photography.   the more you know.
Pronto prints. The internet makes things pretty fast these days, but this morning the excellent PhotoBox surpassed even their own usually speedy service. I put in my order for 55 prints at 12.23, get a confirmation email a minute later, and a mere 27 minutes later I get another email saying my order has been dispatched first class. Not bad, huh?
29 Oct, 2005 | photography | permalink | (0)

Photos from my recent trip to Sao Paulo.
01 Sep, 2005 | photography | permalink | (0)

Pixels or grains.
So the news that Dixons are going to stop selling film-based cameras has sparked off some interesting discussions around digital vs film photography on the Guardian's news blog. The points that stood out for me, in no particular order:

* Quality. Quite a lot of disagreement here. Some people are adamant that, resolution-wise, digital can match any positive or negative film. Others disagree. I'd still say slide film, for me, has the greatest depth, resolution and colour saturation that I've seen, but I've never played around with a super high-end digital camera. Interestingly, one person commented that nothing he'd seen in digital could yet match the dynamic tone range of old B&W films. But for most of us, does this level of quality matter? (See also final point).

* Immediacy. The undisputed killer factor for digital photography, whether it's viewing photos ("here's what you looked like 5 seconds ago"), editing them, using them, or sending them around the world.

* Lack of romance? There's no black art in digital photography said one person. The black art remains in knowing how to manipulate photos properly in Photoshop said another. Elements of truth in both statements, I think, but if the black art has acted as a barrier to people being photographers, then a move to digital can only be a good thing. And achieving truly outstanding results will always be an art form, whatever media you're using.

* Slowing down. A comment I particularly liked from one person saying he took better pictures with film cameras. Not because the quality of the film, but more because using a manual camera made him slow down and think about what he was doing. Conversely though, the person clutching a digital camera and firing off 20-30 shots might just get an equally good picture - and enjoy themselves just as much in the process.

* Disposables. Nothing digital has replaced the practicality of a throw-away film camera... yet.

* Soul. The beauty of film lies in its imperfections. Digital is flat and soulless. Yes, perhaps if you just consider the raw materials, but having seen enough great digital photography, I'd say the soul comes from the photo taker and manipulator rather than the tools or materials they use. (See also next point).

* The end product. And, really, the obvious, but all-too-easily forgotten fact, is that all cameras, digital or film-based, are simply tools. It's the end product that matters... the audience couldn't care less what it was shot on. For me, this says it all.
15 Aug, 2005 | photography | permalink | (1)

Sonar 2005.
Just back...
20 Jun, 2005 | photography | permalink | (0)

AutoStitch. Free panorama-making tool (PC only) that has come out of two years' research at the University of British Columbia. It does a better job of accurately stitching photos together than any other similar piece of software i've tried, but the end results are a little blurred and, more frustratingly, no amount of fiddling around in the settings will let me join more than four photos together in a row. hmmph. (via lifehacker)
07 May, 2005 | photography | permalink | (0)

Memories of the 'Dam.
A few things have finally encouraged me to get the photos I took in Amsterdam while I was living there in 2002 online: firstly, it's almost exactly three years to the day that I left (after having spent two and a half very happy months working there); secondly, I've just been back visiting friends there this weekend; and, thirdly, I've been dying to put Felix Tuner's stunning SimpleViewer (and redSPLASH's handy SimpleViewerAdmin tool) to good use. Here's the finished product.
10 Apr, 2005 | photography | permalink | (2)

Strange land.
Raw, personal B&W photos of london from 19-year old Angolan refugee Tatiana Correia, who I had the pleasure of meeting today.
02 Mar, 2005 | photography | permalink | (0)

Riding high. Exhilarating on-the-snowboard camera footage from my adrenaline loving friend Patrick in switzerland.
28 Feb, 2005 | photography | permalink | (0)

Powershooting. As the owner of a meagre Ixus 400, Canon's recently announced Ixus 700 (7Mp resolution, 2" LCD, VGA video, USB 2.0, uninterrupted 2.0 frame per second shooting, and shutter speed control) looks very, very attractive.
24 Feb, 2005 | photography | permalink | (0)

Understanding raw files. Useful primer on the raw digital photo format. (Thanks Ben)
13 Feb, 2005 | photography | permalink | (0)

Walking the circle line.
I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about what an amazing place the Barbican is to take photos, and whaddyaknow, I come across these tonight: stunning black & white pinhole long exposure shots of this bleak yet strangely beautiful warren of passageways and towerblocks. (photo reproduced with permission from R. Gardiner)
08 Feb, 2005 | photography | permalink | (0)

Lomokev. Rich Lomo photography (+ beautiful montage) from brighton-based Kevin Meredith. More of his shots here at Flickr. (via flickr blog)
01 Feb, 2005 | photography | permalink | (0)

A different light. I'm not well up on photographer Rankin's celeb work (apparently he's snapped everyone from Kylie to Tony Blair), but I did go and see his take on Australia at the Proud Gallery today. His big, brash style - lots of extreme close-ups, lots of flash against a darkened sky and lots of taking directly into the sun - works well for a country that shares some of the same characteristics, but the collection felt too small to be coherent or to truly capture the diversity of this enormous land.
29 Jan, 2005 | photography | permalink | (0)

Back in God's own country.
Photos from my latest trip to India.
24 Jan, 2005 | photography | permalink | (0)

Just back from two and a half days in Berlin. Photos here.
20 Sep, 2004 | photography | permalink | (0)

The struggle to survive.
More revealing and moving photography from PhotoVoice, working with orphans in Cambodia.
15 Jun, 2004 | photography | permalink | (0)

Slide magic.
Couldn't resist this slide display unit when I saw it in a shop in Spitalfields Market. It's beautifully made, can hang vertically or horizontally, and means that finally some of my 1,000+ slides get to see the light of day. Big up for product design outfit Suck UK.
07 Jun, 2004 | photography | permalink | (0)

Canon S410 vs S500. Good comparative review of the two Canon models that have superceded my S400. The S500 scores well for its 5MP resolution and VGA movies, but less well for its additional noise at high ISO settings; and aside from the addition of a Print/Share button, there's no difference between the new S410 and the older S400. But they're still, as the reviewer notes, both outstanding cameras.
03 Apr, 2004 | photography | permalink | (0)

Photographing the world.
The World Press Photo Awards make captivating viewing as ever. Particularly like this picture of an Indian bureaucrat by Jan Banning, winner of first prize in the "Portraits Stories" category.
14 Feb, 2004 | photography | permalink | (0)

Picture prep. Logical and well explained 10 essential steps to follow when manipulating digital photos on your PC.
11 Nov, 2003 | photography | permalink | (0)

The Toots.
More lo-fi stop-motions, this time from a wicked night watching my mate Dudley's band at Cargo.
10 Nov, 2003 | photography | permalink | (0)

China's fast track. 24-year-old photographer Tony Law won a Fulbright grant to document the modernization of China. These are some of his photos.
26 Oct, 2003 | photography | permalink | (0)

Lift them up.
Lo-fi stop-motion fun from my bro's "Lift Them Up" party at Plastic People last night.
20 Oct, 2003 | photography | permalink | (0)

Happy victims. Kyoichi Tsuzuki's exhibition at the Photographer's Gallery is going to stick in my mind for a long time. His photos of Japanese urbanites at home surrounded by their clothes collections capture both the claustrophobia of japan and its often obsessive, materialistic psyche, while the anynomity of the owner only reinforces their loss of identity. Superb.
19 Oct, 2003 | photography | permalink | (0)

Dark streets. German photographer Mark-Steffen Goewecke's dark, detailed London paranomas leave the viewer strangely both engaged and disengaged, while the black and white colours seem to perfectly capture the brooding, melancholic, often impersonal nature of the city.
19 Oct, 2003 | photography | permalink | (0)

Iraqi photojournal.
Candid and fascinating glimpse from the BBC into the life of Hiba al-Soudani, a 22-year-old trainee radio producer living in Baghdad. Interesting how she describes the UPS (uninterrupted power system), which stops software being ruined by power cuts, as the most important item of computer kit in Iraq.
14 Oct, 2003 | photography | permalink | (0)

Derek Shapton. Nice site, beautiful photography. (via Conscientious)
10 Oct, 2003 | photography | permalink | (0)

Two useful bits. from the excellent 1. a review of the recently released Adobe Photoshop CS (v8) and 2. details of the latest Canon firmware update (relevant for most of their digital cameras, including my Ixus 400), which adds support for direct-to-printer printing (aka PictBridge).
06 Oct, 2003 | photography | permalink | (0)

Double take. Two different but equally interesting web photography projects: 1. Phineas Jones's David Hockney inspired photo collages; 2. David Crawford's fascinating stop motion study of body language on the london underground. (both via Web Zen)
04 Oct, 2003 | photography | permalink | (0)

Life moments. A selection from the 100 Photographs That Changed the World.
01 Oct, 2003 | photography | permalink | (0)

Spinning around. Nice set of panoramas taken in some of japan's most famous places.
02 Sep, 2003 | photography | permalink | (0)

Summer of love. In early 2001, IBM commissioned artist-photographer jamie robinson to create the photographic narrative for an international advertising campaign entitled PEACE, LOVE, LINUX. Though Jamie was flown around the world’s alternative production hubs to document the lives, loves and work of the Linux community, for reasons known only to those at the top of big blue, the campaign was never run. Metamute presents a small selection of the photographs he took.
29 Aug, 2003 | photography | permalink | (0)

Hodge Award. More impressed by the runners-up of this year's Hodge Award (the Observer's competition for the most talented young photographers), than the winner, but maybe looking at the photos on the small screen is not giving them a fair viewing.
24 Aug, 2003 | photography | permalink | (0)

So, now i finally understand. how the "Unsharp mask" function in Photoshop works. Thank you Ben.
11 Aug, 2003 | photography | permalink | (0)

Simple is beautiful. Lisa young, photographer.
30 Jul, 2003 | photography | permalink | (0)

London dreamers. Hard-hitting, sometimes eery photographic reminder of london's homelessness problem.
27 Jul, 2003 | photography | permalink | (0)

Sonar 2003.
Just back from my second year at Europe's biggest electronic music festival. Selected photos here.
16 Jun, 2003 | photography | permalink | (0)

London in a day.
Some interesting (and some not so interesting) photos in this BBC photography competition which was all based around taking photographs on one autumn day last year. Niamh McLaughlin's (gallery 1), Sam Maynard's (gallery 2), Daniel Jon's (gallery 3), and Pablo Alcantara's (gallery 5) are my favourites.
06 May, 2003 | photography | permalink | (0)

Grey expectations. This is what photo blogs should be all about: letting the photographs speak for themselves, nothing else.
17 Apr, 2003 | photography | permalink | (0)

Iraq poster exhibition. Great set of poster-format expressions about the war. These are my favourites.
08 Apr, 2003 | photography | permalink | (0)

Online musings of Richard Alderson: aspiring social entrepreneur, writer, photography-lover and closet geek.


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