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Twitter for Photographers

Twitter does not seem the most obvious platform for a photographer sharing his or her work online, but anyone who follows me (230 people currently, give or take 1 or 2 people by the end of the day) will know that I regularly post photos on Twitter, nearly everyday in fact. It feels good to me, because it is not about getting lots of attention, comments or favourites (though they are always welcome!), it’s just about putting photos out there for everyone to enjoy. I started it a few months ago to bridge the gap between me setting up a new blog site, and it certainly is a lot easier and quicker to post a photo on Twitter than write a blog. I keep it going regardless because as I said, I just enjoy it. I have quite a few years of photographs now to draw on as well, plus I can put up quick snaps I probably would not put up on this blog or social media sites like Flickr.

Some quick Twitter tips I’ve learnt:

1. Post pics at the following resolution: 1024px long edge / 96dpi. Also add screen sharpening if you have the option (like on Lightroom). If you post bigger images, Twitter will convert them to this specification. It’s perfect for Twitter. Every picture on this blog is also posted at this resolution (if you click on them and see them in the Lightbox).

2. Don’t worry too much about hashtags – Everyone will tell you this is what Twitter is about, but I rarely if ever use them these days. Get the words into your tweet with the image and you will get found in the most unlikeliest of places.

3. Try to post pictures of or mentioning the English Civil War – The Sealed Knot reenactment guys go nuts for them! (see point 2)

To end this blog, please see a picture below called ‘Bus to Parliament’. I know my ratio of London pictures on this blog compared to other locations is ridiculous, but I’m running out of them fast!



Published in KBB magazine

cool&composed I’ve been very lucky this month, and have had some of my interior design photography work published in Kitchens, Bedrooms and Bathrooms magazine (April edition). You can see the cover page to the story above and some more photos I took from the shoot below.

Interior design photography has for a while now been the ‘other side’ to my photography, and is the direction where I would like to go professionally. It was an absolute joy to photograph this wonderful house in West Sussex last May, and am of course thrilled that the pictures have found their way into KBB magazine (they were doing a case study for the company that designed the kitchen).

The hard part is now finding more magazines that I can photograph for, which means I have to become a bit of a sales cold caller and networker, but needs must I guess. It would be worth it to be regularly shooting luxury homes and architecture.

I am also planning on doing another video blog soon regarding the pictures that appeared in KBB and how I processed them. I think it would be a good one, and I have lots of thoughts to share. Hope you enjoy the pictures!

MooringsTwitter-4 MooringsTwitter-3 MooringsTwitter-2 MooringsTwitter-1


The Epic Westminster

Red Clouds Parliament by Pete HalewoodYou might have guessed that I’m running out of titles for Houses of Parliament pictures, but the name for this one came to me whilst looking at the clouds. This is probably the last photo I will process from the Trey Ratcliff London Photo Walk. I always thought there was 1 photo left from that day, and I also knew it was probably a Parliament one. Of course, not every picture I’ve processed has appeared on this blog yet (they have all been posted on Twitter) but they will be appearing soon.

I took so many pictures across from Westminster while the evening was drawing in, and there was one set of bracketed images that I always kept looking at, which contained the red clouds to the left of the picture. I thought at first that I could perhaps create the picture out of a single exposure, but I was much more satisfied with this the merged HDR version. I blended in the river from a single exposure but the rest is merged from 4 exposures.

As always, please click on the image to see a larger version in Lightbox.



I know it’s not cool to rattle on about your individual achievements as a photographer, and I have no reason to boast about any either, but I was very chuffed that the picture above was a winner in Trey Ratcliff’s photo walk competition in London. As mentioned on a previous post, Trey’s theme for the day was to capture interesting images of other photographer’s taking pictures. The 1st prize was a £1500+ Quadcopter and 5 other winners would receive a ‘shopping spree’ around Trey’s online store. Trey would pick the winners based on his favourite photos from the event.

Having heard the theme, I immediately eradicated any chance of winning, as people photography is just not my thing. I was there to capture the landscapes of London, whilst learning from one of my biggest inspirations in the photography world. It’s funny how things turn out though, because as you can see, one of the photographers decided to take a picture of me, whilst I was trying to capture the National Gallery reflections in the rain-soaked Trafalgar Square. I guess it captured what Trey was after though, which was basically the photo walk event that took place in London.

Now I must state, I was not the overall winner. And in many a sense I’m glad I wasn’t. Of course it would have been nice to say I won, but the truth is beyond the initial fascination and excitement, I would have no idea what to do with the Quadcopter (yes it is a small helicopter that takes pictures). I’m sure I would end up killing someone or myself with it, and therefore, to avoid the prison sentence, it’s best not in my hands. As 1 of the 5 runners up, I have a licence to download a ridiculous amount of Trey’s tutorials from his website, of which I don’t even think I am halfway through yet. It was a great day in London and I’m looking forward to the good man coming back soon. Thanks Trey!



Back on WordPress – Welcome to PeteHalewood.com

It’s been a long while since I last blogged in December 2014, and while the reasons for that could be multiple, I think it essentially boils down to the fact that the blog (petehalewood.blogspot.com) had had its day. I was not as prolific blogging last year as previously, which was also down to a lack of inspiration (until my rejuvenation), but the blog itself wasn’t really fun to work with anymore. As a blogging site (like WordPress), Google’s ‘Blogger’ makes it far easier for non computer-literate person like me to create a blog, on the flip side though, perhaps making it rather standard and lacklustre.

Previous problems with WordPress

So for those who don’t know, WordPress is a platform where you can build websites (such as this one) and is most commonly used as a blogging tool for individuals and businesses large and small. Back in 2011, I launched my first blogging site using WordPress called TheNightBoat.com. Whilst helping me gain some exposure to my photography, it largely caused me nothing but grief. I used cheap hosting plans and templates, and was constantly ‘spammed’ by internet robots or whatever they are, leading to my ridiculously cheap hosting company to treat me like a criminal, taking my website down several times. After 6-7 months of this, I literally had had enough and told my hosting company I was closing my website and would not be coming back (they have sent me emails trying to get me back ever since). Having a website with WordPress, seemed to be a chore of constant maintenance and issues, which I was just not prepared to take. All I wanted to do was post pictures and write about them.

The move to blogger

The shame of that whole episode was that at the time I had been blogging nearly everyday for over 6 months. I am not that sentimental about my previous blogging history though, and knew if I was to have any decent, consistent output, I would have to start all over again. After looking at several options, Blogger seemed to be the best, largely because I could run the site directly through Google, without having to have any company host it. This meant I could never have my own domain name, but as I was building my HalewoodPhotographic.com website at the same time, I largely saw the blog as an extension to this site.

Blogger was great for adding content easily, and the pictures looked great on the site too. I spent 4 years blogging on that site, but eventually the downsides became too apparent to ignore. First of all, the comments system is not good. It makes it very difficult to add comments to blog posts, often meaning people have to set up a profile account with Google to be able to leave comments. I’m not obsessed with the idea of getting lots comments to my blog posts, but I certainly don’t want to make it difficult for people who to do want to leave comments. Secondly, the platform is very inflexible. Perhaps a computer whizz can do a lot with a Blogger site, but essentially there is not much you can do to get a unique look. There are a few boxes and plugins you can add, but often these do not work, and the ones that do, don’t exactly set your website alight. I could go on for a while but I do not want this to seem like a rant. It was good, but as the end of last year came to a close, I knew a new direction was needed.

Coming back to WordPress

I’ve always had other websites, other than my blogging site, and I felt it was now the time to unite them, and have a clear link between all my websites. I have 3 websites now: this blogging website, my interior design photography site (for my business) and a portfolio site. These can all be reached through each other. Though my previous experience with WordPress was not good, I knew that this is the platform that everyone continues to use for blogging. What I have done differently this time, is invest a bit more money into the site. I’m not saying you have to do this but the hosting platform I use (wpengine) are geared towards making it very difficult to spam on your website (I hope), and have full support whenever I need it. I pay a higher premium for this, but it is worth it if it makes the experience of using WordPress hassle-free. I also invested a bit of money into a template theme for the site, which does not make it much easier to build a website, but it does make it much easier to get a great looking site. It’s still a work in progress, and I will be making changes along the way, but I’m happy with how it looks now, which means I can focus on the content.

The future

One of the things I like about life is the mystery. Though I am confident I am moving in the right direction with my photography, I don’t really know what the result will be of this new blogging site, and the updates I have done to my other websites, but I’m not worried either. I feel like I have some organisation and structure now, and just want to share the passion and energy I have for photography. That is one of the reasons I have a tutorials page now. It’s not my plan to become primarily a photographic trainer, I would always be rather taking more pictures, but I do want to share any helpful knowledge I pick up on this journey. Yes it is a little bare, but more tutorials will come.

So there’s the story of where I am and how I came to create PeteHalewood.com. It doesn’t feel right to me writing a blog post without a picture, so to break from my London pictures below, here is a picture which you may have seen before, from the Polish town of Swidnica. This church is so old I can’t even remember how old it is, but as modest as I get, this picture has grown in my affections for months. This is of course entirely due to the building itself, it just has so much character and history.

Finally, click on any picture on this site, starting with one below, to make it bigger! It looks better that way.