Michael Rammell

An Interview with David DuChemin

Audio, Interview, Photography, VideoMichael RammellComment

Back in 2014, I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing the one and only David DuChemin for the now discontinued Ready Steady Pro Photography Podcast.

Now, before you go ahead and listen or watch the interview, I just want to say that David DuChemin is an absolute hero of mine. Not only is he a fantastic photographer, but his words are also incredibly thought provoking too. Whenever an email from David DuChemin lands in my inbox, I'm almost always guaranteed to spend the next couple of hours mulling over his points, comments and opinions.

He is a fantastic artist in every sense of the word and has helped me to form many of my opinions on the world of photography and the process of making a photograph too. Through books from his company Craft & Vision, he has been hugely influential in my photography education so far.

Because of all of this, and because of the high esteem in which I hold him, this could possibly be the reason I was so incredibly nervous when hosting this conversation! So, please do forgive my nerves in the early stages of this episode!

This conversation was hosted live on YouTube as a Google+ Hangout, way back when in March 2014, but that makes this conversation absolutely no less relevant today. In this episode, David and I discuss

  • Your vision matters more than gear
  • You should invest more in your creativity than you should in gear
  • The 'best' camera is the one that fits you most comfortably, rather than the camera that is fastest / biggest / etc
  • Be financially sensible. Think; "Will this purchase make my work noticeably better".
  • David's own experience with Bankruptcy.

The belief that we all need to just get on with shooting doesn't just end there though. To hear the wise words of David DuChemin, you can watch the full interview below or over on YouTube or tune into the podcast: Here's how:

  1. Stream or download iTunes or over at Stitcher Radio (you can also use the audio player below)
  2. Hit play on the YouTube video below or head on over to my YouTube channel to watch the interview

 

All I ask is that whichever your preferred method of enjoying this episode, that you leave some love for by commenting, sharing and leaving a review.

David duChemin is a world & humanitarian assignment photographer, best-selling author, digital publisher, and international workshop leader whose nomadic and adventurous life fuels his fire to create and share. Based in Victoria, Canada, when he’s home, David leads a nomadic life chasing compelling images on all 7 continents.

For all of David's work and to follow his blog, check out his website: http://davidduchemin.com/

If you're interested in the great books on offer from Craft & Vision, some of which are totally free, whilst many others are just $5, checkout the Craft & Vision website: https://craftandvision.com/



Subscribe to this Blog to receive notifications when new articles have been released

I don't ever send SPAM and you'll only get an email once every 2 weeks or so. Here's a sample of what you'll receive every now and then If you don't like it I make it very easy to unsubscribe! Come on, join over 600 other subscribers today!

Are you a photographer in business, like me? I've put together this massively popular pricing calculator for my subscribers. Download it today for FREE


London Photo Walk 2017 - An Update

Event, Audio, Meetup, Olympus, Photography, VideoMichael RammellComment

I've had a few emails and Facebook messages this past couple of weeks about my Photo Walk happening on April 30th, so today I've written/recorded this episode to give you all the details you'll need when you attend.

It's FREE to attend so if you want to join me and over 50 other photographers in London for a day of Street Photography and lots of laughter, just head on over to the signup page.

You have 3 ways to enjoy this post:

  1. Listen to the audio on iTunesStitcher Radio or using the audio player below!
  2. Head on over to YouTube to watch the video
  3. Read on below if you're in a place where you can't watch or listen...

Your Questions Answered

Q: When will I receive confirmation of my place on the photo walk?

A: If you've signed up successfully using the signup form with a genuine email address, then chances are that's how you're seeing this email. Your email address was added to my mailing list to ensure that you get all my updates, just like this one! If however you signed up, but you've found this post some other way and not as a mail in your inbox (or Junk), then be sure to re-register again at MichaelRammell.com/events.

I will be sending a direct mail to all those on the list the week before the walk to make sure that I know final numbers and to answer any final, last-minute questions that may have come through. To make sure you're on that list, be sure to register. If you're in doubt or unsure, simply register again. Don't worry, you won't start getting emails twice, the system is pretty smart and should detect if your email address already exists.

Q: Can I borrow a camera on the day?

A: Last time I was asked this question, my answer was a straight up 'no'. However, I have been working behind the scenes to see if I can get a representative from Olympus to come along and lend some gear for a few hours on the day. I spoke to a couple of the Olympus team members at The UK Photography Show and they were very positive about the idea. Now, that's not 100% confirmed right now, so please don't count, or rely on borrowing a camera. 

That said, I wouldn't rely completely on loan gear for the entire day and would suggest you bring your own camera. Not just because at some stage, you'll have to give it back, but mostly because I would recommend you use the camera you are most familiar with - Street Photography often calls for quick reactions - so you'll need to know your camera well.

In all seriousness - an iPhone (other phones are available) would be an absolutely fine camera to use for the day. I'll be using mine to compliment what I do with my OM-D E-M1, that's for sure.

Alternatively, you could also arrange to borrow an Olympus camera using the Test & Wow Service (Check it out online and be sure to make your booking as soon as possible to ensure the equipment you want is available). Basically, you can borrow a camera and/or lens for 3 days. Handy right!

Olympus-test-and-wow.jpg

Q: Are there details about the route anywhere online?

A: For those of you that have registered, you should already know about the route given that it's on the signup page itself. But, if you're reading this post for the first time today, then the route is pretty much as follows: Carnaby Street > Leicester Square > China Town > Soho > Covent Garden > Trafalgar Square > South Bank, where we will decide what we're going to have for dinner. The route we take between these locations will be determined pretty much by the group on the day and where we end up.

Q: What do we do if we get lost?

A: You will get lost and you will break from the group! I would suggest you use Google Maps on your phone to get yourself back to one of the points on the route as mentioned and wait for us to meander through that area. On the day of the walk I will be giving out sheets with some contact information on it, as well as places to wait to catch up / meet up with should (when) you break from the group. The fact is, with 50+ photographers attending, I would actually encourage people to take a random walk down a random street, rather than all staying together in a pack. Street Photography is often about being incognito. A large group of people with cameras isn't exactly subtle!

Q: Can you suggest any accommodation in London?

A: I've had a handful of emails about where to stay when in London that weekend. Well, naturally those who have asked have had varied budgets available. As such, I would suggest an Air BnB booking, where you can set your budget, choose from renting a single room or an entire home and there are plenty of locations. Perfect if you have a particular diet or food requirement as you would also be able to cook for yourself if you book a place with a kitchen too! Many of these locations will feature WiFi too, which is always a bonus if you're looking to get online and share the images you've made on the day

airbnb.co.uk.jpg

Q: What should I bring with me in my bag?

A: This is a very popular question! The temptation is to overpack and throw in everything except the kitchen sink. But, in truth, you simply need comfortable walking shoes, your camera, some spare batteries and perhaps a light waterproof just in case it rains (this is London after all!). If you want to pack your own sandwiches, then go for it, but we will be walking past a dozen small shops where you can buy sandwiches, or a panini or whatever it is that you fancy. Ultimately though, pack light and you can't go too wrong. Pay attention to the weather forecast in the days leading up to April 30th and pack what you think you'll need to stay warm, dry and comfortable. We'll be out on the street for a few hours.

On my very first London Photo Walk, back in 2013, it poured down for about an hour. We go caught in the rain for a short while, but then we all went into Somerset House, had a coffee, compared cameras and images and discussed photography in general. Whatever the weather has in store for us on April 30th, we'll be sure to make some great images.

In the next post in my blog, I'll be sharing with you exactly what I'll be packing in my camera bag (and which camera bag I'm taking). Be sure to subscribe, if you haven't already, and you'll get that post direct to your inbox. Perhaps you can take a few ideas from me and what it is I'm bringing on the day.

viewofmybag.jpg

So, those are all the questions I've had so far. If you've not yet registered for the walk and want to come along, be sure to make your way to the sign up page and drop your details in the form. I'll be in touch the week before the walk to give you all a final update.

Otherwise, I thanks for stopping by! Be sure to subscribe here on the blog, over in iTunes to the podcast and also on YouTube too. I'm producing more and more videos at the moment and would love if you would hit that subscribe button to keep up to date with everything I'm up to.

Any other Questions?

Do you have a question that I haven't yet answered? Drop a comment down below or get in touch via email: michael@rammellphotography.com



Subscribe to this Blog to receive notifications when new articles have been released

I don't ever send SPAM and you'll only get an email once every 2 weeks or so. Here's a sample of what you'll receive every now and then If you don't like it I make it very easy to unsubscribe! Come on, join over 600 other subscribers today!

Are you a photographer in business, like me? I've put together this massively popular pricing calculator for my subscribers. Download it today for FREE


Win an OM-D E-M1ii and 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO Lens With Olympus Magazine

Audio, Giveaways & Competitions, Olympus, PhotographyMichael RammellComment

I'm very humbled and grateful to have been asked to write another feature for the Olympus Magazine, particularly in this, the 50th Edition! As always, the magazine is bursting with features, including my contribution for '5 Of the Best'. Best of all, though, in this edition, you could be in with a shout of winning an Olympus OM-D E-M1ii + M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO. How about that for a giveaway!

Want to listen to this post instead of reading? Great! You have 3 options:

  1. Head on over to iTunes, Subscribe, Leave some feedback and a review
  2. Don't like Apple? Then check out the Stitcher Radio Podcast App!
  3. Listen right here on the blog: Click play below on the audio player. 

In my '5 of the best' feature, Olympus wanted me to share some of my thoughts on what it takes to be a wedding photographer as well as sharing my experiences in shooting with the Olympus range of cameras (hint: I love 'em! But you already knew that). I give a run-through of some of my kit and some tips on marketing and relationship building. So if you're thinking of getting started in wedding photography, this could well be the article for you.

The article features a picture of a rather chubby looking me too (of all the images OlympusUK had to choose from eh! ;) ) so if you want a laugh, be sure to stop by and take a look and have a read.

Oh, and whilst you're there why not enter the competition to win your own Olympus OM-D E-M1ii + M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens.

The UK Photography Show - March 18th - March 21st

This weekend (Saturday 18th to Tuesday 21st is) the UK Photography Show, the UK's largest Photography trade event. I will be there, of course. I'm heading up on the Tuesday to see David Alan-Harvey give his talk on the superstage. I'm excited about that! I will otherwise be having a mooch around the Olympus stand and the Guild of Photgraphers booth and getting my cameras cleaned for free :). I'll also be there to catch up with my good friend and fellow photographer Paul Griffiths. We'll be doing some blogging and vlogging.

It's become very much a social event too since it's inception. This will be the 4th time I've been to the show, missing a year.

If you want to meet up though and discuss photography, cameras or even cycling, then get in touch with me today by email: Michael@RammellPhotography.com. Or, use the contact form if you prefer

London Photo Walk - April 30th

Lastly, I just wanted to remind you that my totally FREE London photowalk is taking place this year on April 30th, starting out in Carnaby Street. Sign up now to make sure I have your details so that I can keep you posted about any possible changes to the plan or itinerary.

There isn't a limit to the number of people that can attend as it's a public place, however I would just ask that you register so I can contact you should I need to. You can register right here on the site 

On that note, I have had a few emails from people who have signed up asking when they would receive confirmation of their place on the photo walk. Well, if that's you and you've signed up and you're wondering if your place is secured - then yes! You're coming. Just turn up at the meeting place on the day and say hi, just so we don't leave you behind. Again, details on how to register, the route and the meeting place can all be found over on the events page

The Camera Aspects Show

Lastly, in my quest to produce as much content as time will allow me, I've joined forces with my good friend Paul Griffiths to get a project off the ground that we've been discussing for the best part of 18 months now. 'The Camera Aspects Show' is now live.

CameraAspects.com

If you're thinking you may have heard the name Paul Griffiths before, it's likely you've come across Pauls show and blog: Photography Live & Uncut

The idea behind the show is that Paul and I will meet on a weekly basis to discuss all things photography, from gear to business and everything in between. We'll be recording the episodes live on location in London, using the various bars and restaurants that we like. We've already recorded and posted episode 1 up online to YouTube. The audio version will also be available shortly through iTunes and Stitcher Radio too.

Don't worry though folks, the Camera Aspects Show doesn't mean that this blog is ending, it's just another feather in my cap.

Otherwise, that's all for now. Be sure to head on over to iTunes and Stitcher and subscribe, just search for my name 'Michael Rammell' or use the links right here in the post. Oh, and please do check out my YouTube channel too. I've finally got that into a decent shape and I'm posting VLOG's every couple of days, so if you want to know more about me and what I'm up to regularly, check out that channel:



Subscribe to this Blog to receive notifications when new articles have been released

I don't ever send SPAM and you'll only get an email once every 2 weeks or so. Here's a sample of what you'll receive every now and then If you don't like it I make it very easy to unsubscribe! Come on, join over 600 other subscribers today!

Are you a photographer in business, like me? I've put together this massively popular pricing calculator for my subscribers. Download it today for FREE


Top 3 Inspirational Photographers from history

Top #, AudioMichael Rammell2 Comments

Continuing with my 'Top 3' theme for March, I'm back today to share with you, my top 3 inspirational photographers from history - those photographers who are sadly no longer with us, but whose work continues to impress and inspire.

Want to listen to this post instead of reading? Great! You have 3 options:

  1. Head on over to iTunes, Subscribe, Leave some feedback and a review
  2. Don't like Apple? Then check out the Stitcher Radio Podcast App!
  3. Listen right here on the blog: Click play below on the audio player. 

Last week I shared my top 3 favourite / inspirational wedding photographers and in the coming weeks, I'll be sharing with you lots of my top 3's, including my top 3 favourite photography podcasts, my top 3 Adobe Lightroom processing tips and even my top 3 creative working spaces in London.

For now though, let's dive into top 3. Some of you may be asking yourselves why it is I'm talking about 'Photographers in history' and not just photographers. Well, I've already shared my favourite 3 photographers right now in a previous post from back in 2015 - and those photographers remain very much the same to this day, but I wanted to talk a little more about those photographers who are sadly no longer with us. Those who have left behind a portfolio and body of work that have no doubt had an impact on many of us at some stage.

In truth, had I written this article around 18 months ago, 2 of the 3 photographers in my list wouldn't feature, because it is in only in recent times that they have unfortunately passed away. 

So, let's get started. Here are my top 3 inspirational photographers from history. Be sure to check out the links - the work and projects they've left behind are definitely deserving of your time and viewing. (be sure to drop your favourite photographers in the comments too, or send me an email at Michael@RammellPhotography.com

1. Fan Ho. October 1931 - June 2016

Fan Ho, is perhaps less of a household name than the likes of Henri Cartier-Bresson, but for me at least, his work has left a huge impression on me and serves as a benchmark for what quality, impactful work should look like.

Without disrespecting any other accomplished Street Photographer (or at least not wanting to), it could be said that many of us have work that looks similar. After all, nothing is new these days, especially to an untrained eye. However, there is no mistaking a Fan Ho photograph for anyone else's.

His work has that unmistakable film look, it's Hong Kong during the 50's & 60's in an era less seen in photographs. His work was minimalist and clean in a way that was ahead of it's time. That shows in the way that the work still feels new today. Yes, sure the work is old now, but it has not aged. The fact it is shot on film is obvious, but the style feels ultra modern. The use of geometry, light and shadow, and black and white make every Fan Ho Image unique and identifiable as a Fan Ho Image.

I talk about making intentional images quite often, the idea that you see a scene and make the picture, rather than just taking it - ducking and weaving to look for a stronger composition or even coming back at another time when the light is more pleasing. To me, all of his images I've seen, seem to exhibit these intentional acts, perhaps more than I've ever seen in work by other photographers.

I've been admiring Fan Ho's work for as long as I've been a street photographer and was devastated to discover he had passed away in June 2016. I can't even remember exactly when it was I came across his work for the first time, but since that time a link to his website has taken firm pride of place atop my list of bookmarks and I view it more regularly than any other photographers' work from any genre or decade.

There's simply no mistaking Fan Ho for someone else.

His work, like many master photographers (and I mean to use that word in a literal sense, rather than just in a complimentary fashion), had a number of books to his name featuring his work. One of note, and one that is still widely available today, is 'Hong Kong - Yesterday'. For this book, Fan Ho revisited some old, previously un-printed negatives he had stored away to produce a great collection of work that had, before then, not seen the light of day.

It makes you wonder what other negatives he had that also didn't meet his high standards, that the rest of us would quite possibly simply marvel at!

Ted Forbes' Study and Farewell videos on YouTube

My aim with this post is to simply encourage you to take a look at Fan Ho's work in the hope that you'll find it as inspiring and captivating as I do. That said though, if you're looking for a succinct, yet thorough study of Fan Ho, then no one does it better than Ted Forbes of The Art of Photography show. Ted dedicated two episodes of his YouTube / Video Podcast. In the first episode Ted walks and talks us through his life and work. 

Ted Forbes looks at the life and work of Photographer, Fan Ho. Born in Shanghai in 1931. After learning how to develop images using the family bathtub he went on to be one of the most notable street photographers and finest artists China has produced.

Then, after Fan Ho's death back in June 2016, Ted released a lovely video in homage to the talent that he was:

2. Mary Ellen Mark. March 1940 - May 2015

Whoever you are, whatever you shoot and even if you're relatively new to photography, Mary Ellen Mark should be a name you recognise at least. Given the amount of press and coverage that she and her work (rightly) received in the past few years.

She is known mostly as a photojournalist and documentary photographer, who's images told great stories (often single images were able to tell entire stories!). She had a stint as a Magnum Photographer and produced work that featured/features in galleries and museums all over the world. Mary Ellen Mark worked on documentaries, most notably 'Streetwise in Seattle'. As you would expect from such an accomplished photographer, She also has over a dozen books to her name too.

From a purely photographic perspective, Her work captured so much within a single frame, not in that there were lots of subjects or that the images were busy, but rather that each image was filled with a story. Or, rather the image perfectly accompanied the story that she was telling with a particular project. In her interview with Mark Selliger (Which I'll come to shortly), she talks about the time she photographed in a morgue. Whereas most of us would averse to doing this, Her desire to document and tell a story took over, enabling her to produce images of the bodies that are both shocking, but compelling to look at too.

despite appreciating art myself, I often 'don't get art', but I'm inclined to say that these particular images are very much art.

Many of the portraits that She made were simply haunting, in a uniquely Mary Ellen Mark style.

I myself only became aware of Mary Ellen Mark through a YouTube show called 'Capture', hosted by Mark Selliger. In one particular episode Mark Selliger interviewed Her along with Helena Christensen. Now, yes, it really is only recently that I became aware of Her compared to many. Never-the-less though, I admire her work, her words and her projects and only hope to be able to make a small percentage of the impact that Mary Ellen Mark made on the photographic world.

If you get a chance to watch this episode of Capture, you'll hear that She worked exclusively with film her entire career.

Mary Ellen Mark also gave a talk at the Photography Show in March 2015, just month's before she passed away. I was at the show that year, but unfortunately didn't get a chance to see her give her talk. It bothers me to this day that I missed that opportunity to hear such a wonderful and talented photographer. 

Mary Ellen Mark makes my top 3 because of her strength as a storyteller. As someone who wanted to make an impact with her images and because she was an artist in every sense of the word. 

3. Jane Bown. March 1925 - December 2014

When it comes to portraits, I'm a believer that the technical is simply unimportant. Sure, you can use 100 lights in a perfect studio and the lighting matters, but it is the relationship between the photographer and the sitter and the ability of the photographer to capture it, that comes through in the final image. I know that many portrait photographers out there at this point may either be screaming 'NO! What are you talking about you're totally wrong' whilst many others may be in total agreement with me, that the connection is more key, but, I just think that portraits are often as much a reflection of the photographer, as they are the subject. 

Jane Bown, for me, is a beautiful example of this.

Bown is another superb talent who has passed away only relatively recently back in 2014. However, before she passed away we were fortunate enough that she was able to do a series of interviews and recordings to talk about her work and share some of her stories, meaning we have more of a record of what the woman behind the camera was like. To us, the public (not family members), we're often curious about what it takes to produce work like Her's and what's involved to get those opportunities. It was evident that years of hard graft and effort, as well as consistently producing her own wonderful style of images, was the key to that.

Bown worked for the Observer Newspaper (UK) for a little over 60 years, which gave her many assignments to photograph some well known people, such as Bjork, The Queen (The actual Queen, as in, The Monarch), Mick Jagger and more. Rather than me simply regurgitating those stories here on the blog however, I'd encourage you to have a look at a beautiful documentary called 'Looking for light: Jane Brown' (snippet below):

For me, there is so much more to her than is even discussed and mentioned in the documentary. For example, just the fact that she was a female photographer during a time when it was very much a male dominated industry, in a male dominated time! (50's, 60's & 70's). It's perhaps a discussion for another time, but equal rights had a long way to go back then and still aren't where they ought to be, even today.

As mentioned, I'm a lover of black and white, and with Bown's work featuring nearly exclusively mono images, this is perhaps why I'm drawn to the images she has produced.

Now, as I have said many times before, that gear doesn't matter, there is a little bias here for me when it comes to Jane Bown, as she and I are both lovers and users of Olympus cameras. Whilst she used the original Olympus OM-1 35mm film SLR (groundbreaking at the time), I entered the world of Olympus with the very modern take on that same camera with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 - the modern day incarnation of Bown's camera of choice. Although she Initially photographed using a Rolleiflex, she later moved to Olympus OM-1.

Portraits are a challenging discipline. Some find that the more time they have to think, the more paralysed they can become by the choice that becomes available to them. Whilst others thrive in limited environments, with limited time. Bown proved she was more than capable no matter what the situation. In another video I found on YouTube, Bown talks of the time she photographed Samuel Beckett, who tried to leave without having his picture taken. Ever the optimist and thinking on her feet, however, she pursued Beckett as he left the building and proceeded to make his portrait in the alleyway outside. That image is very much one of her standout Images to this day and features in many of the documentaries I've seen and bodies of work of Bown that I've managed to find. Again, I've included a snippet of this story in this YouTube video:

Books & Media

Like all of the greats, She has a few books featuring her work. All of them wonderful. Jane Bown's 'Cats' in particular is very playful. At first it may sound odd that such a legendary portrait photographer has a book filled with 100 cat portraits, but in truth, that same unique Bown style and feel comes through just as strongly with the 'portraits' of the cats, as it does with her images of John Lennon, Samuel Beckett and the other famous people she has in her portfolio. It is well worth a read. Other books include 'A Lifetime of Looking', which is perhaps could be considered her 'title' book. It features an extensive collection of her most iconic images, as well as images only published in this book too. Another Jane Bown book, although, less widely available as far as I can fine is the aptly titled 'Observer', both in that she observed life, but also in that she worked for The Observer Newspaper and that the work featured in this book is the work Bown made when on assignment for the paper.

Conclusion

So, if we're talking about photographers who have unfortunately passed away, but who's work lives on, these have been my top 3 most inspirational. Who are yours? Henri Cartier-Bresson? Saul Leiter? Drop a comment below or get in touch with me via email, at Michael@RammellPhotography.com. You can also use the contact form too.

I love discussing photography, so if you'd like to talk about it more with me why not join me in London on April 30th for my latest FREE photo walk. All of the details are available over on the events page. Be sure to check it out and sign up. It's open to everyone and there are no limits to the number who can attend. All you need to do is register your details and show up on the day.

Be sure to check me out on Social Media. Everywhere possible I go by @RammellPhoto - that's on Twitter and Instagram. All those links are below:



Subscribe to this Blog to receive notifications when new articles have been released

I don't ever send SPAM and you'll only get an email once every 2 weeks or so. Here's a sample of what you'll receive every now and then If you don't like it I make it very easy to unsubscribe! Come on, join over 600 other subscribers today!

Are you a photographer in business, like me? I've put together this massively popular pricing calculator for my subscribers. Download it today for FREE