Solid Imagery: Blog http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog en-us Images copyright Solid Imagery 2018 (Solid Imagery) Thu, 14 Dec 2017 08:24:00 GMT Thu, 14 Dec 2017 08:24:00 GMT http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/img/s/v-5/u493868053-o790919305-50.jpg Solid Imagery: Blog http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog 114 120 PHOTOGRAPHY: Cor Blimey it’s quiet. http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2017/12/PHOTOGRAPHY-Cor-Blimey-it-s-quiet What do us photographers do when it’s quiet? When the work just stops, when the time of year dictates that little is happening.

Panic. I hear you say.

Well, yes, that’s true.

Don’t forget, us small businesses run on the throughput that our clients give us, and of course, if they have a slack time of year, we have a slack time of year.

It’s true of all small businesses from all sectors of course, a fitness instructor will have a hard time of it in summer when their clients are showing off their tight, tanned bodies, but come January when the turkey and mince pies have been devoured, then they are busy again.

I was always told, by my astute Father actually, that cash flow is the most important thing, and he is absolutely right, it is. Our clients work pays for that prom dress, that holiday, that car service and so on, not for some dividend to corporate shareholders, so without cash flow, that just STOPS.

So, back to how it affects photographers and how to deal with the ups and down of the industry.

Don’t specialise, unless of course you’re a dedicated in-house photographer or have a sponsorship gig from a manufacturer.

This piece of advice was given to me by my very first boss, Frank Barry, a very successful photographer from Hayes in Middlesex.

He was proud to say he was a GP photographer, GP as in General Purpose. This means, he said, that if a client turns up and wants a flange photographing, he could do it. If it were a studio portrait, he could do that too.

In other words, what the client threw at him, he could deal with.

Now wind the world on 37 years, that philosophy still holds true. Dedicated wedding photographers have a short season to earn a crust. Portrait photographers too. Fashion photographers will be busy every three months, Corporate Photographers sporadically. Schools Photographers have a very busy September but Street and Landscape Photographers, well, how do they make ANY money?

But what if? What if you do it all? Seems to me that’s the sensible way to approach your photography business and fill your year up ready toe by that Prom dress and get the bloody car sorted.

Now what’s the number of the job centre?

 

 

Jon

 

D2773ED7-D461-45C8-9AAC-8F37096A649Ed2773ed7-d461-45c8-9aac-8f37096a649e testbourne_prom_arrvials-0030testbourne_prom_arrvials-0030 becca_leon_wedding_day-0262becca_leon_wedding_day-0262 suzyd_lifestyle-0032suzyd_lifestyle-0032

The Rise of the Selfie Stick and the death of experiencesselfie_stick-0016
The Selfie Stick, a technological progression in the evolution of the selfie. In days gone by it was enough to sit and watch the marvel of marvelous things, here, the Vatican, St Marks’ Square, St Peter’s Basilica and I suspect, the rest of the worlds wonders are just a backdrop to the vain human, a fascade, a thing to help tick off the list of things one has seen but never experienced. The Selfie Stick, killer of experiences. Selfie Stick Salesman

CV-JMB-GLAS-STILL-0054-Editcv-jmb-glas-still-0054-edit DSCF0919dscf0919 Swanage Finishedswanage-finished FullSizeRenderfullsizerender

 


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(Solid Imagery) photography http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2017/12/PHOTOGRAPHY-Cor-Blimey-it-s-quiet Wed, 13 Dec 2017 23:58:46 GMT
PHOTOGRAPHY – a little experiment with mobile computing http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2017/11/PHOTOGRAPHY-a-little-experiment-with-mobile-computing Thirty-seven years, nearly thirty-eight, actually.

Thirty-seven years as a professional, that’s a paid professional photographer.

There I was, Saturday morning, 16 years old, watching Tizwas and the telephone rings. It’s a strange man, an old man, the local town photographer, ‘do you wanna be a photographer?’ He asked.

’Yeah ok.’ I replied thoughtlessly in a two tone pubescent voice.

Monday morning, I was a photographer.

Now things were different in the photography world back then, there was film, not digital, film. Kodak Vericolor II was the film of choice, 120 format, my first professional camera, the wonderful Rolleiflex 2.8f (I have an image of one tattooed on my left arm as a reminder of my first love)

Wedding photography was very formal, I learnt how to build groups efficiently and to get everything done in no more than twenty minutes. How many new photographers can say that these days? We also covered an entire wedding day with three rolls of film, 36 shots so you had to be precise.

Then there was the proofing.

We’d rush back to base, process the films, print them quickly (making quick proofs hence the term proofing), then go back to the wedding a flog them, or not really depending on how drunk people were on your return.

Wind on thirty-seven years and digital photography has changed wedding coverage dramatically.

Out goes the formal methodology, in comes a more reportage approach. But this change? Why, I said to myself, can’t we still turn things around quickly like we once did?

Afterall, isn’t the whole ideas of digital photography the speed of access?

If that’s the case, why does it take a month or two for some photographers to make their photos available?

Why indeed?

I have always taken the approach than we should embrace the speed that digital offers us, again, do clients not expect a fast turnaround? Sure they do.

So why not give it to them?

The above image was taken for PR purposes at a local museum. It was delivered back to the client the following morning. Why? Because I can, and I feel, I should.

Back to weddings, after taking 1000 images, I get back to base at maybe midnight, then work another two or three hours to get them uploaded overnight ready for the couple and their family to view them the following morning over breakfast.

Pretty unique I reckon.

But here’s the issue.

I have a laptop, I have a card reader, I have a backup hard disc. All great, all gives me a headstart but it’s still a little slow. I reckoned I could speed the process up and get close to instant access for the best images.

So this is what I’m working on, a new workflow which would make use of the speed of digital.

With the introduction of Adobe Lightroom, we photographers began to be able to handle a whole batch of images rather than one at a time using Photoshop, it has been a revelation. But now, Adobe have made it mobile. A cut down version for iPad which syncs back to your desktop master images.

And boy does that work?

With a iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and a network, I can work in a field or a coffee shop or in the car on my images.

I can fill in the odd ten minutes I have, or work offline on the tube.

And that, my friends, will lead to even shorter shoot to image delivery times, which will lead to happier customers and hopefully, more work.

So embrace mobile computing in your photography workflow or be like the others and wind the world back thirty-seven years.

 

 

Jon

Note; all of the images below were produced using Adobe Lightroom Mobile from my Fujifilm XT1, wirelessly transferred to my desktop, sync’d with an iPad Pro and delivered back the same day.

D2DF344D-B4FE-452D-BE1B-BD077AA80DFDd2df344d-b4fe-452d-be1b-bd077aa80dfd 6ACCA019-E8FD-4085-BB1B-23DFABB007EC6acca019-e8fd-4085-bb1b-23dfabb007ec DA03D06C-33D5-4276-A328-0FA06BD0AAF2da03d06c-33d5-4276-a328-0fa06bd0aaf2 D63007ED-9712-4D34-8095-F9BBDC0C35D7d63007ed-9712-4d34-8095-f9bbdc0c35d7 F84BD164-08CB-4957-A8D1-16B0A7172B49f84bd164-08cb-4957-a8d1-16b0a7172b49 A2D88334-C543-4F9A-A34F-386E1565687Fa2d88334-c543-4f9a-a34f-386e1565687f 68D2ABE4-6C0A-4F5D-9ED2-DAF6700FE45568d2abe4-6c0a-4f5d-9ed2-daf6700fe455 D2773ED7-D461-45C8-9AAC-8F37096A649Ed2773ed7-d461-45c8-9aac-8f37096a649e 9A49D43F-E1EC-420F-8BEE-BBD43B902F5F9a49d43f-e1ec-420f-8bee-bbd43b902f5f 0578D38A-2543-4492-AFA5-2A5864986C2E0578d38a-2543-4492-afa5-2a5864986c2e

 

 

 

 

 

 


1679 ]]>
(Solid Imagery) photography http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2017/11/PHOTOGRAPHY-a-little-experiment-with-mobile-computing Wed, 29 Nov 2017 00:38:01 GMT
WRITING: The Indestructible Hero http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/WRITING-The-Indestructible-Hero-1 As a thriller writer you have to thrill, it’s in the title and it’s the law.

But do I really have to make my hero Indestructible? Really? Do I?

Now I know a lot of people who I class as real heroes. They are strong willed, tough of thought, hard as nails, but Jack Reacher they ain’t.

They can’t jump off roofs and receive not so much as bend a toenail. They can’t hang onto the side of speeding train just by using spit on their palms for traction.

So why can the indestructible hero do these things?

Plausibility, it seems, has gone out the window, and in my mind, with it goes credibility.

Take the last Bond film, the abysmal Spectre.

At one point, (this is hardly a plot spoiler as every human has been conned into seeing this regurgitated tosh), our indestructible hero is tied to a chair and is drilled into with a super shiny drill. Right into the brain (Somehow I could relate just by watching the movie).

Now the nasty man, the one dressed in black with the lunatic stare, had already told us he was drilling into part of the brain where recognition was, that the indestructible hero, once this procedure was successfully completed, would not know who he was.

Well I saw the acting in the movie and it seemed as though they had all been drilled in the same place.

Right up the Pinewood.

Anyway, I digress.

In went the drill, whizz, whizz, whizz, out it pops, all 4 inches of it, a little drip of blood and our hero is feeling a tad sleepy. Ah, says the baddy, still dressed in black, still staring, but now with a nasty snarling top lip.

Let’s make doubly sure.

He drills him again, this time in the other side of the brain, the side that can’t recognise the difference between a cash cow and a turkey.

And presumably the bit that also doesn’t care.

Now this surely would be the end of Mr Bond, no, I would expect you to die. Said a real villain.

But he didn’t die, no siree, he winked, at a pretty girl, he winked! Threw an exploding watch, you know, the normal kinda stuff, and escaped.

All with two holes in his head.

Now this may have been a superhero trait of some sort, drill in head equals a wink at a girl. I wonder what you need to do to get to third base?  A Catherine wheel up the bum possibly? But even so, gimme a break.

Anyway, the thing that would discombobulate a mere mortal spurs the indestructible hero into life (and lust).

The world of film and literature is full of these imaginary little shits who simply won’t get hurt, is this really what the public wants?

This answer to that is simply a yes, but why oh why? Are we that desperate we need to release our woes by believing any old tosh?

I write about this because, in the case of Spectre, credibility has overstepped the mark, and, as a huge Bond fan, books as well as film (and yes, I can put both books and films in the order they were released), I will not go see another of these things.

When I write, I want my hero to bleed, to hurt, to doubt himself, to get depressed, to cry even.

He or she then suddenly becomes OUR hero, we can relate to them, be them, use them as inspiration in real life if need be.

Working through The Cross on the Skyline, book 2 of my Patrick Teller supernatural thriller series, I am determined to continue making him vulnerable, not just physically but also mentally.

He does get angry, he does not always believe what he’s been told, he does doubt, he does fight, but he also laughs, loves, smiles, he’s kind and considerate, takes no nonsense but sometimes concedes defeat.

Just like the rest of us.

So Patrick Teller, for me, is real.

Which is how it should be.

 

Jon

Header photo is of a real hero, Malala Yousafzia, read about her here.

 

Skyline Coverskyline-covera


1644 ]]>
(Solid Imagery) photography http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/WRITING-The-Indestructible-Hero-1 Mon, 28 Nov 2016 02:05:00 GMT
WRITING: The Indestructible Hero http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/WRITING-The-Indestructible-Hero As a thriller writer you have to thrill, it’s in the title and it’s the law.

But do I really have to make my hero Indestructible? Really? Do I?

Now I know a lot of people who I class as real heroes. They are strong willed, tough of thought, hard as nails, but Jack Reacher they ain’t.

They can’t jump off roofs and receive not so much as bend a toenail. They can’t hang onto the side of speeding train just by using spit on their palms for traction.

So why can the indestructible hero do these things?

Plausibility, it seems, has gone out the window, and in my mind, with it goes credibility.

Take the last Bond film, the abysmal Spectre.

At one point, (this is hardly a plot spoiler as every human has been conned into seeing this regurgitated tosh), our indestructible hero is tied to a chair and is drilled into with a super shiny drill. Right into the brain (Somehow I could relate just by watching the movie).

Now the nasty man, the one dressed in black with the lunatic stare, had already told us he was drilling into part of the brain where recognition was, that the indestructible hero, once this procedure was successfully completed, would not know who he was.

Well I saw the acting in the movie and it seemed as though they had all been drilled in the same place.

Right up the Pinewood.

Anyway, I digress.

In went the drill, whizz, whizz, whizz, out it pops, all 4 inches of it, a little drip of blood and our hero is feeling a tad sleepy. Ah, says the baddy, still dressed in black, still staring, but now with a nasty snarling top lip.

Let’s make doubly sure.

He drills him again, this time in the other side of the brain, the side that can’t recognise the difference between a cash cow and a turkey.

And presumably the bit that also doesn’t care.

Now this surely would be the end of Mr Bond, no, I would expect you to die. Said a real villain.

But he didn’t die, no siree, he winked, at a pretty girl, he winked! Threw an exploding watch, you know, the normal kinda stuff, and escaped.

All with two holes in his head.

Now this may have been a superhero trait of some sort, drill in head equals a wink at a girl. I wonder what you need to do to get to third base?  A Catherine wheel up the bum possibly? But even so, gimme a break.

Anyway, the thing that would discombobulate a mere mortal spurs the indestructible hero into life (and lust).

The world of film and literature is full of these imaginary little shits who simply won’t get hurt, is this really what the public wants?

This answer to that is simply a yes, but why oh why? Are we that desperate we need to release our woes by believing any old tosh?

I write about this because, in the case of Spectre, credibility has overstepped the mark, and, as a huge Bond fan, books as well as film (and yes, I can put both books and films in the order they were released), I will not go see another of these things.

When I write, I want my hero to bleed, to hurt, to doubt himself, to get depressed, to cry even.

He or she then suddenly becomes OUR hero, we can relate to them, be them, use them as inspiration in real life if need be.

Working through The Cross on the Skyline, book 2 of my Patrick Teller supernatural thriller series, I am determined to continue making him vulnerable, not just physically but also mentally.

He does get angry, he does not always believe what he’s been told, he does doubt, he does fight, but he also laughs, loves, smiles, he’s kind and considerate, takes no nonsense but sometimes concedes defeat.

Just like the rest of us.

So Patrick Teller, for me, is real.

Which is how it should be.

 

Jon

Header photo is of a real hero, Malala Yousafzia, read about her here.

 

Skyline Coverskyline-covera


1644 ]]>
(Solid Imagery) photography http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/WRITING-The-Indestructible-Hero Mon, 28 Nov 2016 02:05:00 GMT
PHOTOGRAPHY: ON1 Photo Raw vs Lightroom, initial thoughts. http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/PHOTOGRAPHY-ON1-Photo-Raw-vs-Lightroom-initial-thoughts-1 So, the potential saviour of us Fujifilm X Series/ Lightroom users has become available this very morning, On1 Photo Raw, downloaded and briefly tested.

Now, I love the workflow of Lightroom, it’s easy to use and is familiar if you, like me, are used to the Adobe range of products.

What I don’t like is the cataloguing element of Lightroom, I copy the images, say of a wedding shoot, then I import them into Lightroom, and here’s the funny thing. If I shoot Raws from the Nikon D800’s they whip across, literally, an entire wedding copied in less than ten minutes.

However, I’m a dedicated Fujifilm XT and Xpro user and ain’t nothing gonna stop that, but with Lightroom, that same import process would take over an hour!!

To put this into context, Nikon Raw files = 200mb each, or there abouts, Fujifilm Raw files, around half that.

To me that doesn’t logically equate, so I have to put this down to Lightroom not liking Fujifilm Raws.

And here’s the first thing that has excited me about On1’s Photo Raw, you don’t need to import, you don’t need to catalogue, just copy your images to your hard disc and work on them from there.

Hell, I’ve just grabbed back an hour or more of post-production time.

Thanks guys.

The second thing I don’t like, which is related to the first point, is, what I like to call, hard disc space unnecessary overusage. Ok, so I’ve copied my master files to my hard disc, then Lightroom has imported then again once it catalogues.

Now I’m no expert in what happens when Lightroom catalogues, how much space it takes up compared to your master files, but all I know, and all I care about, is that having simulated a complete switch to Photo Raw by deleting my Lightroom Library (it’s backed up twice so don’t feel sick at that last comment), now I have almost 50GB of free space.

50GB that Lightroom took away from me, for no real reason, I also don’t have ‘scratch disc full error’ either.

The third thing I don’t like about Lightroom is the way it handles Fujifilm Raw files, they seem to take a well exposed, well colour balanced raw file and, hey presto, it completely screws them up applying odd (burned out) highlights, and luminescence/saturation off the chart, particularly in the skin tones.

And these are files created using a dedicated Fujifilm colour profile for each and every job using SpyderCHECKR.

Well, I’m pleased to say that ON1 Photo Raw doesn’t, it seem to like Fujifilm Raws, thank you very much.

Colour definition seems to be what I’d expect from Raw files, a little off, a little shadow details missing, a little flat etc, the odd highlight missing, but isn’t that what a Raw file is for? For us professionals to tweak those anomalies in a skillful manner in post-production, not to have to correct for something that has been overcooked, however how well meaning it was applied.

So after playing with this pre-release version, it all looks rather promising, yes, it’s a little flaky around the edges, and some of the basic features are not yet available until launch proper in December, but for now it looks rather promising indeed.

And as it’s Black Friday (Wednesday, oddly), it’s down to $99 for the full blown copy and $79.00 for the upgrade from all other On1 products.

I’m getting excited about this new product. To me, initially anyway, it’s what Lightroom should have been all along, and that is great news for us X Series users.

One of my last blogs ‘Cheap Chinese Copies‘ is all about manufacturers taking their eyes off the ball and allowing others to come in and steal their business because of their complacency.

This, I believe, might be what Adobe have just done, and well done ON1, glad you were listening.

I think On1 Photo Raw might, just might, be the answer to my post-production woes.

 

Jon

 


1608 ]]>
(Solid Imagery) photography http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/PHOTOGRAPHY-ON1-Photo-Raw-vs-Lightroom-initial-thoughts-1 Wed, 23 Nov 2016 15:17:16 GMT
PHOTOGRAPHY: ON1 Photo Raw vs Lightroom, initial thoughts. http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/PHOTOGRAPHY-ON1-Photo-Raw-vs-Lightroom-initial-thoughts So, the potential saviour of us Fujifilm X Series/ Lightroom users has become available this very morning, On1 Photo Raw, downloaded and briefly tested.

Now, I love the workflow of Lightroom, it’s easy to use and is familiar if you, like me, are used to the Adobe range of products.

What I don’t like is the cataloguing element of Lightroom, I copy the images, say of a wedding shoot, then I import them into Lightroom, and here’s the funny thing. If I shoot Raws from the Nikon D800’s they whip across, literally, an entire wedding copied in less than ten minutes.

However, I’m a dedicated Fujifilm XT and Xpro user and ain’t nothing gonna stop that, but with Lightroom, that same import process would take over an hour!!

To put this into context, Nikon Raw files = 200mb each, or there abouts, Fujifilm Raw files, around half that.

To me that doesn’t logically equate, so I have to put this down to Lightroom not liking Fujifilm Raws.

And here’s the first thing that has excited me about On1’s Photo Raw, you don’t need to import, you don’t need to catalogue, just copy your images to your hard disc and work on them from there.

Hell, I’ve just grabbed back an hour or more of post-production time.

Thanks guys.

The second thing I don’t like, which is related to the first point, is, what I like to call, hard disc space unnecessary overusage. Ok, so I’ve copied my master files to my hard disc, then Lightroom has imported then again once it catalogues.

Now I’m no expert in what happens when Lightroom catalogues, how much space it takes up compared to your master files, but all I know, and all I care about, is that having simulated a complete switch to Photo Raw by deleting my Lightroom Library (it’s backed up twice so don’t feel sick at that last comment), now I have almost 50GB of free space.

50GB that Lightroom took away from me, for no real reason, I also don’t have ‘scratch disc full error’ either.

The third thing I don’t like about Lightroom is the way it handles Fujifilm Raw files, they seem to take a well exposed, well colour balanced raw file and, hey presto, it completely screws them up applying odd (burned out) highlights, and luminescence/saturation off the chart, particularly in the skin tones.

And these are files created using a dedicated Fujifilm colour profile for each and every job using SpyderCHECKR.

Well, I’m pleased to say that ON1 Photo Raw doesn’t, it seem to like Fujifilm Raws, thank you very much.

Colour definition seems to be what I’d expect from Raw files, a little off, a little shadow details missing, a little flat etc, the odd highlight missing, but isn’t that what a Raw file is for? For us professionals to tweak those anomalies in a skillful manner in post-production, not to have to correct for something that has been overcooked, however how well meaning it was applied.

So after playing with this pre-release version, it all looks rather promising, yes, it’s a little flaky around the edges, and some of the basic features are not yet available until launch proper in December, but for now it looks rather promising indeed.

And as it’s Black Friday (Wednesday, oddly), it’s down to $99 for the full blown copy and $79.00 for the upgrade from all other On1 products.

I’m getting excited about this new product. To me, initially anyway, it’s what Lightroom should have been all along, and that is great news for us X Series users.

One of my last blogs ‘Cheap Chinese Copies‘ is all about manufacturers taking their eyes off the ball and allowing others to come in and steal their business because of their complacency.

This, I believe, might be what Adobe have just done, and well done ON1, glad you were listening.

I think On1 Photo Raw might, just might, be the answer to my post-production woes.

 

Jon

 


1608 ]]>
(Solid Imagery) photography http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/PHOTOGRAPHY-ON1-Photo-Raw-vs-Lightroom-initial-thoughts Wed, 23 Nov 2016 15:17:16 GMT
PHOTOGRAPHY: Protect Yourselves http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/PHOTOGRAPHY-Protect-Yourselves-1 The advent of digital files has made a profound effect on distribution of professional photographs.

The client needs the images you took for them quickly, so an emailed or downloaded image has become the norm.

But what happens with that image? Who does it go to other than the recipient once they have received it from you?

An art director, or a graphic designer from a third party organisation? Are they going to treat your image, it’s still YOUR image don’t forget, with the respect it deserves?

Are they going to use it, or part of it, again without your copyright permission, that, my friends is now a real possibility.

And what if you as a photographer are somewhat blasé about the your images?

What if you say ‘I’ve been paid for the work, I’ll let it ride’?

Simply, don’t…ever.

What if you don’t protect your images as all in this digital world? Not even with a copyright notice written into the metadata.

You’d be surprised how many museums we deal with don’t even consider copyrighting the images we produce for them, images which will be placed on their website and actually have an invitation for punters to download free of charge.

So what happens then?

Well, there is an strong argument which says that if there is no copyright notice and your image is bouncing around cyberspace, then it is no longer yours, or may as well not be.

Sure you can put a watermark on the front, but people will still steal it, or you could digitally watermark it, but with 50,000 images or more in my portfolio, how can I protect all of these?

Do you really want that for your work? Do you really want others making money from your work with paying you?

Taylor Swift has used this in the past with pro-photographers, let me see the images of me, she said, before you publish and we’ll let you publish the best, the fee for that? We can use them commission free, i.e, the photographer doesn’t get paid.

Now, if I ask Ms Swift to send me the current tracks she’s working on, and if I like them I’ll listen to them without paying her, just exactly what would she say?

Then, there’s Richard Prince, the king of thieves.

Here’s a current headline from his relentless shenanigans:

How Richard Prince Sells Other People’s Instagram Photos for $100,000

Here’s the link

So basically, he trawls the internet, finds an image or YOURS he likes, adds something and sells it as his OWN art.

And he gets away from it mainly because he has earned lots of $100,000 doing this and has the cash to defeat little old you in court.

But now, at last, I have signed up to protect my images, and it’s free up 1000 images.

Now please don’t get me wrong, this is not a sales pitch, it’s just the first time somebody has decided to helps us.

The company is ImageRights International https://www.imagerights.com and they do all the hard work  for you. Upload the images, they don’t even have to be high resolution and you can export directly from Lightroom. Once imntialised, the system immediately and continually searches the web for your image, forever.

If it finds one, it alerts you and give you the option to pursue, they assess it’s chance of legal success and then take legal action on your behalf.

Below is a snapshot of my screen, you can see it’s dead simple to use.

And…

…up to 1000, it’s free.

Why wouldn’t you?

 

 

Jon

Untitled.jpguntitled

 

 

 


1517 ]]>
(Solid Imagery) photography http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/PHOTOGRAPHY-Protect-Yourselves-1 Tue, 22 Nov 2016 02:33:26 GMT
PHOTOGRAPHY: Protect Yourselves http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/PHOTOGRAPHY-Protect-Yourselves The advent of digital files has made a profound effect on distribution of professional photographs.

The client needs the images you took for them quickly, so an emailed or downloaded image has become the norm.

But what happens with that image? Who does it go to other than the recipient once they have received it from you?

An art director, or a graphic designer from a third party organisation? Are they going to treat your image, it’s still YOUR image don’t forget, with the respect it deserves?

Are they going to use it, or part of it, again without your copyright permission, that, my friends is now a real possibility.

And what if you as a photographer are somewhat blasé about the your images?

What if you say ‘I’ve been paid for the work, I’ll let it ride’?

Simply, don’t…ever.

What if you don’t protect your images as all in this digital world? Not even with a copyright notice written into the metadata.

You’d be surprised how many museums we deal with don’t even consider copyrighting the images we produce for them, images which will be placed on their website and actually have an invitation for punters to download free of charge.

So what happens then?

Well, there is an strong argument which says that if there is no copyright notice and your image is bouncing around cyberspace, then it is no longer yours, or may as well not be.

Sure you can put a watermark on the front, but people will still steal it, or you could digitally watermark it, but with 50,000 images or more in my portfolio, how can I protect all of these?

Do you really want that for your work? Do you really want others making money from your work with paying you?

Taylor Swift has used this in the past with pro-photographers, let me see the images of me, she said, before you publish and we’ll let you publish the best, the fee for that? We can use them commission free, i.e, the photographer doesn’t get paid.

Now, if I ask Ms Swift to send me the current tracks she’s working on, and if I like them I’ll listen to them without paying her, just exactly what would she say?

Then, there’s Richard Prince, the king of thieves.

Here’s a current headline from his relentless shenanigans:

How Richard Prince Sells Other People’s Instagram Photos for $100,000

Here’s the link

So basically, he trawls the internet, finds an image or YOURS he likes, adds something and sells it as his OWN art.

And he gets away from it mainly because he has earned lots of $100,000 doing this and has the cash to defeat little old you in court.

But now, at last, I have signed up to protect my images, and it’s free up 1000 images.

Now please don’t get me wrong, this is not a sales pitch, it’s just the first time somebody has decided to helps us.

The company is ImageRights International https://www.imagerights.com and they do all the hard work  for you. Upload the images, they don’t even have to be high resolution and you can export directly from Lightroom. Once imntialised, the system immediately and continually searches the web for your image, forever.

If it finds one, it alerts you and give you the option to pursue, they assess it’s chance of legal success and then take legal action on your behalf.

Below is a snapshot of my screen, you can see it’s dead simple to use.

And…

…up to 1000, it’s free.

Why wouldn’t you?

 

 

Jon

Untitled.jpguntitled

 

 

 


1517 ]]>
(Solid Imagery) photography http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/PHOTOGRAPHY-Protect-Yourselves Tue, 22 Nov 2016 02:33:26 GMT
PHOTOGRAPHY: Another Useless Debate http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/PHOTOGRAPHY-Another-Useless-Debate-1 OK! Let’s get into the debate, we have another Mac vs PC, iPhone vs Android battle going on here…conventional vs mirrorless cameras.

MIRRORLESS CAMERAS?

They’re rubbish right?

Yeah.

Good Night.

But hold on there, lets look at what the conventional brigade are saying, and my flippant counter-arguments, just point out what pointless argument it is.

(1) Conventional mirrored cameras make a lovely sound, mirrorless don’t.

Some photographers like to be in the limelight and a clicking mirror helps that. Some photographers like to be in the shadows and grab interesting reportage shots, a silent shutter is vital.

(2) Conventional cameras weight and cost more therefore they’re manufactured to a much higher standard.

I guess some photographers like big muscles and like spending money.

(3) Conventional cameras produce a better, sharper result.

Oh please?

(4) A conventional camera makes my client feel happier and more confident in me.

More than say beautiful images at a reasonable price?

(5) Mirrorless cameras are toys.

Water resistant and drop proof toys I guess. A bit like a Tonka Toy.

(6) Conventional cameras are much more customisable which I can’t do without.

Please go learn photography again and realise how easy it is, it’s all about light you know?

(7) The autofocus on mirrorless cameras is not up to fast moving photography.

Nah, just plain wrong (usually spoken by someone who has never used one).

(8) Alright then, my Dad’s bigger than yours.

Cool.

The list is endless and I despair at the attitude of these Luddites. Did you know that David Bailey once produced an entire exhibition, Alive at Night, on his Nokia N86?

David Bailey, who’s he? You ask.

The photographer with the best quote ever. ‘I always shoot with available light, that’s any fecking light that’s available.’

Back on topic, Ansel Adams once said ‘it’s not the camera but the 8 inches behind the cameras that takes a great picture.’

Now I’ve dabbled a bit with different cameras in the past 37 years of my professional photographic life.

Rollei 3.5f in my apprenticeship, then Hasselblad 500CM’s for 10 years, Linhoff Technicals and Monorails, Nikon F3’s, Canon T90’s and EOS’s, Mamiya 6×6, Fuji 617 and 6×7 and so on, but never has it ever been about the camera, ever.

I was once at a wedding as a guest, and I overheard another guest ask the photographer about his camera, a Canon something, the curt reply was just, ‘it cost £4000’, I guess the ego was extra.

No wonder photographers are seen by many as A*%eholes, that’s my opinion too actually, can’t stand the breed.

So back to mirrorless, I love my Fuji’s, the X Pro’s and the XT’s are amazing, no scrub that, they are rubbish, everything above it true.

I wouldn’t like my competitors to think I had an unfair advantage over them would I?

 

 

Jon

Every photo you see here and on my blog was taken on a two-thirds chip mirrorless camera. Oh, and my client’s love them,

Sarah-Darren-0163sarah-darren-0163 sandie_phil-0300sandie_phil-0300 rome-2016-jmb-0295rome-2016-jmb-0295 dscf3473dscf3473 cc-simms-0003cc-simms-0003 rachandrob-0116rachandrob-0116 becca_leon_wedding_day-0050becca_leon_wedding_day-0050

 


1397 ]]>
(Solid Imagery) photography http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/PHOTOGRAPHY-Another-Useless-Debate-1 Sat, 19 Nov 2016 05:18:33 GMT
PHOTOGRAPHY: Another Useless Debate http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/PHOTOGRAPHY-Another-Useless-Debate OK! Let’s get into the debate, we have another Mac vs PC, iPhone vs Android battle going on here…conventional vs mirrorless cameras.

MIRRORLESS CAMERAS?

They’re rubbish right?

Yeah.

Good Night.

But hold on there, lets look at what the conventional brigade are saying, and my flippant counter-arguments, just point out what pointless argument it is.

(1) Conventional mirrored cameras make a lovely sound, mirrorless don’t.

Some photographers like to be in the limelight and a clicking mirror helps that. Some photographers like to be in the shadows and grab interesting reportage shots, a silent shutter is vital.

(2) Conventional cameras weight and cost more therefore they’re manufactured to a much higher standard.

I guess some photographers like big muscles and like spending money.

(3) Conventional cameras produce a better, sharper result.

Oh please?

(4) A conventional camera makes my client feel happier and more confident in me.

More than say beautiful images at a reasonable price?

(5) Mirrorless cameras are toys.

Water resistant and drop proof toys I guess. A bit like a Tonka Toy.

(6) Conventional cameras are much more customisable which I can’t do without.

Please go learn photography again and realise how easy it is, it’s all about light you know?

(7) The autofocus on mirrorless cameras is not up to fast moving photography.

Nah, just plain wrong (usually spoken by someone who has never used one).

(8) Alright then, my Dad’s bigger than yours.

Cool.

The list is endless and I despair at the attitude of these Luddites. Did you know that David Bailey once produced an entire exhibition, Alive at Night, on his Nokia N86?

David Bailey, who’s he? You ask.

The photographer with the best quote ever. ‘I always shoot with available light, that’s any fecking light that’s available.’

Back on topic, Ansel Adams once said ‘it’s not the camera but the 8 inches behind the cameras that takes a great picture.’

Now I’ve dabbled a bit with different cameras in the past 37 years of my professional photographic life.

Rollei 3.5f in my apprenticeship, then Hasselblad 500CM’s for 10 years, Linhoff Technicals and Monorails, Nikon F3’s, Canon T90’s and EOS’s, Mamiya 6×6, Fuji 617 and 6×7 and so on, but never has it ever been about the camera, ever.

I was once at a wedding as a guest, and I overheard another guest ask the photographer about his camera, a Canon something, the curt reply was just, ‘it cost £4000’, I guess the ego was extra.

No wonder photographers are seen by many as A*%eholes, that’s my opinion too actually, can’t stand the breed.

So back to mirrorless, I love my Fuji’s, the X Pro’s and the XT’s are amazing, no scrub that, they are rubbish, everything above it true.

I wouldn’t like my competitors to think I had an unfair advantage over them would I?

 

 

Jon

Every photo you see here and on my blog was taken on a two-thirds chip mirrorless camera. Oh, and my client’s love them,

Sarah-Darren-0163sarah-darren-0163 sandie_phil-0300sandie_phil-0300 rome-2016-jmb-0295rome-2016-jmb-0295 dscf3473dscf3473 cc-simms-0003cc-simms-0003 rachandrob-0116rachandrob-0116 becca_leon_wedding_day-0050becca_leon_wedding_day-0050

 


1397 ]]>
(Solid Imagery) photography http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/PHOTOGRAPHY-Another-Useless-Debate Sat, 19 Nov 2016 05:18:33 GMT
LIFE AND TIMES: Be bold, be brave. http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/LIFE-AND-TIMES-Be-bold-be-brave I am a bold kinda guy, I believe in being progressive and trying, failing and trying again.

Here’s a list of some of the worlds greatest people.

Abraham Lincoln

Thomas Jefferson

Michelangelo

Gandhi

Albert Einstein

Leonardo Da Vinci

Nikola Tesl

Florence Nightingale

Sir Isaac Newton

Archimedes

Aristotle

Winston Churchill

Benjamin Franklin

Thomas Edison

Emmeline Pankhurst

Wolfgang Amedeus Mozart

Sir Francis Drake

Eleanor Roosevelt

Michael Faraday

Boudicca 

Joan of Arc

Galileo Galilei

FDR

Charles Darwin

George Washington

Mary Wollstonecraft

Thomas Payne

William Wilberforce

Marie Curie

Alan Turin

Rosa Parks

Dalai Lama

Malala Yousafzai

Etc

Why post this? What’s my point?
Well the world is supposedly in turmoil, so we are led to believe, (no terrorist attacked reported anywhere during the US elections, funny that), those who voted Brexit and Trump are braindead, apparently.

Now don’t get me wrong on the Trump thing, I’m deeply scared about that, but it is done, move on, try and get it turned over? Like Brexit, democracy dies and worldwide revolution becomes a reality. 

The sheep has won short term, so have the puppet masters and so have the real bigots, those who love us to be subservient.

So back to the bold and brave.

We all love a rebel, our popular culture is based on people being rebellious and challenging the establishment, and we all cheer when the rebels plans finally succeed. In film Luke Skywalker, Jason Bourne, in literature Winston Smith, Tom Sawyer, in song, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, in history, all of the above names.

Nobody ever celebrated anyone who wasn’t bold and brave and progressive. Without these people, the world would have been a dead grey place, a subservient place with a population of people unwilling to progress.

I am literally staggered these days at those who think it is right NOT to challenge those in power who are clearing doing wrong to us.
To sit in the armchair and shout but do nothing. There is a word for those people.
Thankfully these people above DID NOT stop challenging and changing things and being bold and brave.
We all know that ALL politicians are liars and cheats, that is a given, but to cower to their demands, to say that it’s alright those things you do to us, to stand in line when you are told to, to accept the beatings and say ‘thank you sir may I have another’.
Because the establishment lost in Brexit and Trump, we, the great unwashed people of the world, have suddenly become racists.

Well, here’s a thing.

I was in London recently and in no other country is their such diversity. I can eat any type of food on every high street in the UK, can you say that about France or Italy?

Maybe, but probably not.

At the end of Birdcage Walk in London there are monuments for the dead of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and so on, those who fought next to us.
Racist? Do me a favour.
BTW, the last on the list, Malala Yousafzai, is quite possibly the most stunningly inspirational person on there. Everything right with a human being. And she’s a Pakistani living and thriving in this so called racist state.
I always wanted my children to fly not be tethered, to question not to be questioned. To be full of life and not to be a servant of money. To be bold and brave and decent. To challenge when something is wrong. To be human and not sheep ready to be slaughtered.
So my advice to you non-Brexiters and Clintoneers is to respectfully grow a pair of balls and get on with it, of course you can scream at the tv and get abusive on Facebook, call us racists, that is your right, but me…
…I’d rather be bold and brave and show guts like those above, working for the common good rather than just for myself. I would rather not cower when bullied, am I alone just like the people above were?
Seems so.
BTW, we have changed the world with Brexit and Trump, Italy and The Netherlands have already called us brave, the corrupt politicians now know the people will no longer stand for their nonsense, not just in Europe but across the world.
Good luck everyone, calm down, be positive and work together.

Or stew in the corner and let history forget you.

…your choice.

Jon

Aka Luke Skywalker, Winston Smith, Woody Guthrie 


1396 ]]>
(Solid Imagery) life and time http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/LIFE-AND-TIMES-Be-bold-be-brave Fri, 18 Nov 2016 06:25:28 GMT
WRITING: The things you uncover eh? http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/WRITING-The-things-you-uncover-eh-1 I love this writing lark, it frees your soul from the drudgery of every day life, and Lord knows we need it right now.

I love the research element in particular, real life is…well let’s just say, you couldn’t make it up.

With the historical novels I write, historical in terms of being within living memory, research is key to making your writing believable.

I’ll give you an example.

The Last Breath in Williamsburg, my first Patrick Teller Supernatural Thriller is set in New York City in 1935.

During this part of American history, the Great Depression was biting really hard, 25% of Americans were without work. Now I researched how they were fed by the state and assumed that the queued for food at soup kitchens etc, which they did. It was known collectively as ‘the bread line’.

Naturally I assumed people would be ‘in’ the bread line, as in ‘in a line’ but alas no. New Yorkers at this time were ‘on’ the bread line.

A small but very important mistake to rectify. Without that correction, credibility amongst those who know, would immediately have vanished.

But there are more, many more fascinating things to research and these things not only gives you a thrill as you uncover them, but also gives a writer some extremely interesting storylines.

Back to The Last Breath in Williamsburg, at the time, 1935, the Empire State Building’s observation deck, a mere 1000 feet up, had just the smallest wall, around hip height between the visitors and a flailing death.

A thriller writers dream.

Another fact, Grand Central Terminal in New York has a mural of the night sky painted on it’s ceiling. It shows the signs of the zodiac, but it is reversed. Why is that? Nobody knows, but a theory is that it is the view that God has, how very perfect for a Patrick Teller novel which has religion, angels, demons and symbology at it’s heart.

Recently, I began to research for The Cross on the Skyline, the second Patrick Teller novel set two years later. So taking my obsession in getting the information accurate, I needed to ensure I understood what the fashion styles of the time and in this case, just how the Warren County Police Department (Virginia, seeing as you asked), were dressed at the time.

Now, here’s the interesting historical part.

Virginia was right on the border of the North and the South during the American Civil War, so in an attempt to unify the communities, the police adopted a Union Blue Tunic and Confederate Grey trousers.

A beautiful nugget of information for a thriller writer if ever there was one.

So I do love this writing lark, but not just the putting the pen-to-paper bit, the research is a thrill in itself, although it is a little strange sitting in Starbucks with a google search open at How to be a witch, or, How to kill someone and bring then back to life again, or even, How to balance your outfit with the perfect Lilly Dache hat.

Still, I love this writing lark.

 

Jon

PS, thank you Chris Moss for the information about ‘the buzzer’ a secret radio signal being continually sent from Russia, and which has been for the past 40 years.

A storyline for Patrick Teller when he enters the war years?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UVB-76

 


1303 ]]>
(Solid Imagery) photography http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/WRITING-The-things-you-uncover-eh-1 Tue, 15 Nov 2016 03:17:10 GMT
WRITING: The things you uncover eh? http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/WRITING-The-things-you-uncover-eh I love this writing lark, it frees your soul from the drudgery of every day life, and Lord knows we need it right now.

I love the research element in particular, real life is…well let’s just say, you couldn’t make it up.

With the historical novels I write, historical in terms of being within living memory, research is key to making your writing believable.

I’ll give you an example.

The Last Breath in Williamsburg, my first Patrick Teller Supernatural Thriller is set in New York City in 1935.

During this part of American history, the Great Depression was biting really hard, 25% of Americans were without work. Now I researched how they were fed by the state and assumed that the queued for food at soup kitchens etc, which they did. It was known collectively as ‘the bread line’.

Naturally I assumed people would be ‘in’ the bread line, as in ‘in a line’ but alas no. New Yorkers at this time were ‘on’ the bread line.

A small but very important mistake to rectify. Without that correction, credibility amongst those who know, would immediately have vanished.

But there are more, many more fascinating things to research and these things not only gives you a thrill as you uncover them, but also gives a writer some extremely interesting storylines.

Back to The Last Breath in Williamsburg, at the time, 1935, the Empire State Building’s observation deck, a mere 1000 feet up, had just the smallest wall, around hip height between the visitors and a flailing death.

A thriller writers dream.

Another fact, Grand Central Terminal in New York has a mural of the night sky painted on it’s ceiling. It shows the signs of the zodiac, but it is reversed. Why is that? Nobody knows, but a theory is that it is the view that God has, how very perfect for a Patrick Teller novel which has religion, angels, demons and symbology at it’s heart.

Recently, I began to research for The Cross on the Skyline, the second Patrick Teller novel set two years later. So taking my obsession in getting the information accurate, I needed to ensure I understood what the fashion styles of the time and in this case, just how the Warren County Police Department (Virginia, seeing as you asked), were dressed at the time.

Now, here’s the interesting historical part.

Virginia was right on the border of the North and the South during the American Civil War, so in an attempt to unify the communities, the police adopted a Union Blue Tunic and Confederate Grey trousers.

A beautiful nugget of information for a thriller writer if ever there was one.

So I do love this writing lark, but not just the putting the pen-to-paper bit, the research is a thrill in itself, although it is a little strange sitting in Starbucks with a google search open at How to be a witch, or, How to kill someone and bring then back to life again, or even, How to balance your outfit with the perfect Lilly Dache hat.

Still, I love this writing lark.

 

Jon

PS, thank you Chris Moss for the information about ‘the buzzer’ a secret radio signal being continually sent from Russia, and which has been for the past 40 years.

A storyline for Patrick Teller when he enters the war years?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UVB-76

 


1303 ]]>
(Solid Imagery) photography http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/WRITING-The-things-you-uncover-eh Tue, 15 Nov 2016 03:17:10 GMT
PHOTOGRAPHY: Cheap Chinese Copies? Or, how to lose your customers. http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/PHOTOGRAPHY-Cheap-Chinese-Copies-Or-how-to-lose-your-customers-1 This is a technical post, a kinda, what are the photographic big boys thinking? Commercial suicide?

Now, last year I blogged about letting competitors into your business domain by being damn stupid, not thinking about what the client needs or wants, not making the effort to satisfy them and thus opening the door to others.

Well that’s all very well if you are a little picture taking guy like me, we have other distractions going on, like life for example, but big corporations, those with long histories and lots to lose if they take their eye off the ball, are doing just that.

I am aiming this at the Canons and the Nikons of this world and I’ll get to them in a moment.

There is, however, one manufacturer who is doing it completely right, my beloved Fujifilm.

Let’s explore why and how we, as photographers, can replicate their success.

With the advent of digital cameras back in the mid 90’s, many manufacturers were forced to embrace this alien technology, a technology which would, without doubt, kill their core business, film. Out of the big four, Kodak, Agfa, Konica and Fuji Photo Film (as was), only the latter truly embraced it, I know that for fact, I was that man, it was me, sorry.

The result, Fujifilm is the only one still standing. Agfa and Konica went first, but the biggest loser was Kodak, it was a good two years before the then CEO, George Fisher realised that film would be no more, let’s launch a digital camera, he finally grimaced. Two years later they did just that! In technological, computer terms, that’s a whopping 14 years behind.

During those early years, and possibly still to this day, all consumer digital cameras had very little profit attracted to them, an average figure was possibly around £3-4, add to this, the giant electronic corporations such as Sony and Samsung entering the photographic market with their massive advertising spends, and Fujifilm had to reinvent their camera range, others didn’t, and the X-Series was born.

There is so much buzz around these cameras which seems not to be dissipating anytime soon, and this is not a review of their capabilities, there a close on a billion of those, however, the images you see here are all taken on an XT1 model.

So why are Fujifilm winning and what can we learn from them?

(1) the X-Series are robustly built and the quality is high. This is what people want.

(2) they are small and lightweight but pack a huge punch in turns of image quality. This is what people want.

(3) their design is from a bygone age which makes them beautiful to handle. This is what people want.

(4) the company’s camera service, literally, is second to none, giving immense confidence. This is what people want.

(5) the X-Series firmware is updated regularly based on feedback from actual, real, photographers. Everybody likes to be listened to.

The list is endless but what keeps coming back to me is ‘this is what people want’, and as a pro photographer, do you know what your clients want?

Can I just point out, the Fujifilm X-Series are NOT cheap chinese copies, but they are cheaper and produce better images than pretty much everything else I’ve seen, excluding the Phase One and Hasselblad medium format cameras, but they have that covered with the forthcoming GFX model.

Anyhow, this blog is titled Cheap Chinese Copies and it is leveled at an experience I had recently to illustrate how exactly to lose your clients.

Imagine this, a fashion shoot, a dark tunnel, a model, the already low light rapidly dropping. Two Nikon Speedlites on stands, one aggravated art director.

We start shooting, the Speedlites get to three shots, yes, three shots and overheat. They stop working for a good 5 minutes, to cool down.

Now these are £350 a piece these things and they overheat after three shots. Those technically minded will tell me that the power output was way too high, they weren’t, I can assure you.

Anyhow, we muddled through and eventually got the shots and most importantly the client has rebooked me half a dozen times since.

But here’s the point, Nikon have opened the door for a competitor to replace them. This is commercial suicide.

And replace them I have, gone are the Speedlites, in come the Yongnou equivalent, at, wait for it £56, yes £56 per piece.

The build quality is outstanding, and they’re wireless too, no more Pocketwizards needed to fire, no running back to the speedlight to turn it down a stop or two, I control the Yongnou from the camera mounted controller.

The knock on effect Mr Nikon! After 37 years with your products, you opened the door to your competitors, out go not only  the Speedlights, but also the Pocketwizards, and the £3000 D800’s too.

So please please you pro photographers, beware the Cheap Chinese Copies, they may just change your photographic life.
Jon

Photos here were taken using the Fujifilm XT1 and Yongnou wireless flashes.

testbourne_prom_arrvials-0030testbourne_prom_arrvials-0030

suzyd_lifestyle-0032suzyd_lifestyle-0032 suzyd_lifestyle-0046suzyd_lifestyle-0046 ksenbob-pre-0078ksenbob-pre-0078 suzyd_lifestyle-0054suzyd_lifestyle-0054

carlynath-0456carlynath-0456 becca_leon_wedding_day-0426becca_leon_wedding_day-0426 becca_leon_wedding_day-0548becca_leon_wedding_day-0548 ksenbob-pre-0076ksenbob-pre-0076 Sarah-Darren-0160sarah-darren-0160

testbourne_prom_arrvials-0075testbourne_prom_arrvials-0075 rings_complorings_complo

 


1232 ]]>
(Solid Imagery) photography http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/PHOTOGRAPHY-Cheap-Chinese-Copies-Or-how-to-lose-your-customers-1 Fri, 11 Nov 2016 01:15:19 GMT
PHOTOGRAPHY: Cheap Chinese Copies? Or, how to lose your customers. http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/PHOTOGRAPHY-Cheap-Chinese-Copies-Or-how-to-lose-your-customers This is a technical post, a kinda, what are the photographic big boys thinking? Commercial suicide?

Now, last year I blogged about letting competitors into your business domain by being damn stupid, not thinking about what the client needs or wants, not making the effort to satisfy them and thus opening the door to others.

Well that’s all very well if you are a little picture taking guy like me, we have other distractions going on, like life for example, but big corporations, those with long histories and lots to lose if they take their eye off the ball, are doing just that.

I am aiming this at the Canons and the Nikons of this world and I’ll get to them in a moment.

There is, however, one manufacturer who is doing it completely right, my beloved Fujifilm.

Let’s explore why and how we, as photographers, can replicate their success.

With the advent of digital cameras back in the mid 90’s, many manufacturers were forced to embrace this alien technology, a technology which would, without doubt, kill their core business, film. Out of the big four, Kodak, Agfa, Konica and Fuji Photo Film (as was), only the latter truly embraced it, I know that for fact, I was that man, it was me, sorry.

The result, Fujifilm is the only one still standing. Agfa and Konica went first, but the biggest loser was Kodak, it was a good two years before the then CEO, George Fisher realised that film would be no more, let’s launch a digital camera, he finally grimaced. Two years later they did just that! In technological, computer terms, that’s a whopping 14 years behind.

During those early years, and possibly still to this day, all consumer digital cameras had very little profit attracted to them, an average figure was possibly around £3-4, add to this, the giant electronic corporations such as Sony and Samsung entering the photographic market with their massive advertising spends, and Fujifilm had to reinvent their camera range, others didn’t, and the X-Series was born.

There is so much buzz around these cameras which seems not to be dissipating anytime soon, and this is not a review of their capabilities, there a close on a billion of those, however, the images you see here are all taken on an XT1 model.

So why are Fujifilm winning and what can we learn from them?

(1) the X-Series are robustly built and the quality is high. This is what people want.

(2) they are small and lightweight but pack a huge punch in turns of image quality. This is what people want.

(3) their design is from a bygone age which makes them beautiful to handle. This is what people want.

(4) the company’s camera service, literally, is second to none, giving immense confidence. This is what people want.

(5) the X-Series firmware is updated regularly based on feedback from actual, real, photographers. Everybody likes to be listened to.

The list is endless but what keeps coming back to me is ‘this is what people want’, and as a pro photographer, do you know what your clients want?

Can I just point out, the Fujifilm X-Series are NOT cheap chinese copies, but they are cheaper and produce better images than pretty much everything else I’ve seen, excluding the Phase One and Hasselblad medium format cameras, but they have that covered with the forthcoming GFX model.

Anyhow, this blog is titled Cheap Chinese Copies and it is leveled at an experience I had recently to illustrate how exactly to lose your clients.

Imagine this, a fashion shoot, a dark tunnel, a model, the already low light rapidly dropping. Two Nikon Speedlites on stands, one aggravated art director.

We start shooting, the Speedlites get to three shots, yes, three shots and overheat. They stop working for a good 5 minutes, to cool down.

Now these are £350 a piece these things and they overheat after three shots. Those technically minded will tell me that the power output was way too high, they weren’t, I can assure you.

Anyhow, we muddled through and eventually got the shots and most importantly the client has rebooked me half a dozen times since.

But here’s the point, Nikon have opened the door for a competitor to replace them. This is commercial suicide.

And replace them I have, gone are the Speedlites, in come the Yongnou equivalent, at, wait for it £56, yes £56 per piece.

The build quality is outstanding, and they’re wireless too, no more Pocketwizards needed to fire, no running back to the speedlight to turn it down a stop or two, I control the Yongnou from the camera mounted controller.

The knock on effect Mr Nikon! After 37 years with your products, you opened the door to your competitors, out go not only  the Speedlights, but also the Pocketwizards, and the £3000 D800’s too.

So please please you pro photographers, beware the Cheap Chinese Copies, they may just change your photographic life.
Jon

Photos here were taken using the Fujifilm XT1 and Yongnou wireless flashes.

testbourne_prom_arrvials-0030testbourne_prom_arrvials-0030

suzyd_lifestyle-0032suzyd_lifestyle-0032 suzyd_lifestyle-0046suzyd_lifestyle-0046 ksenbob-pre-0078ksenbob-pre-0078 suzyd_lifestyle-0054suzyd_lifestyle-0054

carlynath-0456carlynath-0456 becca_leon_wedding_day-0426becca_leon_wedding_day-0426 becca_leon_wedding_day-0548becca_leon_wedding_day-0548 ksenbob-pre-0076ksenbob-pre-0076 Sarah-Darren-0160sarah-darren-0160

testbourne_prom_arrvials-0075testbourne_prom_arrvials-0075 rings_complorings_complo

 


1232 ]]>
(Solid Imagery) photography http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/PHOTOGRAPHY-Cheap-Chinese-Copies-Or-how-to-lose-your-customers Fri, 11 Nov 2016 01:15:19 GMT
LIFE AND TIMES: Worried Human Being http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/LIFE-AND-TIMES-Worried-Human-Being-1 My blog header says ‘Worried Human Being’, that’s what I am, worried for us all, especially now.

This world of ours is shot to pieces, truly we humans are a mess, nothing is sacred, life is cheaper than it ever has been, evil people are, it seems, a stones thrown from all of us.

But I feel there is hope amongst the anger of Brexit and Trump.

Now the Brexit thing, I voted to out, and would again tomorrow, but not because of immigrants, not because I am the great unwashed or uneducated, but because we ALL need a change.

We needed to put a bat up the nighty of those we have toyed with us for far too long.

Change is good for us humans, or it has been, but alas we seem more like sheep at the moment, preferring the devil we know.

Well my friends, I think times, they are a changin’

We need a change from the greed that had been ingrained into us from birth, we need to remember that for every evil person close-by, there are ten who are not.

For me the downside of Brexit is those who think they have it right to belittle those others who vote even though they have little education, well sunshine, let me tell you, that is elitist and bigoted, and, dare I say, shows that racism cuts both ways, or were you blind to that because you are ‘educated’?
Now I’m not left or ring wing, neither appeals and it’s centre stage for me, but when it is a toss up between becoming a sheep and sidling with those in power who are clearly doing us harm, then it’s time to tackle the problem head on.

It also amuses me that the far left voted to remain in the EU en masse, the big business, manipulative corporation, faceless people they have sworn to their very being to oppose. To change it from the inside, good luck, it’s worked so well so far that the right have done it for you!

The left, I fear, I know in my heart, is now dead, it ceases to be, it is an ex-left and it has allowed the far right to mop up the mess the way they like to, in a bigoted manner with no remorse.

And here’s the thing, left wingers, WE need the right, right wingers, WE need the left, that give us the freedom to discuss (whatever that once was), it is called balance and with balance you get to decide based on logic, we get to persuade rationally, as grown ups, we are not governed by who has the biggest breasts on this years Big Brother.

One point about EU change, for seven years Canada have tried to strike a deal with the EU, but have been blocked by Apple Growers from Belgium and the like, Brexit happens, the Apple Growers pop up to block Canada at the last minute, and the EU tell them to shut the hell up (I’m guessing), and it is signed. Immediately. NOT seven years later.

So maybe, just maybe Brexit is beginning to make the EU more pliable, maybe, just maybe, they are a changin’.

Maybe the EU know we are watching.

Now onto Trump, a very dangerous man for what I can see, but he won, cleverly he knew the system, he used the media to spout, well nothing of usable substance, a good old fashion snake oil salesman. He abused most people on his way to the presidency, yeah THE PRESIDENCY! to an unbelievable, truly an unbelievable level, and he WON!

And from the Clinton supporters, the same from the EU remainers ‘who gave the rednecks the vote’, if the Trumpers are racist, then so the Clintoneer’s are too, there is no difference.

So you wonder why I’m a worried human being?

A face on telly and a big mouth will get you everything you need, and billions in cash helps, granted, but boy, ain’t that a sad state of affairs, Louis Pasteur and his kind, those we were something beyond great, must be turning in their graves.

Now we have Kanye West, hmmm…

WE let this happen, you and I, and now it is up to you and I to shake the boat a little and let the rulers of this world know that we are awake at last, at very long last, you are accountable to us, we are watching and there are billions of us, (give or take a few million human-sheep).

So Brexit and Trump, maybe, just maybe this is the start of the boat rocking, not the ideal plan I admit, but a start nevertheless.

Worried Human being?

Sure.

But less so?

Maybe.

 

Jon


1174 ]]>
(Solid Imagery) life and time photography http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/LIFE-AND-TIMES-Worried-Human-Being-1 Thu, 10 Nov 2016 14:43:04 GMT
LIFE AND TIMES: Worried Human Being http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/LIFE-AND-TIMES-Worried-Human-Being My blog header says ‘Worried Human Being’, that’s what I am, worried for us all, especially now.

This world of ours is shot to pieces, truly we humans are a mess, nothing is sacred, life is cheaper than it ever has been, evil people are, it seems, a stones thrown from all of us.

But I feel there is hope amongst the anger of Brexit and Trump.

Now the Brexit thing, I voted to out, and would again tomorrow, but not because of immigrants, not because I am the great unwashed or uneducated, but because we ALL need a change.

We needed to put a bat up the nighty of those we have toyed with us for far too long.

Change is good for us humans, or it has been, but alas we seem more like sheep at the moment, preferring the devil we know.

Well my friends, I think times, they are a changin’

We need a change from the greed that had been ingrained into us from birth, we need to remember that for every evil person close-by, there are ten who are not.

For me the downside of Brexit is those who think they have it right to belittle those others who vote even though they have little education, well sunshine, let me tell you, that is elitist and bigoted, and, dare I say, shows that racism cuts both ways, or were you blind to that because you are ‘educated’?
Now I’m not left or ring wing, neither appeals and it’s centre stage for me, but when it is a toss up between becoming a sheep and sidling with those in power who are clearly doing us harm, then it’s time to tackle the problem head on.

It also amuses me that the far left voted to remain in the EU en masse, the big business, manipulative corporation, faceless people they have sworn to their very being to oppose. To change it from the inside, good luck, it’s worked so well so far that the right have done it for you!

The left, I fear, I know in my heart, is now dead, it ceases to be, it is an ex-left and it has allowed the far right to mop up the mess the way they like to, in a bigoted manner with no remorse.

And here’s the thing, left wingers, WE need the right, right wingers, WE need the left, that give us the freedom to discuss (whatever that once was), it is called balance and with balance you get to decide based on logic, we get to persuade rationally, as grown ups, we are not governed by who has the biggest breasts on this years Big Brother.

One point about EU change, for seven years Canada have tried to strike a deal with the EU, but have been blocked by Apple Growers from Belgium and the like, Brexit happens, the Apple Growers pop up to block Canada at the last minute, and the EU tell them to shut the hell up (I’m guessing), and it is signed. Immediately. NOT seven years later.

So maybe, just maybe Brexit is beginning to make the EU more pliable, maybe, just maybe, they are a changin’.

Maybe the EU know we are watching.

Now onto Trump, a very dangerous man for what I can see, but he won, cleverly he knew the system, he used the media to spout, well nothing of usable substance, a good old fashion snake oil salesman. He abused most people on his way to the presidency, yeah THE PRESIDENCY! to an unbelievable, truly an unbelievable level, and he WON!

And from the Clinton supporters, the same from the EU remainers ‘who gave the rednecks the vote’, if the Trumpers are racist, then so the Clintoneer’s are too, there is no difference.

So you wonder why I’m a worried human being?

A face on telly and a big mouth will get you everything you need, and billions in cash helps, granted, but boy, ain’t that a sad state of affairs, Louis Pasteur and his kind, those we were something beyond great, must be turning in their graves.

Now we have Kanye West, hmmm…

WE let this happen, you and I, and now it is up to you and I to shake the boat a little and let the rulers of this world know that we are awake at last, at very long last, you are accountable to us, we are watching and there are billions of us, (give or take a few million human-sheep).

So Brexit and Trump, maybe, just maybe this is the start of the boat rocking, not the ideal plan I admit, but a start nevertheless.

Worried Human being?

Sure.

But less so?

Maybe.

 

Jon


1174 ]]>
(Solid Imagery) life and time photography http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/LIFE-AND-TIMES-Worried-Human-Being Thu, 10 Nov 2016 14:43:04 GMT
PHOTOGRAPHY: Another rainy day? http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/PHOTOGRAPHY-Another-rainy-day What is it with this year? I’ve shot way more wet weddings than ever before, still, I’m a pro, I don’t flap, or I don’t show it.

The thing with a pro photographer it that we don’t flap, we’ve kinda seen it all before and we know how to handle it, and the more wet weddings we pro’s do, the less we feel the need to panic.

So here we are, another beautiful wedding with a slight risk of rain.

Kseniya and Bob, the location, well, the wonderful Parley Manor

Perfect.

And yes it was, perfect. Perfect location, perfect couple, perfectly planned, beautifully realised, attention to detail unlike any other wedding I’d ever experienced.

Then there was the threatened rain. It hung over us like the rolling cloud of doom, not that it would spoil the day, it never does, but the threat was there.

I’d taken Leah along, Wondergirl, and we both kept staring at the sky. But then again, we needn’t have worried, the Parley Manor is well catered for.

So here we are, a few spits and spots, lots of fast moving thunder clouds which we used to our advantage, and some super shots to make the wonderful occasion really quite special.

But next week, who knows?

 

Jon

 

Photos by Leah Beavis and Jon ball

ksenbob_jb-0081ksenbob_jb-0081 ksenbob_jb-0093ksenbob_jb-0093 ksenbob_jb-0162ksenbob_jb-0162 ksenbob_jb-0193ksenbob_jb-0251ksenbob_jb-0251 ksenbob_jb-0281ksenbob_jb-0281 ksenbob_jb-0342ksenbob_jb-0342 ksenbob_jb-0413ksenbob_jb-0413 ksenbob_jb-0422ksenbob_jb-0422 ksenbob_jb-0498ksenbob_jb-0498 ksenbob_jb-0604ksenbob_jb-0604 ksenbob_jb-0641ksenbob_jb-0641 ksenbob_jb-0866ksenbob_jb-0866 ksenbob_jb-0874ksenbob_jb-0874 ksenbob_jb-0920ksenbob_jb-0920

 

 


1116 ]]>
(Solid Imagery) photography http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/PHOTOGRAPHY-Another-rainy-day Tue, 08 Nov 2016 08:34:41 GMT
LIFE AND TIME: What’s he been up to? http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/5/LIFE-AND-TIME-What-s-he-been-up-to There is one thing I’m sure has not be rattling around your heads for the past few months, that had not been keeping you awake at night and has not been making you stare off into the distance whilst you munch quietly on your cold toast over the breakfast table.

What has Jonny Ballzup been up to lately? He’s been such a prolific blogger up until now, you’ve not been saying.

Loads actually, but nothing producing any income…yet.

The book, The Last Breath in Williamsburg, has been finished. Well it had to be, the plan was to carpet bomb the world of book publishing with the concept of the book realising that it takes two months for the people in power to respond and thus giving me two months to finish said book.

Alas it was ten days later that I received the fourth, yes the fourth, request for the finished manuscript. One in London, one in Cambridgeshire and two in New York.

So I’ve been busy scribing the last twenty thousand words.

For those of you who don’t know, The Last Breath in Williamsburg is a supernatural thriller based in New York in 1935. A cross between a detective story and a horror story with demons and ghosts and angels, and I’m delighted with it. It has taken my writing as far as my intellect and talent can take me. Whether it is good enough…well who knows?

But you can’t be criticised for trying eh?

The book introduces Patrick Teller, a street-wise New York pap with a streak of physic ability and his investigation into a spiritual murder in the tenements of the Lower East Side.  I plan to take him through to the mid-sixties in a series of books.

The Cross on the Skyline, book two based in Virginia in 1937 is well underway.

In the words of a Dad trying to be hip, ‘what else has been going down man?’

The fight for photographic work continues, as it always will, and we may well be getting somewhere at last, not just paying the bills but also making a profit. It’s wedding season and they will fill the cash void that has been lacking these past few months.

We have two new clients, which it great but we always need more, so you lot…go get some for me…please.

Lastly, the heritage side of the business. Well, it’s long winded.

Digitisation projects always, always take time to come to fruition. Two years from initial idea to the start of a project seems to be the norm right now, maybe there’s a lack of funding or maybe it’s the complication of bringing a project to reality that’s takes the time. Maybe it’s the combination of the two that makes the process long and drawn out, but it is what it is and we’ll keep plugging away.

So, the answer to the question you’ve not been asking yourself.

I’ve been doing loads of diverse stuff and I liken it to a game of Monopoly.

I have Park Lane loaded with hotels and I’m waiting for someone to land on it. I’m confident they will, and hopefully before I pull the ‘pay maintenance fees on your properties’ card from the pack.

Jon

 

 

Mercy Hope Advertmercy-hope-advert ex gratiea dei Advertex-gratiea-dei-advert

Williamsburg Cover 3williamsburg-cover-3-small Skyline Coverimg_0662




1096 ]]>
(Solid Imagery) life and time writing http://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/5/LIFE-AND-TIME-What-s-he-been-up-to Fri, 20 May 2016 00:42:06 GMT