Welcome to our monthly news page packed with all the weird and wonderful things happening in the world of photography. Helping you stay on the photographic pulse!
It's also a great opportunity for you to get involved and make you opinion count. Email us with your ideas, views, photography tips etc.
Wildlife photographer Neil Bygrave, of NATURELENS, loves photographing anything to do with nature. By photographing a variety of birds, reptiles, mammals, plants and landscapes he's never short of inspiration. Being based in a picturesque part of South West England he says, 'I've got a location blessed with an abundance of great photo opportunities right here on my doorstep.'
"I love the way photography is a continual learning process."
His passion for photography stems from a desire to capture precious moments in time. He enthuses, 'I get a real kick out of capturing those moments when an animal connects directly with you, when the setting sun is at its most colourful, or perhaps as an insect approaches to land on a flower. I love the way photography is a continual learning process and the excitement of never knowing what photographic opportunities may be just around the corner.'
For other aspiring nature photographers Neil has a few tips. Learn to cultivate your observational skills so that spotting potential shots becomes second nature. Always respect your subject. Strive to perfect your technique, but remember a unique image beats a technically perfect image. Finally, get out there! No one ever took a great wildlife shot by just sitting at home on their sofa.
To see more of Neil's work take a look at his PhotoBox Gallery.
Events and exhibitions you won't want to miss
The Photographers' Gallery
Here's an event you won't want to miss, even though you've got a while to wait! The Photographers' Gallery in London has just announced that come 2010 it will have a brand new home. The plans show the new gallery will be twice the size of the current one, enabling it to cover a greater number of exhibitions than ever before. Estimated to be costing around £15.5 million, it will be located in the heart of Soho and kitted out with state of the technology. They'll also be a sociable café and bar area, the perfect place to sit back, relax, and of course ponder over the amazing pictures you've just seen. We'll keep you posted on progress!
Credit: Audey Hepburn, 'Breakfast Dish' from the film Breakfast at Tiffanys, courtesy The John Kobal Foundation/Michael Hoppen Gallery
Fans of the glitz and glamour of the golden age of Hollywood will be delighted by The Bold and the Beautiful exhibition, showing at the Michael Hoppen Gallery in London until 26th January. Gaze at a star studded array of famous faces from Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn, to Marlon Brando and Marlene Dietrich. These iconic black & white studio shots are part of the extensive John Kobal Foundation archive and are as inspiring today as they were when they were shot back in the twenties, thirties and forties. It's a truly elegant exhibition giving us all a glimpse of those Hollywood heydays.
Credit: Gold winner, Digital Open, Camilla Broadbent ARPS, The Betrothal
Every year the Royal Photographic Society invites members and non-members to send in their work,with a view to it being featured in their International Projected Image Exhibition. For the first time the society has included a digital photography category, winner of this section is shown right. This simple step saw the number of entries increased by a massive 80%. From all the images sent in, by over 400 photographers, a selection of 476 images have been put together to form the 2007 International Projected Image Exhibition. The exhibition is currently on tour around the UK and Republic of Ireland until March 2008. See website for details on when it will be touring near you.
Credit: Rancourt Military Cemetery, Somme, France © Brian Harris
In recognition of the 90th anniversary of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and all the work they do, the Imperial War Museum North, in Manchester, is hosting a photography exhibition entitled simply, Remembered. It takes a poignant look at the cemeteries and memorials commemorating the deaths of the 1.7 million service men and women who died during the two World Wars. This timely exhibition is a great example of just how moving photography can be. Entrance to the exhibition is free and can be seen until 10th March.
Here are a few of our favourite things!
Ever fancied a shot at making your own movie? If so a fun site called MyElephantBites.com can make your dream come true. You simply choose a selection of your photos, add some captions and a soundtrack and let the site do the rest. We're not talking Hollywood budgets either, each movie costs just £2.50, you can then send it to friends and family to enjoy. Take a look and see just how easy it is.
The Collins Complete Photography Manual is one of those great all encompassing books that takes you through everything you need to know about taking great pictures, both digital and film. Written by knowledgeable photographers and accompanied by over 500 photos, busting with expert advice and top tips to instantly improve your pictures, making it worth every penny. Especially as it usually retails around £25 but is currently available through Amazon for just £15!
Here's an exhibition we can all attend. The Photographers' Gallery has collected nearly 4000 haunting images from over 350 photographers and turned them into a thrilling online exhibition entitled, What haunts you? Check out the brilliant photo collage produced by Helen Marshall, which uses a single image of the moon as the perfect backdrop. Click on the moon and you'll soon discover all the other photos within. It an eclectic and visually stunning mix of ideas and inspiring images.
The secret to a great photo is often just a case of getting the light right. If you think that's easier said than done then check out these two brand new DVDs – Using Natural Light on Location and Using Flash on Location, both by photographic portrait supremo Damien Lovegrove. The discs retail for £60 each or you can buy both for £100, making it cheaper than taking a course and the best bit is you can watch it again and again until all those pearls of wisdom have sunk in.
Understanding colour is a fundamental part of photography, as it's one of the first things you notice when looking at an image. Master how best to use colour and you'll soon see an improvement in your pictures.
Colour has a strong visual pull, so it makes sense to always use it to your advantage. For example, if the focal point of your picture is where the main source of colour is, the viewers' eyes will naturally be drawn to where you want them, adding strength to your image.
I am a major fan of Photobox as I can share memories with family across the world.
I've just received the PhotoBook I designed to celebrate my sister's 50th birthday
- a compilation of family pictures and favourite recipes - and it's really amazing. We can't stop exclaiming about it, and I know my sister is going to be astonished and delighted. Photobooks are wonderful. Now I'm on to calendars, and notebooks…
Stationery needn't be boring: give someone a unique notepad that has been customised with your own photos and one of 44 designs available from the PhotoBox website.
Nothing captures your memories like a photo, and now you can recreate your favourite summer moments with PhotoBox. They've got a wide range of goodies from photo-personalised mugs and t-shirts, to make-up bags and cushions.
At PhotoBox you can choose from a dazzling range personalised photo presents.
1. Avoiding flare
Lens flare is a common problem when the sun is low in the sky. Avoid it affecting your photos by using a lens hood or simply using your hand to shield the sunlight.
2. Focus first
Half-pressing the shutter down actives your auto focus, by doing this before pressing the shutter down fully you're more likely to get sharper focus shots.
3. Eyes right
When shooting portraits always make sure you focus on the eyes as they are the most important part of the picture to get right.