Friday, August 6, 2010

Fantastic FNQ photo Friday

Far North Queensland Green - Images by Paul Dymond

Need a bit of green in your life? Well we've got in in spades. If you had to pick a colour to describe far north Queensland then it would have to be green. From the golf courses of Port Douglas to the wetlands of Mareeba. From the parks of Townsville to the thick, tropical rainforests of the Daintree. Throw in some Cooktown mangroves, Port Douglas pizza parlours and Yungaburra markets and you have a world of green. If your day is feeling a bit drab and concrete-like I hope this cheers you up.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Why I love stock photography

As photographers we tend to be like sharks. We have to constantly keep moving, keep producing new images. Constantly looking to better our previous efforts. And that's a good thing. Like sharks, if we don't keep moving we tend to die - if only creatively and not physically.

But there's a downside to this constant moving forward. We forget to look back. If you have children you'll know how quickly they grow. You might not notice it every day but an easy way to have it hit you over the head is to flick back through the pictures you've taken of them over the years. Start the year they were born and move forward.

I'm sure I'm not the only parent who has suddenly realised it's way past their bed time as they spend hours flicking (well scrolling these days!) through nostalgic images that bring a smile to the face and a tear to the eye.

But how many of us do this with our 'real' photographs. The ones we make to feed our creative souls. This thought process was partly inspired by the boys over at PhotoNetCast
In their latest podcast #49 their guest is Jim Pickerell, he of the Negotiating Stock Photo Prices book fame. And they were talking about Steve McCurry shooting the last ever produced roll of Kodachrome film. And Mr Pickerell mentioned that a lot of film images weren't commercially valuable in this day and age because they just don't look as sharp or as clear as digital images.

And he may be right. But for me my stock photography archive has so much more value to me than just commercial opportunities. And I hope it's the same for you. Maybe if I was shooting products in a studio the feeling would be different but I'm a travel photographer. And every image, no matter whether it was shot on Kodachrome or Sandisk, no matter whether it was taken yesterday or 24 years ago has incredible value. They are all reminders of amazing journeys, incredible experiences and the events that have shaped my life and my sensibilities.

But we forget that value to us in our constant need to move forward to the next assignment. So take a break from shooting new stuff. Go back and look through your archives. Revel in the joy those pictures bring you. Relive the amazing moments and the feelings that were running through your head and heart when you clicked the shutter. Go travelling vicariously through your pictures all over again.

The photo at the top of the post was taken on the slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro. It was shot on Kodachrome film. It's probably not as sharp as it could be given that Kodachrome 64 is pretty slow and it was pretty dark. But I look at this picture 24 years later and I can vividly recall the rain, the mud, the smell of the wet forest and the strain of the porters' muscles as they carried our food up the mountain. And that's the real value of this picture. Oh, and it's been published quite a few times over the years but that's almost irrelevant.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The greatest new travel magazine on the web!

Every so often life throws you amazing opportunities and you have to grab them with both hands and hang on. One of these serendipitous snippets happened to me a few months ago when my good friend Ewen Bell 
asked me if I was interested in being the photo editor for a new website he was putting together.

To tell you the truth the first time he asked I said no. What with running a business, writing a blog, looking after two young kids and trying to make sure I see my wife more than once a week I just didn't think I would have the time. And then he asked me again. And I sat down and had a think about it and put my trust in my instincts.

I've always had a tremendous amount of respect for not only Ewen's photographic and writing capabilities but his integrity and drive. The man has his heart in the right place and is always coming up with great ideas. And he was putting the site together with veteran travel writer Tom Neal Tacker, Vice-President of the Australian Society of Travel Writers and all-round nice guy. And I was getting more interested.

And then he told me the name - Naked Hungry Traveller. And I was hooked. And so I now find myself the photo editor of a groovy new travel website which launched today. We plan to tell it like it is. We love travel as much as you do, and hate blatant travel ads as much as you do. And that's why we felt the time was right to put our souls on the line and start this new venture.

So to help us mere minnows in the travel publishing world make a go of it I would like to ask a favour of you dear readers. I would like you to hop over to the Naked Hungry Traveller and read some great articles. And then I would really, really appreciate it if you could leave a comment on the article you like the most. Hell if you like 10 articles leave 10 comments! Or you can Like it on your Facebook account or Retweet it. Whatever you like, but if you could help us get the word out there we might have a fighting chance of making a go of what promises to be a great website for lovers of travel writing and photography.

Oh and the photography is a bit light right now but don't worry we've got lots of plans to integrate more and more images. Just to give those damn writers a run for their money. :) So, in case you missed it before the site is called the Naked Hungry Traveller so tell all your friends - if they love travel then this is the place to be. Plus the photo editor is a pretty cool dude and if you ask me nicely I can introduce you. :)