I am going to give you 21 Photography Tips That Will Actually make A Difference in this post. I am talking about things that really work and will genuinley help you. These are things that I have learned over many years as a photographer. These are not quick tips, some of these are ways of thinking about things differently.Read More
It took me a while to come up with this title. I wanted to encapsulate this entire subject in one line.
Alternative titles were
20 things I wish I had known when I started my journey in photography
20 pieces of advice for new photographers
20 tips for photographers – things I wish I knew
20 things I have learned which will help you grow as a photographer
I went with the title at the top, which I hope explains what I am going to write about in this post.
I wanted to write about 20 things that I wish I had known when I started taking my photography seriously, with a view to be it being my primary source of income at some point in the future. For me this was in the year 2007.
These are 20 things that I have learned along the way, which I hope will help you in your journey in photography.
These are all my own opinions, based on my experiences in the last 11 years.
I hope you find them helpful.
A lot of these points are interrelated, and things will get a mention more than once, but at the end I will summarise with 10 key points what I have written about in this blog post.
They are in no particular order, just the way things came out of my head.
These are the 20 things
Don’t worry about the gear
Second hand gear is fine
Learn about composition
Get off the computer and get out there
Take less photos
Take more photos in interesting places.
Forget layers in Photoshop
Start with Lightroom
Learn Lightroom properly (before trying anything else)
Get honest critiques of your work
Join a professional body
Don’t research a location too much before going there
Practice, practice, practice. And fail. Fail lots.
Choose the people whose advice you trust and stick with them
Listen to podcasts
Start a blog
Buy a tripod
Don’t worry about social media
Follow your own mind, dreams and ambitions
1 – Don’t worry about the gear
Get the best gear you can, but don’t break the bank. That is the first general point I want to get across to everyone getting started in photography.
And to be honest this applies to all of us at all stages of our journeys. In my humble opinion there is too much talk about photography gear. Much too much.
I have been using my Canon 6D for well over 4 years now, and it still produces great images. I have images in my portfolio that were taken with my 12 mega pixel Canon 5D. And do you know what – you cannot tell that they were taken with a 10-year-old camera.
My clients are not interested in my gear – all they care about is the images that I produce for them. I have never been asked (other than in passing interest) about the cameras and lenses I use. The only time has been when I was with a client who had an interest in photography.
Don’t worry about the gear – get the best you can and use it.
And another point – don’t take all your gear with you wherever you go.
I have my base gear in my Peak Design Everyday Backpack. This is a small 20 litre bag.
It looks like this.
In it I carry the following
A few other bits – memory cards, spare batteries, a Platypod and ball head, a couple of key filters, grey card, colour card, cloths and wipes.
Not forgetting my Neewer Loupe Viewer.
And that is the base gear I use 95% of the time.
I have just written an article about this which you can read on the Improve Photography website titled Full frame DSLR photography without breaking the bank – this is how I do it
2 – Second hand gear is fine
The first full frame DSLR I bought was a Canon 5D. I bought it from a photographer who had not had it long but had a change of heart and decided to stay with medium format.
That camera worked faultlessly for my formative years as a photographer, and I used this great camera on many commercial jobs.
I have lenses that I bought new, and lenses that I bought second hand. And can I tell them apart? Not really no. Of course, I know which are which, but in practical terms they all produce great results.
And a slight aside here but an important point all the same – lenses hold their value incredibly well.
Again, the last article I wrote on the Improve Photography website talks about this as well, and the gear that I use. I have linked to it above.
3 – Learn about composition
This is the number 1 mistake I made for years and years. I was too busy looking at what gear to buy next and taking photos without really thinking about composition.
I got bored with producing average photos. I bored myself to be honest. And this was when I started to think about my images, what I didn’t like about them, and how I might make them better.
I stopped obsessing about my gear, and instead concentrated on the pictures themselves.
I looked at the work of the best photographers, read books and took the time to critique my work. It was at this time that I submitted my first portfolio submission to the BIPP – that is the British Institute of Professional Photography.
My first submission was a complete revelation – a Hasselblad master called Bryn Griffiths very kindly and patiently critiqued the images I sent him. I had to rethink my submission, and quite a few of the images were removed from my portfolio and replaced with images that worked better.
This was the beginning really of my realisation of what really matters in photography.
Composition is king.
Get the composition right and you have a great photo., be it on the best DLSR, a lovely Hasselblad, an iPhone, a point and shoot – any camera.
But a rubbish composition is a rubbish composition, and probably a rubbish photo, whatever the camera.
If you take two things from this I will be happy.
Forget the gear.
Work on composition.
If you are happy to read on, then thank you.
To continue with the portfolio thing and the BIPP, last month I had my second portfolio assessment at the BIPP – this time for my Associateship.
And Associateship is defined by the BIPP as
“A high standard of craftsmanship and creative ability”
And all those years on from the initial critique, all I was asked to change by Bryn was the white balance to some of my interior images – that was it.
I have worked very hard on improving the quality of my images, and this is the result.
And I got my Associateship – I am now an ABIPP. And one of the points of feedback was the observation that I did not appear to crop many, if any, of the 40 images submitted. I had not thought about this, but it turns out this is the case.
I rarely crop an image. Like I say this is not a deliberate ploy, some attempt at a certain style, trying to be different.
No – this was pointed out to me and is the logical conclusion of the work I have done to date on my composition, and also taking the time and care when capturing images.
I will talk about my professional qualifications later on in this post.
4 – Get off the computer and get out there
Another mistake I made. Rather than getting out there taking photos I spent too much time working on photos in Lightroom and then every worse doing nothing with them.
Now I know we all need to practice to learn Lightroom but please give this some thought – apply some structure to your learning and you will progress in leaps and bounds. Do not do what I did, which basically was keep on doing the same things to more and more images, or you will stagnate.
And whilst learning Lightroom don’t but any plug-ins.
Being out with a camera is a joy that we should all embrace more than we do. I spend more time writing these days than I do taking photos – an occupational hazard – but when I get the opportunity there is nothing I enjoy more than sitting waiting for the sun to rise, or setting up my tripod to take a considered photo of a stunning building.
Even more of a joy when you have a lightweight backpack and are not burdened with 50kgs of back-breaking stuff!
5 – Take less photos
Get out more, take the shots you want, work the scene by all means. And then move on.
It took me a while to realise that I was taking the same scene more than once. On architectural shoots I would work in a logical order around a building, and then at the end if I had time photograph as many things again from the beginning.
I think it was a lack of confidence at the time. And I never used any of the images I took again – the ones I took on the first place were without exception better.
These days when I am working on an architectural shoot I aim to capture as few images as possible. I photographed a very famous persons house the other week, and on the internals I took one or two shots per room.
I took the time to get my composition bang on for the views needed and that was that.
This of course relates back to the point about composition – take the time to get the composition right and you don’t need to move three feet to the left to take the same scene from a very marginally different viewpoint.
And you will thank me when you are going through your photos in Lightroom, or whatever software you might be using.
I love going through an architectural shoot and picking consecutive images as picks to edit. This tells me that I was working at my optimum.
6 – Take more photos in interesting places. I will qualify this at the end somewhat.
I am not saying get out and photograph the most often photographed locations. For me that would be Durdle Door, which I have photographed twice.
No - get out to interesting places, not necessarily those that would feature in a “Top 10 locations to photograph in Dorset” kind of thing.
Take this shot, which was taken one New Year’s Eve afternoon at my local woods, which to my shame I had never been to before. In that one afternoon I get some really great stuff, and no-one knows or indeed cares where I took the photos. All people care about is the photos themselves.
But do not restrict yourself to the headline locations. I hear tales of lines of photographers at the headline locations standing shoulder to shoulder all taking the same image!
Go to places others don’t go, find things to photograph. Be original.
7 – Forget layers in Photoshop
Seriously. I don’t use layers. I have a couple of times for sky replacements, which I try to avoid doing, but apart from that I don’t get layers.
I process all my images in Lightroom. I only go into Photoshop to remove things that I can’t remove in Lightroom. I have spent hours and hours trying to learn Photoshop – the problem was that I did not have a need for Photoshop, so I was trying to learn something I did not actually need.
All I use in Photoshop is the following
Clone stamp tool
And I resize images if I need them printing at specific sizes
Here is why I can get away with only doing these things in Photoshop, and why I don’t need layers.
I do as much work as possible in Lightroom – when I need to go into Photoshop I select Edit in Photoshop, and Lightroom sends the image to Photoshop. Once I am done I hit save and the image appears next to the original image sent to Lightroom.
The new file is a brand new Tif file, the original Lightroom file is exactly as it was before being sent to Photoshop.
I therefore do not need to worry about undoing the work I have done in Photoshop, as it is so minimal I can just do it again and produce another new Tif file.
This is why I don’t need layers, and why it doesn’t bother me either.
8 – Start with Lightroom – just Lightroom
Start with Lightroom. Don’t try anything else. Use Lightroom to organise your photos – the Library Module is incredibly powerful, and as far as I am concerned is the best software to use to catalogue your photos. I have been using Lightroom for over 10 years now and can honestly say that the latest version of Lightroom Classic is the best.
And once you have done this why edit your photos anywhere else?
I do as much of my editing as I possibly can in Lightroom – if I can edit an image in Lightroom and not go anywhere else to do more work I am a happy person.
A point of digression here – I have just upgraded the RAM in my Dell PC to 16GB from 8GB and it has made a massive difference to Lightroom. In the Lightroom Classic 7.3 upgrade performance improvements were added, but you needed 12GB or more to benefit from these improvements.
9 – Learn Lightroom properly before trying anything else
I started using Lightroom, and at the same time discovered the wonderful world of plug-ins. I bought the following
On One Perfect Suite
There are probably some others I bought which I can’t even remember.
And I played around with them, without ever mastering any of them.
And this was at the same time as trying to learn how to use Lightroom.
And when I got an iPad Pro I got even more stuff
Now I am working as a professional photographer what software do I use?
And when needed Photoshop
And Lightroom Mobile
Lightroom Mobile is an essential tool, which syncs with Lightroom Classic on my desktop.
10 – Get honest critiques of your work
I mean people who know what they are looking at. I don’t think that family members are the best people to critique your work – they love you after all (well I hope that do) and will not give you an honest critique.
Social media is a minefield, and not to be relied on for feedback on images. You have to remember that people scrolling through endless photos are probably liking your photo in the hope that you will see this and like one of theirs. And they have liked many other photos, giving each one equal time, care and attention – a second if you are lucky.
Find someone who you can trust to critique your work. I use the BIPP for this, and I write about this elsewhere in this post.
And when you have had a critique from someone who knows what they are talking about it is very very important to act on that critique.
This is another important point – learn something, then make sure you act on it. If you don’t act on something you learn you might as well have not bothered learning it in the first place!
11 – Join a professional body
I am a firm believer in professional bodies and professional qualifications. I have been a Chartered Member of the CIOB, the Chartered Institute of Building - MCIOB. This is the benchmark professional qualification for construction management professionals.
I was a member of the SWPP for some time – this is the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers. Not an obvious choice for me, but this was in the early days of my journey into professional photography.
Now I am sure there is nothing wrong with the SWPP, but I left having not got a lot out of my membership.
I came across the BIPP – the British Institute of Professional Photography. I applied to join the BIPP, and to do this I had to submit a portfolio which was critiqued, rejected and worked on quite a lot before it was of a standard for entry level membership, LBIPP – Licentiate of the British Institute of Professional Photography.
This qualification is described by the BIPP on the qualifications page as
“Entry level qualification, showing an established professional level of skill and competence”
It took me a while to get a set of images to this standard and was the first professional critique I had experienced.
Last month I managed to gain my Associateship, ABIPP. This is defined by the BIPP as
“A high standard of craftsmanship and creative ability”
It was much easier to select the images for this submission. I tried to do this a couple of years ago, but I was not happy with the standard of my work.
Not only do I get qualifications and recognition of the level of my work, the BIPP provide great information and the magazine they produce I read cover to cover every month. And I don’t read much else thinking about it.
Join a professional body – one that is relevant to you and the photography work that you want to do or are doing. Embrace that professional body and gain the qualifications available – it pushed me to a higher level of work and can do the same for anyone.
12 – Don’t research a location too much before going there
Another controversial point of view. There are many Apps you can get that will show you all the great images from a location, so you know exactly what you are going to get when you arrive at that very spot.
And if you pick a really famous spot when you get there you might be shoulder to shoulder with lots of other photographers.
This sounds like an absolute nightmare to me. So bad I have mentioned this twice in this blog post.
What is the point of going to a location and taking the same photos everyone else already has? And more to the point are doing at the same time as you?
And even worse, do you want to go to a location with photos others have already taken in the back of your mind?
I do not research a location other than the headline research that tells me that there is interesting stuff there to photograph.
I will give you an example here.
I was treated (by the wonderful Mrs. M) to a 5-day photographic trip to the wonderful Greek Island of Santorini. I had wanted to go there for years. I did no research at all.
The only thing I did work out was where the sun rose and set each day, and where that fitted in with the geography of the island. And what time of course.
Apart from that my research was all done out on location. I basically walked around potential locations on arrival and chose my spot for the first sunrise.I didn’t come across another photographer anywhere. Apart from one coach party that arrived too late for the pre-sunrise wonders that I witnessed.
The first sunset was basically us sitting on the terrace at our hotel – it was that easy. But sunrises were about getting out and about early.
OK it was not by luck that this was the view from our room!
13 – Practice, practice, practice. And fail.
This is an easy one. The more you practice the better you get. This is just a fact. There is the 10,000-hour thing – that is the amount of time it takes to become proficient at something.
I have probably spent 10,000 hours in Lightroom – I don’t suggest you do that by the way.
I am taking about getting out and taking photos.
And don’t be afraid of failing. Failing is one of the best ways of learning.
Practice any type of photography that you find interesting. Don’t restrict yourself to landscapes. Try other things. If you don’t like them fine.
Here are 14 quotes about failure from the inspirational James Dyson, which I have extracted from the website Logo Maker
“I could buy companies, tart up their products and put my name on them, but I don’t want to do that. That’s what our competitors do.”
“I made 5,127 prototypes of my vacuum before I got it right. There were 5,126 failures. But I learned from each one. That’s how I came up with a solution. So I don’t mind failure.”
“The key to success is failure… Success is made of 99 percent failure.”
“We’re taught to do things the right way. But if you want to discover something that other people haven’t, you need to do things the wrong way. Initiate a failure by doing something that’s very silly, unthinkable, naughty, dangerous. Watching why that fails can take you on a completely different path. It’s exciting, actually. To me, solving problems is a bit like a drug. You’re on it, and you can’t get off.”
“Enjoy failure and learn from it. You can never learn from success.”
“Anyone can become an expert at anything in six months, whether it is hydrodynamics for boats or cyclonic systems for vacuum cleaners.”
“You are just as likely to solve a problem by being unconventional and determined as by being brilliant.”
“I learned that the moment you want to slow down is the moment you should accelerate.”
“Everyone gets knocked back, no one rises smoothly to the top without hindrance. The ones who succeed are those who say, right, let’s give it another go.”
“It is said that to be an overnight success takes years of effort. So it has proved with me.”
“We always want to create something new out of nothing, and without research, and without long hard hours of effort. But there is no such things as a quantum leap. There is only dogged persistence—and in the end you make it look like a quantum leap.”
“In business you will be wrong, by and large, 50 percent of the time. The trick is to recognise when you have gone wrong and correct the damage—not to worry, at the moment of making the decision, whether it is the right one.”
“In order to fix [something], you need a passionate anger about something that doesn’t work well.”
“Risk aversion is a hapless approach for a company that’s hoping to develop new technology. It’s tempting in a downturn. But long-term research and development, expensive and often filled with failure as it is, is the only route to discovering it. By taking the cautious path, companies risk a drought of ideas.”
And look what happened to him…..
14 – Choose the people whose advice you trust and stick with them
There are lots of people with lots of opinions and lots of advice. And they are all valid in their own ways.
Problem is that they all say slightly different things. As I said none of them are wrong necessarily, just different.
This piece of advice will hopefully help.
Listen to everyone and anyone you want to, and then choose the people who resonate with you.
I found myself jumping all over the place, picking up bits of advice here and there and trying to apply them.
And achieving nothing.
I have now narrowed down to a small number of people whose opinions have proved sound and relevant to me over the years.
And as I said somewhere else, if you pick up a piece of advice that is useful to you please use it. That was another mistake I made over and over.
These days I act on things I learn whenever I can.
To digress slightly, I have Post It pads in my car, and always have a notebook with me. Anything that I want to remember I write down, and later add to my iPhone in an App called Wunderlist.
Later I sort all these notes and add them to Evernote.
Check out the book How to be a Productivity Ninja by Graham Allcott
15 – Listen to podcasts
I recommend these. My favourites shift over time, but these are my favourites at the moment
This Week in Photo
The No Name Photo Show
Six Figure Photography
Creative Marketing Show
He Shoots He Draws
The Sprouting Photographer
None photography podcasts that I enjoy
The Solopreneur Hour
Smart Passive Income
BBC Friday Night Comedy
The Danny Baker Show
Flintoff, Savage and the Ping Pong Guy
Test Match Special
Tailenders (I am a massive cricket fan)
I do a lot of driving, and rather than this being dead time I use the time to learn lots and lots and lots.
Some of these I listen to all of, some I listen to part of, some the subject is of no interest. It just depends. But if a podcast is not of interest to me I just delete it straight away and move on.
And my favourites have shifted over time – I now am listening more to podcasts on entrepreneurship, business development – that kind of thing.
Don’t necessarily restrict yourself to podcasts about what you are interested in – you can learn things from any good photography podcast. The example here is the Sprouting Photographer. This is mainly about wedding and portrait photography, not my bag at all. Some episodes I don’t listen to at all, but I give them a try first as there are often little gems within them that I have found incredibly useful.
If you are new to podcasts try the ones listed above, and anything else that you find, and give them a go. You will soon find the ones that are relevant to you.
And I watch blind photo critiques on The Grid when I make it onto the cross trainer
Talk about efficiency!
16 – Start a blog
Write about your experiences. Writing is a great way of capturing your journey, recording the good and bad, and allowing you to share your experiences not on social media but on your own part of the internet.
Be it a blog on your own website, or on a WordPress blog – just start publishing stuff on a weekly basis and you will be amazed where this takes you. I have been producing a daily blog now for nearly 2 ½ years, and many doors have opened up as a result.
I get asked regularly to add links from old blog posts to other articles written by other people which are relevant to what my core business is – photography of the built environment in all its shapes and sizes.
If you are going to start a blog, choose a niche and stick with that – it will pay dividends in future years.
If you have any aspirations to make money from photography start a blog right now. Go on – stop reading this and do it.
17 – Buy a tripod
When I started off taking my photography seriously I bought a tripod, a big heavy thing with a big heavy head.
And it was heavy.
And guess what?
I left it in my car. I had so much gear in a large backpack. So much gear that the tripod was just too much.
And as a result, I only used my tripod at night.
I have mentioned elsewhere in this post about my gear – I travel light and with my hands free.
I use my tripod for every architectural image I take. The only exception to this is when I need to use a painter’s pole to get high, or my Platypod to take a photo from the floor, or where there is just no room for my tripod, normally squeezed into a corner of a room.
The geared head is essential for composing architectural images.
And I use exactly the same set up for landscape and travel photography. I use exactly the same gear, set up and camera settings. The only exception is when I am walking around a location grabbing shots, which is not that often.
I have found that my composition has improved significantly when I started using my tripod more. It slowed me down and made me think about each and every shot much more.
The result of this was less images, and the ones that I took were much better than before I used the tripod.
This ties back to what I said earlier about composition and taking less photos.
18 – Don’t worry about social media
I don’t really get social media. It has not brought me any photography work that I am aware of. And I find it quite boring.
But everyone says we all have to be on it, we all have to be seen on all the social media platforms.
Someone please tell me why?
This is what I have done to satisfy the perceived need with minimal effort.
I have automated as much of my social media output as I can. I have a daily photography blog, and I share this content automatically from Squarespace to some social media channels and do manual shares to other channels.
Instagram output is shared to other channels using the great iPhone App IFTT – If This Then That.
And I don’t respond to every comment, thumbs up, like. I just post some stuff and that is pretty much it.
I do worry about my website, the content on it, and how people find my website when putting search terms into Google. This is where I put 95% of my effort – social media platforms come and go, and we do not control them.
Don’t worry about social media too much, instead focus on your own part of the internet.
19 – Follow your own mind, dreams and ambitions
Listen to the advice of the people whose opinions you value but choose your own path. And stick with your chosen path. I have too many times deviated from a chosen course of action.
I have started doing something, and then heard or read something and found something new to do.
Now I am following a planned course of actions, based on everything I have learned to date. And I am sticking to that plan, just tweaking it when I find better ways of doing things.
I set some targets for my photography business for 2018, which you can read here. And since I set them things have changed, and one of the targets I am not doing at all – I have a different way of achieving what I want to but my own way.
Of course, things change over time – I was going to go all in with stock photography in January but am now going in a completely different direction with that particular thing.
But the general principle of what I am trying to do, which to be fair has taken 10 years to produce, is the plan that I am working to.
And on that point, you have to give yourself time to figure out where you want to go with your photography.
20 – Enjoy it
Enjoy your photography. Work hard at it but enjoy it.
Even if you want to be your full time paid gig it is still something to be enjoyed. I don’t take photographs anywhere near as often as I used to. I seem to spend more time writing and responding to emails than I do taking photos.
But guess what?
When I manage to get out somewhere new at sunrise it is an absolute joy. I work on my photography business all the time, but there is nothing like being out on location at sunrise.
Last month I witnessed this sunrise from the beach in Altea in Spain. And also saw this stunning church at sunrise on another morning.
For both of these occasions there was no one else there – it was just me and the most natural thing of all, the breaking of a new day.
An event that will never happen again, and it was just me there at that time in that location.
No matter how much work I spend on my photography business that feeling never goes away – the sheer joy of watching and photographing something that will never happen again.
Enjoy your photography – it is a wonderful gift and a privilege to be a part of.
And these are those 10 bullet points I promised right at the beginning.
Get the best gear you can afford.
Only get the gear you need.
Don’t get any more gear.
Have one bag you can carry comfortably.
Get and use a tripod.
Get out and shoot.
I hope you have enjoyed this post – if you have any comments or questions you can either comment on this blog post or email me at email@example.com
I am a photographer based in Dorset specialising in
That’s it. No weddings. No people. No animals.
And also on being a photography blogger and all-round internet marketeer.
Rick McEvoy ABIPP, MCIOB – Rick McEvoy Photography – Photography Blogger
I have had a rethink. Some of these images have to go I’m afraid. Is this image of the pipes with the green background some of my best work?
Of course it isn’t.
I know what I was thinking – I wanted to show a broad range of images, demonstrating my understanding all aspects of construction photography.
Few people enter into the wonderful world that is a plant room, and I suggest even fewer take photos in there.
And there is probably a reason for that.
That image has to go.
And I have to ask myself the question – what is the set of images on my home page meant to represent?
My best work at the moment.
The range of specialist photography services I offer.
My best work at the moment.
The pipe picture has to go. I am going to lose three more images, getting back down to 12. Thinking a bit more about this, I am going to reduce down to 10 images per page. 12 is a hang up from the time when I had a grid view.
OK – 10 images it is.
And as to the range of specialist photography services I offer?
And that is it.
There are other things I do, but my website exists to offer those services to the clients I will write about tomorrow.
Those 16 new images have taken me down a bit of a wormhole, but a good one I have to say!
Rick McEvoy Photography
I got a call from a previous client about a shoot the next day, which I was able to accommodate. And this is what it looked like.
I have my own PPE, which gets me on most construction sites. I did not have high vis trousers. I had to get the trousers that afternoon.
On to the next day.
A baking hot day in Poole, wearing a high vis coat and trousers. Boots, gloves, glasses and hard hat.
I can remember the heat to this day.
And the trousers.
Lets just say they were a generous fit, I had to pull them virtually up to my elbows to get them to stay put. Meaning a double layer of material around my midriff to make things even more uncomfortable. And too much material around my ankles - I must have looked like a clown in yellow!
Enough about the clothing - what about the shoot?
The problem was this, they wanted me to photograph the gravel being off-loaded from the rail cars you can’t see from this level, which was the problem. From ground level you cant see the rail cars.
And the other problem - they only had a limited time slot to offload the gravel before the train was off.
There was no waiting for me to take some nice photos - I just had to get on with photographing what was going on in front of me before they finished their work.
- I could not climb up to the back. Not allowed.
- All I could do was go to an adjacent gravel bay, giving me a concrete wall as safety segregation from the large machine and the live rail siding.
I was happy with that.
But how do I take the photos they want?
Bring on the painters pole.
I attached my Canon 6D, with Canon 17-40mm lens attached, to a Harris painters pole using a special adaptor. I connected my Canon 6D to my iPhone 6 Plus via WiFi, which I used as a remote release, and then did this technical image capture.
Poke the pole up as high as I could, point my camera in the general direction of the machine, focus and take photos.
It was so hot my glasses were steaming up, and so bright that I could not really see what i was photographing, so I just took lots and lots of photos.
The client was happy, and all was good.
The moral of this story - be prepared as you never know what you are going to encounter on a commercial shoot.
The brief as presented was impossible to achieve, but happily with some ingenuity and unusual gear I got the job done.
And this was one of those jobs where I downloaded the images to my PC and then transferred all the RAW files to my client to sort and edit.
I love jobs where i do this! And I love unusual jobs like this in unusual environments and unique circumstances.
Rick McEvoy Photography - Industrial Photographer
I appear to have been writing lots of themed posts recently. I wanted to get back to the nuts and bolts of my photography work briefly for those of you who are new to my blog.
The areas of commercial photography work I specialise in are
- Architectural photography
- Construction photography
- Industrial photography
- Interior photography
- Landscape photography
- Stock photography
- Travel photography
A lot of my commercial photography work is never published for commercial reasons, so reading my blog you might think that I am just someone who writes about pictures he has taken and that I am not an actual photographer.
Hence this blog post.
Talking of which, there are going to be some changes coming up in the content of my photography blog.
I am going to write a series of posts all about my construction product photography work.
Then there will be a series of posts all about my interior photography work, and the new set of mages on my interior photography web page.
And then after that I am going to be concentrating for some time on one single photography trip I have recently had the pleasure of going on. And at the same time I am going to enter the world of luminosity masks.
I am going to start this piece of work, with the luminosity masks added in for good measure, mid June. I am going to give myself the luxury of six weeks to write about this on my blog. I am very excited to be doing this and giving myself time to completely process a photography trip.
When I say I am giving myself 6 weeks, I must clarify that this is in addition to day to day work etc.
Once I have done this I need a plan for some of my other trips. I need to spend some proper time on the images I have – I might schedule out one month per trip. Hmmm I sense another schedule coming on here. Yet another one. That is the last thing I want!
I am also trying to update my web pages, having updated the following pages
Interior photographer (see above)
I am going to try to get my commercial photography pages updated, starting with the images on each web page, followed by the text.
All this while working full time – lots to do then!
Thursday 25th May 2017
This is a picture of me at work. This is the reality of the work I do. Industrial photography.
And I love it!
Dressed in PPE consisting of boots, high vis trousers and jacket, hard hat, gloves and glasses. And my Canon 6D on the top of my trusty painters pole being activated remotely using the Canon Connect App on my iPhone 6 Plus.
Not so quietly melting in the baking heat.
I can't say where or when this was taken, as the client needs to publish and benefit from the images I captured. This is really the reason for this blog post.
A lot of the work I do I am not able to write about for various reasons, usually because the client wants to use the images themselves for their own commercial reasons.
This is of course absolutely fine, and hopefully explains why you do not necessarily see on my photography blog about the work I am doing when I do it.
I typically have to wait 2-3 months from doing a shoot to being able to publish work on my blog. This is why I am now getting more behind the scenes pictures which I can post without compromising commercial arrangements with clients.
And also I would like to mention another point. And I am back to the question of why you should hire me to take photographs on your construction site, or in this case industrial site.
The brief was very specific. The problem was that it was physically impossible to get the shots I needed due to where everything was. Until i got my painters pole out, with Manfrotto quick release plate, and the iPhone case that allows me to hang my phone from a lanyard around my neck, allowing me to change the point of image capture.
It is having this range of unusual equipment that allows me to adapt to the situation in hand, enabling me to take pictures when access is not physically possible.
I have a couple of web pages which you might want to visit, one being my construction product photographer page (a new page not quite finished which I am currently working on), with the other being my construction photographer page (which I definitely need to work on!), which show examples of my photography work on construction sites. There is also my industrial photographer page, to which I will be adding images from this shoot when I can do, which has some really interesting stuff I am looking forward to writing about.
Rick McEvoy Photography
Sunday 24th April 2017
Can someone suggest some great software for making black and white images please? What software do you use to produce black and white photographs?
If like me you love the Nik Collection a word of warning – Google are not supporting the Nik Collection. It is unfortunately only a matter of time before something goes wrong.
The Nik Collection is the great free software from Google.
It may be that an update to Windows does the job, and when that happens I do not believe that Google will be throwing any resources at fixing the problem.
I love Nik Silver Efex Pro, but want to move to something else before Nik goes wrong.
So, what to use? I don’t know. Perhaps you good people out there can help me?
Well this is what I am looking for.
- Black and white image processing software tha Integrates fully and seamlessly with Lightroom
- Works on Windows 10 (and if it worked on iOS as well then that would be even better)
- Is quick and easy to use
- Has great presets
- Has simple local adjustments
- And produces great images
That puts the images back into Lightroom right where it found them.
Oh, yes and is supported.
And that is it.
I don’t ask for much – just an up to date version of the software I am already using and have liked using for some time now.
So, if anyone out there can help me and let me know what the software alternatives are that would be splendid.
I forgot to say, the black and white images I produce are principally
- Architectural photography
- Construction photography
- Industrial photography
- Interior photography
- Landscape photography
- Product photography
- Travel photography
Which is pretty much most of the photography work I do.
Hopefully some kind folk will read this and get back to me with some great ideas.
Tuesday 4th April 2017
This week I became the proud owner of a Canon 24mm Tilt Shift Lens.
I bought this magnificent thing second hand, as I want to learn how to use the lens before I commit to buying a brand spanking new lens, for quite a lot of money.
There is another reason for going down the second hand route – I am not sure if I will be happy with the 24mm focal length.
Canon produce four tilt shift lenses, which come in the following focal lengths
My problem is that I am used to the wideness of my Canon 17-40mm lens, which I use a lot, especially for interior photography work. I am also used to zoom lenses, so will find the fixed focal length a strange experience I have no doubt.
Time will tell, and this is precisely why I am going to try the 24mm Mark 1 version of the lens first.
Tilt shift lenses are specialist lenses, and are used mainly in architectural photography, as well as in landscape photography. I take architectural photography in the broadest sense, covering
Basically all the things I photograph.
And landscape photography of course.
This is the first post in a series of posts I will be writing about my experiences with tilt shift lenses. For now there is just one thing for me to do.
Put the lens on my camera and play.
After I have downloaded the user manual from the Canon website that is. It would help if I knew how to use the lens.
And another benefit of taking photographs with a tilt shift lens is that it will slow me down ever more.
I am hoping that the quality of my photography is going to increase as I slow down and use this new lens on my Canon 6D.
I will write updates as and when I have news, along with lots of new images.
Rick McEvoy Photography
Canon Photographer with a tilt shift lens
Wednesday 15th March 2017
This is my image of the week for this week. I love the way this picture has ended up. I pre-planned this shot. But never expected the black and white version to be so effective.
No more words needed from me today. Apart from to say you can check out more of my work as an industrial photographer at http://rickmcevoyphotography.co.uk/industrial-photographers/
Rick McEvoy Photography Image of the Week
Friday 4th November 2016
I started off with a portfolio that included a range of architectural, interior and industrial photography images. Then I decided to niche down to architecture and interior images only.
Makes sense to me.
I then decided that I would include only commercial work. That would be UK work only.
Then I changed my mind.
I have posted and written about a couple of interior shots taken in France and Spain. Which made me think about the pictures of Italy I have.
I have taken photographs of many of the great cities in Italy, and have always liked this picture of Siena.
This was not in my February portfolio submission, but is in no Cathedral. I have lots of photos looking up at ceilings, but this shot is different, as it consists of a lovely domed ceiling with an rooflight giving some natural light to the scene, a contrast from the incredibly detailed ceiling.
This presents technical challenges in the processing.
In particular where to set the white balance from? The external natural light or the light inside the building?
This is what I did…..
The white balance was taken from the lighter rooflight to the dome using the Dropper Tool in the Basic Panel. I simply selected the dropper tool and found a neutral part of the image in the upstand, illuminated by daylight. I clicked there, and the change to the white balance looked just fine.
This is why I don't really worry about white balance. Lightroom Is so good at sorting this.
Next I corrected the verticals, as the image was a bit out.
Then I did the following in the basic panel
- Exposure +.92
- Contrast +30
- Highlights -93
- Shadows +100
- Whites +25
- Blacks -5
- Clarity +67
- Vibrance +21
- Sharpening 79 with a radius of 1.2
And that was pretty much it. Nothing more to do which is great.
As to the image capture, 1/80th second, F8, ISO 1600. 85mm on my Canon 24-105mm lens on my Canon 6D.
ISO1600 and so sharp. Thank you Canon for this fantastic camera!
Rick McEvoy Photography Blog
Monday 5th September 2016
OK I am not going to rush into this. This will be my portfolio for a few years, and will be the collection of images that I use to try and gain more work.
It is very important to me. And going forwards I will add images to it as and when better images appear. One in, one out.
I want my Portfolio set of images to flow.
I am going to produce a collection of 35-40. Not 30 (I checked the notes from my Portfolio Review).
This will give a selection that can be either culled back or need more work. The image set is going to be made up of the following;
- 20 architectural photography images
- 20 interior photography images
I am thinking about adding some industrial photography images. And having thought about this I am not going to include them. Time to focus….
This is my starting point. I will then sequence the images so they flow. I need something to transition from the architectural set to the interior set.
Once this is done I can edit the images. This is the bit I really enjoy, especially when I am giving myself the time to edit the images as much as I want to.
And this set of images will form the basis of the visual content on my home page, and in other marketing and promotional material.
The editing process will produce a consistent set of images, consistent in terms of
This covers the aesthetic and technical angles.
This is how I am going to approach the next stage in the production of my new portfolio, so now it is time to sit down and choose my images!
One more thing. On my website I have categories such as Dorset, Hampshire, architectural, interior etc – I will have to go through all of these and update each and every image set. One at a time.
More work for me……
Rick McEvoy Photography
23rd July 2016
This is the kind of thing I am talking about. A photo of a photovoltaic farm, or solar farm, photographed from my new high level photography equipment.
This particular installation is not visible from the main road, I just noticed reflections from the panels when driving past.
This is the kind of industrial photography that will benefit from my new point of view.
And due to its lightness and flexibility I can easily us this equipment to photograph live construction sites and give a different view. In fact I will be able to photograph all types of industrial installations and provide something different to clients.
In practical terms I am able to photograph up to 5m above ground level without impacting on any activities around me.
When I am photographing new homes in construction the optimum height is the middle of the front facade, which also gives straight verticals as you at viewing from the middle and not from below. And when I am photographing residential developments I can get a great view looking down from above roof level.
Back to the industrial photography. 5 metres will give me the height I need for probably 95% of my industrial photography work. And when photographing construction sites my 5 metres can start on the top lift of the scaffold.
The opportunities this kit offers me is growing all the time - I will reflect on this and new potential uses, and of course practise in a variety of environments.
Thanks for reading this post, and check out my industrial photography page at www.rickmcevoyphotography.co.uk/industrial-photographers where I will be posting more new images using my wonderful new high level photography equipment.
Today I am writing about something other than my portfolio. The problem is that I have work to do, and other stuff too, so the Portfolio has to sit in the background. What I do not want to do is rush it, so it is sat there waiting for some care and attention from me.
Back to my architectural photography work of recently completed construction projects. I have just completed one exciting shoot, and have three more next week.
I have wanted for some time to be able to take high views of construction projects, and have been using a Manfrotto magic Arm clamped on to the top of a pair of step-ladders. That worked fine but did not really give me what I wanted. I am not talking aerial photography here, just a different view from the norm. Something to make you think.
We all view things from eye level, so a different perspective has to be good?
So finally, after a lot of research, I have some new kit. The Manfrotto Magic Arm has gone back into my toolbox for now, but will be used for certain situations I have no doubt. And the stepladders are now thankfully out of my car – very inconvenient it was having them in there.
I have been trialling this kit on non-commercial work, getting used to it.
I need something stable enough for me to be able to take high level bracketed HDR shots. This is what I want to. And this is what I am going to do.
So over the next few days I will post some of the images created using this “specialist” kit, and I will then reveal the full set of equipment, and what I have learnt. The pros and cons of the set-up, and how I can make it better. It ended up being a collection of things that together give me a great new viewpoint.
Tomorrow I will post image number one, taken on a road.
It also proves the “work the scene” saying – I started off looking at one thing, which I have driven past a few times and thought about stopping to photograph – finally I had a reason to with this new kit - and once I had done that I started looking around at normal scenes in a different way.
So please come back to my blog tomorrow at
www.rickmcevoyphotogrpahy.co.uk/blog for the first of the trial images with the kit.
These are not photographic masterpieces I have to say – composition could be much better, but that is not the point. It is the view that I am interested in here, and fine tuning my technique to get technically accurate and well composed images I am after. I want to be able to add this additional viewpoint into my commercial photography workflow seamlessly and efficiently.
This addition to my photographic toolbox will I have no doubt be used on all my architectural photography and industrial photography assignments in the future.
Finally. About drones.
I wanted a drone for my property photography, but there is an issue with time and speed. Oh and of course the nightmare that is operating a drone commercially, as well as proximity to other peoples houses.
So I decided against the drone for now. I want one. But I do not need one. Prices for the DJI Phantom 3 have dropped now to the point where it really is not about the money, it is about the best tools for the job.
Like I say speed and efficiency are paramount.
I had 40 images in a Collection in Lightroom. But that is not the whole story.
I ended up with lots of collections in Lightroom, which were
- 40 images. This had 40 images. Well 42 actually. This was what was going to be reviewed. That’s why I called it 40 images.
- 10 -. No images. An empty collection. I never got down to 10 images. Which I have to do for my next set of home page images. So as ever more work to do.
- Dorset photography – 10 images
- Hampshire photography – 10 images
- Architectural photography – building exteriors – 10 images
- Architectural photography – building interiors – 10 images
- Construction photography –10 images
- Industrial photography – 10 images
- London photography – 14 images. 14??
- Sandbanks photography – 10 images
- Wiltshire photography – 1 image. Not sure what went wrong there?
- Bournemouth photography – 13 images.
- Cornwall photography – 12 images
- Landscape photography – 17 images
- Poole photography – 10 images
And then another 9 folders from recent commercial work.
But I had my set of 40 images, and guess what?
No landscape photographs.
No tourist scenes.
- Architectural photography
- Building photography
- Construction photography
- Interior photography
- Industrial photography
- Infrastructure photography
- Estate agent photography
- Real estate photography
That kind of thing.
Because I decided that my portfolio should reflect what I do, what I want to, and the best range of my work to date within these categories.
What I do best, and what I can do best for clients.
I want clients looking at my work, my portfolio, my website, and to know that when they hire me they know what they are going to get. And that they like my style. My look.
So it is time to focus my work, which I have done.
And do you know what? It has helped me to improve greatly. I still do landscape photography, which I enjoy immensely, but I use that work to experiment with new techniques in terms of both image capture and processing.
So having achieved a much better focus, I will describe tomorrow on my blog at
how my portfolio was constructed and how this focussing on these areas has helped me grow as a photographer.
And how many images made if from 2014 to 2016.
Guess – it surprised me!!
A strong contender for my Hampshire photography page is this sunset shot taken at Bracklesham Bay in Hampshire.
A nice image for a Saturday morning after a long week.
Having spent all yesterday going on about the photography work I specialise in, namely
I have decided to change course, and post and write about a nice picture of Hampshire.
I love shots like this. This really was a case of being in the right place at the right time. And the funny thing is – I have never been back? Only been there once. Oh no sorry I went back once and the weather was hideous, but I really must return, to what is an unusual Hampshire coastal view for me – I am much more familiar with being on the other side of Hampshire.
This image was edited dome time ago. I am enjoying going back to older images and seeing what I can do with them now with the tools I have and the knowledge gained since taking and editing some of my old landscape photography work. I am also doing this with some of my architectural photography work to.
I will post the new versions on my blog in the future, along with the original edits, and try to explain the difference.
Hopefully the new images will be better, but you never know….
If you don’t see an updated version of this Hampshire landscape photography image you know what happened…
Thanks for reading this post, please come back to my blog tomorrow at
for another post about something photographic. Not sure what it will be yet but hopefully another nice image for a Sunday.
Also check out my Hampshire photography page at
Having spent all yesterday going on about the photography work I specialise in, namely
Commercial photography, and
You might, quite rightly, question why I post landscape photography work on my website.
Well there are a number of reasons for that.
Firstly, I like to.
I like going to nice, new and interesting places. Who doesn’t? And when I am there I like photographing these places. And during my working day when I am out and about I am always looking for things to photograph.
I am dreadful really.
I actually take notes of places that might be worth a visit on my IPhone, or I take a shot on my IPhone so I have the location and potential subject matter of my next masterpiece tagged electronically.
Honestly how did we manage not that long age before all of the technology?
And film cameras. I am old enough to remember them. I used to have one, well several actually.
So yes as well as my commercial work I have this other area of work, principally travel photography and landscape photography.
When I don’t have the commercial pressures of my commercial photography I can relax into my other, personal (to start with) work. And I can also experiment in Lightroom and Photoshop.
I taught myself sky replacement using some of my landscape images. And I have used some of my landscape photography skies in my commercial work, so there is an inevitable crossover.
This is why I have split my website into commercial work and my places galleries.
So you can tell them apart now but still access both.
It has been said that a photographer’s personal work is a better reflection of their photographic style than their commercial work.
I guess in my case that is 50% true. I enjoy my travel photography and landscape photography, but equally enjoy my commercial work. It is just that they are done in different circumstances, with different constraints and pressures.
Blimey, where did that come from?
Thanks for reading, and please call back tomorrow for the image I was meant to be writing about today at
And please check out my places website pages at
I have been reviewing the content of my home page, what is says, and the messages it gives out. And, more importantly, what people visiting my website think.
High quality architectural photography, commercial photography and industrial photography by Rick McEvoy LBIPP.
I need to focus more on what I specialise in, which is;
High quality architectural photography
High quality commercial photography
High quality industrial photography
And what do I photograph?
Building exteriors and interiors, construction sites, refurbishment projects, commercial spaces, completed developments, construction products.
So that is basically buildings.
Buildings in the public and private sectors. Commercial, retail, industrial, residential, and education premises, as well as plant, utilities and infrastructure.
One thing that makes me different from most photographers (I would imagine) is my experience working from heights, access platforms, scaffolds, boats, confined spaces and other controlled environments.
And I am offering a new aerial photography service using a drone.
And who are my target clients?
Architects, builders, developers, consultants, designers, agents, property owners and house holders in both the public and private sectors.
So that is who I work for, my specific target market, the environment where I excel photographically.
So why should someone use me as their professional photographer?
Well it’s nice of you to ask.
I provide a personal, bespoke, high quality, efficient professional service to each and every client. I combine technical photographic excellence and creative composition with expertise in Lightroom and Photoshop to provide high quality, individually edited images.
The combination of these skills along with the use of the latest techniques and technologies and my industry experience ensure that you receive a high quality, hassle free experience.
That is me, my photography, what I do, who I work for, who I want to work for and what I am best at doing.
In one page.
Which was not as easy as I thought to capture.
So there you have it. That’s it. All about me!
Thanks for reading this post, please come back to my blog tomorrow for a post which will have a brand new image I promise at
Oh yes sorry I forgot to say where I do all this good stuff.
Bournemouth, Poole, Sandbanks, Dorset and Hampshire are my primary locations, but I also work from time to time in, and am looking forward to working more in the future in, Cornwall, Devon, Surrey and Wiltshire.
Moving all my images to an external hard drive - a painful process! 2 days on update.
So. The day after the day after. How did it go?
It’s like having a new computer. Much much faster.
And I have over 600GB of space free on my laptop.
And access to all my images through Smart Previews.
I also have huge additional capacity in my external drive, which should keep me going for a couple of years.
And I imported Monday's shots into my external drive fine, adding the import back up to my laptop hard drive. This is fine and just needs managing as part of my backup regime.
And the limitations of having my images I a separate hard drive?
To keep my workflow consistent, I need to import images when in my office, where my external drive is. Sure there are other option which I can explore such as taking a smaller hard drive with me and importing to that then merging catalogues later but I really don't need to worry about that for now as most if the time I import in my office.
The other big limitation is that you cannot take a Smart Preview from Lightroom into Photoshop. I have to remember this and only edit in Photoshop in my office. Again I can live with that as if I am in Photoshop I am normally viewing things on my large external monitor anyway.
And you can merge to HDR and Panorama using Smart Previews. Oh no sorry just tried that and you can't.
Next is to explore that little known feature of Lightroom in a browser.
And I am also going to be making better use of collections. I refer back to Terry White in episode 216 of the grid with the best way of explaining Collections. Think of Collections as a playlist for your images. If you have 10,000 songs, you put them into playlists. You do to listen to them one after the other now?
Thanks for reading this post, which I hope helps those of you experiencing the same issues as me. Now I am going to edit some images on my new speedy laptop! Make sure you pop back to my blog tomorrow at
where I will post one of these images edited as a Smart Preview whilst not connected to the actual physical file! Amazing I have to say.
I am a photographer living and working in Dorset. I specialise in architectural photography, commercial photography and industrial photography. And I can do other photography stuff too - just ask!
Well this is certainly an unusual wine cellar.
Taken at the Chateaux Spleen on the outskirts of Bordeaux, France, showing not only lots of high quality wine in barrels but also the in-situ locational specific art.!
To view the art you have to stand exactly where I took this photo, so all the pink paint on the walls aligns to form the triangles! Fantastic!
And I have to say the 2010 Bordeaux wine was fantastic too!
Not too much waffle about the photography for this post - I just want to get this excellent and different interior shot out there for everyone to see.
So very quickly, this shot was take on my trusty 6D with 8-15mm fisheye zoom set at 15mm.
Bracketed shots, 2 stops under and 2 stops over merged in Lightroom with further processing to achieve this great look.
Please get in touch with any photographic query via my website at
I am an industrial photographer working in Bournemouth, Poole, Sandbanks, Dorset, Hamsphire, Surrey and London