Sunday, 30 December 2018

Photography New Year Resolutions

Cemetery Road, Haworth, Brontë Country

Apart from my usual, general New Year resolutions, this year I have made some resolutions referring  to my photography, as well. Next year it will be exactly 30 years since I first took up photography; I love it more than ever now and would like to continue taking photos regularly, but I feel the need to do new things and grow creatively. I thought about what direction I want my photography to go and what exactly I want to do, and here is a summary of that.

1. I want to try my hand at iPhoneography. At the moment I have an android mobile phone that takes less than satisfactory quality photos, and for that reason, so far I have only used my DSLR and  compact cameras to take photos. My mobile phone needs changing now, so I thought I'd switch over to an iPhone that will enable me to take better photos. I am also eager to explore iPhone photo editing possibilities including different editing apps.

2. Very soon G and I will be getting our first dog. It will be a life changing thing, and I can also see how it can help me take the next step in my photography. I hope my walks with the dog will open the door to a new kind of photography for me - the kind I've been thinking about for a while now - just everyday photos related to seasons and nature; "ordinary" pics I can then enhance creatively.  And this is where my new iPhone will come in, too - on my walks with the dog I intend to only take my iPhone with me.

3. I want to try and focus more on book cover images. These are usually simple composition, lightly processed images with a specific subject matter and clearly expressed mood. My database with Trevillion Images is growing too slowly, and I need to try to have more of my images accepted. To help me with this I have started writing down  relevant ideas in a tiny notepad and have opened a Pinterest board entitled "Inspiring Photographic Book Covers".

4. Right now I feel a bit deflated about my photo processing. I feel that I strive too much towards "perfect" looking photo which is detrimental to the mood of the image. Since mood is for me the most important element of an image I want to be more spontaneous with my edits which means steering away from technical correctness and giving free rein to the mood.

5. My last resolution is only indirectly related to my photography, and is also the only one I don't put much faith in, but I feel time has come when I ought to give it a go. It is about setting up a website for selling prints of my work. It is a project that, as a longtime photographer I feel I owe it to myself to try and take it on and, hopefully, I can carry it out next year.

And this is about all. Hopefully it won't prove too much to aim for; at the moment it all seems achievable to me; above all, I am glad I was able to come up with clear goals for my next year photography work.

I would love to hear about any photography New Year resolutions my readers may have.

Haworth Main Street, Brontë Country

~Happy New Year!~

Friday, 21 December 2018

Christmas 2018 Still Life

It is time for another Christmas still life; it is something I have done for about ten years now, and it is always a challenging and fun bit of work for me. This year it is not about my usual classic still life work containing several props, but a simple, close up affair of just one object. The reason for this choice is that firstly, my mind has been way too busy with all sorts of things to think up a complex composition, and secondly, I have decided to start creating more book cover-ish still life images which entails simplicity and often even minimalistic approach.
This year I am very pleased to have ended up with two festive photos, one of which is the merit of my partner G.

f/5.3  1/40 sec.  ISO-6400  112mm  

I love Christmas lights; for me they are the most important part of decorations; anything that lights up will catch my eye, and so did this glass globe at the Home Bargains store where I work. I knew straight away I wanted to use it as the subject of a Christmas still life image and what exactly I wanted to do with it. I placed it on one of my window sills and photographed it during the blue hour, which is roughly between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the moment, in increments of ten minutes. I chose the image with good blue tones which was also light enough to have retained a fair amount of sharpness. I then enhanced the blue tones of the dusk light and added a snow action from Jessica Drossin's Endless Winter pack in postprocessing.

f/4.8  1/100 sec.  ISO-3200  55mm  

I asked G if he would like me to get him a Santa hat to wear at work driving his bus, and he said yes, although not very convincingly. When I handed him the hat he briefly admired it with a wry smile and then popped it on top of our antique granddaughter clock. And that's how an idea for my second Christmas still life was born. The image had just a quick basic edit in the Lightroom and a grunge texture overlay added in the Photoshop.

~Merry Christmas & Happy New Year~