Land of the Dead
‘Oh Flickr is dead for photographers’ and ‘Google+ is the future’ are comments I’m getting very used to hearing from fellow photographers online. So much so that when I returned to photography a year ago I didn’t bother with Flickr and instead uploaded my shots to Google+. Now don’t get me wrong I love Google+ and I’ve made some great new friends over there, but whenever I bump into a new photographer on location they always ask if I’m on Flickr. Not Google+, not Facebook but Flickr. Which leads me to wonder why so many people seem absolutely gleeful in declaring it dead.
Now I’m sure at this point some readers will be able to come up with all sorts of reasons such as G+ is free, you get greater interaction on FB etc etc etc… Yet the fact still remains that out of all the chance encounters I’ve had (ie not on an organised photowalk) it’s always Flickr I’m asked about. So at the risk of going against the grain and the trends being set by some of the big names in photography I’ve joined up with Flickr.
At first I was unsure and didn’t really know exactly what I was going to get out of it, but so far I’m enjoying it. No it’s not as interactive as G+ or FB (or at least not so far), but you know that’s ok. Sometimes I wonder exactly why I spend so much time on social networks anyway. Google especially often feels like you HAVE to log on every day and can easily swallow hours and hour on nothing. I’m gradually meeting new people on Flickr and it’s much more useful as a research tool than the other two. So at the top is one of my recent uploads called ‘Land of the Dead’ to all these platforms and if you’re so inclined you can find me on Flickr here.
Ok so there is a Teacher, a Policeman, an Anaesthesiologist and a woman wearing a wedding dress in a burnt out church….. Sounds like the start of a bad joke doesn’t it. Actually that’s exactly what happened earlier in the week when I was out with my friend Ann for Ghost Project shoot. We arrived just before sunset and were happily setting up when another car pulled up and out jumped another couple of photographers.
We made sure not to interfere with each others shots before joining forces to play with fire. One of the things I always find wonderful about working with other photographers is how in general people are so considerate of each other. The fact that everyone seemed to have the same devil may care dirty sense of humour helped as well.
Naturally we’re now planning the next outing and how we can make it more spectacular without endangering ourselves or our cameras. I came home with 6 burns in a rather delicate place – and a police flat jacket has been suggested as if someone was going to be hit with flying sparks it was always me…
Recently I was asked to take some ‘Pro’ shots and just hand the RAW files over for the client to process themselves. This was because they wanted good shots but didn’t want to pay for them. I declined but found it difficult to explain to people outside the photography world exactly why. How do you explain to people who think you just snap something and the job is done, that to you it’s actually an art form? That you don’t want your name associated with anything you don’t have control over the quality of and the level of pride you have in your work. That photography is a creative expression of yourself etc… etc… etc… etc…
Then I came across a case in the USA which is still playing out. The situation is being blogged and posted about by Gary Fong and I’ll link to his video’s below. The gist of the situation is that a photographer called Nelson Tang shot a wedding, the clients are now threatening him with a $300,000 law suit unless he pays a silly amount of compensation. The consensus in the photography community seems to be that this is extortion. Anyway I’ll let you judge for yourself but the next time someone tries to pressure me into a shoot and just handing over the files afterwards I think I’ll just send them in the direction of this case and let that explain why I’m not interested.
This is the first video
and here is a quick update on the situation
On Sunday I was invited over to a Vintage Japanese Motorcycle show by my friend Miss Heidi. Intrigued I popped my camera in my bag and pootled off for a look. OOooooo serious eye candy if you like seeing engines and things, which I do. Yup I am one of those strange girls who spent a silly amount of her formative years helping her father fix the car. Remember that? Back in the days when dad’s could not only change a tyre but the clutch as well. Of course cars are different now given how reliant they are on electronics, but I still appreciate a beautifully engineered engine.
Here is one of my favourite shots from the day, taken with a 50mm prime. One of the few frustrating parts of shows like this is that you can’t really isolate a single bike for an overall shot. There are usually horrid backgrounds to worry about, other bikes coming into the shot and people walking round as well. So I used the 50mm to get in close for some shallow depth of field images. Cranking the aperture open also meant I didn’t need to up the ISO to much either.
Well I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and Miss Heidi is under strict instructions to let me know when the next one is…
Last weekend I was out mucking about with the sea and my friend Mr P. Unfortunately the weather didn’t co-operate so instead of photographing a stunning sunrise we found ourselves sheltering beneath Clacton Pier. It was still wet (this pier drips much worse than a lot I’ve been beneath) but better than on the beach.
So as the dogs made it their mission to run a marathon up and down the beach, we set up for some long exposures. The conditions under there were pretty dire for photography in many ways, wet, very dark (making focusing difficult) but with points of extreme brightness and a creeping tide. I’m rather paranoid about tides coming in. I’m obsessed with a fear that I’ll get cut off by the tide while concentrating on a shot. In fact I worry about this so much I won’t even wear wellies normally, preferring to wear hiking shoes on the grounds that even I shouldn’t be able to ignore wet feet while looking through a lens.
One thing that always takes people by surprise is how pier pylons make waves bounce about and strange localised currents to form. I really wouldn’t want to be in that water believe me. In fact a couple of teenagers were killed while tomb stoning off this very pier a few years ago. That said I love the creeping misty effect you can get under there with a long exposure.
Long time readers of my blog will remember that last year I wrote a series of posts called ‘Foto Friday’ on the basics of photography. This was before I split my blog into two, moving the photography stuff over here. The posts were aimed at people who want to do more but aren’t very confident on the technical aspects.
Well I really pleased to tell you that these posts have formed the foundation on an ebook which I’ve written called ‘Photography – A Starting Point’. As of now it’s available for download and it’s FREE!
If you’d like a copy then either click on the image above or click here to go to the download page. Let me know what you think won’t you
I’ve always been a little on the fence when it comes to displaying my own work at home on my walls. Is it vanity? Is it acceptable? I’ve spent years wondering about this. I have shots by other people (some of the greats such as Eugene Smith and Julia Margaret Cameron), animation art, commissioned paintings, but very little of my own work.
Well after the recent make over of the junk room (yeah I laughingly called it a dining room as there was a table buried in there) I decided to heck with it…. my walls and I’ll put what I want on them….
So I ordered some prints and trotted off to the shops for some frames. There were 3 shots of beasties selected which I had printed in the same size. One day I’ll get a nice shot of Salem that doesn’t involve him licking places I don’t want to photograph which i can add to the set. I’ll also get a shot printed up of Simba but I’m afraid the pain of loosing her is still to raw to cope with just yet.
In a larger size I chose my favourite shot of St Pauls in London…
and a couple from my ‘Ghost’ series. Ok the two ghost shots probably do class as vanity as they’re self portraits. Thing is if you search really hard around my cottage you will eventually find 1 photograph of me, which was taken a week before my 16th birthday. I really don’t like my photo taken as I hate how I look in images. I’m just not very photogenic. So getting in front of the lens for me is more than just a photographic achievement and I decided that they should be included for that reason alone.
I’ve bought more frames and have more prints waiting to go in them. Some will form presents and some will stay here. Now where did I put that hammer to get the hooks into the walls?