Mood  photography by Photographer GeoffM Photo | STRKNG

- © GeoffM Photo

Wooden Lighthouse. Burnham-on-Sea / Waterscapes  photography by Photographer GeoffM Photo | STRKNG

Wooden Lighthouse. Burnham-on-Sea - © GeoffM Photo

Misty Morning / Mood  photography by Photographer GeoffM Photo | STRKNG

Misty Morning - © GeoffM Photo

Marine Pool / Fine Art  photography by Photographer GeoffM Photo | STRKNG

Marine Pool - © GeoffM Photo

Mist over lake / Mood  photography by Photographer GeoffM Photo | STRKNG

Mist over lake - © GeoffM Photo

Black windmill / Fine Art  photography by Photographer GeoffM Photo | STRKNG

Black windmill - © GeoffM Photo

Hand in hand / Street  photography by Photographer GeoffM Photo | STRKNG

Hand in hand - © GeoffM Photo

Canal fog / Mood  photography by Photographer GeoffM Photo | STRKNG

Canal fog - © GeoffM Photo

Canal / Mood  photography by Photographer GeoffM Photo | STRKNG

Canal - © GeoffM Photo

2023-01-19 17:50 
Rule Of Thirds / Everyday / photographs,photography,rules,breaktherules,images,society,life,ruleofthirds,conventions
Rule Of Thirds


The image seen here is very old. It was used in a lecture to demonstrate the principle of the Rule of Thirds. This is a device to aid composition; to make photographs more appealing whether they be fashion, landscape, portrait or any others of the various sub-genres of photography.

It is, or was, one of the conventions of photography but does it, or indeed any of the time-honoured principles, still have a place in the photographer’s armoury?

Peak Saturation

Photography, or, if you like, imaging, has reached peak saturation. We are inundated by images beyond counting every day of our lives. From the phone in our pocket to the high end mirror-less marvels of technology, the means are there to document our lives in glorious colour or stark black and white. Why should we concern ourselves with the niceties that belong in a bygone age?

Down At The Camera Club

Local camera clubs still exist and indeed some thrive. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t, but do they do anything to further the cause of photography as we appreciate and enjoy it today? They help beginners understand the exposure triangle and impart to them the knowledge to make better images. That’s a good thing, yet this writer can’t help thinking that we have moved on from the medium being a speciality hobby to being a truly integral part of our lives: We even post pictures of our lunch and receive the modern equivalent of a minor medal in the form of ‘likes’ from our peers.

There must be dozens, probably more, of excellent photographers who deliver content on YouTube. Many of them are great, entertaining and informative. Others are lacklustre and who seem unable to move from the norm. Few take risks: Perhaps some of the Street exponents will push at the edges of the envelope but others seem stuck in convention.

It’s true that we can learn a lot from the photographers who have gone before. William Eggleston is one such who broke the rules; it’s sometimes hard to grasp exactly the meaning of his work and that’s what makes him special; Stephen Shore is another, but isn’t it also true that when we look back we admire the work of legendary photographers as we would a history. It has to be like that because the world has moved on.

Breaking The Rules

Should we then break the rules? In life, probably yes, in this modern world, but what about photography? Well, yes to that too: It’s how we document our lives. Everything, everywhere, all of the time has been photographed twice; what then can we do to make our images stand out from the many millions of shots made daily around the globe.

There is nothing at all wrong with well composed conventional shots; that’s not the point. The point is that we should also tear down the temples to Victorian photographic ideals and the compositional art devices that have been set in stone deeper than Excalibur. It no longer matters. It is only by trial and error will we produce photographs that make others look twice and think, ‘You know, I rather like that. It’s original’.

2023-01-11 09:46 
The Enduring Power Of Film / Everyday / photography,film,35mm,camera,analogue,prints
The Enduring Power Of Film

The Enduring Power Of Film

I once sold a car and, almost immediately, as it disappeared up the road I regretted the decision to sell it. Many people, usually men, instantly rue the day they disposed of this or that item, be it a camera or just a ball of twine, because they forgot the golden rule:

One day there might be a use for it.

Back in the days before the digital revolution swept over us in a tsunami of technology, I owned several film cameras from Nikon and Contax. To this day I regret being suckered into buying digital cameras: ‘It’s just so much more convenient’, I told myself. Gone were the camera bodies and assorted lenses; the dark room tackle and the like, yet curiously two Nikon AF-D lenses survived the carnage. I found myself still in possession of a 28mm and a 50mm prime, both in mint condition. They must have been in a drawer somewhere, because they didn’t turn up until several years had passed.

Surprisingly, they still had value but rather than move them on to a new home, I decided instead to buy a budget film camera. My Nikon F55 is made of plastic, is in almost new condition and cost £35 plus P&P (UK) from a trusted retailer. The first roll of Kodak 400 lasted a year but just lately I have set aside the Sony and instead stocked up on Kodak ColorPlus and haven’t looked back and there is a good reason why: Others have said this in other ways but the quote I’m using is from the legend that is Sir Don McCullin; “...digital doesn’t transform the atmosphere like film”.

They Just Look Right

He’s not wrong. I recently had on a wall a pin board festooned with small prints and although the content may not be of prize-winning quality, the ‘look’ of the images is what strikes the viewer and it is hard to describe. They just look ‘right’. Digital images have been described as being cold and I think that might be it. It isn’t just about grain; that can be added by software. There’s a pleasing warmth to the images that simply cannot be replicated, despite the plethora of presets that make that claim, and of course with film the photographer has to get it right first time in camera.

There’s an enduring power to film and that power is once again being manifested by the rise of a new generation of film fanatics, be it returners like me or the bright young things in the Lomography crowd. There’s no need to bother with colour home processing either, there’s plenty of C41 establishments who will develop, print and scan those lovely rich negatives. It has to be said that it is thanks to the internet and digital science that having decent quality prints made is both fast and reasonably cheap, so there’s no excuse.

The lesson here is that if you have some old film camera gear knocking about in the loft, don’t clear it out because one day you are going to need it.

2023-01-03 11:03 
Urban Photography / Stimmungen / mood,photography,photograph,#monochrome,blackandwhite
Urban Photography

What To Photograph Next?

Not all of us have to time, money or ability to travel widely and photograph new places. For most of the time, we are stuck with what we have, so asking the question, ‘What do I photograph next?’ is not unreasonable.

Famous Ways

One answer is to maybe study the work of other photographers, not necessarily famous, to find a new way to shoot the familiar. This writer is currently looking at the work of Harry Gruyaert, who is famous, and who seems to have the ability to photograph nothing very much and make it interesting and involving. It’s an art.

A Different Viewpoint

One aspect of Gruyaert’s work seems to be an uncanny ability to photograph ‘absence’. This is especially true of his coastal sea and landscapes that, for me anyway, suggest that someone or something has just left the frame. The images seem lonely, if that’s not to much of a left-field thought.

William Eggleston’s the same, in a way. His photographs of his home town and the Deep South of the USA, have a weird sense of emptiness. Remember, getting back to the original statement, that this is his local area, places that are very familiar to him yet seen to the viewer to be lonely and somehow disconnected.

The Point Is…

When everything has already been photographed twice, what is there left to point a camera at? This is not a question I can easily answer; it’s up to you how to interpret what is before you. This is the problem. Does the weather makes a difference? Instead of shooting a scene that is crying out to be an obviously monochrome image in the usual way, how does it work in pale colour. Perhaps look for odd juxtapositions of people or things.

The one answer that is definitely true is that, as photographers, in a world of photography we need to keep our eyes open for new potential in the familiar. What else is there?

GeoffM Photo


Writer & photographer based in UK. Random images as I travel around.

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