“Before the Shutter” by Anne McKinnell

I love getting books. There are lots of books on the my shelves (wooden and iShelves) that are waiting for their turn to be read. One of these unlucky ones was the book by Anne McKinnell “Before the Shutter”.  Actually, I started reading that book a few years ago, in October 2012, but got distracted  and eventually forgot about it.

This year, after my favorite book app became available on an iPad,  I decided to create an e-catalogue of all my photography books and rediscovered a few good books that I’d forgotten about , “Behind the shutter” among them.  Since I’m working on creating an effective workflow, I decided to flick through it pages again and I started with reading my highlights. Continue reading

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Workflow: Inspirational Videos

Working on creating my own workflow, I’ve used ideas from a lot of sources. I’ve been lucky to come across two videos showing the inspirational photographer Sal Cincotta at work. He is a well known wedding and senior portrait photographer. However, those videos tell about his two creative personal projects.

Last summer I watched the first episode from Sal Cincotta’s series Continue reading

Assignment 1: A Small Change in my Plans

There are not many restrictions in the first assignment for the course: number of pictures and a type: landscape, portrait or  still life. I started thinking about my assignment relatively early (in the middle of November) and very quickly decided on the theme which was related to Christmas. I easily came up with several strong visual ideas about possible subjects those could be used to create a story with the required number of pictures.

After a few weeks working on the assignment and taking and retaking pictures, I realised that there was a flaw in my concept and the point of the emerging  story was really very weak. My story as I planned it did not have a really strong connection with a spirit of Christmas and started falling apart as I progressed with the pictures. Continue reading

First Impressions: How Pictures Work

I noticed this books in the list of recommendations on Amazon. Its title (“Picture This: How Pictures Work”) caught my eye, its cover put me off. Still, I added it to my Christmas wish list. I was delighted to unwrap it at the end of December. Since it’s relatively short book, I started reading it first. Surprisingly, it took me a bit longer than I expected to finish this book. Although, it’s written in a kind of entertaining style, it requires a lot of thinking. Looking at the pictures and finding the answers could take as long as you would like. There are plenty pictures to illustrate the writer’s point. Continue reading

My Reading List for 2014

Christmas is a good time to get some new books. I added several books into my Christmas Wish list and now, I’m struggling to decide which book to read first. It looks like it might take me a few months to read all the books from cover to cover. The problem is that I need to read several of them now. I might use a kind of selective reading and read pages from different books on different days.

It is possible to divide my Christmas books in three big category:

  • Practical (books about a specific aspect of photography)
  • Inspirational (books that make me think and could help me understand myself better)
  • Analytical ( useful books to read about theoretical aspects of photography and art)
    Continue reading

Food for Thoughts

Trying to finish my research on still life, I opened the last links from my list and went to the still life pages of “Source”, the magazine for contemporary photography.  There, I came across a set of pictures that could have a significant influence on my set-ups for several pictures for Assignment 1. (http://www.source.ie/artists/artistsM/artmulmar.html#dinnerforone )

Pictures from “Dinner for One” by Martina Mullaney show a different way of presenting food. That way is a far cry from the traditions of modern food photography that rely on help of food stylists to create an increadible picture of something incredibly appetising that almost impossible to get in real life. However, there is something in the style of the pictures by Martina Mullaney that is appealing to me. 

Continue reading

Contemporary Still Life: Wolfgang Tillmans, Part 1

Trying to figure out what is still life is, I’ve read a chapter from the book by Charlotte Cotton that was recommended by my tutor. In that chapter Charlotte Cotton mentioned several prominent photographers who have left their mark in the history of contemporary still life. One of them was Wolfgang Tillmans, a photographer who has taken pictures of, among other things, abandoned clothing items presenting them in a kind of sculptural way (picture of grey jeans). I thought it might be useful for me to find out a bit more about him and his work. (I had a hope that looking at pictures of a different style could help me get over my current photographer’s block.) Continue reading

Whizzing through

I think since December 2012, I’ve been analysing my digital workflow and thinking as to how it’s possible to improve it. I made a few improvements, but still there are a lot to work on.  The exercises from the first part of “Digital Photographic Practice” encourage the students to pay attention to their workflow and come up with a better one.

The first thing, I wanted to improve was the process of  the first review. I’ve noticed  that after my pictures uploaded onto the computer they hardly ever get properly tagged. They gets a few very general tags while uploading onto the computer thanks to a custom preset, but they hardly get any content related tags unless I deal with  pictures from a single task. Continue reading

My Prior Workflow Experience

I can’t remember when I heard about a photographer’s workflow for the first time.  There was so many articles about different aspects of it on the web. A simple search of my e-mail told me that the first article on a workflow I might’ve read was on the 3th June 2010. It was the article by “Streamline Your Workflow – Getting the Most out of LR ” by Elizabeth Halford. Continue reading