Every year I make the same old resolutions, promises , bold statements; call them what you will etc. Mostly about how I’m going to improve my photography next year and use this blog, and social media in general, more and so on and so on… And does it ever happen? Well, not exactly… I certainly have every intention, but why does it never live up to expectation? – probably because I have no real plan or idea of what I want to achieve. However, this year… I might have. I’ll start with looking forward; particularly as this is a long post and you might not read to the end!
Anyway, I want as always to shoot what I would call more people orientated things. – Something beyond standard portraiture; although I’m always happy to do that. I’d like more creative shoots etc. And so I’ve put together some ideas and hopefully someone will read this and say “hey, I can help with that…”
So, in no particular order of preference; there’s two broad areas:
Portraiture – Artistic, unusual, striking and interesting etc. I’m particularly interested in photographing people with striking looks, styles & characters such as Goths, Steampunks, Street performers & artists, dancers, actors & re-enactors etc.
I’d be really keen to work in a collaborative manner rather than just be the photographer directing the model etc. – i.e. if any such subjects have any creative ideas that they would want to bring to the shoot or would want to be photographed in a certain way, I’d be more than happy to entertain the ideas etc.
Action – Perhaps some parkour, BMX or skateboarding stuff? Of course I’ll always want to shoot rock climbing & bouldering – whether it’s “staged” or capturing the action as it happens etc.
Of course, I’ll still photograph anything & everything within reason; but it would be nice to have more control over what I shoot and how I shoot it etc.
Anyway, if you can help, or think you can help; or think you know someone who can help me achieve some of my creative ambitions then please get in touch.
Also, if you have a creative vision or again, know someone who has a creative vision, that I may be able to capture; please get in touch.
Or, if you just want the services of photographer…
Looking back at the last, which seems to be what everyone is doing in some way shape or form. So what were the “highlights” – blown out or otherwise? Sorry, photography type pun there!
Well, it pretty much started with my last blog post. That was all about the shoot that was intended to produce some images to enter into the BMC’s Guide Book competition. I never entered any images but it did at least produce some work I was happy with. So my confidence got a bit of a small boost.
Next came the Photography Show in March. Every year I go along and every year I say I’m not going again etc. But I do, and I will probably be going in 2018 too. What was good about the 2017 show? Well, my “hero” Joe McNally was there, so I had to be. We said “Hi” and I watched him do his thing on the Nikon and Manfrotto stands. And then I realised that all the technique and approach he was demonstrating was not new to me. I didn’t need to hear and see Joe do it so that I’d be better. I should be out there doing it for myself, finding my own way. Now don’t get me wrong, Joe is still one of, if not the best, photographer around and he and his work will always be someone and something I will admire and aspire to. But I no longer need to hang on his every word, try and do everything like Joe. I’ve moved on. The apprentice has not become The Master, but he has become… well, not the apprentice ok. – I’m sure you get the idea.
Then in June, I attended Frank Doorhof’s workshop at Amersham. I went last year and learnt a hell of a lot and had a lot of fun. This year I learnt a whole lot more and had even more fun. Frank is such a great teacher and all round good guy. He always has a great sense of humour and really does a lot to encourage others, which is why hanging out with him and a bunch of other photographers for a weekend is so enjoyable. The funny thing is that you don’t realise how much you’ve learnt at the time. That seems to come afterwards. Of course I couldn’t really mention that weekend without mentioning Frank’s wife Anneweik, Nadine Stephan (model & stylist) & Simon Ellingworth (studio owner & host); all of whom contributed to making a great weekend.
But what did I really learn? What has been the things that I think has improved my photography? Two things really:
First a light meter. I could write a whole post on this but basically it boils down to using one, understanding what it’s telling you and how to use that information. Without going into really detailed explanations, understanding what a light meter gives you is also useful in situations when you can’t use one! Sound bizzare, but it works – well for me at any rate. Perhaps it’ll have to be the subject of a future post…
And second, only select your absolute best images to process and publish. Immediately delete all of the files you don’t select. It cuts down on drive space for a start, but it really pushes your self criticism; in a good way though.