I’ve been back into photography for 3 or 4 years now, I started out when I was young but gave up when I got bored of waiting for film to be processed and had a long break. (more…)
I am pleased to announce that I have some London Underground 2014 calendars that are now available to buy. Just click the first image below to go to my portfolio. Once clicked on the link, there should a ‘Buy’ button above the image, if you click that and then follow the onscreen instructions to the checkout. There are more images and details of the calendar below.
We are a Father and Son team, Robin (Father) is an Architect and Taliesin is at University studying Earth Science. We live in Cardiff, Wales, UK. Always had a camera but both started seriously taking photographs in 2006. (more…)
Its only a few weeks away from the weekend in which loads of London’s buildings, which are not usually open to public open their doors for us all to see and explore.
Being a photographer and have a keen interest in architecture I try and not miss this weekend and this will be my third Open House London to date. It was originally introduced to me by other fellow photographers on Twitter. For those who have not been before it is certainly worth a visit if you happen to be in London on the 21st and 22nd of September as its all free to visit these buildings! (more…)
I’m an architect by training and by profession. I’ve been working here in the north of England as an architect for over 25 years. That’s how I earn my living and it’s a job that I really love. I only got into photography as a hobby by accident: at the end of 2006 our family 35mm compact film camera needed replacing and I decided to buy a digital model. This coincided with us getting broadband internet at home and I came across photographers online who were using the digital Fuji F31d that I had just bought to produce photos that were very artistic and moving. I had never thought of photography as art before and it inspired me to give it a try for myself.
I’m mainly interested in photographing both the natural landscape and also the architecture of our built environment. The UK and Europe is a densely populated place and I am fascinated by the way in which the two elements of the natural and built environment often merge to produce a landscape that shows our human influence stretching back through the generations.
I am currently using a Nikon D800 with 2 zoom lenses: a Nikon 16-35vr and a Nikon 70-300vr. I use a tripod a lot and mine is a lightweight Manfrotto 055CXPro3 with a Acratech GV2 ballhead. I also use neutral density filters from Lee and B+W.
There are lots of photographers who have inspired me but of the famous ones Michael Kenna, Edward Steichen and Bill Brandt really stand out. I’d also like to give a special mention to a photographer you may not have heard of: John Leech.
I do very little preparation these days as I prefer to simply see what turns up when I’m out on location. Mostly what I love about photography is being in a fantastic location with interesting light and then it’s like being in heaven!
I photograph in RAW and use ACR and Photoshop (currently CS6). I do my conversions to b&w in Photoshop using the dedicated converter that has been part of the software since CS3. Recently however Google gave me a free update to their Nik software suite and I’ve been experimenting a little with Silver Efex Pro 2. It s very easy to use and good at adding contrast. The only other software that I use a lot for correcting distortion in my architectural photos is a little plug-in called PTLens.
Last year I was very proud that my Photoblog at the free hosting site Aminus3: ianbramham.aminus3.com/ was voted as one of the 20 best photoblogs in the world for 2012 by the ‘Cool Photoblogs’ community. It gave me more pleasure than some of the individual photo competitions that I’ve won as it was a public vote and recognises that my photography has been consistently good over a whole year.
If anyone has specific questions that they would like to ask they can always reach me via the contact page on my website: www.ianbramham.com/
I did a bit of Photography on my Uni Course on Design Graphics,getting used to a Nikon SLR Camera, and developing my own shots in the darkroom. I have only got seriously into my hobby about 3 years ago, when I purchased my first DSLR (I’m on my second now), it takes a while to find your feet, but since I re-kindled my love for Mono photography in particular, I have had such fun, and not looked back since.
I mainly shoot Landscape work in Black and White (I should say I shoot in colour and convert the images to B/W in post production) , though I am not adverse to using colour if I feel the images works better that way, and a lot of my work involves the use of ND filters, to give longer exposure. I have always loved Black and White Fine Art Photography. I remember one of my lectures at Uni, gave me a book witch had the rather unimaginative title ‘Images of Ratcliffe Power Station’, the photos inside however were completely jaw dropping, taken by someone who has become one of my all time photographic hero’s-Michael Kenna.
I feel the Landscape is ever changing, you can visit a location, such as Crosby Sands, and every time you go there it looks completely different, and I feel with Mono photography, in particular, you can get a lovely minimalistic feel, in particular usinglonger exposures to smooth out water, and stretch clouds.I have only been using ND filters for less than a year now, it’s been quite a learning curve, but feel I’m getting the results I’m happy with now, though this kind of photography involves a bit of trial and error!
I have a Nikon D5100 (only the second camera I have ever owned)
Nikon DX 18-55mm lens
Sigma 10-20mm lens
Glittos MTL 9361 Aliminium Tripod & Ballhead
Hitech 10.0 and 6.0 stop ND Filters
It’s hard to pick 3!! I guess, as mentioned earlier, my all time favourite photographer is Michael Kenna. I find his work truly inspirational. I love the zen quality of his work, he is the true master of Fine Art Black and White Photography, I know he has achieved worldwide success, with many sold out exhibitions and books, but it’s justly deserved. I missed an exhibition of his work last year, in London, I was so disappointed I could not go, but there is a retrospective of his images in the Autumn, in Widnes, where he comes from!, so I’mdefinitely going to that, I can’t wait to see his work close up, first hand.
Closer to home I love the work of Ian Bramham, and Andy Brown (among many other fine photographers). Ian’s images are just amazing, beautifully composed and processed, a real pleasure to view, a very talented photographer, he works mainly (though not exclusively) in black and white Landscape, including the Industrial Landscape witch I’m a real fan of, an inspirational photographer. Andy’s images again, are stunning, giving a zen like calm, wonderfully released and produced, often with subject matter you would not straight away think of, again Andy works mainly in Black and White, using Longer Exposures to achieve his stunning images.
Both Ian and Andy were very supportive when I was starting out, answering my endless question (I kind of made up in enthusiasm what I lacked in vision to begin with!), it shows what nice guy’s they are too.
It’s best to do a bit of research before you go out and about. I find Google Earth a great tool, you can scour about for interesting locations, and kind of plan how to get to places beforehand. I always check the Weather too! The great thing about the BBC Weather page is the Tide Tables. I often tend to gravitate to the coast, so if your heading to somewhere such as Crosby/Southport/North Wales, it’s really best to check the Tide Tables out, and you can plan in and around the High or Low tide and try and match that to your location, it’s always amazingly accurate.
I would be lost without my new Tamrac Camera rucksack now. I fractured my leg just after Christmas, and after a couple of months, was up and about again, It’s kind of centre weighted, so even when full of my gear (Including Tripod strapped to the Outside) you feel as if your not restricted, and fairly light. I always pack bottled water, and if your going to the coast, a couple of pars of extra socks!
I use Adobe Lightroom 3.5 and Photoshop for my post processing. I am toying with the idea of investing in Nik Silver FX, for my mono work, I think I will trial this first, but have seen some great results with the latest version. I have to admit I am very happy with Lightroom though
I am a firm believer that it’s a photographer takes a great shot, the camera is just a tool (though admittedly an advanced one) they use in order to create their own vision. From my own point of view, I always think, when looking at a successful image is, you are inviting the viewer to kind of walk into the image, engaging them if you like, if you achieve that, then you have an image that really works.
Photography has been a real learning curve for me, one I continue to enjoy, though I only regard it as a hobby, it’s like learning to ‘see’ all over again! Sometimes less is so much more, and I look forward to many more happy hours behind the viewfinder.
Massive thanks to Aaron, for asking me to participate in this series on his blog )
I’m from country Victoria, Australia. I’ve been behind the lens since I brought my first camera in 2005 whilst working up on the Great Barrier Reef and outer islands in far northern Queensland. It was so easy to take a great photo because of the natural beauty surrounding me.
I first got ideas from the standard and boring looking postcards on sale everywhere, so I tried to make my photos different from the norm. I still use that technique, and it has developed over the years, trying to be different and to push the boundaries!
I’ve photographed many different subjects, but my main love over the past 3 years has been Urbex often known as Urban Exploration. It has it changed my life! I mostly shoot underground in Melbourne’s never ending explorable drainage systems that seem to change as much as I need to change my cameras batteries, there’s so much to see and do through the eyes of a urban explorer.
Its amazing that 98% of the general population doesn’t have a clue what lies under there feet or house! Some of the older sections dates back to the 1880s and have amazing architecture and use many different building materials’. I think I’ll be an urban explorer for a long time to come as its very addictive, and too see everything in my part of the world would take many years and many under the cover of darkness missions. It’s full of excitement and often danger, but all in all. It’s a blast!
I use a Nikon D3100 digital SLR and a Olympus c-5050 wide zoom and a 180deg fish eye lens. I also use a GOPRO to make movies. I have a huge range of torches from led lensers to cree and Maglite. An Urban Explorer can never have enough torches or batteries!
I’m a very well prepared photographer! I open up my cupboard and its all there, cleaned, charged and packed ready to go. When I have these crazy ideas that keep me up all night, I normally take a lot of gear (and beer) into the underground, backpacks, food you name it. My crew, “The Light Junkie Misfits” are always willing to carry gear and to preform some crazy far-out photography madness!
I normally try and shoot SOOC (Straight out of camera), but if an image needs adjusting, I use a basic program called Picasa. I also use Photomatix HDR as well to make those images pop!
Apart from selling some of my work in print, card and calendar form, I recently sold the artwork to a well known author for a books front cover. ’206 Bones’ by Kathy Reichs. I am also working on a new photobook and it will have all of my best images in one coffee table sized masterpiece! Should be released June/July 2014.
I completely forgot I had these images from my visit up the Shard, sadly I didn’t have many keepers from that night due to the dirty glass and lack of tripod which I mentioned in my previous upload from there anyhow I still had a good time up there.
This is looking over to the other side of London, looking up the Thames towards Canary Wharf and beyond. Below is London Bridge Railway station and City Hall along with Tower Bridge. If you spot anything else feel free to tag it. Everything up here looked so small and almost toy like, I wonder what a tilt shift or fake tilt shift image will look like up here.
I do recommend going up here and I hope that they have sorted out all of the problems that I and other photographers had when going up there, after all I took this back in February so it was a while back.
I had owned my first camera for a number of years before I really learned how to use it, looking back I think the biggest problem I had at the time was that I really had no idea what it was I wanted to shoot or how I wanted to shoot it, so I just tried taking lots of photos and hoped for some inspiration which never really arrived so the camera was mothballed for three maybe four years during which time I quite often thought about how disappointing it was that I’d not been able to get to grips with it as I’d always considered myself both technically minded and creative, having studied art at school and graphic design at college, but I just couldn’t seem to convey my vision for a shot into the finished product the way I had so many times when I was younger.
Thankfully though in early in 2012 I was convinced by a friend who’d recently bought his first camera to give mine another go and I haven’t looked back!
I mainly shoot seascapes and landscapes but I’m starting to shoot a bit more architecture, all three being subjects that lend themselves quite nicely to long exposure which is the type of shots I enjoy taking the most. I suppose I started shooting these subjects because my time with my camera is largely governed by what I can fit in around school runs etc and I as I’m lucky to live on the Essex coast at Southend On Sea the sea and the countryside are right on my doors step, this gives me a great chance to spend plenty of time in the great outdoors and document the landmarks of this historic town.
I have always used Sony cameras and I currently have an A77 which I mostly pair with my Zeiss 16-80mm lens, the other bits of equipment I couldn’t live without are are my Heliopan filters – 10 & 6 stop, Hoya IR Filter, fotopro C5i tripod and my Giga T pro II wireless remote.
I think the photographer I find most inspiring is Michael Kahn, he produces the most beautifully crafted sea and landscape shots many of which are sepia toned which I’m not normally a fan off but they just seem to give his beach scenes a perfect feeling of calmness. Theres also a photographer in the UK call Marc Wilson who’s work I really admire, he shoots a wide range of subjects but he’s current project The Last Stand documents the history, stories and memories of military conflict by photographing the remains of military installations across the UK and Europe. I suppose the last of my inspirations has to be flickr, I know it might sound cliched but it offers a wealth of inspiration as far as subjects, techniques and I always amazed at how knowledgable and willing to pass on their knowledge other users are.
I think because i mostly shoot locally i tend to spot things i might want to shoot when I’m out and about in the car or with the kids so i keep a list of places and ideas i have for them. I’ll then check them out on google maps to check access etc but then it’s a case of waiting for the conditions to be right whether it’s the sky or the tide times or sometimes both. I keep my camera bag packed at all times so if a small window opens up to run out and try to get a shot I’ve been thinking about for a while I’m ready to go, having said there has been the odd occasion when I’ve gone out got set up and then realised I’ve left my battery in the charger or my memory card in the computer now I have backups just in case!
There are three tools I use for post processing, I tend to process black and white shots in Silver FX Pro 2, my colour shots in Lightroom and I catalogue them all in Aperture, a bit of a strange workflow I know but it works for me, as I really like the richness of tone offered by silver fx pro, the number of adjustments on offer in Lightroom and the ease of navigating aperture!
I don’t have any particular achievements or highlights just yet but hope there will be some soon!
I have taken ‘snaps’ as long as I can remember, which is quite a long time! But I only became seriously interested in photography when I decided to take a course, some twenty years back at a local college. This was working with film of course, and I got quite interested in creative darkroom techniques. I can’t remember if it was due to budget, but we only ever developed in black and white, so mono has always been of real interest to me.
Interest only became a passion when the full potential of digital took over in more recent times. With digital, the processing side of photography is even more exciting and the creative possibilities are limitless.
Landscape, mostly with long exposures. The attraction to landscape is partly down to the challenge of producing something original and provide a different perspective to otherwise familiar scenes. There is also the simple fact that I enjoy being in the countryside or on the coast, and of course for effective long exposure images, you need a good expanse of sky or sea, preferably both.
I do see photography as a true art form and there are no rules, as long as the integrity of the subject is maintained and hopefully enhanced. Whilst many of my images are black & white there are times when the creative interpretation requires a little colour.
As a photographer with a love of the surreal, long exposure captures and minimal compositions, I endeavour to produce a creative rendering of a scene rather than a record. Coastal subjects are ideal candidates for such work where the expanses of sea and sky can be made atmospheric and ethereal with the use of neutral density filters.
Canon 5D Mk II
Lenses, Canon EF24-105mm f/4L, Canon EF70-200mm
Lee filter system, Lee Big stopper (10 stop), Lee ND grads
B+W 110ND (10 stop)
Various tripods and of course a shutter release cable.
Addicted, as I am, to long exposure and mono work, it is all to easy to name those with global success like, Michael Levin and Michael Kenna, but I shall choose a couple of photographers a bit closer to home. Keith Aggett & Andy Brown, are both from South Devon, and without their inspiring images I would probably not be producing the type of mono squares that I usually do. My third source of inspiration is not a photographer at all but a country, Japan. For a lot longer than I have been making images, I have been captivated by Japanese art and gardens. These are really my influences, the clean-cut simplicity of the block print and the minimalism of Zen art.
Research is very important, the weather and of course knowing the tide times for coastal work is vital. The most useful tool to me is Google Earth, with this you can scour the coastline for possible locations and using ‘street view’ take trips along the seafront. Also vital for my kind of locations are the right clothes; walking boots, wellington boots and multiple changes of socks are always packed.
My images are managed through Adobe Lightroom 3, but 90% of my processing work is carried out using Photoshop CS5. I also sometimes use Silver Efex Pro 2, for mono work, but the image always goes through Photoshop as well. It goes without saying that good editing skills are an absolute requirement for producing effective images in this style of photography.
Clever as the latest digital cameras are, they still struggle to capture high contrast detail and they do only ‘take’ the image, it is up to the photographer to ‘make’ it there own. The camera is simply the tool used to capture the foundation of what might hopefully become a successful image. Success that is, in portraying a view that both engages and intrigues the viewer inviting them to an adjusted reality.