Ladies & Gentlemen, meet…Norman Frampton

Welcome back to my monthly feature ‘Ladies & Gentlemen, meet…”

When I first started my blog, back in February 2014, I had no interest in photography whatsoever.  However, after participating in the WordPress weekly photo challenge my interest in photography grew and it was not long before I was hooked.  I started to follow lots of photography blogs and the camera on my iPhone started to get used a lot more.  I started to build up a library of photos and when I can I like to join in some of the photography challenges here on WordPress.

Photographer and Blogger, Norman Frampton
Photographer and Blogger, Norman Frampton

This month I’d like to introduce you all to a blogger who specialises in photography. Norman Frampton lives in Canada and ever since I started following his blog I have admired his photography.  He captures life in such a brilliant way and I am always gob smacked by his work.  I asked Norman if he would write a guest post about photography and I was absolutely delighted when he accepted my invitation.

On his blog Norman shows us photography from ice hotels to apple picking in Southwestern Quebec.  He also throws in the odd bit of humour and I love reading some of his responses to the many comments he gets on his posts.  Although he specialises in photography he also writes short fiction and does reviews.  So, without further ado, Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Blogger and Photographer, Norman Frampton.

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I’d like to start with a big Thank You to Hugh for the opportunity to guest post on his blog.

For those who haven’t seen my blog, Norm 2.0, consider this your official invitation to drop in, poke around, and hopefully stay a while. You’ll find a mixed bag of reviews, personal pieces, short fiction, and LOTS of photography. 

My professional background is in Marketing Communications in the power tool industry in Montreal, Canada. I’ve been writing, proofreading, editing, and translating for marketing, advertising, and technical literature for over twenty years. In 2009 I got seriously interested in photography after coming back from a trip to Yosemite National park in California and being horribly disappointed with my pictures of such beautiful scenery.

I did some research, bought my first DSLR, and then signed up for a series of photography courses at a local university. I’ve been snapping pics, studying various styles and types of photography, and having lots of fun ever since. 

About two years ago I was looking for an outlet for my creative side for both writing and my photography and that’s how the blog, Norm 2.0 was born. 

The one photography feature that I’ve been running on the blog since last spring is a weekly link-up called Thursday DoorsWe now have dozens of people from all over the world dropping in to share wonderful photos of doors every week. It’s a lot of fun and quite a few of the participants will tell you that it’s quite addictive. Please do come by and check it out and feel free to participate too – the more the merrier.

The primary advice I have for anyone looking to get into photography as a hobby is to remember that the best way to get good at anything is through practice. Think of it like a muscle; the more you exercise it, the stronger it will get.

Of course it’s hard not to not to get caught up in lusting after the latest and greatest gear. However, if you consider the accelerated rate at which manufacturers seem to roll out their newest, best, most megapixel offerings, you quickly realize that it can become a very expensive hobby. Though I’ll probably be upgrading next year, for the moment I’m still doing quite nicely with my 10.2 megapixel Nikon D60 purchased back in 2009, so believe me unless you’re planning on doing it for a living, it’s not about the equipment.

To me whether you use a camera phone, a point and shoot camera, one of those new mirrorless models, or a traditional DSLR with a bag full of lenses, the most important aspect of taking good pictures is finding new, interesting or creative ways to take pictures of things that have probably been photographed thousands of times before.

Before you press the shutter button, ask yourself one question about the shot you are about to take: Have I seen this shot before? 

If the answer is no, then good for you – fire away! But if the answer is yes, and it usually is, then do something different to shake things up. If you’re outdoors, then try coming back at sunrise or sunset when the light is different with long dramatic shadows and that warm orange glow.

grand-canyon-sunset

Or try getting closer; I mean much closer. dsc_5521

Kneel or even lay down just to change the perspective and give the shot an original look.

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The shot below is a good example of what I’m talking about.

dsc_5177

Ordinarily you’d think that there’s nothing particularly interesting about old piece of farm equipment, but by getting down low, framing with interesting background objects, and then waiting for a day with menacing clouds, this shot becomes a lot more interesting than if I’d just stood in front of it and shot downwards on a nice sunny day. 

Another idea is to look for patterns, symmetry, or original shapes.

speedskate2

Whether you prefer photographing people, objects, landscapes, flowers, bugs, or buildings, you’ll find that with a little practice you’ll be looking at ordinary things in your day-to-day life much differently. And you’ll be constantly taking mental notes of things you’ll want to come back and photograph later. That’s how you know when you’ve become serious about photography.

And don’t worry too much about expensive software to process and re-work your images. Yes, becoming comfortable with Photoshop, Lightroom, or some other imaging software helps with workflow, and can enhance an already solid image, but if you caught a good image in the camera, it will always be a good image, regardless of how many different ways you choose to process it later. Whereas if all you have is a poor image, the best you can hope for with software after hours spent doctoring it, is perhaps a mediocre image.

The last piece of advice I have for anyone who’s serious about getting into photography and whose budget allows them to invest in a DSLR camera, is to spend a little bit more and find a local school or camera club where you can take some formal instruction.

Courses won’t necessarily make you a great photographer, but they will help you to get much better, much faster. Acquiring a solid understanding of the basics like the exposure triangle, how your camera works and what all the controls are for, the use of on, and off-camera flash, and some primary rules of composition, will save you months of frustration. Most importantly, once you have those basics mastered, you can forget about the technical stuff and concentrate on developing your own creative style, and that is when photography really becomes fun!

I hope some of this proves to be helpful. If you have any questions, please drop by Norm 2.0 so we can discuss if further and in the meantime, take lots of pictures and have fun!

Thanks for reading.————————————————————————————————-

My thanks to Norman for writing a very informative post about the wonderful art of photography.  I’m sure anybody who takes photographs will get a lot of very useful information from it.  For beginners like myself this kind of information goes a long way in helping me understand how to improve my photography and to take better photographs.

The link to Norman’s blog is in his post but you can also click here to go straight to it.  Please do pay him a visit and enjoy the wonderful photography he posts.

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54 thoughts on “Ladies & Gentlemen, meet…Norman Frampton

  1. What great shots and excellent advice for anyone who is just beginning or already has an interest in photography. I especially liked Norm’s suggestion on what to do before you take the photo, if you’ve seen this shot before or if you need to enhance it in some way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great article. I’m useless at taking photos and am envious of people who can get good shots. I can take the same scene as my sister and her pic comes out looking great and mine is just blah. Something to do with how we see things, maybe?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mary. I am in the same boat as you. Most of my photos never come out as I intended them too. That is what I asked Norman to write this guest post about photography so he could share his tips with us. However, as they say, “practice makes perfect.”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely getting to know more about Norm! I was also a technical writer for about twenty years. When I go to touristy places I generally buy postcards and don’t try to compete with the masters! It is very difficult to get good shots in someplace like Yosemite. I’ve seen very few shots that actually match up to the beauty of that place. Thanks for the tips! Thanks Hugh for this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Marje. Having got myself hooked on photography I thought it a great idea to invite Norm to write a post and share his tips on taking a great photo. He’s one the masters of the art and his work in incredible. I hope you enjoyed visiting his blog and seeing this for yourself. I’m also, one day, going to join his Thursday’s Doors photo challenge. In fact I’m planning to do just that this week.

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  4. Thanks so much Hugh for introducing us to Norman and his blog which I will definitely be checking out. Hi Norman, I enjoyed your post very much. I’ve always enjoyed taking photos since the days when I had one of those Kodak Instamatics with one of those square flash bulbs (not dating myself, I hope!). I would love to get deeper into photography one of these days. Your photos here are wonderful and your advice calming and realistic. Thank you both!

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      1. Yes, I’ve only ever used my own photos in the almost 3 years I’ve been blogging, since I didn’t know where to find all those glossy images other bloggers use and due to the copyright issue too. Plus, I thought it would be nice to have more personal touch. I knew they weren’t anything like as good as professional photographers but I’ve been so encouraged by my reader’s lovely compliments. Never in a million years did I think I would be using my photos on a social media platform, but I’ve been taking part in the WordPress photo challenge for a couple of years now and I find that having a photo and then writing ‘from’ it is a wonderful distraction when I need to come up for air from working on my memoir. I enjoy your photos very much Hugh 🙂

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      2. Thanks Sherri. Sounds to me as if a real passion for photography is also lurking somewhere in you. I agree, it’s great fun and I especially love finding odd angles to take photos from. They can sometimes bring a new meaning to the photo. They also bring a welcome relief from the writing especially when it is not going to plan. Happy snapping 📸

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great advice, Norm. I’ve been very happy running around Syracuse, snapping away with my iPhone 6 to augment my blog. I’ll take your tips to heart. I’ve been a fan of your shots at your place all along.

    Good choice for this feature, Hugh. Thanks to Norm’s appearance, now I’ve found your spot in BloggyVille as well.

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    1. Hi Mark, and welcome to my Blogging Community.

      Yes, I was delighted when Norm accepted my invitation to write a guest post about photography, especially as I have always admired his work. I take my iPhone 6 out with me all the time trying my best to capture some photos as good as his. Hie tips and advice in this post will certainly help me get to his standard I hope.

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  6. Great interview with Norm, Hugh. The photography tips are very helpful and the images fantastic. I’ve been doing Norm’s Thursday Doors for a while now and love participating and seeing what others contribute from around the globe.

    Like

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