Tag: inspiration

Welcome to the final part (for now!) of our lockdown special.

Today we are going to think about the professional photographers out there – the guys and girls you look to for inspiration and adventure. Those who inspire, share, educate and capture our most precious moments.

Right now we’re all in the same boat – and it’s not sailing. Anywhere. Flights are cancelled, travel is prohibited, sporting events, weddings and family celebrations are all on hold.

For many of the full time photographers out there, the halt in income was instant. Commissions and workshops cancelled, bookings made months and even years in advance, gone.

We are super proud to see that many have risen to new challenges – taking photography tutorials on line, offering advice on coping with isolation in these difficult times and sharing their knowledge for free. Some have taken their workshops online too, with longer term courses now available to stream.

So we thought, as our final piece in this series, we should all look at ways in which we can support our favourite photographers during this period of uncertainty – and help everyone stay positive and healthy during this unprecedented time.

Buy a print, poster or card

Most professional photographers sell their images in some format. For some it’s a range of beautiful prints including investment pieces, limited edition prints, open prints and poster editions. Others may sell a wider range of cards or gifts featuring their work.

If you can spare the money right now, buy an image that will bring you joy, while supporting the photographers whose work you most admire. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune!

Buy their book or calendar

Many professional photographers also have their own books – many of which are self-published, meaning a massive personal investment in time and money to fulfill these projects.

Books are a lovely way to access a collection of images, often finding out more regarding how the images were captured, or the stories they tell. Buying direct from the photographers not only means they get to keep more of the profit, but also means you can often get a signed copy. Sometimes these can even include a personal handwritten message – so perfect to cherish, or as a gift. Many photographers are also running discounts at the moment, so you could save some money on a planned purchase.

Calendars (yes, some 2021 calendars are already out there!!) also make great gifts and you can enjoy a collection of images, with seasonal inspiration each month.

Book a workshop

Oh man, how we are dreaming of all those beautiful places we went to, or were planning to go to! One thing we do know is that we won’t always be in lockdown and hopefully we will soon be able to start planning photo adventures once more.

Got your eye on a particular workshop for next year? Why not book it now. Pay the deposit and have something amazing to look forward to! During this ‘downtime’ many photographers are taking advantage of the extra time to plan and add even more new exciting workshops for 2021 and beyond – many offering brand new locations.

Book that shoot!

Ever fancied that family portrait shoot, a bit of beautiful boudoir, an engagement shoot or whimsical woodland styled shoot? Whatever takes your fancy, we will all be ready for some fun when this lockdown is over!

Now is the perfect opportunity to research the ideal photographer for you and book that shoot. Photographers will currently have more time to discuss ideas, locations and help ensure you get the perfect pictures when the time comes.

Buy a voucher

If you can’t afford a whole shoot or trip, consider buying a voucher towards one. Then you still have plenty of time to save up and you’ll already have a little ‘in the bank’ to help when it comes to time to book. Vouchers are perfect gifts too – so think about any special events coming up, eg. Birthdays, Fathers Day or anniversaries.

Like, share and comment on social media feeds

One thing you can do to really help your favourite photographers, which won’t cost you a penny is to like, share and comment on their social media posts to aid with engagement.

Social media platforms are always changing the rules of engagement (literally!) and by liking, commenting or sharing someone’s work, you can really help them to reach more people and grow their business. Most business pages also have the option to ‘Invite Your Friends’ – check it out and see if you can help spread the word and visual joy at the same time!

Plan ahead

Now, with all that’s going on with the current pandemic, we’re almost a bit reluctant to mention the other C-word…Christmas! (Duck for cover!) But, joking aside, if you decide to buy a book, print or any kind of gift now, once lockdown is over, you can be running around care free with your birthday and Christmas gifts already sorted. You’re welcome!

Share!

We’d love to know who your favourite photographers are and why? How did you discover them; what is it about their work that you love? Do you already have a beautiful framed print on the wall at home that makes you smile each day, or a book you revisit time and time again?

Why not hop on over to our Facebook page now and let us know who your favourite photographers are & why.

Keep in touch:

Stay Safe

The Wilki Team

These days, there are more ‘POTYs’ around than you can shake a tripod at – from Wildlife to Weddings, Landscape to Weather, Birds, Gardens, Dogs and just about everything in between.

Within each, is normally a wide range of categories – giving flexibility and opportunity for pretty much every photographer. With many having junior categories too, it could be a perfect project with which to get the young photographers in the house involved.

So why not revisit your archives – even re edit past images and see which award categories might be best to enter? Many awards have some tasty cash prizes, as well as great kit up for grabs, the chance for your work to be included in exhibitions and even books, celebrating the winners’ work.

The process itself is also very useful – looking at each category, identifying pictures that fit the brief, following the rules (careful how you edit, or when the image was shot etc!) and really focusing on your best work. This in itself is a great skill to hone!

As well as the big national and international awards, also check out your local camera club to see if any regular competitions are now running online. The physical meet ups are obviously on hold, but there’s a ‘boom in Zoom’ and other online broadcast apps, which allow you to participate in all sorts include online classes and tutorials.

Organisations such as the Royal Photographic Society also run competitions as well as qualifications you can work towards!

Competition Inspiration

Here are just a few ideas to get you started – some of the deadline dates are soon, so if there’s something that takes your photographic fancy, get cracking and don’t miss your chance to shine!

A few of the awards are ‘on hold’ due to the current pandemic, but you can still browse the winners’ galleries from previous years, perfect for some inspiration (and truly amazing photography). Most will allow you to register your details – so you’re first to know when entries re-open.

Landscape Photographer of the Year – deadline just extended until 10 May 2020, go go, go!

Minimalist Photography Awards – deadline 25th May 2020.

Garden Photographer of the Year – entry deadline 31st October 2020, with several mini competitions in the meantime.

Bird Photographer of the Year – entries now closed for this one, but amazing back catalogue to enjoy. Finalists announced on 1st April 2020, overall results 22nd Aug 2020.

Sony World Photography Awards – entries re-open 1st July 2020.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year – The touring exhibition may be on hold, but a truly spectacular collection of images to view and inspire.

Dog Photographer of the Year – Amazing galleries of one of our favourite pet subjects. Join the mailing list to find out when the next competition opens.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year

International Wedding Photographer of The Year – register now for new dates. Browse previous winners and find out more about the images.

British Photography Awards (IPA) – Check out the winners’ galleries here and register for when entries re-open.

IPA – International Photography Awards

So plenty to ponder, lots to inspire!

Why not challenge yourself to do your first award entry this month? As they say, you’ve got to be in it to win it – and many a professional photography career has been launched off the back of an award win.

Good luck!

Keep in touch:

Stay Safe

The Wilki Team

Our kit is in order, our creative juices are bubbling over and we’re primed to get out shooting pictures in our gardens, within our homes and even getting the kids involved for some fun home portraits.

But, do you still have that niggling feeling of knowledge gaps or things we simply could do better?

If you have extra time on your hands, now is the time to upgrade those skills – and with many training businesses, software companies and pro’s offering to share their expertise for FREE, go for it!

We touched on magazines and reading material in our previous blog – but now’s the ideal time to revisit those photography books on the shelf or support your favourite pro photographer by purchasing their publications.

Many pro photographers are finding themselves in a zero work/income situation, with commissions cancelled for the foreseeable future. Many are still selling their books though – directly or through the likes of Amazon (other book sellers are available!). Consider supporting your favourite photographers if you can – and gain a beautiful book at the same time.

Software

Intimidated by Photoshop? Baffled by Lightroom? Always fancied taking the time to create your own presets? Need to improve your workflow? Yep, you guessed it – now is the time!

Many of the software providers are running special or free offers – changing regularly, but here are a few available at the time of writing this:

Professional Photographers of America has opened up all of its online tutorials for FREE!

For existing Creative Cloud customers it looks like you can now get 2 months free of charge.

Adobe offers 7-day free trials on all of its software – from Photoshop, Lightroom or full Creative Cloud/All App packages.

Affinity Photo

Affinity, by Serif, is a more recent competitor to Adobe. They now offer a range of options including Affinity Photo, their PhotoShop alternative.
You can trial it free of charge for 90 days and if you like it, you pay a one-off fee of £48.99 (though at the time of writing this is 50% off at just £23.99).

Editing Tools

While you’re honing your creative skills, it may be a great time to improve your editing workflow setup too. Adding a graphics tablet will give you more flexibility when it comes to editing. With a little extra time on your hands, now is a perfect time to learn how best to use one too.

Wacom tablets start from as little as £69.99 for an entry level option such as the Wacom Intuos Small. Browse our range of Wacom editing devices and see why other photographers use them in this video:

Sell Your Images

Websites helping you to sell your photography are constantly running offers of up to 40% off (varies depending on package) for example, check out one of the most popular providers: Zenfolio. And once you’ve honed those skills, for those of you with websites, strike while the iron is hot. Do those updates now, add your best images, add new work and blog about the projects you’ve been working on. More people than ever are likely to be looking right now!

Use this time to really evolve and develop your unique style – showcase your own work and try new things.

Dream BIG!

And finally, we all need to dream during this difficult time! Planning your next trip not only gives you something to look forward to, but also gives you plenty more to do.

Whether it’s researching your next exotic location, or revisiting a place within the UK (doesn’t everything feel just that bit more precious right now?!), sit back and imagine yourself there.

Logistically there are plenty of apps available to help you plan your next trip too, including sunrise/sunset times and info, tide times, moon phases and astro related planning tools just to name a few.

Landscape Photography

For landscape photography, Baxter Bradford has been kind enough to share his go-to Apps for planning locations. Baxter has an extensive collection of stunning landscape work, also available as prints – so, if you’re spending time at home improving your interiors, check out his gallery of images!

“I use The Photographers Ephemeris (TPE) for sun angles and times at different locations, plus tide information from the BBC website.

For general weather conditions I use several, including BBC, Met Office Apps, plus two free Apps which I find really useful:

WeatherRadar, which gives forecast, but I mostly use it to track predictions on cloud cover. Saved me a few journeys, does change pretty rapidly at times if weather systems are unstable.

Also really useful is Clear Outside, you can save locations, gives detailed weather information in tabulated format, incredibly useful to see high, medium & low level cloud percentages. If fair amount if high level cloud, then colourful sunrise/sunset is coming. Also gives humidity & whether mist present. For Surf predictions I use Magic Seaweed.

I also use my iPhone compass feature to check bearings on location.”

All this planning (and a lot of time and dedication) goes into making Baxter’s awe inspiring landscape images.

Astro Photography

For night sky fans, Wilki Ambassador Alyn Wallace gives us his recommendations for the best smartphone apps, when it comes to Astro photography. Check out this vlog where Alyn walks you through his night sky favourites.

Never before, as photographers, have we been able to enjoy such an extensive range of (mostly free) resources. So enjoy your planning, stay safety tucked up at home for now, and hopefully we will all be out in our beautiful great outdoors again very soon.

In the meantime keep an eye on our social media channels for the latest photography news and special offers.

Keep in touch:

Stay Safe

The Wilki Team

Now that you have your photographic house in order, your sensors are sparkling and your batteries are charged (having read Part 1 of our blog series, obviously!!) it’s time to get those creative juices flowing!

Now is the perfect time to immerse yourself in all things creative – catch up with your favourite magazines, professional photographers, blogs, vlogs, product news and reviews. You could even read your camera manual! (Although, we can think of about 157 more interesting things to suggest!)

With so much free content now available online – make the most of any spare time you might now have to read, watch, learn and hone those skills for when we can all venture out again!

Online Content

There is an absolute plethora of free online content – whether you want to learn new techniques, work on your understanding of the craft of photography (we’ll be testing you on those f-stops later!), read about photography adventures in exotic locations, or learn how to shoot more in your own back yard.

Whether its wedding or wildlife, landscapes or sport, there’s always something to learn or be inspired by. The toughest question is where to start!

Traditional photography magazines have evolved immensely – whether you look at the print editions or the digital versions. Lots of content is free, or you can treat yourself to a subscription and browse until your heart’s content.

Current editions are great for seasonal photography tips, the most popular genres, interesting features and interviews – while each generally contains editing tutorials, creative project ideas and objective gear reviews amongst a huge range of other photography news and info.

Here are a few suggestions to get you going (other magazines are available!!):

Note: Many have special offers running at the moment when you can buy 5 editions for £5 (digital or some print).

N-Photo (for the Nikon users)

Photo-Plus (for the Canon fans)

Amateur Photographer

Digital SLR Photography

See here for a comprehensive range of photography publications available.

 

Podcasts

Podcasts are another great source of inspiration – and you can basically tune in, download or listen just about anywhere via your phone, tablet or computer. Listen to experts share their knowledge, experiences and generally be inspired!

A great idea with podcasts is to try listening to something completely out of your normal comfort zone – even someone you might not have heard of. Drop that virtual pin and tune in!

For those of you who enjoyed the talks by Paul Sanders at Digital Splash, Paul, together with his colleague Sam Gregory, host ‘The Togcast’.
It’s a bi-monthly free download.

Currently on episode 73, there’s loads to listen to – and a few recommended highlights include Alex Nail, Wilki Ambassador Alyn Wallace, Valda Bailey, Joe Cornish, David Ward, another Digital Splash favourite Jonathan Chritchley, Margaret Soraya, Lizzie Shepherd. Plus loads of others!

A Photographic Life

The ‘A Photographic Life’ Podcast is weekly, recorded in a shed(!) and lasts around twenty minutes. It is available on iTunes, Spotify, and all other podcast platforms and has just posted its 100th episode.

Each week photographer, writer, lecturer and filmmaker Grant Scott reflects on news, discussions, themes and issues surrounding the photographic community. Previous episodes have included David Bailey, Paolo Roversi, Brian Griffin, Brian Duffy, Mary Ellen Mark and many more.

Digital Camera World has also put together a great feature, which includes their ‘20 best podcasts for photographers in 2020’ . You’ll see a few names we’ve already mentioned, plus a whole host more!

Films and Vlogs

And finally, for now (this feature could go on for E-VER), if you’re looking for something different then these projects and short films could be perfect:

Film: Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life Of Bill Jay

Bill Jay was a photographer, a writer on and advocate of photography, a curator, a magazine and picture editor, lecturer, public speaker and mentor. He was the first editor of Creative Camera Owner magazine, which became Creative Camera magazine (1967–1969) and founder and editor of Album magazine (1970–1971). He established the first gallery dedicated to photography in the UK with the Do Not Bend Gallery, London and the first Director of Photography at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. Whilst there he founded and directed the first photo-study centre. He studied at the University of New Mexico under Beaumont Newhall and Van Deren Coke and then founded the Photographic Studies programme at Arizona State University, where he taught photography history and criticism for 25 years. He is the author of more than twenty books on the history and criticism of photography, four books of his own photography, and roughly 400 essays, lectures and articles. His regular column titled Endnotes was published within Lenswork magazine for a number of years. His own photographs have been widely published, including a solo exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Those are the facts, but Bill Jay was so much more than just the facts…

You can see it for free here!

Alyn Wallace

Yes, another one of our most popular Digital Splash speakers and host of our recent Astro Photography workshop up in north Wales, Alyn is a YouTube Vlogger extraordinaire! Check out Alyn’s YouTube Channel for some amazing content.

 

Andy Rouse – Wide Angle

We also spotted this great video from wildlife photography legend Andy Rouse – talking specifically about getting started in bird photography in your own garden, while under lockdown!  Definitely worth a watch! Part of his new series Wide Angle, over on YouTube.

PhotoBite Kids

PhotoBite UK is a YouTube Channel from a team of photographers, filmmakers, photo-journalists and tech geeks (their words, not ours!) bringing you reviews and news from the photo world. But, they’ve just announced their new offshoot – PhotoBite Kids.

In response to schools being closed ‘until further notice’, team PhotoBite is launching a twice-weekly photo challenge for children aged between 5-15, inviting them to explore photography and to introduce a little more creativity into the weekly home school schedule. Head over to their channel for more information or to get involved.

 

So that’s it for now, hopefully plenty of ideas of things to read, listen to and watch – all to help fuel your photographic aspirations once this difficult time is over!

In the meantime keep an eye on our social media channels for the latest photography news and special offers.

Keep in touch:

Stay Safe

The Wilki Team

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