Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 23/01/2012

Must eat brains!

Eurasian Lynx, originally uploaded by

The finishing line is in view now, both for the actual date of the Photographic Workshop, but also – and more importantly – the course material is almost complete. I have some tweaks to make to the slides and add a few more notes to some of the slides after which I will be ready to do some run throughs. When I say run throughs, it’s not like any of the words and phrases will be new to me, as I’ve said – I’ve been teaching people for years and I don’t think photography has changed much in that time. In fact, photography hasn’t really changed much since the dawn of time (and when I say Dawn of Time (no, Sharon or Tracey of Time aren’t related, best stick with Dawn) I do mean Dawn (yes, I’ve just said that) the earliest records of camera obscura have been found in Ancient China (470BC!) and in Greece) my stock phrase I tell people is that ultimately “it’s a box with a hole in it”. Obviously it’s a little more sophisticated than even the early 19th and 20th Century that used.. erm.. let me just look up the term… one second please…. yes, they used to use something called “film”, what ever that might be. It’s a phrase I use, not for it’s comedic effects (if there are any) or because it’s a good sound bite, but more to convince people that this photography malarkey isn’t a difficult as it may seem. What on earth am I doing… I must be mad… of course it’s difficult, it takes a lot of skill to do what I do (waffle for hours!) and no meer mortal will achieve the same type of photographic standards as myself (after all I don’t want… or need the competition!).

I’m feeling a little paranoid with regards to my Flickr account; I received nearly 10 times the number of hits today, without any new uploads all which I’m very greatful for but as with any digital media hosted externally, it’s very easy (if you know how) how to purloin the one and noughts if you are so determined. I’ve been rather selective when it’s come to stock agencies, to where I’ve posted my images as I don’t feel the unlimited use of one of my photos for around $2 is proper recompense for the work (and skill) that goes into my photography, so the last thing I want is to see one of my images being used without my consent. Of course, if I did see this then I do have the full force of the law to deal with any infringement but with the internet, images could easily be used without my knowledge. I know ignorance is bliss but I do feel I need to investigate this rise in traffic (especially if it’s the BBC or National Geographic scouting for talent (and I’ll pass people’s names of when asked)).

Drat, just when I thought I’d finished my presentation something has reminded me about camera shake, the scourge of any photographer. I’ve already included a section on monopods, tripod, tripod heads etc but I’ve not included anything on the numerous methods of remote control I’ve purchased over the years, infra red, wifi, wired – I must have at least 4 remote systems that I can think of – and there’s probably more. I haven’t used them as much as I had planned – what can I say, it’s been a busy year – but I have used probably the cheapest option, a wired remote (£6 off ebay), the most. Come Autumn each year, I can be found out in the woods laying down on the floor getting up close and personal with mushrooms of all varieties. A tripod is essential for this type of work, and some method of external shutter release even more so as the one thing that macro photography, with it incredibly shallow focal plane, doesn’t like and that’s camera shake. One millimeter can make or break close up work where even breathing has an effect on the final image.. and I’m not on about mist on the lens – even using a large f-stop (ie f22) the depth of field on a mushroom is measure more with a micrometer than a meter rule, and all the interesting fungi tend to grown on the floor.. which is a bit dashed inconvenient. I have, on a couple of occasions, worried passers by who think I’m laying unconscious on the floor, and who are quite taken aback when I just up to talk to them. Perhaps I should film such an episode, fly on the wall, and be made up like a Zombie.. not that it’ll take much makeup!



  1. Excellent!
    I giggled at least 3 times and sniggered once and half a smirk!


  2. Amazing and excellent capture! Your animal shots are fantastic.

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