Grey2Black Photography: Blog http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) Grey2Black Photography 2017 info@grey2blackphotography.com (Grey2Black Photography) Mon, 08 May 2017 12:18:00 GMT Mon, 08 May 2017 12:18:00 GMT http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/img/s10/v105/u157745520-o1010821921-50.jpg Grey2Black Photography: Blog http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog 120 90 Apple Airpods Review http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/apple-airpod-review I am not an Apple fan boy! 

I use Dell computers running Windows 10. But I do have a iPhone 6 (which I love) an iPad Mini.

Recently my lovely, generous, beautiful wife (in case she reads this...) bought me the new Apple Airpods for my birthday. I wanted to take a moment to share my opinions of them.

I often photograph long events and it's good to be able to listen to music and podcasts while having camera in hand, I found using the standard wired headphones super frustrating. They were always knotted, would get caught up around the camera and I'd often move quickly to get a shot a only to catch the wire on something and rip the headphones out of my ear... (not ideal!). All of these problems go away with the Airpods.

The sounds quality is excellent, if in all fairness no better than the standard free headphones and they fit my ears well too. I've read that if the standard headphones fit you well, then the Airpods will do too. 

The batteries in the Airpods (according to Apple) last for 5 hours and the case will further charge the headphones for 24 hours usage. The case itself doesn't take long to charge when plugged in via the USB to Lighting cable. A small orange/green light in the case lets you know if the Airpods are charging or charged. Open the case next to your iPhone and the power percentage in both the case and headphones is displayed on the iPhone screen. 

When listening, Two taps on a Airpod opens Siri and if you take one pod out of your ear the music or podcast will pause. Two taps also answers and hangs up on calls. 

Once they are setup there's no need to touch your phone, all everything can be done through Siri - although adjusting the volume with Siri is slow and a little painful. 

At the time of writing this post, I've had the only had the Airpods for a couple of weeks, but I'm loving not unknotting and untangling the wire!! I've also enjoyed the flexibility that comes with not being tethered to the phone. When on long calls, I use the headphones now as it enables me to be heads free.

So far, I'm delighted with them and would highly recommend them, Apple fan boy/girl or not!

Currently delivery from Apple is 6 weeks but it's well worth the wait - that said rumours are that the iPhone 8 may ship with them as standard...

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info@grey2blackphotography.com (Grey2Black Photography) Airpods Apple Future Grey2Black Headphones Lifestyle Listen Music Photographer Photography Podcasts Products Review Technology Test Tony Rogers http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/apple-airpod-review Mon, 08 May 2017 12:16:11 GMT
Jaguar's at Goodwood in 2017 http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/jaguar-e-type-register-goodwood-2016 Jaguar Track Day 2016Jaguar Track Day 2016Audi, RS6

Every May Day Bank Holiday sees the return of the E-Type Register Track Day to Goodwood Motor Circuit. I've enjoyed photographing this event for the past 8 years, but sadly this year I was unable to attend. However, I was lucky enough that friend and fellow photographer Edward, from Sports Action Photo,was available to cover the event.

If you'd like to see Edward's on track action photos, please visit:

http://bit.ly/E-Type-Goodwood-2017

Here are some of my highlights from the 2016 event. 

Jaguar Track Day 2016Jaguar Track Day 2016 Jaguar Track Day 2016Jaguar Track Day 2016 Jaguar Track Day 2016Jaguar Track Day 2016458, Ferrari, JBX, LJ11 Jaguar Track Day 2016Jaguar Track Day 2016 Jaguar Track Day 2016Jaguar Track Day 2016Jaguar Jaguar Track Day 2016Jaguar Track Day 2016A3 LTO, Jaguar XKR Jaguar Track Day 2016Jaguar Track Day 2016458, Ferrari, JBX, LJ11

 

 

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info@grey2blackphotography.com (Grey2Black Photography) Chichester E-Type Event Goodwood Grey2Black Jaguar Kent Motor Sport Photographer Photography Professional Sport Sussex Tony Rogers http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/jaguar-e-type-register-goodwood-2016 Mon, 01 May 2017 21:18:05 GMT
7 Tips for Applying for Photographic Work http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/7-tips-for-applying-for-photography-positions

Photo by Corinne Kutz - from Unsplash

I've applied for many freelancing photography roles over the past 15 years and have received a good number of applications to work with myself and the various company's I've worked with. The quality of the applications, not surprisingly vary considerably! I wanted to suggest some tips that in my opinion would make your application stand out from the rest.  

As I write this, I'm expecting that you're a professional or semi-professional photographer who is looking for work from an agency or company that commissions freelance photographers on a regular basis for a fee or day rate. 

Here are things I consider that should be included in your application:

- Do your research about the team and company you are applying to, try and address the email by the name of the person who commissions the photography. I hate "To whom it may concern". 

- Send a portfolio of your work (make sure it's relevant) with ideally a link to a dedicated page on your website including 20-30 portfolio standard images.  Take the time to pull the together images that best showcases your work and is tailored for the role. Don't just send a link to your homepage and expect the viewer to spend time exploring where to find the relevant photos. 

- What's your relevant photography experience? Who are your clients? 

- Where are you based in the country and realistically how far are you willing to travel?

- What equipment do you own? - I know SO many blogs and articles say the kit doesn't matter, but it really does in certain industries

- Confirmation that you have Public Liability Insurance

- Show an understanding of the practicalities of the work they do.  Is it weekend work, early starts and late finishes. Will this work fit in with your families lifestyle?

I hope this helps, good luck and don't forget to manage your expectations about the day rate!! 

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info@grey2blackphotography.com (Grey2Black Photography) Tips applications applying commisions covering letter freelance gigs help helpful interview jobs photographer photographers professional photography shoot work http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/7-tips-for-applying-for-photography-positions Thu, 20 Apr 2017 21:35:39 GMT
High Resolution and Exceptional Quality Photos for Free http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/2/high-resolution-and-exceptional-quality-photos-for-free

but is that a good thing...?

This could be a controversial post... Let me explain.  

A few weeks ago I randomly ended up scrolling through Twitter and ended up on http://www.sansfrancis.co/ which has a "designer toolkit" list of apps and websites. Including a list of photography resources. I'm well aware that creatives and bloggers often struggle to find the right imagery to compliment their work. In the past, this is where image libraries became of use, as did the right click button? 

Image libraries have their problems and really, I believe few people actually want to steal copyrighted images. I've written in the past about how successful (or not) my experience with Alamy (a huge stock agency with almost 1million photos) has been... http://bit.ly/Six-Months-with-Alamy

The list of apps and websites, included Death to Stock Photo, these guys are running a new type of image library and each month they email a selection of approximately ten free photos to newsletter subscribers, some of which I've used within this blog previously. They also offer a subscription model, starting at $15 a month to download a certain number of images for free.

Another site recommended was Unsplash

"Unsplash is a database of beautiful, high-res, free photos for creative use. No awkward office stock photos. Make sure you give credit to the photographer." 

The majority of the images on Unsplash were indeed beautiful and of an exceptional quality and all in high resolution for free downloads with a Creative Commons Zero license - https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

I'm not sure how to describe my initial thoughts, perhaps slightly frustrated that photographers were giving away such good images for free, I wanted to know what did the photographers got out of the arrangement? Thinking it was a shame that the industry wasn't able to financially reward the photographers for their work.... I spent a little time thinking about this and after a while my initail thoughts seemed quite simplistic, and I wanted to learn more... Perhaps it would be enough for photographers to want to give back to the creative industries. I spoke to a couple of the team at Unsplash and a contributor via Twitter, they all said they loved the community, wanted to give back to the creative industry and that in giving back, they had their work was used increasing their exposure.

That made me think about how many YouTube videos, blogs, vlogs and podcasts I enjoy and have rarely made a financial contribution to the creators...

So, the long and the short of it, I now have a Unsplash account. You can check out my profile and download my images at high resolution here - http://bit.ly/Tony-Rogers-On-Unsplash. I've only spent a short amount of time uploading and tagging a few images, but perhaps more will follow over time. So far, in a week of sharing, my images have been viewed by 150 people, that's 145 more than six months on Alamy... 

In a few months, I'll write another post with how things are going... There are always images that will be paid for (thankfully or I wouldn't have a job), but are websites like Unsplash helping the creative and photographic industires or causing them harm? Are they enhancing the value of great imagery, or reducing it as free images are so readily availble?  

I'm only going to be posting personal images that have little or no commercial value, Unsplash could be new a home for my images rather than simply sitting on my computer hard drive... 

 

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info@grey2blackphotography.com (Grey2Black Photography) Creative Free Photos Grey2Black High Resolution Industry News Photographer Photography Professional Tony Rogers Unsplash http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/2/high-resolution-and-exceptional-quality-photos-for-free Mon, 27 Feb 2017 22:20:01 GMT
Sleeklens - Landscape Adventure Collection Photoshop Actions Review http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/2/sleek-lens---landscape-adventure-collections-photoshop-actions-review

Sleeklens Actions

Following my recent Landscape Photography blog post a few weeks ago, a company called Sleeklens reached out to me and asked if I would spend a little time using one of their Photoshop Action products, in particular the Landscape Adventure Collection. I thought this was a perfect fit for my Skye images that I had shared in this post – plus gave me the excuse to go through and process some new images.   

I’m a creative cloud subscriber and use Photoshop, but beyond downloading and using the Google Nik software, I’ve never used professionally created actions. I was very interested to see how this would fit in with my workflow and change the overall aesthetic of my images.

Within this post I’ve included several before and after images. The majority, are images I’d already spent time processing and just used the Sleeklens actions to enhance the final photograph. But, the header image was entirely processed using the actions. The difference is huge between the orginal file (quickly processed in Camera Raw) and the file processed with the Sleeklens actions (just below). It was incredibly quick and I’m delighted with the final results.

The actions were super simple to install into Photoshop, with a great YouTube video guide and a longer more detailed guide about how to use some of the individual actions.

The actions are divided into eight groups and I found it was easy to work down through the list of Exposure, Base, Tone, All In One, Enhance, Specialty, Temperature and finally (if required) Web File Preparation when making adjustments to the image. The actions would run and create a new layer, it is then possible to adjust the Opacity to achieve the desired effect. This all proved to be very straight forward and quickly created some dramatic images. These recipes could be reused to create a specific “look” across a range of images.

I highly recommend spending a little time exploring the Sleeklens YouTube channel and Facebook page for inspiration and to learn more about their products.

Sleeklens also have launched a Pro Photo Editing Service, you can learn more about this service in this short YouTube video.

It leaves me simply to say, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed using this product and will continue to spend time learning in detail how it works and integrating it further into my image workflow. Thank you to the team at Sleeklens for giving me the opportunity to use the Landscape Adventure Collection.

RAW processing only

Sleeklens Actions

Orginal processing

Sleeklens Actions

Orginal processing

Sleeklens Actions

Orignal processing

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info@grey2blackphotography.com (Grey2Black Photography) Actions Adobe Grey2Black Kent Landscape Nature Outdoors Photographer Photography Photoshop Processing Professional Review Sleek Lens Sleeklens Test Tony Rogers Wildlife Work Flow http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/2/sleek-lens---landscape-adventure-collections-photoshop-actions-review Tue, 07 Feb 2017 22:58:33 GMT
Tips for photographing a toddler http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/tips-for-photographing-a-toddler
In Tunbridge Wells last week, we had our first proper snow of this winter, be it only 3cm, but still, definitely snow! This was the first time my 23 month old daughter had even seen snow and I wanted to photograph her reaction and enjoyment as she discovered this strange looking, chilly white stuff. 

We spent 45 minutes walking nearby our house, through the woods and across the cricket pitch - the roped off area was no hindrance to her as she walked right underneath it to completely fresh, untouched powder. I took a series of images and shared them to Facebook. During the day I was aware that I wasn't the only parent to have gone out and photographed their child that day... 

I wanted to share a few tips on how images of toddlers can simply be improved. I'm going to work on the basis that you've chosen an outfit that you like and chosen a good time of day to go out, I.e when they're not hungry or sleepy. 

This first one is really obvious, but catches me out all the time: 

- Give their face a wipe to remove any muck, it's just annoying to retouch out later!

- Choose a location that has plenty of available light, this will help the camera focus and have a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the action

- Choose to shoot at an angle that gives a good interesting background with no large or colourful distractions 

- Crouch down to shoot images from the child's perspective, this gives a contextual background and is more flattering of the child. I did take the first image in this post standing as I intentionally wanted to eliminate any background... 

- Set the camera to a small aperture (F4-F5.6) to blur the background and give definition between the subject and the background. On many cameras there is a Portrait Mode which will do this automatically 

- Don't hide behind the camera for too long, just lift the camera up, take a number of shots and drop it down again. This eye contact will help keep the child's attention 

- Work fast, as we all know children get bored quickly. 

And finally

- Take lots and lots of images, digital photos don't cost a thing! You can delete the bad ones later after all and camera/computer memory is really cheap (unless you're battling with insufficient memory on an iPhone?) 

I hope that helps, happy shooting. 

 

When this happens, it's time to go home.

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info@grey2blackphotography.com (Grey2Black Photography) Grey2Black Kent Photographer Photography Professional Tony Rogers Tunbridge Wells a child children guide how to photograph tips toddler top http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/tips-for-photographing-a-toddler Wed, 18 Jan 2017 13:04:45 GMT
Landscape Photography on the Isle of Skye http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/landscape-photography-on-the-isle-of-skye

Inspired by some of the landscape photography Thomas Heaton has been recently sharing on his YouTube channel. I thought I'd share some images taken from a landscape photography trip I and a friend James Lindsay took to the Isle of Skye in Scotland, back in January 2009.

We flew to from London to Inverness, hired a car (where I found my love of heated seats) and drove cross country, on to the Isle of Skye. I remember from the moment we got off the plane the light was different to that in Kent. It seemed, warmer and more intense! We rented a beautiful Cottage that was just North of Portree - http://bit.ly/SkyehavenCottage  with an amazing glass wall along one side looking over fields with mountains in the background. This cottage made for a luxurious and base for the trip and its central location perfect for travelling around the Island. 

Our days were spent heading out and being on location and setup long before sunrise (going in January meant sunrise often wasn't until 7:30am so not too early). This meant we enjoyed the beautiful Scottish early morning light.  We'd then return to the car and head for breakfast. The rest of the day was spent photographing the weather, detailed shots of nature and scouting locations for the following days. 

On the last day we enjoyed snow in the afternoon, although not really enough to make good images, but just enough to make driving interesting... We almost got stuck in a deep valley waiting for the rain to stop not realising that at the top of the valley the rain was falling as snow and was already a few inches deep.

I learnt a few photography lessons in that week - always clean your sensor before going on a long trip to the middle of nowhere - with most of my images taken at F16 dust was an issue and I spent a ridiculous amount of time cloning the images after every day. In my normal work at the time - motorsport taken at F5.6 dust was never an issue!  Next was to replace filters on a regular basis, I used a Cokin Graduated Grey 0.6 soft edged filter to help darken skies in many of my photos, it had a huge scratch right in the centre...!  Finally, to be patient (not a talent I have). Often we'd arrive at a location and the weather didn't make for a good shot, but it never took long for it to change! 

It was a good, fun week away and James and I both left with some fond memories and some good images. I'd highly recommend a trip to Skye, it really is Scotland at its finest, just make sure you take a camera with you! 

Both these images were taken from outside the cottage.

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info@grey2blackphotography.com (Grey2Black Photography) BTS Cokin Filters Grey2Black Grey2Black Photography Isle of Skye Kent Landscape Location Scouting Manfrotto Outdoors Photographer Photography Professional Sunrise Tony Rogers Tripods behind the scenes http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/landscape-photography-on-the-isle-of-skye Fri, 13 Jan 2017 07:41:18 GMT
Six month review as a contributor to Alamy http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/six-months-with-alamy Therma Freeze Europe Ice Packs

Right, quick update as I've now been a contributor to Alamy now for 6 months. 

Put simply, it's been a little disappointing. Now, I will add here I've not been 100% focused on this project (work, a 22 month old daughter and another one arriving in a few weeks) but I hoped to have at least one image sale by now... But alas, as it stands I've zero sales! I've carefully captioned and uploaded 569 images, these are mostly images from my archive with one "news" sports shoot. You can take a look at my images online here - http://bit.ly/Tony-Rogers-on-Alamy

I had hoped that some of my snowy images would sell in the winter (of course there's still time) or maybe some of the Autumnal Tunbridge Wells landscapes. These are the type of shots that are often found when searching on Alamy. Since July I've only had 5 "zooms" where someone actually clicks on an image to enlarge it, all of those "zooms" have been of the "Ice Pack Physio" images I've included in this post. These are the most traditionally "Stock" images I've uploaded so perhaps this isn't surprising. Perhaps it will be one of these images that sell first?? 

Alamy also gives quite detailed analytics on what users are searching for and it suggests that users are buying pictures of people rather than places. As you'd expect a certain US President-Elect has been popular as has the German Prime Minster. 

My target in the next few months is to increase the images online to around 1000 and hope the extra volume gives some returns. We'll see what happens and I'll update in a few months or sooner if I make a sale. 

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info@grey2blackphotography.com (Grey2Black Photography) 2017 Agency Alamy Design Grey2Black Images Kent Landscape Photographer Photography Professional Sport Stock Tony Rogers http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/six-months-with-alamy Tue, 03 Jan 2017 20:56:49 GMT
World Photo Day 2016 - Rallying in 2004 http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/8/world-photo-day-2016---rallying-in-2004 Today (19th August 2016), 177 years ago the first photograph was created. This is being celebrated with World Photo Day.   

Inspired by today (and an awareness that I've literally thousands of images on my hard drives that I've done nothing with!) I thought I'd share one of my first commercial shoots. 

In late 2013 I worked at Jessops and worked at Thruxton, Brands Hatch and Silverstone as an event photographer shooting track and experience days. It wasn't until mid 2004 I shot my first event under my own brand. It was for a company called MG Extreme Rally. They were offering experience rides in the Co-driver seat of their MG ZR rally cars on the Silverstone Rally Stage. I was invited Silverstone to cover the action and sell my images to the guests. 

This was early days of digital, I had a Nikon D2H with a 4.0mp sensor, and a basic wireless connection to send the images from the rally stage to my sales staff. Back then I charged £15 for one printed photograph and both digital files on a floppy disk (2006 ish I went to CDs, that seems insane now). I continue to shoot motorsport events now.

These are two of my favourite images from this first weekend. I went on to work with Extreme Rally for a further ten years. 
 
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info@grey2blackphotography.com (Grey2Black Photography) 2004 Action Grey2Black Kent MG Motorsport Photographer Photography Professional Rally Silverstone Speed Sport Tony Rogers http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/8/world-photo-day-2016---rallying-in-2004 Fri, 19 Aug 2016 21:30:12 GMT
What's it like to photograph a football match? Brighton Vs Lazio - Pre Season Friendly http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/8/brighton-vs-lazio---pre-season-friendly Brighton and Hove Albion v LazioBrighton and Hove Albion v LazioAmerican Express Stadium, Brighton, Great Britain. 31st July 2016. Anthony Knockaert ( left ) of Brighton and Hove Albion and Dusan Basta of Lazio challenge for the ball during a Pre-Season friendly match.
© Tony Rogers/Alamy Live News

So what is it like to photograph a football match...?

A few of my friends shoot football and have made careers doing so. I asked Paul Terry with his 10 years of experience and connections if he would take me along to a game. We chose the pre season friendly between Brighton Hove Albion and Lazio at Brighton's home ground the AMEX

This was a perfect choice as Paul knows the Press Office guys there very well and was able to secure two photographers passes. I found out that "out of season" games don't need a Dataco license for a pass. A Dataco license is difficult to get as a new or even existing sports photographer, due to the volume of published work photographers are required to submit. Generally an agency would have the pass rather than the individual photographer. 

Paul and I arrived at the Stadium at 1pm giving us plenty of time to prepare ahead of Kick off at 3pm. We made our way into the Media Room, signed in with the Press Officer and were handed a bib and stool. I had expected a bib but not a stool, I had even borrowed a stool but was advised to use the clubs as it was the correct height above the digital sponsorship boards but not high enough to block the view of the fans. We found two workspaces next to each other and setup our laptops.

Paul whilst enjoying a filling roast chicken lunch (free food and free drinks for press - who knew?!) created the IPTC file to allow for quick captioning of the images during and post match. With this file it's possible to type "\b3\" in Photo Mechanic and this would then auto fill the player name wearing the #3 top. 

It was about 2:30pm before we made it out to the pitch to find our shooting locations. The club and club photographer limit where the guest photographers can sit during the match. At Brighton the photographers can sit along the North long side of the pitch and to the North of the goals on both sides - pretty much all looking into the sun! The Southern side of the pitch during the match is reserved for the club photographer. It's also the done thing that once you're in location, you don't move during the match. We chose to sit approximately 10 meters along from the North East corner of the Stadium on the long side of the pitch. To begin, Brighton would be attacking towards us. This location gave us a good opportunity to shoot "stock images" as well as capture in game action shots, but is less ideal for "goal shots". For the second half we moved to the Eastern short side of the field between the goal and the corner flag. For this half, Lazio would be attacking us with their fans right behind us. I will add here I was surprised how close we were to the pitch and to the fans. The fans were only a couple of meters behind us.

The game itself was pretty boring - to be fair I'm not a football fan anyway, but everyone we spoke to agreed - the game finished Brighton 0 - Lazio 1. 

I've photographed charity football matches on 5-a-side pitches, here it's possible to photograph the players wherever they are on the pitch, unlike the AMEX where it is considerable larger! If the players were down the far end of the pitch I felt they were too small in the frame to capture an image, they really had to be our side of the halfway line to create a good photograph. It felt like, for much of the game, in both halves, that the play was "at the wrong end" so our opportunities for images felt reduced, plus the only goal of the game was at that end too! 

I was shooting on a full frame Canon D1X with a Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 lens. I had another two bodies nearby with the standard sports go to lens a 70-200mm and wide lens, but these didn't really get used. The 300mm end of the long lens was almost close enough, but Paul's 400mm F2.8 with the extra 100mm reach made all the difference. The only downside with the 400mm is the cost of the lens and its weight, it's huge and pretty tricky to move into position and keep up with the action - this was my experience during the ten minutes when Paul entrusted me with it. 

The game flew by, the 45 minute halves went very quickly and I, unlike Paul wasn't uploading live images throughout the game. We both are Stock Photographers from Alamy, so as this was a friendly with little news interest we uploaded the images to Paul's account with Alamy. Here is a link to all the images Paul and I uploaded:

http://bit.ly/brightonvlazio

Post game, it was back to the Media Room to edit, process, caption and upload any further images, grab a drink then head home. around 6pm. 

I had a hugely enjoyable afternoon, learnt plenty and had a good laugh too. Football is tough to photograph, the play is quick and the ball moves swiftly and is tricky to keep in frame, my respect of football photographers grown substantially. 

Below are a selection of my images that went to Alamy. To check out my stock work please have a look at: http://bit.ly/Tony-Rogers-on-Alamy

Brighton and Hove Albion v LazioBrighton and Hove Albion v LazioAmerican Express Stadium, Brighton, Great Britain. 31st July 2016. Stadium View ahead of a Pre-Season friendly match.
© Tony Rogers/Alamy Live News

Brighton and Hove Albion v LazioBrighton and Hove Albion v LazioAmerican Express Stadium, Brighton, Great Britain. 31st July 2016. Chris Hughton ( right ), Manager of Brighton and Hove Albion shakes hands with Simone Inzaghi, Manager of Lazio during a Pre-Season friendly match.
© Tony Rogers/Alamy Live News

Brighton and Hove Albion v LazioBrighton and Hove Albion v LazioAmerican Express Stadium, Brighton, Great Britain. 31st July 2016. Bruno Saltor of Brighton and Hove Albion during a Pre-Season friendly match.
© Tony Rogers/Alamy Live News
Brighton and Hove Albion v LazioBrighton and Hove Albion v LazioAmerican Express Stadium, Brighton, Great Britain. 31st July 2016. Lazio Fan during a Pre-Season friendly match.
© Tony Rogers/Alamy Live News
Brighton and Hove Albion v LazioBrighton and Hove Albion v LazioAmerican Express Stadium, Brighton, Great Britain. 31st July 2016. Bruno Saltor of Brighton and Hove Albion challenges Cristiano Lombardi of Lazio during a Pre-Season friendly match.
© Tony Rogers/Alamy Live News
Brighton and Hove Albion v LazioBrighton and Hove Albion v LazioAmerican Express Stadium, Brighton, Great Britain. 31st July 2016. Lewis Dunk ( L ) of Brighton and Hove Albion and Ricardo Kishna of Lazio challenge for the ball during a Pre-Season friendly match.
© Tony Rogers/Alamy Live News
Brighton and Hove Albion v LazioBrighton and Hove Albion v LazioAmerican Express Stadium, Brighton, Great Britain. 31st July 2016. Cristiano Lombardi ( right ) of Lazio heads the ball during a Pre-Season friendly match.
© Tony Rogers/Alamy Live News
Brighton and Hove Albion v LazioBrighton and Hove Albion v LazioAmerican Express Stadium, Brighton, Great Britain. 31st July 2016. Players jump for the ball during a Pre-Season friendly match.
© Tony Rogers/Alamy Live News
Brighton and Hove Albion v LazioBrighton and Hove Albion v LazioAmerican Express Stadium, Brighton, Great Britain. 31st July 2016. Lazio fans during a Pre-Season friendly match.
© Tony Rogers/Alamy Live News
Brighton and Hove Albion v LazioBrighton and Hove Albion v LazioAmerican Express Stadium, Brighton, Great Britain. 31st July 2016. Lazio fans during a Pre-Season friendly match.
© Tony Rogers/Alamy Live News
Brighton and Hove Albion v LazioBrighton and Hove Albion v LazioAmerican Express Stadium, Brighton, Great Britain. 31st July 2016. Ricardo Kishna of of Lazio during a Pre-Season friendly match.
© Tony Rogers/Alamy Live News
Brighton and Hove Albion v LazioBrighton and Hove Albion v LazioAmerican Express Stadium, Brighton, Great Britain. 31st July 2016. Dusan Basta of Lazio picks up an injury during a Pre-Season friendly match.
© Tony Rogers/Alamy Live News

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info@grey2blackphotography.com (Grey2Black Photography) American Express Community Stadium Amex Brighton Hove Albion Football Grey2Black Lazio Photography Professional Sport Tony Rogers http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/8/brighton-vs-lazio---pre-season-friendly Wed, 03 Aug 2016 21:38:59 GMT
Images now "stocked" on Alamy http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/images-now-stocked-on-alamy Alamy Stock Agency LogoAlamy Stock Agency Logo I'm sure no one has used that oh so "witty" title...

Poor title aside, I've good news! It's still early days but after twelve years I've finally signed up to Alamy a large Stock Agency to sell some of my back catalog of work. Sports photographer and friend Paul Terry has been a member for 18 months and highly recommended the Agency. So, early this week I submitted an initial selection of images for quality control and am now officially a contributing photographer. 

I've only a handful of shots for sale at the moment, but 40 uploaded awaiting for approval. I've just finished a shoot with some new images to process, caption and upload. The next few months will be spent looking though my archives at what would be suitable for stock sales.

You can view my images by following this link:

http://bit.ly/Tony-Rogers-on-Alamy

I've still plenty to learn about the stock industry, but I'll share my thoughts and discoveries as I learn. 

Have you ever bought Stock images, if so, I'd be interested to know what the image was of and what it was used for? 

 

 

 

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info@grey2blackphotography.com (Grey2Black Photography) http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/7/images-now-stocked-on-alamy Fri, 08 Jul 2016 15:20:03 GMT
Happy Birthday to The Kentish Hare http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/happy-birthday-to-the-kentish-hare

Many Happy Returns to the team at the Kentish Hare!! Two Years today - 10th May 2016.

In 2014 I was commissioned by Maxim PR to photograph the "Test Evenings" and Launch Party of The Kentish Hare in Bidbough, Kent. Since then, my family and I have enjoyed many great evenings eating and drinking in the bar, restaurant and beautiful garden. 

I'll thoroughly recommend a visit.

 

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info@grey2blackphotography.com (Grey2Black Photography) Bidborough Grey2Black Kent Photographer Photography Professional The Kentish Hare Tony Rogers Tunbridge Wells http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/happy-birthday-to-the-kentish-hare Tue, 10 May 2016 12:06:27 GMT
Laminaria by Marc Fish http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/laminaria-by-marc-fish LaminariaLaminaria

This is Laminaria. Designed by Marc Fish

I wanted to share with you my images of this incredible piece. Check out the links above to learn more about Marc Fish and Laminaria.

LaminariaLaminaria

LaminariaLaminaria LaminariaLaminaria

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info@grey2blackphotography.com (Grey2Black Photography) Commercial Design Grey2Black Grey2Black Photography Kent Laminaria Marc Fish Photography Professional Studio Tony Rogers http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/laminaria-by-marc-fish Fri, 06 May 2016 06:29:46 GMT
Jaguar E-Type Register - Goodwood 2016 - How to see your images http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/jaguar-e-type-register---goodwood-2016---how-to-see-your-images Jaguar Track Day 2016Jaguar Track Day 2016WP9064

I'm just recovering from a busy, chilly, wet day at Goodwood on Bank Holiday Monday and finishing up filing all the driving images from the day. 

If you were on track and would like to see your images, please email me on info@grey2blackphotography.com and I'll be in touch with details.

In the coming days I'll post a larger selection of images from the day.

 

 

 

 

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info@grey2blackphotography.com (Grey2Black Photography) 2016 E-Type Register Event Photography Goodwood Grey2Black Photography Jaguar Kent Photographer Professional Sussex Tony Rogers http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/jaguar-e-type-register---goodwood-2016---how-to-see-your-images Wed, 04 May 2016 06:02:41 GMT
Jaguar E-Type Register - Pre Event Photography info http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/jaguar-e-type-register-pre-event-photography-info

May Day Bank Holiday once again is the date for the annual Jaguar E-Type Register Track Day. I'll be shooting the 50+ drivers navigating and experiencing the infamous Goodwood Motor Circuit. The drivers go out on track in small groups (6-8) cars for sessions of 15 minutes. Just enough time to warm up themselves and their cars but generally not long enough to get too excited and start departing the black stuff! 

 This will be the sixth time I've photographed this event and my goal is to capture the cars on track from numerous locations around the circuit. I know the circuit well but it is always a challenge to shoot from a new perspective. The image above was taken in 2015 from a "new" position, this image works well as it has an interesting, contextual background - I try and avoid taking images with only grass in the background - I like images where it is apparent to the viewer where the image was taken. 

The first cars are on track at 9am and I have until 3pm shooting before I need to be at my sales desk ready to show the drivers their images. This gives me time to shoot 4 locations, staying at each for an hour - this hour normally allows me to see every car out on track at each location. During lunch (when the circuit historically shuts for an hour) I start the process of sorting the images into "number plate" folders. Doing this is invaluable to speed up the process when the drivers come along to see their photos, if the images are pre-sorted into relevant folders it makes life easy.

On the day this year, I'll be selling hand finished printed photographs plus digital collections of all the images taken. The digital option is by far the most popular as it gives the owners the most flexibility. New for 2016 is that I'll take along my archives from previous years and make those available to purchase. 

In my archive from previous Jaguar E-Type Register events are:

Goodwood - 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015

Prescott Hill Climb - 2008, 2009 and 2011.  

In preparation for this years events I've still to curate the Archives to enable them to be accessible quickly from Goodwood, print some new marketing material and posters, plus spend a little time deciding which positions to shoot from on the day.  I'll post a selection of images from the day in the coming weeks. 

 

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info@grey2blackphotography.com (Grey2Black Photography) Etype Goodwood Grey2Black Jaguar Kent MotorSport Photographer Photography Professional Register Tony Rogers Track Day http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/jaguar-e-type-register-pre-event-photography-info Mon, 25 Apr 2016 21:38:20 GMT
Nik Collection - Now FREE http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/nik-collection-now-free

I maybe a few weeks behind the curve on this news, but it's good (I think) that the Nik Collection software bundle is now FREE!

I've been using the Nik Collection for a long time now, long before Google purchased Nik (known for the mobile photo editing software Snapseed) and have been very impressed with this software. The download from Google comes with 7 different programs, but my favourite  is Silver Efex Pro 2. I used this to create the above image, taken on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. The most recently released program is Analog Efex Pro 2 and this too is excellent, in my opinion, any wedding or portrait photographers could construct their own recipe using various filters and create some very striking looks.

It's great that now more photographers will now have the opportunity to use the software, but now it's free, does this mean they'll be no more updates? Is this the end to the Nik Collection? I hope not, it will be interesting to see what Google does in the coming months.

You can download the software here: https://www.google.com/nikcollection/   

 

 

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info@grey2blackphotography.com (Grey2Black Photography) Black and White Grey2Black Grey2Black Photography Kent Landscape Photographer Photography Professional Skye Tony Rogers http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/nik-collection-now-free Sat, 16 Apr 2016 10:41:54 GMT
4 tips for excellent customer service http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/4-tips-for-excellent-customer-service
Image thanks to - Death To Stock Photo

As a photographer, I'm of course asked about photography, but also about business. I want to make some changes in the way I blog and the topics I blog about, growing my posts from simply about photography to include business, marketing, technology and productivity. In this first of the new blog topics I want to tell a story involving my experience with a company generally not know for having good customer service, Eurostar.

I've just been dealing with them regarding a delayed journey (by eight hours) last year and their excellent customer service made me think about how we as small business owners could improve our customer service.

Here's how - throughout the delay, we were keep informed of the situation, what was happening, given a rough timescale and told what the onward journey plan was. The following day, we had an email apologising for the delay and refunding the ticket cost for our outgoing journey. We were also offered complimentary return tickets to be booked within the next 12 months. As a passenger on the train I was happy that they were doing all they could in the situation. 

As small business owners, we deal with our customers on a daily basis, here are my four quick takeaways that I feel we should be constantly reviewing and working to improve. 

1 - Our customer communication

(Ensuring that customer always feels they know what's going on)

2- Are we being insightful? - thinking ahead of our customers

(Answering their questions before they have thought to ask them)

3 - What is our offering? - Are we delivering the best product/service

(not just refunding the ticket, but offering a complimentary ticket allowing a good amount to time re-book and travel)

4-  Making sure we are taking the time to care

(a follow up email/phone call to see if the customer had any questions and were happy with the service)

 

 

 

 

 

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info@grey2blackphotography.com (Grey2Black Photography) Business Commercial Creative Customer Education Grey2Black Kent Learning Photographer Photography Professional Service Small Tips Tony Rogers Top http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/4-tips-for-excellent-customer-service Thu, 17 Mar 2016 13:18:39 GMT
Botanical Cushions http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/botanical-cushions Botanical CushionsBotanical Cushions

 

I wanted to share both the images and the story behind a recent shoot with a Surrey based company called Botanical Cushions.
 
Derek, the owner and founder of Botanical Cushions was and continues to be inspired by Susie LeBlond's images of flora and fauna and wanted to create a product using these beautiful and creative images. Cutting a long story short, Derek designed and developed a range of luxury indoor and outdoor cushions. 
I met Derek through Nic Howard of We Love Plants, a brilliant garden designer and plantsman who in 2015 transformed our jungle of a garden. 
 
Botanical Cushions aim "to create luxury cushions by sourcing images only from independent photographers. Botanical Cushions strive to provide quality cushions that will compliment any setting, a beautiful asset to your home or garden."
 
Derek required new imagery of all his cushions for his website and as marketing material. The brief was to photograph the entire collection as "cut outs", within a scene and a selection of lifestyle images.
 
As soon as arrived at the shoot location it was great to see the first lifestyle set was ready for photographing, this was an external shot with a Christmas theme, twenty minutes later we were moving inside to shoot the product shots.  After a short while deciding the composition, the styling of the shots and adding some additional lighting to the existing daylight we very quickly took the first set of product shots.
We then created an all white, clean space to photograph the cushions creating images that would be "cut out" in post production.
 
These shots took less time than expected so we had time to create some extra interior lifestyle shots to compliment the exterior lifestyle shots we shot earlier in the morning.
 
We achieved a whole new set of images within half a day, this proves that with good team work, preparation and planning lots can be achieved in a short amount of time. Enjoy the images and check out the full range of cushions at BotanicalCushions.com
 

Botanical CushionsBotanical Cushions Botanical Cushions - Winter Lifestyle - www.botanicalcushions.com Botanical Cushions - Interior Lifestyle - www.botanicalcushions.com

 

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info@grey2blackphotography.com (Grey2Black Photography) Botanical Commercial Cushions Design Grey2Black Kent Photographer Photography Professional Tony Rogers Tunbridge Wells http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/botanical-cushions Thu, 11 Feb 2016 22:14:48 GMT
Merry Christmas http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/12/merry-christmas Merry Christmas 2015Merry Christmas 2015Merry Christmas 2015

Enjoy the festive break, and have a very Merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year.

(the image is of my daughter Charlotte playing with a Lightsaber!)
 

 

 

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info@grey2blackphotography.com (Grey2Black Photography) Commercial Creative Design Kent London Photographer Photography Professional Sport Tony Rogers http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/12/merry-christmas Thu, 24 Dec 2015 07:06:51 GMT
What is the value of a Credit? http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/12/what-is-the-value-of-a-credit

Snow in Tunbridge Wellssnow, tunbridge wells, winter, november, first snow   

On a very regular basis I’m asked by a publication, magazine or website if they can use one of my images to illustrate a story. Sometimes there is a budget, other times not. If there isn’t a budget the answer isn’t always no. There are definitely times when a credit in a leading publication or website with a large volume of readers or viewers has the perception of being valuable.  

 

Last week, in Tunbridge Wells we saw the first snow of the winter, it was forecast but it was heavier than expected and started to settle. I was sat on my sofa and took a quick iPhone shot out of the window and posted to Twitter.  

 

Approximately 30 minutes later a journalist working with ITV tweeted  me asking if they could use my image.  

 

I was slightly surprised  as it wasn’t a great shot, but wasn’t going to turn down the opportunity to have an image published on the ITV website! There of course wasn’t a budget and I knew if I declined the journalist would simply move on to the next snowy image on Twitter. So I said yes, but only if they credited my photo with my business name: Grey2Black Photography. They agreed.  

 

Ten minutes later I was forwarded a link to the story, leading with my photograph and a credit! 

 

 

I don’t know how many people read this story or visited the webpage, I’m guessing a rather large number. How many of them paid attention to the photograph or the fact it was taken by Grey2Black Photography is impossible to tell. The metric that could perhaps answer this was by the volume of hits on my website, people that were interested and had wanted to see more or find out more about the photographer behind the image! (perhaps unlikely given the quality of the image but...) 

 

That evening, some ten hours after publication I logged in and checked my Google Analytics account. I was interested to see if there had been an extra traffic to my site, the answer, no! 

  

The image is not my best work, it was literally a snap, I even used the digital zoom on my iPhone 6 to crop into the window, so it is understandable that people didn’t want to see more images or have any interested in the photographer, the image merely supported the story. 

 

So what was the value, to ITV a free photograph, to me, the fun of having an image published on a leading news site and a chance to Tweet/Facebook a link to my image... But really, very little in tangible value!   

 

This piece isn’t written suggesting photographers, artists, illustrators should always say no to image use with only a credit, but before saying yes, it is worth taking the time to think what the actual value is of saying yes.

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info@grey2blackphotography.com (Grey2Black Photography) 2015 First Grey2Black ITV Kent Photographer Photography Professional Snow Tony Rogers Tunbridge Wells http://grey2blackphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/12/what-is-the-value-of-a-credit Wed, 02 Dec 2015 22:47:25 GMT