Monday, 31 August 2009
Sunday, 30 August 2009
Saturday, 29 August 2009
I used to shoot a lot of 35mm transparency film many years ago. Although i never owned a slide projector, i found that the colour, sharpness and contrast inherent in transparency film always appealed to me much more than prints. The downside to shooting slides, especially in tricky lighting conditions, was always exposure - you had to be spot on with very little room for error.
The first roll of slide film i ever used was East German. Orwo film was cheap (in 1991 around £3.50 a roll - process paid) and came with it's own processing bag that you sent off. I only ever used the film once, in North Wales as it happens, but I've always retained a soft spot for it. The results were pretty good -not exactly Kodachrome 25 quality like the photograph above - but adequate for a young nineteen year old photographer just starting out. Fun times.
If you haven't subscribed to the Darker Skies Blog yet, then feel free to check out the website. The style of photography may be darker, but the tone and outlook certainly isn't. Moody, stylish photography is what the site is all about. Pop by and let me know what you think.
Friday, 28 August 2009
Freedom. That's what's this photograph represents to me. Just being able to sail off into the sunset has always been appealing, especially as the pace of life seems to get faster and faster. Imagine getting your own boat and sailing it anywhere you wanted to. My reasons for wanting the Lady Catherine are probably becoming much clearer now.
Sailing around the UK would make a brilliant photographic project. Documenting the voyage, the places, the people you meet, would be fascinating. If i ever win the lottery I'll probably do that, but I'd need some crew. Applications on a postcard can be sent to....
Thursday, 27 August 2009
Getting onto the island of Anglesey is a doddle. Just drive over the Menai Straits using the Menai Suspension Bridge designed by Thomas Telford. Prior to the completition of the bridge in 1826 there was no fixed connection to the mainland.
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
If there is one place in North Wales to visit it's Betws-y-Coed pronounced Bets e coed. The name mean Prayer house in the wood, which describes the village's location to poetic perfection.
Betws-y-Coed features an assortment of shops, including several well equipped outdoor sports stores that any certified mountain biking, fell running, canoe paddling, rock climbing nut would adore. I've actually seen people dive of this bridge into the pools of water below as part of outdoor pursuits courses. Not something i'd recommend.
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Remember the photographs of the stone wall that i posted at the start of this month? Well this was the scenery on the other side of that wall. The diversity of the U.K landscape is something that tends to be ignored by Brits. You can go from completely flat to mountainous in the space of a few hours drive.
The reason why Wales seems to be such a popular tourist destination for many people is due to the diversity of the landscape. You can leave the sea and sandy beaches behind you, drive for twenty minutes and then be alone in a mountainous landscape. Absolute bliss!
I received this rather nice E-mail yesterday:-
Congratulations! Your blog http://www.richflintphoto.blogspot.com has been named a Top Blog at YouSayToo. As a Top Blog, you are included in our Top Blogger section.
Well what can i say. Thank you very much. It's always nice to get a little recognition for all the hard work put in. Well i say hard work... i love it really ;o)
Monday, 24 August 2009
This week, the blog will be hosting the Wales week series of posts. A colour photograph, from my trip to Wales in 2003, will be posted everyday this week starting with the 'sunset near Llangollen' image above. The V shaped collection of white objects in the foreground is a caravan site. I especially like the silvery glow of a large puddle near to the site entrance and the shadows of the trees on the fields.
Like all good sunset photos, you have to wait for the right moment. I spent a rather spiritual and magical 25 minutes on the mountain side, just watching the sun slowly set, waiting for that decisive moment to take the photograph. Moments like that stay with you forever.
Sunday, 23 August 2009
Darker Skies can be found at http://www.darkerskies.wordpress.com/
Friday, 21 August 2009
I finally got around to looking through this year's crop of photographs from Norfolk. I'm rather pleased with a number of them including this gorgeously lit picture taken in a Norfolk field. I think it has a wonderful old English summer feel to it, although it certainly doesn't reflect the majority of the disappointing weather we've had so far this summer in the U.K. Hopefully September will bring some warm sunny days that are perfect for a bit of photography.
A few new bits and pieces are on the way regarding the websites. Along with the regular twitter feed, two new additions will be arriving soon. I've already talked about AudioBoo in a previous post but a new exciting addition to this 'podcasting' service will be TweetReel. TweetReel is video, shot on an iPhone, uploaded to a website to form a video blog. I'm rather excited about adding both AudioBoo and TweetReel to the blogging output. I hope to release the first short (a maximum of two minutes per episode) TweetReel videoblog around the middle of next month, filmed in a great location up in the north of England. It should be lots of fun and will, most probably, be filmed in a slightly experimental way to see what works and what doesn't.
Other online developments include adding more material to my ImageKind and Redbubble pages. This is a pretty slow process as much of the material has to be scanned, and edited before uploading. ImageKind has recently updated it's business terms so that an unlimited number of images can now be placed on the website for free. The third photograph sales area that requires more work is located on the main website, and this will also be expanded to include far more images over the coming months. I will have lots of work to do this winter.
Tuesday, 18 August 2009
A freelance photographer's life is not an easy one. Uncertainty is a constant factor that has to be dealt with. You need nerves of steel at times, but the rewards of the job can be immense including meeting a lot of very nice people. You also meet some not so nice ones too. However, at the end of it all, we are in photography to make a living - you can't live on air alone.
Saturday, 15 August 2009
Photojournalism has reached a crossroads. For years, the state of the industry has been in decline, but it's only recently that photojournalists have REALLY started to get concerned. The reasons for the decline in photojournalism have been ongoing for over 40 years. Although conflicts like Vietnam created the modern persona of what we now regard as the photojournalist, the fall in interest for photo stories goes back to the late 1950's, when demand for human interest stories fell and celebrity orientated stories started to replace them.
Friday, 14 August 2009
I studied documentary photography at college and I LOVE photojournalism, but even i had to take a step back to see how i was going to make a living. In the last post i talked about Elliott Erwitt, a Magnum photographer who is regarded as one of the best documentary photographers of the 20th century. Erwitt has been a big influence on my artistic understanding of photography, but he has also been a massive influence on my understanding of the business of photography for Elliott Erwitt is a successful commercial photographer too. He combines the income of commercial work with the passion for photojournalism, which enables him to live his life as he wishes. I choose that commercial/photojournalism balanced business model too. I compromised.
I admire immensely those photographers who are loyal to their photojournalism roots. Maybe i sold out. I don't know, but what i do know is photography is a real bitch to make money out of. Trying to make a good living from photojournalism is bordering on impossible. Even the best photojournalists earn surprising low amounts of money, and these are award winning, top of their game types. Being a photojournalist is for many akin to a religion - there is no financial reward but you are following a calling. It's all about passion and faith... in photography. Photojournalism isn't going to die out but it is going through immense change. Many outlets for images are under threat, and tomorrow, I'll post about how photojournalism might change in the years ahead.
Thursday, 13 August 2009
That would be Elliott Erwitt, a Magnum photographer who has become best known for his quirky and often funny photographs of dogs. I purchased an excellent book of Erwitt's work called Snaps while i was in Norfolk this year, which i thoroughly enjoyed looking through and regard as one of the best photography books you can buy. Not many photographers manage to combine thoughtful humour and documentary image making, but Erwitt does it with style.
I came across the above photograph, one weekend in Stoke on Trent as i was going into town. It's the only photograph that really comes to mind if I'm asked about carrying a camera at all times. This scene, when i saw it, instantly made me think of Elliott Erwitt and fortunately i had my camera with me. It's not as clever as his images tend to be, but it does have at least some humour in it.
Does it pay to carry a camera at all times? Sometimes it does.
Sunday, 9 August 2009
Last week, i started adding some of my old college photos to my Facebook page. I took loads of photographs of friends/classmates including the one above of Andy, a Geordie who was my housemate, a good friend and a great jazz photographer. I used the camera as a sort of visual notebook. In many respects, photographing my college years was like a big ongoing photography project, running alongside the normal college work. To say I'm glad i did it is an understatement, although i had no idea at the time what i would use them for. The internet and websites like Facebook have provided that answer. These photographs now have a home.
As I've been going through these photographs, I've had mixed emotions. They've made me laugh, but I've also felt sad. As my friend Matt said ' If i could go back, it would be back to those days'. Sadly we can't return and all we have are these photographs to remind us. It's a bittersweet feeling. Another question that remains unanswered is do photographs actually help keep memories of events and people fresh? I don't know if they do, although maybe it depends on the person, place or event. I can't help but think of a girl i knew (and loved) whenever i smell a certain specific perfume on someone in the street, so it's not just the visual that can take us back.
I'm going to continue to put my collection of college images up on Facebook. They were taken with no real purpose in mind, but now they have a function. A role. Besides, it is better to have the photographs on show, making people laugh or smile, than to have them hidden away in a draw somewhere. Photography and emotional attachment have always gone together. They are often strongly bound together in the form of a family album or a portrait of a friend, so take as many pictures as you can, because once that moment in time has gone... it's gone for good.
Wednesday, 5 August 2009
This week i added Google ads to that list of online promotion. I have to admit that the only reason i did so was because of a Google voucher that entitled me to £50 of free advertising. The only cost i have to bare is a £5.00 set up fee. For an advertising cost that's a pretty good deal. Will it work? Well, it's hard to say at the moment but judging from previous experiences I've had, I'm not too optimistic. You can have a million people view your website, but if no one hires you what exactly have you gained apart from a million people viewing your work. A bit of publicity and that's about it.
I'll be keeping my eye on this over the coming weeks to see if the website viewing statistics change drastically.... if at all.
Sunday, 2 August 2009
This image, and the one in the previous post, were both taken from the rather large archive of negatives that I'm attempting to file properly. It's not an easy task, in fact it's pretty daunting, but it needs to be done. Dates, times and places all need to be added and logged, like i should have done in the first place. I started doing this a couple of years ago, so it's a kind of work in progress thing really. One day I'm sure to come to the end of it. Maybe.