Two Years and Still Going Strong

Mono Lake Rainstorm

Mono Lake Rainstorm – Rain teems down form the heavens over the mountains alongside Mono Lake, Mammouth Lakes, CA, USA – Copyright 2015 Martyn Phillips, M4Photo.

Two years ago, I was extremely fortunate to find myself in California for what was to be the photographic trip of my lifetime.  Under the guidance of professional landscape photographer Paul Reiffer, we visited a number of locations, with Mono Lake being one of my favorites.

Mono Lake Rainstorm has consistently been one of my most successful images.  Now two years old, I was amazed to see in my email that Gurushots have once again picked up one of my images.  This time Mono Lake Rainstorm has made number one in the list of 36 landscape images that will “knock your socks off”.

See the full list of 36 images here.

 

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Getting from Point A to Point B

Fractured Highway

As we headed out of Furnace Creek in Death Valley on Route 190 Paul Reiffer (our workshop host and professional photographer) pulled the car over to the side of the road.  I been looking out of the side window thinking about the challenges to come and had not thought of looking behind us.  Paul had and when we jumped out of the car it quickly became evident why.

This is a classic view looking back down the road and it is one that I have seen a hundred times.  The difference this time was that it was my chance to try to go one step further.  So, with each of us watching the traffic whilst we each took our turn at capturing this iconic image, I set about getting my interpretation between cars, trucks and those rolling 18 wheel monsters that were coming over the rise a few hundred yards in the opposite direction to the image.

Well, it looks like I was not the only person to like my interpretation of the view.  Gurushots must have hundreds, if not thousands, of images similar to this on their database, but it is my image (just one of 38) that has been used to provide an example of getting from point a to point b.  There are some wonderful images that have been used in the article and I’m proud to have yet another of my images used in this manner.

You can see the full article here.

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And another

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It seems that I continue to get noticed.  Gurushots have published another of their articles and yet another of my images taken alongside Paul Reiffer features in the article.  That is now three of my images in as many weeks on the photography website.

Someone really is trying to tell me something, the question is “Is it my photography skills” or is it “Paul’s brilliant photography education”.  I’d like to think that it is a little of both.

It was also interesting to see a similar view of Durdle Door (without the sunrise) in a local framing shop in Rushden.  Maybe I’ll take a closer look and see what it is selling for :-).

This remains a location that I would like to revisit but with the small window of opportunity to catch the sun peeking through the arch, it’ll have to wait until later in 2017 before I can make the return trip.

Getting noticed

 

I’ll be honest, things were a little slow for M4Photo during 2016.  I’ve continued to work with Eclipse Gymnastics and Archers of Raunds and I had a great three days shooting with the Barbara Hooton School of Dancing.  Otherwise, it was pretty slow.

 

It’s not all been doom and glom though.  The brand new Archers of Raunds website features a lot of my images as key eye candy on each of the websites pages and the images really make the site pop.  I also managed to capture a good number of great photographs at the recent Eclipse Gymnastics Xmas show and the feedback this year has been wonderful.  The dance school shoot had me utilising some long forgotten knowledge to get some good posed shots and the whole shoot was a great success.

However, a website that I was working on for a brand new start up business has fallen flat for the moment owing to things beyond my control and I really did not find the time to get out and explore my landscape photography, let alone attempt to put together a couple of landscape related projects that I’ve been thinking about.

So, with three acknowledgements in as many weeks from photographic websites and people that know what they are talking about, I guess that someone is trying to tell me something for 2017.

Gurushots is a website where photographers can upload their images and submit them to challenges.  Other photographers are then able to vote for their favourites and I always seems to do pretty well.  I was therefore pleased to find one of my images of Bodie selected from thousands of black and white images for an article entitled 30 Stunning Black And White Photos Proving That Colour Is Not Always That ImportantTo be selected for one of the top 30 images was really nice.

Then today, Gurushots picked up another of my images for one of just 34 lakeside images for an article entitled SPALOOSH! 34 Photographers that were Willing to Get Wet for Our Viewing Pleasure.  Featuring my image called Mono Lake Rainfall (shown above and which is one of my favourites in my portfolio) it quickly became my most successful image of 2016 with two Guru Picks during the year.  Whilst the votes are nice and it’s great to break into the top ten, it is the recognition from the guy that set the challenge that I really value.

Viewbug is another portfolio based photograph website where photographers can post their images and enter them into paid and free competitions.  My image looking across the Bay View Bridge towards San Francisco was recently place pretty high in the rankings.

It is interesting to acknowledge that all three of these images were captured on one of my workshops with Paul Reiffer.  I was lucky to spend two full weeks with him in California and he took us to some amazing locations and taught us how to get the best from each location.  The accolades mentioned above and linked on my Facebook page, really do show the value in Paul’s knowledge of photography and his unique ability to educate his students in a relaxed and informative way, whilst also letting them explore their own style of photography.

Maybe during 2017, I’ll get out a little more, work on some of these projects that are bubbling away in my mind and maybe, just maybe, I’ll have another crack at the local clubs to help to make some new memories for people.

Watch this space!!

 

More Recognition

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As many of you will know, I occasionally put some of my images onto Gurushots, mostly  just to gauge how well they are received. Gurushots is an online resource where photographers can upload their images to different challenges, people then vote on their favourite images and as you get votes you climb the rankings.  I usually wind up somewhere in the top 5% and I have been in the top 1 and 2% on a few occasions.

However, what I really like is when the Guru selects one of my images as worthy of their vote.  The Guru being the person who set the challenge and who naturally has their own idea about what makes a good photograph within the definition of the challenge.

I have had a couple of my images that have been voted for but the current cityscape challenge is one that has some great images.  There are some great city skylines around the world and some amazing photographers capturing them.

This morning was one of those special days.  Overnight I have received notification that one of my Bay Bridge shots from my road trip with Paul Reiffer has made the grade, got noticed and it has been awarded a vote by the Guru.  In the images above, that accolade is noted by the star.

Paul advised and educated me throughout the two week long road trip and this was one of the last locations that we shot together.  I was able to bring everything that I had learned together and his workshop style tuition definitely paid off on this occasion.

Paul is running more workshops all around the world and you can find out more about his amazing work and these special workshops on his website using the two links.

You can see more of my work from the road trip on my website here.

Revisiting An Old Image Library

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I had always seen online challenges and competitions like ViewBug and Gurushots simply as an inexpensive way of assessing how good (or bad) an image is.  I use 500px and Flickr in a similar way.  However, it is the challenges that are often useful in pushing photographers to think outside of the box and, in my case, to actually get out there and see what the world has to offer based on a specific subject.  This is something that I want to do more of this year.

However, sometimes these challenges have you rooting through old photograph folders and catalogues and today was no exception.  One of Gurushots’ latest challenge is entitled ‘Abandoned Places’ and this had me heading straight back to my Bodie photographs that were taken during my Californian road trip early in 2015.

I had already published a couple of images from that collection but felt that they were nothing overly special.  Needing a few more images to make up the full complement of four needed for the challenge, I took another look at what was on my hard drive.  1P7A9711aI did not really expect to find too much, but I was really surprised and pleased to find six brand new images to process slightly and then to choose from.

They were published a couple of hours ago and they have already launched me from the lower ranks up to the Premier tier and to position 149th out of 2,238 positions currently occupied.  I hope that I’ll climb much higher overnight and I’ll be watching with interest.

I just goes to show, that revisiting your old photographs is something that we should all do from time to time.  Not only does it remind you of distant memories and to bring you right make into that moment, but you just might find a gem that you over looked the first time.

Click here to see more of my images from my 2015 California road trip.

11th in Gurushots Challenge

I was recently excited to notice that one of my images had been selected by one of the Guru’s in one of the Gurushots Challenges.  I have since been watching that challenge and getting more and more excited as I worked my way up the rankings.

With nearly 3000 people having entered over 9,000 images I was pleased to make it into the top ‘All Star’ ranking and then to make the top 50 places.  However, this got better an better and today I found myself in 11th place.

I am not one of life’s winners and I would never dare to hope for one of the top spots, but to say that this has rounded off a nice day would be an understatement – I’m gobsmacked.

I have also managed to make All Star in another challenge and earlier this evening I entered my Poppies image and three others into a back-lit challenge.  Those images are also doing well with reaching 33rd place at the moment out of 1,140 entrants.  With 20 days of voting left to run on that one, it’ll be another interesting challenge to watch.

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