Sunday 31 January 2010

January End

The end of January. I can hardly believe it, although i have to admit that the month isn't among my favourites. I shouldn't complain though,as it been a good four weeks of photography and photographic theory. When i say theory, i mean getting things worked out in my head about my photography. That delicate process of creative study. I'm developing new ideas, new influences and maybe even a new photo taking philosophy. It's a work in progress.

Speaking of work in progress, I'm in huge admiration of those participants taking part in the 365 project which involves taking a photo each day for the whole year. A real challenge, and one that i think ranks amongst the toughest a photographer can face. Taking a photo each day, with all of life's distractions and pitfalls, isn't an easy job. As for me, well I'll continue to develop ideas and study some visual influences that range from cinematic to canvas.

Wednesday 27 January 2010

Calendar Dreams

Seafront activity at Whitby in North Yorkshire, UK

It's taken most of January but finally i have a photo calendar for the wall - a Joe Cornish calendar with photos taken around the beautiful rural and urban locations of the North of England. Unsurprisingly the calendar is entitled Northern Light. I wondered why the last blog post title seemed familiar. The photographs are just fantastic. So much so, that all those doubts about your own vain attempts at photography suddenly surface. Always a good sign of high quality photography when you are green with envy about other people's work. You just have to channel all that insecurity into improving your own work.

The purchase of a new calendar has renewed my endeavours to try and develop my own this year. I do have one available at the moment via my Cafepress store, but it suffers from it's U.S location and the high price of production, so I'm looking for somewhere that can handle European orders more comfortably. I'm trying to avoid doing my own calendar print run which can end up affordable but only with high number print runs. Could i get rid of a thousand units? Tough...but maybe. A print on demand service like Cafepress offers would suit me better. Sadly, i don't believe that a service exists over on this side of the pond. A pity that.

Sunday 24 January 2010

Northern Light

Hexham Abbey, North of England

I hate the grim, dull, dark, damp conditions that usually passes for winter weather in this country. January weather is never that great for photography, but nontheless i gave it a go anyway, while i was in Hexham. The iPhone shot above is of the wonderful Hexham abbey, a gorgeous piece of old architecture that acts as a reminder of the North's dark and turbulent past. It is like travelling back in time when you enter the abbey. A fabulous experience.

Hexham itself is a great little town, which like it's abbey, has a rich heritage. An impressive 14th century keep acts as a huge landmark for visitors to view as they wander around the farmers market. I'll definitely be heading back there during the summer to document the charismatic town... when the light is better.

Wednesday 20 January 2010

Too Good to be...

Busy. Busy Busy. What with delivering pictures, redesigning my business cards and moving Facebook pages, i haven't blogged in quite a while. To be honest i haven't really had that much to say. That was until i saw a bit of news today that made me look and say.... ahhh yes with a 'thought it was' kind of look on my face.

Today it was announced that the Wildlife photographer of the Year competition was not going to award the £10,000 prize money to the winner, Jose Luis Rodriguez, and that his image of a wolf jumping over a fence would be removed from the competition's exhibition. The reason was that the wolf was likely to be a trained model. Not wild at all. Experts compared the winning picture to pictures of Ossian, a tame wolf that lives at a zoological park near Madrid called Canada Real. They believe it is the same wolf due to the distinctive markings.

My first reaction when i saw the winning photo was indeed wow. It is a remarkable photo, but the more i looked at it, the more i wondered how it was taken. Wildlife photography is IMMENSELY difficult and often a one moment, one frame captures all affair. No second chances. Ask yourself... what made the wolf jump like that? Didn't it mind the camera being there and the flashgun too? It certainly doesn't look like it was taken using a telephoto, so the camera could have been quite close, at human eye level and just several metres away from the wolf. Wolves are pretty timid creatures, especially where humans are concerned.

The image may be real, but now the photographer will have to categorically prove to the world that the wolf photograph is authentic. That will not be an easy thing to do.

Friday 8 January 2010

Snow Snapshot

Snow across Great Britain 2010/007 - 01/07 at 11 :50 UTC

This photograph has been paraded about in the UK media quite a lot but it's worth posting here just for it's sheer beauty. I recommend clicking on the photo above and viewing the larger version to see all the wonderful detail captured in the image. The snow covered peaks of Scotland and the swirling patterns of clouds are just stunning. A really big version of the photo can be found HERE.

Sunday 3 January 2010

Digital Expansion

An evening of candle light

Expanding my digital storage capacity has become a priority for 2010. I remember buying my desktop computer and thinking that i'd NEVER be able to fill it's 250Gb hard drive. How wrong i was. I was moving up from my first computer that had 6Gb (wow!) of storage which, in the late 1990's, seemed huge. Last year i really started to use iTunes, not for purchasing huge amounts of data like movies or TV shows, but for audio/video podcasts and music. For 2010 i've started to use audiobooks, so my digital storage needs are growing.

Then there is offline use. I write and record music which, combined with photography, manages to take up vast amounts of space each month. So with audio and photo storage needs increasing at a huge pace, i need some help - an external hard drive. A device that can safely take some of the storage strain from my computer hard drives and offer some extra security against a photographers worst nightmare - data loss.

As we become a more digital world, the sizes of these drives will become yet bigger. I'm looking at buying a 1Tb (terrabyte) drive, but in ten years time what will i need? 10Tb? 100Tb? More? Digital cameras quality improves yearly so imagine dealing with the image file sizes from a 50MP camera.  Makes you think doesn't it.