The Active Photographer
Hosted by Giles Babbidge
The Active Photographer started life as a humble weekly podcast, offering listeners a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the day-to-day life of a working professional photographer. From there, it soon evolved, embracing the wider online community.
Each week, Giles talks to you whilst out and about on location, sharing a load of ideas and information about just what goes into making photographs for his clients and for himself.
Whether you’re a professional or an enthusiast, The Active Photographer gives you a wide variety of useful and inspirational tips and resources covering a range of topics connected to photography, the great outdoors and more.
This week: I’m looking back at this year’s WildPhotos event, which I recently attended in London.
Taking in a series of talks about nature photography has had a great effect on the progress towards moving my own work along.
What is it like to be a photographer on the go? Is it as glamorous as people are led to believe? Well, yes and no…
It’s been an interesting seven days since the last show, with a lot of positives – but equally, there have also been a number of frustrations at the hands of both new and existing clients.
Of course, that’s just business and something we all have to deal with… But it immediately reminded me of a recording I made some time ago with Hugh – in which we discussed litigation and the fine art of how photographers can keep their customers happy.
This week: I’m sharing a few thoughts whilst in the car once again, heading back from networking event for school kids.
This week: I’m turning back the clock a couple of weeks, to the day I visited this year’s Outdoor Trade Show up in Warwickshire.
This week: It’s midnight and I’m in full editing mode, at the same time sharing a few thoughts about what I got up to whilst under commission from Goodwood once again this past weekend.
The Goodwood Revival is always an excellent vintage-themed show, spanning 3 days, with opportunities for making great pictures everywhere you look. As ever, I was there to capture images for PR, marketing and general publicity use; back in the office, it’s now time to edit through the results.
This week: I’m sat in a local park, reflecting on a day of gallery visits in London.
This week: I’m talking through the second selection process for the pictures I recently shot of my good friend, musician Tom Kent.
Rather than describing the adjustments being made as I edit individual pictures – I’ll be doing that in the coming days – I’m explaining what thoughts and concerns I have at this stage. Not every picture will make the cut and in this episode, I’m explaining why.
This week: I’m in conversation once again with photographer/writer Hugh Graham, who was one of my lecturers when I studied photography at University.
With my attentions turned towards making a kit purchase this past week, Hugh and I discuss why photographers shouldn’t feel obliged to look at the very latest models when updating their equipment.
This week: I’m talking through my latest location scout images, ahead of a photo shoot later in the week.
In a few days’ time, I will be shooting some new promotional pictures for my good friend, musician Tom Kent. Knowing the sort of imagery he needs is one thing, but location is going to play a big part – which is why I decided to go location scouting last weekend, in preparation.
This week: I’m sheltering under a tree and pondering the weather.
On another recent trip into one of my local woodlands, I took the opportunity to share a few thoughts about how we photographers protect ourselves and our kit from the elements.
This week: I’m heading out to one of my favourite local woodlands for a much-needed breather and a chance to reflect on recent events.
It’s been a very hectic time of late, as a lot of you may know, and much of my time has been taken up with one contract in particular. With that now complete, I’m in the process of considering my activities for the remainder of the summer months.
This week: I’m on the road again, this time sharing a few thoughts about time.
More precisely, I’m addressing the matter of just how much time is taken up during the course of undertaking an assignment, as well as in my day-to-day activities.
This week: I’m bringing you my third and final recording made live at this year’s Goodwood Festival Of Speed.
On this particular occasion, I’m heading out into the Formula 1 paddocks one blustery evening, to see what striking images I can get with a very simple setup – one camera, one super-wideangle lens and a tripod.
This week: I’m bringing you the second of my recordings made live at this year’s Goodwood Festival Of Speed.
Once again, I’m stood in front of Goodwood House, photographing a fireworks display and fast, loud cars at night.
Oh, and I also have an exciting announcement to make!
This week: I’m heading back from the Goodwood Festival Of Speed, sharing a few thoughts about this year’s motoring event.
With fast-paced cars, motorbikes, extreme sports, display stands and more, it was a busy few days under commission from Goodwood once again, so my view of the event was a somewhat hectic one.
This week: This week, I’m in conversation once again with photographer/writer Hugh Graham, who was one of my lecturers when I studied photography at University.
We see it time and time again – photographers going crazy about which camera/which lens/which lighting and which accessories they use. They’re always very quick to justify excessive spending or indulgence, citing why all this kit is necessary for the work they do.
But at the end of the day, in any given industry, you have to match your equipment to the job at hand…
This week: I’m considering whether there is really a need to make detailed notes about the pictures we produce these days.
Every year I’m asked to return to a school in London, to shoot fresh images for their website and assorted promotional material. On this occasion, there was the usual mix of natural classroom pictures – shot completely with available light, of course – but I also took a trip onto the river Thames, to shoot some rowing.
This week: Prompted by my recent house move, I’m sharing a few thoughts about how we deal with disruption.
Perfect Resize 7 is the latest version of what a lot of you will know as Genuine Fractals – a great program, first and foremost, designed for upscaling photographs. Rather than this being one of our usual topic-based discussions, on this occasion Hugh and I are talking specifically about this software – its specification, real-world applications and, of course, our first impressions having used a previous version for many years.
Around this time each year, many ancient woodlands throughout the country spring to life, with a carpet of bluebells appearing almost overnight. I make a point of visiting one such place every year, to see what different shots I can capture and what opportunities might exist for photo future shoots.
This week: I’m returning to the scene of a location I scouted some time ago, to see whether or not it still presents the same opportunities as it once did.
It’s often the case that when we spot great locations on our travels, there’s simply not the chance to make use of them at the time -and there’s always that slight feeling of nervousness when going back, just in case things have dramatically changed. So what did I find on this occasion?
I think it’s great the way that people have adopted this latest way to capture and share pictures – both those who have an interest in photography and the general public at large.
Of course, this is just the latest step along the lines of what Polaroid pioneered in the past – but again, we are reminded of the question – does it really matter which device and technique is used? Isn’t it the end result which actually matters?
In this age of precision technology and digital manipulation, there seems to be the assumption that any visual trickery present within a photograph must have been achieved after the fact. As we all know, this doesn’t have to be the route taken, and very often Photoshop is not the answer to our creative conundrums.
This week: I’m talking about how pictures can and should be used for promotion by businesses.
This week: I’m taking you out and about as I scout a new location.
I’m also sharing a conversation I recorded with a couple of people from the site in question, to give you an idea of the considerations I face when picking new venues for my shoots.
This week: I’m in the office, catching up after a hectic few days at this year’s Focus On Imaging.
As many of you know, last week saw me make my yearly trip to Focus On Imaging, the UK’s largest annual imaging show, held at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre. In this week’s show, I’m taking a moment to slow down and think about of the great content I recorded and will be sharing with you in the coming week.
This week: I’m in Farnham, Surrey, where I studied for my degree in Photography many years ago.
Taking a social trip this past weekend allowed me the chance to bring you up to date with a number of developments behind the scenes, as well as let you know about the forthcoming Focus On Imaging event, a photo shoot which I need your help with and an item of kit I am currently testing.
I’m in conversation with Marco Pezzana, discussing just how photographers and film-makers go about selecting kit for their own specific requirements.
Whilst at Manfrotto’s Interactive Photo Lab event in Covent Garden last November, I thought it would be interesting to talk to Marco (Vitec Group’s Divisional Chief Executive) as he would be able to offer a photographic company’s point of view on the subject.
This week: I’m outdoors once again, making the most of the photographic opportunities available in one of my local woodlands.
It’s not often that we get snow in this part of the world, so when the UK had a small covering at the end of last week, I just had to take advantage. Whilst there, I also wanted to try out a new piece of kit – the Drift HD high-definition video camera – which I’ll frequently be using throughout this year to produce extra behind-the-scenes footage on some rather exciting photo shoots.
I’m in conversation once again with photographer/writer Hugh Graham, who was one of my lecturers when I studied photography at University.
Light, in all its forms, is what we photographers depend upon when creating our pictures – whether it be natural, artificial or a mixture of the two. In this episode, Hugh and I discuss just what light means to us, its applications and how we work with it.
I’m talking about why it’s important for me to keep my general health and fitness up, in order to produce the best results I can – not just for the benefit of my clients, but for the overall benefit of my life as a photographer.
Following a call from a local business owner who is in the process of reviewing her marketing strategy, it was recently down to me to produce an up-to-date profile picture for use in all kinds of promotional activities.
Last weekend gave me the chance to test some kit I’ve recently been sent, as well as create some new images for my portfolio. Much aside from that, of course, it also gave me a great opportunity to meet up with yet more like-minded outdoors and photography types.
This week: I’m starting with a confession – this show was actually recorded and put together on the very morning it was supposed to have been scheduled and released to the world.
With my year getting off to such a hectic start and my schedule already testing me, I decided to take myself for a short walk, to clear my head and share a few thoughts with you.
This week: I’m taking a final look back at my trip to Berlin with Manfrotto last year.
As many of you will know, I was invited by Manfrotto to join them on a trip to Berlin last year. Whilst there, I made several recordings for the podcast; in this show fetauring my final recording, I’m right in the centre of the Potsdamer Platz and taking advantage of the wonderful night-time light display.
This week I’m talking about my recent collaboration with musicians Tom Kent and John Adams during their current tour.
It’s the age-old debate among professional photographers – which is better, Canon or Nikon? As you know, I’m a Nikon man; Hugh favours Canon, but we are both agreed that there is far more involved in choosing a camera system than simply seeing which brand is currently leading the market.
I’m on location, working through a set of pictures for a housing construction company.
With the light fading fast, this was a quick shoot which threw up a number of challenges – some of which were beyond my control, but all of which required the usual quick thinking in order to get the job done.
I have to admit, I’m something of a reluctant tourist. Don’t get me wrong, I love visiting new places and seeing new sites… but the idea of somehow documenting a trip just for the sake of it strikes me as a bit strange.
How do you strike the balance between feeling a need to record a visit and enjoying the sites without the compulsion to bring the camera up to your eye every five minutes?
This week: I’m heading back from a morning shoot with a long-standing client in the housing construction industry.
The assignment itself wasn’t what you’d call taxing, but it did have its own set of technical and aesthetic considerations to bear in mind when creating my images.
This week: I’m catching up for a chat over coffee with photographer, Drew Gardner.
Like so many, Drew is passionate about his craft and I think this really comes across not just in his work, but also on any occasion where you hear him talk about what he does.
How and why do photographers share their love of photography? These and other questions form the basis of our conversation.
Whilst in Berlin with Manfrotto last month, I also caught up with Simona, to find out not just what we can all expect from the Interactive Photo Lab when it reaches Covent Garden (London) at the end of this week, but also just what it is that drives people to share their passion for photography with a wider audience.
This week: I’m heading back from a corporate portrait shoot, one of the most relaxing assignments I’ve undertaken in some time.
There’s often an assumption that having your business portrait taken is a long, drawn-out and uncomfortable affair. I know this doesn’t have to be the case, and the shoot in question was a prime example of how my way of working helped get me the results my clients wanted.
This week: I’m looking back on a somewhat high-pressured moment at last month’s Goodwood Revival, a vintage-themed event set within the beautiful West Sussex countryside. The Revival is an excellent 3-day event, something of a photographer’s dream – with opportunities for making great pictures everywhere you look. This episode finds me heading back from the event, recounting what happened when things didn’t go quite as expected during the awards ceremony on the final day.
Many of you will know that Manfrotto produces tripods and supports, but they are not simply interested in selling products – they want you to get excited and inspired when taking photographs!
This week: I’m talking about how photographers can be resourceful and adaptable whilst on location.
This week: I’m taking a short stroll under the cover of darkness, capturing some impromptu night shots.
This week: I’m at this year’s Goodwood Revival, an vintage-themed event set within the beautiful West Sussex countryside.
This week: I’m at Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire once again, for Part 2 of my conversation with Roger Watson, curator at the one-time home of photography’s pioneer, William Henry Fox Talbot.
In this episode, we take a gentle stroll around the grounds of Lacock Abbey, with thoughts turning towards the actual site of one of photography’s first – and most significant images.
This week: I’m in conversation with Roger Watson, curator at Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire, UK – the one-time home of photography’s pioneer, William Henry Fox Talbot.
This weekend’s event, set in the glorious English countryside, gave attendees the chance to indulge themselves in their enthusiasm for photography and the great outdoors. The weather wasn’t perfect, but everyone had a great time, picking up hints, tips and tricks which will help them take better photographs in the future. There was also a lot of story-sharing and laughter, too!
This week: I’m talking about the beauty of a non-technical approach to photography when hiking in the great outdoors.
Prompted by recent events, I’m thinking about the role cameras play in our everyday lives – even if we don’t realise it.
About a week ago, I received an email asking whether I’d like to attend this year’s show as a guest of Kodak. They wanted me to see what I thought of their new Play Sport video camera, as well as take it away for use behind the scenes at The Active Photographer.
This week: I’m thinking about inspiration – where it comes from, what we can do to help ourselves get inspired and why we should always be on the lookout for new kinds of material which will feed our photography.
I’m also reminding you about how you can get involved wit the forthcoming Active Photographer Jolly – a great chance to immerse yourself in your enthusiasm for photography and the great outdoors.
Workflow is always an area of interest and often an area of confusion for those who want to learn more… So, I’m sitting down in the office, talking through my typical approach to quickly getting pictures ready for their intended use.
This week: I’m in conversation once again with photographer/writer Hugh Graham, who was one of my lecturers when I studied photography at University.
This week: I am again joined by my friend and fellow photographer, Matt Sills, to get his take on the considerations we have to make when thinking about which is the best form of support to use on any given shoot.
With my days filled with hectic activity, it’s often nice to slow things down for an hour or two, taking in the atmosphere created by limited light. That’s the plan… until the silence is broken all of a sudden!
This week: I’m stood in front of Goodwood House, photographing a fireworks display at this year’s Festival Of Speed motoring event.
This week: I’m making some last-minute preparations in the run up to this year’s Goodwood Festival Of Speed.
Goodwood F.O.S. is a 3-day motoring event set within the glorious grounds of the Goodwood estate in West Sussex, UK. With several long, hot days ahead, thoughts immediately turn to getting my equipment ready, starting with the process of cleaning the camera sensors.
This week: I’m taking some time out over a weekend, but can’t resist packing one of my favourite film cameras, just for fun.