Posts Tagged ‘ cameras ’

Are Photographic competitions disheartening ?

I do, on the whole, find photographic competitions most disheartening. Whenever you get the rejection email or letter a little bit of confidence ebbs away. I become subdued and a bit saddened whenever I fail to get shortlisted and its happened countless times. It makes me wonder way we go in for them ? Why do I keep putting myself though this ? Obviously the kudos and honour of selection, let alone the enhancement of your career, can sometimes outweigh the negativity but lately the negative feelings are deterring me from entering too many competitions.
You can probably tell I’ve just received such an email ! I’m disappointed that my selection for the Peaches and Cream IV competition run by the excellent company Millennium Images haven’t been selected but I’m mindful that the images they normally choose are excellent. My images are below and were based on a poem by Raymond Carver called ” The Cobweb “. I’m really looking forward to the exhibited images and I already  know that the standard will be incredibly high.

I’ve had the honour of being a judge on a prestigious worldwide competition and it’s an incredibly hard task to whittle down 2000+ images to just 10 ! Personal choice plays a big part in the selection obviously and you try and be fair to everyone but you still know that 1990+ photographers are going to feel like I do today.

I often find that the costs of entering photographic competitions are a big deterrent especially when the odds are stacked against you. Take for instance the Taylor Wessing Portrait prize. In 2013 they had 5,410 images entered from 2,435 photographers. From the 5,410 images only 60 were selected for the final exhibition. The cost per entry was £ 26.00 per picture. That’s a lot of disappointed photographers. I have to admit again though that the Taylor Wessing prize does champion great photography and the show was visited by over 64,000 people. Great publicity if you can get it.

I’m still unsure if the competition route is an effective way of promoting your imagery or if it is a route to despair and disenchantment. Positives and negatives, if you pardon the pun.

Come tomorrow, today’s disappointment will be consigned to history and I’ll pick up my bottom lip and keep taking the images I love. I enjoy what I do and I just love photography.

neil_juggins_01 Neil_Juggins_02 Neil_Juggins_03 Neil_Juggins_04

A visit to Broncolor in Switzerland

Due to the recent announcement that Hasselblad will be the importer into the UK of Broncolor lighting I was invited to the Broncolor studio and factory in Allschwil just 4 km from Basle in Switzerland. It’s going to be exciting stocking this new range of excellent products and I was interested in the production of the lighting systems. We arrived very early and had the day to ourselves on the Monday which was a bonus on a works trip !

The guys at Broncolor treated us to a wonderful 3 days and looked after us supremely well. Excellent training on their products, a guided tour of Basle, lovely food & drink and wonderful company. The range of lighting is amazing and is priced to suit all budgets. Broncolor have often been seen as expensive and too complicated to use but these issues have been addressed as extra products have been added to the range. Certainly the Scoro packs are expensive but on a par with their rivals and they out perform them especially in terms of colour temperature control and flash duration. Easy to use, the Scoro’s are top notch. Looking forward to playing with them in the UK. Their battery packs, called the Mobil A2L, are excellent too especially as they are light in weight due to the new lithium batteries and have an added bonus of being able to turn into LED lights with an adapter. This will interest photographers and film makers alike. There are many products in their range , the Grafit, the Senso,the Verso etc and you can view them all at http://www.bron.ch. Well worth a look.

The factory works like clockwork ( not surprising as it’s based in Switzerland ) and it employs 80 people. Every item is handcrafted, checked and re-checked. The procedures for quality control were very impressive indeed and you can see why Broncolor products are regarded as the most reliable in the business.

All in all a fantastic trip and many, many thanks to Urs, Urs 2, Gorden and especially Jacques & Claude Bron for making our visit interesting, educational and fun.

Here are some images from our visit.


All boxed up and ready to be shipped.



Making the Broncolor Para Reflector





Circuit boards and the Senso packs almost complete




Mark checking the circuit boards.


The factory floor



Dom and I playing with the Broncolor Balloon.


Dom enjoying himself and lit with a Scoro pack and Bron hardbox.


The Broncolor bunker ! Nearly all factories in Switzerland must have a bunker in case of nuclear attack or earthquakes. Quite an oddity !

Architecture in Edinburgh, Scotland

I recently spent a few days up in Edinburgh, Scotland and was amazed at some of the wonderful architecture. I particularly liked the combination of old and modern but was really impressed with the modern architecture. My favourite piece of modern architecture was the new Scottish Parliament building in Holyrood, which was designed by the Catalan Enric Miralles, who unfortunately died before its completion. Here are some of my images from this photogenic building.

The other building that I liked was a combination of old & modern architecture used at Usher Hall in the city centre. Here are a couple of my images.

Here are some more images of this beautiful city.

It really was a marvellous short break and this wonderful city is well worth a visit.

The new Pro Centre.

After months of negotiations, many site visits, and a long weekend of shifting boxes the Pro Centre has moved to its new home at 14 Union Walk, London E2.

It’s certainly nicer to work in a building that isn’t crumbling around the edges and hopefully will be a huge success. The showroom is definitely a proper showcase for all the Hasselblad products and many new products that will be arriving soon.

Here are some of the first images of our new home and you must come and visit soon !

Vimeo Videos

I thought I’d share with you these three fantastic videos that I’ve found on Vimeo. I love the use of time lapse and slow motion in in these videos and most of the effects are achievable with the Canon 5D / 7D and the Nikon D3s. I’m going to start playing with these cameras but I wish I had the time and imagination to get something similar. Some hope !! Enjoy and I hope you get some inspiration.

Getting your images to look professional with Photoshop

Here’s a quick tip for photoshop. I’ve wondered how professional photographers and retouchers get that hard edged, graphic look in the photographs that they produce. One of the ways they do it is so simple.
Open your file in photoshop. Do a duplicate layer and call it background copy. Go to Image adjustments and desaturate. Then go to windows layer and overlay the two images. You can set the opacity between 50-100%. Whatever you think works best. To save your image, go to save as and turn the file into a jpeg rather than a psd file. And voila ! That’s all !!
Here are a couple of examples that hopefully show the effect.


Original image without any photoshop.

The same image altered in Photoshop.


Original image, slightly adjusted in photoshop.

Altered in photoshop, with opacity at 80%.

You should give it a go. It works well if used correctly.

Alexandra Park

Off on my wanderings around Alexandra Park again !! I’m really enjoying this project, especially as the weather is changing rapidly. Summer is well and truly over and the autumnal colour is starting to come to the fore. It’s interesting visiting the same area time and time again. Observing the landscape constantly evolving and changing even within a couple of weeks.
I’ve decided to publish the book early next year and have taken the radical step of not featuring any people in the images. The park is usually very busy but I want to convey the feeling that the park is exclusively mine. To show the space without distraction. I hope I succeed.

Here are a few more images from my recent shoots. They were all taken on the Hasselblad H4D 50 using the HC 120mm and the HC 35-90mm.

I hope you enjoyed them and feel free to comment.