5 Shed Picks from Tony Antoniou our Artist of the Week.

Hover by Rachael Talibart

Hover by Rachael Talibart

Having tried this type of photography myself, I can attest to how difficult it is to capture a Hover Fly in flight. This composition and colour palette of this image is amazing. Rachael is clearly a natural when it comes to photography as her portfolio shows. It’s really difficult to highlight just one from her collection, but this has been a favourite of mine for a while.
Fox Express by Timothy Foxx Neal

Fox Express by Timothy Foxx Neal

How amazing is this! These fox cubs at so cute, and in my experience very shy! To be able to capture one on a railway track makes for an intriguing photo. I like the contrast in colours of the coat of the fox and the perfectly blurred shrubby in the background. The subject is pin sharp just as you would hope for such an image whilst other elements are recognisable but defocused adding to the overall feel of the final image.
Peacock by Patrick Ridley

Peacock by Patrick Ridley

I first saw this image and was immediately drawn in. It engaged me as a viewer and posed many questions. The colours are subtle and desaturated for an image with such a title, yet somehow it really works. The lips add an extra dimension and the crop works beautifully here. Now, when I found out that Patrick is only 15, that’s when my jaw dropped. I only wish I had half the talent at that age. Clearly he has a wonderful eye for photography and definitely on par with or surpasses the talent of many people I have known who have been at it for years. Good job Patrick!
Polar Bear on the Artic Ice pack by Nige Nicholas

Polar Bear on the Artic Ice pack by Nige Nicholas

It’s always been an ambition to visit this wonderful location. As of yet, I’ve not even come close. Seeing a photo like this sparks the desire even more. Snow and Ice is always tricky to handle from an exposure point of view. Nige has controlled this expertly with the amazing creature placed perfectly in the frame. The added contrast of the water makes for a truly beautiful image.
Portland Bill Night Lights by Ollie Taylor

Portland Bill Night Lights by Ollie Taylor

Going out at 3am is dedication to your craft. In this case, it has really paid off in this wonderful image by Ollie. The thought process of the composition to include the reflection in the water is genius. it’s been processed skilfully to show the Milky Way and the lighthouse at their best. I love every aspect of this image.

Tony Antoniou, Shed Artist of the Week.

What first drew you to photography?
When I was around 12, my older brother had one of those old Soviet built film SLRs. I believe it was a ZENITH. This sparked an initial interest. It wasn’t until my early 20s that I bought myself a Canon AE-1 and shot on B&W Ilford ASA 400 film and built a makeshift darkroom in my kitchen. I’ll be honest, the darkroom wasn’t for me and I soon felt disillusioned about the whole photography hobby and sold all my kit.
It wasn’t until some 20 years later, now in the era of digital photography, that I embraced the hobby again. I have Julie, my wife to thank for that. It was a couple of Christmas’s ago that she was struggling to find a present for me and whilst on a shopping trip she just suggested the idea of a camera. That was it! No more smelly chemicals to deal with, no more fumbling in the dark, instant results, no film costs to name but a few benefits. I was totally sold. I don’t regret the early years. All the knowledge I gained from back then all applied in this new digital age. I already knew my f-stops from my shutter speed. I was ready to go!
What is your favourite photographic memory, and why?
No amazing story here, but a very personal experience of shooting my little boy in the Studio. Being able to capture the moments of your children growing up is just priceless for me. Every time I look at this photo just brings happiness to me.
Kyri

Kyri

Who is your favourite photographer, and why?
This is such a difficult question to answer. There are just so many people that I admire and draw inspiration from. If backed into a corner, I would have to say that I am really enjoying the work of Dutch photographer Adrian Sommeling. I was fortunate enough to spend the day with him recently and was just amazed in his approach to creating an image.
What would be your ideal camera, and where would you take it?
Technology is progressing so fast, I can only hope that I get to see it in my lifetime. It would be wonderful to have a camera that could capture the dynamic range of the human eye without having to bracket your exposures. How about also having the ability to focus on your subject simply by looking at it through the viewfinder. Whilst we are fantasising, why not have a focal range of 8mm-500mm built into the form factor of something that would fit into the palm of your hand. That would be amazing, I think I would never be without it.
Tell us what you enjoy most about your own work, and what has inspired you recently.
I have to confess that photography is a very selfish activity. Everything I do, from concept to print, I do for me. If someone else happens to like the end result, then that’s what creates the inspiration to carry on. I’ll never forget the feeling the first time that someone purchased my work. It was such a buzz to think that someone parted with their money to own something that I created.
Do you have bursts of creativity – and when/where are you most creative?
I find that I am most creative when I have had a stressful day. Not only do I find that creating an image helps me unwind, at the same time I can purge the negativity and put in into an image. I think we all suffer form blocks now and then, and that’s when I revisit old shots and try and see something new with a fresh pair of eyes.
What are the most important elements of a successful photo?
Ansel Adams is quoted as saying “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”
My work over the past year has been focused on doing exactly that. I like to create a scene by compositing two or more of my images to create something that would otherwise be impossible to capture. The most important element however is being able to bring out an emotion in the viewer. I want them to ask questions about what they see.
The Fallen Moon by Tony Antoniou

The Fallen Moon by Tony Antoniou

Tell us about your favourite photograph, either your own or someone else’s, and please send us a copy/link from their website if you have can!
To single out a one image as being a favourite is just impossible. I can however show you one of my favourites. It’s called “Into The Poppies” by John Wilhelm from Switzerland.  For me it has all the elements of a wonderful photograph. The subject, the composition, the processing and the emotion it conveys. I love it!
Into The Poppies by John Wilhelm

Into The Poppies by John Wilhelm

How do you spend a creative day?
I make a point of trying to learn something new every day. It may be a new photoshop technique to add to my arsenal, it could be watching videos on YouTube about various lighting techniques. Once I have learnt them, I have a need to apply them and see how I can incorporate them into my work. Of course, I like to get out and shoot, but not always in the traditional sense. I find myself shooting textures, floors, clouds, walls, and almost any element I think could be useful to me in the future for a future project. I am building a library that I can draw on for my composites. Recently I had a very productive day at the V&A Museum capturing various statues and artefacts for future use.

Sarah Broome, the Shed artist of the week.

Goodness me where to start! As always, probably at the beginning…

My parents have a white photo album which documents our two years living in Australia back in the early 70’s. In it there is a photo that I took at the age of four and a half of a sunset from our balcony. So I guess you could say I started taking an interest at an early age. Forward wind to the age of eleven and a school trip to Devon, another significant photo taken on a point and shoot film camera at a boat museum somewhere near Paignton. A boat in the form of a swan situated by a window with only the natural light (no flash) so that half of the boat was in light, the other in darkness. Sheer flook of course and something I have tried to emulate ever since to no avail.

Break through the Door by Sarah Broome

Break through the Door by Sarah Broome

Which neatly brings me to my point I am trying to make…a friend of mine said to me last year that my style of photography is simply spontaneous and rarely planned, (or words to that effect). Something I should not change. Not everyone will like what I do but that may be because don’t understand! He also recommended that I give The Shed a whirl as he said that Chelsea would “get it”. Whatever “it” is!  So here I am, trying to talk about myself and my photography!

Solitary Leaf by Sarah Broome

Solitary Leaf by Sarah Broome

I stumbled upon a quote the other day by Yann Arthus Bertrand: “The Earth is art, the photographer is only a witness”. I think maybe we as photographers choose how we interpret that “art”. For me, I like to try and capture the smaller scenes of the whole view, for example the stern of a fishing boat amongst the grasses; fence posts amongst the grasses, the rest of the scene blurred to make the viewer want to go there to see for themselves. Whether that works in reality is something I am yet to discover. I hope in my own little way that it does!

Swan in Golden Light 2 by Sarah Broome

Swan in Golden Light 2 by Sarah Broome

For a long time I used to be all too quick and trigger happy, the joy of digital technology!  Several years  ago I rediscovered film. My favourite camera being my Mamiya C330 MF. It made me slow down and think about composition, light and settings etc. A useful lesson! However, for me anything that takes a photo is good enough for me. My last exhibition with Dorset Art Weeks was solely photos taken using my iPhone. It was a good conversational piece! Most recently I have been using my Canon 7D. If you were to ask me what my ideal camera would be, my answer would be the Leica M8 which only takes Black and White. At £8000 it will remain a dream!  Taking it to Yosemite National Park and/or Alaska would also  be a wonderful experience.

Autumn Glory by Sarah Broome

Autumn Glory by Sarah Broome

Anyway, it just leaves me to say thank you for reading this, viewing my collections and the opportunity for trying to talk about myself, something I am not very good at. I hope all of the above makes sense!!!

Harbour Protection of Old by Sarah Broome

Harbour Protection of Old by Sarah Broome

Neil Barnes picks his favourites from the Shed Gallery.

These are my picks with just a brief explanation as to why I enjoyed them, I’d rather let the pictures speak for themselves but any of these I would be proud to have in my portfolio.

A Journey's End by Tony Antoniou

A Journey's End by Tony Antoniou

This picture stood head and shoulders above most for me, I love its simplicity and its surrealism, it reminds me of something by the late Storm Thorgeson. Being a monotone just adds to that air of mystery.

Down by David Jacks

Down by David Jacks

What a brilliant idea this is creative photography at its best. A picture that definitely tells a story and very cleverly done. Wish I’d though of that!

Skimming the Light by Emma Burton

Skimming the Light by Emma Burton

Gorgeous in its simplicity, a perfect focal point with beautiful subtle colours. A very saleable shot I should imagine.

Polar Bear on the Artic Ice pack by Nige Nicholas

Polar Bear on the Artic Ice pack by Nige Nicholas

Once in a lifetime picture, great composition, beautiful colours and pin- sharp.

Scan0009 by Tim Edwards

Scan0009 by Tim Edwards

A well-worn idea but extremely well executed. Pictures don’t have to be complicated, this proves that. Love the colours, the lines and the composition.

Neil Barnes, Shed Artist of the Week.

With this current crop of stormy weather, it’s interesting to for me to know that it was the East Coast storms of 1978 that gave me my break into photography, I just happened to be around with a camera – right place, right time.

And that’s the key, being in the right place at the right time. You can plan ahead, you can identify possible scenes and scenarios but there’s no better feeling than coming across something and being able to capture it to its full glory. Equally though, getting an idea and working to create a picture can be just as rewarding.

I often take a wander out with my cameras not knowing where to go or what I’m going to shoot but that’s the fun of it. I may identify places that when the weather is different I may return but on the whole I invariably come back with something. That’ll be the newspaper background I have, being taught to always get a usable picture no matter what, so you didn’t incur the wrath of the Editor.

Nowadays, its much more laid back with very few of those pressures. In fact it was only last April (2013) that I decided to try my hand at landscape photography, never really having felt the need. Well I guess having a natural aptitude and 35 years experience as a photographer does help but also living in one of the most beautiful parts of the country also has a distinct advantage.

The picture that set it all off was the one that was recently sold in the The Shed winter exhibition. On my way back from photographing some electric buses in Dorchester for a transport magazine, I took a detour towards Eggardon Hill having noted an unusual sight of the sun streaming through the clouds.

Eggardon Hill sunbeams by Neil Barnes

Eggardon Hill sunbeams by Neil Barnes

Over the space of about 15 minutes I captured around 75 frames each of which would be eminently saleable.

This one shot ignited the fire and I started seeing things in a different light so I set myself a personal goal to get a decent portfolio of landscape pictures in twelve months.

10 months on and I have achieved this quite comfortably and even produced a calendar of my work in time for Christmas. My images are being sold in the Post Office in Bridport (the people from the PO actually approached me) amongst other places and I continue to look for new opportunities whenever and wherever possible.

What first drew you to photography?

Right place, right time – I studied Typographic Design and Photography at college and happened to be around with a camera when the river in the town overflowed, flooding and displacing many of the residents. I took lots of pictures. Those pictures led to my first job as a trainee photographer with the Peterborough Evening Telegraph. In the 35 years since I’ve been fortunate to have had a myriad of people and events through my lenses, from Prime Ministers to royalty, celebrities and sports stars and of course hundreds of the obligatory retirement and cheque presentations.

What is your favourite photographic memory, and why?

I spent several years working as a photographer on the local newspaper where John Major was the MP and built up a very good rapport with him. Years later I had risen to the lofty ranks of Chief Photographer with British Gas and he as Prime Minister. Our paths crossed one day on an official event I was photographing in Lincolnshire, he spotted me in a crowd of photographers and we spent a while reminiscing. The Chairman of British Gas was quite astounded that I was on first name terms with the PM.

Who is your favourite photographer, and why?

I admire the work of Hockney and Rankin, Hockney because he has grasped the use of computers in his work and continually stretches the boundaries and Rankin for his incredible unfailing creativity.

What would be your ideal camera, and where would you take it?

My ideal camera is the one that helps me take the picture I’m looking for and the one I have to hand. Any half decent photographer will tell you that virtually any camera can be used to take a reasonable picture, in fact my Facebook business page and my website feature pictures taken not just on my pro Canons but a Panasonic point and shoot and an iPhone and no-one has been any the wiser which one the pictures were taken on.

If I were to choose one camera though, it’s one that’s already in the place where I would take it. The Apollo missions left 12 Hasselblad cameras on the moon after their exploration. I’d like to use one of those right there.

What do you enjoy most about your own work, and what has inspired you recently.

I enjoy creating something that people like enough to want to hang on their wall. My most recent inspiration came from observing the rocks and pebbles on the beach and I am in the process of creating a picture using them but as yet it’s unfinished. I prefer creative photography over waiting for something to happen in front me, that’s too easy. I try and make it happen if I can, although that’s not always possible.

What are the most important elements of a successful photo?

Composition, focal point, a different viewpoint and commerciality.

Tell us about your favourite photograph, either your own or someone else’s.

Broadchurch the return by Neil Barnes

Broadchurch the return by Neil Barnes

This one turns heads, it questions, it draws the eye. I watch people looking at it, you can see them thinking is that real? How was that done? It has symmetry and is a familiar view in West Dorset but with a twist.

I’ll leave you with my favourite analogy. Frequently I’ve had people say ‘ooh that’s a big expensive camera, it must take great pictures’. My response generally is would you say to a writer ‘ooh that’s a nice keyboard, bet it writes great novels’….?