Welcome to my photo blog! My aim is to put a new post up roughly once per week. If you click on a blog post’s title, you’ll find a place to  comment at the bottom of the page - I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Interesting photos of interesting things

I love finding good street art when I’m visiting a new place.  And of course, I photograph it.  So it’s quite easy for me to end up with lots of pictures of street art which, for someone who likes street art, might be interesting.  But they’re not necessarily interesting photos – if you see what I mean.  It can be a challenge to take interesting photos when the subject itself is interesting – to resist the temptation just to take a photo of the thing and have done with it. How can I make the actual photo interesting? … So as I was walking around Palma in Mallorca recently, finding fun street art, I tried to take photos of it which were more than just recording the piece of art.  I decided I’d try to get some context of the art – its surroundings, or the people nearby.  Here are a few attempts – do they work?!

Light and dark - the good and the bad

I’ve just had a nice few days away in sunny Palma, Mallorca.  The low 20s temperature in November was a nice contrast to the chillier UK weather.  A couple of the days had very bright sun - lovely holiday weather, but not always a photographer’s choice.  Strong sun can produce harsh shadows and strong contrast which can be difficult to deal with - it’s not always ideal photography light.  But it can be put to good advantage, using the shadows to create more dramatic images, using reflected sun (or even shooting into the sun - though be very careful how you do this) to produce nice star patterns (perhaps shooting at high f number, e.g. f22 - small apertures - to produce this effect).  Below are a few images I took using these sort of effects - they often work well in greyscale to show the contrast up to best effect.

All In A Day’s Work - Eve Arnold

I enjoy trying to take ‘Environmental portraits’ - portraits of people in their environment, that give them some context and help to tell their story.  So it was nice to find, in a rather higgledy-piggledy second-hand bookstore, a book of photographs of people at work taken over many years by Magnum photographer Eve Arnold (you can learn more about her here). The book has 150 images of people in their working context in China, Egypt, England, Canada, the US, South Africa and many other places.  The shots are natural, candid, largely unposed, and primarily of ordinary people (with a few celebs thrown in). Most look to be taken in natural light (something Eve Arnold was noted for), and those that are most striking, for me, are those where the light is highlighting the face or producing nice ‘chiaroscuro’ contrast on the face. A great collection of environmental portraits that show the characters of her subjects and the world of their work.

Using Format