Looking for a wedding photographer?

When Thomas Hawk had a less than satisfactory experience with a family photographer he blogged about it and the resulting discussion is interesting because there are comments from customers and photographers. The problem is that photographs own the copyright of any images they take. They don’t have to give the customer digital files because part of the revenue stream photographers depend on is making prints. The reasoning goes that the customer can make as many prints as they want if they had the files.

If you think portrait photography is over-priced, consider for a moment the investment the photographer has made in equipment, time, insurance, salaries and other expenses. They have to make a living too. Chris Garrett provides his own views on the matter with some good advice:

  1. Discuss beforehand your requirements (both Photographer and client)
  2. Provide the option of work-for-hire rather than traditional portrait shoot.

My own experiences with a photographer were much more positive. We hired Mike English to shoot our wedding after making enquiries of many other photographers. Mike is based in Cork and works from home so he can keep his costs down, a bonus when you’re paying for an expensive wedding. From the moment we met him he was pleasant and patient, answering our questions and showing us prints of past weddings. Most importantly, he’s very good at what he does. We have great memories and photos of the day and he gave us the digital files so I can work on the photos in my own time and compile a wedding album myself. Oh, and his son shot the video and did a great job, without a huge halogen lamp beaming down on the dance floor. I still cringe when I see my speech however!

All the technology in the world…

After the leaked picture of the Canon 30D I think we were all relieved when the real thing really didn’t have buttons for wine and beer. It didn’t make coffee so I can just imagine inebriated journalists running around a war zone.. “What the Duck” does have a camera that makes coffee but it doesn’t improve compositional skills in any way whatsoever. :)

It would be nice to have a coffee-making camera while out and about though, wouldn’t it?

How is Cork changing?

Bryan Person asked me How is Cork changing? Where does your obvious passion for street photography come from?

How is Cork changing?

  • The streets of the city centre are being rebuilt and modernised. The sewage system was overhauled and the River Lee is clean(er) again.
  • There are more cars on the road now than you can “shake a stick at”. Everyone seems to have 2 cars and the best of everything. There’s a huge line of credit coming from the banks.
  • Time was when you could walk around Cork on Sunday afternoons and not see many people, this was less than 10 years. Now Sunday is as busy as any day. There hasn’t been this many people living in Ireland since the famine in the 1840’s. People are actually emigrating to Ireland, not out of Ireland.
  • People are more positive about the future, there are more opportunities out there, but people are just as stressed and unhappy as they’ve always been. Perhaps more so as we’ve become wealthier.

Where does your obvious passion for street photography come from?
The simple answer is “other people”. The long answer expands on that. There are such a variety of people in the world, all going about their own business, all doing mundane things that they don’t give a moment’s thought to but if I capture it then that moment is there forever. That moment relaxing with a cigarette, walking down the street, talking on the phone, or even dancing! I see the moment and grab it before it gets away.

I have a hunger for recording events around me.

Jill Greenberg in the Sunday Times

Jill Greenberg’s infamous photos of children crying and upset are in today’s Sunday Times magazine in the article “Taking candy from a baby”. It’s unfortunate that such a reputable publication chose to publish the photos and I can only imagine the horrified response from parents as they sat down to breakfast with the newspaper this morning.

The article doesn’t say much, only summing up what we already know but the last paragraph disgusted me at the implication present in it for anyone who protests at her photography and methods.

Greenberg is appalled that some people even saw a sexual context to the pictures. “It didn’t even occur to me that people might think that. A lot of the people who’ve been upset are men. I don’t know if it’s because they project their own desires on these images and they don’t know what to do with them and blame me.”

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Welcome everyone from Net Mums. I’m glad you found your way here!

Making Beautiful Portraits

Photodoto published Making Portraits this morning which got me thinking more about my street photography tomorrow. I wonder will people pose on the street for me? Do I have the nerve to approach complete strangers, make them feel at ease, connect with them and take their photo?

I know I won’t need it when I’m outside tomorrow, but Strobist linked to a professional lighting setup for portraiture in a studio. Might come in handy later.

The venerable Philip Green’s portrait page is of course a good read. It’s been around for years and I’ve read it many times. If you haven’t browsed http://www.photo.net/learn/ yet then you’re missing out!

Finally, Anandtech’s Portrait Tutorial is good, includes examples but I wonder why their second photo was included. The poor girl has stone columns coming out of her shoulders, even when blurred!

Rawstudio – free cross-platform raw converter

Digital Photo School’s latest posting is about the eternal question, RAW Vs Jpeg? It’s a really good read and goes through “what a RAW file is .. compared to a Jpeg” which can be a bit mysterious if all you’re used to is uploading images straight from your camera!

The article was written in response to this discussion on Flickr on the same subject. I skimmed through the thread, but the very last comment pointed me at Raw Studio, a GPL licensed RAW converted for Linux, Windows and Mac and any other OS that supports GTK+.

It’s still rather new, being only at version 0.3 but I downloaded the very latest code from SVN and it worked fine. I pointed it at Matt’s RAW photos of my wedding and a few moments later up popped a thumbnail browser, preview window and side-panel controls. There are no automatic auto-exposure/auto-everything options but the auto-white balance worked perfectly.

It uses dcraw, the RAW conversion engine used by many projects, including Google’s Picasa (and no, there is no virus in the Linux version!) and my favourite GIMP RAW plugin, UFRaw. Linux RAW has a good overview of Linux software for working with RAW images.

At this early stage I’m very impressed!

rawstudio raw converter