Blog

This blog does not just have examples of my photography. There will also be technique articles and a variety of musings. This will be my fourth blog, returning to a Wordpress one for its ease of use taking priority over the slow loading time.

Integrity and honesty in photography

On an online forum there was thread created by a person wondering who owned ‘the rights’ to an image where they had setup the lighting, established the camera settings, posed the subject and then someone else took a photograph’ over their shoulder’. This is a situation that frequently happens for wedding photographers, at ‘group shoots’ where a number of photographers are involved and on training courses. Increasingly people who run training courses who will do things in one of 2 […]

All of the images edited – explaining the oxymoron

‘All of the images edited’ has become a frequently used phrase by some suppliers of photography services. It has only been in existence since digital photography became an easy route to access photography and social media an easy way to advertise your services. The advertising blurb that I saw recently in an advert for a person advertising wedding photography typifies that. Below are a few thoughts on how both people offering photography services and those consuming them need to have […]

THE DISCOVERY ACADEMY PROM 12TH JULY 2019

The password for the gallery is the surname of the Teacher who organised the prom.   Take me to the gallery.  

Digital photo processing options

In this age of digital photography there are many software options for processing and outputting your images and it can be difficult to find a pathway through. Note my use of the term ‘images’, therefore covering both photography and digital art. It used to be that you’d take your film to the local chemist or photo store and pick up your prints a few days later. Alternatively you’d drop the envelope in the post box and await the thud as […]

Selection of Frequently Asked Questions concerning Nikon Z6 and Z7 cameras, lenses etc.

My preparing these details on frequently asked questions regarding the Nikon Z6 & Z7 was prompted by the same questions and errors being repeatedly posted in a Facebook group dedicated to the Nikon Z cameras. Not only were the same questions being asked but many of them are clearly covered in the User Manual and Reference Manual. My hope was that in putting this together people might read this before posting the same question yet again. Also, by having ‘correct’ […]

Lymelight Festival 2019

I was able to get along to the Saturday morning / afternoon of this year’s Lymelight Festival in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Stage photos at this time tend to be a bit bland since the stage lighting makes no impact on the lighting on the performers. The music performed was of varying genres with performances by: Kira Mac, Charlotte Bettson. Millie May, The BlueYellows, Aaron Mobberley and friends, Helena Raby, Jay Johnson, Adam Finney and Fat Lip.

AWDC event in an old gravel pit between Weston Coyney and Dilhorne – 22/04/19

I’d intended to go to the Crich Tram museum 1940s day but the glorious sunny weather meant that getting some decent portrait style images would be rather difficult. Too bright / contrasty and, probably, too many people. Mulling this over whilst out for a run I changed my route to see if an event that I passed between Weston Coyney and Dilhorne on Saturday was still going on. It was. Quick check with someone about being able to take photos […]

Giving it 110% – an insight into the meaning of percentages

In TV interviews you often hear of people giving ‘110 percent’ or similar. Recently in a photography forum someone posted review details of a piece of equipment saying that it had ‘138% of the sRGB colourspace’. The device you are reading this on probably defaults to the sRGB colourspace, it is basically the range of colours and tones that can be represented within the colourspace. Unfortunately the person disagreed with my assertion that there was a numerical flaw in the […]

Nikon Z7 – the new Mirrorless camera

Well, courtesy of Calumet / WEX in Manchester I have now handled a pre-production Nikon mirrorless Z7, 24-70 and FTZ adapter with firmware v1.00 and battery EN-EL15B. You might want to skip the next part, it is an introduction to some of the ‘internet concerns’. Skip to my hands-on experience. Since it’s formal announcement there has, not surprisingly, been a lot of internet / social media chat about Nikon’s new series of ‘full frame’ mirror less cameras. Some of the […]

Revisiting my past: Matlock

Revisiting my past: Matlock Subtitle: And failing to do so. I decided a while ago that I’d try to revisit places of my youth before either they change too much or I forget about aspects of the place. The obvious first one for me to do was Matlock. Significantly the closest and the second shortest place that I have ‘lived’. In the 1980s I did my Teacher training at Matlock College of Further and Higher Education. During my time there […]

GPUK 36

The stare down photos and first 7 bouts of GPUK 36 are on Facebook. Alas, Facebook wanted me to do a captcha for any subsequent uploads.

6 Towns 1 City Carnival 2018

This was my first 6 Towns 1 City Carnival for a few years. The last few years I had an event or Wedding on the Saturday so my Sunday focus was getting those photos processed and delivered. My first experience of the carnival was a very wet one if it wasn’t raining then it had only just stopped and it would soon restart. This year was the opposite. Sheltering in the trees was to get out of the blazing hot […]

Blists Hill Steampunk 2018

After their finding online some of my images from last year’s Steampunk Weekend at Blists Hill, Ironbridge Museum got in touch with me and asked if they might use the images in their publicity. My images had a ‘different’ quality to them than others they’d seen. Some of that would be down to the fact that it was a blue sky and intense sun day. I had with me a ProFoto B2 set with some modifiers that included the recently […]

Photography networking in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

In 2009 there were some active photography networking groups on Purestorm and Flickr that focused on off-camera flash and on location model photoshoots in Staffordshire with many of the people based around Stoke. In August I ventured to The Custard Factory in Digbeth, Birmingham for a ‘meet-up’. I didn’t know anyone who was going to be there or what to expect. It was all we to me. The main organiser of that event was Duane Barratt. It was an enjoyable […]

The Societies Competition – Highly Commended

The Societies monthly competition is an International competition that is judged by people who have earned need their living from photography. There are a variety of categories that reflect the broad genres that The Societies caters for. Originally it was the SWPP – Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers. When I first entered there were three categories of awards, Bronze, Silver and Gold. This has changed to just Highly Commended and Gold. Every few months the Highly Commended awards are […]

ProFoto A1 flash

When the ProFoto A1 was launched there was a mixed response. There were people who just looked at the headline price tag and ridiculed. There were people who just looked at the power rating. There were immediate comparisons made to a variety of ‘cheap as chips’ and not quite so cheap Chinese designed and manufactured flash units. There were also some who openly welcomed its introduction. I had become fed up of endless AA ‘battery’ charging, changing and storing. ( […]

The Photography Show 2018

Well, that’s The Photography Show 2018 finished now. For the second consecutive year my first train was late. This time though it didn’t result in my getting there an hour later than I intended. I was equipped to take some photos of the Comicon people, hence my getting there for just after 9am despite the Photography Show opening at 10am. The NEC had added an extra S-bend to the Comicon entrance and were doing their best to not allow photographers […]

GPUK 34 – MMA

The GPUK series of events are Cage fighting /  MMA events and, as you might have guessed, this was the 34th one. The GPUK part is Gladiator Promotions UK, organised by Ross Pointon of Gladiator Gym. Most of them have been held in what was Fiction and is now Sankey’s in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. The part that was JJs or Jumping Jacks is used. Below is a selection of images from the event.

Exhibition 2018

My local Library, Blythe Bridge, has an exhibition space that can be booked a month at a time. I had booked it for March and was intending to put the Exhibition up on Friday evening. This was instead of the Saturday morning due to the Spring Fair they have on Saturday. With all of the snow we have it might be more of a pre-spring fair. Just as I was putting my gloves on to head out for the station […]

Unethical use of workshop photographs

In various photographer / model forums and Facebook groups I frequently see ‘portfolio building’ workshops for photographers and these, to my mind, often result in unethical advertising. Photographs taken with models and completely different time constraints do not give a true picture of the quality of photography that might be delivered to a potential client. When it is from a workshop when, in many cases, the photographer just has to hold the camera and press the shutter, this is even […]

Hiring a photographer – some things to consider

When hiring a photographer there are quite a few things to consider. Some of the things will be obvious, some less so and some will possibly not even cross your mind. If you are booking a gas boiler service you know to hire a registered, trained, qualified technician. There are a lot of professions where you have to be qualified and registered in order to practice that profession. Whilst photography has a number of professional organisations –The Societies / SWPP, […]

Using Lastolite perspective backgrounds

Trying things out on paid jobs isn’t ideal since you have to know that you will ‘deliver the goods’. One of those many facets of being a professional photographer. When a friend asked for some help with some dance group photos for the programme cover that she was doing I saw the opportunity for me to try out the Lastolite mini-perspective and ‘creative’ backgrounds that I’d had for a while but, apart from the smoke one, hadn’t really used. After […]

Award winning photographer – What does it mean ?

Have you considered how many photographers claim on their website or Facebook page to be an ‘award winning photographer’ ?. How many of those ‘award winning photographers’ go on to state what the awards are and with whom ?. I wonder how the number of ‘award winning photographers’ compare to the number of people who actually have photography specific insurance such as for Public Liability and Professional Indemnity ?. If someone is stating that they are an ‘award winning photographer’ […]

Kinder Scout and Bleaklow in the Derbyshire Peak District – Bivi walk 2016

It seems to now be an annual pilgrimage to make this trip but it is more a case of it being the easiest way for me to spend a night on a hill / mountain at over 2000′. 08:21 train from Blythe Bridge to Stoke and then up to Manchester for a train to Hadfield. Arriving at Hadfield I always find it to be a reminiscing point. I remember when it was the main Trans-Pennine freight route as well as […]

High Key photography and what it isn’t

There are many misconceptions in Photography and, in part because of the easy access to information on the internet, they tend to spread more quickly these days. One of the common points of misinformation is what ‘high key’ lighting is. Unfortunately there are now many people who think that ‘high key’ is an image on a blown white background like this: When, in actual fact, that is just a blown white background. It is quite easy to do a blown […]

Atmospheric low key monochrome portraiture in Staffordshire

Dark, moody, evocative and timeless. That is how I see low-key monochrome portrait photography that is taken in an accomplished manner. Ever since I first saw some Fresnel lensed HMI lighting being used for photography I liked what I saw and wanted to create images with these lights. I’m not sure why but I had a bit of a phase of really just wanting to do images with dark and moody lighting. It might have been as an antidote to […]

Strobists and Strobism – False doctrine or indoctrinated ?

There are a number of people around the world who will fervently describe themselves as ‘Strobists’, some with an almost religious zealousness. Alas, they have been misinformed and their indoctrination is at the stage of corrupting the meaning of something that is actually quite clear. If you ask a person responsible for stage lighting they will be able to accurately describe the nature of a strobe light. If you ask a scientist they will as well although they will include […]

Getting a better understanding of the ProFoto B2 and B1 OCF system

I’ve been using the ProFoto B2 250 OCF system for a few months now and had the opportunity to get a better understanding of the system. In order for a photographer to be able to deliver the best quality they can they need to understand their equipment, what it can and can’t do. For quite a few years I have chosen between a set of 600 w/s battery pack 2 head light kit and speed lights for when I am […]

Glastonbury 2015 -Kanye and the rest

There can be no doubt that Kanye West’s Glastonbury booking and eventual performance created a lot of social media ‘noise’. The petitions and threats that followed the announcement of his booking mirrored that which greeted Jay-Z’s booking a few years back. With Jay-Z he quickly showed that he appreciated that UK events are different from those across the pond and Glastonbury is also very, very, very special. His performance silenced those whose views were not entrenched. Jay-Z at Glastonbury was […]

Prom Photography and the cousin of Uncle Bob

Uncle Bobs are a recognised problem at some Weddings and they have a cousin increasingly appearing at other events like Proms. For clarification, an ‘Uncle Bob’ is someone who has not been booked by the organisers to provide photography coverage of the event. They turn up at the event sometimes as guests, sometimes at the request of a guest. They then take photographs that are not for their own personal record of the event but for the person who arranged […]

Photography flash units and safety in use

Some people when buying ‘studio’ photography flash units do not consider safety aspects or the actual quality of light and the general performance of the flash unit. Instead they just worry about the price. For amateur use the consistency of the flash output in both power and colour temperature along with being able to be used hard for several hours at an event are likely to be low on the priority list. For professional use price should become a secondary […]

The DBS / CRB minefield of misinformation

First of all CRB. The vetting of people who work with under 18s and certain other categories was taken over by the Disclosure Barring Service back in December 2012. Therefore anyone with a CRB has not been checked since the DBS took over, December 2012 ……..  One of the changes introduced with the DBS was the 3 month rule. Quite simply, if someone has not engaged in the work for which they were vetted for 3 months their DBS check […]

Wedding Ceremony photography restrictions

Last year there were increasing numbers of media reports of snappers getting it completely wrong with regard to etiquette at weddings. One video that went viral was of a snapper being severely but correctly admonished by a Minister. This is an increasing problem and the restrictions that result are impacting on all photographers, not just the snappers. In the last century ( not that long ago ) when I used a Bronica at a few weddings some things were very […]

Copyright and photography

Digital photography and the internet has made copyright and photography more difficult to manage. Just because a photograph can be seen on the internet doesn’t mean it is free to use. Using a photograph without permission is theft. I find it very worrying that not only do school pupils not realise / appreciate this but many staff also do not. One teacher told me that ‘if it is on Google / Bing images it is free to use’. No, No, No […]

The importance of getting it right in-camera

What does ‘Getting it right in-camera’ mean ?. Well, as with so many things, it depends on who you ask. One thing that is certain is that digital photography has increased the frequency of the term being used. It has also led to some heated social-media arguments with very divided lines. The reality is that ‘getting it right in-camera’ is an important stage in getting images of good technical quality. If we look at film you essentially have two media […]

Modern Vintage style photo session

The Vintage style has definitely become a core style and for this session one of the models had borrowed some dresses from Vintage by Cupcake and accessories by Punk up Betty. As a contrast to my ‘dark and moody’ images I decided to make use of some of the various colour background rolls from Creativity Backgrounds that I have, particularly since the supplier had asked for some images from using them. I was asked by the model I arranged the […]

Chimping and whitebalance – it is not as good as you might think

If you use chimping to set your exposure by looking at the histogram on the rear LCD and ‘sort out white balance’ afterwards rather than metering the light, you really need to be extra careful. One of the oft used phrases in these days if digital photography is ‘If you’re using raw then you can set white balance in post-processing’. ( Although many will incorrectly use the term ‘editing’ instead of post-processing. See footnote. ) How many times have you […]

GHD hair styling charity fundraiser on Yr Wyddfa / Snowdon

I had a ‘phone call from a hair stylist that I’ve done some photographs with asking if I’d be interested in doing a charity photo shoot on the top of Yr Wyddfa ( Snowdon ). Whilst it is a place that, in my younger days, I’d want to either be off the top by 8am or not get there until the evening I didn’t hesitate to say yes. The idea was for Chris, of spires hair salon in Uttoxeter to […]

The language of photography, its use and abuse

Don’t get me wrong, language is an ever changing medium that grows to meet the demands of its users. However some people adopt words to mean things that already have clear and unambiguous meanings, words that are understood by professionals in that field. This tends to happen either through laziness, ignorance or trying to make themselves out to be ‘in’ / ‘cool’ / ‘with-it’ / ‘hip’ / ‘fashionable’ / etc. The Internet has accelerated this abuse and muddying of technical […]