Canon 5d Mk 3 Woes and Why I Heard Music
I have been using the 5d mk2 quite happily for a couple of years and had seen no reason to upgrade when he mk3 was released. I am not one who always has to have the very latest model of everything, unless there is a very good reason for it. Having a go with customers Mk3's showed me it was better made, had a better screen and weather sealing and some nice refinements ergonomically such as the grip shape and position of the depth of field preview button. Nice though these things were, they weren't a huge leap forward and so I contented myself with my faithful mk2's.
Is Pinterest of Value to Photographers?
I have a confession to make. When I first heard of Pinterest I dismissed it quickly as irrelevant. It seemed to me to be a hangout for young women with boards entitled "My Perfect Wedding", "Cute Kittens" and such things. Boards full of images of people too perfect to exist having weddings that would never happen and then live in houses just to perfect for real people. I left within minutes of logging in.
Lessons from Visiting Exhibitions
I have been very fortunate in the last couple of months to visit three landscape photography exhibitions in London. Landscape Photographer of the Year at the National Theatre, the Michael Kenna exhibition at the Chris Beetles Photography Gallery (both now concluded) and the Ansel Adams exhibition which runs until April 2013 at the Royal Observatory Museum, Greenwich.
The one I really want to focus on here is the Adams exhibitions but I'd just like to make a few comments on the Kenna first.
Stay with me back in the dark ages
Don't worry, this isn't going to be one of those blogs where I witter on about the joys of shooting on film. I have also resisted the temptation of January 1st blogs which feature either "my best shots of last year" or "My resolutions for the year ahead".
Rather, I have decided to make an appeal that you ditch a piece of technology (if you have adopted it, of course). What am I on about?
Stand Developing Film
If you follow me on Twitter (@dougchinnery) or Flickr you will know that in addition to shooting on film for my personal creative work, I have also started developing my own black and white film myself.
It costs about £3.50 to have a mono film processed and supplied in negative strips ready to scan into the computer by a commercial firm. Processing the film myself reduces this to just a few pence per roll.
It was recommended to me to start with a simple process called "Stand Developing". This is a basic process which is ideal for beginners before you move on to more standard techniques.
Amazing one day only deal on Adobe Elements 11 on Amazon
This is just a very quick post as I have just found out Amazon are doing a one day deal on Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 today (10.12.12). They have the full official version for £32.97 which is way below half price for a superb piece of software which has almost everything we need as photographers and is a huge saving over the full version of Photoshop. You can check it out HERE - so grab yourself a real bargain.
My back up strategy
It has been a while since I blogged about my backing up strategy and I have made some changes to make my systems more secure, so now seems a good time to update you on how I protect my data.
I regularly have friends and customers who tell me stories of how they have lost prized images, even their entire library, due to equipment failure or theft of their computers which they didn't have backed up. They go pale as they speak about it. Some even break down and cry :)
If your system experienced a complete failure this minute, how much would you lose?
I am featured in a new Craft & Vision eBook
I am very pleased and honoured to say I have been featured in the new Craft & Vision eBook by Andrew S. Gibson entitled "Slow"
The 64 spread book, which is beautifully illustrated with the authors images (as well as mine) is focused on the creative techniques and results that can be had from taking control of your shutter speed and slowing it right down. Andrew is a great writer and very clearly shows exactly how to do this in different ways to achieve different effects and styles of image.
What filters should I buy?
Landscape photographers fall into two camps. Those who like to get things 'right' in camera and, so, use filters to balance exposures, and those who prefer to make two or more exposures on location and then blend them together back in the digital darkroom.
Some will insist one way is 'correct' or better than the other but in reality, it's just a personal choice. I use both methods. When the contrast in brightness between the sky and foreground is really high then I will use the blending option. If the contrast is more manageable, then I prefer to use filters.
How do I create light trail images?
Have you ever wondered how to go about capturing light trails? They look dramatic and add a dynamic feel to urban images and are easy to capture.
Before I go into technique there is an important factor about this image which lifts it above many light trail shots. The Sky. Its not just a case of shooting at night. In fact the ideal time is a short 15 minute period shortly after the sun has set. For architectural photographers and those after light trails this is the prime time to shoot.
New Exhibition of My Work
I have been to Gainsborough today to hang my new solo exhibition entitled, "Dark Light"
It is being hosted at the Trinity Arts Centre in Gainsborough and is an exhibition of monochrome photographs. The Arts Centre is a council run location dedicated to the promotion of the arts in North Lincolnshire. The gallery space doubles as a mingling and bar area outside the main theatre and so is ideally placed for people visiting for performances to browse the images. If you happen to live in or near Gainsborough I would love you to pop in and take a look, but please don't make a special journey.
Adventures in Polaroid
As many of you will know, I do like quirky photographs! Among the styles I love is the Polaroid. My dad had one when I was young. Being keen on holding on to his cash, he resented having to pay Boots or Bonusprint to develop his films and so thought Polaroid was the answer. He soon realised the costs were similar, you, in effect, paid up front for the instant development of Polaroids in higher film costs and so once the novelty had worn off the camera rarely came out to play.
A new era at Doug Chinnery Photography
Things never seem to stay the same, do they? Look at Mars Bars - they are way smaller than they were when we were kids. Its no different in business. To succeed they need to change and adapt. So its time for change here with my photography business.
Since going full time as a professional photographer in 2011 my business has grown and developed much quicker than I anticipated.
Tips for photographing in the rain
I am sitting in my studio with rain lashing down. April showers is one thing, but this is ridiculous! I thought it might be an idea to post my top tips on photographing in the rain.
Many photographers simply dismiss making images in wet weather out of hand, but in doing so I think they are missing out on some wonderful and different images. Granted, if the rain is really driving and especially if it is blowing directly onto the lens, it is pretty much impossible to work outside. It is then I look for an indoor location or head home, fire up the iMac and do some image processing with some good music on and a nice hot cup of tea to enjoy.
What should I charge for my pictures?
I get asked this question on a regular basis, so I thought it was time to put up my answer for all to see, to save me typing it each time. This type of information is hard to find as most photographers shy away from revealing anything about current market prices for images. I don't agree with keeping such information so secret. After all, if a buyer wants an image from a photographer they are not taking business from us.
How do I create Panoramas?
Before getting in to answering this question I just wanted to mention I am running a "Capture-to-Computer" workshop in Skegness, Lincolnshire on Saturday 21st January 2012. One place is taken but there is one free place left. The basis of the workshop is creative and artistic photography - blur, ICM (Intentional Camera Movement) and textures. The morning will be spent with me showing you the techniques for shooting this style of image and then after a meal (included) I will spend the second half of the workshop showing you how to process these images in Lightroom and Photoshop.
A Tip for Using the Photographers Ephemeris
The software basically uses Google Earth mapping to show us the exact point and time of sun and moon rise and set for every day at any point on the surface of the Earth. The concept is simple and it delivers it perfectly.
I have used it since it was first released and it has become an essential part of my location planning. However, I learnt a new feature this past weekend which I thought was really useful from Antony Spencer.
New Digital Photography Workshops for Winter/Spring 2012
Here is the new winter/spring 2012 workshop schedule for my digital photography workshops.
I am introducing a range of new workshops and locations for 2012. You will also see I have teamed up with two more very talented photographers as co-leaders on some special locations. I will be posting full details of these workshops on my website in a few days time and soon you will be able to book and pay online via PayPal. Direct booking via email will still be available.
How do I dodge and burn in Photoshop?
Dodging and burning is a technique which harks back to the days of film and darkroom developing. In the darkroom film users employ strange techniques to darken areas of their prints and lighten others to improve the look of the image. For those of us working digitally it falls to Photoshop to act as our digital darkroom to achieve the same effect.
Fotoviva Art Prints – The First Five Years
This month Fotoviva Art Prints are celebrating 5 years in business as one of the UK's leading online wall art retailers. Seeing as I offer a selection of my photographic work on their website I thought it was a great opportunity to sit down with the owner, Jason Wickens, and see how business has been going…
5 years as an online business is quite impressive, how have you found it?
Landscape Photographer of the Year 2011
I am pleased to announce that this image of mine entitled 'Scintilla IX' which forms part of my 'Lone Cloud' project has been commended by the judging panel in this years Landscape Photographer of the Year competition. As such it will be featured in the AA Publications book of the winning entries which is to be published in November. It will also form part of the exhibition of the winning images in an exhibition at Londons National Theatre on the South Bank.
The Best Photographer in the World
It seems that most photographers are men. I have never really understood why, because, on the whole, those women who do make images seem to be very good at it. I think I am on safe ground to say that men tend to be more competitive than women too. So we have large group of male photographers bursting with testosterone all with an eye on the competition. So the question arises, can there be a photographer, male or female, who could rightly claim to be 'the best photographer in the world'?
New Farm Harvest Workshop
Those who subscribe to my newsletter know that I have been trying to organise an unusual workshop on a farm, of the potato harvest. Well, I am pleased to announce it is now on.
The farmer and his wife have been really helpful and we have been able to put a plan together for a small group to photograph the potato harvest - hopefully with stunning evening light.
Free downloadable long exposure calculator chart
I have just put on the downloads page of my website a free pdf long exposure calculator chart
Just download it, print and laminate it for use in the field.
I hope you find it helpful.