Geraint Rowland Photography

Instagram Takeover of the Ffotogallery Platform

I am currently taking over the Ffotogallery Platform Instagram (15 - 23rd July).  I started my photographic journey eight years ago at the Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, Wales when I enrolled on two evening courses.  Via Ffotogallery I enrolled on two courses: 'Introduction to Photography: Beginner' and subsequently 'Introduction to Photography: Intermediate'.  I enjoyed both courses immensely and have been taking photos ever since.  I was therefore very excited and honoured to be involved with such a project.  Below is a slide show of the travel images I chose for the project (NB: I will add to the slideshow as the week progresses).

Ffotogallery Platform is an online project created to help emerging photographers and lens-based artists make their work accessible to a wider audience, including industry professionals and peers through Ffotogallery's network, and to help create links within the photographic and artistic community.  Selected participants are offered a one week residency on the Ffotogallery Platform Instagram account (@ffotogalleryplatform).  The Platform launched in January 2018 as part of 40:40 Vision, a year long celebration of events, projects and exhibitions to celebrate Ffotogallery's 40th Birthday.  

The online residency involves uploading between 1 - 4 images a day to the Instagram site belonging to Ffotogallery Platform.  I was asked by the organisers to focus on my street and portrait photography as they believed these would translate well to Instagram.  So far the project has been very useful for me.  It has increased my reach and exposure noticeably on my own Instagram account (@Geraint_Rowland_Photography).  In addition it has given me additional experience in the photo selection and curation process.  This is beneficial for both online presentation and future exhibition considerations.  I hope to carry out further Instagram takeovers in the future.    

More of my travel photography can be found on my websiteInstagramFacebook Page and my Flickr account.  If you would like me to be involved with an Instagram takeover please send an email to: geraintrowlandphotography@gmail.com.

Down by the Sea, Chorillos, Lima, Peru

Chorrillos is a district of the Lima Province in Peru and part of the city of Lima. It gets its name from the Spanish word for "trickle of water".  Chorillos is located next to Barranco on the coastline of Lima and has several different beach areas facing the pacific ocean.  

'Playa de Pescadores', is a small fishing beach that is full of activity and a very interesting place to spend a few hours, people watch and enjoy the sunset.  On the shoreline you can have fresh ceviche (Peru's national dish consisting of raw fish marinaded in fresh lime juice and chilli).  On the small pier you can have a go at fishing for crab and small fish or take a boat tour around the local coastline of Chorillos and Lima.  From this side of Chorrillos, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the bay of Lima taking in the views of Barranco, Miraflores and beyond.  On a clear day, in the distance you can see La Punta and the San Lorenzo island in the district of Callao.  

Directly next to Playa de Pescadores is a private exclusive beach and sports club called Regatas.  Regatas is one of the most exclusive sports clubs in Lima and attracts the rich and famous Peruvians who go there to exercise, sunbathe and relax.

Around the headland you have the small secluded beach of La Herradura which was a deluxe beach resort in the 19th century.  These days the seafront has several seafood restaurants where you can enjoy traditional Peruvian cuisine and watch the sun go down.  The beach is also home to one of Lima's best surfing spots, La Herradura.  The wave needs a big swell to work properly and has hosted several international surfing competitions.

On the coastal road between the malecon of Chorillos and La Herradura you pass the rocky headland peninsula of El Salto de Fraile.  Here lies an exclusive restaurant with the same name, and a legend of forbidden love that ended tragically.  The tale involves young love which resulted in a pregnancy and the young man being sent to a convent for his sins and made into a friar.  These days at the same spot you can watch locals reenact the tale.  Men from the local Chorillos area dress as Monks and dive off the cliffs into the perilous ocean below.  I have heard rumours that at least one person has died doing this dive.  It’s a fascinating place however and I intend to return in the next few weeks to capture more of their dives.

More of my Lima photography can be found on my website, my Instagram, and my Flickr account. If you are interested in purchasing any prints, using an image online or would like further information please send me an email at: geraintrowlandphotography@gmail.com.

Silhouette Photography by Geraint Rowland

I have always enjoyed taking and viewing silhouette photographs.  I think that the simplicity of silhouette images adds to their overall beauty.  And I believe the lack of detail in silhouette photography often makes the imagery more interesting by adding an element of intrigue.  I particularly like silhouette photography when there is an interesting background such as a colourful sky, dramatic cloud formation or a strong sunset.

Silhouette photography by Geraint Rowland, two surfers at sunset in Peru

Silhouette photography by Geraint Rowland, two surfers at sunset in Peru

How to take silhouette photos

As with everything in photography, when taking silhouette photos, the most important thing is the lighting.  In basic terms, you want the background to be lighter than your foreground subject. The best way therefore is to take the image at either sunrise or sunset.  At this time of the day you may also have the added bonus of colour in the sky.  The best silhouette photographs are often taken when the sun is low, for example during a dramatic sunset.  However, equally as impressive silhouette images can be taken against a blue sky.  Alternatively silhouette photos can be taken against the bright shine of a fjord in Oslo, the expanse of the ocean, or a snowcapped mountain.  Finally silhouette images can be created against the backdrop of artificial lighting such as at Lima’s Circuito Mágico del Agua, the World's largest water fountain complex.  Click through the slideshow below for more examples of silhouette photography I have taken on my travels:

Silhouettes are a great way of adding mystery and drama to an image, drawing the viewer in and letting them use their imagination.  They can transform a simple scene into one full of emotion lifting an otherwise throwaway photo into a standout shot.  There is a wealth of useful information online regarding silhouette photography and the techniques involved.  Without getting too technical here are some tips for shooting powerful silhouettes:

1.  It's all about the light: As with all photography the importance of correct lighting can not be emphasised enough.  For silhouette photography your subject (the silhouette) should be in front of the light source (sun/sky/artificial light).  You then need your camera to set the exposure on the brightest part of the image as opposed to on the subject.  This will result in your subject being under exposed and becoming a silhouette.

2.  Keep it simple: Look for locations that have a large amount of open space and are uncluttered.  The less distracting elements in the frame the better, and make use of negative space.  

3.  Don't use flash: You want as little light in front of your subject as possible, so do not use flash whilst taking silhouettes.  If shooting on automatic mode your flash may fire automatically due to the low light.  Instead switch the camera to either automatic, shutter, or aperture priority modes.

4.  Choose a strong subject: Choose subjects with a strong and recognisable shape and form for silhouette photos.  When photographing people up close, try to catch them side on so you can capture the detail in the profile.  Somethings work better than others, experiment and have fun.

More examples of my silhouette photography can be found on my Facebook or on my Flickr account.  If you are interested in purchasing any of my silhouette images or would like further information please send me an email at: geraintrowlandphotography@gmail.com.

Anamorphic Photography by Geraint Rowland

I first became interested in anamorphic and cinematic photography a few years ago after stumbling across an article online on the PetaPixel blog written by the wedding photographer, Sam Hurd.  The article, titled, 'Shooting with an Anamorphic Lens on an Ordinary DSLR' explains the history behind the cinematography technique as well as how to use an anamorphic lens on a modern day DSLR camera.  In essence, using an anamorphic lens results in a photo with a wide panoramic aspect ratio whilst having the shallow depth of field of a telephoto lens.  

An anamorphic image of the Inca Trail leading to Peru in South America by Geraint Rowland.

An anamorphic image of the Inca Trail leading to Peru in South America by Geraint Rowland.

To find out more about anamorphic photography I found an excellent group on Flickr called Anamorphic Lens which is frequented by some experts in this field.  Following some conversations online with the extremely talented, friendly and helpful Shuji Moriwaki I went on to buy one of his old lenses and give it a go myself.  In addition to the wide aspect whilst retaining the shallow depth of field, anamorphic lenses also bend the incoming light in a beautiful way.  Anamorphic lenses also produce very unique bokeh, finally this style of lens can produce a very cool cinematic style flare.  

Using an anamorphic lens on a DSLR is a bit of a fiddle, especially with regards to focus.  You need to first focus your normal prime lens, attach the anamorphic lens with a mount and then focus the second lens to the same distance.  Like everything, practice makes perfect and the technique gets easier with time.  Despite the focus issues an anamorphic lens can produce some stunning and unique images.  I found that they emphasis the scale in landscape photography and can add emotion with the particular way they bend the light.  Here are some landscape photos I took using the anamorphic lens in and around Machu Picchu in Peru.  Note the cinematic style borders at the top and the bottom of the image are added in post production.  

Click on the image below to scroll through the slide show.

With portrait photography they provide an alternative approach, producing images with a unique look and style.  You can make use of the shallow depth of field offered by the telephoto lens as well as playing with the unique lighting, flare and bokeh.  Click on the image below to scroll through the view the slide show.

More examples of my anamorphic photography can be found on my website or on my Flickr account.  If you are interested in purchasing any of my anamorphic prints or would like further information please send me an email at: geraintrowlandphotography@gmail.com.