Tag Archive: Photography



Westway shadows

Pleased with this little shot whilst sat in the car on the way to Oxford. I’ve always admired the shadows that form on this little underpass. I might wander down there with a tripod and the proper camera soon.



Photography Web

A worthy replacement for Everpix

Unfortunately my favourite photo service, Everpix, shutdown recently. They kind of mucked up their business model and couldn’t get enough revenue in to keep the lights on. There was plenty of discussion of why they got it wrong, their business model and why Apple didn’t buy them. Anyway, they closed and I stopped getting my favourite daily email with photos from the past.

Fortunately a service called Picturelife has sprung up to fill the void. They spent a long time by the looks of it on sweating the little details as Mathew wrote about recently.

Picturelife 1. Thanks

This gives a really nice impression when you install, create an account and start uploading your first pics. It’s then easy to configure a daily or weekly email digest and it seems a little smarter than Everpix in picking out faces to show you. The iPhone / iPad app will also send you a push notification each day if you want but I prefer the email. This is the kind of email I get each day. It’s nice to have a little blast from the past although I really need to tidy up my photos as those little snaps of receipts and the odd screenshot clutter the whole thing up.

Screen Shot 2014 01 09 at 22 01 53

There’s lots of other features which i haven’t explored. A lot of them allow you to share photos privately instead of Facebook etc but I’ve not really investigated it yet. I normally print out photos on Photobox and post them to people instead. The web interface is nice and subtle too.

Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 10.27.51

And the downsides? Well apparently it chews up a load of HD space through a cache issue which will hopefully be fixed soon.

Update three: WOAH! Spent a panicked few moments after clicking the above Backup button trying to figure out why my machine was bleeding disk space. I watched 6GB trickle away as Scratch Disk Almost Full message popped up all over the place before a friend (Ta Tim) at 54B helped discover that Picturelife creates a full image cache of your iPhone image library in User/Library/Picturelife/Storage/Images.

That and I don’t like the non-standard buttons. But on the whole it’s a great replacement and their business model seems to have more legs to it – i.e. paid.


Flickr Photography

Everyone loves a misty tree photo

Well everyone on Flickr that is. It seems that a little bit of rising mist in the woods with some sun behind it is a bit of a winner.

I shot this whilst out riding at Swinley a few days ago. Bizarrely enough I took my ‘proper camera’ but forgot it and left it in the van. We got there early and the frost was being warmed up by the rising sun and then beautifully back lit. Hence the effect you get below. I shot it with the iPhone and then processed it with VSCO Cam before sticking it on Instagram where it proved to be my most popular photo to date.

Sunlight through the trees [Explored]

I thought I’d stick the full version on Flickr. I added it to a few groups and got on with whatever I was doing. Then an hour or so later the phone started buzzing with notifications. It didn’t stop for two days. Whilst some people, like Finn, are used to this I’m certainly not.

So my account trundles along at 500 – 1000 hits a day generally, nothing special but there’s the occasional traffic spike. This on the other hand is like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

Screen Shot 2014 01 03 at 21 53 14

Now it’s not me saying I’m amazing, I’m not, and this was just a shot of some mist and being there at the right time. What does surprise me is that quality of the camera in the iPhone and how much I didn’t actually miss my proper camera. The second thing is how the explore page can drive traffic to your photos. If something gets a few hits it starts to hit the bottom end of Explore (popular page in Flickr language) and then it can rapidly climb from there once the views and favourites start piling in. If you look at the explore page it does generally seem to be sunsets and mist so I guess this one hit the spot.

It now sits as my most popular photo with over 8000 views and 180+ favourites, so far. I’m amused to see that my most popular shot is a mobile phone shot which I never thought would have happened just a few years back. I guess those camera makers are in real trouble as they’re only going to get better. The link to this article I found yesterday was entitled “Cameras will die with an iPhone 6s in our pockets” and reference this quote from the article.

After two and a half years, the GF1 was replaced by the slightly improved Panasonic GX1, which I brought on the six-day Kumano Kodo hike in October. During the trip, I alternated between shooting with it and an iPhone 5. After importing the results into Lightroom, Adobe’s photo-development software, it was difficult to distinguish the GX1’s photos from the iPhone 5’s. (That’s not even the latest iPhone; Austin Mann’s superlative results make it clear that the iPhone 5S operates on an even higher level.) Of course, zooming in and poking around the photos revealed differences: the iPhone 5 doesn’t capture as much highlight detail as the GX1, or handle low light as well, or withstand intense editing, such as drastic changes in exposure. But it seems clear that in a couple of years, with an iPhone 6S in our pockets, it will be nearly impossible to justify taking a dedicated camera on trips like the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage.

Convergence is going to continue to be a real killer for a lot of companies.



Crossing Paths, buy this book

You should buy this book whilst you still can. There’s only 500 copies of this print run and I’m sure it’s going to sell out fast. It’s beautifully printed and edited and so many great characters to see inside. I really enjoyed an afternoon going through this the other day.

Don’t know what it’s all about? These two previous posts help explain.

131116 D700 DSC3032
131116 D700 DSC3035


Love this! Photography

Crossing Paths, a love letter to Britain

I’ve been a big fan of Crossing Paths for a while now and have really enjoyed seeing Niall’s images appear after his travels around the UK.

I’m generally skeptical of street photography as in my opinion an excuse for quite lazy and cliched work. Often this is of the back of people’s head against amusingly cropped bill boards or someone smoking in an alley. There are exceptions to this but good street photographers seem to be rare. There’s also something about that magic moment which is so crucial to street photography that most are unable to catch, again all in my opinion. I was also never really a fan of the sartorialist street photography, but mainly because I’m not a fashion junkie, having said that I was completely in awe of Bill Cunningham having watched his film and appreciated his dedication and engagement with the New York fashion scene.

Having said all of that Niall’s work seems really captivates me and seems to have blended these two genres into something personal to him and at the same time far more inspiring and touching. Having thought about this for a while I feel that it’s the difference between being an observer and someone who engages with their subject which makes one have more value to me. Niall’s work perhaps veers more towards portraiture than street photography yet with it also has this wonderful feeling of serendipity.

Niall manages to capture something unique of the personality of the person in their clothing, location, stance, their expression and character. The relationship of colours to the backgrounds he chooses always fascinates me. There’s so much to get out the images and what is nice about the above video is that you get to see some of the engagement that goes in to making these photos and how he relates to the people on the street. Part of the reason I am in awe of this project is that chatting to people on the street is hard, I don’t mean in a raised eyebrows nod, huh, shared event style but actually stopping someone, asking about them, taking an interest in them as a person and then taking their portrait. The act of making a portrait seems to be a incredibly intimate process which is what elevates this from other genres of street photography for me. There’s also a form of celebration of the ordinary person and the UK as a whole. We’re pretty bad at celebrating our uniqueness but the video seems to highlight how much delight Niall seems to take from this island of ours and all the fascinating people that inhabit it, a kind of love letter to the UK if you like. I can’t wait to get hold of a copy of the book!


Geek Photography

Everpix calls it a day

Got off my bike this evening a opened an email from Everpix saying that they’re closing their doors. Everpix is one of my favourite services, and one that I’d written about previously.

So sad to see it go as it was such a nice idea. I loved receiving that email each day with what I’d been up to the last few years ago on that date. Alas it’s no more. Hopefully someone will buy it or a similar service will start.

Screen Shot 2013 11 05 at 22 50 23


Architecture Photography Rant

The @RIBA would like your images for free

Felt pretty stressed today. Lots to do and try and achieve before a meeting tomorrow and then I get this in my inbox.

Hi Andy

I am including a case study on the **project** in a book on domestic refurbishment projects to be published by RIBA Publishing in spring next year. Around 30 projects will be featured and the book will be a well-designed hardback with an initial print run of 2,000. I do not have a budget for the reproduction of photographs so I am having to rely on the architects concerned to supply illustrations free of charge. I don’t know what your arrangement is with **** Architects but I am hoping you can supply the shots included on their website. You will be properly credited, of course. The book includes the best work of the leading young architects in London and the rest of the UK and the photography I have received so far is by well respected architectural photographers so you will be in good company.

The book is soon to go into production so I would need to receive the material as soon as possible.


********* RIBA

First impressions, wow…

As a fully paid up member of the RIBA it’s pretty crap that they don’t even think that paying for photography is necessary. Would they suggest Architects work for free? Now I’m sure they’re not giving this book away as it’s “a well-designed hardback“. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe it is going to be free? So if they don’t have the budget to pay photographers then they don’t have the budget to publish a book surely? I’m sure they’ll be charging a decent fee and making a profit of some form. In addition Mr RIBA is suggesting that a credit will suffice and that it’ll probably get me more work. I’ll also be surrounded by the best of the best, all of whom are giving their work for free.

Now I feel slightly conflicted as I’d love the Architects I shot for to be published and gain more work for themselves as well as wider recognition. So I do want them to be published but why should the RIBA make money off them and me without giving anything back? There’s not even the offer of a free copy of the book!

And to top it all off.. can you get us images as soon as possible please? Not only are they free but they’re very urgent. Unbelievable. I wonder if the RIBA will give me my 2014 membership for free? I don’t have a budget for it and it’s urgent as 2013 is almost over.

Now I’m not the sort that objects to free work of any kind. I’ve done free designs, sketches, photos, in fact entire days of photography for free. But they are all done for a reason, whether that be PR and exposure, friends, a charity or just because I’ve offered to waive my fee. But this stinks, really stinks. I wish the RIBA had a bit more respect for their own professionals as well as photographers who are trying to make a living. It’s not very easy paying the rent with a credit.

So I’ll probably give them the images anyway as I feel for the Architects but holy hell it’s one more nail in the RIBA’s coffin for me.

EDIT: As pointed out on Twitter by Steve Parnell the RIBA and RIBA publishing are two different entities. The RIBA is a registered charity which I’m more inclined to support – as above comment on working for free. RIBA Publishing is a fully fledged business though.


Love this! Photography

My photos on someone else’s wall

There’s something really nice about knowing someone has a photo or two of yours on their wall. A while back I did two prints for James, at cost, but completely forgot about it. They were from our trip to Dungeness in January. Then recently this picture popped up on Instagram. It’s a great feeling seeing them framed and ready to go on the wall and the images seem to work well together too. Nice bed spread James.


The original images are below.



Architecture Photography

Zumptobel lighting competition

Each year I sign up for the Zumptobel Lighting competition. They send you a disposable camera and every year I forget to use the damn thing. I’ve done it so many times I now have a collection of them stretching back to 2010, which is even in its original wrapper.

So this year I’ve actually got round to using it. But rather than just snapping away I’ve decided to only take pictures of scaffolding with it. I’m sure they’ll be a little confused as to why anyone might do that but then they probably don’t know about #scaffoldlove / scaffold of the day on Instagram.


I’m pretty sure I won’t win anything.



Shooting for the moon

Standing in Peckham Rye park at 10pm with a long lens and a tripod seems little odd. But hey, why not. The results are a bit crap really. Not sure what I was expecting though but something better than this.

This is from a 70-200 with a TC II at full reach. Still not enough zoom to get there to fill the frame. Not the sharpest either but I guess that’s down to the TC II. It’s heavily cropped to get even this much out of it. Ho hum, back to buildings, dogs and bikes I guess.