Hasselblad have launched a rental service!

XD1.jpg

Camera manufacturer Hasselblad have long been out of reach for many photographers. Unless you need the sensor real-estate however, many people simply don't need the level of image quality that their medium format cameras afford. In recent years however, advances in sensor technology and housing engineering means the medium format has has had somewhat of a commercial comeback.

Both Fuji and Hasselblad have released more affordable mirrorless medium format options, and   although they are still expensive, they prove far less expensive than previous iterations. Now the news that you can rent one for project work will surely be welcome to many professionals and hobbyists alike.

Have a proper look at their initiative here. See the full Photography News story here.

Don’t Let Anything Hold You Back

BPA Ambassador Rob Rae on the long road to getting what you want out of your photography.

Photo 1 - The Road.jpg

I’m going to start this by telling you a secret, I am not a professional photographer and I don’t have the world’s best camera, equipment or lenses. I’ve never won any competitions, awards nor have I had my photos featured in a newspaper. My only really claim to fame for my work is one of my photos being used by a ferry company on their Instagram.

So why should you listen to anything I’ve got to say? You probably shouldn’t, you should probably go on YouTube, type in Peter McKinnon and sit back for a good hour watching his VLOG, because that guy is awesome and a true inspiration to any aspiring photographers or cinematographers, myself included.

However you're here, so let’s get stuck into the reason you're still reading this:

So there you are, scrolling through Instagram, checking out your favourite photographers and thinking; “man I wish I could take photos like that, but I don’t have a camera like them/don’t live near amazing scenery/don’t know how to edit photos like that.” We’re all guilty of this, heck I’ll hold my hands up straight away and say I’ve done this on several occasions, wishing I had the money, the time, the location to go out and shoot photos like that.

But really, if we were all given; top of the line DSLR’s, every lens known to man, a new Mac and an endless travelling budget, we’d take some okay shots, maybe even some good shots, but it all honestly they probably wouldn’t be nearly as good as the top dogs. Because they have one thing that money can’t buy: EXPERIENCE

These photographers have all started out from begingings, nothing was handed to them, they had to work there arses off and further to become the best in their field.

So here’s what I am doing to enhance my skills and what I’d recommend you do too.

1. Learn your camera

Whether you’re using a point and shoot, a DSLR or even just your mobile phone. Every camera is different and has features you might not know about. You need to know your camera inside out and back to front, know how to change the settings without even looking, how to change your lens, change your battery, swap your memory card. All this will help you from missing out on that golden shot.

Tip – Read your camera manual cover to cover, there’s plenty you won’t know your camera does.

Photo 2 - The Jogger.jpg

2. Read, Watch, Listen

This is a twofold bit of advice. Firstly, if you’re itching to spend money on photography, remember you don’t have to just buy new equipment. But instead go out and buy some literature, be it a magazine, a book or an audiobook. Find out as much as you can about the field and the various tips and tricks you can learn to improve your compositions. Learn about leading lines, framing, the golden ratio, exposure, lighting anything. All of this will make you a better photographer and it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than that fancy new lens you’ve been looking at.

The second part of this is: forget the camera. Now before you bite my head off, hear me out. Photography is an art, and art requires inspiration. So put the camera away and pick up a good novel, listen to some music, watch a drama on TV. Use this to inspire your work, maybe take some shots to go with an emotive song or you may see a spot on TV that you think you could really work with.

Tip – Listen to the album: Passenger – Divers & Submarines

Photo 3 - Motorway Exposure.jpg

3. Get up early.

My wife hates this one. Ever heard of the golden hour? No? Look it up. There are two of them in a day and the best thing about this is, no-one’s ever up to catch the first one. So find a location, get to bed early and make sure you’re up and at the location at least half an hour before the sunrises. I did this a few weeks ago at Sandsend Whitby, I dragged my wife out of bed at 4am, in the pitch black and fog, we drove 2 hours to Whitby, set up on the beach and waited for the sunrise. Results below.

Tip – there’s an app called Sky Candy on the Google play store, which lets you see where the sun will rise anywhere in the world.

Photo 4 - Sunrise at Sandsend.jpg

4. LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION

So in my last point, I said “find a location” and I know what you’re thinking; “I don’t live near any mountains or glaciers or huge lakes or even the sea.” Well Neither do I, but I have something else, Google Maps. Several times a week I think to myself, where can I go, what can I shoot, so I head to Google Maps and look at what’s around me, last night I found a lock 1 mile from my house, so I packed up my gear and walked to it and worked with what was there. Being a good photographer means you can make a photo out of even the simplest of things. The following photo is of a piece of rope attached to an old barge, nothing specular but by trying different techniques from point 2, I managed to get a pretty sweet shot.

Tip – look for places in the middle of nowhere which aren’t regularly visited, this will make your photos more unique.

Photo 5 - The Rope.jpg

So I’m going to leave this here for now as I know you’re itching to go explore your local area, but before I go my last bit of advice would be; enjoy photography, and remember why you enjoy it, forget about likes, loves and views, take shots for yourself.

If you aren’t scared of what you’ve created, you aren’t done yet.’ – Benjamin Haggerty, (Macklemore)

If you’ve enjoyed this article or hated it then let me know! Also if you want to see more of my work; then follow me on the ‘gram @ROBBRAE or check out my PLOG www.thehighlightofrobbsday.com

 

BPA2018

BPA2018

As of August, we are beginning talks with a range of corporate partners, from across the industry, to bring the 2018 BPA to a live event space. The night will display our winning entries in a gallery show, incorporate an industry awards, raise money for charity and celebrate excellence in the British Photographic sector.

The interest, so far, has been incredible, and we want to thank all the companies that have registered their interest and involvement already! For more information about the 2018 awards night, please get in contact with office@britishphotographyawards.org.

Exciting times - and we can't wait to get on with planning an event to better represent British Photography.

To be kept up to date with the show, please check our Industry tab.

-BPA Team

Bug Report 12/07/17

We have had some hitches in file loading being reported during select judging, this could be for any number of reasons from file format to local connectivity - and we are working on resolving it.

While it has only affected handful of entries, we know how exciting the competition process can be for everyone. So, in case you want to double check, and make sure your submission is safe, please email our team (office@britishphotographyawards.org) with your name, category and address - and we will happily update you on it and ease your mind. We are here to help!

Thanks for your support in our first year. We have seen some fantastic pictures so far, and we cannot wit to share a winner's gallery with you next month! Exciting times!

- The BPA Team

All Aboard!

Final call for all entries to the 2017 competition!

As we draw to the end of an exciting first year of fundraising we have to stop and thank all the individuals who are donating their time to this project, all the people who have lent support, advertised us for free and mentioned us in their blogs/casts/articles. The community support for this project has been incredibly moving for those who believe in the model, and we have managed to build and test a new kind of photography competition together. 

Next year we hope to build on our grass-roots, organically grown fanbase and implement a wider ambassador project that engages with local communities. We hope to return a sense of 'local' to British photography and help emerging talent year on year.

We wish all those who have entered already the best of luck in the judging process, and to all those yet to enter we say: the clock is ticking!

- The BPA Team

Bug Fixed 19/5/2017

Bug Fixed 19/5/2017

Counties List Display Bug Fixed

Some people were reporting that our Counties/Regions listing was appearing incomplete, or displaying content from an older build. This loophole has since been closed and all content displayed is current. This will not affect any entries the have already been submitted. If any are found to be incorrectly placed, we will simply reclassify them as part of the judging process. We thank you for your understanding and continuing community support.

If you have any concerns of queries about a past submission, or one you are yet to make, don't hesitate to reach out to office@britishphotographyawards.org and we will endeavour to assist you as quickly as possible.

- The Toggies Team

Thunderclap: Crowdtalking Platform

A huge thank you to all our supporters on that signed our Thunderclap (103 of you and counting!)

With a  social reach in excess of 150k, we are overjoyed with the results that we have managed to strike up. This will do wonders for the visibility of the competition, and help us reach as many people as possible without having to waste money on corporate marketing. Our aim has always been to grow organically and from grass roots, and so this has been an excellent example of how the community can achieve that goal.

Thanks again to all our supporters, what a year this has been!

#30DaysWild

Throughout June, The Wildlife Trusts are arranging a campaign to get people more involved with nature and our wild areas.

Already underway and being enjoyed by thousands of people a day, tune into the hashtag #30dayswild to see how people are actualising the scheme. A lot of the BPA's flock are enjoying the benefits of discovering likeminded local people, nature reserves or activities through the initiative and we very much hope you can support one of our biggest charities as they continue doing their hard work for the betterment of all our wild places.

We look forward to seeing you out there enjoying our natural heritage,

-The Toggies Team

Jeff's Advice: Making Money from Photography using LinkedIn

Over the years as a Photography Marketing Mentor I’ve helped 100’s of photographers around the world market their photography correctly and make a lot more money doing a job they really love. Social Media is one of your best photography marketing tools at your disposal but quite often I see many photographers approaching Facebook and especially LinkedIn completely the wrong way.

Jeff Brown in the field

Jeff Brown in the field

LinkedIn is a fantastic platform and it’s easy to make great returns with no investment in LinkedIn Adverts and just using a free account. To date my best week so far I took £6,000 in sales on my LinkedIn platform and I just use a free account myself and don’t run LinkedIn Adverts. It’s all about getting your profile spot on and making those valuable connection the right way so you can open up dialog with clients. One of the best ways as a photographer to make money on LinkedIn is to market to a niche. Don't advertise yourself as a photographer of anything and everything. Try to develop your profile around one particular market. 

For example, yes I'm a marketing consultant and social media expect, as well as running a very successful photography business. However my profile is based purely around using my photography skills to help photographers, even though I work with businesses large and small around the world with their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. 

So for instance if you are a commercial photographer but you are struggling to get noticed try a niche profile. For example you may have some good stock images of food or hotels so why not create a profile as a hospitality industry photographer then start connecting with people in that industry. Make sure you connect with the decision makers, maybe managers or owners of pubs, restaurants and hotels and always try to personalise each connection and sell the benefits of your services. Remember people buy benefits not services and people buy from people they like so bring your personality across in your communications. 

Remember your profile name, job title and summary are extremely important. Make them stand out for example your name and title woundn't be just John Smith and job title Photographer. 

Instead your name would be "John Smith - Hospitality Industry Photographer" (yes get your job in the name's section too, no one does this but it works amazingly), and your job title would be "Helping the Hospitality Industry book more clients and improve social profiles with High Impact Attention Grabbing Images" or something like that. 

Do you get it? It's worked fantastically for me, every day I get 20-30 new photographers wanting to connect and just last month alone I had over 10 photographers wanting to employ my services to help them make a six figure turnover in their photography business. The best part is I never have to try to sell or run LinkedIn ads my title, summary and helpful free tips and advice brings clients directly to me. Drop me an email to info@focusonmarketing.co.uk or message me on facebook @focusonmarketing if you'd like any tips on how to improve your profile and boost your photography business in general. Look forward to hearing from you and happy photographing. Thank you for reading.

Jeff Brown runs a successful marketing business and offers advice to photographers of all ages and stages. Get in touch to find out more.

Canon Rebranding & Nikon Market Renovation

Canon Rebranding & Nikon Market Renovation

Turbulent times for Photography market leaders

While Nikon celebrated its 100th year in the sector, it has been faced with some hard realities. It had seen a 'loss of place and direction' in some of its recent releases, some of which have since been withdrawn from retail or production, including, most notably three Nikon DL cameras. This was pegged as being for profitability reasons - a very concerning report for such a giant in the industry. While a lot of their ability to respond to market forces was affected by the recent earthquakes in their production facilities, they have also identified a desire to restructure the 'DNA' of the middle management of the company.

Since then, this has prompted an entire renaissance in the company. Fans, and those who are bought into the system, will be very pleased to read that the top levels of the company are promising a complete restructure (already underway at time of writing). They have reaffirmed their faith in high quality DSLR's and market leading bodies.

Credit: Nikon

On the other side of the coin, Canon have just undertaken a huge, company wide rebrand for their imaging attributes. Targeting the smartphone generations and aiming to cement a higher usage among young people, they have chosen to reaffirm themselves as a storytelling brand. But will their new campaign will prove to be an effective approach in such a fast paced, ever changing landscape? Time will tell!

We wish them both the best of luck,

- The Toggies Team

Charity Watch: The Silver Line

Charity Registration No. 1147330

As you know, we love helping charitable efforts gain some exposure. This week, we are highlighting the work of The Silver Line.

"Launched in November 2013, it is is the only free, national, confidential helpline open every day and night, offering information, friendship and advice to older people. The helpline has received more than one million calls - over two-thirds were made overnight or at weekends when no other helpline is available for older people who may be lonely, isolated or confused."

One company that has been doing some serious fundraising for this invaluable resource recently has been GS1UK, who, in fact, currently have a Just Giving campaign open. Do give your support, should you feel so inclined. Any contributions, large or small will go a long way to helping them reach their goal. Take a look at the fundraiser here!

Such work supporting our seniors is incredibly worthwhile (as demonstrated by the scheme's popularity). It cannot however, operate without support. For more details about how you can get directly involved with this charity, please email: fundraising@thesilverline.org.uk

Alternatively, you can visit their website by clicking here.

-The Toggies Team

 

Earth Day 2017: "Athropoceenagers"

Earth Day 2017: "Athropoceenagers"

Newsflash: The current trends aren't good.

Denying responsibility really isn't a grown-up course of action. Nor is it going to keep us off the scrap heap. Teenage thinking fails us in this: The Anthropocene. It will be such a waste of a species that has the whole galaxy in its head. The Earth will shrug us off and forget we ever existed; just more dust on the mantle. The continents will still shift, the world will turn, and life will continue long after all our wristwatch batteries have died. But Earth Day is not, necessarily about The Earth. It is about sustainability, the sustainability of the current cycle of 'life as we know it'.

Let's face it, it is our human nature leading us to auto-eradication... Cheery, I know.

It is hard not to focus on paychecks. It is hard not to focus on holiday plans. It is hard not to focus on our immediate circle of friends and family. It is hard to mentally remove ourselves from the glorious grind and consider the wider sphere of concern. I know this is true, I speak from experience. What we need is leadership. It is what humans have always needed. Perhaps not leadership in a traditional sense, from on high, from some vague figure on a podium telling us what to do - but from within. A discipline that comes from placing yourself in a state of awareness, of motivating oneself to acquire knowledge, of cause and effect, of harm and heart, and most of all: of potential. 

It is very easy to get lost. It is very easy to sit in the dark. It is very easy to feel helpless. But we, as a species, are the most powerful unit The Earth has ever seen. Sadly, we have demonstrated this in some extremely negative ways to date, to the detriment of our only home.

The arguments for each individual pivoting their thinking onto a unified eco-friendly course have been echoing from our megaphones for decades. And I believe, we are tired of feeling a nagging guilt of our situation. As a backdrop for our life, the steady decline of our natural context is not a desirable trend. It violates our psyche in a truly primal way. Those aware of the issues all feel it in some varying measure.

What is required is not a unified direction of thought, all on one theme, in one direction. this gives us too much scope for reversion and lying idle. Instead, what is needed is an individually directed shift. Each one of us pivoting to our own direction, and contributing to the situation how best We can.

In this age of interoperability, of near boundless integration, and global communication, it has never been easier to find out how each person can contribute to the cause. Model yourself on those you admire. Harness your skill set. Wade through the standing water of potential to find where you can stand firm, on a rocky outcrop of purpose. Add value to The Earth. Be a figurehead for those that will follow in the years to come. Let people model themselves on you and your actions. Act responsibly.

Denying our human instincts to hunt and gather, to hoard and consume in favour of a truly trite sounding: "higher path" is the only way out of this. The Earth will go on spinning through the void. It all depends if we want to remain aboard Her, if we want to behave to the fullest of our potential as evolved, adult, dual-thumbed wonders.

HDT

Link : Earth Day Network

Well worth a trek

john-muir-british-photography-awards

The John Muir Way today celebrated the third anniversary of the official opening of the 134 mile coast to coast route.

The route - which commemorates the world-renowned conservationist - was launched on Muir’s birthday on 21st April 2014 and has welcomed visitors from across the globe.

The John Muir Birthplace in Dunbar has also seen a steady increase in the number of people visiting who have completed the whole route. Of those who left details, 46% were from the USA, 25% were Scottish, 10% were from the rest of the UK, 8% were from Europe and 5% were from the rest of the world.

Environment Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, said: “The John Muir Way has been a great success with people from across Scotland and around the world being inspired to explore Central Scotland.  People of all ages are being encouraged to reconnect with nature and this helps to improve the environment for local communities and also has a positive impact for businesses in the area.

“I am sure the John Muir Way will continue to go from strength to strength and many more people will walk all or part of the 134 mile route and learn about the legacy of John Muir.”

The route stretches across Scotland’s heartland running between Helensburgh in the west through to Muir’s birthplace in Dunbar in the east.

Keith Geddes, Chair of the Central Scotland Green Network, was the inspiration behind the trail.  He said: “Three years on from the launch of the John Muir Way and the route’s popularity is still growing throughout the world. SNH’s recent decision to award the route Scotland’s Great Trail status will further enhance its standing.  Interest from John Muir’s adopted home, the USA, continues and over the summer the CBS Sunday Morning programme will be filming parts of the route. 

“We hope that the route will interest more and more people in the life and legacy of John Muir, encouraging them to think about conservation and how they can make their own individual or collective contribution to combating climate change. Muir’s influence over a succession of American presidents just shows how some of today’s young Scots could make their mark on the world.” 

London Lens Show 2017

London Lens Show 2017

We will be there... Will you?

The Team are very much looking forward to looking at some hardware a the LLS in Islington this year. Showcasing some of the finest optics available today, and even some prototypes available to view - it is no wonder!

Book tickets by clicking here or contact Wex for more information about this upcoming opportunity.

Keep snapping, Britian!

- The Toggies Team

Charity Watch: Women 4 Women

Charity Watch: Women 4 Women

Charity Number: SC043950

The Toggies love showcasing new charities, with a view to helping them get established in their communities. Today, we have a fantastic new initiative to champion: Women4Women. Primarily, it is set up as a group that supports domestic abuse victims in Clackmannanshire, here is a run down of their directives taken from their official constitution:

  • To promote and develop self-help initiatives for women only to relieve the suffering and distress brought on as a result of addiction, relationship issues, grief and isolation which is the result of an abusive relationship with a partner;

  • To offer peer support to women who have suffered from domestic abuse and or violence;

  • Organise social and education events for women that will encourage social interaction, which will increase confidence and self esteem.

Thanks to Toggies Ambassador: Jeremy Lavender Photography for providing the photography.

Thanks to Toggies Ambassador: Jeremy Lavender Photography for providing the photography.

Also of note, they have set up a new pilot to specifically support new Mothers and help them grapple with the challenges of new parenthood.

All services offered by the project are completely confidential, and all women who may be in need of their services should not hesitate to get in touch - they are a very friendly bunch who are there to help.

Pictured (Left) is the founder Marion Levett, who has won Citizen of the Year for her contributions to the project.

For more information, please visit their contact page on Get Involved!, (their main site is still under construction). Alternatively, you can get in touch or learn more by visiting their Facebook Page

-The Toggies Team

TPS 2017: Christmas in March

This year's TPS was a raging success and very much deserves the nickname of the 'UK Photographer's Christmas.'

All the big brands were there with a ton of their most impressive tech, campaigns, staff and goody bags. By the end of just one day it was easy to feel like a beast of burden - carrying so many treats around. The schedule of lectures, talks, workshop and open mic sessions were comprehensive and to be honest extremely impressive.

We were represented there by our Director, Hugo Donnithorne-Tait, who took the time to visit a high number of British Brands and touch base with their owners/directors/managers. Thanks to everyone who made the show greater than last year and we very much look forward to next year and all that it brings.

-The Toggies Team

A Matter of Light and Depth

Our social media channels are a great way to be kept up to date with the competition, but also a great source of creative and inspirational photography.

Unlike all the other photography prizes, (to maximise charity funds raised) we are open pretty much all year. This means that our channels will always be active and well worth following.We will include not only our favourite entries, previewed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but will also eventually, include: reviews, technique notes, examples of work and all the content our ambassadors send in to us.

Our social channels will change with the seasons, and focus on UK photography and charity work. For tips on composition, methods, gear and inspiration check out our presence on the following pages:

Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - Pinterest

- The Toggies Team

 

Support from Talk Photography

Support from Talk Photography

With a view to helping the wider photographic community, this week, we had some very useful discussions with Talk Photography.

They are a leading forum source for UK photography (and further afield) and have an excellent reputation for outreach, advice, collaboration, news and commentary. First and foremost however, they are just a great community of helpful, kind and polite photography enthusiasts of all levels. Gladly, they have agreed to allow The Toggies to advertise on their forums and gain a presence in front of those for whom the project is most relevant. 

We feel confident that our Ambassadors Scheme will be of particular interest to the membership and very much look forward to receiving feedback on it from them.

Their recognition that the Toggies is a non-profit venture simply geared at doing more to help, and their keenness to help this groundbreaking project are very heartening for the team, and we thank TP  for their faith in supporting us.

For more information about Talk Photography, or to register an account and join the community, please check out their website here.

See you on there, - The Toggies Team

 

Ambassadors Community: Update

We love our network of Toggies Ambassadors. They help support local charities while sharing their work for publication on our social channels.

This kind of forward-thinking mutually beneficial  team up really make the Toggies the innovative project that it is. We have done a lot to make this as easy as possible. Most recently, we have started a private (invite only) Facebook Page that is geared towards cementing the community and letting Ambassadors share work for us to review before posting it to other outlets for them. This way we can help discover new and emerging talent in UK photography together.

For more information on our Ambassador's programme click here. It is simple and free, and always will be.

Thanks for your time,

- The Toggies Team

 

Welcoming The Wildlife Trusts

The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts has more than 800,000 members. They are the largest UK voluntary organisation dedicated to protecting wildlife at land and sea.

They stand up for, and look after, natural and wild places close to where people live. The Wildlife Trusts manage more than 95,000 hectares of land, across around 2,300 individual locations. But they're not just about land management. Every day they work to help people from all walks of life discover and enjoy nature.  They run over 11,000 events a year, helping more than 380,000 people connect with nature in their local patch. They also work with about 5,200 schools each year and welcome people to more than 120 visitor centres. Through their work, they also advise more than 5,300 landowners on how to manage over 200,000 hectares of land for wildlife.

I think we can all agree that this is hugely impressive and worthwhile charity, and we welcome them to The Toggies fundraising family.

They will be added to the website in the coming weeks for entrants to make donations to. Thanks all,

- The Toggies Team