Friday, 21 October 2011

What type of Photographer are you?

Do you apologise for your skills as a photographer?

What type of photographer are you - Professional; Hobbyist; amateur; freelance?

Why do some people feel the need to qualify what type of photographer they are with the statement “I am a hobbyist/part-time/amateur/so and so Photographer” as though it is in some way an apology for their skills? Professional doesn't mean better, it is simply an indication of earning a living.
Some people think a professional photographer must be better at making images than they are. Hey, you only have to look on Flickr or on Google+ and you will find thousands of images taken by people who treat photography as a hobby yet whose images are equally as good, if not better than those from some of the 'professionals'.

There are some 'professional' photographers who, in the current economic climate may be struggling to earn enough to live on, does this mean they have suddenly lost the right to call themselves a professional photographer, are their images not as good any more? They are still a photographer, still making images, still creating art.

I took early retirement a year or so ago and that has given me the luxury of being able to spend more time with a camera in my hand. I sell images via a picture library, some for use in calendars and some for articles in magazines, and so my main earnings are coming from the sale of photographs. I could not live on the income from these sales, my image making has not changed, I am not better than I was the day before, but suddenly I am able to add the qualifying statement 'Professional'.

We are all in the business of making images, whether it is an image of your pet, a member of your family, or a landscape in a gorgeous sunset, just be proud of your images. Please don't put yourself down by adding anything before the term photographer unless you wish to indicate what type of images you take - HDR; B&W; street photography; portraits; etc,. You are a photographer; an image maker; an artist; call it what you will, but please don't let yourself fall into the trap of feeling that you have to apologise for your skills as a photographer.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Photo Competitions - Don't lose your copyright.

Before you enter photographic competitions you don't need to look into some sort of crystal ball, but you should always read the Terms and Conditions of entry.

Some, not all, competitions have conditions that effectively give away your copyright! Some actually state that by entering the competition you are signing over your copyright to the organisers or maybe they are claiming the right to use the photo for ever for ‘free’! You won’t even be paid a penny.

Submit your photographs to such competitions and you lose valuable rights to your photo. If they have claimed the copyright it's no longer yours, you could actually be sued for using it in future. Or maybe they have claimed the right to use it freely forever, to make money from it by licensing it to others, but you'll never see one penny of that money earned by licensing your photograph.

The good news is that a lot of competitions are safe to enter without losing your right to own the copyright. An organisation called Pro-Imaging is fighting the bad practice by some competition organisers by investigating the Terms and Conditions of the competitions. The ones that are safe to enter are listed on their Rights On List, and the ones to avoid are listed on the Rights Off List.

(If the competition you are thinking of entering is not listed, use their contact form and they will check it out for you!)

Saturday, 8 October 2011

See no Evil

A little departure today, time to reflect.

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.  You have probably heard the saying, but how many of us think of those senses in terms of luxury?  Well I had a challenge today to shoot an image representing luxury and this image came to mind.  Why?

I am one of the many fortunate ones who can hear (although diminishing now with age), see (with glasses), and speak (although perhaps a little incoherently at times).  I class myself as extremely lucky to still have these senses.  Unfortunately there are many who have lost one or more of these abilities, some were born without them, some have lost them through illness or accident, whilst some of our soldiers have either laid down their lives or have lost one, or more, or in some cases all these senses we take for granted.  For some of them I am sure it would seem a luxury to be able to hear, see or speak.

I hope I can always think of others who are perhaps less fortunate than me and never take my health, my life, or my good fortune for granted.  Peace to all.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

The golden nectar

A Kilderkin Sir?
A what you might ask.
A Kilderkin, have you never heard of it?
Well suffice to say I hadn't until I visited Hornbeam Brewery in Denton.

Yes, its true, Denton has its very own brewery.  Started in 2007 Hornbeam brewery in Denton is one of a number of craft micro breweries in Tameside producing real ales.

Housed in Denton's famous old hat factory, Hornbeam has steadily grown and has already achieved several awards for its award winning cask conditioned real ales.

Don't think that you can only buy this range of real ales if you live, and drink, in Denton.  Hornbeam are spreading their wings and selling to other areas in the North West. In this day and age of financial uncertainty it's great seeing local businesses thriving.

Fancy a tour of the brewery, then better leave your car at home because they offer a tour of the brewery followed by as much ale as you can drink! mmmmm now that's tempting!  Hey, and they also produce several special beers every month, so I might be going back there on a regular basis.

By the way - just to put you out of misery, a Kilderkin is an old English unit of volume equal to half a barrel, or two firkins - or to put it another way approx. 82 litres - certainly enough to last you quite a while.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Creative Commons

Unless otherwise stated, all images on this site are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

This means that you are free to download and share my work as long as it is not used for commercial purposes, and you provide credit to me as the photographer.

So go on knock yourself out, download the images - just remember to give full attribution against the image and point back to me at:

If you wish to use the image for commercial purposes, send me an email for all commercial licensing info.

Just in case you want further clarification:
So, you are free to use the images on your desktop or blog, just for fun, but you must
1) Link back to
2) Credit the image to Steve Gill

Now listen, about that blog - if you are using it for a business purpose, to sell something, to advertise a holiday location etc. or as a background for your business pages, then I'm sorry but it's not OK to use one of my images without a commercial licensing fee. Just email for details, I won't bite!

Fund raising campaign or marketing campaign;
A background image for a website about garden tools or another product range;
Printing an image.

You may use my images in two ways:

With Creative Commons you are free:

To Share: Copy, Distribute, and Transmit the image
To Remix: Create Derivative works of the image

Under these conditions:
Attribution: Attribution to Steve Gill Photography must be made along with the image.

Non-Commercial: The image must not be used for commercial purposes under any circumstances. For clarity on what defines commercial use, please see the Sample Accepted Uses below.


Blog Post describing a trip to Wales
An individual using an image as a desktop background for the computer monitor


‘Commercial Use’ regarding the use of images online or offline is defined very broadly. The determination of commercial or non-commercial use is based on the contextual use of the image. The determination is NOT based on the tax-filing status of the entity using the image nor on whether or not a financial transaction takes place.

Commercial use of my images is allowed only if expressly granted by Steve Gill Photography. All commercial uses will incur a licensing fee.

All licensing inquiries should be sent to Steve via email