Monday 26 April 2010

Like the Tide

Walking along the front at Whitby, North Yorkshire, UK

I've just tried uploading an image to the Darker skies blog, but there seems to be a problem. Never mind, I'll do it tomorrow. Most of last week was spent doing some spring cleaning on my computer. There is still a lot of work to do to get to the stage where i have reclaimed enough room.

My computer is going to used for two purposes only from now on. Music and photography. Alongside my creative output from photography, i also have a music writing 'hobby' which, after a two year interlude, I've decided to start up again. Why the break? I don't know. Maybe to recharge the creative batteries, or maybe i had just got to the end of that creative stream. I do know that this year i intend, with a friend from school, to start recording some songs. I just feel like i have something to say again musically.

It's strange how our creative flows come and go... a bit like the tides.

Monday 19 April 2010

One of Many

Another bit of photo fun using my iPhone. The shot is a closeup of my mixing desk put through a couple of iPhone photo apps. The range of photographic styles you can achieve is astounding, and because the original image is unaffected, you can apply lots of diffferent looks to the same photo.

A demonstration of this has been done, rather nicely i might add, by my friend Chris with a daffodil image over on his 'What's (in) the picture' blog that can be found HERE

Thursday 15 April 2010

Three Rules

If you visited the Richard Flint Photography blog website today, you'll have noticed that a number of Amazon adverts have appeared. I suppose that this was bound to happen eventually, after all, the official blog is for a commercial business, and  many photo websites do it. I thought, however, that i'd better mention about the advertising policy of the blog.

I mortally HATE websites that feature more advertising than content, or where the advertising is in your face. I like to think that the adverts placed on my blog fit nicely into the site, prominant enough to do their job without ruining the website's accessibility. It is a delicate balance. Likewise it is a delicate balance when linking to products or websites. I have adopted certain rules that i follow to keep the quality of advert links high.

First of all, the product must be useful to photographers. This can range from camera cleaning equipment to software that helps your computer run better. Second is quality. If it is linked on the blog then either i use it or I believe that the quality is superb. If it's rubbish... it don't get on.  Finally, rule number three is that the advertising should NOT interfere with the overall look of the website and the viewing experience. All of the adverts i've added to the blog are tucked away at the bottom of the sidebar and blog page.

Tuesday 13 April 2010

Simple Photoshop

A new version of Photoshop was launched yesterday in the guise of Photoshop CS5 and the demonstrations of what the new software can do have been impressive. One of the more useful new features added must be the content-aware fill option that helps the photographer remove items within a photograph with ease. Take a look at the demo video above to see how simple it is.

Clever stuff. Only a few years ago, a photographer or an image retoucher would need quite an amount of skill to remove a road (see the video to see how easy that is) from an image. Many hours of work would be needed to create a finished print. Now it can take minutes and the work is completed to a high standard of quality. Skill is still needed to use Photoshop to its full potential, but it's certainly getting much easier to drastically manipulate a photograph out of all recognition. Is that a good thing or a bad? I'm not sure really.

My first real taste of Photoshop was using Photoshop 3 on my HND photography course. Every Monday morning, 9am, my documentary class would all sit in front of our Macs and manipulate our photo of choice. Back then it was a labour intensive effort to get a photo looking right, and although i didn't enjoy it at the time, i did learn an incredible amount about manipulating photos. All these years later, we are getting to the point where many technically challenging processes can be automated to the point where my Mother could do it.

Are we slowly removing some the skill from photography? Or are we creating opportunities for new talent to emerge who would have otherwise been daunted by the complexity of early photo editing software? More tough questions that i don't have the answers to, but i have the feeling that it could be a bit of both.

Sunday 11 April 2010

Fishing at Whitby

Fishing at Whitby, Yorkshire, UK

I like this photograph. It was taken at Whitby last Friday and shows that wonderful moment where dad and son go fishing. I don't think much was biting that day, but fishing isn't always about what you catch. They've probably sat down to fish while Mum has a good look around Whitby. The stories contained within a photograph can be varied and many.

The UK election was officially launched this week, which means that most of the British public will be sick to death of politics and politicians by election day on May 6th. I'm already fed up. Some politicians believe in the term 'broken Britain' which refers to the disintegration of the fabric of society in the UK. Most of that kind of talk is rubbish and has been around for years - since Victorian times in fact - and anarchy has still not set in. I like to think that the photograph represents the vast majority of families in this county - just normal everyday folks going about their lives.

In a separate event, both political parties managed to infringe a BBC image copyright by designing a campaign poster based upon the image of a popular BBC TV show character, and all in a week when the badly thought out 'anti piracy' digital economy bill was rushed through parliament in an attempt to stop people 'stealing' illegal pirated material off the intenet. The original BBC photograph, manipulated and then used by both the Labour and Conservative political parties, was 'borrowed' (or downloaded if you prefer) from the internet. How ironic.

Monday 5 April 2010

SoFoBoMo 2010

The Priory Church of St Mary and the Holy Cross, Binham , Norfolk, UK

Last year, you may remember that i took part in an online photography project called Solo Photo Book Month, where i had to shoot, edit and produce a photography book with 35+ photos within 31 days. Well, the Solo Photo Book Month website has been revamped for 2010 and photographers interested in taking part this year can now register. SoFoBoMo 2010 runs from 1st June to 31st July, so you have plenty of time to come up with ideas. Just pick a date to start from and the clock starts ticking down the 31 days.

It doesn't matter what kind of camera you work with - I'm seriously considering using my iPhone to produce the images for my book this year. Just pick a subject and take 35+ photographs. It could be photos on a long walk theme, a theatre production or portraits. Anything! The book i produced last year just documented the everyday events that i saw from/nearby the Medieval city walls of York. Taking the photographs i needed wasn't that hard compared to putting the book together. I found that the most time consuming part of last year's project, but you do learn so much about how photography books are designed and put together.

Solo Photo Book Month is fun and certainly worth a bash. To sign up or to find out more details, click HERE