Lightroom 5 for Beginners – one place

The featured picture is “Gullfoss Waterfall – Iceland 2011” post-processed entirely in Lightroom. Lightroom is a great tool for organising and processing your digital pictures, but if it’s new to you then it can appear a little overwhelming. My new one day Lightroom 5 beginners course – “how to master Lightroom from the ground up” will be just the ticket for you. Aimed at those who are new to Lightroom or just getting to grips with it, this one day courseRead more

Avon Valley Salon is open for entries

The new Avon Valley Salon of Photography is open for entries. This is the FIRST salon to have an international Triptych Section – your previous acceptances can be entered again as part of a triptych panel and receive a new acceptance for the panel. Why not have a go if you have not entered a salon before? The featured picture is from the penultimate shoot with Canon gear in Painswick Churchyard in Gloucestershire. I had forgotten I had takenRead more

My camera doesn’t understand me

Your camera does not know or understand you, what you want to say photographically, how you see, what you feel and think – it has NO visual and emotional intelligence. Sorry to say that it does not even love you. All it does is record the brightness of the light reflected on to the sensor. So perhaps some thought might be given to controlling the light recording box to enable an end result that is visually interesting and communicates withRead more

Henley Royal Regatta

A punter at the Henley Royal Regatta reading the Evening Standard 1987. This shot was probably part of my LRPS panel. It was specifically selected as it met the criteria about understanding light. I used to use this print in a talk entitled “just Me” years ago. I made comments in the talk about the expensive cars such as Mercs and Jags at the event and how gallons of Pimms was drunk. A big hello to all the new followersRead more

Old darkroom prints 3 – Mike Eustace LRPS

I first met Mike Eustace on a black and white photography evening class at Brunel Tech College as it was then in the late 1980’s. The course was run by a very well known full time photography lecturer called Brian Tuff. The aim of the course was to get to a standard to allow you to apply for an LRPS without total grace at the first hurdle! In the days before auto focus cameras I distinctly remember Mike saying toRead more

Bill Brandt Homage

I offer my clients continuing email support for queries they may have arising out of the workshops, courses or one to one tuition I give. A client recently asked me about selecting in Lightroom, here is my response. Masking with the Lightroom Adjustment Brush As you will probably know Lightroom is not traditionally very good at making selections. Here is a tip I would use before export the file in Photoshop to make a selection. Why not try the AdjustmentRead more

Mud in a low minor key

This shot taken in Bristol of the Avon Gorge is very moody and relies on low contrast to provide the atmosphere. It is in complete contrast to the shot taken in Salford Quays and posted a few days ago, that relied heavily on high contrast. This type of picture is said to be in a low minor key, it is not about brilliance of tone, as it’s about mood and atmosphere that is best described with subtle dark low contrast.Read more

Borrow somebody else’s brains and ideas.

It is always good to look at an old location with new eyes. Or even better through somebody else’s eyes. Yesterday I went out with another blogger from WordPress called Adrian at FATman photos as he only lives a few miles from me in South Bristol. We spent a few hours wandering around Stanton Drew in the Chew Valley a location I’ve been to once 10 years ago to photograph the stone circle but didn’t see much photographic potential. AdrianRead more

When Composing – use it or lose it

Have you thought about how much or how little you need in a picture to communicate effectively with the viewer? One of the key jobs a photographer has to do is decide what is included and what is left out of a picture. For a picture to work effectively all the included elements must work together to give a coherent message. That might sound patronising obvious, but we only see what is important to us as beginners unless we trainRead more

10 reasons to create a photo blog

I was asked a few month ago by a friend why I started my blog? Here are the 10 benefits I jotted down at the time of the question. Leave a comment if you can add to the list of benefits. A global outlet for the sharing of pictures and photographic experience – my current work is seen in over ninety countries with over 1000 views on average per month. The opportunity to try out new ideas on the blogosphereRead more

“The simple secret of becoming a first class photographer”

An update on the “Lightroom for black and white photographers” seminar I ran last Saturday which  I am pleased to say was fully booked. The ten delegates had a great time and went away with a lot more “how to” in lightroom than they had before they came from such great distances to join the group. The next seminar I am doing at Calumet Photographic in Bristol is called “The simple secret of becoming a first class photographer” on theRead more

Black and White Photo Seminar

I am pleased the one day  “Lightroom for black and white photographers” seminar I am running on 11th May in Bristol with Calumet Photo Stores will be mentioned in the news sections of Black and White Magazine and the RPS Journal.I will also try to advertise the seminar in Amateur Photographer magazine nearer the date. Come and learn the simple but powerful black and white photography workflow that has allowed me to know the simple secret of how to becomeRead more

Famous in Paignton

Please look at the picture full-size against a grey background. Here is an odd picture I took in Paignton while I was down there giving a talk recently. This was taken in the half-light at around 4 PM of bill boards around the theatre area down in the Marina.Taken with the favourite 20 mm lens at the usual f1 .8, even then the exposure was only a 30th of a second. The area this is now solid black in theRead more

Photography is not about photography

Please look at the picture full size against a grey background. If you had the choice to invite any living or dead photographer to be in a group with you, who would you invite? I would love to spend quality time with Gene Smith, Sebastiao Salgado, Andre Kertesz, Paul Strand, Robert Frank, Margaret Bourke White, Brassai, Martin Munkacsi, Elliott Erwitt, Alfred Esenstaedt and Bill Brandt. Who would you invite to be in your dream team? Why do I ask –Read more


Please look at the picture full size against a grey background. Just a rainy afternoon last week in Teignmouth on the English Riviera. I went down there to do a talk. After sitting in the car for an hour waiting for the rain to go off I made a dash for a cafe to have an English cream tea (Scones with cream and Strawberry jam for our American readers). While I was drying off in the Cafe the sun cameRead more

Big Pit Tubes

Please look at the Picture full size against a grey background. Not much to say really, just a wide-angle snap of tubes taken at the Big Pit Museum on a sunny day. Spookily enough not an infra-red picture. A big hello to all the new followers of my little blog. more

After Mr WE Smith

Please look at the picture full size on a grey background. I just love this type of moody industrial shot. It very much reminds me of one of my absolute photographic hero’s W Eugene Smith’s work about the steelworks in Pittsburgh. See Smith’s utterly fantastic book Dream Street W Eugene Smith’s Pittsburgh Project on for $250, I’m glad my copy didn’t cost that. A word about this picture taken in Iceland – the Keflavic Steam Plant. The camera wasRead more

Rally round the flag boys

Please look at the picture full size against a grey background. I was doing my usual trawl through various posts looking for examples of good B&W photography to comment on and I came across a picture of a flag and was instantly reminded of this IR shot taken about six months ago. See Marks picture of the Aussie flag at This picture is named after a very old Ry Cooder song called “Rally round the flag boys”. Being anRead more

Walkers with dominance, balance and …

Please look at the picture full size on a grey background. An early evening stroll in Biarritz, south-west France. Infrared Capture with usual wide-angle lens. I did do a crop with the guy on the left, left out (below) but in the end felt that he needed to be there for balance and tension. As I have said before for me, pictures work best when there are elements of dominance, balance and tension. Tension can be provided when the eyeRead more

The Birds

Please look at the picture full size. It’s said if you are embarking on a long-term or difficult project (especially where photographic distinctions are involved) it is wise to choose a subject that is not on another continent, is easily and cheaply available to re-photograph as the work develops. I have lived in my current house since 1985, an unknown neighbour of mine has a Pigeon Loft. He exercises the birds everyday at around 5.10pm in the summer. I mustRead more

The Golden Road – Harris

Please look at the picture full size. This picture was taken about twenty minutes before the post entitled “Rolling Hills – Harris”. At the time I took a series of eleven shots of these four lads with a 400mm lens as they walked in to the distance. It has similar design principles to Rolling Hills – Harris, with the white line of the road marking at the bottom of the picture and strong dynamic diagonal composition from left to right.Read more

Black and White is not just taking the colour out

Another picture series taken at the Big Pit Museum in South Wales. I want to show the process to taking a colour file to a contrast B&W print. Apologies for the poor layout of this post I have found it impossible to get the browser to allow me to align text with the correct picture with space between. If you can tell me how after 6 attempts please do. So here is the colour raw file straight out the cameraRead more