“the most important thing is not clicking the shutter, it is clicking with the subject”
This quote has really struck a cord with me recently and made me analyse the way I take photographs. I noticed that a lot of the time I tend to hold my finger down on the multi-shot feature and just take continuous photographs, especially when shooting fast moving people or objects, but this is most definitely not the best practice.
Alfred Eisenstaedt is thought by many to be the father of photojournalism and one of the greatest photographers of all time. He was the master of candid photography and usually only carried around one camera.
This image of children imitating a drum major really shows his skill in really capturing the moment, perfectly showing it to it’s full potential.
I decided that I need to step up my game and really start working with the subject I see through my lens, as Eisenstaedt suggests, and I got the perfect chance to try this out a few weeks ago at Cantelowes skatepark in Camden.
Ashley and a few friends chose a wonderfully sunny day to go there and skate, i’m not comfortable with bowls and know that it gets busy there so I decided to try out my camera instead.
To begin with I followed the skaters around the bowl with my camera but, although my pictures weren’t bad, couldn’t seem to get any impressive shots. The sunshine wasn’t helping as the stark contrast between the over exposed sunlight and dark shadows in the bowl made it really hard to find the right exposure levels.
After a while I started to watch the skaters more closely and understand their movements and where I could get the best shots of each individual skater. Luckily I’ve skated with and watched Ash and Milan a lot and found it really easy to predict their movements making for plenty of good photographs but, as much as I love to shoot them both, I really wanted pictures of everyone there.
I noticed there were certain areas of the bowl where every skater would get high or try something interesting and so decided these would be the best areas to train my camera on. I also noticed that certain skaters, particularly the more experienced ones, were practicing certain moves over and over so that they could perfect them. This was exactly the information I needed to really improve my photographs!
I trained my camera on these sections, depending on the skater, which meant I could set my shutter speed and focus ready for the subject to make their appearance into frame.
It took a bit of practice to really get the timings but eventually I managed to get some shots that I’m really proud of, not only that but all the shots I was taking started being useable rather than having a lot that i would never use.
I’m really proud of myself for the improvements i’ve made from just one day, and not just me, Ash learnt to drop in too with help from a good friend from Newtons Shred. A very successful day!
I am trying to be a lot more aware of my surroundings from now on, and not just when I have my camera on me. I really think that learning to recognise memorable moments will help improve my photography immensely.
I think there is a lot to learn from other photographers, both old and current, and so plan to do lots of research into others, particularly other nature photographers. I’ll be sharing my research with you all in future blog posts, probably once a month, and use their influences in my own photoshoots. I think it could make for some very interesting results!
You can see the rest of the photographs for this shoot right here on my facebook!
Fashion is always a big thing at festivals, I’m never quite sure why as it usually gets very cold, wet and muddy (at least in the uk) and, with lack of showers, it is hard to keep yourself looking presentable. But if you really must make sure you look your best at all times, here a few tips for you to really get into the festival spirit fashionably.
DO wear flowers in your hair. Festivals are notoriously ‘hippie’ themed and everyone loves a flower headband.
DON’T forget a big hat. Keep the sun out of your eyes whilst still looking stylish (or maybe a bit silly).
DO wear sensible shoes. Sandals, Vans, Toms or Converse at the dryer festivals, an awesome pair of wellies at the wetter ones. Also bring a pair of flip flops for those quick, late night toilet runs.
DON’T wear a floor length skirt. Even if the ground is dry, the portaloos get disgusting. Do you really want it dragging through god knows what on those floors? The answer is no.
DO bring some uber cool, hippie shorts. Not only are these really really comfy, but they look pretty awesome too. Perfect for relaxing at a festival.
DON’T be afraid to go ridiculous on your outfit choice. There’s always someone in fancy dress bringing a smile to everyones face, if you don’t mind the attention than why shouldn’t it be you?
DO wear lace. It’s always extremely popular, and that’s because it’s just plain pretty! Plus it’s a good way to keep cool at the hotter festivals.
DONT wear high shoes. Your feet will be in agony by the end of the day, and if it rains then you have no chance. Even if you think they’d be fine, even the slightest heel will feel like torture by the end of the day.
DO plait your hair. You wont have anywhere to really shower and dry shampoo is only so good, plaits are a great way to keep your hair looking nice and tidy whilst still pretty.
DON’T wear ridiculously short shorts. This picture was probably the most unpleasant i’ve seen, but no matter how skinny you are I really do not want to see your bum, or your frilly knickers. I don’t even understand how this is a fashion at the moment.
DO wear the merch you buy. I mean, why not? You probably spent a lot on that t-shirt or bagtanned, you may as well show your support.
DON’T wear body paint unless you don’t mind the suntan lines. I personally wouldn’t want pale dots up my legs for the next few weeks.
DO make sure you’re comfortable and happy in what ever you wear!
More festival Do’s and Don’ts coming up soon!
I have recently been thinking a lot about my old love of photography. I have a big, old DSLR and I’m always taking far too many photographs, but yet I do nothing with them.
So I’ve decided now is time to get back into photography, start seriously editing again and maybe even adding a few to my shop. Of course I will still be sewing (although i am finding it hard to stay motivated with it right now) but I also want to start selling prints.
If anyone knows of anywhere I could get prints done cheaply and easily that would be amazing (for the uk), I have a few places in mind but any help from photographers out there would be greatly appreciated.
I absolutely love messing around on photoshop with an image, it is definitely one of my favourite things to do, and so last night I decided to experiment with a few images I took of Ash longboarding. You can click on the images to see them a bit bigger.
I started off with a more simple edit, just adding texture, adjusting the colours slightly and playing with the levels.
I like how I made this feel slightly grungy but with Ash really popping out of the centre with his bright colours. I’m glad I managed to catch him as his arms made such a nice line and his board had started to slide. I also really love the concentrated look on his face with his tongue sticking out (although he hates it), it really makes me chuckle. 🙂
The next photograph I decided to be a little more adventurous and play with the background by taking out all the colour. I wanted to really make him stand out as the background is quite busy with all the leaves. I also cropped it slightly to create a better line and draw your eye to him even more.
Again I’m really happy with how this one turned out, I think the contrast between the background and Ash works really well. The only thing is I still find the background very busy and so I think I might need to play around with it even more, maybe by adjusting the contrast or blurring it slightly. But Ash really likes this one too and has set it too his facebook cover photo. 🙂
The last one I edited I decided to do something a little crazier and this is probably one of my most elaborate photoshops to date! I decided to add this bright orange texture to make ash look as though he was on fire in a way. I wanted to create a really dramatic image that would convey the power and energy used to do the slides Ash was trying.
Again I do really like the image even though its a lot different to my usual photography. I think the meaning I’m trying to convey really does come out and it is definitely not subtle. I still can’t decide if maybe it’s a little too much though and I think the lighter section in the middle could be more focussed on Ash.
What do you think about my photographs and edits? I would love to hear some constructive criticism!
After months of promising a competition finally I have gotten round to it.
Up for grabs is this cute, summery tote bag, a great addition to any summer wardrobe! Perfect for adults and children alike. 🙂 Even The Penguin Theory’s Penguin wants it!
Myself and The Penguin Theory Mascot realised that he doesn’t have a name, this upset us both greatly. We racked our brains for a suitable name but just couldn’t decide on one so we want YOU to help!
So how can you help? It’s SIMPLE!
Just comment on this blog and/or this image on facebook with the name you think would be perfect for him and that’s it, done!
Of course don’t forget to follow and like so you know if you’ve won or not! 😉
Each person can enter twice (once on facebook and once on here) and I will put all the names into a hat (or most likely a bag) to be drawn in a weeks time.
The Penguin Theory
I’ve been looking into possibly expanding to screenprinting.
I really want to look into it as I have a few designs that would take too long appliqueing to be viable, however I know the materials can be a little costly. I’d also prefer to make my minecraft ties printed rather than appliqued because, again, i’m losing money (and after all this is trying to be a business) taking the time to sew everything on. I will probably still do the odd applique work, but I really feel this would be the next step in my business for the plans I have in my head.
I found some good looking starter kits for around £70-100 and am tempted to spend some of my christmas money on them but don’t want to invest too much into something that would end up being a failure as I really can’t afford that at the moment.
Do any crafters out there know much about screen printing, more specifically if it is worth while?
Although I’m not sure how much longer I want to work in the pub, I do really love the people there. Sure there is the odd annoying, rude customer but the friendly customers (and hilarious staff) are the ones that make it all worth while!
There are a lot of the regulars that are great to have a chat with but there is one gentleman in particular who is the jolliest man you will ever meet, he loves his ale and always exclaims ‘marvellous’ in his deep voice when you hand him his pint. He actually knows about ‘The Penguin Theory’ and follows my facebook page ‘liking’ most of my statuses on there.
He always asks how the sewing is going and has recently started telling me that ‘This is the year penguins will fly’.
I absolutely love this phrase and have now changed my blogs tag line to this because this IS the year the penguin theory will get off the ground and start flapping it’s wings! It’s just so perfectly fitting that I had to steal it (although he has stated that there’s ‘no need to steal for your blog, you have a gift’).
It’s people like this that really keep me motivated. The fact that so many seem to believe I can do it (and not just people from work, friends and family too and of course my boyfriend is a HUGE help) is really a big confidence booster. Without everyone’s support I would have probably given up by now, but the hard work is paying off and sales are being made. I am really starting to believe in myself now and, as long as I keep up the hard work, I know I can make something of myself.
So heres to you Michael! When I’m rich and the penguins are soaring, I will buy you a drink!
I’m going to be running a competition in the next week but am having trouble deciding on the prize to give away.
The choices are a funky Tie or a cute Tote Bag but I can’t decide which!
Maybe I should give the winner a choice of either one? (I will be making both eventually anyway)
Please help me decide which by either commenting on here or choosing an answer on this poll on my facebook!
And of course don’t forget to follow my facebook, twitter and blog for the actual competition 😉
‘Till next time!
So apparently I have reached 100 posts on this blog (this is #101).
I’ve decided this means it’s time to do something drastic and so i’m thinking seriously about an Idea I’ve had for a while.
Did you know that there are 18 species of penguin in the world. 13 have declining populations, and 5 of them are considered endangered.
I love animals, when I was younger I wanted to be the next David Attenborough (actually I still do!) and so when ever I’ve heard about an endangered species I’ve wanted to help in some way. There are so many beautiful and amazing creatures out there and some of them are close to disappearing forever just like so many unfortunate, forgotten species before them.
I’ve always wanted to Donate to charity and have always vowed to if I made enough money. This isn’t a reality right now as I can barely afford rent as it is, so I’ve been thinking of a way to use The Penguin Theory to help others.
I particularly want to help wildlife charities (as nature is a big big love of mine) and charities that help poorer communities or disabilities to hopefully help someone else realise their dream (after all that is what The Penguin Theory is about)
I still have a lot of planning to go with this idea as that is all it is at the moment, an idea.
So stay tuned for the New Year when I will hopefully be telling you all about my plans and making them a reality!
‘Till next time!