22 November 2012


What is it they say?

I think what They say is "never work with animals or children". Well never mind that, They also say something about being booted out of the magic circle if you give away your tricks. Since I'm not a member, I thought I'd put these up in a spirit of teaching / learning / demystifying / giving the game away and yada. What you see at the top is a RAW file converted without any post-processing at all to a JPEG. In other words, a picture pretty much straight out of the camera. Below is the image that is being used on the King's Head Theatre website to advertise what promises to be (and I'm not making this up - it really will be) a very entertaining show for children (of all ages, as They also say). So, what magic has been wrought? Well, there's the setting up of the picture (front room, cooperative neighbour and child - many thanks!), the sorting of camera settings, the backdrop, the explaining (though not too much explaining) of the idea behind the picture, the engaging with the subject, the clicking away and the moving on to post-production. Then there are the exposure changes, the sharpening, possibly a bit of Portrait Professional, some downloaded brushes, some colour changes, straightening, vignetting, superimposition of writing, experimentation with different fonts and colours for same, cropping and cloning and levels adjustments. There's iteration after iteration, experimentation with tones and black and white and other pictures and brushing off of stars and starting again and eventually, after all this, the pleasure of looking at a poster that is pleasing to the eye and will hopefully help the show towards totally selling out...
This post, by the way, is in lieu of finishing off a CD of pictures - the Canon Pixma iP4200 that I love so much isn't working (wow, bears + woods / Pope = Catholic etc), added to which the man in Rymans turns out may have been learning disabled and I am unable to (a) go and have a chat with him; and (b) sort out a replacement for all the useless things he sold me on the understanding that they were, explicitly, exactly what I needed. They weren't.

Family Portrait Session

Canon Pixma iP4200



I'll post an updated picture of the 'tache in due course. Really has reached new heights of hideousness. Ah well, only 8 days to go (!). Trimming - is it cheating?

21 November 2012


Interesting. After about 7 and a half years, I've hit Google's 1gb storage limit and now have to pay every month to keep adding to this blog. I didn't know there was a storage limit but anyway, there we are. I've opted for 25 gigs of storage from here on in so, at current usage, I'll have enough space to last me until I am 225 years old or thereabouts. However, purchase of a D800 might change all that...


In keeping with the 1920's theme I thought...

19 November 2012


I am getting "Drugs? Talk to Frank" ads from google here - I am taking it as a sign that my photography is coming on. Yip de dee.

Wedding Preparations

Why this one? Her eyes, her smile, her excitement and enjoyment of getting ready for her friend's Big Day. Her skin, hair, make up, and the light - the light! The colour palette, the continuation of tradition, her beauty, her youth, her pose, her natural expression.

Kid J Playing with a Space Craft

Why this? His expression, the light, the sunlight, the burnt out bright light... He's playing with a lego spacecraft built by his dad when his dad was a kid. His easy relaxed posture, his delight in being alive. The simplicity of the setting, the neat composition. The muted colour palette. The blinds. The shape of the chez long (sp?).

18 November 2012


Title, originally uploaded by patrickdodds1.

12 November 2012

Days of Splendour

Guardian Masterclasses

I'd love to go to this but unfortunately have a prior engagement. I went to this previously and have to say it was one of the best things I have ever done in my life. Period. What would have improved it (aside from better weather: it was atrocious) would have been my not getting so bloody excited by it all and running around like a puppy on cocaine, taking photos of everything and everyone - most of the photos I took were really pretty pedestrian. However, I learned a thing or two:
1. A press pass, a music festival and a camera is just about the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
2. Shooting bands from just in front of the stage - a bit dull really (I know, I know: sacrilege!).
3. Tell people you are from the Guardian and would like to take their picture and BOOM, on you go!
4. Did I mention how much fun it was, even in the pouring rain? IT WAS FUN!!! Major league fun.
That is all. Well, ok, here's another picture - silly and stoopid - it was meant to be from the Masterclass but I can't find the jpegs, only the NEFs, so we will have to make do and mend :-)


Richmond Park

From a Photo Session in Richmond Park the other day

It's a Movember thing

You can contribute to a men's health charity here

11 November 2012

Star Child

Imagination. Play. Creativity.

Worlds within Worlds


Star Child

Inner Worlds

Possible Publicity Pic for a King's Head piece in December

Forgive me Mother, for I have Sinned

Sorry, sorry sorry. I know I shouldn't have, but I just didn't see any alternative. I have (oh Lordy, forgive me please) come to Starbucks for my Sunday morning latte. I know, I know, they don't pay any tax and are the Devil's Spawn. And they still use the term "beverage" as if it confers some sort of status on the user. But you see Taylor Street still isn't open on Sundays (what must we do to ensure this I wonder) so ... so ... so that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. The drinks are still second rate, though they have at least admitted that hot milk does not a latte make and are actually adding some coffee now.

A couple of other points from the weekend so far: bicycling ain't for the faint hearted. My buttocks feel as if they went to Catholic school after yesterday's ride along the Thames. And secondly, if this isn't the best restaurant in London on a consistent basis then I'd like to know what is.

7 November 2012

Why People take Pictures

Cartier-Bresson once said that when he made a portrait he was "looking for the silence in somebody". Which resonates. Silently. 

BTW, and apropos of nothing at all, what's with the Christmas music in the cafes already? Also, Google, what's with the variable font size? Not that I mind too much, but, you know, a bit of notice :) 

5 November 2012

Whitstable - Straight Up

SOOC. Underexposed by 1 stop - that's the way I like my reality :)


"Jonathan Seagull discovered that boredom and fear and anger are the reasons that a gull’s life is so short and with these gone from his thought, he lived a long fine life indeed."
Richard Bach -  Jonathan Livingston Seagull

This was taken some time ago as part of a set of shots for a local authority fostering department. The woman in question is an employee of the local authority - I have no idea how the picture will be used in the end, but it may be that she is portrayed as a potential foster carer. Anyway, I liked the shot, hence here it is. A major reason I like it, and the reason it is here, is because this woman "got it"; that is to say, she understood what was required of her in terms of expression, body language and "attitude" when in front of the camera. Some of the others who came along on the day (mostly men, it must be said), simply didn't understand what was required: it seems to be the case that if you have to explain it, it won't work.

Apple Cart Festival redux

Impressions of Whitstable (after Moriyama)

Photos taken this morning. Why b&w? Mood. Experimentation. Joy. Paring away. Simplicity. Emotion.

2 November 2012

Photo Shoot Earlier Today

Family Photo Session, Part II: Taking Along the Fuji

So I know I've given it a lot of stick, and truly I haven't enjoyed using it much because there are so few pictures I have taken with it that I want to keep, but the X100 does have its uses and does, occasionally, come up with the goods, even if it isn't me taking the pictures... I bring it along sometimes so as to pass it on to a child or children to take some shots - it keeps their attention and stops them getting bored, and it helps them to engage with the photography I am doing. It can't hold attention for ever of course, but its size, weight and likeable looks mean it normally is a bit of a hit. Plus, as above, you get the odd shot that makes it all worthwhile. You can't afford to worry about it taking a few knocks but if you don't mind that, I'd really recommend it as a strategy on photography sessions involving children. By the way, of the three shots above, I only took the last one (the least accomplished...).