Advanced Photographer 54 - Sampler

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STROBOSCOPIC FLASH CHOOSE THE RIGHT CSC Shoot action in a whole new way Which system should you buy into?

LANDSCAPE MASTERCLASS

How one location can deliver 100s of shots

THE MAGAZINE THAT TAKES YOUR IMAGES SERIOUSLY

ISSUE 54 £4.95 ABSOLUTEPHOTO.COM

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS

Magical macro inspiring ways to get

7 HOW TO WIN close to your subjects

PHOTO COMPETITIONS

Prizewinners pass on their secrets of success

SPECIAL 16-PAGE LOW-LIGHT SECTION

Heaven-sent techniques to make your night shots shine FEATURED INSIDE: NIKON D800 FUJIFILM X-T1 AND 50-140mm SAMSUNG NX1 CANON EOS 6D OLYMPUS OM-D E-M1 AND 40-150mm FUJIFILM X-PRO1 CHILLBLAST PHOTO OC LAPTOP ap54-001 coverRPsubbedNEW.indd 1

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ISSUE 54

Welcome WILL CHEUNG FRPS, EDITOR Will has worked in photo mags for 30 years and been taking pictures for even longer. His photographic interests are very broad, from landscape and nature to portraits, indoors and out.

ENIPAHDACONNCTEENDT

Welcome to the issue and I trust your 2015 has been off to a great start. If your photography needs a kick-start perhaps we can help. If you fancy something different, it’s time to turn your lens to the heavens. The nights are still longer than the days and with no haze to worry about, it’s the perfect time to try shooting the sky. I won’t pretend it’s an easy subject to do well but our big feature will get you on the right track to producing celestial images to be proud of. Winning photo contests isn’t easy either but again we can help. We talk to some winners of recent big photo contests and ask for their hints and tips. So if one of your aims for 2015 is to succeed with your pictures, this is the perfect place to start. With more and more photographers downsizing to compact system cameras, our big test this issue looks at three highly regarded products from Fujifilm, Olympus and Samsung and compares them with a fullframe DSLR. It proved an interesting and revealing exercise so see this month’s Photo Kit for more. Finally, if you haven’t voted in our Awards yet, there’s still time and we’d love to hear from you. See you again next month.

Will Cheung FRPS, Editor

AVAILABLE

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CSC OR DSLR?

PAGE 68 COVER STORY

SAMSUNG NX1

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LANDSCAPE MASTERCLASS

Advanced Photographer is also available as a fully interactive magazine – go to iTunes now!

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PAGE 36 COVER STORY

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ISSUE 54

CONTENTS PAGE 6

LANDSCAPE MASTERCLASS

Imparting his scenic know-how, editor Cheung shows us how it’s done. This issue, he’s making the most of things. PAGE 10

UPFRONT

Isn’t photography just the best thing since sliced? We think so, which is why we’re excited about going back in time, rewarding warriors and looking through pinholes. PAGE 18

CAMERA CLUB OF THE YEAR

It’s time to reveal the first Image of the Month already! And round 3’s theme. Has your club entered yet?

WINNING STREAK

PAGE 56 COVER STORY

LIGHTING ACADEMY

KINGSLEY SINGLETON

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There are more photo competitions out there than you can shake a monopod at, but you only need to win one to make your name. But how? Seven winners tell all…

TAKE A SHOT AT OUR COVER

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Enter this competition and you could be shooting a scenic with a Samsung NX1 to grace AP ’s front cover. PAGE 31

WIN A NIGHT OUT

THE BIG FEATURE: DARK NIGHTS

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PAGE 6 COVER STORY

LANDSCAPE MASTERCLASS

WILL CHEUNG

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PROJECTS

MARTIN SMITH

Well, not exactly, but it’s a chance to shoot contemporary portraits with the Pentax 645Z at a nightclub. It’s a starry, starry night, so pack your tripod and find your gloves, let’s go on a photo adventure.

LIGHTING ACADEMY

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At risk of repeating himself, flash fan Kingsley Singleton takes to the floor for some strobo shooting.

PAGE 110 COVER STORY

PROJECTS

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INSPIRED: MACRO

Give your photography a boost with a project; it’ll bolster your skills and populate your portfolio. PAGE 110

INSPIRED

Fire up your imagination with shots from fellow readers. This month, examine them closely: macro’s the theme. PAGE 114

AND FINALLY…

Jet-setting editor Cheung gets all safety conscious.

PHOTO KIT DEBBIE HARTLEY

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GEAR NEWS

Every snippet and story you need to know about the latest photo kit. PAGE 74

THE AP AWARDS

You’ve still got time to nominate your favourite kit, the best service and the outstanding innovators of 2014. Voting closes Friday 20 February.

PAGE 95

MINI TESTS

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THE CSC/DSLR DILEMMA

If you’ve ever wondered whether a CSC could replace your DSLR, this article is for you. PAGE 87

LONG-TERMERS

Only day-to-day use can tell you what a camera’s really like, so what do the AP team and readers think of their kit?

SUBSCRIBE AND SAVE SEE PAGE 32 Advanced Photographer is also available as a fully interactive magazine – go to iTunes now!

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LONG-TERMERS

IAN FYFE

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MINI TESTS

The bits and pieces that are guaranteed to improve your shooting experience – every time.

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WORDS & PICTURES WILL CHEUNG

Having a flexible approach means you can get the best out of situations that on the face of it look unfavourable, and in landscape photography that can happen a lot 6

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HOW TO WIN

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HOW TO WIN WORDS MEGAN CROFT PICTURES VARIOUS

Photo competitions are a serious business and if you’re out there to succeed, a little advice from previous winners of major photo comps won’t go amiss. We chat to a handful who tell us what it takes to make it

I

t takes just one stellar standout shot to catapult you from ordinary snapper to famed photographer. Photo competitions offer much more than glory and prizes though – but some of the prizes are incredibly tempting, from generous cheques to a healthy bounty of photo gear. They’re also a chance to pit yourself against other photographers often on an international level to see where your work weighs in. Some competitions such as the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition even offer all entrants the chance to receive feedback from the pros on their entry and if you’re out there to improve your photography and be at the top of your game then entering for the feedback alone would be a worthwhile experience.

There are photo competitions to suit every taste, from the industry acclaimed and notoriously tough Trierenberg Super Circuit to the more specialist Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year competition. Entering can be a time-consuming process – with t&cs to be aware of and then the uploading process or if you’re entering a print there’s the printing to get right and send off – so it is worth doing your research first to find out which is the best fit for you and your work to give you the best chance of success. Once you’ve decided which competition to submit into, how do you go about scoring a win? We’ve called in winners from a diverse range of acclaimed competitions to get their insight on everything from how they chose the image that won them their award to how winning has since impacted on them and their photography.

LEFT Dina Bova’s ‘Babylon tower’ was one of the winners of the Smithsonian contest 2014, chosen from over 50,000 entries. Advanced Photographer is also available as a fully interactive magazine – go to iTunes now!

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HOW TO WIN

WORLDPHOTO.ORG | 1X.COM/MEMBER/HOSCH

SONY WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS 2014 HOLGER SCHMIDTKE The Sony World Photography Awards has both an Open and Professional competition, and Holger Schmidtke entered ‘Under the staircase’ into the 2014 Open Architecture category and won

ABOVE Holger Schmidtke’s image ‘Under the staircase’ won in the SWPA Open Architecture category. RIGHT ‘Angelus dominus’ by Jackson Carvalho scooped an award in the Trierenberg Super Circuit.

This is the first time that I’ve entered any competition; participating in a competition such as the Sony WPA was just one step to gaining more confidence in my photography. I first got into photography in 2009 and after five years of learning and experience I wanted to know what others thought of my pictures and the SWPA seemed to be a great forum for that. I chose to enter a few images taken from my portfolio that I thought were a bit special, I never imagined one of them would actually win. Being part of the shortlist, the international promotion that your work receives via the SWPA is great. Once you’ve won, the promotion that you get increases. Your name was once unknown, but since winning Sir Elton John has bought a print of my winning picture for his collection.

YOUR NAME WAS ONCE UNKNOWN, BUT SINCE WINNING SIR ELTON JOHN HAS BOUGHT A PRINT 24

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SUPERCIRCUIT.AT | ARTEDIGITALSTUDIO.COM.BR

TRIERENBERG SUPER CIRCUIT 2014 JACKSON CARVALHO Jackson Carvalho’s image ‘Angelus dominus’ was created for a modelling agency in Brazil and won the Gold Medal in Trierenberg’s Opposites and Contrasts category To enter into a competition like the Trierenberg Super Circuit your images must have visual impact, must convey a strong message, be unusual and technically well executed. The best and most creative photographers in the world enter this competition, so it’s important to choose carefully which images you submit. Entering, and winning, competitions like this one generates visibility and demonstrates how competitive your work really is within the global market. Winning the Gold Medal, I am happy to be amongst the best photographers who presented their work in this important competition. It’s also important on a commercial and professional level, because it confirms the excellence of your work, giving it a seal of quality that makes you stand out in the photography market. The best advice I can give to those wanting to enter in high-level competitions is to love what you do, that’s fundamental. @advancedphotog

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HOW TO WIN SUPERCIRCUIT.AT | MIEKEBOYNTON.COM

TRIERENBERG SUPER CIRCUIT 2014 MIEKE BOYNTON The Trierenberg Super Circuit is one of the most prestigious of its kind and in 2014 Mieke’s image ‘Skyview’ was awarded the FIAP Gold Medal in the Colour Prints section at Salon One in Linz, Austria I’ve been entering the Trierenberg Super Circuit since 2010. I joined a camera club after receiving a DSLR in 2009 for my 30th birthday and one of the members showed me a Trierenberg catalogue. I was truly awestruck by the quality of the photography and I decided to make it my goal to one day have my photographs published in the catalogue. The Trierenberg Super Circuit is one of the most prestigious international photographic circuits in the world; it is open to both professional and amateur photographers so the quality is outstanding. To be in with a chance of winning at Trierenberg, your work must be technically excellent and visually exciting, it must stand out and make people take notice of it. When I enter my photos into any competition, I critically assess all the work that I have created in the past year and select the photos that I consider most appropriate for the categories in that particular salon. I chose to enter my image ‘Skyview’ because I know this landscape shot is different from the landscapes taken in Europe and I thought it might grab the attention of the judges. Art is very subjective. I never ask for advice about what to enter, because if you asked ten people, you’d probably get ten different responses. I enter what I feel to be my best work, depending on the categories offered. Winning the award has had a huge personal impact, it was my dream to have one of my photographs published in a Trierenberg catalogue. To be awarded a FIAP Gold Medal was another goal, needless to say winning a FIAP Gold Medal from the Trierenberg Super Circuit will forever be one of the highlights of my photographic career. It is the ultimate stamp of approval from one of the most well-respected authorities in photography. My advice on entering competitions would be to focus on improving your photography for your

own enjoyment and not to get caught up in trying to guess what the judges are looking for. Strive to create images that are technically excellent and that have a big impact on viewers. Recognise that art is subjective and that what one judge will absolutely love, another won’t find interesting at all. You have no control over that. If you concentrate on improving your technical skills and trying to create work that makes you sit back and say ‘wow’, then you are definitely on the right track.

TO BE IN WITH A CHANCE OF WINNING AT TRIERENBERG, YOUR WORK MUST BE TECHNICALLY EXCELLENT AND VISUALLY EXCITING, IT MUST STAND OUT AND MAKE PEOPLE TAKE NOTICE OF IT Advanced Photographer is also available as a fully interactive magazine – go to iTunes now!

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TOP Mieke’s FIAP Gold Medal winning image, ‘Skyview’ is an aerial photo of an Australian landscape. ABOVE ‘Tree of life’ is one of Mieke’s latest images, but it has gained a PSA Gold in the 11th German Mega Circuit.

ENTER NOW

The closing date for the 24th Trierenberg Super Circuit is 23 March 2015 so you still have time to enter. Entry forms can be downloaded from the website supercircuit.at

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LANDSCAPES BY NIGHT

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29/01/2015 15:12


WORDS KINGSLEY SINGLETON PICTURES VARIOUS

It’s 7pm on a Saturday night in January and I’m on the edge of Rutland Water, at a place called Normanton Church. Right now everyone else is either in the pub, or getting ready to be, and although the temperature is supposed to be 1°C, with a north-westerly wind sweeping in off the water it feels like -10°C. Shedding my gloves to strike the tripod and dial in the exposure, my hands feel like frozen hooks after about 15 seconds and I abandon screwing the cable release into position because I’m shivering too much. But wait… just a couple of exposures in and I’m getting the Milky Way rising over the ancient building. It’s honestly the most fun I’ve had in weeks. The spot is pretty well photographed – the church is the prettiest thing for many miles – but I’d never personally seen it done at night, hence the trip. Every shot on the screen looks good, but I decide to use the self-timer so I can run up to the building and flash it. That’s when I set off the church’s security light. And not only have I wasted a decent shot, now there’s a torch beam coming down the hill to see what’s going on. Er…, is this where I find out that I’m trespassing on holy land and get kicked off site by security? They could be shouting at me, but the icy wind is so strong I couldn’t hear them if they were. Then the torch stops, wavers for a few seconds… and I decide to be bold; I’ll go and find out what their beef is. As I get closer and start to pick out details, that seems very foolish. The guy is big and dressed for business – work boots, beanie hat, coat and gloves. He’s also carrying something heavy. Could be a club. Or a shotgun. We’re in farmer country, after all. Turns out it’s neither. It’s a tripod, and he’s here to do the same thing as me. Welcome to Rutland’s newest, smallest, camera club outing; ‘adventures in nightscapes’ here we come… Advanced Photographer is also available as a fully interactive magazine – go to iTunes now!

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ISSUE 54 ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHER

OLLIE TAYLOR

This month we shed light on shooting amazing landscapes – in the dark! You'll find expert planning, exposure and processing tips from seasoned nightstalkers as well as the Advanced Photographer team’s own scenic projects

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PHOTO KIT CSC COMPARISON

WORDS & PICTURES WILL CHEUNG

As more and more experienced photographers are looking into the potential of mirrorless compact system cameras, it’s time we took a considered look at their potential. Can they really replace your DSLR?

The allure of smaller cameras has been with us since photography was born. Until digital capture took over, the top dog was 35mm and its 36x24mm image area dominated for many sound, practical reasons. The cameras and lenses were portable and great to use, the format was good enough for professional purposes and it had a huge following built up over the best part of 100 years. With digital, there is no dominant format and a great deal of choice. In the early days of digital, most DSLR brands adopted the smaller APS-C format primarily for cost and engineering reasons and full-frame was a minority and an expensive option. Fast-forward several years and the 35mm format is a significant but not a

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dominant force in digital and the APS-C format remains the most popular, but that is being challenged by the even smaller Micro Four Thirds. Smaller still, in size and in popularity, are the Nikon 1 Series and Pentax Q formats. In short, we are utterly spoilt for choice when it comes to formats and camera size, so it’s happy days for photographers looking to downsize their payload but there are decisions to be made. All options come with pros and cons depending on how you like to work, what you shoot, quality expectations, budget, personal preference and what you want to do with the results. Some photographers have completely switched over to a smaller format, ditching their DSLR to finance the move.

In some instances photographers are going multi-format, and then choosing the camera according to the demands of a particular shoot. In this review we take a close look at three popular cameras that use smaller formats than 35mm full-frame. There are two APS-C format cameras from Fujifilm and Samsung with very different philosophies and sensors and one popular Olympus Micro Four Thirds model. To give an extra dimension, particularly to help those readers thinking of downsizing, we have added a traditional, if there is such a beast, 35mm full-frame DSLR, from Nikon. In the review we look at key performance parameters like resolution and ISO but also consider the wider picture in terms of system support.

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CSC COMPARISON PHOTO KIT

FUJIFILM X-T1

The X-T1 recently celebrated its first birthday and the X-series system is three years old. In that short time, however, the system has made a deep impact on the photographic world with many users ditching their DSLRs for it. At the heart of the X-T1 lies a CMOS APS-C 23.6x15.6mm sensor of Fujifilm’s own design. Rather than using the almost universal Bayer pixel pattern where the red, green and blue individual sensors are used in a regular 2x2 arrangement, Fuji’s X-Trans sensor layout uses a 6x6, semi-random grid to minimise risk of moiré which meant the anti-aliasing filter could be

NIKON D800

dispensed with to maximise image quality. Resolution of the X-T1 is 16 megapixels so comparatively modest. Its ISO ambitions are similarly modest at least as far as Raw is concerned and the top ISO is 6400. Shoot JPEGs and you have expansion up to ISO 51,200. Fujifilm also took an unusual design too with the X-T1 which resulted in a retro-looking rangefinder-style camera body that is weather sealed. One thing Fujifilm has proved very adept at is using firmware updates to cure bugs as well as upgrade camera performance and features. The X-T1’s latest update is amazing.

OLYMPUS OM-D E-M1

Olympus’s OM-D family has attracted a good following for a variety of reasons that include petite bodyform, great handling and a brilliant lens choice. It uses the Micro Four Thirds format, so with the sensor size of 17.3x13mm it is the smallest featured here. The series started with the E-M5 in early 2012 and now the OM-D series, aimed at pros and enthusiasts, runs alongside the PEN series for more casual users. The Micro Four Thirds format is an open standard, also adopted by Panasonic for its Lumix G cameras and Sigma, Tamron and Zeiss, among the lens makers. Hence among the

was fundamentally the same as the D800 but was designed to cancel the effect of the low-pass filter for maximum resolution. Its resolution apart you could argue that the D800 offered little else worthy of highlighting. But there were plenty of improvements over the previous model, the D700, such as a 51-point autofocus system with 15 cross-type sensors; 15.3-megapixel resolution and 8fps with DXformat capture (a modest 4fps with FX); EXPEED3 processor; and a marginally larger LCD screen. One important feature not to be overlooked is its longestablished lens mount.

SAMSUNG NX1

mirrorless CSCs here, the E-M1 has the widest lens choice. Despite the small format the E-M1 sports a 16-megapixel resolution, an ISO that peaks at 25,600 and the ability to shoot at 11fps. The body is also dust, splash and freeze resistant. The body design with its retro look has also proved to be one of its pulling points with plenty of knobs and dials to control key functions. The camera also houses plenty of innovation. There is five-axis stabilisation and for light painting fans, something called Live Bulb. The E-M1 is the smallest camera in this overview, but make no mistake, it packs a big punch.

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In DSLR terms the D800 is getting long in the tooth and is now superseded by the D810. But it has proved very popular and there are plenty in use today, and it fits the bill of the sort of full-sized DSLR photographers are looking to downsize from. The D800 is an FX format DSLR and its 35.9x24mm sensor delivers a 36.3-megapixel resolution. When the camera was announced in early 2012 this level of resolution was available on medium-format digital and at a much greater cost. Nikon also surprised (baffled!) the camera world by announcing at the same time, the D800E. This

The latest CSC from an ambitious brand apparently keen to slug it out toe to toe with the Canikon duopoly. The NX1 is a mirrorless CSC that uses the NX lens mount, first introduced in 2010, and features an APS-C format 23.5x15.7mm sensor with an effective 28.2 megapixels. It’s the highest-resolution APS-C format sensor out there, but there’s much more to boast about: it can race through shots at 15fps which surpasses any rival; it has 4K video recording; weatherproofing; and one of the most advanced AF systems seen to date. Its AF system has 209 phase-detection sensors of which 153 are cross-

type covering 90% of the image area – no other camera has gotten remotely close to this. Being able to manoeuvre the AF point to the far extremities of the screen (using the monitor touchscreen is even quicker) is certainly impressive. The Backside Illuminated (BSI) sensor is Samsung’s own design and is capable of excellent image quality; we have made many A2 prints from NX1 files, which are so big there’s no need for any interpolation. Having an unrivalled specification matched by an impressive performance in practice counts for little if no one buys it. It’s early days, as it only went on sale in December. ISSUE 54 ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHER

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INSPIRED AMAZING MACRO

Amazing macro shots

Want to get shooting, but need a creative nudge in the right direction? Then you’ve come to the right place. Every month we’ll bring you a different subject to inspire your next project, challenge your creativity and show how simple themes can be tackled in lots of exciting ways Your first few macro images are one of those times in photography when you really feel you’ve had your eyes opened. Like your first long exposure or the first time you used off-camera flash, it’s a glimpse into another world; proof of how amazing photography can be. But far too many people get stuck on that first rush of a magnified view and never go beyond it. Well, that’s a shame, because macro photography is about so much more than just close-ups. Once you’ve got the basics sorted, the task is to push on from that starting point, avoiding purely recording the subject and striving for real photographic treasures. That’s why this month we’re showcasing some great macro pics from Advanced Photographer readers – pictures that dive deeper than simply reproducing what’s there and add creativity to the mix, producing brilliant eye-catching shots.

RIGHT

DEBBIE HARTLEY

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One of the great benefits of macro photography is in revealing details we’re unable to glimpse with the naked eye, and while the jagged thorns of hoar frost in Debbie’s picture are nice enough on their own, the centrepiece of the frozen soap bubble is the real eye-opener here. Looking like some ice-queen’s discarded trinket, with its delicate latticework of crystals, Debbie blew the bubbles close to the ground, letting them settle and freeze in the -5ºC temperature that morning, but had to shoot quickly before they collapsed. DEBBIEHARTLEYPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

LEFT

DEAN BROMWICH

Successful macro means going beyond the basics of a sharp, well-exposed closeup – you have to consider aspects of composition and colour, too, just as you would with other styles. Dean’s is a classic example of using complementary colours; shot handheld in his back garden with a Canon EOS 40D, Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro and Canon MRX 14 ringflash, the leafy green and the red of the ladybird are a compelling mix. Flash isn’t vital for macro, but certainly helps if you’re shooting handheld, letting you use smaller apertures without the worry that comes with slower shutter speeds. DBIMAGING.CO.UK

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AMAZING MACRO INSPIRED

RIGHT

DUNCAN SOUTER

Close-focusing introduces a lot of detail, and without care, images can be overwhelmed by it, losing their impact in the process because there’s just too much going on. The answer to this can often be found in simplifying your composition and the number of colours used. In Duncan’s shot the dominant warm yellow of the marigold is attractive enough on its own, while the flower is left to fill the frame; its petals spreading out to mimic sunrays. Placing the centre of the flower off-centre further adds to the relaxed and pleasing feel. FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/DUNCANSOUTER/

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And finally… Editor Will Cheung on his photographic month

EDITORIAL TEAM

ONE SECOND I WAS HAPPILY WALKING ALONG; THE NEXT I WAS FACE DOWN IN DEAD LEAVES, SLIDING DOWN A SLOPE, CAMERAS DIGGING INTO MY RIBS AND TRIPOD LYING ACROSS MY BACK. GRABBING ONTO A HANDY TREE ROOT SAVED ME.

Editor Will Cheung FRPS ☎ 01223 499469 willcheung@bright-publishing.com Features writer Megan Croft ☎ 01223 499466 megancroft@bright-publishing.com Contributing editor Kingsley Singleton kingsleysingleton@bright-publishing.com Sub editors Lisa Clatworthy & Hannah Bealey

CONTRIBUTORS THIS ISSUE Steve Smith, Martin Smith, Phil Portus, Ian Fyfe, Jon Pear. Cover image: Kris Williams

ADVERTISING TEAM

Sales director Matt Snow ☎ 01223 499453 mattsnow@bright-publishing.com Key accounts Mike Elliott ☎ 01223 499458 mikeelliott@bright-publishing.com Sales executive Krishan Parmar ☎ 01223 499462 krishanparmar@bright-publishing.com

DESIGN TEAM Design director Andy Jennings Design manager Alan Gray Ad production Lucy Woolcomb

WEB TEAM Flash developer Ashley Norton Web developer Will Woodgate

PUBLISHING TEAM

I KNOW very precisely where I tripped. I was lying on my back getting my breath back and checking the camera was still working so I took this shot looking straight up. I honestly don’t know what happened but it took me five minutes to make sure I had not broken anything and to get my breath back. Fortunately, all was well apart from a badly bruised left leg – and the cameras survived too and just needed a wipe down. Ahh, the joys of being out in the landscape. The only reason I can come up with for my not-soenjoyable trip was slipping on the wrong type of leaf and then catching my foot on a rock or root to send me flying. I was concentrating too much on what to shoot. A basic mistake really but one easily made. If there is one good thing it was that no one saw (or photographed!) my gymnastics. That’s potentially a bad thing too because if I was incapacitated in any way, it would have been awkward. In the event I was with a friend, in a popular area of the Peak District and of course I had my mobile phone. But it does bring home a very good point. Landscape photographers (or photographers generally) can be solitary souls and if I was on my own, in the woolly wilds away from a phone signal and I had seriously hurt myself, then the situation could have been very different. So the salutary lesson is, if you are photographing outdoors – whether enjoying the winter or trying to photograph star trails after being inspired by this month’s Big Feature – do let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back. And make sure you have a charged mobile phone. Bruised or not, I managed the ten-hour flight to Las Vegas for the International CES convention.

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The Consumer Electronics Show is a huge annual celebration of technology – or just tech if you want to be hip. This year’s event had 3600 exhibitors, from huge brands like Samsung, Microsoft and Sony, to small businesses with the proverbial cloth-covered trestle table, and attracted over 160,000 business people, professionals and media over four days. The thing is so big and busy that you need several days to see what’s on show. Photographically, there wasn’t much new announced officially, although I saw a few things I couldn’t talk about at the time, such as the new Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. There was a time when the camera makers scheduled new product launches to coincide with events like CES and the biennial Photokina in Germany but for any number of reasons – the need to sell, Internet rumour sites – that happens less now. The UK’s biggest imaging event, The Photography Show (TPS) takes place 21-24 March and in case you haven’t read it yet, turn to Upfront for details on how you can save a few quid by pre-booking. Last year’s debut TPS was excellent and a significant step forward (apart from the usual rubbish catering) from the previous rather lacklustre Focus on Imaging show. I’d expect another significant improvement again so if you fancy seeing (and buying) the latest imaging tech, get yourself along. We don’t have a stand at the show but if you see me wandering around please feel free to say hello. Until next issue, be seeing you. @advancedphotog

Publishing director Andy Brogden Publishing director Matt Pluck Editorial director Roger Payne Head of circulation Chris Haslum

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30/01/2015 15:42