It’s interesting to find two shots in your archives that seem similar despite being taken at completely different times and even in different countries.

Both of these photos sort of break conventional rules. There is no focal point. I liked the color of the walls and includes fragments of nearby objects to give context.

The first one was taken at an olive factory in Greece.

On Yellow

This second photo was taken in Chinatwon, London.


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Shadow Play

A spot of sun lights up a square on the wall, casting shadows just before the sunset starts. I tried a few objects there in the few minutes the light stuck around, but I think the first one with the boy and bird statue came out the best.

Shadow Games

Greek PotteryDried Plant Shadows

Any other object suggestions?

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Through The Eyes Of: Pushpinder Singh Bagga

Inspired by the colors and culture of India, Pushpinder has created a vibrant portfolio of people and places. Technology has played a great role in his work. He’s used his other talent in web design to promote his own work and Flickr to network and learn from others.

Pushpinder took some time out from his busy schedule to answer a few questions about approaching strangers for photographs, tell us about the moment he finally got his first digital camera about four years ago and where he took it first and gives a few tips to other photographers who are wondering how to start their own photography website.

Baba [Explored]

LPO: Tell us a bit about your background.
PSB: As seen clearly from my photos, I live in India. Born and brought up in Chandigarh, a city in North India, I was lucky to grow up in the hub of cultural diversity. I did my Engineering in Electrical Sciences and post that, started my career in Software and Consultancy. Currently, I am trying to switch it to Design and Creative Mapping.

2 Sisters [Explored]

LPO: Is there a certain moment you remember when you fell in love with photography? When did you start?
PSB: Yes, there was, thanks for asking!

Here it goes… My mother belongs to Amritsar, Punjab, North India – the city built around The Sikh Golden Temple. Since my childhood, I was always excited to go to my mother’s parental house and eventually to the Golden Temple too. I always wanted to photograph it but at that time, digital cameras were a rarity in India and film cameras were costly. As time progressed, I became more and more desperate for photography, that I switched to sketching (the least I could do to get what I saw on paper). Finally in 2007, I got my first digital camera and I made sure to score my first homerun in Amritsar itself.

Old Indian Man Portrait

LPO: You’ve designed quite a few websites and your own photography site is clean and professional. Any tips or advice for newbies who want to set up a personal site to show off their work outside of Flickr?
PSB: I would say go ahead and start one. If you are looking for no-cost delicacy, go for blogger and search for templates widely available across the internet. If you can afford like $5-6 hosting monthly, I would suggest go ahead and buy a WordPress theme from There a variety of themes available at $20. If you are looking for a unique theme only for your photos, hire a designer. It would cost around $500-$1000 but would be exclusive to your work. You can contact me, we can talk over it for sure! AND – Never go for flash websites, I would suggest,  always target people who search for images and are probable visitors to your blog as time progresses.

I sell my Toy? #2

LPO: Your portfolio includes some great portrait shots. How do you approach strangers to ask for a photograph and forge the connection with them that shows through in your images? Have you ever had a negative reaction?
PSB: Well, this is something that I am always asked for but frankly it’s not that difficult. 20% of the time people shy away or shoo me away and the rest make sure to give me a smile before the shot. I make gestures through my eyes, face and slow movement to make it gradually evident that I mean no harm and am approaching to click a photo for leisure. That’s about it. PLUS – people in India are crazy to get themselves clicked – that comes to the rescue most of the times.

Bi - The Grandmother

LPO: Tell us about the first time you walked up to someone you didn’t know to ask for a photo. Where were you? Was it a positive experience?
PSB: It was a positive experience. I was in Pinjore Gardens – Haryana India. It was a great experience; again – just smile, be very casual and approach slowly giving them the time to recuperate from whatever they are feeling.


LPO: Tell us a story behind about one of the most interesting people you’ve had the privilege to photograph.
PSB: Well, I also am a photojournalist with the UB Group in India. I had a chance to photograph Indian actor Rahul Bose in a fashion event in India. It was super-amazing to meet celebrities and be someone exclusive to be talking to and clicking them!


LPO: What are your main objectives as a photographer? What do you hope to accomplish or communicate through your body of work?
PSB: My main objective is to bring out the real India which lives on the faces of people in India.


LPO: Which aspects of your photos make them stand out as yours, elements that have developed over time to become your creative “eye”?
PSB: It’s the frame in which a photo is clicked. Angles are always mentioned, but people forget frames. The great thing about frames is that you can click 100 frames from one angle rather than moving around an clicking 100 frames from 100 angles. Just take a good stance close up to the subject and start shooting in different frames from the same angle. As you click more and more shots, improve your stance with zoom, aperture and shutter speed to get the most out of that frame eventually leading to a super awesome photo.

Road Roller HDR

LPO: Where is your favourite place to take your camera and why?
PSB: Amritsar Amritsar Amritsar


LPO: What is the one question you wish I would have asked you and how would you answer it?
PSB: You could have asked how I feel about Flickr and how do I use it for networking and sharing pictures. I would have said – Flickr is one amazing tool that has enabled me to meet a variety of people who have taught me a lot of things about photography and life. It’s nothing like a Twitter or a Facebook or an Orkut – of which I use none… Flickr is totally different, giving oneself a sufficient space to experiment and share.

A Punjabi

Thanks Pushpinder!

For more of Pushpinder’s work, have a look at his Flickr page or the great new website he just designed.

For more interviews with photographers, have a look at the archives.

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The Eye: Graham F Kerr

This is “Bob the Goth”, as shot by Graham F Kerr. Bob is checking out Graham’s first book of photography – images of all the characters he’s photographed around London’s Camden Town. As you can see from the first time I featured him on The Eye and all of the links you’ll find in that post, people are Graham’s specialty.

Bob cheaking out my first book Graham kerr on Camden lifeI decided in this case to post two different photos of the same person, to look at the differences between black & white and color. It’s sometimes a difficult choice to make when it comes to portraits, especially street portraits.

Bob working in the in the shop, only satudays if you want to buy somthing.

I always come back to that quote by father of Canadian photojournalism Ted Grant: When you photograph people in colour you photograph their clothes.  But when you photograph people in B&W, you photograph their souls.

What do you think?

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Niagara Falls, New York

Under the ice and snow, much of the park on the American side was blocked off, but we walked along to Three Sisters Island and got as close as we could to the Falls. White was the dominant color in the Winter landscape – a typical freezing season for Western New York. Settle in with a hot chocolate and enjoy a few photos from the bitter cold:

Admiring the Winter Rapids

Rushing toward the Falls

Birds on an Iceberg

Braving the Ice

Falling Ice Zone

Niagara Falls

Winter Branches
Over the River and Through the Woods

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A Greek Sunset

It is impossible to watch a sunset and not dream.
Bern Williams

Sky on FireOlive Leave SunsetAs the Sun Goes DownSunset SilhouetteI’ve never captured a sunset photo that I really liked. They always seem cliche. But this one was different. We were in Greece, near the sea, and perhaps it is because, like Mr Williams said, It is impossible to watch a sunset and not dream.

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Through The Eyes Of: Anne Greiner

Anne loves people. You can see the connection she builds with strangers, the trust in their eyes, the way their faces open to her camera. A genuine interest in their lives has enabled her to create a portfolio that sucked me in. I want to know their stories, see their country. Her photography has given me an interest in traveling to Georgia, a place I never really thought too much about, a place she travels to over and over again from her homebase in Dumfries, Scotland.

Read on for Anne’s stories about some of the kindness she encountered there – from farmers to priests to taxidermists. She talks about how she learned to approach strangers with the intention of photographing them and how she first started out as a young girl in her kitchen that was transformed into a dark room.

The family, Georgia

LPO: Tell us a bit about your background.
AG: My father gave me my first camera at the age of 8. He was a very keen photographer and used to use the kitchen as a darkroom where I would assist! School, marriage and family then took over until I reached my forties when I developed a renewed interest in photography. Black and white darkroom work was my main passion, and I never ceased to be amazed as the final print appeared in the dish. Now that the family are independant I love to travel whenever I can with my partner, who is also a fanatical photographer.

Piano Practice, Georgia

LPO: Do you remember when and why you first fell in love with photography?
AG: The second question is really tied in with the first. I have always been around photographers and still have all my father’s photo albums from the 20s and 30s onwards; in fact, our family photo archive goes back to the late 1800s! It has just been a natural progression to record the people I come into contact with and, hopefully, say something about them.

Schoolroom, Gori

LPO: You seem to forge a connection with the people in your portraits. How do you approach strangers so that they are open to posing for you?
AG: Approaching strangers was not easy for me to start with – that terrible English affliction of not wanting to intrude! One year we went on holiday with another photographer who was great at putting people at their ease and getting them to sit for pictures and I learned a lot from him. If you approach in a friendly manner and take an interest in what people are doing and how they live, they are usually more than willing to let you take pictures. That way you get a connection with the subject which, hopefully, will convey something of their character to the viewer.

Priest, Sno Valley, Georgia

LPO: Tell us a story about one of the most interesting people you’ve had the privilege to photograph.
AG: On a trip to the far north of the republic of Georgia, way up in the Caucasus mountains, we visited the remote village of Ushguli. As we wandered the streets, we met a man who invited us into his house. We had a long (disjointed!) conversation with him and his wife and then he took us to see his summer house. It was perched on a large rocky outcrop at the edge of his property and just used in the summer months. The first thing we saw on entering the house was an old Gnome enlarger and, judging by the snapshots on his wall, he was a fair photographer. In the bedroom was a large stuffed (badly!) goat and on the walls were various one-legged stuffed birds and the odd small mammal. So he was also a taxidermist. In the main house, he had a collection of musical instruments all of which he could play. A surprising character to find in a far off village where the cattle and goats still roamed the muddy streets during the day!

The Taxidermist, Ushguli, Georgia

LPO: Favorite place to take your camera and why?
AG: I don’t have a particular favourite place, but I try to have it with me whenever I am out and about just in case…

LPO: Share a shot that best represents your creative vision or “eye” as a photographer and tell us why.
AG: I am not quite sure how to answer that. I always like to have an idea of how a picture will look when it is finished, and the wonderful thing about digital images as opposed to darkroom, is that you can alter the reality of your shot to accomplish that end. The farmer and the yellow bus for instance, both parts of the image taken at the same time at a market in Georgia, but the farmer was made the main subject (mainly to emphasize that hat!) and the bus (which was, in fact, his cattle transporter) sets him in context.

Azeri Farmer, Georgia

LPO: What do you hope to communicate through your images when you share them with others?
AG: I hope that people viewing my pictures will gain a sense of the places I visit, the people I meet on my travels and a little bit about me as well, judged by my subject matter.

LPO: Your travels have taken you to Georgia, Belgium, China and Turkey, among others. Which inspired you the most to take out your camera? Anywhere you wouldn’t return?
AG: I think I found Georgia and Turkey the most inspirational. We visited Georgia three years in a row and had a great reception everywhere we went. The Georgians just love to entertain visitors and we were made very welcome. Even in 2009 after the Russian incursion, we returned to the town of Gori which had been hard hit during the troubles, and the welcome was no different. We have been to Turkey every year for the past five years and I love it. The country is huge and very varied, from the seaside of the mediterranean coast to the hill villages of the far east along the Syrian border and overlooking the plains of Mesopotamia. I don’t think that there is anywhere that I would not revisit, but there are still so many countries to visit and so little time…!

Three Boys and a Dog, Turkey

LPO: Is there something you’ve learned over the years that you can share with us that you wouldn’t have known if you didn’t have a camera with you?
AG: Another difficult one to answer. There are places I would probably never have seen if it weren’t for the camera. Destinations are mainly chosen with photography in mind, and maybe I would have wandered the streets of those far flung places like any other tourist were it not for the delight in meeting new people, seeing how they live and sharing that experience through the photographs.

The Cook and his Boy, Gursu, Turkey

LPO: What is the one question you wish I would have asked you and how would you answer it?
AG: You might have asked me if there was any deeper meaning to my photographs in philosophical terms. Well, no there isn’t really. I like to record what I see, I like to show other people something about where I’ve been and who I’ve met, and that’s it folks!

Woman with Cat, Tbilisi

Thanks Anne!

For more of Anne’s work, have a look at her Flickrstream.

For more interviews with photographers, have a look at the archives.

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Does anyone else have a Lensbaby? I just got a Composer with the accessories kit and I’m trying to experiment. I’ve only taken it around the house so far, but I’ve found it’s difficult to get a shot that’s got a clear focus in the sweet spot. Most of them have been coming out completely blurry. These ones are the best so far…

Suncatcher in WinterMy Next TripWinter flowersGreen GlassWish Upon a StarIf anyone has any good tips and tricks for the Lensbaby, the Composer especially, please pass them on in the comments! If you have your own Lensbaby photos, leave us some Flickr links to check out.

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The Eye: Kat Sloma

Living in Italy for a few years, Kat has been using her new surroundings to expand her creative eye. Her shots, like these two below, give off an atmospheric Italian vibe.

This first image of a Vespa was taken in Parma. I love it for the tones that give it a real vintage feel. This has actually evolved into a series of red transport with the same 70’s appeal, including a Fiat and a bicycle. Very European.

Classic Italian #2The second shot from Kat has a different sort of Italian vibe, one that is laid back and relaxed like the goldolier taking a nap. I love the reflection of the windows the water that add to the calm feeling it gives you.

WaitingFor more from Kat, have a look at her Flickr page.

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Fisherman’s Park

My hands were numb holding my camera the day I walked down to Fisherman’s Park. The wind was kicking up the snow and Niagara River increased the chill. It’s a pretty little park in North Tonawanda.

Frigid Waters

In the summer, when it’s not this icy, a lot of people go down there to spend a few hours casting rods and reeling in seaweed and the occasional fish. Under the pavillion (which only increased the windchill) I found this sad message written on one of the pillars.

Give a Man a FishI miss finding random messages on walls in London so despite the melancholy tone of this one, it made me happy to see a slightly rebellious artistic form of expression in a public place…

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