Congratulations to Mike Karl Maslen and Halo UK Records for the launch of their new single with IMMY STANLEY – DANCING LIGHTS. Immy an exciting new find for Halo following in the light of Mike’s and Halo’s search for new talent from the UK’s North continuing the region’s pop/rock legacy inherited from some of the greatest musicians and bands of contemporary times. You can download this superb single from ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/dancing-lights-single/1341710207 and Spotify.
Listen to some really great music and support an exciting new talent
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.
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 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 Directive2004/39/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 EUmember 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.
I know I am a photographer and artist so you may wonder about my credentials for discussing such an important issue as in or out of the European community. Through my work in handling creative projects for major City of London institutions I drifted into the financial world of the late 80s through the 90s including a stint running hedge funds and being a member of the board of directors on more than a few city companies.
The more I look at this referendum the more I believe it should never have happened. The decision on the 23rd of June will be taken on the basis of personal pride, hypothesis, the desire to be contrarian, supposition, ignorance and assumption. It is the man in the street who will sway the balance and there is not a political party that has given clear arguments. I’m not even sure that if the arguments were given clearly the average person could make a distinction. The concept of democracy does not exist in any country in any part of the globe today and probably with good reason that in a world of 7 billion people and growing there needs to unity and management. Now as a highly intelligent uncle of mine once said variety is the spice of life and I would certainly not want to live in a world where we are all the same or a world where 1984 is the norm. Striking a balance is what creating a comfortable planet is ideally all about – difficult for combative human nature. The contribution that immigrants have made to the UK is great in the NHS and business.
To quote from the Economist:-
Concern about the economic impact of immigration has centred on two areas: the effect foreigners have on native workers’ wages and employment; and the extent to which immigrants, in particular those from countries within the European Union who are free to move around at will, take from a system to which they have contributed little. Research by Christian Dustmann of University College London and Tommaso Frattini of the University of Milan focuses on the second.
By calculating European immigrants’ share of the cost of government spending and their contribution to government revenues, the scholars estimate that between 1995 and 2011 the 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.
The authors point out that the cost of some government services—in particular “pure public goods” such as defence spending—remains the same no matter what the population, so the overall cost of providing them to immigrants is zero. Calculate the amount per person, and the price for Britons goes down as the number of immigrants rises, since the cost is shared between a larger number of individuals.
Immigrants’ overall positive contribution is explained in part by the fact that they are less likely than natives to claim benefits or to live in social housing. Between 1998 and 2011 as many as 37% of natives were receiving some kind of state benefit or tax credit; European immigrants were nearly eight percentage points less likely to collect them. Those from Europe were also three percentage points less likely to live in social housing than Britons.
Another immigration myth that I would like explained is Britain is not member of the schengen agreement, so there is no restrictions on British border control. This points to a government failing.
This points to the immigrant argument as being somewhat of a ‘red herring’ and fear promoter.
The other issue is that immigration should not have any racial connotations it is purely a volume issue. The question I ask is why with strong government policy even from within the EU is it not possible to control immigration. The UK border force is undermanned and underfunded will this change outside the EU and don’t say some of the £350 million per week will go towards this that’s already spent on the NHS and elsewhere? Besides it is not a weekly £350 million contribution only without rebates/batteries not included.
There is also a spurious argument that rules are made by faceless unelected bureaucrats based in Brussels this is not entirely correct as there is a body of elected MEPs from each member state. Now I’m not saying I agree with the elected representatives on all issues much is wrong. I will though put forward an argument that to come out of the EU would put Britain in the hands of a small myopic political establishment that could erode any semblance of leaning towards some minor form of democratic governance, Within the EU there are 28 member states all arguing their agenda this does create a senate even if the strong percolate through to the top of the table, not true, Greece is an example of eating from the bottom of the table and it should be pointed out that the Greek debt was not compounded by the Greeks but by that blight on the financial world Goldman Sachs. When I see the infrastructure Spain has put in place using EU money, railways and Roads/highways years ahead of the UK I see a benefit as with many other EU countries that have benefited from membership. A country with infrastructure will grow. I ask is leaving and indication that our political elite are shirking their duty of strong negotiation. If the EU finances the Spanish infrastructure why can’t they finance a well-funded border force. We have seen European countries put up physical barriers to Middle Eastern immigration/refugees without substantial repercussion from the EU – why can’t a powerful member state such as the UK force change and get deals? The way to change a club is to be elected to the board of directors in order to do this you have to be a member of the club.
The UK has low productivity in relation to much of the developed world. If this was higher I could see more of a reason for Brexit. Trade deals will take time to negotiate and breaking into the Asian pacs and US American continent pacs will be a long-term project. These pacs are already set in their procedures and have been for many years. It is possible but will take a considerable amount of time. Canada has been trying to ratify a deal for nearly 5 years. Norway is a very wealthy country and would say they are better off outside the Union however Norway has some products vital to Europe and the world mainly substantial oil. Norway is also currently trying to renegotiate some of it’s EEA (European Economic Area) deals for trading with the EU. It is in a different position to Britain but all is not well if you need to renegotiate some of your arrangements. There is a global drift towards trading blocks to name some; African Union (AU), Union of South American Nations (USAN), Central American Integration System (SICA), Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC), Arab League (AL). Although the EU was not originally created as a trading group but to reduce the possibility of further wars in the European zone it has developed into a strong trading block with the largest GDP in the world giving it massive negotiating powers..
Most car manufacturers in the UK have foreign ownership and are here for the access to a 508 million market the biggest trading block in the world with the biggest GDP. If their market goes from 508 million to 65 million it is naive to believe there will not be redundancies. Also countries like Spain Italy Germany already have the infrastructure to accommodate car manufacturing so it is not beyond the possibility for companies to move camp. This is only one of many foreign-owned business sectors that find the UK legislatively comfortable to operate from but don’t be under any illusion most also point to Europe 45% of UK exports go to Europe.
The City of London generates 22% of the UK’s GDP. The current job environment in the City is one of despair that generates a culture appearing to be greed. The city is a vicious hire and fire culture forcing employees to reach for greater and great targets. There is a general recognition that like justice regulations need to be seen to be done a blind lady of regulation. There is far too much incest between the political establishment and the banking and fund management fraternity. With a vote for exit and a further lowering of manufacturing production the dependence on the City could become even greater. This could lead to blind eye despair banking and fund management taking even more dodgy capital from despotic regions of the world, the city’s best method for increasing business will be to deregulate. Remember what was said to Cameron at the conference on corruption that took place some months ago, when the president of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari was asked when his government would commence tackling corruption his reply was “when you stop taking the money” . The City is already a culture of despair and knee jerk regulation. The need to pump up the capital flows through the city due to lower industrial productivity could end up being and even greater necessity.
Brexit is a brave idea a step in the dark with promoters falsely believing that the political class exist that can manage the transition they have not existed in the past so why suddenly now? Strongly negotiated membership could have many benefits and does not necessarily mean giving up a vague form of sovereignty with an even vaguer belief in obscure democracy. Closer EU integration could be contested from within if not then maybe that is the time to say we will leave this could be a negotiating hand. I don’t believe past negotiations have been very strong but contested by weak UK political management who have failed in their obligations to the British public. Also it should be noted that the UK stays as a member of the European Council.
Few of the general public understand the issues and my conclusion is that such a decision is for the elected parties to fight out in the elected houses with all their expert advisors and to make a parliamentary decision. Unfortunately we currently have a self-interested political system with little interest in discussing the options but more interested in scoring political points.
I have only mentioned some of my thoughts here and I sure the exit group could put up strong counter-arguments to these thoughts and that is what is needed. There is much wrong with Brussels management and the question needs to be asked can Brussels be forced to change. Many member states have substantial grievances with the EU. These grievances are also a reason why the EU will not be able to strike favorable deals with the UK, as such deals would open the floodgates. the EU can’t also offer a deal to the UK that is better than member states get.
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
For awhile now I have been publishing a series of images ‘Diversity Just People‘ these photos show the diverse nature of all of us who make up the one people who populate this exciting world – our activities, work, fun
and beliefs. In this blog I thought that I would begin to build an omnibus of those images. I hope that over the years to come I can enlarge this project and show some of the differences that make up the whole. Without this variety the world would be a boring place indeed.
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.