Monday, 28 September 2015

David Moses - Quick Tips to Improve Your Photography

Quick tips to improve your photography and change the way you shoot forever.

OK - no messing around. You want to take better photos? Here it is.

1 - Take your camera everywhere. Get used to carrying that bad boy around. Get a comfy bag or a belt clip, whatever works for you. You can’t take pictures if you don’t have your camera.

2 - Take pictures every day. In your home, on your way to work, when you walk the dog. Taking pictures in difficult or boring situations is a great way to learn.

3 - LOOK. At your pictures. What do you like about them? What do you dislike about them? Edit ruthlessly.

4 - LOOK. At other photographers. Learn from your favourites. Every now and then you’ll come across some wiseacre who says they don’t look at other peoples work - that is self indulgent tripe. We can all learn from other people.

5 - LOOK. At the situation you are photographing. Don’t just snap and move on. Stop. Count to 30 whilst observing. In that time look at where the light is coming from, where the action is happening, where it is going.

6 - Get Closer. “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough” - Robert Capa.

7 - Interact with your subject - a camera is not something to hide behind.

8 - Play with Depth of Field & Shutter Speed.

9 - Learn. Go to workshops. This is the single biggest thing you can do that will improve your photography. Learn from an expert. Duh!

10 - Shoot from the heart. Be honest and open and wholehearted in your approach. When I photograph someone/something, I am heart and soul invested in the process and in them. I want to do justice to my subject and in those moments, nothing else matters.

11 - Buy a better camera/lens - just kidding, they are a complete waste of money.

12 - Learn the rule of thirds - it’s a great starting point for all composition. And once you fully understand the implications of it, you can cheerfully set about breaking the rules in ways that improve your photographs.

I have loads more to say on the subject of becoming a better photographer - and frankly it is because I have made thousands of mistakes. I think that will be my next blog - all the embarrassing mishaps I have had.

See you then :)

David Moses

Monday, 21 September 2015

Allan Wright - Skye at Last 6 - more images from the Misty Isle

Almost forgotten how good last summer was so by way of a reminder us here is some work I did last year as part of my "Skye at Last" Odyssey.


Raasay is an island I have had in my sights for a while - often seen as a beguiling presence in views from Applecross. It has acquired a bit of mythology by way of one its beloved fathers a certain Calum MacLeod B.E.M who single handedly with only a pick axe and wheelbarrow carved out a mile or so of amazing road to his wee settlement in the North (after the authorities refused to help) Took him 10 years and there is now a best selling book "Calum's Road" to tell the story. I cycled to it and did a wee tourist thing, big warm sunny hebridean day it was - bucket list #44 √.

Always on the look out for old tractors, dead, dying or still working. They seem to be at peace in the landscape and should I believe be allowed to die peacefully on the land they have worked all their life, here at Husabost I came upon this beauty. Complete with original trailer I guess this its final resting place!

Spring and Autumn are the most productive times and I am naturally always up for a bluebell image. The headlands of the Skye Coast are rich in distinctive shapes and I wanted to set off this view to the North West from the path between Portnalong & Fiskavaig with some Spring decoration. There are 2 distinct parts and some exposure challenges to this image, hoping I got the balance about right ?

Later that same day I was back at Fiskavaig sizing up a view to North West across Duirinish. I set up a time-lapse sequence of this rather splendid sunset which I will publish sometime soon! Always a good feeling when you have something good in the bag as you wearily trudge home across rough moorland thinking intently about what's for supper.

Portree is a bonnie wee toon right enough and has been done to death with all the usual views! so what to do about that - really I was not sure. I have been on the look out for some mist - always a good prop for creating uniqueness but this restless summer its has refused to deliver on its promise (where have I heard that before?) - misty isle my backside..! Imagine my surprise and excitement when I rolled up for an evening stroll round the harbour and found the moon in fully resplendent across the bay.

Ventured down the well worn path to the Neist Point Lighthouse for a closer look - feel of abandonment and dereliction pervades the place - seems there has been a self catering business here with units converted from the old keepers quarters etc.

A window completely blown out by a recent storm no doubt, so, being a nosey parker I stuck my head in the vacant window, foosty smells and a surreal scene out of a dark movie presents - never a dull moment on Skye.

Allan Wright

Monday, 14 September 2015

Roger Lever - 1000 Faces Scotland

Photographing and filming the people of Scotland. Capturing the Soul of a Nation

Since starting this project a couple of years ago I have been fortunate to meet, photograph and film many interesting people. The list grows but instead of trying to photograph 1000 people in one year it has become a never ending project.

When posing the question “Would you like to take part in my project" the responses often vary from an immediate “Yes, why not?” to "Well, tell me more about it” and “I hate having my photograph taken”

The strange thing is that the most reluctant person often turns out to be the most interesting. Since we started filming this has added a complete new dimension to the project. It becomes more than just a portrait but a real person with real feelings, expressions and often with an interesting story to tell. At the moment the website contains just a few of the portraits. Most of the portraits and film however remain in archive ready to be edited. This is going to be a mammoth task for me over the next few years of course.

Slowly I will be drip feeding these portraits and videos onto the site.

The interviews

All take place at home in my own studio or in a separate organised venue where I can set up my lighting effectively. There has been a certain amount of experimentation with the lighting and I am still trying new arrangements.

The reason for this is that all the portraits and films will be shown in Black and White eventually. As with portraits black and white films give a more interesting view of the person. We are so used to seeing everything in high definition colour on our TV screens that when a black and white image or film is shown you immediately see the difference. Most of the films will be just 5-10 minutes long but some extend for 20-25 minutes usually because the person being filmed is on a roll and into some really interesting part of their life. We leave the book open for them to talk about anything they want. "What makes you get up in the morning?", "what makes you tick?", "have you accomplished anything in your life that maybe other people are unaware of?” Some of the more self conscious people have surprised themselves once they have become relaxed in front of the cameras and some have been so elevated they end up in tears.” I never thought I would be able to do that"

I do have a person helping me who calls himself ‘The Chief Way Layer’ He has a wonderful way with words. Approaching the the most unsuspecting person in the street he convinces them that they can actually sit down in front of the cameras and speak for a few minutes about themselves. This is at no cost to them personally but has the potential to make them feel good because they have surprised themselves that they have done something they thought they might never have done in a Month of Sundays.

Our Venues to date have been Lerwick - Shetland, Glencoe Visitor Centre, Loch Arthur – Beeswing, Wigtown Book Festival ( We will be there again this year from 24th to 26th September if you wish to pop along) The Globe Inn – Dumfries and of course my own studio in Dalbeattie.

If you know of someone who should be one of my 1000 Faces then let me know or if you yourself think you have a story to tell then please get in touch. We just need the time and the place.

Roger Lever

Monday, 7 September 2015

Giles Atkinson - Documenting Weddings in a Reportage Style

The part of photographing a wedding that I find the most enjoyable is the documentary ’reportage’ element. I like capturing moments as they happen, to tell a story of the day in its truest form, and without any interference or input from me, the photographer.

Reportage photography also captures the emotion and connection between people, something I look for between couples at weddings.  Once the couple forget that I'm there, some wonderful shots are there for the taking.

So, the challenge for me, at a wedding, is to try and blend in and make myself as unnoticeable as possible. Once people have become used to me being around I can start capturing these natural images.

During the ceremony I am looking for glances between people and aiming to emphasise the key character with a short depth of field.  When I am in a crowd, I am looking for those people telling jokes/stories not to photograph them but to catch their audiences reactions.

It's not often people see pictures of themselves when they are laughing, so I am always looking to catch these moments, showing wedding guests having a great time.

Wedding speeches are another favourite of mine, they are always an emotional time with speakers talking from the heart and the best man embarrassing the groom!

Every wedding is different and brings it's own special challenges to keep me on my toes, and is one of the main reason why I love photographing weddings.

Giles Atkinson