PbBJ Blog

This has been a long time coming…

I’ve been meaning to start a blog for a long time. I’ve learnt so much so quickly in photography purely through doing. Rather than reading about how to shoot in manual mode, I went straight in with what I knew (and didn’t know) about the exposure triangle and just learnt through trial and error, viewing first-hand the differences that shutter speed, aperture and ISO had on a subject or a scene.

The only notable workshop I’ve attended was actually a birthday present for my Dad (which he learnt loads from - workshops are great!), a blue hour workshop at Liverpool’s Albert Docks. The workshop was really great, though the main thing I learnt from it was to shoot for yourself, and not to always shoot the obvious composition. I soon got bored of the main reflection shots looking across to Pier Head, so I wandered off to find my own compositions!

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Anyway, as I say, I’ve wanted to start this blog for some time. In principle, it’s the same reason I started making videos and publishing them on YouTube - to document my learning and to provide work-arounds to unusual scenarios or hinderances while I’m out on a shoot. My channel has been going for just over a year now, and boy can you see a difference between my first video and my latest! Not only video quality, but audio, shooting techniques, editing and my confidence in talking to the camera. I’m a naturally shy person so it was a horrifying thought of being seen talking to camera by the public. That uncomfortable niggle is still there in the back of my head, but I’ve learned that most people really don’t care, and I can even make some fun of it in post-processing.

Somehow I’ve gained 77 subscribers so far, way more than I thought I’d have! But more importantly I’ve been gaining comments from folks genuinely interested and invested in the material, asking for tips or my views on certain aspects of the subject. This really brings a smile to my face as it means the time and effort put in to making the video has found it’s audience and connected with them, even if it’s just that one person!

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One thing to note with most of my videos though, is that I very, very rarely head out with my camera with any sort of video plan. It’s a true documentation - I have no idea what I’ll be shooting until I get to the location and start looking for compositions, which also means I can’t really run any sort of script through my head as anything could happen while I’m out shooting. Say I wanted to make a video about long-exposures using filters on a river, but it hadn’t rained in weeks… Or how to capture the perfect sunset shot, but it clouded over 10 minutes beforehand - the video would be wasted.

For that reason, I believe the written word is in my favour. Through this blog I aim to complement my videos and travels, to teach shooting and editing techniques, and to document my own learning - including my own failings and how I learn from them. I’ll also aim to catch up with blog posts for my previous videos, though that could take some time - please have patience!

I hope you’ll enjoy my posts whether or not you’ve watched any of my videos (you can find my channel here). I aim to be totally honest on camera, and will be here too - if a shoot is a failure, it still gets posted! The real goal is to learn, and I really believe that happens best through making mistakes.

So, bear with me, I’m still just getting started with this, but I’m in it for the long run. I also love to hear feedback on any of my work, so please do feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email! I’m always more than happy to answer any questions you have about what I do.

Ben