Buy the best gear that you can afford.Buy the most appropriate gear that will enable you to get the images you want – I am talking here about camera bodies and lenses.
And then learn that gear inside out. Practise with it, try out all the things your gear can do.
Once you have exhausted the capabilities of your camera and lens(es) buy new gear only if it will help you take better images.
Rick McEvoy Photography - Photographer, photoblogger, writer
This is my number 1 tip
Get out and take photos.
Practise, work at taking images. This is the single biggest way for you and I to improve the standard of the images that we take.
And this is today, tomorrow, next year.
The more I practise the better I get.
It is that simple. And when I don’t have the time to practise as often as I would like my image capture can suffer.
What is the number 1 most important thing in photography?
Everything else is secondary to the image capture.
Rick McEvoy ABIPP - Photographer, Photoblogger
OK. Things are not going quite to plan. I was meant to have completed editing my photos of Santorini by now but that is not the case. Recent publication deadlines, work and life have got in the way.
Today I am back to it. I need to complete the editing my photos of Santorini in Lightroom.
Before I embark on this task I want to explain how I edit images in Lightroom. I have started work on a major new post, title to be decided but something like
- How to use Lightroom
- How I use Lightroom
- My step by step guide to editing images in Lightroom.
Back to last Friday I published this image last Friday. I posted the three RAW files in the blog post which you can get to here.
I am now going to edit this single image, and I will explain what I have done tomorrow on my photography blog.
Rick McEvoy Photography - Photography Blog
How to evolve and grow as a photographer - that was the starting title.
And then I thought – can I put this in a better way?
- My evolution as a photographer
- How to develop as a photographer
- How can we grow and evolve as photographers?
- My journey from amateur to professsional photographer
Same question – so many ways of putting it.
But hopefully you get the point? I will stick with the original title.
Why am I writing this post now?
I am in the post portfolio reflective period having published those 40 images, 20 interiors, and 20 exteriors, on my photography blog.
Having published those 40 images, and having written about them, I found myself reflecting on where I am as a photographer now compared to where I was when I took the first image in my architectural photography portfolio.
The first image in my architectural photography portfolio was taken in 2011. 7 years ago.
How have I evolved as a photographer?
In this post I want to explore the development of my photographic work and business. Hopefully this will help you if you are seeking to progress from amateur to professional photographer.
It’s never too late to do what you want to do
One thing that this does prove is that it is ever too late to pursue your dream, whatever that may be. Of course it would have been good if I had stuck to my chosen path all those years ago, but my experiences up to now have all made me what I am now.
For those of you who don’t know me I am 50 years old…..
How have I developed as a photographer in the last 7 years?
Before I start, I need to go back a bit in time. Well quite a long way to be fair. I am after all quite old now!
Me and my photography pre 2011.
I want to quickly take you right back to the beginning of my interest in photography, which started at the age of 13 - 1980 would you believe.
Yes, I am that old. And that sounds like a long long time ago…
My Mum and Dad bought me a Fuji ST SLR camera with kit lens. I seem to think it might have been the STX-1. I had that for a while, before convincing them to treat me to a Canon AL1. This SLR camera was special as it beeped when I got the focus correct! That was the state of technology back then.
I had my own darkroom at 15, with my enlarger in the chest freezer in the utility room in our family home.
I went to Art College at 18, with the intention of studying photography. I got to April of the following year, when I left needing money to live (and spend on beer).
That was the end of my photography aspirations until 2007. I never lost my interest in photography, enjoying taking photos on holidays, but had no serious aspirations until 2007.
What happened in 2007?
I had spinal surgery and left my job.
For the first time in my life I didn’t have a job. Well that lasted until mid February when I was approached and interviewed for a job. And I got the job.
I had two months without a job, in which time I bought and sold lots of gear and lost loads of time in Photoshop. This started the process, which I have been following ever since.
2007 – 2011
The early days/ years.
This was the beginning. I bought a Canon 5D and Canon 24-105mm lens. This opened my eyes to full frame photography with a professional L series lens. I still have that lens. And I still use that lens.
Tip number 1
Camera bodies depreciate with time – lenses hold their value really well. I have actually sold a lens three years after buying it for more than I bought it for – that is like free rental!
In these years I was out and about photographing everything, end loving it. I was completely all over the place, but slowly my photography was developing.
When I say learning curves I am not referring to Photoshop curves - as you will find out later I have no real idea what curves are in Photoshop!
One thing to say here – to find out what you want to do and how you are going to do it you need to go through a learning curve – we all do.
And don’t forget 10,000 hours – it has been said that it takes 10,000 hours to be come truly proficient at something. Now that is obviously a broad-brush statement, but the principle is spot on.
Finding my way
I joined the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers. I was chasing all sorts of work. I was quite frankly all over the place, looking into everything and everything. I went to the SWPP convention in London, which was excellent I have to say. I bought lots of stuff when I was there, and collected lots and lots of information that I never read. I joined the industrial branch of the SWPP.
I went to the convention the next year, and attended an endless number of classes.
I never wanted to be a wedding photographer – well I did at the time but that was something that I learned much later.
The odd one out
I remember sitting in a class on Photoshop at the SWPP convention, and thinking that I didn’t belong – I didn’t have a clue what they were talking about. It all felt beyond me. Worst of all I thought I might never belong.
Me and Photoshop
I spent a lot of time trying to learn Photoshop, not getting anywhere. It took me 10 years to work out why I was not getting anywhere – more on that later.
Me and Lightroom - much better
Thankfully this coincided with the introduction by Adobe of Lightroom – designed by photographers for photographers – that was the tag line with version 1 if my memory services me correctly.
I bought Lightroom 1.0, which was ordered online, with a disk being sent in the post in a nice box with a license key on the box.
That was how it was done.
Getting my first version of Lightroom was a big moment for me – I had second hand versions of Photoshop up until that point, and no structure to my image processing. Let’s be honest – my processing before Lightroom was virtually non-existent.
Lightroom gave me some structure – somewhere to put my photos so I could organise them.
My first commercial job
I did my first commercial photography job. It was a celebrity chef would you believe. A bona-fide celebrity chef from off the telly.
That was a terrifying experience.
I had more gear with me then than I ever have now. And I did not really know what I was doing.
Tip number 2
Everyone starts somewhere. So if you get a commercial job go for it. What is the worst than can happen?
You don’t get paid, and someone thinks you are rubbish.
That’s what I was afraid of, but I got paid for the job by the agency.
And my confidence grew during the shoot. Lesley and her husband even made a comment, which told me that I had convinced them that this was not my first job, and that I did this all the time!
I used Lightroom for that first job.
I got paid by cheque – I took a photo of the cheque. My first professional photography job done and paid for – most excellent!
Without Lightroom I would have been nowhere.
2007 to 2011 were a slow progression without much in the way of structure. Lets just call them the early days! My formative years as a photographer.
I did do quite a few commercial architectural jobs in this period.
Like the new Police Station in Poole.
So lets get to 2011
2011 – things are starting to happen
2011 was a bit of a landmark year for me, when I saw a big improvement in my photography. Well the architectural side of things. I had spent a lot of time practicing, doing the odd job here and there. And this photo was created in 2011 for the architect Andrew Stone. The commission was the photographing of an extension to a stunning country residence.
The extension was a private library, and I got lots of interesting photos from this shoot.
And this was where my interest in photographing classic English architecture grew from. I absolutely loved doing that job, even though it was really hard work.
I took too many images, but am glad that I did as this unique space has provided me with lots of different images that I still look back on 7 years on from the shoot.
And to think this was all done using a canon 5D Mk 1!
In 2011 I am still buying gear and not learning how to use it by the way.
Image capture count for 2011 - 3053
2012 - not an outstanding year
And I was still not knowing what I wanted to do so, so the focus on my architectural photography, whilst still slowly evolving, was not there.
In development terms 2012 was a year when I seemed to do a lot but not achieve much. Not the most progressive year but formative for that reason.
Lots of things that I picked up went into my head and some of them stuck there, waiting to be applied in future years.
I have not got a lot to say about 2012 – that says a lot!!
Image count for 2012 - 2291 images
2013 - the year things started to happen
This was the year I decided that I wanted to join a professional body that worked for me. I researched all the professional bodies in the UK, and further afield, and settled on the BIPP.
The BIPP is the British Institute of Professional Photography. Sounds good to me.
This was the year that I found my focus, and stopped trying to be all things to all people.
Breaking my Canon 5D.
Tip number three
Get your sensor cleaned for free at trade shows/ conventions.
What I have learned from this and the SWPP convention before is that you can get your camera sensor cleaned for free – you drop you camera off and some poor person sat in a small cupboard cleans sensors all day – what an unforgiveable job.
I left my Canon 5D to have the sensor cleaned, then wandered off for the day. I spent a nice day browsing around all the things that are there to be seen.
I spent an age on the Manfrotto stand, buying a new tripod and head. This is the beauty of these shows having the time to speak to an expert about their gear, get the best advice and get the gear that is right for you. I am still using that tripod and head now, since buying them they have served me so well.
And I also got advice on some bits of kit that helped with other things.
And then I went back to pick up my beloved Canon 5D to be given the news that there was something on the sensor that could not be removed!
The next day I was awaiting delivery of a shiny new Canon 6D.
Tip number 4
If you are operating professionally you really need a back-up camera.
Image count for 2013 - 1658 images
2014 – my first professional portfolio
I had finally got a portfolio of a standard together, which Bryn was happy with.
The meeting appointment made a huge difference – I was going to a show to meet someone prominent in the industry – that made a big difference to how I felt.
I met Bryn, we talked through my portfolio, and then I went off and ate lots, drank lots of coffee, spoke to lots of people and bought some gear.
It was a good, if long day out.
Back to my portfolio.
I submitted my portfolio, along with insurances and supporting evidence, then went to BIPP HQ in Aylesbury.
That was nerve wracking I have to say, but happily I was successful. Rick McEvoy LBIPP.
The press release said this. And yes, this was the first press release ever all about me!
“Local Photographer Awarded International Qualification
Poole based photographer, Rick McEvoy LBIPP, has received recognition for his Commercial photography after being awarded a Licentiateship by the British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP).
Rick prides himself on producing elegant and uncontrived photographs. He is completely self taught and has developed his own highly effective and efficient work flows enabling him to provide a high quality service alongside the highest standards of imagery. Rick still uses techniques from his days in the darkroom when processing images on his computer, combining these traditional techniques (dodging and burning inter alia) with cutting edge digital processing.
When asked how he felt about achieving his LBIPP, Rick said “I was delighted to be awarded my Licentiateship by the BIPP. This for me was the culmination of many years of hard work spent in the evenings, weekends and very early mornings, working around day jobs and family life. Being completely self-taught I am delighted to achieve this recognition, and consider this a huge stepping stone in my work to become a full time photographer.”
BIPP President, Roy Meiklejon FBIPP, stated “BIPP qualifications are among the most rigorous in the world. Qualification with the BIPP requires hard work, determination, commitment and lots of creativity”.
As the qualifying body of professional photography in the UK, BIPP requires any photographer going for qualification to follow strict criteria and provide a substantial portfolio of commissioned work, together with supporting information about themselves as a professional.
To see more of Rick’s work please visit www.rickmcevoyphotography.co.uk
Notes to Editors:
• Contact: Jack Goward, 01296 642020, firstname.lastname@example.org
• The British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP) is an internationally recognised qualifying organisation with over 100 years of experience in qualifying and supporting photographers. The core aims of BIPP are to qualify and support professional photographers, through a network of meetings, awards, training and benefits.
• The BIPP is a not for profit body, run by photographers for photographers.
• The BIPP has been fighting for and protecting photographers’ rights since 1901.
• The BIPP has over 3,000 members worldwide covering all disciplines of photography.
• Rick McEvoy LBIPP, 07772 252186, email@example.com, www.rickmcevoyphotography.co.uk”
Blimey. Impressive or what???
2014 image count - 3600 images
2015 – learning while driving - legally that is!
The year of the podcast. And photographing Travelodge Hotels.
As well as developing my architectural photography my learning exploded when I discovered podcasts. All of a sudden all the time I spent driving, and that was a lot of time, suddenly was learning time.
I went through every podcast I could find, choosing favourites which I stuck with, some being discarded along the way. And quite a few of my favourites fell by the wayside.
And the progression of my evolution towards a niche. Or two.
2015 was the year I feel like I spent working on my website. I employed an SEO company who did good things and bad things.
I was focusing on my website so much I cannot recall any other significant developments.
Which says a lot……
Image count in 2015 - 6281 images
2016 – the year I became a blogger
The year I decided to write a daily photography blog. This was a key year, as it was the start of the process of raising the bar in terms of the standard of my writing.
Like a lot of things the more you practice the better you get. The daily discipline was good for me, forcing me to produce daily output. And when you put that kind of pressure on yourself it focuses the mind.
I found that I enjoyed writing quite a lot.
And I had another surprise when I started writing regularly – writing helped me put things in order, make sense of things, plan and record my thoughts
Writing was becoming a useful tool, and that is a great thing for a photographer to have – a very valuable second string that could be used to expand out the photographs that I have created.
I had a feeling that the writing was taking me to other places, down different avenues, opening up new opportunities.
On the down side I was trying to progress my professional photography qualifications, but was struggling with my portfolio. I could not come up with a set of images that I was happy with. After making my initial enquiries to the BIPP I failed to progress my application.
Whilst my writing, as well as my commercial photography work were developing well I still had too much other stuff going on distracting me.
I had not found that focus that I needed.
Another new thing for me this year was my iPad Pro – a present from the wonderful Mrs M. This opened up lots of new things for me, principally
- Lightroom Mobile (not on my phone). This was the big significant change.
- Cloud syncing stuff to work on anywhere/ anytime
- Processing images whilst sat on my sofa
- And an extension of the new worked that my iPhone had opened up for me.
- Changing how I work – there are things that are easier to do on my iPad, and things that are easier to do on my PC.
Last thing for 2016 was the introduction of my new backup strategy. A comprehensive, secure three-point back up using
- An external hard drive containing all my images
- Cloud back up
- Offsite hard drive back up.
Image count in 2017 - 6342 images
2017 – Santorini opened my eyes
Last year. So much happened last year.
I started off the year having maintained my daily blog output. A full year of daily posts, with only the odd glitch.
I had the Associateship hangover though, sat there in the background irritating me, niggling away.
And then Santorini happened
2017 was the year I was treated by Mrs M to 5 days photographing on the stunning island of Santorini.
This has provided me with a fantastic range of over 100 images that I am proud to have captured and produced.
I spent the early mornings capturing the sunrises, the daytime exploring the towns and the evenings capturing the sunsets.
All with a pair of red shoes.
This was another new beginning for me – this gave me a taste of something else I really want to do – take photos of nice places. Why? Well we love our travel and our holidays, and going to nice places to take photos is such a joy for me.
I have written a lot of posts about my photos of Santorini, on my blog and elsewhere. It was the first time that I had a dedicated set of images from one location to work on. Processing these image took from April 2017 to June 2018 – there is a good reason for this.
I wanted to do something different with these images, something useful, of value, and something that I could use as a template for other trips.
When you get to 2018 you will find out what I have done with those photos of Santorini.
Another thing that happened ot me in 2018 was that I secured my biggest commercial commission. I was commissioned to photograph 10 sites by the architects Etchingham Morris Architecture Limited. I met with the two partners, Adrian and Mike, showed them some of the work I have done, and won the commission. My portfolio was in collections in Lightroom Mobile on my iPad Pro.
The 10 sites were photographed over a period of 4 months, and form a big part of my portfolio – again check 2018 for more about this.
Improve Photography writing.
I have written the following articles in Improve Photography
Want to be an architectural photographer? Read my guide here
10 Tips on getting work as an architectural photographer
5 Photography Mistakes I Keep On Making
10 ways to Improve your Photography in 2018
An Introduction to Lightroom for New Photographers
My Top 20 Photography Tips for Taking Better Photographs
10 tips for planning an architectural photography shoot
My Review of the Rode VideoMic Me
What gear do I use for my architectural photography? Find out here
10 baffling photography acronyms explained in actual English
How I take my architectural photography images – a detailed explanation
How to manage your data in Lightroom securely and efficiently
Santorini sunrise – how I captured and processed the shot
SEO for photographers websites – 10 things to think about
19 things for a client to do before you photograph their house
How I process my architectural photography images
Full frame DSLR photography without breaking the bank – this is how I do it
10 photography things I wish I’d known 10 years ago
These are 5 things I use Photoshop for – no layers required!
Most have been well received, but my article on Photoshop received a bit of criticism. Read that post and then go back to the pre 2011 and you will see what I was struggling with pre 2011, with the realization in 2018/ 2018 of why.
Writing for Improve Photography gave mean online platform of more than 1 million people, which is quite scary when you write that down.
That kind of readership gave me the credibility to ask companies to send me things to review – the first item being the
Rode Video Mic Me
Which Rode kindly sent me all the way from Australia.
This prompted me to contact other manufacturers and suppliers, and hopefully more product reviews will be forthcoming.
Last thing for 2017 was my intention to significantly improve my video production. I have to be honest and say that I have not managed to do that, although I have invested in the wonderful DJI Osmo Mobile, which I have dabbled with. This is something I need to get stuck into in 2018, although at the time of writing this has still not happened.
Image count in 2017 - 6342 images
2018 – where am I now?
I am writing this in June/ July 2018. Yes it took me a while to capture this little lot and make sense of what I am trying to say.
Things are looking very different for me in 2018. Evolution has taken me to where I am now, and to the plans I am working on now.
And it feels good doing rather than floundering.
My professional photography qualifications
I am now an ABIPP – Associate of the British Institute of Professional Photography. And I am very very happy with that. And this is why I have posted all 40 images from my portfolio – just because I can and I want to share my portfolio with the whole world.
And here is the press release for this momentous occasion.
“Issued: June 2018
For Immediate Release
Local Photographer Gains International Qualification with BIPP
Rick McEvoy ABIPP is a specialist architectural, construction and industrial photographer based in Dorset, who has recently achieved his Associateship (ABIPP) in Commercial Photography.
Rick joined the BIPP in 2013, gaining his Licentiateship in Commercial Photography in 2014. As well as commercial work, Rick is an independent writer on the Improve Photography website, has a daily photography blog, and has been published in a variety of publications in the UK and further afield. He also produces fine art prints that are for sale on his website.
Rick is a keen travel photographer, with examples of his work featuring on his website, with lots of new plans being worked on for 2018.
His portfolio submission consisted of 40 architectural photography images, 20 interior images and 20 exterior images. All bar one of the images were from commercial commissions carried out for architects and property owners.
You can view Rick’s complete portfolio at www.rickmcevoyphotography.co.uk/portfolio
When we asked Rick how he felt about achieving his Associateship, he said: “I feel honored, proud and I don't mind saying relieved that I was successful in achieving my Associateship. It has taken me a couple of years to get together a portfolio that I was happy with. I am pretty much self-taught.”
To see more of Rick’s work please visit – rickmcevoyphotography.com
Notes to Editors:
- Contact: Jack Goward, 01296 642020, firstname.lastname@example.org
- The British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP) is an internationally recognised qualifying organisation with over 100 years of experience in qualifying and supporting photographers. The core aims of BIPP are to qualify and support professional photographers, through a network of meetings, awards, training and benefits.
- The BIPP is a not for profit body, run by photographers for photographers.
- The BIPP has been fighting for and protecting photographers’ rights since 1901.
- The BIPP has over 2,800 members worldwide covering all disciplines of photography.
- Rick McEvoy ABIPP, email@example.com , rickmcevoyphotography.com “
And what next? Fellowship. Hmmmmm – will come back to that one in a couple of years. I do have some ideas of course….
Back to 2018 and my website(s)
This year I have gone from a website with the URL
Why have I done this?
As a writer on Improve Photography I have the luxury of having direct access to the creator of that very successful website, Jim Harmer.
During an exchange of emails Jim suggested that a .com URL was more meaningful than a .co.uk URL. More meaningful to the worldwide photography community that is, which makes perfect sense.
I made the change and watched the web traffic plummet.
So I reverted back to .co.uk. And received further advice, which was this.
Tell Google Search Console about the change and wait and see – the traffic should come back after such a major change.
That is what I did – I am currently waiting for the 6-week recovery period to arrive, which I will write about in two weeks.
Web traffic plummeted. This is after a steady period of growth - a very steady period of growth.
But time will tell....
And now my website - photos of Santorini
And now I have my first standalone website which is being gradually populated with images. The website is called
Photos of Santorini - the URL is (imaginatively) www.photosofsantorini.com
I was not expecting to get that URL but there it was for just over £20 for two years!
Time to teach myself Wordpress I guess. This is the next job, getting the website and images onto this brand new website.
Once I have done this, and finished editing the photos of Santorini I am going to leave this and see what happens.
This is my next big evolution, and one that no doubt I will be writing about a lot in the future.
Now that this post is written it is back to my photos of Santorini until they are finished and my Photos of Santorini website is done and put to bed.
I want to continue on the paths I have embarked on in 2019, for now I am going to carry on making 2018 the best I can.
Thinking time - nearly forgot this - very important
I have heard this referred to as CEO time on some podcasts. The point is this. I have found myself bogged down with all sorts of things all over the place.
I gave myself a break and got things clear in my head and everything structured.
And documented all.
My thinking time has given me a structure where I can organise thoughts and new information without trying to keep it all in my head.
This has freed my thinking to allow me to be much much more productive and effective.
Take time out, take a step back and give yourself time to think about what you are doing.
This really helped me tremendously.
What am I listening to now?
- Peta Pixel
- No Name Photo Show
- Solopreneur Hour
- Ask Pat 2.0
- BBC 4 Comedy of the week
- Test match Special
- The Grid
- The Togcast
- This Week in Photo
- Flintoff, Savage and the Ping Pong Guy
- Creative Marketing Show
- Entrepreneurs on Fire
- Smart Passive Income
I am now listening to a mix of photography news, cricket and business podcasts. Nowhere near as much photography as I used to listen to – I think I overdid it 2 year ago and am now saturated but informed!
Image count for 2018 - 1526 - well down on 2017!
And what of 2019?
Keep going with my chosen niche paths.
Summary of how I have evolved as a photographer
I would like to summarise this post by saying that we all need to try things to work out what we want to do. It is fine to try things and fail.
And you have to go through the things that are not relevant to find the things that are – that is just the learning curve we all have to go through.
Once you have a plan that is sound and takes account of what you have learnt and where you want to get follow that path consistently Of course things change over time but the main point of this is that I have made the most progress when I have spent time doing the things I have thought long and hard about doing.
What am I focusing on now?
- Architectural photography
- Travel photography
That is it.
I have niched down.
Lets see where this takes me in 2019!
Thank you for reading this post, which I hope you will helpful when thinking how you can evolve as a photographer in the future.
Please ask any questions either in the comments field, or by email
Rick McEvoy Photography – Photographer, writer, blogger.
A night shot pocessed when Lightroom was at its worst. I remember that now. Thankfully all that is now behind me/ all of us Lightroom users.
How I got the shot
Taking the image was fine - I just had to get the lights left on and wait for cars to stop pulling into the car park! It was my third visit, so I knew which shots I wanted to get. And I knew that cars pulled in on the right, headlights shining straight on the facade of the building.
Be prepared - which I was. I took these images during a break in the traffic!
A word on composition
This was the only location from which I could fit in the whole of the sign and the extension - the critical parts of this photo for the architects, Etchingham Morris Architecture Limited.
And what you can tell from this photo is that there are loads of trees that I was stood amoongst to take this shot. If I moved back the trees appear in the shot.
Somtimes compostion is nothing more than moving around to get the right image, like in this case.
I compose my images carefully, and rarely crop an architectural image. This was pointed out to me in my BIPP portfolio review, which I had not noticed or thought about before.
My application for Associateship of the BIPP was successful, hence me posting my entire portfolio in my photography blog. Well it is my blog after all so why not??
Three exposures, 1/4 second, 1/15th second, 1 second, all at F8, ISO400.
Back-button focus, 10 second self timer.
And that is that - portfolio done. Well not quite. I am going to post a couple of videos on my photography blog whilst I reflect on how I have evolved a photographer over the period of the images in my portfolio being taken.
In the meantime, you can view the 40 images on my architectural photography portfolio page.
Rick McEvoy ABIPP - Photographer, photography blogger.
I know - maybe next year....
Rick McEvoy ABIPP - Country House Photography
Sometimes I wish my legs were longer. They were just long enough to get this view - handheld straddling the water channel right below me.
Taking the shot was ok - it was the getting back up that was challenge!
Country house photographer - Rick McEvoy ABIPP
Rick McEvoy ABIPP - Country residence photographer in Dorset
Lovely interior photographed for the architect Etchingham Morris Architecture Limited.
This is a three shot bracketed image capture merged together in Lightroom to produce a natural looking HDR image. I do this to get the most out of a scene, which sometimes is not possible with one image capture.
Rick McEvoy ABIPP - photographer - taking photographs for architects
My Dorset photography page is undergoing a bit of a refresh. I am going to write about this today and tomorrow.
Ok so where is the page I hear you ask? It can be found at
First change - I have changed the name of the page to, erm, Dorset.
Well you know I'm a photographer (well I hope you do), and I have a places category, so I don't really think that I need to plonk such a prominent keyword as Dorset photographer on there, in your face! I have spent too much time on SEO, and now all I do is write about what I love, photography.
I am also going to refresh the set of images on this page. I live in Dorset, and love my set of Dorset pictures, which I am constantly working on when not doing commercial photography work.
Going through my Lightroom catalogue revieweing all my Dorset photos is the perfect antidote for the recent trauma I wrote about – my hard drive being full! And thankfully they are all still there, if only as Smart Previews (which still makes me slightly nervous).
I have 1264 images of Dorset in my Lightroom Catalogue. Plus the ones in import folders which I have not completely culled, rated, sorted and edited. That will be part of this current exercise. And of course to get my Dorset photography page higher up the rankings in Google – I am not going to lie to you.
I am going to include 12 pictures of Dorset on this page. Some will be familiar Dorset landmarks, some familiar from my website currently or before – this is a refresh after all not getting rid of everything I have done! There are some great Dorset images that I am proud to have on my website, and will keep on this page.
In terms of the content, I am going to restrict this page to my landscape/ travel photography – I am not including any of my commissioned commercial work. Well I say that – a lot of my personal work ends up being commercial work as I have a couple of stock photography arrangements in place. I love my Dorset landscape photographer work – this is where I have produced a lot of my best work.
Please call back to my blog tomorrow at
for part 2 of this post.
This post started off as
One more thing I want from Lightroom please Adobe.
Automation of repetitive tasks such as mass HDR merge processing. On the shoot I have just completed I had to do that over and over, and it took a long time. I wrote down my workflow on a post-it pad (how retro) as consistency was important.
Have I missed that? Or is it just a Photoshop thing called actions? Anyway I am sure it is there in Photogshop so it has already been written by Adobe.
Buth then I guess if you put everything in Lightroom you will clog it up and Photoshop will die?
And then it got me thinking, and my mind went elsewhere.
Bear with me.
It is at times like this that I realise there really is more to commercial photography than most people realise.
And it also makes me realise how much I have learnt, and how far I have developed.
Being a photographer
I want to learn how to use Photoshop properly, but apart from the following
Content aware fill
Some highly technical corrections and straightening
The odd bit of removal work
Major dust spotting/ moving blurred objects in the sky in a merge shot
Replacing the sky
There is not a great deal else I really want/ need to be able to do. Lightroom is great, and suits my style of photography. I spend enough time in front of the computer, and find that Lightroom is fantastic for my editing needs and workflow, bearing in mind that I individually edit every image myself before release to a client.
Sorry I have digressed somewhat from what I wanted to talk about, but that is fine as it has made me think!
There are different levels of photography, and each and every one of us has to decide which level we want to be at, who we want to be, and what we want to achieve.
So what about me?
High quality, individually edited images.
Not high volume preset processed work. This affects the price for work massively. If I am spending 10 minutes on editing 50 images that is 500 minutes, nearly seven hours.
One working day.
And you can't do that commercially for free. Well you can but you will get hungry..
Thanks for reading, and I hope I have given you things to think about.
Go to my website to find out more about the work I do at www.rickmcevoyphotography.co.uk
I am a photographer working in Dorset, Hampshire, Surrey and Londin
OK - this one again. Why? Because I have lightened the foreground.
A bit of background info on this one.
"I got up at 5am one morning, and drove to this location I had soptted at the end of Lardos Bay and waited for the sunrise.
I had prepared for this shot by going on a quick drive around the area to find a suitable location for a sunrise shoot. The last thing I wanted to do on holiday is get up that early and then have to find something to photograph! Preparation and planning make for better shots.
I was travelling light, only having my Canon 6D, 17-40mm lens, Manfrotto Pixie tripod and one cable release. That was it - nothing else. And having just that kit worked really well for me.
The 17-40mm F4L lens is my favourite lens, and will be until I get the amazing new Canon 11-24mm lens, which is not cheap unfortunately.
Anyway back to the shot. This is actually 2 images merged into one. The first image as taken at 1/25th second at F22, the second 0.6 second at F22. Both at ISO 100. The correct exposure was 1/6th second, so I have taken the 2 stops underexposed and 2 stops over exposed shots and merged them in Lightroom. I have done this so I get the detail in the highlights and shadows. This for me is true HDR, using the technique to record as much of what is there as possible. I shot knowing what I wanted the outcome to be, and knowing exactly how I was going to post-process in Lightroom.
Shooting knowing what your end point is, and also knowing how you are going to post-process comes with practise - lots of it. I have practised so much now that my workflow is intuitive, giving me quick, high quality and consistent results every time. S0 if I was to offer one piece of advice it would be practise, practise practise!
I am a professional photographer in Bournemouth, Poole, Sandbanks, Dorset, Hampshire and London"
Well the difference is quite frankly startling!
Technical data - 150 seconds at F22, ISO 50, Canon EOS 5D, 24-105mm F4L Lens, 28mm focal length used.
And now the snapshot.
Technical data - 1/100 second at F4, ISO 400, Canon G11, 6.1mm focal length used.
To sum up;
One is a snap shot,
The other is a really cool compelling and dramatic landscape shot that I would happily have on my wall!
Now the ace photo was taken on my Canon 5D, the other on my G11.
To be honest I did not realise this when I looked at them in Lightroom, they looked remarkably similar. I assumed I had taken two shots with my 5D, one with a long exposure, one with a short exposure.
So in terms of processing the two images, I merely copied and pasted what I did for the ace image into the snapshot.
It is not the camera, it is what you point it at and what you ask the camera to do that makes a great image! A lesson all us kit junkies should remember!!
Thanks for reading this post and I hope you love my work!
Adobe Lightroom CC – what is missing?
What would I like including in future versions of Lightroom CC?
The new version is slower than the old one. I set off a big job to be done then go and put the kettle on. Or do something else on my PC. Oh no I can’t as Lightroom is eating up all my PCs resources. So it’s back to the kettle……
Content aware fill
They have it in Photoshop - so why not?
The ability to delete all images in a stack, rather than having to collapse the stack and select all the images. This I have to do time after time after time. Sounds worryingly geeky!!! But I do have to do this so so many times on every shoot.
The ability to add a watermark to an image without having to export from Lightroom.
The ability to add a watermark to an image in Lightroom Mobile.
The ability to open more than one external plug-in. Currently I have On1 as my external editor, meaning I cannot access Topaz Labs – this is frustrating when I am in a particularly creative frame of mind!
(Pretty sure this is one I can fix myself to be completely honest).
Possibly some more funky lens/ distortion corrections (currently found in Photoshop).
Not a lot to ask for, and I am sure I will think of a few more things. Basically I want to do everything I ever need to do in Lightroom and never use Photoshop (even though my Creative Cloud subscription means that I have Photoshop and all those baffling and bewildering tools that I do not understand nor have the time to learn).
So come on Adobe - Lightroom CC is fantastic - just give me a little bit more please!!!
You have nothing to lose as we are all already paying for Photoshop and lots of us never use it!
Or if any of these things are already in there someone please let me know!
I am a photographer based in Dorset doing fantastic imagery with great customer service in not only Dorset but Hampshire and Surrey.
Get in touch with any photographic query/ question/ comment/ criticism of the work I am doing - all my contact details are on my website www.rickmcevoyphotography.co.uk
Dorset Field by Rick McEvoy, Dorset Photographer
A visual post this time. A field in Dorset.
This is very much a less is more image. Blue and yellow. Nothing else. Love the colours. Love the warmth. Love the simplicty.
This is a frequently viewed site in Dorset, mainly in the spring before the rape seeds turn green.
This was one of a series of shots that I took, probably the last one in the sequence from that location, and the one where I excluded everything else.
And broke a rule or two.
The rule of thirds for. Also the not putting the horizon in the middle of the frame.
Sometimes you have to break the rules.
I also decided that this worked much in square format than the standard 3*2 format.
That's all from me for today.
I hope you like this image - get in touch with any photogrpahy enquiry via my website
Rick McEvoy - Dorset Photographer
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