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2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,300 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


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Terry Hawes dispenses advice

Learning to see it from your clients position is so valuable. You also see the different possibilities rather than just what was in the viewfinder.

Ravensbourne Digital Photography

Terry Hawes creative director, art director and graphic designer spent all of the second day of 48Hours helping and advising on shoots and edits.

With a background in print magazines at the BBC and tablet/online at Wired he stressed the need to think outside the viewfinder when composing to give your picture editor sufficient space to crop for both hard and electronic copy, especially as in the latter features like the gutter do not exist.

Level 2 student Peter Marshall reflects on his discussion with Terry 

I took full advantage of the opportunity to talk with Terry Hawes as having shot the night before I was finding it hard to narrow down my images to a final few. With his help we had soon picked out the best photos which really told the story of my shoot. We then went on to discuss how photographer’s and art director’s…

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(Another) 48 Hour Photo Project – 2013 – Post 4

Amber makes wetness a virtue….

Amber Eggleden 48 Hours

See her work at Amber Eggleden


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(Another) 48 Hour Photo Project – 2013 – Post 3

The first video post goes up. Angelika Wierzbicka shoots in studio 4:

Ange spent 5 hours shooting her model in 4 different changes working medium format throughout on Leica S & Phase One IQ160

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(Another) 48 Hour Photo Project – 2013 – Post 1

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends.

One year on from the first 48 Hour Photo Project here we are again set for a repeat performance with more photographers, more equipment and more fun. Wherever you are in the world just sit back & enjoy the posts as they roll out.


Ange uses a Leica S

First post is Angelika Wierzbicka using a Leica S to shoot Nichole from Paulo Ribeiro, the first fashion shoot of the day, Mon 24 June.

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I usually don’t write anything in my daydream posts. But I’d like to dedicate this special post to my co-worker, Katie. Although Katie is a long-time supporter of my blog, she loathes my daydreaming posts. In fact, when she opens up her e-mail to discover that it’s a daydream post, this is what I hear through the office, “d-d-daydreaming! Ugh! g-g-god”

Enjoy, Katie. Coffee break in 10?


a solo affair

a solo affair

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Smartviewfinder – Using an iPhone for prep work

iPhone 4S - Hipstamatic App Buclhorst H1 lens, Blanko film

Matt here,

If you stand in the street with your hands forming a rectangle and one eye closed, the other eye beadily looking through the aperture you have created, you’re likely be regarded with suspicion. Beyond that you might be sympathetically shrugged off as an old-fashioned cliché of a photographer, because these days we have smartphones and it is impossible to distinguish us from anybody else waving around their latest super-powered mobile. This is good as generally we prefer not to be noticed. It also gives us what we strain to get by closing one eye, a 2 dimensional representation of our subject matter.

The shot above was taken two days ago with my 13 month old son in one arm (try that with a dSLR). The clouds were racing along and there was a nice breeze amongst the reeds. I used the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone, predominantly because I wanted a square shot, but I kind of like what the retro settings have done to it, creating a diamond vignette and tingeing the sky cyan.

I resolved to come back under similar conditions with my Canon. Today the clouds were starting to look interesting so I went out at roughly the same time, early evening and set up. By the time I got there the clouds were not looking so playful and the wind had died, so I changed the shot a bit and concentrated more on the reeds, which you can’t see so well in the iPhone shot. Afterwards I cropped it to 5×4. It just wasn’t asking to be square anymore. It’s a very different shot, and perhaps the shed in the background is lost a bit, but I like the swirl of reeds in the foreground, and the detail that the full frame sensor gives me.

Canon 1Ds MkII ISO 50 f/20 1/13th 24-105mm

The clouds were amassing off to the right of shot and there was a good chance of something dramatic happening as the sun dropped, but this wasn’t the place to be. I had been planning to return to an old favourite haunt east along the coast and I was waiting for the right light. So I rushed off in my car. I arrived at the destination and the tide was right out, not what I’d planned (I usually use another app ‘World Tides’, which is great for planning coastal shots, but you have to buy the update each year and I hadn’t got round to it).  The low tide did reveal some interesting shapes in the old rotten groynes and abandoned crates. The sun was now threatening to burst the clouds so I had to get a move on. I got a few shots before the sun disappeared and the sky turned grey. Here’s one:

Canon 1Ds mkII ISO 50 f/18 1/8th 17-35mm

Neither location presented me with the shots I had planned, but you’ve got to remain flexible. In the end though, the preparations that I made sent me to these locations and  I knew that in the right conditions both of them would offer me something.

So folks, unholster those smartphones, practise seeing the world in 2D, and consider that these cameraphones might have more to offer than just remembering IKEA codes.

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Large Format Landscape

Bamburgh Castle at dawn

Details: Wista 45DX, 90mm, 4 secs, f22 2/3, Fuji Velvia 50, 0.6ND Grad

Yesterday evening I made a presentation about large format photography to the City of London & Cripplegate  Photographic Society and received a very welcome. I covered all aspects of large format that I’ve used throughout my career on both 5×4 & 10×8, from portraits to still life and on into landscape.

I now run Large Format workshops both for complete beginners through to experienced practitioners. There will be a two day introductory to large format landscape on 2-4 Nov 2012 in South Wales and refresher days on 16 March 2012, 27 April & 25 May either in London or Essex. I supply the cameras for these workshops so if you’ve been considering LF and want to experience it before buying a camera then perhaps a Shadows & Light workshop is just for you?

Another recent speaker at the same society was Red Saunders, a photographer from whom I learnt a great deal of LF skill and technique.

Apart from shooting landscape in this form I’ve also done a great deal of still life with art directors such as Pearce Marchbank.

Stone, Paper, Scissors

Details: Sinar Norma 5×4, 150mm, 1/125 sec, f22, Fuji 100D
Art Director: Pearce Marchbank, Client: Marxism Today


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Inside Lives

My friends Rosie Berwick, Marjorie Devine-King, Bénédicte Emsens are putting on a collaborative exhibition ‘Inside Lives’ together with Debby Besford at the Tabernacle in Notting Hill in March.

I’ve had the opportunity to see much of this work at various stages and ‘Inside Lives’ will be well worth seeing. These photographers use a variety of formats and shoot both digital and analogue. Some of the flash kit they use use Elinchrom supplied by The Flash Centre.

Why not put the date in your diary and drop in to see it? You can combine it with a trip to the Portobello Road.

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