Thank you to everyone who visited and left get well wishes for me after my last post. My migraine finally left after eight days. It was very unpleasant but I’m back to my normal self now. Whatever that is. The real annoyance is that it occurred just as I was getting into my stride with my new ‘cycle-to-fitness-in-front-of-the-TV’ regime. Now I pretty much am back at square one. Never mind, I will force myself back into the saddle tonight.
Other news is that my photography website crashed. I was using Concrete5 and they ran an automatic update that killed my website and everyone else’s that used them. Getting the site back would have required over a days work and as I was due to update my site anyway I decided to start from scratch and use iWeb. If you are a Mac user I can thoroughly recommend it. It’s based on a drag and drop system, is very user friendly (as one has come to expect from Apple), and integrates seamlessly with iPhoto. The site is looking good, even though I do say so myself!
I also went to a photographic convention in London recently which had loads of traders there and I found some great suppliers and chatted to some nice people. I attended a couple of interesting seminars and came away inspired and very tired. I have observed that there are two camps of photographers and both were at the convention: those who are kit obsessed and those that focus on the creative side of things. I find the people who are focused on the photography itself, and creating beautiful images are great to talk to. They tend to see photography as an art form and not a system of rules to be rigidly followed (the rule of thirds and no part of the subject should cut the edge of the frame for example (I break both)). They like to experiment and you can get a good idea of techniques that work from them and that you might be able to apply and adapt. I tend to avoid the camera kit obsessed. They focus on what model you have (they often look down on mine as it is not top of the range) and can reel off specifications like they would the alphabet. They always have the best kit and swan around adorned with branded kit and opinions. I am rarely inspired by their photography.
I once talked to a well established and respected pro photographer who told me: If you have (say) £1000 to spend on gear then spend one third on the camera and two thirds on the lens. A camera is simply a tool (albeit an extremely intelligent one) to capture what you tell it to, it’s the lens that creates the image quality and the photographer that creates a great piece of art. Which reminds me of one of my biggest niggles: I am often told “That’s a great photo – you must have a really good camera”. It always feels like being given a compliment and then having the rug pulled out from under you as if they are saying, it’s the camera that takes the picture and you just operate it. I have a good camera, this is true, but it is not top of the line. If I gave my camera to my mother she would still cut people off at the knees and there would still be times when the photo was over or under exposed, even if used in the fully automatic mode. I often wonder if such people, on seeing a wonderfully intricately carved wooden table, would comment to the carpenter ‘That’s a really beautiful table, you must have a really good chisel’?