Interesting Stuff

National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson once said..... 'If you want to take better pictures, stand in front of more interesting stuff'. This page is for information and support to photographers that want to improve on skills they already have. It is essentially, 'my notebook' - If I find I can benefit from a little more interesting stuff, you'll find it here, ready for sharing....

2024 Williamson Open

Honoured to have been selected for the Williamson Art Gallery open exhibition again this year. My image 'After Uelsmann' is a limited edition of 10, fine art B&W print. No prizes this year but happy to have my work selected and exhibited the second year in a row.

It's difficult taking a selfie for me! So many reflections and my arm isn't long enough. You'd think a photographer might get this simple task right  (hehe). I have to say I was a little dissapointed at the other exhibition being hosted at the gallery by Craig Easton. Whilst I'm sure the message of his work was well received, I was a little underwhelmed by the the quality of the photography. This exhibition was given over 3 rooms and many of the images were unframed and not well presented. Given the better quality of work presented at the open exhibition (which was crammed into one and a half rooms), I'm a little dissapointed.

Well, they can only do better next year!

A Question for YOU.....

Social media is a great tool for growing your business or fan base, however, how much influence does social media have on the quality of your photography?

I’m constantly frustrated by the amount of ‘tripe’ I see on the internet (particularly on Facebook), with so-called ‘experts’ having the answer to all our problems. The first issue is that they assume I have a problem in the first place! They also tell us that we ‘must’ get as many likes as possible to expand our presence. WHY?

The secret of success is pretending you have the answer, and selling it to everyone else!

The internet is a great resource for expanding our knowledge and to gain exposure for our ‘brand’, but it can also lead us down the rabbit hole when it comes to the influence on our work. If we look at Vivian Maier’s work for instance, there was no internet to speak of and she was only influenced by her contemporaries that were able to exhibit and publish their work in books and galleries. Her accomplishment as a capable photographer was only acknowledged after her death, however, the quality is undeniable. Her exposure and therefore influence from ‘bad’ imagery was negligible.

If she was exposed (as much as we are) to the internet, would this have caused her to ‘trend’ with the masses, or would she have still followed her own path?

As a photographic artist, I need to rely more heavily on the quality of my work rather than appealing to the masses and regurgitating the same old rubbish to generate ‘fans’. If this means I don’t get to be famous until after I die - then so be it. I feel that my work needs to be quality over quantity. As I no longer earn my living from a purely commercial enterprise, I am happy to do this, but where do you stand?

I intend to follow my own path and spend less time looking at the internet. You don’t need followers, or to follow others to be a better photographer!

My Year on YouTube

If you've not visited my YouTube site before, you may find some more 'Interesting Stuff' lying around. My statistics have just been sent over and I'm chuffed that one of my vids has had just over 17K views. (Direct Link to YouTube in the footer).

Despite the question posed by 'Lord Kitchener' (above), It still pleases me when other photographers like the content I do publish. (Thank You).

RPS Rollright Presentation

A good talk which was well received at the VAG Rollright group (25/11/2023). A full house and plenty of questions. The display prints also seemed to be well appreciated. I presented an Orotones and Gestalt talk in which I showed my successful RPS Fellowship panel followed by my creative composite images shown in both digital and print form.

Tips for going on a Photo Walk

Following on from the success of 'The 100', my successful publication of street photography images, I thought I'd share some useful tips on going on a photowalk - the starting point of any successful street photography trip with your camera.

1 When you walk out of the door, take the first image you come accross (no matter how boring), it will get you into a shooting mode and used to pressing the shutter! You may also find different angles to shoot the subject as you explore something you could have easily just walked past.

2 Allan Schaller said there is 'liberation in limitation'. Take only one lens and concentrate on your photography - not your gear. Less gear means less weight and more comfort.

3 Introduce a constraint to boost your creativity. Shoot one subject, black and white only, shadows, reflections etc; you'll always miss stuff but don't fret - it won't be the last walk you'll ever go on! Change your parameters for next time.

4 Follow good light - if the light is not there, just create a little of your own! I always carry a small but powerful pocket torch in my bag. It comes in handy when you need a little oomph to the subject.

5 Follow your gut. When you FEEL you need to take the shot, then take it even if you don't know why! The lighting may not be right or composition perfect, but don't give in to laziness, you may never get another chance.

6 Review composition (and sharpness) if you have time before leaving the scene.

7 Always try a new direction. Change your walk because you will become stale if travelling the same path everytime you go out.

8 Don't rush off after you've taken your shot. Camp out! Think about what happens next because this is usually the shot. If you have a good location the subject will always walk in when you're just about to move on!

9 Dress down and fit in with your environment. If you stand out everyone around you will be aware of your presence.

10 Employ Zen - shut everything else out (turn your phone off). Try to impress yourself FIRST, then everybody else.

Look for the Unusual in the Ordinary

A floating ball sculpture in Bristol caught my eye and thought it might make an unusual 'selfie' subject. Photographers have always looked to reflections to capture images of themselves or activities during their work.

This image was taken close to RPS house. The polished sphere made an excellent reflective surface and behaved like a fisheye lense capturing not just me but the immediate surroundings.

  © 2024 by Tom Lee