The Happy Dance

Photographers are driven by the excitement of creating something unique, capturing a moment which is normally missed or not normally seen and being able to share the experience over and over again with the viewer.

For capturing that moment that’s only 1/125sec, but often getting to that point is days, months or sometime years of preparation, often the photographer has seen the image in their head they want to capture.

The process to capture this idea can mean learning new skills, like rock climbing or scuba diving etc. for sometimes it’s the location needed to stage the photograph and the access may be difficult requiring special skills.

Sometimes it involves learning new techniques and mastering them to get repeatable results, it can also about having the right gear or the right technology to be able to capture the image.

Often photographers will talk about that moment when they capture something special , and the feeling they get when they review the image, aka The Happy dance

So next time you see a great image think about the processes and the planning that must have been required to pull it off, and how the photographer must have felt, when they saw it come life on the back of the camera .

So next time you’re out with your camera I hope you have your own

Happy Dance moment.

Best Regards Stephen


About this image I had gone to my regular spot to capture the sunset, but for some reason walked around  to a spot ,I have photographed only a couple of times, a little inlet where the water is flat and calm. And this sunset just built in front of me , there were nobody else in this area seeing this but me, for me this was a Happy Dance moment IMG_5959-001


Using Photography to Make Connections

1-IMG_9699As humans we crave connection, photography and social media are a marriage made in heaven for connecting people with a common bond though photographs

Photography is providing the catalyst for face to face connections with Instagram meets, photo walks, workshops and a variety of other activities.

The photograph is one of the most important inventions never, when it comes to human relationships we keep images of loved ones and the things we care about and the things that are important to us.

A simple photograph can do many things, record a point in time, record a place, record a feeling or event, its tells the story like no other possession you keep .

You can be the receiver of the photograph, with yourself making a connection with the image; the creator may skillfully craft elements into the image to promote the connection, and the best part for the photographer you can be both the receiver and the creator.

The Singer/Musician Ed Sheeran song Photograph has great line “We keep this love in a photograph, We made these memories for ourselves,  Where our eyes are never closing, Hearts are never broken, Times forever frozen still”

So pick up your camera and start making connections, sharing the things you love and the things that are important to you.

So until we connect again happy memories


Is Photography a Thing ?

1-1-IMG_5524.JPGToday I am posing the question what is photography? Is Photography a thing or is it a process or a technology what is it really.

Is it an art form because the photographer creates an image from nothing but an idea , then chooses what will be seen in the frame as well as the lighting will it be dark or light , will it be colour or black and white. Is this what an artist does when they paint a picture?

Or is it more of a process, like making a shirt , first your come up with a design , collar or no collar , short sleeve long sleeve etc. then you choose the fabric natural or synthetic  , the color and pattern then someone sews it all together.

Or is it technology electronic signals captured and stored, transmitted and printed to produce a picture

The dictionary says this about a “Thing “

  1. an object that one need not, cannot, or does not wish to give a specific name to.
  2. an inanimate material object as distinct from a living sentient being.

So are any closer to understanding what photography is , to my way of thinking it’s all that and more I throw in to the mix passion , dedication , innovation, determination and I sure you can add to the list many more.

For me personally it’s a real thing a part of my life , what about you is photography a thing in your life?

Have fun experiencing this “Thing” called photography

Regards Stephen

The Creative Spark

Well the New Year is here and rolling fast already, so what will you create in 2016 is this your year to find your niche, I have talked about being different in your photography before.

Owning the scene and creating your look is getting harder to achieve , so what is answer is it finding the Creative Spark that light bulb moment, but how do you do that . Does it even exist and how do you find it, all good questions and not easy to answer.

For some people it finds them, but for others it’s a search trial and error and it may not be something in an area you haven’t even ventured into yet, I would recommend you immerse yourself in all things photography, and experiment lots and lots, don’t be disheartened a lot of things don’t pan out as planned.

But along the way you find some happy accident’s and you will like the results , photography is what you make of it , you’re in control of the camera , where its pointed how much it see’s , how bright or dark its.

Do what never helps gets ideas rolling , go to the local library read a few photography books , watch some YouTube clips , looking for that hint or spark to create your own images , it’s easy to recreate someone’s else images, but to create your own is such great feeling.

I think every photographer looks at other photographers images and say to themselves that a great idea I wished I had thought to shoot that, try and be that photographer that others look at your images and think that.

Be Creative, Be Original, but foremost, Be yourself.

Remember your best image might be the next image you take, so keep trying

Regards Stephen Finkel


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New Year New Possibilities


1-1-IMG_8504_edited-2As 2015 come’s to a close, it’s a good time to reflect of your photography of the last 12 months, what have you learnt, what were your favorite subjects?

This and many more questions you can ask yourself , but the reason for the post is one I have talked about it before, “Personal Projects” with the new year there come’s new possibilities and opportunities.

Perfect time to set yourself a challenge as the new year, is a great reason to start something new, the possibilities are endless, here is a couple of ideas to get you thinking, capture the sunrise every morning, not every morning is going to be a stunning light show from the sun, some morning it might be raining the photos you create are secondly, it’s to give you motivation [a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way]

Or shoot with prime lens only your challenge could be every weekend you only use a 50mm prime lens it you don’t own one set your zoom to one focal length you may be able to tape the lens to hold the still and act a reminder, you have to work harder to get the shots.

A 365 project each day shoot a new theme or stick with a common theme, and shoot on whatever’s handy, which most likely be your phone camera, any photos you take no matter what camera you use will teach you something about light and composition.

To take great images first you have to put yourself in the location, it easily to make excuses why you couldn’t it’s too hot it’s too cold it’s too early etc. etc.

Some other tips, once you have decided on your theme, announce it the world on social media commitment helps to keep you on track, be realistic in your theme with a little degree of difficulty, don’t set yourself up to fail, this project is to grow your ability as a photographer.

Encourage other photographer’s to join you or help you, if you think that will help keep you on track, use whatever resources that are close to hand, and as always have fun with it.

So as the curtains begin to close on 2015, reflect on your images you have created in the last 12 months choose your favorites and share them with your networks , sometimes good to include the back story of the image.

Hoping for a safe and happy 2016 for everyone .

Best regards Stephen

The Photograph a Powerful Reminder

1-Untitled-1For the month of November, also known as Movember I grew a moustache to promote men’s health, and along the way photographed the progress.

Photography is a powerful tool in recording history and events, for everyday photographers it can be used to document life, to show friends and family , as photographs can be looked back on anytime to remind of those times or events.

Photography is an option for most people in the modern world with access to cameras so wide spread; sometimes it’s great to record something you enjoy so you can relive the experience over and over again.

Printing your photos makes them real, something you can touch and feel and others can see as well, with removable products like Blu-tack makes it easy to display and move around.

Our days are filled with many events, so go document your life and your family’s life use your camera print your photos and share with family and friends.

To keep you motivated start a personal photographic project, you choose  a theme some people do a 365 Project taking one photo a day of an aspect of their life, or each day take a photo of the sky or anything .

Once you got a collection of photos combine into a video timelapse to share them , hope this has got you thinking about a doing a project with your camera , I like the hash tag  “Capturelife”

Have fun capturing life with your camera

Regards Stephen

Black and White {Monochrome} Alive and Well

Is there still a place in the world for black and white photography, in a world of high definition and ultra-high definition , retina displays and so on why does black and white still exist.

Black and white adds a powerful element to an image that is hard to get with colour image as well as evoking an emotional response from the viewer. Black and white can convey a sense of age, class and history in an image something harder to convey in colour.

In portrait photography a black and white capture works well to record the subject and be the key element of the image, so the backgrounds with confusing colours are contained in the gray scale and become less of a draw on the eye to the viewer.

Black and white is really grayscale, which is a range of shades of gray the darkest shade is black, which is the total absence of light. The lightest possible shade is white, the total transmission or reflection of light at all visible wavelength’s.

Photography was born black and white, and continues to feature in photographer’s works; styles like high key over exposing the image blowing out harsh shadows, low key under exposing producing strong shadows make for powerful images.

So black and white will do well into the future so next time you’re out with your camera, try shooting in black and white, try using coloured filters this can add to the image, most cameras have these features, have fun experimenting.

Long live monochrome

Regards Stephen1-1-IMG_7627bw

The Modern Camera. (It does it all ?)

Since photography was invented, the technology has been advancing every year, in 2015 we have some amazing equipment, so now the cameras are so good do we still need photographers to operate them.

Surely if you have a good camera anyone can take a good photo, why do you need a photographer , everyone can be master photographers with today’s technology.

So is it the camera or the photographer, let’s look at some other professions a master chef could cook you an amazing meal on a basic cooktop, a master cabinet maker could you a beautiful piece of furniture with basic hand tools, a master dress maker could make a beautiful piece of clothing on a simple sewing machine , an artist could paint a beautiful picture with a simple brush and some water colours.

Having the best cooktop in the world, or the best power tools, or best sewing machine , the purest bristles on your paint brush, none of these things will make you the best, sure they can help a little, but the bottom line is you some talent or ability.

So not everyone can be a top chef or top cabinet maker or top dress maker or top artist ,the same holds true for photography a good camera is helpful, but it the photographer who creates the image we see as the viewer.

Photography is an art form , and good photographers understand that , and work on developing their skills , they are the visual storytellers.

So in 2015 the photographer is not dead , far from it, Long Live the Photographer.

For Photomisson

Stephen Finkel1-1-0L5A4113

Own the Scene

How do you make scene a uniquely yours, especially when it’s been photographed by everyone, sometimes you see a great photo but you’re seen similar images before so it loses impact with the viewer.

There are ways like the time of the day , with different light can change a scene , angles up high down low moving the main point of view in the frame , most good photos the photographer has worked that bit harder for it .

Getting up early or staying up late , walking that bit further can make all the difference to your image , researching the location can be helpful , there days with google maps and other apps you can plan to capture the setting moon or other element in the scene giving it a unique look and feel.

Post production can be helpful to putting your own stamp on a scene , try keep it real for most scenes , there are times when you can push the boundaries when your expressing a point or it make sense for the subject.

Don’t forget black and white processing its great way of making a scene powerful and some times more interesting

Be the lone shooter, move away from the crowd get you own view, let your passion for photography show in your images be yourself don’t copy what others do.

Remember your best image might be the next one you take, so keep shooting and have fun.

Regards Stephen1-1-IMG_4350-001