Archive for May, 2009

I mentioned in a recent blog comment that I’d been a (bad) photographer for 58 years.

Someone had the effrontery to query the claim. Well here’s the proof:

Gwyns first camera

Gwyn’s first camera

Hang on. Maybe they were querying the use of the word ‘bad’.

Hey — I sold a photograph today!


What can we do?

May 21st, 2009
Gwyn Headley

by Gwyn Headley

Managing Director

I’ve just had Jacqui Norman almost in tears.

Jacqui sends out our Picture Calls. She tries to be as precise and as accurate as possible.

On May 12th she sent out a call for aerial portrait format photographs of the North York Moors. This is what she wrote:

The TOUR series are all oblique aerial shots. You will need access to an aeroplane or helicopter. Even if you don’t have one, this is not impossible if you have enough chutzpah. Yvonne Seeley blogged about how you can do this yesterday on the fotoLibra Pro Blog.

The next image needed is a TOUR map series image of North York Moors, wanted by Monday, May 25th.

The images that have been submitted so far? Every single one of the 22 images submitted so far (4 days still to go to the deadline) has been taken with the photographers’ feet solidly planted on terra firma. And four of them are even landscape, not portrait.

None of these images will be shown to the client. They’re not what she asked for. We might as well send her pictures of the Great Pyramid At Giza for all the relevance they have to the precise requirements Jacqui laid out.

What can Jacqui do? How can she make the brief any clearer?

Our photographers aren’t stupid, so clearly Jacqui is, or we are, doing something wrong. I asked Nick Jenkins what he suggested and he came up with the idea of colour-coding these OS calls. So we’ve tried that, and it hasn’t worked.

Any more ideas?


Amazon’s Kindle is now allowing blogs to be posted. Here’s one user’s experience, which can be read in full at

When I looked at the preview of what my blog looked like in the Kindle after adding my first blog to the system, I was shocked at the terrible quality.

First of all, it was black and white. My blog has pictures and on the Kindle they were not just black and white, they were low resolution black and white. It changed my carefully chosen font to a Times New Roman. In short it looked horrible. Sure, you can get away with a black and white eBook Reader for books, but if you are going to add other content, you need it to be full color or it just looks ghastly (or you are asking bloggers to come up with a special Kindle design, which is an unreasonable expectation).

It was at that moment, staring at that horribly ugly preview of my blog that it hit me. This is clearly a job for Apple.

Rumours of Apple working on an e-book reader have intensified over the past few months. Would it be like a big slender iPhone? Will it actually come? Or is this just wishware?

To many people, me included, the look and feel of a thing is as almost as important as the content. If I see my work in Times New Roman (a wonderful typeface, drowned by ubiquity) I feel physically sick. Fonts are the clothes words wear, as I quoted in my Encyclopaedia of Fonts.

And from fotoLibra’s point of view, the sooner we have colour e-books the sooner we can sell images to e-book publishers.

It will happen. So we are preparing for it.


Pilots of light aircraft are passionate about flying. In clubs all over the country you’ll find private pilots just longing for a reason to take to the air. And the passenger seat of a Cessna or other high-winged aircraft is perfect for aerial photography … you can even open the window to avoid the plexiglas blur you get in most low-winged craft.

So, one sunny morning when it’s not too blustery, take yourself off to a flying club near to the landmark, view or whatever else you fancy shooting from the air and start chatting up the friendly pilots in the clubhouse. And before long, as long as you have a head for heights and a calm disposition, you’ll be up with the birds.

— posted by Yvonne Seeley