Friday, 31 January 2014

The demise of the Photographer on Flickr

Well if you already know about the recent overhaul of the social media site Flickr, the article posted by Michael Stutz, points out how the long paying member (I am one of those) has been for intents and purpose been left out in the cold; literally.

It seems those in the ivory towers of Yahoo have decided not just to change the formatting of the site, but to actually replace it with the one Terabyte gimmick, to get the unknowing and certainly unwitting social media user to shift towards the 'new look' Flickr.

For the past twelve months or so I have received intermittent emails from BTYahoo of the changes being made, I actually purchase my broadband from these guys! Though the changes seemed to have locked me out of my account and suggested I set up another in favour of the spectacular new enforced changes.

Admittedly the only welcome change is the fact that this will do away with those who set up groups to post animated stickers that quite frankly are reminiscent of a refrigerator door in the kitchen. No use to anyone who posts photographic works seriously, though putting that point aside this is exactly what Flickr have done in redesigning the site, they have forced the hand of the photographer.

The site is now geared towards mobile users instead of someone who may actually be using a laptop or a macbook. The works you post are now generated along with others in this melee of a digital grid, no longer appealing and seemingly lost, amongst works which by all accounts although seem to be taken with a camera are not instead the mobile user has downloaded some filter and applied to a poorly composed happy snap, and called it arty.

In one way I am lucky that yes, I am using the site as back-up, for in reality that is all it is worth for myself, another on-line back-up service.

It seems now that gone are the days when Professional and amateurs alike used the site and received like for like appreciation,  and constructive criticism which I welcomed openly. So what about petitioning against these changes, well there is such a page, were by you can voice your opinion by clicking the link and getting your name down.

Of course if you are not really savvy with technology, and don't take an avid interest in reading the Huffington Post then this page is not for you either...No, no comeback! Oh okay you want to stay, well I tell you what for those who already pay, I will give you one Terabyte free...except if you want to post HD Video you will have to pay MORE.

This is what really smacks of disrespect in my book, the long standing devotees to Flickr who were in  fact already paying and are seemingly going to be forced to pay more, you track those necessary stats for feedback.

My advice is this set up your own page as I have and use the social media, to inform your friends and colleagues and followers, where you have gone. It's important to get your plans down and focus on your strengths in photography, what images have worked for example Landscape, Portraiture, Reportage etc.

You can then mould your page around your images, set up various pages, as I have done here and build on that success. Unless you're really going to post HD video then I would suggest looking at this site, were upon like minded individuals will give great critique, no ads, no clutter.

And guess what it's a social site were people chat to each other, and not get lost in the melee of non- descript, digital kaleidoscope of colour mess, and the odd hello! in what ever language, they choose.

Why oh why?

It's great to know what language you will never use in your life, I don't mind that except it seems really dumb to me, if I cannot speak the language, then why am I going to ever consider conversing in one word syllables like an over excited African Grey, why not opt for a twerking approach?

Only kidding...


So what other social media sites are out there for photographers? Well if you're a regular follower of my page, you will know that I regularly post onto another fantastic photography site, namely It is a superb photo-community, they post and give feedback and have regular updates and competitions for professionals and aspiring amateur photographers alike. 

The competitions range from landscape, to reportage, to natural history and anything else you can think that is an exciting way to get into photography, I have played a great part in being active on this site, the people are very welcoming, and will give great advice and feedback on the photographs you post. 

What better way to see the world than through the eyes of like minded photographers from around the globe, these images are from around the world, which brings me back to the post I made earlier regarding One Minute on Earth II okay this link will take you to the previous book, which is available on amazon and on Blurb 

What better way to get involved...

Sunday, 26 January 2014

One Minute on Earth II

Hello all

I have some great news for you! You may remember last April 6th,  2013 at 1:00 pm a plethora of photographers (140 to be exact) decided to capture the very minute on earth as a collective.  The book was a huge success and many photographers decided to join us all at Kujaja the online photography community, to create other books as well.

We really have been a busy lot, following the success of other books too, Night on Earth, Mystic Landscape, we wanted to build on that success and have proposed another book; One Minute on Earth II

So if your new to photography or are currently doing a 365 day project and looking for inspiration, or something else to focus on. Why not join us at Kujaja Online Photo Community The book focuses on landscapes so if you're in a part of the world that didn't get a look in, and want to get your country of origin, or even your country of residence featured. Then take a look from the link above and get involved.

See you there!


Monday, 20 January 2014

Third Floor Gallery

Those of you who know the work of Maciej Dakowicz, will know of his Cardiff After Dark Book. He is one of three passionate photographers who run the Third Floor Gallery in Cardiff. 

Another is of course Joni Karanka and Bartosz Nowicki all are from Poland, and all have the passion and creativity all of us photographers have. 

They are in need of donations in order to keep the gallery open. So if any of you out there know anyone who can help click the link below, and get in touch.

So if you live in the UK or you're a fellow Polish artist and would like to make a donation or help in any other way, click the link. 

Many thanks


Friday, 17 January 2014

Analogue Street

©David Rothwell
©David Rothwell
©David Rothwell
©David Rothwell
©David Rothwell
©David Rothwell
©David Rothwell
©David Rothwell
Missing persons passed me by, nothing to do with me We don’t see eye to eye, we get from A to B’ JCC
©David Rothwell
©David Rothwell
©David Rothwell 
©David Rothwell

Analogue Street, a set on Flickr.
A collection of photographs from my film camera Pentax MX, a lot of black & white loom film. Film that has been pushed from 400 ISO to 1600.

I have also used Ilford HP5 and Kodak 200 which I thought was really nice to use and the results very vibrant. Moving on from my last projects and wanting to capture key subject matter, and not just people sitting or smoking, this time round I focused on people using mobile phones juxtaposed with motifs or signs so as to complete a visual meaning in the work. Some of these are as I have normally found metaphors comical, sometimes too they can be serious.

I met some great people especially the guy on the street with the paper cup, he didn't mind me photographing him, in fact whilst conversing with this man, he was the one who had the apparent interest in what I was doing, I explained I shoot social documentary / street photography. When I spotted you I thought this is how I perceive Britain today, I know am not alone in this analogy people in the UK are getting poorer, living conditions even for those wanting to migrate here, know that its do or bust.

With that being said, they're other topics to photograph too, the festive season always brings out more shoppers from near or far, and they can be perfect to photograph. Looking at the photographs I can see my style of street photography may not please everyone, but that is okay.

World Gallery

I know I can learn more from other photographers too, I recently found through Flickr the Greek photographer Zisis Kardianos, his work is phenomenal and viewing the book he has published too, certainly gave me food for thought.

You just have to open your eyes to the possibilities.

Anyways enjoy viewing the photographs from the past few weeks I have captured and have a look at the gallery I put together on Flickr. 

Friday, 10 January 2014

Travel Photography

Ever wondered about where you would like to take yourself....?

Sometimes we come to a point in our lives were our creative thoughts or our very souls have an unquenchable thirst for LIFE It is the one aspect of growing as a person, to seek out adventure, new friends, new culture, new places of interest. 

It is a natural process to want to migrate to other countries in the quest for knowledge or discovery, it is the fundamental point of which makes a person get to know yourself. It is also a fantastic innovative way of creating new thought processes of viewing the world. 

When our eyes are subjected to new sights and our noses are made to discover new smells, the brain behaves in a unique manner of literally soaking up the atmosphere, it is the best way to learn about life around us. 


So travelling really should be on everyones' agenda, even if it is just visiting an undiscovered or never before seen part of your own country, it is essential to learning. I regularly travel around the United Kingdom to discover people, people who may lead entirely different lives to myself. 

I have also had the opportunities, to travel to other countries in Europe, America , Asia and some Arab States. It was a fantastic time for myself on a road of discovery, learning new languages and eating some exquisite cuisine. Travelling offers a fresher perspective for photography, you really do become much more creative, your eyes begin to dart everywhere as though you are an explorer taking in all that new information. 

Their many companies out there, that offer around the world trips for students, or post graduates or even someone who has come to a point in their life and wants a voyage of discovery. So where to go where to start?


Many aspiring travel photography will think of the Asian or European continent, then they may think of the southern hemisphere, the southern hemisphere offers a different view on life. So many countries out there covering the southern hemisphere, in fact their over forty countries that are considered to be mostly in the southern hemisphere. 

So from Angola to East Timor to Brazil to Rwanda, one photographer who has visited over 43 countries in six years is of course Sebastiao Salgado, another worldly wise photographer is Steve McCurry. Both shoot documentary photography, have collated unique collections of inspiring portraiture, landscapes and news items.  

So if you're looking for an adventure and fancy yourself as a travel photographer or even a digital nomad do some research on the places you would like to visit, find out what the situation is for working abroad, if you require a working visa with a holiday company such as STA Travel. 

Or if you are thinking of working in the northern states of USA, you may want to look here for more information. Here if you want to keep up with travel news with Mozambique. 

Remember locations can have civil wars, and unless that is the specific reason for your documentary photography, do take caution. 

Mozambique has some of the best coastline in Africa, offering the photographer access to some local people who travel daily wearing traditional dress

Very fascinating stuff I am sure you'll agree, what about other locations may be South America

South America is home to many colonial cities, places such as Arequipa, these places offer up museums, religious sites and hiking and trekking. So if you have a head for heights and are quite the adventurer you may like to visit Machu Picchu. So you can imagine the breathtaking views from such dizzy heights and a fairly introductory trek leads to a magnificent world heritage site. 

So many different places offering so many different cultures to learn from, isn't it just that, that makes your feet twitchy for discovery?  

Let's just take a look at some inspiring photographs from around the world...

Island roads Travel / Florence / Italy These marvellous photographs come from the Cuba Gallery on Flickr and the guy behind these magical photographs is Andrew, a photographer and designer from Auckland, New Zealand. You can follow him and his work here. Andrew has a very good idea of interpretation of architecture, I guess that comes from being a designer and having such a wonderful passion for his surroundings and spatial awareness.
©Cuba Gallery
©Cuba Gallery

So do take a look, and if you want to follow him and his work, subscribe to his posts on his blog, Lightroom Tutorials. I have to say I find this piece very inspirational from a composition point of view, in this frame we see great use of scale, the organic aspect is the single man jogging through a seemingly foreboding dark concrete jungle. 

The aesthetic is very pleasing though to the eye, remember not all travel photography is about traditional dress, sometimes it can be the very architecture, that conveys a message of wander and enlightenment. 

Andrew knows his stuff, and shares his knowledge of photographic manipulation within the Adobe Lightroom experience. These Presets can be purchased on his page or if you are already quite savvy with Lightroom, you can create your own. 

Though if your also into street photography or even lomography you will know of the wacky effects you can create using analogue technology and good old celluloid film, I love shooting film and I know how to create elaborate works simply by re-exposing the film again, or even using this neat trick to create a very purple haze effect. 

A neat trick, not for everyone. But nevertheless; it is very experimental. 

Experimentation is key to your development as a photographer.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

The Photography Show


it looks like it's that time of year again, and everybody is getting over the big bird in the oven by now, and thinking about how successful was your Christmas, did you turn over a new leaf did you even produce some great work and convert that work into a calendar or even a book or maybe just a fantastically framed photograph now hanging on your wall? 

For those in the know, especially in the UK you will no doubt have travelled up the M42 motorway and found your way to the Birmingham NEC Centre at some point in your life or career, I have visited the place many times now, its a massive complex and it features several shows in the year, including shows on dentistry and high performance cars, and of course not forgetting the caravanning and camping show, (people think about holidaying at this time too). 

However for us creative lot, the most important date especially if you like me are studying or are just as passionate about photography like myself. The NEC Birmingham will be hosting the one show you will definitely will be interested in The Photography Show 

The Photography Show is the brand new exhibition dedicated to the world of photography.
Taking place from 1-4 March 2014, this is the perfect forum for professional photographers, enthusiasts, amateurs, mobileographers, retailers and anyone who operates within the photography industry.
The Photography Show provides an unrivalled platform to get hands-on with the latest gear from over 200 exhibiting brands, including industry giants Nikon, Olympus, Fujifilm, Hasselblad, Epson and Sigma. So when you have finished exploring what the brand names have on offer for the forthcoming year, you can explore further and take in a show or two. 

On each day the they're many professionals who will show you how to take great pictures if you're just a beginner or even an intermediate and just want to progress further and make your chosen field stand out that much more. 

Not only that but they have great photographers who will be talking about their work, one such photographer who has made countless contributions to photographic media including his library of bibliography photographic extraordinaire is Steve McCurry . We all agree that Steve's work as a photojournalist is outstanding, his work ranges from the most subtle form of portraiture to vast landscapes depicting war torn countries and unique insight in to little known corners of the Indian and Asian Continents, to the astrid beauty of the mountainous landscape of Afghanistan for which most of his work is credited for. 

Steve McCurry will be giving a talk on his techniques and the story behind his photographs on Monday 3rd March 


Will be making an appearance too, the iconic fashion and portrait photographer who has established himself as one of the worlds leading influential fashion portrait photographers will be sharing his trade secrets and why he is still current and very much inspired, Rankin of course had a very inspiring exhibition recently with alive in the face of death The subjects having varying degrees of hardship and their story telling made compelling viewing. 

As some of you may know fashion photography can be a very rewarding and lucrative career, it also incorporates to some degree Wedding Photography This subject will also be a key talking point at the exhibition so if your like me and shoot the odd wedding or shoot weddings on a regular basis, then there is something for everyone whatever your level.  

Not only that but there is much more in the way of fashion, there will be a catwalk too, so some head turning stuff so remember to have your camera at the ready!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Save yourself money and make your own book

Hi all

I just felt I needed to share this offer with you all, so please like David Rothwell Photography on Facebook and benefit from this Blurb

Blurb is a great way of producing your own photo book with a very professional outlook, if you have an Adobe account and use Lightroom 4 onwards you will know that you can then export your finished edits into the book making software and generate your own style of layout or use a template based version.

It really is that simple many people who use the photographic social site 500px will know of the high calibre and yes high contrast, vibrant photographs they have on the site. Those users including myself have produced books on blurb using the link through on Blurb with very interesting results whether you use Adobe In-Design or you use Blurb BookSmart® You will find the software relatively straight forward and not only that but when using  Blurb BookSmart®  your book is 'always saved' as when using the save prompt you will endeavour to find that out.

The site also has a blog for hints and tips about how to get to the best out of creating,  marketing and selling your very own book. There is also a handy link for  if you so require it, ISBN Container information this will enable you to sell your book in stores, with a scannable barcode


So if you want to make a straight forward book here is the link for just that, online photo book or if you prefer Lightroom or if you are really savvy with the whole creative process, try this indesign-plugin 

Plenty to go at there but what about choosing your subject matter, or your speciality, well why not jot down what your favourite things in life are, i.e what do you like to do with your creative time? What do you prefer to photograph? 

Some people love to photograph food; some people love to bake their own cakes and photograph them too, so now you can see the limitless possibilities of photography and your own photographic processes. 

365 Day Project

How about a project you may be working on or have just started shooting, if you cannot commit to a 365 day photo project, then maybe you would find it easier shooting a 52 week project or even one photograph a month. It's entirely up to you, but a twelve page book doesn't really seem to be worth all that effort, you may as well shoot double the amount of photographs to get different viewpoints.  

Remember its your book, you can do with it what you want the important thing is, you would have created something so much more meaningful than just an album with prints stuck inside, am not saying that's a bad thing,  but if you want to show your work to prospective clients someday then perhaps you should start thinking laterally about what you want from your photography. 

You may remember when I mentioned a certain photographer who had accomplished just that with a 365 day photo project. Amazing work really it is, and it makes me smile knowing there are like minded individuals who love shooting 'selfies' and being really creative when shooting them.  

It really is a creative world out there, on the right hand side of this very page, you will find my own creative work, a book I completed last year. The book We The People was a fantastic milestone to have worked on, I got great pleasure from shooting, compiling and editing all the images in the book. 

You could say it was my own 52 week project although it does have 157 pagination, the book focuses on Britain and a few seaside resorts and city centres. I gradually became aware that shooting landscapes with people in view was much more interesting than shooting a landscape without people, I had in fact crossed over a bridge in my photography, a stepping stone if you will. 

I had come full circle, I was now photographing people, and I was beginning to enjoy photography a whole lot more besides. So you like me can see your own potential when you achieve even the smallest of steps, it eventually becomes a big leap and you realise that you have made bigger waves too, people will become more interested in your work, the more you appreciate others who are doing the same as you. 

This is very gratifying knowing that if I appreciate someone else's photographic art, that they too, will appreciate mine, and so the circle of creative process, expands you learn more from your peers and you learn how to grow as an artist. 

Go ahead and try it! 

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Why we should avoid Social Media...

Well put it another way, how beneficial is social media to your own art, your style or interpretation of photography or the medium in which you photograph your subject.

Whilst we are now evolving into yet another year, I cast my memory back to those heady days of glitzy colour, or rather the colours used to highlight the historical event known as the Millennium.

Many photographers or even graffiti artistes would of witnessed first hand the symbolic alphanumeric 'Y2K' emblazoned on many walls around the world, and to emphasise also that the new millennium was going to be impending doom for all of us.

Yet nothing has really changed, it is only the mechanical and kinetic perpetual workings of a clock that serve to remind us that we are not free of who we truly are or what we can be. Today I watched a documentary film about the work of Sebastiao Salgado with a very significant interpretation of the work by photographer and writer John Berger.

In retrospect we can ask ourselves a question, which could be construed as an rhetorical question, "Have we learned anything of ourselves, have we learned anything of humanity?"

In the film we hear the descriptive introduction of the photographer, and we learn that he trained as an economist,  this raised my eyebrows somewhat, I was intrigued how someone who was obviously well educated could turn to art and in particular photographic art, the transition was certainly on a par with how Joel Meyerowitz came into photography by following Robert Frank on an assignment around New York.

In all honesty I have learned about this through the medium of literature, but what about digital media, if you want to improve your skills on subject matter and composition should we stay away from social media.

That very point was raised by my own tutor, before the Christmas break, try and read more about photographers in books rather than use the Internet to grab a few pointers, however I follow another photographer and blogger who also touches on this very subject.

He also shoots a lot of street photography, Eric Kim is certainly known to those in the know of the very fine art, we indulge in. His unique informative style of blogging helps us to learn and to grow as photographers; we should be doing this all the time.

I love a challenge as a street photographer, I have come across those that would argue what your doing is not right why photograph the street. I was challenged by such a man outside a restaurant one time in Liverpool, was by all accounts a complete and utter fool.

By suggesting I cannot photograph in a public place, was ridiculous. We live in a democracy; Don't we?

They're those would disagree, in a film I have also watched the photographer Joel Meyerowitz openly talks about the fact that the then Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani had ruled and had ordered New York's finest to stop anyone taking photographs of one of the most horrific events in human history, 9/11.

Of course the photographer, smiled back politely realising that this decision was absurd. How could we not record history, in a ways looking into that very book of the 9/11 aftermath, I remember a decision by one Americas' Presidents that would blow Mayor Giuliani's decision out of the water.

Dwight D. Eisenhower could not believe his eyes when he witnessed the horror of the holocaust and so with that ordered many to document the event so as to prove to the world, that the horror of the second world war had truly happened.

Those events or rather the images of those events have inspired many photographers amateur and professional alike to go and hunt for a story, to create a new perspective. To document world history, or to document your local town or city, in the belief that something no matter how insignificant or extraordinary should be photographed.

The Internet is a great tool for finding out about human history, it's just such a shame that some of it becomes distorted and meaningless. People nowadays or I should say those who were born in the new millennium would have been taught a different history than the one, I learned when I was at school.

Certain factors are kept a secret, so by that statement we should ask ourselves, why was Mayor Giuliani, trying to prevent people from photographing the aftermath of such an horrific event in Americas' history?

I would like to know why, as would others. Is this why we should avoid the Internet as photographers so we can learn from books? The Internet is there for everyone, we do learn from social media too. We learn of how someones time-line can become an incessant noise of "oh silly me, I tripped over my husbands arse, as he playing blind drunk yet again", to "my cat died and am so sad". These events become futile and meaningless, but to those involved it can be something which defines their very existence.

I have become bored of Facebook purely because that incessant noise, is just that incessant noise. However, sometimes we discover such events that can lead to a full blown story, take for example the scathing attack on the outstanding British diver Tom Daley; who was attacked online after the loss of his father.

He was also the subject of yet another hate campaign when he came out, shame in reality. But that is just the point the social media outlet has become just that, it is a vile and disgusting place for anyone.

So that brings me to the point of exercise, as photographers should we avoid social media, I don't think so it's a great way of getting your work out there. However do try to get your work into an exhibition, or even create your own book.

For now though am going to leave with this piece of music, I love the rhythm of the guitar and the kick of the drum. Great for listening too on your way to a street shoot.

Bad River; Endless Boogie

See ya laters!

A new order...

Well that was very brief indeed...just picking up where I left yesterday. I mentioned the two books that I have been reading so far, with regards to photography and visual language. One point I should of also mentioned is this Susan Sontag has also written books on the subject, so for those that follow me, that may or may not have access to John Berger, can pick some valid points from work of Susan Sontag.

So if your into photographic literature and you want to know more here is a link to another of her works, entitled Against Interpretation The more I read on the subject the more I seem to absorb more creativity, the more creativity I seem to find and absorb my own mind begins the creative process all over again.

Do you ever get those sudden urges to do something do something really positive in your day with the time that you have to be more creative, to get away from the dull grind of life, the daily toil on the soul and just be...YOU!

Of course you do, your human after all...

Creative Process

I attend another class, one that is more involving with an artistic technique; one that I have to apply by a free hand to draw. When am drawing the first thing I notice is how relaxed I feel, am a practical person and I like to be free from the distraction of life once in a while, just so I can get put down on paper how I feel or how I perceive life in the street or farther away in the wilderness of some far distant land. 

The land doesn't even have to be exotic it could be cold for all I care, it just needs to be relevant to how am feeling, when that relevance hits me, I begin to explore my mind and conjure up all kinds of creative thought process, and just sometimes that process enables me to be free of my ties, in other places. 

I like to challenge myself, the one aspect of my very nature is to evolve, like other people around me they evolve too. We are constantly moving forwards. I will be posting some new work of my own, which has focused on the street, to try and portray a portrait of life.  As am trying to hone my own photojournalism skills, of finding or rather capturing a story. I have been watching films of photographer's, and those which are featured from LIFE magazine.

I have also been watching photographic films too:

I have been shooting over the last few weeks, and I hope you all had a festive and merry Christmas. We are now looking in to 2014, with renewed hope; hope that will also evolve into reality and help those less fortunate than ourselves; this film which was created for the work of renowned photographer Sebastiao Salgado is truly a unique perspective on the world and supported by the eloquence of John Berger.

A truly fascinating insight in to one of the world's most revered photographers.
So do please enjoy this film, and I wish you all a happy new year and a brighter future.