A Selection of Excellence from The Leica Meet (4)

This weeks top shots from The Leica Meet Flickr group.

Andrea Bianco

Andrea Bianco

Urtaur

Urtaur

Tobi Gaulke

Tobi Gaulke

Sung Soo Lee

Sung Soo Lee

Steve Lee

Steve Lee

Stephen Cosh

Stephen Cosh

Spyro Zarifopolous

Spyro Zarifopolous

Paul Borg Olivier

Paul Borg Olivier

Michael Walker-Toye

Michael Walker-Toye

Gavin Mills

Gavin Mills

Mark Hall

Mark Hall

Makka Kesuma

Makka Kesuma

Johannes Huwe

Johannes Huwe

Haoming Wang

Haoming Wang

Gavin Mills

Gavin Mills

DonStevie

DonStevie

Dirk Vogel

Dirk Vogel

Benya Acame

Benya Acame

Axel Wohlbold

Axel Wohlbold

If you would like your photo removed from this article, please contact me via this blog.

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Get a Project

Some years ago when I got my first camera I was happy to shoot pretty much anything, perhaps that random experimentation helped me to find out exactly what I enjoyed shooting but after a while I found that I was still yet to develop a style or a clear vision of where my photography was going.

Finding a project can be a good way to focus and develop your photography in many ways.  It can help to express your own thoughts and views and develop a deeper understanding of your chosen subject. Often by narrowing yourself down to defined subject it can help creativity as after a while if you keep shooting the same thing you’re going to look for new interesting ways to shoot it which makes you think outside the box.

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There are no rules to shooting a personal project unless you want them, no deadlines no set amount of images. Remember it’s your project if you decide you want to quit halfway through that’s ok to.
First choose a concept it can be absolutely anything from, Trees, to tattoos, coffee grinders to camper vans. It could even be something more abstract like an emotion or feeling.
Whatever it is that you feel like exploring, then once you’ve got your concept just get out there and start shooting its as simple as that.

10 ideas for a photography project

1. 100 Strangers
This is a great one if you want to have a go at street portraits and for building confidence in going up to complete strangers on the street. It’s a great ice breaker when you tell the person that’s what your doing

2 . Shooting from the Hip
Shooting from the hip is usually pretty inaccurate, maybe that was also true for the cowboys in the movies who shot their guns that way. But actually that slight random factor is what makes it more interesting and can often create great shots by accident. Taking the viewfinder out of the equation means you just have to go by your instincts and it creates a fresh perspective on your composition.

3. Alphabet
Whist walking through Camden Market at our recent meet I came across a shop in the Market that sold pictures of different letters of the Alphabet. Most of the letters were abstract like an aerial view of beer glass to represent an O or a coat hook to represent a K . It’s a good project to develop an eye to see things in another way and it also helps develop the creative side of the brain.

4. Architecture
Shoot the beautiful buildings around your city at all different times of the day. You’re sure to find some buildings you’ve never noticed before.
One of the benefits of doing a project on Architecture is that is can help observe and capture strong structured lines. Exploring how perspective and angle can change an architectural element can be interesting plus it will also come in handy when you have a person or object in the foreground and you want to get the best from architecture in the background.

5. Watching Windows
One that I’ve seen on Flickr and is almost a genre of street photography in its own right. Capturing behind glass, perhaps someone sitting in a Café eating lunch or somebody sitting on a bus, maybe even a person working in a store thats dressing the window. It takes a bit of courage to get in close but often that’s a way of getting the best reaction.

6. Song Lyrics
Take a song that you like and try and make a set of images to go with that song. Once you have shot all the images you can make a slide show to go with the music. You can also use the same idea to go with a poem.

7. A Day in the Life
Ask a friend or somebody that you find interesting and shoot their whole day. You could also do this for a group of people. L1061318

8. Social Issues
Find a social issue that’s important to you and take photos to highlight that issue. Perhaps like my own current project of shooting and talking to homeless people around my city, or difficulties for elderly or handicapped people. You could try working with local charities and find a way to use your photography to help a cause or even an individual. I greatly admire the work of Jim Mortram http://smalltowninertia.co.uk

9. Lines
This could be pictures of roads or railways lines, footprints in the snow or sand, a pathway through the woods even people waiting in line. Lines are everywhere around us so the possibilities are endless.

10. Shoot in the style of…
Choose a specific photographer whose work really inspires you and try shooting in their style. Recently I was asked to do a shoot for someone who greatly admires the work of Dutch photographer Anton Cobijn and asked me if I could make an image in this kind of style. It was an education looking closer at his work .

These are just a few ideas possible photography project that I hope might inspire. If you have some other interesting ideas that you’d like to share with us please add them into the comments. Or if you’re working on a project you’d like to share post a link in the comments or you can submit it to us at the Leica Meet and perhaps we’ll run a feature on it .

A Selection of Excellence from The Leica Meet (3)

This weeks top shots from The Leica Meet Flickr group.

@paul@

@paul@

Antonio Sanchez-Barriga

Antonio Sanchez-Barriga

Bill McCarroll

Bill McCarroll

Camelot98

Camelot98

Christine de Loë

Christine de Loë

Daniel Suharya

Daniel Suharya

Gireesh G V

Gireesh G V

Haoming Wang

Haoming Wang

Johannes Huwe

Johannes Huwe

Olaf Willoughby

Olaf Willoughby

Rod Higginson

Rod Higginson

Sorin Vidis

Sorin Vidis

Sung Soo Lee

Sung Soo Lee

Sung Soo Lee

Sung Soo Lee

Thomas Skov

Thomas Skov

Tobi Gaulke

Tobi Gaulke

If you would like your photo removed from this article, please contact me via this blog.

A Selection of Excellence from The Leica Meet (2)

This weeks top shots from The Leica Meet Flickr group.

Alex B Muir

Alex B Muir

Camelot98

Camelot98

Frédéric Lanoizelé

Frédéric Lanoizelé

Haoming Wang

Haoming Wang

Johannes Huwe

Johannes Huwe

jonathanliewys

jonathanliewys

Julien Ducenne

Julien Ducenne

Keith Goldstein

Keith Goldstein

Lane 4 Imaging

Lane 4 Imaging

Lillo Cabrera

Lillo Cabrera

Mark Heaver

Mark Heaver

Rick Bronks

Rick Bronks

Stephen Starkman

Stephen Starkman

Sung Soo Lee

Sung Soo Lee

Tobias Gaulke

Tobias Gaulke

Win Soegondo

Win Soegondo

If you would like your photo removed from this article, please contact me via this blog.

Could the D in DSLR come to stand for dinosaur?

sshhhh

It all started back in July when Trey Ratcliff, of Stuck in Customs fame blogged about swapping his D800 for a Nex7. Now I can hear you protesting already, ‘Trey Ratcliff, isn’t he the guy who pioneered those ultra vivd HDR pics and all that deliberate keystoning? Yuk. We’re serious about our photography, that’s horrible, we don’t do that’. Well of course, we’re all entitled to our opinion. But with over 10 million followers on social media, clearly he has his finger on the pulse of global popular culture to a degree unmatched by any other photographer ever. In terms of marketing and camera industry trends he would be a ‘disruptive innovator’, someone whose view counts in looking at tipping points. He is now moving to the new 36 MP, Sony A7R.

Now let’s fast forward to last week, 26th October 2013 and another famous and popular website, Luminous Landscape. Michael Reichmann, fresh from the PDN Photo Plus show in New York has written a piece titled, “Staying Alive”. To quote directly, ‘Over-all, dealers whom I spoke with report that sales are down and have been for a few years now. Replacement and upgrade sales are in the doldrums. Buyers aren’t terribly motivated…’. I’ve been to the Antarctic twice with Michael and I know him to be a very savvy commentator on the industry.

He also refers to the lack of smart innovation amongst the major players (Canon and Nikon), the success of the Sony Nex series and probably their new A7R plus Olympus and Panasonic. I guess I might include Fuji in there too, as a maker of interesting cameras.

Pulling together these and other threads I’m getting the impression that battleship DSLR kits are journeying down a cul de sac. When they look around to make sure their little competitors are all trotting along obediently behind, there will be no-one there. They all turned off long ago. Could DSLR’s be in danger of becoming dinosaurs? Specialist tools for professional sports, wildlife and architectural photographers? Even then with the speed at which technology advances, this might only apply to the short to mid term.

The bigger picture seems to be DSLR’s being squeezed on both sides. Ahead of them medium format. More expensive but depending upon the digital back, with an image quality superior or at least equal to a D800. I’ve owned a Phase One P45+ and although I could never get on with the camera, the back and its output were superb. Behind them, the charging hordes of smaller, lighter, cheaper cameras increasingly able to match and perhaps beat the DSLR’s for image quality and functionality. Just consider. My wife’s Nikon V1 has a 73 point AF array and in manual mode can shoot 60fps. It may be unthinkable currently but how long before this technology spreads to full frame cameras and squeezes into the sports and wildlife niches?

Even more unthinkable, what if there is whole generation coming along who don’t worship technical quality? What if they love the roughness of Instagram? What if filters trump Photoshop? Kirk Tucker writes brilliantly on this in an article called, ‘The graying of traditional photography’.   As if to prove the point, the iPhone was introduced 7 years ago. Recently National Geographic shooter Jim Richardson used it for an essay on Scotland.

So if the industry is at a tipping point where does that leave us and our Leicas? On the positive side, Leica Camera AG has bounced back financially from the troubles of 2004. It doubled turnover to Euros 300m in 2012 and seems to be in good health as items in the product range are often over subscribed. On the negative side we see this report from Die Welt, ‘Leica’s Nightmare is Sony’.

I am way out of my depth in criticising one of Europe’s leading newspapers but IMHO they have missed the point. The reason for buying a Leica, especially an M series, is the use of a rangefinder, the quality of the glass, the heft of the camera, how it challenges us to make instead of take pictures. Whilst the Sony A7R will undoubtedly be a technological tour de force, the positioning is entirely different. It is jam packed with functions and features. Conceptually it is much closer to a DSLR and is an obvious direct competitor for the D800/E. I believe the headline should have read, ‘Nikon and Canon’s Nightmare is Sony’.

So what are some of the likely outcomes? Personally I doubt that many will actually sell and replace their M’s with an A7R but some may buy the Sony body as a back up with a lens adaptor. So Leica may benefit from increased sales of lenses here and also from Sony owners who want higher performance lenses. Where Leica could lose out is if the A7R revolutionises the market by setting a new price/weight/performance benchmark and sales of Leica compact cameras suffer. Even then this would be mitigated by Leica brand values. That red dot has a certain pulling power which is able to sustain premium prices and to an extent this changes buyer behaviour in a way which Die Welt seem to have missed.

Having said all that, these are just some personal views shared with friends on The Leica Meet Group. I’d love to hear how you see this developing situation. Oh and one more thing… last week I ebayed my D800 and three lenses.

Olaf

A Selection of Excellence from The Leica Meet (2)

This weeks top shots from The Leica Meet Flickr group.

Axel Wohlbold

Axel Wohlbold

Benya Acame

Benya Acame

Win Soegondo

Win Soegondo

Turodrique Fuad

Turodrique Fuad

Sung Soo Lee

Sung Soo Lee

Steve Lee

Steve Lee

Stephen Cosh

Stephen Cosh

Rob Steele

Rob Steele

Marc Hartog

Marc Hartog

Marc Hartog

Marc Hartog

Johannes Huwe

Johannes Huwe

Jason Howe

Jason Howe

Giuseppe De Santis

Giuseppe De Santis

Gianluca Federighi

Gianluca Federighi

Gavin Mills

Gavin Mills

Ferenc Simicz

Ferenc Simicz

Elie Bescont

Elie Bescont

Daniel Novello

Daniel Novello

camelot98

camelot98

If you would like your photo removed from this article, please contact me via this blog.