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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Compact to Rid the Creative Lag

I was speaking with friend and fellow photographer, Matt Bennett, the other day as I popped into his studio. In our conversations we bemoaned the fact that often the thing photographers do the least is actually take photographs. Much of the time is marketing, logistics, travelling, photoshopping etc. Sometimes, a week or two can pass and you haven't even taken a photograph. Matt himself has a distinct style that is being well received, but I encouraged him to get out and shoot for himself to keep the passion alive.
Yesterday I was in town with another friend and fellow photographer, Greg Beyer. We attended a PhotoShop CS3 seminar together. While taking a walk around the streets at lunch time I made sure to carry the Leica C-Lux 2 I have been reviewing and take some photographs. Even if the images themselves are not mind blowing, they serve the purpose of keeping you alert, seeeing, photographing. I recommend a quality compact camera for every photographer - professional and amateur alike. They are there when you need them, and they are great for keeping the vision alive.

Images: Shelton Muller, taken with Leica C-Lux 2

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

They all laughed...

Photographers are people with vision. It is our gift and it makes us who we are. Photography is more than just prowess with a camera. Photography requires a unique perspective, the ability to see more than that which is always obvious.
I took this image (above) at a recent wedding and made the mistake of showing the image on the camera's screen to the bridal party. They all laughed. They thought I had made a mistake, cutting the bride's head off. I laughed along, knowing all along that I had something else in mind as a final image.

I am pleased with it.

Previsualisation is an important aspect to successful photography. The ability to see the image in your head and then bring it to fruition is really at the heart of successful image making. For photographers, that is the lifelong learning process.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Jon and Tracey's Wedding

Jon and Tracey were married yesterday at Bram Leigh Receptions in Croydon and I was there to capture the event! It all went well, apart from the weather, which some of the girls thought was a little bit cold. But then, they were only wearing bridesmaid's outfits. Perhaps something woollen may have been better suited..?

Naturally I took my Nikon DSLR's with me, but this time I thougth I would bring a Leica C-Lux 2 as a snapshot camera. Sometimes I am away from my camera, perhaps because it is sitting on my tripod or I have put it down to adjust the bride's veil or dress. Having a quality compact digital on your hip is handy for those grab shots you might otherwise miss. If you want to know my thoughts on this little camera, email me.

Here are some images from yesterday...

And, some from the Leica...

See what I mean?

Thanks Jon and Tracey - and Congratulations! I had too much fun with you all!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Flea Market Economy

That's Flea market folks, not Free market...We already have one of those.
So... this is about me and my Ricoh GX100 - that famous love affair. They should write a song about it. The great thing about carrying a compact digital around is that, realising you have it on hand, you are always looking for something to photograph. There is perhaps nothing better than that kind of awareness in learning how to really 'see'. While I am sure the locals at the flea market where these images were taken thought I was rather odd, concentrating a camera on their bits of junk, fruits and vegetables and other curiosities.But they didn't see their odds and ends quite the way I did. Neither would I expect them too. I am a photographer.

I suppose that is what sets photographers apart. The gift they have is in being able to see what others do not (or can not) and then translating those things into interesting or evocative images. There is beauty and interest in even the most ubiquitous and everyday things.However, while it is evident that I love my photography, it isn't always possible or practical to carry my Nikon DSLR's around.With the GX100 means I can put all my eggs in one basket.
(Ok, was weak, but it was out there! I had to do it...)

There is nothing like...

There is nothing like being able to please a client by providing images they are unable to see themselves. That is, I suppose, what makes their photographer valuable to them. I have often said that it is the job of the photographer to transform ordinary things into interesting images. Taking pictures of someone being interviewed might appear boring, it is, as I have said, my job to make them interesting.More often than not, that is what we do.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

So, who is winning?

The other night I went to the movies with my son and a few friends. We decided to grab a coffee afterwards. Now, I am rarely without a camera, and this particular evening I was carrying my trusty Ricoh GR Digital. Of all things, the escalators caught my eye and I thought I would grab a quick photograph of the geometry that presented itself.

Within moments, the security people arrived. A very friendly security guard told me I was not allowed to take photographs within the complex. I wonder if the same would be the case if I had been taking a snapshot of my friends. As it was I was pointing my lens downward at the escalators.

To me the whole thing is getting ridiculous. Where, when and with what you are able to take photographs these days is getting out of hand. I know the world is more frightened since pedophilia on the internet and 9/11, but perhaps by restricting our creative freedoms to this degree we should ask ourselves if maybe the pedophiles and the terrorists are winning. Me? I view no man as my enemy. I just want to take photographs.

The Life, Times and Images of photographer, Shelton Muller

Images on this blog are copyright Shelton Muller