Category Archives: Photography

A Strange Commission

Photographers do get asked some interesting questions – some quite bizarre!  A few days ago, my phone rang and displayed an unknown mobile number on the display.

The caller asked: ‘Do you live in Brighton?

Me: ‘Yes I do.

Caller: ‘Anywhere near the nudist beach?

Me: ‘Er, its a couple of miles away – quite close.

Caller: ‘You couldn’t take a few photos for me, could you?

Me: ‘Er, no. Sorry. Goodbye.

So, Mister Whatever-your-name-is, here is a photo from my archives, which I took near the famous Brighton Nudist Beach on a nice summery day a few years back.  The title of this photo is ‘You want me to do whaaat?’  This one is just for you!  Enjoy!

You want me to do whaaat? © Geoff Penn 2007

Scott Kelby visits London

Earlier today I caught the train to London to see Photoshop Guru Scott Kelby (pictured here) present the last ever seminar in his “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it” tour.

Scott is the author of “The Digital Photography Book” and is the Editor of Photoshop User magazine.  He’s also one of the Photoshop Guys who provide free Photoshop instruction video podcasts.

The audience saw how Scott went about setting up the lighting for a model, then direct and shoot the model, and finally how to retouch those images using Lightroom and Photoshop.  It was excellent stuff; although my Lightroom and Photoshop skills aren’t too shabby, I learned lots of useful tips on retouching images, as well as lots on setting up effective portrait lighting.

Now to practice those new skills!

How to lose those chins when being photographed

This is a great video from US headshot photographer David Hurley.  David talks about the jawline, and how to lose those extra chins when being photographed. Even if you have just one chin, it’s still worth a look.



I would recommend that my wedding and portrait clients take a look before the shoot takes place!

Microsoft release Cliplets app

Microsoft Research have released Cliplets – an interactive app that gives users the power to create “Cliplets” — a type of imagery that sits between stills and video, including imagery such as video textures and “cinemagraphs”.

It’ll be interesting to see how creatives use this tool!


Written on the back of a photo…

Remembering who our ancestors were

I love looking through our old family photos; it’s fascinating to read the brief descriptions which have been written on the back of the photographs, bringing context to the picture and adding to the story behind the photo.  In this digital age, I’m worried that in 50 or 100 years time, there will be billions of digital images available, but they won’t have the benefit of these little descriptive gems written on the back, and so those of us alive now will be uncaptioned, and we’ll become anonymous.

Although the following is most likely a work of fiction, I love the way in which this American gentleman, Remus Reid, has been portrayed by descendants had the following biographical sketch written about him:

Remus Reid was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory.

His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to government service, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad.

In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.


The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the gallows in Montana territory.


On the back of this picture is this inscription: ‘Remus Reid, horse thief, sent to Montana Territorial Prison 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the Montana Flyer six times. Caught by Pinkerton detectives, convicted and hanged in 1889.