Saturday, 24 October 2015

Every thing you wanted to know about photo sharing sites, but were afraid to ask...

Unlike some out there I have always had the opinion that criticism of your photos (constructive or otherwise) is an essential aspect of improving as a photographer.

One way of the best ways of doing this is to join a photographic society and enter competitions. However there will be periods in which you have a photo you like and you are desperate for some feedback.

An alternative is to make use of the plethora of photo sharing and comparison websites available. While there is nothing stopping you from joining as many as you want, you run the risk of spending all your time juggling sites rather than photographing (plus there is a potential cost). So really you need to choose one or two sites to share your best photos on.

This begs the question however, which ones are the best to use?

As a public service therefore I am going to look at some of the more popular sites and rank them. Specifically I will be looking at how good the sites are at giving feedback from your images. So I will be comparing features such as access to competitions, the ratings and critiques system and other features which provide an indication of the quality of your images.

The judging process

So what makes a good photography critique site?

The first important factor is the user interface. It must be easy to use or you will not return. This includes how easy it is to upload your photos and how easy is it for others find your pictures

Also there needs to be a community feel. So there needs to be a way to link to other photographers you like and allow them to link to you.

Additionally there must be some sort of rating or review system. This can be as simple as a score, a commenting system or just a ranking against other photos. What is important is that you can gain some indication of the relative quality of your image. Bonus points if you actually get some critique on failed photos on how to improve your image.

Price is always going to a factor. While it is fine for there to be costs to access some features, there is a danger that these costs will quickly escalate if you subscribe to too many of these sites. Obviously free is preferred, but if there are costs, they need to be justified by what extra features are provided.

A good site needs to be more than just about photo critique.To encourage me to keep coming back to the site, it needs other features for example forums, competitions etc. A site should be an celebration of photography and not just a photograph repository.

Today we live in a mobile world, so access through mobile phone via an app is useful(preferable supporting more than just Apple products)

Finally the site needs to have that X factor. In this case it needs to make you feel at home and encourage you to share your work and not feel like a out of town stranger in a locals pub.

So to rate these sites I am going to use the following criteria.

  • How easy is it to upload your pictures and get them noticed?
  • What feedback do they provide and how useful is it?
  • Price
  • The site qualities as a general photographic site
  • X Factor - the un-quantifiable look and feel score
  • Bonus features - anything else that stands out from the crowd
These go on to make an overall score

So onto the sites....



500px was the first photo review site I ever used and until recently it has been my go to site

 As a photo rating site it has a number of good points
  • A clean and clear website design which shows images at their best
  • The relatively simple rating system.
  • A freemium model that allows the upload of a certain number of images a month
  • An android/IOS app that allows you to monitor the site
The rating system itself consists of a score or pulse that is based on factors such as the number of views a photo gets, the number of times a viewer presses the like button and (if they really like it), the favorite button.

All these interactions go to make up a pulse score which is also time based, so it degrades after no activity. As the score goes up the photo moves from a number of categories

When the photo is is first presented it starts out with a rating of fresh. With enough activity, it status raises to upcoming and eventually, if it has a high enough pulse is achieved,  it becomes popular.

There is in addition the  Editor pick rating, for images that the 500px editors particularly like (these can be quite 'arty').

It is not documented how the pulse system works and what level of score triggers an increment of its category. For example I have had photos get a score of 69 and still remain as fresh.

It is also possible to sell your photos through 500px, although how successful that is, I don't know. (I for one have never sold one)

In the free mode you are restricted to 20 uploads a month. I have found this is quite adequate. You can however pay more to have what are called a "plus" or "awesome" account .

The plus account costs about $2 a month
The awesome account costs about $6, plus there is a $12 a month option that  includes a Adobe CC option, which is not bad value if you want to go that way.

The plus account allows you unlimited uploads, while awesome is the same plus better analytics on who is looking at your images

The site also has groups or forums, a blog, and offer a pretty good free app for Android and IOS. However I have found the forums a bit bland and rarely visit them.

Like I said at the beginning I used 500px for quite a while, but recently I have fallen out with it a bit. First I was not happy with the site redesign, but mainly I found it harder to get high ratings on my photos(is that the sites fault? - Ed).

There have also been some complaints that it is harder for newcomers to be noticed, because the way photos are presented and discovered means that things can get a bit cliquey.

You can follow photographers, and their photos. The photographers you are following, likes and favorites become the first thing you see when you go to the 500px home page. This also means that these are the photos that are more likely to get noticed, meaning the more followers you have the more likely you are to get noticed, so introducing a like feedback cycle.

However  the bigger problem with 500px is that apart from likes and favorites, there is little other feedback. Yes you can add comments, but generally these are not the same as critiques and normally consist of 'good' photo and pleas to visit the commentators page.

There is a feeling that  the rating system encourages conformity in the pictures and punishes some genres.. As a  test I tried an experiment and chose a photo that I thought would do well in 500px, but to me  anything special.

The photo I chose came popular with a 86.4% rating, while others that I thought were superior got lower scores. The 1st photo was bright and eye catching. This is because most people only glance over the fresh photos page so in my experience black and white images do not do well


How easy is it to upload your pictures and get them noticed?7/10
What feedback do they provide and how useful is it?>6/10
Photographic site features ?4/10
X Factor?6/10
Any bonus features?2 (Apps)


DpReview is known better as a photographic news, forum and review site.

However it also provides what it calls challenges, where photographers can submit photos (normally based on a theme) and which are then voted on by other dpReview members.

The challenges area announced 14 days before the cutoff date, and after the 1st 7 days image can be uploaded. There then follows 7 days of voting.

There are no prizes for winning entries apart from the kudos of winning.

The vote consists of setting a score between 1 and 5(half marks are also allowed). the winner being those with highest average over the voting period.

The themes can range from very open (Best photo of the week) to very specific.You are limited to a fixed number of photos however there is no cost to entry and you can enter as many challenges as you like.

By entering the competition it does allow you to compare a photo in a given theme against others. However generally there is little direct feedback apart from the ratings.

DpReview itself has a massive set of forums, reviews and articles and is always a great place for camera and photography information.

How easy is it to upload your pictures and get them noticed?3/10
What feedback do they provide and how useful is it?3/10
Photographic site features ?10/10
X Factor?4/10
Any bonus features?0


This is the very much the old lady of the photo sharing world and is more a photo storage/sharing site than a review site.  However it does have some review features in that it allows you to favorite photos you like and add comments. However apart from that and a Flickr app it provides very little.

On the good side, you have virtually unlimited upload limits(1TB by default), although you can buy more.

But while it is no doubt a good storage site, Flickr does not really provide much in the way of features for getting feedback from your photos. It does what it does, but to be honest it feels a little bit old fashioned and behind the times now.


How easy is it to upload your pictures and get them noticed?4/10
What feedback do they provide and how useful is it?1/10
Price? 9/10
Photographic site features ? 2/10
X Factor? 1/10
Any bonus features? 2 (Apps)


Youpic in many ways similar to 500px in that it is a photo sharing website that allows people to rate images. However it has some interesting quirkes of its own.

Like 500px you have 3 levels of photos, Newest, Inspiration, and Hot. However unlike 500px, users have a rating as well. You start at level 1 and as your photos are viewed, favorited or repic'd( what you pic calls sending images to your followers) you get points and at a certain point level your rating also rises (up to a maximum of 20). Each level is harder to obtain as the points needed rises at each level. Saying that I obtained level 6 with relative ease.

In theory as your levels rise, you get get prizes and special functions. However it is not clear what these functions and special prizes are. Also as you hit certain milestones, such as 100 followers, you get what they call medals.

All in all, it does a good job of providing incentives for you to put images on the site and review others in a way that 500px fails to do. It also does a good job of encouraging you to return, if for nothing else to see how your score is doing.

The site is nicely laid out and there is a good article section and the learn page has some good features. At present there appears top be no cost associated with putting photos on or limits and there is also a good app for both IOS and android phones.


Playing around with youpic I have had the opportunity to rise through the levels. Level 1 to 6 are not hard to acheive, with level 6 requiring about 850 points. Level 7 however requires an additional 20,000 points !!!!!. This seems a hell of a jump. God knows how many points will be required by the time when (and if) we get to level 20


How easy is it to upload your pictures and get them noticed?9/10
What feedback do they provide and how useful is it8/10
Price? 10/10
Photographic site features ? 6/10
X Factor? 8/10
Any bonus features? 2 (apps)
Total 45


1x is unashamedly elitist.  It makes a big thing about the number of photos it rejects and the main page reflects this with the photos shown certainly being a higher standard than most such sites

The pricing also reflect this policy. Unlike a lot of sites you are restricted to one photo a week for free, $5 a month for 5 per week, $9 for 10 and $20 for unlimited.

Also you don't upload your photos, you submit them for curation. Basically photos submitted are reviewed by 1x experts and members to see if they are worthy of joining the community

At first glance, 1X feels quite intimidating for up and coming photographer. However there are some features that make it worth persevering.

Firstly you can submit your photo for critique. This is quite a useful exercise that provides really good feedback from users who by the design of the system are forced to add more than the bland 'great photo'.

Secondly you to can "curate" photos. This is where you judge peoples photos and provide decent comments i.e much more than "good". This is a great exercise in in analyzing photos and looking as to what you like and don't like about images. Great practice if you suffer from masochistic tendencies and want someday to become a photographic judge.

There is no doubt that 1X is the place to go for some of the best photographer and photographs, however its very elitism feels like a barrier and in the end may intimidate and discourage many from returning.

It is not clear whether there is an app for 1x. There are unofficial ones for IOS, but little support for android phones


How easy is it to upload your pictures and get them noticed? 5/10
What feedback do they provide and how useful is it? 8/10
Price? 4/10
Photographic site features ? 6/10
X Factor? 7/10
Any bonus features? 1 (Curation)
Total 31


Probably winning the award for the hardest to remember web name,  Kujaja is a bit of an oddity. Its about box suggest that it was originally setup to support charities by crowd sourcing photo books, but it has grown to quite a comprehensive website with interviews and competitions.

It has all the usual features such as upload site, with new, popular and recommended photos sections. You can like, favorite and recommend photos  and follow other photographers. There are some other interesting features like the ability to associate photos with music.

The site provides weekly themed competitions, however the most interesting bit is the photo books. You can submit images which if selected are then put into photo books that are sold and the proceeds go to charity.

Kujaja is an interesting departure from the normal photo sharing site and it is nice to see a site that allow the possibility of your photos being used for good causes.

How easy is it to upload your pictures and get them noticed?4/10
What feedback do they provide and how useful is it? 6/10
Price? 10/10
Photographic site features ? 7/10
X Factor? 7/10
Any bonus features? 0
Total 34


This site is primarily about competitions. Photos can be uploaded and entered into competitions or challenges. These are then marked from 1 to 3 stars , the highest winning prizes ranging from equipment to publication.

Unusually the entry and voting happen concurrently and over a long period of time, 30 days or more. As well as community voting, photos are also judged by experts.

One criticism is that unless your photo is in the top 100, it will not show its ranking. Also the voting system seems to favor the images with already high scores.

Still it is an interesting concept and the owners seem to be very keen to get feedback and improve the site, so it is one to watch.


How easy is it to upload your pictures and get them noticed?5/10
What feedback do they provide and how useful is it? 5/10
Price? 10/10
Photographic site features ? 4/10
X Factor? 5/10
Any bonus features? 0
Total 29


72dpi is another photosharing website in the vein of 500px. Like the aforementioned it offers the ability to upload photos, ass likes, favorites and share.

It has a  a few nice features, like the ability to show where photos have been taken on a map and filter by how long a photographer has been on the site. However the website is a bit clunky compared to 500px and youpic. On the other hand there are no costs to uploading the images.

How easy is it to upload your pictures and get them noticed?7/10
What feedback do they provide and how useful is it? 7/10
Price? 10/10
Photographic site features ? 6/10
X Factor? 4/10
Any bonus features? 0
Total 34


At first glance Pixoto looks quite complex, however its concept is actually quite simple. You present images and then they are compared against images of a similar genre  in something called a image duel. This carries on and your photos rise up the tree, a bit like a round robin squash league.

As you win or lose duels, your photo score increases and rises in the category.

There are also a large number of competitions that can be entered, some with cash prizes.

The downside of the site is that it is relatively expensive. For free, you are limited to a small number of uploads based on your credit score. This can be raised by doing things like voting. However to do that you must link it to your Facebook account (which I must admit I am not  keen to do).

 The alternative is to buy a pro upgrade. This allows a lot more feedback on how well you images have done in duels etc but is relatively expensive at $8 per month or $15 for one month.

The site also allows people to buy images, although like 500px there is no indication on how successful that is.

The site also has a large number of contests running at any one time, most for cash or equipment prizes.

The concept of pixoto is interesting and worth checking out. However the user interface is a confusing and it sometimes feels like a photo selling site with added features rather than the other way round.


How easy is it to upload your pictures and get them noticed?5/10
What feedback do they provide and how useful is it? 7/10
Price? 6/10
Photographic site features ? 4/10
X Factor? 6/10
Any bonus features? 1 (Photo Duel)
Total 29


This site has a bit for everyone. Firstly it is a photosharing site with the usual features of uploading, favorites and loves. The former has the additional feature that you can specify from a number of categories such as composition what you like about the photo. 

The site also provides a large number of competitions that can be entered, most with prizes for the winner.

The site has a system of points. You get points for various activities such as uploading, favoring a photo etc. As the points rise you get extra features. 

Also you can win badges for various activities such as favoring 5 photos. The badges have kooky names such as the friendly badge for following 10 people or more.

You can quickly gain points by linking the site to various social media such as facebook etc. Also the number of points you gain for an activity is based on your level of membership. 

There are 3 levels of membership

  • Lite is free and allows you 10 uploads a month. 
  • Premium costs $7 a month and allows unlimited uploads plus access to more competitions,
  • Pro which costs $14 a month and allows access to all competitions

Viewbug combines some of the best features of photo comparison sites such as 500px and photo competition sites such as Pixoto. Plus it has a clean user interface(but not quite as good as Viewpic's). It also has a learn page with some good articles.

The range of badges and scoring system means that it is a site that encourages you to return and rewards your involvement.

How easy is it to upload your pictures and get them noticed? 8/10
What feedback do they provide and how useful is it? 8/10
Price? 7/10
Photographic site features ? 7/10
X Factor? 8/10
Any bonus features? 0
Total 38



What makes a good photo sharing and review site? Obviously the answer to that will depend on your requirements and experience.

To me however, the most important thing is engagement with your fellow photographers. To do that you need to encourage people to return and take part in the process, either by adding images, or taking part in the review process.

 Most of these sites here have an element of that, but some do it better than others. Unfortunately in the end the difficulties of trying to manage multiple sites means generally you want one site that does it all

My award of best site goes to the site which does that the best. That my award to the best photo sharing site goes to (drum roll)....


With it good interface, and its system of points and medals, it provides the best elements of a good photo and review site.

Highly commended was Viewbug, which provided many of the same features, but whos extra cost and lack of an app counted against it. 72dpi had a nice community feel to it, but its lack of features in the end counted against it,

Another special mention goes to Kujaja, which is more a photo community, than a photo comparson site, but is one of the more interesting sites on offer.

As for the others, they all had there positives. Photocrowd and pixoto are a good place if you are looking for competition entry, and dpReview will always the place to go for discussions.

The losers here (if you can say that) is 500px and Flickr. While 500px is in many ways a good site, it feels like it has fallen behind the time in terms of features. Flickr on the other hand, the site that revolutionized photo sharing, now feels really old fashioned. Yes, it is still a good place to store and share images, but has little else to help you improve as a photographer.

So what about 1x? In many ways this should be the go to site for those of you wishing to improve your image making. However unless you have pretensions of being a top photographer, I think it's very elitism counts against it. It feels like an exclusive club, where you have to justify your inclusion. For me photography should be about enjoyment, not having to justify why you should be part of a club.

Result Summary
YouPic 45Winner
Kujaja 34Commended
500px 33 
1X 31 
DpReview 30 
Pixoto 29 
Flickr 19 

The extra 1%

Why I am not a landscape photographer...

As Chris Newham, the guest speaker on Thursday at the MPS intimated, there is a myth among some that landscape photography is easy. After all landscapes do not move, you don't need fast, long lenses and nor does the scene change rapidly so rapid continuous auto focus is not required.

All you need is a camera, a location and a few minutes to snap away.

There is some truth in that, but in all things it only goes so far. As the speaker able demonstrated, the difficulty is not taking landscape photos but that final 1% to get an outstanding landscape shot.

That means getting to your location 1 hour before dawn on a winters day (probably after a good 3 or 4 hour journey, since the best locations are almost always a long way from population centres), standing in an icy stream for hours in the hope the weather gods will be kind to you and the light will arrive and hope that while you are taking your long exposure no one walks in your frame.. Then Repeat this 10 times until you have the right shot.

Landscapes are also one of the areas where glass and mega-pixel count make a huge difference to the final image. If you want to be a top landscape photographer you do need that 30-40 MP camera, plus the lenses to do it justice. Interestingly Chris has moved from Nikon to a Sony A7RII, which confirmed my suspicion that whatever Nikon and Canonistsas say, Sony is making big inroads into the top end camera market.

Another interesting snippet was that rather than filters, most of his work is done in camera, or post production. For example, instead of ND filters to smooth water out, he uses in-camera multiple exposures. He says that this is better because it maintains some structure to the water.

Even once you have the photo, the job does not stop there. Landscape photos can be tweaked to death. It is that quest to find the extra 1% to make your photo outstanding. Whether it is bringing out the highlights in the clouds, playing with graduated filters in photoshop, or just putting a white border round your print to emphasis the whites in the photo to judges. Again repeat this  x 1000 because that is how many images you took. All this to get the best out of your shot.

 I realised this sometime ago and decided that landscape photography was not going to be for me, at least for now. I just do not have the time or equipment to do it justice. Nor to be fair do I have the dedication to get up before the dawn on a winter day.

Despite that you can learn a lot from watching the experts go through there work-flow.

From the use of the black and white point sliders (which generally I have ignored) , to the use of other raw processing techniques to get the best out of the initial image, it all goes to making your images that little bit better.

It was also interesting watching him use the Nik collection of plugins.  I have known about these for a while, but Chris showed how best to use them and they make more sense now. The other problem with them was that up to know I had assumed you needed the latest Adobe Photoshop products to use them, but I found out that my photo processing weapon of choice, Zoner photo, supports them as well (but only the 32bit version).

This opens a whole new area of possibilities (and expense), so for that reason alone it was a useful and interesting night.

Friday, 16 October 2015

The glass ceiling

Last night we had this years first club competition on a theme which was chosen about a year ago.

I must admit that I quite like these sort of competitions.Because we are restricted to a narrow subject say compared to landscapes, I find it makes me work and more rewarding harder to find a shot that fills the brief. It also levels the playing field somewhat, so the photography is less about the expense of the gear and more about imagination and fulfilling the shot.

This seasons theme was glass. It is interesting that most of the  club members seem to of thought the same thing when they heard the theme, which was buildings and mirrored glass surfaces. In the end there were a few of those in the competition, ranging from London landscapes to world trade centers.
 However some missed the brief entirely by concentrating on the general city scape rather than the glass itself. The ones that I liked best were those which were almost abstract in their simplicity by playing with the glass surfaces.

There were also a lot of churches and stained glass windows. I must admit I have a problem with photos of art works such as these. The term the judge used last night was 'a good record shot' and that is all they are to me. If you are going to take a picture of say a statue, you have to have something else in context, such as people's reaction to it, otherwise it is not really your work that is being judged, but the original artist.

It was also interesting that a lot of the 'big' guns of the club did relatively poorly last night. That is not because their photos were poor; far from it, but more because instead of creating a photograph that matched the brief, they tried to bend their usual photos to the subject like landscapes (with titles like transparent sea). To me perhaps this shows a lot of specialization.

It was also good to see that one of the winners on the night was taken not on a expensive DSLR, but a camera phone (albeit an expensive camera phone). In this case it was a skylight in a factory taken in a panorama.

This is why themed competitions are so fun. It rewards the imagination over the equipment.

So how did I do?


This got 19....
While this one 16...Why?

This one did well,

But this one was close to winning

Good marks here, but perhaps needed cropping

Probably my biggest fail. Probably cropped too nuch


I must admit when I first heard the competition my thoughts were on initially to take buildings. However it quickly transpired that I would have little opportunity to take such images. I did go to the Victoria and Albert, specifically to take pictures of glass(it has a very good glass staircase), but I failed to get anything useful.

So instead my thoughts turned closer at home with all my images were taken indoors. Not everything worked. My attempts to take glasses and bottles on a mirrored black surface did not really work as well as I would like, and I had a number of failures to take glass against various lit backgrounds. However by staying close to home allowed me to experiment far more than if I had tried to take images on location

I must admit my prints marks were a little disappointing, however he DPI's did really well, with all 3 being kept back for later consideration. In the end, 2 of them got 19 marks and was only a whisker away from winning(again!).

I couldn't complain about the winning entries, both by Simon Pearce , who is pretty good at this sort of thing.

And the next subject is?

By tradition, at the end of the competition a new theme is chosen. This year it was chosen as


which I must admit had all of us scratching our heads and heading for the dictionary. The challenge will be expressing such an abstract term to the judge via photos and i expect an even more diverse set of images next year. I already have come up with some ideas, so 12 more months of work begins now...

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Just a minute....

A lot of people suggest that only in a free society can art truly flourish. While there is no doubt some truth in that, freedom can also be hurdle for trying to create great art.

For example if I asked someone to take a photo of anything, the chances are that the  the huge variety of options would results in an inability to narrow down the available choices to the best shot. It is almost when provided with a free choice, the brain shuts down due to the large number of choices, a bit like a child given free range in a sweet shop.

However if I asked someone to take a picture of say a particular tree, then they could spend ages analyzing the best angle, when the best light would be and different ways of taking the image. By narrowing the options down, it allows you to concentrate on achieving the best possible image.

One such situation is the annual MPS themed competition where you are asked to take images based on a single word. This time it was glass, and I've had a year to try and think of suitable images.

I have to admit not all my ideas proved feasible or even came off as I hoped, but the ones that were meant that I could spend a lot of time trying to get the best possible image.

However yesterday I had an even narrower brief. The website, Kujaja held a project called one minute on Earth. The idea was for photographers around the worldto take a picture at the same time  i.e 10th of October 10:10 a.m and upload them to create a photo book.

I decided to have a go, so I duly went of to my local town, half an hour before the appointed time, to find possible locations.

You quickly realize that this is not as easy as it sounds. First you have to find a spot that is

a) great photographically
b) something to photograph will be there at the specific time.

You also quickly realize that 60 seconds is not a lot of time  to take a photo, and you will only have two or three shots.

In truth it is essential in these sort of situations to have local knowledge since you do not have much time to find possible locations.
As it was, I not sure I got the image I wanted, but the strictures put in made me me think a lot about photographing ordinary daily life.

I also learned a lot taking part, namely
  1.  The best places are those with people in static situations such as cafes's. I feel it should be about the story of what people are doing at that particular point in their lives.Landscape and buildings while important change little through the year, so do little to define a period of time.
  2.  Find a spot and setup 10 minutes before. Do not doubt yourself and try and second guess at the last minute. 
  3. Choose the position for photographic reasons as much as who and what is around e.g. The lighting, angles, etc.
  4. Talk to people around you about the project so that they won't be surprised when you whip out your camera at the appointed time.
  5. It would bea  great opportunity to get a group of photographers together to cover different areas and situations. After all you cannot be in two places at once.
One thing I did do right however was my choice of lens. In 60 seconds you cannot faff about changing lens, so what you have at the start is what you are stuck with(unless you are lucky enough to own multiple bodies).

I could of gone with my 50mm prime, but I felt the photo needed the context so I could not frame people two close and the background needed as much as possible be in focus.

I could of gone with my 28 - 210mm, but in the end  I went with 18-24mm to show as much as the surroundings as possible. While there would be some distortion at the wide, I thought that it would meet the brief best. In the end I think that was the right choice.

This sort of exercise is great practice for those high pressure situations where you get one opportunity for a shot (parties, weddings, sports events) and well worth practicing. While initially I wasn't happy with the shots and felt I could have done better, in the end it came out better than I thought.
10th October 10:10 a.m

Update 16/10/2015

I lately realized that I made a mistake with the one minute photo. Unfortunately I had not read the brief carefully enough and now realise they were looking for outdoor shots that showed the state of the sky and weather around the globe. If I had realised this at the time I would probably take another shot. As it was I am not the only one to get this wrong, and to be honest I prefer my approach. Landscapes are nice, but peoples life's are the greater quantum and I think it is more important to record. As it is, I can probably justify it due to the windows in shot, however there is a lesson to more carefully read the brief in these situation.

Friday, 9 October 2015

The way I see it - Gerry Coles

We had an excellent talk last night at the MPS from Gerry Coles.

What impressed me most was that he got very high quality results from quite simple photographic and photoshop techniques. He also gave the great advice that the best way to improve in photography is just to try things and the need to make your photos stand out by adding something different. At the same time ignore what the judges say and follow your instinct.

It was interesting that a lot of his techniques were derived from his film and developing days. It makes me wonder that when we reach the point when there are no more people who have come from that route whether we will lose some of that useful experience.

It is always instructive to watch someone comfortable with themselves show their creative process, and while I am sure that it is harder than it looks, it gave me a lot of inspiration to try some similar techniques.

My only real critic is that some of his photos crossed the line between photography and graphic art, but that is another argument for another day....

All in all however an excellent night.