Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Obviously I'm not professional yet

So full of confidence that my photos were brilliant and saleable, because everyone told me so, I signed up to a professional photo library on the advice of a professional friend of mine. Ten minutes after signing up I get an Email from the company detailing what is required. It was a bit of a shock. An eye opener. Yes friends I've got complacent. Newspapers, magazines, websites all love my photos. They're more than OK. In fact my local paper kept telling me the file sizes were too big, so I kept dumbing them down until I was sending them little more than thumb nails before they told me it was perfect. So heartened by the fact everyone loves my pics I signed up.
It seems since I started late last year and taken almost 10,000 pictures not one of them is good enough to be used by this professional site. On large format all my pics are of the 2.9mb size. Shooting in Raw was a pain to process so I never bothered, no one complained. I've had poster sized prints made of my pics that came out brilliantly.
These guys want file sizes of a whopping great 48mb minimum. Shit! Well that was my initial reaction until I read on. Apparently I can, with the appropriate software interpolate my images. Interpolate? Big them up. So if I shoot in RAW and get a 6.9mb file I can big it up to 48mb by this interpolation process.
Not only that I've got to pass an exam to get my account ratified. I must attain the required standard to be a professional photographer on their books. I guess that's OK because it's a major player in the world of photo images and they must maintain their own credibility. Their clients know that every picture will be perfect especially if they are paying top dollar for them. So sub standard photos are rejected.
Now I have to prove I can achieve this standard. To be worthy of inclusion. I could go to a site where they are not so fussy, but what's the point? If I am going to be professional I have to raise my standards not lower them. So with 10,000 pictures under my belt and not one of any use I've got to start again from scratch.
Am I disheartened? No not really. It's a blow. But then I know to achieve this level puts me above being just another guy with a camera. I have so much to learn.
One thing that struck me today. In my quest to become a professional photographer I have never gone backwards. I have hit brick walls and stood still for a while. But with thought I've over come and marched on. There's going to be quite a few brick walls before I get where I want to be. Even then I'll probably want to be better still.
So here's a little anecdote for you. I was discussing my photography with my Mother. She said "Your brother is obviously helping you." What? My brother died five years ago in a diving accident. "He's helping you from above." she said.
"So I didn't do any of this by myself then?"
"He's guiding you."
"No he isn't I've done this all by myself. I've got where I am by my own sweat."
"He's putting people your way. He's introducing you to the right people."
"So it's James idea that I write to "unsigned magazine?""
"he helps you."
"Well perhaps he can help me win the bleedin lottery."
Yes I know my Mother still hurts even five years after my brother died. Five years this week as it happens. But I'll be damned if I'm going to let him, even post humously, take the credit for my success. It's OK. When I die I'll have it out with him. We can argue until the end of time who was really the driving force behind my success (or failure) if it matters.

Rock on dudes

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Heather McVey

I've just got to share this discovery with you guys. You are going to love this girl.

Heather McVey

Click on the link and have a listen to her songs. She's from Cambridge and is a virtual unknown. I can't understand why.
Anyway in my guise as a music promoter.... Oh didn't I tell you I'm doing that as well now... I've done gone and booked her to play at our club.
She sounds like Anni Lennox , someone suggested a smattering of Charlene Spitteri of Texas, someone else said reminiscent of Sinead O'connor, what ever, click on a song lean back in your chair and just relax. You wont hear anything as good as this for a long time.

Rock on dudes (let me know what you think)

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

New opportunities

Tonight I got an Email from "Unsigned" magazine. I am now their official photographer for the Peterborough Area. You probably wont have heard of this magazine yet because the 1st issue has only just hit the stands. It's best to get in on the ground floor.
Anyway not only am I their photographer but they've asked me to promote their own favourite acts by giving them gigs at our venues. So in the future we could be a crucial gig to play. This is what I've been striving for... making Peterborough the place to be seen. The music scene here has been really crap for about ... OK forever. But now things are starting to happen. We're making headway. We've got people dedicated to promoting new acts . We've even got our own summer festival. We've got the venues. We have musical talent coming out of our ears. But as always it's baby steps. But it's always baby steps in the right direction . I'm going to have to consider carefully how I'm going to reply to their request for us to host their new acts. I wont do it now because I've been playing myself tonight at a pub and I'm pissed. I just do the covers. So I'm not going anywhere. That doesn't bother me because I never was going anywhere as a musician I was just having fun. Now it's time for me to step back and let the real talent come through and do my best to help them.

rock on dudes

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Tammy Garcia

What an incredible weekend not only do I get to see a whole bunch of guitar greats Such as Jim Moray and Catherine Anne Davies I get to photograph them as well and.... Here's Tammy garcia flown in specially for a charity gig in aid of the homeless. She's Portugese. She's brilliant. I got to bed at 4:30am Sunday morning. Unfortunately not with Tammy.
You can check out why I haven't been posting much recently by looking here I've been really busy taking photos.... Hey ho. Motor Cycle News could be interested in employing me. We'll see. My problem? What the Fcuk do I know about Motor Bikes. I learn fast though.

Rock on dudes Posted by Picasa

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Photoshoot

The Band of the Year final heat was cancelled only one act turned up and that's my good friend Irene Rae. So we went on photoshoot instead to get her some publicity photos.This first shot was taken on the edge of a field of Oil seed rape. When we moved into the field huge swarms of big flesh eating flies rose into the air to menace us and suck our blood, but being professional I've photoshopped the creepies out of the picture.
You may recognise the second backdrop as that of Stamford in Lincolnshire, I've taken some of my best publicity shots here,just off camera hoards of fan were waiting for a glimpse of this star and waiting for an autograph.
You know what Irene is a lovely girl, I can honestly say that 99% of the musicians I've photographed have been excellent. Not like you'd imagine. Not aloof or stuck up. Just really nice. God! I'm so lucky to have a job like this. I love it.

Rock on dudes

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Still Looking

Last year I searched high and low for this next flower, uh huuh! It's a nettle, but it's not a common nettle, it has yellow flowers and is called, rather grandly, a Yellow Archangel. Last night I wasn't even looking for it, just going for a pleasant evenings walk in the woods at Bedford Perlius. There were thousands of them right next to the car park. 
Then in a clearing under some trees this spendid example of a Lords and Laydees, or cuckoo pint. OK these are pretty common actually.  
Meanwhile we have a busy weekend covering The band of the Year semi final tonight and on Sunday heat 9 of the band of the Year. I might be one of the judges for that heat. Oh joy!
Actually I might have to refuse to be a judge because I know some of the bands personally in this heat and I can't afford to be seen to be biased.
Whatever. Rock on dudes. Posted by Picasa

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Monday, May 08, 2006

Doing the bizz

It's a varied life as a photographer. What I love doing is taking pictures like this.This is a girl called Bibi who is the singer with a band called Juzzt. She's very nice but impossibly thin. Great singer though. And then...
...here's my friend James or Jimmy from "Point seven Pistol" doing an acoustic set. But then I've got to do things like this.
A dance club wanted some publicity photos done for the Evening Telegraph,we roped in anyone we could find to boost up numbers. If you look carefully there's some asian lads behind the banner one of them is called Mohammed Ali, like the boxer I think he's second from the right. he's never danced before in his life but who cares, it's a publicity shot, giving the impression of multi ethnicity. Then I get to do what I want to do. These next photos were taken at Hills and Holes, Barnack, near Stamford, last Friday night.
Mark I'm sorry there's no more photos of any big trucks. It's just rock and roll and wild flowers, two completely opposite genres.
And for digigran who said she wanted more domestic stuff here's a bomb shell for you. My son has just told me he's gay. About bleedin time I say. I've known it/ suspected it, for years but he's never admitted as such. He told me he was scared to tell me. Our relationship has been a bit strained recently. Now that's out the way, we can get back to being best friends again. He actually thought I'd have a problem with it. For chrissakes! He's my boy, how could I love him less? I'd be a pretty poor father if I had a problem with that.

You know it's not been a shock to me. I've been waiting for him to tell me for ages. So it's not the bombshell he thought it would be. The thing that does worry me is the fact that he thought I'd go mad and start screaming and shouting, or even worse, hate him. I've a feeling I know how to deal with this. That is be real laid back about it and just act normally. But if you guys have any suggestions of stuff I haven't thought about that would be great. For instance I always used to point out real cute girls who were his age. Now....? I don't feel comfortable pointing out cute boys. Not that I would know what a cute boy would look like anyway. Perhaps I should just shut the fuck up.

Rock on mes enfants

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Monday, May 01, 2006

ChavFest

I've got posters in my place of work so obviously I got free tickets to Truckfest, or as I like to call it Chavfest. Where overweight tattooed slobs in the string vests walk about in a menacing way. But it's not all like that. I spotted this balloon and sauntered over.
"You mind if I take a few pics?" I asked.
"No go ahead. Who do you work for?"
"The Evening Telegraph."
"Well jump on in."
I jumped into the basket and the guy hit the flame thrower. Brilliant fun. Don't I just get away with murder sometimes.

A limousine crawled through the crowd. I knew the score. After a few minutes on a walkie talkie the minder opened the rear door of the limo and ushered this guy out.
"You can't stand there." a minder said to me. Starting to elbow me out of the way.
"Evening Telegraph" I said standing my ground.
"Oh alright then." his grimace turning to a smile.
I was going to ask who the fcuk this was, I hadn't a clue. I was told it's Bradley Walsh of Coronation Street. Never heard of him. I'm not convinced. Perhaps some of you who actually watch Corrie can put me right. But in my pole position I was able to take this photo. Thank God for the Evening Telegraph and for so many people who will just accept anything I say as the truth.
But this is what "Truckfest" is all about, big trucks. Where's my Yorkie Bar?
But within an hour I was bored rigid with big trucks, motorcycle displays and fun fair rhetoric. "Everyone a winner." So I went to take photos at the next heat of Band of the Year you can see the photos here You will notice I've taken to marking the photos with my name because the bastards blatantly rip off the photos without giving me credit for them. C'est la vie.

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