photography

It’s an iPhone thing !

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I have written about Smart Phones before but never really appreciated just how much I use them until now in my day to day life.

I walk so much now and use my phone for Komoot and Strava etc is so much more simple to just take photos with my phone. Do I upgrade to the iPhone 13 Pro Max though ! That’s the big question at the moment ! Not sure it’s a big enough improvement to be honest but now I am retired it’s nice to have some nice things.

I helped out Tec Radar with a little article on Landscape Photography and the smart phone recently so thought I would share it with you guys.

Here you go https://www.techradar.com/news/how-to-shoot-professional-landscape-photos-on-iphone-or-android

Shooting Local

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Well it’s becoming a thing ! I started shooting local a few weeks back and must say it’s become very interesting.

I decided to start exploring my local area on foot as my previous blog posts have mentioned but instead of going out all day I have started popping out for 30 min or just taking my camera when I pop to the shops or for a coffee.

I am not a Pro so don’t go out looking for those one off crowed pleasing shots, I am just shooting the local streets and including the people out and about on those streets and trying to include some of the streets and vehicles as well.

Gone are the days of amazing light and juxtaposition with high contrast black and white ! Instead I am pleasing myself and grabbing a few shots that I like. As normal if you know me and know my work there is something more to each shot for those that take the time to look or live local !

The really interesting fact is I am getting more shots I like in a 30 min walk than I used to get in an 8 hour day or even longer. I am not so critical and a keeper is for me not the masses of people that like Instagram style same shit different day shots.

I am having fun with colour and getting some great feedback from local independent buisness ! One of the things that happened durning lockdown was the fact local independent buisness came together to help each other and a few of their suppliers also got together ! So now the coffee shops and restaurants are becoming one big independent family in Liverpool and it’s great to see. One day they might hire a venue and have a coffee and cake shoot out ! Now that would be epic !

I still shoot some black and white but I am getting in to my colour more and more.

I really do hope to develop this local project over the coming months and years and can’t wait to see where it takes me.

Colour Street !

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Lark Lane (X100F)

As a black and white photographer I have never really been interested in colour ! I was told years ago as you age that might change ! Up until my Stroke I never really gave it any head space. But since my Stroke it’s feels almost as natural and shooting black and white.

Since starting Art again with the end goal to draw and sketch in pencils and black inks, part of my practice has been using bright colours ( see my previous post) this has made me want to shoot colour street !

Allerton Road (X100F)

I am now quite fascinated by bright colours out on the street and there relationship in the frame and with people. It’s funny as when I was a working Pro I did not want to shoot colour unless someone paid me and gave me a pallet or Brief to work from.

But now I have retired I don’t really care so reverting back to shooting what I want and how I want has been fun so far.

Allerton Road (X100F)

It’s been an eye opener for sure and spending a couple of years just out with my iPhone and not a real camera really has made me speed up my thought process and just grab some snaps. So now I am working again with a Fujifilm Camera I really can appreciate the colours more and more.

I am not looking for a colour style I am just hazing fun. Strangely enough even my black and white editing process has changed ! I used to process all my black and white images sat at a lap top with Silver Effex Pro ! Now I just do simple iPad edits in Lightroom.

Lark Lane (X100F)

I can’t believe I have got my editing time down as much as I have. I used to spend approx 3-6 min on a RAW file but now it’s probably under 3 min for B & W and about 3 min for colour !

Penny Lane ( iPhone)

It’s all a journey and quite funny at times, years of teaching people to look for primary colours to tell a story or hold the viewers attention I am now doing myself !

(X100F)

Can’t wait to really start to explore the beauty of colour over the coming years.

Art v Photography

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Just as I was getting back in to my street photography the weather changed. It’s one of those things that are character building.

Colour Street Photography requires consistency and getting the lighting right means I get the image consistency in camera. So a change in the weather from bright sunny days to overcast rainy days really does put me off. The beauty of living in the UK.

The only saving grace is windows ! No matter what the weather the amazing light in shop and coffee shop windows gives me the texture and tone I used to love in my black and white coffee shops and windows project. These amazing colours and reflections really do help on dull days.

Now I am getting back in to art I have a million ideas floating around my head both for Street photography and for my art projects! All I have to do now is get the balance right !

My sketchbook is getting plenty of attention at the moment as I re practice making marks on paper. The photography has been pushed to one side. I really do need to get the balance right ! No doubt that will come over time.

One thing is for sure I have some amazing ideas for combining Photography and Art and getting the balance right is the key. I don’t want photography and Art to fight I need harmony !

Started Sketching!!

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First Sketch in 45 Years

Thought I would share this ! It’s the first time I have put pencil to paper in approx 45 years !

It’s a long story but I was supposed to go to Art Collage but we moved house and I ended up at a different school ! I stopped drawing and painting and eventually Photography took over.

I was gutted as the new School was for high achievers but I was Dyslexic and only got in because of my Art and Science ! But the School Focused on Maths and English ! Let’s just say I hated it.

I tried to draw again a few times over the years but nothing came out I just sat looking at a blank page and nothing was in my head. I could not even copy a photo. Many times I tried and failed.

I was in need of a hobby now I have retired and I noticed Sean Tucker had featured a local Artist on his Social media. I made a comment in the thread and the artist replied we then had a chat and she told me not to over think it but just draw something she basically said Just Do It !

So I did Jest do it and now I have some Sketch books and pencils !!! Thanks to Lee Glasgow, Sean Tucker and especially Tabitha Grove for giving me a much needed Hobby. Exciting times ahead.

I have had some ideas for ages about Landscape and Street Photography and Art ! I am going to practice my drawing and get my drawing and painting back up to scratch over the next few years and then see if my ideas will work. If so I will make a set of drawings and possibly have an exhibition or start a new Instagram Page ! Who knows but for now it’s just making marks on paper.

Windows ! How did that Just Happen !

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Bean There Coffee

Well ! Not sure what just happened! I thought after my windows and coffee shops project I would never shoot another window again.

To be honest I was going in here for a coffee and I noticed the person reading and just went click ! I laughed to myself as I thought “wow never thought I would do that again” it just felt right and I can’t start shooting my local area with out some window shots and some interior shot.

Pierre Griffes Allerton Road

I guess the bug is biting and I am getting back in to Street ! So much so I am considering a separate Instagram for my walking and cycling ! We shall see who knows what the future will bring. I must say though ! I do miss my windows project and it was shot in black and white so never did explore colour ! Guess it’s time to do it now…

Project Local

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Allerton Road

I guess it had to happen, I have decided on a new long term project! I was going to restrict it to shooting within 1 mile of my home but Allerton Road alone runs nearly two miles through the area and there is also another Allerton Road that almost starts where the other ends. So I am going to consider Liverpool as my Local Area, but only shoot within walking distance. So no transport except my feet.

Allerton Road

All images will be shot on X100F and posted on Instagram as matt6t6 or matt6t6colour.

Roll up for the Mystery Tour ( Allerton Road)

I used to feel self conscious shooting in my local area but for some reason I don’t anymore ! I did think going out from home walking in my local area would never work but now I have the bug. I just need to get back on the horse and start riding and this is a good place to start.

Allerton Road

Not to sure how it will go in winter as no one gets up and goes out around hear until mid morning or mid day in the winter ! I get up early and go out early so might have to adjust things later in the year.

I don’t really like starting a project without having an end date but I feel this is a project that needs a lot of time ! Possibly even a lifetime project. That way I can watch the people and the shops and even the cars and roads change ! Who knows ! It’s all quite exciting.

Corner of Allerton Road and Queens Drive
Allerton Road

I guess only time will tell but I am really looking forward to this. Should have started it years ago !

Lark Lane
Lark Lane

WTF Instagram!

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I really don’t get it ! I joined Facebook to have a laugh with my friends and post images and let off steam and keep in contact with relatives etc slowly Facebook changed all that so I could not see what my friends were doing and then they just fed me adverts and politics !!! So I left ! There is no point in a social media platform that’s not social.

Then we have Twitter ! I joined to share my work and events and again follow my friends. That is now a news feed and lots of adverts and politics. So again I left.

I joined Instagram because it was a really good photograph app and you could very quickly upload or create images put them in a gallery and follow all your friends work. Slowly Facebook have stopped you seeing your friends work and pumped our feeds full of adverts. Over the last few weeks I have noticed Videos taking over but even worse photographers with average to poor images are paying Facebook to promote their work !!! My feed is full of adverts and paid posts and I can’t see my friends work. Then we hear from the Instagram CEO they are not a photography App anymore but a video App !

I don’t mind video but why are Facebook trying to build a TikTok style app from a perfectly good Photography App !!!

The funny thing is the photographers are flocking from Instagram to Twitter thinking that’s the way forward ! No it’s not it’s not a gallery so it won’t work and it’s not a great platform to have a decent photography community because it’s open to abuse !

At least we have WordPress !!!

First Name Last Name Photographers

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It’s quite funny how I once read a thread on Facebook by a group of very well known on Facebook Pro Photographers ! who were making fun of all the photography websites like for instance, Matthew Hart Photography. I looked them all up at the time and they all had Ltd Company’s but none of them used there first or last name. I was confused at the time but found it interesting how this group of so called Pro’s were so insecure they had an issue with First Name Last Name Photographers !! I had a long hard think at the time and decided my identity as a photographer is actually my name. So when I went Pro I named my company Matthew Hart Photography Ltd.

I noticed how people I had as social media friends changed their attitude towards me ! They became Jealous that I was now doing something they only dreamt about. To be honest I really could not understand it because we can all do what we want in life. If you plan what your are doing then anything is possible. I had been working to a Professional Standard for a very long time and had just been made redundant. I had the funds to give it a go and went for it. Most people and company’s were very helpful. Some of the Pro’s thought I was going to steal there client base and went a bit quiet on me and quite a few photographer friends drifted away from me.

The worst however were the a handful who decided to hang around and try and steal my ideas and copy my work in the hope they to could become well known and work for some of my clients. To be honest some I even found work and even helped out only for them to turn on me further down the line. I learned a lot from this and the irony was my main client warned me that the industry was like this when I decided to give it a go. You see the Photography industry is shrinking every year and it’s also very incestuous. So it’s hard to get anywhere unless you are good at what you do and able to understand the industry’s complications.

The good news is I ignored it all and even managed to pay myself back my redundancy money after the first year.

Social media is a perfect example of the good and bad of Photographers. Some are amazing people who would do anything to help you. Some are just nasty.

I always said if someone’s work is great and they will be nice. If there work is superficial they won’t be far of the same. In my experience this was spot on.

So where am I going with this ? Well now I am retired I can look back and laugh at some of the Nasty people they still have not got anywhere and they are still online behaving the same.

I did however have a long hard think today about First Name Last Name photographers !! If your work is good you should definitely use your name it’s not done Sir Don McCullin any harm and as the worlds highest earning Photographer David Bailey has done very well for himself.

My advice to anyone starting out and making there way to be a Pro is ignore the white noise and do it your own way.

Back on the Street !

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Bean There Coffee Shop

I had no intention of going out today ! I walked Jake early and it was very Hot by the time I got home so decided to have a shower and not go out.

Just as I got in the shower I noticed my X100F sitting on my desk and thought ! Well if I just pop out for a coffee I could just take that.

So after the shower ( still to much information) I grabbed the X100F and put it round my neck. I said to myself “you won’t get anything but take it”

I set of with a clear head and no plan. It was just a quick walk to get coffee and get my eye in with the camera. Just as I walked around the corner in to Allerton Road a bike came towards me, I thought that will do. I half expected it to be out of focus as it was a grab shot but it was fine keeper no 1.

Allerton Road Liverpool

I never expect to get stunning shots on the first day out with a camera and the story will be lacking but it’s surprising what other people see in your work. That’s probably why I hardly ever write anything about my images or title them. I normally just say where they were shot.

Penny Lane Liverpool

I was just about to take a shot of this old shop from in Penny Lane when this guy walked in to shot. I decided to include him and ignore the shop front and possibly shoot the shop another day. It’s crazy how once you start to get back in to photographing people, everything else feels a little boring. Keeper number 2

I don’t normally show colour and black and white images in the same post but was trying out a black and white conversion from a colour Jpeg in Instagram. The shot at the top of the page keeper no3 was shot in my favourite coffee shop ! Bean There coffee at the bottom top of Penny Lane. I copied the Jpeg to my phone then imported it in to Instagram and just applied the Inkwell filter ! No other changes were made. The image below is the imported image. It really does have the Silver Effex Pro look to it. I was quite impressed with the look. I do like quick and easy !

Bean There Coffee shop

So I got 3 images missed a couple by not paying attention. But I really do think the Street Bug is back. It’s about time I started getting out every day again. Who knows I might enjoy it again ha ha