Solid Imagery: Blog https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog en-us Images copyright Solid Imagery 2021 (Solid Imagery) Tue, 29 Jun 2021 17:42:00 GMT Tue, 29 Jun 2021 17:42:00 GMT https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/img/s/v-12/u912774811-o790919305-50.jpg Solid Imagery: Blog https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog 120 90 BNI – a business networking like no other. https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2019/8/BNI-a-business-networking-like-no-other We are solitary animals us photographers, a flash of energy whilst taking photos is tempered with hours in a darkened room working on thousands of images.

A minute in the limelight, a lifetime in the shadows. With this comes the addition of lots of meaningful communications with clients followed with long bouts of talking to the walls.

No wonder we are also kinda weird too!

This is the first reason that small business owners like us photographers need to get out and network, for sanity sure, but also to keep up with being Human and communicating with the outside world.

Then, of course, there is the necessity to grow your business, you want to eat right? So you have to earn to live.

In the days of photographers springing up everywhere, growing your photography business is not as easy as you think, in fact, it’s a very real, constant challenge.

Now here’s a list of things that we can all try:

1. Walk the streets handing out leaflets

2. Spend a fortune on Google ads

3. Put a poster up in the Post Office

4. Sell a kidney to attend a trade show

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve done all of those and more, but the effort versus the return is simply not worthy of the time or the expense.

There is a website that I rely on, Bidvine, I recommend you use it, it’s not cheap, but it is very effective. In the first year of use it helped triple my turnover, but there is something much more important on so many levels.

This is BNI, the world’s largest networking organisation.

I’ve always been a fan of business networking, I used to visit one held at Whitchurch Silk Mill, and found it very, very useful indeed.

I joined BNI in March 2019 after being invited by a friend who runs a real neat signage company Clear Signs and Graphics in Verwood, and now, well it has become a must have. Our Chapter, Bournemouth Bay has a mix of skill sets from all industries, and here’s the kicker, only one of each sector is allowed.

Yup, one plumber, one solicitor and of course, one Bournemouth photographer.

We meet each week at 06.45 for a breakfast meeting and we ask the room for a specific point of contact. This could be an introduction to a specific company you’d like to work with, or a person you’d like to deal with, and it works.

The idea is that everyone gets to know, and hopefully, trusts your colleagues in the room, and once trust has been formed, you are recommended. Sure, it takes time, but isn’t that always the tough part?

BNI Chapters are all over the world, indeed I recently had a meeting with a colleague from a chapter in Paris, so the reach is really global and I am looking to help place his product in the UK, that, I’m sure you’ll agree, is the killer aspect of networking and BNI in particular.

I now have 35 other companies looking out for me, and of course, the deal is I look out for them too.

Beats sitting in the dark worrying where the next job is coming from I suppose.

Yours,

Jon

 

If you’d like to visit our Chapter at Bournemouth Bay for a no obligation view of how it all works, email me here: jon@solidimagery.co.uk

BNI Bournemouth Bay contacts

BNI Bournemouth Bay – http://bnidorset.co.uk/dorset-bay,-bournemouth/en-GB/index

Reeve Heating and Plumbing – reeveheatingservices@hotmail.com

Dorset Designer – www.dorsetdesigner.co.uk

By the Fire – http://bythefireonline.co.uk

Library Road Garage – dan@libraryroadgarage.co.uk

BBS Accountancy – dave@bbscma.co.uk

Prestige Window Cleaning – prestigebournemouth@gmail.com

Stonetree Carpentry – elliott.bacon@stonetreecarpentry.com

Seventy Two Blue Estate Agents – http://www.seventytwo.blue

Bipcom Networks – http://www.bipcom.co.uk

ChemDry Kallista Cleaning – johnminton@hotmail.co.uk

All Build Construction – http://Www.abcconstructionservices.co.uk

S29 Marketing – http://s29marketing.co.uk

Purple HR – http://www.purplehr.co.uk

Newnham and Jordon Solicitors – http://newnham-jordan.co.uk

Daisy Office Supplies – http://www.daisyofficesupplies.co.uk

Premier Choice Healthcare – lukehancock@pch.uk.com

Coversure Insurance – nathanwa@coversure.co.uk

Libertas Financial Planning – http://www.libertasfinancialplanning.co.uk

Twenty Residential Design – http://twentyrdl.co.uk

Pixelhaus – http://www.pixelhaus.co.uk

Sam Sharma Business Coaching – http://samsharma.coach

PXL Associates Mortgages – samcaplan@pxlassociates.co.uk

Wills Removals – http://www.willsremovals.com

Utility Warehouse – http://www.utilitywarehouse.org.uk/sjkelly

WHB Plan and Protect – will@whb-protect.co.uk

Solid Imagery – www.solidimagery.co.uk

 

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(Solid Imagery) https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2019/8/BNI-a-business-networking-like-no-other Sat, 17 Aug 2019 04:39:20 GMT
The Rise of the Documentary Wedding Photographer https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2019/7/The-Rise-of-the-Documentary-Wedding-Photographer Well, well, well…when did it become popular for a ‘people’ photographer not to be able to interact with ‘people’?

Those horrible people who employ you? Those nasty people who give you a living?

Well, it seems to me, that the Rise of the Documentary Wedding Photographer was the catalyst.

Now don’t get me wrong, my early days in wedding photography back in the 80’s held a somewhat rigid approach to snapping the happy day. Very formulaic, very Olan Mills, here is your set list, and that’s all you get, whereas now, the reportage approach to wedding photography is absolutely right.

But Documentary Wedding Photographer? Give me a break, that’s a step way too far.

That suggests that the ‘people’ Photographer is not very good with people, and if they aren’t great communicators it’ll show in your photos, really it will.

This breed of photographer are no more than paparazzo hiding in bushes snapping away until they get a good one, they are not professional, they cannot, or perhaps, are unwilling, not confident enough maybe, to talk to people, pose people, actually they are not capable to do the job they have been paid to do.

And of course, the uninitiated, the couple who have not done this ‘getting married’ business before, get sucked in by this nonsense. Conned by the hype maybe.

What happens, I wonder, when the images are viewed by the family (the day is a family get-together after all) and no group photos appear.

Disappointment at the least, anger at the most, neither of which I would wish to be involved in.

I was at a wedding recently, a new venue, where the wedding planner asked whether I would be doing any formal groups, I replied ‘of course’, to which the response was ‘would you like me to help?’. I replied ‘no thank you, I’ll be fine, why do you ask?’

‘Because the last few photographers ‘don’t do that”. So for £1000, a ‘professional’ photographer ‘doesn’t do that’…shame on you…and dare I say it, you’re hiding behind this new DW Photographer rubbish.

I always aim to get an iconic image, that shot which forever shouts out at the couple. If I am unable to communicate to get that one shot because I’m a Documentary Wedding Photographer and I ‘don’t do that’ then you, the clients will miss out big time and that, my friends, is totally unacceptable.

And if you think that group photos are stuffy and boring, you’re wrong, very wrong. Interacting with a group of people will relax the subject and can bring some wonderful reactions, true joyous expressions, and WILL link you, the photographer to the celebration of their wonderful day.

If you don’t employ a photographer who is good with people, you’ll also miss out on a great portrait of you and your family, and you’ll have a grumpy old lump of expensive photographer getting in the way and not achieving very much.

It’ll show in your photos, the photos that will be with you FOR LIFE. And remember, a fully trained, experienced wedding photographer can effectively do BOTH reportage and formal photos, which is, I think, exactly what you need.

The happy sample photos below, show this perfectly.

So Documentary Wedding Photography…thank you very much but I won’t be subscribing, and I very, very strongly suggest that you don’t either.

Jon

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(Solid Imagery) https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2019/7/The-Rise-of-the-Documentary-Wedding-Photographer Tue, 30 Jul 2019 00:37:21 GMT
Ego’s and No Go’s https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2019/7/Ego-s-and-No-Go-s-1 It’s a funny old game being a photographer. Everyone can do it you see, everyone is a photographer and everyone has taken a ‘nice photo’ at on point in their life.

So the progress from there is rather simple, new camera, new business card (visaprint £5.99 per 100) and voila, a photographer is formed.

Then there’s the opposite end, the egomaniac with confidence long gone which has been replaced by arrogance and smarm so thick it should be called Paolo the Waiter.

It is the latter who are killing our industry. Overcharging for images that are no better than everyone else, often an awful lot worse, and, as for those who say you get what you pay for, wrong, wrong, very bloody wrong.

All the fancy letters after your name is NEVER a guarantee of quality, it simply means that a panel of ‘experts’ at one time in one place liked your work. On another day they might not, so you FRPS types, don’t get above your station, you are not worth it, and you’re clients will quickly realise it.

To illustrate this, I last week photographed a wedding and before it all started I was speaking to one of the bridesmaids (aged 9), she told me that she wanted to be a photographer so I gave her my second spare camera (the one stored in the boot of my car for THAT million pound shot).

I attach one of the photos which says it all but there were many more to choose from.

I have a theory that the price pros charge are directly related to the size of their ego’s, and yes, yes, yes, I know I’m way too cheap, but you know what, I’m making a good living thank you kindly, and if I am, then they are…well…

Then you’ll find the new ‘documentary wedding photographer’, or as I like to call them a non-people-person people photographer, or, ‘I’m to shy to organise groups.’

How can you claim to be a people photographer when you can’t communicate?

Also, don’t get me started on the modern photographers dress sense, or lack of it. Jeans ARE NOT APPROPRIATE at weddings, it shows a real lack of respect which will lead to a earl lack of repeat business.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t know everything about the art of photography, I don’t have all the answers, yes I was well trained but that was almost 40 years ago. And here’s the clever bit. You will never stop learning if you do it right. If you embrace the art and see where it can go.

Sometimes something fancy works, sometime it doesn’t but again, it is an art, we are creatives, we try to explore.

Those with natural skill, a humble outlook and a sunny disposition, together with an inbuilt professional pride will always beat the Ego’s and the No Go’s.

Jon x

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(Solid Imagery) https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2019/7/Ego-s-and-No-Go-s-1 Mon, 15 Jul 2019 08:26:43 GMT
Being Human: Crisis at Christmas Day 5 – Very Nice People. https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2018/12/Being-Human-Crisis-at-Christmas-Day-5-Very-Nice-People Day 5 – 28th December 2018

Yeah yeah, I know I’d signed up for 10 days, but really, the 5 hour round trip each day has taken its toll on this tired old man.

Today I was late, I’d figured that the roads from Bournemouth to Bermondsey would be choked with Christmas hungover families coming back from the coast so yes, I gave it an extra hour.

I needed to give it two, as we say down here, bloody cackers, (The local term for the Cornish ‘Grockles’). Tourists since you ask.

So I reach the depot in Bermondsey and slowly walk in backwards, an old FUJI trick for when you’re late to an exhibition stand, nobody notices your lateness when you walk slowly backwards.

The crew room is heaving with volunteers, maybe 60 at a guess. I plant myself onto a battered old leather sofa, I’m feeling tired today, the trips up and back and the quick turnaround which involves much sleep and a little work to keep the bank account ticking over has basically been the last week’s circle.

So weary my eyes Flickr shut (That was a shameless SEO by the way, every opportunity to boost your online presence I suppose), and I am, more than once, woken by my own snoring which I turn into a cough to disguise it.

Being late, my name was right down the list, thus I was one of the last to be called. Two minibus to the East London Day Centre in Stratford.

Now this is where it gets more interesting because my navigator is Maddie, and aware that she is reading this, she is intelligent, caring, thoughtful, chatty and friendly, but actually she’s just daft, so we should get on famously.

And we do.

A 25 minute trip to Stratford takes an hour, we are way too busy chatting, putting the world right, complementing each other’s life choices and laughing, lots of laughing. This, of course, is not our job, we are there to navigate and drive and neither of us are doing a particularly wonderful job at it. I stop the minibus at one point at the mouth of the banned Rotherhithe Tunnel only to realise it’s the Limehouse version of a hole in the ground.

And my, aren’t Londoners touchy?

We miss turnings, roundabouts, we come within 5 minutes of the Day Centre then we are suddenly 15 minutes away, but boy was it fun.

Eventually we arrive after seeing every roundabout in East London at least twice. We are welcomed and invited to eat with the guests, Maddie grabs us a couple of coffees and we sit and chat, in no time a guest, we’ll call him Bob, a tall proud Scot curses (very mildly) that he’s lost his glasses. I dive under the table to search, Maddie sensibly goes off to the lost property desk and doesn’t take the initial ‘we-don’t-have-it’ as the correct response.

They do have it and with an air of victory Maddie sits down again.

We chat to Bob for a good 15 minutes, he’s been on the streets since he was 10 years old.

Let me pause there for a moment to let that sink in.

……….

Ten years old.

He’s now late forties I’d say and has seen and done everything the streets have thrown at him. He has a flat now and is paying for it from his Universal Credit payments, except of course, they are paid 5 weeks in arrears, so he’s skint over Christmas. He has a government loan to tide him over but this is paid back over the year and the monthly payments are slashed to cover this.

He’s not sure the new figure will cover his rent and food and now has to budget very tightly, pay to survive I suppose, but not to live.

He has hope though and is very optimistic about the future, he is an artist but he prefers designer. His work, t-shirts and prints are hanging on the wall behind them, Maddie and I had admired them when we sat down, and yes, they were fabulous.

One of the Crisis volunteers has promised to help him build a website and the system has donated a computer to get him started. He is buzzing a little at the prospect which I guess is the whole point of Crisis at Christmas, to give hope and build pride for those homeless guest with little or none of it.

Makes you all warm to be part of it.

So here were are, the last shift of this wonderfully rewarding Christmas. Yes it’s been tough, the hours travelling have been difficult, but boy what a brilliant thing to be involved it.

And here’s what this post is about, the volunteers.

What you have here is a mass of brilliant people, inspirational I guess. Kind, thoughtful people who wish to help others and who wish to receive nothing in return.

To be in a room with all races, colours, classes and to see that we all have a common goal, to take care of our fellow man, fills you with hope for the human race.

In these times of bigotry, intolerance and anger, of racism, sexism and jingoism, how welcome is it to rubbing shoulders with decent, honest, kind, happy and caring people.

So thank you Steve, Janet, Ty, Melina and of course, Maddie.

You’ve made my Christmas truly rewarding and gave me hope that there are decent humans beings out there after all.

Same time next year?

Without doubt.

Jon

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(Solid Imagery) photography https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2018/12/Being-Human-Crisis-at-Christmas-Day-5-Very-Nice-People Mon, 31 Dec 2018 04:31:56 GMT
Being Human: Crisis at Christmas Day 4 – Lest We Forget https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2018/12/Being-Human-Crisis-at-Christmas-Day-4-Lest-We-Forget Day 4 – 27th Dec 2018

Today was a bad day for me, I was in mourning for Kirsty, she doesn’t speak to me anymore and it occurred to me that as social animals, the worse thing we can do to one another is to ignore, to forget and to be forgotten.

So the loss of the girl I truly loved and who I expected to spend the rest of my life with was compounded by the fact that I was clearly not important enough to remember.

And here’s what the homeless have to deal with every day.

Not only do they deal with having to shelter in a doorway or under a bridge, sleep but not sleep for fear of being attacked when they do, fight the pangs of hunger on a daily basis and fear the world around them, they have to psychologically deal with being forgotten by those who were supposed to love them.

Now I’m not stupid, daft at times admittedly, but not stupid. So let’s get this out the way.

Some homeless people like to be forgotten, they like to be off grid, a little like the A-Team they have been lost underground. Of course, some have had violent pasts and have been banished from family circles, but still in my mind us humans are pack animals, we need to socialise.

Crisis understand this, they understand that we all need to interact and actually, wouldn’t it be nice if we ALL did, all around the world.

This, it seems to me, is one of the reasons that Crisis at Christmas exists.

So today I’m missing the girl dreadfully, I’m sitting at the depot in Bermondsey, Christmas tv is on and everyone is together, except I’m not in the family unit I’ve always hoped to be, the one I’d nurtured. I am more that a tad tearful at being forgotten.

However, I am with a group of wonderfully kind volunteers. We are all getting along really well, we chat, we laugh, we joke and we wait for our names to be called.

Eventually mine is called to go out on the famous North London Loop, I have a navigator, Melina a lovely girl with Ugandan roots who was born and lives in Thurrock.

We hit it off immediately and the blues (that black dog that seems to pop up occasionally) seems to disappear in her presence. She is a community helper in her spare time, she sits with terminally ill pensioners as a buddy and chats. I can see why she is popular, she is kind, attentive, witty and thoughtful.

And her, like me, has just come out of a long-term relationship.

We arrive at the day centre and three other minibuses are already in attendance, it’s 19.45 and we have a little time to wait so we plant ourselves in the volunteers room and chat with the staff there.

And this is where the two extremes of human existence, human kindness are shown all too clearly

The North London Day Centre attracts celebrity visitors. Ellie Golding volunteers every year, it’s her thing. Stormzy popped in to help that morning and Jeremy Corbin, without any entourage, helped out for a few hours today.

This though is where (excuse the expression), it goes tits up.

Three girls from Made in Chelsea arrive to volunteer dressed in their designer clothes. They carry bottles of champagne for our guests but of course, smoking, drinking and drug taking are all prohibited. They are informed of this and of course, they decide NOT to volunteer and presumably, go off to party.

I can’t help thinking that the old Victorian pay-a-penny-to-see-the-lunatics in Bethlem mentality is alive and kicking in 2018.

The world is full of haves and have mores it seems and they are shameless in their lack of understanding of the human condition. How thoughtless and compassionless they sometimes are.

‘Let them eat cake’ I can still hear from the distant past and in the present it is still repeated.

Then there is a rumour that the reason for numbers being down this year is that Immigration Services would be targeting the Crisis centres.

Now I don’t know if this is true, and somehow I doubt it, but in this day and age, with Trump in the White House and with the rise in bigotry and injustice I just wonder.

We perform two loops, Melina and I and transport just one person on each run. One Jules, a Frenchman is dropped back to the streets of Victoria, the other was Jose, a well educated gentleman of Portuguese decent who has lived, worked and owned and house in the UK for the past 25 years.

Even though he has paid his taxes etc he is still worried about being deported back to Portugal where he has no links.

Now it may be that he is here illegally, but then again, he is a human being just like the rest of us.

So with that in mind.

Lest We Forget.

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(Solid Imagery) being human https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2018/12/Being-Human-Crisis-at-Christmas-Day-4-Lest-We-Forget Fri, 28 Dec 2018 04:17:32 GMT
Being Human: Crisis at Christmas – Day 3 https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2018/12/Being-Human-Crisis-at-Christmas-Day-3 Day 3: Boxing Day 2018

The days are blurring into one long procession now which in itself is very bad thing. I would love to say that I’ve only moved a handful of homeless guests and that I know them all by sight, but alas no.

Like a Lowry painting, there is a constant stream of people with their faces to the ground, their worldly possessions tucked under their arms, their belly’s are now full at least but why has it come to this?

How? more importantly.

We are at the West London Day Centre, one of the 6 centres where our guests can spend the day, can interact, drink, eat and join in and we are one of three minibuses readying to do our first run, (three minibuses equates to around forty people).

To place this into context, we are likely to do another similar run twice more on this shift, so that’s around 120 people moved to accommodation from this day centre alone. Move that on a little and the day centres will be taking in a total of 720 people at least today.

Add to this those being delivered back to the streets which I calculate would be another 60-70 and we can start to imagine how ridiculous my notion of just a handful of homeless people actually is.

The West London Day Centre is another academy school, all shiny glass and chrome, clean, smart and welcoming but its neighbour is anything but. Grenfell Tower looms overhead and I can’t help but think that this and the plight of those we are picking up are somehow linked.

There is a air of injustice floating around the complex and a sense of sadness seem to link the two. It seems somehow poignant that the two disasters have one common link at their core, housing.

There is a shrine for the victims of Grenfell Tower at its base, a list of names, photos and scribbled messages. Within the shadow of the tower, I get a sense of the size of the disaster. I am thankful and humbled by the messages but within minutes I am reminded of the living disasters that surround us daily. We have 17 of these disasters in our minibus. 17 unpleasant stories.

Across London all sorts of organisations are coming together under the Crisis banner. Universities, schools and churches and today our first delivery is to St Augustine’s Church where the pews will be made up as beds.

It is a warm enough night, no chill wind and no rain, which is just as well as the guests have to wait for an hour before the church is ready, we wait with them, chat to them and hopefully make them feel…meaningful I suppose.

Because of the London traffic, this single job takes us 3 1/2 hours to complete, we stay out and manage another run, and other 17 stories, another 17 humans who have the potential to be just a footnote in the lives of others.

At 21.30 we return to Bermondsey, have a quick bite to eat supplied by the kitchen staff, a wonderful chilli, and then it’s time for us to prepare the vehicles for the morning shift.

Three of us each do 4 runs to the local Shell garage with a Crisis fuel card and I can see the cashiers eyes light up with excitement.

It has been an emotional day, not unpleasant but equally not the most wonderful atmosphere seems to have surround me.

Maybe I’m missing someone, maybe I’m not, maybe I feel alone, maybe I feel for the homeless people we have transported today, and maybe it’s for those who lost their lives at Grenfell Tower.

Whatever it is, I don’t like it.

Jon

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(Solid Imagery) being human photography https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2018/12/Being-Human-Crisis-at-Christmas-Day-3 Thu, 27 Dec 2018 09:01:31 GMT
Being Human: Crisis at Christmas – Day 2 https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2018/12/Being-Human-Crisis-at-Christmas-Day-2 Day 2 – Christmas Day 2018

Here we are back again, 2 hours 10 mins to get here. 44 volunteer drivers this time so suspect it’s gonna get busy busy. Goonies on the tv so spirits are high. Tempted to stand up and shout ‘HEY YOU GUYS!’ But won’t.

Warehouse looks full, so that means the supplies need shifting today, smaller vehicles slipping all over London but the roads are quiet, we should get a good run at it today.

Stats for today, 1382 people housed during the day and were fed breakfast and lunch, 780 guests slept in the centres last night. Been told that Harrods have just dropped off some meals for us volunteers, not sure I’m up for quails eggs on brioche at the moment but good on them for sending it, it’s very much appreciated.

Seems as though us mini bus drivers will be busy later on as there are plenty of beds to fill and some of the guests have been taken out for the day, cinema, bowling etc.

Have been allocated the North London run, called the loop, which means we are based at the North London Day Centre and from there we regularly pop off the two other locations to pick up anyone who needs a meal.

I’m allocated Janet as my navigator, a lovely chatty lady with a more that passing resemblance and manner of Miriam Margoyles, it’s going to prove to be a fun shift.

So Janet and Jon go on the loop. Which I believe is a children’s book.

At the day centre, we watch some of the guest take to the microphone and the band strike up Sweet Caroline, much dancing from staff and guests and of course, waving of arms, it being an arm waving anthem.

I chat to a lovely volunteer from Brazil but don’t get her name mores the pity. She has the Christmas period alone this year, her ex-husband has her son and rather than sit staring at the walls she decided to help out. The whole operation is run by people like this and whilst sometimes we all feel cheated in life and distrust the people around us, it puts my faith back into us humans.

Not fully, but partly.

By 21.50 we are finally allocated a last of the loop runs. This is a little distressing, just a little. This run is for people who either decide not to take a place or who have a bedsit to go back to.

Janet and I talk to a middle aged chap called Derek. He’s a mix of Spanish, Argentinian and Scottish. He has just found himself a job as a cook but as this is his first month he doesn’t get paid until the 30th. He has managed to pay his rent but has no money for food. For this week Crisis feed him, three times a day. Tea, coffee, mince pies by the bucketload. And of course, a Christmas turkey dinner.

As it’s Christmas Day, Janet and I decide that instead of just running the loop, that’s two stops, we’d drop all eleven guest to exactly where they wish to go, no tube, no buses at all, so they’d still have long walks.

We drop off Rob, a tough Londoner and are disturbed to hear that he is ‘gonna crash at the back of the hospital’, to us, this is like delivering someone back to some form of Hell, I am uncomfortable with this, I’m sure Janet is too, but Rob thanks us and wishes us a Merry Christmas.

The most shocking thing for me is the other side of Finsbury Park. An underpass.

It is lined with makeshift shelters, both sides of the road. There are mattresses covered with tarpaulin, bundles of sheets, blankets, cardboard boxes. Each had a gap of maybe six feet between them, and there are a line of possibly thirty of these Englishmens Castles. That’s sixty homeless people in a very small area.

One of our guests is dropped off there and finds his spot. I think that it’s unacceptable in 2018 in a ‘civilised society’ and tell our passengers so.

We finish our run at 23.00, we are thanked by name and wished a Merry Christmas by each and every one, and each and every one will return again tomorrow to the Day Centre to be fed and entertained.

We get back to base in Bermondsey at 23.45 and by midnight I’m driving through a deserted London back down to Verwood.

It was a wonderfully rewarding Christmas Day, possibly the best ever.

Jon

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(Solid Imagery) being human https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2018/12/Being-Human-Crisis-at-Christmas-Day-2 Wed, 26 Dec 2018 01:44:24 GMT
Being Human: Day 1 at Crisis https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2018/12/Being-Human-Day-1-at-Crisis Day One: 23rd Dec 2018

It’s unbelievable, the amount of people volunteering today at Crisis at Christmas. It’s also very heart warming to see those with time to spare helping others for nothing.

So this is where I sit, giving strangers my time and happy I am to do so.

We are in Bermondsey, in a derelict warehouse, but there are maybe 50 volunteers on warehouse duties, dragging in pallets full of food, drink, toilet paper, the essentials for survival I suppose.

The goods have been donated by the supermarkets, the delivery vans also, and the drivers have all volunteered their time (and the points on their driving licences I reckon).

It is a hive of activity with an urgency that transcends just the continuous beep, beep of reversing vans and the metallic rumble of pallet trucks solid wheels over rough concrete.

The drivers crew room is full of donated sofas, those that have seen better days. It looks like a down market DFS sale. There is no room to sit, it’s that full, around 80 drivers and navigators in our luminous hi-vis jackets like the next batch of French protestors on the streets of Paris.

We are briefed by Simon who thanked us for our time. Then he goes through the do’s and don’t’s of driving aground London. Don’t drive through the Rotherhithe Tunnel, keep away from bus lanes, be careful and enjoy the shift.

The drivers are split into two distinct categories. Those who do the standard driving in the donated cars, vans, people carriers. They will do the moving of medical staff, food, goods etc. Then there are us, the heavy lifters. MIDAS trained we drive the big stuff, chiller vans and mini-buses, especially mini-buses.

We are held back ready for the mad rush when we have to move the guests from the day centres to the residential centres for the week.

We seem to be treated like the elite. There are around 20 of us and we sit and wait in the crew room.

It is a long wait.

Whilst the other drivers are called, allocated their vehicle, sign it out, go off on their jobs, we wait. They return, we wait.

I wait until 6.30 for my first job, thats three hours of waiting, but that’s fine, we help in the warehouse and the time whizzes by.

Then it all kicks off. Suddenly five mini-buses are required to the North London Day Centre. I’m allocated a set of keys and a navigator, Steve. We sign our names on the big board of names. Find the vehicle in its allocated bay, check it over for insurance reasons and we are off.

The day centres are buildings donated by University’s, School and Colleges. We arrive, 30 minutes later to our allocated place. And boy, was it a shock?

A gleaming building, outside staff and the homeless mix, talk, laugh. Inside, there is music, more laughter, karaoke, food, singing. There are also rooms allocated for medical and dental assistance and volunteers dot the shiny hall helping, chatting, and encouraging the guests.

Tables have been marked with signs reading housing advice, benefits advice, employment advice and are fully manned with helpful staff.

We find the volunteers room and find it packed with people, some resting, others preparing to go and help when call upon.

John, a supervisor with a headset calls for two people to help at the front desk. Two volunteers jump up and get the briefing from him, off they go and two minutes later the two they replace wind their way back for a rest.

It is a beautiful operation.

We wait for 10 minutes before our guests are ready, I go get the mini-bus and park up ready. Then upon my return we are ready to load. The guests seem chipper enough and I chat to a young man called Dan.

He’s in his mid twenties I suppose, made his way from Uxbridge that morning. He’s been homeless for two years and that morning, in the early hours his tent collapses in the rain. He was soaked through, and in disgust, and having pitched his tent the night before next to the grand union canal, he launch it into it.

I told him, being from that area, I couldn’t ever remember launching anything into the canal there, it was sarcasm, I had driven a shopping trolley or two into it. And of course, urinated into it.

We laugh but I can’t help feeling for the guy, especially when he tells me he can’t wait to get into a clean bed for the week.

Once we’ve loaded, I ask the guests if it’s was ok to tell them about The Lord, they groan collectively and I tell them I’m only joking, that I’m really a Satanist.

We set off, a morally illegal turn in the road then I ask that none of the guests say anything about it. That if people are ok with the manoeuvre my name is Jon, if they have a problem with it, then it’s Steve.

We trundle along happily in the rain, Steve starts to talk about football and the guests interact nicely.

25 minutes later and we arrive at the school where the guest will stay for the week, it’s heaving, but the volunteers welcome us and the guests with a smile or two.

We unload and I chat to lady, middle aged, a German called Steph, she thanks us and tells us that it is a great thing that we do, that the British take care of others so well and that she is so grateful.

I concur, and at midnight I leave Bermondsey buzzing and I fall into bed at 02.30 with two puppies wrapped around me for warmth.

Jonimg_1613

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(Solid Imagery) being human https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2018/12/Being-Human-Day-1-at-Crisis Tue, 25 Dec 2018 02:40:14 GMT
Being Human: Crisis? What Crisis? https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2018/12/Being-Human-Crisis-What-Crisis Where do we start?

I guess we begin with wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.

Then, as it’s this time of year we move onto family, the annual gathering over the festive period of those closest to you, the true, Humanist view of what it’s all about and what we should be celebrating.

But what if? What if you have no family?

What if you have nothing?

What if you are thrust into this situation?

Well, this time of year you could be alone and cold and on the streets of some great city being ignore, stepped over and not thought about for one second.

Christmas is traditionally for giving and receiving of gifts (mainly in my view, the giving), but the way society has it these days, that means small shiny or big twinkly things. 8 year old with £1000 iPhones.

But what about love? What if we gave love, time, the time to sit and talk, to understand, to shake someone’s hand and tell them that, with their own effort and others compassion and support, everything will be alright.

My uncle Jeff says that all people need is to be told that everything is going to be alright. I agree.

Alas though, we don’t live in that type of utopian world, or at least, the majority of us don’t.

Shame on us I say.

Homelessness, right here, right now, in this 5th richest country is unacceptable. Food banks are unacceptable, starving children and beaten woman are both unacceptable.

282,000 people are homeless currently, 23,000 on the streets, 68,000 are sofa surfing.

And here’s the nub with homelessness, we are all, ALL OF US, just two missed wages away from being on the streets.

Two missed gas bills, we’re are cold, two missed trips to Sainsbury’s, we are hungry, two missed rents we are homeless.

Now here’s my take on homelessness, why it’s important to me.

When I divorced I had nothing, no money, no home, little hope. To maintain the family home, (that I didn’t live in but my kids did), I pumped all the cash I earned into the family pot. Sold a bike? In the pot the cash goes, a watch, a printer, everything, into the pot.

That left me with zilch, except of course my pride.

I am lucky, I have lifelong earned skills, so, without question, I’d build myself up again, I’d reset my life, reboot it, sweep away the need for the latest and greatest shiny thing and with help I’d be able to maintain my sense of humanity.

And that’s where the love comes in.

My parents gave me a bed and food, tick. My friends gave me camaraderie and purpose, tick. Royal Bournemouth Hospital gave me money each week, it also gave me a view into the lives of others less fortunate, it showed my the awful and the wonderful side of life, tick. The Girl Bob gave me love, tick. And my dog, Daisy gave me something to care for, tick.

Without these things, I’d be sleeping in a doorway somewhere, or, as an old friend of mine did, I could have been a death in a doorway somewhere.

With help, I’d turn a miserable part of my wonderful life around. It’s worked, the big plan worked. I’m lucky, others aren’t so fortunate.

But now, for me it’s time to hold that hand of a stranger, to take the time to talk to them, to sympathise and empathise, to make them feel human and wanted for a short time, just as my parents, friends, and the Girl Bob had with me.

To tell them that it will be ok.

As I’m on my own this year, the money I’d normally spend on cards and presents has been redirected to be used on fuel.

Fuel to allow me to do the 5 hours round trip to Bermondsey for 10 days to help out at Crisis, the homeless charity.

After every day I’ll write this blog, tell the world about what I’m seeing, who I’ve met, and anything else that may, just may, help people understand what the homeless, the ordinary people that have become homeless, are all about.

Yesterday was the first day. I’m part of the transport department along with around fifty other volunteers.

Our base is a disused warehouse, quite literally derelict. Crisis has fed power to it, power to keep the food chilled, to keep us lit and warm. To keep us topped up with coffee.

There are 6 residential centres and 6 drop in centres in London this year. The homeless can look for shelter there and those lucky enough to have a bed for the week will be feed and pampered. Hairdressers donate their time, podiatrists do the same, as do dental professionals and medical staff.

And us, us drivers transport them when needed.

Yesterday was a setup day. That means that 20 of us picked up the remaining 40 vehicles (105 in total have been donated from the likes of Toyota, Rabbit Hire, schools, colleges and universities).

The vehicles range from small cars and people carriers to Luton vans, and my expertise, minibuses. There is also a mobile dentist truck and chiller vans which will transport the food to 2500 homeless guests three times a day for the week.

Add to the Crisis pot volunteers on the streets talking to the homeless about their ailments and arranging them to be seen by the medical team, and trained staff at the centres attempting to establish a foothold in long-term accommodation and employment, we can begin to believe that the gift of love is quite possibly here after all.

To say I’m looking forward to it is the understatement to end all understatements.

If you get time, please read and share the blog.

Jon

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(Solid Imagery) being human https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2018/12/Being-Human-Crisis-What-Crisis Sat, 22 Dec 2018 11:27:56 GMT
Art: Building a website to sell my doodles https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2018/1/Art-Building-a-website-to-sell-my-doodles That sounded rather rude.

But it’s not meant to be, really.

This art thing has gotten under my skin in the same way that photography did all those many, many years ago.

Truth is, it’s always been there, I remember my first real drawing, in my first classroom at my first school, Wood End Park in Hayes, Middlesex.

I even remember the drawing, it was of Anne Boleyn, copied from a history book.

Another truth is that I had set my sights on becoming and professional artist (and in my teen years I did, a different kind of artist granted, one that included alcohol, lots and lots of alcohol).

I remember trudging up to Shaftesbury Avenue to a grotty book publisher for my first ever interview, to become an illustrator, aged just 16, but I became a photographer instead.

So here we are, full circle.

Back to being an artist at 50-bloody-3.

And here the story begins.

Feedback from my recent artistic attempts have been very, very positive. So, in the time between sleep, awake, and working as a photographer and writer, let’s do some art, let’s see where, or if, it takes us on another creative path to superstardom, or simply, whether we can make some cash on the back of it.

And here’s where the website comes in.

I have been writing these blogs for some time now using WordPress. Now for those who don’t know, this is an open source web client initially designed for blogs. However, I have fallen into a WordPress trap, I’ve gone and bought stuff that could be free.

How? You ask (you probably didn’t).

There are two main WordPress’, WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

The first is a commercial organisation that will offer you all the hosting etc etc, where you pay, the second is an organisation where everything is free (pretty much).

WordPress.com is easy to use, WordPress.org is much more flexible but more consuming, plus you need to organise your own hosting. Well I have that, with a company called UK2, they do all my websites. Www.solidimagery.co.uk, www.mobilescanning.co.uk,www.solidschoolphotos.co.uk, www.jonball.co.uk, and now, my new arty one www.ballsyart.co.uk (coming soon).

Now, the trouble with website building is that I’ve never built one from scratch but with WordPress.org, well, it seems pretty straightforward. Themed templates are vast, and many are free. Then there’s the wonderful storefront from Woocommerce. A superb plugin that turns your website into an online store, takes payments from credit and debit cards, bacs and much more, and that, you guessed it, is also free.

Sure, it’s still a drag building this thing, but boy is it a rewarding drag, plus, I get a website exactly like I want it, I’ll (hopefully) sell postcards, t-shirts, children’s books, posters of my work and all from a place that has been made absolutely, utterly, totally for free.

And that’s good right?

Jonimg_1850 ,img_1849 ;img_1847 img_1846 img_1845

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(Solid Imagery) art https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2018/1/Art-Building-a-website-to-sell-my-doodles Sat, 20 Jan 2018 02:17:06 GMT
Writing and Art: My first children’s book https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2018/1/Writing-and-Art-My-first-children-s-book Who’d have thought it? The magic third book, the one that is supposed to launch a writing career, is a children’s book.

Well certainly not me, you see, I hate the little blighters (actually I don’t, that bit was for comedic effect).

The third book was supposed to be The Cross on the Skyline, Patrick Teller’s supernatural thriller, book 2, (only three chapters left of that, so worry not Teller fans) but then I went a got myself an iPad Pro, an Apple Pencil and a little app called Autodesk Sketchbook, all of which are wonderful things.

Then, I did a doodle, just to see what these three elements and I could do.

10 days later and I have my first children’s book, Me, You and the Blue Gnu.

Here are some visuals, the text needs tweaking and once that happens, vroom, off to New York with the Patrick Tellers, and who knows after that?

Still, watch out for more, and mind those Blue Gnus.

Jon

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(Solid Imagery) art writing https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2018/1/Writing-and-Art-My-first-children-s-book Sun, 14 Jan 2018 01:36:47 GMT
Why the long face? https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2017/12/Why-the-long-face I’m a entrepreneurial kinda guy, I was once described by my old boss at Fujifilm, Tony Lawrence, that I enjoyed the thrill of the chase, and I guess that’s true, I do, and what with meeting a very good friend of mine, a real entrepreneur Maurice Collins, who has encouraged, flattered and inspired me, I reckon that statement has never been truer.

Those of you who have been following me on social media may have wondered why a billion, ok I exaggerate, a trillion, images of animals have recently appeared, well here’s the answer.

I’m being entrepreneurial again.

Many of you know that I have been a professional photographer all of my life, well the last, soon to be, 38 years anyhoo. I write, novels that is, just six more chapters left on my latest tome, The Cross on the Skyline, then I can start my next with a brand new character Esme Stark called A Girl and the Gods Below…anyway I digress.

I adore music of all kinds, from Chris Moss Acid to Old Wolfy (Mozart that is), and the Testbourne School performance School of Rock made me teary-eyed, again.

So I came to the conclusion that I’m a creative, I love the creative arts, photography, music, film, writing and now, of course art.

And here’s the thing, when you have a Maurice Collins OBE, pushing you forward and tweaking the world around for you, opening doors for you,, it’s difficult for you not to be entrepreneurial.

To the pictures.

Back in the sixties there was a cartoonist who drew the people of London, hippies, coppers, street vendors etc, Maurice has a collection which I have photographed for him. I mentioned that I’d like to bring them up to date, a hipster, a guys in a Guido Faulks mask protesting, that kinda stuff. His eyes lit up, and this my friends has been the start on my arty-farty journey.

Now, the animal masks started with me messing around colours and shapes, then, with guidance from guess who? It was realised we had an opportunity to sell the images into zoos, museums and more.

So next year I shall be creating more images and selling them from my new website http://www.ballzdupArt.com, and if we can make some money for Maurice’s charity, kith and kids, then that entrepreneurial spirit will be not have been wasted.

Watch this space.

Jon

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(Solid Imagery) art photography https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2017/12/Why-the-long-face Tue, 19 Dec 2017 01:27:41 GMT
PHOTOGRAPHY: Cor Blimey it’s quiet. https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2017/12/PHOTOGRAPHY-Cor-Blimey-it-s-quiet-1 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 https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2017/12/PHOTOGRAPHY-Cor-Blimey-it-s-quiet-1 Wed, 13 Dec 2017 23:58:46 GMT
PHOTOGRAPHY: Cor Blimey it’s quiet. https://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 https://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 https://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

 

 

 

 

 

 


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(Solid Imagery) photography https://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 https://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 https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/WRITING-The-Indestructible-Hero-1 Mon, 28 Nov 2016 02:05:00 GMT
WRITING: The Indestructible Hero https://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 https://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. https://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 https://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. https://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 https://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 https://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 https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/PHOTOGRAPHY-Protect-Yourselves-1 Tue, 22 Nov 2016 02:33:26 GMT
PHOTOGRAPHY: Protect Yourselves https://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 https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/PHOTOGRAPHY-Protect-Yourselves Tue, 22 Nov 2016 02:33:26 GMT
PHOTOGRAPHY: Another Useless Debate https://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 https://www.solidimagery.co.uk/blog/2016/11/PHOTOGRAPHY-Another-Useless-Debate-1 Sat, 19 Nov 2016 05:18:33 GMT
PHOTOGRAPHY: Another Useless Debate https://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 https://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. https://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 https://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? https://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 https://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? https://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 https://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. https://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 https://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. https://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 https://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 https://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 https://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 https://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


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(Solid Imagery) life and time photography https://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? https://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

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(Solid Imagery) photography https://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? https://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




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