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G SHOOT BE INSPIRED, PHOTOGRAPH GO THE PUFFINS ON SKOMER ISLAND T

TOP SPOT MUST-VISIT LOCATIONS THIS MONTH: ROKER LIGHTHOUSE

Advanced THE MAGAZINE THAT TAKES YOUR IMAGES SERIOUSLY OUSLY

PHOTOGRAPHER

WWW.ADVANCEDPHOTOGRAPHER.CO.UK ISSUE 30

SUPER TEST

Memory test 20 CompactFlash cards assessed. We reveal the fastest and the best value

LIGHTING ACADEMY Magical looks with three heads

PEOPLE TECHNIQUE

Streets ahead Get down town and explore the high street with your camera

✓INSPIRATION ✓TECHNIQUE

PETAL POWER Take great pictures in the garden this weekend

LONG-TERM REVIEW

CANON EOS 5D MARK III

How’s this top DSLR doing one year on?

FULL TEST

PANASONIC LUMIX GH3

Our verdict on this class leading CSC

FIRST LOOK

NIKON D7100 Hands on with Nikon’s APS-C flagship camera


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© JOHN OWEN

Welcome WILL CHEUNG FRPS, EDITOR Will has worked in photo mags for over 25 years and been taking pictures for even longer. His photographic interests are very broad, from nature to portraits

Easter’s been and gone and it’s now full steam ahead to longer and, hopefully, warmer days with even more time for great photography. We’re outdoors for both of our main portfolios this month. We hit the streets for amazing, natural light portraits, and wander around gardens for some spring colour. Both topics are within easy reach for most of us and offer massive creative potential so there is no reason why you can’t put your own arty stamp on the subject. We’ve also a number of exciting new features for you this month. Top Spot and Go Shoot aim to get you and your camera out there (as if you need any encouragement!), while we also have a reader challenge featuring London’s Speakers’ Corner. In Photo Kit, we take a close look at the Panasonic Lumix GH3, a topend CSC aimed at more experienced photographers who want a robust, fully featured camera but in a more compact body form. I have to say, I’m impressed with it. I spent a significant amount of the past week with stopwatch in hand to assess the performance of popular CompactFlash cards (it’s the turn of SD cards next month). The results are very interesting – well, I think so, but turn to the test and see for yourself. We look forward to your company for the next issue, due out 9 May. Cheers for now.

Will Cheung FRPS, Editor

The contributors involved in this issue...

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GAVIN MILLS

MIKE CULLIS

JOE WAINWRIGHT

Street photography is a popular subject and Gavin’s approach is to spend time with his subjects before picking up his camera. In his day job he’s a DJ and he’s one half of Copyright Productions. See www.gavinmillsphotography.com and www.copyrightproductions.co.uk.

Mike is an experienced nature photographer and got in touch with us with a feature idea on photographing puffins on Skomer Island. Consequently, we picked Skomer as the first subject for our new Go Shoot feature. See www.MHCphotography.co.uk.

Joe has spent most of his working life in the tourism industry but recently took the plunge into the world of professional photography. His specialist area is garden photography and you can see from his portfolio that he’s pretty darn good at it. www. joewainwrightphotography.co.uk

ISSUE 30 ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHER 3


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Contents

48 CAPTURE: Garden greats

The cover story... “I love taking photographs of flowers,” says Will. “I loved the rich colour, so I arranged a vase outside on a table. I take a pictorial rather than botanical approach and here I just moved around exploring the scene with minimal depth-of-field and seeing how the foreground flowers worked in the composition.”

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Canon EOS 5D, 180mm f/3.5 macro lens, 1/500sec at f/3.5, ISO 100 WWW.WILLIAMCHEUNG.CO.UK

SEE PAGE 38 FOR DETAILS

GO SHOOT: Puffin pictures

Inspiration, technique, opinion 6 UPFRONT Canon is firing on both cylinders this month with two DSLR launches, one of which is the smallest and lightest DSLR ever. Other headlines include kit from Fuji, Nikon and Samsung, exhibitions to go to and books to read. 10 STREET LIFE: INSPIRATION DJ and enthusiast photographer, Gavin Mills gets down on the street with his Leica M8 for some people portraits.

18 WINDOW SHOPPING: CAPTURE

24

TOP SPOT: Shoot Roker lighthouse

4 ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHER ISSUE 30

SEE PAGE 62 FOR DETAILS

Taking portraits on the street can be a daunting prospect, but with our practical advice, you’ll soon be capturing portraits to be proud of.

24 TOP SPOT: ROKER LIGHTHOUSE Meet the first of our new features! Each issue we’ll be sharing a favourite location with you, as well as the secrets to getting the best shots.

29 EXPOSED Editor Cheung’s trigger finger must be tired; he’s been testing memory cards – 20 CF cards so far; he’s still going. So did he feel the need for speed or find himself in the slow lane? 32 READER CHALLENGE Take seven enthusiastic photographers to Speakers’ Corner, give them a theme and put them under a little bit of time pressure and what do you get? Portfolios full of inspiring people pictures.

www.advancedphotographer.co.uk


Contents

68

18

PANASONIC LUMIX GH3: One serious CSC

CAPTURE: Window shopping

80 SONY RX-1: Fixed lens, full-frame compact

Photo Kit: the latest gear tested 40 FLOWER SHOW: INSPIRE Combining his twin passions of photography and gardening, Joe Wainwright’s career as a photographer is blossoming, and he’s only been pro a year.

48 HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW: CAPTURE If you’re a budding flower and plant photographer, this article is for you. All the practical advice you need to capture a great bunch of pix.

54 GO SHOOT: PUFFINS In the first instalment of our new series to inspire you to take your camera exploring, we head to Skomer Island to photograph the clowns of the sea bird population, puffins.

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58 LIGHTING ACADEMY With three lights (or more!) in your set-up, everything in your studio is coming up rosy; add in some reflectors and it’s even rosier.

62 RAW MASTERCLASS Once you’ve taken your botanical images, use Lightroom to turn them into a triptych to hang on your wall.

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68 PANASONIC GH3 Its specification is impressive and its features list extensive, but it’s expensive. Is it worth the money? 76 ONE YEAR LATER In the third of our new features, readers share their thoughts on their cameras, 12 months on. Have they developed a close friendship or is a split on the cards?

80 SONY RX-1 If you’ve ever wondered what happens if you put a full-frame sensor in a compact, this review of Sony’s fixed lens, full-frame compact has the answer.

Advanced readers have been looking for. We take a first look to find out.

88 MEMORY CARDS DSLRs are getting faster and hungrier, producing bigger files, ever quicker. To keep up with that need for speed and capacity, card manufacturers are producing faster cards with more space for those huge Raw files. In the first part of our speed test, we put CF cards through their paces; SDs are on the starting line next issue.

85 NIKON D7100 Touted as the flagship DX model, the D7100 could be just what

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CAPTURE

Life on the street

18 ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHER ISSUE 30

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CAPTURE

Life on the street

WINDOW SHOPPING Our high streets are constantly changing and so do the photographic opportunities, which is why every high street is a great location worthy of your camera’s attention WORDS & PICTURES DEL BARRETT ARPS

I have this thing about mannequins, although I hasten to add only photographically speaking! Mannequins have featured in shop windows since the late 19th century, so we’ve had plenty of time to get used to them to the point where their presence does not seem peculiar, their stances do not seem strange and the fact that they often have neither heads, hands nor genitalia does not give cause for alarm. It was only when I began to use shop windows as a backdrop for my photography that I noticed just how curious and idiosyncratic these plastic creatures are. Shooting shop windows has a considerable appeal on a number of grounds, and I use them as the basis for three ongoing projects. First is what I call my ‘Stamp Collection’. The straightforward typology of mannequin heads is my photographic equivalent of the stamp collection. It is something I secretly hoard and gleefully add to whenever I find a new type. I try and use the same lens, a 50mm f/2 Summicron on a Leica M9, the same aperture (f/4 – to get the mannequin in focus, but not to be too distracted by the background) and roughly the same camera viewpoint. Although individually the images may not be that exciting, there is something appealing about seeing them all together – even if it is just the sheer wonderment at the number of different species that exist, from the headless neck, through the bald-headed alien lookalikes to the fully made-up models with wigs that make them look lifelike. As they are purely record shots, I’m not overly concerned with being terribly creative, so the limit of post-processing is a simple bleach bypass in Adobe Lightroom 4, which adds an element of cohesion to the set.

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ISSUE 30 ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHER 19


TOP SPOT

Roker lighthouse

Roker

Reader Dave Fletcher’s favourite photogenic location is Roker, on the North East Coast. He puts us in the picture, telling us when to go and what to take WORDS & PICTURES DAVE FLETCHER

L

IVING IN THE NORTH EAST of England means the Lake District is only a two-hour drive, the Northumberland hills even less and the Border Hills not much more. But for me, my favourite photographic location is on my doorstep, the coastline between South Shields and Sunderland, especially Roker and its lighthouse. With free parking all year round right on the water’s edge, the area is perhaps too popular during late morning and afternoon through the spring and summer months but for me, the best time of day is when all the tourists are still wrapped up in their duvets and there’s plenty of parking. Being on the North East coast means it’s a perfect location to capture a sunrise, no matter what the time of year. With its sheltered harbour and dominant lighthouse, varying where you plant the tripod means you can capture a different scene on every visit. Combine that with carefully placed driftwood, changing tide levels and the unpredictable North Sea weather and it becomes obvious why I

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RIGHT The stormy North Sea and weather combine to make a striking image of Roker lighthouse at sunrise. Canon EOS 40D, 1/500sec at f/5, ISO 100


TOP SPOT

Roker lighthouse

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READER CHALLENGE

Speakers’ Corner READER CHALLENGE

Speakers’ Corner Every Sunday, this small corner of London’s Hyde Park has enormous potential for people pictures. If you want to build up your candid photography skills it’s the place to be

T

HE ORIGINAL SPEAKERS’ Corner occupies a small area in the north-east corner of London’s Hyde Park, a short walk from Marble Arch tube station. It has long been established as an area where people can meet and freely debate almost any subject, and you now find ‘speakers’ corners’ in other parts of England as well as in other countries. Over the years, speakers have included Karl Marx, Lenin, George Orwell and Labour politician Tony Benn.

Visit there now and you probably won’t spot such luminaries but you never know. The whole point of Speakers’ Corner is that anyone can just turn up and speak their mind and interact with the crowd. You may be wondering why we’ve included it in the hallowed pages of Advanced Photographer. The answer’s simple: it’s a wonderful photo opportunity regardless of the light or weather conditions. You can fit a wide angle and get in close and personal, or adopt a

more aloof approach with a telezoom. Whatever your approach you will get some great people images and that’s why enthusiasts go back time and time again, because it’s always different. So, one wintry Sunday morning, we set seven members of Welshot Imaging a seemingly simple assignment: spend a couple of hours at Speakers’ Corner and produce a portfolio of pictures that sum the place up. Here’s how they got on…

LINDA CHURCHILL “I’m fairly new to street photography so this challenge was great because it got me really thinking about how to portray a story in pictures. Now it’s a type of photography I would like to explore in more depth.

32 ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHER ISSUE 30

“I used my Nikon D90 with an 18-105mm lens. I’m quite short and I found it difficult to see over people’s heads so I was trying to shoot from the side or even behind the speaker sometimes.

“I was quite pleased with my first attempt at reportage photography, although I’d have liked to get some closer shots of the speakers. The location is ideal for people photography and great fun – highly recommended.”

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READER CHALLENGE

Speakers’ Corner

JAMES FARLEY “I had to keep reminding myself to take photographs as I found myself just listening to the discussions. It’s a brilliant place for street photography – you got a very mixed bunch of people from all cultures, all with their own point of view, sometimes put over quite forcefully but without coming to blows. “I kept it simple and used my Nikon D7000 with a Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8. It was overwhelming at first and I found it difficult to concentrate on one subject because there was a lot going on, so my early shots were not very interesting. “As the afternoon progressed I realised the key to good shots was to pick one individual and stay with them for a while. Listening also helped me predict when it might get interesting photograhically. A few speakers did play up to the camera to start with but that soon wore off and I got more natural shots. “Ironically, one of the participants in a debate came over and asked me to delete any pictures of him and insisted I stopped taking pictures. I hadn’t taken any of him, but I didn’t expect to hear that at Speakers’ Corner. It’s still a great location.”

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ISSUE 30 ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHER 33


      

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INSPIRATION

Flower power

40 ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHER ISSUE 30

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INSPIRATION

Flower power

Plants After years working in the tourism industry a new career is flowering for Joe Wainwright as a garden photographer WORDS LYNNE MAXWELL PICTURES JOE WAINWRIGHT

ABBEYWOOD GARDENS, CHESHIRE “I was struck by the conjunction of the white bench, box hedge and colourful geraniums in this popular Cheshire garden, isolating the detail in a simple composition.” Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EF 24-105mm f/4L USM lens at 75mm, 1/320sec at f/8, ISO 160

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ith a dad and grandfather both keen photographers it’s not surprising that all Joe Wainwright ever wanted to do was work as a photographer. And last year his dream came true. “Circumstances fell into place last year and I was able to give up work, start my business and pursue my dream,” says Joe, 56. “I have been interested in photography since the age of eight and initially used my dad’s Voigtländer camera, which was completely manual but good quality and allowed me to learn the basics. In my teens, my dad introduced me to black & white photography and how to use a darkroom. My grandfather was an accomplished photographer and used transparency film, which I also started using. It was my ambition to match the quality of my grandfather’s images, and I hope he would have been proud of what I have achieved photographically.

ISSUE 30 ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHER 41


GO SHOOT

Skomer Island

Puffins on Skomer Island In this first of a new series of features we offer inspiration to get you out and about with your camera. We kick off with Skomer Island, one of the country’s best locations for photographing puffins WORDS & PICTURES MIKE CULLIS ARPS

T

HE NORTH ATLANTIC PUFFIN ranks as one of the favourite birds seen in the British Isles. The combination of large eyes, bright colours and humanlike behaviour certainly makes this bird a favourite of mine. A visit to the Skomer Island Nature Reserve provides a great opportunity to photograph these wonderful birds and to have an enjoyable and memorable experience. The island is well known for its seabird nesting population that includes manx shearwater, guillemots, as well as puffins. An estimated 6000 pairs of breeding puffins reside on this 1.1 square mile island.

It’s always a compromise deciding on what camera gear to take. Obviously it depends on what you own (or hire) but I would recommend your longest telephoto lens with a teleconverter, a shorter zoom lens for close-up portraits and a sturdy tripod or monopod. I take the following: Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, 500mm f/4, 70200mm f/2.8, 1.4x extender, Gitzo tripod with Wimberley gimbal head and beanbag. This is a pretty hefty setup, so I invested in a Lowepro rucksack which holds the camera lens assembly in one piece and is heavily padded for comfort. I find that I can walk miles with this arrangement.

RIGHT Limited shade and a natural background ensure pictures are true to life on Skomer Island. The summer months are the best time to capture plenty of activity in your photographs.

54 ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHER ISSUE 30

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GO SHOOT

Skomer Island

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ISSUE 30 ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHER 55


Photo Kit

PANASONIC LUMIX GH3

Panasonic Lumix GH3

At £1200 body only the Lumix GH3 is the most expensive compact system camera we’ve seen so far, but it has probably the most impressive, and extensive, features list yet seen too. So, is this serious camera worth the serious investment?

WORDS & PICTURES WILL CHEUNG

KEY FEATURES 16.05 MEGAPIXELS £1200 BODY ONLY ISO 125-25,600 WI-FI WWW.PANASONIC.CO.UK MENU MATTERS The GH3 has so many options and offers such controllability that you can spend quite a while scrolling through the options. For example, the Custom menu has eight pages and 36 choices, the Rec (or camera) menu has six pages and 32 options. Getting to know the menu (or at least things you use regularly) is important – or have them allocated to a function button.

68 ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHER ISSUE 30

LENS OPTIONS The thinner body of Micro Four Thirds cameras means lenses for APS-C and full-frame lenses can be fitted via an adaptor – functions depend on the adaptor. Cheap ones allow manual focus and limited exposure options; expensive ones give AF and more exposure options. Panasonic and Olympus offer adaptors to fit Four Thirds lenses on their Micro Four Thirds models.

FUNCTION OVERLOAD The Lumix GH3 has plenty of potential for customisation and there are several function buttons that you can delegate frequently used features to. Of course you then have to remember what you have assigned to which and that takes time and familiarity.

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Photo Kit

PANASONIC LUMIX GH3

T

he compact system camera market just keeps on growing as this camera type continues to develop and find acceptance among photographers of all levels. With their long list of features, compact body forms and growing range of lens and accessory options it’s no surprise that CSCs continue to gain popularity. It’s against this background that the Lumix GH3 was launched to sit at the top of Panasonic’s range of G-series cameras with a body price of around £1200. This makes the Lumix GH3 the most expensive CSC available and joins the Olympus OM-D E-M5 as cameras designed to appeal to both enthusiast and professional photographers. The Lumix GH3 is not the most compact CSC and it is significantly bigger than its Olympus rival but it still offers a significant weight and size saving compared with a typical APS DSLR. The upside of this is that its body is big enough to offer a really secure grip and feels solid. Going through the menus and correct set-up is an important part of using any digital camera. That has never been more true than with the GH3. It has no fewer than five physical and two on-screen function buttons. Six of the seven offer ten menus with 37 or 39 options. Fn button 4 must feel bereft because it has a mere three menus and ten options. While the function buttons offer fast access to important features, you clearly need to be careful to allocate each button appropriately. Such flexibility is welcome but don’t be surprised if it takes you a while to get it right for the way you prefer to work. Once done, it’s a good idea to use the custom menu feature to save your preferred set-up and then you can use C1, C2 or C3 on the mode dial. Of course, it will take even longer before you get to the point where using the function buttons becomes instinctive. However, as Fn 1 is the most prominent one – it’s easy to find by touch with the camera to the eye – you need to at least know what that one is doing. The long and the short of it is that you need to have a good familiarity of what the menus offer and in this respect this is no different from any camera. For example, I found the eye-controlled switchover from monitor to viewfinder a nuisance when the camera was on the tripod – even on its low-sensitivity setting. So I got to know where the eye-sensor menu item was. The GH3’s monitor is touch sensitive so controlling the camera is easy, especially with the Q menu too. Touchsensitive monitors do have their plus as well as minus points. The movable AF point is one example where it can be a godsend in one situation and frustrating the next. It’s easy to move it by mistake.

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ANATOMY OF...

Panasonic Lumix GH3 FROM THE TOP The top-plate is dominated by the exposure mode dial 1 that comes with much more than PASM. There’s a scene setting with options such as Silky Skin, Relaxing Tone and Sweet Child’s Face and among the creative filter settings you’ll find Toy Effect, Retro and Impressive Art – all those, of course, are JPEG only. Push this 2 to make the flash pop up while here’s the GH3’s stereo microphone 3 . This array of important controls 4 is handily placed and great to use even with the camera up to the eye. It’s worth noting that this green LED 5 stays on when the camera is on which is a handy reminder to power the camera down when you’re done.

4 1

5

3 2

FROM THE FRONT The Micro Four Thirds lens mount 1 is an open standard, so independent brands Sigma and Tamron now offer options. The thin body of CSCs also means that lenses designed for APS-C and full-frame DSLRs can be used with a suitable adaptor, albeit with the loss of features such as AF. The Micro Four Thirds sensor 2 is open to the elements but the camera’s cleaning system m made sure dust was not an issue. One good thing with such accessibility is that self-cleaning is easy. A PC flash sync socket et is provided 3 but with radio triggers so common and affordable it’s probably redundant. AF-assist lamp 4 gives a burst of red light to aid AF in darkness.

3 4

2

1

FROM THE BACK The back is very busy. The articulating touch monitor 1 dominates the back as usual. It’s a pleasure to use and the supplied image is bright. Under the viewfinder eyepiece is the sensor 2 that switches the camera to and from monitor and EVF. No fewer than four function buttons are available to customise how you want the GH3 3 to work. Other controls can be tailored too: the AF/AE lock button 4 can be just AE lock and the way the input dial 5 works can be altered too. The command dial and multi-controller 6 work well and are positive to use although the slightly protruding moulded handgrip can be a problem if you are using gloves.

AT A GLANCE SPECS SENSOR 17x13mm size, Live MOS IMAGE SIZE 4608x3456pixels ASPECT RATIOS 4:3, 3:2, 16x9, 1:1 STORAGE SD/SDHC/SDXC cards METERING MODES 144-zone multi-zone, centre-weighted and spot SHUTTER RANGE 60secs to 1/4000sec, flash sync at 1/160sec, Bulb DRIVE 20fps continuous burst mode, 6fps at H setting

4

2

1

6

5

3

AUTOFOCUS 23 focus points METERING MODES Multi, centre-weighted, spot. Exposure compensation +/- 5EV and AE bracketing to seven frames ISO RANGE 200-12,800, ISO 125 and 25,600 with expansion MONITOR Articulating OLED, 3in, 614k dots VIEWFINDER OLED Live View, 1744k dots, 100% view INTEGRAL FLASH TTL, GN 17 SIZE (WXHXD) 133x93x82mm WEIGHT 470g body with battery

ISSUE 30 ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHER 69


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Next month

PHOTOGRAPHER

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EDITORIAL TEAM Editor Will Cheung FRPS ( 01223 499466 willcheung@bright-publishing.com Technical Writer Ian Fyfe ( 01223 499456 ianfyfe@bright-publishing.com Sub Editors Lisa Clatworthy and Hannah Bealey CONTRIBUTORS THIS ISSUE Lynne Maxwell, Dave Fletcher, Mike Cullis ARPS, Gavin Mills, Joe Wainwright, Del Barrett ARPS ADVERTISING TEAM Sales Director Matt Snow ( 01223 499453 mattsnow@bright-publishing.com Key Accounts Maria Francis ( 01223 499457 mariafrancis@bright-publishing.com Key Accounts Mike Elliott ( 01223 499458 mikeelliott@bright-publishing.com Business Development Director Dave Stone ( 01223 499462 davestone@bright-publishing.com DESIGN TEAM Design Director Andy Jennings Design Director Dean Usher Senior Designer Alan Gray Design & Production Manager Grant Gillard WEB TEAM Flash Developer Ashley Norton

© PETER WALMSLEY

PUBLISHING TEAM Publishing Director Andy Brogden Publishing Director Matt Pluck Editorial Director Roger Payne Head of Circulation Chris Haslum

Expert advice for shooting air shows this summer

LONDON SPECIAL How one photographer gets creative with saltwater pools

GIANT CARD TEST A pile of SD cards tried & tested

Location ideas for our 24-hour capital shoot

114 14 ADVANCED ADV PHOTOGRAPHER ISSUE 30

BY POST: Send us a CD with 12 images or fewer, together with a contact print of images, and a brief covering letter outlining your ideas and photographic credentials. In terms of file size, please ensure that the image is at least A4-size (21x29.7cm) and 300ppi resolution. If you prefer, up to 12 unmounted A4 prints can be submitted. Please enclose a stamped SAE if you want the CD/prints returned. ( Advanced Photographer, Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridgeshire CB22 3HJ. BY EMAIL: Please email us at info@advancedphotographer. co.uk. Attach no more than six low-resolution JPEGs (1000pixels on the longest dimension) and a brief, 100-word email outlining your ideas and key photographic credentials. We will contact you for high-resolution files if your images are chosen for publication.

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NIKON D7100 Nikon flagship Nikon’s AP APS-C DSLR on trial

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CONTRIBUTING TO ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHER Advanced Photographer is always looking for photographic talent so if you feel your pictures are worthy of being featured on the magazine we would love to hear from you. In particular we want creative pictures showing the use of popular and innovative camera techniques.

When you have finished with this magazine, please recycle it ■ Advanced Photographer is published on the third Thursday of every month by Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge, CB22 3HJ. ■ No part of this magazine can be used without prior written permission of Bright Publishing Ltd. ■ ISSN number: 2045-3892 ■ Advanced Photographer is a registered trademark of Bright Publishing Ltd. ■ The advertisements published in Advanced Photographer that have been written, designed or produced by employees of Bright Publishing Ltd remain the copyright of Bright Publishing Ltd and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. ■ The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher.

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