The King is dead, long live the King!

Smartphones vs point and shoot:
A high street chain has gone into administration and it’s partly blamed on the smartphone. Love them or hate them Jessops gave us something we sometimes needed. A local shop to pop in at a emergency and get some photography equipment or parts. To be honest I browsed there a few times and even spent my hard earned cash at one or two occasions but where once Jessops were and another will fill the gap.

I don’t know why they think smartphones are the death of point and shoot cameras. The smartphones cameras quality is poor compare to the new breed of point and shoot cameras. My Canon SX200 is 2 years old already and quality I am able to get are amazing (and with operator error atrocious) compares to my 1 year old HTC phone.

There will always be a market for point and shoot cameras and the market leaders will keep pushing the boundaries but as the sales slow drop the prices will creep up.

Trust your instincts:
On one of the photographer’s blog I follow the photographer mentioned to always have a camera in your bag. You never know what you will miss if you don’t. I already experienced this a few times and I could kicked myself for missing some unique photos.

A quick example: Walking down platform 7 at Edinburgh train station there is a gap in the wall. The gap is in the form of a archway. On the other side there was a train engine (diesel type, big nose and a cab high up). In the window of the cab there were a pair of shoes, the driver were having a relaxing time with his feet up. I saw it, I hesitated, I thought about taking the smart phone out and then continued to walk on. This must have happened 2-3 months ago and I’m still thinking about it. Bad decision at the time!

Because of this simple example I decided that if my instinct tells me to stop and take a photo I should to do just that. If it means while driving I have to turn around and go back to a certain spot I just passed then so be it. Don’t miss out on that one photo of a life time because of either not having a camera with you or hesitating. Remember that if you hesitate it’s almost already to late, trust your instincts!

Firstly camera phones, these photos were taken with a Sony K800i or a HTC Desire Z:

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And then point and shoot cameras, Konica Minolta DiMage Z5 or Canon Powershot SX200 IS:
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Photographs by Jacques…

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The importance of a portfolio Part 1, winter wonderland.

The importance of a portfolio:

Portfolios are such a difficult thing to pull together. How do you go through 1000s of photos and choose your best work? A photo you think is your best might not when viewed by another person. The age old dilemma of “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” I guess it might be that as the photographer you were there to see the full picture, experience the smells and enjoy the moment. Something that can’ t be put across on a photo to the same extent. The best we can do is try and give a sliver or glimpse of that moment in time to best of our ability and with the tools at our disposal.

I opened my first portfolio I did and pulled all the photos together into a folder. I think it’s a good thing to look back on your portfolio and see if you have improved and where you still have weaknesses in your experience. Photos that I thought were good enough to put into my portfolio I feel different about now. It’s shows growth and I have gained experience but not necessary that I have gained additional skills. The only time I will be able to gauge that will be when I do my new portfolio and compare them directly.

So without further ado below are part of my 1st portfolio. I share them in stages as there are a few photos and a few categories.

Winter wonderland photos:
The photos were taken with a Canon Powershot SX200 IS point and shoot. I didn’t have my DSLR camera yet, shows you what is possible with a point and shoot.

While driving back down the A66 from Scotch Corner to Carlisle direction I saw frost coming down at a rapid rate. I tried to stop somewhere to get a few photos and eventually pulled into a side road. I walked up a small hill and this was the view I was gifted with. A year later I ended up at this same road again and found out it is the entrance of Whinfell Forest AKA Centre Parcs.

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The photo that started me off onto this journey of trying to become the best photographer I can be. With one comment of a friend (you have the eye for it) about this photo and it changed my outlook on my photos.
These were taken in Livingston Old Wood, ScotlandsIMG_5367

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This was taken a few miles away at the Almond river, Livingston.sIMG_5317

Photographs by Jacques…