Steve Oldham Photography

Landscape and Travel Photographer from Manchester, England

Grasmere

I’ve been revisiting some of my unloved images on Flickr recently. This is one of my favourite shots, taken back in 2007, yet it was languishing on my last page of “most interesting” images according to the mysterious Flickr algorithms.

So I revisited the post production, gave it some promotion, and it’s now up to number 3 with over 100 views and over 15 favourites!

Just goes to show, never give up on your old images. It’s sometimes worth revisiting them.

Image

Flattered

I received a really nice comment on one of my pictures on my Instagram feed today, from the British skeleton star and future Olympian athlete Lizzy Yarnold! For those of you who don’t know Lizzy, she is the British number one skeleton currently, and was the World Junior Champion in 2012. Hopefully she will follow in the footsteps of Amy Williams, Shelley Rudman and Alex Coomber and return from Sochi 2014 with an Olympic medal!

The photo she liked was this one, which I’ve shared on here previously.

Architecture

I’ve sent her a copy – hope she likes it!

If you would like a limited edition print, they are available here.

Watermarking

I’ve been following an interesting debate recently between Trey Ratcliff and Miss Aniela regarding watermarking on images. I’ve shot alongside both Trey and Natalie in the past, and respect their work hugely.

Trey never watermarks his images, licences Creative Commons and shares a full size image on his website every day. His philosophy is that his art is to be shared, and by trusting his 11m followers on Social Media not to abuse that he can still generate his revenues via licensing. When he discovers that his images have been stolen in breach of the licence, he takes action.

Natalie watermarks her images with a discreet watermark, and they are all fully copyrighted. She argues that too many people are out there just trying to steal artists works, and that with the new Orphan Works legislation in the UK this will only make things easier, so takes the steps she feels necessary to protect herself.

Over the years I’ve taken both approaches. Originally I shared everything Creative Commons, and took pleasure when I found people sharing my work, although all too rarely was I advised, and not always even credited. I then went through a phase of watermarking and copyrighting, but as I found nobody willing to pay for my work, I reverted to the Creative Commons model, with the exception of the images I have licensed with Getty.

I don’t practice photography to make a living from it, and I do enjoy people sharing my work. I think going forwards my strategy will be a compromise – I think I will use discreet watermarks to identify the work as my own, but at the same time use CC licensing so that people can continue to use my work in a non-commercial manner.

All New Flickr – update

Last week I blogged my thoughts on the redesign at Flickr.

I’d now like to update my comments. I mentioned that the “Share” and “More” options on the photo page didn’t work in Chrome or Firefox, just in IE. Well I’m pleased to report that this is partly fixed! I can now use Flickr in Chrome, just like I should be able to! As for Firefox – well this still isn’t working, so still work to be done by Flickr in that regard.

I mentioned in my last post about Pro accounts, and how if you have one you can keep it, but they aren’t available for new users. Well if you want to keep your Pro account, it’s worth checking that it is set to auto-renew as if it expires, it’s gone for good!

Now I just need to work some more shots and drive some footfall to my Flickr galleries!

All new Flickr

So I’ve been experimenting with the new designs on Flickr.

First impressions: I like the larger images. I like the layout of my Photostream. I’m not convinced by the home page. And it doesn’t all work in my browser.

In some more detail, the images are now shown in a much larger size, justified on both sides of the screen. It looks good. Some images are super large. Better still. Nice black background.

However, when you click through to a specific image, the “Share” and “More” options aren’t working for me in either Chrome or Firefox. They both work in IE, but I hate IE and never use it normally!

I’m not particularly enamoured with the design on the home page, which now has 90% of the screen dedicated to your contacts most recently uploaded images, with the right hand 10% linking to Groups, Explore and the Blog.

The other big change relates to storage. 1TB free for all users, including full resolution images, but the introduction of ads to pay for it. Pro accounts are no longer offered, but if you had one you can keep it – and then you get unlimited storage, no ads and continue to keep your stats.

All in all, it’s good to see Yahoo! putting some investment into Flickr after so long. The changes are mainly positive and I think it’s a good step forwards.

Cook Strait, New Zealand

The Cook Strait separates the north and south islands of New Zealand. There is a regular ferry crossing between Wellington, the capital city on the North Island, and Picton at the northern end of the South Island.

We took the early morning crossing. The previous day we had experienced typical weather for that part of the country – howling winds and horizontal rain as we took the Magic Bus south into Wellington. It was therefore a real delight to wake the next morning and discover the weather had cleared, and the Strait was like a millpond.

Sunrise, Cook Strait

 

The scale is deceptive, as you can tell from this shot of an oncoming ferry. Bear in mind that these are full size passenger ferries – in fact the one we were on I had travelled on before, in its previous life crossing between Holyhead in Wales and Dublin, Ireland!

Cook Strait

The Louvre, Paris

I took part in a free Photowalk organised by Trey Ratcliff in Paris last autumn. It was scheduled to take place just as night fell, giving great opportunities for the creation of HDR images, and with one of the masters of the technique on hand to provide advice and guidance.

This is an image I took of the entrance to the Louvre museum.

Louvre Pyramids

It’s a three image composite, with post production in Lightroom, Photoshop, Photomatix and Topaz Adjust.

A key importance was the composition, ensuring the alignment of the pyramids with the centre of the building in the background, and also with the centre of the frame. Also key was the other tourists – as anyone who has been to the Louvre will know it’s a busy location, made even more so when there are several hundred photowalkers around the place with tripods everywhere!

I hope you enjoy it. This image is available for purchase as a Limited Edition print.