Sketching Landscapes

Hi guys, 

i've just returned from my recent travels over to the UK and realised that I haven't yet posted my most recent article from Light and Landscape Magazine. The article is called 'Sketching Landscapes' and can be seen below. The article discusses how you come to reach your desired composition and a little bit about learning from your mistakes. You can still see it in the magazine by checking out my previous blog post and following the links there. For now here's the article. 

 

image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg

Ethical Considerations - Light and Landscape Magazine

For those of you who didn't get a chance to read my latest article 'Ethical Considerations' for Light and Landscape magazine, issue 8, you can now read it here. You will find screenshots from the magazine below.  

take care and have a Happy Easter weekend!

James

 

image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg

Creative constraints

As any photographer will know, planning what gear to take for a trip or holiday can be a bit of a headache. We like to travel but we also like to have all of our gear to hand. The problem with this is that we end up with too much gear, weighing us down to the point that it tires us and becomes a burden.

I'm very much that photographer. I like to have everything I could possibly need with me at all times. I'm also like this in my everyday life. This is why I can mostly be seen wearing cargo style shorts. Big pockets = more room for stuff that I might need!

I'm about to go away on holiday to New Zealand so choosing and packing my gear is very much on my mind. I've spent the last couple of weeks making a list of all my lenses and filters and other stuff that I will more than likely want and need for the work that I'm planning to produce. There's a lot there and even though I have a fairly small and light mirrorless system now, it's still going to be heavy by the time I carry everything on the list.

When I plan a trip or a shoot, I like to set myself a creative constraint in order to help me think differently about how to approach the work and also to flex my photographic creativity and skill. This trip is going to be no different. After a lot of thought and consideration I've decided to travel light this time, really light. I will be travelling with only my Fuji x100t and a couple of filters. The fuji x100t* is an extraordinary camera that every photographer should own. It's a small, fixed focal length (35mm equivalent) camera that you can fit in your pocket. It's perfect for travel, for portraits, for all different types of work. Many pro's swear by them, for example Zack Arias who recently said if all of his gear was to be taken from him then all he would want left would be his x100 cameras. It produces gorgeous photographs, aided by fuji's film simulation modes which were designed based on the film rolls that fuji used to make.

By using a single camera with a single focal length it will force me to be more aware of my composition, my proximity to my subject. It will force me to think outside the box and think creatively about how I photograph. Also it's such a lightweight kit that it won't be hard work or tiring to carry it around all day, thus allowing me to stay fresher and be more receptive to my surroundings. It's going to be quite different from my usual kit that I carry and a challenge for sure but I'm very excited about it. I think the results will be facinating and I'm looking forward to sharing them with you on my return. My kit list, for the nerds among you is as follows:

 

Think Tank Retrospective 7 Bag

Glanz 110cm 5 in 1 reflector

Fuji x100t camera

Fuji WCL-x100 wide angle lens converter

Binoculars

X-rite Color Checker Passport

Lens pen and blower

Gorillapod mini tripod

49mm Kenko circular polarising filter

A couple of spare batteries and charger

Lee Seven5 Soft Grad ND filters (0.3/0.6/0.9)

Lee Filter holder

Think Tank memory card holder with 6 16GB SDHC cards

 A couple of lens cloths

iPod

Notebook and pen

 

Finally it's time for me to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year celebration. I may post the occaisional photograph from my trip as we go, depending on the wifi situation. Apart from that I've nothing more to say other than I'll see you in 2015!

Best wishes,

James

My travel kit, ready to pack.

My travel kit, ready to pack.

* There are actually now 3 cameras in the x100 series, the first generation x100, the x100s and the most recently released x100t.

Urban Landscapes of the UK

Hello!

Well it feels like it's been a while since I've last shared some of my work with you so it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to my latest body of work.

Recently, as you may or may not be aware, I made the trip back over to the UK to marry my lovely partner. The wedding was unbelievable and a day that will never be forgotten. I also spent some time travelling around the country to visit my friends and family. During my travels I managed to spend some time photographing some of the beautiful and not so beautiful places that I visited along the way. This collection of photographs is called "Urban Landscapes of The UK" and begins in my favourite of the UK cities, Norwich. My homepage will direct you to the lovely, but slightly wet Norwich. From here you can access any of the other places by clicking/tapping the "Urban Landscapes" title bar. You have four to choose from, all in the order by which I visited. Norwich, Liverpool, Chester and Southport. I hope you enjoy the photographs and feel free to let me know what you think by contacting me here or on my social media.

Take care,

James  

The beautiful city centre of Chester

The wedding...

I thought I'd take a minute to let you know that this page and all of my other social media feeds will be a little quiet over the next three weeks. This is because I've made the trip over to the UK where I will be getting married in the amazing Knowsley Hall, in a little over a weeks time. As such I will be pretty busy with the final wedding related tasks but I'm hoping to get out at some stage and show you some of the beautiful areas that the UK has to offer.

Keep monitoring my pages and my website for sneak previews and I look forward to speaking with you when I return to Australia at the end of May. 

take care and thanks for your ongoing support, 

James

 

Knowlsey Hall

Knowlsey Hall

The latest news in my world!

This is just a quick post to let you know a couple of exciting pieces of news.

News item 1:

I've recently applied to join the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) as an Emerging Member. Well today I learnt that I've actually bypassed this stage and have been granted Full Acredited Member status on the basis of a portfolio of images that I was required to submit to the AIPP. This portfolio was judged by award standard judges within AIPP so I'm absolutely thrilled and humbled to be joining a highly skilled and elite collective of photographers in Australia. As soon as I've submitted the paperwork, I will be using the AIPP logos on this website and will be able to advertise this officially through my various media outlets and advertising material.

News item 2:

I've had a number of enquiries recently about the availability of prints of some of my photographs. Well I'm delighted to announce that my new e-store will be active fairly soon! I'm currently working away in the QLD bush but when I return I should be able to finalise and activate the store. You will then be able to purchase downloads of any of my images. You will also be able to purchase prints of selected photographs too. Most of which will be hand printed and signed by myself.  The larger prints will presently be handled by an outside source but I will soon be able to produce these myself. I'm proud to be able to supply you with a product that is created by my own hands, from start to finish. I'll be sure to let you know when this goes live.

Thanks for continuing to support me and stay tuned to my website and social media for the latest updates.

Thank you! 

James

 

 

 

Giving life to an image

First, let me wish you a happy New Year. I hope you had a great time over the festive and New Year period and let's together look forward to the New Year ahead. My celebrations were relatively low key this year. I spent New Year's Eve in the company of good friends and watched the midnight fireworks display in Brisbane City. New Year's Day I went to the cinema to see the excellent 'Secret Life Of Walter Mitty'.

'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' follows Ben Stiller's character, Walter Mitty, who is a full time daydreamer and Negative Assets Manager at 'Life Magazine'. The magazine is due to cease print production and as such Mitty works in conjunction with Sean O'Connell (Sean Penn), a Photojournalist, to produce the final cover image for the last print edition. The negative, which O'Connell recommends to Mitty as the 'quintessential' Life magazine image, disappears and Mitty begins a journey to locate and retrieve the missing negative (negative 25). This movie is fun, easy going and well produced. Mitty travels to some absolutely amazing places in Greenland and Iceland, two places that are on my future travel to list. It has an excellent soundtrack too. If you haven't already seen it then I highly recommend it. It's brilliant!

Before I saw the movie, I read about a particular scene concerning one of Mitty's daydreams. Here, whilst looking at a photo of O'Connell, Mitty is beckoned into the image. I heard about this moment through the blog of one of my favourite photographers (David DuChemin - http://davidduchemin.com). DuChemin describes this moment as O'Connell inviting Mitty in, wanting him to stop watching other people's adventures and live his own. This is absolutely correct and Mitty does go on to have his adventure. I looked at it a little differently though: when I saw that photo come alive for the couple of seconds that it does, it made me consider, what if my images could come alive? What would they say? What would the reaction of the viewer be?

In the couple of days that have passed I've begun to revisit some of my favourite images, both my own and those of the photographer's that I greatly admire. I have looked at the images and imagined how they would feel, what they would tell the viewer. Whilst technology doesn't allow for our images to come to life (except the video camera!), there are ways in which we as photographers can use our craft to make an image invoke a feeling or a thought and sometimes even allow the viewer to imagine what it was like to be there and capture a scene before their own eyes. There are a variety of techniques that we can use, from the traditional photography skills of creative composition and lighting, creative aperture, shutter speed settings and metering techniques through to the processing of images with the different types of photo editing software and plugins available.

There's no right or wrong way of creating an image with depth or feeling and you can use any one or all of the above techniques in order to achieve your desired result. By taking a moment to consider how we can give life to our images either before, during, or after the in-camera stage, we can create a stronger photograph. A photograph that stands out from the crowd. A photograph that comes alive. 

This is my goal in 2014; to continue to make stronger photographs, to try and make them come alive. 

 

The moment where Sean O'Connell welcomes Walter on his journey. (The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty)    http://www.fubiz.net/en/2013/08/02/the-secret-life-of-walter-mitty-trailer/

The moment where Sean O'Connell welcomes Walter on his journey. (The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty) 

http://www.fubiz.net/en/2013/08/02/the-secret-life-of-walter-mitty-trailer/