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Tag Archives: Photography

Photography and the art scene, selling your pictures

I subscribe to a site called Artsy, it offers works of art for sale. It is well organised and through preferences you make, lists artists and work you might be interested in and keeps you informed of auctions and so on. No I have never bought anything but I like to look.

I thought you might be interested to see some of the photography that it has for sale, not because you might want to buy but because it might give you some idea as to what you have to do to be considered an artist who sells their photographs. Of course being an artist isn’t just about what you produce but the road or how long that you took to get there, otherwise how would a drawing by Picasso on a napkin be worth anything, according to this story 25 years is the answer to how long.

So you might consider the photographs you make equivalent to some that you can see here on the Artsy photography page but that doesn’t mean yours are worth anything to a wider world. I hope you have learned that what other people think is less important than what you think about your images. You know what you wanted to achieve and whether you did, assuming you don’t fool yourself you will either be satisfied or like most of us know you have to try harder. Being creative in any medium starts with a desire to communicate and if what you produce doesn’t speak to you it is unlikely to do so to anyone else, so be honest did your intent manifest itself in your photograph? Intention is all important; serendipity is fine, happenstance, chance, luck they can all add to your images but in the end they have little to do with what you intended to offer the world as your version of what you see.

So here are some examples of what is on offer at Artsy, you may think they are worth the cost and buy or you may look and repeat that old joke. “How many photographers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?” Answer “25, one to do it an 24 to say ‘I could do that'”

From Artsy:

Arguably the most popular medium in contemporary art, photography was invented in 1839. Since then, its various forms and styles have increased almost exponentially—longstanding approaches to the medium range from documentary photography and photojournalism to photo-abstraction. At the same time, every age seems to come with its own photographic movements, and the past century has seen the influential rise of Modern Photography, New American Color Photography, Diaristic Photography, and the Dusseldorf School, among countless other styles and groups.


JESSE BURKE Lumberjack, 2014 Archival pigment print $2,000 – 4,000
ELGER ESSER Helensburg, 2015 Hahnemuhle Ultrasmooth 100% Cotton Rag Framed €15,000 – 20,000
OLIVIER VALSECCHI Eagle, 2012 Lambda Print €3,000 – 5,000
JAIME LIEBERMAN The iron chicken and the Red Bull, 2013 Painting with light on Varita paper Contact For Price
JEE YOUNG LEE Maiden Voyage, 2009 From the series Stage of Mind €2,500 – 5,000
YASUMASA MORIMURA “M’s Self-Portrait no 40/b” 9/12, 1995 Gelatine silver print, framed Contact For Price
JON FURLONG Water Tower Paste Up, 2015 Fuji metallic pearl paper; Ed. 1/3 $500
WALTER HUGO & ZONIEL Developing Shadows 6, 2011 Plaster board and silver nitrate £4,500
Here are just a few of the very varied offerings available for sale within the art market for photography, go and have a look at the rest it is interesting and enlightening if sometimes baffling. See more here


The 10 Most Expensive Photographs in the World

From Gizmodo we get this, I think the most expensive may have been surpassed but it doesn’t matter

Sometimes photographers amaze us with their ability to uniquely reflect the world around us and get a look at it from a different angle. Other times, they depict images so disgusting or banal that it’s impossible to understand why so many consider their photographs masterpieces. The art market is inscrutable, especially when it comes to photography. The following ten photos, ranked by worth, sold for millions of dollars at auctions over the past few years.

The Rhine II 1999 Andreas Gursky born 1955 Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 2000 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/P78372

The Rhine II 1999 Andreas Gursky born 1955 Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 2000 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/P78372 

1) Rhein II, by Andreas Gursky (1999). Sold for $4.3 million.


2) Untitled #96, by Cindy Sherman (1981). Sold for $3.9 million.


3) For Her Majesty, by Gilbert & George (1973). Sold for $3.7 million.

Ok there is the top three for you, go here to see the rest

News Flash

Peter Lik's 'Phantom' was sold for an unprecedented $6.5 million and is the most expensive photograph in history. (PRNewsFoto/LIK USA)

Peter Lik’s ‘Phantom’ was sold for an unprecedented $6.5 million and is the most expensive photograph in history. (PRNewsFoto/LIK USA)

Photographer Peter Lik has sold a print for a cool $6.5 million

Australian landscaper photographer Peter Lik has set a new world record after a private unnamed collector purchased one of his photos for an unprecedented $6.5 million.

The black-and-white image, called “Phantom,” was taken in Arizona’s Antelope Canyon, the Guardian reports.


Best ND filter: 6 top models tested and rated

From Digital Camera World

I didn’t even realise that such filters needed to be tested and rated so this article was very interesting. I have to say I bought a variable nd filter from 7dayshop.com for less than £12 and thought it quite good but now I know better

Bright light isn’t always a good thing. Get some serious stopping power as we test six of the top options to find the best ND filter for photographers…

Fast shutter speeds are great for freezing motion, but that’s not always what you want when you’re taking a photograph.

Mount your camera on a tripod and set a long exposure, and you can add motion blur to subjects like weirs and waterfalls, for a much more dreamy look.

Tripods also make it possible to blur people and vehicles out of busy street scenes as they’re walking around, for cleaner architectural shots.

The only problem is enabling a long exposure in bright light, such as on a very sunny day, as over-exposed and even blown-out photos are likely.

SEE MORE: 9 filter mistakes every photographer makes (and how to avoid them)

One solution is to fit a high-density neutral filter to your lens, typically one with a rating of 10 stops.

These dark filters reduce the amount of light passing through the lens. If, for example, a sunny scene would require a setting of f/11 at 1/125 sec for a correct exposure, fitting a 10-stop ND filter will enable you to slow the shutter speed to eight full seconds at f/11.

Another option, which is also particularly advantageous when shooting video, is to use a variable or ‘fader’ ND filter.

Based on two polarising filters, one of which is rotated against the other, these usually give a range of between two and eight stops.

SEE MORE: How and when to use ND filters (and what the numbers mean)

Best ND filter: 01 Tiffen IR ND 3.0

Price: £65, $90 for 77mm fitting
Tiffen’s older standard ND 3.0 filter is a typical triple-density filter that gives the usual 10-stop light reduction.

However, in our tests it gave a very pronounced red colour cast when used on a Nikon D7000, and the effect was still noticeable to a lesser extent when fitted on a D610.

According to Tiffen, the new IR Cut edition is specially engineered to reduce ‘infra-red and far-red pollution’.

SEE MORE: Choosing the best ND filter -remember these 4 tips and print out this cheat sheet

In our tests, we did find that it gave a much more neutral colour balance on both cameras.

The standard of construction is very good, with a low-profile design to combat vignetting, even when used on ultra-wide lenses, and no light seepage around the edge of the filter.

The claimed 10-stop density is very accurate. If you’re on a limited budget, this filter is a very good buy.

Pros… Very good colour accuracy, low-profile design.
Cons… Metering with the filter fitted tends to give dark images.
We say… Very good performance and excellent value.

Want to see what else is tested….go here

20 Expressive Negative Space Photography – Negative is Positive

This article from a graphic design website explains how the use of negative space within an image can make a positive expression. We cover these subject areas in our Composition Course – Seeing Pictures

“There are several things that graphic designers can learn from other professions. Photography is one such field that shares similar techniques with graphic design. Minimalism and clarity of work are both common traits of graphic designing and photography. Likewise, one of the best tricks of incorporating minimalism in an artwork is using negative space.

Negative space is the space around an object of attention. Although some might argue that negative space is wasted space, the absence of content does not mean the absence of interest. On the contrary, negative space generates attention as it puts a stronger emphasis on the subject. It also helps in arousing the emotions of the object in focus.”  See more pictures and read more here



Abstract Photography: how to shoot urban Impressionism

The trend of Impressionist photography has shown us the natural world as it’s never been seen before. But can it work in an urban setting?

Photography has witnessed an explosion of creative ideas over the last few years, primarily due to the advent of digital capture and processing via the “dry” darkroom. The digital photography age, due to the low cost of memory as opposed to capture on film, has above all allowed the individual to experiment far beyond what was previously possible. It has also allowed people to develop new methods of approach to their photography, here, leading landscape photographers  Morag Paterson and Ted Leeming talk about how to transfer your Impressionist photography techniques from the natural world to the urban environment. Read more….

Andy Lee photographer Iceland landscapes

From Bored Panada

As amazing as Iceland’s natural sights are, the sheer amount of photographers that visit there means that a lot of their photos end up looking fairly similar. UK-based photographer Andy Lee, however, has used an interesting technique to ensure that his photographs of Iceland’s stark and proud landscape are especially dramatic and atmospheric.

Lee’s stunning photos, which are from “Blue Iceland” and several other Iceland-focused series, resemble Romantic-era paintings because of their moody atmosphere and dramatic lighting. They were created by shooting with a camera that can pick up infrared light and/or a filter that filters out some or all visible light (emphasizing infrared wavelengths). Digital SLR cameras react to IR light, but many have blockers installed to minimize it. This means that one would either have to remove the blocker or use a darkening IR filter (for more tips on how to use this technique, check outthis article).

This technique can produce very interesting effects, blocking light from some visible wavelengths, emphasizing light from others, and picking up light from some wavelengths invisible to the naked eye. The natural features in Lee’s painting-like photographs stand under a black sky and are eerily illuminated by a seemingly faint and distant sun.

Iceland, a country rich with roaring volcanoes, monolithic glaciers, icy mountains and deep fjords, has become a mecca for photographers looking to capture the raw, mystical power of its natural northern beauty. The ruggedness of and stark contrasts present in Iceland’s landscapes makes them irresistible to photographers like Lee.





If you like Andy’s landscapes go to his 500px site here, you will not be disappointed

Oxford Photo Walk – October 11th 2014

You may already know about this, if not thought you might be interested. The idea of a photo walk is that people with cameras gather for about 2 hours and walk around their city and take pictures. Sounds like it could be fun. It is presented as a social thing rather than a learning experience although I am sure advice will be spread to those who are receptive. There are photowalks all over the world on the same day so even if you don’t live in Oxford you might be able to find one near you or even organise one. The main organiser is Scott Kelby, who is a well known photographer and trainer. Here is a bit of info, here is the link site


©Keith Barnes


©Keith Barnes

Photo Walk Description

Hi guys, I’m Peter. This will be my third Worldwide Photo Walk, and this year I’ve decided to take the lead!

I want to do something a little different this year, and set a theme. Oxford is a beautiful city with centuries of history, and I want to capture that by shooting film. I will even hand develop all my shots! So, I would like to suggest that anyone interested in joining me on an attempt to take over Oxford for 2 hours brings a film camera with them. This is not a requirement for attending this walk, but it would be great to see as many film cameras as possible. It doesn’t matter whether you have a pinhole camera, a brownie, Leica, or even if you bring an 8 x 10 large format (although anything bigger than that may cause an obstruction).

If you don’t have (and can’t borrow one) a film camera, don’t worry it’s not a requirement. If you do wish to get involved, disposable film cameras can still be easily found for as little as £2-3, and I may also be able to help out if needed (more details on an update). It’s also not a requirement that you only shoot film.

I have created a local Flickr group which can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/groups/wwpwoxford2014
The main Worldwide Photo Walk Flickr page can be found here: http://flickr.com/groups/wwpw2014

I really enjoyed my last two walks, and I hope I can make this year as enjoyable for you. I will keep this page updated with more details as I get them, with the possibility of a local competition! Again, to recap: film would be great but not a requirement, no experience required – just the love of taking photos, and above all else, we’ll have fun and meet new friends.

Meeting Location & Time

Radcliffe Square, Oxford, Oxford- United Kingdom
Get Directions

Date: Saturday, October 11, 2014

Time: 03:00pm – 05:00pm

Location Details: Outside the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin

After the walk, meet at: TBC

If you are not in Oxford then go to this site and see if there is a walk near you

Is it legal to take pictures of buildings? Photography law questions and answers

Reports of photographers being harassed for taking pictures in public places are becoming increasingly common, particularly among photographers taking pictures of buildings – both public and private. Reading these reports you can be forgiven for wondering, ‘Is it legal to take pictures of buildings anymore?’

Rest assured, it is. Learning the fine points of photo composition and how to use your camera, is one thing. But something the guide books often don’t tell you about are photographers’ rights.

It’s important, therefore, that we know exactly what we can and can’t photograph, and where. In this new series we aim to answer many of the common questions about photography law and look into the legality of taking pictures of different subjects and situations.

In this first post, we look at some of the common photography law questions around taking pictures of buildings. In subsequent posts each week we’ll explore the legality of taking pictures of people, animals, landscapes and even other people’s art.

All of the responses are provided by our legal consultant who is an expert in intellectual property and photography law. All responses are given according to UK law.

Is it legal to take pictures… of buildings without getting a building release form?

Is it legal to take pictures… of buildings without getting a building release form?

Masters of Photography – their thoughts and ideas


Please read these quotations, think about what these supremely gifted photographers have to say, what do you think? Leave a comment and start a debate. Or find a quotation of your own and post it and start the conversation going

1. “ You don’t take a photograph, you make it. – Ansel Adams

Full awareness of what makes a good photo is essential in taking great photographs.

Why would anyone be interested in this photo and what elements can be included or excluded to make it truly great?

2. “ Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst. – Henri Cartier-Bresson

Do you know how many photos you have taken up until now? You will have to take thousands of pictures to reach a point where you can begin to evaluate them objectively. Looking upon your photos as if you were looking at them through someone else’s eyes is a good way to give yourself constructive criticism. Comparing your first photos with your most recent, do you see improvement? Do you remember how you loved some of your first photos – do you still love them or are they now not so good anymore?

3. “ Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph. – Matt Hardy

You often don’t or can’t see beauty in the world until someone shows it to you. Take a look around you just now – even without moving from the computer. Can you see something in a new way, a different way of presenting something common? Just take a look again…

4. “ Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times I just shoot at what interests me at that moment. – Elliott Erwitt

When the world is your canvas, so to speak, you need your tools with you to capture everything around you. Make a habit of always carrying a camera with you—you will never suffer the regret of wishing you had.

5. “ Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow. – Imogen Cunningham

Never be fully satisfied with what you’ve done.

Never stop photographing. It is very likely that your best photograph has not yet been captured.

6.  “ You’ve got to push yourself harder. You’ve got to start looking for pictures nobody else could take. You’ve got to take the tools you have and probe deeper. – William Albert Allard

We are always looking for reasons for not taking good pictures. Cartier-Bresson used film camera, same lens, no flash, same shutter speed – he didn’t need the newest digital equipment to take great photos.

We all have access to some subjects that no one else has access to – look at your friends’ hobbies, the workplaces of friends and family, and any place you have access to to find a vision that comes uniquely from your access. Many people would dream of having the same access you have, and you might not have considered how valuable your access is.

7. “ If I saw something in my viewfinder that looked familiar to me, I would do something to shake it up. – Garry Winogrand

How often have you seen a photo that is missing something, thinking, “This is a good photo but I’d make it different somehow.”? Sometimes small things make a big difference. Don’t be afraid to shake things up.

8. “ I always thought good photos were like good jokes. If you have to explain it, it just isn’t that good. – Anonymous

Sometimes it is interesting to hear the story behind the photo and you see the photo in a new light. But in most cases a photo shouldn’t need a story to back it up. It has to speak for itself.

9.  “ Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop. – Ansel Adams

Even one of the masters in photography, Ansel Adams, didn’t expect to get more than 12 great photographs each year.

How can anyone expect more?

Take a look at your last year in photos – do you really see 12 photos that stand out from the rest?

10. “It can be a trap of the photographer to think that his or her best pictures were the ones that were hardest to get. – Timothy Allen – On editing photos

Editing photos can often be the most difficult but also the most satisfying part. Sometimes taking a quick look at all the photos and then going away for a while before taking a closer look lends a fresh eye to your viewing. You may see things you did not notice previously. Stepping away from the mass of photos can make certain images stand out in your mind’s eye, leaving a memorable impression that can characterize a good photo.



Storm Photography Tips (With 10 Stunning Examples)

Heading out to shoot a storm can be a great way to come back with some exceptional photographs. As you can see from the photographs below, storms often result in moody, dramatic and eye-popping images. But there are a lot of things to think about before you go out on a shoot like this, not all of them necessarily photography related. These are a few things you may want to consider. Read more