Monday, 24 August 2015

How to Photograph Flowers

One of the advantages of photographing flowers is that you can do it in your own garden or a local park and this article from Picture Correct will help you get the best from your flower photography. 

When you first discover how to take photos of flowers it can give you many days of wonderful enjoyment. Flower photography is a favourite type of photography that many people love. It’s not difficult to take photos of flowers if you get all the key elements right. If you don’t have any close to you, or you do not have a garden of your own, then try a nursery or a park. You’re bound to find many varieties of flowers there.

This article is by Amy Renfrey who writes for She is a professional photographer and photography teacher. She shows you how to take the most breathtaking, brilliant, and incredibly stunning photos every single time you press the shutter button, even if you know nothing about photography.

To read the full article and to see some of Amy's stunning photos, follow this link How to Photograph Flowers – PictureCorrect
Here are a couple of my own images of flowers, the first a rose I saw in a country garden in Scotland, and the second of fuscias which were in a pot in my own garden.
Garden Rose


As usual, my work is available to purchase as original  Wall Art, in a variety of formats from stretched canvas or framed prints, metal or acrylic prints,or simply as standard prints for you to mount in your favourite picture frame. They are also available as greeting cards or printed onto iPhone or Galaxy phone cases, throw pillows or duvet covers or tote bags or shower curtains. Simply click on the  image and you will be taken to my gallery where you will find full details.

How to Improve Your Chances of Winning a Photography Contest

Today's article is kindly provided by my friend Andrew Suryono.

My name is Andrew Suryono and I’m an amateur travel photographer. When you read the title, you may feel funny that an amateur photographer like me is writing this article. “Shouldn’t winning a photography contest be reserved only for the professionals?” you may ask.

Well, speaking from my experience, the answer is no. I’m one of many amateur photographers in the world that have won photography contests. This year is special for me because I won first place in the world’s largest photography competition, the Sony World Photography Award (Indonesia National Category).

I’m writing this article to share my experience and give my personal tips to you on how to increase your chance in winning a photography competition. Yes, YOU can win in a photography contest!

Why enter photo contests?
Before we start though, let’s look at some of the benefits of joining a photo contest.

Get exposure
The first benefit of joining a photography competition is you can get exposure for your work quickly. The bigger the photography competition, the quicker and the more exposure you’ll get. By submitting your photos to a contest, you give easy access to people all over the world to view your work. If you’re struggling to get people to look at your photography website or portfolio, try joining a photography competition.

Market your work
By giving yourself lots of exposure, you also increase your chance to market your work. If people are interested in your work, they might contact you to buy some prints or strike licensing deals. After joining several photo competitions, I got contacted by many people who wanted to do licensing deals for books, magazines, greeting cards and many other things. To my surprise, my work not only attracted small publishers, but also big ones like National Geographic.

You really never know who is looking at and interested in your work!

Measure your work against others
A photo competition is a good way to measure your work against other photographers’ work. You’ll have a chance to look at other their images and see how your works compares. It’s important that you don’t judge your work too harshly when you do this. See what you find interesting from other people’s work, like how they use of composition or color, and learn from it.
The Winning image!
Make new friends
Finally, a photo competition is a good way to make new friends and connections. Through photo competitions, I’ve gotten many like-minded friends who I enjoy speaking to, and sharing my work with regularly. We even went on to create a private Facebook group where we share our work to get each other’s feedback, helpful online tips that we find, and many more.

Are you already feeling excited? Great!

How to increase your chances of winning
Now that you know all the benefits of joining a photo competition, let’s look at some ways to increase your chance of winning one.

The first and the most important thing that you should do before joining a photo contest is spend some time to know the rules inside out. Here are some things that you should pay attention to:

Copyright ownership
I decide whether I enter a photo contest or not based on this information alone. Make sure you retain full rights and ownership of your photos before joining in any contests. Personally, I would avoid any photo contests that want me to give any rights to them. I want to keep all rights to myself and they must ask me for permission if they want to use my photos for anything.

Image dimensions
Pay attention to the image dimension that they require you to submit. Typically, a lot of photo contests are bombarded with image submissions from all over the world, so they only require you to submit a small resolution version of your image. Make sure to resize your image according to their specification. Some photo contests are so strict that they’ll immediately disqualify your image if it’s not submitted according to their specifications.

Submission deadline
This is pretty explanatory, but still worth mentioning. Make sure you pay attention to the submission deadline. Photo contests won’t let you submit images once the deadline has passed. Mark your calendar and set reminders!

After you’re done going through all the contests’ rules and regulations, it’s time to do some research. You’ll need to research and study previous winners’ work, and the judges’ work if you want to increase your chance of winning in the competition.

By looking through the previous winners’ work, you’ll get a sense of how they won the contest. Pay attention to the composition, color and most importantly the message that they’re conveying through their photos. Pay close attention to their post-processing work, and look at how it strengthen their images.

Photography contests are judged by humans. It’s subjective by nature. By looking at the judges’ work, you’ll get a sense of their style and what kind of works they like to see. For example, if you find that most judges in the contest love strong black and white images, you’d better think twice about sending images with bright, saturated, and punchy colors.

Image selection
After you’re done with your research on the previous winners and the judges’ work, you’ll need to select images for submission based on your findings.

Go through your portfolio of images and see which images stand a chance of winning the competition. Be very selective with your own work. I know it’s hard criticizing and selecting your own work, but doing this will dramatically increase your chance of winning a photo contest.

Pick photos that you personally think are better than the previous winners’ photos, match with the judges’ style, and strongly show
your unique photography style. Then, submit your images, cross your fingers, and wait for good things to happen!

Remember that I can’t guarantee you win will any photo competition, but at the very least, I have given you some tips that you can use to increase your chances.

Don’t get discouraged if you submit an image and it doesn’t win. Remember that a photography competition is always subjective by nature. If one image doesn’t win in one competition, it doesn’t mean it won’t win in another. Also, there are also plenty of benefits that you can get by joining a photo contest, even though you didn’t win it.

Follow the guidelines above, enter as many photography contests as you possibly can, and hopefully you get to win in some of them. It’s a number’s game!

Keep shooting and don’t forget to have fun!

Andrew Suryono accidentally fell in love with photography after shooting photos for his eBay auctions. His love for photography led him to become an amateur travel photographer who went on to win several international awards. You can find more about him on his personal website, and on his photo gallery. Apart from continuously learning photography, he is also keen on sharing his knowledge and helping other photographers.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Africa From A to Z - E

It is the letter E today and we start off with Elephants, with a very wide selection for me to chose from! I have selected two images, the first of a single elephant of the Presidential Herd in Zimbabwe, and secondly a group crossing the River Chobe in Botswana. They are followed by a couple of images of some of the beautiful birds to be seen on the continent, a European Roller and an Eastern Chanting Goshawk.
Buy canvas wallart of Presidential Elephant
Presidential Elephant
On a drive in Zimbabwe we saw the Presidential Elephant Herd, which were obviously used to tourists and came very close to our vehicle. This one was only about five feet away. The herd was given its name after President Robert Mugabe awarded it a presidential decree in 1990, although nowadays its future is in doubt.
Buy canvas wallart of Elephants
Elephants crossing the Chobe River in Chobe National Park, Botswana, Africa.
Buy canvas wallart of European Roller
European Roller
A European Roller in Chobe National Park, Botswana, Africa.
Buy canvas wallart of Eastern Pale Chanting Goshawk
Eastern Pale Chanting Goshawk
Eastern Pale Chanting Goshawk in Samburu National Park, Kenya.

As usual, my work is available to purchase as original  Wall Art, in a variety of formats from stretched canvas or framed prints, metal or acrylic prints,or simply as standard prints for you to mount in your favourite picture frame. They are also available as greeting cards or printed onto iPhone or Galaxy phone cases, throw pillows or duvet covers or tote bags or shower curtains. Simply click on the  image and you will be taken to my gallery where you will find full details.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

7 Essential Things Every Photographer Needs to Learn

Our friends Rob and Lauren over at Photography Concentrate have put together a great article entitled 7 Essential Things Every Photographer Needs to Learn.

They kick things off with a question: What’s the difference between a great photo and a great photographer?

And the answer they give is consistency. We’ve all fluked a great shot. You’re not totally sure how you managed it, but everything just magically fell into place and you snagged an image that makes you feel like you’re a total all-star.

To give an example of that, let me share my award winning photo of a three headed giraffe. I had only just started taking up photography as a hobby, I was using a new camera which I had permanently set on auto, and I was fortunate enough to turn around at the right time and was lucky enough to get this shot:
Buy canvas print of Three Headed Giraffe

But the trick is being able to repeat that awesomeness, time and time again. That’s what great photographers can do.

So what’s the secret?

It all boils down to a short list of fundamentals. These are the things that great photographers know inside and out, so that when the time comes, they can call this information into action to help them produce those winning images.

If you follow these 7 points you will be well on your way to becoming a better photographer. Just click on the banner to be taken to the article, and change the way you take your photographs!

Monday, 17 August 2015

Featured Artist - Dorothy Berry-Lound

Today's featured artist is Dorothy Berry-Lound, also known as ShannathShima, who promotes life, work and energy balance through her art, poetry and writing. 

She is a Tai Chi instructor and Reiki Master and a member of the Fellowship of Authors and Artists and the Arts and Healing Network. This is an important focus for her artwork and she has developed a range of healing art and colour harmony images. 
Tranquility Amongst Chaos
The images she creates always have a story, a message she is trying to get across or imagery to make you stop and think. She also produces art for interior decor that contributes to the balance and harmony of the home and office and would make good book covers or music artwork. 

An article written about her spiritual artwork appeared in The Healing Power of Art and Artists 
Lady in the Looking Glass
Dorothy specialises in photo painting - using her own photographs and using digital software and her imagination to develop the images further with colours and textures. The three example images posted here are examples of that technique. This technique has also led to the development of 'Barnie Paw Print Designs' which are a series of designs based around a set of her dog Barnie's paw prints found in what should have been pristine concrete! 
South Downs View
To see her entire portfolio please go to If you would like to join her email list she can keep you up to date with her latest work and special offers. A selection of her images are available for licensing and you can find out more at Licensing Pixels. 

You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter and she has a blog that she posts every Monday and Friday at

You can connect with Dorothy via her various social media accounts:

If you are a photographer or artist and would like to be considered for our Featured Artist feature, please contact me, if you leave a comment with an email address, I will get back to you.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Africa From A to Z - D

Today we move on to D, where we start off in Kenya with images of a male and a female De Fassa Waterbuck, then we travel down to Zimbabwe where we see two images of the Devils Cataract on Victoria Falls.
Buy wall art of De Fassa Waterbuck
De Fassa Waterbuck
Buy wall art of De Fassa Waterbuck
De Fassa Waterbuck
A male and female De Fassa Waterbuck in Kenya.

Buy wall art of Devils Cataract
Devil's Cararact
Buy wall art of Devils Cataract
Devil's Cararact
Devil's Cataract, on the Zimbabwe side of Victoria Falls, is the lowest of the five Falls, with a drop of 60m. It is separated from the rest of the Falls by Boaruka Island, also known as Cataract Island. The Devil's Cataract is the weakest point in the geological composition of the falls.

As usual, my work is available to purchase as original  Wall Art, in a variety of formats from stretched canvas or framed prints, metal or acrylic prints,or simply as standard prints for you to mount in your favourite picture frame. They are also available as greeting cards or printed onto iPhone or Galaxy phone cases, throw pillows or duvet covers or tote bags or shower curtains. Simply click on the  image and you will be taken to my gallery where you will find full details.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Weekly Photography Challenge – Black and White Techniques

This week over at dPS it’s all about black and white photography. They are featuring a series of tips and articles around that topic. Some of the topics are shown below and more will be added daily over the next few days.
  • 5 Simple Ways to Create Expressive Photos in Black and White 
  • Tips for Black and White Wildlife Photography
  • 7 Tips for Black and White Portrait Photography
  • 28 Images with Strong Black and White Compositions
Once you have read the tips you can try out different black and white techniques and then enter your own images into their weekly photography challenge.  Why not try any or all of the following:
  • Shoot in b/w mode
  • High contrast lighting
  • Convert to b/w in Lightroom
  • Convert to b/w using Photoshop
  • Try out a black and white plugin
  • Try out some sepia tone or split toning
  • Do a b/w portrait, landscape, macro, night shots, street photography, or flowers
  • Try a b/w silhouette

I have submitted the image below, so if you want to improve your black and white techniques, and perhaps submit one of your own images, click to get over to dPS.
Grants Gazelle
Grants gazelle seen from a hot air balloon early in the morning on the Serengetti.