PhotoFriday – ‘The Body’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’The Body’

I missed the last two photo friday themes because I was away in Raja Ampat (Indonesia) with no network connection. Today I wanted to include some photos from there into this post. Usually when you see Peacock Mantis Shrimp you cannot see their body, you see them sitting up out of their hole as above. This little fellow was actually scurrying across the sand from hole to hole. In the photo below you can see that his body is made of corrugated pieces like a coat of armour.

I hope you found this post interesting. Stay tuned over the next few days for more tales from Raja Ampat.

If you want to see more of my underwater photos from various places then check out the galleries in my Reef Beasties Gallery. Or my best from 2012 here.

See all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘The Body’ here.

Colour of the Year 2013: Emerald

pantone-color-of-the-year-2013-emerald

“Lively. Radiant. Lush… A color of elegance and beauty
that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony.”

Every year Pantone chooses its colour of the year. This year as you may already know it is Emerald. This year I’m not exactly hot off the press and I’m not the only one who uses this as an excuse to look through my photos to see what might match, see this years post from Mark Graf and Behance from earlier this month.

For those that are landlocked green is the colour of nature (for me its blue but we have to make allowances here). Emerald Green was one of my mothers favourite colours so this is a tribute post to her. I’ve tried to choose photos from my archive that I feel best show the vibrant and lively side of Emerald green….

I hope you enjoyed this green post. I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and if I don’t post again before then have a happy new year!

10 at 10:10 on 10/10/10

Ok,  silly excuse for a title but I wanted to review my ten fav shots of the year so far… in no particular order: (They look better as larger images so feel free to click them – the larger ones didnt fit into the blog layout)

These last two are favs from my iphone 4 :) so I couldn’t resist.

See more of my favs from my whole pbase collection at my new Favourites gallery

Best Photos 2009

Well again I’ve really enjoyed the agonizing process of choosing my top photos from the year. I’ve picked 100 photos and put them in a gallery here:

http://www.pbase.com/suzy_walker/best2009

This year I found many photos to choose from that I liked so I must be getting better at this photography malarkey (I hope you agree).  Again, we had a great year photo-opportunity-wise, we went to Raja Ampat (Indonesia) & the Red Sea (Egypt). We had some murder mayhem at the start of the year and We wandered around London experimenting with IR (failed) and HDR (better) techniques. The now closed Shunt Lounge at London Bridge provided some fun challenges too. And of course it wouldn’t be a photography year for me without playing with a bit of macro in the flat.

I tried to be good this year and only pick the best (and not just favourite – see my blog post here about choosing) but I think I failed and just chose what I liked most anyway ;)

So here are my top ten of 2009 (click them to see them larger):

#10 Angel in HDR. OK, we just moved out of London last week… I’ll admit it, I’m going to miss Angel. Probably not one of my best photos of the year but I wanted to mark the passing into our new life in 2010…

#9 Snapper explosion from Red Sea. See the full trip gallery here.

#8 James’ Mysterious device. See the full series here.

#7 Little fishy. Also from the red sea. These little guys are very quick but very graceful. I wanted to get a photo that showed that and I think this does.

#6 Mike & Suzy fish. Tiny glass fish blown into a glass fish bowl. Amazing item from Italy and I found it difficult to light.

#5 Fish tails. I loved the pattern they made. I’d have liked to get more in but the school was not really big enough.

#4 Leaf reflection. The Raja Ampat Mangroves were by far & away my fav experience this year! See the full gallery here

#3 Teeny Tiny bobtail squid. See Raja Ampat (not Mangroves) Underwater gallery here. This was a challenge & a 1/2! Night dive. Heavy lens & torch I could hardly hold up. Bobtail squid I could hardly see he was so small! Those white rocks in the photo are grains of sand & shell.

#2 Nemo. You know I cannot resist! I like the yellow he was on …

#1 360 degrees of paradise! Bit of a dodgy handheld panorama but it came out well …. click it to see a much larger size:

EDIT: a few people contacted me wanting to know why this wasnt on the list… so I thought I’d add it here as an honorable mention…

Choosing your Best or Favourite photos?

The end of the year is a time for reflection. It’s a time I like to go through all my images from the past year and choose a few to represent my photography from the year. Here is the rub though, am I choosing my best photos or merely my favourites – and is that the same thing? I don’t think so. You can have a favourite photo that’s rubbish technically but means something very special to you or a technically amazing photo that you don’t like as much. I’m hoping by writing this blog post I’ll clear my mind as to which I’m doing this year and perhaps give you all something to think about while you reflect on your year.

Assuming the photo is basically correct (not hideously blown out or completely out of focus – unless I meant it that way) when I look at my photos I ask myself these questions:

  • Is the composition pleasing? Or could it be better? Is the light pleasing?

Are you making a statement with your composition or just playing it safe? Do it look balanced and feel right when you look at it? Does your eye want to take everything in?

  • Does the photo speak to me? How does it make me feel?

Everyone likes photos that make them feel something – anything, personally I like to feel happy rather than sad though ;)

  • Is there a story behind the photo? Is the memory of taking the photo clouding your judgement?

Did you set up a little scene with a funny back story? Is the story better than the finished photo? Is this one of those – “you just had to be there moments” where the photo doesn’t do it justice?

  • Was the photo challenging to take?

Did you have to trek 50miles for this photo? No one will know or care when they look at it but you. I’m guilty of this one. I often like photos of tiny things so small I couldnt see them in real life. Not sure that makes them good photos though!

  • Was this part of an experiment?

Playing with HDR or some other technique and really happy with how it turned out? Does it actually make it a good photo or just impressive to you because you know it was your first go at that technique?

  • Did I rise to a challenge?

Was this photo part of a themed challenge? Does it only make a great photo within that context or can it stand alone?

Well writing this post certainly cleared my mind as I’m am probably guilty of choosing all my photos for the wrong reasons. At the end of the day though it comes down to two questions?

1) Who is your audience? If you are only trying to please yourself you can do whatever you want! :) And everyone else it entitled to a different opinion.

and 2) Do your photos stand alone? Out of context (with no titles, back stories & explanations etc) when you see your photos do you think, wow, thats a great photo?

Now looking forward to the New Year and my blog post of best/fav 10 photos to follow shortly

Happy New Year everyone!

Color of the Year 2010 Turquoise

As you may know I’m a big fan of Mark Graf’s blog:  “Graf Nature Photography | Notes from the woods” .

Every year he does a Pantone Colour Of The Year post (I loved his Mimosa post last year). Well this year the colour is turquoise. A colour dear to my heart as an underwater photographer. Check out his post here. We all need a bit of tropical cheer in this snowy weather so here is a few turquoise images from me :)