Freelance Round-up: This month in photography

Those of you who are not fully self-employed may have been savvy enough to book 4 days' holiday and get 11 in return, due to the bumper bank holidays at the end of April and the beginning of May. It really is alright for some! I suspect that the rest of us have been using the unseasonably hot weather and Wedding Fever to get some saleable shots of early blooms and street parties.

So, as we all struggle to get back to some sort of normality, I thought I would try and find some sites that are inspirational, some that are recreational and a few that are both.

Take It Long and Slow

When you are in the business of photography, it’s sometimes difficult to get back to the fun side. When was the last time you had your camera on the bulb setting? Whether you are a full time pro or just starting out, mastering this, in my opinion, undervalued setting, could not only re-affirm your love of photography, it could be a nice little earner.

The Digital Photography School has the most amazing long exposure photos I’ve seen in a long time and it includes the techniques needed to capture your own wonderful shots. Once you have mastered the basics, and if you are in need of even more inspiration, check out Smashing Tips and Designzzz . The latter one also has a section on how to capture long exposure photography and clicking on the ‘Inspiration’ link at the top of the page, you will have a choice of more genres to become inspired by.

All In The Mind

If playing with your camera settings doesn’t appeal, how about playing with your mind and imagination? Get out of your photographer's block by checking out this site Pixiq. Pick a theme and go with it, from ‘ Locks on Toilets’ to ‘Stick Figures in Peril’ these photo collections cannot fail to kick start your imagination. Another site that is both inspirational and useful is Photoshop Zoo. Scroll two thirds of the way down the home page and take a look at the ‘Alphabet Soup’ presentation; it really does challenge the photographic eye.

Get Out And Do It

Well, you should now be inspired enough to go out and try and capture some wonderful summer images, but where to go? Where can you capture people, transport, arts & crafts, animals and landscapes? You could do worse than to visit one of the many County Fairs and Shows that start to take place around this time of year. There are a few sites that have country wide lists, and here are three of them.

Shooting Directory, Stackyard and Information Britain. Many County Fairs also have fun fairs, so take your tripod and cable release and try out some of those long exposures .

Use It Don’t Lose It

I keep all my photos on several external hard drives, after a rather scary experience with the hard drive on my PC. However, even external hard drives have a life span, and when my 1.5tb drive started to make clicking noises, I went into my very own mode - panic! I started looking for a larger replacement to back up to, just in case. A site was recommended to me by a friend who had bought external drives from them and I am now the proud (and relieved) owner of two 2tb external hard drives from Misco. I have to stress, that I have only bought hard drives from this company, but they do sell most things a photographer may need for their PC and more besides. The delivery was quick, and more importantly, the drives didn’t break the bank.

And Finally...

If you are thinking of upgrading your camera or any other part of your equipment, a visit to the online publication of What Digital Camera will give you the spec on the latest camera releases whether you are a Nikon, or a diehard Canon user like me. Bookmark and visit often to keep up to date.

Until next time, happy freelancing!

Jan Wright


3rd May 2011

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