I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting blogs to read and 2020 will be no different but today I want to share with you three blogs that produce great content and have kept me coming back throughout 2019. They are different from others and are a pleasure to view their photographs but to also read and be inspired or question why you have so much gear.
The first blog is all about street photography, which does not only interest me but also comes with many challenges, physical and technical not to mention the fear of photographing people you do not know however there is one person who has conquered many of those challenges. Pagepics, curated by Chris Page, is about his trials and tribulations overcoming the challenges he has faced whilst pursuing the art of street photography. Chris also discusses some of the challenges he faces and provides tips when making street photographs, in particular in new cities and environments. Chris’s blog is also a space where he showcases an ever-increasing body of work and its always a pleasure to follow his work.
On occasions, we photographers hit creative blocks which prevent you from making great photographs and the next blog is the place I go to be inspired or challenged. Frank Jansen’s blog titled Dutch Goes the Photo has a weekly challenge called the Tuesday Photo Challenge with themes that will provide that bit of inspiration to get those creative juices flowing again. The Tuesday Photo Challenge has definitely helped jump start my photography after putting the camera down.
Dan from 35Hunter raises many questions and discusses a wide variety of subjects from why you should continue to blog to just using one camera a month. His frequent posts force you to reconsider all the photographic equipment sitting idle and inspires you to try a different approach to your photography. Dan also doesn’t like “likes” and to the point, he has disabled the like button on his blog. Dan would rather you leave a comment creating discussion around the subject, which is not an easy task with social media platforms having a like button everywhere. So if you after conversation, be engaged and read thought-provoking content, check out his blog. You won’t be disappointed.
I hope you enjoy these blogs as much as I did in 2019 and I ask if you have any blogs that you really enjoy and follow regularly, please drop a link in the comments below so I can follow their photographic journey.
Until next time, happy shooting.
It’s been a few weeks since the last Friday Snap was published and it’s all down to life that has started to be become busier and busier in the lead up to the Christmas period. Yes, that’s right Christmas is not far away and just think that there is less than 90 days left in this decade!
On to The Friday Snap, this fine gentleman was walking through Cardiff CBD and I stopped him and asked to take his photo. He was on his way pretty quick so I’ll never know why he was dressed as he was.
Until next time, Happy Friday and have a good weekend.
I did something that I’m not proud of and I still feel guilty about it.
I might have well worn a bright red shirt emblazoned in bold lettering across the front “Westerner” because as I stood out like a sore thumb. Everyone stared or looked at me longer than necessary. This was Davao city, home of the President of the Phillipines which had been labelled as one of the most dangerous cities due to the countries war on drugs however, what I found was entirely different to what the worlds media was reporting.
Everyone who I interacted with were the opposite to how they had been portrayed, they were normal people trying to make their way in life. Pay bills, put food on the table, keep a roof over their heads and make sure their kids get an education. Pretty much like the rest of us except for two old ladies that I tried to photograph.
They saw me, I saw them and I had already decided that I was going to take their photo but every time I brought the camera up to eye level, they both turned away from me so I couldn’t see their faces, but when the camera was lowered they had their hands out wanting money.
This went on for several minutes and what seemed the only way to capture an image was to surrender and give them money. So with 20 pesos in one hand and the camera in the other I managed to capture this shot and I tried to photograph the other woman but she wasn’t having anything to do with it and continued to turn away from the camera when pointed in her direction.
The 20 Pesos quickly vanished into thin air and again they both asked for money however neither were going to allow me to take another photo. Turning to walk away I noticed that I had been watched by a woman, who was well dressed and had a look of scorn on her face. In any language I knew, in her books what I had done was wrong and I shouldn’t have handed over any money nor should I have taken their photo. She didn’t say anything as I passed but the feeling of her stare drilling holes in my back as I walked away is not something that is easy to forget.
To this day, I’m not sure why but there is lingering guilt over paying the 20 pesos, this might be due to the scorn from the local woman or something else. I don’t think I’ll ever know.
What do you think, Is my guilt about paying money justified?
We all have them, a favourite photo or two and I’m no different except that I seem to have so many favourites it becomes very hard to choose however after several days of much deliberation I have managed to pick my top 5 photos of 2018.
Sony A7 – ISO 800 S/S – 1/60 A – f/4.5
Wandering through the old quarters of Jersulam I spotted this old guy sitting quietly in a plastic chair. The light just fell across his body which made him stand out even more in a poorly lit room. Asking if he minded if I took his photo he nodded his head in a No motion and I managed to capture two images. My regret is that I did not take long enough to compose the image properly ultimately leaving details out like his walking cane which may have added more detail to the photo.
Nikon D810 – ISO 800 S/S – 800 A – f/11
The winner, Italo Ferreira of the Rip Curl Surf Pro Comp at Bells Beach, Victoria won the emotional event however the crowd was there to see Australias favourite surfer, Mick Fanning’s last ride as a professional surfer ending a long surfing career.
Sony A7 – ISO 64 S/S 1/400s A – f/4
Asking his humans if I could take a photo of their dog they said that he wouldn’t come near me but he did exactly that and walked straight up to me letting me take his photo. Maybe he was looking for a sniff, a lick, a pat or maybe some food but he was pretty happy that he was out for a walk with his humans.
Sony A7 – ISO 64, S/S 1/50s A – f/7.1
These three gents stood out from the rest of the crowd on The Beach in Tel Aviv. After downloading and viewing the files I couldn’t help but give the photo the title of Three Amigos and the photo had to be in Black and White. It wasn’t until later that I noticed the middle guy trying to wave me off but by the time he had done that I had already taken two.
Samsung Note 8 – Camera app Default Setting
The Yellow bus had me standing in the one spot waiting patiently for over 30 minutes so I could snap it passing underneath the corner of the building. Sometimes the best camera you have is your smartphone and I did get some much needed exercise walking around Hong Kong Airport while waiting for a connecting flight.
Would enjoy seeing your favourite photos of 2018 so please leave link to photo in the comments section.
Firstly, your safety is paramount. If any protest or protesters become violent towards you or others, including the police interacting with protesters, leave. Your safety is more important and must have a higher value than any photo you take and your safety always come first. No photo is worth you being injured or hurt.
Travelling, mainly for work, I had decided that the photos taken during my trip would be to show my family the famous sights of London with no intention of sharing, so I was surprised to stumble across a what looked like a protest, a peaceful protest, on a bridge, a famous bridge (Westminister Bridge) in London. What an opportunity!
Pushing through the crowds trying to get a feel of what the protest was about I found that there were plenty of photographic opportunities with good light and everyone seemed pretty happy, might be the whacky weed that was in the air, to have their photos taken.
Some people will struggle with my next comment, I selected Auto on my camera and started shooting. Why not? Camera companies spend millions of dollars developing incredibly small computers and sensors to work everything out so why not select auto.
Documentary and street photography are genres that I have always been attracted to, I find them to be challenging as you have little to no control of what is about to happen and how you capture those moments can be a challenge in itself. Ultimately you want people to feel connected to your images and to possibly inspire them in some small way.
Please remember, if you do decide to photograph a protest, remember your safety must come first over any photo opportunities.
Who knew Tel Aviv had a beach? Images of a beach certainly don’t come too mind thats for sure but rather thoughts of conflict, riots and soldiers are conjured up. Oh what a surprise Tel Aviv was!
Tel Aviv does indeed have a beach with a promenade filled full of life. The promenade is about 4 – 5 kilometres long and can take several hours to walk, and its not hard to fill those hours with street photo opportunities, they are plentiful. I found that most people didn’t mind having their photo taken however I did come away feeling as though street photography is not done a great deal in Israel.
This may be because of the ongoing conflict that involves Israel and may be considered with suspicion or its viewed as something that is not cuturally acceptable. Either way I’m not sure and will have to do some more research.
Walking the promenade you will find many street cafes and restaurants, some with small bars that provide plenty of opportunity to sit down and rest with a cold beer while you watch the world go by. The promenande is most active in the afternoon and is filled with people who have come to enjoy a meal with family and friends or to simply watch the sun set on another day.
This photo of the boxers took a number of attempts to achieve. Unfortunately, this meant that I spent longer photographing the scene to capture the precise moment which resulted with me being asked if I was getting some good shots. It turned out that all three of these gents were expats, two Australians and one American who are working in Israel. What was even more surprising was that the all of us Aussies were from the same city back in Australia. What are the odds?
The Three Stooges
Some times, keeping your back to the beach pays off with photographic opportunities such as the three gents all crammed onto the bench. They stood out like a sore thumb, and they were just waiting to be photographed and it just had to be captured, I would also say that this is my favourite photo from the trip.
and don’t forget to turn around and watch the sunset, because you never know you might have another photographic opportunity stop right in front of you.
This is an image that has stuck with me for years and was taken by Elliot Erwitt in 1946 in New York City. If you don’t know who Elliot Erwitt is, I highly recommend this interview by his son, Misha which will add some context to this image and who he is. Elliot Erwit has an amazing body of work and dare I say is an inspiration to many people, including me who have picked up a camera over the years.
I love this photo because he has got down low, real low and he has managed to maintain the dogs eye contact while showing just how small the dog really is. For me, taking this photo takes skills and some incredible forethought. He has other photos of people with small dogs and some are photos that easily recognisable.
I have always wanted to use the theme of the photo as inspiration to see what I could create. As its been pretty hot in here in Australia lately (40+ Degrees Celsius) I figured the best spot would be the boardwalk at the beach to attempt to take my concept of the small dog theme. There should be plenty of people around and some should have their pets out for a walk in the mornings or late in the day.
I sat on the kerb of the footpath and watched this little dog with its humans to see what he would do. He kept looking back behind him and turned around completely while they waited for someone else to join them.
This little one, called Melluka, rides the train on the boardwalk and keeps his human train driver company.
I asked his humans if I could take a photo of their dog and they said that he wouldn’t come near me but he did exactly the opposite and walked straight up to me and let me take his photo. Maybe he was looking for a sniff, a lick or maybe some food but he was pretty happy that he was out for a walk with his humans.
It was definitely worth getting out in the sweltering heat to photograph these dogs and their humans and I must admit that the British Bulldog photo is my favourite photo of the day.
What inspires you to get out and shoot ?
Please note that I am unable to link Elliot Erwitt’s image or text to a specific website as I am unable to find one that has all of his work located however I am going to provide two links, both from the New York Times. This link is an interview with Elliot Erwitt and an Art Review. If someone finds an appropriate link please let me know in the comments as I will update these links.