fotoLIBRA Picture Library – Anyone Using It?

If any of our readers uses, either for sales or as a source for purchasing images (I would expect our readers to be more likely to be selling) I would really like to hear your experiences.

We are not particularly looking for good or bad experiences; I’m exploring stock photography in general and I have always liked the fotoLIBRA format, even if only because it is different to the “usual” library way of working.

If you feel like sharing, you can add comments to this post, or you can use the contact form if you would prefer to keep it anonymous.


Spotlight On: Bob Keefer, Contemporary Photographer


Every now and then we get an email from a photographer suggesting our readers might be interested in their work. I always like to believe that all photographers are interested in all other photographers work, but I suspect that “all” should be modified to “most” or even “some”.

Anyway, as someone who comes from the black & white darkroom era and who has played with hand-colouring (unsuccessfully, I might add!) I thought I would shine the spotlight on Bob Keefer. In his words:

Your readers might be interested in checking out my contemporary hand colored black-and-white photography at

We’re talking traditional darkroom prints and artist paints, no Photoshop allowed.

My work is the relaxing antithesis of digital photography and consists primarily of landscapes from the rainy Northwest [of America].

If I’m honest (and I do try to be) I’m not convinced that the website does the photos total justice. I suspect they need to be seen “in the flesh”, full size and with the texture of the paper fully visible. I guess this is where digital and traditional/contemporary photography don’t mix as well as we might wish.

Ansel Adams – He Could Have Been So Good…

I’m not sure if anyone else will find this as funny as I do, but I recently read a comment by someone (and it was serious, I promise) and I need to share it.

They said “I recently discovered the work of Ansel Adams for the first time. It was fantastic, especially when you consider he did not even have digital to work with!”.

Perhaps it’s just me (or photographers of “a certain age” like me) but I think that is just brilliant!

The name of the commenter has been withheld for reasons of not wanting to ridicule anyone.

Wedding Photography: Facing My Fear, Step One


Regular visitors to TDM will know that I am a great big girlie wuss when it comes to wedding photography. I am completely in awe of the skilful wedding photographer, who is possibly the third-most watched person at any wedding (after the bride and groom, of course).

So when my friend Tony offered me the chance to go along as his assistant at the evening event of a wedding he was covering, I immediately closed the curtains, hid behind the sofa and pretended to have moved away. However, a couple of days later after much thinking about the future (and no small amount of bullying from my wife!) I decided (read “my wife decided”) it was too good an opportunity to miss.

Knowing only too well the kinds of thing that lead to my self-imposed state of nervousness, I made sure to ask several important questions; where, when, what do I bring, what do I wear? I turned up to the gig on time, with plenty of fully-charged batteries and a collection of empty memory cards, this being my idea of the absolute minimum requirement.

Tony is probably the most relaxed person I have ever met (I mean this as a good thing) and he made a point of telling me that there was no expectation on his part; he would take all the pictures he needed as if I was not there, leaving me to get on with my own stuff and learn what I could from the experience. Any panicky questions about what to do or what to use were pretty much answered with “whatever you think is the right thing at the time”. That might not sound helpful written down here like this, but it really put me at my ease. I didn’t have to do anything, therefore everything I did was a useful experience.

My nerves remained for some time, although I quickly developed a rapport with the guests, even the one guest who spotted the new face behind a camera and came over to check me out! It wasn’t long before I was retreating to where we stowed our gear to make a quick assessment of images taken so far. To my surprise I had few images I was really happy with. Even those I did not like were acceptable, even if only from a technically competent point of view.

This is the point where I started to offer myself some feedback instead of being overly self-critical. As a result, I changed to a slightly long lens and went back in. Now I was in a whole different place. I could get the shots I wanted without getting right in people’s faces and without lots of “excuse me… can I just push past…” and so on. Now I don’t know if the images I took were suitable for the purpose (I’ll update when I get Tony’s feedback) but I took lost of pictures which made me happy. I know wedding photography is not about making the photographer happy, but at least I came away not going on about how I can’t do this and that feels like a very big step for me.

I know I still have a long way to go before I could even consider being a wedding photographer, but even taking this first step feels momentous to me.

Vision09: The Essential Event for Pro Photographers (London)

Come and learn from the world’s leading experts

Vision in association with Sony Alpha

British Journal of Photography is delighted to announce its second key speaker for its November show, Vision – Europe’s only event dedicated to aspiring and early career professional photographers.

Picture © Eugene Richards/Reportage by Getty Images.
Picture © Eugene Richards/Reportage by Getty Images.

Eugene Richards will be flying in from New York to speak at Vision on 27 November, where he will be joined on the day by Martin Parr – giving visitors the chance to see two of the biggest legends of photography under the same roof on the same day.

Known for his uncompromising documentary work, award-winning books and critically-acclaimed short films, Richards will present an exclusive insight into his latest project, War is Personal, together with his first major colour series, The Blue Room. Among his numerous honours, the American has won the W Eugene Smith Memorial Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, three National Endowment for the Arts grants, the Leica Medal of Excellence, the Leica Oskar Barnack Award, the Olivier Rebbot Award from the Overseas Press Club, three Canon Photo Essayist Awards, and the Robert F Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Journalism Award.

Vision’s unique one-day event features a packed programme of talks, demos, seminars and portfolio reviews. Located at the Business Design Centre in the heart of London, Vision provides inspiration, information and essential ideas to help aspiring professionals and early career photographers get their careers moving. Many of the industry’s leading manufacturers will also be there to showcase their latest products and services.

With an emphasis on creative cutting edge, and focusing on effective tools and solutions to further photographers’ businesses, Vision is this year’s don’t miss photography event.

About Vision

  • Vision will be held on Friday, 27 November 2009 at the Business Design Centre, Islington, London
  • Vision is an annual event, held by British Journal of Photography
  • British Journal of Photography is the professional photographers’ weekly and, founded in 1854, is the world’s longest running photo magazine. The cover price is £2.20 and it is available throughout the UK or by subscription.

You Gotta Be There

success-signSpoke to my old friend Tony the other day. It’s been a while since we have spoken so we did the usual catch up on who is carrying what gear, where we’ve been, what we’ve done and so on. He has been making his living from photography for the last nine years or so and the content of his kit bag is a little more impressive than my own.

Anyway, he was telling me how he had gone to the tennis at Wimbledon this summer and he only took a compact with him. As luck would have it, he was sat just behind all the press photographers. Wishing he had taken his DSLR and long lens, he set about taking a few shots and making the best of the kit available.

The next day, Tony found a photo in the press that was virtually identical to one he had taken; not a huge surprise I suppose, considering he was just a few feet from the photographer. Even the fact that they released the shutter at the same moment was no great surprise as they were obviously all anticipating the same action.

The point is, having all the best kit is cool, but often the viewer will be unable to tell the difference. As I read on a blog recently, “the best camera is the one you have with you”.

And Tony’s comment (which I really liked) was “you won’t get the shot if you’re not there”.