Orange and frost on Flickr.
A lot can be said for beautiful light. An early morning session in Richmond Park delivered some really amazing vistas through the trees.
Dizzy on Flickr.
A quick post-work stroll around Broadgate Tower.
Working in the area every day makes it hard to find inspiration when I take my camera there, but I’m trying to experiment with different angles and other ways of portraying a scene a bit differently.
Review: Everybody Street
Since first seeing the trailers over a year ago, I have been eagerly anticipating the release of…
I’ve always considered street photography a bit of a dark art, to the extent that I don’t really know what it is or how it is defined. As a fairly non-confrontational person, I feel I’m not very well suited to it anyway. I’ll definitely be watching this documentary to try and understand it better.
I’ve probably spent more time reading about photographic techniques and principles than I have taking photos. Part of the reason is that I want to “do it properly”, giving photography the respect it deserves by trying to understand it as fully as possible.
When I am out shooting, I therefore try to utilise everything I’ve learned to date, and I actually end up taking fewer photos because I always want to conceive the perfect shot and not just “spray and pray”.
The problem with all this is that I find myself holding back from taking a photo ‘in case I get it wrong’. The point is, making mistakes is a vital part of the process, and no matter how much theory you learn, it is no substitute for experience. Even if I read that doing technique X may be sub-optimal, the only way to really appreciate why is to make the mistake myself.
So next time, I am going to try to be less afraid of making mistakes, and be happy experimenting.
Frosty sunrise on Flickr.
For my first foray into sunrise starts for the purpose of photography, I cycled over to Richmond Park on a beautfully misty Saturday morning.
I met a number of other photographers who were very welcoming and showed me a few good spots. At this time, there are a lot of photographers with their tripods all over the park, who then disappear by the time the general public arrive; it is like the park leads a double life.
“ If you love your tripod then don’t let me poop in your ice cream; but if you’re carrying it around to use with your Canon or Nikon DSLR because someone else told you it made sharper pictures, think again. I make more and better pictures when I’m not weighed down.”
Ken Rockwell, discussing the use of tripods in “Digital Killed My Tripod”
Ken is always quite polarising in his posts, as he makes a habit of trashing common perceptions of photographic techniques and whatnot. This time, he argues that tripods are over-used by the average DSLR shooter and handheld, higher-ISO images allow for more freedom and potentially even sharper images.
Being very new to ‘enthusiast’ photography, I quickly became a fan of using a tripod, cranking the ISO down to 100 and using long exposures to create smooth low-light shots. But he has a point. I find tripods cumbersome and restrictive. It take ages to reposition the camera, as you have to adjust each leg in turn and then the ball head.
One of the techniques I want to explore more is to think more outside of the box in terms of camera position. Get down low, use angles, get close up. Tripods are not condusive to this. If I weigh it up, does the benefit of low ISO, long exposures outweigh the restrictions inherited by using a tripod? In my case, I think the answer is no. I need to be practising my creativity and composition, not concentrating on the same low-light shots.
I think for nightscapes, tripods are essential. And for any type of motion-blur like light trails or waterfalls. But otherwise I need to be less afraid of higher ISOs. Put another way, if I am relying on a low ISO to create a good image, my image is simply not good enough. An outstanding composition remains such regardless of noise.
This weekend I’ll be leaving my tripod at home.
Tower Bridge on Flickr.
I spent about 3 hours after work walking around Tower Bridge taking photos. Unfortunately I didn’t really seem to find my mojo and wasn’t really happy with any of the shots I took. I’m still in search of my photographic ‘voice’; application of techniques like long exposures are in themselves not enough.
This photo has potential but compositionally I think it is weak. It is ‘busy’, with lots going on; the Shard in the background and the buildings bottom-left don’t add to the image, and I don’t like the gap to the right of the image. Still, my wife likes it so I’m putting up for experience!
Not to say it wasn’t productive. Questioning and learning from experience is all part of the journey.
“ For this image I put the 10 stop filter on to the 24mm glass and used a TriggerTrap remote connected to my iPhone to expose for around 1 minute. As well as showing movement in the clouds this had the added benefit of getting rid of the people who were milling around the entrance taking photos of themselves and dawdling along - as long as they didn’t stay still for too long they disappeared from the scene.”