Projects

Litter Project Update

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I almost failed to start this project because I had two 365 projects on the go and because I did not think it worked in black and white. I also was unsure if it would work in colour but with a few tweaks in Instagram I have found a style and mix of tones I like.

I am only up to day 22 and already it’s making me think about a few aspects of litter.

I always blame the person who fails to put it in the bin, lets be honest it really is there fault but I think corporate buisness has a lot to answer for as well. The fast food industry and the packing industry need to take some responsibility to.

There are all types of litter about but the bulk of it is take away food and drink waste ! Plastic is by far the worst but there is ever increasing paper cups from coffee shops.

The pandemic as brought about new waste ! I will try and capture the new waste over the coming months and is alcohol related waste dumped in parks and out of car windows around parks ! This has increased broken glass on footpaths and carrier bags getting blown about.

There is also now camping waste ! When I say waste it’s tents and suitcases etc dumped in the countryside ! I have been quite shocked by what I have seen on social media about the increase in waste in the countryside. It’s strange as the National Trust and tourist company’s are saying we want everyone to come and enjoy the countryside. But I disagree with this. If people can’t follow the countryside code then they should stay at home and keep their shit with them.

Litter is getting everywhere and it’s got worse and worse since the lockdown started ! Fly tipping is out of control and people’s attitudes to litter is getting worse and worse. People think it’s someone else’s job to pick up after them or they think it keeps someone in a Job ! Not sure where they get this idea from because the bulk of the litter in the countryside is picked up by other people who can’t stand to see it and groups that have formed to keep their local parks and beaches free from the crap other people leave behind.

I really do believe it’s now up to us the people who hate litter to make a difference ! I am not sure how but we really do need to change other people’s attitudes to litter !

Also the corporates need to start education in their fast food outlets ! I think drive through outlets should start writing vehicle reg numbers on take away orders so the litter can be traced back to the litter bug and they get a hefty fine. Let me know what your thoughts are.

2020 Going Mobile

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Well what a year 2020 is turning out to be. I was so looking forward to this year after all my Health Issues from the last couple of years.

My Plan was to start getting out and about in late March to get Jake used to busy city streets and to start shooting some YouTube footage and start YouTube again.

The funny thing is just as the lockdown came on my back went ! Yep disc bulges in to a narrow spinal canal is quite something and joke on the side, something I thought I had put behind me. It’s knocked me back a bit but I have managed to force myself to get up and out and keep off the pain meds.

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Lucky for us in the UK we were allowed 1 form of Exercise a day so that was perfect for me to walk Jake and carry on with my two 365 projects. Without the walk I think I would have gone insane.

The good part of the lockdown was the time to think abs reflect. I really have had enough of people’s politics on Social Media it was bad enough with Brexit and the Election but now we have people using their politics to push their own views about Covid-19 all over Facebook and Twitter. This has been horrendous, but it’s helped me to decide what Social media to get rid of and what to keep.

I decided to remove my website now I have retired and will slowly be coming away from Facebook and Twitter. I did think I would dump Instagram but have changed my mind as it’s really handy for my projects. Flickr however will have to go because SmugMug are just not upgrading the community tools.

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One thing that kept me going in the Lockdown was walking and shooting short 1 min videos every day for my friends. I had so much feedback I decided to look at doing YouTube again. So I did a quick YouTube video today YouTube to explain.

Following my Stroke I decided to retire but this has been a struggle. Thankfully the lockdown made me realise my decision was right.

I also started watching Netflix and found going in my office quite hard as it felt like going to work. I also need a more mobile solution to editing still images and video. Something better than sitting in front of two computer screens for hours on end.

So I have decided to move my workflow to a more mobile solution. This won’t be easy but I am looking forward to the Challenge. I am going to be using my phone a lot more for stills and video. I will be adding the new i pad Pro 2020 and combining that with the GNARBOX 2.0 and possibly a couple of backup options. I plan to use LumaFusion for Video and Lightroom cc for stills along with Snapseed and possibly Darkroom. I was hoping to be able to move away from Adobe Subscription model but we shall see.

Moving to a mobile workflow will be a dream come true and I will update you all with my progress and link you back to my home office set up at the same time. I will become more mobile over the coming months so moving away from a desktop set up is a wise move. Now all I have to do is teach this old dog some new tricks.

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I hope to start updating this blog and YouTube from 1 June onwards so stay tuned.

 

Fear of Projects

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I have found it hard to write my blog and create Youtube videos following my stroke but every now and then something happens to inspire to make me sit down at my desk and write or grab a camera and make a video.

I have been encouraging people to do projects for years and also doing at least one 365 project in their lives !

I have always been aware that project images out of context or 365 images looked at as individual images might not be understood by people. Let’s face facts you are not going to go out and shoot a masterpiece every day of a 365 in fact I doubt any images in your 365 will be amazing ! Because that’s not what it’s all about.

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I do however think its comments like this on Social media that hold a lot of people back from starting a project.

People want to take a photo put it on social media and get 400 likes and great comments, but that’s not what projects are all about. A single image looked at out of a series probably makes no sense and as part of a 365 can me quite boring or banal !

The crazy thing for me at the moment is the simple fact I am walking the same walk I always walk due to the Lock Down for Covid-19, I don’t have much choice about were I go and I am trying not to shoot the same path or area of sky more than once.

I sometimes reply to comments like this and sometimes I ignore them to give me time to think, but I always check out the posters images, its my first port of call.

This time instead of replying I have decided to blog about it, I am not 100% sure what this guy is getting at but he obviously does not realise that this image is #82 of 365 and even though it’s hardly a masterpiece its 1 image out of 365 and means something to me because I only went this way on this path this day because there were to many people out walking their dogs this day and I had to go this way to socialy distance myself from others, it also has my dog Jake in it and gives a sense of place with the light gantry. When I look back at this image in a year’s time I will remember the Lock Down.

This series of images is part of my Path Project and Weather Projects 365s and once completed will be in an exhibition and in two books. As individual images they will not make a lot of sense and as I say with quite a few 365 projects quite a lot of images will not be great or mean much to other people. But for the artist or Photographer it’s all part of a Year’s Journey.

So don’t let the fact you are not going to get 400 likes and the fact you will get strange comments at times stop you from doing a project of starting a 365 because it does not matter what other people think or like it’s all about what you get out of the project or 365 at the end of the year.

 

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March 2020 Update

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Wow its March 2020 already and it’s been very very wet for quite a while now.

My recovery has been a slow process but I am getting used to working around the brain damage.

I have let Photography take a back seat for a while and I have slowed down with YouTube until I can sort out why I can’t monetize the account. Not that it matters but I dont what to throw hundreds of hours at it and find out in 5 years time the account has other issues ! If only you could speak to a Human at Google or Adsense !!

I have been working on both of my 365 Project on Instagram so if you want to check them out its @matt6t6 on Insta.

The Path project is now running at the same time as my weather project, both projects are shot on my iphone11ProMax and images edited in instagram only. The Path Project shots are all Square and the Weather projects are all low Horizon shots in 4:3 format.

I am getting a huge amount of enjoyment out of just using my phone and will get back to photography when I am ready. I have some plans for Youtube as well and hopefully will get back to youtube in late 2020.

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Project Struggles !

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My main 2019 Project is People and Litter and so far I have not even got out with my Camera. I have a house to finish and get on the market so have been struggling for free time and this drives me nuts. But in a way it’s a good thing because it makes me think about the project more so that when I go out I will have more considered shots I hope !

I never expected it to be easy and I also want to try and Document the project on Youtube as well so and that’s a lot more difficult than I thought. It’s quite easy to sit behind your desk and make a short Vlog About your project but its its a whole new ballgame going out on the streets and trying to shoot video and stills and vlog without help.

If I was to do a Landscape project it’s not as bad you can plan your day and just keep setting your video camera up on a tripod and walking past it or stopping to do a piece to camera ! In a city by the time you set it up and walked away it might be gone !

I have given this lots of thought and even though I have quite a lot of gear My Gopro Hero 4 Silver and Black were not quite up to the Street challenge for speed of use and smooth footage and getting a GoPro Gimbal would have given me another great big piece of kit to carry about.  I also need to get some friends to help me so I need kit that is easy to use and smooth to pass to friends so I have just invested in a DJI Osmo pocket ! It’s a great bit of kit simple to use and hopefully will solve a few problems. My first impression is the video Quality is great sound as expected is not great but good enough to sync to so all good but it is really small. I hope to give it a test soon on a job and then out on the street to see how it performs.

This will be the first year I have ever tried to shoot a project and make a series of YouTube vlogs about it ! It’s a steep learning curve but hopefully I will get there. I have hopefully got the kit I need now so all I need is free time !

I think we all go through the same struggles and it makes us who we are as Jane always says its character building !

 

Youtube Video for this blog. 

 

 

 

 

 

Projects Group

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Hi Guys and welcome to 2019 Happy New Year to you all, this year I am going to spend more time blogging and more time on YouTube it’s going to be a great big learning curve and my video editing skills leave a lot to be desired but I will do my best and lear as I go.

My first new venture is Project Sunday and this is on YouTube and Flickr please feel free to subscribe to my youtube and request to join the Flickr Group some people have struggled with the Flickr group request but you request to join then send a message to admin to let you in its invite only but we can invite you if you have not messaged us.

It’s basically a series of weekly challenges and you post you images in Flickr and your links under my youtube videos it came about from my Learning to see workshops where people wanted a little more to motivate them throughout the year. Its for fun and sharing but who knows where it will end up.

Hopefully with a meet up at some point.

We are up to week 3 and if you join this week you might be in time for week 3 if not start week 4 on Saturday coming.

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Week one Shoot an Egg 

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Week 2 shoot someone in great light.

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Week 3 Self Portrait.

I was shocked at the 70 people that have signed up so far and the amount of people who take part every week, its a great little group on Flickr and I can’t wait to see what they all come up with over the next 12 months. Really impressed by the effort some of the people have put in.

Projects 2019

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I’m a bit late thinking about my 2019 project and I have not even finished my 2018 Project !

Not that I have to finish it on the 31st January this year as I have given myself and the group that are all doing the Home project extra time as we have to have the images ready for an Exhibition in Hull next October at the Hull International Photography Festival the first weekend in October 2019.  My Home Project is The Plot and is all about Janes second home her Allotment.

I can just share one image with you from my Plot project and its the one below.

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Fujifilm GFX 50S 

Part of my projects process it to work out what I would get the most out of that would also push me and take me in a new direction but because I have a few other project on the go I am probably going to be quite reserved next year, because I want to concentrate on YouTube in the first couple of months and i have a house to finish my time will be limited for a while.

I did however start thinking about my 2019 projects when I shot this image in Edinburgh a couple of months back ! It was pouring with rain and as I stood there with my X100F grabbing some frames of wet people running for the train I started to get a few ideas flooding in but most of them would be to much work.

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I am already working on two projects that are long term and one is Where is Jane and the image below is from that very long term project and is all about finding Jane. She is on the Path to the left if you are struggling

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A big part of my thought process for projects is taking photos and see if they would work as a body of work or how difficult the project would be to shoot and how long it would take ! I guess these thought go through my head all the time.

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Ideas like the image above come and go and eventually just like when you smell freshly made coffee one such idea will excite me and it starts me on my new Project Journey.

Next year I am going to take you on that Journey with me on my Youtube Channel.

 

Projects

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I have always been passionate about Photography Projects and I even include Projects in my talks and workshops. Projects are fantastic for personal development but frustrating all at the same time. The hardest part with most projects is getting started ! Once you are started its not too hard to stay motivated, as long as its a short project.  A short project is for around a year.

I started my ‘Where is Jane’ & ‘Where’s Jane’ project about six months ago but its not been going to plan. Its a long term, double project based on my old facebook posts about my travels with Jane.

I got it wrong from the start and decided to shoot the project in Colour and with the Fujifilm GFX because I wanted to put the images in a Exhibition with really big prints. The downside to this idea was I really don’t carry the GFX with me everywhere I go with Jane, so the projects were not really getting off the ground and I ended up shooting with all types of camera, also I am  not a fan of colour so it was all at a standstill !

This weekend in Edinburgh I shot the black and white image above and it was that lightbulb moment ! I was doing it all wrong and it should be in black and white and not camera specific !

So I am going to start the project from scratch but this also means I can add into the project all the old images from facebook that made me want to start the project in the first place.

‘Where is Jane’ & ‘Where’s Jane’ are two very simple projects,  one is looking for Jane in the images and the other is knowing where she is in the world ! Trust me its confusing enough for me especially as I am Dyslexic so just the wording alone is confusing.

Below is a set of images for ‘Where is Jane’.. as in where in the world…

 

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The following set is for looking for Jane..

Some are easy and some are a little harder !

Some are a cross between the two projects..

Still Confused ?

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I always find it interesting how a project evolves over time. The ‘Where is Jane’ project has been stalled for far too long but now at last I have found a way forward. Hopefully one day it will be a book and an exhibition. Its still a little confusing but I am quite sure it will all make sense in the end ! I hope.

Colour

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2017 has been my year of Colour project and it’s not over yet !

It finishes on the 31st of December and I cant wait, I have only taken a hand full of black and white images and they were taken over the last month or so. I feel like a sprinter stuck in the starting blocks for 9 months ! I think in a way it’s a good thing as I am bursting with black and white creativity I want to get out of my system.

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As for colour ! I never really have liked colour and on my recent trip to Scotland I had some time stuck in my camper on the really bad weather days to reflect on the Year of Colour project so far. I started the year hating colour and I will be ending the year really hating color !  I was hoping to come out of this year with a colour style as well as more understanding of colour. I do have a better understanding but the colour style is a sticking point.

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I understand that every day light is diferent and even the weather the light and the time of day has a bearing on the scene, so shooting on Auto colour balance will give you a neutral look but it won’t give you the consistency within the dynamic range.

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I am a very lazy editor and only want to spend 3-6 min per image in Lightroom or Snapseed and one thing I know I should like but don’t is presets ! I don’t understand why I don’t like them I just don’t and I think the only way I could get colour consistency and style would be to start making presents.  The downside to presets for me is the fact I use quite a few diferent camera bodies with different sensors so I would have to make a preset for each sensor and I really get fed up when the preset makes all the wrong changes and I then have to spend longer fixing the issue. So I don’t use presents and I don’t think I want to !

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My black and white work for the last 10 years has all been without a single preset and just processed by eye, it’s all very consistent and apart from the blacks getting deeper with the mood of the scene or my mood they just seem to work !

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I am not sure I will pursue colour in to 2018 but if I do I think I need to start to learn Colour Grading for Style ! The downside to this is every film ever made is colour graded for that style of film ! So for me to colour grade and try and find a unique colour style is a pain in the arse ! It used to be so much easier with Film !

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You might have noticed there were quite a few rainbows in Scotland this month !

I have just sold quite a few cameras and lenses and started to reduce my Fujifilm kit to make way for possibly the GFX50s but am still deciding. However I have now brought an XT20 and sold my X-T2. The X-T2 was great but I just do not need it anymore because I am stopping shooting events. The X100F and the X-T20 and the XPro2 work so well together and do have more consistency as they all have the same sensor so I might look in to Colour Style over the next three months and give you more details at the end of the project. I know this combination of cameras works so who knows.

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I do feel at the moment I will be returning to Black and White next year, but we shall see.

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