Posts Tagged: photography

Adventures in the West Country


Leap of surewhynot

It felt surreal to be going back west a couple of weeks after Glastonbury for similar frolics, this time to take pictures at the Bristol Pride after party. I had no idea what to expect but the trip featured loads of odd situations that made me so happy to have gone, like magical scratch-card train tickets, being backstage and getting in Corona’s way, chatting about life on the road with Boogaloo Stu, papping with a legit staff wristband, secret smoking areas, and accidentally being in the security team meeting where they talked about the kind of night it was.

Of course the highlight was papping Harry and Cola as they welcomed the crowds and posed with punters, dressing them up, rubbing them down and generally getting everyone in a great mood. It was a wonder to watch them work; radiating fun, goodtimes, glitter and babyoil for four hours straight. And then two bonus hours of gogo dancing!

Facebook pages (still) suck

I put my favourite snaps on Flickr, the full set’s on my Facebook page, but it might be the last thing I post there. I get orders of magnitude more buzz about an album posted on my personal profile, where randoms can request tags (unlike on unLiked Pages) and it’s not assumed you’ll pay to promote posts. You can’t promote albums even if you wanted to so it all seems pretty pointless. It goes both ways too; I’d love to keep abreast of the photographers I Like on Facebook but they never come up on my feed, instead I get random conversations of people I don’t know and four word posts from a week ago. Sad times.

Bristol was pretty sweet though.

Parsing for fun


Creatively I’m an editor, a curator. I take things, move them around, tweak, reorder, refine, tell a story. In terms of photography I mostly document what’s there. I think I’m getting better at setting up the shot and playing with light, but as for telling people how to arrange themselves, forget it. Clueless! The real work begins once I get the pics back to my computer, but I’m starting to think I’m overdoing it slightly.

For every photo I have to work out if it’s any good:

  • Is the focus sharp?
  • Is there a clear object?
  • Could it be improved with a better crop, light balance or levels?
  • Is it shiny?

Then there’s the part it plays in the narrative:

  • Does it look busy?
  • Does it tell the story of the night?
  • Are there more smiling faces than glum faces?
  • Is there too much derpface?
  • Will it show a good mix of people?
  • Would it make a decent GIF?

Given I have four to seven hundred photos in a set, it’s a lot of questions, and it takes hours to whittle that down to the few dozen that I put up on Facebook and the handful of favourites I put on my Flickr.

Click to see GIFs and read the rest of the post

Normal service resumed

Bloggery Photography Recaps

As I’m all done with this site (i.e. everything remaining has been pushed to the nebulous land of “phase 2″) I should probably start blogging again. Not done it in months! So what’s new. Apart from this site, obviously. Isn’t it nice? Though I still think the pages need work…

I also got a shiny new Canon 700D with assorted peripherals which is kicking my photography learning curve back to “steep” and is slightly too heavy to dance with. The snaps are coming along nicely though! I even randomly teamed up with Andrej at work to take professional profile pics of the entire staff which was interesting on several levels.

In the world of web I attended a day-long workshop with Brad Frost on RWD which was almost too much awesome to handle, and then I went and bought tickets for dConstruct and Full Frontal in Brighton later this year, complete with a workshop on Javascript debugging because I’m some sort of crazy addict. I was supposed to be saving money this year. It’s not working out so well. That’s said I’ve not actually been away anywhere holiday-like as I’ve been so busy, but it’s been the hottest summer in years so I guess that’s ok.

Next up, giving talks at work on how to practically execute responsive sites, and getting creatives to make production-ready comps. Agency life, don’t you love it?

There’s been a blatant democratisation of photography over the past decade (digitisation of media, advances in consumer electronics etc) that’s let rank amateurs like me accidentally amble into the field. Though this aggravates purists and has lead to a deluge of instagrammed lunches, it’s also how I got into web mongering so overall I’m in favour.

Similarly the interwebs have lowered the barrier to distribution not only online but with physical publications on sites like Lulu, Snapfish or Blurb, even bloody Tesco does them now!

As I wasn’t going to Edinburgh this Christmas I thought making a photobook would be a fitting gift for the family I wasn’t seeing, so I spent a few evenings learning the tools in Blurb and put together some pictures I’d taken while visiting them over the past couple of years.

It was a relatively rushed job as I raced to meet the postage deadline for Christmas but it still turned out OK. Making it was pretty fun: the ability to tell mini stories and relate pictures to each other added a pleasing dimension to it, and it seemed to go down pretty well too! (Apart from the title which totally threw all of them.)

I didn’t realise it at the time but the photobook of I bought for Dom last year of Sharon Needles et al partying in Pittsburgh was self published through the same site, so it’s totally not just me.

I think I’ll do another one sometime, maybe of year one of Danpaps? Maybe of the Gaychristmas just past, or those Winter Sun pics I’ve been taking for about 8 years. People could even buy them if they wanted, though I can’t imagine why.

Awesome plan? No way man? Tweet Dan.

Place for the Paps: 2013

Bloggery Interwebs Photography

Well, assuming the Mayans are wrong…

When it comes to putting my pics online I use Facebook for the most part and Flickr for special cases. but they’re both looking a little bit rubbish at the moment:

On Facebook the larger photoview is nice but it keeps linking to the out-of-date tiny view. Also traffic to Pages has ostensibly seen an 80% drop-off as they throttle it to flog the “promotion” posts, the tagging system on Pages seems to be a couple of iterations behind everywhere else and I recently realised (yeah, LTTP) you can’t see the page at all unless you’re logged in. Contentious objects can’t play my reindeer games.

I’ve had a Flickr Pro account since about 2006 and it doesn’t seem to have changed much since. It serves up different sizes of picture so I can use them on my site for various things which is cool, but for a paid service they seem super slow to update with new features, and in a world of dropboxes and google drives I’m beginning to wonder what I’m paying for.

I briefly tried out into 500px which looks spectacular as it promotes the best photos really well, and it even lets people buy prints or hi-res copies of the image for a few quid, but it seems it only ever shows/serves the same compressed size of image so it’s not the panacea I’m looking for.

Oddly Google+ is looking pretty good now, it’s a bit of ghost town but it’s also very visible in terms of SEO, it serves larger pictures, it’s got a nice album view, and it ties into Picasa (for better or worse). It doesn’t put a mask over images like 500px and Flickr do which is a shame…

I should just host the things myself and make a pretty gallery to display them here on my own website, but even then I’d need a gallery/wordpress plugin to organise them all, and there’s more of those than there are photo sites!

Any ideas of favorite photo websites or wordpress plugins? Tweetme.

Bang Out of Order


For all that I go out a fair bit, I don’t go to new places nearly enough, so it was a breath of fresh air to head to Out of Order on Friday. It’s an eclectic new arty retro indie clubnight at Electric Social in Brixton, which is pretty lush; one of those nice clubs where there are couches and they aren’t even sticky!

The music was very varied with a lot of 80′s indie to begin with which flew over my head a little, but the delight in hearing Echo Beach and other unexpected classics in an actual club was amazing. Plus the last DJ Argyris just utterly killed it, though playing random Azealia Banks mixes might be cheating.

Sam Collins was on form and looked like he had the photography for the night covered, but as I was there I thought I’d take a handful of snaps myself. New club woo!

I randomly ended up at the one-day gay East London mini-festival Summer Rites a couple of weeks ago (Thanks Rob!) and thought I might as well take my camera. In spite of not having a telephoto lens I still got a few decent snaps of acts like Amanda Lepore and Bright Light Bright Light so I’ve put them up on Danpaps. A couple are even good! ^_^

I just wish I could remember the name of that singer with the prosthetic leg, she was awesome.

Douche Bag


It might have a unfortunate name but Douche Bag at the Star of Bethnal Green is probably my favourite night at the moment. It’s got a mixed crowd, that carefree air of the long weekend (it’s only on on bank holiday Sundays) and in spite of a good turn out every time there’s still just about room to dance which is key, because Mike, Ian and Laurence bring an eclectic range of electro/pop running from whatever Azealia Banks’ very latest track is to the decade-old not-quite classics.

Add in some fruit cider and it’s basically pushing all my buttons.

A couple of weeks ago I spent the weekend in Lymington. A crazy idea that would only happen at the suggestion of a good friend for their 30th birthday, but it was actually a lot of fun. Long walks in the seaside semi-suburban pseudo-country and hanging out in a largish house playing Werewolf and other such diversions with a bunch of chilled out people. Also I got to take a lot of photos.

Also there was gin. I don’t even drink gin but there was such a heroic amount consumed I thought it bore mentioning.

1800 pictures and a very irregular few days of sleep later: I SURVIVED. Disconcerted by lashings of cheese at Push til 3, wearing various ill-suited wigs at the Falquero party til 5 and dancing my little socks off at Douche Bag til 3am, when I finally hit a wall and just had to go home.

It wasn’t that daunting in the end; bank holiday Monday Firezza pizza sorted me right out. It’s amazing what a couple of extra days off can do!

I’ve got a lot of pictures to work through, in the meantime here’s a tranquil post-weekend stork. Mmm calming.