I love photography. It’s one of a few creative outlets I have that I find very satisfying. Finding photographers that have a talent for capturing and editing images that make people stop in their tracks and say “Oh Wow!” gives me an equal buzz. Anyone who’s looked at my Flickr Favourites will know there are plenty of them from all over the world. Unfortunately I get to meet very few of them in person.
It’s the first image I’ve seen that clearly shows the width of London including such landmarks as Canary Wharf, the London Eye and 30 St Mary Axe, nicknamed “The Gherkin”. Neil told me we keeps an eye on the sky, looking for storm clouds that help add atmosphere. The clouds are never edited in from another location or date. Taken from high on a roof top in Forest Hill this one is a stitch of 10 images. Neil doesn’t use software like Autostitch to put them together, instead taking the time to stitch them by hand in photoshop. The results are flawless.
The image above is just one example of Neils work, go check out http://neilwilliams.co.uk/ for more.
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