gill moore photography

Archive for the 'camera' Category

Life as Art : Photographs taken with a microscope.

Some of the personal project work I do involves photographing nature in some shape or form. I try to often use an abstract or unusual approach, hopefully it helps to make the viewer stop and think. It is a fascinating, ever-changing and endless canvas, I feel it helps glue us all together.

The image above is from a page over on the National Geographic site which features stunning and beautiful imagery all created using the help of a light microscope. There is a slideshow of 10 shortlisted images taken from a competition sponsored by Nikon called “Small World”. Utterly beguiling and contemplative. If it wasn’t so expensive to invest in the kit I would be trying my hand at this tomorrow. Click here to read more on microscopy (photography using an optical microscope).

This image came in Seventh place, it looks just like a landscape which has been “photoshopped to oblivion”! The reality is more interesting, it shows in massive detail an antibiotic cancer drug; the colours are created by the light passing through polarizing filters which helps to reveal the drug’s chemical structure.

The only photograph that doesn’t work for me is the final one which finished in Tenth spot. I have been lucky enough to travel extensively all over the beautiful New Zealand Islands and I am afraid biting memories of sandflies and sandhoppers prevents me feeling anything but horror when I look at that particular image. Sorry :-(

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National Photographic Portrait Prize @ the Lowry

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The prestigious National Photographic Portrait Prize (2007) is occuping the light and airy mezzanine floor at the Lowry, in Salford, until October 12th 2008. This is a must-see for fans of photography in general and portraiture in particular. We are lucky to have this exhibition touring in the North West as it is usually only viewed at the National Portrait Gallery, London. For 2007 there were 6,900 submissions by 2,700 photographers from around the world.

It provides an opportunity to see a compelling array of images which highlight the sheer depth and power of a single image. The 60 shortlisted photographs have been taken all over the world and feature wildly different subjects, styles, technique and atmosphere; professional and amateur hang side by side. Should you go with a friend don’t be surprised if you end up arguing the merits of your favourite and casting your eyes heavenwards on one or two of those included.

The images are framed and printed in a variety of ways; sizes vary from 10 x 8 to a couple which fill an entire wall. I presume each photographer was allowed a free hand to choose how their work was hung? This helps to make each shot feel individual and hopefully allows the viewer to remember this is not a series but an opportunity to celebrate the art of great portraiture.

I cannot really argue with the First Prize choice a brilliant and powerful study by Jonathan Torgovnik taken in Rwanda. I also had a great deal of time for the Second Prize winner “Lucila, a.m.” (photographers site here).

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A slow-burner which quietly snuck into my brain. I don’t remember much of a connection the first time I viewed it, but I was drawn back to it time and again … close my eyes and I can almost place myself in that same room with the warm sun streaming in through the huge glass backdrop.

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Charlie Crane (who I have blogged about earlier in the year when he was selected for the New Contempories showcase) has made it into the 60, he has such lovely prints and a real sense of style. Colin Pantall‘s “Sofa Portrait #3″ is part of a series which has had a fair amount of praise and publicity already …. subtle and captivating.

If you cannot make it to the Lowry in time you can view all the Winners and those shortlisted on the National Portrait Gallery website. Looking at images on a computer screen is nowhere near the experience gained in a gallery space, but certainly better than nothing! Entry for the 2008 Photographic Portrait Prize Award is now closed and the winner will be announced in November.

Olympic Games – a shot of the photographers (and their expensive gear) in Bejing to capture the action

The Olympic Games is certainly generating lots of stories, drama and images at the moment. There are 1,100 Official photographers covering the event for a worldwide audience, I found this great shot on the gizmodo website which shows a sample of the press area covering the athletics in the Birds Nest Stadium.

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Just for a laugh gizmodo have worked out that in this one seemingly innocuous image there is probably a quarter of a million dollars worth of equipment on show. Going a stage further, if one was to include the fact that most photographers travelling to China to cover the Games will take at the very mimimum a second back-up camera body and at least 2 other lenses, then that is something like 22 million dollars-worth of professional camera gear in attendance throughout the event!

For many years Canon was the manufacturer of choice for the discerning sports photographer, but this picture shows that Nikon is now making great strides into this specialist market. The white lens is the Canon L-Series, I count 23 lenses on view and only 7 Canons. Also it looks like 16 fella’s and only 2 lady ‘togs …. not quite equality there yet!

Over on the caborian.com site there is a much wider view of the Press Pen, it seems Canon have a slightly better showing here but they are still in the minority. Most of the sports photographers are using a telephoto which will enable them to zoom in close on the action and the individual; they’ll probably be using anything from a 400 right through to an 800mm. Though the guy on the bottom row with the yellow cap looks like he’s sneaked in there armed only with his cameraphone !!

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Footnote. The beige shooting jackets on show are standard issue from the International Olympic Committee for all accredited photographers, I wonder if they come with a laptop hidden in one of the pockets?

UPDATE.  Feb 2010.  Nice link to the photography gear being used by Getty photographers for the Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010 over at PetaPixel.

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