Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘images’

UfD: Locations, Locations, Locations

It is a time old question, “where did you take that image?”. When you see a photo that someone else has taken you immediately think where was it and how can I get a shot like that. You might not, but I certainly do.

There seems to be an attitude around that if you find a great place to take photos then you should share that information, or location. It is something that I have never worried about and have always shared where I have taken my photos, but recently I’m finding that I all I want to do is protect those areas.

abbotsford-convent-abbey-buildings-062I know other photographers that do this, they don’t tell people about the places they go to. At first I thought it was weird, but then it was explained to me that they don’t want to tell people where they go because then everyone else will go there. If people do that then their photos stop being so special.

As I said I have never been one to do that, but I’m starting to want to protect the areas I visit. I’ve had people copying me and going to the same places after I have said where I’ve been and it seems like my originality is not so original after all.

Then I’ve heard some people talk about how they have tried to protect places for whatever reason and then other photographers have got nasty with them. Who wants that?

abbotsford-convent-abbey-buildings-063So then the question becomes do photographers have the right to protect the places they find?

What reasons should they be allowed to protect them?

Do you protect the places you go to take photos?

What reasons would you give for protecting your locations?

Would love to hear your opinions on this.

The photos in the post today are from Abbotsford Convent. It isn’t a place I need to protect as it is well known, not private land and most people in Melbourne would be aware of Convent.

UfD: My Seven Tips for Blogging

Sometimes it is hard to find a topic for these posts, but for a while I’ve been thinking about blogging. I get asked questions all the time about my blog and I thought if you wanted to know my seven top tips for blogging, then what would they be. So I’ve been thinking about them for awhile and this is what I’ve come up with.

1 – Blog like you like to read blogs.

It sounds cliché but it is so true. If you want people to read your blog, think about the blogs you love and then ask  yourself why you like them. Then take those answers and apply them to yours. It is a valuable exercise. You want to railway-0709-1scattract like minded people to yourself, so blog the way they do. Don’t copy them, but look at the ways they do things and see if you can incorporate some of that yourself.

2 – You get what you put in.

I was going to call this point ‘if you build it they won’t come’, but thought maybe not. However, it is true, if you want people to visit your blog, then you need to start visiting other blogs as well. Looking, and liking posts let’s others know you are there and saying hello really let’s them know.

3 – Think about your followers.

I think sometimes people don’t think enough about their followers and how their blog affects them. We all know blogs sczinnia-hdr4that post a single photo and then do that a 100 times a day. If you are following them then every time they post you get an email. Your inbox is filling up quickly. It goes back to that first point, if you don’t like that, then make sure you don’t do it.

4 – Resize your images.

If you post large res images you run the risk of people stealing them. High res images can be used for anything. Don’t think your photos aren’t good enough, there are many people who have thought their images weren’t and found out they had been stolen.

The other problem is that large images can make your blog very hard to load. There are places around the world where the internet connection can be very bad, or people don’t have unlimited data. Make it easy for people to see your blog and make sure you resize your images to smaller files.

5 – People don’t have a lot of time to read.scdwight-hpm6877-5

Someone asked me once how much should they write. I said try for around 500 words. I know that lots of people don’t read my blog and only look at the photos. I can’t be disappointed with that, but for those that do read it I try very hard not to write too many words. I think blog posts shouldn’t be longer than 1000 words at the most. I know it isn’t always easy, but I try hard for that. Now that is my personal preference, you might decide differently. Again it goes back to that first point, if you like reading very long blogs then you could write them.

I have heard, I don’t know if it is still true, that if you want Google to find you that you need at least 300 words. I try to write at least that much, but sometimes I don’t worry.

6 – Be Consistent

Really the trick here is that you shouldn’t be inconsistent. If you blog on regular basis then people will know when to look at your blog. Blogs who only post every now and then are hard to follow. You don’t have to blog every day, but you scbarwon-8016-se1could blog three times a week, once a week or even once a month, just do it consistently.

7 – Be certain about what your blog is about.

It is important to know why you are blogging and follow that through. My blog is about photography, so I won’t suddenly do a post on sewing quilts. If there is no photography angle then I don’t blog about it. Sometimes I sneak things in, but really, I am very strict about that. I suggest you do the same, I think it helps make your blog a lot stronger.

So they are my tips, what would you suggest to someone if they asked you?

The photos are all from the first couple of years that I was blogging. I’m coming up to 5 years soon, so it is always interesting looking back.

UfD: Protecting You and Your Images

Recently I was given an opportunity to put some work into an exhibition. It seemed like a great idea and I have to say I took a lot for granted and through it I learned a lot. There are things that many of us who don’t exhibit often don’t know or don’t think about.

The Exhibition

The work I had in the exhibition was in a public place, but it wasn’t being watched. I wasn’t the only one with work there and two out of my three pieces were stolen, or have disappeared. Others have experienced the same.

The problem then arises as to who is responsible?

LC01-Lake Charm at SunsetWith almost all exhibitions the gallery or place where you exhibit your work takes no responsibility for stolen or damaged work. When you put your work in to be exhibited you usually do it at your own risk. Unfortunately, I wasn’t really aware of it for this exhibition. It wasn’t until I had gone too far into it that I realized the work wasn’t going to be supervised.

Not long after that we were told that the digital files of all the images would be given to the people who held the exhibition so they could print them out for exhibitions elsewhere. I have to say I was never easy with this idea, but waited until I had a chance to talk LC02-Guiding Lights-wmto someone about it.

What I found out was that the images have just been given to them without any conditions placed on them as to what they can do with them, well as far as I can tell. Everyone has got carried away with the idea that their work might be in further exhibitions. Though we all found out about this before we were aware that images had been stolen from the original show.

So now these people have three of my images, which are all high resolution images, so they can be printed and I have no control over what happens with them. I have asked that they delete them, but who can ever be sure that it actually happens.

Protecting Yourself

I am just going to list some ideas on how you can protect yourself from this happening again. I’m sure others have had similar ideas, so please, if you can contribute please do.

1 – Make Sure You Know the Factsscbarwonheads-4hpm0376-2

By this I mean, make sure you know exactly what is going on. Never assume anything.

2 – Will the Work Be Supervised

Really as soon as I knew it wasn’t going to be I should’ve clicked. The work is not protected from anything. There is no one to stop people from just taking the work, or from destroying it. You really shouldn’t agree to work not being supervised unless it is behind glass or protected some other way. Our work was just pinned to boards.

3 – Find Out About Compensation

If the conditions are like ours, where the work wasn’t secured at all you need to find out if you will be compensated if something happens to it.

4 – Have an Agreement in Writing

LeanneCole-pinklakes-6286-5hpmGet a contract, make sure you know what you are liable for and what they are. Don’t try and be nice, this is your work and you have every right to protect it.

5 – Giving High Resolution Images

It should be, never give them to anyone. Once people have them they can do what they like with them, unless you have a contract. If you have one then you can stipulate what they can and can’t do with them. You have something to protect you.

Our images were given away basically, so we have nothing set up to protect us.

Competitions

Many competitions require you to send in your images as well and again, you need to be aware of what is required. sccity-3hpm1824Read the fine print, find out what they can and can’t do with your images. It will be there in the Terms and Conditions. You can’t argue with them, and either you agree with them or you don’t, so then you have to decide whether or not you will enter it.

Don’t ever enter a competition where they have full rights to  your images. You might be signing away all rights and they might make millions from your image. You just don’t know.

I hope these points all help you to understand how you can better protect yourself. The part that is the most concerning for me is that we have given away our images and there is control over what they can do with them. They could use them for advertising, they could sell them or they could just give them away. We don’t know.  I am not quite sure what to do now, I’ve requested that my images be removed from them, but I don’t  know how to check that it has been.

So protect yourself, be sure you know what you are doing, be aware of the details, read the fine print, get things in writing.

The images today are ones that I would use for exhibition purposes.

Up for Discussion – Critiquing

This is a topic I’ve been thinking about doing for a while.  I’ve also heard other people complaining about it, so I thought it is something that should be addressed and this forum seemed like the perfect place to do it. I am going to do it in two parts, asking for your images to be critiqued, then critiquing other peoples images when not invited to do so.

Asking to Have Your Images Critiqued

From time to time, well, maybe more often than that I get asked by various people if I will take a look at their photos, tell them what I think.  I always politely refuse, and try to find a good reason to not do it.  One of the main reasons is that I am very uncomfortable doing it.  I am not an expert on photos, and I don’t think I have the right to give my opinion just like that.

The other thing that people don’t seem to realise is the time it really takes to give a good critique.  It can take me an hour or two when I am doing it for other people, if I do it, I want to do it well.  I do offer critiquing as a service and it is often part of my online scschool-hpm5544-8courses, but it does take time.  You have to look at the images, and then seriously evaluate them, and sometimes write a report.

It is important to be careful about who you ask too.  I am kind, well I hope I am, but others may not be.  Your photography, anyone’s photography is something that is very personal, and people are attached to it.  The last thing you want is someone to critique your work that makes you want to give up photography altogether.  Positive sandwich, a term I heard recently and it is something I’ve always tried to follow.

There are lots of ways of getting your work critiqued without directly having someone do it.  Enter competitions, see how your work goes.  Find groups on Facebook and Google+ where you can put your images and see how many people like or +1 it.  There are lots of places like that.  Though you need to work out why you are taking photos too, if it is just for yourself, scschool-hpm5459-7then what does it matter what other people think?

Learn to be more critical yourself. I look at other peoples work and wonder what I like it about it, why I like it, and then how I can apply that to my own work.

Giving Critique When Not Ask to

This is one that I hear people complaining a lot about.  That they will put up photos and then someone else will go through their photos and tell them everything that is wrong with them.  This is unwanted criticism.

I have been the victim of it in the past, and sometimes it really upsets me, so I know why others get upset with it as well.  Often my first thought is, who the hell are you to be criticising my images, then I have to think of ways to get around it.  I don’t like upsetting people.  I tend to just respond with, but I like it like this, this is how I wanted it.

scschool-hpm4033-6It is hard to know what to say to people who do this and to get them to stop.  I have a couple of people that I love and trust, and if I really want an opinion on something I ask them. I know they will be honest with me and let me know.  It is good to have people in your life that are like that.  I had a friend from Uni and one of the things she used to say was, it’s good, but it’s not the best you’ve done.  I hated it at the time, but her opinion was valuable.

I also go by the old saying, “if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all”.  I’ve had people saying things about my images and they have had nothing nice to say, and they are just being nasty, for whatever reason.

So what is my point, if you are critiquing peoples photos and telling them what you think they should do to them, then don’t.  Think about what your constant criticism of their work is doing to them, and I can tell you, the people aren’t sitting back and being happy about it, they may be too polite to tell you to just stop it. I can tell you they don’t like it.

scschool-hpm5434-5If you really want to help someone, ask first.  Ask them if they would mind you giving some advice.  One of the ways I’ve had people doing it to me is to suggest what they would do if the images was theirs.

I often see images and I think, oh I wish they had done this, or done that, but then I think, it isn’t my image, and I have to respect how the person has done it.  You can tell if someone is really happy with what they have done, if they are, then it is best to not say anything.

I think the best policy is don’t critique, unless invited to, and if you are invited and accept, then you still need to tread carefully, remember the positive sandwich, always put positives around negatives.  I had an art teacher once who was great, she would say what she liked about what you were doing, and then say what she thought you could work on to make the image better, or better next time.  I loved it and I have always tried to follow that way of doing it.

Wow, this has turned out far longer than I had expected.  I hope it all makes sense. Critiquing is a very personal thing, as are images, and whether critiquing or getting wanted critique there should always be a massive dose of respect.

The photos for today’s post were taken and processed a couple of years ago.  There were taken in an old school that has now been pulled down, apparently to make way for more houses.

 

Up for Discussion – Combining Film and Digital Images

When I put the call out for people to guest blog I received an email from R.C. Fountain from the blog, THE WORLD IN TWILIGHT  , saying “I’d like to write a post about some sample methods of marrying film with digital techniques, e.g. compositing a digital image with a film image.” I thought it sounded like an interesting idea, we often don’t think of combining both, so I have been looking forward to hearing what he does. 

The Frankenphoto: Fusing Analog and Digital

When I was a boy, I looked at the world through squinted eyes. I closed those eyes to mere slits so that only a faint line of light and moving shadow remained to show the world. It was a filter that lended itself to dreams and one that I still occasionally find myself applying in order to recall those fantasies of my youth. And I sometimes use it to create new ones.

My fellow photographers, I have a revelation: it’s a mysterious universe no matter your age. Powers exist that we shall never fully know: truths that would overwhelm us because they are too grand and wonderful. There are enigmas right around the corner that we will never solve, fancies that will remain larger in our minds than the actual facts. And the artist whose vision is shaped by the unknown has a task that compels her creative faculties to rise to the task of making a story in pictures.

 

House Side View

 

The target of that creative impulse can rapidly and unexpectedly present itself. Not far from where I now live is an old boarded-up house. Its inhabitants are long dead and the current owner, for the present, has left it for time to try its teeth on. I was naturally drawn to the rotting bulk; for, laying aside the fact that I’m an armchair history buff and lover of all things old, the structure seemed to stare at me. And technical application rapidly followed imagination.

As photographers we’re often pushing ourselves to improve our craft in the name of our own vision. This means not only making each image a bit better than the one before, but learning techniques that might be wholly new to us. But if this sounds too much like slogging toil, take heart! There’s no reason it can’t be a lot of fun.

Half-and-half

One day a little web surfing led me to discover the world of cheap plastic cameras. Their unpredictable results contrasted so sharply with the precision of the digital world, I knew I had to try them out. But I still love the fine control the modern DSLR gives. So I wondered what might be produced if the two were somehow married to one another.

Old House Digital

The first step I took was to capture the house digitally, precisely. It was during magic hour and I brought out my trusty Canon 7D. Because I’m often a stickler for the moist noiseless digital images I can get, I chose ISO 100. The light was so abundant that even with an aperture of f/16 I was able to handhold the camera with a shutter speed of 1/200. A few Photoshop effects later and stage 1 was complete.

A few months later, winter had set in and I found myself driving by that selfsame house. I decided I wanted to take the shot again, but in a more candid, unplanned manner. I had a Diana F+ with me, known for its unpredictable results. I snapped another shot and produced a modern day Polaroid with an “instant back” attachment filled with ISO 400 Fuji Instax film with exposure settings of f/22 for aperture and shutter speed of 1/60.

Old House Diana

Remember when I mentioned I often looked at the world through slitted eyes? After looking at both photos, the analog and the digital side by side, I began to remember all those stories I ever read about hyper-reality, dream worlds, and the unknowable universe from the pen of every writer of the fantastic and inspirational from Lewis to Lovecraft. I interlaced my fingers and decided to form a composite where the house itself stood out amid a soft and hazy backdrop.

What followed was a fairly simply operation. After scanning the polaroid and bringing both shots into Photoshop, I used the polaroid image as my starting point and created a new layer. In this layer I placed the digital representation and used a soft eraser tool to remove all but the house itself. By the way, It’s important to note that both the shots needed to be taken at roughly the same angle or this composite would not have worked.

Once the digital house was rotated and dragged over its analog counterpart, I flattened the image and added a few minor effects, such as non-destructive vignetting, to put a bow on the project. I was rather pleased with the final result.

House Hybrid Photo

Does anybody remember that old Jonny Quest cartoon from the sixties? When I was little, I caught that show in syndication and saw the episode where a scientist on a desert island accidentally gave birth to a monster with his experiments. Lying in the ruins of his lab he cried out, “What have I created?”

In a way, I suppose that the resulting “frankenphoto” is a little risky. It’s not what most would call tack-sharp, and it’s not purist to either digital or analog camps. But I tend to laugh at the elitists of both factions; to paraphrase Jared Polin, don’t let anyone tell you what is and what isn’t a “proper” photograph.

Occasionally I find my eyes wandering back to this picture, and I let my mind take its own trip along imagination’s paths. And the deep voice of the dramatic reader Wayne June growls in my ears, speaking of a place that Poe passed by, not noticing what was in the corner of his own vision…

“And yet that house, to the two persons in possession of certain information, equals or outranks in horror the wildest phantasy of the genius who so often passed it unknowingly, and stands starkly leering as a symbol of all that is unutterably hideous.” (H.P. Lovecraft, “The Shunned House”)

There’s probably no vampiric entity in this house’s basement. But I have a few friends who understand how my mind works and who give me that knowing smile when they see my eyes settling on a crumbling building. I think they’d be disappointed if I didn’t start to imagine a weird and hidden history for a nameless house.

But then again, it is a mysterious universe after all. Who knows? Squint your eyes with me. Maybe it’s not in your imagination…

Thank you RC and if any of you would like to find him and more of his work, here are the links:

Website: THE TWILIT LENS

Blog: THE WORLD IN TWILIGHT

I am going to put the above images and a couple of extras in a gallery for you now.

 

Monochrome Madness Week 21

As someone pointed out the other day we have been doing this for almost six months, maybe when we get to week 26 we should think of something special.  So if you have any ideas let me know. It is time for another week of Monochrome Madness, I hope you enjoy all the entries this week. banyule-flats-fog-morning-monochrome

For those of you who follow my blog, especially my Weekend Wanderings posts will know that I have been upset with the weather here, but I am so happy that I finally got a change to photograph some foggy scenes.  We have had a few mornings of fog, but I haven’t been able to get out, but this is about the 5th or 6th morning, so we haven’t had many.  I went all over the place, well to a few places that I thought would be good for fog.  This is one I took of Banyule Flats.  I really like the isolated, or desolate look (thanks for the word Jackie).  I thought this would be a great entry for today. For the link today I am sending you to my other blog where I did a post on the weekend, and I have put all the photos that I have done for MM, it was nice seeing them altogether, all 21 of them.

dave8-web-laura-macky

Laura Macky has done something completely different and sent a portrait.  If you want to find out more information on the portrait then please visit her blog post Birthday Boy in B&W – Monochrome Madness.

Don’t forget all the instructions on how to enter your own images are at the bottom of the post.  If you have entered an image then please remember to check your image in the gallery, scroll down and see if anyone has left you any comments.  

Now, if you wish to participate and submit an image here is how you do it:-

  • You must email me the image you want to include and if you have a blog or website, or somewhere else, please include the link. My email address is leanne@leannecole.com.au
  • The image size should be as small as it can be, so the largest side should be 1000 pixels or less.
  • Please insert either your name or your blogs name in the file name.
  • Remember I am on Australian time, so with GMT I am +11 hours at the moment, I publish my post on Wednesday morning.
  • If you need more help with sending images, and get confused about time zones, etc, well, there is a great website called The World Clock, if you go to that and look at Melbourne time, if it’s before 6pm on Tuesday evening, then you can still send me images.  If it’s after that time, you can send me an image, but it will be set aside for the following week.
  • Remember to include a link to your blog or website.
  • Please remember to resize your images, it is fairly simply, you just need to go into any editing software and usually under Image you will find, resize, scale, or image size, something like that and you can resize your image there. Change the dimensions to pixels and make the longest side 1000 pixels or smaller, hit return, and for most types of software that should change the other side automatically as well. Just remember to save it with a different name so you know it is the smaller version.  If you have any problems, please contact me, I don’t mind helping out.

Please note you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to be in this challenge, you can have a link to a Facebook page, a Flickr page, anywhere really, or no link.  We just want to encourage people to do monochrome images, just for the madness of it. Just to let you know also, that as soon as the challenge is published, all emails and images you have sent me are deleted from my computer.  I respect your copyright and would never keep any of the images.

Monochrome Madness Week 20

This last week has flown and the entries have been coming in at a consistent speed for MM20.  Hard to believe this has been going for 20 weeks already.  It also seems to be contagious, the madness that is, with me receiving lots of submissions this week from lots of new people.  It is great to see more and more people wanting to participate in the challenge each week.  Welcome to all the new people, I hope you give them a warm welcome.

salt-lake-sticks-monochrome-mm

This is an image that I took up at the pink lakes.  I went through quite a few images before I finally settled on this one.  You know how it is, you can think one image will be good and then you process it but it just doesn’t turn out the way you hoped it would.  This one I did some different things to and I liked how it turned out.  There is a hint of colour, but I hope that you can’t really tell, except that I told you about it.

bay-bridge-web-monochrome

Laura Macky has sent in her image this week as well, two bridges over the bay in San Francisco, one that is being pulled down.  If you want more information then please visit Laura’s blog.

Don’t forget all the instructions on how to enter your own images are at the bottom of the post.  If you have entered an image then please remember to check your image in the gallery, scroll down and see if anyone has left you any comments.  

 

Now, if you wish to participate and submit an image here is how you do it:-

  • You must email me the image you want to include and if you have a blog or website, or somewhere else, please include the link. My email address is leanne@leannecole.com.au
  • The image size should be as small as it can be, so the largest side should be 1000 pixels or less.
  • Please insert either your name or your blogs name in the file name.
  • Remember I am on Australian time, so with GMT I am +11 hours at the moment, I publish my post on Wednesday morning.
  • If you need more help with sending images, and get confused about time zones, etc, well, there is a great website called The World Clock, if you go to that and look at Melbourne time, if it’s before 6pm on Tuesday evening, then you can still send me images.  If it’s after that time, you can send me an image, but it will be set aside for the following week.
  • Remember to include a link to your blog or website.
  • Please remember to resize your images, it is fairly simply, you just need to go into any editing software and usually under Image you will find, resize, scale, or image size, something like that and you can resize your image there. Change the dimensions to pixels and make the longest side 1000 pixels or smaller, hit return, and for most types of software that should change the other side automatically as well. Just remember to save it with a different name so you know it is the smaller version.  If you have any problems, please contact me, I don’t mind helping out.

Please note you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to be in this challenge, you can have a link to a Facebook page, a Flickr page, anywhere really, or no link.  We just want to encourage people to do monochrome images, just for the madness of it. Just to let you know also, that as soon as the challenge is published, all emails and images you have sent me are deleted from my computer.  I respect your copyright and would never keep any of the images.