The endless UK drizzle this summer has some advantages. One is a rather lush garden. The other is the resulting ecosystem of wildlife that this brings. So today I decided to test out the ‘new’ secondhand macro lens to snap some garden fauna in the rain. Is it me or can snails be quite cute? Also, check out the depth of field from such a narrow focus – the backgrounds are beautifully blurry.
This Sunday sees the fourth and final session (for me) of Photographing the City – Matt and Pete’s sociable, how-to photography course set on the streets of Birmingham and featuring a pleasant mix of arty/techy teaching, walking, socialising, photographing stuff (more egs below) and peer review.
Every year, around the time of renewing my Flickr account, I pick out my favourite shots. I don’t know if I’m getting more critical of my work, or not taking as many good shots, but last year I selected 75 for the final cut; this year it’s just 15. So what’s in them?
Well, seven water-based photos (eight if you count snow), two dogs, one swan, a flock of seagulls, three Petes, one Michael Grimes and a famous Berber. Two I included for reminding me of painters: a Vermeeresque hound and a Turneresque sunset. Two more are a direct result of Matt & Pete’s Photo School. Enjoy the slideshow (or the static set)!
PS. I think this one is still my favourite. It speaks of spies going to secret rooftop rendezvous, or is that just me?
Sometimes holiday snaps produce something a little bit more artistic. I particularly like this moody photograph (of Pete) taken on the top of the rainy Parking 58 car park in Brussels. Why were we on a car park roof in the rain? Find out here. More Brussels trip posts are on Tourist Vs Traveller.
The Fierce Festival is a wonderful art/performance thing that happens in/to Birmingham each year. But this year festival artistic directors Laura McDermott and Harun Morrison really outdid themselves with the promise of 40-50 sausage dog delegates attending a scale replica of the United Nations General Assembly.
The live art installation is by Aussie artist Bennett Miller – more info here… Wonderful to attend, amusing to watch and great fun to photograph.
So today was week two (of four) of Matt & Pete’s Photo School. Last month, we played with finding the decisive moment in street photography, this time it was landscapes and creating huge panoramic vistas using the iconic buildings of Birmingham.
This cinema-quality documentary film recalls the work of Don McCullin, the celebrated war photographer who has taken some of the most affecting war, famine and humanitarian photos of the 20th century. He is 75 now and made the film, well, because he was seriously ill and told Morris to come and film quickly before he died. (He has had an operation and is recovering well.)
Today was the inaugural five-hour lesson of Matt & Pete’s Photo School in which 10 strangers met upstairs in Birmingham’s Victoria pub to learn more about photography and how to improve our own efforts.
The framework of the day – after tea and coffee – involved an hour of learning a bit about the technical side of how a camera works, a bit about Henri Cartier-Bresson and a bit about the theory and style of street photography.
Being in the Cotswolds at the start of the new year has been lovely and surprisingly mild and sunny. Today we happened on the North Cotswold Hunt – no longer of foxes but of a scented trail laid down just ahead of the hunt by a set of runners on all-terrain quad bikes. I caught the start on video, setting out from the Lygon Arms in Chipping Campden and we were lucky enough to bump into them again on a cross-country walk to Blockley. In a rather working class, urban way, I stared agog at it all: the hound pack, beautiful horses, clopping of hooves and the vivid scarlet jackets. I’m afraid I was quite impressed.