Storm Imogen by Andy Lyons.

 

The weather fascinates me, especially extreme weather, so when the weather forums started making noises about a potential ‘big storm’ rolling across the Atlantic and likely to hit South West England I started to pay attention. The timing coincided with a quite spell at work and I had a spare days holiday available so made the decision to head to Cornwall. Before heading down there I did some research on locations to shoot as I had not visited the area with the camera before and also the state of the tides. No point in getting down there to find it’s a low tide! Nowhere near as dramatic if the waves don’t even reach the cliffs.

With the research done and the forecasters firming up the details I headed West from Dorset stopping off briefly in Lyme Regis to capture the Cobb in the storm. While the waves were crashing over the Cobb the light was poor in heavy rain so I left there and headed towards Lands End.

I was around a mile outside of Sennen Cove when I first started to notice salt spray landing on the windscreen and whilst I knew the sea wasn’t that far away I had still not seen the North Coast swell. The moment of glimpsing that first sight of the waves rolling in at Sennen will last long with me… they were huge!

I parked up at Lands End car park and waited for the latest shower to clear over before getting my gear together and heading off to see what I could find. With the rain now clear for the moment I walked past the hotel to the small hut which looked out to the ‘Longships Lighthouse’. First place on my list to shoot. In truth I could have probably done with a slightly longer lens and was a bit split between shooting at 200mm and just getting the lighthouse or shooting slightly shorter and capturing the bigger picture with the nearby rocks. I opted for the latter and whilst it wasn’t pin sharp I think it gives a good reflection of the conditions on scene.

Longships Lighthouse by Andy Lyons

Longships Lighthouse by Andy Lyons

The next shot was from Lands End looking to Sennen Cove. The waves were smashing into the cliff with a small bay inbetween myself and the main point of impact. From here you could not only see the force of the waves against the cliff face but also in the bay as they relentlessly rolled in.

200ft and rising by Andy Lyons

200ft and rising by Andy Lyons

I headed back to the car and after clearing off what seemed to be inches of sea salt from the windscreen I headed off to Sennen Cove. I was planning on heading down to one of the lower car parks but then saw someone stopped at the top of the road looking down into the village with a camera so decided to stop in and see what he could see…… and wow, what a sight! This was the shot looking down into the village with the wave engulfing the cliff and subsequently the village was showered in spray. I stopped and chatted with the guy who was shooting it who was a local chap who I later found out had his shot published on the front page of various national papers. Initially I was a bit annoyed that I hadn’t got back in time to submit my pictures but then it came to me that if he wasn’t there then I wouldn’t have stopped. He was a nice chap and only too willing to offer local advice of where to go and where not to go!

Sennen Cove by Andy Lyons

Sennen Cove by Andy Lyons

I popped down into the village and captured a few shots from low down but there was so much sea spray around capturing anything clearly was becoming a challenge! One mistake I made was not taking enough lens cloths with me, they soon became useless!

Last spot on my agenda was to Porthleven, a village on the south coast of Cornwall which is now fairly famous in the photography world and as a result when I got there it was BUSY! Busy with photographers. I took up a vantage point on high ground to capture the church and coastline behind it and somewhere safe too! Sadly the light was fading fast but there was still some great action and sights to see. Sadly there were also some idiots getting too close to the sea who nearly got swept in!

A Stormy Porthleven by Andy Lyons

A Stormy Porthleven by Andy Lyons

So summing up it was an amazing experience to witness and chase. The first view of the waves will last long with me, the noise and witnessing the power was amazing. Sadly as at Porthleven, there was an idiot who thought it was a good idea to jump over the guide rope at Lands End to take pictures right on the edge of the cliff!! Why? What is the point of taking that risk? The power of the mother nature should never be underestimated and you should always respect it.

If I get the opportunity again to do this I certainly will and would happily take some company down there with me. It took quite a bit of planning, routes, times, tides, locations etc. As for lessons learned, well I’ve bought more lens cloths already! I also found I was taking so many pictures that when it came to sorting through them it was a long process! Perhaps I’ll be less trigger happy next time………

Artist from the week from Gina Williams

A recent interview with Gina Williams about her current work:

I’m really trying to almost minimalise the photography I do by not taking heaps when out and about.

 

I am trying to really think about what could make statement pieces that work on walls in varying places both personal & commercial. I’ve almost slowed up when using the camera almost like it was when you had a roll of film. Looking to see if the subject holds enough to translate into the photo and also if its an area well photographed, trying to look at different angles to gain something that hasn’t been seen before.

Water Diamonds by Gina Williams

Water Diamonds by Gina Williams

I’m not sure I have a certain item I am working on but I have focused more on seeing the areas that I’m in in a different way almost from outside the box so to speak.

 

Using twitter etc to link photos to certain groups / medias to reach out to a broader audience has been something I have been working better over last couple of months with success and sales. I have also been extremely motivated at selling the Snowcapped photo especially as the client works for a very large retail / marketing firm so where it will end up is quite exciting, although if its just his house then that’s awesome too.

Door 18 by Gina Williams

Door 18 by Gina Williams

 

I have entered the Sony world photography awards and will see the shortlisted photos in next couple of weeks, its a long shot but I thought just give it a go. Fingers crossed!’

 

I have also been commissioned to provide some photos of the Chard / Axminster, Seaton and Honiton areas for my work place. I have 6 that have been chosen already and there will be more – exciting times’

 

Stargazer by Gina Williams

Stargazer by Gina Williams

Golden Rules for Selling your Photography.

Golden Rules for Selling Photography and Artwork.

Once you commit to selling your images there are some ‘Golden Rules’ for selling your work. We have many years experience of dealing with both sides of the process as printers, artists, photographers and curators. The romantic idyll of being discovered in our studios by a benign wealthy benefactor or collector are long gone, now it is a game of hide ‘n’ seek in the vastness of the internet that can seem strangely intimate and also the loneliest space to occupy.

Here are a few guidelines to help you get ahead and hopefully be seen in amongst the millions of images out there.

Durdle door by Matt Pinner

Durdle door by Matt Pinner

BUY IMAGE

 

Tag, tag, tag and imaginatively title your images.

A full description however over simplistic it may seem to you is incredibly important. ‘Tags” are embedded in the image and that is what the little spiders search for. You may know Corfe Castle is in Dorset but it doesn’t mean someone from Norfolk or Australia would. We deal with many enquiries via email and if the image isn’t well defined the client can forget which image it is or who by that they are interested in and they lose interest quickly. A great example of a well titled image is ‘Archway to Heaven’ which is memorable as well as a stunning image.

Rome by Rui Costa

Rome by Rui Costa

BUY IMAGE

 

Keep your public informed.

Write about your news and blog. Again this is about helping direct ‘traffic’ back to your work. Our blog has reached over 30,000 people and whilst you may not get immediate feedback clients often refer back to something they’ve read which they found fascinating or will pencil in a particular piece of news.

Kimmeridge Out Of This World by Kevin Ferrioli

Kimmeridge Out Of This World by Kevin Ferrioli

BUY IMAGE

 

Enthusiasm. 

Refresh your portfolios, show an interest in what you do. Keep your groups to no more than 15 images. If you have too many in any one portfolio the buying public lose interest and stop scrolling. Keep them well edited and short. This forces the viewing public to come back to the beginning or search for more. If you show enthusiasm in what you do this will show through your work and resonate with the buying public. You may only ever sell one image over and over again however it is the body of work around it that gives the buying public the confidence to invest in you and your story.

November sun by Jo Stephen

November sun by Jo Stephen

BUY IMAGE

 

Be generous be Bold.

There is so much goodwill towards what you do either from friends or family or in our community. Engage with other photographers praise and share their work, ask advice and you’ll see how encouraging their response is. Ask questions about your own work, this is your free ‘market research’. Buy samples to decorate your home or office or give your work as a gift for a birthday. It will be the start of many conversations ‘Wow where can I buy that’ ‘I didn’t know you were a photographer’.  Small A4 prints on aluminium make lovely ‘cards’ that will then be propped up on mantelpieces or kitchen windows for years.  Photography cries out for being printed in large format. Our most popular sizes that we sell are 60cm x 90cm and they look stunning and elegant on aluminium which is waterproof, UV resistant and the modern way to show photography, what’s not to like in your sales pitch!

Barley Fields in East Devon by Sam Rose

Barley Fields in East Devon by Sam Rose

BUY IMAGE

 

Make Mailchimp your friend.

Here at the Shed HQ we write 3 different mailshots. One to our community, one to existing customers and those who have expressed an interest in what we do and one to possible clients. Think along the same lines. Send a quarterly email talking about what you’ve achieved and where your audience can buy your work. Send one to friends asking for support, one to people who you’ve met along the way and one to a targeted audience. If you live in a town then write to the local hospital asking if they would like to exhibit your work. Show a local interior designer or pub your work. If you need some help curating a show then contact Chelsea and she is more than happy to help pull together an idea or body of work. Ben is also on hand to help with the technical printing aspects and how to install.

Boats of Beer Devon by Benjitas Photography

Boats of Beer Devon by Benjitas Photography

BUY IMAGE

 

The Golden Rule and Social media.

The Internet is a wonderful time wasting, soul destroying, mystifying, potential market place. Social media is about directing traffic to your profile not away to further social media platforms, don’t give your client the opportunity to get distracted and click away to a video of kittens. Make every tweet, post, blog a ‘Call to Action’. It may seem trite but our moto is ‘Likes are Vanity, Sales are Sanity’. Every single time you post an image anywhere it is imperative that the link goes back to somewhere it can be bought from. Lean in, as the Americans say, point out in bold letters BUY this image HERE. Why else would you post on the Internet? To be copied to give your angles and ideas away? No, it’s to find a client. So before you post your new work, upload it first to your profile where it will be watermarked. Someone who is busy does not want to write an email asking if it is available to buy. If they have a  query we are here to field those emails. Make it obvious and make it simple. Copy the URL from the top of your profile or the image itself and include it in the post.

Beacon to the Milky Way by Stephen Banks

Beacon to the Milky Way by Stephen Banks

BUY IMAGE

 

Love what you do.

This, above all, is what will make you successful!!

 

 

 

Kevin Ferrioli, Shed Artist of the Week.

What first drew you to photography?

I had always this interest for photography, never managed to take it seriously until I had my first digital camera about 10 years ago, 3.2 megapixels Sony Cybershot. I was more interested in portraits and then product photography.  I though at that time that landscape was only for retired people!…I was so wrong as once I started, I never looked back again…Night Landscape is my passion…

What is your favourite photographic memory, and why?

Last year we had some electromagnetic storms…I was out with Matt Pinner and we had a kind of competition of who was able to capture a lightning …we both laughed to death and our photos went to national press.

Corfe Castle Village Milky Way2 by Kevin Ferrioli

Corfe Castle Village Milky Way2 by Kevin Ferrioli

BUY IMAGE

 

Who is your favorite photographer, and why?

For my night photography style, I can safely say that I only have one influence and he is Michael Shainblum. His images have the wow factor and makes you feel that you want to be there…Also he has done one of the most beautiful time lapses that I have ever seen.

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

Tricky question…Before I brought my camera, I made an exhaustive research, even going to the pixel by pixel analysis. I was more concerned about sensor capabilities. For my budget, the Canon 6d won. I see now many photographers switching to Sony A7s, image quality wise, for milkyway shots, I still cannot justify the switch. So my perfect camera would be a Nikon 810a. I would take it everywhere in the planet!

 

Searching for gold by Kevin Ferrioli

Searching for gold by Kevin Ferrioli

BUY IMAGE

 

Tell us what you enjoy most about your own work, and what has inspired you recently.

Very few people have witnessed the purity of the night sky…My encounter with the stars at night is reminder of how tiny and insignificant we are in respect of the universe.  I have managed to see the galactic center with my naked eyes and that is an experience out of this world…

Do you have bursts of creativity – and when/where are you most creative?

Burst of creativity can happen anywhere and at any time…I take note of them so I prepare my shots in advance.

 

Parkstone Bay Milky Way by Kevin Ferrioli

Parkstone Bay Milky Way by Kevin Ferrioli

BUY IMAGE

 

What are the most important elements of a successful photo?

Be realistic, natural and makes you feel there…If all perfectly executed it will induce the wow factor…

Tell us about your favorite photograph, either your own or someone else’s, and please send us a copy/link from their website if you have can!

My personal favorite photograph right now is Kimmeridge out of this world.  This photo is now apart from my current style but still have a wow factor that makes me feel living in another planet…

Kimmeridge Out Of This World by Kevin Ferrioli

Kimmeridge Out Of This World by Kevin Ferrioli

BUY IMAGE

Artist of the week, Jo Stephen.

What first drew you to photography?

When I was little my Dad had a Polaroid Instant camera and it was like magic watching the pictures come out of the front of the camera and develop before your eyes. There we were captured in time, messy faced and grinning. I wanted to have that same power to capture and collect time. I got my first camera when I was 10, I liked to set up surreal still life images or stories and photograph them. As a keen naturalist from an early age I was drawn to wildlife and landscapes rather than people and urban settings. I always loved the creative process and worked as a glassblower for years but I find an honesty in photography that I haven’t found in other media. However, like all truths it can be manipulated and experimented with.

Weymouth harbour by Jo Stephen

Weymouth harbour by Jo Stephen

BUY IMAGE

 

What is your favourite photographic memory, and why?

It would probably be taking my first film camera camera to Slimbridge when I was 11 and imagining I was a great wildlife photographer, when the films I had taken were developed the stack of pictures of ducks in a distance didn’t put me off, they did however make me learn that if I wanted my parents to foot the bill I would have to improve and be less prolific. Getting my first DSLR was another great memory; I had full creative control and didn’t have to worry about the costs of developing film.

Who is your favourite photographer, and why?

One of my favourite photographers in Idris Khan, his series every…. really speaks to me, I love the way he overlays images creating new complex realities which seem to exist outside of time. I find the way he uses digital technology inspiring. It has encouraged me to create works which overlay multiple images taken at different times from the same view point to try and capture the passage of time or a timeless quality.

Littlesea, studland by Jo Stephen

Littlesea, studland by Jo Stephen

BUY IMAGE

 

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

I have always used Sony’s cameras as I like to use old Minolta lenses and I would love to try a top of the range model like an A7ii. I have never owned expensive camera equipment and am grateful just to be able to shoot in RAW with a clean image sensor.

I would love to go to Iceland, Russia or Scandinavia and photograph the forests and Northern Lights. Also I would love to return to India, where I spent part of my childhood and photograph the places I loved so much. That said however, I don’t think there is anywhere in the world more beautiful than a bluebell wood in spring and I am blessed to live close to many in Dorset.

Tell us what you enjoy most about your own work, and what has inspired you recently.

My work is an expression of my need to be out in nature, so what I enjoy most about it is the time I spend in the countryside noticing life in all its forms and relationships. As someone who is deeply philosophical I find myself frequently lost in an inner world of imaginings, fairy tales and mythology and I think marrying those inner experiences with the outer world I see about me through the medium of photography is my greatest pleasure. I love experimentation and for me photography is a way to express a love and connection to natural world. Through techniques like intentional camera movement I can play with that relationship. For me realism isn’t important as trying to capture emotion.

3 trees by Jo Stephen

3 trees by Jo Stephen

BUY IMAGE

 

Do you have bursts of creativity – and when/where are you most creative?

Most of my time is spent creatively, occasionally I have time when I switch off and recharge or I take time out to meditate and be still. I spend as much time as I can in nature and I think this is where I draw creative energy from. However recently I have played with street photography and really enjoyed it. I am often inspired by dreams, books I have read or just by the light coming in the window when I wake, I never plan anything, what I do just happens by accident or chance from a place of inner contemplation. I think there is beauty and story in every moment.

What are the most important elements of a successful photo?

I like photographs that are uncluttered, express movement in their stillness and tell stories. I enjoy looking at careful observations of the natural world and I love the beauty in the ordinary and objects or perspectives that are often overlooked. I like to see rules broken too and am a fan of surreal fine art photography. A successful photograph is such a subjective thing, with my own work usually the photographs I like most others don’t and I guess it depends on what speaks to the observer at the time of viewing. I suppose capturing the quality of light in your image is fundamental to a successful image.

Ocean by Jo Stephen

Ocean by Jo Stephen

BUY IMAGE

 

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!

One of my favourite photographs is Pink Footed Geese by Milo Newman, I love the simplicity and the mountainous shapes the flying geese make, like a landscape drawn with birds.

Geese by Milo Newman

Geese by Milo Newman

I find the work of many of the artists at The Shed really inspiring and beautiful, which is what lead me to become a part of the gallery. Russell Clarke’s Misty Morning is a hauntingly evocative image I really love. Concrete Wall with Blue Door and Toxic by Paul Taylor are also favourites of mine, the ability to capture beauty in the ordinary is a skill I admire and Pauls composition is excellent. Although not photography I adore the work of Cristian Sainz, Natural Serenity is an image I can become lost in for ages, full of peace and all the energy of nature at once.

How do you spend a creative day? 

Alone in nature exploring, usually in the local woods, then drinking tea and looking at the images I have captured choosing which to share. For me things happen when they happen and nothing is planned, I can’t predict when I will have an idea or desire, some days are prolific, some weeks are non-productive. I think creativity like nature is cyclical and if nothing is forced things will unfold. I try to live in the moment and capture the moment when I can.