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Posts tagged ‘Photographers’

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.

Up for Discussion: Photographing Melbourne

Late last year I talked to you about doing posts about different places around the world.  There is so much tourist information about places to see and what not, but I have wondered how it would be to have information on places for photographers, that is specific to what a photographer wants to know about taking photos. I also don’t think only one person has the answers, or all the places, so I think this should be interactive, in a way, a community project. I am going to start this post, and then if others know places and things to photograph in Melbourne, then add it to the list.  Leave your ideas in a comment and I will add it to the post.

The type of things or information you need to give:

leannecole-sccity-2613

Melbourne Central

  • The place
  • Where it is if relevant
  • best time to photograph
  • do you need special permits or permission
  • can you use tripods

The idea is that someone who wants to come to the city or place can get a great idea of places to take photos, and when.

I would love to hear from people who would like to start the post for where they are as well, if you are interested, you will need to provide the photos, and start the conversation.  Email me.

I am thinking of doing one of these once a month, however, if they are popular, then might look at doing them more often.  I will also start an archives page so people doing research can find the posts easily.

This will evolve, so hopefully they will get better.

Melbourne

Flinders Street Station

light-trails-flinders-street-stationThis is one of our iconic train stations, and a rather unique looking building. It is located on the corner of Flinders Street and Swanston Street.  Love it or hate it, an image of it has been known to make Australians overseas very homesick.  It is possibly one of the most photographed buildings in Melbourne, and it is one of the major train stations as well.  It is a meeting place, we all like to meet each other under the clocks.

To take photos of Flinders Street Station from the road, you need no special permits.  You can photograph any building from the road.  If you want to take photos inside the station, then you need a permit, they are free, you simply go to this page and print the permit, read it, sign it and carry it with you.

It is incredibly rare to find the station with no people, it is always busy.  It is best to just except that people will be sitting on the front steps or just standing around and people will be coming and going.

The iconic shot of the car trails in front of the station can be done anytime when it is dark and people have their car lights on.  I have found Friday night can be the best, or other week day nights.  There are more cars around, though there are also more people.  You can use a tripod, but you have to be careful of where you set it up, but there are places, usually right on the corners were you will have not much trouble.

LeanneCole-city-20140308-1443Melbourne Central

Melbourne Central is a shopping centre, and also one of the underground stations comes out underneath it, so it is one of the major entries into the city from the “top” end.  It is a privately owned centre, and photography isn’t actually allowed, but because the shot tower goes up the middle of it, they recognise that people will want to take photos of it, so they don’t worry about people taking photos there. It is not possible to use a tripod, there are too many people.

 Yarra River

The Yarra River runs through the middle of Melbourne, but really is at what we call the bottom of the city.  You have the city on one side and Southbank on the other.  You can pretty much take photos anywhere you want along it, both day and night.  Though if you are taking photos across the river to the city during the middle of the day you will be facing the sun.melbourne-sunset-night-river-buildings-124

Some of my favourite shots of Melbourne and the river have been done at night.  You can get some fantastic shots along there.  There is usually no problem with using a tripod.  You may want to be careful around the Aquarium it is becoming a popular place for homeless people to go, and unfortunately, the number there are increasing.

If you are near Flinders Street, in the morning you may get a sunrise looking east along the river, and in the afternoon a sunset looking west.  I’ve seen some amazing sunsets done along the river, haven’t quite got one myself, but plenty of time for me.

Street Photography

If you want to do street photography in the streets of Melbourne, there isn’t a problem.  If people are in the streets, then the law here is basically that you can take photos.  In Australian Copyright Law you can’t copyright your face.  You do have to be careful though, some places may seem public, but they aren’t, like the Block Arcade, while it seems like a public place, it is privately owned.

LeanneCole-city-20140228-0284The usual rules apply, nice to ask, but not absolutely necessary, be polite, respect the people going about their business.

The Block Arcadeblock-arcade-social-snappers-photography

This arcade is off Collins Street and Elizabeth Street.  There are two entrances.  The Elizabeth Street Entrance is between Collins Street and Little Collins Street, whereas the Collins Street Entrance is between Swanston Street and Elizabeth Street.

As I just mentioned this place is privately owned and operated.  They understand that as it is one of the oldest arcades in Melbourne and well known, that people want to take photos in it, and you are allowed to.  You can use the photos for personal use, but not commercial.  I’ve never tried to use a tripod in there, so I don’t know how they would feel about you using one.  It is a very busy arcade, so I would imagine that it would not be ideal.

It is only open during shopping hours, so if the shops are open it is open.  If you want photos with no people, or almost no people, then I would suggest getting there very early in the morning.  It is open 7 days a week.

National Gallery of Victoria

It is just over the river down St Kilda Road and is open 10am to 5 pm everyday. There is another part to is which is in Federation Square, this is for Australian Art, and the first one I mentioned is for International Art.scgallery-HDR2

You are allowed to take photos pretty much anywhere you like inside the building, of both the building and the artwork.  NO FLASH is allowed.  The only places you really can’t take photos is special exhibition, and they usually have big signs telling you no photography. Tripods are not allowed.

Melbourne Star

This is our version of the London Eye.  It is a bit hard to find over in the Docklands, but you can see it from a long way and you just walk towards it.  You can take photos of the Star, from the ground and up in the air.  If you want to take photos of the city you can, but you are not allowed to use a tripod while on the Melbourne Star.  It is open every day from early to about 10pm.  melbournestar-20140114-6586

They have a website and there is information there about booking tickets and when it is open.  Melbourne Star Website.

Hosier Lane

This is a laneway made famous for the graffiti that is all over the walls in the lane.  The lane is near Federation Square, well across the street, and you get it to via Flinders Street or Flinders Lane, between Swanston Street and Russell Street.  It is a very popular place for tourists to go, so if you want photos without people, you will need to wait for lulls or go there early.  It isn’t LeanneCole-city-20140308-1454the type of place that ever closes, so you might be better off getting there early in the morning.  It is a public street, or public lane.  You can use a tripod there.  On the weekends it is even busier as it is becoming a popular place for people to have their wedding photos done.

Adding to it

It is my hope that other Melbournians and people who have visited can add more places and information to what I have started.  Please leave your information in a comment, or send me an email.  It would be great if all I had to do was cut and paste what you have written.  If you have an image to accompany what you have written, even better.

Gallery, I am including the above photos, but some others of the places I’ve talked about.

 

Up for Discussions – SEO for Photographers, Part 1

labeToday’s Up for Discussion post has been written by Mary McAvoy, she also has a WordPress blog, Sublime Days.  Mary wrote commented on my post last week about post production and started telling me about what I should be doing to get better at SEO. I’m sure many or most of you have heard of this. I keep getting emails from people telling me if I pay them they can get my SEO rating a lot higher, and my husbnad keeps saying Google hate them and if you do it, it will make it worse.  So Mary was telling me things I didn’t know, so thought it would be great for us all to hear.  It is tough area, but really, it is so very important and you all should read it, think about it, and see you can make some changes to your blog/website, next week she will talk about images.

I will hand it over to Mary now.

I’m grateful to Leanne for giving me this opportunity to share with her readers what I know about search engine optimization (SEO) and how it pertains to photographers who blog and who have a website on WordPress.

This article will come to you in two parts. Part 2 will post next week.

First, about SEO generally.

I’m surmising that pretty much everyone who reads this post has, at one time or another, “searched” or “googled” a topic. You typed in words that you hoped would bring you to web pages that specifically addressed the particular topic about which you had interest. The words you typed in are “search terms.”

Search “engines” or “spiders” or “robots” or “bots” read those terms and in milliseconds they scoured the world wide web and then presented to you pages of results, listed about ten to a page. If you were accurate in your choice of search terms, your hoped for results came right up on that first page, perhaps even in the first three sites presented on the first page.

To understand SEO, you need to know that the bots’ search behavior is governed by an algorithm – a set of instructions that tells them how to prioritize what they find on the millions of sites they are scanning for you. This algorithm is changed and refined all the time by search services (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) in an effort to make search results more accurate for the person who is searching the internet, and also to weed out spam from being listed in the search results. Also, different search services have their own algorithms, though there is much overlap. What I’ll discuss in this post is pretty standard in any search service.

Now, let’s look at that same topic but from your point of view as a blogging photographer or a photographer with a website. For the purpose of this post (and for Leanne’s benefit), I’m going to assume that your photography is a business enterprise. And I’m going to assume that your two goals in having a website are to sell your images and to offer lessons in photography. I’m also going to give instructions based on using WordPress (WP).

Here we go.

When you write a post or create pages of your website, you should have a few things on our mind:

1) good content (i.e. quality writing or text)

2) an exceptional and deliberate heading (h1) or title for your post while keeping SEO in mind

3) well labeled photos

and last but hardly least, here’s what’s most important in terms of SEO as you prepare a post:

– in your content and when labeling photos, use the terms a person would type into a search box to find the post you are writing. Think as they would think and use the terms you imagine them using to find the topic of your post. Those terms should be throughout the post and also added as category and tag words

Below I’ll elaborate on each of the above.

1) About good content – believe it or not, the bots do care that the quality of your writing is good. This is one way they can sift out spam sites. If your writing is done well and stays on the topic of the keywords you add as “categories” and “tags” (and also on the topic of your overall site) then you’ll be better viewed by the bots. As you write, know that the first paragraph is the most important in terms of what the bots “read” so put your keywords in that paragraph. Make this opening paragraph concise and directly related to your topic.

2 About your heading (h1) – the heading(h1) of your post is the “title” you put into the title bar at the top of the page where you write your post on WordPress. (It is also the page titles of the pages on a site. But I won’t digress to that in this post.) In the image below “Leanne Cole Offers Lesson for Street Photographers” is the title. It’s of utmost importance that the most defining words (the search words) of your post appear in this title line. This is the top hierarchy for the bots. This title bar creates an “h1” level heading. In the search algorithm, the number one thing the searching bot looks for is h1 content. H1 content is brief – generally the title. (So, you can’t change your whole content to h1! To do that would probably be looked upon as spamming!)


SEO post title sample

 

Often as you write a post, if you are thinking about SEO (and you should be if your site’s purpose is to promote your business), you’ll change to more targeted and succinct titles (h1 content). To help you understand refining your h1 content, let’s say you decided to change the title above to something even more focused on searchability. So, you might changed it to: Street Photography Lessons by Leanne Cole.

A WP tip: If you change the heading at any point while you are preparing a post, be sure you edit it in the line just below the title bar. To do so, click on the Edit button. The text that now shows (in the image below) in yellow will turn to blue. Copy the text in your title bar and paste it into the edit bar, replacing what was there.

So, before (as you change the title/h1):

SEO post h1 edit in WordPress

And after:

SEO post h1 title change

Then press OK. WP automatically puts the whole title in lowercase and adds the dashes between the words so that you don’t have to. But read it to be sure it’s correct. You should make a habit of checking this bar before you Publish your post to be sure it’s accurate. It is the most important SEO content in your post.

NOTE: While I’m on the topic of headings, do you see that Paragraph bar in the first image above – it’s in the lower row all the way to the left in the tool bar? If you click on the down arrow next to Paragraph, you’ll see all your heading choices.

It will look like this:

Wordpress dropdown menu for headings

These options are not just about the font look. Anything you change to heading 1 (h1), heading 2 (h2), heading 3 (h3), etc. will set a hierarchy of search importance. So, you might make a short subheading (one or two brief sentences) in h2, placed as your first paragraph in the post body area. It would be made up of content that includes the next most important keywords that are not in your title (h1), though it might also repeat the content of your title. Unlike the writing we were taught in school, in blog writing you should repeat your key words and phrases in the most natural way you can. For this post example Leanne might add an h2 that reads: I’m offering a Street Photography lesson in Melbourne this Saturday, September 21, 2013, at noon.”

Part 2 of this topic will be published by Leanne next week.

It will cover 3) labeling your photos.

Please let me know if you have questions and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Mary McAvoy-Syntax and Style

Mary McAvoy is an author and photographer. She owns Syntax and Style, a business that specializes in the web presence of writers and photographers. Mary’s been blogging since 2007.

Her sites are:

sublime days – where Mary writes about all sorts of things and shares about her writing and her books

The Ripest Pics – Mary’s photography site

MaryMcAvoy-Photography – Mary’s photography-for-sale site (hosted by Fine Art America)

SilverLining-MaryMcAvoy – Mary’s photo-blog about a pond in New England

 

Weekend Wanderings – Travelling by Instagram

Last weekend I went into the city with my plastic Holga lens and for todays post I thought I might do something similar with my phone and Instagram.  I thought it might be fun to see what the city would look like through Instagram photos. Though I started with the train trip.

 

IMG_20140514_113700I had to wait for the train.  As I was approaching the station I heard that a train was leaving, so then I had to wait for ages for the next one.

I thought I would divide this post into two parts, first I thought we might look at the train trip in.  People love trains and when I went I probably looked like a tourist as I had my phone up against the window of the train taking photos most of the way in.

I have processed them all with Instagram, though, as I have found out, you don’t have to put the photos on Instagram.  I did them all and then used Dropbox to send the images to my laptop.  A different way of working and I am sure there are others. Here is a gallery of the train trip.

Taking photos from the train was interesting and not always easy. I got lots of blurred photos.  Though, I am going to say that it isn’t something I am really interested in perfecting.  I do like Instagram though, and I think it is something that is fun.

As I said, Instagram can be fun, and I have seen some great images with it, but they do all tend to look very similar

IMG_20140514_214401When I got into the city I stopped at quite a few places and took photos of what was around me.  I think filters in Instagram are good, but they don’t really show the reality of what is there.

The thing I do like it about it is that if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook then you would be familiar with my photos as I travel around.  I have tried to get a lot better at using my phone to do that sort of thing. I don’t do photos every day, but if I go somewhere to take photos then if I do some Instagram photos you get a quick glimpse of what is coming on the blog.

I am going to put the photos of the city into a gallery now.  Though, I do want to reassure you that I won’t make it a habit of doing posts of Instagram photos, but I did think it would be good to do a post on it and look at it.

Up for Discussion – Men and Women in Photography

When I was writing posts for that other blog I had wanted to do a post on this subject, but at the time they thought it might not work with what they were doing.  I have been thinking about it for a while and decided that I might do it for one of these posts, open it up for discussion.  This is not a discussion about whether men or women are better photographers, I think we have proven time and time again that gender has nothing to do with it, I am more interested in biggerLeanneCole-kyneton-20131002-8501 picture and how the world perceives Women photographers and Men Photographers.

They have been saying for a very long time it is a mans world, and I thought things had changed, but I keep hearing how women still aren’t paid the same, that women still get treated sctw-9177differently.  I don’t know how true it is, I have always gone through life thinking I can do anything if I really want to, well almost anything.  Of course I can’t be the Queen of England, I will never be a famous movie star, and I will never fly to the moon, they are just not something that is possible.  Instead I concentrate on realistic goals, those for me are being the best photographer I can be and making my blog a great place for people to visit.  I don’t think being a woman stops me from that.

Recently I heard that there are more women doing photography than men, especially new people coming into photography.  Yet, when you look at the world of professional photography it is still very much dominated by men. Part of the thinking behind this post came when I was going through Nikon’s website, as you do and I found a page of Photographers, Professional Insights, and they list a whole heap of photographers, but out of the 20 listed, only 2 of them are women.  I was shocked.  I thought if there are more women doing photography now, then why do Nikon only represent it like it is 10%? Of course, that could just be Nikon and maybe that is how they think about the world.

Then I saw this from Canon and their ambassadors, see if you can spot the women in the big picture.

It seems that there is a perception that men do all the really cool stuff, you know like Landscape photography, architecture, while the women do all the portraits, babies and weddings.  You really don’t scladybath-9282hear of men photographing babies, unless it is their own.  So while I think there is a place for women in photography, have we been pigeon holed as only able to do certain things?

My questions today are more about perceptions.  When you think of Women Photography what sort of photography comes to mind?  Why do you think Professional Organisations still have more men represented than women?  Tell me your gender and what sort of photography you like doing?  Do you find it a struggle to achieve what you want?

These posts are a great way to share knowledge, so please contribute.

I will approve them, as long as they are nice and not nasty in any way.

Feel free to respond or reply to other comments.  It would be good to generate some discussion.

Photography as Art

scchambers-5hpm7546-6My latest post is about art and photography.  Some of you may remember a post I did on this last year, and I don’t think I did it very well.  I have thought about it a lot more since then, and I have gotten some help from Joel Grimes.

So please take a look, see what you think.  The post is Photography as Art on Photographers.com.au  and please try and leave your comments there, I would really like to get a discussion going, and feel free to reply to other peoples comments, just be polite.