by lorna

Morocco a photographers dream

October 10th, 2013

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I have been back now for a week and the holiday is over, but Morroco has left an indelible mark on my psyche. The purpose of the holiday was r&r first and foremost, and as a professional photographer sometimes it’s nice to put the camera down, but it was impossible to resist in Morocco, every step you take there is another image presented to you.

I took my little Lumix, but I have to admit I don’t much like using it, it needs a viewfinder for serious image making, I can’t get on without having the image slap up against my retina and grey matter without distraction.

Also there are a number of challenges when shooting in Morocco; point the camera at anyone and you risk offending or you are expected to pay and initiate the inevitable bargaining banter and hassle.

I resorted to Instagram…. Lazy I know but it was a supposed to be a holiday. I love Instagram, I think it’s the fixed focal length, when you have your Instagram head on, you start looking at the world with that one square fixed frame, and take away the hassle of download edit process and export, its the instant creative fix for the image junkie.

Anyway, I couldn’t resist sharing a few more images from my hols!

Next blog will be about a our working week at bang wallop and what we are up to…

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by lorna

On my Moroccan hols

September 27th, 2013

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I am at Essourai on the Atlantic Coast, it’s my first visit to a Muslim country and it’s fascinating, and after a very full on year engrossed in all things bang wallop, it’s a bit of a culture shock, well frankly it’s a shock just to have some time off..

Life in the medina where we are staying is full on, shops selling leather slippers of every colour next to a motorbike mechanic shop, black with grime and oil,  next to butchers with rows of carcasses hanging out, interspersed with spice sellers crouched on their haunches over sacks full of herbs and spices; the further you venture in away from the fortified walls and main tourist drag, the more, “local” it becomes, carts laden with tomatoes, pomegranates, mountains of mint, and the hawkers shouting, women shrouded in black, some wearing full face veils and beautiful hooded jellabas. Scooters weave in and out, porters pushing carts, donkeys and pony carriages. Its like stepping back into the Middle Ages, that sounds patronising as it is a modern country but there is much that has not changed for hundreds of years, the souk shopping experience  makes our UK brand shopping experience seem bland, featureless and soulless by comparison.

The food is incredible, particularly the fish… Not surprising as Essouria is home to the third largest fishing port in Morroco, the harbour has to be seen to be believed, hundreds of identical blue heavy wooden boats, using identical maroon coloured nets, crammed into the old harbour, the fishermen are… the sort of fisherman you want to photograph, baiting their hooks with fish, surrounded by pristine white gulls and many pregnant cats, I got there too late last night to take any serious shots and also had no change to offer in return for pointing my camera in their direction, but I am going back armed, slightly regretting not having my SLR.

Taking pictures here is not easy, you either have to be prepared to part with money or offend, it will certainly draw unwanted attention the minute you put the camera to your face. But it is a photographic dream, I have, as ever really enjoyed using Instagram. It has the familiar square format of a medium format camera and the focal length of a standard 50 lense, I find it forces me to make the wider scene work, all to often we zoom in, and yet our natural field of vision is often the most successful when translated into an image, keeping it true simple and pure. I love being able to instantly process, no downloading, importing or exporting a true snap, hassle free shooting, I know the quality is shocking but it satisfies the desire to capture, I like to set myself the challenge of making every shot count, which is how we should all shoot all of the time.

Here are some of my Morrocan Instagram faves

That’s all for now

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by lorna

The Busy Girls Guide To Digital Photography

September 26th, 2013

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“The Busy Girls Guide” my new booky wook, has been available from Amazon for the past few weeks, even though the official publication date is the 21st of October.

click here to have a look here

I unpacked the box last week, lots of lovely fresh new copies and they look cool stacked on the book table at bang wallop. I actually finished writing it back in January and like child birth have now forgotten the pain…to almost start considering writing the next one.

TBGG as it has affectionately been shotrtend too, was not my first choice, I had actually wanted to do a box set of how to books with each subject/genre covered in each book, but I was told in no uncertain terms that I was not well known enough to risk a box set… I have for some time been pretty fed up with the lack of women represented in the industry, look at the mast head on any photographic magazine and it’s a pretty male dominated world; and yet it’s the girls and the women who are really embracing their digital slrs and so I thought it was about time that there was something written with a bit more of a female slant.

We all know women and men are wired differently and it’s my experience that we learn differently too. Men love the techie talk and gear and women are generally less interested in this and more focused excuse the pun on the composition and emotion of an image, massive generalization and of course, to be a really well rounded photographer you have to be good at all of it. But from a beginners and female perspective I hope that TBGG will be a fun and female take on getting to grips with your camera and an easier route to learning how to take control of your shooting.

I am off on my hols now currently on the train to Gatwick going to Morroco, I cannot wait! V v v excited, have bought my little Lumix as this is a holiday and lugging the big SLR feels just too much like work, particularly after a very long season in the studio, I had considered taking an old box brownie and shoot from the hip, much more discreet that holding the camera in front of your face, but it’s a short holiday so the Lumix will be just fine and of course Instagram which I love. Search instagram for LORNAYABSLEY to follow me or click here

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Thanks for reading my newbie blog. Buy the book!

Lorna


by lorna

Lorna’s 1st Post

September 24th, 2013

Well this is very over due, I have to admit I am a newbie blogger….it seems now to promote your business you must have a “profile”. In an attempt to get some sort of order into the marketing efforts at bang wallop I actually added up all the tools we use in order to get our message out and it came to about 23! add the seven pillars of the bang wallop business and it all becomes rather unmanageable,

….but I have to admit I like the idea of writing a blog.

Running bang wallop is endlessly fascinating; every week we have amazing people coming into the shop, and great projects to work on that are definitely worth sharing. For example, this weekend my old friend Joe Cornish came to stay; we attracted 50 people to his fascinating talk.

On Thursday we had a meeting about our plans to expand and role out franchise bang wallop stores; after 6 years of talking about it we are now setting up meetings with the right people.

We have taken delivery of some beautiful Welsh blankets from Melin Tregwint. I was desperate to get them in as we were so low on stock after our summer sale and they arrived last week hot off the loom. Why Welsh blankets in a photography business? Melin Tregwynt RugWe want to sell beautifully designed, quality British products that reflect the same quality we offer throughout the store.

Next month I am meeting with lighting designer Bruce Munro to discuss a very exciting lighting installation project for Salcombe hosted by bang wallop.

We are flat out “in production”; after a bumper August we are now busy fulfilling all our lovely family portrait orders. In summer 2013 we did most of our shooting out on the beach choosing early morning and late evening location shoots. I think it’s the best work we have done to date, and presented in our new range of beautiful frames, I am finally happy with what we are offering.lane_-003

I am also sketching out ideas for new products in 2014. I have failed in my search for the perfect ready made frame so I am just going to have to commission one, I will keep you posted or…. If any one knows of a quality white frame, pano with 8 square apertures and a single square frame, please let me know…….

On a personal note, I am off on my hols to Morroco for 10 days. I cannot wait, it’s much needed. I am debating about taking
the camera, generally when I go on an r&r break I am not too bothered about taking lots of pictures but this is Morroco and I know I will want to. I am slightly nervous about it though because I know I will probably get into trouble! I have considered taking a box brownie and shooting unobtrusively, from the hip.

My girl has gone to uni and is now living in London, I will be up there in November doing some one-to-one training with some of my lovely London ladies. Looking forward to being up in the “smoke”. I am also going to trade a day of photography for a lesson on how to throw a pot. I have had a urge to do this for some time, and I like the idea if trading skills; less for Mr HMRC!

Watching Fabulous Fashionistas on Channel 4, gotta go, this looks right up my street, about glam old women.


by bangwallop

June Photo Competition Winner

July 8th, 2013

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Congratulations to our June Winner, Andy Welch. A voucher email will be on its way to you soon! Our July 2013  competition is now open.

The schedule for 2013 photography courses at bangwallop is available to view on our website, so get your entries in to win a place on any course to the value of £125.