Saturday, 30 April 2011

The best camera ?

This is a question I am frequently asked, " What sort of camera do you use?" or " Which is the best camera?"

My answer to the first is " Does it matter?"

.You can now buy a digital SLR complete with a 'kit' lens and 12 million pixels for well under £400. Used with intelligence and care and shooting RAW files it should be easily capable of producing  a 24"x20" print  and let's be honest, that's plenty big enough for most everyday uses.

From the same manufacturer you will also have the option of spending perhaps £5,000 or more for which you will get a much sturdier construction, a faster, higher spec lens and  maybe double the number of pixels. You will be able to produce bigger prints with a smoother tonal gradation and also bounce your camera off the odd wall without doing too much damage

The question you must ask yourself is, " Do all these advantages justify spending six times the money?". If you only print up to A4 or occasionally  A3, the answer is probably no. If you regularly produce bigger prints and use the camera as a day to day tool from which you earn your living then perhaps it's a yes.

The BIG question though is " If I love this beautiful photograph in front of me and it moves me to tears every time I see it, does it matter what sort of camera was used ? "

A camera is just a tool and no more and if it does the job required of it then the make, model, prestige and cost are irrelevant.

As my old tutor Prof John Hannavy once said to me, an observation that has always been a touchstone for my view of photography, " A camera is just a dark box with a lens on the front, it's YOU that takes the photograph "

Which camera is the best one,  THE ONE IN YOUR HEAD.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Back to Basics

Here's a little tip for those days when the Muse doen't want to come out and play. You're itching to take some photographs but your mind can't settle on what to do, inspiration just isn't there.

Try what I think of as my back to basics routine.

First choose which camera you will use
Second choose a focal length to work at
Thirdly choose an ISO setting
Then choose B/W or Colour
Lastly choose a subject matter and location.

Do NOT be tempted to vary from any of the above, if you are , pretend that you are using an old film camera and don't have the luxury of changing your mind.
Go out and do your stuff. Setting yourself a brief and sticking to it helps concentrate the mind and sooner or later the ideas will flow.

Here's one I took on a day like that .
Deceptively simple.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

I have a great job ( well, most of the time )

The best thing for me about being a photographer is when someone comes along and asks for something a little different, it makes the job so much more interesting.

A case in point was when actor Trevor Williams approached me to create a new portfolio of promotional stills for him. Trevor has appeared in many well known TV productions such as 'Life on Mars', 'Shameless' and 'Hollyoaks' to name but three.

He has just co starred alongside Liverpool comedian John Bishop  as the character 'Nelson' in ROUTE IRISH, a tense and dark feature film by legendary director Ken Loach.

We decide to shoot two sets of images. The first show Trevor as, frankly, someone you wouldn't want to bump into on a dark night . The second showing him as an urbane gentleman.
You've got to agree, he's pretty damn versatile and this was what we were trying to convey in his folio. I think that between us we haven't done too shabby a job.

My thanks to (the very urbane ) Trevor for kindly allowing me to show you these pictures to illustrate what a great job this can be.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Reg enters the blogosphere !

So... this is my first blog... just to give you a taster of what to expect in future.

The idea is to keep you up to date with all the exciting things we have in mind for the studio and let you know when new products become available.

I will also be giving random tips on how to improve your photography, letting you know about the work of other photographers that hopefully you will find interesting and inspirational and occassionally reviewing various pieces of hardware and software that I use in my day to day work.

If I can work the technology I'll also include a few pieces of my personal work for you to see.

What I WON'T be doing hopefully is boring you with all the mundane stuff that seems to dominate most of the blogs I've seen.

Here goes !
This is quite an old one of mine, it has no title, none of my work does.By giving work a title I believe I would be influencing the way you interpret it which is something I prefer the viewer to do for themselves.

And finally try a visit here for some stunning photography