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XXL Books “The Monster Photo Directory”

I suppose it does not matter what you do if you are self employed for a living we all get approached to advertise in something or other.
If you are a commercial Photographer it seems to be calls or emails about placing adverts on photographic web portals or in some promotional book that is being distributed to every creative and his dog.
Don’t get me wrong I’ve done my fair share of promoting in a few of these publications over the years and some are well respected and are actually used by the Designers and Ad Agency creatives who receive them.
I’m pretty picky about where I spend my advertising budget and generally stick to direct marketing these days and give little time to looking at paid space in books. However a few weeks ago I received a call from a very nice Dutch fellow called Eric Kievit who chatted to me about a monster sized 50x70cm photography book his company XXL Books produced.
I have several Dutch friends whom I have met while visiting Turkey where we have a holiday home and so  had an enjoyable chat about many things Dutch including Football and how some of my favorite photographers all seem to be either Dutch or German.
Despite my doubts over advertising in this impressive sounding publication this year Eric kindly said he’d send me a copy (all 10kg of it !) in the post of their Dutch Photography edition so that I could experience & enjoy the stunning photography.
True to his word the book turned up a few days ago and it really is an impressive publication not only in size and weight but also in the quality of the reproductions.
I look forward to seeing the U.K version and maybe submitting my own work at some point in the future.

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Completing The Book

Today after  6 months hard work I finally completed and assembled my new Book (or Portfolio if you prefer).
I say completed but your book never is completed as most photographers like myself are always creating new work and over time your style does shift somewhat too.
The work consists of Life,location & Automotive which should be no surprise as that is what I specialise in.
The last few years have been mostly spent shooting Automotive and Landscape images so last May while away in Turkey I decided I wanted to shoot more People/Life images.

So after many months shooting,editing,printing,re editing and re printing the Book is finally finished today…well for now at least !

Here are a few snaps of the Book being assembled today.

The Glicee prints needed scoring so they will turn in the Book and holes need punching so that they will slip into the brass retaining posts.

The final result looks fantastic and much better than having plastic sleeves although you have to watch creatives with grubby fingers !

 

 

South Drain

This is a location I have photographed many times over the years South Drain Nr Burtle on the Somerset Levels.
The view up the river is halted by the iconic Glastonbury Tor (too small to view in this image) rising above the Somerset Levels.On this occasion I was simply enjoying a weekly drive across the levels with my dear old mum.I often take her here as it’s not only a favorite spot for her too but a great place to show my youngest daughter the many Swans and Dragonfly’s that occupy that stretch of river.
On this occasion I saw something I’ve never seen before and that was The National Rivers Authority (or someone) cutting the reeds on the riverbank.I’m not sure what this machine was but it seemed to be collecting any cuttings that where floating on the water.It was very graceful and had Tank like tracks which meant it simply drove up the side of the riverbank when it had finished.
Here is an image from my trusty iPhone to record the scene.

 

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Photography Location “Preparation” for successful Landscape Photography

 

Photography Location “Preparation” for successful Landscape Photography

I don’t normally post any kind of tutorials here they are normally posted on my Digital Photography site but I’ve been asked a couple of times how I approach some of the work in my Travel Photography Portfolio so thought I’d add a short post here.
A Photography Location is not always the easiest of subjects to capture unless you do a little bit of pre-planning.

That’s not to say I don’t sometimes just stumble across a well-lit scene or just head out and explore an area without any planning because sometimes I do.
However, a professional vacation photographer will almost always do some scouting before shooting.

Weather can be unpredictable especially in the U.K where it changes very quickly and of course, we can’t be prepared for that!

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Rotterdam Traffic On A Misty Morning

I’ll often research the area via good old Google and Google Earth to get ideas of the locations terrain and possible shooting angles.

I’ll also phone local tourist offices who can often be invaluable in recommending good vantage points or even specific times of the year they believe are best to visit although they are rarely photographers themselves and their idea for a chocolate box image/vantage point will rarely be yours!

Looking at books or local postcards can also help show the more popular spots and this can be a good starting point but I’ll always search out a new angle where I can and try to make the image my own.
If you are out scouting locations consider using a compass or better still a smartphone app like Focalware.
I use Focalware on my iPhone and it tells you the sun/moon angle during various times of the year which can be extremely handy especially in hilly areas where parts of your scene could fall into shade.

Another way to find out what time the sun rises and sets for the chance to create some creative travel photography is a site like Time & Date and of course, check the weather forecast while you are online too!
Even after viewing forecasts the weather can be unpredictable so be prepared to have to wait around for the light so perhaps pack a good book or a laptop to entertain yourself.

Travel and landscape photography can mean early starts or a late finish so a flask and a snack are other items I never leave home without especially when I’m out shooting at dawn.

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Rowing To Market, Couple Rowing Small Boat In Canal Venice

Stay close to your chosen viewpoint and be prepared (especially if the wind is up and clouds are moving quickly) to grab the unexpected change in the light.
Early morning and dusk can also mean unexpected wildlife too so again be prepared for a few grab shots.
Landscape photography is not the hardest subject technically to capture but sometimes does take a bit of planning to get the best images that the location has to offer.
Be patient and be willing to cut your losses and return another time (if that’s possible) if the light or weather is too poor for the image you want.

 

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