Wednesday, February 29, 2012

In answer to a critic.

I've blogged for quite a few years and very early on I learned that if you open your self up to comments not all of them would be positive. My first negative comment took me by surprise and really upset me, until I realised it was a good friend having a laugh, but by then I had gone through the emotions associated with the comment and come to terms with them. Over the next few years I've had the odd bad comment and a fair share of spam, but have kept the comments free from any restrictions or censorship, but I do delete spam.

A few weeks ago I received a very poor comment regarding one of my photos, but before I could respond one of my readers beat me too it


my 12 yr old can take a better pic than that lol

Alison Worrall

Nice reflections and colours, my fave bridge subject is Cherry eye further along the canal.
Don't fancy meeting a 12 year old of such prodigious talent with such a gutless anonymous parent.

My comment was "After blogging for over 4 years I have found that its really is not worth taking any notice of anonymous comments, if someone has something to say that is worth while they will put their name to it."

And there the matter would have rested until yesterday,


It's amazing how a canal can offer so many beautiful and varied this one with the perspective and the hint of reflection of the trees.


get real AL its a snap shot nothing special in anyway at all.

So Mr or Ms Anonymous is back with yet another poor comment, and while I have said " that its really is not worth taking any notice of anonymous comments" I did re-look at the picture and re-evaluate the images and its worth.

So is it " its a snap shot ". Well it is a snap shot, taken in a 60th of a second, with out a tripod and the only one of that view, so no mucking around trying to get the perfect angle or waiting for the right light. But its well framed, not just falling within the rule of thirds but also having 2 or even 3 lead lines taking you in to the picture and it is well exposed and colour corrected.

So from that point of view it is almost perfect, if you judge a picture on technique alone and really I would only expect that sort of critique from a skilled photographer.

Now is it " nothing special in anyway at all", well now that is a subjective argument that goes to the route of all art.

Lets start with "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" Al is from Australia, Brisbane in fact, so a snowy scene will look different to him than to someone from our area, special even.

Then we can look at the reason behind the image, it's not a random picture, the camera was pointed at a particular spot and the image captured, it was meant to show that view and to convey a certain message. Now not everyone can appreciate all art, it's like music, some you like, some you hate and some you just can not understand, but it's still music. So while this picture can speak to some, others remain deaf to its message and for me that fine, I saw something that I felt I needed to record, it touched me at that moment and made it through all the processes that stop 49,000 other pictures from seeing the light of day.

How do I feel about the picture, well it was a snap shot, I put no deliberate effort in to the framing, I just saw the image in my head, captured it and walked on, but then I have been taking pictures for over 20 years and if I needed to think about it I would not really be that good. The picture its self is better than average, it meets my standard for this type of image, it captures the scene in a structured way showing it as it was, to be seen by people who were not there, Al could not be more perfect as a target audience.

How do I feel about Mr or Ms Anonymous, well first if they felt so strongly that they commented why not back it up with a name? The second thing is that I feel upset that they did not leave a name because I probably know them as they came to my blog via Facebook, making them, on paper at least, my friend.

To finish here is a reworking of the same image in 4 different ways, perhaps one is to your liking, and here is a link to the original one

Now playing: The English Beat - Tears of a Clown
via FoxyTunes

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Canal Side

The free exhibition, “Canal Side” is an attempt to capture the many faces of the canal in all weathers and seasons and is wonderfully displayed in the Cafe Clique, Getliffe’s yard, Leek, Staffordshire from the 1st to the 31st March 2012.

The canal has been part of my life for over 15 years since moving to our current house over looking tunnel pool near Leek. It's the first thing I see every morning, its proximity means that a quick walk nearly always includes a stretch of it's banks and its ever changing face means I never tire of it. Over the years the canal has featured in many of my images but this is the first time that it has had star billing.

The images are a mix of digital photographs and slides, taken along the Leek and Caldon branches of the Trent and Mersey Canal over a number of years and most of the images are being exhibited for the first time.

This small stretch of canal, only about 10 miles in length, running down the picturesque Churnet Valley, it is very lightly used and has a quiet backwater feel to it, lots of deserted stretches and over hanging trees.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

4 years old

365 to 42, the number of days to my 42nd birthday, little did I known when I started this blog to mark a year of my life I would be changing the course of the rest of my life. The blog is now 4 years old (and me a bit more) and has been joined by 3 more, it has long out lived the reason it was started for and has become the catalyst for a number of major changes in my life.

When I started the blog I was in a dead end job, actually off work with stress and lacking any self confidence or self worth. Photography had been a hobby for years with the pictures I took never seeing the light of day mainly because I had no faith in my ability.

Four years on and I'm into my second year as a professional photographer, confident in my work and looking forward to the future. Mostly the result of comments on this blog about my pictures and because I needed to keep feeding it with new and interesting images.

But that is only 1/2 the story, the other big force in my life is my wonderful wife Carolyn. For years she has been my biggest supporter and hardest critic and on the anniversary of a momentous point in my life she is also about to change her whole life by leaving her employer of 23 years and going self-employed. I want to wish her all the best in the new career and tell her I will always be there for her, just as she has been for me.

For more information on what Caz is doing here are her web site and blog.

Now playing: David Bowie - Little Wonder
via FoxyTunes

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