uyhsu61jqn7ghbxvttwq23lvek7jpv

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Picfair a new platform for photographers.

I recently came across a new site for photographers to sell their images. It is called Picfair and they claim to be the World's first fair photography marketplace, with a rapidly-growing community of photographers across the globe. Over 35,000 photographers in 130 countries have already uploaded over 6 million images to the platform. You can see a small selection of my images that I have uploaded to Picfair below.
Licence this image of Franjo Tudman Bridge
Franjo Tudman Bridge - Dubrovnik

So what makes them different from all the other sites that say that they will sell your images for you?

Their systems make it incredibly simple for any photographer to upload their images, name their price, and start selling - they add a 20% commission on every sale they make. Existing image platforms (Getty, Shutterstock etc) exclude “amateur” photographers altogether, and keep up to 85% of the royalties generated by the small percentage of photographers who they do let in. The company  is already working with global brands such as The Guardian, National Geographic, Time Inc., Conde Nast, Lonely Planet, Rapha, Jack Daniels, and Topshop among many others.
Licence this image of Madonna Della Lettera - Sicily
Madonna Della Lettera - Sicily

And image licensing is only the beginning. By the end of 2018, Picfair's platform will enable photographers to make money through multiple additional streams - developing ways for photographers to sell prints to their networks and receive photography commissions across the globe, simply and fairly. They are building a platform for the photographers of the future - from amateurs to professionals - to turn their creativity into income.
Licence this image of African Elephant
African Elephant - Kenya
The company has now launched a crowd funding campaign to raise £350,000 to take them to their next stage. If you are interested in learning more about this, go to Crowdcube.


Friday, 6 April 2018

Prepare for Summer Outings!

As a cold, wet winter makes way for sunny spring days (at least in much of the Northren Hemisphere), we can start to look forward to summer holidays and days out, whether it be a couple of weeks on the beach, or simple picnics on a weekend afternoon.

Now then is the time to start planning for the accessories we need to help make those trips something special. Stand out from the crowd with our lifestyle and beach accessories which can be supplied in matching or themed designs.

We provide medium, large and even round beach towels, tote bags in 3 sizes and extra large weekender tote bags, to help transport everything to the beach, as well as carry-all pouches, again in three sizes, to help carry your valuables. We can also supply i-phone and Galaxy cases to help protect your phones, as well as portable battery chargers for your phone or tablet, to help you stay in touch on even those longer days out.

Below are samples of our products, all of which are available in over 1,000 different designs for you to chose from.

BEACH TOWELS

Beach Accessories - Beach Towels

Our round beach towels are 60" in diameter and made from ultra-soft plush microfiber with a 100% cotton back.
Our standard beach towels are provided in two sizes, 32" x 64" and 37" x 74".

TOTE BAGS
Beach Accessories - Tote Bags
Our tote bags are made from soft, durable, poly-poplin fabric and include a 1" black strap for easy carrying over your shoulder. All seams are double stitched for added durability. Each tote bag is machine-washable in cold water and is printed with the same image on both sides. They are available in three sizes, 13" x 13", 16" x 16" and 18" x 18".

WEEKENDER TOTE BAGS
Beach Accessories
Our weekender tote bags are chic and perfect for a day out on the town, a staycation or a weekend get away. The tote is crafted from soft, durable, poly-poplin fabric and all seams are double stitched for added durability. The 1" thick cotton handles are perfect for carrying the bag by hand or over your shoulder. This is a must have for the summer!

CARRY-ALL POUCHES
Beach Accessories - Carry All Pouches

Dress it up, or dress it down, oruse it to stay organised while you are on the go. Our carry-all puches can do it all. thye are crafted with 100% poly-poplin fabric, double stitchad at the seams for extra durability, and include a durable metal zipper for securing your valuables. They are available in three sizes:- 6" x 4", 9.5" x 6", 12.5" x 8.5" and there are two bottom styles to chose from, regular and t-bottom.

PHONE CASES

Beach Accessories - Phone cases

Our phone cases are available for the i-phone 5 up to the i-phone X or the Galaxy phone from the S4 to the S8. The image is printed directly onto the impact-resistant, slim-profile, hard-shell case and wrapped around the edges for a beautiful presentation. Simply snap the case onto your phone for instant protection, while maintaining full access to all the phones features. 

PORTABLE BATTERY CHARGER
Beach Accessories - Portable Battery Charger

You'll never run out of power again! If the battery on your smartphone or tablet is running low...no problem. Just plug your deviced into the USB port on the top of this portable battery charger and then continue to use your device while it gets re-charged. With a recharge capacity of 7800 mAh, this charger will give you two full recharges of your smartphone or recharge your tablet to 75% of its capacity. When the charger runs out of power, simply plug it in to the wall using the cable supplied and it will recharge itself for its next use. 

So if you want to stand out from the crowd, get over to our site and start putting together your own collection of lifestyle and beach accessories - PS - we also offer a full range of Wall Art and Home Decor.


Monday, 5 March 2018

Capturing Birds in Flight

Todays article is from Picture Correct and is writen by Andy Long, who gives some excellent advise on the difficult topic of Capturing Birds in Flight. Andy is an award-winning photographer/writer who devotes his photography work to the beauty of the world around us. As a leader of workshops (http://www.firstlighttours.com) since 1994, Andy likes to help people explore new areas and to go home with a memorable experience as well as great images.

A shot of a bird in flight has always been a challenge to photographers. Seeing a perfect print image only serves to make them eager to create the same result. Photographing a bird in flight presents one problem, but capturing that one special bird-in-flight shot that’s in focus and has good composition plus good light can represent a whole set of problems. Everyone has their share of good flight shots where the bird may be just a tiny bit soft. Those are easy. But, how do you get a great flight shot?

Follow this link to read Capturing Birds in Flight and I am confident that you will find it extremely valuable.
========================================================
Here are a few of my attempts at capturing birds in flight, but having read Andys article I will certainly be attempting to capture some more Birds in Flight.
Capturing Birds in Flight - Black Kite
Black Kite
Capturing Birds in Flight - Juvenile Herring Gull
Juvenile Herring Gull
Capturing Birds in Flight - Birds in the Mist
Birds in the Mist
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, duvet covers or tote bags. Simply click on the  image and you will be taken to my gallery where you will find full details.


Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Fill Your Frame: Photo Composition

A couple of days ago, I gave my thoughts on the Rules of Composition and I would like to follow that up with this article from Picture Correct, talking about the importance of "Filling Your Frame" in your photos. It was written by  Etienne Bossot, who runs Pics of Asia, offering photo tours to South East Asia and who for the past four years has been teaching thousands of people at all photographic levels. She is also a commercial and wedding photographer in Southeast Asia.

The more I teach photography, the more I realize that this is something I need to repeat… about 10 times a day. This is actually now one of the first things I talk about when talking about composition, once the camera settings have been covered. Fill Your Frame. To read the full article, which includes some lovely images from Etienne, follow this link:......  Fill Your Frame: Photo Composition
================================================
Here are three very different images of mine, where I have filled the frame with the subject.
A garden rose showing filling the frame photography composition
Garden Rose
Boulton Watt & Murdoch filling the frame photography composition
Boulton Watt and Murdoch
filling the frame photography composition with a Starling on a bird feeder in my garden
Starling Feeding

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, duvet covers or tote bags. Simply click on the  image and you will be taken to my gallery where you will find full details.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Rules of Composition

With the advent of the mobile phone and tablet, everyone seems to be taking photographs, and for many people all they want is a record of a holiday or family event or a special moment in their lives which they are happy to share with their friends and perhaps to look at some years later when it will bring back a fond memory of times past.

Some of us however want to take their photography one step further and turn it into a hobby which we can develop and improve. So we dispense with our point and shoot camera and stop using our phones and invest in a reasonably decent camera. Personally, although I had been taking pictures for almost 50 years, I only took it up as a serious hobby in 2010 when I purchased a Panasonic DMC-FZ38 prior to visiting Kenya on my first Safari.

To begin with, I looked at the 128 page manual, hardly understood a word, so set the camera to auto and went off on safari. I took some great photos but it was only after I joined a local camera club and started to learn about the art of composition that I began to actually look through the lens and think about what I was doing, instead of simply pointing the camera at an object and pressing the shutter.

Like me, I suspect that many new photographers get confused, or even totally put off, by such things as focal length, ISO, aperture, shutter speed, focusing, exposure, etc., etc., and while I believe that it is very useful to understand the more technical elements, and I shall be covering some of those in later articles, I do believe that the most important element for a new photographer to get to grips with, is Composition. All digital camera manufacturers spend a large amount of time and money on software to help the user get the correct camera settings to capture that shot and, as I did initially, if you set your camera on auto, the vast majority of time you will get technically good results. However the one thing that no camera is able to do, no matter how much money you have spent buying it, is compose a photo that is attractive to the eye.

So what do I mean by Composition? Putting it into its very basic form, composition can be said to be the way to create a photo that is aesthetically pleasing to the viewer. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Google “composition in photography” and you come up with such results as:- 20 Composition Techniques That Will Improve Your Photos: 10 Top Photography Composition Rules: 9 Top Photography Composition Rules You Need To Know: 18 Composition Rules For Photos That Shine: 5 Elements of Composition in Photography: 5 Easy Composition Guidelines: The 10 rules of photo composition (and why they work): 12 Rules for Effective Composition in Photography: etc., etc.!

While you will undoubtedly learn by reading all of those articles, (and I would suggest that you do in time), I will concentrate on a few simple rules that I follow. Before I go further, while some of these are called rules, remember rules are there to be broken. What I am trying to do is to encourage you to think about what you are trying to achieve when looking through the viewfinder. I will start then with something that you have probably already come across:-

The Rule of Thirds


Basically, if you imagine a photo divided into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, the main subject of the image should be where a vertical line cross a horizontal one, as in this photo of a leopard in the Serengetti. Also the branch runs along the bottom third of the frame. This is much more pleasing than if the leopard was bang in the centre of the image.


the rules of composition in photography - rule of thirds
Leopard In Serengeti

Many modern cameras allow you to place a grid in the viewfinder which can be used to place the object where two lines intersect. While we are talking about the Rule of Thirds, it is generally best to place the horizon on one of the thirds, rather than in the centre of the frame, dependant on whether the main points of interest are in the sky or on the ground.

Leading Lines


These lead the viewers eyes into the picture either to the main subject or on a journey through the whole of the picture. In the image below of the Old Town in Stavanger, the viewer is taken into the picture by the lines of the timber boards of the building towards the centre while the curves of the pavement and road, coupled with the pedestrians walking down the road, help the viewer complete their journey.

the rules of composition in photography - leading lines
Old Town Stavanger

Symmetry

To demonstrate that the rules are no more than guidelines, the next one contradicts the Rule of Thirds. If your image is symmetrical, then it could benefit from being centred either on the horizontal, or vertical centre line. This works particularly well for reflections, as is the case below, where the mute swan and its reflection are centred along the horizontal centre line, or for architecture where in the shot from the Dome of St Peter’s, the image is centred on the vertical line.

the rules of composition in photography -symetry
Mute Swan

the rules of composition in photography - symetry
View From Dome Of St Peters

Rule of Space

This rule is talking about giving the subject in the photo, space to move into the frame. This particularly applies to animals and vehicles. The first photo below, of a Secretary Bird, was taken on my first safari before I had begun to learn anything about photography and as you can see, it looks a little odd, with the bird looking out of the frame, and all the space behind it. The second image was taken three years later when I was aware of the need to give the subject some space to move into.


the rules of composition in photography - rule of space
Secretary Bird

the rules of composition in photography - rule of space
Secretary Bird

I hope you will agree that the second one looks more natural and is better on the eye.

Rule of Odds

Generally speaking, it is thought that photos with an odd number of subjects is more visually appealing and natural looking than those with an even number, where the viewers eyes may flick around the image, unsure of where to settle. The main reason that I have included this is that it gives me an excuse to include my award winning image of a three-headed giraffe. Other than this, which was a purely lucky shot, I do tend to use the rule of odds if taking a close up of flowers or the like.

the rules of composition in photography - rule of odds
Three Headed Giraffe

Patterns

I will close on patterns, which can be found everywhere, both in nature and architecture and the image below, which shows reflections in the Birmingham Symphony Hall, combines patterns with one of my personal favourite composition techniques, the use of reflections.


the rules of composition in photography - patterns
Birmingham Symphony Hall Reflections

I hope that I have given you a brief insight into composition and that when you next look through your viewfinder you will at least stop and think for a few seconds at what you are looking at and how the shot may be improved. But just remember, these rules, and all the others you will come across, are simply guide lines to help you go in the right direction, they are not railway tracks that you have to stick to rigidly. Finally I will end with the words of Pablo Picasso - Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.

Tony Murtagh
===============================================

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, duvet covers or tote bags. Simply click on the  image and you will be taken to my gallery where you will find full details.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Taking and Processing Fog & Mist Photos

Todays article gives some very extensive tips on the best way to take and process photos in the mist. It is written by Max Therry‘, whose passion for photography developed during his time in art school, where he would borrow his friends’ cameras and take photos of everything unusual around him. When this passion gained almost obsession-like traits, he bought his own Sony system and vowed to take as many photos as he could. After about a decade of filling up multiple hard drives, he says it’s time to share his experiences with whoever’s interested.

Taking beautiful images of mist and fog can be challenging, but it’s a skill worth learning. Fog and mist usually form during the night and are seen at their best in the early morning as the sun rises. Be prepared to get up early to catch the best shots! Follow this link to read the full article............. Taking and Processing Fog & Mist Photos:
======================================================
Here are three of my images taken in misty conditions, though I am sure they would have been improved had I read Max's article before taking them!
tips on the best way to take and process photos in the mist
Turbines In The Mist
Burbo Bank Offshore Wind Farm viewed in the evening mist from New Brighton, Wallasy, on the Wirral, England. The wind farm is located on the Burbo Flats in Liverpool Bay on the Irish Sea.
tips on the best way to take and process photos in the mist
Birds in the Mist
Birds coming out of the must as dawn rises on the River Danube in Romania.
tips on the best way to take and process photos in the mist
Birds at Dawn
Birds at Dawn on the River Danube in Romania.

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, duvet covers or tote bags. Simply click on the  image and you will be taken to my gallery where you will find full details.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual Mode

Mastering aperture prioroty and shutter priority is the starting place for photographers who wish to move on from using the automatic setting on their digital cameras and todays article, by Andrew Goodall, explains in an easy to understand way what these functions are, and how to use them. Andrew writes for Natures Image Photography and is a nature photographer based in Australia. He manages a gallery in Montville full of landscape photography from throughout Australia.

Digital photography has given almost anyone with a camera the potential to become a creative photographer. These days even compact cameras offer features that once were only found on ‘serious’ SLR cameras. The trouble is, most people who have grown up with point-and-shoot cameras have very little idea what these features are all about. After buying a good digital camera with the best intentions, they soon give up and switch to automatic.

Are the settings on your camera really so hard to understand? Of course not, but it can seem that way at the start, especially if they are not explained to you in simple terms you can understand..........to read the full article, follow this link:-  Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual Mode.
========================================
One of my personal favourites, is using Aperture Priority to help blur the background when taking close ups, as may be seen in the following examples.

Bluebells
Foxglove at Watersmeet, Lynmouth, Devon

European Roller

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, duvet covers or tote bags. Simply click on the  image and you will be taken to my gallery where you will find full details.