Lightroom Tutorial 6 – Exporting and Saving Photos

Why do we export photos in Lightroom (p.s. exporting is really saving)

As Lightroom is developing a virtual copy of your photo, if you exit Lightroom and find the photo in its original folder and click on it, you will not see the changes that you made in Lightroom because nothing has been saved.

However when you open Lightroom again, the photo will open with the changes that you have made. If we don’t export the developments that we have made to a virtual copy, then we can only access those developments in Lightroom. This is why we need to export photos when we are ready to use them. Lightroom doesn’t use the term save, it instead says export. However, when you export a photo, you are in effect saving it.

Before we exploring the export feature for the purpose of saving and then making use of your photo (publish on web or blog), there is a neat trick that Lightroom uses alongside Photoshop. In the photo below I am unhappy with the second bird that appears at the bottom of the photo. I have developed the photo in Lightroom and am happy with how it looks, other than that damn bird.


For this trick to work you need to export it to Photoshop. Press Ctrl and E and this box will appear.


Check the box “Edit a copy with Lightroom adjustments” and then click edit. Your photo is now opened in Photoshop. Make the changes that you need to in Photoshop, such as cloning part of the image or creating layers. While you’re at this point in Photoshop it may be worth using the auto tone and auto contrast as these can neaten up your exposure a little. The quick keys for this are:- Ctrl Shift and L for auto tone, and Ctrl Shift alt L for auto contrast. If you’re not happy with them just use Alt Ctrl Z to step back.

Now here comes the neat trick. Save the photo by pressing Ctrl Shift and S, don’t change the file name, and now save you photo as a TIFF file. Go back to Lightroom. Sometimes it will display a blank screen and at others it will show you the TIFF you have just edited (I don’t know why it isn’t consistent with this but it doesn’t matter). If you have the blank screen, check your photo ribbon at the bottom of the screen, and on the far right you will have two photos, your TIFF and the RAW or JPEG etc file that you had developed (see below). If you wish to make further adjustments to your photo then you can work on the TIFF file from here on. The key things when doing this is to keep the same file name and save as a TIFF. If you change the file name then you will have to import the photo into the Lightroom catalogue, whereas keeping the same file name means that appears in your catalogue automatically. This is really useful as you may wish to make further developments in Lightroom, or to compare the two photos. This technique keeps the process straight forward.



Once you get the hang of it, exporting is a very simple process, and it can automate file names, sub folders, image size, sharpening and file type. You can also add a watermark, and embed your IPTC data.

Let’s imagine that I have 8 photos that I am going to post to my student blog for an assignment. I have developed them and added/saved metadata (see Lightroom Tutorial 2).

Go into the library module and select all that you wish to export/save. Ctrl A will select them all or you can Ctrl click to select several photos individually.


1 – all of the photos have a light grey surround to show that I have selected them all, any with a dark grey surround have not been selected.

2 – Click export and the following menu will appear (this is the top half, further down the page is the bottom half of this menu)

save-51 – File destination, 2 – Folder options, 3 – Sub-folder, 4 – Photo naming options, 5 – File type i.e. TIFF, JPEG etc

1 – File destination, you can export directly to email, cd/dvd or your hard drive. If you are saving to an external drive you would keep the hard drive option checked and then find the drive by choosing a specific folder from the menu numbered 2 above.

2 – Folder options. There are a few options here, including exporting to the original folder, but I choose “Export to specific folder”. Clicking the choose button I find the original file folder and then I am going to check put in sub folder.

3 – Sub folder. I use this option for simplicity. If I have exported to the original folder without following 2 above, then when it comes to selecting the photos for the web or my blog, I have to go through all of the photos and check their properties. However, by checking the sub-folder I can then export only the photos that I will use, they will all be in one place which makes it easy to use them without re-sorting them, and I can name the sub-folder as well. I name the sub-folder by the file size. In the above image mine says 1080  – which I use to show that I have saved these photos at 1080p (1080 pixels in height). For an assignment I may be asked to save at 2000 pixels on the long edge, so I would then name the folder 2000. This means that my photos are easy to find, and easy to submit, post, or upload. Knowing the pixel size is useful for me and saves me from having to check the properties, this speeds up my workflow.

4 – Photo naming options. It is not necessary to use specific names for your photos. The original extension that was imprinted by your camera is often good enough. I prefer to use a file name, so I check “Rename to, Custom name x of y”, and in the custom text I add the name. In the example above I have used the custom text “exercise 2.12”. This means that all of the eight photos will be named exercise 2.12, and they will also be sequentially numbered.

5 – File type. Here you can choose between JPG, PDF, TIFF, DNG and original. For some of the exercises in Foundations in Photography we are asked to submit TIFF files, and on my website and blog I use JPG. You can set your required file type here, along with the quality and the colour space. I tend to stick with sRGB – which is the internet standard colour space. Using this option embeds your colour profile. This is important, because there are times where you may save a photo in Photoshop or other photo developing software and you’re pleased with your photo. Then you upload it to the internet and your colours are all wrong. This is because the colour space has not been embedded. If you are using Photoshop then do not use Ctrl Shift S to save (unless you are doing so for the Lightroom/Photoshop tip above). In Photoshop use the save for web option by simultaneously pressing Ctrl Alt Shift and S, and this also embeds your colour profile. There are times when you have to limit your file size. Some competitions may require a maximum 2MB per photo, and you can set this by checking the “Limit file size to” button. Lightroom will then adjust the quality accordingly.

save-61 – Image size, 2 – Sharpenning, 3 – Metadata, 4 – Watermark, 5 – Post processing.

1 – Image size. For some assignments we are asked to submit photos that are 2000 pixels on the longest size, and occasionally to submit low res files of 600 pixels on the longest side. This is easy to set up. Click “resize to fit”, change the drop down box next to it so that it says “width and Height”, and then alter the figures in the width and height boxes “w” and “H”. In the photo above you will see that my width is set to 10000 and my height to 1080. This is so that the height of the photo is 1080 pixels. If I had the width at 1000 pixels than that may automatically reduce the height below my desired 1080. However, if you want a photo set so that the longest edge is 2000, then set both the width and height to 2000. If I want to export a photo in its original file size then I set the boxes both to 10000. This is larger than the original file size of my photos, so they wont be altered, but I will now have the photo saved as a TIFF of JPEG.

2 – Sharpening. It is advised that we only sharpen photos that we have finished developing and are ready to use. This way we don’t create blocky and pixelated images, which will happen if you sharpen too early in the developing process and then reducing the image size. It’s unlikely that you will export from Lightroom until you are ready to make use of the photo so you can sharpen at this point without losing your image quality.

3 – Although you have already added metadata to your photo, at this stage you can choose to embed it into your exported file, or to get rid of parts of it. I like having metadata saved in my photos. It means that my details are stored in my photos so that I can be contacted, and some search engines pick this up. You can search keywords in Lightroom if they are saved, so in two years time you can use a keyword search in Lightroom with the terms i.e. “red” and “Bugs”, and Lightroom can then find all of your photos that are labelled as red or bugs or both. It makes searching for photos at a later date easy. However, there are times when you need to strip a photo of metadata. The Societies of Photographers run competitions each month for members and non-members. They have quite strict conditions, i.e. 2000 pixels on the longest side, 2MB file size limit, and no metadata embedded into the photo. Lightroom makes it possible to strip the metadata from the photo that you are going to use.

4 – Watermark. You can add a watermark, and when I use one it is a copyright symbol and my website details (Lightroom Tutorial 7 will include how to set up a watermark).

5 – Post Processing. Once you have exported a photo you may want to open it in Photoshop or another application. I tend to have this set at do nothing. If I needed to clone or use adjustment layers in Photoshop I would have done this earlier using the Ctrl E, and then saved as a TIFF from Photoshop, so there is nothing further for me to do at this point.

Key Points

Lightroom develops a virtual copy of your photo. If you develop a photo in Lightroom and then exit Lightroom and view the original file folder and click on a photo it will appear undeveloped. This is why we export photos from Lightroom using the export button. Exporting the photo will save the changes that you have made.

Export an individual photo from Lightroom to Photoshop by pressing Ctrl E. Once you have finished developing in Photoshop you then press Ctrl Shift S to save, save as a TIFF and do not alter the file name. Your edited photo is now in your Lightroom catalogue.

Use the export button in Lightroom to embed your colour profile. In Photoshop use the save for web or Ctrl Alt Shift S to embed the colour profile.

Because you have exported to a sub-folder then your full size developed original remains in your Lightroom catalogue, so if you need a larger photo later, then it’s there waiting for you.


Look out for Lightroom Tutorial 7, which will cover the basics of making contact sheets, creating PDF files, and slideshows.


Collaborative Photo Essay About Living With Autism – Learning About Portrait Photography

It has been a pleasure to have 9 collaborators on the photo essay that I am writing about living with autism. The photos and accompanying words are great. The challenge for me is researching autism, living with autism, and writing an article that recognises the medical model but has more focus on the people.

Although autism is often a disability for people who have it, that’s a minor part of what I want to present. The real disability is how society reacts to people with autism, and also de-humanises people once they have been labelled and put into a neat box. More over the next few days.

A point of learning for me with regard to collaboration is Authorship. I’m putting the essay together but that doesn’t make me the author or the owner of the work. We have agreed where I will publish the essay, my collaborators have shared their photos, writing and how to credit and link. Once I have written the article (aiming for monday), I will then send it out for their review and feedback, along with alterations where necessary. The key is to ensure that we all retain Authorship and ownership of the essay.

What have I learned about portrait photography? Relationship, rapport and repetition.

That’s the buzz words covered, ha ha.

Repetition is key. The way to improve is practice.

Rapport. It’s hard to build rapport if you are taking photos solely for the purpose of improving your skills. I have certainly found it easy to ask someone if I can take their photo when something about them interests me.


This is now leading to building a relationship. Through reading about portrait photography and reviewing other photographers I had the confidence to try something different today. I asked a man to look through the lens, into my face, and look angry. I asked him to look passed off with me for taking his photo.

It’s another step forward and I can develop this into exploring other emotions with other people.


Exercise 2.2 – People and Activity – The Plan

A trip out to 3 venues – Grosmont train station and engineer yard, on the NYMR train between Grosmont and Goathland, the platforms of Grosmont and Goathland.

What do I want to capture? Primary objective is the work being carried out in the engine sheds (trains, engineers, different aspects of work). Will make use of tripod, and will try to use flash. Will attach half toilet roll to prevent flash from bouncing off of the train (glare) so that I can direct it to the workers who I want to capture. Three engine sheds, one well lit, one dark at one end, partially lit at the other (flash), one that stores trains but is less frequently used to work on them. Small aperture, flash, tripod (longer exposure, lower ISO). Workers, trains, grinder, coal hopper, candid.

Secondary. Stations, water being topped up, leading lines, large aperture so focal point is on worker manning the hose and the front of the train. The faces of the crowd – distant, group, candid. Individuals taken candid, but then review with them post photo and ask if they are happy for me to keep the photo. Steam from wheels going over the platform edge and merging with the people.

Secondary. On the train, carriage layout, people, design. View out of window that partially includes the train. View in focus, inner train out of focus.

Will take in photo, but am considering converting to black and white or sepia, although I am not sure.

Keep eye out for portraits where only part of face has lighting. Leading lines for composition, tension on opposing thirds, natural frames, spur of the moment, contradiction/juxtaposition.

Aim:- documentary photography in the style of Martin Parr and Manuel Alvares Bravo, so that I can include candid photography capturing work, leisure and expression, but with the clarity (and hopefully artistry) of Bravo. History can be quite romantic, but I do not want that element to take over, expression and emotion to provide balance with the trains and machinery.

Exercise 2.2 – People and Activity Research

Before you begin shooting, ask yourself what kind of photographs you want to make. Will they be candid photographs like Henri Cartier-Bresson’s or distant views of activity like Andreas Gursky’s? Will you seek out key gestures, facial expressions and telling relationships like Martin Parr or make ‘snapshots’ of characters in the maelstrom of life like Robert Frank? Will you try to frame the activity in a specific lighting effect like Trent Parke or will you seek to capture cultural details like Manuel Álvarez Bravo? Go online and research these well-known practitioners.

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908 – 2004) renowned for being the developer of candid street photography. The decisive moment, setting up the shot, waiting for the action to present itself. Used small, often unnoticeable Leica with 50mm lens. People were therefore more natural and not playing up to or avoiding the camera. Often got very close to his subjects. Black and White. Decisive moment  more visible in Soviet Union, Moscow, 1954. Excellent composition, and often creates tension between subject in opposing thirds (diagonally). Leading lines, people, space, good tonal range. Dignity. Are these photos to aesthetic? Does he really photograph life as it is? (the aesthetic beauty suggests otherwise?) Founding member of Magnum Photos.

INDIA. Punjab. Kurukshetra. A refugee camp for 300.000 people.  Autumn 1947.Fig. 1. A refugee camp for 300.000 people (1947)

Andreas Gursky (1955) Oh my gosh. What can I say about him. He is a photographer and digital artist. Some of his photography appears very crisp, and detailed, with small aperture, and others don’t appear to have any clarity what so ever, and are  deliberately abstract. I get that he explores the effects of capitalism and how it impacts upon people and the natural environment. It has taken me a while to get to grips with his photography, with an initial repulsion that I had to wait to settle down, and the ntake another look.

My mind had certain preconceived ideas about what photography is, and Gurskey shatters these, and that’s why it has taken me a while to adjust. The other thing to consider is that I am only impacted by his photos based upon what I see upon a TV screen, and his art/photography may be 2 meters by 10 meters. I would love to experience being involved in photography with that proximity.

He is a master of digital manipulation and will blend different photos of the same scene together, so that the image is distorted in some way. He uses a variety of other pixel painting, digital over painting, pixelate and blur techniques, in order to alter his images.

I am writing this preparing for exercise 2.2, so I am not completing a thorough review here, but I would like to come back to him. At the moment his work is a little to abstract for what I have in mind for my planned shoot.

Hauptversammlung-I,-Diptychon,-2001Fig. 2. Hauptversammlung I, (2001)

Martin Parr (1952) One of the things that I try to get right with my photography is tidiness. Cropping at the edges to remove distractions, being aware of other distractions within the frame. This doesn’t bother Parr. His photos have parts of clothing where people are walking out of the frame, the edge of cars, litter etc. I do not believe this is an accident. He makes use of this to confirm the roughness that he presents, it is a prop for him to add impact to his photography.

It’s hard to look at Parr’s traditional photography, without being aware of the criticism that has been levelled against him, “Parr’s depiction of New Brighton holidaymakers was viewed by some as a grotesque and cold satire that ridiculed the working class” (Hacking, J, 2012; p455) I have seen interviews previously where he has defended his photographic style of showing what is there, however, when you view his more recent work you can see the criticism has impacted upon his photographic style. He has gone from being edgy, cutting edge, pushing the boat out and taking risks, to producing technically good photos at events where he has clearly been invited, and people know who he is and why he is there. It’s no longer candid, nor a challenge to view and interpret.

I find it quite interesting that I have this response. As somebody who is not comfortable with candid street photography, I prefer those earlier series produced by Parr.

If I was going to draw on Parr for inspiration for this exercise, then I could use both candid and more staged photography. I intend to be shooting in an environment where the staff know that they will be photographed on a regular basis, and without needing to gain permission, and combine these with photos of the public that are candid for large groups, and with consent for individuals and small groups.

I am reviewing photographers regularly now, and can see that you don’t have to make technically correct and aesthetically pleasing photos all of the time. With Parr, juxtaposition is more important than aesthetics. There is clearly an element of Cartier-Bresson in the photography that Parr produces. The juxtaposition is how he captures the decisive moment. His desire to capture human expression, which borders on humiliation of individuals, is paramount. Parr clearly has a vision of what he wants to capture. I do not believe he wants to humiliate the working class, but rather to show the disparity between life for those of different classes. There is a strong humanitarian impulse in his photography, although you need the inner space to consider this without preconception and prejudice.

London Undergorund and bus stops 1994Fig. 3. London Underground and Bus Stops (1992)

KENYA. Nairobi. The Karen Country Club. Table service outside the club. 2010.Fig. 4. Karen Country Club (2010)

Robert Frank (1924) The Americans 1958 – Frank is a photographer who I will explore more fully in the future. A renowned street photographer who was influenced a little by his friend Walker Evans, but more so by the Beatnik poets and writers. He moved to America in 1947, and his trips around America during the mid 1950’s gave him the opportunity to explore and present Americans as an outsider. He was curious to explore what was a new culture to him. (Wikimedia Foundation Inc, 2017a)

The facial expressions are key in Frank’s candid street photography, and I can see why he has been suggested in the brief for exercise 2.2. I see dignity, and contemplation throughout the series The Americans. Maybe Frank’s curiosity and contemplation of a society that was unfamiliar is why he chose the photos that he did (only 83 out of 28,000). The three photos that I have selected all capture emotion and leave me with a sense of feeling, sadness, perhaps anxiety as well. I am looking at these photos with an understanding that street photography is about capturing mood, however Frank was one of the first photographers to use emotion to make his photos, rather than to provide technically astute and pleasing “documents” (Kim, 2013). I have not seen many of Frank’s photos, but I can pick up on a racial tension. It is through the reading of articles that I become aware that the truly challenging nature of Frank’s photography was that he explored, photographed and presented the sides of America that were kept hidden, and showed the depths of despair that was felt in many communities.

Detroit 1955Fig. 5. Detroit (1955)

Funeral St Helena 1955Fig. 6. Funeral St Helena (1955)

IndianapollisFig. 7. Indianapolis (1956)

The capture of emotion and the people’s expression are pleasing to me, and something that I can capture a little of during the exercise. I will shoot in colour, but as I am capturing something of the historic, then I may convert to black and white in the developing process.

Manuel Álvarez Bravo (1902 – 2002) His photography is crisper, cleaner and more artistic than that of Robert Frank, and although Striking Worker Murdered (see below) is graphic and bleak, his photography doesn’t have the emotional impact of Frank. I believe that as he photographs as an insider he does not allow his documentary photography become street photography. However his influences were different. His interests in art, cubism, abstract, and architecture can be seen throughout his photography and over 70 years of making photos. Many of his images are made collaboratively with the people that he photographed, they were either posed or semi staged so as to appear natural. It is apparent that most of the people who he took photos of, knew that they were being photographed. He makes good use of a small aperture and large format camera to bring out the details of the people and buildings that he shoots.

Striking-Worker-Murdered-1934Fig. 8. Striking Worker Murdered (1934)

Figures in the castleFig. 9. Figures in the Castle (1920’s)

The above photo has good composition and lighting, but the interest comes from the reflection of the domed ceiling, along with the stairs. It reminds me of a bird-cage, and the two women are standing on the perch. I wanted to include this image because it is a representation of the artistic influence of Bravo’s education and before he had contact with other photographers. Bravo was a self-taught photographer (Wikimedia Foundation Inc, 2017b) and I find this quite exciting. Because he was not influenced by other photographers, he had an eye for what felt and looked right to him, and without the need to photograph properly. I admire the artistry of his photographs.

How can I allow his influence in the exercise? The keys here are using your eye. What looks good to me? Does something look artistic? How can I capture the texture best? Depth of field – What is appropriate for the shot.


Figure 1. Cartier-Bresson, H; 1947; A refugee camp for 300.000 [Gelatin silver print on paper]; At: (accessed on 09/10/2017)

Figure 2. Gurskey, A; 2001; Hauptversammlung I [C – Print]; At: (accessed on 11/10/2017)

Figure 3. Parr, M; 1992; London Underground and Bus Stops; At: (accessed on 11/10/2017)

Figure 4. Parr, M; 2010; Karen Country Club; At: (accessed on 11/10/2017)

Figure 5. Frank, R; 1955; Detroit; At: (accessed on 11/10/2017)

Figure 6. Frank, R; 1955; Funeral St Helena; At: (accessed on 11/10/2017)

Figure 7. Frank, R; 1956; Indianapolis; At: (accessed on 11/10/2017)

Figure 8. Bravo, MA; 1934; Striking Worker Murdered; At: (accessed on 11/10/2017)

Figure 9. Bravo, MA; 1920’s; Figures in the Castle; At (accessed on 11/10/2017)


Cartier-Bresson, H: 1954; Soviet Union: Henri Cartier-Bresson; Online at: (accessed on 09/10/2017)

Hacking, J; 2012; Photography The Whole Story; London; Thames and Hudson

Kim, E; 2013; Robert Frank’s “The Americans”: Timeless Lessons Street Photographers Can Learn; Eric Kim Photography; Online at: (accessed on 11/10/2017)

Wikimendia Foundation Inc; 2017a; Robert Frank; Online at: (accesses on 11/10/2017)

Wikimedia Foundation Inc; 2017b, Manuel Álvarez Bravo; Online at: (accessed on 11/10/2017)

Also Viewed

Andreas Gursky; Online at:

Gagosian; Online at: (accessed on 11/10/2017)

Magnum Photos; Online at: (accessed on 09/10/2017)

Wikimedia Foundation Inc; 2017; Henri Cartier-Bresson; Online at: (accessed on 09/10/2017)

Scharf, A; 1998 (re-edited up to 2017); Henri Cartier-Bresson: French Photographer; Online at: (accessed on 09/10/2017)

Tate; Online at: (accessed on 11/10/2017)

Review – Anthony Luvera – Residency 2006 – 2011

This project fascinates me because it is about collaboration. Luvera did not take the photos, he invited his subjects to make the photos, after he had spent time teaching them how to.

  • Project followed on from Photographs and Assisted Self-Portraits 2002 (ongoing)
  • Inspired by Belfast Exposed Photography
  • Explored ideas around ethics and collaborating when making documentary photography
  • Regularly visited The Welcome Centre, which is a hub for people without permanent accommodation
  • Helped to prepare and serve meals
  • Got to know people and explained his project
  • Gave people cameras so they could make photos of things that interested them
  • Met with them regularly
  • Taught them how to use large format camera and how to take assisted self-portraits
  • Doing so blurred the boundaries between subject and photographer
  • Went with participants to the areas that mattered to them
  • Participant set up equipment and used remote shutter release
  • After this he used sound interviews to discuss the experience and their photographs
  • Self representation provides a documentary record that shows the person behind the local authority statistics that are kept about people
  • A reflection of individuality
  • Not necessarily a reflection of reality, as the director or artist involved in these kind of projects have an impact upon image production and representation

As someone with an interest in sociology I feel very grateful that my tutor suggested that I take a look at this project. It raises the question of how I can involve my subjects more with the creation of their photo. There is also the need to consider who has control of the image, how and where it will be displayed and the right to remove consent at a later date.

A person may agree to their photo being made use of for a project, but what should I do if they then decide that they no longer want their image to be used? Can they make use of their photo themselves? I have not used a model release form for any of the people who I photograph. I do gain verbal consent, and discuss how I will make use of the photo, but is that enough? I certainly think that I should begin to explore model release forms, and would also need to consider the wording. Does the form need to be generic or project specific? is there an opportunity to edit a basic form with a subject, so that it can be relevent to them?

Certainly food for thought, especially in relation to how I can get people more involved in the creative process as a collaborator. This really interest me.


Luvera, A; 2002 (ongoing); Photographs and Assisted Self-Portraits; Online at: (accessed on 09/10/2017)

Luvera, A; 2011; Residency (2006 – 2011); Online at: (accessed on 09/10/2017)

Belfast Exposed Photography; Online at: (accessed on 09/10/2017)

The Welcome Organisation; Online at: (accessed on 09/10/2017)

Also Viewed

Seymour, Tom; 2015; Belfast Exposed – A Photography Gallery That Crossed the Sectarian Divide; UK; 1854 Media Ltd; Online at: (accessed on 09/10/2017)

If You Knew What Makes Me Cry

I’m a man you know, and all men feel


We laugh it off and blame the beer

“No, really mate, I’m fine”

You would wet your pants with laughter

If you knew what makes me cry.

It’s not the twilight sunset

Nor that twinkle in your eye.


On the terraces, win, lose or draw

“Fuck off ref” I shout

It’s not that I’m a heartless …t,

But these feelings must come out.

You would wet your pants with laughter

If you knew what makes me cry.

It’s not the twilight  sunset

Nor that twinkle in your eye.


My missus is amazing,

Shes gorgeous through and through.

My throat went dry, my heart near stopped,

when she whispered ” Yes I do”

You would wet your pants with laughter

If you knew what makes me cry.

It’s not the twilight sunset

Nor that twinkle in your eye.


My princess buggers off,

To the girls each Sunday night.

I’m sure she goes on purpose,

So my tears stay out of sight.

You would wet your pants with laughter

If you knew what makes me cry.

It’s not the twilight sunset

Nor that twinkle in your eye.


How kind she is to let my tears,

Flow freely through my beard.

I’m really quite emotional

But I find crying weird.

You would wet your pants with laughter

If you knew what makes me cry.

It’s not the twilight sunset

Nor that twinkle in your eye.





Anxiety and butterflies danced in my belly first

And was followed shortly by intense longing, yearning, and…


There you were, holding hands

Walking just a few paces in front.

I shouted your name and…

You never turned or showed any recognition, such as a missed step or a tension in your shoulders.

For a few seconds I knew you were still here, that you

Had not gone away to “a better place”

Such a FUCKING crass sentence. I hate it. I HATE THOSE WORDS.

There is no better place than being with you. Walking through a scorched and barren desert would be bliss if we walked it together.

What emotions or clear thoughts can I have, when there is the emptiness of your shape that I fill and will not let go of.

I will not let go of you. Never.

Types of Portrait Photography

I have been exploring the uses of publicly displayed portraits. The photos for this edition of my digital sketchbook have been taken with my camera phone. The terminology is my own and may not be appropriate academic terminology.

I am aware that this post doesn’t demonstrate all of the reasons for the making and use of portrait photography, just what I have considered over the past few days.

Going from top left across.

1 – Targeted advertising, brand promotion (young female with financial means (select body size))

2 – Health promotion, discussion, with text relay (bold typeset, bottom right)

3 – Authorship, status

4 – Targeted advertising (family, social)

5 – Promotional, targeted  (young adult, friendship, joy)

6 – Emotional, photojournalism, documentary, relay

7 – Descriptive, relay, photojournalism

8 – Attraction, targeted advertising (male, tradesmen – this was my assumption. However I looked into the demographics of sun readers. 60% of readers are male, readers come almost equally across the NHS social grades. See reference below)

9 – Branding, group identity (reinforces belonging to a social group)

10 – Generic advertising (I have included this to highlight the difference between a portrait as targeted advertising, and generic advertising which doesn’t require a portrait.

11 – Descriptive, promotion

12 – Targeted advertising, leading, relay

13 – Targeted advertising

14 – Promotional, documentary, branding , group identity

15 – Health information, targeted advertising  (employment), statement of brand values (equality/diversity)

16 – Nostalgia, group identity

17 – Targeted advertising

18 – Branding

19 – Promotional, group identity

20 – Branding, targeted advertising  (activity specific)

21 – Branding, targeted advertising

22 – Branding, targeted advertising



Review – August Sander

Blacksmiths 1926, printed 1990 by August Sander 1876-1964Fig. 1. Blacksmiths (1928)

Initial Thoughts:- I have uploaded all three photos before collecting my thoughts, and I must say that this photo surprises me a little bit when compared to the others, and to his photography as a whole. The surprise being that the focus is on the anvil rather than on the people. I have accessed Sanders photography on the Tate website, and his portraits are wonderful, and in the overwhelming majority of his photos it is the people who take centre stage (WordPress compresses photos and this has an effect on sharpness, however, with re-viewing the photo on the Tate website it is clear that the focus is beginning to drop off of the faces anyway.)

Two blacksmiths in working clothes, which are surprising clean for what can be hard, dirty, manual labour. Focal point is hammer and anvil? is this a representation of the rebuilding of Germany under Adolf Hitler? (I don’t know when Hitler was elected so I will check this later) Could it be a statement about strength? Oy maybe about the German work ethic? (As Henning Wehn would say “We Germans, we like a laugh, no honestly we really do, we really do, just like the Brits, the only difference is Germans laugh once the work is done” (Live at the Apollo (2015))

The man on the left looks stoic and proud and the guy to the right looks a little apprehensive. There has been a little staging so that the photograph could be made within the context of their work and behind the anvil, and the photo is posed. I believe the fire is to the rear left of the photo, although I cannot be sure. Neither of the men appear to be hot, and there is no smoke in the photo, which leads me to guess that the men have been photographed prior to work.

The photo when taken on its own does not fit the category of reportage or photo journalism. It has a feel of social documentary, especially when the symbolism of the anvil is taken into account.


National Socialist, Head of Department of Culture 1938, printed 1990 by August Sander 1876-1964Fig. 2. National Socialist, Head of Department of Culture (1938)

Initial thoughts:- Formal, staged, posed photograph, of a man with significant status within the Nazi Government. A former soldier, wearing dress uniform showing his military decorations upon his chest. Is it significant that the swastika is at the forefront of the photo? I do not know. Maybe the symbol is on the other sleeve and I will have to look into that. If it is upon both sleeves then it is not a symbolic statement, however if it only appears upon the left then I would say it is. The man is viewed in profile rather than face on, and that makes this a very formal photo. His head is isolated from the background curtain, and this has been achieved by having a light source coming from the direction that the man is looking towards. The light brings out highlights throughout his face and this separates the tone of skin and the tone of the background curtain.

The emphasis and learning points for me here are in relation to lighting, not only of the features, but as a means of isolating the face from the background. The formailty and status is clear in this photo, and is emphasised when compared with the face on photo titled Non-commissioned Officer (1944), however when you then compare this with the photo below, which could be studio photography, then it does not appear that Sander is making a judgement about class or status, rather he represents what is.


Political Prisoner 1943, printed 1990 by August Sander 1876-1964Fig. 3. Political Prisoner (1943)

Initial thoughts:- This is a photo that I like because it tells me something. The title becomes a text anchor. It makes a statement about the man in the photo that is definite and leaves no space for interpretation. And yet the mans eyes ask questions of the viewer. He is making a direct challenge about our perception of him as a prisoner, daring us to judge, and question. He is also at ease as to why he is a political prisoner. I sense confidence and self-esteem. The lighting comes form the front and slightly to the left, and the man not having a top on creates the isolation of him from the background. What initially look like scars upon his chest, and potential signs of ill treatment, turn out to be stretch marks upon closer inspection.

The fact that he doesn’t have a top on is meant to take this mans dignity away, although this has not been engineered by Sander, and can be seen in other photos of political prisoners that he has taken. I suspect the attempt to reduce dignity is part of the Governments treatment of political prisoners. When this photo is looked at with an open mind it is clear that it has been taken in a very dignified fashion. I suspect that it cannot have been easy for even a German photographer to be take photos of political prisoners. Perhaps Sander was employed by the Government and this was meant to be a propaganda photo? Regardless of Sanders role, this is a sympathetic photo.

Reflections and Further Reading

Sander has an art at ensuring his subjects are photographed with dignity, and there does appear to be neutrality. The impression that I get is of a photographer that will endeavour to bring out the best from his subjects, and take their photos in the environment that they spend the majority of their time. When viewed as a collection they are, what I would describe as, social history photographs that aim to present facts without a bias towards status. He has made photos where a victim of persecution, political prisoner, policeman and architect appear to be studio shot, and others of a string quartet, bricklayer, painter, teacher, nun and SS Captain in the natural environment.

Sanders used a large format camera with long exposures, and this will explain why some of the people are not as sharp or as crisp as the environmental objects (Washton Long; 2013).

Pepper Stetler comments upon this In Photography the Whole Story “Face of Our Time presents a cross section of the German Nation organized according to occupational and social types…Its heterogenity is why the Nazis destroyed copies of both the book and the publisher’s printing blocks in 1936.” (Hacking, 2012:299)

His subjects are well-lit, and are often naturally framed against walls, windows, or the natural environment, and others appear to be studio portraits. In the majority of his photos the people, as subjects, stand out from the backgrounds, even when they can be quite cluttered.

In some of his photos there is an element of individuality shining through, and this is also apparent in some of the more formal photos such as Touring Player and Raoul Haussmann as Dancer.

Response to my questions in the text

Germany was under a coalition government led by Hermann Muller in 1928. (Wikimedia Foundation Inc, 2017)

German Officer dress uniforms had a red armband with the Swastika Motif, that was worn on the left arm only. The officer may have wanted to show the motif, but from reviewing Sanders photography I do not believe tha the had any symbolic agenda, and he took and presented his photo as a matter of factual representation.

Sander has been described as a “leftist” and therefore not politically neutral, and that he was a German who spent time photographing and associating with Jews whilst they were actively being persecuted (Washton Long; 2013).

The Economist Newspaper sates “Despite persecution by the Nazis (his son Erich, a committed Socialist, died in prison in 1944), Sander travelled little” (The Economist Newspaper; 2009)

I am left with one question. How was a man who is disliked and persecuted by the Nazi Governement allowed to photograph the German Political elite and armed services, and able to photograph Political prisoners and Jews?



Figure 1. Sander, A (1928) Blacksmiths [Photograph, Gelatin silver print on paper] At: (accessed on 05/10/2017)

Figure 2. Sander, A (1938) National Socialist, Head of Department of Culture [Photograph, Gelatin silver print on paper] At: (accessed on 05/10/2017)

Figure 3. Sander, A (1943) Political Prisoner [Photograph, Gelatin silver print on paper] At: (accessed on 05/10/2017)


Google Inc; 2017; Image search: German Officer dress uniform 1938; Online at (accessed on 05/10/2017)

Hacking, J; 2012; Photography the Whole Story; London; Thames & Hudson

Live at the Apollo (series 11, episode 5) (2015) Directed by Paul Wheeler [BBC TV comedy series], London, BBC Programmes, viewed via YouTube At:

Mulligan, T and Wooters, D; 2016; The George Eastman House Collection: A History of Photography from 1839 to the Present Day; Koln; Taschen GmbH

Sander, A; 1944; Non-Commissioned Officer; Online at (accessed on 05/10/2017)

The Economist Newspaper; 2009; The Photographs of August Sander: Twentieth-Century Man: A photographer who believed he was enabling self-portraits; Paris; The Economist Newspaper Limited 2017; Online at (accessed on 05/10/2017)

Washton Long, RC; 2013; August Sander’s Portraits of Persecuted Jews, Tate Papers, no.19; London; Tate; Online at (accessed 5 October 2017)

Wikimedia Foundation Inc; 2017; German Federal Election 1928; Online at,_1928 (accessed on 05/10/2017)

Also Viewed

All titled photographs that are discussed, but not shown in the text, can be viewed online at (accessed on 05/10/2017)

Portrait Photography Progress – What I Have Learned So Far

I will upload the photos to my sketchbook, once I have continued with the research that my tutor suggested.

It has only been three days since I made the decision to ask one person if I can take their photo each time I go out. I have managed to get out one three occasions, and have asked several people each day.

It is apparent to me that I am going out to improve my confidence with asking people if I can “take” their photo so that I can develop as a photographer. It is to improve my skills, and I did not set out with a vision of what I wanted to say with the photo – which is why I say “take” instead of “make”.

To make photographs implies one of two things two me. Either I have something that I want to say with my photography, or that I am collaborating with someone else so that I can collaborate with them, so that they can express themselves as a subject. I can see wh my tutor says that its important to ask people who you are interested in or have a connection to, or as I am learning, involved in a subject that interests me.

Even after a few days I am beginning to get a feel of what I am looking for. I connected with one woman in a cafe. It was her character. She very calmly and authoritatively diffused a situation. I spoke to her about this, and was then able to ask to take her photo. Then today I spoke with a couple who were having a drink outside of a pub. They looked so relaxed and happy, and yesterday there was a man who was vaping on his e-cig.

There is something about people who are involved in an activity, texting on their phone, talking with each other, that draws me in. Because of this I have been asking people to continue with the activity. I have then been able to photograph them during the activity and then zoom in for a facial portrait.

I do find full face portraits more challenging to take, and I think that is because I am only beginning to develop a vision about portrait photography. It certainly helps when I feel some kind of connection to the person or people, although at this stage I feel that I need to keep asking people whether there is a connection or not, and let the process unfold, and my vision/style develop in its own time. It’s not a matter of taking lots of photos and hoping that I get a couple of good ones, but it is about working with as many people as I can until I get a feel for where I want to go with portrait photography.