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Community photography


Contributing to history #photography

I actually took some photos at the weekend! Our conservation zone in Wednesbury has been awarded nearly 2 million pounds for improvements so I wandered around the conservation zone taking some photos. I’m contributing to history by visually recording the changes. The History of Wednesbury (on Facebook) will contribute to an art project too and this morning I’ve sent historic photos for Heritage England to use.

contributing to history

Curation and editing #photography

Besides taking photographs I also curate old photos for the History of Wednesbury. Curation and editing are also part of the process of creating a good photo. I edit my photos to adjust exposure and other attributes of the image. I don’t Photoshop my images to some preferred standard. If the image is a little grey because of the light then that adds a certain quality to the image. I do however set the white balance in a grey light.

curation and editing


The important things in life. #life

The pandemic has made many people ask questions about the important things in life. Elderly people are most at risk and many have been missing their grandchildren. Many things, such as going to social events, have been suspended. Those social events seem less important now.

important things


Creating a narrative #photography #art

You can create a narrative using a series of photos or even a number of photos in a multi-picture. Often a narrative is about a person, the protagonist in your story. If you add words to your images then that makes the narrative more real. You can create a powerful narrative with just one image and a few words. The pictures of recent demonstrations create their narratives which are often sympathetic to the demonstrators or sometimes sympathetic to the police trying to keep order. There doesn’t need to be people in the image to create a narrative, powerful images of decay or of industrial buildings create their own narrative.

creating a narrative


Composing your image #photography

The first thing to learn about photography is composition. Most people begin with a bridge camera or even a pocket camera and work their way up to a DSLR of a  compact system camera. Some photographers follow ‘rules’. They will put their subject 1/3 of the way across the frame because that is the rule of thirds. It is important to understand the rule, however. Artists put their subject one-third of the way across the frame so the subject doesn’t dominate the image and the viewer appreciates the background too. It isn’t a ‘rule’, however. Sometimes, we want the subject to dominate the image, especially for a portrait. You can choose when you’re composing your image.

Composing your image


Telling stories with art #art #photography

All artworks tell a story and when you’re creating an artwork, regardless of your genre, you need to be aware of the story. When I was trying to tell the story of Dick Turpin visiting a local pub. I decided to use a picture to illustrate the story. Of course, no photographs exist and so I looked for a picture taken from a painting. My photographs tell stories. I’m telling stories with art.

telling stories with art


Week four of the pandemic lockdown #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I’ll share my thoughts with you. I’m on the 4th week of this pandemic lockdown. I’ve been taking photographs each day to document my isolation. I think images capture the memories far better than just words but I have used a few words to title the images.

pandemic lockdown


Only time will tell #photography

The stock market took a bit of a battering yesterday, will it recover? We can’t be sure, only time will tell. The reason for the jitters was the coronavirus sweeping China and a few other countries. It is difficult to say how the value of art will go in the future too. I read about an economist who bought a Picasso in the early days of that artist’s experiments in expressionism. The painting is worth a fortune these days.

only time will tell


Photography in winter #photography #art

Photography in winter is difficult because we have a lot less light. There are events to photograph and I’ve seen that some photographers have been trying to get good shots of the full moon. There is a super moon on the 9th of March which you might see as a challenge to photograph. I might take my 28 – 300mm lens off my Nikon D750 and put it on my D3200 with the cropped sensor to get a focal length of 450mm. That should get me a better shot. My tip for a good moon shot is to steady the camera on something and correct the slight blur you’re almost certain to get by sharpening the picture in your editor.

Photography in winter


How to be a photographer #photography #art

I taught myself photography but I would advise any young person who wants to be a photographer to do a course at a college. If only to learn Photoshop! Learning how to compose photographs, all the camera settings and understanding light can be difficult to learn. For older people, buying a camera and teaching yourself can be a challenge and make life interesting. You also attain a new awareness of your surroundings if you take up landscape photography. How to be a photographer? The first step is to decide you want to be one!

How to be a photographer


Low light with fast shutter speeds #photography

When you’re shooting in low light, your shutter speeds can be a little slow. I shoot a lot on aperture priority and when you’re shooting a landscape and there isn’t enough light for the right exposure the camera will slow the shutter speed. That is unless you have your ISO on auto, which I don’t. On Sunday, I was shooting in poor light as the sun was starting to set and it was misty. The conditions were good for some atmospheric shots. I decided to shoot on manual and watch the exposure meter. My first shots were partly into the sun. I moved around until the sun was behind a tree but even though my scene then looked quite dark there was quite a lot of light hitting the lens.

low light with fast shutter speeds


What use is art anyway? #photography #media #art

Sometimes people ask, what is the use of art anyway? Media studies has also provoked some less than charitable remarks. Art is all around us and gives us our advertising, television and movies. I also include music when I think about art. What would we do without music?

what is the use of art anyway


Everyone can be an artist now#art #photography

It’s is Sunday morning and so once again I’ll share my thoughts with you. At the beginning of this week I started doing the 64 Million artists daily challenges. Today I had to take a photograph and make something look big. I decided to use Eddy the Elf again and use the photograph for an environmental message. It wasn’t difficult, everyone can be an artist now.

everyone can be an artist


Developing artistic practice #art #photography

Whatever type of art you practice, you have to develop your skills and your style. I’m still developing a photographic style and I know one thing is certain. I won’t be copying anyone else’s style. If you Google fine art photography you’ll see that all the images are in the same style. There are a few things driving my distinctive style. Firstly, I don’t go outside the Black Country and I’m confined to a relatively small area. The camera also helps define my style and so too does the lens. The 28 – 300mm lens allows me to zoom in and take candid shots and get quite unusual shots from some distance away. It also allows me to photograph signs and the features of buildings. I hope these restrictions will drive my style and it will become more distinctive. When you’re developing your artistic style, you need to allow it to develop naturally. Developing artistic practice is about letting things happen rather than making things happen.

Developing artistic


The four seasons #ramble #photography

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I’ll share my thoughts with you. My arthritis flares up and then subsides when I take an anti-inflammatory. I got stuck in traffic on Wednesday trying to get to the food bank to make a donation and it happened again on Wednesday. On neither occasion was my engine warm in the car so the heater was cold. That triggered the arthritis. It is only Autumn now, what will I be like when winter comes? Out of the four seasons I don’t really have a favourite. I like the spring, I try to take snow pictures in winter, I like the autumn colours and of course the warmth of summer is good for my arthritis and other problems.  Whatever the weather we just have to get on with it…

four seasons


Creating art with a camera #photography

The 64 Million artists weekly challenge this week was about 10 things around us or about us that were good. You can look and see all sorts of interesting things and I decided to photograph what I saw and create a collage. I share my creation with the 64 Million artists group on Facebook. So yes, I am creating something to share with other people. That is what art is about, sharing your creations. Using a camera is much quicker than traditional artist methods, of course. It can even be very quick if I turn on the Wi-Fi and send pictures to my phone where they can be instantly uploaded to social media. Creating art with a camera is something anyone can do quickly and easily.

creating art with your camera


My own exhibition #art #64millionArtists

The challenge  from 64 Million Artists this week is My Own Exhibition. I set the challenge this week! The challenge is to create your own exhibition using sculpture, photographs, drawings, paintings and poems that you have created. I’m going to create my exhibition right here on my blog. If you would like to join in the weekly challenges you can at Do, think, share. I need a good picture for the centre-piece of my exhibition:

My own exhibition


Is art an antidote to conflict? #life

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I’ll share my thoughts with you. What’s on my mind this week? As always photography, but I’ll be lucky to shoot any pictures today, it’s a bit wet out  there! I have ordered more printing and my next two art cards will be of the Fountain in Tipton and the Red Lion in Darlaston. Maybe they will start selling them in the libraries for me again. If I can only recover my printing costs I’ll keep on doing them. Maybe I’ll do some for West Bromwich next?



Rethinking the way we live #art

I took a few photographs in the library yesterday afternoon where there was an afternoon tea event with Billy Spakemon of Black Country radio fame. Obviously, it was older people who bought tickets and they enjoyed tea and cake and some live music and all for a pound. I’m sure they enjoyed conversation too. It is an afternoon out and something to dress up for. Such events help to combat loneliness and is good for people’s mental health. Do we need to start rethinking the way we live so we can enjoy simple pleasures like afternoon tea more?

rethinking the way we live


A lifetime of collecting treasures #art

I don’t own a Picasso or a Rembrandt but I have spent my life collecting things and sometimes wonder if anyone will keep my collectibles after I’m gone. I won’t live forever and I wouldn’t want to.  I’ve collected coins, postcards, pictures, books and other odd things. I’ve been collecting treasures for over sixty years so I have a few interesting things.

collecting treasures


There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about – Oscar Wilde

“It is silly of you, for there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” is a quote from A Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. The quote refers to the upper classes who need an admiring audience. However, we mere mortals are also talked about if we get involved in the community in some way. The question is, do people say good things about us or bad things? Last year, quite a few bad things were said about me, things have improved since then. I care less what people think now anyway, so it doesn’t much matter what they say!

Oscar Wilde


When art meets history #photography #art #history

Besides being the admin of the History of Wednesbury page on Facebook I also do community photography and photograph local events. Besides promoting our history, I record it as it happens. It is, of course, a pictorial history of old photographs and I take photographs to add to the timeline. Art meets history in the production of new images.

art meets history


Creating an art card #photography

There is a lot to be considered when you are creating an art card. You don’t want to lose money on them but you probably won’t make much money either unless you have a selection to sell. My art cards have been sold in the local library and I’m waiting to hear if they intend to continue selling them. I need to have 1,000 of each card printed to get a bulk price low enough to make it worthwhile.

creating an art card


Practising your art #photography #art

I’ve been thinking a lot about how artists actually practice their art just lately. In particular, how the photographers in the Blast Festival of photography practice their art. Most of the photographers are more articulate than me and communicate verbally with the people they take photos of which helps to create a more relaxed image. I find photographing people quite awkward and I prefer candid photos of people or photographing something quite different. I’m really into photographing interesting buildings now and creating my art cards.


Practising your art


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