You're probably thinking I've run off and forgotten all about you....well I have run off to live in France and all my time, well nearly all my time is spent knocking this old farmhouse into the 21st century...don't get me wrong, I'm taking lots of photos just really have no time to sit down and tell you or even show you what I'm doing. My photography time is taken up loading images onto my Getty accounts, it's slow...it's painful but already I have some positive results from increasing my exposure with them...I'm up to images from 2012 so a lot more to put through the upload/keyword cross your fingers stages... but that sucks all the time out of my free space..and then there have been all the visitors...should be finished with all the folks coming across by the end of September so that'll also free up some time. Big plans for lots of Photoshop videos on here as well for the upcoming murky months of Autumn and also have , in my head anyway, outline plans of the sort of images I want to do from now on...there will still be marmite based malarkey but maybe a lot of straight shooting as well... until the next time mon amis, I will kiss you on both cheeks and get back to the millstone... oh one last thing thanks for the emails and stuff but I won't be running a Photowalk this year
Those nimble brained amongst you, well that should be most of you, will have noticed the 'Latest Images', Useful information and Store pages have gone west, never to return... just a bit of tidying up of the place. I have so many images in the can and I'm not doing 'work' stuff like I should be so it may seem that I'm ignoring you, not doing things I'd promised...opps the Polaroid toot....but as I live in this rather wonderful part of France and have had lots of guests/social dos/ trips to the beach/ beaucoup de travail dans la ferme to contend with...well things are a little out of chunter... ..it's only going to get worse...off back to England for a 'Howdy Doody, nice to see you again' session.back over here and then the floodgates of visitors starts....I'll start charging....maybe get some tent's up in the top meadow...hmmmm...anyhow some new ones from Carantec Beach...not the lovliest but some snapping opps to be found.
For the keen eyed you may have had a peruse of yesterdays blog about taking stock and going back somewhere with a clear idea of what you might want to get...photographically. Well back in November when we first came over farm hunting, the place we stayed at said that we should have a look at the local sculpture park...'It's barking mad' they said...so we did and the weather was as gloomy as chufferey and I knew I had to come back and I knew how I wanted to shoot them.... so another new Gallery..Vallee des Saints is now up and online but because of all the light banging about I had to use an ND110 and ND3..yes that's slowing things down by 13 stops..I also experimented and did 4 shots at 30seconds and gave them this treatment in Photoshop..look closely and it's the one that the clouds appear to have developed a six pack. Okay I'll post it...
In other news Getty are letting us contributors keyword our own images...duhhhh..but their system has always worked in the past and I have picked up many tips about how to do keywording the pro way from looking at how they set about keywording my online stuff...buggerpants part of it is I just sent up 60 images yesterday and they probably wont appear for Eons until they get keyworded. So from 20.00 gmt tonight a new Getty portal opens and I for one will have a fist full of keywords ready to go.
At the moment every time I take a trip out around this pretty spectacular French countryside I get '2 Brain syndrome'....one brain is seeing the potential shot, the light the angles, time of day, color, mono...the other is telling me ICM, in camera multi, Infra Red, ND110, time lapse .....you may have it as well...in a way it's quite healthy but I do have to do one thing and that is keep my finger off the trigger, stow that camera in the bag and take a big breath in and amalgamate all this Photographic input into some coherent plan and , as older readers of this flannel may have noted, do some coherent visual story telling... I find that I will better represent subject matter if I go back fo a second visit and that most images taken on a first shoot almost act like a sketchbook, I can look at them and analyse angles, if they would look better at a different time of day let's go a bit further and in my Terenez Bridge post I mentioned I'd go back in the Autumn once the leaves had dropped and that would then open up the Bridge to better views....so you can even bring thinking about the season you'd want to bring in. So revisit places, go when the weather is different, time of day, season, change the focal length of your lens...have a few moments pre-visualising and then go and nail it...
Some in-camera multi shots with a new bit of LR to CC processing I'm working on and there is a new gallery Jeux now on the site
Every now and then when one of my images goes off into the world to become the background to a host of fonts and graphics and emerges blinking and stuttering onto Amazon and the plethora of other European online book sellers sites, I'm informed that my image has been sold. Now then, because of all the forward planning, running things up the flagpole and holding back release until that all important recommendation from Richard and Judy gets buyers wallets loosened well, I never know what the ISBN of the book is, consequently I never get to see the finished item...until now. Now it's always nice to see what happens to pictures once passed on to the cover/graphic designers...so here are a couple of ISBNs of books using my snaps...
Now then most of the image jiggery pokery is mine the top one is a blokey walking his dog on the beach at Southport and the other is my dear old friend the Gormley sculpture, well one of them from 'Another Place' at that Crosby beach on the Mersey. Both heavy with a banjo sized wallop of Photoshop and if I didn't tell you what they were...well, a million miles away from the original RAW image file. And that's one of the reasons why I like Photography and image making...sometimes you never know what it will look like until it's finished.
From this mornings emails...
'We have removed the following content from Redbubble as a result of having received a complaint from Jaguar Land Rover Limited, the claimed owner or licensee of related intellectual property, and in accordance with Redbubble's IP/Publicity Rights Policy: '
Now this is for an image of the bonnet louvres of an E Type and front view of an X type...not current models in Jaguars line up , not photographed at Jaguars HQ or on land owned by Jaguar or a convention organised by Jaguar.....so I sent Jaguar PR an email...
Dear Jaguar, I recieved this email outlining your insistance on the removal of 2 images of older model Jaguar vehicles. Is this a new company policy to trawl the internet in search of images of your cars and then have them removed?? Now on your behalf I have just done a Google search for 'Jaguar Cars' and been given 61,800,000 page results which is probably the tip of the ice-berg if we then start to consider Youtube which has 695,000 videos just for Jaguar Car and then trawl social media, car owner clubs, car dealerships...I reckon there will be a lot of images of Jaguar / Land Rovers out there. Now I can help, for a considerable fee I can act on your behalf and insist all these images be taken down , it may take some time, I have time...let's do this together, I'm not sure what this would do for your Global image but heck..I charge a lot so one of us will be happy and maybe not too pissed off that some Global manufacturing Giant has flexed it's corporate muscle to remove 2 images that at most, were seen by 600 people and that an online image library that I have work on has singularly failed yet again to grow some.... I look forward to your reply
I feel better now
Oh here is a link to one of the images..buy it before it's gone Jaguar
As it is raining here in Brittany i thought it would be a good time to have a bit of trial and experimentation in some of the softeware I've got loaded up in this machine. So first off I have been in Analog Pro FX 2 part of the very usable but maybe not useful package of Nik software from Google. Works in both Lightroom and Photoshop and has the capability of creating custom filter presets and saving them and now I find that I can export them as well...so here are 3 I worked on this morning.
Okay if you are running Nik software then just download to your desktop or downloads file and add them through the imported dialogue box on the Nik Analogue FX Pro 2 interface thingy...may try this with lightroom and Photoshop.... have fun. Okay just tried this and it will put the files straight into your downloads, just have Analogue pro open then add them through the + button on your imported section...
I'm getting my head around how best to use the road system around here now, so many good routes, but which ones to use??? Nipped off to the Crozon penninsula the other day as a break from all the work down on the farm, well it was raining so we thought we'd explore, and as neither of us had been over to Crozon we though we'd toddle off there. So lots of excellent places to get some images from found and then we came across the Terenez Bridge. Supports in the shape of the greek letter Lambda and a crazy curved suspension bridge with access points all over the place. From the banks of the river I'll go back in Autumn once the leaves have dropped, as this will open out the view more. Now the light was a bit grim but that's never a reason not to take a snap so here are a few in camera multi shots from there. Gone for a 16 x 9 crop, 6 in camera exposures, light was so naff they were almost mono anyway so just helped them along in LR 5.5
Getting there now, still working hard on the farmhouse and meadows but now getting a day a week in to get snapping and uploading again. Full strip down and rebuild of the Rotavator planned for this week, Briggs Stratton 3.5HP cadet for those that may feign an interest, I may take some snaps......... Now, I'm really just doing some pretty straight forward image library shoots at the mo, 50mm lens, not trying to do anything other than get my take on all this new material over here in France. I do have plans to produce commercial/retail images but those can wait for those winter months when I'll be spending lots of time in front of this machine. Big problem for me is the amount of dust I'm getting on the camera sensor, I'll be addressing that next year when i go for a complete overhaul of my gear but for the moment I'm hoping that Amazon can get a big box of swabs to me so I can ease off these monster chunks on the sensor. I'd rather be shooting than retouching blobs all over images...meh...come on Dominique...for he is the very local postie here...get those swabs into the post box. Most of the stuff I'm doing is a bit...ehhhh...how shall I say...good record shots!!! , so not much to fire up the creative juices this is a smattering from a pile that have headed off to Getty images this morning, all 50mm full frame in this rather wonderful quality of light that wafts about us in Brittany
Centre Aquatic Morlaix, Architect Marc Mimram
Well not really in the groove at the moment but did have a bit of time to limber up and catch some images on the beach at Locqueric on Brittany's northern coast. Tried some tripod based multi exposures but they were all fed to the recycle bin, one avenue of experimentation that I'll not pursue again. So here is a set of ICM images, just a conversion in LR 5.5, yes 5.5 the numbers keep growing, so here you go with some mono ICM shotrs, ND filter and a lot of sunlight.
There is no point going into the finer details of getting back online, probably best to sum it up in one word...tortuous...and even then I've had to network the house with D-Links because these thick old Granite walls sucked the life out of the wifi... but here we are and here I am in my new all singing office, not a studio but a dedicated area to get creative with some of my RAW images.
Just need to finish the place off by getting some thermal plaster board up amongst the rafters...and I'm done. Just need to find some time to take some images, this place needs a lot of TLC to get it back to being a lovely home rather than a quirky old farmhouse in a big plot of land. So here are a few shots from my top meadow...going to have to hack this back with a brush cutter as I have no access points from any of the lanes still, lots of macro opportunities and the light here is just so clean .
So, off to the northern coast today, might be a chance to take some sea shots..catch you later.
So, this may please a lot of you, last blog post for a while, off to the rural hinterland of France where Pigeons seem to be the only means of getting a message back to Blighty, throwing all my faith into Orange.fr to get a line into the Farmhouse and connect me back up to the WWW or I'll be seeking out some freebie wifi hotspots and chomping down hard on their bandwidth..... so what is there to say, to those who met me...ooops sorry, to those who didn't meet me, you got off lightly and for those of you yet to meet me, well I'd be checking on your diary for alternative arrangments.... lets stay chummy over the t'interweb, my avatar will always be this go getting , curly haired lithe minx, so a chance meeting in the flesh would probably be looked on as something of a great dissapointment, I for one, can't wait to hear me do a French version of a Photoshop video tutorial, c'est magnifique, le photographie est enorme et le singe sur l'arbre... well along those lines, should be good. Tonight I attack the furniture with power tools, those that survive will be hustled onto a big blue van that will (hopefully) rendezvous with us on the other side of the Channel.
Time has run out on all the photographic project work I wanted to get through,,,so my Manchester Mono essay will be finished after I come back in August...or even December..time not being my best friend at the moment all the other stuff will morph into various parts of France and Europe..apparently it's not going to be all work and no play...work being the digging, clearing, painting and titivating of maison Max not the hand crafted jewels of photography plucked from the sonorous landscape of the Parc D'Armorique...that being my new home. ( I've had some cider in the sunshine...please allow some leeway in this fluff)
So if you catch sight of a Pigeon, that unlike it's Manchester counterpart, bloated from feasting on old kebabs and regurgitated Chinese, but fed a diet of artichoke hearts and Gallettes, flapping towards you, don't do as the French do and reach for the shotgun, let it land and rest awhile, there may be a message from some foreign shore strapped to it's well toned leg..and that message will most likely be from me....until then
Bon Journee mes enfants...once more unto the Barricades... I kiss you on all your cheeks XXXX
Thought the BBC said we were set for a dose of Hot weather?.... I'll do a breakdown on settings for doing the timelapse stuff next week, just another busy day down here in the bunker. Just had another set of images optioned for book covers very similar to these but without the texture work...
New work flow seems to be paying some dividends as Getty, Alamy and Trevillion are accepting everything I chuck in their direction, just get out there guys and flog some, I've got this Lotus eating, grape peeling, flunkied and aspirational life style over in France to immerse myself into...oh hang on ..I should have said painting, decorating, digging and fixer uppering... and then put 'in ten years time...' in front of Lotus eating... I'm on the Red Hot Java Lava today and my heart is bouncing around in my chest like an Alien wannabee but appears to be providing the requisite boost to my mental faculties.
Right lots of shopping , picking stuff up, paying stuff in and new specs to fit on my wonky conk and cock eyed ears...it's driven many an opthalmic assistant straight to the iso propyl alcohol over the decades. Until the next time or if this weather persists,I'll see you on Noahs Ark , you'll find me in the bowels of the vessel shovelling more guano like this.
In the past, without engaging my brain and just flopping into it, I've had a dabble with time lapse. Okay, I added an ND filter to drag the shutter and got some spectacularly meh! results...and they were experimental...no thought of what file size I was going to shoot, how I would render things ..in fact a massive stumble through things I really should have brought my brains A game to.
So as I'm off to an area of so much coast and unspoilt landscape in Brittany I thought it was best if I hunkered down, got the thought processes into first gear and had a go at Time lapse....and what better place to start than on the wind ravaged crests of the Pennines up at Meltham on the badlands border between West Yorks and Manchester. Sometimes you can have a chat with Mother Nature and tell her 'Go on, do your worst...' Well she did...horizontal rain in bursts that stung, up here there is no real cover unless you do what the sheep do and that's hide behind a stone wall. So I got a few sequences, learned a lot about intervals and how much a tripod can move in a howling gale, enough to make the time lapse look like it's shivering...not far from the truth there. So here is one I shot close to the Moors Murder memorial hidden away near the road into Holmfirth... Frame rate 24 fps, one shot every 2 seconds Nikon D700 and the 20mm f2.8.... exported from LR5 as 2000 pix max files and panned + rendered in Photoshop CC. Click on the enlarge button and see the rain coming in...
Only fifteen seconds but I kept looking over my shoulder to the West and hoped the image run would be over before the downpour started...just...more to work on now...... below the plaque...
Hello...or is it Bonjour... mai oui....One way ticket to Europe purchased...and so within the next 2 weeks I will not only have left England but left Manchester and all that this old place has given me since those crazy days of the late '70's when I rocked up into Chorlton on my Suzuki A100 and threw myself into a whirl of discovery of this old sprawling metroland
First thing I did was take Ronnie the Bronica, my ever present S2a, out for a wander through the heart of town, the decay of the canal infrastructure, the emptiness of Manchester. come 7 o'clock and the City centre would be dead as a door nail, no bijou riverside apartments or city centre high rises in those days....unike now of course. At this point you might assume that I would be inserting examples of gritty and grimy imagery shot on FP3 and printed out on my Durst 601 on grade 3 Ilford..alas...cellars and dribbling washing machines located just above your tea chest full of negs and prints don't really make a good mix, one day I will peel everything apart..but not on this day.
So in many ways Manchester has been good to me over the decades and I got to thinking that before I go I'd like to echo what I did when I first moved here, that's go out, discover the old place again and put together a little project, mono , no tricks, straight shooting style. So I am....I'm not really looking for a bright sunny day...it's Manchester, you've come to the wrong place if you want that... but I am going to use the infra structure that now exists and instead of Ronnie the Bronica (My shutter cannae take it captain...) I'll be shooting it with the rather marvellous 41mpix monster that is the Nokia 1020...yes ...a phone...get over it..., if you are that regular reader of this flannel then you'll know it's all about the shooter...not what you shoot with....
So, you'll all be the first to know, missives will be sent by pigeon and social media to those who need to know, too late to unfriend and unsubscribe, I know who you are and which part of the interweb you live on.
This will be more Love Story than special FX loaded block buster, but it will be referenced to those gritty Black and Whites of the 70's and also be the start of my image making on continental Europe