The Slow Photography Movement – A Challenge

Hi All,

A few days ago I was reading a few reviews over on on the Nikon D610 and something really struck me about some people’s attitude towards photography. The original poster was asking about user experience with colour quality versus the Nikon D800. Reading down through the review it soon broke off topic into a discussion about frames per second or FPS. While that’s fine to discuss if FPS is important to you, one user said that with the advent of 4k or even 8k video they would be able to get stills taken at 40FPS and would be “assured of the capturing the moment”

This appalled me. There is so much more to a decent image than firing off your camera like a machine gun and scanning through hundreds or even thousands of images looking for the one good one you might have got. Sure fast FPS has its place, sports photographers need to fire off images in quick succession but hand a camera capable of shooting 8FPS to just anyone and they still won’t get a decent image. Depth of field, lighting, composition etc still need to be taken into account.

When I first got into photography about 10 years ago I decided to study it for a year and did this course. Everything was manual. I used a Nikon FE-2 and 50mm F1.8 only. Prints were all hand developed. Even the film was rolled off large spools into 35mm canisters by hand in pitch black rooms. I had the habit of closing my eyes while doing it even though the room was pitch black. As a poor student every shot was costing me money in film, paper and chemicals so each shot had to count. Everything about the image was thought through before going out, it couldn’t be a starker contrast to the comment above.

Now in these digital days it’s just too easy to take hundreds of pictures. I’m very guilt of this myself and I have to admit my images have suffered as a result. Little mistakes are creeping in more and more often with the attitude that I can fix them up afterwards in Photoshop and that’s just not right. It’s not how I was thought and it’s not what sparked my love of photography off in the first place.

We’ve had the slow food movement, now it’s time for the slow photography movement. I want more people to take their time over the art and I’m beginning with a challenge to all of you

The idea is simple, when out and about you must decide on taking a photo specifically for this challenge. You only get one shot at it on any given day. You can take all the practice shots you like, it doesn’t matter how many pictures you take before or afterwards but you must decide on the one you will be submitting BEFORE you take it and you only get to take one picture for this challenge per day. It can be of anything, pets, people, landscape, macro etc. The only rule is that the image you submit must have been decided on before you took it and you only get one shot at it per day. If it didn’t work out then take the lesson you’ve learned and try again tomorrow. The final day for submissions is the 30th November.

Shots can be submitted by linking back to the image on the comments section below. The only way this can take off is if you, dear reader, will get this challenge out there. Reblog it, link back here, pay a man to walk around shout it if you like. It’s success is counting on others knowing about it. I’d also welcome anyone offering their services as a judge to pick the final winner. the more opinions the better. The winner will receive pride and place in my blogroll and the admiration of your photography peers.

Looking forward to some amazing images and thanks for reading


Gougane Barra

This was taken a few years back in the south west of Ireland in Gougane Barra. I believe the name comes from Saint Finbar.

It’s off the beaten track a bit even by today’s standards. Back in the early 1700’s it must have been very remote and as such was used to celebrate Catholic mass out of the way of unapproving eyes.

The shot was originally taken on Fuji Velvia and scanned using a Minolta film scanner, the name of which escapes me now as I sold it not long after scanning this image. I’d even bet this was taken on the last roll of film I ever shot. I used to take so much more time over shots back then but that’s for another time.

I’d be very interested to know which you prefer, colour or black and white……..

Gauganne Barra Small

Gauganne Barra B&W Small

My Little Town

I went for a bit of a wander around where I live in today.

I live in a tiny village of about 80 houses and a pub, nothing else. I only moved here a few years ago and haven’t explored the place yet. I thought there wasn’t a lot to explore until today.

The village, Clondulane, has a long history but sadly in the past 50-60 year since the closure of the railway it’s been going steadily downhill. Outside of the one pub there’s nothing but a couple of housing estates being the home to commuters working further a field.

I didn’t expect to find much so I brought along a compact camera just in case. What I did find was a weir, the ruins of a 6th century abbey, remains of a castle long forgotten and the creepiest graveyard that’s been accepting the bodies of the locals for over 1400 years.

I’ll have to go back with my tripod and get some shots but here’s what I mustered up today

Stone Wall_2 Small

Gate House Small

Clondulane Railway_1 Small

Putting down the camera bag, can a phone compete?

This could be interesting to follow

National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson will be leaving his camera bag behind as he goes off on a photographic tour of Scotland using an iPhone 5s. As a seasoned photographer for the distinguished NG I’m sure Jim isn’t short on talent and experience but none the less I think the challenge he’s setting for himself will be daunting.


I for one would be very interested in the results. With the never ending battle to produce cameras with more pixels, better ISO range, larger chips etc and the thousands these camera’s cost it’ll be great to see what results can be obtained from a phone. Okay, a pretty advanced phone but a phone none the less.

I’ve no doubt that this expedition is in some way being paid for by Apple in a marketing ploy but as long as they are honest with the results it’ll be an interesting exercise non the less.

The problem is, I’ll have no excuse not to take more snaps now with my phone. No more camera excuses.