June 2020

Plenty of online resources


Frustratingly about 8 weeks ago I hurt my knee(s) whilst out running. The impact of that is having to rest and I’ve hardly even walked anywhere, never mind run. What has been a bonus though has been the amount of resources that have become available online. There are plenty of companies who are keen to increase their ‘follower’ base and indeed no doubt their customer base through this current lockdown period.

What have I been watching / listening to?

I was first alerted to an online event which was being hosted by the Royal Photographic Society. The talk was the first of a series by them using a Zoom (who knew how popular that would become?) chat with Joe Cornish. You’ll gather he is one of my favourite image makers and it also helps that his gallery is local in Northallerton, near where I live. That talk with Joe can be found here. This series of talks is ongoing and further events can be found on the RPS Events web page. Hopefully now lockdown is being eased the gallery and its lovely cafe will be open again.

The second talk I listened to was with Spanish photographer Iñaki Hernandez-Lasa FRPS about his passion for architectural photography. So the subject matter over the next few weeks will cover many different genres of photography – something for everyone.

I also very much enjoyed the discussion with well known Landscape and Travel Photographer David Noton, it was another great talk. Why not also look at his website here.

Another well known Company within photographic circles is Light and Land who are most well known for their Photography Tours and workshops, I’ve not been on one so am not endorsing them, but they are highly respected – other companies are available!! They are holding a weekly chat via Facebook Live each week and curiously the one I most recently listened to was by Joe Cornish who was sharing some of his experiences of The Lake District – again, well worth a listen! The talk was on the 26th May and you’ll find it on their Facebook page. Next week they’re talking to Charlie Waite, so plenty to look forward to.

Panoramic view from Haystacks
Panoramic view from Haystacks, The Lake District

It’s interesting how many other options there are, again on Facebook Live I listened to a presentation by Wilkinson Cameras about Printers (Canon in this case) where they compared three different models and explained the differences, pros and cons etc. Not quite as professionally presented as the others above, but by no means any less interesting and useful.

Landscape Photographer of the Year

As I suspected it was a waste of my £10 entry fee, the thanks but no thanks email from Landscape Photographer of the Year arrived a few days ago and I didn’t make the short-list. Oh well, there’s always next year. Take a look at their website (link above) for proper Landscape Photographs!

Warnscale Bothy
Warnscale Bothy and High Stile LPOY entry

Plenty more to look forward to!

Like many photographers I often find editing my pictures is the hardest part. After taking my camera out I usually have hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of shots to review and process. So how do I make this less of a pain in the proverbial? You might say “You could take fewer photographs Paul”, but that’s never worked for me, especially in the digital age. 
So what can be done?

More Than One Edit?
Often I’ll do the basic editing upon import into Lightroom. then later on a second and sometimes third attempt at getting the best out of a photograph. The pressure is less doing a few at a time, and I almost always find images on subsequent edits that I’d have missed on the first even if I paid much more attention.

What appeals in an image
Also, edits differ depending on my need. Often I will look until something catches my eye. Maybe it’s colour, or maybe it’s cropping, maybe an interesting composition, but it’s got to grab me in the first place for me to want to start working on it.

Edit With Vision
I find it helpful to know what I’m choosing the images for. If editing is a question of choosing the “best” image from a batch, then it helps to be able to answer this question: best for what? Am I looking for a competition image for the camera club, or am I looking for something that would make a nice card or print to go on my website or wall? On initial import I would usually scan through the images and pick out the ones that I think are the best or most suited for what I’m trying to do.

We all have to figure out what we’re looking for, and that is also one of the challenges. Now when I start to edit I don’t look to edit every single image in the first place, as I said above I come back to them later. I look for images that grab me and seeing as I took them in the first place then that’s a good starting point??

Lockdown review
During the Lockdown I’ve been sorting out my photographic archive and have been really enjoying that. Using new skills in Lightroom and Photoshop has enabled me to revisit some forgotten / almost discarded images and make something out of them that I couldn’t have done a couple of years ago.

St Thomas à Becket Church, Fairfield
St Thomas à Becket Church, Fairfield

The image above was one of many I took whilst down in Kent on a business trip in 2013 I think! This one and many more were consigned to the ‘not quite cr*p enough to delete, but not quite good enough to use’. Until now that is, I’m really pleased with how it has turned out.

Under Saltburn PIer
Under Saltburn PIer

The image above of Saltburn Pier is not to everyones taste. It again was a very bad image, practically unusable. However some basic reprocessing form colour to black and white and then using a ‘High Key’ preset in Silver Efex Pro 2 gives it an almost abstract look. I must also add that I have the version of this software from when it was free. It is now a commercial product at a price!

What else?

Of course there’s much more to not going out for runs or walk, I’ve watched a lot of TV too as well as sitting at my computer resting my legs. Spooks, Killing Eve, DCI Banks and Shetland to name a few of the things I’ve been watching. Hopefully not much longer now until we can go out more freely, even under a “new norm” and certainly I’m hoping that the workshop I’m looking forward to in October in the Cairngorms will go ahead! At least I’ve still chance to read a little more about how to prepare.

One thing that has had to be changed is a planned trip to Canada to celebrate our Ruby Wedding Anniversary. We were due to fly out on 3rd June but that’ll have to wait now for a whole year. We have managed to move the whole itinerary on by 12 months – at least it’s bought and paid for, so that’ll ease the pain in a years time!

Thanks for reading!

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