Conscientious | That has got to tell you something

Conscientious | That has got to tell you something

Hallows Eve......

It wasn't the ghosts, or ghouls, witches or fat Frankenstein  monsters that scared me. It was dolls faces, especially in the form of moving puppets. That and my Auntie when she removed her teeth and chased me up the stairs.... 



Posted by: Tim Bilsborough
Photographers are artists and will interpret your ideas into reality through imagery. Professional photographers have extensive knowledge in showcasing brands and products, and consistently delivering to the very highest standards.
But before any magic happens, there is a small matter of money and how much you have to spend on photography. It’s a dirty word to some, but money makes the world go round. Like you and your client, photographers are in a business; it just so happens it’s a job they have absolute passion for, living and breathing it every waking minute (sometimes dreaming about it too) but this doesn’t mean they will just do it for the “love” of taking pictures.
As businesses they have their own overheads and their estimates will be broken down into a number of areas, such as:-
  • Their time taken
  • Post production
  • Travel expenses
  • Vehicle hire/purchase
  • Studio/hire studio overheads
  • Photographic consumables
  • Equipment hire/ purchase
  • Assistant’s fee
  • Specialist shoots resource e.g. hair & make-up, fashion stylist or food stylists
  • Insurance
  • Sustenance
…Just to name a few, so:
Time + expenses + specialist help + overheads = £Estimate
Photographers instinctively know what’s needed to deliver the job you have briefed them. They will go away getting their head around a brief, going through the whole project processes, deliberating on photographic techniques and sourcing appropriate resource. And only then, submitting an estimate to do a job which will do the brief justice. Estimates you will be happy with or not.
When photography is commissioned, it is usually one of a number of other elements that are being commissioned at the same time. Quite often, for some reason, photography budgets are a contentious area, and there is a lot of pressure to make savings in this area. Why is this the case – does the budget setter think that it is just a single individual doing the work and only factors in day rates because they aren’t aware of the real overheads? Does the budget reflect the shot count? Does the budget allow for the fact that commissioned images can have an impact on their customers’ perception of their brand and has a huge bearing on the perceived quality of the product?
Budget isn’t the only thing that affects the quality of an image. In our opinion, the planning and briefing of photography is often woefully neglected. A more collaborative relationship with your photographer – not just a request for a quote, will mean that you have the opportunity to get the planning and briefing right first, and this can lead to a high quality and cost-effective shoot.


Its been a bit of a turning point for me this week; A Fine looking show in the West End, finishing off my MA project, and turning a mighty 40 years of age. All big things, but by no means a revelation, oh no, that would be discovering that someone has been commissioned to do a shoot using an i-Phone and Instagram.


Tuesday 23rd opened what is probably my most satisfying body of work, and exhibition, so far. Everything was just right from the large aluminum mounted prints, image curation and overall design of the show. This of course is all down to the gallery as I just supplied the prints.
The gallery was packed across both floors all night and I left happy and warm knowing that this one was 'just right'. 
Of course now the real work begins..
Margaret Street Gallery



Marcus Doyle 

This haunting image by photographer Marcus Doyle is taken from his "Salton Sea" series, which forms part of his Thursday by the Sea exhibition, opening at London's Margaret Street Gallery this Tuesday.
Click here or 'View Gallery' to launch gallery
Formed accidentally after a flood in 1905, when water from the Colorado River overflowed into the area, Salton Sea – the largest lake in California – is a shallow, saline rift lake, situated directly on the San Andreas Fault. Such was its allure in the 1950s, it was a bigger tourist hotspot than Yosemite National Park. But, as the sea became polluted with sewage, and its water levels began to fluctuate, to the extent that whole towns were flooded with filthy water, tourists, along with the local population, were driven away.
Inspired by Richard Misrach's photographs of the area, Doyle created this series of images between 2004 and 2005, when he would travel to the waters from Los Angeles every Thursday, fondly referring to his trips as "going to the seaside".
In this series, Doyle, who shoots exclusively on film, has captured the ghostly quality of abandonment and decay in this peculiar, forgotten landscape, yet also hints at a sense of rebirth, thanks to the extraordinary quality of light, which lends his creations a serene, if eerie, atmosphere.
The exhibition will be showing until 2nd January 2013.
From The independent.


A well needed website update today. Some old, some new, some odd, some blue..
The above image, and new opener, is one of my personal favorites despite dismay from tutors who find it too romantic and cliche...


Limited Edition

Everything comes in a Limited Edition these days; Watches and Jewelry, Cars, Aftershave and Perfume, cans of Coke, and even food from McDonalds along with chocolate bars and a certain shade of lipstick. All this in a vein attempt to make you think you are buying something unique, precious and rare.. Which of course you are not. Everybody wants something original, but, at the same time, other people also need to have/ want it in order to make it desirable. (go work that one out).

I have worked with Limited Editions since I began to sell my images and the numbers have never changed. Its the first decision a photographer/ artist needs to make and is  the one thing that should remain the same. Unless that is you do a limited edition of the edition which is just stupid.  The price may go up, the price may go down, but an Edition should be final..
Whether its 1/1, 1/10, or 1/100 the importance of being true to these Editions is paramount otherwise we are left with something worthless, or worse still an Open Edition, which is beyond stupid and renders the work utterly worthless. 'Fiddling the numbers', (and by this I mean selling out the Edition and then selling more, or selling a last in the edition when its not even halfway) is considered fraudulent and you may land yourself in hot water..

Sadly, A Limited Edition, is an overused term today and one the advertising cretins have jumped on. But this will pass over time and we will hopefully be left with something of value in the market place.

Above, Monument Diner, 2004. Edition 7/7


Ian Van Coller.

A wonderful and insightful series, Butte, America; A Vernacular History by Ian Van Coller.


The very question I ask myself when looking at some photography, or maybe more accurately when starting to think about writing about some photography is “Is it interesting?” I’m sure a lot of people will think that’s possibly the most vague question to start out with, but it’s a very useful litmus test: Is it interesting? There’s a lot of photography that, frankly, is not very interesting at all; and when you are going to devote hours of your time writing about it, it better be interesting. 

More here from Conscientious Blog.

Nighty Night..

After a splendid viewing of my new breathtakingly mighty Salton Sea prints, followed a constructive PR meeting at the gallery, I began to feel like a proper photographer  again and headed to the heart of Soho to meet a good friend and fellow photographer. At out liaison I went through my digitized portfolio, otherwise known as an excuse for an i-pad, and after a small espresso spill I began to ponder my work. I have always enjoyed my photography, and by that I mean looking through my own bodies of work often remembering the time and place with fondness. This also ties in with talking about my own work which I often do as a fine art thingybob photographer.
During my photography chitty chat it suddenly became clear that it was the night photography that brought me the most satisfaction, but why was this the case after almost two decades of shooting the landscape? I have a few theories on this, but here is my number one;

 Night Photography (good night photography) is not easy. Its can be very technical, sometimes unpredictable, sometimes dangerous, frustrating, often cold, wet, uncomfortable, tiring making it hard to think straight, and you need oodles of patience. Its not like putting a 10 stop filter over the lens on a sunny day hoping that the long exposure will make a misty masterpiece. Nor is it sticking a crappy image through Instagram  and putting it on facebook (there is no talent in this, put your phone away..). I have plenty more theories on the subject, but these may put you to sleep..

Good Night..


“To the complaint, 'There are no people in these photographs,' I respond, There are always two people: the photographer and the viewer.”
Ansel Adams

How to Edit Your Artist Statement

Write down as much as you can. Write everything down. That means everything. It doesn’t need to make sense. And that thing you don’t know how to say? Just write it down. There’s always words, even for what you think you don’t know. Any words on paper are a start and a start is halfway there. The more material you have to work with the easier it will be to edit.
Alright then: go through your first draft and rewrite using the principles below. Then rewrite again.

1] Never begin with “My Work”. Also avoid any use of “my work” anywhere within the statement. It’s also a good idea to never use the word “work” anywhere at all, ever.

2] You have no duty to the facts. Your loyalty is to the honesty of your ideas, emotions, dreams, desires and needs; what Werner Herzog calls the ecstatic truth. That is your goal. Nobody cares about the minutiae and what you want is to make people care. Tell them a good story.

3] Often, what you wrote at the beginning should go at the end, or the end should be the beginning.

4] Don’t try to sound smart. You aren’t. The world is full of people whose job is to be smart. An artist isn’t held to the same ideals; count yourself among the lucky. Make your statement personal – it’s what you’ve got that nobody else has. What you believe you alone know is why we’re looking.

5] Begin with a bang. Which is better? “My work is about airports and longing . . . ” or “The first time I saw an airport was the last time I saw my father . . .”
6] Cut all excess words.

7] Be wary of repetition. Should you repeat a word more than twice, then it’s something you’re not adequately describing. Write more about that. What you’re missing will be found there.

8] Never apologize or prevaricate. Never use a tone of uncertainty. Write as though you know what you’re doing. State the personal as if it were universal.

9] Vary your sentence lengths – long then short, short then long.

10] Match your words to what you’ve made. Use adjectives and adverbs that feel like what you’ve done.

11] Use a thesaurus to expand your meaning. Always use precise words rather than general words. Construct is better than make. Elegant, symmetrical, graceful, or overwhelming will take you further than beautiful. Roget’s Thesaurus is best and the best Roget is the online 1911 version. Use it to not just to find better words, but as a way to riff and expand on your ideas. Travel beyond what only you can think up.

James Luckett.
Whats in there..


Chandelier, Matt Nighswander.