The Art of Observation

Just a little update, I spoke about some exciting news.

Well I can now say that I have a job at a local company. I’m working as a Junior Graphic Designer at Vertas in Ipswich. Anyway here is to the blog post.

If you know me well you will know that photography is a big thing within the creative work I do. I have recently upgraded my camera and because of that I’ve been looking through archive of photographs from the past 4-5 years. I feel it is time to talk about my journey through photography.

I started my journey as a photographer in early 2011. Back then I used Fujifilm J30 Finepix compact camera to take photos of everything. Sadly, that camera doesn’t work any more. Later that year I upgraded to DSLR with the Canon EOS 1000D. I felt the need for more control with my camera. To be able to take photographs by using the settings on the camera without it doing all the work for me. I distinctly remember the days and weeks after I had upgraded.  I wanted to use it as much as possible. Taking photos of the local park and wildlife being some of the early things to capture. I love the fact that I haven’t just photographed images from one genre.

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Macro

Whether it was wildlife, landscapes or street photography. Early in my photography experience,  I wanted to explore Macro photography. I found I could use Manual Extension tubes. These were a cheaper option than a Macro lens. I found this a great way to explore it as type of photography. I found myself stalking the insects and creepy crawly’s in my garden to be the centre of my images.

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Having been able to make my mark on the photography world in my own way. Some of you may remember I created a Blog for my images to collate the images I had taken. I found that it was a way to show the world what I was up to. (At this point I didn’t realise there was a platform called Flickr) http://mattfinchphotography.blogspot.co.uk/

I find that photography captures moments in time. It holds that moment on the back of a camera or as a printed image. The work that has gone into getting that moment is digitally processed but I had to compose the image and chose the subject. There is one image that I remember to this day. The photo below I took after my interview at UCS to study graphic design over three years ago. The elation of being offered a place and having part of my adventure revealed to me at that point was brilliant. I feel that this holds a strong emotional connection to that moment in time.

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Long exposure

I have always been an early morning person. Over the past couple of years I’ve taken the opportunity to go and photograph some local places in the morning. These have been particularly around the coastal areas of suffolk. This allowed me to explore long exposure photography. Specifically the use of neutral density filters. Here is one of the results.

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Around the same time I explored taking photographs of light trails. This is another form of long exposure photography. As a form of photography its really fun to do. You have to use a tripod as it requires the shutter to be open for longer than usual. The photo below is from the local bus station. It was an interesting way to capture the movement of the vehicles around the town.

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Social Photography

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Right from the start of my time as a photographer, the chance to take photos alongside friends and someone who is like minded is brilliant. I use it as a way to socialise. Often we are shooting the same things but we always have a different perspective of the things we are seeing.

Product Photography

At University we were given a few tutorials on Product photography and how to use light. This was a key thing within my own journey as a photographer. I hadn’t considered lighting within my photography to this point. Other than using natural light to help with the exposure. Now three years later, I have an understanding of how to take photographs of my own work and of products. I would say being able to use a camera in such a way has been really helpful within my degree course. As a designer the use of images is one of the main things we have to go to in creating any piece of work. Whether it is a photograph, illustration or painting being use to create a mood. Being able to photograph my own images has been great for improve my processes.

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Suffolk Accent and Dialect Appreciation Society

Sports Photography

Over the past few years there have been a few events in the area as part of the British cycling calendar. It’s become a great chance to capture action photographs. I hadn’t really experienced taking these types of shots until the Tour of Britain came to Ipswich. I really enjoyed the opportunity of taking photos of them in action. It’s not an easy way of taking photographs, as getting them in shot, and in focus isn’t always possible. As a learning point I found that having the settings on the camera right from the start is always key, as the speed of the subject can be high. Being prepared is key to making sure you get the shot.

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Coffee Photography

As part of a university module we were set the task of creating a how-to app to teach people to do something. For this project I decided to teach people to make proper coffee at home and not just use instant coffee. I found the best way to take people through the process and to sell coffee was to photograph it. It took a lot of research throughout the project to find the best way to photograph the coffee, but also how to present it in app. Within this project it was a lot about having a shallow depth of field and a photograph that a visually appealing, this included using a simple animation of a coffee being  drunk and the cup emptied. As a style of photography it was interesting to see how it could work, the process taught me a lot about the way to use every part of the photo to sell the ‘look’ of the product.

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The project: The Home Barista

Flickr and Instagram

This brings me to the beginning of this year. I started to use Instagram. As a means to capture the process of my working and some of my photography in a new and more instant way.  It has been a great opportunity to explore photography to capture moments in a different way.

I also started to use flickr. As a platform its great for seeing inspiring images and sharing my own. As part of flickr there is an explore area, I was lucky enough to be featured on it a couple of weeks ago. The photo in question Is a long exposure of a carousel at the maritime festival on Ipswich waterfront.

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I can easily chart the last couple of years with my photographs. Moments in time that have been captured in the local area and globally. Its been great to see some of my friends become inspired to take photos too. As a journey it has been great to explore the act of taking photographs. I have been able to understand how to get the best out of the camera. I look forward to exploring it more.

I wrote a guest blog post about how my creativity and photography is fuelled by my faith. Please do go and check it out here on the Create Vision website.

If you would like to buy any or have any photography done then do not hesitate to contact me. If you have any questions about photography or design then do please ask me below or on twitter, I will answer them in a blog post.

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©  2016 Matt Finch. All rights reserved.

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