Variations

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Variety is the spice of life and a change is as good as a rest – here are just some of the different things you cover as a Photographer.

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Golfing Masterclass

Couples get pampered on a #Golfing masterclass at Horsforth Golf Club – Leeds

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The joining of a couple in Matrimony

I get to witness a #marriage at Leeds Town Hall and take candid shots in #Leeds afterwards

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After the Wedding – #Leedslife

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The Agility Dogs Team

Into another direction this time photographing Team Kit for Gforce Sportswear and The Agility Dog – Yorkshire

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Retro feel Family Photography

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Party Party Party

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Head-shots for Drama

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Commercial Photography

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Holy Communion Family Groups

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Pet Photography – Afghan Hound

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Studio Fashion & Swimwear

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Proms Fashion

Blographer, Blography, Fashion, Proms

Are you planning your perfect outfit for this years #MayProm – Check out #Fashion #photography #style #trend on Teen Vogue

You’ll want to stand out from the crowd right, not blend in with the rest – Why not think about wearing a suit instead of going with the traditional dress, read this on Teen Vogue

teen vogue prom suit

image © teen vogue

Check out my page for the Prom Focus Harry Dwyer Photography – Focus on Fashion

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Black Sleek & Limo

Truly Inspirational

Blographer, Music & Photography

Chantel McGregor

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Above, Chantel McGregor at Bradford Festival 2015 – © Harry Dwyer Photography

‘Chantel Dawn McGregor (born in Bradford, England) is a British blues rock guitarist and singer-songwriter.’

‘Chantel McGregor attended Leeds College of Music where she achieved a number of awards, including the Leeds College of Music Prize for Outstanding Musicianship. She gained a First Class Honours degree in Popular Music in 2008,[1] and has gone on to develop a career in the UK and international blues and rock music scene, performing solo and with her band.’

Video – YouTube – Chantel McGregor at The Duck & Drake, Leeds 2009

 

Read more, Chantel McGregor, Wikipedia

Nice to have  one of my images chosen by Chantel and included in her 2016 Calendar

Chantel Mcgregor

Chantel Mcgregor

 

Photographers with Obsessions

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Chamira Young

Chamira will readily admit it: she’s an art nerd, Photoshop geek, and photographer with an obsession for productivity and creativity. Through online teaching and podcasting, she loves helping other creative minds become more successful by empowering them with the knowledge and inspiration to up their game. Currently, ChamiraStudios.com is the hub of her creative mischief. It branches out to her other projects, and allows her to be an artist, photographer, podcaster at ProPhotographerJourney.com, and online course creator. You can also find her on Twitter.

Does Size Matter? Upgrading Your Gear For The Wrong Reasons

Let’s face it, many photographers believe that “bigger is better.” I know I initially did years ago. Large is in charge, and it’s easy to assume that success is a reflection of how impressive or expensive our camera body or lens is. However, I personally believe that this is less and less true these days. In many cases, advancements in current technology have made high quality equipment very affordable at a relatively low price point.

Manufacturing companies have found ways to make smaller and more compact cameras, and these cameras are giving the larger camera bodies a run for their money. The mirrorless camera movement is a prime example of this. Granted, there is a time and place for specific camera bodies and specific lenses, such as in the case of architectural photography where a tilt-shift is useful, or large-scale print photography where a full-frame DSLR is quite handy. However, if you are just starting out as a photographer and believe you have to immediately get your hands on the most expensive equipment, you may be mistaken. More important is to learn how to use the gear you already have, and then outgrow it.

Are you considering upgrading to keep up with your photographer friends? Before you do, consider this short list of common mistakes we often make when deciding to upgrade for the wrong reasons.

Common Mistakes We Often Make When Upgrading

Mistake 1. Assuming that size is the only thing that matters.

The first mistake young or new photographers often make is thinking that size is all that matters. It’s folly to initially assume that the value of a camera or lens is based solely on how hefty it is. Here’s a question for you: When has a happy portrait client ever asked you about the size of your camera, or what lens you used? You might have a computer-sized camera hanging around your neck, or a camera no bigger than a pair of glasses while making pictures, but a satisfied client doesn’t care about the size of your gear. They often don’t even know the difference. All they know is that they want high quality images from you, and it’s your job to deliver. Your gear doesn’t automatically do that for you.

Case in point: If you’re an entry-level portrait photographer just starting out, one of the most handy (and inexpensive) starter lenses you can purchase is a 50mm 1.8 prime lens. This small, unassuming lens can be easily found for under $150, and is an absolute gem. It allows you to produce professional level images without breaking the bank. Below is a photo from the very first wedding I shot years ago using this very lens. At the time, I was a total newbie shooting under low-light conditions with no external light. Of course I look at it now and see where it can be improved, but at the time it did the job.

Mistake 2. Assuming that more lenses equals more success

Do you know that photographer friend who seems to collect lenses? They have an outrageous number of them, and they keep them for the “just in case” moments. Their newest lens is often their best lens…that is, until they buy the next one.

It’s much better to have a lens that is the right fit for the type of photography you do, as mentioned in the portrait example above. You are the one doing the work, and with the knowledge and the equipment to match, you will still be able to produce amazing images. Yes, having more than one lens is a good idea. However, be careful of going overboard too quickly.

Sometimes, renting equipment is the way to go. There are many resources where you can inexpensively rent gear for a short time, such as at LensRentals or BorrowLenses. This is something I often do. It allows me to give it a trial run. Test equipment out before you dole out hundreds or thousands of dollars for it.

Mistake 3. Assuming your camera body makes you better

When I first started working at a print magazine years ago as a staff assistant photographer, I started with a Canon Rebel T1i body. Yes, you read that correctly. And guess what? The readers of the magazine never asked me what type of gear I was using. Fast forward to today, and of course I’ve outgrown that body and graduated to a more advanced model, but not before learning it inside and out. Below is a practice photo I made from years ago with that very Canon Rebel:

Concluding Thoughts

There has never been a time in history when a sculpture molded itself. Knowing yourself and your gear inside and out will be the difference between “good” and “great” in terms of the images you produce and keeping your clients happy. Yes, there is a time and place for upgrades, but those are in due time as you have the resources and the strong need. Don’t buy into excessive camera bodies, lenses, or other gear just to say you have it. If you don’t know what you’re doing or cannot make the most of the gear that you already have, then you are seriously jeopardizing your chances for success.

The camera cannot make the photo without you and the image cannot be what it is without your creative vision. The camera is and always will be just a tool that we use to produce the images that we do. The composition, the artistry, and the magic is within us, not in the gear that we have. We are the sole difference between good and great.

It’s all a balance of practice, experience, and resources. These factors are the most important parts of being a photographer. Don’t waste them

Blog by Mitch Green

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Instagram for Photographers: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Instagram has become one of the most powerful tools for modern photographers.

The platform empowers photographers across the world to have their work viewed thousands, if not millions, of times over. The community behind the social network cannot be underestimated either, openly sharing a wealth of knowledge and inspiring their like-minded peers to take their passion to the next level.

Yet, as Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben once said, with great power, comes great responsibility.

The Good

For me, personally, Instagram has been the driving force behind my interest in photography.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a passing interest in capturing images. However, it wasn’t until after downloading the Instagram app mid-2013 my casual hobby really took off.

Exposure to the abundant amount of stunning imagery on the platform inspired—and continues to inspire—me to go out in pursuit of capturing just as beautiful photos myself.

It’s what drives me to set my alarm in the wee hours of the morning to check on the cloud conditions. It’s what sends me halfway across the world to explore and photograph new lands so different from my own. And it’s what opened my eyes to entire new fields of photography (such as astrophotography and underwater photography), encouraging me to try my hand at them myself.

The supporting community cannot be understated either.

The shared appreciation for photography brings millions together across the globe on a daily basis. People of different race, creed and class together, sharing their common interest. It brings down cultural barriers and unites people in mutual encouragement and constructive feedback on their work.

Yet—as much as we may prefer to remain ignorant—the platform isn’t all sunsets and rainbows for photographers.

The Bad

While Instagram initially fuelled my passion for photography, at times it did—and still does—do so for all the wrong reasons. Too often I find myself chasing likes, rather than being inspired through the art of photography itself.

It’s a fundamental aspect of human nature to revel in others’ appreciation of us and our work. The little hit of dopamine straight into our bloodstream when a red heart appears on the screen is highly addictive. So much so that I—and, I’d wager, many of my peers—pursue it in the absence of a genuine love for the field.

We begin to pursue a digital metric, one seemingly always out of reach. After receiving our first 100 likes on a post, we’re then chasing 200. After attracting 5,000 followers, we move the goal line to 10,000 followers. We pursue short term hits of success at the expense of long term fulfillment. It’s like constantly chasing your tail up a mountain, and never quite stopping to appreciate view up there.

There’s also the wealth of stunning photos which can provide inspiration for some, but has the opposite effect for many others.

When we compare our work to that of lifelong professionals, quite often we can feel deflated—as if their extremely high quality of work devalues our own. Yet this approach can lead down a dangerous path driven by fear. We fear producing and sharing sub-par work, and so it’s safer to take the easy route: do nothing. Don’t shoot and don’t share.

Yet this approach is obviously a self-defeating one. My advice? Don’t let the fear paralyze you. Be bold. Be courageous with your photography.

The Ugly

Then there’s the ugly. It’s one thing to value digital metrics of success, but it’s something else to achieve them artificially.

How many has-been reality stars or Instagram famous models have you seen claim impossibly high follower numbers? Those with highly suspect low levels of actual engagement on their posts. There’s no sense of community with their followers. No respect. Just an artificially inflated follower count so they can sell influencer reach onto gullible brands who don’t—or choose not to—know any better.

And then there’s the fake accounts which drop completely out of context gibberish comments on your photos.

Now, I’m all for hashtags. They’re a fantastic way to have your photos seen and (hopefully) shared by larger content hubs on Instagram. They’re also a great tool to collate photos from certain locations when you’re planning your next shoot. But unfortunately, these ghost accounts prey on certain tags, unceremoniously splurging out offers of want more followers?, check my page!

Finally, there’s the accounts which steal others’ photos without attribution or consent. The worst thing is, because there’s no attribution or link, it’s impossible for us photographers to track when the theft (and it is theft) actually occurs. It could have happened to me every day this week and I would have no way of knowing.

Final Thoughts

Looking back on the above, you’d be forgiven for running scared from the platform in fear of what it’s doing to you and your photography. But please, don’t. Instagram is a wonderful (the best?) platform for photographers to share their work, inspire others and form genuine communities and friendships.

Sticking our head in the sand on the unpleasant issues isn’t doing us, and the photography community, any favors.

While we can’t directly control the fundamental nature of social media and Instagram, we can actively choose to minimize its negative influence on us. To not let it define our worth as photographers and to leverage its power as we continue sharing our passions with the world.


About the author: Mitch Green is a Sydney based Travel and Landscape Photographer. He can be found via his website, through Instagram, or down by the beach at 5am waiting for sunrise.

Youths Journey

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© Harry Dwyer Photography

My image ‘Youths Journey’ was included in the The Royal Photographic Society’s Digital Imaging Groups Projected Image Competition in 2015. Although I didn’t win one of the prizes, or the Gold Cup, it was great to score enough by the judges for it to be included in the DIGIT Magazine, and be shown at Warwick University’s Digital Imaging Expo in September 2015.

 

DIGIT Magazine

Although I make the argument for DSLR v Compact and Smartphone Images, this image was actually one of those ‘grab’ shots using a Samsung DV300F compact camera.

 

Originally shot in colour I felt Monochrome worked better. Technically the image is ‘blown’ out on the whites. The image is cropped and some of the dark areas are painted even darker with Photoshop. No other manipulation has been applied.

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I’d be interested in your comments on this image; what does the image convey to you?

Harry.

Quality Counts

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Do you really need a Photographer, or high end Camera, or can you save money and share/print off what you want from a smart phone or compact camera and feel truly happy with the final result?

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The fact is, you should Never go for the cheap options unless you want small prints and are happy with ‘snapshot’ quality.

If you want High Quality you should always consider the Photographer,or buying your own quality camera first! An iPhone or Smart Phone, although handy and portable, can Never match a DSLR Camera for quality, especially when you want prints in Larger Formats and for other Print Media such as Canvas Wall Art.

Depending on what you want to capture, you might need Wide Angle lenses, Fixed Zoom lenses; you need to be able to allow for Perspective and Depth of Field – It all depends what you want to photograph. A camera Phone snapshot can help you decide how to approach your subject, but it cant match its quality in the way a DSLR interprets and captures light.

Quick snaps taken with a phone or compact camera and well framed, can look fantastic on a Phone, Tablet, PC and are great for sharing on Social Media. Small to Medium sized prints will look fairly good too at 6″ x 4″ and 5″ x 7″ but for anything larger, and for correct re-sizing, you need a Photographer with the right equipment, A Quality DSLR Camera, Interchangeable Lenses and Experience.

Don’t get me wrong, I do use my phone camera at times for quick snaps, and they are so handy to have, and are great for instant sharing with friends. I find them most useful for capturing ideas, places etc that you can revisit and photograph in detail at times of the day when you’re presented with different light situations. That said, I would never be happy using my phone camera images for anything else other than for creative ideas, and most of those images are binned fairly quickly, some make it but hardly any!

A (possibly cautionary) Sidenote: for those who are into following people who Blog  with Images, particularly instant sharing, I’ll let you into a secret, some of the Top followed Photo ‘Blographers’ actually use quality DSLR Cameras, not Smart Phones – Instant sharing is great, but, just like ‘Fake News’ don’t be fooled by who’s sharing them, and what they’re sharing them with!

At the bottom of this page is a link to a fantastic Tech report from Business insider Harrison Jacobs, which goes into much more detail. The report was first published in March 2015 – here’s a quote from it;

‘The biggest difference between a smartphone camera and a dedicated camera is the ability to use different lenses. High-quality lenses produce unparalleled sharpness and image quality. …. photos look crisp, detailed, styled, and hyper-real. They look like photographs instead of snapshots.’

uk.businessinsider.com/why-an-iphone-will-never-replace-my-dslr-2015-3