London Photo Festival & London Photo Gallery

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Exhibitor Hansika Jethnani tells us about the process behind her #photographs #London #londonphotofestival

In my series intractable, I let the 4 elements (water, earth, fire and air) control the polaroids I have photographed. I simply take the polaroid, the act of the elements ‘destroying’ or ‘creating’ it, giving it life and its own essence is what is crucial as opposed to the fact I took a polaroid. The elements are an ontological approach to my comprehension of existence. Using the notion of abstraction, which is ideally a portrayal of the inner states and the invisible, I have attempted to re-examine an aspect of existence, while experimenting with form and materiality of the elements. This led to experiments with different processes although of the same element. For fire, I let the polaroid develop in the microwave or with a lighter. For water, I let the polaroid run under the tap. By using the elements to control the images, I have hoped to ‘destroy’ and get rid of essentially what’s ‘important’ in the photograph.

Is it still a photograph of me if you cannot see it anymore? I questioned not just the nature of existence as a whole but the nature of existence in a photograph, especially the polaroid since it is known to encapsulate a moment just as it is.


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Looking for some #top #black&white #photography tips? Here’s some from @danbphotography

And here’s Dan’s Top 5 Black & White Photography Tips:

1) Shoot in RAW

Photographing in RAW will ultimately give you so much more control over your black and white photography, and allow you to experiment with various post-processing techniques in Lightroom and / or Photoshop, for example. 

2) Use Filters

For long exposure photography, a 10 stop filter is a must. These block out 10 stops of light, forcing the shutter open for much longer to achieve a desirable exposure and to flatter water and soften clouds (as in my Dovercourt Lighthouse photo).

To balance the sky and foreground, you can also use gradient filters. I use both soft and hard gradient filters depending on the subject I’m photographing. If you don’t have filters, you can always use the gradient filter tool in Lightroom (apologies to purists out there…!) 

3) Don’t Be Afraid Of Harsh Light

Some people avoid venturing out with their camera when the sun is blazing, but sunny weather produces excellent contrast, lines and textures for black and white architectural photography (harsh light isn’t so good for portraits unfortunately, whether it’s colour or black and white…!)

4) Lines, Shadows, Shapes and Texture

Colour can sometimes be a distraction in a photograph, so eliminating it allows you to look for these strong compositional elements. Look for leading lines, shadows, curves, contrast etc.

5) Check the Weather / Sunset

Always check the forecast if venturing out far and wide – as mentioned above, clouds are recommended for long exposures. Nothing worse than arriving at the coast after a three hour journey to be greeted with a cloudless sky (I speak from bitter experience!) I also use LightTrac, an Android app which shows the direction of the sun at different times of the day.

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My name’s Dan Biggins, and I’m a freelance web developer, a part-time wedding photographer and a keen black and white photographer! I bought my first camera 8 years ago and have been hopelessly addicted to photography ever since…
 
Twitter: @danbphotography


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Writing about your photographs.

Do you dread having to write about your photographs or avoid having to do it altogether?

You are not alone.  When I am entering competitions or exhibitions, I try and skip the part that asks for a description of the image or come up with some random sentences which ultimately do not say anything at all.

Here are some questions to ask to yourself when writing about your photography:

  1. What led you to take the photograph?
  2. What is it about?
  3. Did you plan it or was it spontaneous?
  4. Where there any ‘unusual’ circumstances behind the image?
  5. Where and when was it taken?

And it goes without saying; remember to check your spelling and grammar!

It’s a skill worth learning and it is an important part of exhibiting your photography because people are intrigued about the story behind the image and if the viewer has a connection with the image, it enhances their visual experience.

This struck me at one of our earlier Festivals when I noticed a man looking intently at an image and he kept returning to the image several times during his visit, clearly struck by the subject matter.  I went over to talk to him & he said that he’d visited the memorial pictured in the image (it was taken in Washington). The image also contained the reflection of a young man reading the names on the memorial and I went on to explain that the young man was the photographer’s fiance who was tragically killed not long after the photograph was taken.

The man was silent for a moment and then said; ‘Despite the sad circumstances, I am pleased I know that because it has made the image even more special and powerful to me’

amanda002

© Amanda Webster

 


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We are delighted to announce our Judge for May’s Festival….

Colin O’Brien has been documenting the streets of London since 1948 and knows a thing or two about street photography.

Colin’s photographs of mainly urban scenes demonstrate his eye for irony, combined with his obvious professional competence with the camera and in the darkroom, winning competitions and resulting in a number of reviews and critical articles recognising his increasing importance as an exponent of the peripatetic school.

Colin’s creative eye frames, in composition, images that communicate decisive moments. Whether of historical events or narratives of everyday life. Colin has produced a body of work in which poetic beauty is never lost, no matter how commonplace at times the subject matter.
http://www.colinobrien.co.uk/

smiling_man,_upper_street,_islington,_1980's
© Colin O’Brien: Smiling Man, Upper Street, Islington, 1980’s


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Sign up for a Portfolio Review – 24th May

Zoe Whishaw is a Commercial Photography Consultant and mentor providing creative direction and strategic advice for photographers and photo agencies (www.zoewhishaw.com). She is an expert in the visual language of stills photography within commercial contexts.

As a seasoned Editor and Art Director she has had many years of experience analysing and critiquing ideas and photography intended for commercial use across a broad spectrum of subject areas. Zoe has developed and contributed to the success of leading media company, Getty Images, where she worked for 17 years in senior creative and strategic positions, latterly as European Director of Photography. Since then she has been Creative Director at Image Source and Content Director at Gallery Stock.

As a passionate believer in photography’s power to communicate at all levels, Zoe transmits her enthusiasm and knowledge through speaking widely at workshops and conferences. She has judged international photography competitions, including Wildlife Photographer of the Year, STA Travel Photo Competition, the Association of Photographers Open Awards and the 2011 annual Association of Photographers Awards.

 
24.05.14

Where?: The Crypt Borough High Street SE1 1JA

How much?: £25 for 20 minutes

Timings on our website:  http://www.londonphotofestival.org/portfolio-reviews