Just ordering my christmas cards today and finally uploaded them to moo.com so looking forward to getting those in the next few day.
23 Nov 2009
15 Nov 2009
My new 27inch imac computer arrived this week. And I must say it is a bit of a beast. It is quite difficult getting used to being a few inches away from a screen you'd normally sit 12 feet away watching tv. It really is not much difference from sitting in front of my tv. I switched to a mac laptop last year after having used pcs all my life. Must admit to having struggled a bit with the switch as didn't think it was as easy as people make out. So while I still love my macbook it really is not powerful enough to cope with large picture files and video so am hoping the 27inch well speed things up a bit. I also needed to upgrade the dell monitor I had plugged into the macbook to work from so it was a not brainer to upgrade the computer and a screen at the same time.
10 Nov 2009
Over the last two years I've been photographing some of the big summer events in the uk. These were all commissions from various editorial and commercial clients. The events ranged from the Cartier Polo to the Henley Regatta and Goodwood races. The pictures above are just a few from these jobs. To see the 50 or so I've uploaded to my website CLICK HERE
What interesting is that I've cropped in quite close to these shots to show that you don't need to always have wide angle pictures to get a feeling for what's going on. It helps that photographing some of these great british events this summer was that the british public are great to photograph.
9 Nov 2009
I know cat photos are done to death and another cute cat picture is enough to put you off cats for life. Hopefully my cat pictures are a bit different. For one, most of them were taken in Asia where cats have a tough life. They live off the streets and have to fend for themselves. This gives the cat photos a grittiness that are worlds away from the cute pictures we are used to seeing. After living 5 years in Asia I accumulated quite a few cat pictures from my travels. So many in fact that there is almost enough for a book. I self-published a mock up and sent it to a very publishers in a hope they could see its potential but got a few rejects with the answer that the pictures weren't cute enough. Typical hey! To see more CLICK HERE
29 Oct 2009
This week in London at the Canon Pro Photo Solutions event Getty images were part of the free seminars being offered. Tom Hind and Nick Mullord were there. Nick talked about the production side of how images were handled while Tom chatted about the current creative direction.
As a getty contributor I went along to see if I could gleam some gems of information to help me shoot more accurately. What they said actually surprised me. I don't quite know what I was expecting but they seem to want more imagery and don't seem to care that much where it comes from.
For those photographers who might be interested in what they said below is a brief summary, if I can read what my notes say!
If you're a experienced getty stock shooter probably none of this will be new and will only reinforce what you already know, for others, it may help.
Tom started off talking about portraits. They are looking for more realistic pictures of people. The warts and all photos with wrinkles, not necessarily smiling and showing more attitude. He was particular about pointing out they are looking for more on-location lifestyle portraits showing real people doing real things. The real-life things people do. Not people running and jumping on a beach - it could be as simple a someone reading a paper on their bed. There is a lack of imagery of older people doing young people's activities and shots of the less heroic side to people.
Tom then went on to talk about family-type pictures. Similiar to the individual portraits they want pictures that capture the real moments in family life with the gritty backgrounds and unflattering poses that come with them.
He touched on the flickr collection which is probably proving a little unpopular with regular getty contributers especially those who are paying $50.00 to submit a picture to the photographers choice collection. To see flickr photographers have their images signed up without them having to pay a fee is bound to cause some tension.
Flickr, he says, seems to be doing very well, especially in europe. Their flickr scouts have been searching for more european images showing culture of the country of where they were shot, again, less generic imagery.
Anyway, hope that helps a bit. Probably nothing new to regular getty shooters but a bit of an insight into what they are looking for at the moment.
26 Oct 2009
Sometimes, in fact, most of my time as a travel photographer is to go to a destination and blend in (sometimes this is quite hard outside of europe!) The theory is, and it is not rocket science, that by melting into the background and observing you should get better pictures than if you brashly go around clicking your camera at everything that moves. While being observant, patient and respectful of the culture you visit you thereby get better pictures. While this tends to hold true, sometimes being the obvious tourist photographer can produce results. The above picture is an example. This thai lady found my fumbling with my camera equipment worthy of a quick glance and my opportunity to take a nice picture.
21 Oct 2009
Every year for as long as I can remember I've been creating my own christmas cards. The early ones were embarrassingly bad such as the time I stuck holly leaves onto a bit of card! This year went for a photograph (stick to my strengths) and in tune with the current economic crisis I thought the above picture quite appropriate. It's a very simple image but it really needs a amusing caption so anyone who can come up with something please get in touch with your effort
19 Oct 2009
What makes a great photo is a bit like asking what is beauty. It's one of those questions that doesn't really have an answer for. On the one hand you have what makes a great photograph for you and then, the other, what art critics tell us is a great photo. One thing is for sure. Whenever you see a photo that you like I'm willing to bet that there is some element in it that illicits some emotional response. A landscape the creates serenity, a shot that brings back a memory, a news picture that makes you angry, some tragedy that makes you cry. Whatever it is there is some emotion attached to it. Thing is the majority of pictures we take, sorry to say, are sometimes quite boring. We can't always take photos that makes someone burst into tears but try and put a little emotion into a shot and see what happens.
18 Oct 2009
Ahhh, those magic words - what sells in stock photography? If only any of us know. Saying that, with a bit of research you can actually increase your chances of making a sale. Nothing is guaranteed but a little bit of research really does help. So I thought I was on to a bit of a winner with the above shot. I wanted to come up with a picture after reading a newspaper article on Asian's whose populations are getting fatter each year. It wasn't much of a surprise that the influx of western food and culture is making Asians larger. So an image of a chopstick and a french fry summed up what I was trying to say and, hopefully, make it a stock seller. It has been with Getty for about 2 years and hasn't sold once. So there you are - maybe not a good blog post if you want to learn what sells but at least you now know what doesn't!
15 Oct 2009
13 Oct 2009
Call me a sucker for a lost cause or just plain stupid - I don't know. But today saw a post about one man's quest to buy a leica and some lenses (http://www.leicadream.com/). But leica's aren't cheap and this man can't afford one so he set up a website and asked people to donate - And I did! In return he put one of my pictures and weblink on his site (see above screenshot).
I'm hoping he gets his leica and one day becomes a famous photographer and he owes it all to fools like me. Or maybe he doesn't quite make the $15,000 he needs and instead buys a cheap compact. But whatever happens hats off to the man for having the gaul to give it a go.
This is a great idea. Let's get involved.
12 Oct 2009
Today I tweeted a blog article http://pauldymond.blogspot.com/ from Paul Dymond as he talked about the difficulty of doing both the photography and writing on an assignment for his editorial clients. If you have time you should really read his entry but the gist of the piece was that when doing both there is a compromise in the end result - poorer pictures and words.
What prompted his post was his recent job for DestinAsian Magazine where he was working solely as a photographer and he stated how unusual it was these days. With editorial budgets being cut magazines are looking for writers to be photographers and photographers to be writers and, while cheaper, the end product isn't nearly as good.
I can testify to this as I've done a fair bit of photography and writing to know that one always suffers. Being a photographer I concentrate on my strengths so the writing suffers. Like DestinAsian, I do a lot of work for Food & Travel magazine, and they know the value of sending a photographer and writer on most of their features and it makes the magazine all the more stronger for it especially when food writing is such an art form to do well. Long may it continue.
8 Oct 2009
As a photographer and someone involved with visual media this is quite exciting. Your newspaper or magazine of the future will be a moving interactive beast. Whether you or I like it or not, print media is dying and new digital technologies mean we are all going to be faced with reading and seeing things on a flexible screen of some description. It may mean it will bring more people back to reading because it will mean we will get to read and see the things we really want to read - items of news or entertainment that we have chosen to receive. Either via our iphone, kindle, or whatever the new technology will be at the time. I do it already on my laptop but to have something more portable would be handy. Something to think about that is not that far away.
7 Oct 2009
I was looking through some past pictures from a job I did in Turkey and this picture stopped me. It was taken early one morning at a cafe in the countryside far away from any of the tourist hot spots of Turkey. This lady was taking a break from cooking breakfasts and she has look that is so mesmerizing - I wouldn't dare compare it to the famous Afghan girl by Steve McCurry but there is something about it that reminds me of that picture.
5 Oct 2009
Some kind soul has nominated me for 'Photographer of the Year' award at this years Travel Press Awards. So chuffed that someone has put my name forward. I guess all I have to do now is enter some photographs!
2 Oct 2009
For some time now I've been meaning to get an etsy shop front up and running to try and sell some of my polaroid prints from asia that have been mentioned a couple of times on this blog. We will see just how well they sell but at least they are now out there and available if people want to buy them.
Here is the link to the shop front CLICK HERE
29 Sep 2009
If you are a freelance photographer or thinking of becoming one - this sums it up perfectly in the current economic climate. It is very funny but with some swearing. You've been warned.
28 Sep 2009
Lifestyle photography has always been a bit of a buzz word in photography. It is difficult to define and even more difficult to shoot well yet clients actively want it shot yet what exactly is lifestyle photography? And what defines a good lifestyle photo over a more traditional shot and is the former more saleable. As a stock photo goes real people in real life situations is something I'm getting asked to shoot more and more (as long as I get model releases). This picture above is a good example of a more contemporary lifestyle shot. Two ladies having a coffee in a trendy cafe. It is a bit of mysterious picture mainly due to the dark green sofas and subdued wallpaper but there is something about it that is a bit different. Will it make a sale over a more standard shot. Time will tell.
27 Sep 2009
I've been a photographer for, let me think, about 18 years now. Up until now it's all be quite straighforward. You got a job, you went out and photographed it to the best of your ability - then you got paid and then the tax man took a huge chunk of your profits! And in the early days the tax man got a large wad because most half decent photographers made a good living - including me. You sorta knew where you stood. But I must admit that at this point in my career I've never been more confused. Do I continue shooting stock for Getty when sales have been falling and will do so for some time. Do I channel more energy in trying to market my photoshelter site to generate more stock sales where 100% (not 30%) of the fee goes in my pocket? Do I try and get more editorial clients when newspapers and magazines are struggling so much? Do I venture into the online twitter, facebook, arena to try and create a bigger web presence? Do you do all 4 and then spread yourself too thinly and end up not focusing on anything? Do I get a job in a bar!? If you are reading this expecting an answer you might be disappointed. On the one hand it is all very exciting and on the other quite scary. You have someone like Chase Jarvis who is an online sensation and has done a great job of getting himself out there but, and he might also admit this, probably isn't the best photographer in Seattle but is certainly one of the richest. Is it really all about perception and marketing?
If you start seeing pictures of cocktails on this blog you will know I went and got myself a job in a bar!
25 Sep 2009
I've only just returned from an assignment in Hamburg Germany. It wasn't a long job - only four days and it was shot for the December issue of the magazine which was quite challenging considering it was September! My brief was to make sure every shot I took made it look like Christmas. Very tough when the sun was shining for the whole job and most people were in shorts and T-shirts. But magazines work so far in advance these day that there are common problems for photographers. I think I did a pretty good job and when you look at all the photos it looks quite wintery. I even found a christmas decoration. CLICK HERE to check out the pictures.
23 Sep 2009
After doing a bit of travel stock bashing a couple of days ago in the post below I'm feeling a renewed sense of purpose again. Got a call today from a client wanting two year rights to 23 of my photos and got £5K for those so a good day. It doesn't happen every day and I don't even think the photos are great but they like them so that's the main thing. The photo above is not one of them but it was taken in the same country. I just happen to like the one above. For more of my work go to www.carlpendle.com
21 Sep 2009
It is a real dilemma as a travel photographer of what to do in today's photography market. The fact is that the market for travel material is saturated for the boring bog standard work that's been done to death but there is still a good market for the natural lifestyle work involving real people and this photograph above illustrates that. It is a fun portrait of a lady with a big personality and, what seems, a pretty healthy, positive outlook on life - and advertisers like pictures like these. On one hand I do all my travel jobs for my clients to the best of my ability but on the other I have to be on the look out for opportunities for stock photos while on these jobs that I can sell later. It would be mad of me not to. So I look out food pictures to place with my food libraries, I try and hunt out good backgrounds that I could use for concept shots that I could use as backgrounds in photoshop and then I'm trying to find good people lifestyle shots that might also sell well as stock. There is a big BUT and it applies to the above image. I failed to get a model release which effectively means this fun image is unsaleable. Schoolboy error but we all make them and it is really tough stopping everyone you take a photo of and ask them for a release. The only plus is that I'm quite sure I could track this lady down. It was a small town and this lady kinda stands out! I'll let you know.
18 Sep 2009
I'm normally very critical of my work. Very rarely do I think that any image really stands out as anything special but I'm quite proud of this shot of a turtle coming ashore on the Big Island of Hawaii. It was about 3am and I couldn't sleep so stepped outside my beach villa to take a look at the moon and spotted this turtle having a nap. I set up the tripod and took a variety of pictures being very careful not to wake him up (no flash was used in this shot). And viola here is it. Hope you like it as well. CLICK HERE for the link to this and other pictures from Hawaii
17 Sep 2009
9 Sep 2009
Hawaiians are quite rightly passionate about their islands. What is not to like. Year round sunshine, unless you live in Hilo which is pretty much year round rain, an abundance of the freshest most exotic fruit you can imagine, zero pollution and a laid-back attitude to life. Here's a couple of pictures of people who let me take a picture of their tattoo. This is a bit of a difficult one as approaching someone to ask to take a picture of their tattoo they can get a bit offended. "What's wrong with my face." was a reply I got once. Not these two who were happy to pose and probably grateful for not being able to recognize them. The images also work great as a side-by-side montage.
8 Sep 2009
Just come back from spending a week on the Big Island of Hawaii on a Food & Travel shoot for magazine here in the uk. It went very well. I know this probably sounds quite glamourous but it is a lot of hard work that goes in to getting a good set of pictures the art editor will be happy with. And if you don't come back with the goods that will be the last assignment you do for them so a bit of pressure. It's a long way to go to come back with rubbish. Luckily Hawaii is blessed with the most glorious light and a beautiful place which made my job a lot easier. I'll be posting some more shots over the next few days for those who might be interested. I got really lucky with a turtle so very excited about posting that one.
28 Aug 2009
Had a food shoot all day yesterday in London. It was a great job as the client wanted to focus close in on the food which is the sort of thing I'd normally do so it fitted well with my style. As I use very little lighting apart from natural light this was a bit challenging as the reflections from outside where really causing a lot of problems. In the end I had to use a white scrim over the top to diffuse the light as much as possible but it worked well. I'm a huge fan of desserts and did manage to try all 5 I had to shoot, this summer pudding being particular lovely.
25 Aug 2009
Got a nice letter from the Queen today. That doesn't happen much. I did a wedding photography job in Windsor castle and the couple had special permission from the Queen to be photographed in the Moat Gardens so sent Her Majesty a couple of prints and got this reply today. How very nice of her.
24 Aug 2009
Philip Bloom, the video maverick, posted a tweet today about awarding a prize for the 2,000,000 visitor to his site. He was quite a way off. So with a bit of photoshop wizardry I made the 2 million mark magically appear 10 minutes later (see above). He fell for it and the Canon 5D Mark II was all mine but he soon found out and am not sure he was that amused. Oh well. He posted a nice link to my website so I think my hits might go through the roof this week for the wrong reasons.
22 Aug 2009
About two years when I was setting up my website (not the current one) I was putting together my pictures and noticed that most of my shots were portraits. Not sure why this was because it takes more effort to hold the camera that way! Anyway, the website I was working on landscape-shaped pictures looked much more impressive and filled the space so much better. So I had to adapt what I'd taken and put two semi-related pictures together (like the above picture) and I found that I liked the effect. There was something about it that told a story. It was no longer a static shot (even though it was) but it added another dimension.
21 Aug 2009
Moving on from the polaroid transfers I did of Asia I've now done a series of 8 images of british memorabilia. I stared with the obvious, a distressed british flag and then went to a town near me which has a lot of antique shops and asked kind shopkeepers if I could take pictures of some of their british memorabilia. There was so much to choose from but decided to concentrate on old pictures of the queen and queen mother mostly commemorating special events. And weirdly, the best items were often on biscuit tins! Here is the link to have a look at more. CLICK HERE
18 Aug 2009
Now this is a bit different but I love this sort of stuff. It's called TTV (through the viewfinder) photography and its when you use a digital camera to photograph the viewfinder of an old waist-level camera. In this case a Kodak Brownie reflex that cost me £3. Because it's old and beaten up and there's years of dust accumulated in the camera it creates these Holga or Diana camera type pictures. But being digital it is a lot easier than mucking about with the problems associated with Holga's and their light leaks and unpredictable nature. With this it is just a case of pointing your camera at the viewfinder of the old camera. It does look a bit odd as you take the picture and you get a lot of weird stares but stay with it as the results look great. I've only taken one or two pictures so far and this one of my daughter is a bit rough and her expression isn't great but you get the idea. Give it a go.
17 Aug 2009
This is a new stock shot I did as part of a series of pictures about the fact that people just don't have enough money to save. What with the mortgage and bills what we are saving is just not enough for those rainy days or our retirement days. It's not a very uplifting picture so this might appeal to the editorial market or an advertiser trying to promote their latest saving scheme. We shall see. I've uploaded it to Getty in a series of three other similar pictures with different words on the jars. We shall see as they say.
This is another image from an alphabet book I did for a family. Similar to the pink Princess picture below. It's a fun picture and a good stock shot as well that I plan to submit to the stock library I work for. Not sure which one yet Getty images charges $50 to submit to their Photographers Choice (PC) collection so you have to be very confident that it will sell in the current climate to pay that fee upfront. Or I send it to another library that doesn't charge but doesn't have the same clout as Getty - let's hope that changes and the internet empowers more photographers either with their own website to sell from or other libraries that offer a realistic alternative.
16 Aug 2009
I don't do much but I do a little bit of wedding photographer every year through my site www.weddingphotographerinsussex.com and while wedding photography is often seen as the evil child of photography I enjoy the weddings I do. I really like this picture - the dresses of the bridesmaid and the vicar somehow just come together nicely in this image. It works so much better in black and white than colour as do quite a few wedding shots.
13 Aug 2009
The Daily Telegraph online has just written an article on Polaroid transfers and profiled my new work so really pleased about that. They talk about the traditional way of creating polaroids and then using Photoshop so a very well-balanced piece with a lot of material to keep everyone happy. The link to the piece is here
Time-lapse photography is a great way of getting into making fun movies without actually having to own a video camera. I did this little time-lapse for a client and they loved it. More so than the rest of the filming I did. It is as easy as setting up your camera on a tripod and setting the shutter to go off every 2 or 3 seconds while the event happens and viola on cool movie. Then it is just a question of loading it into a program like Quicktime Pro and it does all the hard work for you.
12 Aug 2009
As well as being a photographer I also shoot quite a few videos and movies for clients and this is a little fun project that I shot with the canon 5D mark II. This movie isn't for everyone so you have been warned - especially those a little sqeamish!!
11 Aug 2009
It's great working with kids, no mattter how challenging sometimes, the rewards are so much higher than the disappointments. This portrait is for an educational alphabet book where they act out each letter. Great fun and can't wait to do some more.
10 Aug 2009
9 Aug 2009
My Polaroid transfer images I've been working on have been quite popular with people so thought I'd add another. Not all images work with this treatment and it has been quite surprising that sometimes the more mundane shots seem to work better than the dramatic. This was was taken in Hoi Ann, Vietnam again.
7 Aug 2009
6 Aug 2009
5 Aug 2009
4 Aug 2009
This is a great example of a photographer with a good eye for video. Ami Vitale does a really good job here. I own a 5d Mark II and have been playing with video and this is video is a great inspiration.
This has been one of my most viewed pictures on the internet. I took it ages ago when I was at college in America. I guess it says a lot and gets you wondering how the man, his life, what happened to his leg, his tattoos and it seems by this pose his positive outlook on life in the face of a difficulties.
3 Aug 2009
1 Aug 2009
31 Jul 2009
30 Jul 2009
This is one of those shots where I tried the risky option of running the black line of the painting through the ladies hair and the safe option against a white wall. I prefer the risky option.
29 Jul 2009
28 Jul 2009
It's not everyday that a picture of a cloud makes a good photo but it's not everyday that you get to see a cloud surround by a clear blue sky and such a good shaped cloud - not that I spend a large amount of my time looking at clouds but on this particular day it passed the time.