I like writing these yearly reviews as much for myself as anything, looking back through the previous ones is a great way to track your progress both in terms of favourite photos from the year but also thought processes and achievements, hopefully they’re of some interest to others too.
This is now the third opportunity I’ve had from Saal Digital to review items from their print store and I’ve been impressed with the quality of all of them so far, so was very much looking forward to trying another product.
The product this time is a photo booklet, a small spiral bound book in this case 130mm x 180mm containing 50 pages. It would normally cost you £16.45 plus £4.95 shipping and they’re available from http://www.saal-digital.co.uk/photo-booklets/
Having recently reviewed an Aluminium Dibond print from Saal Digital (review here) I was interested to get a message from another print company I hadn’t heard of previously, this time the company is Zor and they’re based in Belgium.
Zor supply 3 types of print, alu-dibond, acrylic glass and forex/pvc and offered me a sample of one of those in 45cm x 30cm. As much as it would have been interesting to try a different material, I thought it would be more valuable to go for another aluminium dibond print so I had a direct comparison.
My local Nottinghamshire landscape isn’t the most exciting for a photographer, especially when you’re seeing epic vistas posted on social media every week from people who can travel a lot, or live with the Highlands on their doorstep. It’s easy to get jealous and blame your surroundings for lack of inspiration. We have plenty of good forests and woodland which I love to shoot, but I wanted to create something different.
Having tried some more abstract techniques including multiple exposures and intentional camera movement over the past year or so I had been playing with the idea of trying to make an alternate landscape from my local area. I’ve done a couple of small projects recently and put some focus into the idea of creating something from nothing, but I wanted to do something bigger this time, I wanted to transport the viewer to one of those epic mountain vistas.
Having just returned from a week in Northumberland I thought it would be worth a quick write up alongside some of my favourite images. I don’t often get out of Nottinghamshire with my camera, so a trip to the coast was a big change in subject for me – I was looking forward to the challenge of doing something different. It was a family holiday so most days I wasn’t concentrating on photography but I managed to squeeze a bit of camera time in.
The first day was spent over on Holy Island meeting up with some more family, I just took my little Fuji X-M1 which is my walk around camera for when I don’t want to carry the big Canon, perfect for these sorts of occasions. I had a bit of a play with my body cap pinhole at various locations, but didn’t get anything that quite made the cut. To be honest I wasn’t expecting much photographically from that day, but in early afternoon a sea fret came in, I quickly grabbed a few shots including the two below before all visibility was gone.
It’s all been reviews here recently which isn’t what I intended the blog to be, but I struggled to find much about these filters when I was thinking of buying one, so thought it may be useful to add a few quick thoughts having now used it in the field.
If you’ve seen my last blog you’ll know I recently invested in a new 100mm filter system, so needed some filters to use with it, I’d picked up a set of Formatt Hitech grads on eBay, but a 10 stop ND filter was high on the shopping list.
I very rarely write about gear, generally I only look at new kit when I feel something specific is limiting me or making something more difficult, but I thought a few words about my latest purchase may be helpful as I tried both of the filter systems in the title, this won’t be an in depth review of either one as you can find that elsewhere, but more a specific comparison between them and why I swapped.
Having previously received a photobook from Saal Digital to review I jumped at the chance to do the same with one of their wall decor products, hoping for a similar level of quality from this relatively new German print company.
From the range of wall decor products they do I went for the Alu-Dibond option as I’ve seen a lot of talk about aluminium prints recently, but I tend to prefer matte or lustre finishes for my normal printing which seemed to be catered for well in this product.
So nearly the end of the year and time for the traditional blog based round up of how my photography has gone over the last 12 months.
In 2015 I started to try and take photography seriously and this brought my first ever publication and first ever print sale, but I didn’t actually take many photos and I took almost none of my local area. I set some resolutions at the start of the year to try and fix this, basically take more photos, experiment more, enter competitions and a more personal one to capture more family moments – I think I’ve done pretty well at all of these.
There’s been a lot of discussion on Twitter recently about the merits of photography competitions, in a way it’s been done to death, but having been involved in a lot this year I wanted to put my thoughts across, including my motivations for entering.