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Category Archives: Photo blogs

It’s been a long time coming but it’s finally released! My new book “Portraits of Asia” is a collection of my best and most compelling work from my recent journey around South East Asia. From the hillside villages and farms of Nothern Vietnam to the Orang Asli of Malaysia this book contains colourful, quirky and captivating photos I am very proud of.
You can order your copy online here and check out the first 15 pages of the book in the preview below.
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This photo has been knocking around in my collection for a while now but always draws me back to it to enjoy it.

Sea-read
Sea Read – Matt Preston

Some of my best work has come when my mind has suddenly latched on to a composition. When i saw this man reading in a up-turned converted boat, the way he was sat, the symmetry of it all, I was so glad I had my camera that day!

The subject matter and bold lines work so much better in black and white. Colour would never do this photo justice.

As ever your thoughts and comments are welcome.

I love living in Brighton. It’s one of the UK’s most famous tourist destinations. It’s been a “resort” for 300 years now and there’s never a dull moment. Festivals all year and tens of thousands of visitors flock to the beach every time the sun comes out.

This weekend saw the annual “London to Brighton Mini Run” take place. Starting in Crystal Palace, London. Ending at Madeira Drive, Brighton. Right on the sea front thousands of Minis arrived in convoy, parked up for the many MANY visitors to see.

Some Car Over the Rainbow

Some Car Over the Rainbow – Matt Preston

Minis are such beautiful little cars. They have such character and so many are so well preserved.

A mini kid

A Mini Kid – Matt Preston

The Mini is as much a symbol of British culture as Big Ben and The Queen (the band and the monarch). I adore them. There’s no other car quite like them.

On Fire

On Fire – Matt Preston

I’m currently torn between very minimal post-processing to correct exposure and full on post-processing “painting” as I like to call it. The above photo is a great example. Left alone this image is nice but uninspiring. With a bit of post-processing skill you can create something much more dramtic, vibrant and exciting.

The Buff King

The Buff King – Matt Preston

It’s great to see so many gorgeous little minis in pristine condition. This car was by far my favourite. I stopped by 3 times to have a look. The guy clearly loves his little Mini and keeps it as shiny as possible!

Exhibitions, be they in doors or out are often hard to shoot without getting masses of clutter in the background and often unwanted items in the foreground! It often takes time to find the right crop of an image, the right effect that will draw you away from the clutter. You’ll often take hundreds of shots and only end up with a handful of real winners.

Blue Wheeler
Blue Wheeler – Matt Preston

For more Mini photos check out my Flickr Photostream

As ever your thoughts, comments and critique are welcome.

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I saw these guys during a Busking Festival, a very simple image that offers so much in the way of narrative and comedy.

Will dance for food
Will Dance For Food – Matt Preston

I think this photo speaks for itself in terms of artist merit yet asks so much in terms of subject matter!

As ever your thoughts and comments are welcome.

This photograph was created for a local photography group I am a part of. Setting ourselves a monthly theme to help broaden our skills and challenge our minds.

I wanted to depict my journey to work, before i’ve left the house. From waking up (very slowly) to being late for work!

Self portrait before 9am
Self Portrait Before 9am – Matt Preston

Welcome to my lounge before 9am. On a week day at least!

The technique used to create this photo montage is called “Cloning” not to be confused with the Clone tool you often find in photo editing software. The Cloning I did involves using photoshop to create 4 layers, one for each image. The first image is used for all of the background you see (me on the far right to be exact)

I then roughly cut round each other Me, using the erasor tool with a feathered edge on it to remove unwanted background that may have a differing exposure to the main background. Sound a bit confusing? It’s not as hard as think. I’ll post a full tutorial one day!

As ever, any thoughts, comments or questions always welcome.

This is still one of my favourite photos. Partly the composition and partly the subject matter.

Forgotten door
Forgotten Door – Matt Preston

I rarely walk past this door as it’s very hidden out of the way in an uninviting area of town. In fact hardly anyone would go there.  The door would lead underneath roads and buildings so what it’s actually for I don’t know. Nor do I ever want to know. It’s the non-descript nature of this door that draws me to it.

Rusting, unmaintained, unloved, does anyone still use it? Where does it go? Maybe it hasn’t been used for a hundred years (its possible). Why is it painted bright red!?

The darkening of the edges of the image help spotlight the door, making it all the more magical. Funny how such a flat, 2 dimensional object can create so many questions.

As ever your thoughts and comments are welcome.

This was taken a few months ago. It’s still surprisingly compelling to look at. So simple to create too. When viewing a shadow in 3D some of it’s appeal is lost. But transfer it to a 2 dimensional media and it takes on a whole new life.

Daddy long legs
Daddy Long Legs – Matt Preston

Everyone should have a go at this. Just wait untill sunset, stand still and take a photo. High contrasting images like this often work better in black and white or sepia. Your camera maybe able to do these effects but if you know how to it’s always better to add these effects later with a photo editing programme like iPhoto, Lightroom or Photoshop.

As ever your thoughts and comments are always welcome.

Spending time with family is always a great opportunity to not only improve your photography skills but also give your family a surprise gift!

I’m lucky enough to have 2 beautiful nieces with another on the way! So there’s no end of family days out.

Outstanding in her field

Outstanding in her field – Matt Preston

This is one of my favourite photos. I’d prefer it if there wasn’t a fence in the background but you could argue that it adds a bit of texture and background to the image.

Pretty dress

Pretty Dress – Matt Preston

The great thing about kids is they have very little fear of cameras. It’s usually when adults get involved that they’re told to “say cheese” or smile unnaturally. Most of the time they’re happy to run around as though you’re not there. Of course if they do know what you’re doing it’s usually pretty easy to make them laugh, bringing out a great smile and compelling image.

Shy Smile

Shy Smile – Matt Preston

I recommend having a play around with settings in your photo editing software. You may find your photo becomes a lot more compelling if you up the contrast, reduce the saturation, etc. Family portraits often work well in black & white or even this de-saturated “aged photo” look.

Don’t be shy with your camera even when you’re at the park with lots of other kids around. While some people say “Make sure you don’t get any other kids in the shot” for fear of being shouted at by a protective parent one thing you’ll notice is that every parent has a digital camera in their hand these days, eager to snap more pics of their sons and daughters.

For more photos check out my Flickr Photostream.

Feel free to leave a comment and follow me on twitter

This is one of those great moments-in-time shots. I turned round and notied a Seagull sat on a CCTV camera. They both appeared to be looking down at us.

Birds Eye View
Birds Eye View – Matt Preston

From the angle both the Seagull and camera seem quite powerful. I think most would agree the Seagull wins when it comes to who has the greatest view.

I added a cross-processing effect to increase the gritty urban theme and a very heavy vignetting effect around the edges to make it feel as though we too were watching them. An almost telescope like appeal to it.

As ever your thoughts and comments are welcome. Have your say.

You know you’re on to something special when your little camera comes with it’s own roll of masking tape and a “how-to” style instruction manual to beat the glaring design flaws. Welcome to the world of lomography!

Drunk problem

Out Post - Lomography - Holga

Hide and seek

If anything the lomography cameras remind us that quality isn’t everything. That often it’s the imperfections that give us so much. You don’t need to spend thousands to achieve something eye catching and beautiful.

Check out this fantastic array of lomo cameras. Well worth adding to your camera bag.

If you’ve taken any shots with lomo cameras post a link to them here. I’d love to see them.

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