Photo printing

On my to-do list for this year: Making a serious effort to sell prints of my photos. (For those who aren’t aware, I have a sporadically-updated photo journal at electricana, and a portfolio website at Do feel free to friend the journal if you like the occasional pretty picture on your friends page.)

To which end, I am looking for a print-on-demand photo service that has the following features:

  1. Good printing – That’s a given, really. I want these to be professional quality, ta.
  2. An attractive website – Seriously, this is important. I want the purchase process to inspire confidence, and if you’re parting with your hard-earned in exchange an attractive object, you’ll feel better about it if you’re buying from somewhere that doesn’t look like a dog’s breakfast.
  3. The ability to link directly to individual photos – I want to be able to link to images that are for sale from my website and photoblog.
  4. Control of product and exact prices – The ability to control exactly which products are available for purchase, and at what specific price.
  5. A good admin system – I’d like not to want to kill myself or others any more often than strictly neccessary while setting this up.

Photobox, who I have used in the past has 1 and 4. Imagekind, who I am currently looking at have 2 and 3, and probably 1, but not 4 or 5 – I can select a percentage markup, or I can set certain base prices for specific images, but there’s no easy way just saying “A print of X size costs Y amount framed, or Z unframed” across the whole shop, which is what I really want.

I also need some guidance on the prince front.

So, your opinions please:

And if anyone feels like leaving me a comment telling me which, if any of the photos in my portfolio they’d consider paying cash for, well, that’s always appreciated.

Photography Longshot

Does anyone in London own, or know anyone who owns a Ricoh GX100 digital camera, that would be willing to let me use it for a few hours one afternoon? Or anywhere that would rent me one for an afternoon? I’m contemplating buying one (it’s a compact with the same kind of image quality and control as some DSLRs), but it seems to be a love it or hate it camera (not quite, but it has a couple of flaws that some people don’t like) and for the price, I really want to try before I buy…

Vote for Me!

Or at least, one of my photos!

I’ve entered one of my photos to be part of jpeg magazine‘s “Embrace the Blur” feature.

I mention this when it’s normally the sort of thing I feel very awkward doing, because if it gets in the mag, not only do I get a subscription to the magazine (which I’d like), but also 100 dollars (which I will donate to charity), and, mostly importantly, a lensbaby. Which I would really, really like.

If you go here, you’ll have the opportunity to vote for my shot, which will increase my chances of getting in. You will have to register to make your vote stick, but it takes all of two seconds and there’s no spam risk – these are blog type people, and hate spam just as much as you do.

If you’ve got five spare minutes, please go along and vote for me – voting closes in 4 days, so I have some ground to make up, here.

You’ll be helping me out. And more importantly, you’ll be doing a bit of work for charidee, which will allow you to feel good about yourself for the christmas period.

Thanks, folks.

A Bad Workman…

I’ve just gone through the photos I took at the Evil Genius gig last night. Any y’know, it’s not my tools – my camera is quite good, after all. But suffering zombie jesus, what I would give to be able to take photos at gig venues where the lighting guy has a a clue.

If anyone out there is a lighting person for a small venue, here’s some helpful hints:

There should a spot of some kind on the lead singer – doesn’t have to be constant, if you really like turning lights on and off for some reason, just perhaps on for about 75% of the time. I’m not even fussy about the colour (although, I shoudl also add that red and sodium orange are the ones everyone else is using, and everyone is used to seeing bands lit in red, and I know I’m sodding bored of it), I just have this sense that it might be important to see him or her. More than, perhaps, the bassist.

Secondly: if you cut across the very front of your lighting display with a beam of white light from the side, aiming the dancefloor wall, rather than, say, the band, it will become harder to see through it. Two additional random-motion colour-changing downlights aimed at the crowd are similarly pointless – if you want your lights to do all that pattern and colour throwing shit, and generally change every ten seconds, well, OK, but aim it at the stage, not the crowd. The band are getting money to compensate them for your annoying inability to pick a lighting design and stick to it. All this shit in front of the stage does is get in people’s eyes. There’s a reason the house lights go out, and it’s not just that the crowd are often ugly.

Yes, I am whinging about this because it fucked up my photography. And yes, I should be able to get around it, but even a hood on the lens didn’t do the job, and I don’t like to use the flash at gigs for lots of reasons. But y’know, the reason it fucked up my photography was in part that it was very hard to see anything with my goddamn eyes, and I’ve got good nightvision.

Why yes, I did just go through 150 photos, and find nothing usable. Does it show?


Just messing about with pictures…

I’ve spent a large part of the evening messing about with more of the photos from Dublin[1]. Mostly, I’ve spent the time kicking myself as I’ve come away from almost all of them thinking “If only I hadn’t cocked this detail or that detail up that’d be a really good shot”. One of them, I blew almost completely but I liked the whole idea far too much to abandon it. Had I the time and resources, I’d go back and re-shoot it, but I don’t so I shall put it on-line botched as it it, thus destroying what tiny shreds of photographic credibility I have.

Anyway, the point of this isn’t that I’m bad, it’s a) that I had a really relaxing and pleasant evening, and b) I’m struck (and pleasantly surprised) by how much more I’m shooting to capture an idea. Sometimes the idea is an abstract notion, sometimes it’s just a pretty image, but my shots are getting much more constructed. (And correspondingly more heavily post processed.) It feels like I’m actually starting to evolve something of a style[2]. Slowly, very bloody slowly, but I can see it moving on. At the moment, I’m at the stage of regurgitating my influences, trying for effect X or Y that I’ve seen other photographers produce, and sometimes I get there, and sometimes I don’t, but I feel like I’m starting to make progress again. Like I felt about writing nine or ten years back – I knew I hadn’t got to my own style yet, but I had some sense of where it would wind up. It’s the first time I’ve really felt like that about photography. Which isn’t to say I haven’t enjoyed it up to now, or anything, because god knows, there’s nothing like it, just that one of my problems was that I felt like I had no style or voice of my own. I still don’t think I have, but at least now, I feel like I know what direction I’m heading in – like I’ll get there at some point.

Which is nice.

[1] Yes, I know I’ve been back a week. I’m not fast, OK?
[2] “Oooh look, blue neon lights!” does not count as a style.


Where you can find me on-line this year:

Words: – my workblog. New media, technology, and general digital culture shit, plus the odd link I just think is funny. Updated most weekdays. LJ feed available at als_workblog. RSS feed at – short fictions. Only updated a few times a year, when I can’t get a thought to sod off without writing it down. Every so often, I promised myself I’ll do more, but I never seem to. Once I get the LJ feed reconnected, it’ll be at black_ink_feed. RSS feed at – personal life, hobbies, random crap, social interaction. RSS feed at

Electricana – my main photoblog. An image or two most weeks, assuming I’ve had time to take the camera somewhere. RSS feed at
Flickr – the flickr account I use to hold images/power the photoblog. It gets a few more photos, if I’ve put a set up, and generally has a bit more organisation, but lacks the commentary/decent comments functionality of the LJ version. RSS feed at – my portfolio site. Cherry picked images (and not many of them) from my photoblog, the ones I really feel represent the best of my photo work. RSS feed at

Other: – my account. Just in case anyone cares what I’ve been listening to lately. – (some of) my social diary. Things I am (thinking of) doing. Gigs, shows, general stuff.

I’m in the process of building one website that’ll bring a lot of this together in one place, although I can’t think of a good domain name at the moment. Anyone got any suggestions?

This entry was originally published at my workblog.


At long last, I have a working copy of a current version photoshop! Exciting new vistas of RAW photograpy, and being able to attempt to fix barrel distortion are available to me! Blindness caused by being hunched over, staring at the screen awaits!