What is a pre-blog ? Well, in this case it looks a bit like a blog, it has content very similar to a blog but it isn't a blog... yet! In a few months I will be publishing a fully-formed, all singing and all dancing blog. In the meantime you are going to have to make do with this pre-blog...

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27.02.2009 | 15:10 GMT | Shallow depth of field

The arrival on the market of digital SLRs that can shoot high quality pictures in very low light has made the use of lighting more of a positive choice than the necessity that it once was. Only six years ago I was shooting with cameras that whose image quality was poor above 400 ISO. Now I'm getting magazine front pages from 2000 ISO and I haven't even had to go higher yet. One of the techniques that I always loved to use when shooting without flash was the ultra short depth of field. This technique feature shows a couple of ways to do narrow depth of field without pain...


27.02.2009 | 13:22 GMT | Focus is over...

© Dillon Bryden

Well that's Focus on Imaging over for another year. It was a strange event this year with both Nikon and Canon putting on a good show along with Sony and a few others. It felt like the bulk of the show was about social photography - I lost count of how many photo book stands there were offering very high quality and impressive one-off books aimed largely at the wedding market. I'd love to say that the highlight was the seminar that Dillon Bryden and I gave in the Canon seminar pod called "Skateboarding ducks and other tall tales from Fleet Street" but I think that would be a slight exaggeration. The talk went down well and everyone who attended got a copy of the new BPPA UNSEEN book as probably the finest give away of the whole show.


20.02.2009 | 12:27 GMT | Focus on Imaging

It's that time of year again - the annual UK camerafest that happens at the NEC in Birmingham is upon us. This year I'm going to be there for three days... Sunday 22nd, Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th of February and I will be giving a seminar for Canon UK with my colleague from The BPPA Dillon Bryden called "Skateboarding ducks and other tall tales from Fleet Street".

It has nothing to do with lighting and nothing to do with workflow - this one is about The BPPA's collaborative approach to doing projects ahead of the publication of our latest book UNSEEN. I promise that it won't be dry and I'd be really happy if anyone wants to come along and say hello just for the hell of it. You will find us at 13:30 on Sunday and 14:00 on the other two days in the Canon Seminar area.


16.02.2009 | 16:20 GMT | Jezblog makes the top 100

Reading yesterday's Sunday Times here in the UK I was amused to see Jez Coulson's site in the list of the 100 best blogs. Mad pictures of New York taxis interspersed with images from his archive and more up to date photographs shot in his spare time (?) on assignment across the USA and the rest of the world. It's always an interesting read, although sometimes I feel that I have the distinct advantage of knowing the guy and being able to imagine his prose in his voice.


16.02.2009 | 16:10 GMT | The light, the light

Sometimes the light is just right, and when it is you should celebrate it take and take pictures. We went for lunch on Saturday at the East Beach Cafe in Littlehampton, West Sussex. It's an amazing piece of architecture right on the sea front and just as we were leaving the sun hit the building at just the right angle. I try to carry a camera with me and I shot this with my Canon G9. The car was only a hundred yards away but in the time it would have taken to get there and back the light was gone. There is no story behind this picture, just the light... although the food was really good too!

16.02.2009 | 13:42 GMT | My first picture...

© Neil Turner 1974

I was having a look at the winning images in this years World Press Photo competition and I was amused when I came across the third prize winner in the portrait stories category. Li Jiejun of the Chinese New Express Daily re-staged iconic war photographs using Action Men and GI Joe dolls. I'm a little bemused by how this qualifies as "portrait" photography but very amused at the same time.


13.02.2009 | 12:16 GMT | Revamping my web folio

When I went freelance at the beginning of September 2008 I got my folio together and put it onto this web site. Most of the feedback that I have since received said that they liked the design but that there were too many images and that too much clicking on the "next" button was involved. My web statistics bear this out - less than one third as many people looked at the tenth picture as those who looked at the first one.

I have now reduced the number of images and put into a slideshow - fewer images and almost no clicking required. I'm always looking for better ways to do things and I will be working with a web developer in the near future to do an even better on-line folio. Until then, have a look.


13.02.2009 | 10:06 GMT | Hot and cold

When I was last freelancing in the early 1990s there was something of an economic slowdown and work was often in short supply. Now that we are in a full-blown recession most of my friends and colleagues are reporting big downturns in the amount of work they are getting. Whilst my background is in both newspapers and magazines, 90% of my work has been for a variety of magazines and I have had a very even amount of work for the five and a half months of my freelance career so far.

Some of the national newspapers in the UK have cut rates and all of them seem to have cut down the number of shifts available for freelance photographers. Advertising revenue for newspapers is down and a recent BBC television programme fronted by Janet Street Porter had several interviews with industry experts who were predicting some bad times ahead.


04.02.2009 | 19:10 GMT | It is all about the workflow

I have spent a lot of time recently working with degree level students who want to be photographers. It's something that I have always enjoyed doing and I find it extremely useful for examining how I feel about my own work, the industry and life in general. This time I have been trying to explain the whole digital workflow idea to a diverse bunch of commercial photography students who shoot on film some of the time and digitally the rest. I have been trying to get them used to the idea of a dependable, repeatable and non-damaging way of working with their digitized/digital files.


04.02.2009 | 15:50 GMT | Photographer's uniform

I was told the other day that I was wearing my uniform with pride. What uniform you may ask? It seems that the uniform in question was that of a freelance news photographer. I have known for many years that many of us tend to dress in similar ways: we all spend a lot of our time kneeling down or lying down to get the best angle. In the winter we all get cold when we are working outdoors and so it comes as no surprise that we all choose similar clothing. So what was I wearing?


January 2009 - The Archive page

December 2008 - The Archive page


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