Derek Pye

Derek Pye On Photography - Timeline

on Friday, 09 February 2007. Posted in On Photography

0. 1816: Nancy Niépce combines the camera obscura with photosensitive paper, a ripe camembert cheese, garlic and
0. six bottles of wine.
0. 1834: Henry Fox Talbot creates permanent (negative) images using paper soaked in Gin and fixed with a Tonic solution, and accidentally creates photography, which like football will always be English
0. 1837: Louis Daguerre creates images on silver-plated copper, coated with silver iodide and "developed" with warmed mercury; Daguerre is awarded a state pension by the French government in exchange for publication of methods and the rights by other French citizens to use the Daguerreotype process. Unfortunatley all Daguerrotypes are rubbish. Photography outlawed in France until the outbreak of the first world war and Daguerre is forced to work as a rent boy.

0. 1841: Photography is still English
0. 1861-65: Mathew Brady and staff (mostly staff) covers the American Civil War, exposing 7000 negatives. Only six come out nicely exposed.
0. 1866: Mattew Brady invents the light meter.
0. 1877: Edweard Muybridge, born in England as Edwina Muggridge, settles "do a horse's four hooves ever leave the ground at once" bet among gay San Franciscans by fixing a camera to each of the hooves.
0. 1888: first Kodak camera, containing a 20000-foot roll of paper, enough for 10000 2.5-inch diameter triangular pictures. The camera is too big to carry and hundreds of photographers are killed.
0. 1900: Kodak Brownie box roll-film camera introduced. Setting photography back 250 years
0. 1902: Alfred Stieglitz organizes "Photo Secessionist" show in New York City. It’s rubbish and the photographers are rounded up and shot.
0. 1921: Man Ray begins making photograms ("raymondographs") by placing bits or rubbish on photographic paper and exposing the shadow cast by a distant light bulb.
0. 1922: Man Ray’s friends buy him a camera. Phew.

Hip Photography - The Schindler's List

on Tuesday, 21 October 2008. Posted in Derek's Tips

Wedding photography is not for the faint hearted. I first got into the business shooting war weddings in Vietnam and even spent a spell in Afghanistan shooting weddings. I gave that up as they always seemed to get accidentally bombed by the Americans. Fortunately it was only the women and children that died in these tragic accidents so I was able to make it back to Penge safely. If I get bookings in war zones now then I prefer to send my assistant Muktar. Then again if I get a booking in Essex I prefer to send Muktar.

Working in extreme conditions hardens you and you can develop lots of tricks along that way that make the difficult task of capturing precious memories easier. Modern wedding photography is rammed up to the jowls with tasty trickery. Here’s one of my all time favourites.

Do You Have An Unobtrusive Manor?

on Friday, 12 September 2008. Posted in Derek's Tips

The modern bride is full of questions. I blame those terrible wedding magazines that think it’s clever to publish articles with the headline - ‘Questions you MUST ask your Wedding Photographer’. Be warned that I take offense if clients ask me questions. You don’t book the Greatest Living Wedding Photographer - Derek Pye™ and then expect him to speak to you. The thing about these articles is that they are written by 21 year old journalists who aren’t married and have no intention of getting married. They are too busy getting shitfaced for that.

Thanks to these publications any meeting with a potential client is more like 48 hours with the Stasi. Here are a few of the most common questions and the correct answers.

Photographing Gay Weddings

on Thursday, 01 December 2005. Posted in Derek's Tips

The shock news that it's now legal to photograph Gays in the UK has left photographers jumping for joy as we'll now be able to cash in on the pink pound at long last. I must say that when I first I heard the news about the Civil Partnership Act I felt like Charlton Heston in the action sci-fi film The Planet of the Apes, when he sees the Statue of Liberty on the beach.

My reaction was similar " The fools!" I screamed at Muktar "They are all doomed now. Damn you! Damn you all to hell!" Why any group of people who are forbidden by law to marry would campaign to be allowed to do so really is baffling. It's like foxes marching on Downing Street carrying banners asking for the hunting ban to be lifted. Or Muktar and his mates demanding the government introduce ID cards.

Photographing Gays is now something that UK wedding photographers are going to have to deal with on a regular basis. Shooting Gays is not the same as snapping normal people, and presents the photographer with a set of unique challenges.