Wildlife photography can manage to be one of the most rewarding or frustrating types of photography. If done properly, you can create a wonderful document of our incredible natural world. It can tell a beautiful story. It can be moving. If not done well, it can leave you immensely dissatisfied and annoyed that you didn’t manage to capture a great photo. This is especially true if you have paid to go on a safari, and you are not going to be able to easily repeat your experience! These are 5 things you need to consider when going to capture amazing wildlife photos.Read More
In this tutorial, I show you how to compose, set your camera to bracket and capture a period of time from before sunset through the end of blue hour. I cover how to focus on a tripod, and what you need to consider, so that you have the best images available for your post-production. I then show how you should edit your 5 exposure brackets within Lightroom, so that they easily blend in Photoshop. We then use Luminosity Masking within Photoshop, to make very specific selections, and use components of each of our exposures to create our final image.Read More
Regarding the Pain of Others is an intensive study on the effects and implications of the way that media has shared and created a method of understanding documentary photographs. It cleverly analyses the unrelenting, unreality of images of horrific situations that we, as comparably-comfortable and safe viewers fail to absorb the essence of.Read More
In today's video I show 5 quick ways you can improve or optimise your Photoshop programme, so that it runs faster on any computer!Read More
I am excited to announce that I have been invited to speak at Penguin Studios in Thame next Monday. I will be discussing how you can 'think your way to better photographs'. I'm hoping you will leave the talk inspired and with some new ideas as to how you can approach your photography!
The first half will be my talk, and the second half will be an interactive session; Q&A as well as live reviewing your photography.
If you are going to come and would like to enter a photo to be reviewed (mainly focusing on composition), please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be around after the talk to ask any further questions you have :)
The talk is FREE. Please send any questions you have about the event to me or to James Tipping (owner of Penguin Studios). No RSVP necessary, just turn up and enjoy.
Monday March 11th at 7pm
Station Yard, Thame OX9 3UH
Looking forward to seeing you there!
The gallery is busy, but a strange hush has fallen upon the onlookers. People only speak in whispers, as if the photographs can hear your conversations. The atmosphere is one of respect and appreciation. Don McCullin’s work has captured the emotions of the crowd. The spectrum of humanity shown in the images commands the room to silently observe. Haunting, powerful and desperate; the photography moves you in its harsh reality. The onlookers slowly shuffle around the gallery in lines, following the narrative of each of Don’s collections. You either leave overwhelmed or amazed by humanities’ ability to bitterly endure…Read More
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (July 15, 1606 - October 4, 1669) was a Dutch painter and etcher. He is generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art history and the most important in Dutch history. His contributions to art came in a period that historians call the Dutch Golden Age. As a modern day photographer, what can we learn from one of the greatest portrait painters to have ever lived? What can we use from his artistic thought process, approach and application in our own creative endeavours?Read More
Here is the second in a Photo Critique series, this month, many of the images were Landscape oriented so I decided I would make it a theme!
I hope this is useful to helping people improve their photography, because at the end of the day, that is what I am here for.
If you want to be featured next month:
Send your best work — 1-5 photographs to email@example.com for the chance to be featured! Please include your name in the email.
If you include an Instagram link I will post this when crediting your work.
All photographs must be your work that you own the rights to and you give me permission to use them on the website in the blog post or in a video review for Youtube. The photographs remain yours and I have no other rights to your work.
Here is the first in a Photo Critique series which I hope to improve and develop as I do more! I am new to video and video editing, so am learning on the fly, if you have any suggestions for me going forward, please do tell me!Read More
Capturing fantastic headshots/portraits only requires three things; a camera, a willing subject and good light! In this article I will show you how you can take amazing images in your home, with no extra props or equipment needed.Read More
Get your images critiqued by me for free! Get unbiased and critical feedback on your photography so you can learn how and where to improve going forward.Read More
Leading lines are one of the most powerful composition tools in a photographers arsenal. They are powerful because they can be used to direct the viewers attention towards particular areas of the image - this could be a person, a point of interest or a vanishing point.Read More
I am very excited to share that I have photographed and designed a Photo Calendar for 2019, in collaboration with Firecracker Design & Print. If you are interested in having a look at the included photographs, or even in buying one, just click on the image below to be taken to the product page.
> This calendar is a selection of 12 of my favourite images, captured all around the world. I hope that this will give you some inspiration throughout the year to experience new things and explore the world around you!
> The wall calendar’s dimensions are double sided 30x21cm, printed onto a beautiful 200gsm paper.
> When folded out and hung on the wall, each page has the image on the top and the dates on the bottom.
> Shipping costs £1.99 within the UK.
> The first batch of Calendars will be dispatched on December 1st. The second batch will be dispatched on December 10th.
Lightroom presets are an incredibly powerful way to streamline your editing process. I have made a pack of 10 presets for you to install into your Lightroom workflow. They have a variety of looks, tones and purposes. If you are interested in editing in my style, then this pack is for you!
Download and install these presets to instantly transform your images with just a single click! These are professionally designed and considered presets that I use in my everyday workflow, so you know that they are both powerful and useful. If you enjoy my style of photography and editing, then consider adding these presets to your own workflow!
B&W ‘High Impact’
B&W Medium Contrast
Black & White ‘Punch’
Indoor Portrait Recovery
Milky Way / Stars
Blue Hour Landscape / Seascape
‘Film Like Portra 400’
Learn how to prepare your files for Professional printing. We will cover ICC profiles, colour management, sharpening, image resizing and export settings.Read More
The Rule of Thirds is the most basic and widely taught ‘rule’ of composition within photography. The origins of this concept were heavily exercised within renaissance painting. It is a rule which can be applied to every image that you ever take, in any scenario. Learn how and when to use the rule of thirds in your own photography!Read More
"This is Wolfgang Tillmans’s first ever exhibition at Tate Modern and brings together works in an exciting variety of media – photographs, of course, but also video, digital slide projections, publications, curatorial projects and recorded music – all staged by the artist in characteristically innovative style.
Alongside portraiture, landscape and intimate still lifes, Tillmans pushes the boundaries of the photographic form in abstract artworks that range from the sculptural to the immersive." - Tate Modern
My experience with Tillmans first Tate Modern exhibition, was that of initial confusion and disparity, considering the acclaim of the artist. It does not immediately present itself as a coherent visual collection, as it offers photography and found objects in a seemingly scattered disregard for narrative or considered sequencing. The shows offers every style of photography, personal and intimate portraiture, still life, abstracts, landscapes and war-zone documentary style images. Therefore, the consistency and story cannot be gauged from the style of the images themselves. It took a long time of walking around each of the 14 rooms, over and over, to understand what he was trying to achieve with this show.
What I engage with from this show is a celebration of and love for the photographic medium in all of its forms. By incorporating as many photographic styles as he has, it gives you the impression that it all sits on the same plane, with none being more important that the next. That although the techniques and skills may differ between them, they are all tied together under the creative medium of 'photographic process'. This is most obvious in his 'printing mistake' pieces (below), where he has purposely monochromatically exposed photographic paper through a dirty photo-developing machine, where the paper collected particles and residue from the rollers and liquids. This in essence makes them a 'documentary image' as a record of the chemical and mechanical process from which they originate.
Other images in the show are very simple, with a perceived uninteresting subject, thus the way they are photographed is what makes it interesting. Images like these, exist as an effective example of what successful photography can be, particularly when you consider the complicated technological world we live in today. It is interesting to realise that this celebrates photography as a medium, as this can be an engaging piece of work without having to use any of the advanced technology available to the modern artist. To me this show really harks back to painterly qualities, with a focus on shape, form, line and abstraction.
If you are interested in a very different photography exhibition which truly does not follow the standards of photographic exhibitions, then this show is an exciting, refreshing experience, which takes you on a journey through the mind of Tillmans. A mind which is impulsive and erratic, yet absolutely considerate of his art and where it sits alongside the broader scope of all creative practices. However don't come to the show expecting to immediately understand the collection and curation decisions, it is not an 'easy' visit, you are expected to think as you walk through the 14 rooms if you are going to gain anything from your time inside.
The show is on at the Tate Modern until 11 June 2017.
Nadav Kander is best known for Yangtze - The Long River, for which he earned the prestigious Prix Pictet award in 2009. Other series include Obama’s People, an acclaimed 52 portrait series commissioned by New York Times Magazine, and his recent portraits for the National Portrait Gallery exhibitionRoad to 2012. Kander’s work is included in several public collections including National Portrait Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum and the Frank Suss Collection, and he has exhibited worldwide at venues such as the Palais de Tokyo, the Herzilya Museum of Contemporary Art, Israel and the Mus̩e De L'Elysee, Lausanne. He was named International Photographer of the Year at the 7th Annual Lucie Awards in 2009 and has received awards from the Art Director’s Club and IPA in the USA, the D&AD and the John Kobal Foundation in the UK and Epica in Europe. Dust was exhibited at Les Rencontres d'Arles 2014 as part of an exhibition of new work by Prix Pictet laureates.
This is the earliest portrait which is not archived within Kanders portfolio, as it is the beginning of his now recognisable and infamous photographic portrait style. At this time in his career he had become a portrait photographer, as it was the main consideration for his work. Commercially, this is what he was being hired to achieve, rather than product photography etc…
His reasoning for this style, whilst it does give a sense of independence and difference, it juxtaposes man-altered landscapes with the physiology of people, both of which are areas of interest for Kander. He sees peoples faces, and studies them, much like a painter would, or a landscape photographer. Each face is different, much alike each atmospheric condition is different every day for every different landscape. Alike this, he wants to create a feeling within the viewer of his work; “there is more interest in the distortion of a head than a real head. It gets the viewer to ask questions.” - Francis Bacon-Sylvester.
He has decided that “you cannot see atmosphere”, it is only a feeling you get from an image based upon colour, lighting and expression. To create this ‘atmosphere’ he uses artificial lighting resulting in having complete control of what his image will convey. By practicing lighting techniques it becomes intuitive, and through this he can create something unique for each person and he knows that it will work eventually. This allows him to see his final images as a ‘reaction’ to his initial lighting ideas. Through this reactive portrait process, he finds it interesting to see people in different ‘conditions’ - then this is exacerbated by the use of photoshop in post production. He uses photoshop as an extension of his photograph’s journey which is a ‘hand-made process’.
By talking to the sitter he encourages them to naturally achieve the expression or pose which complements the lighting being used. Although perhaps they do not know this is the case, as he aims to make all his sitters feel “mildly uncomfortable”. This he discerns is the reason for the consistency and style of his work despite the changes in technology and practice over the last 20 years. Within 40-60 minutes he will get the images he wants, due to the hours of practice he put in at an early stage of development, and the guidance he recieved from people with more experience than him - this is what I most take away from his talk, that it is true that practice is the only way to improve.
Yangze - The Long River
Kander is best known for his Yangtze - The Long River series, for which he earned the Prix Pictet Prize. Kander made several voyages along the course of China’s Yangtze River, travelling upstream from mouth to source over a period of three years. Using the river as a metaphor the journey begins at the coastal estuary, where thousands of ships leave and enter each day, and moves past renowned suicide bridges, coal mines and the largest dam in the world - the Three Gorges Dam. Further inland we encounter Chongqing - the fastest-growing urban centre on the planet. Kander never photographed further than twenty miles from the river itself.
In the shadow of epic construction projects we see workers, fishermen, swimmers and a man washing his motorbike in the river. Dense architecture gives way to mountains in the upper reaches towards the river’s Tibetan source - a sparsely populated area where the stream is mostly broken ice and just ankle deep. The photographs are dominated by immense architectural structures where humans are shown as small in their environment. Figures are dwarfed by landscapes of half completed bridges and colossal Western-style apartment blocks that are rapidly replacing traditional Chinese low-rise buildings and houseboats.
This series on the Yangtze river is visually stunning, I could get lost in his depiction of this area of the world, which is alien to me, for hours on end. When he spoke about it, it added an extra edge to a series of work which without knowing much about, inspires me no end. Each image is wonderfully compositionally constructed, with lines and form of natural and artificial structures being used to tie the focus of each image together. It also manages to be diverse in terms of image content, but is coherent due to the colour, format and theme of each image in the series. This combination of landscape, architecture and portraiture is beautifully considered and sensitive to its context which has successfully created a photo-narrative which can convey its message to the western masses who have not or will not experience anything like this in person.
My Favourite quote from his talk: “Persistence is the most important to achieve future success”