Monday, 24 November 2014

David Moses - 5 Tips for Taking Better Photographs

One of the aims of The Galloway Photographic Collective is to help promote photography in Dumfries & Galloway. Part of that involves helping you get better at photography. In fact, all photographers want to get better. Good photographers never stop learning.

There are too many things to teach you in one blog, so keep an eye for these at regular intervals.

1 - Never stop photographing.

Take pictures every day, even of the incidental things. The best way to get better is to shoot every day. Your command of the camera will become second nature and you will be free to think about things like composition, emotion, storytelling.

2 - Get Closer.

Robert Capa said “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” It’s so true. He was of course talking about emotional closeness as well as physical.

3 - Buy education, not gear.

Having the best of gear does not a photographer make. I have seen and shot some of my favourite pictures using a phone. It’s all about knowing what you want to do. With strong knowledge you can make amazing pictures using the most basic of gear. Learn more!

4 - You’re Kidding Right?

A well timed joke or anecdote is much more effective than asking people to smile. You don’t want your subjects to mug for the camera, so don’t ask them to.

5 - Engage With Your Subject.

Take time to make your subject comfortable. Talk to them, let them know what to expect and what you re going to do. They are probably really nervous and it is your job to provide them with an enjoyable experience.

David Moses

Monday, 17 November 2014

Launch Night

A great evening was had by all at the Launch of the "Friends" themed exhibition at The Workshop Gallery last Thursday evening, with plenty of money and awareness raised for the Dumfries and Galloway Befriending Project

Gillian McMinn gives a brief talk about the work done by the D&G Befriending Project

With many thanks to all who attended, all who bought raffle tickets and all who donated prizes to help raise funds for this wonderful cause.

In addition to each of the members of the Galloway Photographic Collective, the hall of fame for donations includes:

Sunrise Wholefoods
Clience Studio - Angela Lawrence
Castle Douglas Post Office
In House Chocolates
Posthorn Gifts
Bard Vets Ltd
The Whitehouse Gallery
Pure Beauty
Lily Knowles Florist
Kirkcudbright Picture Framers
A D Livingston and sons
Spoilt at Smiths, Gretna

To find out more about Dumfries and Galloway Befriending Project, visit their website here:

Monday, 10 November 2014

Charity Raffle Night & Exhibition Launch

D&G Befriending Project and The Galloway Photographic Collective
Charity Raffle Night & Exhibition Launch ~ Thursday 13th November 2014


The Galloway Photographic Collective have joined forces with D&G Befriending Project, to host a charity raffle and exhibition launch on Thursday 13th November at The Workshop Gallery in Castle Douglas.

Doors will open at 7pm, and the event is free.

The Galloway Photographic Collective comprises of some of Galloway's finest photographers, who have come together to promote their work across a range of disciplines including traditional landscape photography, wedding and portrait photography, editorial, wildlife, and staged narrative, fantasy photography.

The event will offer an opportunity to hear the seven members of the Collective give a short presentation, as well as view their latest photography exhibition. To complement the chosen charity, the exhibition is taking on the theme of friendship, with each photographer offering their own unique interpretation.

There will be a chance to win top quality prizes in the raffle, including framed prints, portrait sessions and limited edition prints. These prizes will be announced on the GPC Facebook & Twitter pages in the lead up to the event.

All profit made from the sale of raffle tickets will go to the D&G Befriending Project, a charity which enriches young lives by offering mentoring opportunities throughout the region.

Raffle tickets will cost £1 each, and can be purchased online as well as in a range of outlets including The Whitehouse Gallery in Kirkcudbright or A&D Livingston's in Castle Douglas. Tickets can also be purchased on the night.

To purchase tickets online please visit

For more information, please visit us at


Monday, 3 November 2014

Lynne Atkinson - Photographing Eyes

One thing I always like to do when photographing a person is to get at least one shot when I have them looking deep into the lens. Eye contact is a really effective way of drawing the viewer into the image, and making a connection with the subject.

I have my set of tricks which make this possible with the younger kids, and I would say that almost 99.9% of my sessions I can manage to tame even the wildest of child and get them to do this.

What I love about these shots are that they show a true glimpse of that individual's character. This does depend on how I've enticed them to look into the lens, as sometimes I'm asking them to look and see if they can see something I've suggested may be in there, so their look is inquisitive or curious. Sometimes I may just have wrapped a silly 'lens pet' around the lens which will show signs of amusement or intrigue. Mostly, however, unless they are older and perhaps more self conscious they do tend to forget they are being photographed for a second or two, and that's when you can get these true glimpses into their character and how they are feeling. In the case of this little girl, it was very early on in the session and she was feeling shy which is also suggested by how she is holding her hands, but I like the coyness of this image.

The trick with photographing the eyes effectively is to catch the light in them, incidentally called catchlights. Without the catchlight in the eyes, the person's eyes look lifeless, and this takes the vitality out of the portrait.

Catching the light in the eyes can be achieved by finding where the light is coming from, then photographing the subject facing towards its general direction, although taking care not to have them facing a bright light which will cause them to squint. It's most useful to find some open shade on a sunny day to achieve this, such as under a tree or in the shade of a building. This image was taken down a lane in the middle of a sunny summer day. Open shade not only makes the eyes pop, but gives the person's complexion a lovely even tone.

Another way (and one I use often) is to ask the subject to look up to the camera if they are crouched down and you are above them, as this always lets the light in and results in the most wonderful eyes. Reflectors and careful lighting can also bounce light into the eyes, and many different types of interesting catchlights can be achieved by angling the light in different ways.

With close up portraits, I will always focus on the eyes so that they are sharp, as without this the portraits fails. I will often shoot with a wide aperture, sometimes as wide as f1.8 which means that much of the background is out of focus. This draws even more attention to the eyes which are in focus, so effectively jump out of the image as the main focal point.

Hopefully this has gone some way to highlighting the importance of eyes in portrait photography, and these tips will help you create some wonderful portraits of your own.

Lynne Atkinson - Alice Rose Portraits