Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Found object: Video - light painting

If you've ever tried painting with light - combining long exposures with the use of a hand-held light source to etch shapes/words/colours into the air - you'll know what great fun it is.

Typically, you might trace around people or objects, using a torch or a flash gun - and the technique relies on the principle that during a long exposure (anything from a couple of seconds through to several hours), a moving object (the light) will record as a blur whilst static objects remain, well, static.

Commonly, we see this in 'light trail' pictures of cars travelling along a road at night.

I came across this short video recently, which is perhaps one of the best examples I've seen of how you can take things one step further.


And if you want to know how they did it, take a look at this behind-the-scenes video as well:

This has given me some great inspiration for a forthcoming shoot - I hope you get something out of it, too!

Monday, 7 June 2010

Introducing: GBP:Workshop

Finally, the official announcement!

As many of you may know, I've been quietly working away behind the scenes, putting together a brand new series of workshops aimed at anyone who is keen to learn, explore and improve upon their interest in photography.

The premise is simple: Beginners' guides assume too much knowledge, which means people reading them often end up none-the-wiser. They don't want to be bombarded by photo-jargon - they just want to know what they should be doing in order to improve their image making. Is that really so much to ask?

With this in mind, I've developed the
all-new GBP:Workshop - a series of one-off, 4-hour sessions, centred around a simplified hands-on approach to learning the basics of photography.

GBP:Workshop isn't:
  • Jargon-filled, alienating, uncomfortable
  • Pre-learned knowhow required
  • Vanity lecture disguised as a workshop
  • Uneasy silences in an echoey room
  • 'Keep up or catch up!' mentality
  • Desk-based series of how-to instructions

GBP:Workshop is:
  • Fun, small, group-led participation
  • Run by a professional photographer
  • Tailored to you; bring your own camera
  • The basics, to get you up and running
  • Practical skills which actually matter
  • Step-by-step, topic-by-topic, learn-as-you-go
  • 'Snap and see' hands-on tasks
  • Legible workshop notes and reference material
  • Project ideas for continued learning
  • Online support

I've never been a fan of the way so many seminars and workshops are based around the mentality of 'take the money, teach and run'. For this reason
GBP: Workshop offers on-going support in the form of online discussion; after the workshop, you and your fellow attendees simply upload your pictures to a designated private online album and there we can talk over your progress and any ongoing questions you might have.

Of course, there's no pressure on you to do this, but I'm sure it'll be of benefit - and besides which, it's a great way to network with fellow enthusiasts!

To get the ball rolling, the first workshop I'm running is SLR Startup - which covers the basics of how to master the key functions of your digital SLR camera in order to consistently get the striking results you want.

Details of this workshop, location and prices can be found here.

If you have any questions, please drop me an email or post them in the comments section below (this would really benefit all those interested!).

Alternatively, you can always catch up with me on Facebook or Twitter (hint: you can search my related tweets using #gbpworkshop).

Edit: Here's some feedback from someone who recently had some 1-to-1 tuition with me:

"I hired Giles for a morning's practical photography refresher course to improve my skills and get to grips with a new digital SLR. Giles explained everything in a non-techie way which has really helped me to get the most out of my new camera and take much better images as a result. I would recommend Giles to anyone looking for a photography workshop or one to one training session."

New GBP website

Things have been a little quiet around these parts recently. Have you noticed? There is good reason for this, however...

It is with great excitement and relief that I can now officially make today's first big announcement... My brand new website is now live!

Want to check it out straight away? Be my guest.

This has been a long time coming, not least of all because I have had other work, projects and commitments to attend to, but at long last I once again have a site which I am proud to direct people to (not like the previous incarnation, which I voiced my thoughts about here). Even judging by the screen grab I attached in that post, I hope you'll agree that my latest site is a vast improvement!

So, what's new? Well, the first thing you will notice is the background colour - I've done away with black (eek!) and gone for a nice, clean white appearance. This in itself fits much more with the tone of my approach to things these days, and ties in nicely with my Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.

But by far and away the largest change has been the overall content - and, specifically, how to access it. The previous site was so complicated, with far too many links and far too many hidden pages which required multiple click-through navigation. Now, I have stripped it down to the bare essentials - a simple 6-link menu bar affair, based around a portfolio system. Much gentler on the eye and an absolute minimum amount of text for visitors to read!

You may remember that I previously included a link to my newsletter archive. Well, that still exists, but is instead accessed by a link on the Contact page, which directs you to a simplified list of all previous newsletters - with the most recent edition at the very top.

The Contact page itself is exactly that, detailing all the ways you can get in touch with me.

The Blog page? Well... clicking on that menu link brings you right to the front page of this here blog!

A new addition this time around is the Bio page - just a few lines of background info and a mug shot of yours truly.

But what about pictures? Obviously, this is the main area I addressed; it was well documented that I had far too much text versus imagery on the old site, so the balance has shifted dramatically, to put it right back where it should be.

The first thing you notice, landing on the Home page, is a slideshow of pictures, nice and big, plain and simple. The Portfolio page now houses six images, which act as links through to individual galleries for the following areas: PR/Advertising, Location, Lifestyle/Outdoor, Event, Wedding and People. Each of these open up to show a slideshow (featuring full-screen HD view, if that tickles your fancy) and thumbnail guide to all pictures in the collection.

And that's it.

Well, apart from the simplified Client Area, which remains essentially the same in its purpose - to supply my lovely clients with their pictures in the hours and days which following a shoot.

I'd like to know what you think (surprised? Come on, you know me well enough by now!). Feedback so far has been really positive (thanks to everyone who has chipped in already) - but I am still encouraging more people to stand up and drop me their thoughts either in an email or in the comments section below this post.

Right, now to prepare for today's second big announcement!