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Saturday 26 October 2019

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I I I 5 -M E -D M O s u p Olym latest update

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Passionate about photography since 1884

3 you need filters

for successful landscapes

£500 bargain Why the Nikon D7200 is a canny used buy

No camera required Get creative with a flatbed scanner

Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Nikon’s first pro zoom for the Z mount is a stunner

APOY winners Your best street photography

Tested Formatt Hitech Firecrest 85mm filter kit ● Manfrotto Advanced2 hybrid backpack


C AT C H T H E W I N T E R L I G H T W I T H N I KO N

Photographer: ŠAlex Stead

Get instant discounts on selected Nikon cameras and NIKKOR lenses. The time is now! Offer available from 15th October 2019 until 15th January 2020. For further information and full terms and conditions please visit nikonpromotions.co.uk Available at participating retailers.


7days COVER PICTURE © MARK BAUER

A week in photography

In this issue

8 First look Andy Westlake gets an early look at the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III

11 Christmas cover competition Get your image on the cover of our Christmas issue! 12 Photo North 2019 Amy Davies eyes up some festival highlights 16 It’s good to share A top selection of readers’ pictures from social media 18 The 3 magic filters It’s the magic number. See how a pro gets top results with just three filters

#NoFilter is a popular hashtag on social media as a metaphor for proudly showing yourself and your life warts and all, with no editing. But in landscape photography there are three filters you should certainly not be without – as we mention on this week’s cover. (No, the Cokin rainbow filter is not one of them). Turn to page 18 to learn all about them.

If you’re as sick of this wet weather as I am then you’ll enjoy our feature on creating images at home using your flatbed scanner. We also take a first look at the new Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III, test Nikon’s first prospec zoom for the Z system, and look back at its D7200, now a great-value used buy. If you enjoy the variety of features we present every week why not subscribe? You’ll find the details on page 57. Nigel Atherton, Editor

Contribute to Amateur Photographer If you’d like to see your words or pictures published in Amateur Photographer, here’s how:

Something to say? Write to us at ap@ti-media.com with your letters, opinion columns (max 500 words) or article suggestions. Pictures Send us a link to your website or gallery, or attach a set of low-res sample images (up to a total of 5MB) to appicturedesk@ti-media.com. Join our online communities Post your pictures into our Flickr, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram communities or the gallery on our website. amateurphotographer. co.uk

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This week in 1938

TREASURES FROM THE HULTON ARCHIVE

27 APOY Round Six A wonderful mix of the top 30 winners of Round Six of our competition – Street Life 36 Scanner art What, no camera? Indulge your creativity using a scanner and found objects 40 Food in a flash Rotolight’s all-in-one flash for perfect food shots 45 Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Michael Topham tests Nikon’s first professional zoom for the Z mount

Regulars 3 7 days 24 Inbox 42 Join the Club 56 Accessories 57 Tech Talk 66 Legends

© GETTY IMAGES

49 Formatt Hitech Firecrest 85mm ND Starter Kit Andy Westlake sees if this kit can do as good a job as a pricey 100mm set-up

Commissionaire’s Dog by Kurt Hutton 22 OCTOBER 1938: A hotel commissionaire talks to a small dachshund in Piccadilly Circus, London. Kurt Hutton was a German-born photographer who went on to become a pioneer of photojournalism in Britain. After migrating to England in 1934, he went to work for Weekly Illustrated, and would later go on to become one of the founding staff of the Picture Post, where this image was first published in 1938 for a story titled

In the Heart of the Empire. Today, dachshunds are a very popular breed of dog, but during the First and Second World Wars, their association with Germany made them less so. Stories suggest they were routinely abused or even killed in the streets, with owners accused of being ‘German sympathisers’. Taken just one year before the outbreak of the Second World War, we wonder what the fate of this little chap was.

The Getty Images Hulton Archive is one of the world’s great cultural resources. Tracing its origins to the founding of the London Stereoscopic Company in 1854, today it houses over 80 million images spanning the birth of photography to the digital age. Explore it at www.gettyimages.com. 3


NEWS ROUND-UP The week in brief, edited by Amy Davies

The 100 millionth Canon EOS-series camera

An EOS R mirrorless camera was the 100 millionth EOS-series camera to roll off the Canon production line. The very first EOS model was the EOS 650, an SLR, which launched in 1987 and featured the world’s first fully electronic lens mount. Production originally began in Canon’s Fukushima plant and now takes place at various locations. © NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, LONDON

Sir Jonathan Ive portrait unveiled

Photographed by Andreas Gursky, this image of Sir Jonathan Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, was taken at Apple’s new headquarters at Apple Park, California. Unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery, it is the only portrait commission Gursky has undertaken for a public museum.

Societies of Photographers: convention 2020 Canon, Sony, Fujifilm, Elinchrom, Panasonic, Rotolight, Pentax and Epson are just some of the names you can expect to see at next year’s The Societies of Photographers 2020 London Photo Convention & Trade Show. It will take place from 22-25 January in Hammersmith, London. More information and tickets can be found at thesocieties.net/convention.

Lomography mono film stock

The new Lomography Berlin Kino Black & White Formula 2019 35mm ISO 400 will be available in both 35mm and 120 (medium format). Designed to produce a ‘timeless classic’ look, the film will be available from November in packs of five or ten rolls with prices starting from £39.50. 4

Designed for both photographers and videographers, the new Lykos 2.0 LED light is a two-in-one solution offering a daylight and a bicolour setting. The compact light is also water-resistant and can be controlled through a dedicated app for iOS and Android. Available from November, the Lykos 2.0 will set you back £259.95.

© DAN EL TR M WWW BWPAWARDS ORG

Manfrotto updates Lykos LED light

BIG

picture

Overall winner of the British Wildlife Photography Awards DESPITE the litter and crowds, this grey heron was spotted hunting fish and using the grill of a bridge for cover. ‘Presumably the fish were taking shelter among the fallen leaves and plastic bottles,’ suggests photographer Daniel Trim. ‘Grey herons thrive around London’s waterways, but they also do well in

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Words & numbers

No one moment is most important. Any moment can be something Garry Winogrand

£15,000

SOURCE: WELLCOME.AC.UK

more urban settings such as the smaller parks and canals.’ Daniel’s shot is the overall winner of the British Wildlife Photography Awards, now in its tenth year, and he takes home the top prize of £5,000. You can view the winning pictures and a selection of highly commended entries at bwpawards.org or buy the book, British Wildlife Photography Awards 10, published by Ammonite Press.

Total prize money to be awarded to the overall winner of the Wellcome Photography Prize 2020. Category winners will receive £1,250 each

American street photographer (1928-84) subscribe 0330 333 1113 I www.amateurphotographer.co.uk I 26 October 2019

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At just 370g the Sigma fp is the world’s lightest full-frame mirrorless camera

Sigma announces price for ‘world’s smallest full-frame mirrorless’ AFTER BEING revealed earlier in the year, pricing information for the upcoming Sigma fp camera has now been announced. Weighing a mere 370g, the camera is the smallest and lightest full-frame mirrorless camera in the world. The 24.6-million-pixel Sigma fp is part of the L-Mount Alliance, and as such it will take L-mount lenses from Sigma, as well as Leica and Panasonic. Other features include a fixed screen, a frame rate of 18fps and the ability to select a sensitivity as low as ISO 6. Sigma is expecting stock of the fp to be available towards the end of the year, at a price of £1,999. Look out for a hands-on first look of the camera in next week’s issue.

The camera will take L-mount lenses from Sigma, Leica and Panasonic

Nikon confirms Z lens road map AS WELL as announcing the brand new Nikon Z 50 (see First Look, 19 October), Nikon has also released a lens road map for its mirrorless cameras, giving users an idea of what to expect over the next couple of years. Joining those already available, we can see more prime lenses, macro lenses, zoom lenses and those which are specifically designed for the new DX-format Z 50. Speaking at the launch event in London, a Nikon representative said that by the end of 2021, focal lengths between 14 and 600mm will be available. To date, the longest focal length available for full-frame Z cameras is 85mm, so it’ll likely be welcome news for sports and action photographers to see planned lenses such as a 70-200mm f/2.8, 100400mm and a 200-600mm making an appearance. Arguably more of a proof of concept than anything else, Nikon also announced the pricing for its 58mm f/0.95 ‘Noct’ lens, which comes in at an eye-watering £8,299. The manual-focus prime lens has been designed for ultimate image quality with high

Nikon’s lens road map for mirrorless cameras

sharpness, an extremely shallow depth of field and beautiful bokeh. If you’re keen to get your hands on one, sales will start at the end of the month. Nikon has also announced a battery pack for its Z 6 and Z 7 cameras. This offers no

portrait-orientation controls, but allows hot-swapping of batteries during video recording. It should also help to create a better balance when using Z cameras with those upcoming long lenses. The price is £179, and it will be available from November.

Tributes paid to Aberystwyth photographer

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was last seen on Thursday 3 October, before being reported missing the next day. A spokesperson for Aberystwyth Lifeboat Station told the Cambrian News, ‘Keith was a great photographer and a great supporter of the RNLI. His photos of storms, starlings and daily life put Aber [sic] on the front page across the world and did so much to promote all that Aber is.’ Our thoughts are with Keith Morris aka ‘Mr Aberystwyth’ Keith’s friends and family. will be sadly missed

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AP IS sad to report the death of photographer Keith Morris, known locally as as ‘Mr Aberystwyth’, who was found in the water at Borth beach, Ynyslas, Wales. Keith, 61, whose images have appeared on the pages of AP, was particularly highly regarded for his landscape and weather photography. The circumstances of his death were not yet confirmed as AP went to press, but it is understood he


How much is your camera gear worth? If there’s anything in your kit bag you’re no longer using, get an instant valuation from MPB online. Whether you’re selling or upgrading, we make trading in easy - with free insured shipping and fast funds straight to your bank account. Trade, upgrade or get paid with MPB.

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Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Andy Westlake takes a first look at this updated compact, lightweight but fully featured Micro Four Thirds model Connectors

The 2.5mm remote release and 3.5mm stereo mic sockets sit behind their own covers for improved weather-sealing. They’re joined by Micro USB and HDMI ports.

Bluetooth

Combined with the builtin Wi-Fi, this enables automatic transfer of images to your phone, even when the camera is switched off and packed away in a bag.

At a glance

Rugged build

Unlike most small cameras, the E-M5 III includes extensive sealing to make it dust-, splash- and freeze-proof when used with similarly protected lenses.

Power

£1,100 body only ■ 20.4MP Four Thirds sensor ■ 121-point phase detection autofocus ■ 10fps shooting with continuous AF ■ 5-axis in-body stabilisation ■ Cinema 4K video recording

The Mark III uses the BLS-50 battery, which is slimmer than the BLN-1 employed by the previous E-M5 models. It’s rated for 310 shots per charge and supports USB charging.

IT’S NOW almost eight years since Olympus introduced the original OM-D E-M5, and with it, the concept of a small, fully featured and weather-sealed mirrorless camera aimed squarely at enthusiast photographers. Its successor, the E-M5 Mark II, added a whole slew of updates and improvements early in 2015. But the camera market has moved on considerably since, with other manufacturers offering multiple new models in the meantime. So news of the latest iteration feels long overdue. In essence, the Mark III retains most of the core characteristics that have made the E-M5 range so appealing. Its petite 8

body measures just 125 x 85 x 50mm, yet finds space for an extensive complement of external controls, along with full weather-sealing and Olympus’s class-leading 5-axis in-body image stabilisation. Compared to its predecessor, it gains key features from the flagship OM-D E-M1 Mark II, most notably the same 20MP sensor that includes on-chip phase detection for radically superior autofocus. Despite this, it is 55g lighter, thanks mainly to the body shell being made from polycarbonate rather than metal – which is sure to be a controversial change for existing E-M5 lovers. Leaving that aside for now, in almost

every other respect the Mark III looks like a well-judged update, with a range of internal improvements and external design tweaks that aim to bring its core capabilities bang up to date with the competition. Perhaps the biggest practical improvement that users will notice straight away is the phase-detection AF system, which on the E-M1 Mark II we found to be extremely capable of keeping up with fast-moving subjects. This, in turn, promises continuous shooting with AF tracking at 10 frames per second – double the rate the E-M5 II could hit at the best of times. Updated control algorithms are designed to make the

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Like previous E-M5 models, the Mark III is small but handles well

The ECG-5 grip should improve handling with large lenses

focus less likely to jump from the desired subject to the background. In-body image stabilisation (IBIS) has long been one of Olympus’s biggest strengths, and a new downsized but more efficient mechanism is said to deliver up to 5.5 stops stabilisation on its own, or 6.5 stops when used with one of the firm’s IS lenses. In practice, this gives an unmatched ability to shoot handheld at slow shutter speeds, allowing you to keep the ISO low in poor light, or use creative motion-blur effects. There are plenty more advanced features on board, many of which you won’t find elsewhere. Pro Capture mode buffers up to 14 frames from before the shutter button is fully pressed, enabling you to capture fast, unpredictable action when you wouldn’t normally have time to react. There’s also Live Composite for light painting or shooting light trails; focus bracketing and stacking for close-up photography; optional in-camera rectilinear conversion when shooting with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm F1.8 Fisheye Pro lens; anti-flicker shooting under fluorescent lighting; and a tripod-based 50MP high-resolution composite mode. The Mark III also gains a major upgrade to its video abilities and is now capable of recording Cinema 4K footage at 24fps and 237Mbps. In combination with the IBIS, this should provide a capable option for ‘run and gun’ videographers who like to shoot on

the move with lightweight kit. Other features include Full HD recording at up to 120fps for slow-motion work, and a built-in microphone socket for higher quality audio.

Updated control layout Olympus has also made plenty of external design tweaks, which together give an improved shooting experience straight out of the box. The exposure mode dial has moved beside the twin electronic control dials to match the other models in the OM-D range, and gains both a dedicated B position for quicker access to the firm’s uniquely useful long-exposure modes, and a C position for saving custom user set-ups for quick recall. There are new dedicated buttons for ISO, exposure compensation and drive mode, and the AEL button is much better positioned, as is the surrounding switch that’s used to select between focus modes. Slightly disappointingly there’s no AF joystick, so users still have to make do with using the d-pad to move the focus area. Like its predecessor, the Mark III sports a large 2.36m-dot electronic viewfinder, but it’s now of the OLED type rather than LCD, which Olympus says provides improved brightness. An extended eyepoint of 27mm should allow more comfortable viewing for those who wear glasses. Below it, the fully articulated touchscreen LCD provides excellent flexibility for shooting at unusual angles.

First impressions IN MANY respects, the OM-D E-M5 Mark III appears to be just the update that Olympus needed to make. The improved AF system and 4K video capabilities bring the camera in line with current expectations, while the layout tweaks improve what was already one of the best-handling small mirrorless cameras on the market. The plastic body shell is bound to disappoint Olympus fans, but on a more positive note, the Mark III retains the tactile controls and robust construction of its predecessors. The question is whether it will still stand out sufficiently in an increasingly crowded market, and we’re looking forward to addressing this in our upcoming full review. subscribe 0330 333 1113 I www.amateurphotographer.co.uk I 26 October 2019

External grip FOR THOSE who wish to shoot with larger, heavier lenses, Olympus is offering a new matched grip, in the shape of the ECG-5. Specifically designed for the Mark III, it’s superficially similar to those made for previous E-M5 models, in that it screws into the base of the camera to provide a significantly deeper and taller grip, topped by its own shutter button and electronic control dial.

But it differs from the previous generations in not supporting the addition of a vertical grip for portrait format shooting. Those interested in video work will also be disappointed to learn that unlike with the Mark II’s HLD-8G grip, there’s no headphone socket for monitoring audio during recording. Having used it briefly, the ECG-5 certainly provides a really comfortable hold that should significantly improve handling with telephoto lenses. I’m just not entirely convinced that it was styled by the same team who designed the camera itself. It’ll cost £179.99.

A shutter button and control dial are placed on top of the grip

E-M5 III kit options THE E-M5 III is due to go on sale in the middle of November, in a choice of silver or black finishes. It’ll cost £1,099.99 body only; £1,399.99 with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-140mm F4-5.6 II; £1,599.99 with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-200mm F3.5-6.3; and £1,699.99 with the premium, large-aperture M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 Pro. All three of these lenses are weather-sealed to match the camera. Buyers placing pre-orders prior to 15 November will receive a £100 trade-in bonus and a free spare BLS-50 battery. 9


COMPETITION

Be a Christmas

cover star

Would you like to see one of your images in print, on the cover of the world’s number one weekly photography magazine? If so, read on... THE HOLIDAY season is almost upon us, which means it’s time for Stir-up Sunday, sentimental TV adverts, and the Amateur Photographer Christmas cover competition. This year we have teamed up with Photocrowd and Billingham to offer you global exposure, and some great prizes to boot.

The prizes The overall winner (as judged by the AP team) will see their picture grace the cover of the AP Christmas Special issue (21-28 December). They will also receive a Billingham Hadley Pro 2020 bag worth £240, courtesy of Billingham

(www.billingham.co.uk). The winner can choose from six classic colour combinations. A second winner (as awarded by the public vote via Photocrowd, www.photocrowd.com) will receive a year’s digital subscription to AP. If the standard of entries is deemed high enough, the winner(s), and a selection of commended entries will also appear inside a future issue of the magazine.

For full terms and conditions, visit www.amateurphotographer.co.uk. The closing date for entries is midnight on 18 November 2019

Tips for cover success Don’t crop in too tightly. Leave space for the magazine ‘furniture’ – masthead, coverlines and graphic devices. Busy images with lots of detail are generally unsuitable as they make superimposed text tricky to read. Shoot portrait-format pictures. While it’s not unheard of for us to use a section of a landscape-format shot, your chances are improved by shooting in the upright format. Make eye contact. If you’re submitting a portrait, ensure good eye contact, with the subject looking directly into the lens. Make sure the eyes are pin-sharp. Provide plenty of options. Try various angles and subject placements, with the main focal point to the left, the right and centre, to give the art editor lots of options on where to put the coverlines.

HOW TO ENTER The competition is open to everyone, whether amateur or professional, and you are free to interpret the theme in any way you choose. Naturally we are happy to see shots of baubles, trees and lights, but we also want pictures that show the creative potential of the season in general, so feel free to submit winter landscapes, indoor portraits, frosty flora and fauna etc. If you think you have something suitable on file, great; if not, have a go at shooting something for the competition. To enter, upload your image(s) to the Photocrowd website via the following link: www.photocrowd.com/apxmas.

For your chance to win, go to www.photocrowd.com/apxmas


Festival

Photo North 2019 We Feed the World captures the triumphs and challenges of 50 farming and fishing communities around the world

With just a few weeks to go until Photo North takes place in the beautiful market town of Harrogate, Amy Davies rounds up some festival highlights

N

© JOHN CH LL NGWORTH / GETTY MAGES

Images from the extensive Hulton Archive will be shown in a special display at Photo North

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the treasures from the Hulton Archive – which you may recognise from our new feature on page three. It’s a must-see for any fans of historical pictures and will include images from some of Britain’s most legendary photographers, including Thurston Hopkins, Terry Fincher, John Chillingworth, Slim Aarons and more. If any of you entered your shots into the esteemed Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year competition, you might see some of your work on display too, as selected images from the awards will be shown. One of the UK’s most-celebrated documentary photographers, Jim Mortram, will be showing his seminal Small Town Inertia work, while there will also be displays from Dafydd Jones for his work Screen Time, and John Bolloten’s Love Story (which we featured in AP 18 May 2019). We’re also thrilled to see Carolyn Mendelsohn’s Being Inbetween project

Denis Thorpe’s A View from the North collection documents life in the North of England from 1948 until the present day

© DENIS THORPE / THE GUARDIAN

ow entering its second year, Photo North is very much on track to become one of the highlights of the UK photo festival scene. Last year’s inaugural event included a wealth of British talent, all gathered together in this quaint Yorkshire town. I had the privilege of attending and meeting some fantastic photographers including Homer Sykes, John Bolloten, Carolyn Mendelsohn, Ella Murtha (daughter of the late Tish Murtha) and more who have since featured on our pages. Co-founded by regular AP contributor, Peter Dench, the team behind Photo North works tirelessly to bring together a wonderful (and eclectic) set of displays, talks and events across the three days. Nearby hotels can be booked for a reasonable price, so if you’re not particularly local you might want to consider making a weekend of it. This year there are displays from a wide range of exhibitors. The Getty Images Gallery will be showing some of

© TINA HILLIER

Photo North takes place across the weekend of 30 November to 2 December 2019 at the Harrogate Convention Centre, Kings Road, Harrogate HG1 5NX, North Yorkshire. Advance tickets can be bought until 20 November for £10/ day or £20 for the full three days (discounts available for students). Prices on the door cost £12/day or £22/three. For more information on all the events, talks and shows, see photonorthfestival. co.uk

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Spotlight Some of the best work on display at the festival

© MIK CRITCHLOW

Mik Critchlow – Coal Town Critchlow’s long-term project Coal Town began in 1977. Documenting his home town of Ashington, Northumberland, he worked with his local community with a deep-rooted empathy for the townsfolk – he’s also the son of a miner.

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Images That Resonate When we visit exhibitions we learn lots about the subject, but we rarely discover much about the image-maker. With Images that Resonate, the display brings together several images taken by a diverse range of photographers which hopes to change that (selected by Jason Olley).

©STEPHEN MCLAREN

project displayed – as featured in AP 18 May 2019, with a book of the work due to be published soon by Bluecoat Press. We Feed the World is another big highlight not to be missed. The project brings together more than 300 photographers to celebrate the small, family farmers who produce over 70% of the world’s food. As well as showcasing imagery in the form of displays from these fantastic photographers, there will also be several talks, seminars and events which will be free to those who purchase day or weekend tickets – see opposite page for details. There will also be a ‘live lounge’ area which features food and drink stalls, live music and book signings. Winners of the annual Photo North student competition will also be announced on the Sunday of the festival – this year the theme of the competition is ‘Family’.

© ED KASHI

© THURSTON HOPKINS / GETTY IMAGES

Fans of classic documentary photography should find plenty to enjoy at Photo North this year

Document Scotland – A Contested Land Exploring the complex relationship between Scotland’s people, history and landscape through the work of several photographers, Document Scotland was founded in 2012 by four photographers who were tired of clichés and to provide an accurate view of their nation. 13


In next week’s issue

Viewpoint Jon Bentley

On sale Tuesday 29 October © ALONGKOT.S /GETTY IMAGES

Utilising empty shops to promote photography could be a great way to revive the ailing British high street

Tête-à-Tête is different in that it combines business, studio and gallery. Ewan Barry and Audrey Pinard formed this Scottish and French photo partnership in 2008. Most of their work is commercial and wedding photography but they decided to exhibit their personal photographs and sell them from the room overlooking the street. For the Fringe they were showing stills taken in Edinburgh and in the 17th and 18th arrondissements in Paris, where Audrey’s mother lives. There’s a beautiful collection of black & white architectural and street photographs, including quite magical reflections in windows and classic car bodywork and shadows on buildings. A tantalising glimpse of an enlarger in the

room leading off the gallery suggested some of these rich prints could be silver gelatin. Ewan told me they were high-quality digital prints on Baryta Photographique museum-standard paper but that he has had special analogue-only exhibitions in the recent past. He revealed that the gallery and studio combination has been very successful for them – it’s classified as a retail building but it’s not in a massively desirable part of town, so the rent is cheap. They also organise workshops and city photography tours from the shop. Now you could argue that Edinburgh with its bustling tourist trade and visual heritage is an easy touch. It may be more difficult setting up shop in Dudley or Doncaster. But hold on a minute. Everywhere has some visual potential and an army of keen photographers. And why stop at shops for individual photographic businesses? Shared studio, exhibition and training spaces could find a perfect home in unused shops as well. Councils and property owners will need to play ball; there’ll have to be some flexibility on rent levels and business rates. But it must be better than having the spaces shuttered up. Make way for refreshingly photographic retail therapy.

Jon Bentley is a TV producer and presenter best known for Channel 5’s The Gadget Show.

Do you have something you’d like to get off your chest? Send us your thoughts in around 500 words to the address on page 24 and win a year’s digital subscription to AP, worth £79.99 14

Stock secrets

Ewan Barry is one of the founders of Tête-à-Tête Foto in Edinburgh

Want to earn cash? Here’s the best way to maximise sales of your stock library images

Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE CONTENT FOR NEXT WEEK S SSUE MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

THE V EWS EXPRESSED N TH S COLUMN ARE NOT NECESSAR LY THOSE OF AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHER MAGAZ NE OR T MED A L M TED

Photo partnership

© JON BENTLEY

Y

ou can’t get away from reports that Britain’s high streets are in crisis. Boarded up empty shops stand like tombstones – a sad testament to soaring business rates, the spending squeeze and of course the success of internet retailing. But I think there’s a small way photographers could help inject life back into this fading streetscape. While in Edinburgh recently for the Fringe, I was strolling from a hilarious play to an uproarious stand up when I came across the shop front of Tête-à-Tête Foto. It convinced me that more photographers should have a retail presence. Obviously photographers’ shops are nothing new. Edward Reeves in Lewes has been going since 1855 and W W Winter in Derby from 1852, for example. But they tend to be primarily studios, and feature the photographers’ commercial work in the window. You only go into them if you’re arranging something like a family picture session or sorting some promotional shots for your business. More recently most photographers have eschewed the costly and timeconsuming burden of a high-street presence altogether as they can do business purely online.

Andy Westlake tests a lovely prime for Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras

A lasting legacy Victoria and Albert: We celebrate how Prince Albert championed photography

Still-life in the studio With simple gear, Ian Plant shows how easy it can be to shoot studio still-lifes

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The best pictures on social media this week

#appicoftheweek The forest by Noel Bodle

*PLEASE ALLOW UP TO 28 DAYS FOR DELIVERY

Fujifilm X-T1, 55-200mm, 1/40sec at f/10, ISO 320 THIS photo was uploaded to our Instagram page by photographer Noel Bodle using the hashtag #appicoftheweek. He tells us, ‘I visit King’s Wood near Challock, Kent, every May for its wonderful display of bluebells. I had recently bought the 55-200m lens, and thought this would be a great time to test it out. I came across this wonderful scene within minutes of arriving. It was beautifully lit from behind with fresh new greens. I didn’t intend to make it black & white; it was only when I viewed the image on the computer that I saw its full potential.’ Picked by Claire Gillo, technique editor as our #appicoftheweek

week we choose our favourite picture on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Win! Each Twitter or the reader gallery using #appicoftheweek. PermaJet proudly

supports the online picture of the week winner, who will receive a top-quality print of their image on the finest PermaJet paper*. It is important to bring images to life outside the digital sphere, so we encourage everyone to get printing today! Visit www.permajet.com to learn more.

We also likedÉ Tranquil by Gary Chittick Huawei P20, 27mm, 1/300sec at f/1.8, ISO 50 Gary’s peaceful and tranquil image was photographed recently early one morning. He reveals, ‘The image was taken at Knapps Loch beside Kilmacolm in Inverclyde. This is a small, man-made fishing loch popular with local walkers and photographers. The forecast was for low temperatures and little wind, which gave the potential for mist. As the sun rose and lit the mist and land softly, the boats made an interesting and idyllic scene. It’s definitely a location to return to at different times of the day.’ Picked by Geoff Harris, deputy editor


SOCIAL MEDIA

Glencoe light by Joe Higney

Nikon D800, 10-20mm, 0.6sec at f/16, ISO 50 JOE HIGNEY’S image shows us what good light can do. As he explains, ‘I had set out for the east end of Glencoe, Scotland, but when I arrived my intended shot was in shadow. Further down the glen near Loch Achtriochtan, I remembered it would catch the last light. On arriving the sun was too low, but the waterfalls below Bidean Nam Bian were shinning. My gamble partially paid off as the clouds parted and lit the face of Stob Coire nan Lochan... the light fell short of the waterfalls though.’ Picked by Tracy Calder, technique editor

NYC by Helen Trust

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 24-70mm, 264sec at f/11, ISO 50 HELEN shared her amazing New York cityscape scene on our Instagram page. We were attracted to the intense dark blues and greys of this impressive man-made scene. Helen says, ‘This shot was taken on what was originally a dull overcast evening in New York, but then a brief moment of magic occurred. Shot from Jersey City looking across to the fabulous Lower Manhattan skyline, the wind picked up and the clouds were moving rapidly so I couldn’t resist setting up for a long exposure. During the four-anda-half minute exposure, this glorious last light of the day illuminated the One World Trade Center and the clouds provided an out-of-this-world halo. It was an incredible evening I will never forget.’ Picked by Michael Topham, reviews editor

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17


Verity Milligan

Verity is a professional landscape photographer based in Birmingham. She has worked on campaigns for organisations such as Yorkshire Tea and Visit Britain. She’s happiest when outdoors, and relishes the opportunity to connect with people, environments and cities. Visit www.veritymilliganphotography.com.

To reduce the glare and make the rainbow pop, a polarising filter is the best option and one that Verity likes to use most of the time Olympus E-M5 Mark II, 40-150mm, 1/60sec at f/14, ISO 200

A polariser filter is a landscape photographer’s best friend and will help reduce the glare from reflective surfaces, such as glass and water, and make your sky pop. 18

Neutral Density filter

Polariser

KIT LIST

Stop down your exposure time to make creative long exposures with this filter. These come in different strengths or you can also purchase variable ones (which tend to be lower quality but more versatile). 26 October 2019 I www.amateurphotographer.co.uk I subscribe 0330 333 1113


THREE FILTERS

Technique

The

3

magic filters Verity Milligan shares why you only need three filters in your kit bag and how to get great results with them

Match the exposure value of the sky to the ground by darkening it down with a grad. Although the square ND grads are easier to line up they also come in a screw design.

UNLESS STATED OTHERWISE, ALL PICTURES © VERITY MILLIGAN

Neutral Density graduated filter

Full kit

If you want to take your filters seriously then be like Verity and invest in a full filter kit such as the LEE 100 filter kit. These don’t come cheap, but if you take care of them they will last a lifetime and give superb results.

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W

hen it comes to knowing what filters to have in your kit bag we’ve identified the key three: a Neutral Density graduated (ND Grad), Neutral Density (ND), and polariser filter. Most professional landscape photographers use these filters at various times for many reasons, from trying to achieve a longer exposure time to reducing the glare from a reflective surface. Different filters have alternative functions and there are so many of them on the market that sometimes it can feel overwhelming to know which ones to buy. However if you stick with the key three you’ll get great results whatever the circumstances. Landscape and professional photographer Verity Milligan uses the key three for her landscape and architectural work. ‘I have LEE’s new 100 filter system (which is at the pricier end of the scales), but previously I’ve used both Kase and Benro filters, which are all good.’ 19


Technique The ND Grad

THREE FILTERS

A Neutral Density Graduated (ND Grad) filter is like an ND filter but with a gradual blend from dark on the top to clear at the bottom. The top part masks over the sky meaning the exposure time between the sky and land are reading closer exposure values. Verity says, ‘I use graduated filters when I want to expose for the foreground and keep the correct exposure in the sky. They can be useful when shooting at the beginning or end of the day when the light is low and it can be difficult to maintain good exposure in the foreground and the sky. They can also be very useful if I’m shooting in gloomy/stormy conditions.’ She continues, ‘The advantages to using

a grad is the freedom it can give you to shoot in bright conditions and the control over the exposure. Sure, you can replicate it to a certain degree in post, but really this isn’t ideal.’ In terms of disadvantages, Verity advises that you should be careful regarding what situations you deploy them in. ‘For example’, she continues, ‘if you’re shooting a mountain range with an uneven horizon, you can inadvertently end up darkening the mountain peaks and unbalancing the overall exposure.’ Graduated filters come in various strengths and in a soft or hard blend. As you can imagine the soft is more gradual whereas the hard is less so. Which one to choose to use is your decision, as some prefer soft whereas others prefer hard. Verity for the most part opts for soft grads rather than hard because they are a little more forgiving if you’re shooting landscape images. ‘However,’ she says, ‘hard grads can be very useful and effective if you had a defined horizon, for instance if you’re shooting a seascape.’ Finally, when asked if she ever stacks them she replies, ‘I tend not to because it can mean that the sky is almost too dark and ends up looking surreal.’

2

The distinctive exterior of the Selfridges building in Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre shot with a Neutral Density filter to create this particularly moody and atmospheric image 20

The ND filter

A Neutral Density (ND filter) comes in various strengths (these are measured in stops). For those who want a versatile option, variable ND filters can alter their strength by spinning – however generally the quality is not so good. Verity says, ‘For me, an ND filter is useful when I want to show movement in an image. This is particularly useful when I’m shooting architecture and I want to make the imagery more stylised. It’s also very useful when shooting seascapes. In terms of the advantages they definitely help to give an image form. It can be difficult to tell a narrative through a single image, so a sense of movement can be very useful. However, ND filters can be tricky. First, you can find yourself guessing at the time, especially if it’s over five minutes. I advise getting yourself an app to help you calculate the proper timings. Second, there are a few things that can go wrong, such as light leaks through the viewfinder, which can ruin a long exposure.’

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An ND graduated filter enhances this heavy sky and adds atmosphere

Verity’s top filter tips 1 Clean regularly

It can be endlessly frustrating when you get home from a shoot and realise that you’ve got lens flare and spots all over that killer image because you haven’t bothered to make sure the filters were clean. When mounting them onto your camera be careful not to leave any fingerprints.

2 Less is more

When it comes to graduated filters, I find that less is more. I tend to use a .3 or a .6 rather than a .9 or 1.2. This gives me greater control over the feel of the image and I can always work on the exposure more in post. But if the sky is too dark, then I’m limited to what I can do without creating unnecessary noise in the image.

3 Buying

3

The polariser

Finally the polariser is Verity’s favourite and the one she opts for most of the time. ‘For me, a polariser is an essential piece of kit for a landscape photographer. The LEE polariser I use has the advantage of warming up the image, but it also makes the colours pop. It can also be extremely useful for pulling out reflections from bodies of water and reducing reflections if I’m photographing a building.’ Like with the ND and ND Grads, there are advantages and Verity achieved this pinkish-purple, ethereal image of Lake District’s Derwentwater by using a polariser

disadvantages to using them, which Verity discusses. ‘Using a polarising filter ensures you have more control of the landscape in front of you, and opens up the possibility of exploring the scene in a different way. However, they can also be difficult to control. If your polariser is in the wrong position you could end up with the sky looking rather strange, and if you’re using one that is attached to a filter holder it creates a small space between the lens and filter which can increase the risk of lens flare if you’re shooting into the light.’

When buying an ND or ND grad filter I would recommend picking up the 100mm square versions that sit in a filter holder. This provides much more versatility and you can use it in conjunction with other filters such as a polariser. Although the screw-in ND filters are much cheaper, you need to buy one for each lens filter size and this could become more costly.

4

Use wisely

5

Enhance reflections

When you first get your hands on ND filters, it can be exciting and you may wish to use them immediately. However, there are certain situations where they are more effective, such as when you’re by the coast or on a particularly windy day. Also, you don’t have to take a really long exposure; sometimes even a one-second long exposure can create something interesting. Polarising filters can help to get the most out of an image. I’m a fan of using one to enhance the reflections in a scene, especially if I’m shooting next to a lake on a still, misty morning. They can also be extremely useful when capturing images of the coast as you can use them to remove reflections for damp rocks and create a rather interesting foreground. Stacked with other filters they can help create something extraordinary out of the ordinary. They’re also brilliant for pulling out all the colours of a rainbow, if you’re lucky enough to find one! 21


Technique

Filter systems

© GETTY IMAGES / DIMITRIS66

Some filters screw directly onto the end of the lens

Stack filters together if you have multiple purposes for them

When it comes to investing in a filter there are two main systems worth picking from. You can either opt for a circular filter, which screws onto the end of your lens, or a square filter, which slots down a filter holder attached to the front. Most professionals use the holder system, as it can be more versatile and easier to stack filters on top of each other, but they tend to be more expensive (although higher quality). To attach the holder onto your lens you’ll need an adapter ring, which threads onto your lens and then fits to the holder. You’ll need to buy the correct size adapter ring for each of your lenses. The lens thread size is measured in mm, for

Most professional photographers use the filter holder system

example 58mm, 67mm, 77mm and 82mm are all common sizes. The second system is a circular screw filter that threads straight onto your lens. Again you’ll need to buy the filter in the correct thread size for your lens. You can also purchase step-up and step-down rings if you have multiple lenses with different thread sizes and want to attach the same filter. We recommend you purchase the filter that fits the largest thread size of your lenses,and use step-down rings to fit accordingly. If you step-up, you run the risk of seeing the edge of the filter in the field of view.

Step-up and step-down rings are useful for adapting one filter to different sized threads

Stacking filters

If you find that you need a longer exposure time than your ND filter is capable of, you can stack them together. Verity advises, ‘If I want to have an extremely long exposure and there is a lot of light then I will stack ND filters (usually a 6-stop and a 10-stop), but this can lead to long exposure times and I’m not the most patient of photographers!’ However it’s not just ND filters you can stack together – you can also mix them up, as Verity explains: ‘I’m much more likely to stack an ND grad with other filters such as a graduated and a polariser, that both have a specific purpose when I’m capturing an image.’


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Editorial team Group Editor Nigel Atherton Geoff Harris Deputy Editor Andy Westlake Technical Editor Michael Topham Reviews Editor Amy Davies Features Editor Ailsa McWhinnie Features Editor Technique Editor Hollie Latham Hucker Tracy Calder Acting Technique Editor Claire Gillo Acting Technique Editor Jacqueline Porter Production Editor Jolene Menezes Chief Sub Editor Sarah Foster Art Editor Steph Tebboth Senior Designer Andrew Sydenham Studio Manager Photo-Science Consultant Professor Robert Newman Hollie Bishop Office Manager Special thanks to The moderators of the AP website: Andrew Robertson, lisadb, Nick Roberts, The Fat Controller

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Editorial Complaints We work hard to achieve the highest standards of editorial content, and we are committed to complying with the Editors’ Code of Practice (www.ipso.co.uk/ IPSO/cop.html) as enforced by IPSO. If you have a complaint about our editorial content, you can email us at complaints@ ti media.com or write to Complaints Manager, TI Media Limited Legal Department, 161 Marsh Wall, London E14 9AP. Please provide details of the material you are complaining about and explain your complaint by reference to the Editors’ Code. We will endeavour to acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days, and we aim to correct substantial errors as soon as possible. All contributions to Amateur Photographer must be original, not copies or duplicated to other publications. The editor reserves the right to shorten or modify any letter or material submitted. TI Media Limited or its associated companies reserves the right to re use any submission sent to the letters column of Amateur Photographer magazine, in any format or medium, WHETHER PRINTED, ELECTRONIC OR OTHERWISE Amateur Photographer® is a registered trademark of TI Media Limited © TI Media Limited 2018 Amateur Photographer (incorporating Photo Technique, Camera Weekly & What Digital Camera) Email: amateurphotographer@ ti media.com Website: www.amateurphotographer.co.uk. TI Media Limited switchboard tel: 0203 148 5000 Amateur Photographer is published weekly (51 issues per year) on the Tuesday preceding the cover date by TI Media Limited, 161 Marsh Wall, London E14 9AP. Distributed by Marketforce (UK) Ltd, 5 Churchill Place, London E14. ISSN 0002 6840. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval or transmitted in any format or medium, whether printed, electronic or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher or the editor. This is considered a breach of copyright and action will be taken where this occurs. This magazine must not be lent, sold, hired or otherwise disposed of in a mutilated condition or in any authorised cover by way, or by trade, or annexed to any publication or advertising matter without first obtaining written permission from the publisher. TI Media Limited does not accept responsibility for loss or damage to unsolicited photographs and manuscripts, and product samples. TI Media Limited reserves the right to use any submissions sent to Amateur Photographer Magazine in any format or medium, including electronic. One year subscription (51 issues) £155.50 (UK), e259 (Europe), $338.99 (USA), £221.99 (rest of world). The 2015 US annual DEU subscription price is $338.99, airfreight and mailing in the USA by named Air Business Ltd, c/o Worldnet Shipping Inc, 156 15, 146th Avenue, 2nd floor, Jamaica, NY 11434, USA. Periodicals postage paid at Jamaica NY 11431. US Postmaster: Send address changes to Amateur Photographer, Air Business Ltd, c/o Worldnet Shipping Inc, 156 15, 146th Avenue, 2nd floor, Jamaica, NY 11434, USA. Subscriptions records are maintained at TI Media Limited, 161 Marsh Wall, London E14 9AP. Air Business Ltd is acting as our mailing agent.

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LETTER OF THE WEEK W NS A SAMSUNG EVO PLUS M CROSD CARD NOTE: PR ZE APPL ES TO UK AND EU RES DENTS ONLY

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More jargon

Photography has long been an essential aspect of archaeology. Excavation destroys much of our basic evidence, and hence, photography forms a key part of recording an excavation. With digital photography we can now map sites from the air using drones and a technique called Structure from Motion. We can make 3D models of finds, buildings and even landscapes from digital images. By using Reflectance Transformation Imaging we are no longer limited to a few light directions when recording a worn inscription or carving. Both traditional and digital photography, however, leave us with a dilemma. If we destroy a site by excavating it, and use photographs to mitigate that destruction, we are honour-bound to take steps to archive those images. Negatives and slides must be stored in archival quality sleeves in carefully controlled conditions. Digital images have to be migrated from one format to another, and one storage system to another. With this in mind, Paul Carwardine’s letter (Inbox, 28 September) jarred uncomfortably with me. We all know about the problems of old photos: who, when, where and why? It’s worse now that the majority of images never

Photo books let you display and caption your images

make it beyond someone’s phone, though they at least store metadata. But what about all those images on image-sharing websites? Paul’s solution to make a DVD with captions and commentary is a super way to share photos with family and friends, but isn’t suited to long-term archiving. How many laptops have a DVD player? How long will the software be around? Without careful digital curation (as provided by the Archaeology Data Service, for example), digital images will have a shorter life than glass plate negatives. Historic England’s advice for curating images goes beyond archaeology: print them! In the case of family images like Paul’s, I suggest that making a photo book will allow you to caption your images, and is a longer term solution than the ever-shifting sands of modern technology. Kris Lockyear

Win!

A Samsung 64GB EVO Plus microSDXC with SD adapter Class 10 UHS-1 Grade U3 memory card supports 4K UHD. Offering R/W speeds of up to 100MB/s /60MB/s and a 10-year limited warranty. www.samsung.com/uk/memory-cards.

Nothing up north

I thoroughly enjoyed your article about photography events (Grand day out, 28 September). Such a shame there’s no provision for those in Scotland or north of the central belt. In Aberdeen, we have virtually nowhere to shop, browse or take courses.

We have one Jessops store that never has stock (sorry Jessops, but for those who don’t live in the city we don’t want to order in for collection in two days’ time) and a Ffordes, which is a two-hour drive and not open on weekends. I’d so love to see another camera shop open up here.

We have a large photographic community who would bite your arm off for some of the experience days that those further south can try. Not to mention a good shop to trade, buy and browse in. Living in hope of a big name to spend my wages in. Emma Garvie

You asked for the jargon that most irritates us (Inbox, 21 September). I could rant on like a loon about this, but let’s start with ‘prosumer’: it’s either designed for consumers or pros (although a pro is actually also a consumer?). What’s wrong with just calling it equipment? Can a pro not use an APS-C body? Can an amateur not use Canon L lenses? And what exactly is ‘street photography’? (Something I claim to do myself, by the way.) Is it photographing a street? No, it’s photography. It’s all just photography! I think we need to just enjoy this wonderful hobby/job of ours instead of trying to categorise it all. Often people will judge other photographers dismissively if they use equipment they deem to be of a lower quality. I have been guilty of this on occasion too, but I now just buy and use the gear that I want and can afford. For example, I am a long-time Canon user but love the Sony E-mount series bodies, and as I already have Canon lenses (not ‘glass’ – another term I don’t like), I use a Sony A7 III with a Metabones adapter and an EOS M5 with Canon EF adapter for street photography (oops!). Another thing is the way we categorise people – it’s OK to be known for working in a certain field (e.g. fashion), but it doesn’t mean you’re ‘just’ a fashion photographer. You are a photographer who shoots fashion, but you may also secretly be taking macro shots of 18th-century silver snuff boxes, etc. Love the magazine by the way. Please never shorten it to ‘zine’! Phil Barrance

The Beetles

While I agree with Tracy Calder that not everyone has access to an Avro Vulcan XM655 as photographed by Mike

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© KEITH JONES

to the price of a camera – they’re just pieces of computer code on the chip. Despite this, I do believe that there is a huge potential market for a stripped-down camera with only the basic functions – Nigel Atherton, editor

Keith was lucky to shoot an Avro Vulcan XM655 with Beetles

Topham (Grand day out, 28 September), I can lay claim (along with the car club I belong to) that for a short day early last year, I had access to one such magnificent beast. Thanks to South Yorkshire Beetles Club and the Newark Aviation Museum, we had a great day with the planes and VW Beetles. You only have to ask sometimes, and make sure you are courteous and polite. Keith Jones

exposures of 6x6cm on 120 film. I am the only member in my family who has a visual record of many of my relations and ancestors, and these are greatly prized by the current generation. I copied the old negatives on an LED Light Pad using my indispensable Benbo tripod, full-frame Nikon and macro lens, all costing over a hundred times the price of my original ‘serious’ camera – but the photographs taken then are priceless. R Dunlop

Martha Holmes

A wander through the AP archive. This week we pay a visit to 1996

1996

Pete Spencer lamented that he could not find any books by Martha Holmes (Inbox, 28 September). Abe Books, the online bookseller, has a selection of her work for sale, including Sea Trek, Nile, The Blue Planet and Life. Gerry Knight

Pentax resolution

Further to my letter about the known fault on my Pentax K-S2 (Inbox, 6 July), there has been a welcome development. Without much hope of I have been reading AP success, I approached Park for the past 70 years – Cameras to see whether apart from a spell when it could offer any advice. I was in revolt about the I cannot praise Park What an interesting price being raised from Cameras enough for its Viewpoint from Hoshang approx 5p to just over 6p. response to this matter. Billimoria (AP 24 August). Photography gives me Park Cameras has taken It used to be British joy, and I understand it on and, at absolutely no manufacturing that stuck the importance of saving expense to me (even P&P its head in the sand in photos. I have recently charges), commissioned an response to competition been having great fun independent examination from abroad – now the digitally printing from and persuaded Ricoh Japanese camera makers negatives of photos taken Pentax to fund repairs to seem to be doing it as well. my K-S2 under warranty. around 70 years ago, My main camera is now 10 My camera has now been including one of my years old and performs as grandmother (see below). returned to me, repaired, I think it was in 1951 that well as it did when I bought serviced and with firmware it. I suppose I should I was able to save £7.50 updated. I am very pleased replace it, but I don’t want and purchase an Ilford and, when the time comes, Craftsman camera. It had a all the functions that new will most likely continue large uncoupled viewfinder, cameras include. I’d like a buying Pentax from Park camera with just aperture/ Cameras. I hope you feel, two apertures (f/9 and shutter priority and manual, like I do, that a word in f/18), and could focus. plus all normal functions Shutter speeds were AP in praise of both Park such as auto focus, at a 1/25th and 1/75th of a Cameras and Ricoh Pentax reasonable price. second. And it took 12 would not go amiss. My Michael Blake story with a happy ending might also encourage Most of the functions others with a similar that you don’t want don’t problem to have a go. add much, if anything, Mike Gosling

Priceless archive

Back in the day

Heads in the sand

DURING the 1990s, AP moved away from the titillating glamour of previous decades and towards more fine-art erotica. In 1996 the annual Erotica Special was guest edited by the late, great Bob Carlos Clarke, though there is no mention of this prestigious coup on the cover. Even the picture is a lovely, but far from saucy, portrait of Beatrice Dalle. There is a ‘but’, though: it came sealed in a bag with ‘Erotica Special’ written in big letters. Bob was more than just a token figurehead. He selected the portfolios and wrote one of the interview features, as well as the Editor’s letter, in which he explained that ‘Erotica is a genteel term for something sexy dressed up as art, and is concerned more with aesthetics than arousal.’ Some of those who bought this sealed issue on the strength of the bag art would have been disappointed to learn this the hard way.

© R DUNLOP

YOUR FREE ENTRY CODE

R Dunlop digitised this 70year-old photo of his grandma

Enter the code below via Photocrowd to get one free entry to Round Eight – After Dark

APOY02250088

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Photographer Bettina Rheims featured in this special issue 25


Wex Photo Video is a Which? Recommended Provider Source: Which? members’ annual survey June-July 2018.

Trade in to trade up to a full-frame FE lens for your Sony camera

We now offer trade-in for cash* on selected items. This offer is available online only.

Step 1

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Request a quote online or call us for a guide price

We’ll collect your gear for free

Spend your credit on a Sony FE lens

Submit a quote at www.wex.co.uk/part-ex or call us on 01603 481836 Monday-Friday 8.30am-6pm Terms and Conditions: *Trade-in for cash is applicable on selected items, online only. Wex Photo Video reserve the right to remove trade-in for cash applicable items and alter trade-in values at any time. For more details visit wex.com/help/terms-and-conditions. Cash for trade-in values based on used item being a very light use. Subject to full inspection. Wex Photo Video is a trading name of Calumet Photographic Limited (Company Registration Number: 00425579) and Warehouse Express Limited (Company Registration Number: 03366976). VAT Number: 108 2374 32. Registered office: 13 Frensham Road, Sweet Briar Industrial Estate, Norwich, Norfolk, NR3 2BT. © Warehouse Express Limited 2019.


In association with

Amateur Photographer of the Year

Here are the top 30 images uploaded to Photocrowd from Round Six, Street Life, with comments by the AP team

1 st Round Six Street Life PATRICK REILLY from County Louth, Ireland, is the winner of Round Six of APOY 2019. He can choose products of up to £1,000 in value (based on Sigma’s RRP) as his prize. Classic street photography is usually shot on wideangle to standard lenses, and Sigma has plenty of options here. The SIGMA 24mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art (left, £799.99) is capable of resolving outstanding detail. Alternatively, there’s the SIGMA 40mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art (far left, £1,099.99), which received five stars when reviewed in AP 2 March 2019. subscribe 0330 333 1113 I www.amateurphotographer.co.uk I 26 October 2019

1 Patrick Reilly Ireland 30pts

Fujifilm X-Pro2, 23mm, 1/110sec at f/5, ISO 200

Our eye goes straight to the man’s face in this excellent and witty capture by Patrick. His expression is tricky to read. Is he simply chatting or asking why his picture is being taken? From there, our eye travels round the frame, taking in the faintly bizarre elements that make up the scene: the doll (and why is he holding its hand?), the guns on the table next to him, the sleeping woman and - a lovely finishing touch - the sign that says ‘The Best Just Got Better’. So many stories being told in one well-seen image.

27


APOY 2019

2nd 2 Alison Swinburne UK 29pts Fujifilm X100F, 33mm, 1/850sec at f/4, ISO 800

This lovely shot deserves a special mention, as it came a very close second in the judges’ scoring. The contrast between light and dark is excellent, but it’s all about the interaction between the man and the nun who is behind the wheel. The warmth between them, and the smile on the second nun’s face, is uplifting, and the placement of the man’s hand on his chest gives it an added dimension and symbolism. Very well captured, given that there’s every chance the moment probably didn’t last more than a few seconds at the most.

4 Wendy Davies UK 27pts

4th

Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 28mm, 0.4sec at f/22, ISO 100, polariser

Wendy has taken a bold, no-nonsense approach to this shot, making it obvious she’s taking a picture, rather than attempting to remain unnoticed. She has previsualised the result well, shooting with a long shutter speed – but obviously bracing the camera firmly – to reflect the hustle and bustle of the people moving around her. It’s an excellent result that ensures the viewer knows exactly where their eye is supposed to travel to first. 28


In association with

3rd

3 Naf Selmani UK 28pts

Fujifilm X-T2, 32mm, 1/250sec at f/8, ISO 200

Successful street photography is all about timing, a sharp eye, and a touch of serendipity. All these elements come together in Naf’s image. Not everyone would have seen the potential for an image that’s framed by this arrow, but he did. What makes this work so well is the wheel of the chair being the only circular element in the image, and the man’s bright yellow T-shirt echoing the yellow street lines. Good work.

5 Tom Franklin de Waart Hong Kong 26pts Nikon D850, 24-70mm at 62mm, 1/800sec at f/9, ISO 400

India’s stepwells are a popular subject for photographers, and for good reason, as this beautifully composed image by Tom demonstrates. Filling the frame with the pinky-beige steps was the right approach, to give the sense of being enclosed in the environment, while composing so the man is on the thirds and about to go up the steps keeps it balanced.

5th

ra

29


APOY 2019

6 7 7 Laura Hacking UK 24pts Fujifilm X-T1, 16-55mm at 16mm, 1/125sec at f/8, ISO 1000

Without the cyclist, this would be all about line and angles. With him, it’s about the trickiness of navigating urban architecture that isn’t designed for every eventuality!

11 6 Angela Lambourn UK 25pts Nikon D610, 24-120mm at 50mm, 1/640sec at f/7.1, ISO 250

Almost like two pictures in one, the framing here makes the most of the scene’s colour and geometrical shapes.

10 Steve Beckett UK 21pts Nikon D750, 35mm, 1/500sec at f/7.1, ISO 800

Good framing from Steve, who saw the opportunity to make this shot about more than just the man sitting on the floor. Great timing and imagination.

10 12

15

12 Kaveh Garmany USA 19pts Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 24-70mm at 70mm, 1/80sec at f/3.2, ISO 100

There’s a lot going on in this image, but it’s never confusing. There’s nothing more classic in street photography than a couple embracing, especially when it’s set within Italian architecture. Cropping out the sky means we can concentrate on the detail within the scene.

15 Martin Kimchi UK 16pts Sony A6500, 28mm, 1/500sec at f/8, ISO 100

An intriguing image where the shadows tell us more about the people than the people themselves. A small step to the left might have given a slightly more balanced composition, but we appreciate this may not have been possible. A clever image nonetheless.

11 Debarshi Mukherjee India 20pts Nikon D7000, 17-50mm at 17mm, 1/60sec at f/2.8, ISO 500

Facing a torrential downpour has paid huge dividends, with the goddess appearing to bless both the rickshaw passenger and driver.


In association with

8

8 Alan Edwards UK 23pts Nikon Coolpix P7100, 10.7mm, 1/160sec at f/7.1, ISO 100

This is the sort of image that will be looked back on in years to come as a slice of social history. Great shot.

9 Ulrike Unterbruner Austria 22pts Sony A7R III, 24-70mm at 43mm, 1/320sec at f/8, ISO 100

A Lowry-esque image in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

9

13

14

16 Sara Jazbar Italy 15 points

13 Stanislav Sitnikov Russia 18pts Canon EOS 7D, 15-85mm at 15mm, 1/85sec at f/5, ISO 100

Nikon D500, 11-20mm at 19mm, 1/125sec at f/10, ISO 100

We love the unusual composition here, the boy’s enigmatic expression, and the range of light and shade within the frame.

An atmospheric, beautifully timed shot. It’s a touch over-processed, but kudos to Sara for heading out in the pouring rain!

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17

14 Rob Deyes UK 17pts Sony A7, 200mm, 1/800sec at f/8, ISO 400

There’s an almost sinister, film-noir feel to this image, which is all the more effective for its conversion to black & white. Clever work.

17 Peter Griffiths UK 14pts Fujifilm X-T2, 18mm, 1/200sec at f/2.5, ISO 400

We don’t know what’s going on here, and we’re not sure we want to, but it’s a great – if discomfiting – moment captured. co.

31


APOY 2019

18

19 18 Scott Jessiman UK 13pts Nikon D750, 70-200mm at 200mm, 6sec at f/10, ISO 50

Scott picked just the right shutter speed to combine sharpness and blur, and reflect the hubbub of the street scene.

19 Tom Franklin De Waart Hong Kong 0pts Nikon D850, 14-24mm at 14mm, 1/4sec at f/7.1, ISO 280

Another good example of balancing the right amount of movement and stillness.

23

22 22 Adrian Jones UK 9pts

23 Steve James UK 8pts

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 50mm, 1/100sec at f/8, ISO 200

Nikon D850, 180mm, 1/500sec at f/3.2, ISO 560

Gorgeous light, a nice composition, and a slightly different take on street shots.

A typically British scene that’s been nicely captured by Steve. The shared umbrella is what makes the picture.

26 Des Gardner UK 5pts Nikon D800, 42mm, 1/800sec at f/8, ISO 400

This is a strongly composed image, which is all about the diagonal lines. On a human level, it’s also about repetition and mundane tasks.

26 29 Jon Hall Ireland 2pts Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 70-300mm at 230mm, 1/500sec at f/5.6, ISO 100

Here, the viewer is left wondering what the two men are looking at.

30 Cliff Harvey UK 1pt

29 32

Olympus E-M1 Mark II, 12-40mm at 34mm, 1/125sec at f/8, ISO 400

A witty moment that says a lot about our interactions in the modern age.

30


In association with

21 June Fox UK 10pts

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 70-300mm at 155mm, 1/640sec at f/5.6, ISO 1600

Although a street beggar is not a new subject, there’s no denying the excellent composition and mood of this image.

20 24

20 Jay Birmingham UK 11pts

24 Mark Corpe UK 7pts

Canon EOS 60D, 17-50mm at 38mm, 5sec at f/7.1, ISO 100

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 85mm, 1/125sec at f/2, ISO 200

An iconic tourist spot is portrayed with a fresh approach in this nicely composed shot.

Nice use of a shallow depth of field to make the main subject stand out, and the black & white processing is beautifully done.

25 25 Mike Morley UK 6pts

27

Sony NEX-5N, 18-55mm at 20mm, 1/80sec at f/6.3, ISO 100

The British weather is a recurring theme in this round of APOY, and this is another good example. Isolating just a few colours adds to the strength of the shot.

27 Sebastiano Pieri UK 4pts Canon EOS 100D, 10-20mm at 10mm, 1/30sec at f/8, ISO 800

The reflection plays with our perceptions in this shot.

Darrell Godliman Nikon D300S, 300mm, 1/320sec at f/9, ISO 800

CROWD WINNER

A very well-seen shot, with a slightly surreal atmosphere to it.

28 Christine Matthews UK 3pts Canon EOS 70D, 18-200mm at 200mm, 1/250sec at f/5.6, ISO 250

The repetition of the pink and purple colours in this shot lifts it above the ordinary, as does the young girl’s expression.

28

The 2019 leaderboard Thanks to winning Round 6 of this year’s APOY, Patrick Reilly has leapfrogged into the top five, but despite not having an image placed, Caron Steele retains her lead. Tom Franklin de Waart has more than one image in the top 30, so only his highest-scoring image counts. 1 2 3 4 5

Caron Steele 90pts Marco Tagliarino 74pts Tom Franklin de Waart 68pts Steve James 61pts Patrick Reilly 54pts

6 Darren Rose 7 Neil Burnell 8= Flavio Tosti 8= Jay Birmingham 10 Henrik Spranz

53pts 51pts 50pts 50pts 48pts

To enter and find details of the upcoming rounds of APOY 2019 visit www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/apoy and click Enter Now subscribe 0330 333 1113 I www.amateurphotographer.co.uk I 26 October 2019

33


Specialising in the Exceptional ...

“Grays of Westminster rightly claims a place in Nikon’s history, and in the history of camera stores the world over. It is a perennial stop for me when in London. The gracious welcome extended to everyone, the sense of service, even the very scale and architecture of the place speaks of an era gone by, yet at the same time, somehow, remains resolutely current. It is a memorable experience every Nikon shooter should have.” – Joe McNally

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Technique KIT LIST

Scanner

We used the Epson V600 Photo for our shoot; however any flatbed scanner will do. Make sure your scanner software is installed, and switch to the professional mode for best results.

Pick a subject

You’ll need to find objects to scan. It can be anything from plants to objects you have lying around the house. Get creative!

Background

Decide what colour you want the background to be and lay some card behind your subjects. This will have a great impact on the end result.

In between scans give your scanner a clean with glass cleaner to remove unwanted marks and fingerprints. 36

ALL P CTURES © CLA RE G LLO

Glass cleaner

By scanning interesting objects such as this animal skull and some dead flowers, you can create something unique


Scanner

art

Claire Gillo reveals her creative top tips and tricks for making a digital photographic image using a flatbed scanner

W

ith those long winter months in sight and the weather miserable and cold more often than not, now is the time to hibernate indoors. In the winter season a great project to immerse yourself in is scanner art. Producing a photographic image without the use of a camera is a creative and fun thing to do. It requires a little bit of patience and consideration in the initial set-up and ideas stage, but once these are in place it’s plain sailing from then on. It goes without saying but to try this at home you will need a computer and a flatbed scanner. It doesn’t have to be an expensive scanner to get good results. We’ve tried this technique on a variety of models, and price doesn’t really come into it. Each scanner produces results in its own unique way. If you have access to a few scanners take some time to experiment and see which one gives you the result you prefer. There are many subjects that lend themselves to scanner art. Flowers are one of the most obvious, and these are definitely the most scanned subject amongst the scanner-art community. There are a number of ideas to try in order to break away from the norm, such as hands and feet, natural objects like animal skulls and skeleton bones, and even food can look effective, although you don’t want your scanner to get too messy. There really is no limit to your creativity and imagination.

The main thing to take into account when scanning your subject is the resolution size. Depending on how much detail you want your scanner to pick up will determine what setting you opt for. You don’t have to go big, as the higher the resolution the longer it will take to scan. If your computer is not the fastest it can be extremely frustrating processing your image at the editing stage if your image is too large. The higher the resolution the more

Get experimental in your approach. Movement can work well with body parts like hands and feet 37


Technique

SCANNER ART

detail you’ll be able to see, but your decision should also take into account the size of your object your scanning. If it’s something small and you want to enlarge it ,you’ll need to select a larger resolution. The resolution is determined by the dots per inch (dpi) setting on your scanner. It has a range from 50-12,800. We recommend you start with a resolution around 600dpi and increase or reduce accordingly. Before you begin you need to take into account whether you want to scan in colour or black & white (grayscale) and at what bit Color or bit Grayscale setting. On our scanner we have a 24-bit Color setting and 48-bit. The grayscale comes in 8-bit Grayscale and 16-bit. Bits are all about the

amount of colours or black & white tones in your scan, and as you can imagine, the higher the number on the setting the more colours or range of tone you have. It’s important to note the bit setting has nothing to do with the resolution. Your screen displays at 24-bit, and a JPEG file does too as it compresses the image to this amount. Really the Bit aspect only starts to matter when you want to print an image at a very large size or if you make a lot of image edits where you’re pushing and pulling the pixels around. If this is the case scan at 48-bit (16-bit Grayscale) and save as a TIFF file. However for our scanner art we used the lower-quality settings and saved out as JPEG, which was good enough for our needs.

STEP-BY-STEP SCANNING

Top tips

1 Pixels per inch (ppi)

This is the resolution screen on the computer. Dots per inch (dpi) is what your image will print out at. The scanner setting for resolution is set to dpi on the Epson scanners.

2 Keep the liquids away! 3 4 Keep your scanner clean

Switch your scanner’s setting

Use the professional mode as you have the most control over the final outcome.

1 Scanning software

Start by opening your scanning software and go to the professional setting. We scanned our objects in at a resolution between 600 and 720dpi. This was large enough for what we needed it for. We also set the Image Type to 24-bit color (for higher quality, select 48-bit).

2 Lay out your objects

Next arrange your subjects on the flatbed. You want to include the smaller items at the front so place them in first, and then the larger bits behind. Less can be more so build up your image slowly. Think about your background choice too at this stage.

Try to get as little moisture on your scanner as possible.

In between scans spray some glass cleaner onto a cloth and wipe over the flatbed. This will do the trick.

a preview and build 5 Do your image

When starting out it can be tricky to know what might work, so build up your scene slowly and gradually. Sometimes less is more. More simplistic set-ups can often be more effective than throwing in everything at once.

6

You can always scan individual objects

Scan objects one at a time and create a montage using Photoshop. Repeating patterns and objects can look effective.

7 Scanner set-up 3 Scan in

Once happy click Preview to see a quick view. Decide if you want to add in more objects, move any around or take any away. Once happy you can select the area you want to scan and check your resolution is set to the amount you want it. 38

4 The final edit

Once your image has been scanned you can then edit it as much as you see fit. For ours we opened them into Photoshop and tweaked the tone and contrast. We also used the Spot Healing tool to remove dust marks and prints in the background.

We placed ours underneath a dark office table, so even without the lid down the background was dark. If you want to use different coloured backgrounds get some card and lay over the back.

8

For a creative result

Try moving your hand or object as it scans. Remember not to look at the light as it can damage your eyesight.

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ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

Ian found Rotolight’s LED lights ideal for studiobased food photography when he shot this strawberry landing on a spoon of milk

Food in a f

When you need portable, flexible lighting for video and stills, Rotolight’s all-in-one continuous LED and HSS flash – AEOS – is just the trick, as Ian Pack explains

A

s someone who shoots both video and stills, I need lighting equipment that’s versatile, reliable and powerful. Having spent an afternoon shooting with the LED lights from Rotolight I can confirm that they are just the trick! These highspec bits of kit offer a range of features including High Speed Sync (HSS) flash with zero recycling time, which 40

makes them ideal for studiobased food photography. Unlike conventional flash there are no capacitors to recharge between flashes, and with up to 200% of the maximum continuous light output available you can freeze action with ease. Thanks to this clever technology you can carry just one light to shoot both stills and video footage. Both the AEOS and NEO 2 lights can be triggered using

an Elinchrom Skyport Pro trigger. Impressively, this allows you to use shutter speeds faster than the native internal flash synchronisation (sync) speed of 1/125-1/250sec – provided your camera is capable of HSS flash. In practice, this means you can shoot with wider lens apertures or use faster shutter speeds to freeze motion up to 1/8,000sec. Food photography is often shot under natural

TRIGGERS

The AEOS and NEO 2 will work with Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Sony, Pentax, Olympus and Panasonic cameras. Rotolight supplies the Elinchrom Skyport Pro. (Thirdparty transmitters are available, but will require the corresponding receiver to work.) l Phottix ODIN II (HSS) works with Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax. l PocketWizard FlexTT5 and FlexTT6 support High Speed Sync (HSS) for Canon and FP Sync for Nikon. l Cactus VI II (HSS) works with Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, Panasonic, Sigma, and the Cactus VI IIS (HSS) with Sony.

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BEHIND THE SCENES

daylight, but on many occasions a burst of flash will enliven an otherwise static shot – think icing sugar sprinkled on to a cake; a ball of dough thrown on to a flour-coated table; or in this case, a strawberry landing on a spoon of milk. When using the flash setting, Rotolight LEDs can remain on, giving you a constant modelling light to preview highlights and shadows accurately. Conventional flashes use a separate constant light source as a modelling light, which gives an approximation of the lighting due to the shape and position

relative to the flash tube. Having this ‘what you see is what you get’ lighting is very useful, taking the guesswork out of creating an image. To obtain maximum light output from the NEO 2 and AEOS the colour temperature needs to be set to 4200K. This is because the clusters of two LEDS used to change the colour temperature of the lights are both at maximum output at this temperature. For accurate colour you need to either set a custom white balance on your camera at the time of shooting, or make adjustments during postproduction. To cover all bases,

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© AN PACK

lash

The set-up for this shot was fairly straightforward. I used the AEOS with soft box as the key light and the bare NEO 2 as the accent/rim light to lift the subject from the black paper backdrop. The spoon was held in a clamp, which in turn was patched to another clamp to allow precise positioning. The area was covered in towels in order to absorb any milk splashes, which travelled over a metre! Between takes, the milk was replenished by means of a syringe and the spoon dabbed with a paper towel to remove excess milk. For the main image I used a shutter speed of 1/1000sec, aperture of f/8, and ISO of 1000. The focus setting was set to the tracking feature to keep up with the movement. The strawberry was held just out of the frame and the camera was triggered with a remote release when it was dropped into the frame.

set your camera to record raw files when adjusting the colour balance of your images. To achieve an accurate whitebalance setting I used the X-Rite Color Checker range. Your camera user guide will have information on how to create a custom white balance in-camera. Alternatively, just sample a neutral grey in your raw file converter of choice to ensure accurate colour. With conventional flash you need to use colour-correction gels fixed to the flash head or a modifier to adjust the colour temperature. With the Rotolight AEOS and NEO 2 you can adjust the colour temperature of the light from 3150-6300K in steps of 10K or 20K. The benefit of this is that you can balance the light with existing ones such as warm interior lights or cooler bright sunlight. These lights boast a

CRI of 96 and TLCI of 91, so they give a more accurate and consistent colour rendition. If you need a single continuous light and a powerful and flexible flash solution, the AEOS and NEO 2 from Rotolight might well be the answer.

Ian Pack

Ian has been in the business of photography, video production and visual media for more than three decades. He recently embarked on a long-term project photographing and interviewing the people behind the English wine revolution (www. heartofukwine.co.uk) and has a photography and lighting blog called Pack’s Hacks. Visit ianpack.blogspot. com for more. 41


YOUR PICTURES IN PRINT

© PADDY RUSKE

2

Join

Club the

Describe a typical club meeting. We commence the evening with relevant information for members about forthcoming events before planned activities begin. This could be any of the following: a monthly print or projected image competition on a themed or open subject; members’ nights, where we talk about some of our images; or an audio-visual presentation on a subject ranging from very basic camera control to more advanced subjects such as low light, macro and image editing.

The Rugeley and Armitage Camera Club is all about learning, no matter the camera

Do you invite guest speakers? We have guest speakers throughout the season. Subject matter is varied and ranges from informative presentations delivered with a slice of good humour, to viewing the work of experts learning about the how, why and where images were taken.

When was the club founded? Our camera club was formed in 2009 by six local enthusiasts who held their meetings in the corner of a bar. From this small beginning the club rapidly increased its membership, necessitating a larger meeting room. At present, we have over 70 members, making it one of the largest in the Midlands.

Do members compete in regional or national competitions? Although entering competitions is entirely voluntary, we try to encourage as many members as possible to do so, especially beginners, believing this to be one of the quickest ways to improve your photography with the opportunity to win prestigious trophies. All competitions involve an outside, independent judge who will give constructive and informative advice about what is good or not so good about an image, bearing in mind that these comments are purely the judge’s opinion. Listening to their advice leads to improvement, as does learning from our so-called mistakes. In addition to our monthly club competitions we enter inter-club battles against other local clubs, as well as an annual

What does your club offer new members? New members have the chance to meet like-minded people in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. During breaks at the camera club evenings, our members socialise with others to view displays of images entered into competitions or browse available magazines for a donation to our chosen charity, St Giles Hospice. 42

© L NDA SHAW

1

1 Damselfly by Linda Shaw This vibrant and engaging study has the perfect colour palette to show off the damselfly in all its glory.

2 46447 by Paddy Ruske Everything you need for a successful steam-engine shot can be found in this charming composition.

print and projected image competition held between 12 other Staffordshire clubs. All members have the chance to individually enter MidPhot – an annual competition held for the whole of the Midlands area which showcases the best in Midlands photography. Are any residential trips or outings planned? We try to include field trips and outings into our busy schedule. These can consist of walking in Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, for the varied wildlife; Westonbirt, The National Arboretum in Gloucestershire, for beautiful shots of vivid coloured trees; and of course The Black Country Museum in Dudley. Do you have any funny club stories? At one of our annual presentation evenings we held an auction of prints, donated by speakers and members. Celebrity auctioneer, Charles Hanson from television’s Bargain Hunt was invited to join us and we were thrilled when he agreed to come along and host the evening. Over £1,000 was raised that night and donated to the club’s chosen charity, St Giles Hospice, Lichfield. What are the club’s goals for the future? Our aim for the future is to continue to offer stimulating evenings which meet the everchanging needs of our members, whether they are complete beginners or experienced photographers using anything from a top-ofthe-range camera to a smartphone… all bitten by the photography bug!

Want to see your club featured on these pages? Drop us a line for more information at ap@ti-media.com.

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YOUR PICTURES IN PRINT

© BR AN WHEATLEY

5

3 Striped Cordial by Dave Hanmer A striking shot which works exceptionally well thanks to the vivid colour of the cordial and the perfect framing of the background.

© GRAHAM ORGILL

© DAVE HANMER

3

4

4 Autumn Colours by Graham Orgill A classic still-life subject, this scene has a very painterly effect which means it wouldn’t be out of place on a gallery wall.

6 Mirror image by Carole Perry With lots of space around the subject, and a muted colour palette, this surreal image has been executed extremely well.

© CAROLE PERRY

6

5 Handmade Bread by Brian Wheatley An ordinary scene is anything but on second glance – some expert manipulation work on display for this gothic shot.

Club essentials

Rugeley and Armitage Camera Club

© MARY EATON

7 Antelope Ground Squirrel by Mary Eaton Sharp and with plenty of detail, this classic study of a small critter is very charming.

7

The Davy Suite at Lea Hall Miners Welfare Centre & Social Club, Sandy Lane, Rugeley WS15 2LB, Staffordshire Meets Mondays at 7.30pm from September to June Membership Annual fee is £25 for individuals, £40 for couples, or £50 for families Contact Carole Perry at carole-perry@sky.com Website www.rugeleyandarmitagecameraclub.com 43


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LENS TEST

Testbench

The lens performed exceptionally well when asked to shoot a series of portraits wide open towards the sun Nikon Z 7, 1/500sec at f/2.8, ISO 100, 45mm

Nikkor Z Is Nikon’s first professional zoom for the Z mount a success? Michael Topham gave it a try to find out

W

hen a camera manufacturer announces a new lens mount – just as Nikon did last year with the Z-mount - we immediately start guessing what new lenses might follow. Nikon, however, wasn’t shy about letting us know about what it had planned in the future. The lens roadmap that was released at the same time as the Z 7 and Z 6 revealed six lenses would join the Z 24-70mm f/4 S, Z 35mm f/1.8 S and Z 50mm f/1.8 S during 2019. One of these – the Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, is the latest lens to arrive with us for review. Before we cast eyes over the fastest standard zoom for the Z-series to date, we should mention that many more lenses for the

Z-series are in the pipeline. The updated lens roadmap, which was released at the same time as the recent Nikon Z 50, tells us the Z 20mm f/1.8 S, Z 50mm f/1.2 S, Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S and Z 70-200mm f/2.8 are to be joined by an S-Line 105mm Macro and a 60mm Macro. Two compact prime lenses – a 28mm and 40mm – are also expected, along with four additional zooms. These include a 24-105mm, 100-400mm, 24-200mm and 200600mm. Release dates are to be confirmed.

Features The lens we’re looking at here is the second standard zoom Nikon has made for its Z-series cameras. There are a number of differences

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between it and the Z 24-70mm f/4 S, not least the fact it costs £1,120 more. With a maximum aperture of f/2.8 across the zoom range it’s a stop faster, and just as you’d expect from a lens with a pro-spec status, it employs advanced optics and extensive weather-sealing. The optical construction of the lens is made up of 17 elements in 15 groups. Two ED (extra-low dispersion) elements are included, as are four aspherical elements. While Nikon’s Nano Crystal coatings suppress ghosting and flare coming from backlight at diagonal angles, an all-new multi-layer ARNEO coating is also applied to compensate for light entering the lens from vertical angles. To ensure fast, accurate and silent autofocus, a powerful stepping motor (STM) combines with Nikon’s Multi-Focus System. This system uses two actuators to move two focus groups at once, enabling the lens to 45


The lens goes about its business of focusing in an accurate, sprightly and quiet manner. Users who shoot JPEGs should take advantage of the Auto distortion control option from their camera’s menu system Nikon Z 7, 1/4000sec at f/2.8, ISO 100, 70mm

achieve critical focus rapidly, even at close focusing distances. On the topic of focusing, it has a minimum focus distance of 0.38m (1.25ft) at all positions through the zoom range. Being the internal type of focusing system there’s no fret of the front element rotating either, but it’s worth noting the 82mm thread size is larger than the 72mm and 77mm threads on the Z 24-70mm f/4 S and F-mount AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8 E ED VR. To stabilise handheld images, users should use the 5-axis in-body image stabilisation built into Nikon’s Z 7/Z 6 cameras, which allows you to shoot up to five stops slower than otherwise possible. In the box you get all the usual accessories you’d expect, including front and rear lens caps as well as a CL-C2 lens case. The plastic HB-87 lens hood that’s lined with felt on the inside locks with a 90-degree turn and has a release button that needs to be depressed before it can be removed. Users have the option to control AF-ON as well as a whole host of AF/AE lock options from the Fn button on the barrel Nikon Z 7, 1/4000sec at f/2.8, ISO 100, 70mm

Build and handling The lens is 25% lighter and 18% shorter than the AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8 E ED VR in Nikon’s F-mount lens lineup. Unlike the slower Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S, it doesn’t have a retractable design, which means the zoom ring doesn’t have to be twisted to extend it to 24mm before it can be used. One feature that has been well received on some of Nikon’s new Z-mount lenses is the addition of a control ring. On lenses like the Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S that feature one, it’s possible to change the function of the control ring from its default setting of adjusting focus to control aperture or exposure compensation. The barrel on the lens we’re looking at is longer and features functionality unique to higher-class models in the Nikkor S-Line. In addition to a control ring, a focus ring is positioned ahead of the zoom ring, allowing you to adjust the focus and control exposure compensation or the aperture

‘Zoom creep isn’t an issue when it’s pointed down’ without having to revert to the custom control assignment options in the camera’s menu. Between the control ring and the zoom ring there’s also a L-Fn button that allows a number of functions to be assigned to it, and a DISP button that’s used to toggle through focal length, aperture and focus distance on the display panel beside it. As illuminated panels on lenses go, it displays its information very clearly. It’s useful for glancing at and can be used to precisely set your focal length. It displays focal length information in 0.5mm increments between 24mm and 35mm, and 1mm increments thereafter. The build and overall finish is deserving of the serious and professional photographers it’s designed for. Engraved focal length markings stand out clearly in white against the matte black barrel and the AF/MF focus switch is easy to find with your thumb. The control ring and manual focus ring rotate silently with satisfying fluidity, while the rubberised zoom ring offers a consistently smooth motion through the focal range. The zoom operates across a quarter turn of the zoom ring and there’s sufficient resistance to ensure that zoom creep isn’t an issue when it’s pointed down.

Image quality To find out how well the lens performs, we coupled it to Nikon’s 45.7-million-pixel Z 7. Like other manufacturers, Nikon has taken the direction of embedding its lens correction profiles for its Z lenses into the cameras’ raw files, which are applied automatically by the


LENS TEST

Testbench

Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Resolution The red line indicates that it puts in a mighty fine performance at the wide end of the zoom range, with corner sharpness improving by closing down to f/4 and f/5.6. It is sharper in the centre and at the edge at 50mm than it is at 70mm. Excellent centre and corner sharpness is upheld through the zoom range between f/5.6 and f/8. The influence of diffraction sees sharpness drop off beyond f/11.

The lens can focus as closely as 38cm at all settings across the zoom Nikon Z 7, 1/125sec at f/2.8, ISO 100, 70mm

software you use at the processing stage. Loading raw files into Adobe Camera Raw and opening the lens corrections tab reveals a message signalling the built-in lens profile for correcting distortion, chromatic aberration and vignetting has been used. While there is a way of disabling this automated behaviour, albeit not in ACR itself, there’s no real need to do so unless you’d like to compare results with and without the automatically embedded lens profile applied. Running a series of real-world tests against the Z 24-70mm f/4 S before studying these closely highlighted that the lens we’re looking at is optically superior, both in terms of the sharpness it resolves across the frame and the beautiful blur it creates at its widest aperture. This doesn’t take the shine off the Z 24-70mm f/4 S though, which remains a good lens and has size, weight and cost benefits of its own. It’s sharpest at the wide end of the zoom. Centre sharpness figures at 24mm peak above those at 50mm and 70mm. Edge sharpness improves at all focal lengths by stopping down to f/5.6 and seriously impressive sharpness figures are obtained across the zoom at f/8. If you’d like to resolve the sharpest results and your shooting situation doesn’t insist that you shoot at f/2.8, it’s advisable stopping down to at least f/4 between 50mm and 70mm. With the embedded lens correction profile taking care of curvilinear distortion, no work is required to fix barrel or pincushion distortion. It’s the same story with regard to chromatic aberrations. These are well corrected for, with no nasty surprises or obvious fringes of colour. Just as I discovered when I tested the Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S, the embedded correction profile alleviates corner shading at wide apertures, but doesn’t remove it altogether. Vignetting is most obvious when the lens is used at 24mm with an aperture of f/2.8. I found taking manual control of the vignetting amount slider in Adobe Camera Raw and setting it to +30 removed it effectively. subscribe 0330 333 1113 I www.amateurphotographe

Verdict

It was only a matter of time before a fast standard zoom was released to complement Nikon’s excellent Z-mount cameras. While there’s nothing to stop Nikon users pairing F-mount zooms like the AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8 ED with the Nikon Z 7 and Z 6 via the FTZ adapter, coupling a heavy lens and adding a bulky adapter somewhat defeats the point of owning a smaller and lighter camera body. Settle for the Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S and you’ll reap the reward of the size and weight advantages it offers. The combined weight of lens (805g) and Nikon Z 7 comes to 1,480g. This is a big saving when you compare it to combinations like the Nikon D850 and Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR that weigh over 2kg. It’s a Data file lens that produces excellent sharpness, is Price £2,019 built to the demands of Filter diameter 82mm professional use and Lens elements 17 balances beautifully on Groups 15 full-frame Z-series Aperture blades 9 cameras. Although it’s Aperture f/2.8-f/22 not cheap, it’s the best Minimum focus Z-mount zoom we’ve distance 38cm tested so far and fully Dimensions89x126mm deserves its Gold Award. Weight 805g Lens mount Nikon Z-mount Includedaccessories Lens cap, lens hood (HB-87), lens case (CL-C2)

24mm centre 50mm centre 70mm centre

24mm corner 50mm corner 70mm corner

Shading Use the lens at f/2.8 and you will notice that the corners of images appear darker than the centre of the frame, even with the embedded lens correction profile automatically applied. Stopping the lens down a stop or two from f/2.8 to f/4 or f/5.6 helps alleviate the fall-off of light towards the edge.

24mm f/2.8

70mm f/2.8

Curvilinear distortion Distortion is often an area where zoom lenses struggle, however with the embedded lens correction profile that’s automatically applied to raw files produced by the Nikon Z 7 and Z 6, users are provided with distortion-free results straight out of the camera that require no additional work.

SMIA TV = -0.1%

GOLD

24mm

SMIA TV = -0.1%

70mm 47


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FILTER TEST

Polariser

Testbench

Adjustment

A circular polariser is integrated into the filter holder adapter, with a 77mm thread for attaching to the lens.

A small wheel on the side of the holder allows for easy adjustment of the polariser from behind the camera.

At a glance

Attachment

£250

The holder is fixed on to the adapter by tightening a single screw.

● 85mm square filter system ● Accepts polariser and 2 or 3 more filters ● For use with lenses up to 77mm thread ● Polariser, 6-stop ND and 3-stop ND grad included

Formatt Hitech Firecrest 85mm ND What’s in Starter Kit the box?

Can you get away with using an 85mm filter system instead of an expensive 100mm kit? Andy Westlake finds out

I

t’s tempting to believe that, in these days of Photoshop, you can replicate any effect of using an optical filter in front of the lens through post-processing. But as explained on page18, that’s simply not true, and there are still three filter types whose effects really can’t be matched digitally: polarising, neutral density (ND) and graduated ND filters. The latter in particular only really work as part of a square filter system. The catch is that the 100mm-wide set-ups favoured by landscape shooters are expensive, and can easily add up to many hundreds of pounds. However, one possibility to reduce the cost might be to downsize. I’m sure many readers will be familiar with the Cokin P system which was hugely popular during the 1980s and 1990s, and employs 84mm-wide filters. If that size worked then, why not now? The answer lies with our ever-expanding lenses; not

only have wideangles got increasingly broader in view, but the current fashion is to make lenses that are physically very large to achieve super-high sharpness. But one of the advantages of smaller sensor formats, and also of mirrorless systems, is that they allow lenses to go the other way, and be smaller than their equivalents for full-frame DSLRs. This has in turn induced the Welsh filter maker Formatt Hitech to introduce a new 85mm filter holder under its premium Firecrest brand, which it says is particularly suitable for APS-C and Micro Four Thirds set-ups. So how well does it work?

How it works Formatt Hitech’s 85mm Firecrest system adopts a similar design to its 100mm holder, with a 77mm circular polariser integrated into the filter holder adapter. You screw

subscribe 0330 333 1113 I www.amateurphotographer.co.uk I 26 October 2019

THE FIRECREST 85mm ND Starter Kit includes the filter holder, a 77mm polariser, 77mm adapter ring, and step-up rings for lenses with 58mm, 67mm and 72mm threads, along with a nylon pouch to hold them. It also adds two high-quality glass filters to get you started, a 3-stop ND Grad and a 6-stop ND filter. Alternatively you can buy the basic Firecrest 85mm Filter Holder Kit, including a polariser but without the ND filters, for £119.


Testbench

FILTER TEST

In this dramatic portrait of a pair of Aston Martins, I used a polariser to enhance the reflections and a 3-stop ND Grad to darken the sky Sony Alpha 7 II, 24-105mm f/4 at 57mm, 1/15sec at f/11, ISO 100

the polariser onto your lens, and then mount the holder directly onto it, fixing it in place via a single screw. A second, blank 77mm adapter is included for when you don’t want to use a polariser. The holder rotates freely so you can align graduated filters at an angle, but there’s no way of locking it down, so you need to keep a close eye on how it’s set. For lenses with smaller threads you have to use a step-up ring. I’m mystified as to why a 62mm option has been left out of the box, given that it’s used by several popular lenses including the Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 and the Sony 10-18mm f/4. However the firm sells step-up rings in various sizes for £12 each, and while this may look expensive compared to what you can pay online, they are slim and good quality, so worth spending a bit extra for. The holder comes with two filter slots as standard, allowing you to use a grad and an ND together, with a low-profile foam rubber seal preventing light leakage past the latter. But it also comes with additional parts to add a 50

third slot, which can be handy for stacking NDs or combining different types of grad. Unlike some other systems we’ve seen recently, the Firecrest 85mm holder doesn’t have any special tricks for holding or manipulating grads and NDs: they simply slide into the slots, and are held in place by friction.

But it does have one neat feature, in that the polariser can be easily rotated from behind the camera using a small wheel on the side.

Lens compatibility So now for the big question: what lenses can you use the 85mm holder on, and with what

Adding another slot Expanding the holder to take three filters is straightforward. Remove the screws on one side using the supplied Allen key, and then turn the holder over while holding the assembly together. Remove the top plate, add the additional slot former, replace the top plate and finally put it all back together, using the longer set of screws. It should only take a couple of minutes, but I don’t think I’d want to try it on location for fear of losing a screw. 26 October 2019 I www.amateurphotographer.co.uk I subscribe 0330 333 1113


For this atmospheric landscape, I added a 10-stop ND filter to the 6-stop ND included in the kit Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, 12-100mm f/4 at 25mm, 60sec at f/5.6, ISO 200

The Formatt Hitech 85mm system in use on my Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II with 12-100mm lens

limitations? I tested it with a range of different type lenses for multiple sensor formats, and found that it’ll generally be fine with any lens that has a filter thread of 77mm or smaller, and with lenses as wide as 16mm equivalent, regardless of sensor size. But there’s a caveat as you approach these limits, in that your leeway to align grads with a sloped horizon by rotating the holder becomes increasingly tight. Let’s look at this in more detail. Firstly, the 77mm limit rules out using it with a lot of high-end full-frame optics, so if that’s the kit you use, you’ll have to buy into a 100mm filter system. But there are plenty of full-frame lenses that use 77mm or smaller threads, and these should usually work OK. However the polariser is slightly thicker than conventional slim filters, at 7mm, and while this isn’t always a problem, I saw a little corner vignetting with my Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM and its Sony FE equivalent at their widest settings, which would require cropping or cloning out. The blank adapter is a couple of millimetres thinner and doesn’t vignette at all.

The second possible kind of vignetting is from the holder blocking the lens’s field of view, which limits the widest usable angle to about 16mm equivalent. With slightly less-wide lenses such as the Tamron 17-28mm F2.8 Di III RXD, there’s no hint of vignetting when the holder is set straight, but it can block part of the lens’s view when it’s rotated even slightly. Zoom in to 20mm, however, and you can rotate the holder to any angle with no sign of vignetting. If you build the holder up to three slots rather than two, naturally there’s a greater risk of vignetting, but you can still expect to use lenses as wide as 19mm equivalent with the holder set straight, while 21mm will allow for free rotation.

In practical use Using the Formatt Hitech 85mm Firecrest holder on location reveals the strengths and weaknesses of its design. Looking at the positives first, the build quality is excellent, with the rigid aluminium base providing a stable foundation, while the nylon filter slots allow easy swapping and positioning of filters. The wheel for adjusting the polariser works particularly well. The filters supplied in the kit are also of high quality, which is particularly important with the polariser, given that it can’t be swapped out. In terms of colour balance they’re effectively neutral, with the 6-stop ND showing no sign of excess infrared transmission, which can be a troublesome problem with cheaper filters. So far, so good.

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The main irritation comes when you need to change lenses. Unlike most other systems, you can’t simply fit all your lenses with the requisite adapters, and then swap the holder across with all the filters in place. Instead you have to unclip the holder, unscrew the polariser and transfer it to the next lens each time, which isn’t exactly a quick process. This may also involve fiddling with step-up rings, which I found could stick to the polariser at inopportune moments. So it’s a good idea to carry a couple of filter wrenches, just in case. It’s also worth noting that Formatt Hitech’s top-of-the-range Firecrest glass graduated filters are only available with a soft transition from dark to clear. This is fine for toning-down bright skies, but if you want a hard grad when there’s a tightly defined horizon line, or a reverse grad at sunrise or sunset, you’ll have to buy the firm’s resin filters instead, which usually means having to accept slightly lower optical quality.

Our verdict IF YOU’RE interested in putting together a square filter set-up, but are put off by the cost, then the Formatt Hitech Firecrest 85mm system is well worth considering. As long as you don’t have any lenses with filter threads larger than 77mm or wider than 17mm equivalent, you should be able to avoid excess vignetting. However it’s important to understand that larger filters give better scope for angling graduated filters, which is often useful in landscape photography. Otherwise, my main reservation is the clunkiness of switching between lenses. But crucially you can save hundreds of pounds compared to alternative options, including the firm’s own 100mm Firecrest holder or LEE Filters’ Seven5 and 100 Recommended systems, with the cost advantage amplifying as you buy more filters. 51


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USED CAMERAS

Testbench

SECOND-HAND CLASSIC

Nikon D7200 It might be four years old, but the Nikon D7200 still presents its own advantages over the newer D7500

The D7200 has a sensitivity of ISO100-25,600, with extended settings reaching up to ISO 102,400

GOLD

A

t the time of its release in 2015, the D7200 was Nikon’s flagship APS-C DSLR. Like the D7100, it was intended to meet the expectations of enthusiasts and semi-pros who wanted a versatile camera with a number of professionalgrade features. Improvements included a 51-point AF system that was more responsive in low light, introduction of NFC connectivity and a 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor that was less prone to generating banding in night scenes at high ISO. The EXPEED 4 image processor didn’t offer any increase in burst speed (6fps); however buffer depth improved from a measly five raw files on the D7100 to a more acceptable18 frames.

What we said ●

‘The D7200 is a more appealing choice for wildlife and sports photographers with its improved buffer performance’ ● ‘Images have a very good dynamic range and hold up well at higher ISO sensitivities’ ● ‘The D7200 ticks the right boxes for outdoor photographers’ ● ‘If a hard-wearing body and incredibly quick AF system are your main priorities, the D7200 could be just right for you’

What to pay

The second-hand market isn’t short of used D7200s. MPB. com had six examples available when we checked online, with good-condition models showing signs of use and light marks/ scuffs to the body going for around £454. Pay around £55 more and you’ll be able to pick up a D7200 in excellent condition with a shutter count of around 10,000 frames for £509. Like-new examples of the Nikon D7200 go for £554.

There is a 3.2in, 1.23-million-dot fixed screen at the rear. The viewfinder offers 100% frame coverage

* ALL PRICES WERE CORRECT AT THE TIME OF WRITING

How it fares today New alternatives

The D7200 isn’t in the same league as the D500 in terms of speed or performance, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. As the images over the page show, it produces stunning results in the right hands. Conveniences such as Wi-Fi connectivity, long battery life and an intuitive layout of buttons, make it a sensible upgrade for photographers who own older entry-level Nikon DSLRs and DX-format lenses.

The Nikon D7500 that arrived in 2017 omits some of the great features you get on the D7200. You do get the 20MP sensor and EXPEED 5 image processor from the D500, but it lacks a dual card slot and doesn’t offer metering support for manual focus Nikkor AI (non-CPU) lenses. It shoots a burst at 8fps for up to 50 raw images, but doesn’t allow you to attach or use it with a battery grip.

See over to find out what Nikon D7200 owners have to say subscribe 0330 333 1113 I www.amateurphotographer.co.uk I 26 October 2019

At a glan e

£454-£534 body only (via MPB.com)* ● 24.2MP DX-format APS-C CMOS sensor ● ISO 100-102,400 (extended) ● 51-point Advanced Multi-Cam 3500 II AF system ● 3.2in, 1.23-million-dot fixed screen ● 675g (body only)

For and against + Enlarged buffer allows more than

100 JPEGs to be shot continuously + Battery life: 1,110 shots per charge + Dust and weather sealed - Live View focusing is noticeably slower than more modern DSLRs - No touchscreen control - Fixed screen makes it harder to shoot from low/high angles 53


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What the owners think

Three Nikon D7200 users give their verdict

Joe Mortimer My photographic journey started with the humble D3300. Photography fell hand in hand with other interests, as I mostly shot landscape, nature, travel and adventure sports. Whilst the D7200 had a similar 24MP crop sensor, I was impressed with its range of advanced features in a more rugged, weather-sealed body. It represented an affordable ‘do it all’ option for the beginner/intermediate such as myself. For landscapes I gained exposure bracketing, and for wildlife and sports it provided a higher frame rate, higher maximum shutter

For and against + Rugged body + Advanced flash functionality + Reasonable frame rate for action/sports – Size and weight compared to mirrorless

© JOE MORTIMER

© JOE MORTIMER

The impressive and mighty Emosson Dam in Switzerland Nikon AF-S 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 1/160sec at f/13, ISO 100

speed and back-button focusing. The advanced flash features even allowed me to experiment with portraiture and off-camera flash. The weight of the D7200 when considering its sensor size became its biggest drawback for activities like travelling and hiking. With full-frame cameras becoming more competitively priced, and advancements in mirrorless technology, I’ve since moved on to newer and lighter things. Although no longer my primary camera, I still own my trusty D7200. It is a joy to use, and a great camera to learn with.

© LAURA HILL

This shot of a puffin hiding in the shadows was captured on one of Laura’s wildlife trips Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM, 1/250sec at f/7.1, ISO 200 54

Laura Hill

I upgraded to the Nikon D7200 after starting my journey in photography with a Nikon D3300. One of my passions is capturing images of wildlife, especially owls, so the big attraction at the time was it being the best crop sensor camera within my budget that could handle low light reasonably well. I have owned the D7200 for just over a year now and feel my photography using this camera has improved hugely. I no longer have to worry too much about the light fading, and often find myself cranking up the ISO without too much worry that noise is going to ruin the final result. In an ideal world the camera would record in 4K resolution; however Full HD is adequate for me and I’m very pleased with how crisp and clear the video quality is. I also find it useful being able to send raw files to mobile devices via Wi-Fi.

For and against + Good ISO capability + Built-in Wi-Fi + Weather sealed body – No 4K video recording

26 October 2019 I www.amateurphotographer.co.uk I subscribe 0330 333 1113


Testbench

Bottlenose dolphins at play, Isle of Coll, Scotland Nikon AF-S 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 1/640sec at f/8, ISO 200

Andrew Bulloch

© ANDREW BULLOCH

I began taking photos when I was 13 using my father’s DSLR. I then decided to purchase my own Nikon D7200 as it was going for a very reasonable price secondhand. It looked to be a decent all-round camera and that has proven to be the case. It has won me a couple of awards including the Young Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year. The biggest drawback is the focusing, which can sometimes be a little slow and is not always as accurate as I would like, but as most of my shots are of stationary landscapes I have plenty of time to check the focus. An articulating screen would also be a useful addition, but I wouldn’t expect one for the price. The dual SD card slots are handy and the battery life is usually more than enough to last a day of casual shooting. At some point I might upgrade to the Nikon D850.

Andrew won Young Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year in 2018 with this image of Eriskay football pitch Nikon D7200, Nikon AF-S 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR, 1/3200sec at f/3.5, ISO 400

For and against + Dual card slots + Reliable performer – Lacks articulated screen – Focusing could be more accurate subscribe 0330 333 1113 I www.amateurphotographer.co.uk I 26 October 2019

Trade in and upgrade your set-up for the perfect shoot, every time. Buy, sell and trade in your photo and video gear with MPB. It’s quick, easy and secure. www.mpb.com 55


Testbench

ACCESSORIES

2

Manfrotto Advanced camera Hybrid backpack Andy Westlake examines a hybrid bag that converts from a backpack to a shoulder bag

At a glance

● £149 ● www.manfrotto.co.uk

backpack ● Holds camera body and three or four lenses ● Rear pocket for 13in laptop and 10in tablet ● Size is carry-on-friendly (43 x 28 x 19 cm)

Grab handles

● Convertible shoulder bag/

AS ITS name suggests, this bag has an unusual trick, Two small handles clip in that it can convert between three carrying modes: together, allowing you to backpack, shoulder bag and briefcase. The idea is carry the bag that you can carry it on your back when it’s fully briefcase-style. loaded with kit, and then convert it to a shoulder bag for easier access when you’re shooting. Then when you’re travelling, tuck the straps neatly out of the way to make it easier to fit into a luggage rack. At first sight, it’s really cleverly designed, with lots of neat touches. It has a semi-rigid back, with padding and ventilation slots designed to make it more comfortable to carry. The camera module is removable, and will hold a full-frame SLR with a Passport pocket standard zoom attached, along with a wideangle A hidden flat-zipped pocket zoom or perhaps a couple of small primes. The space on the front face can be used above it will accept a large telezoom such as a to keep travel documents 100-400mm, and there’s an additional small safe and secure. compartment for accessories. A movable internal divider lets you combine these spaces to create a single, larger compartment if you need to carry clothing or suchlike. There are also pockets on either side, one of which will expand to hold a Rain cover water bottle, and tripod straps on the The bag is supplied with a front. At this point, it appears to waterproof cover that can be tick all the boxes. used with both the backpack Unfortunately when you Trolley slip and shoulder bag come to use it, some design The bag can be slipped configurations. flaws emerge. In shoulder-bag over the handle of a roller mode it’s easy to work from, suitcase for easier but the rigid back means that it transportation. doesn’t mould to your body like a messenger bag, making it feel rather bulky. The bottle pocket also ends up on the underside of the bag, so you’ll need to find another way of carrying your drin It’s not even especially comfortable to carry on you back when full, as the backpack straps are rather thinly padded, and there’s neither a sternum strap nor a waist belt to help stabilise the load. In backpa mode it also lacks both a flat base for putting it dow and a top handle for picking it up or pulling it from luggage rack. Both of these are surprising and ALSO CONSIDER annoying oversights.

ALL PRICES ARE APPROXIMATE STREET PRICES

Verdict

I really liked the idea of the Advanced2 camera Hybrid backpack, and in many ways I’m impressed by the ingenuity of its design. It’s well made, has a nicely flexible interior, and can carry all the essentia for a day’s shooting. But to me, it never feels quite right in either of its carrying modes. Personally, at t size I’d probably just choose a conventional messenger bag instead. 56

Recommended

’ve found the Vanguard VEO lect range offers a more ccessful hybrid design. The O Select 41 and 45M models similar in size to the nfrotto, with the 45M being signed for mirrorless systems; th cost £130. Meanwhile the VEO Select 49 (right) is rather larger and costs £150. 26 October 2019 I www.amateurphotographer.co.uk I subscribe 0330 333 1113


Tech Talk The Superfekta in its normal vertical orientation

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John Wade discovers an unusually versatile twin lens reflex LAUNCHED 1935 PRICE AT LAUNCH £27.10s (£27.50) GUIDE PRICE NOW £450 (recent auction buy) Following the launch of the Rolleiflex in 1928, camera manufacturers around the world began making their own versions of the twin lens reflex (TLR) design. The vast majority of such cameras – which used twin lenses, one for shooting, the other for reflecting its image to a large viewfinder screen on top of the body – shot twelve 6x6cm images to a roll of 120 film. The images being square meant that, when changing from portrait to landscape shaped subjects, there With the back rotated ready to take landscapeshaped pictures

The camera in its folded position

Save up to 40%

was no need to turn the camera on its side, an awkward manoeuvre with any TLR. The Superfekta is rare in that it shoots eight 6x9cm images on 120 film. In its normal operating position, the film winds vertically through the body providing portrait-shaped pictures. To shoot landscape-shaped subjects, the camera features a revolving back that turns the film through 90°, while changing a mask in the viewfinder to show the appropriate orientation. And the Superfekta has another trick up its sleeve: it’s one of only a handful of TLRs that were made to fold. In its normal shooting position, with the focusing hood erected and the twin lenses extended from the body on bellows, the camera measures 25x8x13.5cm. Folding down the focusing hood and pressing studs

subscribe 0330 333 1113 I www.amateurphotographer.co.uk I 26 October 2019

either side of and between the lenses shortens the height and compresses the width so that it then measures only 19x8x8cm. Shutter speeds and apertures are set on dials around the taking lens, which is moved back and forth for focusing by a radial lever, as the viewfinder lens moves in tandem. TLRs might seem very oldfashioned today. But with 120 film still readily available, for the film camera enthusiast they present a great way to shoot super-sized negatives or even transparencies.

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Sunday 27th October 2019 8.30am - 1.00pm. Cheese and Grain, Market Yard, Justice Lane, Frome BA11 1BE Featuring a huge range of photographic equipment including both film and digital cameras,vintage collectable cameras as well as a huge range of both modern and vintage lenses, accesories, flashes, filters, tripods, studio equipment, cases, film, memory cards, books, magazines, etc, etc. Many bargain tables with prices starting below £3. There's cash waiting for your old and unwanted photographic equipment, so bring it along to sell or part exchange. www.facebook.com/fromewessexcameraandphotographicfair/ Traders stall from £35 per table. Admission 8.30am-9.30am £5; After 9.30am £3; After 12.00 Noon £1 Telephone or Message: 07934 634 955 / 01373 467 208 or see our website www.fromewessexcameraclub.com

65


Legends

‘Brucemas Day, Venice’, from the series California Trip by Dennis Stock

© GETTY IMAGES

© DENNIS STOCK / MAGNUM PHOTOS

of photography

Dennis Stock

It’s likely you know Dennis Stock’s face, even if you don’t realise it. He was the model for Andreas Feininger’s beautiful 1951 image ‘The Photojournalist’. It was a shot taken for LIFE magazine, after Stock took home first prize in a competition for young photographers. Stock’s rise in photography was swift. Prior to winning the competition, he had apprenticed under the photographer Gjon Mili. After winning the competition, he was made an associate member of the collapsed. It was in 1969 that n 1968, Magnum Magnum Agency, becoming photographer Dennis the Manson Family – a small a full member in 1954. Stock embarked on a community that came from The following year, Stock met five-week trip that took within the hippie movement the actor James Dean and him through all the winding – waged their campaign of photographed the young actor highways that veined the murder in order to instigate a in Hollywood and his hometown landscape of California. His race war on American soil. in Indiana. Stock’s portrait of purpose was simple – create Second-wave feminism did its Dean walking through a a definitive document of part to dismantle the movement rain-soaked Times Square is the hippie movement, the through its vocal disdain for the one of his best-known images. countercultural community concept of ‘free love’, which they In the following years, Stock that has, in retrospect, become identified as yet another form of busied himself documenting so identified with the era. The patriarchy, where women were jazz musicians, published his resulting book, California Trip, essentially passed around book Jazz Street and made a was published in 1970 and is groups of men like sexual string of documentaries. It’s now, for the first time since its currency. It’s fortunate, then, incredible that he was able to initial release, available to buy. that Dennis Stock acted when find five weeks among all this That two-year period – 1968 he did. He was present with a to head out to California. to 1970 – is significant. It was camera right at the end. Perhaps the most famous during that time that the Though, of course, no one image from the project is the free-love and peace dream knew that at the time. one we see here, taken at the

The Magnum legend created a definitive document of the hippie movement, as Oliver Atwell notes

I

66

1968 Venice Beach Rock Festival. Stock was taking shots from the stage when this reveller leapt up and started dancing. It’s a powerful image – one that encapsulates a moment alive with electricity. The woman is faceless yet her posture says everything: the tilt of the head, the arching of the arm over her head, the sway of hair and that strand that tethers her fingers to her scalp. The image is imperfect – elements of the middle and background seem a little wonky, possibly a result of Stock having to act quickly to get the shot. Yet that imperfection works so well; it serves to offer the scene a dynamic edge. The whole landscape seems to be dancing before the sturdy totemic figure of the woman. Stock died of cancer in 2010 and left behind a body of work that most photographers can only dream of. He is perhaps one of the most naturally gifted photographers we’ve featured in the Legends column.

California Trip by Dennis Stock is published by Anthology Editions, £28, 112 pages, paperback, ISBN 978-1944860264. Visit www.anthologyeditions.com.

26 October 2019 I www.amateurphotographer.co.uk I subscribe 0330 333 1113


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