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Slow Learners Rule!

Posted by Greg Blue on Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

The modern learning environment seems to be based on bite sized nuggets to be consumed as quickly as possible. We live in a world where we are bombarded by imagery – this now includes academia as well – we see more and more quick fix videos to give us instant information. This is especially true of online learning, and that absolutely includes my website and so I am offering some opinions to counter the damage I am doing! (more…)


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How to create form with light

Posted by Greg Blue on Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

At the very core of lighting theory are the three lighting tones that help us create the illusion of 3 dimensions on a 2-dimensional medium: the Diffused Highlight, the Specular Highlight and the Shadow.

There are a number of ways to show the illusion of depth in an image, such as perspective. Converging lines are powerful tools for artists to use, but what happens when you are shooting an organic subject such as a person. Perspective does play a role in a portrait – a person’s ears will appear smaller in relation to their nose, because they are further away. But we are so attuned to that relationship that it’s pretty much invisible to us. (more…)


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Inner City Gemsboks

Posted by Greg Blue on Monday, December 14th, 2015

This has always been one of my favourite images! The idea came together while shooting at the Museum of Natural History in New York. When I saw these Gemsboks, I thought they didn’t look like prey animals at all. The looked like they could whoop your ass if provoked. So I gave them an appropriately rough neighbourhood. However, I also gave myself some potential legal problems if the image used in the wrong way.

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See a photographic trend? Run like hell!

Posted by Greg Blue on Monday, December 7th, 2015

One of the great things about social media and the Internet is that you can spot stylistic trends very quickly. The challenging thing for many photographers is resisting the urge to jump on the bandwagon. You shouldn’t be identifying trends with the goal of following them – you should instead run like hell in the opposite direction!

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2016 Pirelli Calendar takes a new turn!

Posted by Greg Blue on Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Don’t worry – pin up calendars won’t be a regular feature on Bluesky. But this one needs to be showcased! The venerable Pirelli Tire pin up calendar for 2016 will be showing mostly clothed women who have been chosen for their resume rather than their measurements. Yes, that was the sound of wrenches slipping out of slack hands and crashing to the oil-stained cement you just heard.
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Constructive Plagiarism?

Posted by Greg Blue on Monday, November 16th, 2015

This post looks at copying other photographer’s images for the purpose of learning a technique, or refining your understanding of lighting. There’s been an interesting debate on the topic at the school where I teach – some instructors feel that it is a really valuable exercise, while others feel that it is a dangerous approach as it can easily be abused. I’m of the opinion that it is a really helpful technique for learning, but I absolutely understand the concerns of those apposed to the approach.

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Terry Border – Bent Photographer

Posted by Greg Blue on Monday, October 26th, 2015

Every now and then I like to showcase a particularly brilliant photographer whose work is so exceptional it makes me think admiringly, “God dammit! Why didn’t I think of that?! That work should be mine!” Terry Border of Bent Objects fame is just such a photographer.

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1st Guitarist

Posted by Greg Blue on Monday, October 5th, 2015

I’m discovering the great thing about a blog is it allows me to think out loud (great for me anyway). I shot this image a while back and it is the first in a series I have been considering doing. The series pairs historical cultures with the appropriate guitar – you can imagine the social importance of getting this right. Right? 1st Nations was the first culture to be tackled and, of course, no other guitar would do except for the iconic and venerable Stratocaster. If any culture deserved the most soulful and crunchy blues guitar, it was 1st Nations. Well, African American would obviously deserve it seeing they actually invented the blues, but there are already so many iconic images of legends like Muddy Waters that I didn’t think it needed my interpretation.

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Defeating Creative Block

Posted by Greg Blue on Monday, September 21st, 2015

“Inspiration is for amateurs – the rest of us just show up and get to work.” – Chuck Close. The words of a veteran! I love this quote, but I certainly don’t adhere to it – inspiration is important to me and I always keep my eyes open for work that I love.

I’ve decided to make this post on both the creative process and artistic blocks as the two are intertwined. Where do we get our ideas from and what do we do when ideas seem few and far between? This is an enormously important topic for photographers as well as other artists. I’ll be giving a condensed discussion of the ideation process in this blog post, but I will soon be doing a much more in-depth free business tutorial on the subject in the near future.

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Lighting to stump other photographers

Posted by Greg Blue on Monday, September 7th, 2015

I love it when photographers shoot for other photographers by subtly altering a shot in a way that makes you do a double take. If you’re like me, the first thing I do when I look at another photographer’s shot is decide whether I like it or not – the second thing I do is try to figure out how I think the shot was lit. In order to do this, I look for all the usual clues 1) the size, shape and intensity of a specular highlight 2) the sharpness and quality of a cast shadow 3) light fall off on the subject 4) direction(s) of the lighting, etc. But sometimes photographers can manipulate a shot in a subtle way that no longer follows the rules of physics. The shot I took below of Billy is an example of this.

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