High Key tulip flower snaps up one of the winning spots in photo competition.

Last month I entered a couple of my photographs into the ephotozine monthly competition. The theme for June was “flowers” so my high key floral images seemed like the perfect choice.

Single tulip flower set against white background.
High key tulip flower

This week I discovered that one of my images, the high key single tulip flower,  was chosen to be one of 20 winners. It was very exciting  to receive the email letting me know I was one of the winners.

I also enjoy scrolling through the other entries into the competition to see all the other interpretations of the theme. Looking at the other shortlisted entries made me very proud of my achievements too, as there were some very impressive images.

You can take a look at the competition page showing all the winning floral images here.

Master of photography episodes 4 – 6

Last month I reviewed the first three episodes of master of photography.  As I am still really enjoying the series, I thought I would share my thoughts on the next three. This time for my own amusement I am illustrating it with my own interpretation of the themes taken from my archive. It has been fascinating looking back over my old images and seeing where my photography journey began!

Episode four was all about telling an erotic story in three photographs. This is a tricky subject to get right but I think the contestants did really well. I loved the abstract look that Gillian Allard produced and thought this was an interesting take on the theme. The other favourite from the judges was from Souvid Datta. It was good and I did appreciate the amount of thought he put into the storytelling, I’m just not sure it really said “erotica”.  Yes he told an interesting back story on the history of erotica but were the images themselves erotic? I guess that is why art is subjective, and probably erotic art more than most.

lady in high heels floating above some money
 “levitation” was captured for a competition in 2015. I had recently upgraded to the Canon EOS 70d and was having a bit of fun with it!

In episode five the contestants were introduced to a Paralympian and ask to capture the essence of who they are and what their sport is about.  The judges said at the end of episode four that it was going to get tougher and they weren’t wrong. Their expectations have certainly got higher but I guess that is how people learn and improve. I couldn’t have picked an overall winner this week as each of them produced at least one image that I liked. This is also why I guess the competition has got tougher, as it is always much harder to produce a photo story rather than an individual piece.

Paralympian Hannah Cockcroft racing at London 2012 games.
British Paralympian Hannah Cockcroft during qualifications at the London 2012 games. Captured on my Fuji Finepix S3400 bridge camera.

Episode six got the contestants taking a closer look at Street Fashion during London fashion week. Again they had to create a photo story, this time capturing the mood on the streets of London. There is always some debate about how much setting up of an image is acceptable and the contestants certainly had different approaches to this. My view has always been to capture the scene in front of me, but it has to be said that the superior images this week were captured by those who “set up” the scenes. Gillian Allard again impressed the judges, and although I was not as clear about her “story” as the judges were, I did like what she produced. I also feel she is finally showing more of her true personality. Previously she came across as very confident and self assured and it was lovely to hear she doubts herself too!!

couple walking the catwalk at London Fashion weekend 2015.
In 2015 I won a competition where the prize was a place in the photographers pit at London Fashion Weekend. This couple decided to leave the show early and ended up walking the catwalk!

With only two episodes left of this series the competition is definitely getting harder to judge and the standard of photography continues to impress me. I look forward to finding out who will be judged “master of photography” in two weeks.

Launching my floral tank top collection.

Last week I shared my floral dress collection and was overwhelmed by the great response and lovely comments I received. So thank you all so much for that, it is really appreciated!

Following on from this I thought I would share a different product from my florals range. Using the same flower photographs but this time applied to a vest or tank top. This tanks have a slight sheer silky chiffon front panel, with a soft jersey back panel creating a loose flowing fit top.

This range can also be purchased from my RedBubble shop. The great thing with shopping with RedBubble is that they have a great returns policy, so you can rest assured knowing that should the item not meet your expectations they will refund or replace. This is brilliant considering you are buying unique bespoke clothing!

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New – Floral Print Summer Dresses 

Over the last few months I have been developing a range of apparel featuring my photographic prints. It has been a steep learning curve for me deciding which photographs lend themselves best to clothing. I am loving the results and my floral images have worked particularly well.

My photos can be purchased on a range of products, but today I thought I would share my range of  floral a-line summer dresses. These dresses include printed photographs of daisies, carnations, gerbera daisy, tulip and periwinkle flowers.

Having developed this range I am now able to officially launch my floral dress collection. It can be viewed and items can be purchased from my Redbubble Shop.  I hope you love them as much as I do!

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My thoughts on Master of Photography 2017.

As I write this we are 3 episodes into the second series of master of photography on Sky Arts. I loved the first series so was really looking forward to the new one.

I have to say so far I have not been disappointed! The format has changed slightly, with more emphasis on technique and the process the contestants go through to achieve their assignment.

They have removed the part where the contestants pick their equipment, and this seems mainly down to the sponsorship deal with Leica. That’s fine by me as most of us don’t have a room full of equipment to choose from before we go out on a shoot. So, you might ask,  why does that matter what equipment I have compared to the contestants? For me that is why the show works so well. As they go on assignment you put yourself in their shoes. What would I do? what story would I tell? Then as they present their images to the judges, I become a judge in my mind deciding who I would pick and why.

Photography is an art form, and like all art it is very subjective. Last season I found the judges critique a little harsh, however, this season I understand where they are coming from. I’m not sure whether they have eased up or whether I’ve opened my mind to criticism more. Either way, so far I have mainly agreed with their comments.

OK here I should add **SPOILER ALERT** please do not read on if you intend to watch the series without knowing the winners from each episode!

Week one saw an amazing image by Molly Keane grab the attention of the judges. I had to agree whole heartedly with this decision. The theme was travel and they  contestants had to encapsulate the feel of Sicily. Molly captured a portrait of a sicilian painter sat next to the chariots he was painting. The image worked so well capturing a sense of the country and was beautifully composed.

In week two the contestants had to capture “rush hour” in Hamburg. There were a number of images that caught my eye – managing to get a real sense of rush hour, particularly as they were thrown by the lack of commuters as they arrived. The one that was the judges favourite was by Max Brucker and I did agree that his image evoked a certain mood. I also really liked the image by Sonja Thoms which showed a man in silhouette running up some steps, which on this occasion was not in agreement with the judges!

Week three saw them introduced to Clive Owen where they were expected to produce a cover photo which truly revealed the personality of the superstar. It was an interesting episode where I found the judges to be even more critical than usual. There was some criticism on the over reliance of post production on the image that Sonja Thoms produced. I did agree it was not as strong as some of the other contestants, but to pull her up over the use of post production seemed a little odd to me, when all the images have benefited from the use of post. The winning image this week was again produced by Max Brucker who is showing himself to be a favourite at this early stage. It was a very striking image that I could imaging on the cover of a magazine, and probably the only one to truly meet this brief.

At this stage I think there are three strong contenders for the prize. For me the most interesting and original images are being produced by Molly Keane, Max Brucker and Olympe Tits. I look forwards to seeing what the rest of the episodes reveal.

If you have missed the series so far, I highly recommend that you catch up with the previous episodes here. It is compulsive viewing.

Spring photo opportunities

I really love this time of year. The flowers are emerging, cute baby animals are being born and on the whole the sun is shinning. All these combine to make a perfect scenario for getting out and about and taking photographs!

I am very lucky to live near to some wonderful countryside which gives me even more opportunities to capture some great images.

I have recently been lucky enough to come across a number of young birds, in particular ducks and geese.  I love goslings as they really are the cutest and fluffiest of the the baby birds!

I thought that these cute animals would love lovely on some of my products so I gave it a go. I really so think they look amazing! What do you think? To see more of my designs on a range of products visit my RedBubble shop.

Close up of a gosling bird looking towards the camera, illustrated as an example tablet case.
A quizzical gosling featured on a table case.

 

photograph of a baby goose on a bag
A cute gosling featured on a tote bag.

Tulip wins bronze award.

I have been having a play around with some high key still life photography. I chose some tulips and carnation flowers as my subjects and set them against a white background. I  used a photography light tent, and lit the scene using a couple of powerful lamps.

It took a while to set the correct level of light in order to light the subject well without blowing out the whites or creating distracting shadows.

One of my favourite images from this series was of a single tulip. I love the way the colours look even more vivid against the plain white background. I was very pleased to hear this week that this image was awarded a bronze bar from the Guild of Photographers, taking my total up to 5 bronze awards this year.

Single tulip flower set against white background.
High key tulip flower wins bronze award.

 

I had also previously selected this image to feature on a number of products in my RedBubble shop.

Tulip Laptop skin being modelled
Laptop skin with colourful tulip design.

I felt the simple, yet beautiful nature of this single flower lent itself wonderfully to the photo products available. These can be viewed here.