Rightly or wrongly we have entered a period of low recognition of quality. Much of this is down to the development of the smart-phone. The smart-phone has seen the extension of the selfie culture. We live in a world of selfies and celebrity worship. This shallow culture may have been with us long before the smart phone however the speed of modern day mass communication is allowing more people to participate in this limited culture.
Quality is suffering as a professional photographer I often hear people say I’ve taken some wonderful photographs of the family and possibly they have. However, there is still a world of difference between what the professional produces and what the snapper produces. Most people will react to an image but few will know why they react, however reaction happens. Reaction may be triggered by many factors the clarity of the image, sharpness, strong highlights, deep shadows, composition, colour or lack of, saturation, positioning of the black points, distortion and even use of blur. Impact dictates that there is a world of difference between soft and strong images. Have you ever thought about why the eyes of a model on a station poster follow you? The professional will know what the objectives are and use the psychological and technical knowledge built up over the years to achieve the goal and will be able to through consistency arrive at the required result. This means that the equipment must cover the range of variables required to get the message across. Even with wedding photography the romance of the most important day in the lives of the participants needs to be recorded. However, most people don’t walk past an image and say WOW the highlights have made me register that photograph the reaction is far more subtly controlled than that and the explanation out of reach of the lay-mind.
Building the best possible solution is why there are different levels of quality in equipment, most major camera companies offer equipment that runs from entry level to high-end professional level. Such a spread can also be found in lenses why are some lenses more expensive. Variation in f stop can have a major impact on cost (The f-number of an optical system such as a camera lens is the ratio of the system’s focal length to the diameter of the entrance pupil. It is a dimensionless number that is a quantitative measure of lens speed, and an important concept in photography. It is also known as the focal ratio, f-ratio, f-stop, or relative aperture.] The f-number is commonly indicated using a hooked f with the format f/N, where N is the f-number), the size of the sensor, the speed of the camera some run at 6/10 frames per second enabling the competent photographer to capture all the action, the level of ISO that allows the camera to be effective in very low light, the quality of the glass grinding (very important), the size of the aperture, the ability to control depth of field, the number of pixels, the breadth that the lens covers and pixels can also be part of achieving the objective giving cropping power however less pixels on a sensor can also be a tool, as less makes for bigger pixels that suck in more light that can sometimes be used to create clearer images. Prime lenses have no zoom capabilities but can produce images of an extremely high quality as they have few moving parts and tend to be at the high-end of grinding quality and more expensive than zooms.
Of course, lighting is one of the most important items; lighting ranges from the use of natural light to sophisticated studio lighting. The word photography from the Greek word ‘photos’ ‘phos’ (light) representation by means of lines or ‘drawing with light’ One of the problems with phone cameras is small sensors packed / cluttered with small pixels’ low quality glass small aperture but adequate for the family photo. The phone camera sensor layout will work with low resolution images that will be only utilised on social media transported to the viewer via phone, tablet or laptop. Press, posters, brochures, magazines printing requires high resolution to 300 ppi or ‘pixels per inch’; not dpi which is ‘dots per inch’. One of the issues that causes me to smile is the psychological role-playing by major phone companies trying to demonstrate the high quality of images shot on their phones. Many of these companies show blown-up images most of these blow-ups demonstrate the drafting and creative design talent of the participating photographers rather than the technical achievement embodied in the phone. The images although well-constructed tend to be pixelated, lack clarity, have some Chromatic aberration and can be soft when compared to the high impact of the professional images on posters in the same locations. The unfortunate reality of this type of promotion is that it convinces the lay snapper that they are working at a professional level. The camera phone has a real place in society but can sometimes try to move into a market that is currently out of reach. The use of professional well-constructed images in business photography can’t be emphasised enough even the simple head shot takes on a sales role when photographed properly ensuring that the model is believable and someone you would trust to do business with. A professional image is also a statement of competence by the company. Image is so important in business and good photography is the strongest way to convey that professionalism.
It is not possible to move on without mentioning the amount of work that goes into post shoot production to achieve a quality reproduction of the subject with all the right balances blacks’ greys colours. A shoot is not the day of the shoot but includes the days following the shoot where each image sometimes 1000s must be gone through individually looking for dirt specs, focus, handshake, Chromatic Aberration also known as ‘colour fringing’ draughtsmanship and general quality. In some instances, a high-quality shot that carries the exact massage may be too small in frame and may need cropping and resizing it also must first be found. High resolution images usually shot in RAW by professionals (a camera RAW image file contains minimally processed data of a digital camera. RAW files are not yet processed so not ready to be printed). RAW files make it easier for the profession to manipulate the data. JPEG files are usually processed in the camera and are compacted very like a PDF so not the available data required for high quality image manipulation. Most printers digital and mass require a high or maximum JPEG at level 10 or12 once the image has been finalised from the RAW. In photoshop a high or maximum JPEG opened will open as a TIFF this is a large file containing much of the information in a RAW file Such a TIFF can be worked on then save once again as a maximum JPG. Conversion to PDF can also be used many printers will accept such an image. Usually files are saved in high JPG at 300 ppi and a duplicate png file is made at 72ppi for web and mobile use. The smaller file for internet use is at a size that will hold viewing quality and download quickly but can’t be blown up for print purposes, as it lacks data. You can see the amount of post shoot work that is required to achieve a usable portfolio of work.
Printing is another issue the amount of times that people say I will get it printed at the local high street super market that’s cheap. If quality prints that you can be proud to place on a home wall next to the family art collection or in gallery are what is required prints that have clarity separation of the blacks and the whites or definition of colour, true reproduction of the high resolution image a printer that can give a good spectrum of the grey scale and colours in RGB is required ( RGB Red, Green and Blue) as opposed to CMYK (Cyan, magenta and yellow, the K stands for Key as the colours are carefully Keyed aligned) used in high number mass printers usually the offset system as opposed to digital ink jet used by the smaller run quality art and photographic printers. Brochures, posters and magazines are usually mass offset printed working in CMYK. Common printers tend to use dye inks and have a limited number of ink reservoirs where the higher quality printers have anywhere from 8 to 12 ink reservoirs using pigment inks giving a good colour spectrum including a grey scale and extremely long life running to 100s years non-fade in theory. Achieving a high-quality print also is highly dependent upon paper and its coating. The different coatings on high quality photographic and art papers gives tremendous variation in tones/colours. These papers range from gloss through lustre to matt. Papers of quality are acid free and quite often made from cotton. Art photographers will understand the variation in papers and coating using such variation as a tool helping to achieve the target result. Galleries look for reproduction on high-end archival gallery quality art paper. Galleries understand that a high quality photographic art print is a work of art. Some papers make the image bounce some a flatter feeling, some are better with black and white and mono colour others with full colour. High quality images tend to take longer to go through the print process as the fine accuracy of the printer slows the process. All this quality increases the visual experience. High-end printers are manufactured by Canon, HP, Epsom. It is also important to guarantee the best results to utilise only genuine inks manufactured by the printer’s manufacturer this makes for consistency of colour or greys and an understanding of how to achieve the final result.
There is nothing like having a high quality precious photographic image on your wall especially one that tells a story and can be a major conversation piece.
An image is an experience the more the experience can be enhanced the greater the experience.
All the images have strong subject points with separation of subject from background this adds strength to the image.
Shane Aurousseau – Shane A
In continuing the theme ‘The Streets of London’ relaxation can’t be overlooked. I hope that these images convey relaxation in the capital.
Link to Featured Artist: https://fineartfotoblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/featured-artist-of-the-month-shane-aurousseau/
Call: +44 7778 058064
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The was London some years ago. In all the years I have lived here it is one of the few times that the Capital was white. Is it possible that the people working in the Capitol building were also whiter than white or cleaner than clean -just a thought
‘Well, now that we have seen each other’ said the Unicorn ‘
‘If you’ll believe in me, I’ll believe in you’
Lewis Carol; Through The Looking Glass and What Alice found there
The Myths of the Referendum
There are many legitimate arguments on both sides of the referendum divide. Brussels and its bureaucrats have been removed and disinterested in the real working and living populations of not just the UK but throughout Europe. This is now giving rise to a worrying move to the ultra-right-wing. Brussels bureaucrats along with many of the key national governments have not been listening and this is allowing the gap between the wealthy and the poor to increase and I now include the middle classes in the poor. With the rising costs of food utilities and housing the middle classes are now under substantial pressure. The outcry from a referendum that I believe should never of happened could prove to be one of the greatest protest votes in history. Unfortunately, this referendum could become an economic disaster if politicians continue in their current vein .. I have little doubt that the UK will find a way to survive possibly as a smaller economy providing its politicians get tough and really believe in a direction.
The problem I have with this referendum is that as one man one vote, one company one vote the final word has been left to the man on the street. It was like loading a gun to fire at a target no one could see. The ruling classes did little to explain the direction to fire in. Consequently, most voters voted on the basis of misunderstanding. In a previous blog I pointed out why I believe the immigration issue was a red herring, as it is estimated that between 1995 and 2011 migrants made a positive contribution of more than £4 billion ($6.4 billion) to Britain, compared with an overall negative contribution of £591 billion for native Britons. Between 2001 and 2011, the net fiscal contribution of recent arrivals from the eastern European countries that have joined the EU since 2004 has amounted to almost £5 billion. Even during the worst years of the financial crisis, in 2007-11, they made a net contribution of almost £2 billion to British public finances. Migrants from other European countries chipped in £8.6 billion. Research by Christian Dustmann of University College London and Tommaso Frattini of the University of Milan
I have heard many incorrect assumptions made on reasons for voting Brexit from bringing back democracy to non-elected MEPs in Brussels. Democracy does not exist here or elsewhere the only thing that matters is does your country have a workable government that protects the people and increases their wealth. The UK like most counties is run by an establishment not all elected. MEPs are elected every 5 years.
The United Kingdom’s component of the 2014 European Parliament election was held on Thursday 22 May 2014, coinciding with the 2014 local elections in England and Northern Ireland. Given the subsequent Leave vote in the 23 June 2016 referendum, it is likely that this will be the last time the UK participates in a European Parliament election.
Most of the results of the election were announced on Sunday 25 May, after voting closed throughout the 28 member states of the European Union. In total, 73 Members of the European Parliament were elected from the United Kingdom using proportional representation. England, Scotland and Wales use a closed-list party list system of PR (with the D’Hondt method), while Northern Ireland used the single transferable vote (STV).
The UK Independence Party (UKIP) came top of the poll – the first time a political party other than the Labour Party or Conservative Party has won the popular vote in a British election since the 1906 general election. It is also the first time a party other than the Labour and Conservatives won the largest number of seats in a national election since the December 1910 general election.
The Conservatives, the party at the time in governing coalition with the Liberal Democrats, were pushed into third place for the first time in a European Parliament election, the same position as Labour in the previous 2009 European Parliament election. It was also the first time since 1984 that the largest opposition party failed to win the European Parliament election.
Figures released in December 2014 showed that the Conservatives and UKIP each spent £2.96m on the campaign, the Liberal Democrats £1.5 million and the Labour party approximately £1m.
Unfortunately, few people take any notice of European elections and this election happened with only a 34% turnout. I am only pointing this out and as many will demonstrate to me there is much wrong with this system. However, where is the will to make it work.
The plunge has now been taken and will come down to a rather ineffective so called political elite to negotiate the best divorce possible. There are going to be many problems the first is the hope that an EEA (European Economic Area) deal similar to Norway’s can be negotiated. The European Economic Area (EEA) is the area in which the Agreement on the EEA provides for the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital within the internal market of the European Union (EU). Norway’s deal includes the acceptance of open borders. As this election was fought and won on immigration this will not be an acceptable compromise for the UK people.
It has also been muted that banks and financial groups should wait before moving, as a new Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MFID) is about to be launched. Markets in Financial Instruments Directive 2004/39/EC (known as “MiFID”) as subsequently amended is a European Union law that provides harmonized regulation for investment services across the 31 member states of the European Economic Area (the 28 EU member states plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein). The directive’s main objectives are to increase competition and consumer protection in investment services. As of the effective date, 1 November 2007, it replaced the Investment Services Directive (ISD). My understanding and correct me if I am wrong is that a state must have a EEA agreement in place to be part of MFID. Referendum
MIFID is very important to London and the UK to be able to participate in such an agreement.
However, a more important issue is the clearing of Euro denominated business. It is already the European Central Bank’s view that euro-denominated business worth hundreds of billions of euros would be better executed – or “cleared” – on the continent. This is the reason for HSBCs indication that it may move a 1000 jobs to Paris others could follow. This could potentially be a major loss for the city. Some say up to 70,000 jobs could go. These are real issues that the average voter has no knowledge of. Without the city the economy will shrink and this will have a major effect on the lifestyles of the average voter.
Other myths that we need to stop and take count of, firstly Britain is not a member of the Schengen agreement so why can’t border controls be put in place now. This points more to UK government political failure than an EU issue an an underfunded border service.
Of course we all Know about the misrepresentation of the £350 million figure closer to £110 million. A case that the advertising standards committee won’t even look at. Now it is being admitted that the money won’t be available until exit in 2 years + and by then there could be a new government in place with other pressing problems, they may not want to use that money for the NHS. Unfortunately, the British public continue to get stitched up by the political class in Brussels and the UK.
This morning a Nordic trade bloc has been muted this could be a very viable solution for the British even keeping Scotland and Northern Ireland as part of the Union and solving the problem of a corrupt and disjointed Brussels. Such a bloc could have the strength to force deals out of the EU; especially with the EU falling trade figures; while being free to negotiate internationally.
Click for review Link: http://www.allaboutshipping.co.uk/2015/12/16/diversity-world/
See work by Photographer Shane Aurousseau at Leyas Camden High Street. Why not drop in, have a coffee and relax while viewing some unique images. All prints are personally signed by Shane A, are limited Leyas editions and for sale give a family member or friend a unique gift. Prints are on Innova museum quality acid free cotton paper printed with long lasting pigment inks making them of the highest art exhibition quality.
Location: Leyas, 20 Camden High Street NW1 OJH very near Mornington Crescent tube station and in the newly revamped square now one of London’s most thriving meeting places.
Shane Aurousseau an Australian Artist Photographer born in Australia he has worked as a creative director and producing photography with some of the World’s largest advertising agencies in Sydney, Amsterdam and London with client’s such as Time magazine, Time Life Books, Michelin, Chrysler, AA (Automobile Association) and major Global institutions in the financial world. He has also produced designs and photographs for record label and CD covers working with many successful global artists. He has been published regularly by glossy magazines in London and a number of countries. He has had exhibitions in Sydney, Amsterdam, Madrid (sponsored by the American Women’s association) and now London. He is currently a resident of the UK living in London; he studied art, photography and psychology in Australia. Shane now travels extensively and produces high quality images from around the Globe, promoting the diverse nature of life on our incredible planet. His images of London have appeared on posters and postcards throughout the city including the key tourist shops in the West End of London.
In his photography Shane covers everything from inner, urban street life, social comment, landscapes and the remote Australian outback, portraits of his friends and strangers that he saw passing by. His photography can easily be described as documentary or journalistic. He spends a considerable amount of time in the Australian Outback photographing the backbreaking work carried out by Australia’s sheep shearers and miners especially in the black opal fields of Lightning Ridge NSW. Shane uses both black and white and colour imagery dictated by the story that the image conveys- a camera is only a paint brush, tool lending impact to the picture’s voice.
Shane Aurousseau – Shane A
Call: +44 7778 058064 Ask about long lasting Gallery Museum quality prints.
Continuing on to the theme Images of London; I am trying to photographically show the life style associated with this vibrant city of 8 million people. I have included in the images below a selection shot at this year’s Notting Hill Carnival. The carnival takes place in the central London hamlet of Notting Hill. Some one million people join the festivities. The carnival runs over the August bank holiday period on the Sunday and Monday. It is now the largest street carnival in Europe and second only in the world to the famous Rio de Janeiro carnival. It is a celebration that demonstrates the ethnic diversity of this great city. London is a city made up of people from countries across the globe one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world. The city has a heritage of great street art and street performing art. I hope that some of the inspiration living in the city is alive in my images.
From the time of the arrival of the First Fleet under Captain Arthur Phillip in 1788 Australia has been developing a unique Character that makes Australians who they are today. A greater proportion of the people who came with the first fleet and subsequent fleets were transported and then given land grants. The growth of the colony was of up most importance and transportation key to the colony’s development. The Australian climate dictated the type of living structure that gave the best lifestyle. A climate hotter and dryer than England’s and Europe’s required the development of living structures with broad and low roofs creating a cool internal environment that would also hold heat during winter months.
It was the heat of this dry land that was mostly addressed by early settlers giving Australia the ‘Veranda Towns’. Towns with homes with broad verandas for enjoying those balmy evenings on, shops with cool shade giving awnings. This type of architecture really started to come into its own in the 1800s as settlers moved inland from Sydney, much of it still exits on a habitable basis today. All across Australia can be found towns with architecture straight out of a Western film set and houses with broad verandas. This architecture coupled with the Australian Landscape and the hard working people in the commodity driven industries, mining, wool, cattle and grain farming gives Australia a unique character that make Australians who they are today. It is the ‘Time Warp’ veranda towns of Australia that i found most interesting from a photographic point of view. Towns like Condobolin NSW, Braidwood NSW, Molong NSW, Wellington NSW, Cowra NSW, Sofala NSW, Bungendore NSW, Boorowa NSW Clunes Victoria, Ballarat Victoria