Monday, 24 June 2013

Red Bull Illume Finalists: Top 250

Back in March I wrote a blog post on the Red Bull Illume competition that I was getting excited about entering. Judging is now over and a total of 28,257 images were received!

Starting today Red Bull are posting 10 images every week day of the top 250 images in their Illume competition. The standard is pretty darn high, check the first 10 out here:

The winners of each category and the overall winner will be announced in August.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

London City Sunset - The Shard

Sunset down on the Thames this evening, looking across at the Shard:

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 18-105mm, 1/200 sec,  f/3.5, ISO 100

Saturday, 22 June 2013

How to photograph a 'supermoon'

Here's a photo I took of a 'supermoon', the day in the year when the moon reaches "perigee", its closest point to earth, meaning it's a lot more noticeable than usual (looks about 30 per cent brighter and bigger than usual).

1/400, f/3.5, ISO 100

I used a 200mm lens (effectively 300mm on my D7000) and set my camera up on a tripod. I also used a wireless remote to reduce any further vibration.

To get a sharp, detailed image and reduce any unwanted graininess, I kept the ISO low at 100 and set the shutter speed relatively fast at 1/400. I set the aperture to f/3.5 to allow as much light in as possible.

Even though I took this from central London, the city's ambient light didn't affect the image too much.

I used manual focus and a combination of the viewfinder and the LCD screen (zoomed right in) to make sure the moon was sharp and in focus.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Latest Videos - African animals fighting!

Two latest videos for Mike Ross Africa Travel:

Quite a disturbing one of a pride of lions attacking a lone buffalo, only for it to be rescued by its herd... but there's a sad twist at the end:

Another one, not as gory, of two male hippos having a scrap:

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

What Photography Gear to Take on Safari

Going on safari and want to know what photography gear to take?

Here's my guide on what we recommend at Mike Ross Africa Travel, from zoom lenses to sand bags (!):


Danny MacAskill's New Imaginate Riding Film

Finally, after two years in the making, Danny MacAskill's new riding film is out - Imaginate.

As you expect from Danny, it's full of breathtaking stunts and tricks that you almost can't quite believe he's managed to pull off!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

UCI Downhill Mountain Biking World Cup, Round 2, Val Di Sole - Watch Live at

Red Bull is bringing us Round 2 of the UCI DH Mountain Biking World Cup from Val Di Sole, Italy. You can watch it here from 15:15 (GMT):

While you're waiting, check out the hilarious helmet cam video and commentary from Gstaadt-Scott team manager Claudio Caluori:

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

TED Talk on Quadcopters - Amazing!

Breathtaking video from TED Talks with Raffaello D'Andrea showing off the amazing agility and athleticism of quadcopters doing things like balancing glasses of water while flying, catching objects and controlling flight with your body:

And to follow it up, my favourite 'copter' showreel by Copter Kids:

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Friday, 7 June 2013

How to become a successful photographer

I know you've probably read a thousand of these same posts with all the clich├ęd, meaningless phrases that people tell you on how to be a successful photographer, like 'follow your dreams', 'be unique', 'believe in yourself' etc. These have no practical application in helping you become successful.

What I'm doing here is boiling down the advice from the pros (like Zack Arias, Joe McNally, David Hobby etc) in a recent YouTube video I just posted about here, to the practical points that you can actually use on how to become a successful photographer:

  • Work hard - Yep, pretty obvious but probably the number 1 thing and you've just got to do it. Stop daydreaming about your dream job, be proactive and do something about it. When you're trying to make it you should be spending all your time shooting, marketing, blogging, editing, networking - it all counts. If you don't, there are thousands of people out there that are spending every waking moment doing this and they'll pass you by. Consistently working hard will benefit you in so many ways, from improving your portfolio to getting yourself known.
  • Shoot more - If you're working hard you'll be shooting more. If you shoot more you'll be editing more and your portfolio will grow and improve. Shoot the stuff you want to be shooting and remember, free shoots are valuable - you're getting paid in experience and building your portfolio, you'll turn this into money in the long term. A good one from the video: contact clients you want to work with. Just try it, give them a call, pop them an email, what's the worst that can happen.
  • Dont chase the money - A difficult one to grasp as you obviously need to make money to be able to survive and continue doing the job you want. But it's good advice to stop thinking 'how can I get rich from taking photos'.  Follow the above points, if you work hard, shoot more and take pictures you are happy with, financial success will follow. 
  • Network - again quite an obvious point but something people don't really know how to do effectively. Networking means everything from contributing to online forums, contacting clients, going on photo walks, visiting exhibitions, attending events etc. The more you do this, the more people you'll get to know and you'll find the work starts to come in. This is how the world goes round, people would much rather employee someone they know as it's much less work for them. And be nice to people!
  • Slash your expenses - If you're finding budgeting difficult, try and manage your money better. Do you really need to go for that coffee? How important is it for you to buy those new shoes? Having the most expensive gear isn't necessarily the most important thing either. Is it more important for you to live in an expensive plush apartment or to be doing a job you love?
My own contributions:
  • Research - get stuck into some books, videos and blogs on everything about the industry. Try and absorb as much information as you can about the business of photography and surround yourself by it. And keep at it!

Inspiring Video on Becoming a Successful Photographer

Here's an incredibly useful and inspiring video made by FStoppers, filmed by Lee Morris and Patrick Hall in Dubai at Gulf Photo Plus 2013.

Photographers featured:
Zack Arias, Joe McNally, David Burnett, Scott Hargis, Gregory Heisler, David Hobby, Peter Hurley, John Keatley

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Lion Pride vs Buffalo Herd Video - Mike Ross Africa Travel

Just put together an incredible and disturbing video for Mike Ross Africa Travel of a pride of lions hunting and catching a lone buffalo only for the buffalo herd to show up and rescue it. There's also a horrible twist at the very end...

Shooting a Daily Vlog During the World's Toughest Adventure Race - Part 1

Earlier this year I got a phone call from Red Bull athlete, Paul Guschlbauer , asking if I was up for shooting and editing a daily vlog wit...