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Triggertrap review

When I go out to shoot landscapes I will work with my camera on a tripod and use a remote trigger release to trigger the shutter, as this I have found helps to stop any small movement or vibration that may occur when the shutter is released. I also work with the live view mode so the mirror is locked up to start with.While I was out in Iceland shooting landscapes my remote trigger broke (and yes, it was the expensive Canon one). So I when I got back I was looking around for a good alternative replacement to this.

Searching the net I started to find some good positive reviews of an app called Triggertrap, from a company called:

FB911_TT_logo

The company produces an app called Triggertrap Mobile which is an app that you download to your phone and which leverages the power of your smartphone and adds a metric craptonne (!) of additional features to your camera and it works on either iPhone or Android platform.

To be able to use it, you’ll need a smartphone with the Triggertrap mobile app (and this is free download! from iTunes or Google play). Then you need to buy a Triggertrap Mobile connection kit for your camera. They have got over a dozen different kits, and they say that they have more than 300 different models of cameras covered with these kits. These kits are not expensive either in the £23 range depending on the kit you need.

So what can the Triggertrap app do?

It has a Cable release option which enables you to trigger your camera in any of the following ways:
Simple cable release: tap the button for a picture
Quick release: release button to take the picture
Press and hold: touch to start, release to stop
Press and lock: touch to start, touch to stop
Timed Release: choose your shutter speed
Self timer: photo in 3…2…1

There are Time-lapse modes which gives you the following:

Time-lapse: travel through time,
Time warp: time-lapse with acceleration
Distance lapse: perfect for road trips

Bramping: bulb ramping time-lapse
Star Trail: extreme exposure control
HDR modes:
LE HDR: Long Exposure HDR sets with up to 19 exposures
LE HDR Time lapse: create time lapse with all the details of HDR

Calculators: ND calculator

and finally Sensor modes:
Sound sensor: activated by sound
Vibration sensor: activated by vibration
Motion sensor: activated by motion
Peekaboo: see a face take photo

So as you can see this app has a lot to add to controlling your camera remotely. It is well priced and when I ordered the cables, they were with me within two days of placing my order.

So how do you use it? That is very easy really; you connect your camera and your phone via the cable, you boot up the app and select the mode you want to use and that is it.

TTD3LR-1-2-940x626

(image from the triggertrap website)

I have only just tried out the cable release option and I have to say this worked well; my only issue is you have to hold your phone all the time as I was not over keen on letting it dangle down over a large puddle which is where I was shooting at the time. So here are a few images shot using the app whilst in Belfast.

h&w crane belfast
H&W Crane Belfast
rainbow h&w belfast
Rainbow H&W Belfast
titanic building belfast
Titanic Building Belfast

Car park arrow

car park arrow
Car park arrow
titanic building after the rain
Titanic building after the rain

With all the other options to explore like HDR, movement, triggering etc, or if you want to plunge into new creative realms with your photography and you need a device that can do it “all” then I would recommend you check out the Triggertrap app.

I have only just used one of the modes so far and was impressed with it and will not be looking at an expensive Canon remote any more.

So check out Triggertrap I really don’t  think you would be disappointed.


A day’s visit to Munich.

Exhibitions, Marathons and Olympic Stadiums all in a day’s visit to Munich.

As I wrote in my previous post about attending the Trierenberg super circuit gala dinner, getting there needed some planning as the flights didn’t work out well from the north of England. So after a lot of research by my wife, the best option for us involved a trip to London and then a flight from Gatwick to Munich, which gave us an opportunity to spend a day in Munich.

However, while in London we used the time to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum and the exhibition of the work of the German photographer Horst. The exhibition is entitled ‘Horst: Photographer of Style’. The German theme of the whole trip started here.

horst_banner

(Image from the V&A website)

This exhibition is well worth a visit as his images are excellent – many in black and white. His mastery of how light falls, composition and his ability to create atmosphere and sensual illusion using light is seen throughout the exhibition. It’s not all his fashion work either – there is a good selection of his other work which is also very strong too. Well worth the visit (the exhibition runs until 4th January 2015).

Then on to the delights of Gatwick airport. I have to say we cleared the security checks very quickly and the Easyjet flight was good too. We had booked a hotel near the airport as it seemed the most sensible option as we were arriving at around 21:00 and if we were delayed getting into Munich, then finding the hotel might be very stressful, after a long day traveling.

The day spent in Munich turned out to be interesting both photographically and culturally. It transpired that the Munich marathon was taking place. We had not really researched what was on in the city apart from a read of an article listing the 10 best things to do in Munich, so we got the chance to watch the early stages of the marathon and it’s runners and then the later stages too.

in the 5000
In the 5000
early leaders munich marathon
Marathon
runing in step
Runing in step

One of the recommendations was to visit the Brandhorst Museum which is a modern art gallery. Again, no research as to what exhibition might have been on, but to my delight they were running a exhibition of Richard Avedon images. The exhibition is entitled: ‘Murals and Portraits’, covering a range of his work starting with three of his large photographic murals made from 1969 – 1971.  These were complimented with his portrait work of some of the most famous people of the 50s onwards including Frances Bacon, Samuel Beckett and Buster Keaton. Another set was entitled: ‘The American West’; again a set of strong portraits of ordinary working Americans.

This was another well curated exhibition and showed a very good range of his other work (some for the first time).

orge
Jorge
viewing-becket
Viewing-Becket

The other location that we had planned to visit was the Olympic Stadium built for the 1972 summer Olympics. Travelling on the Underground to the stadium and BMW museum was very busy and it was only when we got out of the station that we realised that the Stadium was being used for the finish of the marathon. This it turned out was a good thing as there was no admission charge to get in and look round, and it gave you a feel of the atmosphere of the place as the runners were completing their final lap of the stadium track to the finish line. The architecture was also impressive with it’s 70 design still looking modern and futuristic.

bmw musum angle
BMW musum angles
stadium architure
Stadium architure
statuim-interior.jpg
Statuim-interior

So overall a good day in the city of Munich – and I think we will return again for a slightly longer visit.


The Trierenberg Super Circuit gala dinner and awards evening

Part of the introduction on the Trierenberg Super Circuit website states that:

It is the aim of this competition to find out the very best photography from different styles, techniques and genres. The Trierenberg Super Circuit has established as an international benchmark of perfect photography. Not only amateur photographers, but also internationally well-known artists and professionals have been participating.”

And on Monday of this week (13/10/2014) I was among those photographers at the gala dinner and awards evening held at the Design Centre in Linz, Austria. One of my 8 accepted images had been awarded a gold medal for best colourprint image in the  Feldkirch salon. (Expression on red Pointe).

red point angles and shapes
Red point angles and shapes

As medal winner you get an invite to attend the Gala Dinner and awards evening, and as I have known other UK and Irish photographers, (Ron and Maggie Tear and Ciaran Whyte) to name but two, who have attended in the past and talked about the event being impressive, so when the invitation came I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to attend.

I was not disappointed as it was certainly an impressive event, well organised and with a well curated exhibition of a large number of the accepted prints. To have one of your images on display with all the other impressive work and to stand on the stage in front of all those other photographers and creative artists was a good and humbling feeling.

There were a few other UK photographers attending too – Tim Pile and Brian Hooper were two whose work I know.

They were also there to collect medals for their work so it was good to meet up with them and also spend time with photographers from around the world, the furthest being one from Australia and the other from Brazil.

Thanks to Brian Hooper for the the next two images, which are me collecting my medal; and the other guests on our table (myself and Ro, Lotta van Droom and partner, Brian Hooper, Jalal Sazeli and Jack).

Then we have Tim Pile been interviewed on stage.

bph6865
Collection my award
bph6874
Some of the other award winners
tim on camera
Tim on camera

Three photographers who I met at the event and whose work is worth looking at are :

Lotta van Droom (Ireland),

Jalal Sazeli from Singapore, and

Mohammadreza Rezinia from Iran is also an impressive creative and it was good to meet and talk with him about the challenges he faces in creating his work.

Have a look at their websites if you have the time.

To sum up the Gala evening – it is just amazing. The presentation of the images, awards, and company made it a special event, and if you ever get the invite, then GO.


Urban Ballet with Kayleigh Lush

Having finally managed to process some of the urban ballet images from my recent shoot with the dancer  Kayleigh Lush .

I thought it was worth sharing a few of them in my blog.

The idea of the project was to shoot a set of ballet themed images in a urban setting.

First of all I needed a good location, which also needed to be fairly local to me.

That choice of location was Saltaire, which is near Shipley and very local to me.

Because I have been there a number of times I knew that it had some really good locations which we could to shoot ballet against.

Another requirement was a trained ballet dancer, so I contacted Kayleigh Lush.

Now having worked with Kayleigh before , I knew she was capable of producing good ballet poses. Which is what I wanted for this project.

Kayleigh is a trained dancer and works really hard to produce great images, especially dance. So was the ideal choice for this project.

As I mentioned above the choice of location was Saltaire, near Shipley which is a world heritage site and has some interesting buildings to work against.

These include the famous Salts Mill with the Leeds Liverpool Canal running between its buildings.

As well as the impressive  United Reformed Church.  which is just across the canal for the mill builds.

All these building were built by Sir Titus Salt around the 1850s, and I was sure would give good and different building to shoot dance poses against.

On the day the weather was overcast and grey which was good, but to lift Kayleigh out of the background I needed some extra light.

To provided this extra punch of light, I therefore set up a single off camera flash unit fitted with a 19″ McGillicuddy beauty dish . This is my favourite modifier to use with a single off camera flash set up.

Urban ballet Images

As the day progressed the weather turned to light rain, which made working on pointe and landing jumps tricky for Kayleigh.

This therefore required us to make a change to the location, fortunately there was some local woods near by.

Which would provided some shelter from the rain for a while, but still allow us to shoot the projects theme of dance.


Question: How important is the title of an image?

The Question:

A question that came up at a recent lecture I was giving to a camera club was: How important is the title of an image?

Now this made me stop and think for a minute (so a good question).  I know that when I am creating images I don’t have a title in my mind, it is all about focusing on creating that image. I suggest that the titling process begins when I add images into my library.

They have a ‘working title’ which is normally a generic shoot title in combination with a file number. I don’t rely on just numbers and dates alone therefore all the images from that shoot get that generic title.

It is only when I have selected an image and start to process that image that a possible title might appear. It may also come from my thinking while processing the images.

You could say it all depends on what you are going to do with the images. If it is only for your personal portfolio then does a title matter?

My personal opinion is yes, image titles are important.

Images that are going out to be viewed either on my website or on an image posting website should have a title.

Creating a title for your image is all part of the creative process. I know from personal experience that sometimes it is easy to come up with a good title and some times it is very difficult to come up with a good meaningful title.

However this question was in the context of using images in exhibitions/ competitions.

So how important is a title?

My thoughts and experience of entering images into exhibitions is that for most International exhibitions the title makes very little difference.

The reason of this is the volume of images that have been entered makes the judging process a rapid affair. Some times the titles are read out other they appear as texted with the image. It is all about the image making an impact in the short viewing window that the judges have.

It is only in the medal selection process that the judges will most likely see the titles of the selected images.

Exceptions:

There are exceptions to this – for example, the London Salon and possibly the Edinburgh International. (Both print salons) where the judging process is very different. The title of the image is very important for the judging here. Especially in the London salon where it is all about the images being selected that show distinct evidence of artistic feeling and execution, So the title is a very important part of that.

But I suspect that for the majority of the digital salons the title is not seen until the end of the selection process. Certainly looking in salon catalogues you will see that certain authors don’t bother with strong title so you might see Mountain view III , or Window light 4.

At club level

However in club photography circles the title is very important and is usually read out prior to the image being presented for viewing/ judging.

So getting a good title for the image is essential. As in this area the title provides a useful handle for critiquing, reviewing and discussing the work.

Alternate titles may be suggested as this review is undertaken, which may or may not help the author.

To me the role of the image title is and will always be an important factor of image making.

It is perhaps the final part of the artistic creation process. The title once chosen, normally stays with that image or any form of art (whatever it is) for it life.

To choose a strong title should be part of the challenge for any artist no matter what type of art is being produced.

So my answer was that a good strong title is important.

Get the title right and it will be part of the emotional response of the viewer’s experience when they view the image.

These are my views so it would be interesting to read others views.

Below are a selection of images and with my chosen title that have done well at all levels with their titles:


The Hepworth Wakefield

I paid a visit to the Hepworth gallery in Wakefield to view the exhibition by the American photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia, last week and took along my Fuji XE-1.

It is well worth a visit both to see the images in the exhibition but also to get a feel of the space. The Hepworth allows photography in most rooms so here are a few of the images I shot on the day. I started outside with a few images of the building which is quite angular and one either likes or you hate.

These are followed by images from the various areas and rooms within the building. All the images below were shot hand held and processed in Lightroom using the latest Fuji profiles released for Lightroom.

These work well and I have tried a couple of different variant to see what the overall effects to the images are.

Well worth a visit as the exhibition space is good and the café does some good food too. The Hepworth will certainly be on my list of venues to visit in the future.


A second London Salon Medal

A trip to London this weekend to attend the opening of the prestigious London Salon of Photography. This is third year that I have been down to attend the opening of this Salon. Although it is not a FIAP salon and therefore does not count towards any FIAP awards, I have tried to support it since being invited to submit some images three years ago. It is not an easy salon to get images into as they have a unique selection process where the images are viewed by all the assembled salon members and the images have to be passed by them, which is not easy. The images selected have to show distinct evidence  of artistic feeling and execution. It may not be a FIAP salon but it does receives thousand of entries from all over the world.

So to have managed to get images selected for inclusion within the exhibition for the last 3 years I feel is a great achievement. My first image selected into the Salon (2012) was entitled: the Lady and the Lamp.

lady and the lamp
Lady and the lamp

Last year I managed gain two acceptances into the salon ( this is the maximum anyone can get selected), and “Synchronized Bathing Practice” picked up a Salon medal which is a really great achievement as only 10 medal are awarded at each salon.

So to this year – I again managed to have two images selected: “Perfecting the art of chair hurdling” and “Perfecting the art of table stands” are both on the exhibition wall.

The first image was also award a Salon Medal, which I was delighted with. To hold two London Salon medals is, I feel, a really great achievement.

perfecting the art of chair hurdling
Perfecting the art of Chair hurdling

Yorkshire Photographic Union (YPU) Annual Exhibition 2014

A little later than I wanted to blog about this but I have had a busy few weeks since the assemble and opening of this exhibition.


If you are in the Yorkshire area and a club photographer, then the Yorkshire Photographic Union’s (YPU) annual exhibition is the show case for the work from Yorkshire photographers. The Annual Exhibition is the place to be on the opening morning as you get a chance to see the work that has made it to the exhibition wall. This year it is being run by Halifax photographic society and is held in the Bankfield Museum in Halifax.
So how did I fare in this year’s Annual Exhibition? I knew I must have got a few acceptances as when I arrived a number of different people offered their congratulation, but that didn’t really prepare me for the results.
You are allowed to enter 6 prints and 6 digital images. I was certainly very successful with my print entry, as all 6 of my prints made it into the exhibition, certainly a very rare occurrence. I was also successful with 3 of my projected images being accepted into the digital presentation too. So that was another good result.
Having got six print images accepted, I was also delighted to find that three of them picked up Individual awards. Two monochrome prints were awarded trophies: Synchronised Bathing Practice –The Challenge Cup for best pictorial Print Monochrome; and Spotting a Square Landing – the Portrait Trophy for best Portrait or People study Print. In Colour prints general, my image entitled: ‘99 on the edge’ was awarded the Rotherham Trophy for the best sport, action or photojournalism Print.
The Challenge Cup winning image:

Synchronized bathing practice

The Portrait Trophy winning image:

spotting a square landing
Spotting a square landing

The Rotherham Trophy winning image:

99 on the edge
99 on the edge

I also received a number of certificates for the following images: Rainy day thoughts, In Contemplation, and Pillow Talk.

rainy day thoughts
Rainy day thoughts
in contemplation
In contemplation
pillow talk
Pillow talk

Ilkley Camera Club also picked up two Society awards – The JE Barker trophy for colour prints and the Keighley Challenge trophy for monochrome prints, so we may well be going to represent the YPU in the PAGB Interclub Championship for 2014.
The exhibition runs until the 31st May 2014.


Anna Rose

I had not planned to shoot with Anna Rose  (a London based model) and it was only because I had been working the studio the day before and unfortunately or fortunately as it turned out I managed to leave one of my lens at the studio. (True Definition Studio). The owner had phoned me to say he had found my lens and as I need it for the next day I decided to drive back over to Stockport to pick it up.

On arrival I found that there was a studio day on and one of the models was Anna rose and whilst talking with the owner and picking up my lens, it turned that that there was a 1 hour slot available with Anna.

So seeing her I made the decision to do some images with her in that one hour slot. Here are a few of images I shot with her all using the natural light windows of this studio.

The levitation image was a bit of an experiment and is really just some work in progress.

Here is a selection of images we produced in that that short time frame.


FIAP levels and the need to focus

From January to March anyone working towards the FIAP distinctions will have been finalizing their submissions and sending them off to their relevant FIAP coordinator. The Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB)  who administer the FIAP scheme in for England have set the deadline date as 31/03/2014.

I, like all the others on the FIAP trail, have submitted my form for the EFIAP/ bronze level, which I talked about in this post. To achieve this level you need 75 acceptances with 25 different Images and have gained 3 awards. As I could only count acceptances from June 2013 (the date of my EFIAP certificate) this was really halfway through the year so I was pleased to have achieved the required acceptance for this level in a relatively short timescale.

So what have been the learning points this year;

Focus

You need to be focused on getting new images into the salons and hopefully gaining acceptances; the important thing with the levels is to build up the number of different accepted images so you can achieve the required number for the level you working towards. It gives you no advantage in submitting previous images accepted, you are wasting your chances of getting other images accepted and building up your image count.

For the FIAP distinctions levels, you do need to have images that have gained awards. You need 3 for the bronze, 4 for the silver, 5 for the gold and 6 for the platinum – which is a total of 18 awarded images overall. Once an image has an award any further awards don’t help you, just the one is all that counts. So continuing to enter the same awarded image into other salons, in the hope of picking up any future awards is a real waste – these awards simply don’t count.

Strategy

The strategy I have adopted with new images is to enter them into at least 3 different salons and see if they gain acceptances. If they do gain an acceptance I then park it and move on to another image.

Learning

My main learning point this year was with image names. I used one image twice with different names and only discovered it as I was preparing my contact sheets. This is not acceptable and again a waste of time. I am not sure what I was doing but I guess entering Salons late at night after a long day at work had something today with it.

So I do need to improve my image numbering/naming system to ensure that images I use are numbered and named correctly to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

A few awarded images from my EFIAP/ bronze submission.

black and white geometry to mood
Black and white geometry to mood
in contemplation
In contemplation
kapow
Kapow

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