Posted on June 20, 2022
Last week I received feedback on three of my photos that were entered for the monthly challenge at Gisborne Camera Club (GCC). Secondly, I am now a member of the PSNZ, which stands for the Photographic Society of New Zealand. Hopefully, joining the PSNZ will open some new doorways provide some inspiration. Anyway, without further ado, here are some photos with the feedback I recieved.
The perfect title. This is indeed a very peaceful image. The pastel colours are beautiful. I can’t
decide if the ship is a distraction or not. On balance I decided it was nice, especially as the red of
its hull looks quite pastel like. The layout of the tree in the bottom third balances well with the
negative space of the water. Just nitpicking but perhaps the large trunks sticking up are a little too
bright. It’s not a major thing and the layout and colours win me over.
Evaluation: Honours (Chris Page)
39-Still Life-Got Milk
A wonderful abstract still life. I am assuming this is an upside-down mug or perhaps a jug. The
strong geometric shapes and patterns are engaging and visually stimulating. Using black and
white like this can be challenging, however the author has controlled the exposure, and everything
is just so. Nice work!
Evaluation: Honours (Chris Page)
B39-Interaction-See You Later
This is a very strong street photography image where the author has managed to catch this
moment as it unfolds. What I love about street photography is that in this tiny moment we can build
up our own back story and try to fill in the gaps. It’s like people watching on steroids. When I look
at this image I have so many questions, do they know each other? Was this someone complaining
about the other getting in their way? What are all those marks on his legs? Is that normal dress or
is she going to an event? And so, it goes. There are a few distracting elements and I wonder if this
would be stronger in black and white. This is a nicely seen moment.
Evaluation: Highly commended (Chris Page)
Effective feedback is the single best way to improve as a photographer, and I am incredibly grateful to the guest judge of this month’s photos. It was also nice to get a good mark for images that are outside of my specialist genre. However, living in NZ has brought my Landscape photography along in leaps and bounds.
What do you think of the comments the judges made? Agree, disagree, of have something to add? Either way, enjoy the pics and hopefully this blog will continue to inspire some of you to get your camera out. I’m now looking at starting to put together a final project based around the East Coast of NZ’s North Island. Watch this space.
Keep clicking, Chris
Posted on January 20, 2022
A belated Happy New Year to everyone. Once again, my New Year’s resolution is to post at least once a week; the critical ones of you will notice I have already failed this, but it’s the journey and not the goal (?)… maybe.
To be honest, like many of us, my photography is struggling post Covid. New Zealand is beautiful, but somehow misses the excitement of International travel, which is now almost impossible. However, Gisborne presents a interesting challenge. A holiday town, a surfing town, and an industrial port. One of my favourite locations so far has been a disused railway track. Lots of leading lines. Here are a few pics from my dog walking & photography exploration.
These pics were all captured using a Samyang 2.8 lens, which is a bit of a bargain and great for Street Photography. Though I am finding it a little soft for landscape and cityscape work. I am quietly hankering after the Sigma 24mm F/2, please let me know if you have any experience with this lens, as it looks quite a beautiful piece of work.
In Gisborne all good walks end up on the beach, which is generally littered with timber waste from the logging industry. A pain in the bum, but it makes for interesting pics. Next up – some street pics!
Stay tuned and keep clicking,
Posted on July 3, 2021
It has been a while since my last blog post. However, I have still been clicking away. My go-to camera at the moment has become my iphone. Phone photography has never really been my ‘thing’, but appears to be my tool of choice at the moment!Read More
Posted on September 14, 2020
I realise that it has been a while since I posted. What can I say, life has been a rollercoaster! Suffice to say my photos of India are probably at an end for the foreseeable future. However, New Zealand offers new and spectacular opportunities. Last weekend I headed of in my new car (yup – I’m mobile again, so lots of new photo locations to explore) to Kaikoura, which I believe means ‘To Eat Crayfish’ in the Maori tongue. This was a social trip, so I did not take heaps of photos, but at the end of the day, the light was spectacular. Before heading off along the majestic Highway 1, I managed to snap this beauty.
This morning I edited the photo using two different tools. One version was editing using Lumiar 4’s artificial intelligence filter. One version was edited using Lightroom and Photoshop. My Photoshop skills are very mediocre to say the least. Have a look at the two edits of the same photo, posted below. Which one do you prefer, I would love to know your choice!
At the moment I prefer my Photoshop edit, but this may be because I invested more time on the computer. I’m also finding my Wacom tablet extremely useful. Watch out for a full review of this gadget! In the meantime you may have noticed some rather odd signs and symbols appearing on my Instagram feed. Don’t panic, I have not gone crazy and am just having a little fun.
Keep Clicking, Chris
Posted on August 7, 2020
Recently my photography has started to turn a corner. Leaving India in the dead of night came as a shock, and it’s taking a while for me to re-discover my photographic vision whilst in New Zealand. This is partly due to what I suspect has been some low-level depression, combined with high-level anxiety. I am sure there are many others in the same boat, and given the circumstances it is unsurprising. Photography is of course a wonderful anti-depressant, and capturing a decent photo provides a natural rush of endorphins! As with any changes in life, there are both positives and negatives.
India is arguably one of the greatest places in the world for photography. The diversity of the population lends itself to colourful images of people and places. Most of the population appear happy to be photographed, making Street Photography a pleasure. The heavy pollution found in most of the large cities creates a soft diffused light, creating etherial pictures at dusk and dawn, whilst softening the harshness of the midday sun. With India’s current Covid numbers at over 2 Million, the country is going to be off the Travel Photographers radar for a while yet. Even when I return, I cannot envisage walking around in the crowds like I once did.
New Zealand has a population of roughly five million. There are more sheep than people. Unsurprisingly, most of the population are used to their space, and an in-your-face Bruce Gilden approach of photography is likely to lead to conflict. This has lead me to try different approaches to what I am doing. As with any transition, my ‘style’ is a little ad-hoc. However, I have now been here for three months, and a collection of ideas has started to grow. Here are some of my ideas for inspiration.
The suburbs of NZ are dark at night. I like this photo, the scarcity of light creates opportunities for minimalism. While in India I viewed a project where photographers explored Bangalore at night, looking for locations where light escaped. As with all creations, I am pinching the idea and making it my own.
Still life photos can make the ordinary extraordinary. I have spent a couple of Sunday afternoons trying to capture NZ’s streets, which are often devoid of life. Time to roll in some creative ideas. Quite often I will touch these photos up, using a 35mm film preset to give the images a bit of grain. Crystal clear digital images can often look quite boring. After all, who want to see reality as it really is?
Photographing the human condition is one of the most rewarding form of photography. I may take inspiration from Magnum’s Alec Soth, and start seeking characters to photograph. Discrete candid photography also remains an option. My attitude to seeking permission to take an image has changed over the last few years. Five years ago I would have argued that a photo taken with permission cannot be a ‘street photo’. Now I am not so sure, or maybe just do not care.
Photographers can be very divisive when discussing film. Sure, it is a pain in the arse, expensive, unreliable and limiting in terms of the number of shots you take. I’m not going to be ditching digital any time soon. But I do enjoy playing with analogue technology. I also prefer listening to a vinyl records than to streaming devices! At some point I will try to develop my own film, just because I will be able to lock myself in a dark room and pretend I’m Ansel Adams. And yes – film does look better.
Portraits are a wonderful way to connect with people. The image above was taken during quarantine in NZ. Annie Liebovitz states that she is a portrait photographer because people expected her to adhere to a genre. Portrait photography may be a path into commercial work, and with a world-wide recession looming that may not be a bad idea. However, I suspect many portrait photographers are going to be struggling throughout the rest of 2020.
I’m a bit of a city boy when it comes to photography. Having beautiful nature on my doorstep is opening a whole new world. Definitely finding my feet in terms of style. One tool that is very useful at the moment is Luminar 4, the landscape profiles provide a great starting point for editing an image. In addition I have just purchased a WACOM pen and tablet, but I will save that for another blog!
Take care and keep clicking, Chris
Posted on December 31, 2018
Wishing all my readers a great new year, I hope it goes out with a bang. This month I have been busy with Wes Hardaker who has been guiding a select few photographers on the different applications of exposure control. I generally leave my camera set at -0.3, so it has been an education to finally play a little more with my exposure compensation dial.Read More