Posted on January 12, 2021
I have had a mixed experience with social media with regards to sharing my photography. My photography & my initial website was born long before the creation of the social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc) that we know today.
When I first began to use Instagram (October 2010) it appeared to be a platform for photographers & photography lovers (which is what I liked about it), sharing mobile-phone-photography shots. Trying to make creative mobile photography shots. Although I loved this new style of photography I have to admit I was a bit snobbish back then and didn’t deem mobile phone photography as “real photography”, strange how the world & your opinions change.
In my early days of using Instagram I wouldn’t include any of my Insta shots on my website/portfolio. As I’ve mentioned although I liked the medium of mobile phone photography there was a snobbish feeling that if it wasn’t taken by a “proper camera” then it wasn’t “real photography”. I’m sure I was not alone in this mindset. I’m also sure that there are many people who felt the same way about the switch from analogue to digital cameras. As people we are always suspicious of change.
My generation are probably in a bit of weird time, born in between the analogue & the digital age, but hopefully are able to appreciate both. It’s safe to say I have definitely embraced digital photography and over time I have left behind the idea that mobile photography is not “real photography”. Although I do still prefer my DSLR over my phone camera.
I tend to save Instagram for my mobile photography, although I have been known from time to share some of my DSLR work on Instagram or even edit them with Instagram filters.
In 2020 it feels as though Instagram has evolved more in to a platform that is open to anyone who wishes to photo-blog their day to day life (which is now a trap that I have fell in to after recently creating a personal account separate from my photography) rather than sharing the art of photography. I do feel it has lost some of the artistic flair as it’s now been diluted by life bloggers photo blogging their day to day.
That being said there are still some amazing photographers who use the service to share their work. I think my biggest bug bear of Instagram is the multitude of accounts that seem to exist purely to share other people’s work. This frustrates me, I want to follow the original creator. Although I guess they have led me to find some amazing creatives, so maybe they have their place and my point is a mute point.
I have come to realise that art is in the eye of the beholder, it’s open to interpretation. We can all see the same thing differently, it’s about creating something that we as the creator love, and hopefully others will like as well. How we all share and view art is also changing.
If there are any other photographers reading my post I’d be interested in your views on Instagram? Do you have accounts? If anyone wants to check out my Instagram photography account you can find it at:
Posted on November 25, 2020
Feeling reminiscent so thought I would revisit and republish some of my early work, which dates back to 2005 and 2007.
It is weird revisiting my earlier work as it brings back so many memories of the moments when I first took these photos. A time and place a million miles away from the person that I am today. I think what stands out for me looking back at some of my early photographic work is the change in quality. What I remember being really proud of back then, I now look at, and in some cases cringe at the quality. I guess this is a testament to how far my photography skill has developed over the years. Do all photographers (or artists even) when they look back at earlier pieces of work become more critical of said work?
The 3 posts that I have selected above are nowhere near my standard of work today, I was initially hesitant about republishing these. There’s a phrase that I heard many years ago that has stuck with me “photographers & artists should only publish/display their best work” this has always played on my overly self-critical personality trait. But these are works that at the time I was really proud of and I guess I still am in part.
My early work I focused on skyscapes, sunsets and sunrises were may favourite subjects to photograph. I loved the colours that they created in the sky (I still do), almost surreal scenes. I could sit for what felt like hours watching the sun rise or set, I enjoyed the calm. It’s what in part started my love for photography capturing these beautiful moments above us.
4am Sunrise: One of the few times in my life that I have ever got up so early in the name of photography (or for anything to be honest). I remember waking up, looking at the clock, seeing 4am & not being able to get back to sleep. The hint of the sunrise catching my through my curtains and mustering the energy & motivation to grab my camera and venture outside for an early photographic adventure.
Burning Sunset: Sunsets used to completely captivate me, especially sunsets in Scotland. The deep firey-red summer sunsets were my favourite to photograph. This particular one I remember thinking it was like the sky was set on fire, what I’d expect to see watching the sun set over some tropical savannah not in the the North-East of Scotland.
Storm Brewing: This collection of photographs I took from my then bedroom window in my parents house when I still lived with them. I remember sitting on the windowsill of my bedroom window watching the sun trying to peak through the dark storm clouds as they rolled in. The countless hours I would sit on that windowsill and watch the sky.
It is slightly scary to think that it has been over 17 years since I started my adventures with photography, how my life has changed in that time (for the better) and hopefully my photographic eye and skill has also improved over the years. I still find it hard to tie myself down to a specific genre of photography, I have dabbled with many subjects over the years, from nature, still life, portraits to locations. I do find myself drawn more to photographing the natural world, as it calms me.
To my readers and followers, thank you for taking the time to ready my blog and I hope you enjoy my photos as much as I do.
Posted on November 7, 2020
Summer is definitely my favourite season and although Autumn may be well have settled in here in the UK, I’m still hanging on to memories of summer. One memory of this summer are these beautiful Cosmos flowers, taken a couple of months ago now (September) on a visit to the cities botanical gardens.
Posted on November 7, 2020
So I really want to have a go at selling prints of my photos online, preferably via my own website. I have tried this several times before and never found a platform that I’m completely happy with.
Firstly I guess it’s the question of would people be interested to buy my work? I’m trying to ignore the perfectionist in me that doubts the quality of my work and whispers to me that no one would be interested.
Secondly which platform do I use. There are so many options out there, that trying to decide what would work best for me is a nightmare. I don’t particularly want to commit to a subscription platform incase my sales don’t cover the subscription but some of the free platforms don’t really give the look & control that I’d like.
I’m currently considering SmugMug as an option (which I have considered before), as it seems to give me the control I want and I can align it to a similar look & design of my website. I guess it’s the subscription charge that’s putting me off, the worry of not being able to cover the cost and at least break even. Obviously the ideal is to make a profit.
Any other photographers reading this (first thanks for visiting my website & blog) I would really appreciate your advice? How/where do you sell your own work?
Posted on September 22, 2020
Last month I read the article “How to lose weight & stay in shape while photo-walking” on the Phoblographer and it got me thinking. Although I have not been trying to lose weight, my photography has definitely led me to be more physically active this year. Slightly forced by the COVID-19 pandemic & subsequent lockdown, which limited our time outside to only grocery shopping and time for daily exercise. Now as I’m not a very sporty person (I’ll be honest I’m lazy), to make the most of our daily exercise outside we would go for walks around local parks or woodland and of course our cameras had to come with us. So it was the perfect excuse to go on photo-walks.
Anyone who follows my photography can tell my favourite subjects to photograph is nature & wildlife. One of the thing that this COVID-19 pandemic has taught me, especially during lockdown is to enjoy nature and the world around us more. Our photo-walks has definitely helped our wellbeing (physical & mental).
It’s vey rare that I go out with the intention of photographing any particular subject. I normally head out with the my camera and then see what captures my attention.
I want to try and continue with photo walks going forward. This may prove more difficult as we move in to winter and looming further pandemic lockdown restrictions we may find ourselves in. It’s a simple concept which has allowed me to spend more time on my photography and be slightly more active.
Regardless of your style of photography, whether it’s nature or street photography, photos walks can definitely be a good source of inspiration and helps to keep you active. Especially in times of pandemic, as long as we’re all staying safe & social distancing I think it’s important to get outside (ideally once a day) and breathe in the fresh air & clear our minds.
Posted on May 22, 2020
As a photographer who blogs to share my work (I guess that means I’m a photo blogger). The one thing that I always struggle with when publishing to my photography blog is knowing what to write. I use my website / blog as more of a portfolio of my work than an actual blog. I am sure there are no right or wrong answers to photo blogging or blogging in general for that matter. Though I always feel when I post a selection of my photography work that I should write some sort of blurb or story to go with it. Writing does not come naturally to me, which I guess is a bit odd concept for a blogger. This is partly why I started the “Behind The Lens” thread to my website, to take me out of my comfort zone from time to time to share my thoughts.
From a readers view point I enjoy photographer’s blogs more when there is more photographic content as I can enjoy their work. This is not to say that I do not enjoy or appreciate when other photographers share their tips & experiences as it helps us all learn & become better at our art.
From reading other blogs & websites by photographers I have seen various photographers blog in various different styles. Maybe your blogging style as a photographer is determined by your style of photography? This is another challenge that I have. As I find it hard to define myself to one particular style of photography (this is a story for another post), in short I photograph what I like & what captures my eye or imagination at that moment in time.
I think sometimes I fall in to the trap of comparing myself, my work, & my website to other photographers that I follow. Then judge myself & my work harshly. The over critical tendencies of a creative mind.