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Would this look good in a calendar?

England: Watendlath tarn, Lake District, Cumbria

I think this image would make a good calendar picture. It was made on a workshop weekend with Charlie Waite in England’s Lake District. It is of the tarn at Watendlath in Cumbria.

To see the UK images I have with Alamy, the on-line photo library, that are suitable for calendars Click here

and to see the Australian images I have with Alamy that are suitable for calendars Click here

If you would like a print of this image, e-mail and we will send you details.

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Freelancing — Targets and How to Set Them

Whether you make your sales direct or through an agent or photo library, do you have a target to keep your mind focused on your output? And, if you do, is it measurable? It needs to be otherwise you cannot assess just how you are performing against your target. It can be as simple as the number of submissions/pitches sent out each month or the number of sales made, or the monetary amount of sales made, all of which are measurable. My targets began as the number of submissions made each month but I felt that that didn’t stretch me enough. Regular submissions are, of course, essential in this freelancing business but results are more important.

So, I amended my goals by setting myself an income-based goal for each month which encourages me to continue to send submissions out but will not let me feel satisfied just by the making of a submission. Now I won’t feel satisfied unless I can eat! Hopefully this approach will improve my selections and lead to more sales.

Don’t forget, that setting a target is not the end of it. There is no point in having a target that there is no chance of achieving just as there is no point in having a target that is too easily achieved. Setting targets that challenge is a fine balancing act so review your goals regularly. And don’t feel that you are cheating if you downgrade your targets if you find that you are not achieving them even though you have put a 100 per cent effort in. Of course, if the non-achievement is brought about by lack of application on your part, you know what to do.

Equally, if you are achieving your targets fairly easily, do consider upgrading them.

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How to live with Rejections

Whether you are a freelance writer or photographer, rejection is a nasty word with all its implications of ‘failure’. But, it is a word that we as freelances have to get used to and accept it for what it really is, an indication of one editor’s opinion which could stem from a number of factors. He or she may not like our article or picture (which is their right), they may have another (in their mind) better article/picture to fill their space, they may have covered the subject recently, the article/picture doesn’t fit in with the magazine’s mission, and so on and so on. I am assuming, of course, that the article is grammatically correct with no spelling mistakes and the pictures are correctly exposed, clean, well composed and sharp.

Do remember that most judgments are subjective with opinions being formed taking into account the past history of the individual. I know of one photography judge who cannot abide pictures of pelicans. Why, I do not know. Maybe he was frightened by a pelican as a child, maybe he doesn’t like the long beak or the way they waddle when they walk but, more likely, he has seen too many pictures of these birds in the competitions he judges. Whatever the reason, a picture of a pelican will get short shrift from him. And, editors are only human and we have to accept that their judgment may have nothing to do with our writing or photography being poor.

So what do we do when our words and images are rejected or should I say, ‘not accepted on this occasion’?

What I do is to look carefully at the article to make sure that there are no mistakes that I should have picked up and, assuming all is in order and it doesn’t need re-writing to suit the style of the next publication on my list, I send it back out into the wide world. I do the same with my pictures. I check for blemishes and, when satisfied, they go off to the next editor on my list. That way, I have no time to sit and fret about my ‘failure’.

With reference to my previous Post, Monochrome from Digital Colour, you may be interested in the picture I posted to my Facebook photography page yesterday.

To go to my Facebook Photography page Click here

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Monochrome from Digital Colour

As a former keen monochrome worker, I miss my darkroom and the thrill of seeing a print appear in the developer and watching as it builds to its climax. And, I miss the simplicity of a black and white print.

I know that I can shoot digital in black and white but I never seem to. As a freelance I have to capture the images that magazines want and 99 plus% want everything in glorious colour. So, as I no longer have a darkroom, the only way for me to satisfy my craving for black and white is to convert suitable colour images to monochrome using my trusty computer.

As with so many things in Photoshop, there are a number of ways in which this conversion can be done. Grayscale Mode, De-saturate, Channel Mix, LAB Mode etcetera and at some stage I have used all of them. If you want to see what I have settled on, my e-book The Black and White Enthusiast sets it all out including the conversion of colour slides.

Cover BWE 1224 IS bw gl

The Black and White Enthusiast is available in formats for tablet readers at Smashwords Here

Whatever you do, if you like black and white photography then have a go and experiment until you are satisfied

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Freelance Photography — should you specialise?

Do you specialise in your freelancing? I’ve been giving this subject a bit of thought lately as these days I seem to be specialising in landscapes. It wasn’t a deliberate choice; it has just happened. Admittedly, I do like it.

When I started freelancing I specialised in pictures of kids doing things but that was just because I had the subjects on hand and a camera always ready. I was fairly successful with black and white prints that were sold regularly to Nursery World and Child Education among others. I invited these magazines to hold prints on file if they wished and I often had pictures published some years after I had submitted them — I think the record was something like eight years. As a bonus, several pictures were used twice, several years apart with the added cheque out of the blue being very welcome. That sort of specialisation was, I suppose, specialisation of opportunity.

Most of us have these, whether they be at work or at home. If you have a craft hobby, you probably know others with a similar hobby who could provide photo opportunities and, as most hobbies have some sort of publication allied to them, there are market opportunities, too.

To read the full article Click here

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Freelance Photography — How to Keep Your Name Before an Editor

What do you do when you make a sale to a publisher? After the cheering has stopped, I mean. Do you immediately parcel up every image that you think might be of interest and rush it to the publisher or do you sit down quietly and analyse how your images were used and, just as importantly, how other people’s images were used? I recommend the latter approach as unless the images in your parcel are stunning and the editor is short of material, you are likely to get your submission back very quickly and that is a depressing result.

However, if you use your marketing skills and target your next submission tightly to the magazine’s requirements, then you could be starting a long and profitable relationship with that publication. But, do make the submission quickly so that your name is likely to jog the editor’s memory — editors do have a lot to think about and numerous names to recall so get in early.

One aid to jogging memories is the use of a good-looking and distinctive letterhead. A clean, clear design with, if possible, something unique to you is needed. I don’t claim that my stationery is brilliant but I have produced a simple logo based on my initials which appears on my letterhead and on my business card.

DB Logo lh

The letterhead is printed in a purple ink as is the logo on the card. Written like this it sounds a trifle garish but I don’t think it is in real life! It’s different. I also use a good paper for the letterhead which speaks of quality. Of course, the images have to live up to that but first impressions do count and if your letter is scrawled on a scruffy piece of paper then you are starting at a disadvantage.

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Rough Start to a Surfboat race

Australia: Surfboat crashing through breaking surf, Surfers Para

Another of my Surfers Paradise shots with a surfboat crew having a rough start to their race. It has been accepted by Alamy.

To see the images I have with Alamy, the on-line photo library Click here

If you are after images suitable for calendars, Click here

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More images with Alamy

Australia: Bird's eye view of light rail tracks, Surfers Paradis

I have just uploaded a batch of my Surfers Paradise photos to Alamy including this one of a bird’s eye view of the light rail tracks complete with tram/train.

To see the images I have with Alamy, Click here

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On its way to Alamy


Just had a few days on Queensland’s Gold Coast and happened to come across a surfboat carnival. This is one of my favourite shots. It will soon be on its way to Alamy, the on-line photo library.

To see the images I have with Alamy, Click here

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Great Gift Ideas


How about this for a Christmassy type shot? It is available on cards, prints of various types and sizes, posters, tote bags and throw cushions. Go to Red Bubble at to get details and to order and to see all my other images available.