Friday, December 19, 2014

Art in glass photo story

In 2014 one of my highlights was photographing a glass blowing session, together with my wife and fellow photographer Magda, at Marcel Vlamynck's Art in Glass studio in Brugge, Belgium.

During the session I concentrated mainly on shooting still images but also took a moment to film Anneleen who was working together with her father, master glass artist, Marcel Vlamynck. She is a talented glass artist too.

The famous Flemish actor and photogenic artist, Luk D'Heu, a keen glassblower himself, was also there adding his good humoured comments to the ambiance.



Master glass artist Marcel Vlamynck and daughter Anneleen put the finishing touches to a vase while Flemish artist and actor Luk D'Heu looks on.

Master glass artist Marcel Vlamynck uses a wad of wet newspaper in his hand to shape a piece of molten glass.
Marcel and Anneleen examine a glass vase, glowing hot at around 1,000 °C, as he rolls his blowpipe on the rails of his work station. Gravity is used to help shape the glass.
When glass is at around 1,090 °C it glows orange. Marcel Vlamynck uses a tool to shape molten glass.
Marcel Vlamynck concentrates as he blows down a blowpipe (or blow tube) to inflate molten glass so that it forms a bubble (or parison).
Master glass artist Marcel Vlamynck clearly enjoys his work as he stands in front of the furnace waiting for his molten glass creation to reach the right temperature for the next stage of the process.
A tense moment as the glass vase Marcel is working on is transferred from his blowpipe to Anneleen’s ponty.
Master glass artist Marcel Vlamynck adds the finishing touches to Anneleen’s vase.
Marcel and Anneleen high-five each other with their heat resistant gloves in celebration after their glass creation is put into the annealer machine. There it will slowly cool down so that the glass is as free of stress as possible.

The video shows a number of other exciting still images from the session and selection of 22 images from are viewable on Flickr.

I hope you've enjoyed the photo story. Comments always welcome.

Till soon,
Paul


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

World War One Centenary

The video below shows a series of photographs I made in 2014 to tell the story of the centenary of the First World War. The images in the video plus more from this story, with full details about each image can be viewed on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/paulindigo/sets/72157648631424367

I recorded the Last Post live during the remembrance ceremony. The music accompanies the images I made at the Menin Gate, Ieper, Belgium.



Lest we forget...

Paul
www.indigo2photography.co.uk

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Steve McCurry Retrospective Exhibition Inverview

Steve McCurry was interviewed at his large new Retrospective exhibition in Monza, Italy. The exhibition features many of his iconic images but also new work, which he is proud to show for the first time.

The exhibition was designed by Peter Bottazzi to showcase McCurry's work in a way that compliments and establishes an interesting visual dialogue with the neoclassical Royal Villa.

As always Steve McCurry offers an interesting insight into his work and what it takes to be a photojournalist travelling the world. Enjoy.



Steve McCurry Retrospective Exhibition

Villa Reale di Monza
Viale Brianza, 1, 20052
Monza, Italy
199151140
http://www.mostrastevemccurry.it
October 30 - April 6, 2015

Thanks for watching.

Paul
www.indigo2photography.co.uk

Monday, October 27, 2014

Can image buyers pay less while artists earn more?


The answer is yes! Marketing departments, agencies, editors, art buyers, art directors and designers can all benefit from working directly with the artist.

The traditional route for an image buyer to find an image has been to go to a stock library or commission a photographer.

My top tip is to source and buy images direct from the artist. You will be able to negotiate a better deal than with a stock library and the artist will also be better off because they will not be giving up 50, 60 or even 80% of the selling price as commission to the stock library. The artist can afford to sell their work more cheaply than a stock library and still end up with more money in their pocket.

By dealing directly with the artist image buyers can licence an image under favourable terms, ensure competitors will not have the same image and perhaps even negotiate exclusivity. You will have direct access to authentic and original work.

There really are no barriers anymore for art buyers wanting to deal directly with artists.

How image buyers can gain the advantage:


  • Buy direct from the artist to save on budgets and reward the creators more fairly for their work
  • Use social media sites like Flickr to easily find the images you’re looking for from a vast, global pool of creative artists 
  • Online ecommerce and file transfer sites make transactions easy and secure, worldwide
  • Build a your own library of contacts and artists that you can rely on when working to tight deadlines
  • And last but not least: the pleasure of dealing with the artist directly, the creator.

So my plea to art buyers is: please consider buying direct from the artist.

If anyone reading this has any other tips for artists or art buyers I’d love to hear them. Feel free to join in the conversation.

Till soon,

Paul

www.indigo2photography.co.uk (we’re always happy to talk to art buyers looking for something specific)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Proof: Lynn Johnson on the Heroic Nature of Humanity

Photojournalist and National Geographic photographer Lynn Johnson shares her views on her work and what motivates her.

She is the recipient of awards including four World Press Photography Awards, seven Golden Quills for Photojournalism, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and Picture of the Year Award from the National Press Photographer Association.

For me her work really stands out because of the way she connects the viewer, in a direct and visceral way with the people that she photographs. Her images are elegant and beautiful but more importantly they give a voice to the people she photographs, helping them to tell their story.

Till soon,

Paul

www.indigo2photography.co.uk

Monday, October 06, 2014

Proof: Ed Kashi on the Greatest Work You'll Do

Being a photojournalist is challenging and difficult at times.

Emotionally it can also be a roller coaster. One day you're in harms way and the next you're sitting back at home in your normal environment. How do you reconcile the two worlds and what drives photojournalists to produce their best work. Ed Kashi puts it better than I could in the video below.




Hope you enjoyed that as much as did. Ed hits the nail on the head.

Back again soon.

Till then...

Paul
www.indigo2photography.co.uk

Saturday, August 09, 2014

A new venture

Well I've embarked on a new venture to sell prints of my work. Below is an embedded slide show generated from the content of my new website. There's plenty more to see and new work is added daily.

Fine  art prints are available on paper, canvas, metal and acrylic, and greeting cards, you can even get a custom iPhone case. So feel free to go crazy.

I'd very much value your feedback on the images, the website and experience of buying work. Naturally I hope you see something you'd like in your living room or as present for a special someone.

Art Prints

Thanks for taking a look.

Paul
http://paul-indigo.artistwebsites.com/

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Respect your pixels


Daily I see so many images that have been ruined by heavy handed manipulation. The thing that really makes me sad is when I see a great image, lots of emotion, good light and a powerful composition that has been destroyed by poor editing.

I prefer to subtly enhance an image but keep it real. The example above shows a RAW file out of my camera (Before) and the (After) image following a few minutes of work. It's about gentle touches.

Great images are just like calamari. If you overcook them, they become very tough to get through and unpalatable.

My plea: respect your pixels.

Till soon,
Paul
www.indigo2photography.co.uk

Saturday, July 12, 2014

7 Photojournalism Tips by Reuters Photographer Damir Sagolj





Great video. There's really not much I can add. Excellent advice. Watch, enjoy and learn.


"What are the key tips to shooting great news photography? This video by award-winning Reuters photographer Damir Sagolj, compiled by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, share his seven ideas on how to shoot news photos that engage audiences and tell a great story. More on www.trust.org"

Creative director: Claudine Boeglin
Producer: Amelia Wong
Designer: by Ye Li

Till soon,

Paul

www.indigo2photography.co.uk

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Freedom to use natural light

Ed Kashi stands out as a photojournalist who has an extraordinary ability to empathise with the people in his stories.

He eloquently explains, in the video below, how modern digital cameras have enabled him to work with natural light, removing many of the technical constraints that stood in the way of capturing meaningful images.

The more photographers fiddle with gear the less able they are to build a rapport with their subjects and discover the visual possibilities in a scene.

The interview is crammed with good advice. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.



The key for a photographer is knowing when to use extra lighting like flash and when to grab the moment. There is no formula. The guiding principle has to be to continually ask the question, "how do I capture the visual essence of the story?" Don't just look. Really see. Strip away everything that is not essential, everything that gets in the way and be concise and clear.

Till soon,
Paul
www.indigo2photography.co.uk

Sunday, June 22, 2014

New work

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. I certainly hope that is the case with my blog which I've not updated for a while. It's been a busy time. What can I say?

The focus for a creative should always be on producing new work. It's so easy these days to become absorbed in social media, responding and sharing. Social media interaction definitely has its place in our lives but the priority must be on creating and shipping work. If we're all about socialising then nothing new is going to be made, or the quality of the work we produce will suffer.

It's a good thing to take oneself out of the loop for a period of time.

New content is planned and you'll see more stuff from me regularly again.

Here are three images from recent stories that I've been working on.


Willemsson

Willem Vermandere

The Vanlancker brothers in their factory

Till soon,
Paul

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Help on the road

Katelijne Van de Velde in her deli, Pasta Huys, a word play in Flemish, on "pasta house".
Katelijne came to our rescue when, starving after a long day photographing, we arrived in her shop just before closing time. Ahead of us that evening we had another shoot lined up, photographing a concert. There was nothing else open in the neighbourhood.

We thought we were going to go hungry that evening but Magda chatted to Katelijne and by the time I got back from fetching our car a lovely shrimp risotto dish and a glass of wine was waiting for us at the table. After a delicious meal we asked if we could make a portrait.

It’s lovely when you’re on the road and you meet people willing to go the extra mile, like the owner of the Pasta Huys who stayed open specially to accommodate two hungry photographers.

Till soon,
Paul
www.indigo2photography.co.uk

PS. If you're ever in Beernem, Belgium, drop in. You can visit her website here http://www.pastahuys.be/

Monday, May 05, 2014

Improving your photographic knowledge


Improving your photographic knowledge goes beyond knowing the technical stuff. Making images has never been enough for me. I always want to know more about the people and places I'm photographing. Driven by curiosity. I'm convinced that photographers who understand their subjects make better pictures.

Having knowledge and understanding adds depth to your images. It gives you a point of view which you want to show and communicate.

About this image: De Moeren 

The polder was drained in the 17th century by the Flemish Renaissance architect, engineer, painter, antiquarian, numismatist and economist, Wenceslas Cobergher, using a network of channels and twenty windmills.

The original wooden mills were later replaced by stone mills that used an Archimedes screw to draw water up and feed it into the drainage channels. The stone mills have now been replaced by modern pumping stations.



I'll be uploading more images taken during this trip. Here is a picture of one of the famous stone mills, which was saved after an extensive renovation project.


It's a fascinating area and well worth a visit.

Till soon,
Paul
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/paul_indigo


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Selling your vision


I think photographers should not be selling the act of taking a picture. They should sell their vision, their ability to communicate an idea, to persuade and touch people's lives in a direct visceral way.

It's not just about being able to make a composition, lighting or even being able to get on with people, and least of all the ability to press the shutter button on a piece of high tech equipment.

Till soon,
Paul
www.indigo2photography.co.uk

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Essential Tips for Photographing Strangers

I can't remember ever coming across a photographer who said they find it easy to go up to a complete stranger in the street to ask to take a photograph. I hope the tips below will help you overcome this perfectly natural reaction and improve your chances of persuading a stranger to agree to be photographed.


Right, let's get straight down to it then. Think about what you're doing and put yourself in the other person's place. What would your reaction be to someone coming up to you in the street? This mindset can help you, not only approach people but also to take a better picture. The key to a good portrait is empathy with your subject.


Intention

Be clear and open about your intention. Approach people from an angle where they can see you coming. Don't sneak up on someone from behind and tap them on the shoulder. Giving them a fright is not a great start.

Your camera should be visible. It's a clue about your intention and allows the person you're about to ask to prepare themselves. From the moment they see you coming they're doing a risk assessment and wondering what you want. Your camera is one of the visual clues they'll use to judge the situation. Muggers, beggers and sales people don't usually carry cameras.


If you have an outlandish fashion sense you may want to reign it in. People judge you by the way you look. Dress like the subjects you want to photograph to blend in with the crowd. Having said that, a quirky element can make you look 'arty' and interesting. Just don't over do it.

Take off your sunglasses when you speak to people. We all know how important it is to be able to see someone's eyes.

If you're photographing in a foreign country then take the time to study local culture and customs to ensure you do not do anything that could cause offence. Be aware of how close you are standing next to your subject. Don't invade their space and take care with your gestures and body language.

Location and time

Taking an extreme example to illustrate this point, if you approach someone in a dark alley, late at night, you're going to be seen as far more of a threat than in broad daylight in a very public place. 


Don't corner people in a place where they may feel uncomfortable. If you have a good location that is a bit off the beaten path you first have to earn your subject's trust before you can ask them to accompany you to your wonderfully photogenic spot.

Even if someone does agree to pose, if they feel uncomfortable, it will show in your image and possibly spoil the shot.

Conversation

Keep your introduction short and to the point. Introduce yourself and explain why you would like to take their photograph and how you intend to use the image. These are the key questions that people generally want to know. If you come across as open and straightforward, people will have more confidence in you than if they have to drag all the answers out of you.

Travel photographers can benefit from employing a local guide, who can translate and open a conversation with the person you would like to photograph.

Also remember that you are asking people to give you their time, however brief. You're taking their picture. They're giving you a gift so the least you can do is thank them. Using bit of charm also goes a long way but don't overdo it. Just behave normally and be courteous. I always offer to email my picture to the person I have photographed and have met some very interesting people this way.


A final point. If someone says no then accept it gracefully. There are plenty of other people in the world to photograph.

If you feel this article has been useful then please share it on your social media networks.

Till soon,
Paul
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/paul_indigo

My wife and fellow professional photographer, Magda Indigo, finishes a spontaneous group portrait in Antwerp. We love meeting people and talking to them.





Sunday, February 16, 2014

Photographs that connect with the viewer

What does in take to produce images that connect with the viewer on a deeper level. There are plenty of technically good photographs and we look at them and say, "Yes, that's nice." But to produce an image that stops the viewer in their tracks and really makes them look and ask questions is a much greater challenge.

One of my favourite photographers, Joe McNally, interviewed by Scott Kelby for The Grid, shares his insights, knowledge and experience gained over many years working for magazines including Life and National Geographic.

I found this interview really interesting because it addresses key issues about understanding your subjects, building a relationship with them and focusing on telling the story. Too many photographers are obsessed with the technical aspects. Digital makes it easy to walk in, get some superficially attractive images and walk out again, missing the essence of the subject.

Without further ado, over to Joe and Scott in one of the best interviews I've seen with a photographer in a really long while.

Enjoy!

Till soon,
Paul
www.indigo2photography.co.uk





Friday, February 07, 2014

What motivates this group of the world's best photographers?

I highly recommend viewing this video, Women of Vision, with 11 of the top National Geographic photographers discussing their work and what motivates them. Before this interview several of them had never met. They're always off somewhere in the world on assignment so to get them all together in one place must have been a challenge.

PHOTOGRAPHERS:
Lynsey Addario
Kitra Cahana
Jodi Cobb
Diane Cook
Carolyn Drake
Lynn Johnson
Beverly Joubert
Erika Larsen
Stephanie Sinclair
Maggie Steber
Amy Toensing

MODERATOR:
Ann Curry


Hope you enjoyed that as much as I did.

Till soon,
Paul
www.indigo2photography.co.uk

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Capturing Those Moments

National Geographic photographer, William Albert Allard, talks about the role that passion, caring about the subject matter and serendipity have played in his photography. You can't think about every detail when you're in the moment, you have to react intuitively. This is the type of photography that I love too.

Of course you have ideas of what you'd like to do, but when you arrive in a situation, you need to be open to what's happening and react. As Allard says, the difference between an average picture and great image can be a matter of inches; I'd say millimetres.

Hope you enjoy this clip as much as I did.


Thanks for reading and watching.

Till soon,
Paul
www.indigo2photography.co.uk

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Photographers on Photography


In this video you will see an enlightening, entertaining and informative series of short interviews with National Geographic photographers talking about what photography means to them, the power of the image and why their life style suits them so well.

Photography can change the world.

The photographers are:

Lynsey Addario
William Albert Allard
James Balog
Marcus Bleasdale
Jodi Cobb
David Doubilet
David Guttenfelder
David Alan Harvey
Aaron Huey
Lynn Johnson
Ed Kashi
Tim Laman
David Littschwager
Gerd Ludwig
Michael Nichols
Paul Nicklen
Randy Olson
Jim Richardson
Joel Sartore
Stephanie Sinclair
Brian Skerry
Brent Stirton
Amy Toensing
Michael Yamashita

I'm sure you'll enjoy this as much as I did.

Thanks for watching,

Paul
www.indigo2photography.co.uk

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Why I chose the Canon EOS 6D

My main camera bag
In 2006 I switched from Nikon to Canon. I was tired of waiting for Nikon to bring out a full frame DSLR. The camera I had been waiting for from Nikon, the D700 was eventually launched in July 2008 but by then I’d invested in Canon gear.

My trusty Canon 5D has been my companion through many an adventure and has consistently provided portfolio quality images which have met the most rigorous demands of publishers and agencies. Mind you, images shot with my first DSLR, the 6 megapixel Nikon D70 are still selling through stock libraries. It’s not about megapixels!

My wife, professional photographer Magda Indigo stayed with Nikon. She bought the Nikon D7000 when it came out. In 2011 I also invested in a D7000. I wanted to try filming with a DSLR and really liked the ergonomics and handling of the Nikon, as well as the superb quality, which matches that of the 5D full frame. The D7000 is fast, light to carry and a I thoroughly enjoyed shooting with my old Nikon prime lenses from my film days; 24mm and 85mm, as well as using the new Nikon 50mm and versatile 18-105mm lenses.

For a while I have worked simultaneously with Nikon and Canon systems but it was becoming a lot to lug around and with baggage limitations on flights, also a logistical challenge. In terms of quality there’s nothing to choose between the two brands. Photographers make images, not cameras. Having said that, certain cameras offer more versatile options and help you achieve better image quality.

I have a superb range of Canon L lenses. This ultimately was the reason for choosing a Canon DSLR. Having made that decision the next one was, which Canon DSLR? I like working with full frame.

Why the  Canon EOS 6D instead of the EOS 5D MK III?


  • It costs significantly less than the 5D MKIII.
  • The 6D has the same chip and offers a slightly better image quality in lab conditions than the EOS 5D MKIII (in practical terms nobody will see the difference).
  • The 6D offers slightly better dynamic range (0.4 f stops), and better low light performance (less noise). I like shooting in available light and the 6D is a class leader in DSLRs in this category so an important plus point for me.
  • The body is slightly smaller and 20% lighter, but when you stick a heavy L lens on the camera does it make all that much real world difference? I’m not sure that it does.
  • The built in wifi and ability to shoot remotely from a smartphone or tablet is a pleasant feature.
  • Built in GPS is nice for travel photos.

The 6D is designed for portrait and travel photographers which is what I do. If I shot sport or fast moving wildlife then having more autofocus points, faster reaction times and frame rates of the 5D III would perhaps have swayed the decision in its favour. As it stands there is nothing in the extra features of the 5D III that would merit spending the extra cash, which I’d rather use to to fund travel to places where I can make new images.

I hope that my story illustrates that choosing the right equipment very much depends on what you want to do, your budget and how you have built your system up over time. If you are starting out then think about the whole system that you would like to buy into. You can’t go wrong with any of the major brands, so it comes down to personal preference. Lenses are the single most important component of your system and over time you will find yourself using less and less gear. At the moment I am now only using three lenses with my 6D, which I am enjoying, and I have the 5D MK1 as my backup. If I need more equipment for a shoot I hire it.

I am certainly not obsessed with having the latest and 'best' of everything. Good images are made by photographers not cameras. Keep it simple.

Till soon,
Paul
www.indigo2photography.co.uk/paul-portfolio.htm