Big Thanks To “What You Blog About?”

Anar from What You Blog About? approached me last week to ask if I would like my blog to be featured on their site.

What You Blog About? features other blogs as a way of developing links and growing traffic within the WordPress community. As well as asking people if they would like their blog to be featured, Anar has a contact page in which you can submit your own blog, there are a couple of questions on the page so that you can write a brief introduction to your blog.

Here is the link to photosociology on What You Blog About?

Macro (18 of 38)

Bye Bye Carbon? – Exercise 3.6 – Mixing Genre

Brief:- In this exercise you’ll make four photographs that mix genres together. Choose a subject you’d like to photograph. It can be anything at all, a place, a person, an object or a story. Landscape – Now decide on how you can enhance your subject’s meaning by joining it together with a place – a landscape. Make a photograph of your subject in or associated with a landscape or place of your choice. But choose wisely; there needs to be a ‘resonance’ between the subject and the place. For example, you could place a friend outside the house where he or she was born. You may not think it’s possible to combine landscape with other landscapes, but have a look at Beate Gütschow’s work and you’ll see it can be done (www. You can also place images side-by-side to be read as a single piece or make one picture out of several pictures. You may even be able to mix all four genres in one picture. Portrait – Make a photograph of your subject in combination with a portrait – the presence of a person. If your subject is a person, then you could add a second person, like a relative. Still life – Make a photograph of your subject in conjunction with an object or collection of objects. You could place an object in a landscape for example, as in Penny Watson’s photograph.  Story or event –
Make a photograph of your subject involved in a story or event. This could involve creating a narrative situation or a sequence of photographs that represent an event happening in time.When you’ve finished the four photographs arrange them together as a series, either in a computer program or as prints on a wall. When you view pictures repeatedly over time, they ‘work on you’ and you begin to notice things that don’t work and other things you’d like to improve. It’s a good way of learning from your own photographs.

A couple of months ago when I was visiting Redcar, I walked up the dunes and saw 50 – 100 christmas trees which had been planted into the sand. Dead christmas trees. Trees that are no longer drawing in carbon dioxide and giving out oxygen. Instead, they have been uprooted by human kind, to be used for our pleasure for 12 – 30 days, so that they can then be re-planted into an area that they will never grow in.

You can probably tell that this sparked a photographic fire within me. I couldn’t help but be drawn to the wind farm juxtaposed with these trees. How many times must we find to destroy the planet, then find ways to correct out destruction, just to create more destruction and need newer inventions to counter our further interventions, and ad infinitum.

Watching current affairs also highlights climate change deniers, and those “leaders” and carbon heavy industries who are desperate to cling hold of fossil fuels rather than say goodbye to them and make use of renewables.

I have included both two and three genres to create a narrative within the one image; still life and landscape or still life, landscape and portrait.

bye bye carbon

bye bye carbon

bye bye carbon


The narrative is promising here and I’m pleased with how combining different genres I have been able to create a narrative within a single image. I think many photos naturally make use of more than one genre, not all, but a fair few. However the process of deliberately trying to make use of different genres places an emphasis upon deeper consideration of what it is that I want to convey. Slowing the process down is always good for somebody with my make up, who tends to run with an idea without considering alternatives or depth. It’s when I slow down that my better work is produced, it has become a deliberate ploy since beginning Foundations in Photography.

The developing of the second image has not worked for me, the white balance is wrong and has too much warmth, and the yellowish tint doesn’t look right, although its composition is strong, maybe even the strongest of the three, simple but bold.

The first image needs the top cropping slightly, I like the composition, and I like how the red of the rose draws my eye into the cross.

Ok, the third image. This has the potential to be a strong photo, with the model offering the flowers to the trees, almost as if he is pleading to retain the use of carbon based energy, not wanting to let go and allow it to die in peace. But it needs to be re-photographed. I need to go back to Redcar and take this photo in the morning so that the mans shadow does not lean into the trees. I find it off-putting. maybe the toy cars could go from this photo as well, or be re-positioned as they detract from the composition in my opinion.

Hand on heart I am not always great at following the brief. I had read the brief in advance, a month or so, but I did not re-read prior to going out and shooting. At some point I am going to have to get on top of this. Don’t get me wrong, I am pleased with how my intuition and mind work together with some of my ideas, and this one particularly, and they have lent towards the brief in this instance. However, there will be times, either in higher education or with commissioned pieces where following the brief will be essential. With the times that I have deliberately chosen to go against the brief, and this has generally been once I have followed it for the first go but have wanted to explore, then that’s fine, thats personal development. However, I have said it before and will say it again until it sinks in, follow the brief.

Mental Health Awareness Month

Just because I don’t live in the US doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t nurture myself.

Everyday provides the opportunity to do something that demonstrates kindness and compassion towards myself. How easy it is to demonstrate those qualities towards others, and how challenging to practice self care.

I brought some flowers yesterday as a prop for a photography exercise. They were good enough for the photo shoot as they were laying flat, but they were too limp for a vase.

When I meditated this morning I decided to buy myself a bunch of flowers, however why buy one bunch when you can treat yourself to two.

Neither bunch had the right colour balance on their own, and that’s the reason for getting them both.

When I write my gratitude list tonight it will include – I am grateful that I treated myself kindly today.


Review – The Better Picture Guide To Still Life And Close Up Photography

Buselle, M; 1999; The Better Picture Guide To Still Life And Close Up Photography; Crans-Pres-Celigny; RotoVision

Buselle is a film photographer and throughout the book he provides technical details about each presented photo – lens, filter, camera format and type of film. I can relate to lens, filter and camera format, however, the type of film I Kodachrome, Velvia is new to me, but fascinating none the less. My assumption is that the type of film (not its speed) combined with the filter works together in the way white balance does in digital photography. Film speed and ISO are the same.

The book covers different aspects of still life that includes the natural environment, food, flowers and plants, macro, and staged photos.

I found the sections that discuss lighting of huge benefit, especially as there are the occasional lighting plans that have been included as diagrams. It’s easy for me to lose some detail in photography because I have a personal preference for high contrast, but I can see how Busselle’s use of lighting and reflectors eases back the shadows and permits more detail to be seen.

Key learning points

  • Minimise colours where possible and appropriate to do so
  • Use a background which has a complimentary colour and texture
  • If you can’t find a suitable background then make one
  • If a multitude of colours are present i.e. a market stall then use a large aperture to reduce distractions and emphasise the colours
  • Take time to consider what it is you’re trying to present (he gives a pictorial example of the front of a wooden boat, it’s lettering and the reflection. Using the whole boat would be a chocolate box picture, whereas a tight crop emphasises the lettering on the wood and in the water)
  • Warm up filters (white balance set to shade) enable the photographer to make use of the sun and reduce the blues
  • Composition can make or break a still life, reduce subjects and props to a bare minimum, and introduce additional items with caution. Compliment the subject, don’t detract from it
  • Any subject can be turned into still life or macro. Move items around, change your position and the angle of the lens, experiment
  • Aperture, aperture, aperture. Match the aperture to the subject and the background, avoid distraction, enhance and compliment

Exercise 2.1


Take a piece of white paper and go out and photograph some plants in this way. Don’t cut or pick the plants; leave them where they are. You’ll probably have to photograph in ‘macro’ mode, often indicated by a tulip icon on your camera. Under-expose a little if you find the white card is causing highlight clipping.

When you’ve completed that, do the same with a person’s face. You can use a plain wall, a sheet or a large piece of paper as your background, but be sure to eradicate all environmental detail.

You can further enhance this by cropping the photos later if you find a distraction on the edges.

You’ve photographed two different subjects in different places, yet all signs of the place have been removed. What do you think that does to the interpretation of the photograph? Do you notice how it emphasises both the shape and the subject as a distinct thing?

The exercise has been an enjoyable one to undertake, and it is quite apparent that the subjects are clear, uncluttered, tidy and almost scientific. Detail is easier to see because of the lack of background. The fruit are my favourite, and I believe this is because without anything distracting then there is only the succulence of the fruit to see. When developing the orange peel my mouth watered.

Taster Photos For Exercise 2.1

I am still in the process of developing my photos for the exercise, but here are two to be getting on with. The rose has been isolated by shooting macro in the wild, and the depth of field throws the background, so the subject avoids distraction. The Rosehip was developed by shooting on white paper, and then eliminating the shadows, with a prolonged airbrush in Photoshop.

Exercise 2.1

Exercise 2.1

Re Organised Website – Can Focus on Study and Sociology Projects Now

My website :- was looking a little untidy. I have spent the day reorganising it, so that I can now focus on my study and projects. It has taken me a while, but I hope it is brighter, more professional, and consistent now.

I have also added to the macro gallery and arranged the site so that I have a page for insects and a page for flowers. I have renamed our other photos to general.

I have had a period exploring different genres and I am aware that there are three that I really enjoy :- Sociology, Events and Macro. These are what I really feel enthusiastic about and bring me a lot of enjoyment.

The three projects that I am working on are Homelessness, Mental Illness/Mental Wellbeing, and The Media and Social Control. My homelessness project is ongoing, and I have a project board, plan and draft proposal for Mental Illness/Mental Wellness, and a draft plan for The Media and Social Control. The exploratory photos for the mental health project are coming along slowly, but they are giving me ideas about technique.

Tomorrow will be getting my printer working, and uploading exercise 1.9.


Macro (1 of 1)MacroMacro

Have a good evening.

Two Days of Macro Photo Developing – New Gallery Tomorrow

I’m quite exhausted but pleased with what I have achieved of the past couple of days.

I’m very pleased with four photos, I will be saving them for competitions that I enter. I will upload a gallery of the rest tomorrow once I have added metadata to them. These photos are mostly flowers but there are also some insects. Some good ones of insects.

I had a frustrating day yesterday as both my mouse and computer were running slow. My computer is fab and rarely slows down and it was back to normal today. I’ve also ordered a new mouse.

Here are a couple of previous macro photos I made.