Photography Rules, Essential Dos and Don’ts from Great Photographers is a new book by Dr Paul Lowe. To say that I’m delighted to be part of this amazing book would be putting it extremely mildly! I’m humbled to be in such great company and touched by Paul’s kind invitation to be part of this wonderful project. Sharing pages with one’s own inspirations and heroes in photography is quite literally, awesome.
As photographers, we all consciously or more often, sub-counciously form our own philosophies and rules. Be these ethical, compositional, a work ethic or technical. Ways of approaching life, interacting with people, the technical aspects of photography or camera techniques that serve us well.
This fascinating insight from some of the most amazing photographers, stretching back to greats like Ansel Adams or Richard Avedon, Brassai to Bresson, is not only interesting but thought provoking, enlightening and inspirational.
As Paul Lowe writes, “The book is not a systematic ‘how to’ guide to photography but it does have a reasonably logical progression of entries, organised into three main categories of rules: ‘Making Photographs’, ‘Being a Photographer’ and ‘Professional Practice’. These follow the journey of the photographic process from even before the image is made through to building a long- term corpus of work to its distribution to the world. Individual genres and approaches to photography are interspersed throughout, covering fields such as portraiture, documentary and photojournalism, landscape and commercial photography.”
This book is going to appeal to an extremely wide range of photographers; seasoned professionals to those who are at the start of their journey in photography. Not only do I see this as becoming essential reading for every student in photography, but also for photography enthusiasts and amateur photographers who want to get an insight into the thought process of the authors behind some of the images they admire.
My own contribution, is about my personal approach to photojournalism, the ethics I live by and is listed in the ‘Being a Photographer’ section of the book. The beginning of the text reads, “The award-winning photojournalist Edmond Terakopian reminds us that, when documenting other people’s lives, especially in situations of distress, ‘it’s not your story, it belongs to your subject. You must never forget that.’”
It accompanies my photograph documenting life, 10 years on from the devastating earthquake that struck Armenia. “A Woman Prays in an Armenian Church in Gyumri, for the Souls of Those Who Died in the Armenian Earthquake, 1988.”
The photograph from Gyumri was shot on a Leica M6 with a Leica 35mm Summicron, using Kodak Ektachrome slide film.
Photography Rules, Essential Dos and Don’ts from Great Photographers is out now and alongside good bookshops, is also available online from Amazon.
Biography: Dr. Paul Lowe is a Reader in Documentary Photography and the Course Leader of the Masters programme in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication, University of the Arts, London, UK. Paul is an award-winning photographer, whose work is represented by VII Photos, and who has been published in Time, Newsweek, Life, The Sunday Times Magazine, The Observer and The Independent amongst others. He has covered breaking news the world over, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nelson Mandela’s release, famine in Africa, the conflict in the former Yugoslavia and the destruction of Grozny.
The Philip Harben Award for Food in Action Shortlist
Thrilled to share some good news! One of my images has made the shortlist of the prestigeous Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year, in the The Philip Harben Award for Food in Action subcategory.
I made the image on my first night in Barcelona, ahead of the world launch of the Lumix S Series and L Mount Alliance, which took place the next day! The picture was made on a preproduction Lumix S1 and Lumix S 24-105mm lens.
The winners will be announced on Tuesday 28th April, 2020 at 20:00 (GMT), on the Pink Lady Food Photographer Of The Year FaceBook page.
Thrilled to share that the judges of the 13th International Color Awards have kindly awarded two of my images and nominated a further five, out of the 6093 entries received.
Wonderful to see such a wide reaching panel, comprised of jury members from Newsweek, New York; Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg; The Art Channel, London; Netflix, Los Angeles; Koller Auctions, Zurich; Preus Museum, Norway; Galerie Mitterrand, Paris; Fila, New York; Wieden & Kennedy, Portland; Kolle Rebbe, Hamburg; Fox Broadcasting Network, Los Angeles; Gallery Kong, Seoul; Mini / BMW Group, London; and the Royal Academy Of Art, The Hague, Netherlands.
Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8 lens
Leica DG 10-25mm Vario Summilux
Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8
Lumix S Pro 50mm f1.4
Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8
Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8
Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8
As a side note, when putting together this blog post’s images, I was quite surprised at just how many of these images were made using the extremely versatile, new Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8 lens. In fact these were all shot using a pre-production lens ahead of its release. Some of these images were also used in the Panasonic Lumix international launch campaign for the lens, which I was commissioned to shoot.
I’m thrilled to share that the judges of the British Photography Awards have kindly shortlisted two of my photographs for the 2020 awards. My congratulations to all the finalists and also to the judges for their hard work.
Alongside the judges ruling, there is a people’s choice award too, so voting is open to the public. If you like either (or both!) of my images, kindly press the “VOTE” button by the right hand side of each image. It’s a simple click and no registration is needed.
Category-Fashion: Fashion designer Joshua Kane
The portrait of fashion visionary Joshua Kane was shot as part of the Panasonic Lumix international launch campaign for the new Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8 lens and made using my Lumix S1R and a preproduction lens. The raw file was as always processed in Adobe Lightroom.
Category – Documentary: Repairs On The Giant Tortoise
The image of Senior Conservator Arianna Bernucci working on the shell of a giant tortoise, was made using my Lumix S1 and Lumix S Pro 50mm f1.4 lens. The raw image was processed in Lightroom and finished in Exposure Software’s Exposure X5.
It’s astonishing to hear from the organisers that “In 2019 our audience potential topped 840 million people worldwide. This year we hope to greatly exceed this and showcase the creativity and dynamism of British photography to the world”. The competition’s results will be announced in 2020 at a black tie gala at The Savoy in Central London.
Thrilled to share that several of my images have been kindly recognised and awarded by the judges of the 2019 Black & White Spider Awards.
Honorable Mention in Advertising | The First Porsche Honorable Mention in Photojournalism | No To Brexit Nominee in People | Birdman Nominee in People | The Rose Nominee in Silhouette | The First Ever Porsche
Interestingly, all of the photographs were shot using my Panasonic Lumix S1, a camera I got at the start of the year, and one that has left me so impressed that I’ve shot most of my work using it (and it’s bigger brother, the higher resolution S1R). The lenses used were the Lumix S 24-105mm f4.0 and the Lumix S-Pro 50mm f1.4.
Honorable Mention in Advertising | The First Porsche
Honorable Mention in Photojournalism | No To Brexit
Nominee in People | Birdman
Nominee in People | The Rose
Nominee in Silhouette | The First Ever Porsche
The international jury comprised of representatives from Musee de l’Elysee, Lausanne; The Guardian, London; Contrasto Galleria, Milan; Travel/Discovery Channel, New York; Harper’s Bazaar, UK; Portuguese Center of Photography, Porto; Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels; Silvan Faessler Fine Art, Zurich; ADK Creative One Inc., Tokyo; Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna; Conny Dietzschold Galleries, Sydney; and Pereira O’Dell in New York judged the 6,418 entries, received from 73 countries. Many thanks to the jury for their hard work and many congratulations to all who had their work recognised.
The raw files were processed in Adobe Lightroom Classic and the monochrome treatment finished off in either Nik Collection’s Silver Efex Pro or Exposure Software’s Exposure X4.
Seven Weeks With The Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8 (Pre-Production) Lens
“Mmmmm, this is going to be special”. This was what I said to myself as soon as I looked at the the very first test frame I shot with the lens on my Lumix S1R. Followed by, “Its so sharp!”. This was a very good way to start shooting with a brand new lens. In fact, a pre-production model at that, with early, pre-production firmware.
I felt rather honoured when Panasonic Lumix UK got in touch to see if I’d like to test out the unreleased S Pro 24-70mm f2.8, ahead of it’s global launch on August 28th, 2019, which was around 1.5 months away. Unboxing the generic brown box, cutting away the bubble wrap, revealed the new lens. I found out the lens had been carried by hand, all the way from Japan! I got out some black tape, covered up all the markings and began shooting.
It’s a bit of a special feeling knowing only a handful of people globally have seen the lens and I’ve been asked to test it and make images with it to be possibly used for the global launch. It’s also quite stressful, knowing photographs have to be made to not only showcase, but live up to every aspect of what was already proving to be a spectacularly good lens.
One of the characteristics that hit me as I begun shooting more and more, was that this wasn’t just a sharp lens, but it had something special. Pure clinical sharpness is ok for forensic type photography, but for being creative, for conveying mood, for sharing a story, one also needs gentleness, subtlety and grace. The rendering from this lens has all of that.
Generally, a 24-70mm f2.8, is a bread and butter lens; pretty much everyone will have one in their bag and it’s the standard professional zoom. Versatile, useful and a safe choice. What I found special though, was this wasn’t just a bread and butter lens. Where one may have a standard zoom for safety, one would also have a special prime with nicer rendering, for making those special portraits or creative shots.
Well, the S 24-70mm f2.8 has all of that. It’s truly special to have all these qualities wrapped up in one lens. Versatility and speed, but also beautiful rendering, colour, contrast, detail and well, a bit of poetry too. I found it captured light and colour beautifully and rendered a nicely soft background in out of focus areas. As much as I hate talking about this and using the word bokeh, it does have beautiful bokeh! (I need to add my dislike is purely based on people who only care about bokeh and nothing else, especially not the craft of photography).
It is chunky though. I felt the same way as when I first picked up the S Pro 50mm f1.4. Although I wished all of the S Series lenses could be a little smaller, just as with the S 50mm, as soon as I started shooting with the S 24-70mm, it justified it’s size and won a place in my camera bag. In fact, I pretty much didn’t shoot with anything else and seven weeks on, it’s always been mounted on either my S1 or S1R.
It just produces beautiful images and no matter what type of subject I point it at, it does as I ask and produces what I want. Fast to react and precise in rendering.
Super fast and silent AF, outstanding build quality and stunning optics. I have a feeling the scientific types at DxO Labs are going to enjoy putting this through their rigorous tests.
So please don’t read this small post as a review; it really is a quick preview. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Keep in mind though that this is a pre-production lens with early, non final firmware and so is definitely a pre-release lens. Yet, it helped make these images with grace. I can’t wait to get my hands on the final thing! If you have an L Mount camera, I suggest you try it too!