The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Photography competition and an album launch

A few weeks ago I was involved in judging a photo competition of images submitted by some of the youth of Dumfries and Galloway. The winners - aged between 15 and 20 - got to spend the day with me and Phil McMenemy on Saturday past.

In the morning I did some stuff on studio and portrait photography, while in the afternoon, Phil took them out to show them how he approaches landscape photography.

It was a fun and day - partly because of the interest and talent shown by the competition winners, and also because I gained a deeper insight into just how differently Phil and I approach photography. It's not just that he shoots landscapes while I focus on people, but the ways we learn, the ways we teach, and what we consider the priorities also vary tremendously. It all goes to show there are many roads to developing your path and your voice in photography.

Back: Phil, Nicola, Esme, me
Front: Lewis, Brodie

In the evening I took a couple of the winners with me to the Album launch of The Yahs, which I'd been invited to because they used my photo of them for the cover of the CD.

Photographing performances is a very different beast to studio photography. In ordinary portraiture you have control over the background, the lighting and you can interact with the sitter. With bands up on a stage, on the other hand, you can do none of these things. However, there are things you can do to increase your hit rate of reasonably successful photos and I did try and pass as much of this on as I could.

Below are a couple of the shots I took. The lead singer of The Yahs is such a great front-man - moving about, strutting, posing and engaging with the audience, that it's not hard to take a good photo if you can learn to anticipate his moves. Not always easy as he is moving pretty much constantly, but when you can catch him, the rewards are great.

For the rest of the set from Saturday, visit the album on my Photography Facebook page - - you don't have to be a member of Facebook to view it.


Kateri Von Steal said...

I always enjoy reading your posts and seeing your photography.


Kim Ayres said...

Thank you Kateri - your warm words are greatly appreciated :)

hope said...

Amazing work...which I looked at online. I swear I can hear him singing in that last photo. :)

Guyana-Gyal said...

Talent shines through, every time

You know what grabbed me, what you said about the way we teach, we all have different ways of doing this. It's true too about the way we learn, absorb experiences. That's what I enjoy about your writing, you never stop learning.

Pat said...

They are quite striking.
Do you have to make do with the existing lighting?

Anonymous said...

Cool photographs. It's the same for illustrators when we go from one aspect of it to another.

Kim Ayres said...

Hope - and he sounds just like you think he would :)

Guyana-Gyal - my grandfather left school at 11 years old, but spent his entire life learning. He could speak 5 languages and play every brass instrument there is. Even after he retired he took up photography and had a dark room in a cupboard. When we give up on learning we give up on anything new and are just waiting for the end...

Pat - all the performance shots are done with whatever lighting we were presented with :)

Allen - I'm always amazed by your ability to catch and sketch people in public places. I can snap them in 1/125th of a second, but you have to take a bit longer to draw them! :)

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