I’m not much of a bookworm and it’s pretty rare for me to see a book that I really, really want. This, however, is the exception because it brings together two of my passions – photography (rather obviously), and cycling.
Here’s the blurb…
“Mountains: Epic Cycling Climbs, brings together a body of work by photographer Michael Blann into a luxury coffee table book. Photographed over a period of 3 years the work charts the most famous European climbs within the history of cycling. Using a high definition camera and often working from helicopters, the images demonstrate the beauty of these mountains, through all seasons and during the Grand Tours when the mountains and roads are transformed with the sights and sounds of millions of fans. Under pinning the work are essays from leading current and former professional cyclists including Romain Bardet, Greg LeMond, Stephen Roche, Geraint Thomas, Lizzie Armitstead, Robert Millar, Andy Hampsten, Ivan Basso, plus more, who recount their personal recollections and memories from within the pro peloton.”
What’s not to love? Fabulous photography and awesome cycle climbs. This is definitely at the top of my Christmas list!
The prestigious Art of Building photography competition is run by the Chartered Institute of Building and open to both professional and amateur photographers. It is an international showcase that seeks “to celebrate the creativity of the industry, the passion of the people who work within it, and the impact their work has on those who make use of the final construction”.
Matt Wain, an award-winning photographer himself, has sat on the judging panel for the last few years and is delighted to have been asked to judge the 2016 competition entries.
The selection process is rigorous and involves two levels of judging before the final winners are chosen by public vote. The first level sifts all the images into the correct categories and removes those that don’t fit the competition criteria. Matt’s involved in the second level of judging where the panel select finalist photography for the online vote and the highly commended shots. The overall winner is then chosen by the public.
If you’re thinking of entering the competition, here’s what the judging panel are looking for:
Is the photo an obvious illustration of the entered category theme?
Are the objects in the photo arranged in a meaningful, pleasing manner or are they haphazard? Did the photographer use the best angle or otherwise interesting perspective?
Is the object of the photo in focus? If not in sharp focus, does it appear to be an intentional effect to enhance the image in some artistic way?
Did the photographer use proper lighting of the subject matter? Do any extremes of darkness or brightness lend to or detract from the image content?
Does the photographer display some creative thought or original idea in the making of this image?
Would the imagery be suitable for use in Chartered Institute of Building printed and online publications?
Does the photographer’s summary adequately describe why the submission delivers the category criteria?
The competition will open for entries on the 17th October, the judging panel meet in December and the final winner will be announced next February.
Best of luck to all the entries from everyone at Matt Wain Photography.
Convincing a client to commission original, professional photographic images is not always easy. The temptation to go for the quick fix of a stock shot from an online image library is often too great. Unfortunately, what the client often doen’t realise is that image libraries base their fees on a great many criteria and costs can mount up very quickly, especially for multiple or exclusive use.
Remember also that once committed to using a library shot it’s not easy to go back. Using a stock shot on a long-running national or international campaign means that you could well find yourself staring at exactly the same image splashed across a competitor ad.
Businesses are always looking for ways to stand out from their competitors and investing in creative and original photography can do just that. Whether location shots, construction images or people shots a business can ensure that the images fit their brand and corporate message exactly. They also have the advantage of exclusivity – shots are taken of their location, their construction project, their people – not some generic and uninspiring image that’s been used over and again in competitor campaigns.
Once the decision to invest in a library of original images has been made, it’s important to ensure that you get exactly what you want. Take your time in choosing a photographer and be sure they understand your brief and your message clearly. A professional photographer, whether a London location photographer, industrial location photographer or professional business photographer, will be fully involved in the pre and post production process to ensure the budget is maximised and the brief adhered to. Paying attention to the pre shoot detail will ensure that the images are specific, on target and perfectly aimed at the audience.
Is it worth investing in a library of original, creative images? Absolutely!
I’m sticking with the sporting theme this week. A timely new exhibit in New York’s Brooklyn Museum is celebrating the art of sports photography and highlights sports photographers and their place in the history of photography.
Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present features more than 200 images chosen by distinguished photographic historian Gail Buckland, and includes the oldest known sports photograph dating back to 1843, through to images from the present day.
The exhibition brilliantly demonstrates how a single frame from a single moment can tell an incredible story. The art of capturing movement, emotion and personality in an image is demonstrated to the highest level and it’s well worth a look.
If you aren’t able to visit the exhibition then you can view some of the galleries on the CBS news website.
It’s not hard to be impressed by the talent, skill and sheer determination shown by the athletes in Rio this week, but I have to say that the gold medal won by the UK’s Adam Peaty in the 100m breaststroke final really blew me away. He swam it in 57.13 seconds!
To put his time into perspective, my teenage daughter competes in a district swimming club and they run a bronze/silver/gold/platinum system for timings which lists the platinum time for the 100m breaststroke at 1m 37.30s. He broke not only his own record but also the world record – an incredible achievement for the 21 year old.
When you have a child who competes in the same sport as a gold medal Olympian, it also makes you appreciate the training that Adam must have gone through to get to that point. I find it enough of a struggle to get Rosie to 4 training sessions a week!
I really hope that Adam’s story inspires more kids to take up swimming. It’s not only an excellent sport for physical fitness but also teaches discipline, teamwork and determination. When asked, my daughter will readily admit that joining a swim club was the best thing she’s ever done. I expect Adam feels exactly the same way.
Our warmest congratulations to Adam from everyone at Matt Wain Photography.
Whenever Matt is asked what he does, his response is always the same… “I photograph people… business people and people for advertising.” His answer is a fairly accurate reflection of his London based commercial video and photography business.
Matt’s unstaged style of shooting appeals to those corporate photography or commercial video clients looking for creative images that convey emotion, while keeping things natural.
Professional models make their living by looking natural in front of a camera, but when it comes to photographing ‘real’ people, keeping it natural can be very difficult, and capturing emotion and personality even harder. Matt has a talent for putting people at their ease and that’s the first step towards capturing a great image or video frame.
Boardroom photography and business portraits are just as important to a business as slick corporate videos. While professionally produced commercial videos are the impressive artificial veneer of a company, corporate portraits are the soul, and Matt’s ability to capture emotion and personality through the lens guarantees creative and natural images every time.
Rosaline Shahnavaz is considered one of the most promising talents to have graduated from the London College of Communications in recent years.
The beauty of her portrait photography generates from a deep sense of intimacy with her subjects which began when documenting her friends and boyfriend.
In an interview with The British Journal of Photography to promote their new Portrait of Britain competition she talks about her work, her subjects and the passion behind her images.
It’s interesting to read about the life of this young portrait photographer. One day she could spend hours shooting for her series Aleko (her muse with whom she’s been able to take the time to get to know and understand); the next she’s being briefed by a magazine to take a series of ‘intimate’ portraits of people she’s never met before… with only an hour to complete the job.
With a handful of awards, two solo exhibitions and some pretty prestigious clients to her name already, I have no doubt that we’ll be hearing more about her in the future.
Matt Wain Photography: promoting young talent in the photographic industry.
Producing a corporate video for the first time can be daunting. Even if experienced, there’s a long list of important factors to take into account beforehand. Being prepared is essential if you want to stick to your deadline and budget. Turning up on the day unprepared and just hoping that it will “all come together” is usually a recipe for disaster!
Matt Wain has extensive experience in commercial video production, and is very aware of the pitfalls that inexperience can lead to. That’s why, whenever we are in initial discussions about producing a creative and targetted corporate video, we offer clients our video production check list to help with their preparation. Here are just a few of things on this list to give you an idea.
PRE PRODUCTION : Discussions where the shoot objectives, storyline, audience and controlling idea are all thrashed out. Nailing down the budget, deciding if you want to include Case Studies or a Partner are all key decisions to make at this stage.
LOGISTICS : Once you’ve finalised the outline of the project, you can move onto logistics. How long do you need? Will the shoot be weather dependent? Is there access at the chosen location and do you need permission to be there? If you don’t get the logistics right, the whole project could come to a grinding halt – and you could end up looking a bit daft.
CONTENT : Including interviews in your corporate video can be very reinforcing, but come with a host of additional considerations. For example, does the interviewee speak fluent English? Do they have time constraints? Even the most experienced speaker can be intimidated by lights and a camera so perhaps an auto cue would be a good idea? It’s vital to ensure the script is finalised ahead of the shoot day as making changes on the day can take time… and therefore cost money.
AVAILABILITY : When the day of shooting finally arrives, be prepared to be present to review footage, make decisions and liaise with stakeholders.
POST PRODUCTION : Once the video has been shot, there is still work to be done. The post-production editing phase might include decisions about graphics, logos, effects, music, sub-titles etc, which are all important decisions and should be well considered.
The list of things to consider before embarking on a corporate video is extensive. It is, however, vital to ensure that the end result is the slick, professional and targeted video you envisaged in your initial brief.
Do get in touch to discuss any projects you might have.
Like all professional photographers I know, I feel very strongly about protecting the copyright of my images so I was pleased to read in the Tech Times recently that Getty Images (the huge online stock photo agency) have filed a complaint to the EU accusing Google of “encouraging photography piracy”.
In 2013 Google began displaying images from Getty and other similar businesses in high resolution format, and Getty claim that making high resolution images available for quick download has turned users into “accidental pirates” and thus decreased traffic to their own website. Users are now able to download Getty’s high resolution images from Google’s own search results engine, thus discounting existing copyright and intellectual property laws.
Some feel that in order to protect their work, any images that appear online should be low resolution, or stamped with a copyright watermark. Of course, I could do this as well but, to be frank, I don’t want low resolution images on my website. My website is my shop, it’s where I display my wares, and I want it to look as good as possible – difficult to do with low res images, or ones covered in copyright watermarks.
I mentioned at the beginning that all photographers I know want to protect the copyright of their images. Interestingly, there are photographers out there who hold little respect for copyright. I was recently tipped off that one of my images was being used to promote another photographer’s website. They did, of course, remove it fairly sharpish when confronted, but it was disappointing to realise that someone in the same professional would stoop so low. If they can’t produce photography of a high enough standard to promote themselves, I suspect they might want to consider a change in profession!
It will be interesting to follow Getty’s complaint and see where it goes from here. Click here if you would like to read the full article.
In a world of cutting edge technology, it’s easy to forget that there are still companies who rely on human craftsmanship to produce their goods.
On meeting this client, they explained that they wished to build their brand by emphasising their offering of bespoke craftsmanship, coupled with old-fashioned service. Their existing image library was no longer fit for purpose so they took the decision to invest in a new library of creative images which would go a long way to showcasing their products and support their brand building efforts.
Industrial location photography comes with its challenges but a day spent at the factory produced a series of unstaged, creative industrial images that could be used on the company’s website, in corporate brochures and across countless pieces of marketing collateral.
Matt Wain is a professional commercial location photographer based in London. Visit the website to view his portfolio, or get in touch to discuss an upcoming project.