Friday, 30 January 2015

To end the week.

I thought this might become a regular feature.  This week Liam has provided us with a picture.  If you would like to see your picture here then just drop some pictures in to our flickr pool or email us and you could be our picture of the week.

Have a good weekend!!!  See you Monday!

Breaking Records

Last week we reported that we had reached a landmark 5000 views of our website.  Yesterday we broke another record; yesterday saw the Pixel website have more views in one day than any other day since we started.  To top it off it was just a few more views either in fact we broke our previous record by about 300%.  If you took time to stop off and have a read then thank you.  We hope you enjoyed it and will continue to visit us on a regular basis.

Have a nice day!

Thursday, 29 January 2015


The finished shot.
Slightly different from the concept.
Last week a few of us from Blackburn Camera Club had a walk out in to Blackburn Town Centre for a night shoot.  I told the lads that there was a particular alley that I would like to do something with.  So we wandered over and had a look.  It would seem that we were all quite inspired by it and came away with some shots that we were happy with.

In the pub afterwards we were talking about the shoot and one of the lads said something like ‘You knew where you wanted to go and what you wanted to shoot.’  The truth is I did.  In fact I had been thinking about it for a few days.
Previsualization sketch from
my notebook.

Normally, if I had had the time I would have gone out and made a reccy during the day taking some reference shots with either a compact or my phone.  As it turned out I didn’t have time to do this so I had to work from memory.  And it was a long time since I had been from that location.

I’m not sure about how many other photographers do this but I tend to keep a photographers notebook.  In there are the ideas for my projects, shots that have inspired me, recipes for chemistry, developing info for different films and shoot sketches.

I have to admit that it is not often I draw sketches.  I tend to only do this if I’m doing any shots with lighting in them.  It allows me to see where the flash units go.  Of course the practicalities on site often mean that I deviate from the plan but at least I have some idea of what to shot and how to shoot it.

This is called Previsualization and although used more in movie making its origins stem from photography.

So what is previsualization?  The great oracle of information, Wikipedia, sums previsualization as;

Previsualization (also known as pre-rendering, preview or wireframe windows) is a function to visualize complex scenes in a movie before filming. It is also a concept in still photography. Previsualization is applied to techniques such as storyboarding, either in the form of charcoal drawn sketches or in digital technology in the planning and conceptualization of movie scenery make up.’

Ansel Adams (see video below) wrote extensively about visualising photographs before actually going out.  The term Previsualization is attributed to Minor White who divided up visualization up in to sections.  Previsualization was seeing the image before shoot; visualization was studying the subject while shooting; and post-visualization was remembering the subject while printing.  White determined his process of visualization as a ‘psychological concept’.  However, he admitted that he had learned the idea from both Adams and Edward Weston.

Visualization has been used in cinema from the very beginning firstly starting with storyboards.

Walt Disney would photograph the storyboard and edited them together in what was called the Leica Reel and add soundtracks to them as a way of determining the finished animated film.

George Lucas would push the visualization method further with his Star Wars series of films.  The Speeder Bike sequence from Return of the Jedi was planned using models with lip-stick cameras attached.

Later, Lucas’ company Industrial Light and Magic would develop 3D visualization techniques during the filming of Spielberg’s Jurassic Park which won the company an Oscar.  As an interesting side note it was an ILM employee, John Knoll that was behind the creation of Photoshop.

Software for visualization is now readily available should you want to go to that extent. 

However, for me the secret to previsualizing a photograph is to know how light affects a subject, do your research and use your imagination.

Henri Cartier-Bresson

The name is the only title that is needed for this post.  A legend among photographers and seen as the father of photojournalism.

A 50 minute documentary from 1988 which includes interviews with Cartier-Bresson has been uploaded to YouTube and is well worth watching.

Pen, Brush and Camera is a film by Patricia Wheatley who also produced What the Industrial Revolution Did For Us and Meet the Ancestors.  Look out for other famous photographers including Eve Arnold, Josef Kouldelka and Lord Snowdon.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Kepes first UK solo exhibition

György Kepes (1906-2001) was an educator, designer and ground breaking photographer.  An exhibition of his work will be opening in March at the Tate Liverpool and will be the first time that a solo exhibition of his work has been shown in the UK.

The exhibition is part of the Surreal Landscapes season that explores how the works of three very different artists are interconnected by common themes and objects that create a sense of the surreal.
Kepes was interested in science and this was used to good effect in the creation of his photograms.  These were created by placing objects on light sensitive paper and exposing them to light.  Kepes then used a range of objects including glass and prisms to create his artwork.

You can find more information about György Kepes here and see some examples of his work here.

To find out more about the Tate exhibition click here.

A sad day

Sports Illustrated is an American magazine that has had a huge impact on the world of photography.  It's image heavy content has been popular around the world since 1954.

Not only sports stars graced the cover of the magazine.  The like of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chris Rock, Burt Reynolds, Mark Wahlberg, Brad Pitt even Shirley MacLaine and Sesame Street's Big Bird have all been there.  Men will no doubt forget the swimsuit issues.

Such is the influence of the magazine and it's photographers that amateurs clamor  to emulate their style.

So the news that the magazine is to lay-off the last six of its staff photographers comes as a bit of a shock.

We would like to wish those people every luck for the future.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Sony World Photography Awards - Entry opens

The Sony World Photography Awards has opened its door for entry to the 2015 competition.  The awards, organised by the World Photography Organisation is claimed to be the 'largest and most comprehensive' competition in the world.

For the first time today it has been announced that there will also be an award for images taken by smartphone.

For more information visit the Sony World Photography Awards Website.

Closing Date is 27th February 2015.

RPS Starts Analogue Group

Heptonstall Church by Lee Johnson.  Shot on Ilford FP4+ 
with Pentax K1000.
The Royal Photographic Society has set up an analogue photography group in response to what it calls a film photography 'renaissance'.

The group will have its first meeting at College Hall, Lichfield this Saturday (31st January).  Attendance costs £7 to RPS Members and £10 to non-members.

The RPS has stated that they have been overwhelmed with the enthusiasm for film photography after many members responded to an article in their magazine RPS Journal about the importance of film and the creative possibilities of the medium.

The programme for the day will offer opportunities to photograph Lichfield Cathedral and discussions on film photography.

Transmitting Andy Warhol - Tate Liverpool

The Tate Liverpool is currently running an exhibition of an artist that needs no introduction, Andy Warhol.

The exhibition brings together more than 100 pieces of Warhols work including some of his most iconic pieces such as the Marilyn Diptych (1962), Three Brillo Soap Pad Boxes (1964/68) and Campbell’s Soup I (1968).

As a bonus the gallery is also running an ‘After Dark’ session.  This offers the opportunity to see the Tate and Warhols work after the gallery shuts.  The Warhol After Dark session is being held on Saturday 7th February from 5pm until 10pm.  Place are limited so booking is essential here.

For more information about the Transmitting Andy Warhol Exhibition visit the Tate Liverpool Website.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Micheal Kenna: France

Micheal was born in the North West but has traveled widely and has an exhibition of his work in France opening 28 JANUARY - 21 FEBRUARY 2015  at the London Gallery of Beetles & Huxley.
Widely held to be the most important landscape photographer of his generation, Michael Kenna is lauded for his unerring ability to capture the magic and ethereality of the landscape. Having travelled extensively to seek out places of sublime beauty, Kenna has returned to France throughout his career, drawn to the romance of the landscape.
Kenna first travelled to France in 1973 and began photographing the country in the early 1980s. The exhibition will offer visitors a panoramic view of the geographic and cultural variety that traverses the country, charting a journey to both distinctive landmarks Mont St Michel, Le Nôtre's Gardens at the Palace of Versailles and Château Lafite Rothschild and to the splendid grandeur of the countryside abandoned ruins, rolling hills and coastal outposts.
Following the popularity of Beetles and Huxley's inaugural exhibition of Kenna's work in 2012, Michael Kenna: France will be the first opportunity to see an extensive selection of works from the France archive in the United Kingdom. Timed to coincide with the much-anticipated release of the monograph, France (Nazraeli Press), the exhibition will feature both iconic and lesser-known photographs from Kenna's extensive archive.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Feeling small in the bigger picture!

Having a look through some of the sites I trawl, photographic sites, football sites and current interest in astronomical sites (due to Lee and I currently studying a short course with the OU on the subject of Orion) i found this piece on the Hubble telescope site about a panoramic photograph taken of the Andromeda galaxy.

Reading through the article, it made me feel very small in this enormous universe we inhabit. This panoramic photograph has been stitched together from over 7000 exposures, showing over 100 million stars.

In this cropped version of the image, it would take 48000 light years to travel from left to right. So if we look at a light year as the distance light travels in one earth year we get to a total of.....

Nine trillion, four hundred and sixty billion, eight hundred million kilometers in one year. Therefore when you then times that total by 48000, we have to be looking at the biggest panorama ever produced.

A zoomable version of the photo is available from the hubble site, in various sizes and qualities.

Friday, 23 January 2015

To end the week

To end the week I thought I would post my photograph of the week.  This may just become a regular feature.  So if you would like to see your photograph here then please post images in to the flickr group

Have a good weekend!!!  See you Monday!

Photography Events 2015

Amateur Photographer Magazine are publishing a Photography Events Calendar on their website.  The calendar covers the period from January to May and will be updated on a regular basis.  It included details of exhibition and major competition deadlines.  A useful resource for anyone wishing to see or do more with their photography.

Terry O'Neil Award winners announced

The winner of the Terry O'Neil Award has been announced.

For this competition the photographer must submit a series of images with a short narrative.  The categories include reportage, documentary, landscape, wildlife portrait or fine art.

This years, winner, Giorgio Bianchi won the award for his images of violence and unrest in Kiev.

Terry O' Neil said "Giorgio’s work is amazing. It’s world-class and I think he is going to go on to do even greater things in the future. This year the Award attracted the highest quality entries in the nine years since it was established. Judging this year was the toughest yet but immensely rewarding and exciting."

Sarah Gilbert of the Guardian who sponsors the event said "Giorgio Bianchi’s winning series has everything you could ask for: The big perspective, close intimate moments, and a visual narrative that captures the emotions, exhaustion and the physical chaos of fighting, dying and surviving on the frontline."

UK Photographer Rob Pearson-Wright won the Mobile Device category for his series entitled Universal Language.

All the winning essays can be seen here. 

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Taylor Wessing Prize sparks debate

Yesterday we posted about the announcement of the winner of the Taylor Wessing Prize.
It would appear that the winning image has sparked quite a discussion with Amateur Photographer posting a poll about David Titlows image.

The poll asks ‘What do you think of this year’s Taylor Wessing Awards winner?’ with the options including ‘It isn’t a portrait and it isn’t very good either’; ‘I have no strong option about the winning image’ or ‘It’s a good picture but there were better entries that should have won’.

At time of writing there had been 218 votes with ‘It isn’t a portrait and it isn’t very good either’ being the most popular option with 114 votes (52%).

To see the poll and vote visit Amateur Photographer

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

The Online Photographer - Ultra High Speed SD Card Test

Over at The Online Photographer, editor Mike Johnstone has been carrying out a little experiment with speeds of SD cards including the new UHS-II cards.  It's well worth a read.

Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize winners announced

The winner of the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize has been announced.  The winner David Titlow said about his image entitled Konrad Lars Hastings Titlow ‘Everyone was a bit hazy from the previous day’s excess. My girlfriend passed our son to the subdued revellers on the sofa – the composition and back light was so perfect I had to capture the moment.’  The picture was taken after a midsummers celebration.

Titlow is a musician turned fashion and advertising photographer and has been commissioned by the Guardian, Vanity Fair, Esquire, Rolling Stone, and Vice magazine, among other publications.
His portrait wins him £12,000 and will be the feature picture in an exhibition and opens to the public, at the National Portrait Gallery, London, on Thursday.

Sandy Nairne, director of the National Portrait Gallery, called Titlow’s photograph “a fascinating and compelling image.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Meet the Lumix GF7 - The Selfie CSC

A couple of weeks ago we featured an article about Fujifilm’s XA-2 CSC camera that appeared to be aimed at the growing selfie market.

Today, Panasonic release news of a new CSC model aimed also at the selfie market.

The Lumix GF7 is a 16 megapixel, micro four thirds camera that has the selfie straight at its heart.  The rear LCD is capable of being turned to face forward in the same manner as the XA-2 and doing so initiates the ‘selfie’ mode of the camera.  From here the camera’s soft skin and slimming modes can be activated as wee as face detection auto shutter just to make sure that you too can look like a vogue cover model.

For something a bit different the camera can be connected to a smartphone via wi-fi to activate a jump shot mode where the camera will automatically fire the shutter when you get to the optimum height of your jump.

The camera look has a retro feel to it which is accentuated with a ‘leather feel’ grip.  It also features full HD video, time lapse and stop motion animation settings.

There are also plenty of digital filters for those looking for an Instagram type look to their images with a choice of 22 including retro, dynamic monochrome and toy camera effects.  Interestingly, the camera can be set to record the same image twice.  One with the filter applied and one without.

The GF7 will be hitting UK stores in March and will cost £429.  It will be available in silver or brown.

Lancoast - The Way Forward

Pixel editor, Lee Johnson, has posted thoughts on his latest essay, Lancoast on his blog.  Lee has been battling with his original idea of shooting the entire essay on film before salt printing the neagtives or the option of using digital.

Lee said 'My internal editing on the fly machine began to work and a way forward found its way.
As much as I love film and wanted to do this in film it is impracticable.  The cost and time in getting each image in 4”x5” format would out way the advantages and look.  If I were to use 35mm although it would work I would still scan the negatives, carry out some Photoshop work (levels, scratches, dust etc.) and print the large scale negatives.

Digital has become the answer that I didn't really want it to be.  Cut out the middle section of developing film, shooting with different film and/or cameras and I still end up with the outcome I want.'

The full story can be read on Lee's Lancoast Blog here.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Coming up at Blackburn is Open

Image by Blackburn is Open
Book in at the Bureau
Blackburn's new arts venue The Bureau has pledged to show an new emerging artist every month. It kicks off with artist Yvonne Koo a Manchester based painter who uses traditional Chinese techniques in her minimalist paintings.
For More information click this link!
Image by Blackburn is Open

Don't lose out.
When Lost Ground hit the big time (as we know they're going to) you'll be able to tell them you saw them in Blackburn playing an intimate venue and for free!! Follow the link for a lifetime of lording it your over mates who missed out.

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Image by Blackburn is Open
Got Soul?
This year the North West’s longest running Northern Soul night will celebrate two decades of good times, great music and impressive dance moves. And what's even better is it's right here in Blackburn.

For more information click this link!

main image
Image by Blackburn is Open
Could you be the next Mark Ronson?
Thinking of making it in the music business? Sound Bytes is a Creative Lancashire event to help performers, producers, musicians and managers get ahead.

For more information click this link!

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Image by Blackburn is Open
The Making Issue
Issue Two of By Skill and Hard Work is out now. The Making Issue looks at makers, crafters and artisans who decide to follow their creative dreams. Read it online or pick up a paper copy in Blackburn town centre.

For more information click this link!

Reaching 5000

The beginning of this week sees a little landmark reached for us here at Pixel.  We have had finally reached the 5000 read mark for our website.  Considering the amount of photography related websites out there and we cover just a tiny area within Lancashire this is really impressive.

We would like to thank everyone that has taken time to stop by and spend a little time with us.  Don't forget we're here all week so why not pop back or even drop us an email.

Thanks again!

Friday, 16 January 2015

Simon Roberts

We know Simon from his documentary work and his books and exhibitions including We English  The Olympiad and Pierdom. These were all projects made using a 5x4 view camera. We were able to publish a sample of his work in Pixel some little time ago.

He has recently done something completely different and worked on a commission to create a print advert for Citizen’s first ever global advertising campaign. This video shows some of the behind the scenes action

Here’s more about the project:

“Citizen Watch Co., Ltd embarks on a race against time in CHASING HORIZONS, the 84 year-old watchmaker’s first-ever global campaign that launches today. Created jointly by Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo and Amsterdam, Citizen’s first global campaign challenged photographer Simon Roberts and ex-NATO pilot Jonathan Nicol to chase the sunset across the Earth’s time zones.

Influence & Inspiration - Robert Frank

Robert Frank is an American photographer and documentary filmmaker. His most notable work, the 1958 book titled The Americans,

Critic Sean O'Hagan, writing in The Guardian in 2014, said The Americans "changed the nature of photography, what it could say and how it could say it. [ . . . ] it remains perhaps the most influential photography book of the 20th century."  Frank later expanded into film and video and experimented with manipulating photographs and photomontage.

Born in Switzerland Frank states in the 2005 documentary "Leaving Home, Coming Home" by Director Gerald Fox, that his mother, Rosa, had a Swiss passport, while his father, Hermann originating from Frankfurt, Germany had become stateless after losing his German citizenship as a Jew. They had to apply for the Swiss citizenship of Frank and his older brother, Manfred. Though Frank and his family remained safe in Switzerland during World War II, the threat of Nazism nonetheless affected his understanding of oppression.

He turned to photography and trained under a few photographers and graphic designers before he created his first hand-made book of photographs, 40 Fotos, in 1946. Frank emigrated to the United States in 1947, and secured a job in New York City as a fashion photographer for Harper's Bazaar.

In 1950  Frank met Edward Steichen and  participated in the group show 51 American Photographers at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

Though he was initially optimistic about the United States' society and culture, Frank's perspective quickly changed as he confronted the fast pace of American life and what he saw as an overemphasis on money. He now saw America as an often bleak and lonely place, a perspective that became evident in his later photography.

With the aid of his major artistic influence, the photographer Walker Evans, Frank secured a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1955 to travel across the United States and photograph all strata of its society.  During the trip Frank took 28,000 photographs of which 83 were selected by him for the publication The Americans.

Shortly after returning to New York in 1957, Frank met Beat writer Jack Kerouac on the sidewalk outside a party and showed him the photographs from his travels. Kerouac immediately told Frank "Sure I can write something about these pictures," and he contributed the introduction to the U.S. edition of The Americans.

This divergence from contemporary photographic standards gave Frank difficulty at first in securing an American publisher. Les Américains was first published in 1958 by Robert Delpire in Paris, and finally in 1959 in the United States by Grove Press, where it initially received substantial criticism. Popular Photography, for one, derided his images as "meaningless blur, grain, muddy exposures, drunken horizons and general sloppiness." Though sales were also poor at first, the fact that the introduction was by the popular Kerouac helped it reach a larger audience. Over time and through its inspiration of later artists, The Americans became a seminal work in American photography and art history, and is the work with which Frank is most clearly identified.

In 1961, Frank received his first individual show, entitled Robert Frank: Photographer, at the Art Institute of Chicago. He also showed at MoMA in New York in 1962.

To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the first publication of The Americans, a new edition was released worldwide on May 30, 2008.

The National Gallery of Art based in Washington DC owns the largest collection of Robert Franks works and to celebrate Franks 90th birthday they have digitised and developed an online repository of his work.

It includes 624 photographs, 2,967 contact sheets, and 1,344 work prints that span from 1937 to 2005.  It is a must see for anyone interested in film or street photography.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

The Film Photography Project - An Introduction

The Film Photography Project began about five years as a bi-weekly internet radio show, The Film Photography Podcast.

A staff of volunteers headed up by Michael Rasso produce a bi-weekly show (what show) aimed at informing, engaging and inspiring film photographers around the world.
Since its inception the FPP has gained a lot of interest and has built a community of photographers that are interested in film photography and offers opportunities to share their creative output, experiences and passion for film photography.

The FPP also does something else that is quite remarkable.  Listeners send in equipment they either come across or no longer require and the FPP re-distributes camera, lenses and other sundries to anyone with a genuine interest in film photography and wishes to have a go.  Recently, the FPP donated 15 film cameras and 150 rolls of film to a project in Africa.  In addition to this they have also supported projects in high schools with the gift of cameras and film.
Michael and the team also organise Walking Workshops that like-minded people can book to attend and head out with the team to take photographs.  Many of these are in the US where FPP is based but they have been known to venture over here!  The hope is that one day they would like to return (maybe to the North, this time lady and gents!).

Over recent years the FPP has grown to include its own store that sells film cameras and supplies at very reasonable rates and excellent service.
One thing is guaranteed, the enthusiasm for shooting film (and Tim Tams) shines through each and every show.

The fortnightly podcast can be downloaded from iTunes or the FPP website.
Photographs from the team and its listeners can be found in its flickr group.

The new show is out today and is well worth a listen.  Well done FPP keep up the good work!!!

Fujifilm releases new CSC camera

X-A2_Tilt_Front_Brown.webFujifilm, the company that is taking the interchangeable camera market by storm has announced details of a new CSC camera set to be on sale in March this year.

The camera appears to be aimed at producing high quality selfies with its 172 degree tilting screen and eye detection AF mode.

The X-A2 has an APS-C sized centre with boasting 16 megapixels and the EXR II processor engine now familiar with Fujifilm products.  The camera will cost £449.99.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

The Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition has opened for entry submission it has been announced by the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
The competition has also had new sections added this year.  These include:
·        Skyscapes - A section for land or cityscapes that have an astronomical theme to them.
·         Our Sun
·         Our Moon
·         Stars and Nebulae
·         Planets, Comets & Asteroids
·         Galaxies

Dr Marek Kukula, public astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich and judge in the competition said: ‘Over the last six years of the competition we’ve seen some really exciting and beautiful themes and subjects emerging from the astrophotography community. We wanted the competition to reflect the photographers’ interests and so we’ve created the new categories around them.
People & Space Rinner Up 2014 (c) Julie Fletcher
This will really showcase the full range of amazing pictures that are coming in each year and I’m really looking forward to seeing the entries in 2015. As always, there are bound to be some surprises.’
Entries must be submitted by the deadline of April 16. Winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Royal Observatory on September 17 with an exhibition to follow.
For more information visit

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

The River - Lee Johnson

'Oh my God!' A damp feeling ran down the shin and calf of my right leg. The cold shooting through my body was intense like being wrapped in a blanket of ice. It could not have been worse than if I had been slapped in the face with a wet trout.

A welly filling with ice cold river water in the middle of December is probably not anybody's idea of fun. Well, perhaps only fishermen and photographers. It's funny, now that I sit here at my desk I remember just how cold it was. At the time getting home, the comfort of central heating and a few hot chocolates quickly dissipated the memory.

It was on a whim that I visited the waterfalls of Earby. I didn't have any particular shot in mind. The only thing that I had actually thought about was that I wanted to make exposure time quite long. By making long exposures the water becomes blurred and often gives an impression of movement throughout the picture.

When making landscape photographs I tend to start with a very wide view taking in as much of the scene as possible. After a while I begin to settle in to what I am doing and see the micro landscapes and abstracts that I actually find infinitely more interesting than that of the whole. I guess I like details.

A few hours sat at my PC and the cold amnesia had firmly set in. The collection of images I had made were good. In fact it is fair to say that an abstract from the set is one of my favourite photographs I have ever made. I should really find a way of making a nice print of it.

The thing is shooting something like this is a really bad idea for me. I don't really tend to work in single images. I actually prefer to make essays. That is a collection of photographs that tell a story. So when I see something that is beginning to work it tends to start the steam engine to whir the cogs of my brain and the Christmas holidays gave me plenty of time to think.

Taking these shots also coincided with me reading Ted Hughes book of poetry on the River Dart in Devon. Each poem is accompanied by a photograph by Peter Keen. So it was no surprise that my brain went into overdrive. However, there was no chance I was going to attempt to write poems to go with my images. It's one thing writing an article for my blog or a magazine but a completely another world writing poetry and I don't think my command of the English language extends that far.

The festive season came and went and the idea of The River had firmly set in. As with all my ideas for essays the initial idea behind the project had started off too big. Originally the subject of The River was going to be the River Ribble but with a timescale of nine months this was not going to be possible and so I had a re-think. The answer to the brainstorming session was to document a river that was and continues to be much closer to my heart; one that I could visit easily when I had a spare hour or so; the answer was Colne Water.

Colne Water is a river that stretches around five miles from the hamlet of Laneshawbridge, through the town of Colne and ends in the village of Barrowford. Unlike the Ribble it has a very definite start and finish. Very much like the Ribble it has a variety of landscape characteristics from rural through urban fringe, industrial and back to urban fringe.

It turned out to be a good time to document this river. Major changes to it were about to happen. Some of the wiers were removed to allow breeding salmon upstream. No bad thing at least not in my book. Also permission has just been sought to generate electricity from another part of the river. Again, in my opinion no bad thing. And then there was also the demolition of the mill at Waterside.

I tend to take some test shots before I settle in to producing an essay properly. It quickly became apparent that I had found a look to the images that I was happy with. This wasn't going to be about big beautiful landscapes taken during the time of days referred to as the ‘golden hours’ (that is sunrise and sunset). It wasn't going to be about the wildlife of the water course and although there would be some small space for it within the essay the final piece would be more abstract than that.

Beth Derbyshire & The Ark
I began shooting the images that would be included in the final piece without an idea what the final presentation of the piece would be. In general when I start out shooting an essay, I only have a vague idea of what the finished piece will be like. This usually evolves and clears as the process of making photograph continues along. In terms of The River the final piece would become an audiovisual presentation.

Model of The Ark
Some time ago I got involved with Beth Derbyshire’s Ark. This was a converted canal barge that travelled up and down the Leeds Liverpool Canal showing a multi-screen video installation and this proved to be an influence on my final piece. Not having access to multiple screens or projectors I decided that I would create slides with a series of interchanging images from up and down the river. The soundtrack to the imagery would be a soundscape created by recording my walk along the river bank. This hopefully meant that the viewer would be immersed in sights and sounds that I was seeing and hearing.

The River is made up of around 70 images most of which are quite abstract or show some small detail often missed by someone walking along the course of Colne Water. There are some images of the landscape that it sits in; there are some photographs that document some of the wildlife; some are quite pretty; others are quite hard to look at.
The River was never going to be a beautiful celebration of a prized landscape feature. It was always intended to show the viewer how nature and man affect the landscape in a warts and all manner. I think it achieves this.

Sony Announce Six New Ambassadors

Sony UK has announced six new Imaging Ambassadors to join its programme.

The photographers are:
Joe Cornish - Landscape Photographer
Gavin Evans - Portrait Photographer
Michael Wayne Plant - Street Photographer
Nick Webster - Fashion and Sport Photographer
Dominic Fraser - Automotive Photographer
Andrew Scriven - Wildlife Photographer

Art Wolfe - Magnum Opus

News came last week that photographer Art Wolfe has released a new book.  Earth is My Witness is described as Wolfe’s Magnum Opus, a celebration of his best work spanning four decades.

Born in 1951 Wolfe, is an American photographer and conservationist.  After graduating from the University of Washington with a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree, Wolfe began working for National Geographic Magazine. 

Art Wolfe has published more than 65 books of his work and continues to be active in photographic and conservation circles.

For those that are interested in Wolfe’s work or would like to find out a little more there is the video below.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Pinhole Resources

Yesterday we saw the announcement of World Pinhole Photography Day 2015 and we thought it would be a good idea to end the week with some resources to help you get involved.  Have a go at pinhole photography.  Its seriously fund and addictive.  Above all it's cheap and easy to do!

How to build a pinhole camera 

Kodak - How to build a pinhole
Instructables - How to make a pinhole camera

A Pinhole Gallery

Pinhole Gallery
WPPD Gallery

Buying Pinholes

Holga Pinhole Lens - Other mounts are available
Pop-up Pinhole Company

Pixel do not endorse products or recieve payment from any third party company.  We're here to give you ideas and share a bit of camera love!

And to end this post a couple of little films

That's it for our first week back. We hope you have enjoyed popping in to see us.  Have a lovely weekend whatever you are doing.

The Worlds First Near Field Communication SD Card

toshibanfcToshiba have announced that they will soon be releasing the worlds first near field communication SD card in February 2015.

The owner of the card car read usage data and see thumbnails of 16 images on the card simply by tounching the SD card with their phone (appropiate app required).

Toshiba claim that it will assist photographers who use multiple SD cards find the card they are afeter quicker.  The cards will be available in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB.  Price is yet to be confirmed.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

World Pinhole Photography Day

Be part of something big,
(through something very small).
The fifteenth Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day (WPPD)  will be celebrated all over the world on Sunday April 26th, 2015.

Everyone in the world is invited to take a picture with a pinhole camera, upload it to and become part of the Internet's premier pinhole photography gallery.

Pinhole cameras have no lens at all and pinhole photos are taken simply through a small hole. It is very fun, educational and creative to use these kinds of cameras that can even be self-made with various boxes or cans. Any container that can be made light-tight is enough: from tea boxes to tomato cans, from shoe boxes to wooden ones.

An increasing number of people are showing interest in the exciting practice of pinhole photography.  In 2001, 291 pinhole photographers from 24 countries took part in the WPPD and the web exhibition. Last year they were 3,517 participants from 70 countries.

You don’t even need to be working in the medium of film.  You can also use pinhole ‘lenses’ attached to digital SLR’s.  The choice is yours!

WPPD stems from the enthusiastic work by dozens of volunteers scattered worldwide.   More information and the full program (constantly updated) can be found at


By now everyone will probably know about the shocking events that unfolded in Paris yesterday.  Our thoughts are with those left behind to deal with such as senseless tragedy.

It would turn out that yesterday would be all about freedoms of speech.  Shortly after the news about Paris came a posting on Amateur Photographer Magazine’s website about a campaign to stop photographers publishing photographs of children without the consent of parents.

The Royal Photographic Society joined with the National Union of Journalists in condemning the bid which has now reached the House of Lords.

The campaign started after musician Paul Weller and his wife won a High Court Battle against the Daily Mail for publishing un-pixelated pictures of their children whilst on a shopping trip in Los Angeles.

If such a campaign should be successful the law would have an effect on amateur photographers as well as professionals.  The posting of photographs including children to social media sites or entrance to competitions would also be included.  This would have a serious impact on those that practice the documentary aspects of photography such as street photography.

Across the Atlantic in the United States the freedoms of photographers has also made the news.  The so-called Ansel Adams Act has been introduced in to Congress.  The bill aims to “restore the First Amendment rights of photographers” by removing restrictions on taking photographs in public places such as national parks, of taking images of Government buildings and/or workers and police officers.

Maybe it is a little ironic that we are talking about freedoms in 2015.  This year celebrates the 800 year anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta was the inspirations of all of our constitutional rights and freedoms.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

On the subject of Film...

The Financial Times have realeased a little video on the state of film and analogue photography in the UK.

And now for something a little different!!!

Brownie cameraThe BBC website has a beautiful little article on the Kodak Brownie Camera and how it revolutionised photography.  There is also a gorgeous photograph entitled Tiller Girls by Bert Hardy that was taken in Blackpool.  It's well worth a quick read!!!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

The Difference Between Art Photography & Other Photography

Over at The Online Photographer, Mike Johnston is having a converstaion about photography and its critque.  This is following the response given to him from readers about one of his images.  As articles usually are at TOP it is insightful and useful.  I especially like the statement "One big distinction between art photography and other photography is that you don't give the audience what they want, you lead them to see and understand (over the course of many pictures) what you want. You can't do that unless you're being true to yourself."

Consumer Electronics Show Show New Toys for Photographers

Pentax 2015CES_Reference_Kmount DSLR with new18-50mm

The annual Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas demonstrates that humble camera is not yeilding to the rise of cameraphone photography with a whole host of new products set to hit the stores.

Amongst the offerings is a mock up of a new DSLR from Pentax that is rumoured to be set for release during this spring as a replacement for the K-50.  Ricoh also showed two mock ups of a new ' high maginifcation super telephoto' and a 'large diameter' telephoto lens.

Nikon unvieled the new D5500.  This 'exceptionally portable' DSLR boasts a 24.2 mega pixel sensor with a vari-angle touchscreen.  Nikon claim that they have improved the contrast detection aouto focus in live view mode so it is 20% faster than the D5300.  The camera also has built in wi-fi and allows smart phone control.  The D5500 will be hitting the shops shortly and is expected to be sold at £639.99 for the body.

Camera makers are also throwing their weight behind the compact market.  Panasonic unvieled the Lumix SZ10 that comes complete with 'slimming mode'.  No longer do you need to use your generic photo-editing package, join a local gym or fat fighters to look slim!  The SZ10 will take pounds off you.  So now you can have your pies and still look good in a selfie!  Despite this little gimmick the SZ10 appears to be quite an impressive little camera with a 24mm wide angle lens, 12x optical zoom flip out monitor and wi-fi again with smartphone control.  All this for £139.99. 

For those looking for something a little more rugged there is also the Lumix FT30 with its 16 megapixel sensor, shock resistance and water resitant to 1.5m.  It also boasts 4x optical zoom and an intelliget underwater photography mode.

The last offering from Panasonic is the very nice looking Lumix TZ70.  Aimed at the high end compact market this camera has a 12 megapixel sensor with 24mm Leica lens and 30x optical zoom.  It has a lens mounted control ring as we have come to expect from high end compacts, geotagging, wi-fi and RAW file recording.  This camera is expected to cost £349.99 and will be available in the UK from March.