Photographers at Work Video

Another Photography Holiday in Menorca has almost come to a close – but what a fantastic week it’s been. Apart from the very first day when we had a shower or two, the weather has been lovely and the light everything a photographer could wish for.

Many hundreds of photographs have been taken during our photo excursions to some of the most fascinating locations on this lovely island. Yesterday we visited La Mola – the old fortifications at the entrance to Mahon Harbour.

We get special permission to go to some of the areas in this extraordinary location that are normally closed to visitors and this always produces a crop of very fine images.

I’ve included a short video (beow) of the group at work in one of these special places. Apart from the clicking of camera shutters and the scrape of tripods being set up – notice how quiet everyone is while they are concentrating on their photography.

I’ve said before that I do not get much chance to take my own photographs during these Photography Holidays – I’m kept far too busy coaching everyone else, but I did manage to snap the image below during our visit to La Mola – I just could not resist the wonderful textures and colours of the subject.

Colour in close-up photograph of door latch

How could anyone resist taking a photograph of a close up like this - very simple, but very effective

Tonight will be are farewell party and presentation of the Light Monkey Awards. No, there’s nothing at all serious about these coveted awards. Members of the group can earn an award for just about anything.

For instance I am trying to decide whether to award David a prize for his animated nightly after-dinner readings of the Archers summaries after downloading them from the internet for the benefit of Norene and Yvonne. It’s going to a difficult decision.

I’ll post the results very soon when Photography Holiday in Menorca finally comes to a close on Friday.

Find out more about Photography Holidays in Menorca with Philip Dunn

Which? takes a look at the Nikon D7000

The renowned product reviewers at Which? managed to get their hands on the new Nikon D7000 at the recent Photokina fair.

A mid-level DSLR the Nikon D7000 is aimed at confident photography enthusiasts and is set to rival Canon’s 60D.

Which?, who pride themselves in their impartiality when reviewing products, have produced a video looking at some of the D7000’s features.

The three minutes of footage were shot at this year’s Photokina imaging show when Which? were given their first look at the new camera.

Watch Which?’s first look at the Nikon D7000.

Photographing Pedro – Photography Holiday video

I mentioned the other day that the phtographers on our Photography Holiday in Menorca had stopped off on their way to Mahon to photograph Pedro. Well here’s the video of the photographers at work.

This is always a hugely popular and enjoyable exercise for all our photographers. Pedro is a wonderful subject and he is always very welcoming on his busy smallholding where he grows vegetables and rears ducks.

He is not easy to htoraph, though beacause he’s always on the move and it is very difficult to get him t keep still. But a quick glance at some of the images taken by the group tells me that I will be seeing some outstanding images later in the week.

The video shows some of our photography group trying to capture the action as Pedro gets to work.

This morning we’ll be looking at some of those images – and others taken during our Photography Holiday – then this afternoon it’s off to the old Fortress of La Mola for another photography session on location. Right now the sun is shining and the weather is gentle and warm –  perfect for a great trip out with our cameras.

I have to mention what a great group of photographers we have go together here in Menorca – there’s been an awful lot of laughs between and awful lot of photography so far.

Find out more about PhotoActive Photography Holidays in Menorca with Philip Dunn

Street photography on Photo Holiday Menorca

We’ve just got back to the hotel after a busy morning’s photography during our Photography Holiday in Menorca.

street photography on photo holiday Menorca

Photographers on our Photography Holiday in Menorca aim their cameras at two lovely ladies in Mahon, Menorca

First thing this morning we called in to photograph our old friend Pedro on his smallholding. These sessions always produce some wonderful photographs and I’m really looking forward to seeing what everyone has produced.

photography holiday Menorca

Gerwyn Jones, one of the photographers on the Photography Holiday in Menorca shows the two ladies his photograph of them

After our impromptu portrait session we went on the town of Mahon to practise our street photography. The first thing everyone noticed is that here in Menorca people are far more sensible and relaxed about photographers taking pictures that they are in the UK. Here people actually welcome photographers.

At one stage we turned a corner and came across two lovely old ladies chatting in a doorway. Within seconds our photographers were snapping away happily… and what was the reaction of the ladies?… sheer delight that we should take an interest in them.

And when we showed them some of the images we had taken, they produced old snapshots of their own and showed them to us. It was yet another delightful encounter between our group of photographers and the people of Menorca during a photography holiday.

These two lovely ladies were delighted to be photographed – and Gerwyn Jones, one member of our group, showed them some of the photographs he had taken of them

Photography Holiday in Menorca gets underway

Our Photography Holiday in Menorca s well underway, and this morning we visited the Bloody Island in Mahon Harbour. There are always so man photographic opportunities here that it can sometimes be quite overwhelming. But, as always, the answer is to gather pictures as methodically as possible and ensure you think only in visual terms without being distracted.

I am kept so busy instructing the photographers on these visits during the photography holidays that I hardly ever take my DSLR gear, and just grab the occasional photograph where I can.

However, I did manage to snatch a couple of images this morning I found quite pleasing – for very different reasons.

The first shot was of a restorer hard at work on an old brass and mahogany plate camera. Quite apart from my interest in the camera itself, the light in the room where the man was working was an absolute gift – the most glorious sidelight. I simply had to take a photograph with my little Canon Ixus.

The other picture struck me because of its simplicity. A red umbrella had been left leaning against the stone wall in one of the long corridors outside the island’s hospital. Once again, I could not resist taking a picture.

red umbrella on Bloody Island

I couldn't resist photographing this red umbrella on Bloody Island - on of the locations we visit during our Photography Holiday in Menorca this week

I new exactly what I wanted to do with this shot when I pressed the button. It seemed to be begging for everything in the picture to be desaturated except the red umbrella itself.

Tomorrow we are off the photograph old Pedro – a regular subject for the photographers on our Photography Holidays before heading into the main town of Mahon to practise street photography. It should be a busy day.

Bellows cameras cause a stir at Kodak’s Photokina stand

Old-fashioned-style bellows cameras are attracting curious looks at Kodak’s display stand at this year’s Photokina show.

Better known for their cutting-edge innovations in digital imaging and printing, the film cameras, used for large format photography, make an interesting addition to the Kodak booth.

But the retro-looking cameras were built only a few weeks by American company, Canham Cameras.

Keith Canham and his son Michael Canham have been with Kodak during the Photokina photography and imaging show answering questions about the cameras and large format photography.

Kodak say Canham Cameras have been working with them because some of their cameras use a special order sheet film made by the company.

Visit Kodak’s website to see a selection of pictures taken with Canham Cameras.

Press award for Gordon Brown pictures by Martin Argles

A series of pictures by the Guardian’s Martin Argles depicting Gordon Brown’s final days as prime minister have won top prize at the inaugural Picture Editor Guild Awards  2010.

Martin Argles was declared photographer of the year at the UK Picture Editor Guild Awards ceremony this week.

The Guardian photographer’s winning pictures documented Gordon Brown’s final days in power during the 2010 election campaign.

The UK Picture Editors’ Guild has been established 30 years and is formed by picture editors from the picture desks of the national press, regional newspapers, international press agencies and domestic photo agencies.

The awards aim to recognise the best photography across eight categories including citizen journalism.

Category winners received £500, while Martin Argles as overall winner received a trophy and £1,000.

UK Picture Editor Guild Awards 2010 winners:

Martin Argles

British Airways Sports Photographer of the Year
Eddie Keogh

Royal Photographer of the Year
Christopher Jackson

News Photographer of the Year
Chris Furlong

Celebrity Photographer of the Year
Jeff Spicer

Bloomberg Business Photographer of the Year
Oliver Scarff

Newscast Young Photographer of the Year
Matthew Lloyd

Photo Essay
Martin Argles

BT Citizen Photographer of the Year
Miguel de Freitas


I’m really sorry to say that Sally-Jane Shepherd who was booked on the Photography Holiday in Menorca has had an accident and fractured her wrist. She has been advised by her surgeon not to fly with a newly plastered fracture.

We were really looking forward to having you with us Sally and we are so sorry you will not be here.

So there is a last minute place available for this Photography Holiday in Menorca.

If you would like to come – lease let me know as soon as possible – there is not much time till Friday later this week.



Making Pictures Happen – part 2

In my recent post Making Pictures Happen on a Photography Course, I mentioned that I was working on a local beach with one-to-one photography student Angus Kennedy. I posted a very simple picture of a striped pebble which I had positioned and placed against a background of dark brown rock.

I also said that I had seen the picture Angus took and how impressed I was with it.

Well, Angus has now sent me a copy of his photograph and I have reproduced it here. I think it’s a cracker.

Angus Kenedy's photograph of a strped blue pebble placed against a dark background.. This was taken during a visit to a local beach during a one-to-one photography course with Philip Dunn

Angus also said a few nice words about his day’s photography tuition with me:

“Thanks for a fab day. You were right, I’m already seeing differently.” This refers to the ‘system’ I try to instill in my students that enables them to start seeing the world the way the camera sees it, and how to ensure you have got the maximum from every photographic opportunity.


Making pictures happen on a photography course

I’ve done a number of photography lectures about ‘how to make pictures happen’. It’s a technique that any good magazine or newspaper photographer should know a great deal about. In fact I have written posted on the subject several times over the last couple of years – See Making Pictures Happen

Making pictures happen
The ability to create interesting and worthwhile images from very little can be a great asset for any photographer, not just those who work in the media.

I was doing a one-to-one photography course with a student the other day and, as it was glorious sunny day, we decided to spend some time on a local beach. This is one of my favourite locations near my home in Kirkcudbright.

We photographed the shimmering water and the nearby islands. We did several exercises in composition and how to add that elusive feeling of depth to your pictures. And then while Angus, my student for the day, was practising the art of using foregrounds, I was playing with an idea of creating an abstract design by putting a blue, striped pebble against the rich dark brown colours of a larger rock formation. I simply found an interesting pebble and put it where I wanted it.

I worked quite well and I was pleased with the result.

Then Angus had a go – that’s him in the picture on the left.. I am always intrigued by just how differently we all see things, and Angus’s composition was utterly different to mine. He’d included a great deal more dark rock and turned the framing to an upright format. The result was highly affective, and I wish I could show you the results, but I’m waiting for Angus to email me the image – hope you are reading this Angus.

Anyway, for now I’ve just posted the simple image I took.

The lesson?

The world is your studio. Don’t be afraid to re-arrange the props now and again.

Find out more about a photography course with Philip Dunn