Digital Camera Magazine Sampler
Your practical guide to creating better photographs, each issue of Digtal Camera Magazine is full of expert techniques, tips and inspirational images.
DIGITAL CAMERA SLR BEST LANDSCAPE LENSES REVEALED 2 3 VERDICTS HANDY WIDE-ANGLE LENSES TESTED ON PAGE 128 R for Find the perfect SL r your budget in ou buyers’ guide! SEPTEMBER 2011 The definitive guide to SLR photography 116 PAGES Secrets of creative Bigger & better than any other photography magazine! Discover the rules of great landscape photography (and when to break them for stunning creative results!) Visit us online at www.photoradar.com CORE SLR SKILLS FOR SEPTEMBER Get great starry night shots Early autumn wildlife tips Creative urban abstracts CREATIVITY PHOTOSHOP Less is more: how to create lovely minimalist scenes How to give your people shots a stylish makeover ZEN SEASCAPES PRO-LOOK PORTRAITS EASIEST-EVER MACRO GUIDE Get cool close-ups of plants & ﬂowers – it’s all explained inside! TECHNIQUE BEAT BLAND SKIES Boost colour and tone with lens ﬁlters or in Photoshop ISSUE 116 SEPTEMBER 2011 £4.99 “I really know what works for me and what exposure settings I need” Adam Pretty (page 107) 164 Editor’s WElcomE 03 It’s tIme for some IntroductIons… Every issue features the world’s best pros… adam Pretty Welcome to your all-new the deﬁnitive guide to slr photography Sports photographer Award-winning sports pro turned advertising ace Adam Pretty reveals on page 102 how luck, tenacity and technical knowledge got him to the top of his game. rick madsen Rodeo photographer There’s much more to rodeo photography than yee-hahs, daft trousers and chiropractor bills. Rodeo shooter Rick Madsen talks about bucking the trend on page 32. Gered mankowitz There’s a great story doing the rounds about some pompous clique on Flickr that takes great pleasure in voting down any photo that doesn’t meet its standards. One recent submission was turfed out by the group because it didn’t obey the traditional diktats on composition, graininess, sharpness and so on; turns out the image was ‘Hyères, France, 1932’, an iconic work by Henri Cartier-Bresson. The anecdote shows that great photography is about much more than just obeying the rules and conventions of a particular genre. But it’s also true that you have to at least have some idea of the rules before you can break them. So our main feature this issue introduces some of the basic tenets of landscape photography, before showing how to tweak them for creative effect. Even the most jaded landscape shooter is bound to find some new ideas here, and as always, we’d love to see the shots it’s inspired you to take. Meanwhile our fold-out guide tackles another popular topic, namely bird photography. Everything you need to know is in this handy pocket guide, from photographing static birds in captivity to wild birds in flight; even more impressively, deputy editor Paul Grogan managed to write the whole thing without throwing in any bird puns… Maybe he didn’t want to ruffle anybody’s feathers? Until next time… Greatnew subscription offer! turn to page 52 for details Geoff Harris, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Rock photographer We are not worthy, etc. etc. This legendary photographer of Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones looks back on his stellar career in music photography on page 162. meet the rest of the team… Paul Grogan Deputy editor Simon Middleweek Art editor Angela Nicholson Head of testing George Cairns Photoshop expert sports enthusiast Paul is our resident expert on camera craft and technique simon is a keen macro photographer, and has spent 15 years picture editing magazines hugely respected in the photography industry, angela is our camera reviews tsarina silver-tongued George explains the mysteries of Photoshop elements and cs on our disc Digital Camera september 2011 Story of the Cover BEHIND THE IMAGE Story of the Cover Stepping Stones By Michel Rajkovic “This photo was taken at Loch Lomond, in Scotland, on a very overcast afternoon. During my trip to Scotland, I came back to shoot this spot four times. To me, the most important thing is the quality of the light. I’m not happy unless I have the image that’s in my head in front of me. How I imagine the image, by which I mean how I picture it when I’m shooting, is more important to me than the reality of the landscape.” CanonEOS 5D withCanon EF 24-105mmf/4L IS USM; ISO50; 1/200sec atf9with an ND400;tripodandremote Behind the image… 1 Stepping up - how Michel got his stunning shot I shot in raw, and then opened the image up in Adobe Camera Raw and converted to black and white using the Grayscale tab, to enable me to control how the colours were converted. 2 I actually processed the raw file twice: once to bring out the detail in the rocks and the small stones under the water, and once for the sky and mountains in the background. 3 Finally, I combined the two versions in Photoshop by copying one on top of the other and then merging the foreground of one with the background of the other using a layer mask. Digital Camera September 2011 05 06 6 Contents ISSUE 116/SEPTEMBER 2011 Expert photo advice Essentials 20 10 Things to Try Right Now 72 The Photo Fixer 30 Your Mission Results 79 Photoshop School Postcards from the Edge 93 Photo Advisor Kick-start your creativity by tackling a fresh subject or new technique today The winners of our latest photo challenge explain how they got such great shots 32 Rick Madsen tells us how he got started in rodeo photography 40 10 Commandments Learn the ten most important rules of landscape photography and how to break them 55 Shoot! Fourteen pages of expert camera tips and advice to help you perfect your photography Digital Camera September 2011 This issue our roving troubleshooter helps a reader take better ﬂower shots Expert advice on enhancing photos and adding creative effects after the shot We answer all your SLR and Photoshop questions, and give feedback on your shots 102 The Digital Camera Interview Sports and advertising photographer Adam Pretty reveals the secrets of his success 162 My Life in Focus Rock photographer Gered Mankowitz reﬂects on 50 years of shooting the stars 10 18 Hotshots Stunningimagestakenbyourreaders Photographer of the Year 2011 Detailsofthisyear’smassivecompetition, plusadvicefrompreviouswinners 38 52 S 101 Viewfinder Youropinionsmakeforalivelyread ubscribe! * Savemoneyandgettwogreatfreegifts Next month What’scomingup in issue117 Subscribe today Turntopage52forfulldetailsof ourlatestsubscriptionoffer The deﬁnitive guide to SLR photography 2 FREE GIFTS Future Publishing, 30 Monmouth Street, Bath BA1 2BW Editorial +44 (0)1225 442244 • www.photoradar.com Subscriptions and Customer Services 0844 848 2852 Your team Geoff Harris Editor email@example.com Paul Grogan Deputy editor firstname.lastname@example.org Steven Raynes Operations editor email@example.com Simon Middleweek Art editor firstname.lastname@example.org Rachel Long Deputy art editor email@example.com Chris Rutter Technique editor firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial contributors Ben Brain, George Cairns, Alex Chambers, David Clark, Amy Davies, Carly Drew, Jeremy Ford, Chris George, Matt Golowcznski, Mark Hamblin, Steve Hanlon, Richard Hood, Ali Jennings, Rod Lawton, Jeff Meyer, Matthew Richards, Ben Secret Photographic contributors (where not credited inside) Future Network Photo Studio Angela Nicholson Head of testing email@example.com Paul Newman Senior editor firstname.lastname@example.org Steve Gotobed Senior art editor email@example.com Advertising Malcolm Stoodley Advertising director 0207 042 4156 firstname.lastname@example.org James Ranson Advertising sales director 0207 042 4163 email@example.com Emily Smith Senior sales executive 0207 042 4254 firstname.lastname@example.org Lucie Gillespie Sales executive 0207 042 4252 email@example.com Advertisement typesetting J Jays Ltd Circulation and marketing Daniel Bruce Brand manager firstname.lastname@example.org Liza Austin Trade marketing manager email@example.com Rachael Cock Trade marketing director firstname.lastname@example.org “Xx Xx x xx X x xxx x xx xx xx xx xx xxx x xx xx xx xx xx xxx x xx xx xx xx xx xxx x xx x” Print and production Vivienne Turner Production co-ordinator email@example.com Rose Grifﬁths Production manager rose.grifﬁths@futurenet.com Rob Fletcher Repro technician rob.ﬂetcher@futurenet.com Deborah Javier Repro technician Deborah.Javier@futurenet.com International licensing Tim Hudson International licensing director Senior management Matthew Pierce Group publisher firstname.lastname@example.org Mark Wood Chief executive UK Cameras and gear Subscriptions & back issues 112 114 120 122 127 128 142 Printed in the UK by William Gibbons and Midway Colour Print on behalf of Future. Distributed in the UK by Seymour Distribution Ltd, 2 East Poultry Avenue, London EC1A 9PT. Tel: 020 7429 4000 If you have a query regarding a subscription or back issue, or would like to place an order, please contact our customer services team: Telephone: +44 (0)844 848 2852 Email: email@example.com How We Test... Ourin-depthrankingsystemrevealed Olympus PEN E-P3 A member of the Audit Bureau of Circulations ThelatestPENisputthroughitspaces 39,018 Jan-Dec 2010 PhotoDirector 2011 Newimage-editingsoftwaretested Field tested Latestaccessoriesreviewedandrated Mini test: landscape filter kits All information contained in this magazine is for informational purposes only and is, to the best of our knowledge, correct at the time of going to press. Future Publishing Limited cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies that occur. Readers are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers direct with regard to pricing. All submissions to Digital Camera magazine are made on the basis of a licence to publish the submission in Digital Camera magazine, its licensed editions worldwide and photography-related websites. Any material submitted is sent at the owner’s risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future Publishing Limited nor its agents shall be liable for loss or damage. Revealed:thebestNDgradsforscenics Group test Wide-anglezoomlensescompared © Future Publishing Limited 2011. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. We encourage you to recycle this magazine, either through your usual household recyclable waste collection service or at a recycling site. SLR Buyers’ Guide Seethebestcamera buysataglance * Exclusive VIP content for existing subscribers 07 6 What’s on your d sc The video disc interface explained Insert the disc into your Windows PC and up pops an introductory video from the deputy editor, Paul Grogan (Mac users will need to double-click the icon on the desktop). Paul runs through the highlights of the disc and once you’ve watched his video, click ‘Enter’ to bring up the interface. 1 Video lessons 2 Meet the team 3 Back issues 4 Subscribe 5 Join us online 1 2 A quick guide to the video disc that comes free with every issue – discover our Photoshop lessons, subscribe and more! 3 4 5 All our videos can be accessed via this top tab. The videos are divided as follows: Teach Yourself Photoshop* is an ongoing guide to the basics of Photoshop and Photoshop Elements; Photoshop School contains the videos that go with the Photoshop School tutorials in the magazine (see page ); Bonus content includes extra videos, such as camera previews (don’t miss Ali Jennings’ preview of the Olympus E-P ). Click here and you can get the details of the Digital Camera team. Here you can order back issues of Digital Camera (some issues have sold out, however). Simply click the links to buy print or digital versions. Click here for full details of our great subscription offers for print and digital versions of Digital Camera. Come here for easy access to PhotoRadar.com, the online home of Digital Camera and PhotoPlus magazine. You can also join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter from here! 6 Help Having problems using or ﬁguring out the disc? Click here for contact details for the people who can help. Whenever you see this logo on a page in the magazine, there’s corresponding content on the disc Making the most of the video lessons on your free disc Click a video lesson screen and the lesson will start automatically. Use the slider under the video window to move backwards and forwards. The icons at the bottom right of the video window enable you to download images associated with the tutorial, to see more videos, or to go back to the main interface. *THISPRODUCTISNOTENDORSEDORSPONSOREDBYADOBESYSTEMSINCORPORATED,PUBLISHEROFPHOTOSHOPCS5,PHOTOSHOPEXTENDED,PHOTOSHOPLIGHTROOMANDPHOTOSHOPELEMENTSPRODUCTS Digital Camera September 2011 ON YOUR DISC 6 62 SLR CAMERA SKILLS Shallow depth of field By using a telephoto lens and throwing the background completely out of focus, Bence has concentrated attention on the bird and snake. The branch provides context and a frame. Long lens Bence captured this unusual stand-off with his Nikon D300 fitted with a 300mm f/2.8 lens. He was only able to fire off a few frames before the hummingbird flew away. Digital Camera September 2011 Supplementary lighting Rain was falling and the light was poor, so Bence used two flash units â€“ one in front and the other behind the action. The flashes enabled him to capture the motion of the hummingbirdâ€™s wings. 63 SLR CAMERA SKILLS Restricted colour palette The photograph uses different shades of green to striking effect. The bright green snake and moss, and the hummingbird’s mid-green plumage, stand out brilliantly against the muted, darker green background. PHOTO ANATOMY E X P E R T TI P “Getting into the situation where you can photograph something like this is one thing, but this picture could easily have been ruined by the poor light. Using flash to supplement daylight gives wildlife images added impact, and allows you to work with faster shutter speeds.” Paul Grogan, deputy editor STAND-OFF! Award-winning Hungarian wildlife photographer Bence Máté brilliantly captured this rare confrontation between a hummingbird and a snake. We reveal how he did it… Expecting the unexpected Bence was photographing hummingbirds in Monteverde, Costa Rica, when he noticed they had become agitated. He soon realised why: a sidestriped palm pit viper was coiled on a nearby branch. Digital Camera September 2011 PhotoshopSchool ADVANCED PHOTOSHOP SKILLS BASICS STEP BY STEP Retouch your portraits for a modern high-fashion look Ben Secret reveals how to use the frequency separation technique to improve skin texture and remove flaws without losing realism WHAT YOU’LL NEED Photoshop CS5 BEFORE AFTER WHAT YOU’LL LEARN How to deconstruct an image in detail, opening up a powerful new range of editing techniques IT ONLY TAKES 30 minutes R etouching images of people is a delicate balancing act between how far we go to try to make our models look ﬂawless, and how much realism we’re willing to lose in the process. Applying blurring or painting directly onto skin quickly tends to make an image look artiﬁcial, leading to the dreaded “Photoshopped” criticism, and yet images in fashion magazines seem able to stretch to totally unrealistic levels of perfection without ever losing that certain something that makes them still look real. Frequency separation is one of the black arts of retouching. At its simplest, it’s a way of splitting an image into a high detail layer and a low detail layer. These separate layers are overlaid to form a perfect reconstruction of the original image. The big advantage is that we can manipulate what goes on in each layer independently. The low detail (or low spatial frequency) layer contains all the basic colour and tonal information – we can edit this quite heavily to manipulate highlights or smooth over blotchy skin and coarse textures. The high detail layer contains the ﬁne textures and details that are vitally important in ensuring delicate image elements such as skin and hair look real. In this tutorial we’re going to demonstrate a simple retouching workﬂow that uses frequency separation to enable us to both smooth and sharpen skin effectively and efficiently, without either of the processes conﬂicting with the other. Digital Camera September 2011 ON YOUR DISC Ben Secret 86 PhotoshopSchool FREQUENCY SEPARATION TECHNIQUE E X P ER T TI P Load the start image 1 There are an almost unlimited number of ways you can work frequency separation into a retouching workflow. You may choose to use it as a first step, or as a finishing step. But generally, everyone finds their own balance. The very first thing you need to do of course is load the image. Remove blemishes 2 It’s a good idea to begin with a basic retouch, and as long as you avoid edges, Photoshop’s Healing Brush tool is very effective for this. Look at the image zoomed out, and where you see blemishes, sample a clean area of skin nearby by holding down Alt and clicking, then just paint over them. “Creating a lowfrequency layer is easy – just use the Gaussian Blur ﬁlter, and the radius you set determines exactly where the crossover point between your layers is. A general rule of thumb on how big this should be is that it will be the point where ﬁne details become invisible when viewing the image at full size.” Ben Secret, technique writer Duplicate the background 3 In order to perform the frequency split, we’ll need to create two copies of our image layer. You can do this quickly by pressing Ctrl+J twice. Now you simply need to name the middle layer Low Frequency and the top layer High Frequency. Click the Low Frequency layer to work on it. Prepare the low-frequency layer 4 We now need to remove the high-frequency information from this layer, so we’re simply going to use the Gaussian Blur filter. Select it from the Filter menu and use a Radius of around 5 pixels. This determines where the split between high and low frequency actually takes place (see box, top right). Learn the lingo Spatial frequency T Prepare the high-frequency layer 5 Click the High Frequency layer and choose Image>Apply Image. From the Layer drop-down menu, you need to select Low Frequency, and from the blending modes select Add. Ensure that Scale is set to 2, and Offset is 0, then tick the Invert box and click OK. Change the blending mode 6 Change the High Frequency layer’s blending mode to Linear Light, and we should have the original image perfectly reconstructed. Only now we have the high detail content on one layer, and the low detail on another, where they can be manipulated independently. he concept of spatial frequencies can be quite difficult to grasp. One way of thinking about it is to imagine a photographic image extruded into a landscape, where the brightest pixels are high peaks, and the darkest pixels are flat ground. Any areas of high detail will have large fluctuations between high and low, while the smooth contours will be gradual inclines. Digital Camera September 2011 87 88 PhotoshopSchool ADVANCED SKILLS E X P ER T TI P “To keep things simple in the tutorial, we used Smart Sharpen to sharpen our ﬁnished image. However, many retouchers favour frequency separation for this. For ﬁne sharpening, perform the frequency split as described, but using a smaller blur radius – around 1 pixel. You can then simply reduce the Opacity of the low-frequency layer to sharpen.” Apply Soft Light Dodge and burn A simple way to clean up any blotchy skin and add highlights is with the Dodge and Burn tools (see box, bottom left), but we’re going to use the Soft Light method. Select the Low Frequency layer and choose Layers>New Layer. Change the Mode to Soft Light, tick the Fill with 50% Grey box and click OK. 7 8 Smooth the detail Mask the effect Now, simply paint with either a white or a black brush set to a low flow or opacity on the Soft Light layer to lighten or darken the image underneath. In the screengrab above we’ve switched the blending mode to Normal so you can see where we’ve burned the image. Ben Secret, technique writer 10 We can also perform a quick and easy smoothing of our low-frequency content. With the Low Frequency layer selected, you need to duplicate it and then choose Filter>Blur>Surface Blur. For this step we’re going to use a Radius of around 14 pixels, and a threshold of 11. 9 This will smooth out a lot of blotches without damaging the fine skin texture at all. But you may well decide that the effect is not actually wanted everywhere, so just click Add layer mask and paint over any edges, fabric and hair with a medium-sized black brush. Clean up the high-frequency layer Sharpen up Learn the lingo Dodge and burn D odging and burning derives from a darkroom processing technique where the exposure of selected parts of an image is manipulated by selectively lightening and darkening image elements. Photoshop has its own Dodge and Burn tools, but many retouchers prefer to use alternatives, such as the Soft Light method. Digital Camera September 2011 11 Now that our low-frequency content is looking much cleaner, we can turn our attention to sorting the fine details. Ensuring the High Frequency layer is visible, temporarily change its blending mode to Normal and then paint over any unwanted details with the Healing Brush. 12 Another thing we can do with our highfrequency content is sharpen it. Add a Curves adjustment layer above the High Frequency layer and attach it to the High Frequency layer as a clipping mask. You can do this by holding down Alt and clicking between the two layers in the Layers palette. PhotoshopSchool FREQUENCY SEPARATION TECHNIQUE Learn the lingo Healing Brush T Create an S-curve Desaturate the image The first thing we need to do is make sure we don’t move the mid-point. So in the Curves window, create a control point right in the middle. Adjust the Input and Output values so that both read 128. Now we can create an S-curve to sharpen fine highlights and shadows, as in the screenshot above. 13 At this point we can flatten all of our layers to simplify the Layers palette. Press Shift+Alt+E. Now we can desaturate our image. Add a Gradient Map adjustment layer above the flattened layers and select a simple black-to-white gradient. Now reduce this layer’s Opacity to about 25%. Adjust the Curves Modify the Levels 15 Now add a Curves adjustment layer. Select the Click and Drag to Modify Curve icon and click a highlight, a mid-tone highlight, a mid-tone shadow and a shadow region of skin in the image. This will create four points on our curve. Move these up or down to control skin contrast. Touch up the highlights 17 Next we have to create a new layer. We’re going to use this to add any more highlights we need by simply painting directly onto the image using a large, soft white brush, set to either a low flow or low opacity. Here we just painted some white on the tops of the girl’s legs. 14 he Healing Brush is a basic retouching tool. It can be used effectively on regular images, or on highor low-frequency layers separately. It works by sampling details from one part of an image, and copying them and blending them with the background somewhere else, enabling you to cover up flaws or hide lines and wrinkles. 16 Now we need to add a Levels adjustment layer. We can use this to make sure we’re getting a full range of tones from our image, and also adjust the mid-tone brightness by dragging the black, grey and white sliders along the histogram to input Levels of 6, 1.09 and 252 respectively. Sharpen the final image 18 It’s common to apply some fine detail sharpening to the finished image. First we’ll flatten the image by pressing Shift+Ctrl+E. We could use frequency separation once again for this job (see box, top left), but instead we’ll use Smart Sharpen at 126% with a radius of 0.3 pixels. E X P ER T TI P “To get the most out of this technique, it’s advisable to make sure you’re working in 16-bit mode. Unless storage space is an issue, converting your raw images to 16-bit image ﬁles, and working in a 16-bit Photoshop environment, ensures you get smoother tonal gradation.” Ben Secret, technique writer Digital Camera September 2011 89