A few questions and answers about myself and Simply Selfies. If you have any questions you wish to ask or any suggestions for a question/answer to include on this FAQ, please use the Contact form to send them in. Thank you.
What is this blog/website about?
Simply Selfies is a personal website/blog about photography, particularly exploring the idea of the selfie. Simply put, I like to take lots of selfies and this website/blog gives me somewhere to share them and post a few words on the subject. Having a site like this also gives purpose to my photography.
What interests you about taking selfies?
The main thing that interests me is the challenge of taking as many different and varied selfies as I can come up with. When taking selfies everything is in constant motion, the people around you change, the weather changes, the street itself changes and most importantly, the light changes, from hour to hour and from minute to minute. Nothing stays the same for long. It is the challenge of catching all these elements coming together for a few brief seconds, to create that perfect selfie that makes me interested in selfie photography.
Where do you take your photographs?
Most of the images shown here are taken on the streets of Edinburgh, the Scottish capital and the surrounding Lothian and Scottish Border regions, though a few have been taken during trips to London and other local towns. I also take pictures in the hills of the Southern Uplands and along the East Lothian coast.
What rules do you follow during your photography?
I don’t really like following any of the rules of photography. I like shooting on full auto rather than manual. I like shooting into the light, especially poor light. I love dark shadows, reflections and shooting through glass. I like out-of-focus and I like bad composition. I don’t care about camera settings or about using the “right” lens. I do like the rule of thirds, sometimes and anything goes if the final image is what I want.
Can I download and use your images?
You can download any of the images for personal non-commercial use. All I ask is you include the following link beside any of the images you use: Bad Photography – www.garybuckham.org.uk
Why do your images not have a title with them?
Personally, I think an image should stand on its own right. I don’t believe giving it a title adds anything to the image. It’s the image itself that counts. I’m a firm believer that photography is about pictures not about words.
What camera and lenses do you most frequently use?
At the moment, I use three diffeent camera to takae my selfies: a Panasonic Lumix G7 compact system camera fitted with a Panasonic Lumix G Series 45-150 mm zoom lens which I use most of the time. I also carry a Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH. All lenses are fitted with lens hoods. As a rule I never carry more than one additional lenses at any time. I also use a GoPro Hero 5 Black action camera and a Ricoh Theta S 360 degree camera.
If you only had one lens, what lens would you use?
If I had to select a single lens I would go for the 25mm f1.4 Leica DG fixed lens mentioned above. This is equivalent to a standard 50 mm lens. Its simple, you don’t have to zoom in and out all the time – but you do have to move yourself to frame the shot! Its great for low light conditions and produces a near normal field of view. It’s just so neat and simple. I would compare it to riding a single-speed bicycle rather than one with 30 or more gears.
What post-processing do you carry out?
My aim is to keep any post-processing to a minimum by doing as much as possible at the time of taking the actual image, though that is not always possible. I try to limit any software manipulation to similar tasks that would be done in a traditional darkroom, i.e. minor cropping, adjusting brightness and contrast and a little sharpening to replace that lost after resizing. I have a rule never to use any digital manipulation software.
Do you have any photographic training?
No, just a self-taught amateur, though I have been to a few photographic workshops when I was a member of Selkirk Camera Club more than 30 years ago. I even won a few prizes!
What camera accessories do you carry?
In addition to the cameras and lenses mentioned above, the usual small items I carry include, UV filters attached to all lenses, spare batteries for the camera and remotes and two spare 32 GB SD media cards. My bag also contains a few items for cleaning the lenses. Also in, or attached to, my camera bag, are the following items, though not all are carried on every trip: an Ultrapod 2 mini tripod, Manfrotto Compact monopod, Manfroto Compact Light tripod and a Pixel RW-221/L1 Wireless Shutter Remote.
What camera bag do you use?
I use a Crumpler Jackpack Half Photo Backpack. It comes with two compartments, the upper for food, water, waterproofs, clothing and other small items, and a partitioned lower section, which opens and hinges outwards, for camera equipment. It is just large enough to hold the camera and lens, the two additional lenses noted above and spares such as batteries, media cards, etc. It’s green with a fetching orange piping. When in the field all lenses have their lens hoods fitted and lens caps removed, ready for use. As the Crumpler is not very waterproof, I use a Karrimor Delta 25 rucksack with a waterproof liner on wet days or when bad weather is forecast.
Why do you use colour rather than black and white?
I actually quite like black and white and some images are better in black and white than colour. However, there is so much bright vibrant colour everywhere that it seems a shame to lose all that splendour. I also like to do my own thing rather than follow the crowd.
Why are all your images in landscape format?
I take all my photographs in landscape format because that just feels the right way for me to go. Yes, some of them would perhaps be better to viewers in portrait format but I don’t find myself drawn to the format. I also like my images to follow a common standard, all the same size, the same shape and same format. I just get a bit uncomfortable trying to mix more than one format.
How do you decide which images to post online?
My method of choosing images is quite easy really. I look at the image or set of images in Paint Shop and pick the best one. I resize and/or crop if required, adjust contrast and finally simply decide if I like the finished image. If I do it goes online, if not it doesn’t.
Why do you post so many images online?
When I get back from a photography session I often find that I don’t like many of the images I thought were great at the time. Next day I may feel differently and like them. In a few weeks or months’ time I may feel differently towards them again. This changing like/dislike towards my images is the reason I have so many online.
Do you plan your day, or do you just go out and see what happens?
I usually have an approximate route plan in mind, based on the time of day, weather conditions and how they will change throughout the day, the season of the year and so on. However, my plan is not rigid and I’m entirely flexible during the day. If I see better opportunities away from my plan, I’ll go for them. The greatest influence on where I go is the light.
Do you have any tips for someone new to photography?
Yes, get out there come rain or shine and simply of pictures. Don’t think too much. Inspect the images after your get home. Learn from others but do you own thing, develop your own style and try not to copy others. Use whatever camera you want, even a smartphone. Use whatever lens you want. Start a website or blog, post on your Facebook page or open a Flickr account – all these will give you purpose for taking your pictures. Finally, take images for yourself and forget about pleasing others. Forget about how many page counts or likes you get. It’s what you like that counts. And finally, the opinion of others is only their view point.
Copyright ©2018 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.