Larcenist; what a great word, simply means a person who steals. Light requires energy whereas darkness requires nothing, humans are walking energy sources. Be careful who you donate your energy too, some people will absorb everything from you and give nothing in return. You cant give yourself to others if you do not take care of yourself first. Like light, humans can shine and expel the darkness in others, however, a flickering candle will only shine for so long.
Earths main source of light is the Sun and this star emits enough energy to power 2,880 trillion light bulbs for an hour every hour. Through the process of ‘fusion’ where Hydrogen atoms combine to form Helium, thus generating vast amounts of heat and light. What would happen if the Sun turned off for an hour, well not much Earth would cool a bit but we would stay warm from the heat retained in the atmosphere. However, if the Sun turned off for a week the temperature on Earth would drop below zero, the coast line will be slightly warmer due to the heat retained in the oceans. Only some bacteria at the deepest parts of the ocean near a geothermal opening would survive. For a light larcenist to be successful, he\she would have to move faster than 299,792,458 metres per second which is the speed of light.
This photograph was captured outside at night time, I wanted as little light as possible except the bulbs which make up the feature of the image. With Photoshop you can alter the shadows and dark zones to hide any areas you do not want to show. Some of my best work was done with unusual light sources such as torches, I am personally not a massive fan of flash photography and prefer natural light. Though flash guns have their place best to get creative with what you have access to as sometimes you don’t need expensive equipment.
A contract is a voluntary agreement between two parties that must be met and is a legally binding. In the western world it is highly likely you may find yourself in a contract of some kind. Contracts come in many forms such as a phone contract, employment or business to name a few.
English contract law is a body of law regulating contracts in England and Wales. With its roots in the lex mercatoria and the activism of the judiciary during the industrial revolution. It shares a heritage with countries across the Commonwealth (such as Australia, Canada, India), and to a lesser extent the United States. It is also experiencing gradual change because of the UK’s membership of the European Union and international organisations like Unidroit. Any agreement that is enforceable in court is a contract. Because a contract is a voluntary obligation, in contrast to paying compensation for a tortand restitution to reverse unjust enrichment, English law places a high value on ensuring people have truly consented to the deals that bind them in court – wikipedia
The modern law of contract is primarily a creature of the industrial revolution and the social legislation of the 20th century. However, the foundations of all European contract law are traceable to obligations in Ancient Athenian and Roman law. While the formal development of English law began after the Norman Conquest of 1066. William the Conqueror created a common law across England, but throughout the middle ages the court system was minimal. Access to the courts, in what are now considered contractual disputes, was consciously restricted to a privileged few. Through onerous requirements of pleading, formalities and court fees. In the local and manorial courts, according to English law’s first treatise by Ranulf de Glanville in 1188, if people disputed the payment of a debt they, and witnesses, would attend court and swear oaths (called a wager of law). They risked perjury if they lost the case, and so this was strong encouragement to resolve disputes elsewhere – wikipedia
When photographing people, you do not always need to capture a lot, sometimes less is more. Black and white photography is magical and helps sets the scene. Shots like this, tend to come out best in a natural environment. Less posing the better, unless you are doing modelling photography.
What you are observing is a monochrome photograph of a ‘Bed’ at Auschwitz & Birkenau. I use the term ‘bed’ very loosely, as this is the complete opposite of what a bed should be. How anyone could’ve got any sleep in this hole is a mystery, the blocks are cold, hard, rugged and generally uncomfortable. Also have to take in account of the fear, disease and hunger these poor human beings suffered in the hands of the Nazi’s and Capo’s. My trip to Auschwitz & Birkenau in March 2016 will stay with me for a life time and so it should, these atrocities should never be forgotten.
When capturing this image ‘Bed‘, I wanted to show how raw and horrifying these camps were and also show their historical nature. This is the reason to the monochrome tone and sharp detailed appearance. Should you be interested in visiting the camps please click here for a detailed blog of my experiences.
Auschwitz Concentration Camp opened in former Polish army barracks in June 1940. Twenty brick buildings were adapted, of which 6 were two-story and 14 were single-story. At the end of 1940, prisoners began adding second stories to the single-story blocks. The following spring, they started erecting 8 new blocks. This work reached completion in the first half of 1942. The result was a complex of 28 two-story blocks, the overwhelming majority of which were used to house prisoners. As a rule, there were two large rooms upstairs and a number of smaller rooms downstairs. The blocks were designed to hold about 700 prisoners each after the second stories were added, but in practice they housed up to 1,200.
During the first several months, the prisoners’ rooms had neither beds nor any other furniture. Prisoners slept on straw-stuffed mattresses laid on the floor. After reveille in the morning, they piled the mattresses in a corner of the room. The rooms were so overcrowded that prisoners could sleep only on their sides, in three rows. Three-tiered bunks began appearing gradually in the rooms from February 1941. Theoretically designed for three prisoners, they in fact accommodated more. Aside from the beds, the furniture in each block included a dozen or more wooden wardrobes, several tables, and several score stools. Coal-fired tile stoves provided the heating.
In the first months, the prisoners drew water from two wells and relieved themselves in a provisional outdoor latrine. After the rebuilding of the camp, each building had lavatories, usually on the ground floor, containing 22 toilets, urinals, and washbasins with trough-type drains and 42 spigots installed above them. The fact that prisoners from the upstairs and downstairs had to use a single lavatory meant that access was strictly limited.
Two types of barracks, brick and wooden, housed prisoners in the second part of the camp, Birkenau. The brick barracks stood in the oldest part of the camp, known as sector BI, where construction began in the fall of 1941. Inside each of them were 60 brick partitions with three tiers, making a total of 180 sleeping places, referred to as “buks,” designed to accommodate 4 prisoners. The SS therefore envisioned a capacity of over 700 prisoners per block. At first, the buildings had earthen floors. Over time, these were covered with a layer of bricks lying flat, or with a thin layer of poured concrete. The barracks were unheated in the winter. Two iron stoves were indeed installed, but these were insufficient to heat the entire space. Nor were there any sanitary facilities in the barracks. Only in 1944 were sinks and toilets installed in a small area inside each block. Nor was there any electric lighting at the beginning.
Wooden stable-type barracks were installed in segment BI, and above all in segments B2 and B3. These barracks had no windows. Instead, there was a row of skylights on either side at the top. A chimney duct, which heated the interior in the winter, ran almost the entire length of the barracks. The interior was divided into 18 stalls, intended originally for 52 horses. The two stalls nearest the door were reserved for prisoner functionaries, and containers for excrement stood in the two stalls at the far end. Three-tier wooden beds or three-tier wooden bunks intended for 15 prisoners to sleep in were installed in the other stalls, for a total capacity of more than 400 prisoners per barracks.
In the brick blocks, prisoners slept on straw strewn on the boards of the buks; paper mattresses stuffed with so-called “wood wool” were placed on the beds or bunks in the wooden barracks.
The number of prisoners that the barracks were supposed to hold should be treated as only a starting point, since the actual number was often much higher. It varied according to the size and number of transports arriving at any given time.
During the first year or so, water in sector BI was available only in the kitchen barracks, and prisoners had no access to it. Unable to wash, they went around dirty. They had to perform their bodily functions in outside privies. The barracks were frequently damp, and lice and rats were an enormous problem for the prisoners. It is therefore hardly strange that epidemics of contagious diseases erupted frequently. Sanitary conditions improved to a certain degree in 1943, when each part of the camp was outfitted with a bathhouse and equipment for disinfecting clothing and linen. Nevertheless, the capacity of these facilities in proportion to the number of prisoners limited the possibilities for making use of them. In sector BI, for instance, there were 4 barracks with sinks for washing (90 spigots per barracks), 4 toilet barracks (a sewer with a concrete lid that had 58 toilet openings in it), and 2 barracks containing toilets and sinks—for a sector containing 62 barracks housing prisoners. The prisoners also had limited opportunities for bathing. Additionally, they had to undress in their own barracks before doing so and, regardless of the weather, walk naked to the bathhouse. For many prisoners, this led to sickness and death – Auscwitz.org
I highly doubt I need to mention ‘respect’, always maintain a level of decency when exploring these camps which also includes not talking too loud. You will find many signs posted around the camp which will inform you whether photography is allowed and whether silence is required. Flash is prohibited at most locations and I actually don’t advise to use them, it’s not fair on other people visiting the camps getting flashed at all the time. If you have the equipment available I recommend using a camera that is good in low light and a lens with a big aperture such as F1/2/3
I also would advise on not taking too much equipment, you will be doing a lot of walking and all the gear has to pass through security. I literally only took camera, lens, spare battery and carry bag that was it. Try and take one lens a good all-rounder, I used the Sony SAL-1680Z, I do however wish I took something with a larger zoom.
I hope my ‘Bed‘ post was in some way beneficial and educational
Stardust Silhouette, a beautiful image of a lady placing a button-hole on a young child in preparation for a wedding. Inspiration for this photograph came from a technical error, my batteries failed on my flashgun. The two centre subjects appeared to be darker than I had previously hoped for. This initial fault was used to my advantage and I created the silhouette effect instead.
Anyone who knows me, knows I have a passion for dark photography. Dark in tone and context, photography doesn’t have to be pretty, some of the best images are dark of nature. I admire photographers who have the courage to stand out of the crowd, to be different from the rest and to not fear critique. Being unique comes with critique, people naturally question what they do not understand, be the informal voice and introduce the world to your style.
Why mention Nature or Nature? As a psychology student, there is often a debate to whether someone’s personality is based on genetics or shaped by their environment. My personal opinion is that both concepts are equally as important in shaping someone’s personality. Yes, we are born with certain traits but life molds us along the way. The concept could be explained, as a baby to be a blank canvas, with life being the artist.
Try not discard an image because it didn’t appear how you intended. Have a good look, does the photograph tell you a different story? Sometimes things happen for a reason, had my flashgun not failed, this image may have never been created. Use shadows to your advantage, after all photography is all about light whether present or not. Photoshop and other editing software can offer a vast array of options, styles and techniques. It is always worth investing time in learning how to edit a photograph, as well as capturing one.
The Dark Inside, a minimalist photograph designed to be spacious, dark and mysterious. This photograph was created with a child standing underneath a light source, in a very dark room. Then using Adobe Photoshop the blacks were adjusted to create the deep darkness you can see. Light can be the most difficult content to control and master in photography. However, paying particular attention to this will change your photography for the better.
To create an image like this, find a particular light source. You can use anything such as a ceiling light, torch, off-camera flash gun etc. Be creative and take multiple shots in different variations. One advantage of digital photography, is the mass amounts of photos you can capture. Also worth thinking about shadows, shadows can make a picture and they can also destroy a picture. It all depends of the context of the shot. Shadows can look great in black & white photography, but can potentially hinder a portrait shot (unless used as an effect). May be worth thinking about using diffuser’s or bounce cards.
In optics, a diffuser is any device that diffuses or spreads out or scatters light in some manner, to give soft light. Diffused light can easily be obtained, by making light to reflect diffusely from a white surface. While more compact optical diffusers may use translucent objects, such as ground glass diffusers, Teflon diffusers, holographic diffusers, opal glass diffusers, and greyed glass diffusers – Wikipedia
Darkitecture, the entrance to Colchester Zoo. This photograph is all about composition and tones. Anyone who knows me, will know I enjoy dark photography, not just the colours but also the concept. Darkitecture is all about drama, contrast and angles, the deep rich tones create a unique twist to this building. The slants of the rooftop is what attracted me to capture this photograph and I enjoy capturing unique architecture.
Monochrome photography is where the image produced has a single hue, rather than recording the colors of the object. This includes all forms of black-and-white photography, images containing tones of grey ranging from black to white. Other hues besides grey, such as sepia, cyan or brown can also be used in monochrome photography. Monochrome is mostly used for artistic reasons in the contemporary world.
Monochrome photography is a popular genre and even comes with its own international awards, mono awards. You can discover some fantastic monochrome photographers, such as Pia Elizondo, Michel Rajkovic, Ben Nixon and many more. Many photographers tend to specialise in a specific genre whether it be landscapes, models, fine art, and macro to name a few. I personally enjoy historical and documentary photography.
I recommend to shoot in RAW, these files are uncompressed and unprocessed image files, that come straight from the image sensor. As a result, these files have a wide colour space that can be controlled and utilized in editing software such as Photoshop. RAW files can offer the photographer complete control over their photographs, especially when it comes to tonality.
A zoological garden situated in Colchester, England. The zoo opened in 1963 and is home to many rare and endangered species, including big cats, primates and birds. Colchester Zoo is supported by ‘Action for the Wild‘, assisting in conservation projects worldwide. – Wikipedia
This photograph was not initially planned, however, after reviewing the photograph, the black and white stones of the Cathedral floor reminded me of Alice in Wonderland. Present, is my my wife in a lovely elegant dress, which also reminded me of the animated lead character. Due to these early childhood memories of the Disney movie, I had decided to create a ‘fantasy’ look and feel to the photograph. I am a big fan of fantasy novels and movies, always interesting to diverge in someone else’s mind.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) is an 1865 novel written by English mathematician Charles Lutwidge aka Lewis Carroll. It tells of a girl named Alice, falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures. The tale plays with logic, giving the story lasting popularity with adults as well as with children. It is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre.
The journey began at Folly Bridge in Oxford and ended 3 miles north-west in the village of Godstow. During the trip, Dodgson told the girls a story that featured a bored little girl named Alice, who goes looking for an adventure. The girls loved it, and Alice Liddell asked Dodgson to write it down for her. He began writing the manuscript of the story the next day, although the earliest version no longer exists. The girls and Dodgson took another boat trip a month later when he elaborated the plot to the story of Alice, and in November began working on the manuscript. – Wikipedia
To create an image like this, find a photograph (or capture one), that jumps out at you, a photograph with a story. Once this has been achieved, you will need a decent editing software like Photoshop. This blog will not tell you how to use Photoshop, should you require these skills engage with books or YouTube. Sometimes artistic pieces can come out of nowhere and that’s absolutely fine just go with it. Be creative, mess around with an image and see what comes up. Masterpieces have been created in this way, sometimes the best things in life are not planned.
When capturing this image, I was interested in as much natural light as possible. I did not use an external flash gun, as I wanted to capture the shadows of the Cathedral and the light through the windows. Norwich Cathedral is an impressive piece of architecture and grand in size. United Kingdom has many historical structures like this around the country, so you are spoiled for choice.
Two Faced, we all have 2 sides to our personality and sometimes more, certain people and scenarios can bring either the best or worst out of us. This photograph is a creative monochromatic portrait shot of my youngest son Thomas. The photo has a dark side which I enjoy doing and you could say is my niche. The light and shadows in this photograph inspired me to create this effect.
Dissociative identity disorder (DID), previously known as multiple personality disorder (MPD), is a mental disorder characterized by at least two distinct and relatively enduring identities. Dissociated personality states that alternately show in a person’s behavior, accompanied by memory impairment for important information not explained by ordinary forgetfulness. These symptoms are not accounted for by substance abuse, seizures, other medical conditions, nor by imaginative play in children. Diagnosis is often difficult as there is considerable co-morbidity with other mental disorders. Malingering should be considered if there is possible financial or forensic gain, as well as factitious disorder if help-seeking behavior is prominent, Wikipedia.
Two-Face (Harvey Dent) is a fictional super villain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly as an adversary of the superhero Batman. The character was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane and first appeared in Detective Comics (1942). As one of Batman’s most enduring enemies, Two-Face belongs to the collective of adversaries that make up his rogues gallery.
Once an upstanding Gotham City district attorney, Harvey Dent was driven insane after a mob boss threw acidic chemicals at him during a trial, hideously scarring the left side of his face. He subsequently adopted the “Two-Face” persona, becoming a criminal obsessed with duality. In later years, writers have portrayed Two-Face’s obsession with chance and fate as the result of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and identity disorder. He obsessively makes all important decisions by flipping his former lucky charm, a two-headed coin which was damaged on one side by the acid as well. The modern version is established as having once been a personal friend and ally of James Gordon and Batman.
Two-Face was ranked 12th on IGN’s list of the Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time. In the Batman film series, Billy Dee Williams portrayed Harvey Dent in Batman, and Tommy Lee Jones portrayed Two-Face in Batman Forever. The character has been voiced by Richard Moll in Batman: The Animated Series, and by Troy Baker in the Batman: Arkham video games. Aaron Eckhart played both the district attorney and his villainous alter ego in The Dark Knight. Nicholas D’Agosto currently portrays Harvey Dent on the live-action TV series Gotham – Wikipedia
Photography is all about light and where there is light, there is darkness. Should the light in a photograph be the feature, enhance that feature of play with the opposite. No one said cute baby photographs have to be ‘cute’, after all there are plenty of those. Have some fun with your photography, open up a photo in Photoshop and get your ‘creative’ on.
Steam, a monochromatic photograph of a lady in the shower. This photograph has been manipulated to maintain the model’s dignity and to create the look of someone just appearing through the steam of a very hot shower. There is no feeling quite like jumping in a nice hot power shower after a sweaty day at work.
The original showers were neither indoor structures nor man-made, but were common natural formations: waterfalls.The falling water rinsed the bathers completely clean and was more efficient than bathing in a traditional basin, which required manual transport of both fresh and waste water. Ancient people began to reproduce these natural phenomena by pouring jugs of water, often very cold, over themselves after washing. There has been evidence of early upper class Egyptian and Mesopotamian’s having indoor shower rooms where servants would bathe them in the privacy of their own homes. However, these were rudimentary by modern standards, having rudimentary drainage systems and water was carried, not pumped, into the room.
The ancient Greeks were the first people to have showers. Their aqueducts and sewage systems made of lead pipes allowed water to be pumped both into and out of large communal shower rooms used by elites and common citizens alike. These rooms have been discovered at the site of the city Pergamum and can also be found represented in pottery of the era. The depictions are very similar to modern locker room showers, and even included bars to hang up clothing. The ancient Romans also followed this convention; their famous bathhouses (Thermae) can be found all around the Mediterranean and as far out as modern-day England. The Romans not only had these showers, but also believed in bathing multiple times a week, if not every day. The water and sewage systems developed by the Greeks and Romans broke down and fell out of use after the fall of the Roman Empire – Wikipedia
Click here for Bathstore, Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Mirror Man, a street entertainer at Krakow main square, Poland. His suit is very impressive and must take some considerable maintenance.
Street performance or busking is the act of performing in public places for gratuities, though “busking” is particularly associated with singing or playing music. In many countries the rewards are generally in the form of money but other gratuities such as food, drink or gifts may be given. Street performance is practiced all over the world by men, women and children and dates back to antiquity. People engaging in this practice are called street performers or buskers.
The term busking was first noted in the English language around the middle 1860s in Great Britain. The verb to busk, from the word busker, comes from the Spanish root word buscar, with the meaning “to seek”. The Spanish word buscar in turn evolved from the Indo-European word *bhudh-skō (“to win, conquer”). It was used for many street acts, and title of a famous Spanish book about one of them, El buscón. Today, the word is still used in Spanish but mostly relegated for female street sex workers, or women seeking to be set up as private mistress of married men.- Wikipedia
The most important thing to capture urban shots like this, is to place yourself in the scene. Grab your camera and a good walk-about lens, explore your local city and observe the happenings. If you are shooting during the day, ISO 100\200 should be ideal depending on the light. Just be weary of capturing people, not everyone is a fan of their picture being taken. I like to find a spot out of the way, but close enough to the action. A good zoom lens is ideal to provide you with this distance required.
Keep your chin up, a monochromatic image of a model posing. This image reminds me that from time to time, we need to keep our chin up and remain focused and not let life grind us down. Spend a few minutes a day looking up at the night sky and realise how small and insignificant we are in the universe, we could be gone in a blink of an eye so don’t take life too seriously. Enjoy the ride!
We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. – Buddha
Craftsmanship, a man hammering away at some metal work in Krakow main square, Poland. It’s always great to see little market stalls and people earning a living, the skills and craftsmanship is an unknown world to me and something I easily find myself watching.
This particular stall was making unusual things out of metal such as roses. They were also making the usual objects such as cups, mugs etc.
If you are visiting Krakow, the main square is very easy to get to and I recommend visiting. You will find many bars, restaurants and little market stalls selling things like Jewelry, clothes, toys, food etc. The square has lots of personality and culture, you can also divert off track and find the old Jewish quarters.
In addition to its original merchant functions the Main Square witnessed many historical events, and it was used to stage public executions of prisoners held in city Town Hall. It was a place of regal ceremonies as part of the Royal Road (Droga Królewska), frequented by diplomats and dignitaries traveling to the Wawel Castle. In 1364 King Casimir held the Pan-European Congress of Kraków there. On 10 April 1525, Albert I, Duke of Prussia paid the Prussian Homage to Sigismund I the Old, king of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania accepting Polish kings’ suzerainty, (pictured). In 1514 Lithuanian duke Konstanty Ostrogski held a victory parade over the Muscovy and in 1531 nobleman Jan Tarnowski celebrated another victory in the Muscovite wars. Jan III Sobieski, a King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, celebrated there his victory over the Turkish Empire in the 1683 Battle of Vienna. – Wikipedia