The area where I live in France has some spectacular scenery, the coastlines on the North, West and South all have a different character, the woodlands, rivers and villages ooze photo opportunities and then we get to the hills...I live 4 miles from the Monts d'Arree..a ridge that runs through the Central part of Brittany, an area that not only offers some spectacular views but also testing walks..(sorry to sound like a travelogue but it is that good around here) So first walk along the ridge that runs close to La Fueillee..highest village in Brittany. Anyhow had a bit of a lung burster up there, in true Breton weather it was lashing with rain until midday and then the sun burst through...so here are a few 'sketch' snaps..I now have an idea of what to look for up here but this is a start, looking for some time-lapse/video sites and this is pencilled in. Well TFI Friday to y'all
I'm lucky. I''l say it again...I'm lucky..the trek to work takes me out of bed, down stairs past the kitchen through the lounge and into my office...there may be coffee and croissants on the way, a glimpse out of the window at the flocks of greenfinches, a quick check to see if we have anymore mole hills (3 big ones have emerged) a shrug of the shoulders if it is chucking it down still, lots of rain here but a flick of a switch a speedy handshake and how d'ye do and the internet pours into my workspace and as I'm the Boss, Chief Cook and Bottle Washer what I do is really up to me...and so we arrive at 2015. The latter quarter of 2014 was taken up pumping up my content on Getty images which has been successful, mainly sensible imagery that won't scare the horses or put off the corporate buyer. I have targets and one of them is to keep this going...it's a pain as they seem to have turned the wick down on their FTP and although I'm allowed 100 uploads a week they generally get to waft their all knowing eyes over only about 50...so there is a blockage at the moment and I will slowly withdraw, walking backwards out of the spotlight, bowing and doffing my forelock as I do so, waiting for the plunger to be applied and the torrent of imagery to spew forth onto their site....still waiting... So what else to fill the time...well the book cover work has been parked on the shelf (!) whilst the farmhouse has been getting a feather duster in all of it's crevices so after the ho hum nature of Image Library stuff its back to some barking mash ups for another of my clients...here's one that went this week
Always nice to see what happens to images once they leave the nest and flap about in the real world. Just licenced for Germany at the moment but with the added bonus of also being the Audio book cover as well so if it gets on some best seller list I may get more licences if it gets reprinted in different languages...I...as ever...live in hope, I've also been out wandering around the countryside logging and storing sites that may be useful for the stuff I want to get my teeth into starting this summer, just back from a trek along the Mont d'Arree edge that runs through this part of Brittany....breath taking...anyhow here are some book cover images about to be hoicked off to a holding pen, waiting to be prodded and poked and sent off to the highest bidder, some will succeed but some will remain, cast into a dark corner, digital oblivion, the Billy-no-mates of the image world...
...to one of my online retail places.. last year some of you may remember that I had some work taken down on a site that 'infringed' some copyright of a leading car manufacturer and then in late autumn I was told that another image had been taken down because it infringed image rights...it was grafitti in a park in Manchester of the Oasis boys...the Gallaghers... pretty rubbish representation and only recognisable by the tags I had put on it...then this morning I got this email
Redbubble Content Team (Redbubble)
Jan 06 15:06
Recently concerns have been raised in relation to works published in your Redbubble portfolio, so we just wanted to send you a reminder of our guidelines for uploading content to Redbubble.
Redbubble exists as a place for artists to share their own original artwork. The Redbubble User Agreement requires that you own the intellectual property rights to any material you publish on the site, or otherwise have permission to display, reproduce and sell it.
We would like to ask that you please review the works across all of your Redbubble account/s and ensure that all works uploaded are in line with our User Agreement andIP/Publicity Rights Policy, specifically that it is your own original artwork or that you have clear permission to publish it. If you do have works that fall outside these guidelines, please remove them immediately.
Should we receive any valid reports of works that fall outside of our guidelines on content in the future, your account may be restricted or closed for Deliberate Misuse.
Many thanks for your understanding and cooperation.
Redbubble Content Team
Many thanks indeed.. I could wade through the thousands of images, make sure I wasn't shooting from any private ground, deleting any spurious logos, cloning out faces...never ever getting to sleep ever again .....the constant worry of it all or I could just stick 2 fingers in the air like I just don't care, put my hand on my hip, let my backbone slip and pull the plug on the lot.....which I have done.... Before I left I did a search for Oasis, The Gallaghers and Jaguar cars...loads of them on the site...multi tasking now as I tut and shake my head....consistency is not apparent ! 2015 is the year of not messing about.
to those folk that bobbed in and tested the site to see if 'right click and save ' had been disabled...it appears in some browsers you can nab things off the home page but everything else is a bit more secure. I was getting a lot of traffic from baidu and one site using my own domain as a referring site?? This is a good programme if you think someone is hoicking image files off you for nothing tineye.com which lets you do a reverse image search. Once had an image on my old flickr site that rumbled up to half a million hits so I used tineye and it was everywhere, to be fair on mostly legit sites but it found it pretty quickly. So be safe out there, use watermarks, disable downloading, have a look at who is popping in for a look around and just be vigilant. As I've been uploading lots of files onto Getty as items for sale I've got to be sure that they don't get used for nothing.....
I can tell it straight...3 months of uploading and keywording has left Jack a rather Dull boy...okay..it's work, well work in as much as it devours hours of my time and the keywording algorhythm that Getty use has become easier to use the more I've used it. So if you are the one avid reader of this fluff you will already know that one of my missions this year (last year) is to get online the bucketloads of images that sit quivering and sobbing in the deep recesses of my hard drives, aching for their moment in the luminous glow of a computer moniter.
Time for a breather and time to take stock...I have 2 accounts with Getty and have surpassed my self imposed targets of having images online and for sale, I have an acceptance rate of 70% which is improving now that I just don't bother uploading anything that has a trademark, lacks a property release and even model releases...I research their own database of images to see if mine match up and if they don't...well they just get locked away again....so that has taken up 3 months of time and I've had to ignore lots of other things in the process...this site for instance...looks a bit tired..too many galleries got a bit unwieldy because of that...so in a few moments the hatchet will be out and things will be hacked back....
So ..... the camera has been dusted off, no more iphone jaunts back to FX sized imagery, I have in my head a list of imagery I want to produce and also a significant upgrade to my shooting gear during the summer with a shift towards time-lapse and video, so lots of slithering up the learning curve there then. The countryside and beaches around where I now live in France are pretty spectacular and , once I have researched a shooting list , will be given the once over by me. At the moment I'm out and about just seeing what is possible, creating more sketches than finished articles but here are a bunch from yesterdays and the day befores jaunt along the Mont D'Arree...from -6 to 13c in the space of a day... so hatchet sharpened I'm away to hack back the site..leaving it ready for the green shoots of spring growth to appear. I've finally got around to adding an image download disable code into the site..this may stop the huge volumes of.....hmmmm...slightly iffy site visits I've been getting...it might...
You've been left on your own...not been licking your sensors I hope !!!...yes yes I have been on the barking side of busy, the self imposition of targets that have to be met or I will have to stand in front of a mirror again and tell myself that overstretching to reach the unreachable is sometimes unobtainable and a target is only something to aim at and not be the only driving force to spur me on. Anyway at my age the pipe and slippers not only beckon but have started winking at me in a seductive way whilst flickering their imaginary eyebrows....but I do have targets....which means ploughing a lonely furrow as I know at the end..well ...I'll get there.
So it's not quite Spring yet but I have the big feather duster of demolition poised to give the site a big wafting, especially when it come to Galleries. So over the next month the wrecking ball will arrive to knock this place into something that may be disturbingley different but still retain the warm and comforting effect of your favourite pants...ahhh..but where to start... you'll see oh yes.... oh I'm taking lots of photos it's just that they are all off on a jolly to image libraries...
On other news I have been mostly wearing my farmers dungarees and digging, planting, hacking and shredding a lot...... I'm beginning to see the wood from the trees....
A few more from the'will do later ' pile..from the Hebrides all the around to Northumberland....that's it...there's nothing more... move along...now...
On the day I checked out Scott Kelbys Worldwide Photowalk page to see if there might be some toddling about organised in France...well one of those in Paris was insistent that the walk may be wandering around in France but it will be English spoken only...doh why didn't I think of that..... as it was I didn't have to speak in English or French as I had a Solitary wander around bits of St Pol de Leon, I did have a few moments of left eyebrow arching and the faint 'Hmmmming' which could have been in French or English but it was one of those little wanders where I didn't bother the natives and they didn't bother me...okay some images... and these will be panoramics..travelling light just having the basic kit which is FX camera and 50mm f1.8 so these 2 are standard panos
Camera in portrait position , manual exposure, 7 shots into Lightroom, lens correction a waft of highlight compensation , all selected, right click menu edit> merge to panorama in Photoshop, go and put the kettle on.....tadaa...cropped to 60 x 20 format, BW conversion and a Color lookup adjustment layer, Radio button 3DLUT and scroll down to Soft_Warming look at 50% opacity.... takes longer to type than doing it....
So, a solitary wander,no one cried, got lost, went home early or was made to speak a foreign language..Je vous embrasse sur les deux joues it's 1664 time
As I've said before..'Sometimes I've no idea what's hidden on some of my hard-drives...' and as I'm working through them in almost a methodical manner...alright I'm letting Lightroom loose on random hard drives to see what's not been imported already.. anyway there appears to bucketloads of stuff and I thought you might like to have a shufty at some from the streets of Manchester. Tagging , stickers and a splash of Grafitti. probably mostly from the area around the Northern Quarter. One of the things I've noticed around this bit of France is that the street art is a bit on the 'embarrassed 14 year old with one color of spray paint' imagery....but then I found the old railway sidings down in the centre of Morlaix, no camera so I will return and then some really good stuff up near the Morlaix football club... but for the moment some from the archives..
This may only be of interest to a few but the processing of these goes as follows
Lens correction and Auto Basic correction in Lightroom, Export to Photoshop
Photoshop Brightness contrast layer Contrast up to 100% Color Lookup Layer.3DLUT file radio button on and down to the 'FuturisticBleak.3DL' menu item at 100% normal blend mode..... that my friends is what we call in the trade 'Photoshop Bollocks'..... oh and Save so the image goes back into the Lightroom catalogue and then a block export through a template preset and onto here.....I know...I'm even yawning after that... hope you hardy band of Worldwide Photowalkers had a good one...my Solitary wander was around St Pol de Leon with a bit of a warm up around the farm...post those on Monday..
...the jostling, the pitter patter of feet, not knowing who you are standing next to, not knowing what lies in store...trying not to notice that yours isn't as big as the persons standing next you...all the fun and games at the start of another day of Worldwide Photowalking ..... now sadly I wont be leading one this year as I'm still having counselling after last years Victoria Baths shootathon. Now all of you out there in Photographyland who are going on one of the afore mentioned jaunts, well, I hope you get lots out of it. you watch how other people do their stuff, socialise and above all have a good or even great day and please don't forget to thank the organiser...
Now as I'm not involved in this Worldwide snappery I have it in mind to have an unofficial walk, by myself and possibly with the current Mrs Max tagging along and maybe post on here what I can get up to and see with a bit of a wander around this part of France I now luckily live in. That's the plan for today...looks like a good start...bit of mist/fog nestling hither and thither, the prospect of broken sunshine and more importantly a lack of tourists and their arm stretching ipad/kindle based snappery clogging up the photogenic bits.
On other news I have performed a 'Deep Clean' of my camera sensor and also cleaned out the throat of fluff , dust and gunk using a titchy piece of double sided tape wrapped around a q-tip...eeeeuuuuwwww...dirty boy lots of 'stuff' in there and probably one of the reasons I spend the greatest part of my image processing time wafting away the chunks on my files.... we shall see later on today.
So , fellow lensmiths, today is a day to not only snap but socialise, to do that very scary thing and meet new people and above all have a good time doing it..may your sensors be clean, your images sharp and your day enriched by some social interaction...
The clock is ticking and I have so many files to process...skipped to June 2013 and a monster trip around the whole of Scotland...2 glorious weeks of parking the campervan anywhere where there was a bit of photo opportunity...yes I am working my way through my 'Squirrel' pile of files...quite a few I really had forgotten about. So I thought I'd share some from North Berwick and the Outer Hebrides, with a bit of EV dial flummery, I got the right amount of detail in the file to pull out later...keep checking your histogram folks...that really is the only reason to check your LCD after a shot...oh yes, back to Scotland so here is a selection of some of the coastal shots which are just seeing the light of day after 16 months of dormancy on one of my hard drives. Hopefully the Man from Getty will say 'Yes'
Summer good for you???...like Squirrel Nutkin have you hidden away sackfuls of RAW files to faff with once the weather Daemons get grouchy and Huff and Puff all over your planned shoot?? Lot's of ???? marks but seriously are you all set for a season under the luminous gaze of your color corrected monitor , the nymphs and pixies of Adobe LR and CC whisking your files into a froth of spotless luminosity??? (other software programmes may be available but heck, why bother...) I'm in the midst of a never ending tittivate and upload session with Getty, they being the , sometimes, grateful recipient of my photo-visual labours.. keen eyed viewers will by now have spotted that I'm switching between American and Proper English the lack of and appearence of the letter U (no this isn't Sesame Street..) is the key....Getty has a keywording algorhtym that only gives a virtual thumbs up to english like what she is spoke on the far side of the Atlantic...no probs..lay some skin on me home boy....no...me neither...
Now I've made an assumption, that being that this twaddle is being scanned through quickly by Europeans, in the belief that there actually may be a bit of meat on this bleached skeleton of a post...word of warning, this is as good as it gets!..oh yes an assumption...if data collected by the brown coated scribes of Weebly are to be believed, people, who should have something better to do with their time, have been making a pilgramage from all corners of the Globe over the last few months to this tiny outpost of image faffery. Now , I don't know how you get corners into a Globe, I must have been watching the Steam engines trundling into Blackpool North when that particular Maths lesson was taking place but I'm also rather heartend that so many of you from all over the place drop in and spend a bit of time here... so I'll have to put a line through 'assumption that being that this twaddle is being scanned through quickly by Europeans' because where you live you may be emerging butterfly like, irradiated eyes on stalks, from a Southern hemispherical winter of image footling, braced for a summer of image and RAW file gathering, hoarding them until winters icy and sometimes wet grasp drives you once more to the luminous glow of your Monitor.
... and it will be time to sit down and to get to work. There really is far to much to do getting the old farm knocked back into shape and now next door have kindly shared their Japanese Knotweed with me on the top meadow...well there's even more work to do.
So , photography or the mashng of raw files into an image...been having a think...looked at the way I blend things together, especially some of the project stuff I was doing back in Manchester and well...come up with something a bit different let me go and snatch some images to show you what I'm up to.
From 3 to 8 shots layered up...but in a different way and I think not too unpleasent . Mind you Getty reject this kind of thing...'Poor technique' is often the comment accompanying the reason for refusal entry...so off they go to 500px... Later on this year I'll be sitting down and touching on this type of image generation...but until then I'm off to Roscoff, Carantec and St Pol de leon for a bit of R & R..until the next time.
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.