What is self-portraiture? Judging a genre.

In Blog, Competition, Photography, Words by Ben

I recently had the honour to judge a photography competition held by thePrintSpace, the best printing company in London. The theme was ‘Self-Portraits’. Having lost more photography competitions than I’ve won, it was interesting to be on the other side of the table. I felt a responsibility to look as objectively as I could at each entry, weighing its merits …

Photography: Craft and Art

In Art, Articles, Philosophy, Photography, Videos, Words by Ben

[x_video_embed no_container=”true”][/x_video_embed] Photography is both a Craft and an Art. It has its genesis in chemistry laboratories and the private sheds of curious alchemists who sought to preserve the passing moment. It’s now caught up with Instagram on iPhones and hipsters with Lomo ‘cameras’; image trumps technique. As ever, the successful marriage meets halfway between craft and art. Most new …

The Four Keys Method

In Articles, Photography, Videos, Words by Ben

[x_video_embed no_container=”true”][/x_video_embed] The Four Keys SOP (Standard Operating Procedure)  A professional photographer has to be consistent; he can’t have ‘off days’. To make sure that I am always able to create interesting photographs, I’ve developed the Four Keys Method for better photography. Preserve the Scene – Photograph the whole scene as though capturing a record that will later be drawn. Focus on …

Benefit From How You See The World

In Articles, Holistic Photography, Photography, Psychology, Words by Ben

My latest article introduces a link I recently made between the psychology of the Recticular Activating System (RAS) and the artistic ‘eye’. It turns out that most of what our eyes see never makes it to our conscious awareness; it is filtered out by the RAS. This happens in three ways; Generalising: Because the world is complicated, we simplify it. We …

Focal Length – Why your Zoom lens isn’t just to ‘Spy on Things’ or ‘Get More In’.

In Articles, Photography, Words by Ben

Most cameras now come with a zoom lens. This gives the photographer the ability to smoothly change the focal length. But this doesn’t just change the framing, it alters the perception. Wide-angle lenses typically magnify the foreground and shrink the background. This increases the apparent depth of an image. They also distort images and can make them seem unnatural or …

When the Camera Does Matter

In Articles, Words by Ben

I hear a lot of photographers talking first about how many megapixels their camera has, and the length of their lens. When this loses its attraction, they start talking about how the camera doesn’t matter. They’ll resort to using a single dSLR or rangefinder and one prime lens, charmed by its limitations. What’s the truth? Well, let’s use use that …

Art: Evolution of Understanding

In Philosophy, Quote, Words by BenLeave a Comment

I recently visited a museum in Barcelona that covered ancient Art and wanted to share this excellent quotation from Octavio Paz (Peace) that I came across. Art survives the societies in which it is created. It is the visible tip of the submerged iceberg that represents every civilisation. It is often said that understanding is an illusion; that what we …

Instagram was bought by Facebook for a Billion Dollars

In Articles, Words by Ben

Well that’s not strictly true; a lot of the value is in Facebook’s stock, and can’t be realised for years. But nonetheless, an incredible amount has been spent on a two-year-old (photography? mobile app?) company that has less than twenty staff. Meanwhile, Kodak, maker of Tri-X and Kodachrome films and apparently inventor of the digital camera is going bankrupt. This …

Review: iPad for Photography

In Reviews, Words by Ben

Remember when the iPod first came out? Suddenly .mp3 players were worth considering. I jumped into the Apple pond with the iPod touch and wondered why I’d waited so long. Email, a mini-portfolio and web-browsing on the go and a massive selection of free art photography podcasts and tutorials? Yes please. It’s taken me three iterations of the iPad to …