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News Tests Clubs

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Interviews

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Issue 45 12 June – 13 July

news

First tests The best new kit reviewed by our photo experts, starting on page 40

Your FREE newspaper packed with the latest news, views and stories from the world of photography

Win £200 of prints Scoop pro-quality L.Type prints from LumeJet. Get involved on page 4

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Canon EOS 77D

A Samsung 128GB memory card

Is Canon’s new 24.2-megapixel DSLR worth the upgrade? Find out on page 34

Enter the competition on page 48 © Mark Jones

The wide bunch Nikon has bolstered its FX and DX lens line-ups with three exciting wide-angle options – and they’re sure to interest scenic shooters

Nikon’s wide-angle range has been swelled by the AF-S 28mm f/1.4E ED, AF-S Fisheye 8-15mm f/3.5–4.5E ED and AF-P DX 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR. These new optics are sure to excite Nikon shooters who favour wide views and exaggerated perspectives. The 28mm f/1.4 is the latest in Nikon’s line-up of ultra-fast glass, opening up expressive shallow depthof-field effects and faster low-light shooting. A minimum focus of 28cm adds even more versatility.

The Fisheye 8-15mm provides two fisheye effects in one lens; a circular view at 8mm, and a frame-filling effect at 15mm. With a minimum focus of 16cm, and edge-to-edge sharpness promised, even at the widest f/3.5 setting, you can expect highly detailed creative shots. Both full-frame lenses have a dustand drip-resistant build to help you tackle scenics in challenging weather. Completing the picture is the AF-P DX 10-20mm VR. Aimed at

users wanting wide-angle stills and video on Nikon’s APS-C DSLRs, its AF-P stepping motor should deliver smooth, responsive and near-silent autofocus. And with Vibration Reduction on board, you can rely on sharper images when hand-holding at slower shutter speeds. All the lenses will be available from the end of June, priced £2079.99, £1299.99 and £329.99 respectively. nikon.co.uk

Camera Club of the Year: The Grand Final

Capping a year of creative competition, this month five talented camera clubs battled it out for the ultimate accolade – but who was crowned CCOTY 2017? Find out on page 7.


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Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com

News

Tough and techy There’s a new hard nut on the block; Olympus’s flagship Tough TG-5. Updating and improving on the previous TG-4, the new camera boasts a 12-megapixel backlit CMOS sensor, instead of the 16-megapixel unit in the TG-4. This lower resolution, combined with the Olympus’s latest TruePic VIII processor (as used in the OM-D E-M1 Mark II), is claimed to deliver better low-light sensitivity and an improved wider dynamic range. The TG-5 also borrows the OM-D series’ Pro Capture mode which records a burst of shots to ensure you don’t miss a moment. There’s a bright, 25-100mm equivalent f/2.0 lens on board, with a macro setting focusing as close as 1cm from the lens, and the camera also benefits from 4K and 120fps Full HD movie recording. Combined with its tough features, easy access controls for when you’re wearing gloves, and dual pane antifog glass to prevent the lens from misting up, this should mean some fantastic slow-motion video in almost any environment. As for those tough features,

Macphun on Windows Macphun’s TIPA Awardwinning software, previously an Apple exclusive, is coming to Windows computers. The first packages to be released will be Macphun’s Luminar and Aurora HDR. Luminar has just claimed the TIPA Award for Best Imaging Software 2017 and is an image-editing package similar to Lightroom and Aperture. Aurora HDR is a smart exposure blending package used to produce high dynamic range images from single or multiple exposures. A public Beta of Luminar will be release in July, with Aurora to follow soon after. macphun.com

the camera is waterproof to 15m, shockproofed against drops of up to 2.1m, crush proof to 100kg, and freeze proof to -10°C. The TG-5 also adds temperature data to its field sensor system which already includes GPS, compass and a manometer (pressure sensor). All this can be transferred with images and video via the camera’s WiFi connection to the free OI.Track app. The Tough TG-5 is available now in red or black, costing £399. olympus.co.uk

Location power

Successor to the award-winning Profoto B1, the B1X is built for photographers needing dependable, high-quality lighting on location. As a battery-powered monolight, the B1X can be used almost anywhere, providing lighting control even in broad daylight, and with no power pack to worry about there’s no risk of tripping over cables. The 500Ws flash supports Profoto’s AirTTL system for point and shoot simplicity, and power can be set manual over nine stops down to 2Ws. There’s also a HighSpeed Sync (HSS) mode letting you fire the flash with shutter speeds up to 1/8000sec, so overpowering the sun and using flash with large apertures in broad daylight should be easy. Wireless triggering can be achieved at up to 300mm using the Profoto Air Remote. You’ll also get up to 20 flashes per second, with flash durations of as little as 1/19,000sec and recycling times of between 0.05-1.9sec. The B1X’s rechargeable, exchangeable Lithium-ion battery should provide up to 325 full-power flashes, so there’ll be little danger of running out of juice on location. A B1X 500 AirTTL To-Go Kit will cost you £1630. Also from Profoto this month are two new reflectors, the OCF Zoom (£110) and OCF Magnum (£150). With an adjustable 55-85º

News in brief

Third AF lens from Samyang Samyang has released its third autofocus lens, the AF 35mm f/2.8 FE, joining the AF 14mm f/2.8 FE and AF 50mm f/1.4 FE. The AF 35mm f/2.8 FE is a small, lightweight lens, measuring only 3.3cm long and weighing 85g, and is designed for use with Sony E System cameras; it’s a full-frame lens, hence the ‘FE’ designation. The 35mm focal length and fast aperture make it a very adaptable low-light lens, while on E System cameras with an APS-C sensor, like the A6000, the lens gives an equivalent of 52mm; a classic standard view. AF is claimed to be fast and accurate, and it has a minimum focusing distance of 0.35m making it ideal for street, portrait and close focus photography. The lens’s construction features seven elements in six groups, two aspherical lenses and one high refractive lens plus an Ultra Multi Coating to minimise aberration and unnecessary light dispersion. This means that the lens should deliver high resolution images from the centre to the corners of the image. The AF 35mm f/2.8 FE will be available from July at £279. Intro2020.co.uk

beam angle, the OCF Zoom can double the effective light output at two meters range (giving up to +1.2 stops compared with built-in reflector). Adjustable from 40-80º, the slightly larger OCF Magnum ups this to +1.8 f-stop compared with built-in reflector. profoto.com


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News

Sony goes wide

News in brief

Imaging giant Sony has announced two new lenses for its E Mount cameras; the FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM and FE 12-24mm f/4 G. The FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM is part of Sony’s G Master series and joins other fast-aperture lenses in the lineup, such as the FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM and FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM. The front element is the largest XA element Sony has yet produced, and the lens’s construction includes two Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements to keep chromatic aberration to a minimum while maximising resolution. It’ll be available from August at around £2,300. The FE 12-24mm G is Sony’s widest E-mount full-frame lens, boasting outstanding image quality in a compact, lightweight design, weighing 566g. The lens features an optical design with four aspherical elements, claiming to provide corner-to-corner sharpness, three ED glass elements and one Super ED glass element to minimise chromatic aberration. Available from July it'll be priced around £1,700. Both lenses employ Sony’s original Nano AR coating to suppress internal reflections and increase image contrast and clarity. They also feature ‘near circular’ aperture shapes at all settings, as well as two DDSSMs (Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave Motors) and a floating focusing system to improve AF performance.

New NDs from SRB SRB Photographic has updated its range of filters with a new set of solid NDs. Made in the UK, the company’s Full Neutral Density Filter Set has seen advancements over the previous product, including improved resin quality that’s claimed to result in very minimal colour shift compared to the unfiltered view, therefore providing more accurate hues. The filters are also said to have a new low-profile design and better build quality. The set has 0.3 (1 stop), 0.6 (2 stop), and 0.9 (3 stop) filters and they’re available in P and A sizes. Filters are priced £14.95 each, but you can get the set for £39.95, which also includes a protective wallet (normally £4.95). srb-photographic.co.uk

sony.co.uk

L-egant printing for all LumeJet has announced its latest print product, the L.Type. This new development has taken years of research into silver-halide compounds, with L.Type prints applying 21st century digital technology to that century-old medium. The fusion of these analogue and digital methods is claimed to allow perfectly precise replication of your photography. The precision of L.Type prints also enables pin-sharp text and graphics to be used alongside photos, allowing "the creation of lay-flat books that truly attain a superior level of quality". Every L.Type image is hand-checked at each stage of the production process. LumeJet’s printing service uses 400dpi true continuous tone imaging of the paper from the company’s

proprietary print head, coupled with end-to-end colour management, which is something that’s certainly impressed discerning professionals and enthusiast photographers alike. The L.Type prints stay true to this, according to photographer and filmmaker, Jonathan GlynnSmith: “L.Type prints have allowed me to produce prints, the likes of which I have never seen before… they reproduce detail with such clarity and sharpness it’ll amaze any photographer who wants the very best. L.Type is pure printing perfection for professionals and that’s why it’s now my print of choice.” If you want to try it out for yourself, check out the contest below.

Above Pro photographer Jonathan GlynnSmith has been impressed by L.Type prints.

LumeJet.com

© Will Cheung

magical wedding shot, a candid at a christening or a fun shot at a summer barbecue. Upload images to flickr.com/ groups/familypncontest/. There is no fee to enter but you will have to join flickr.com, which is free. Only one photograph per person can be submitted and the entrant must also be UK based. Images should be 1500 pixels across and we will contact you if we need higher resolution files to judge or publish. Entries are judged by the editor and his decisions made relating to this contest are final. For full terms and conditions please see the absolutephoto.com website. The closing date for entries is 10 July 2017 and the winner will be announced in PN issue 46 which is out from 17 July 2017. The winner of last month’s ‘Red, White & Blue’ contest is Linda Hall, whose image is shown on the right. Congratulations to Linda and we're sure she’ll enjoy her LumeJet L.Type prints. lumejet.com

© Linda Hall

Win prints worth £200

Photography News has teamed up with the expert photo printers at LumeJet to bring you a fabulous opportunity: the chance of seeing your favourite photographs produced as a glorious LumeJet L.Type print. Yes, if you win this free-to-enter photo contest you’ll have £200 to spend on L.Type prints from the LumeJet website. L.Type by LumeJet is the latest step in the company’s printing development and represents the culmination of over 15 years of research into silver halide. LumeJet has always been passionate about printing beautiful photography and now with L.Type the fusion of classic analogue silver halide materials, cutting-edge digital print technology and superaccurate colour management enables the faithful replication of a photographic vision with hitherto unseen precision and sensitivity. To be in with the chance of winning LumeJet prints worth £200, just take a great picture of a family event. This could be a

Above Linda Hall’s winning image from the ‘Red, White & Blue’ round.


Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com


Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com


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Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com

News

Club class

100Mp cameras ahoy Above Congratulations to New City PS for winning Camera Club of the Year 2016-17. Its members (left to right), Jamie White, Colin Mill, Mark Jones and Dave Cromack collected the trophy from PN's Will Cheung.

© Dave Cromack

Phase One and Hasselblad have both announced 100-megapixel cameras this month. Phase One’s iXG Camera System comes in 50 and 100-megapixel configurations, with exchangeable repro lenses (72mm and 120mm macro) guaranteeing one million actuations. The cameras are designed for Cultural Heritage digitisation projects, and though you won’t get much change out of £50,000, you do get a lens thrown in. Hasselblad’s new 100-megapixel model is the A6D-100c, the latest in the company’s range of aerial cameras. If 100-megapixels isn’t enough, up to eight units can be synchronised. Imagine Photoshop trying to deal with all those pixels. hasselblad.com phaseOne.com

Adventure mode The wait is finally over. The winner of PN’s huge Camera Club of the Year (CCOTY) contest has been crowned, and what a worthy set of champions this year’s competition produced. Not only did New City Photographic Society fight off scores of other clubs to gain entry into the CCOTY final, they also had to compete against four other clubs on the big day, each vying for the top prize. And what a day it was. Our five finalists arrived with only the most basic of briefs on the subjects they’d be tackling. Thrown in at the deep end, they had to tackle five separate challenges across the day, shooting a mixture of subjects, processing their images and submitting them within tense one-hour time slots. On their side, they had CCOTY sponsors, Fujifilm, which supplied leading-edge cameras for the day, as well as expert technical advice. Amongst other gear,

contestants got to use the amazing medium-format GFX 50S, X-Pro2 and X-T2 cameras, plus a host of brilliant Fujifilm lenses. And the location, centred around the Natural Light Spaces studio in Northampton, certainly helped too; with a mix of pro-level facilities and dramatic backgrounds around its Weedon Bec setting, a Georgian-era Royal Ordnance factory, there was plenty to shoot. Plus, of course, the PN team were on hand to shout encouragement and crack the whip. Praise should also be heaped upon the other competing clubs, Dorchester, Exeter, Great Notley and Harpenden, all of whom put in an amazing effort, missing out on the big prize by only the smallest of margins. For a full report on a fantastic day of challenges and creative zeal, make sure you check out the next issue of Photography News.

Live in the wow Joining the growing number of 360º and virtual reality devices is the Ion360 U camera, claimed to be the first “seamless 360º camera that’s also a protective case and charger for phones”. The Ion360 U snaps onto your phone, turning it into a 360º camera, so you don’t need a separate device. Versions are available for iPhone7/7 Plus and Samsung S8/8+. The device also produces eight-megapixel stills and 4K videos, with a recording time of two hours, and its app can live stream content to your chosen social media platform, like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or Instagram. It’s currently priced at £299.99 with £80 off and free shipping in the UK.

Nikon’s latest all-weather camera is the Coolpix W300, a 16-megapixel compact that can be used at depths of up to 30m without a specialist housing. It’s also freeze proof down to -10°C, dust proof and shockproof when dropped from heights of up to 2.4m, so should suit even the most butterfingered of giants. On the imaging side, there’s a 1/2.3in back-illuminated 16-megapixel CMOS sensor allied to a 5x f/2.8 optical zoom giving a 24-120mm equivalent. Reach the end of the zoom and the Dynamic Fine Zoom doubles the reach with no loss of pixel dimension. For your adventure videos, the W300 can shoot at up to 4K resolution (at 30p), and a new auto exposure lock helps capture flicker free video footage as light levels change, which is a particular concern underwater. Nikon’s Hybrid Vibration Reduction feature is also on board, delivering sharper pics at slower shutter speeds, which again should help underwater applications. A decent grip, large monitor, and bigger buttons make control easier in gloves, and the camera also adds GPS and other data to your shots, such as the number of steps taken, altitude and pressure. The W300 should be out by the time you read this, costing £389.99.

ion360.com nikon.co.uk


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News News in brief

Venus Magic Converter Venus Optics, maker of Laowa camera lenses, has announced the Laowa Magic Format Converter (MFC). This is the world’s first Fujifilm GFX adapter which allows users to mount Canon or Nikon fullframe lenses. The converter enlarges the image circle of those lenses, so that it fits the larger Fujifilm GFX 50S camera sensor. The MFC has a focal length multiplier of 1.4x and reduces maximum aperture by one stop, so for example a Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-lens would become roughly a 17mm f/4 lens. There are existing converters that allow mounting of non-Fujifilm lenses to the GFX 50S, but often with lots of vignetting and degraded quality at the edges. The Laowa Magic Format Converter will be available in Canon EF to Fujifilm G, and Nikon AI to Fujifilm G models, arriving in July 2017 with price TBC. laowalens.co.uk

Smart Photo Editor Recently released from software specialist, Anthropics (maker of well-known titles like Portrait Professional), Smart Photo Editor (SPE) is a new package that offers Photoshop style image editing, albeit it at a fraction of the cost. SPE contains lots of powerful and easy to use tools for enhancing images, including smart selection brushes, that help make local adjustments, combine images and remove objects. There’s also a community sourced gallery of effects that’s continually updated, and where you can share your own editing recipes. Usually priced £39.90, the software is currently half price at £19.95, and PN readers can get a further 10% with the code PN45T. smartphotoeditor.com

Thinking bags It’s been a busy month for Think Tank Photo, with the company releasing lots of new products. First up is the Signature range; a classic shoulder bag with modern engineering. Available in two models, the Signature 10 (£244.99) and 13 (£269.99), and coming in subtle slate grey or olive colouring, they have full-grain leather, antiqueplated metal hardware, and YKK zippers. The bags’ outers use durable 240D water-resistant fabric, while the underside is coated with polyurethane. As well as camera and lenses, they have space for 10in or 13in laptops, respectively. Access is via a secure front flap which can be used one-handed for speed. There’s also the Think Tank Airport TakeOff V2, a rollerbag/backpack that’s claimed to be 15% lighter than its predecessor. The TakeOff V2 is all about moving lots of gear in comfort,

and has a large 33x47x13-17cm inner compartment for cameras and lenses, as well as laptop and tablet pockets. It uses 80mm wheels with sealed bearings for quiet movement, and has a retractable handle. There’s also a tripod or water bottle pocket, YKK zippers, and water-resistant, 1680D ballistic nylon.

Left The Signature 10 Below The Airport Takeoff V2

Thinktankphoto.com

Lighting Guang

Manhattan project Manfrotto has unveiled a new series of bags; the Manhattan Collection. Designed for city-based photographers, the bags use Manfrotto’s new Insert System and Flexy Camera Shell; a removable inner and modular protective inserts that let you quickly convert the bags from photography to lifestyle, or adapt them to any kit you’re carrying. There are three models; a backpack, a shoulder bag and a messenger bag, and each includes padded compartments, hidden pockets, multi-purpose webbing and straps to secure a tripod, helmet, jacket or other items. The Mover 50 backpack holds a medium DSLR with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens attached and five lenses, plus up to a 15.6in laptop. The Speedy 10 messenger bag fits a CSC or entry level DSLR with a standard zoom attached, two additional lenses and up to a 12in laptop. The Charger 20 is a three-way shoulder bag that’ll swallow a CSC or entry-level DSLR with up to a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens attached and two additional lenses. There’s also room for a 15in laptop. Available now, with prices starting at £79, all of the bags in the range use ballistic fabric, premium zippers, a coated base and water-repellant external fabric, but a rain cover is included if you're caught in a downpour. manfrotto.co.uk

Kenro is introducing three new portable LED on-camera lights from lighting specialists, NanGuang. Designed for use on DSLRs, CSCs and camcorders, they are attached via the hotshoe, and use bright, low-energy LEDs to produce cool, flicker-free lighting. There are two small panel lights and one powerful oncamera Fresnel spotlight. The CNB144 and CNLUX1600C panels both use an adjustable angle bracket to help direct the light up or down, and each has a maximum output of 1005 lumen. Both have stepless dimmer control, and can be locked to other units of the same type to make much large panels. At £89.94, the CNB144 comes with an ultra-soft diffuser, as well as pink and 3200K filters; unfiltered it’s balanced to 5600K.

Costing £119.94, the CNLUX1600C is a bi-colour unit, with stepless temperature between 3200K and 5600K. The panel is also supplied with an ultrasoft diffuser, as well as pink and blue filters. At £239.94, the CN8F Fresnel Light can be adjusted to give a beam of between 10 and 60 degrees, and its brightness can be steplessly controlled down from a maximum 560 lumen. A locking knob on the side allows the light to be directed up or down and a rotating frame on the lens can hold up to three filters of 65x70mm. 3200K and 6500K filters are included in the kit along with a gelatin holder, barn doors, and a padded case. kenro.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com


Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com


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Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com

News

TPOTY open for entries The Travel Photographer of the Year 2017 (TPOTY) contest is open for entries and you have until 25 September to get your shots in. The overall winner gets £4000 in cash, £750 of Paramo clothing and a Plastic Sandwich leather portfolio case. The winners of each portfolio category – Celebration of Humanity, Earth & Climate and Tales of Adventure – win a Fujifilm X Series professional camera and lens of their choice. Entry is open to all photographers of all ages, and from all countries. Judging is done by an international panel of photographers and imaging experts. For creative inspiration there are two free TPOTY exhibitions on show. The first closes on 30 June and is taking place at the Princes Quay, Hull; the second is in London at the University of Greenwich, 10 Stockwell Street from 4 August through to 3 September. It costs £8 to enter the one-shot single image categories, £15 for the New Talent and portfolio categories, while Young TPOTY is free. Also see the profile on TPOTY’s founder, Chris Coe, in this issue of PN. tpoty.com

Queen in 3-D

© Michele Palazzo/tpoty.com

Queen guitarist Brian May has been an avid stereo photography enthusiast ever since he got a free viewer in a Weetabix packet, aged 12. His book, Queen in 3-D, has been three years in the making and features previously unseen pictures of the band both at work and relaxing. Over 300 pictures are featured and there’s a story behind each one. With the book comes a 3-D viewer (called the OWL) so you get to enjoy the images properly. Published by the London Stereoscopic Society, Queen in 3-D is out now and costs £50. queenin3-d.com

© Abhijit Nandi

Get the Eye

© Mohammad Fahim Ahamed Riyad

© Sudipto Das

© Uttam Kamati

ciwem.org

Ammonite’s latest book is Mastering Macro Photography by David Taylor and it's out now with a cover price of £19.99. Exploring the world of close-up photography is great fun and can be technically challenging, too. David’s book is sure to help you make the most of this fascinating subject. It is the definitive guide to modern macro photography, covering core techniques including creative focusing, exposure and magnification ratios but also explains in detail topics such as focus stacking, using smartphone apps and using Wi-Fi to compose and take your pictures. ammonitepress.com

EPOTY hits ten The Environmental Photographer of the Year (EPOTY) competition is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2017, and this year’s contest has five categories including Built Environment, Mobile Phone and Young EPOTY. The organiser of the contest, CIWEM (Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management), has assembled a panel of celebrity judges including Stephen Fry, Ben Fogle and Christine Lampard. There are cash prizes for each category – the Environmental Photographer of the Year scoops £3000, for example – except for Young EPOTY where the winner receives an Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II camera. Entry is open to UK and international photographers of all ages. There is no entry fee, but there is an entry limit of ten pictures per photographer. Entries for Environmental Photographer of the Year close on 8 September 2017.

Master macro

Michael Freeman’s book The Photographer’s Eye came out ten years ago and was an instant success; to date, over 500,000 copies of the book have been sold. It has now been digitally remastered, bringing it right up to date. Its update makes it the ideal book for those modern photographers keen on learning how to make the most of a scene or subject, using the opportunities offered by new techniques of digital capture and editing. The book is out now priced at £35. octopusbooks.co.uk


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Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com

Clubs

Tell us your club’s latest news, email: clubnews@photography-news.co.uk

Camera club news If your club has any news that you want to share with the rest of the world, this is the page for it. Your story might be about your club’s success in a contest, or a member’s personal achievements; it could be about a group outing you had recently or when the annual exhibition is on show. Any news is eligible for inclusion, so club publicity officers please take note of the submission guidelines and get your stories in

Upcoming camera club exhibitions Newbury Camera Club Print Exhibition, 5 to 30 July 2017, at West Berkshire Museum, The Wharf, Newbury RG14 5AS. West Berkshire Museum is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Entry is free. newburycameraclub.org.uk Viewfinders of Romsey Camera Club Annual Photographic Exhibition, 8 to 16 July at King John’s House, Romsey, Hampshire, SO51 8BT. Admission is free; opening hours are 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday and 11am to 4pm on the Sundays. viewfinderscameraclub.org. uk

Stratford Photo Group Annual Photographic Exhibition, 13 to 31 July at Stratford Arts House, Rother Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6LU. Entry is free and SPG Members will be on hand to talk about the club and the images; opening hours 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 1pm Saturday. stratfordphotographic.org.uk Sevenoaks Camera Club Exhibition 20 June to 1 July in the Kaleidoscope Gallery, Sevenoaks Library, Buckhurst Lane, Sevenoaks. The show is open during normal library hours, admission is free. sevenoakscameraclub.org.uk Wakefield Camera Club Annual Prints Exhibition, 14 to 16 July at The Ridings Centre in Wakefield. Admission free. wakefieldcameraclub.org.uk

How to submit

Deadline for the next issue: 3 July 2017

We need words and pictures by 3 July 2017 for the next issue of Photography News, which will be available from 17 July 2017. Write your story in a Word document (400 words max). Please include contact details of the club, exhibition or event: website, meeting times, opening times, whatever is relevant. Images should be JPEGs, 2000 pixels on the longest dimension, any colour space, and image credits should be included. If the story is an exhibition or event, please send a picture from the exhibition (not the publicity poster) or one from the event. If it includes people, please identify them. Attach the Word document and JPEGs to an email and send to clubnews@photography-news.co.uk

Bromsgrove Photographic Society 2017 Awards Night Another glittering occasion took place at Avoncroft Arts Centre on 16 May when Bromsgrove Photographic Society held its annual awards event to celebrate and congratulate members on their achievements throughout the year. The evening commenced with a buffet supper, then over to the serious business of handing out some 412 certificates and 43 trophies representing the successes and high standards reached this year. Roger Lewis, Chair commented: “Another exciting year with lots of our new members submitting work into the competitions pushing standards higher. On many occasions, this has given our judges a hard time picking overall winners. I’d like to say well

done to those who received awards, but in particular to congratulate Sue Vernon for achieving Best Newcomer with 47 certificates of achievement plus eight trophies. Congratulations also to accomplished photographer Mike Troth in the advanced section for obtaining 26 certificates of achievement (of which six were first places) plus six trophies. Well done Mike for leading a very competitive field. The Photographic Achievement Award went to Dr Colin Close for representing the society this year in external national and international competitions and salons achieving 59 acceptances in the UK and 93 internationally.” bromsgroveps.co.uk

Above Left to right: BPS Chairman Roger Lewis, Best Newcomer Sue Vernon, BPS President Barry Green.

Success for Hampstead PS member Photographic Workshops 2017 Chingford Are you puzzled by depth-of-field? Do blown highlights and wonky horizons spoil your prints? Would you like the opportunity to learn how to produce better pictures with your camera or how to make successful prints? Building on the success of last year’s course, Chingford Photographic Society is again running its series of summer workshops. It’s a great opportunity to get to grips with the basics of your camera, or if you are an experienced user, learn more about composition, which lens for which situation, and how to develop your photographic creativity. A fee of £50 covers six workshops held each Monday between 17 July and 21 August, outings and six months’ membership of the society. The workshops are held at Chingford Horticultural Hall, Larkshall Road, Chingford E4 6PE. For more information contact Chris Lafbury on 020 8524 2359 or email: barob007@yahoo.co.uk chingfordphotographic.com

Chris Burrows, deputy chairman of Hampstead Photographic Society (HPS), has had one of his pictures accepted for display in the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition, which runs in their main galleries from 13 June to 20 August 2017. This makes him the third HPS photographer to achieve this acclaim. This is a major achievement for Chris, as the selection process is brutal: in two stages, a panel of distinguished judges from across the art world has to agree to select your work to be among the final 1200. Those are whittled down from more than 15,000 entries sourced from all around the world. It’s this ultra-tough competition that makes acceptance so impressive. hampsteadphotosoc.org.uk Right Chris Burrows’ successful image, Man and Dog.

Above Left to right: BPS Chairman Roger Lewis, Advanced Section winner Mike Troth, BPS President Barry Green, BPS Competition Secretary Nigel Taylor.


Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com


Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com


Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com

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Interview Profile

Chris Coe

This month’s chat is with Chris Coe, the inspiration behind the hugely successful Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY) contest

Biography Years in the photo industry? 25 Current location? Suffolk. Last picture taken? The TPOTY exhibition in Hull last week. Personally, the last frosts of spring a month or so ago and the Northern Lights in Svalbard in February. The latter is a magical place. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? An engine driver when I was very young (my grandfather was a station master) and when I was a bit older, a doctor. Dogs or cats? I love both Toast or cereal? Toast most often. Email or phone call? Always a phone call – so much more personal and better communication.

Never underestimate the judges. They are highly knowledgeable and see thousands of images in the course of a year Enter now TPOTY 2017 is open for entry now and a closing date is 25 September. With a diverse range of categories, fabulous prizes including a £5000 prize package for the overall winner and entry open to enthusiasts and pros of all ages, TPOTY is worth entering and you have plenty of time to shoot images on your travels this summer. For full details please see the website. tpoty.com

Can you tell our readers a bit about your photographic background? As a child I hated photography. My father collected cameras and always had one pointed at my siblings and me. However, in my first summer holiday at university I got a working visa and travelled around the USA with a compact camera – an Olympus Trip. I found that I loved taking pictures and this fired my enthusiasm for photography. I’m completely self-taught. I discovered technique by trial and error but always trying to learn from the failures. I’ve always had a good eye for composition, it comes naturally to me, but the most interesting part of improving my photography was when I had to deconstruct what came naturally to me so that I could teach it to others. My passion for photography is wrapped up in time and light. The subject is less important – I like the variety and the challenge. Do you have time to take your own pictures? If so, what do you like to photograph? TPOTY has largely sidelined my own photography as it has got bigger and more demanding. However, in the last few years I’ve been making a conscious effort to shoot more and the plan is for this to grow year on year. If I have time to myself I’d probably lean towards photographing the natural world but I like playing with movement and low light. How many people do you have working on the TPOTY team? This may be hard to imagine but there are only two full-time; well not really full-time because Karen and I both have other businesses. Then we have someone working part time in the office and temporary staff during the exhibitions. The plan is to employ two people on a full-time basis in the not too distant future. What brought you to the idea of introducing TPOTY? Frustration and my passion for photography. In 2002, on my way back from meetings in London where I’d been showing my photography to various picture editors, I was mulling over the frustrations of being a photographer, walking door to door to show my portfolio. While I was listening to the radio on the journey home, presenter Simon Mayo was talking about travel photography. He said anyone could be a travel photographer! All you needed was a camera and a ticket to somewhere. My response was, ‘Right, I’ll show you!’ and TPOTY was born. Having decided to create a showcase for great travel photography in the

form of a competition which would generate an exhibition, I then set about defining travel photography itself. At that time picture editors largely classified travel photography as pictures of people on holiday. Of course it is much more than that and rather than being a genre in its own right, it’s a collection of genres which define the travel experience – people, cultures, landscape, wildlife, food, place, architecture (old and new) etc. etc. This may seem obvious now but back then, in largely pre-internet days it wasn’t and I’d like to think that TPOTY has played some small part in changing perceptions. It’s important to remember that back then there were very few photo competitions, let alone travel photography ones, and there were none open to everyone – young and old, amateur and professional. My wife Karen and I created TPOTY, and launched in February 2003 with prizes from Adobe, Fujifilm and Plastic Sandwich. What were your aims when you first launched the contest? To create a showcase for great travel photography, to get the work of talented photographers who were shooting varied aspects of travel in front of the general public and, rather grandly, to change people’s perception of what a travel image is. What were the major challenges in the early years of TPOTY? Firstly being new, independent and unknown in a world that was largely dependent on print media for exposure at the time. This was pre-internet as we know it now. Interestingly as soon as we got our first winners people and the media started taking us seriously and growing from there was about being tenacious, professional and engaging with photographers around the world. It was about being different, being friendly and respecting photographers and their copyright. How has TPOTY developed over the years? It’s unrecognisable from the early days. Then we were opening mountains of prints and labelling them so that they were trackable throughout the judging process. Online entry makes this process so much more streamlined but importantly, we have kept the final judging of prints. This is really important. So many images look great online but not in print. The online one is immediate and transient. The print one is more enduring, it’s about quality, tone, shadows and highlights. It is less rushed and more engaging. Images with real enduring interest sing out as prints.

© Timothy Allen/tpoty.com

What has pleased you most about how TPOTY has grown? We’ve stayed true to our ethics and morality. It isn’t, and never has been, exploitative. TPOTY now has a huge international presence and the importance of this is that the photographers who win, or even get placed, benefit from the profile that we’ve created. Can you give us some idea of the judging process? Judging takes place over three rounds. Round one weeds out the weaker images and those which don’t fit the criteria. This is done by a small panel of judges. Round two involves all the judges, wherever they are in the world, and is an online shortlisting process with judges independently choosing the best images in each category. Their combined efforts give us a shortlist for each category. The final round is done by a panel of seven to nine judges in the same room reviewing the shortlisted images as prints. It’s a lively but highly enjoyable two days with lots of discussion and lots of disagreement, but the judges have great respect for each other and a case well argued will win the day. Do you ever hear back from past winners who might have progressed their photography further? Absolutely! We stay in touch and publicise their successes whenever we can. It’s a mutually supportive community for most of them. The young winners are part of this too and it’s great to see their interest in photography progress into careers. Do you have some advice for those photographers thinking of entering this year’s contest? It’s the same advice whenever I’m asked this and it applies to any photography competition. First, read the brief for each category and follow

it. Don’t be tempted to enter your favourite images. Enter your best but make sure they fit the brief. If they don’t save them for another year. Second, never underestimate the judges. They are highly knowledgeable and they see thousands of images in the course of a year. Third, don’t copy last year’s winners. The winners are different each year, just look at the winners’ galleries – an impersonation of the last winner simply isn’t going to win. What is one aspect of TPOTY of which you are most proud? Two things. Seeing the winning photographers reap the benefits of the international profile which we’ve created to springboard their profile or careers, and seeing the way the awards and exhibitions inspire people and make them aspire to be better photographers. What is your personal favourite pictures from all the winners? Wow, that’s a tricky one with so many great images over the years! One of my favourites is an image by British photographer, Timothy Allen (above). It’s a black & white image of a woman in Mali, sheltering from the rain under a tin roof. It’s moody and magnificent. Another is a shot of a polar bear with a seal carcass by Australian, Joshua Holko. It’s poignant and speaks about survival and environment as well as the obvious in the image. The third is by French photographer, Remi Benali, of a boy, also in Mali, wearing a red jacket. It is such a joyous image. Where do you see TPOTY in, say, five years time? The plan is to develop a touring exhibition programme including 25 international venues during that period. We’re not looking to send the exhibition to every venue that will have it. We want to keep it prestigious whilst broadening its reach.


Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com


Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com

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Profile Before the judge

Tony Winfield

Join us for our monthly chat with a photographic judge. When it comes to picking winners, Tony Winfield’s passions centre on the mood and feel that good photography can capture...

How many years in photography? Over 40 Home club? Stafford Camera Club What is your favourite camera? Panasonic Lumix LX100 compact camera. What is your favourite lens? Sigma 12–24mm f/4.5–5.6 DG HSM What is your favourite photo accessory? Manfrotto Monopod 679 Who is your favourite photographer? Simon Marsden What is your favourite photographic subject or technique? Infrared What awards/distinctions/ medals have you won? A gold medal for best monochrome print at MIDPHOT, an annual exhibition by Midlands camera club photographers. One of my images was selected and published in collection 9 of the Landscape Photographer of the Year book. I won best nature print in a competition run by the National Memorial Arboretum. I achieved both print of the year and DPI of the year in this year’s annual competitions at my home club. I have recently published my first photographic book – A Guide to Monochrome Infrared Photography.

© Tony Winfield

Biography

Competitions are a major part of a camera club’s activities. They probably account for a third of a club’s programme. They are a great way for club members to share their work and get ideas on how to improve their images. The feedback from competent judges promotes self-development as photographers, and the impact of competitions is medium to long term – the more you experience, the greater the benefit. I have been a Midland Counties Photographic Federation (MCPF) listed judge for several years following my early retirement. Each year I judge at around 20 clubs and I do get invited back which is one measure of success. I also present lectures to camera clubs. I have enjoyed camera club photography as an amateur photographer for over 40 years and felt I should give something back. After all, without willing volunteers to judge there would be no more competitions. Camera club members often say to me that they couldn’t be a judge; that it is too difficult. In my younger years I might have agreed with them. Speaking in front of a group of people is challenging for most people. However, the more you do, the less this will bother you. I had the benefit of delivering training courses to groups of people at work, so appearing in front of camera club audiences was not much of a stretch. Judges require a combination of abilities. They must be able to analyse and evaluate pictures quickly. To do this they must have sufficient knowledge of photography and what constitutes a good photograph, be able to describe shortcomings in a tactful way, and suggest how the work may be improved. As well as constructive advice on how to overcome shortcomings, a judge must also be able to identify good features of an image. Making comments which show a lack of knowledge, understanding or experience greatly diminishes the judge’s credibility. Harsh, rude or nasty comments should always be avoided – potentially good

photographers have been lost to club photography because of ill-advised comments by judges. Photography is both a technical exercise and artistic expression. For me, what the picture communicates carries greater weight in my scoring than picture content or technical aspects. I favour images that convey feelings, emotions and mood, those that tell a story, and those that show inventiveness or present an idea. Record type pictures, with little interpretation by the photographer, rarely make my shortlist. I cannot think of an instance when I have rejected an outstandingly good picture artistically because of poor technical execution. In my experience, those capable of great artistic expression do not lack technical ability. The winners on the night are those that had the most emotional pull for me personally. I always listen carefully to a judge’s comments when my own work is being assessed. It is always difficult distancing yourself from your own work so another knowledgeable person’s opinion © Tony Winfield

What do you think? Have you seen a photographic judge at work who you’d like to see profiled in Photography News? If so please drop us a line to opinion@photography-news. co.uk with the judge’s name and, if possible, their contact details.

is valuable. I don’t always agree with a judge, which is OK since as individuals we all have our own opinion when looking at a piece of artwork. When one of my images bombed at a competition I was asked by a fellow club member if I accepted the judge’s decision. I said yes and she asked why. I replied, “He was the judge”. It is important that the judge is shown respect by club members on the competition night. Before judging, I always point out to the audience that they are getting my personal opinion about their images and that another judge would undoubtedly have a different order of preference. Judges can be the object of criticism when they make illconsidered comments. A judge once gave a print of mine top marks, giving the reason that his girlfriend would have liked that sort of image hanging on her wall at home. She wasn’t actually there doing the judging! The same judge gave a creative flower print of mine 10 marks saying it would have got 20 marks if it hadn’t been given a Latin title. Some judges have pet hates. One judge is known to dock marks for every duck that appears in a picture. Another judge dislikes white vignetting around picture edges. Another thinks that nature shots should be in colour only. A creative monochrome shot of a duck with white vignetting around the edges and a Latin title would be an instant competition failure! Judges should avoid talking about themselves and their photography (unless asked to do so) and be aware of the need to avoid applying personal prejudices regardless of whether a particular technique suits the picture being assessed.

I don’t have a system of judging other than saying something positive about each picture, pointing out where a picture could be improved and praising good features in pictures that are successful. The hardest part of judging for me is quickly deciding my final order of preference if there are many exceptionally good shortlisted images. The standard of club photography is generally good (some outstanding) but it depends largely on the size of the club and the number of advanced photographers that it has. In my experience, photographers entering a club’s novice competition class commonly fail to understand the need to avoid distractions in backgrounds that take away from the main subject. Uncluttered backgrounds work best. Highlight areas carry strong visual weight and the viewer’s eyes are drawn immediately to these areas. Highlights unintentionally included in a picture should be removed or darkened to avoid drawing the viewer’s eye to them. Photography is a subtractive process. A strong image is as much about what you leave out as what you include. It usually proves to be an enjoyable, rewarding experience judging at camera clubs. It gives me a chance to talk with like-minded photo enthusiasts, to see some terrific images and to get ideas for my own photography. I get a real buzz when I see a good picture. When at the end of the night individual members approach me unsolicited and tell me that they have had an enjoyable night even though they did not win, then it is a job well done. tonywinfieldfineartphotography.com


Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com


Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com

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Advertisement feature © Oliver Halfin

Oliver Halfin

Music photographer Oliver appreciates the freedom that the Olympus OM-D range offers him “I travel with the band not the support crew, and so I’m with them all the time and wherever they go I go. Over the past year this has included locations such as Japan, South America, North America and Europe, and I’m forever getting on planes and heading off somewhere. As with any professional on the road I’m paranoid about my gear, and I always make sure that it travels with me in my carryon luggage rather than being consigned to the hold, where there is far more risk of it being damaged or lost.” This approach is only possible, however, if gear is compact enough to be packed in one carry-on sized bag, and this is where the Olympus OM-D kit comes into its own. Oliver has been using Olympus cameras for some years now, along with his favourite optics – a 17mm f/1.8, 25mm f/1.2 and 75mm f/1.8 – and has most recently been using the OM-D E-M1 Mark II. He can pack this plus a couple of spare bodies, along with a decent selection of lenses, a video tripod head, chargers and memory cards, in a Think Tank case that is within carry-on limits.

© Oliver Halfin © Oliver Halfin

Great all-rounder As the Olympus flagship model, the OM-D E-M1 Mark II has it all. It’s impressively quick to respond, can deliver a jaw-dropping frame rate of up to 60fps, comes equipped with 121 all cross-type on-chip phase-detection focus points to ensure a formidably fast and accurate AF system and, for good measure, it also offers 4K video footage as well, something that Oliver truly values. All this comes in a package that weighs just 500g, making it one of the lightest truly professional-spec cameras currently. “Video capability is increasingly something that I need,” confirms Oliver. “For the last Dead Daisies tour I was filming with the E-M5 Mark II, and this was all part of the coverage that I was expected to provide. The days are gone when you might be a music photographer and that was all you did: now you have to manage multiple disciplines. “The time was when most of the material would be for magazine use, and so it had to be high-quality stills. You still need these but because you’re servicing a wide range of social media sites you’re expected to do much more, and to work in a more reportage style, which is what the OM-D system was made for. “Publications are generally looking to get an angle that no one else can get,” says Oliver. “They like you to show that you’ve got a close relationship to the artist. If I’m the band’s official photographer rather than someone that has a one-off press pass then I will

Images Clockwise from above: Slash caught mid air at Download Festival, 2015; Nikki Sixx from Mötley Crüe at Wembley Arena; Coldplay, the most photogenic band in Oliver Halfin’s opinion: “the show and production is spectacular”; KISS © Oliver Halfin

It was once thought that professional kit needed to be built like a tank, weigh a ton and be carried around in heavy-duty highprofile cases. Cameras such as those in the Olympus OM-D range have rewritten the rule book, however, and an increasing number of photographers are finding that the ultra compact kit is enabling them to pack everything into a single case. One of those enjoying this newfound freedom is music photographer Oliver Halfin. Oliver travels the world documenting bands’ tours. His current epic journey has seen him working closely with the super band The Dead Daisies, a musical collective that features some of the best rock musicians on the planet. We caught up with him the night after a gig in Copenhagen. “I’m increasingly doing these kinds of long-term assignments that see me providing day-to-day coverage of a tour and uploading material on an ongoing basis to a band’s website,” says Oliver. “It’s pretty intense and I might be working every day, even when there are no gigs scheduled, to provide a running commentary on what’s going on.

normally have free rein to go where I want, but I need to be able to work with available light and to hand-hold my camera. With the OM-D E-M1 Mark II that is no problem at all, and I set the camera to a top ISO of 3200 and am still confident that I was going to get something that would be up to the requirements of the most discerning of end users. “If I have access I usually try to get on stage at some point and to get a picture behind the artist. These days many people go to a concert with a decent cameraphone on them, and I want to come away with something that will be distinctly different to what they can get. The other big advantage of being given an open brief is that I’m not restricted to the first three songs. I will know the structure of the set and can sometimes wait for a couple of songs without taking a picture if I know that a good opportunity is coming up. Ultimately I’d rather have one great shot than 50 average ones.” Ask Oliver about the most photogenic band he’s covered and he’ll go for Coldplay, while his favourite shot to date is of Slash at Download Festival in 2015. “I’d photographed him before and saw he jumped during ‘Paradise City’,” he says, “so I got myself in position between the drum kit and the amps and waited… He

jumped as expected and I got him frozen in mid air. He almost looks like he’s floating.” The music business is tailor-made for the OM-D system. This kit is the perfect complement to the modern world: featurepacked, lightning fast, robust, flexible, lightweight and compact. For good measure it also looks amazing: the perfect mix of up-to-the-minute functionality and retro chrome-plated charm. No wonder professionals are flocking to the system. olympus.co.uk


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Photography News Issue 45 absolutephoto.com

Interview

Keep Moving Still Exeter Camera Club’s Dance & Movement Group set out on a mission to capture the beauty of motion. Find out all about the project here, and how individual members tackled the theme in different ways... Interview by Kingsley Singleton

The Dance & Movement Group The Dance & Movement Group comprises five photographers, each with a distinction from the Royal Photographic Society: John Sanders ARPS, Di Wilkins LRPS, Alan Bastin LRPS, Miranda Wood LRPS and David Snowden LRPS. You can see images from each of them here, and read their individual thoughts on the project over the following pages. But let’s go back to the genesis of the project for a moment. The group first met in early 2016, so what was the driving intention? “It was to help one another to develop our skills and knowledge in this particular collective interest, and explore the many different ways to capture and express movement in the still photograph,” says John. “There was an emphasis on dance and performance as we already had links with artists in this particular field. The dance world has a relatively close network and we were able to tap into this initially through contact with the dance specialists at Exeter

© David Snowden LRPS

If you’re looking for photographic inspiration, there are far better places to look for it than thin air. Ideas and themes can come to you in a flash, but play the long game dedicating yourself to one genre, and it can be far more successful and, ultimately, very fulfilling. Many photographers have multiple projects on the go. It’s a great way of concentrating the mind, and the production of themed work is more coherent in your portfolio than a random collection of subjects. One of the best projects we’ve seen in a while comes from Exeter Camera Club, and it’s all about capturing dance and movement. The project has spawned a collection of images that covers a wide range of dance from contemporary, ballet, Indian, tango, and flamenco. Exeter CC, like many clubs, has various specialist groups within it, such as Black & White and Visual Art cadres, that meet on a regular basis and set their own agenda. Membership of these groups is open to anyone in the club, but as John Sanders, former club president told us, “they tend to be populated by the more ‘active’ photographers who have a specific photographic interest.” The interest in forming a dance and movement group “arose from a dance workshop for members organised by myself and held at David Snowden’s studio in Tedburn St Mary in November 2015.”

The dance world has a relatively close network and we were able to tap into this

College and Plymouth University.” Collaboration was a key aspect, it seems, both between the photographers involved, and the performers, but photographers shot solo, too: “Di Wilkins and Miranda Wood did a ballet shoot together in London whilst Di with Alan Bastin had a day’s shoot in Bristol based on Latin American dance.” Of course, as with any project, things didn’t always run smoothly: “Two early morning starts on Exmouth beach were frustrated by bad weather, and we have yet to complete those, but when it comes to inside shoots we are very fortunate in that David owns a professional studio just on

the outskirts of Exeter.” Meeting the challenge To keep focus and support each other along the way, the Dance & Movement group met (and continue to meet) every six weeks or so, “using those sessions to review our images collectively and to plan shoots,” says John. “We found that each of us has something specific to offer the group, in terms of knowledge or experience and individual skills.” By mid 2016 the group had a large collection of images, so decided that they should have their own website. Di and Miranda set about building it and you can find it at danceandmovement.co.uk. But that

wasn’t the end of the story. The exhibition Great images deserve a public airing, and during discussion between Exeter CC’s Di Wilkins and the Arts Officer at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, it was suggested that an exhibition of the Dance & Movement group’s work be held at the hospital in summer 2017. The Royal Devon & Exeter, which like many hospitals has a proud tradition of exhibiting local artists’ work, will be running the exhibition until 31 August. Organising an exhibition comes with its own challenges and rewards, as John describes. “Picking images


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Photography News Issue 45 absolutephoto.com

Interview © Miranda Wood LRPS

© John Sanders ARPS

© Miranda Wood LRPS

Miranda Wood LRPS Biography Miranda completed a short photography course with the Open University in 2011 followed by an evening course at her local college in 2012. She gained her RPS Licentiateship distinction in 2014 and has been a member of Exeter CC since 2012. Selected gear Canon EOS 5D Mark II and 24-70mm f/2.8L II

© John Sanders ARPS

© John Sanders ARPS

“I have a love of light painting, and having achieved interesting results with wire wool spinning and speedlights. Showing the movement of dancers was a similarly interesting challenge. “In Spiritual Dancer (bottom) and Illusive Ballerina (above left), the ‘slow motion’ look required a slow shutter speed and several bursts of flash, letting

me capture different positions within the same frame. "In Without a Care (above right) and Full of Grace (below) I wanted to give the feeling of what would happen next if the image came to life, so it took just one flash at the decisive moment. “The project has taught me how important it is for the dancer to understand what you’re trying to achieve and to coordinate with them. "Timing is so important. Having an idea to share with the dancer at the start of a shoot helps to get things moving. From there, new ideas are born and everyone has a lot of fun. "This is also my first exhibition so everything to do with it has been a learning curve for me. I am so grateful to have worked with experienced photographers.” © Miranda Wood LRPS

John Sanders ARPS Biography John joined Exeter CC in 1984 and became club president in 2010. He specialises in studio work and organising a number of one-day workshops for other Exeter Camera Club members.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the relationship between the still image and movement, and I've extensively studied the life and work

Picking images for the exhibition really put our group skills to the test

for the exhibition really put our group skills to the test. We wanted to ensure the work demonstrated how each of us tackled the theme, hence the exhibition’s title, Keep Moving Still. To avoid duplication and maintain a high standard we had to jointly agree on the 50 images we would show in the exhibition.” Then there was the matter of naming the pictures, printing them to an exhibition standard and size, mount, frame and hang them. A serious task, but a successful one, says John. “It was a huge achievement. So much so that, we have agreed to continue with the Dance & Movement group,

“Of the images submitted for the exhibition, I’d like to make specific mention of the image titled A Helping Hand which features Kevin French, a severely disabled performing arts based in Plymouth as it demonstrates the inclusivity of dance. “As a photographer you can never stop learning new skills and techniques. This project has taught me that there’s great value in working with a group of motivated people who are prepared to share their knowledge and experience in the interest of the team as a whole.”

and expand the theme. The next opportunity is a studio shoot with a group of female taiko drummers!”

Have you got a story to tell? We are always happy to hear of the exploits of photographers and clubs and share them through our pages. If you have a story to tell, email the editor in the first instance: willcheung@ bright-publishing.com

© Miranda Wood LRPS

Selected gear Nikon D800 with 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5

of Eadweard Muybridge. I acquired my Associateship with the Royal Photographic Society via a panel of dance photographs, and since 2010 I’ve participated a number of shoots with dancers. “I think the words of William A. Ewing in his introduction to Lois Greenfield’s book Breaking Bounds, sums this up for me very nicely: ‘Capturing graceful forms of individuals in flight by slicing a moment into a fraction of a second, Lois’ camera reveals what the human eye cannot see’.


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Photography News Issue 45 absolutephoto.com

Interview © Di Wilkins LRPS

David Snowdon LRPS Biography Shooting since he was a teenager, David joined Exeter CC to help restart his photographic journey with the advent of digital SLRs, and had finally became president of the club. Selected gear Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and 24-105mm f/4L “When I was asked to join the movement project I was already working with several dancers in the area, but the project helped me focus.

best in the business). "In my studio, I often used a beauty dish with a grid placed above the dancer, giving just a spot of light on the dancer. Using a large piece of material also helped to give a flow to the image. “I certainly learnt many people skills along the way, and how to direct which is an art in itself. "You need to understand the dancers’ art, and they need to understand yours. Once the rapport is established the ideas started flowing for both of you.”

Within the group, we were already close friends and the ideas came pouring out. “I wanted to show the beauty of dance by either freezing the movement, showing the viewer something the naked eye wouldn’t be able to notice during a performance, or using a long exposure to give the feel of movement. “For the exhibition images I shot both in my studio and at a Nicola Selby workshop (I felt I had so much to discover about dance and movement photography, I should learn from the

© Di Wilkins LRPS

© David Snowden LRPS

© David Snowden LRPS

© David Snowden LRPS

Biography With a background in film photography, Alan bought his first DSLR, a Canon EOS 350D in 2005 followed by an EOS 7D in 2009. He’s been an enthusiastic member of Exeter Camera Club for eight years.

© Alan Bastin LRPS

Alan Bastin LRPS

Selected gear Canon EOS 5D Mark III and 24-105mm f/4

© Alan Bastin LRPS

“I had previously worked with John Snowdon on several dance shoots and was really blown away with his ability to create visual art images which showed the beauty and complexity of the dance. "So when he formed the Dance & Movement Group and invited me to be part of it, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to be involved with such an inspirational clique of photographers. “Most of my selection were taken in Dave’s studio using white or black backgrounds I had the opportunity to replace the backgrounds with textures therefore creating a more soft, dreamy look. Also I wanted to experiment with slow shutter speeds and multiple image techniques. “Throughout the project, I’ve realised how beneficial it is working in a team, improved my knowledge of studio lighting, and shared postprocessing ideas. Each of us has brought something new and different to the table and we’ve all worked so hard to make it a success.”

Di Wilkins LRPS Biography Di joined Exeter CC in 2006 as a novice. Working with experienced photographers, it soon became a passion and within a few months she was secretary of the club, going on to become vice president, and eventually president for two years. After 11 years she stepped down from the committee, wanting to spend more time pursuing this, and other projects. Selected gear Fujifilm X-T2 and 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 “Although I’ve always been interested in dance I never had the knowledge or the contacts to progress with shooting in that field. "So, being invited to join the group was an opportunity to turn an interest into a living breathing project. “Once we started looking at dance in

all its forms the ideas began to flow. John had many contacts, which gave us a way forward, and we did, and still do, lots of research into different genres of dance, as well as how different photographers approach the subject, including Lois Greenfield and Jordan Matters. “Having used flash and continuous lights, I came to realise my favourite images were those that showed more movement, often those that I took with no flash. "The slower the shutter the more I liked the feel of them. The movement has become of more interest to me than the people themselves. "However, I realise that the dancers want at least some images where they can recognise themselves! The dancers are the ones that know what they are doing and you end up working as a team and by doing that get some really superb results.”


Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com


Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com

24

Days Out

Make the most of some great photo days out in this month’s Buyers’ Guide on P32

Out and about

From safari parks and monuments to track days, air shows and museum visits, the summer months are full of photo opportunities – if you know where and how to take them. That’s why this month PN brings you a host of tips and ideas, all designed to help you make the most of your photo opportunities. From places to go, to how and what to shoot when you’re there, and even presentation ideas for your pics after the event, we’ll get you snapping for success... Words by Kingsley Singleton Pictures by Kingsley Singleton and Will Cheung

1. Plan your next trip Where are you going to go? You might have an event lined up, but even so, all successful photo days start with planning. If you’re stuck for ideas, check out your local tourist office, who’ll be happy to help. You can find a list of attractions by region at visitengland.com/destinations and similar sites exist for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. If possible, it’s a good idea to contact sites or organisers first, so that you can check any restrictions on photography, like whether you can use flash or a tripod. Try searching for photography of the location online, to get some ideas of what works and what’s achievable. Timing your visit is also important. If you want pleasing morning or evening light, you’ll need to arrive in good time so you don’t miss it. The same goes for oneoff events or programmes: research what’s happening, and get there with plenty of time to get in position and set up. Air shows and track days are a great example; get there early or you’ll have hundreds of other snappers in front of you.

© Kingsley Singleton

Take the right gear for a successful day out bag for long periods, and if you feel like a pack mule, you’ll be less likely to enjoy your photography. Match lens choice to subject. So, if you’re shooting wildlife or sports, prioritise your telephoto gear; if your subjects are architectural, you’re more likely to need the wide lenses. Of course, there are lenses that can do it all, covering focal lengths such as 18-200mm, or 28-105mm. These can be very effective, providing lots of options, and work well as a backup to a more dedicated optic such as a 70200mm f/2.8, or 50mm f/1.4. If you’re

Clockwise from far left Time your visit to get the kind of light you want. At Westonbirt Arboretum, in early October, it was important to arrive as early as possible to get the morning light through the trees, giving a great mix of contrast and colour. Checking photography access at Wightwick Manor meant I could arrived prepared, safe in the knowledge that tripod usage was okay, and I could shoot long exposures and bracket for HDR within the house. In the modern age, good planning usually starts online, whether you’re picking a location, or finding out more about the one you’ve chosen with an image search.

Left You don’t want to be cramming too many lenses into your bag or your day out could feel like a chore – but you don’t want to leave yourself short of focal lengths either. For a range of options, try lenses like 18-135mm, 24-105mm or 28-300mm zooms. Below Packing a small, light travel tripod, such as this Manfrotto Befree Travel Tripod, will expand your shooting options tenfold.

2. Pack for success The gear choices you make are as much about why you’re going somewhere as where. The first thing to ask is ‘what are you intending to shoot and how?’ If you’re aiming for a bit of everything, you can easily end up with a back-breaking bag full of kit, and a hodgepodge of images. But streamline your kit and you’ll have a more focused and comfortable day out. If possible, stick to two to three lenses, along with your camera body, but base that decision on weight, too; remember you may be carrying your

© Kingsley Singleton

Research and organisation are vital for a great photo day out

shooting at a sports or action event, one of the new breed of long telezooms is a godsend, spanning focal lengths such as 150-600mm. If you’re planning to shoot long exposures, or bracketed shots for exposure blending and HDR, a tripod is vital, but again you can save yourself some grief by using a good quality travel model; smaller and lighter than regular legs, they won’t weigh you down and are less likely to get in the way of others. Also remember a spare battery and extra memory cards. And a large umbrella.


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Days Out © Kingsley Singleton

3. Aim for animals Fight the clutter to improve wildlife shots

© Will Cheung

as close to the fence as possible and focus on the subject. You’ll see the links in the fence disappear. On close inspection, you may see some ghostly impressions of them, but it’s a small imperfection in the scheme of things.

© Will Cheung

Above With the right settings you can get good wildlife shots almost anywhere. Shooting with a 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens at 300mm and pressed against a chain link fence, the wires are rendered almost invisible. Left Lenses such as Tamron’s 150600mm G2 give incredible reach, making them excellent for wildlife shooting wherever you are.

Above At your location, find a good vantage point and frame closely on the subject, for wildlife shots with greater impact.

© Will Cheung

4. Find the details

Tell a story with a series of close-up studies

© Will Cheung

with static exhibits; take some time to shoot close-ups of the machines themselves, their grilles, badges, chrome work. Pop the bonnet or get into the cabin and you’ll find even more to shoot. You’ll find opportunities like this everywhere, and a series of themed detail shots makes a great accompaniment to your general photography. To make the most of details, it’s well worth packing a macro lens along with the rest of your kit, allowing you to focus closer than normal and fill the frame with detail. If your camera or lens has image stabilisation, switch that on for crisper pictures.

© Will Cheung

When we travel to new places, or take in new situations, our senses can be overwhelmed by all the fresh information, and we tend to concentrate on the bigger picture. As a photographer that can often come through in our pictures as a string of lazy, wide-angle compositions. If you’ve ever found yourself guilty of this, it’s time to steady your brain and look for the things in the scene that are important. Seek out the most interesting perspectives and your pictures will benefit. Something else you can concentrate on is detail. Say for instance you’re at a motor event such as a classic car rally or a track day

© Will Cheung

Whether you’re heading to a safari park, a sanctuary or something further into the wild, there are two main problems that photographers face when shooting wildlife: access and framing. That is to say, getting a good, unobstructed view of the subject and reproducing it large enough in the frame to have an impact. Vantage point is important for both. The closer you can get to the subject, the more detailed they’re likely to appear, but if you can’t move as close as you’d like, there’s no substitute for increasing the focal length. Even budget telephoto zooms reaching the likes of 300mm can give good results, but if you still find you’re coming up short, it’s well worth looking at a Tamron or Sigma 150-600mm zoom. If you’re shooting animals in captivity, you’ll find fences to be a problem. Fortunately though, you can render fences virtually invisible with the right camera settings. Start by switching to aperture-priority mode, then zoom to the lens’s longest focal length. Next, dial in the widest aperture available (the lowest f/number). On very fast lenses, this could be something around f/2.8, but on most telephoto zooms it’s likely to be f/5.6 or f/6.3. Now, get

Left Include a macro lens in your kit bag and you can indulge in some detail-based projects throughout the day. Close-up shooting is a great option to have, especially when you’re let down by the weather.

Left and above If you can train yourself to think on the small scale, you’ll find that most locations are packed with details ready for you to shoot. Here, a collection of close-ups from static cars at a track day make a pleasing series of studies.


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5. Use people power Discover different ways to deal with those pesky humans on your photo day out

© Will Cheung

When we head to events or popular locations, we often spend time trying to avoid people in an attempt to declutter pictures. But shot the right way, a crowd can make a shot, and of course the right subjects can produce great character studies, too. Tackling crowds first, the throng can often provide much needed scale in a scene, illustrating towering architecture, forming a backdrop to interesting subjects. Captured in a regular fashion, crowds can be a distraction, blocking the subject, or drawing the eye, but lengthen your exposure and they’ll soften with motion blur. A shutter speed of something between 0.5 and 4secs should be enough, depending on how fast the

crowds are moving; enough to show motion, but not too much to make people disappear entirely. You’ll need to shoot from a locked off position, though, so it’s another good reason to take a tripod along on your days out. And if you can’t get the slow shutter speed you want, add an ND filter to the lens, blocking light and lengthening the exposure. The other aspect is portraiture. It goes without saying that you need to be careful who you point your camera at these days, but if you’re attending an open day, museum, or re-enactment, you’ll find a wealth of enthusiasts ready to pose for you. First get their permission and make sure you offer them a shot or two via email, then you can go to work. Shooting in aperture-priority mode, base your aperture choice on how strongly you want to feature the background. For example, if the scene is related to the subject, or they’re interacting with it somehow, use a middle to high f/number like f/8 or f/11 to increase the depth-offield, keeping it mostly in focus. But if the background is distracting, or unrelated to the subject, use a low f/number like f/1.8, f/2.8 or f/4; this will give a shallow depth-of-field and help them stand out.

© Kingsley Singleton

Days Out

Above When presented with crowded scenes, try using the people as a benefit. Here, a slow shutter speed is used to show movement in the crowds, providing some scale without being a distration. Left Visits to museums or re-enactments are a great chance to shoot portraits full of character and impact.

6. Capture the movement

Above In this shot, a shutter speed of 1/160sec (f/13, ISO 100) allows enough movement in the propeller to stop it looking too static, though a ‘full spin’ is the most preferable look. Right Here, going slower still, to 1/100sec (f/10, ISO 200) and following the subject creates a panning effect. The slower shutter speed also creates a ‘full spin’ of the propeller. Above right For a faster moving subject where you want to freeze any movement, both from them or your camera positioning, increase the shutter speed. Here, a 1/2000sec (f/8 ISO 400) exposure keeps everything nice and sharp.

© Kingsley Singleton

© Kingsley Singleton

© Kingsley Singleton

Pick the right shutter speed for a better slice of the action

If you’re attending an event where there’s lots of movement, such as a race day or air show, you’ll need to master the art of capturing movement. It’s all down to the shutter speed that you use in adapting to the speed of the subject, and how you want to show its action. For instance, at air shows you’ll get lots of different types of aircraft; mainly split into prop-driven planes and jets. Prop-driven aircraft respond much better to slower shutter speeds, as not only do they travel more slowly, but they also look better when there is movement to be seen in the propeller. To pick up a spinning prop, try shutter speeds of around 1/160sec or 1/100sec. Below that it can be tricky to keep the subject sharp as you’re also likely to be using a long lens which exaggerates camera shake. You can go slower still but you’ll need to follow the subject as it passes you to keep it sharp. This technique, called a panning shot, is a hit-and-

miss affair, but looks great if you pull it off, as you’ll keep the subject sharp, but motion-blur the background. Depending on the subject, speeds of 1/15 to 1/100sec can work well. For fast jets, you can increase the shutter speed to 1/1000sec or above. This may mean increasing the ISO setting on dull days, but it will give you a better chance of keeping them sharp as they speed past your shooting position, and it’s better to have a slightly noisy shot than a blurred one. Whatever type of moving subject you’re shooting, try switching to the camera’s continuous AF mode and turning on any subject-tracking function you have. This will help keep the subject in focus as it moves towards or away from you. Another way to improve chances at race days or air shows is to shoot as the aircraft or car is turning; at these points they’re slower and therefore easier to follow with your camera.


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Days Out

7. Deal with any light

Left HDR software like Photomatix Pro is easy to use and quickly combines images of different brightnesses (below) to give you the best possible result. Various style are available, but stick to the more photorealistic of them to avoid unnatural looking results.

Shoot HDR to tackle those tricky lighting situations stationary by placing it on something in the scene, so that the shots are identically framed, but if you need to shoot handheld there are some ways to improve results. First, shooting in aperture-priority mode, increase the ISO so that the shutter speed is kept high, and you avoid camera shake. Second, keep your shooting position as still as possible by tucking in your elbow and squeezing off your bracketed shots very gently. When bracketing handheld, it’s a good idea to shoot in the camera’s fastest drive mode, keeping your own or any subject movement to a minimum between shots. Back home after the event, load the images into a program such as Photomatix Pro, which will align and blend them for you, balancing the light and dark of each, so you get the best of all the exposures. Right When shooting interiors, such as museums or houses, your camera is unlikely to be able to deal with the varying brightness of the scene. To deal with it, take multiple shots at different shutter speed settings, and combine them in software later.

© Kingsley Singleton

Shooting in galleries, historic buildings or museums can cause lots of problems, particularly as you can’t control the light or wait for it to improve. Shooting interiors with windows to a bright exterior can be especially tricky, as the range of tones in the image is simply too much for the camera to record in one go. This leads to areas in the image where all the detail is lost to highlight or shadow. The answer is to use your camera’s built-in HDR mode, or shoot bracketed exposures ready to blend later. In either case, the camera will record a series of images with different brightnesses, so can capture a full range of tones across the shots. The HDR or bracketing modes can often be found with the main drive modes, such as single or continuous shooting. They may also be in the shooting menu, or accessed via a dedicated button on the body. You’ll be able to choose the extent of bracketing involved, ie. how much the exposures will lighten or darken to deal with the highlights or shadows, and how many shots will be taken. When shooting this way, it’s best to lock off the camera’s position on a tripod, or keep it completely

8. Share your best day out pics If you’ve used these tips to get some great photos from your day out, don’t let them sit in a folder on your hard drive. There are loads of ways to put your best work on display, from digital to print. For instance, if you want to make a special enlargement of one

of your shots, The Print Foundry (theprintfoundry.co.uk) has some superb print products, some of which are reviewed on page 40. Check out the luminous HD Acrylic blocks, large-scale fineart prints and canvases for all the impact you need.

A photobook is another great way of collecting your memories of events or places you’ve visited, and presenting a themed array of images across its pages works beautifully. Check out Loxley Colour (loxleycolour.com), a company which produces a wide range of photobooks in a variety of sizes, finishes and cover designs. Of course the modern way is to air your images online, but rather than the slightly ramshackle approach of putting them on Facebook, why not use the opportunity to create a dedicated page on a proper website. Zenfolio sites (en.zenfolio.com), offer a brilliant package of features, including the ability to easily sort images into collections, blog about your latest work, and sell prints to visitors online. Images Don’t let your days out fade into a distant memory, or disappear into the bottom of your hard drive. Make prints, books or websites, and share your adventures with the world. Try a big enlargement from The Print Foundry, a classy website from Zenfolio, or a photobook from Loxley Colour; each is a great way to show off your best shots from the day.

© Zenfolio.com

Create a lasting impression from your photo day out


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Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com


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Technique Pro focus

What’s all the fuss about? More and more pros are shooting video as well as stills. The latest issue of Professional Photo looks into this with the first in a new series telling you all you need to know to get filming Words by Roger Payne

Why bother with video? Every now and again, something comes along that fundamentally changes the way you do your job. Before DSLRs shooting video became a thing, the biggest seismic change in our arena came when digital trampled all over film’s neatly tended borders. Video should be seen in a similar way. Your clients aren’t daft; they know that cameras can be used to make movies and will ask if you can shoot them. If you don’t, they’ll

ask someone else. But don’t look at this as a threat, see it instead as an opportunity. Adding an extra skill set to your business is a good thing – it should add pounds to your bottom line. And the good news is, you already possess many of the skills to make it happen. If you know how to compose a good still image, you know how to frame a good shot for a video. If you know how depth-of-field works, you can pick your subject out from a background in a movie, and if you know how important light is in every image you take, you can successfully light a movie scene. Yes, many of your skills are transferable – you just need to add a few more to start filming. It’s never been easier to start shooting high-quality movies. Pretty much every DSLR and CSC can capture Full HD, and some have the added quality of 4K footage (four times the size of Full HD). You do need some extra gear to start creating credible video content, but it doesn’t have to involve a new camera. That said, if you do fancy using video as an excuse to upgrade your kit, it’s a good reason. Want to know more? You can find out more, including plenty of advice on the various bits of gear available, as well as the basics of video exposure and planning in issue 133 of Professional Photo, which is out now.

© Adam Duckworth

The EOS 5D Mark II has a lot to answer for. When Canon added the ability to capture Full HD video to a full-frame DSLR it created ripples in the world of photography that have gone on to become a tidal wave. Nowadays, you can’t buy a camera without learning what video specs it offers, not to mention read about how professional photographers who have switched to shooting both stills and video are making tidy profits as a result. So where does that leave you? Well, the good news is you’re not behind the times just yet. There are plenty of pros shooting both stills and video, but there are also plenty who aren’t, so opportunities are still there for the taking. And in its next six issues Professional Photo will be giving you a comprehensive grounding in the whys, whats and hows of shooting movies to make sure you’re ready.

Images Before you shoot your first video, do your homework with Professional Photo’s new series on filming with your DSLR or CSC.

Professional Photo This article first appeared in issue 133 of Professional Photo, on sale now. It’s packed with inspiring images and tips for aspiring pros and those already making a living. absolutephoto.com

You’ll find more insight in the latest Professional Photo – the UK’s best magazine for full-time and aspiring pro photographers


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Photo days out Buyers’ guide

Get going

French Photographic Holidays

© French Photographic Holidays

Visit: Frenchphotographicholidays.com Phone: +33 0 5535 47485 Email: frenchphotographic@gmail.com

Book yourself on a dedicated photo holiday or training day and spend some quality time with your camera. From UK-based tours, activity days and precious studio time to overseas trips of a lifetime, there’s something for all Words by Kingsley Singleton

Paul’s Events

manor house itself, with lighting supplied and set up ready to go. Accommodation, breakfast and meals are included, and the weekend starts at £595 for the Standard package, based on photographers working in groups of three with access to four models over the two days. Premium and Exclusive options are available, with a greater emphasis on one-to-one shooting.

Visit: britishwildlifecentre.co.uk Phone: 01342 834658 Email: info@britishwildlifecentre.co.uk

Sunday to Thursday (£600). Trips are tailored to suit the amount of walking that delegates want to do, as is the level of tuition, and there’s post-production advice and feedback, too. LPH also provides overseas trips to locations like

Iceland, Tuscany and this year there’s a major tour of the American West, taking in a total solar eclipse over the Tetons mountain range, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Lake Powell.

the Centre hosts dedicated wildlife photography workshops. You’ll need to book onto these in advance, and they offer tuition for different skill levels, as well as days with wellknown wildlife photographers, like David Lloyd (davidlloyd.net). The BWC’s Photography Days run from February to November, during weekdays in term time when the Centre is closed to the public. Typical events run from 9.30am to 4.30pm, with late afternoon and evening opening in summer. The cost is £90 per person from November to March and £105 per person from April to October. Discounts are available for club bookings and to BWC members. © The British Wildlife Centre

© Lakeland Photographic Holidays

Visit: lakelandphotohols.com Phone: 01768 778 459 E  mail: info@ lakelandphotohols.com

Wildlife photography is a demanding hobby; it can be difficult even finding good subjects to hone your skills on. You can take the chance out of shooting with a trip to The British Wildlife Centre, in Surrey, where you can rely on great subjects close enough to fill the frame. Although you can visit and shoot as a regular punter, the BWC also operates special Photography Days, held when the Centre is closed to the public, therefore offering unbridled opportunities in natural surroundings and entry to selected enclosures. Species include foxes, otters, Scottish wildcats, red squirrels, owls, and plenty more besides. What’s more, © The British Wildlife Centre

Lakeland Photographic Holidays

Founded in 1999 and operated by landscape professional, John Gravett, Lakeland Photographic Holidays (LPH) offers a blend of residential photo courses unique to the UK. Based in Braithwaite near Keswick, LPH’s courses put you right in the middle of one of the UK’s most beautiful landscapes and the company provides full board, licensed accommodation in comfortable en-suite rooms. Landscape workshops run from the end of January through to the beginning of December, and benefit from John’s knowledge of the lakes and fells, garnered from years of living and working in the area. They run for six nights from Sunday to Saturday (£795), and there’s also a four-night break from

French Photographic Holidays (FPH) is run from a beautiful 17th century farmhouse near Brantome in the Dordogne. The company offers a week’s tuition, with up to six half-day trips to countryside and village locations, and an Apple Mac workstation for each guest to use. Run by Paul Edmunds, a pro photographer for over 20 years, workshops cover all skill levels, there’s a maximum of four photographers per workshop, and advice includes workflow, processing and printing. For portrait fans, there’s a fully-equipped studio, and a model shoot available for a €50 supplement. What’s more, FPH offers five-star facilities, and all-inclusive breakfast, lunch, and a four-course evening meal provided by culinary expert, Pam Edmunds, while ‘non participating’ guests can stay at reduced rates. Prices for a seven night stay, beginning on Saturdays, start from £950 per photographer, and £700 per guest in the low season, and £1100/£790 in the high season from 10 June to 19 August. Check out the Feedback page on their website for some glowing reviews.

The British Wildlife Centre © Paul’s Events

Paul McLachlan, a 20-year veteran of professional portrait photography and photographic tuition, offers a range of events under the banner of Paul’s Events. Book onto an event and you’ll be treated to a superb mix of glamour and fine-art nude photography at exclusive locations in the UK. Events are tailored for both beginners and experienced photographers, so you can use them as a learning exercise in lighting technique and working with models, or simply enjoy the benefits of the fantastic locations, lighting gear and beautiful subjects. Events include the Wales Weekend Glamour shoot (14-16 July and 1-3 September 2017) at Glynhir Manor in beautiful rural Carmarthenshire in the foothills of the Black Mountains, with walled gardens, parkland river and woods to shoot in, as well as rooms in the

© Paul’s Events

Visit: pauls-events.uk Phone: 07930 462906 Email: paulseventsuk@gmail.com


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Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com

Photo days out

Create Away © Create Away

Visit: Aperturetours.com Phone: +33 6 1708 5445 Email: contact@ aperturetours.com

Phone and email: via website

© Light and Land

© London Photo Walks

All pics © Aperture Tours

Camden Park Studios Visit: Camdenparkstudios.com Phone: 0207 267 9550 Email: hire@camdenparkstudios.com

© London Photo Walks

London Photo Walks does exactly what it says on the tin. Sign up and you’ll soon be shooting people and architecture while benefiting from in-depth photography tuition. Tours are open to all skill levels, so whether you’re starting out with your camera, or just looking for inspiration, you’ll walk away with some fantastic photographs. There are three main tours: ‘Highlights’ is a 4.5 hour experience taking London landmarks, like Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s, Tower Bridge and more, ending in a 45 minute night shoot; ‘City & the East’ also lasts 4.5 hours and packs in architecture and street photography, giving a real Londoner’s view of the city, via Greenwich, Canary Wharf, the East End and the City; ‘Night’ is focused on low-light opportunities, covering everything you need to know about photographing a city at night. Each tours runs twice a week and cost £39 per person.

Created in 1994, Light and Land was the brainchild of the acclaimed photographers Charlie Waite and Sue Bishop, who in the intervening years have passed their advice and enthusiasm to countless photographers all over the world – crucially at some of the planet’s most stunning locations. Light and Land offers a complete package of photography tours, from one-day workshops to residential tours in the UK and beyond. All skill levels are catered for, too. 25 years and over 2000 worldwide tours later the team of tutors now also includes well-known photographers such as Joe Cornish, Antony Spencer, Phil Malpas, Clive Minnitt and many more. A selection of upcoming tours includes UK-centred trips shooting Astrophotography in the Exmoor National Park, the beautiful, unspoilt scenery of Exmoor, the Yorkshire Dales and spectacular Snowdonia, an area of towering mountains, rugged valleys and beautiful natural lakes. As for the more exotic trips, how about shooting frozen Greenland, Bruges and Ghent in the crisp winter sunlight, or the desolate Cappadocia in Turkey. City tours are also catered for with the likes of New York and Budapest. Trips sell out fast, so check the website to see what’s available and book as soon as you can.

© Camden Park Studios

If you’re an action photographer in search of something a bit different, how about the Super Yachts Photo Tour, featuring beautiful traditional wooden yachts competing in the regatta at Saint-Tropez, with exclusive up-close access from a chase boat, at £2950 for a six-day trip. All trips include airport transfers, all transportation required during your course and hotel accommodation with breakfast.

London Photo Walks Visit: london-photo-walks.co.uk

Visit: lightandland.co.uk Phone: 01747 824727 Email: admin@lightandland.co.uk

© Create Away

Create Away is a specialist photo tour company, based in the Camargue region of France. Staffed by a passionate team of photographers and local experts, tours from Create Away provide fantastic opportunities and exclusive access to some of Europe’s most photogenic locations. Available all year round, there’s a broad spread of subjects covered, from wildlife and landscapes to action and street photography, but one of the star attractions is Camargue’s famous wild white horses. You can capture these majestic creatures, as well as black bulls and pink flamingos on the Camargue Wildlife tour, a five-day experience priced £1987. For landscape fans, there’s the equally iconic lavender fields and sunflowers of Provence on the Provence Villages, Lavender & Sunflowers tour, lasting seven days at £1999.

Aperture Tours

Light and Land

Visit: create-away.com Phone: +44 203 642 2448 Email: info@create-away.com

If you’ve ever shot in a studio, you’ll know that some make it easier than others. Space and organisation can make a shoot much smoother, letting you concentrate on the creative side and get better pictures. If you’re in the London area, Camden Park Studios offers all this and more, with excellent transport links. Built as a church in 1869, the interior’s floorspace and ceiling heights allow lots of possibilities for lighting your next portrait shoot. There’s a large and small studio with the former providing 1500 square feet

of space and impressive 19ft 6in high beams; even the small studio is still 420 square feet, with a 12ft 6in ceiling. And though you’ll enjoy shooting plain backdrops with the studio’s white-painted 4x10.5m sweep, the wooden floors and exposed brick walls add versatility. Studio hours are from Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm (but you can shoot weekends by request), and rates start at £300 for a full day in the small studio, and £300 for a half day in the large studio. Both rooms can be hired for a full day for £600.

Aperture Tours specialises in giving photographers unbridled access to superb views and new perspectives on well-known scenes. The company runs well-established trips to European hotspots like Paris, Milan, Venice, Verona, Berlin, Lisbon and London, as well as further flung destinations like Melbourne, Sydney and Singapore. Run throughout the year, trips take in local festivals, so for example, there’s an upcoming trip Paris to coincide with Bastille Day on 14 July, and the annual firework display that accompanies it. The trip will provide some amazing opportunities, especially around the Eiffel Tower. On that trip, and many of the others, you’ll be accompanied by seasoned photographers Alexander J.E. Bradley and William Lounsbury, both of whom will be teaching the techniques of shooting fireworks, and shooting from a superb vantage point where with an unobstructed view of the event. Like Aperture’s other events groups are kept small, so there’s plenty of time for questions and learning opportunities. Food and drink are included, and at €90 for the chance to shoot some amazing images, it’s a bargain.


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Camera test Specs Prices £829 body only £919 with 18-55mm IS STM lens £1199 with 18-135mm IS USM lens (tested) Sensor 24.2 megapixels CMOS Sensor format 22.3mmx14.9mm (APS-C), 6000x4000pixels ISO range 100-25,600, 100-51,200 extended Shutter range 30secs to 1/4000sec Drive modes 6fps allowing up to 27 Raws, or JPEGs to card capacity Metering system 7560-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor, (67 segments), multi, partial, spot, centre-weighted Exposure modes PASM, plus auto and scene options Exposure compensation +/-5EV in 1/3 or 1/2EV steps Monitor Tiltable touchscreen 3in, TFT 1040K dots Viewfinder Pentamirror type, approx 95% coverage, 0.82x magnification Focusing modes AI Focus, One Shot, AI Servo (AI Servo II algorithm), Color Tracking Focus points 45 AF points, Single point, Zone, Large Zone Video 1920x1080 (59.94p, 50 fps), also 29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p. H.264, up to 29min 59sec or 4GB file Connectivity Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth, USB 3.0/micro USB, mini HDMI, 3.5mm mini-jack (microphone), remote release connector (Canon RS-60E3) Storage media SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS Speed Class 1 compatible) Dimensions (wxhxd) 131x99.9x76.2mm Weight Body 540g with card and battery Contact Canon.co.uk

Canon EOS 77D Its name might be a little unfamiliar, but Canon’s latest APS-C DSLR draws inspiration from two well-known and successful models in an attempt to make it the ultimate camera for beginners and upgraders. We put the EOS 77D to the test Words and pictures by Kingsley Singleton Canon’s DSLR range is well defined, in Europe at least; the fewer numbers in a camera’s name, the higher up the family tree it sits. And anything with two or more digits is a model with an APS-C chip. Aside from the topend models, ascending numbers also mean newer cameras. Despite an extra ‘7’ slipping in, the EOS 77D sticks to that script. Specification wise, it’s placed above the new 800D, and below the yearling 80D. You can see why they had to break convention with the name, but ‘77D’ actually trips off the tongue quite well. For the context of this review it makes sense to compare the 77D to the current models around, in terms of broad specification at least. Broadly then this is the same camera as the 800D, but with a couple of upgrades found in the 80D pushing it from beginners to enthusiasts as the target audience. The main thing is the use of a rear control dial, and a top plate LCD screen for camera settings, neither of which are found on lower-end models. The rear dial and top-plate LCD certainly make it handle more like a higher end DSLR, but the weight and button layout are closer to beginner models. The 77D uses the same 24-megapixel sensor, Dual Pixel autofocus system, and 45-area AF array as the 800D and 80D. Its Digic 7 processor outperforms the 80D’s Digic 6, but its burst mode is a frame fewer at 6fps. The ISO range of 100-25,600 (expandable to 51200), exceeds the 80D’s. Like the cameras around it in the range, the

Above The EOS 77D is a mix of two cameras; it most closely resembles the entry level EOS 800D, with some elements, like the top-plate LCD, from the higher spec EOS 80D. main LCD display is a vari-angle 3in touchscreen version and there’s WiFi, NFC and Bluetooth connectivity for uploading images and camera remote control (the latter missing from the 80D). It’ll shoot video at 1080p (maximum 60fps), but not 4K, and it has a mic input (good), but no traditional output for headphones (not so good). It takes SD cards, but only one, despite the slot appearing to have space for a second. Something for the ‘78D’ perhaps... To get a proper feel for the 77D, I spent a week shooting with it in the Faroe Islands. I found it handled very well for a camera that’s only just out of the entry level arena. For starters it has a very deep and comfortable grip and a well-placed thumb rest. The layout is uncluttered around the grip, so you’re not in danger of hitting any buttons accidentally, which I find a problem on smaller bodies. That said, at 131x99.9x76.2mm (identical to the 800D) the camera is not exactly small. For me, that was a good thing, and combined with the rubberised coating on the body, it gave a solid hold. There’s no weather sealing though, so if you want a more rugged APS-C Canon, it’ll need to be the 80D. The vari-angle touchscreen is a good size, pin sharp, easy to read in

bright light, and feels robust. As it flips over, the screen can be protected and the top-plate LCD used for reading camera info alone. It also knows when it’s been flipped through 180º to the front; therein the picture flips, allowing easier ‘selfies’, if you’re that way inclined. As it’s a touchscreen, you press to focus in live view, and select and set menu functions, but I preferred to leave the touch function off and stick to button inputs, partly as I find myself accidentally interacting with the screen due to my pointy face. That said, when reviewing images, the screen supports gesture controls just like a phone, so you can swipe through pics and or use two fingers for zooming in and out. In that regard, it’s welcome. The mode dial, top left, offers the usual MASP modes and Auto/Scene modes. It has a knurled edge and can be locked to avoid accidental moves. Below it is the on/off/movie lever. I found this a little too light, and it was easy to knock, especially when putting the camera in a bag. Composition via the optical viewfinder isn’t great, due to the size of the view, and the actual image area displayed relative to what’s recorded. Like many entry level DSLRs, the

viewfinder feels quite cramped, a bit like you’re looking down a long tunnel, and though my eye adapted to that quite quickly, the 95% view is more of a problem. After shooting you’ll find slivers of stuff at the edge of the pic you didn’t expect. If you find you miss stuff out of a frame, maybe that’s a bonus, but in reality it’s not ideal, and means post-capture cropping is often necessary. Much of this comes from using a pentamirror design, rather than a traditional (and more expensive) pentaprism. In contrast the 80D has a 100% view. Button layout is straightforward, and very similar to the 800D. If you’re familiar with Canon bodies, it will be second nature, and if not, it’ll only take a couple of shoots to pick up. The addition of the AF-On button is welcome, and it sits within easy reach of the thumb, allowing you to separate the focusing from the shutter button. Next to this, the magnification controls for playback or live-view focusing double as auto exposure lock and AF point selection. Having a front (which Canon calls Main) and a rear (Quick Control) dial is a definite improvement over the single dial offered on the 800D, especially when working in manual mode. In shutter or aperture-priority,


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Camera test Performance: ISO extends to ISO 800, so you can rely on decent results without keeping to the lowest settings. Even at higher settings like 1600 and 3200 luminance noise (grain) is good, and pictures very usable. Colour noise does start to creep in above ISO 1600, but it’s not offensive unprocessed and easy to remove in a Raw conversion. From 6400 onwards, colour artifacting is much more obvious and detail really begins to suffer.

Images For these ISO test images we shot in Raw mode. The pictures are reproduced without any noise reduction to clearly show how luminance and colour noise increase as the signal is amplified. The range expands beyond 25600 to the High setting of 51200, but this should only be used in extreme need.

ISO 3200

ISO 400

ISO 6400

ISO 800

ISO 12,800

ISO 1600

ISO 25,600

© Kingsley Singleton

With modern cameras, ISO performance should improve in each generation. Unlike the days of film or early digital, you should be able to shoot at middling ISOs, like ISO 400 or 800 without much noise, meaning shutter speed can be faster. The lowest ISOs can then be reserved for lengthening the shutter or shooting in bright light. The 77D performed very well in our noise tests. At ISO 100 images are very clean, and this level

ISO 100

Original image

the Quick Control dial defaults to exposure compensation, as on other Canon models. Both or either dial can be locked using the switch of the back of the body. I found the Quick Control dial a little small and light to the touch, but it functions well enough. Click it up, down, left or right and it functions like the 800D’s four-way controller; you get control of white balance, drive mode, autofocus modes and picture styles. Unlike the 80D, there’s no button on the body to set metering mode, so this is done in the Main or Quick menu (via the Q button). It works fine, but if you change modes a lot, switching to spot or centre, diving into a menu each time could grate. Next to the top plate LCD are buttons to control ISO, AF area and to illuminate the LCD. Helpfully, the ISO button in the middle has a different feel, so your finger knows where it is, even while composing. The 77D’s menu system is well laid out and easy to navigate. Again, if you’re a Canon user, it will be second nature. Basic functions are grouped, and you can put frequently used settings into custom menu, which I did with the exposure bracketing. The AF system performed very well. The Dual Pixel AF feature makes use of a phase detection AF system on the sensor itself, rather than a separate AF chip, and worked well. It’s also meant to improve focusing in live view and when shooting video,

and certainly seemed to. Performance was snappier than I’ve seen in live view focusing before. Through the viewfinder, the system offers 45 points, all of which are the more sensitive cross-type. 27 of these, grouped towards the centre, will work at up to f/8 , so you can shoot with slower lenses, teleconverters or extension tubes without too much worry. The central point is a dual cross-type for even greater accuracy. There’s a good selection of AF areas and modes, so you won’t be caught out by any subject. The usual Canon AF modes; One Shot, AI Servo and AI Focus are on board, the latter switching between the first two, to deal with unpredictable subjects.

Having a front (which Canon calls Main) and a rear (Quick Control) dial is a definite improvement over the single dial offered on the EOS 800D

I found it easiest to work in OneShot and use the Single-point AF area, selectable across the 45 points. Therein, instead of using the D-Pad route, you can turn the dials to move the point. It takes getting used to but is ultimately faster and you don’t need to adjust your grip. For moving subjects, the 77D’s Color Tracking system, and wide area grouping performed very well, too, though there were occasional soft shots. It’s not perfect, but it does a job. In its Continuous drive mode, the 77D did well. It recorded up to 27 Raw files at 6fps before things slowed up. This improves with JPEGs, which Canon specifies as unlimited. I certainly achieved over 500 before I lost interest. Of course, it depends on the speed of card you’re writing to. The 77D’s pop up flash, activated automatically in certain modes, or using a button on the side of the pentamirror housing performed well for fill-in flash, wherein power is adjustable though +/-2 stops in 1/3 increments. It’s also used as an optical trigger for other flashes, using Canon’s E-TTL II system, and compatible EX series flashguns. This is very simple to set up, and power can be controlled manually or automatically. Finally, the Wi-Fi connectivity worked really well, being easy to set up. I used it a lot and found myself starting to miss it on non-Wi-Fi camera models.


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Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com

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Camera test Performance: exposure latitude To look at the 77D’s exposure latitude with its Raw files, I shot the below scene, which contained plenty of highlights and shadows. The original scene was captured well, showing the 77D’s excellent on-chip dynamic range (TIPA testing measures it at 11.9 stops, which is impressive for an APS-C camera). In manual mode the correct exposure was determined at 1/3sec at f/14 and ISO 100. Raws were exposed at +/-5EV to see how the files would respond when corrected using the Adobe Camera Raw interface in Photoshop, with the Exposure slider

used to match the original exposure. Underexposed Raws recovered well, bar at -5EV which showed a colour shift and banding. For the others, results were good, albeit with expected increases in noise over the correct exposure. At -4EV there was lots of grain, but -3EV was a marked improvement with a decent level of detail retained. -2EV was quite usable. Tolerance to overexposure is limited to about +2EV, wherein recovered shots look much like 0EV. Any further, and the overexposed highlights look grey. I also noticed a slight loss in highlight saturation. © Kingsley Singleton

Performance: High ISO noise reduction

ISO 6400, NR OFF

+4EV

+3EV

+2EV

+1EV

0EV

-1EV

-2EV

-3EV

-4EV

-5EV

ISO 6400, NR HIGH

ISO 6400, NR MULTISHOT

Images Although the EOS 77D meters well, mistakes can be made, and high-contrast scenes usually need special attention. For that reason it’s good to know how far you can rely on the exposure latitude of a camera’s Raw files.

Original image

The EOS 77D’s high ISO noise reduction (NR) options are split into five settings: Off, Low, Standard, High, and a Multishot NR mode wherein four exposures are taken and merged to reduce interference. NR is only applied to JPEGs, of course, but in all but the Multishot mode, you can shoot Raw+JPEG. To test performance, I shot a series of identical exposures, using the Large Fine JPEG setting, with the ISO set to 6400, and compared them at 100%. The Low setting removes mostly colour noise, leaving a fine grain structure. As you can see, it’s okay if you don’t mind a little speckling, as it has quite a natural, film grain look. The Standard mode offers a good balance; therein the noise reduction is not so heavy that it sacrifices too much detail, but grain is mostly eliminated. The High setting is pretty good, too, though textures did seem to flatten a

+5EV

Original image

bit too much for my taste. That said, it’s nowhere near as waxy as many High ISO NR results on other cameras, so if you want smoother shots, it’s fine to go down that route. Best results were from the EOS 77D’s Multishot mode, with the camera comparing four separate frames and averaging the noise out of the final result. However, even though the frames are in quick succession, shooting this way still leaves you susceptible to camera or subject movement, which may cause blur or ghosting in the image. Therefore, the Multishot mode is ideally used on static subjects and when shooting from a tripod. Images The EOS 77D’s noise reduction functions performed well across the board. The Multishot mode gives great results, but must be used in the right circumstances. ISO 6400, NR LOW

ISO 6400, NR STANDARD


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Camera test © Kingsley Singleton

Performance: Sharpness and colour In an age where many cameras are removing the traditional optical low pass filter (OLPF) in search of improved sharpness, results from the OLPF-equipped EOS 77D, were still very good. The 24.2-megapixel sensor provides lots of detail, especially when using higher quality lenses, but shots from the provided 18135mm IS USM lens were perfectly acceptable, too. The default sharpening level on JPEGs was a little harsh and some haloes were visible, but overall the effect is positive. The colours produced in default JPEGs were also good; bright, trueto-life and well saturated, especially the blue and reds.

The 24.2-megapixel sensor provides lots of detail Images All images shot with supplied EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens. Left Funningur village at 24mm at 1/200sec, f/14 and ISO 100. Below Sunset looking towards Koltur Island, at -1.0EV. Lens at 50mm at 1/160sec, f/11 and ISO 400. Below left Mykines island from Gasadular, with white-balance set to 4300K. Lens at 135mm at 1/800sec, f/11 and ISO 200. Below right Gjogv village with 85mm lens at 1/60sec, f/9 and ISO 100. Thanks to the Faroe Islands tourist board (visitfaroeislands.com) for its help in conducting this test.

© Kingsley Singleton

Verdict I started off the test with an immediate dislike of the EOS 77D’s cramped and inaccurate viewfinder, but after a week’s testing, I had to return a camera that I had really enjoyed using. Despite shooting with full frame DSLRs, I got used to the small ’finder quickly, and while the 95% coverage isn’t ideal, it didn’t cause too many problems that minor cropping couldn’t fix. The 77D handles really well, too. It’s very comfortable in the hand, and not at all heavy. In shooting, although there’s pointand-click simplicity for beginners, it has just enough features borrowed from the higher end 80D, like manual and creative features for enthusiasts to grow into. With the top-plate LCD, you don’t spend ages with the screen, either, though you still need to dip in for some modes like metering. Performance is good, too. 27 Raws at 6fps plenty for most subjects, and the AF is quick and accurate. The only time it stutters is with fast-moving subjects. Video options are limited though, with no headphone jack and only 1080p rather than full 4K. Features 22/25 There’s not much lacking here for beginners or enthusiasts

© Kingsley Singleton

© Kingsley Singleton

Performance 21/25 Good image quality, speed of shooting and decent AF Handling 22/25 Offers an excellent grip, twin dials, and plenty of manual inputs. Value for money 23/25 You get several features from the pricier 80D, for £50 over the 800D. Overall 88/100 The EOS 77D is a camera with plenty to offer both serious beginners and upgraders from older bodies. Pros Image quality, ISO performance, tilting touchscreen, and general handling Cons Small optical viewfinder and no 4K video


Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com


Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com

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First tests Accessories

First tests

We get our hands on the latest kit and share our first impressions – so you know whether or not to add it to your wish list Reviews by Will Cheung and Kingsley Singleton

Print Foundry enlargements from £92+VAT In the digital age, we don’t print as much as we used to; there are more ways to view images electronically than ever. Yet with increased camera resolutions, and easier, more affordable printing, big enlargements are more accessible than ever, and they make a fantastic impression when hung in your home or office. We decided to test some enlargement options from The Print Foundry, looking at two sizes with different finishes. The Print Foundry operates a simple ordering process. You create an account, then upload images to the website. Images can be JPEGS, TIFFs, PSDs, or PDF format, and you’re advised to send files of at least 1MB. It makes sense to upload the largest version you have, especially if you plan to make several different prints. The images we used for this test were around 6500px on the long edge. For more bespoke services you can upload direct to an FTP site, and email the company with your requirements. After uploading, it was a simple matter of choosing the style of enlargement; I first picked the HD Acrylic product, print size 102x68cm. Options for this include an aluminium subframe, recommended to help hanging, and the total cost was £175+VAT. You can add branding to the frame or box if you’re producing the enlargement commercially at £1 each, and exacting customers can get a small test print for £2 to check colour accuracy. From there you check out as with any other website. I also ordered a Pro Mounted Print at the same size on 5mm white PVC with a matte finish (at £92+VAT), and another matte Pro Mounted Print, this time at a huge 203x120cm to check how a much bigger enlargement affected the look (£215+VAT). The process took me less than 20 minutes. Post and packing cost was £19+VAT for a five to 10 working day service; reasonable considering the size and weight of the prints. After ordering I was contacted by The Print Foundry, suggesting some colour correction to one of the images, which looked great. The print arrived just outside the 10

Specs Prices 1x 102x68cm HD Acrylic print with aluminium subframe (£175+VAT) 1x 102x68cm Pro Mounted Print with wooden subframe (£92+VAT) 1x 203x120cm Pro Mounted Print with wooden subframe (£215+VAT) Ordering system FTP or internet page Turnaround time 5-10 working days 1-3 working day priority service Postage & Packing Under 40in £9 + VAT Above 40in £19 + VAT Contact theprintfoundry.co.uk

Images The huge 203x120cm Pro Mounted Print enlargement that we made was very impressive, with a floating look and a fine-art matte finish. All the products arrived well packaged, too.

days, due to an imperfection being spotted in quality control. That might sound like a negative, but it’s not; I’d rather wait a couple of days longer for a perfect product. A one to three day priority service is also available. Unpacking the products in turn, the HD Acrylic looked wonderful. It’s one of PF’s best sellers, and I could immediately see why. Using a 12-colour print process on a white backing, certified for 100+ years, the photo is sealed against damage from heat or moisture, with 5mm crystal-clear plexiglass at the front. The polishedglass look gave the image an incredibly vibrant finish which was perfect for the seaside subject matter. Sharpness was excellent too, despite the enlargement being well over 400%. The recommended frame also made hanging easier, overall it was a very well finished product; perfectly

straight edged to the eye and with a very smooth, high-spec feel. The Pro Mounted Prints were excellent, too. The 102x68cm print had great clarity and the matte finish and clean white edges give a modern, fineart look. The matte finish also proved a benefit when hanging in bright areas, where the high gloss option would have been blindingly reflective. The image we used held up well in the 203x120cm enlargement, too; of course details soften a little, but the viewing distance is greater, so it makes little difference, and the size makes an amazing impact. It’s well worth checking shots with a fine-toothed comb before supplying though, as any imperfections are magnified. Packing of all the products was first class. They were well protected with additional foam packing at the corners, and arrived in perfect condition. KS

Sharpness was excellent too, despite the enlargement being well over 400% Verdict A great experience all round. The prints we made had top-quality workmanship with clean, straight edges and image quality was excellent. Packing was first-class, turnaround times good and prices were reasonable, too. Throughout, customer service was great with lots of advice and help in ordering if required. If you want some enlargements made, The Print Foundry is a great option. Pros High-quality products, packing and affordable prices Cons None


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First tests

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.54.5 Di II VC HLD £580 A quality ultrawide lens is an essential for every camera user. It helps you to make the most of interiors and makes life easier in cramped situations. It’s more than a little handy creatively too, when you want to really zero in on dramatic foregrounds. Tamron’s 1024mm f/3.5-4.5 is designed for cropped sensor DSLRs so gives (roughly) a focal length equivalent of 16-37mm (Canon) in the 35mm full-frame format. I tried it on the Canon EOS 77D and it balances very nicely. With its modest maximum aperture, the lens is no heavyweight nor is it overly bulky. In fact, its physical attributes are more in keeping with a standard kit zoom. The cosmetic and mechanical aspects of this lens are very good, as you would expect from Tamron, with both the focus and zoom barrels feeling very smooth. If anything the focus barrel is too flush with the lens body and it’s narrow too, so using it with gloves on is a little tricky, but then the AF is so good and depth-of-field so great that manual override is rarely needed. Four leakproof seals are employed at key points within the lens’s body to give moisture-resistance and fluorine water and oil-repelling coating on the front element makes it easier to clean. A consequence of the slower maximum aperture, aside from a dimmer viewfinder image, is the need to delve into slower shutter speeds when light is less than perfect. On this optic, helps comes in the form of VC (Vibration Compensation) system, a tried and tested Tamron feature that we know works well. On the 10-24mm VC only has one setting, on or off, while the other switch on this lens is auto/manual focus. This Tamron’s VC system which claims a 4EV benefit did well in my test – assuming 1/60sec to be a safe speed, a 4EV benefit means shooting at 1/4sec gives the equivalent sharpness. The test was done on a calm day and I had the lens set to 24mm. I started with control shooting at 1/4sec with the VC system switched off. Close scrutiny showed that I had only got one half-decent shot out of five. Switching on VC and repeating the test at the same speed gave a 100% success rate – Tamron’s 4EV benefit claim is spot on. Success rate fell to three out of five at 1/2sec which I considered impressive because I normally would expect total failure hand-holding at this speed unless I was resting on a wall. Below The lens barrel has only two switches: to turn VC on and off, and to move from AF to manual focus.

The HLD in the lens title refers to the High/Low torque-modulated Drive AF motor. This technology ensures that you get precise and stable autofocusing even with lenses featuring large lens elements as this 10-24mm does. You also get the benefit of full-time manual focus override without the need to use the AF/MF switch. Autofocus proved swift and responsive. Optically this wide zoom proved capable even at its wider aperture settings. At the 10mm setting, f/3.5 delivered crisp, good looking results at the centre and even though this level of quality fell away slightly at the edges and extreme corners, overall images looked good. The edges did improve with stopping down and the lens at this focal length did best at f/8 and f/11, which is useful as these are the sort of

Specs Price £580 Format APS-C Mounts Canon, Nikon Construction 16 elements in 11 groups Special lens elements One LD (low dispersion), one XLD (extra low dispersion), one moulded glass aspherical lens, one hybrid aspherical lens Coatings e-BAND coating, Fluorine coating on front element

settings favoured by landscapers for good depth-of-field. While the 10mm setting turned in a capable performance, going to the 18mm saw a worthwhile lift in sharpness and contrast, especially at wider aperture settings and in the centre. The edges still needed some

help with stopping down and it was by f/8 when sharpness was seen to be good. f/11 was the best overall setting. At 24mm, open aperture quality was good but noticeably better at f/5.6. Again it was f/11 that proved to be the best setting for across-the-frame sharpness. WC

Filter size 77mm Aperture range f/3.5-4.5 to f/22-29 Diaphragm Seven blades Internal focus Yes Manual focus Yes, full-time override

10mm

18mm

24mm

Minimum focus 94cm Focus limiter No Maximum magnification 1:5.3 Distance scale Yes

F/3.5

F4.5

F/4.5

Depth-of-field scale No Image stabiliser Tamron VC, 4EV claimed benefit Tripod collar No Lens hood Supplied

F/5.6

F/5.6

F/5.6

Weather-sealed Moisture resistant Dimensions 84.6x83.6mm Canon, 82.1x83.6mm Nikon Weight 440g

F/8

F/11

F/8

F/11

F/8

F/11

Contact Intro2020.co.uk

Left The new Tamron 10-24mm proved a capable performer, giving sharp images across the range, plus there is an impressive Vibration Compensation (VC) mechanism with a 4EV benefit.

Verdict F/16

F/16

F/16

F/22

F/22

F/22

Overall, the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 performed well and is attractively priced at £580. Having a compact lens that lets you enjoy the creativity of wide shooting at this price is very welcome. Add a solid construction, compact form and a capable optical showing, and it’s very happy days. Pros Overall, a good performer, compact, great looks, excellent VC Cons Open aperture performance could be better


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First tests Specs

Modus 600RT Wireless Kit £269.99 Build quality is first rate and feels impressively robust, with controls having an assured feel; the LCD info panel is large and backlit

Prices Modus 600RT Wireless Kit £269.99; Modus 600RT Speedlight £219.99; Modus 600RT Pro Kit (includes two 600RT units plus Viper TTL) £429.99; Viper TTL Transmitter £69.99; spare HLX-MD1 Extreme battery £44.99 Availability Canon, Nikon and Sony Guide number (ISO100/m) 60 Zoom head coverage 20-200mm, 14mm with wide panel, auto and manual zoom, swing and tilt head Flash duration 1/300sec to 1/20,000sec Exposure modes TTL, manual Flash compensation +/-3EV in 0.3EV steps Autofocus assist beam range 0.6-10m centre Transmission range 2.4Ghz up to 100m, optical outdoors 8-10m, optical indoors 12-15m Channels 2.4Ghz digital channel matching, optical 4 Slave groups 2.4Ghz and optical M/A/B/C Colour temperature output 5600K +/-200K Multiflash Up to 100 flashes Sync modes First and rear-curtain sync, high speed flash sync up to 1/8000sec Wireless flash function Master, slave off Power source Li-ion rechargeable battery Full power flashes 500 Recycling time 1.5secs at full power Dimensions 64x76x190mm Weight 540g with battery Contact hahnel.ie

Below The Modus’s control layout is clear and setting the flashgun up is straightforward enough. Controls have a durable feel, too.

Hahnel is known for its batteries, chargers and camera accessories and now it is entering the world of speedlights with the launch of the Modus 600RT. It is available to suit Canon, Nikon or Sony systems. The Modus 600RT is a fully featured speedlight, with a specification list to rival those of top-end radio controlled guns from the big camera brands – but before we take a closer look at what’s on offer, there are two important differences worth highlighting. The first one is price. On its own, the Modus 600RT is £219.99. By comparison, the Nikon SB-5000 is £499, while the Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT is £539. Secondly, power source. Both the Canon and Nikon guns are powered by almost universally available AA batteries. The Modus 600RT is powered by a rechargeable Li-ion cell, with a claimed capacity of 500 full power flashes with a recycling time of 1.5secs. Build quality is first rate and feels impressively robust, with controls having an assured feel;

the LCD info panel is large and backlit. On handling and potential durability, the Modus 600RT rates as highly as camera brand rivals. To check battery capacity I set full power manual and fired 30 bursts at a time pushing the test button when the flash had recharged – the flash got too warm if I did more. Not only that but recharging slowed significantly to about five seconds from 30 bursts but stayed at around 1.5secs until that point. I let the flash cool down for a few minutes between each set of 30 and in this fashion I got 570 flashes before the battery gave up. That’s a highly impressive amount, especially as a flashgun is unlikely to be used in this manner. Also, in TTL mode, the battery should give a great many more shots, enough for the biggest shoots from one charge. Recycling stayed at around 1.52secs throughout the stamina test (except around the 30 burst mark as mentioned) and that was full manual. In normal shooting the power on LED stayed constantly on. Setting continuous shooting on the D810, which is 5fps, the flash allowed 10 to 12 shots at f/11 and 2m before the charge LED went off and the flash stopped firing. That gives you an idea of the fast recycling available on the Modus. I also checked zoom head coverage, TTL and high-speed sync performance and power using a Gossen flashmeter. The zoom head has various fixed focal length settings within the 24-200mm range or it can be left in auto, which then matches what the zoom is set to. Coverage is even across the frame while at 24mm the corners were a little darker when tested at a distance of 2m. At this

Below Having a rechargeable Li-ion power source results in high flash capacity and impressively fast recycling even as it approaches exhaustion.

Verdict distance, and at wider lens settings, positioning the head at its lowest tilt angle ensures even lighting across the bottom of the frame. Tested at full power at 2m and ISO 200, the flash meter gave a reading of f/11 – by comparison a Nikon SB-900 was 0.3EV less. Going down the power settings in one EV steps gave decreasing readings of 1EV, so manual power control is accurate. With a Nikon D810, I also used high speed sync in TTL mode, again at a distance of 2m. A test shot of 1/250sec at f/8 and ISO 400 was taken to establish a standard. Increasing the shutter speed to 1/500sec and then 1/1000sec showed f/8 was fine while going to 1/2000sec needed f/5.6, and then at 1/4000sec meant f/4 gave the best result. A further f/stop was needed at 1/8000sec, so f/2.8. So if you want to mix flash with action it is perfectly feasible, providing the flash and subject are within range of course. WC

If you need a powerful, fully featured speedlight, Hahnel’s Modus 600 must come into the reckoning. It has lots of power, performs as advertised and the rechargeable Li-ion battery has amazing capacity. I am struggling for a downside and if there is one, a dead battery means no flash because there is no AA back-up option. A spare Li-ion cell at £45 is a worthwhile investment if you can’t take the risk of having a useless flashgun, but that is a small price to pay for that peace of mind. And speaking of price, the Modus 600RT on its own is £220 which is a bargain even if you factor in a spare battery. Or take the plunge and go for the Pro kit at £430, which is less than just one Nikon SB-5000, and you have the back-up and creative versatility of two flashguns and a TTL control unit. Highly recommended.

Pros Great price, great capacity, fast recycling – even when the battery is nearly exhausted Cons No AA back-up, no auto aperture mode


Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com


Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com

44

First tests

B+W Nano Square ND Filters £129.95 Extreme long exposure photography is a niche technique but that’s not stopping the filter makers from introducing new products. We tested a rugged SRB 10EV ND last month and now we have two NDs from renowned German brand B+W here. In the world of still photography B+W is probably best known for its round filters with brass mounts but the new ND filters are 100mm square for its new holder and available in 2, 3, 6, and 10EV strengths. This means, of course, that they will fit Lee Filters’ 100mm system holders and that was the holder used for this review, where we tested the Nano 806MRC 6EV and the Nano 810MRC 10EV versions. The filters come in nice cases embossed with the B+W logo, with the filter sitting in a moulded plastic insert designed to retain it in position with indents, so you can easily get it out without risking planting fingerprints on the surface. Even with gloved hands getting the filter box open and the filter out is not a problem but it is fiddly. Presentation rates highly but perhaps there should have been more of a nod to practicalities because if you’re standing in the strong breeze or it’s freezing cold you might prefer a wallet rather than a smart case. In the case is a small piece of foam that can be used for cleaning the filter. I started the test checking out the filter factors using a Nikon D810. It was a case of metering the scene manually to obtain a correct exposure and then taking a shot, and then applying the filter and increasing the exposure by the intended filter factor. In both cases, the filters were about 0.3EV less dense than claimed so the 6EV filter more 5.7EV and the 10EV filter being 9.7EV. No real problem with such small variations and this was with the supplied samples and it is not uncommon for minor batch to batch variations to occur. It is worth noting that the 10EV ND does not have a foam baffle – either supplied separately or glued to the filter itself. For reference, the Lee Big Stopper has a foam baffle to prevent any reflections between the holder and the filter during very long exposures. To see if there would be any issues, I used the 10EV B+W in a Lee Filters holder and tried a range of exposures from four to eight minutes with the camera and lens in direct sun. I took shots facing towards the sun and also

Specs Prices £129.95 Type Neutral density filters Filter factors 802MRC ND0.6, 2EV, 4x 803MRC ND0.9, 3EV, 8x 806MRC ND1.8, 6EV, 64x (tested here) 810MRC ND3.0, 10EV, 1000x (tested here) Size availability 100x100x2mm – B+W has a holder available with adapters from 62mm to 82mm. These filters fit Lee Filter holders Material Fine ground special glass Front filter thread Not applicable Coatings MRC anti-reflection layer (seven per side) Final dirt- and water-repellent nano protection layer

pointing to one side, 90° to the sun. To eliminate any reflections from light entering the eyepiece, the viewfinder eyepiece was closed, the eyepiece then sealed with black gaffer tape and for good measure a black cloth draped over the camera. I didn’t experience any reflection or ghosting issues although I got some flare spots from the sun striking the filter front so beware of that if you are shooting in bright conditions. But in respect of filter and filter holder reflections, none were experienced up to eight minutes in bright sun. In terms of white-balance I used the D810 and also a Fujifilm X-T2. Starting with auto white-balance and then at fixed Kelvin values. With the 6EV filter this yielded very slightly warm pictures so no problem at all. In manual WB, shooting 5880K on the D810 gave lovely, very similar to AWB results and if slightly cooler results are preferred go 5260K. The scene with the 10EV filter was very similar and AWB is certainly useful if you want spot-on straight out of the camera results. Such consistency helps when changing from filter to filter. There was no sign of any brown colour casts which indicates infrared pollution with either filter. Optically, apart from the odd flare spot in bright sun, no problems at all and these filters will not impact on the quality of your lenses. WC

No filter, AWB

Contact Manfrotto.co.uk/bwfilters

Left This scene was shot on a Nikon D810 with a 50mm lens mounted on a Gitzo Systematic tripod. The first control shot was done on AWB without any filter, then each filter was fitted and exposed using AWB and then at preset colour temperature values. The exposure for the 106 filter was 1/15sec at f/11 and 1sec at f/11 for the 10EV filter. The Raws were processed through Lightroom with no changes made to the white-balance of the file.

Nano 806MRC, AWB

I didn’t experience any reflection or ghosting issues Verdict

Nano 810MRC, AWB

B+W has built its tall reputation on quality products and these Nano MRC ND filters certainly live up to expectations. With first rate raw materials the filters will have minimal impact on the optical qualities of your lenses and can be used with AWB which makes life easier when you’re mixing extreme long exposures with normal photography. The inevitable comparison is with Lee’s Big Stopper and that filter is on sale at £95 so the B+W filters are currently more expensive, but well worth considering with their consistent white-balance performance. Pros Give neutral results in AWB, optical quality Cons Nice cases but not very practical, price


Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com


Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com

46

First tests Specs Prices From £39.90 (standalone version), £69.90 (studio/plug in version), both currently half price (£19.95/34.95). Money back guarantee, free trial available. System requirements 1GHz processor or faster recommended, 2GB RAM minimum recommended, 1400x1050 minimum supported display size. Supported OS Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, XP, or Mac OSX 10.7 or later. Supported file types JPEG, TIFF, PNG, Raw (including Adobe [.dng], Canon [.crw .cr2], Fuji [.raf], Nikon [.nef], Olympus [.orf], Pentax [.ptx .pef], Sony [.arw .srf .sr2], Panasonic [.rw2]). Contact smartphotoeditor.com

You can also add the effects you like to a shortlist, and start building your own range of treatments using the Effects Editor Top and above right Smart Photo Editor (SPE) invites you to make selections using its semi-auto tools, then you can add effects from its extensive library. Right SPE uses the same tools to create montages from different photos. Like the other effects, there’s a wealth of backgrounds and frames to choose from.

Anthropics Smart Photo Editor from £39.90 Smart Photo Editor (SPE) is a photoediting package from Anthropics, publishers of PortraitPro and the recent LandscapePro (reviewed in PN36). Like those packages, it’s designed to make editing simpler than Photoshop, and the range of tools and effects is impressive. Like most packages, you can make tweaks to framing, adjust exposure, colour, or contrast either globally (affecting the whole image) or selectively. The latter uses a range of semi-automatic masking and layering tools. But that’s not all. SPE also introduces a community aspect, allowing you to use effects from other users; there’s everything from simple toning and lens flares, to sky transplants and creative textures. Available for Windows and OSX, I took a look at the package on a mid 2015 MacBook Pro (2.2Ghz i7, 16GB RAM, Intel Iris Pro 1536 graphics card). After downloading, SPE can be installed as a plug-in or standalone package, and after creating an account, you can choose how you wish to interact with other SPE users, either sharing content or not. These options can be changed at any time, so you can start off using the effects of others, then share your own later. Once installed, the program took just under 60MB of disk space. On top of that, a folder of resources is downloaded. This took another 70MB. It’s not much in the scheme of things, unless you’re running very low on space. That said, there didn’t seem to be a setting to govern the size of the folder downloaded, so it will presumably grow as effects are added by the community. The first screen to greet you offers tutorials on using the software and a ‘Load my image’ button. After loading, the display switches to the main editing interface. From here,

on the right side of the screen under the Effects heading you can click on Effects Gallery. Therein, a grid of previews appears, showing the different styles on offer from other users. There are a lot, but they can be grouped into general styles or by subject; for example Dramatic, Artistic, or Landscape. When I used it, the effects grid didn’t load instantaneously, but the speed wasn’t bad, first loading low-res previews then quickly increasing the quality. Hover the cursor over one of these grids and a fly-out menu appears, showing how the look can be tweaked, with individual settings, or a Master Fade option, so you can dial down the overall intensity. For effects like vignettes or lens flares you can often drag where they sit. Again, these changes rendered quickly.

You can also click the preview for a full-screen view (and turn off the fly-out grid menus if required). The choice is huge, and there were 615 pages of them at the point I used the software. There are some good looks to use, although there are some rotten ones in there, too; that’s an inevitable part of sourcing effects from users, and the cream should rise to the top, especially as the effects are rated by the community. You can also add the effects you like to a shortlist, and start building your own range of treatments using the Effects Editor. Below the Effects Gallery is the Select Area button, which allows selective editing. Click this and you’ll be prompted for the type of area you want to select, choosing from The Sky, Ground, Skin, Background and so on. You choose the one that best fits the bill, and then run the Edge Finder over the area to fill it. The tool works intelligently using colour, contrast and shade to pick out what’s required, and you can help it out by telling it whether you’re looking for a hard or soft edge. Like most selection tools it did well on high-contrast edges, like a dark horizon against the sky. But it coped less well on complex subjects like trees, with portions of sky left showing behind. There’s also a Lasso tool option, which after mousing out a shape, turns into a path with selectable points; these can be dragged to create complex shapes, but it’s by no means as intuitive as something like the Polygonal Lasso tool in Photoshop. Once a selection is made, you can click on the ‘Confirm Selection and Browse Effects’ button to start changing the look of the selected area. This returns you to the grid view of effects, themed by the broad type of area you picked at the outset. For example, after selecting a sky, there are a range of replacement skies, or other themed looks. Again, some are more fitting than others, and the quality of the selection you’ve made is also important; I usually

found some level of fine-tuning was required, so you can’t just expect it to be perfect first time around. SPE uses broadly the same method for other techniques like blurring backgrounds, or adding new ones; you click on the Composite button, make a selection using the same tools as before, refine it, then add the background. It’s good on some pics, but with detailed backgrounds, or a subject with flyaway hair I found it less successful. A good feature is Montaging. You pick New Montage from the menu, choose a Size in pixels and a base colour, then add a border and texture if desired. Next you add pictures (called Overlays), resizing or repositioning them, but what’s more interesting is the use of the Edge Finder tools to cut out and overlap the pictures. The separate images sit in layers, and you can change the blending modes of them, as in Photoshop. I found the Edge Finder tools more forgiving in these montages where photorealism is less the order of the day. The only drawbacks I found were the lack of picking an actual paper size at the outset, rather than choosing the pixel size, and that I couldn’t find a way of reordering the layers after they’d been added. KS

Verdict SPE offers some great features and the sharing of effects is welcome, so long as you’re prepared to filter out the dross. Its tools make selection-based editing quite easy, and are fine for quick edits and more free form work, but they’re not always accurate, so exacting work takes time and is ultimately easier in packages like Photoshop. A free trial is available. Pros Price, lots of effects, easy to use, montaging mode, Raw support Cons Selection tools struggle with some subjects


Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com

47

Technique PART 10

Camera School

Here we lift the lid on all things camera related, showing how to get better results from your CSC or DSLR, and providing all the info you don’t find in the manual. So, stick with us and you’ll soon be wielding your camera like an expert. This month, how your camera’s ISO setting influences the other exposure variables Words & pictures by Kingsley Singleton When you take a picture, you expose the camera’s sensor to the light in the scene, and there are three factors that decide how this light is received: aperture, shutter speed and ISO. These three factors form the exposure triangle. As we’ve already looked at shutter speed and aperture in this Camera School series, this month it’s the turn of ISO. The ISO setting is certainly the least glamorous of the three, as it’s not a creative tool as such. But controlling it is no less important. In fact, it has a huge influence on the more creative settings. What is ISO? The best way to think of ISO is that it controls the sensitivity of the camera to light. That’s not entirely accurate from a scientific point of view (which we’ll come back to later), but it’s certainly the easiest way to explain it. Essentially, the higher the ISO, the more sensitive the camera is to light, and the lower the ISO, the less sensitive it is. The ISO can be set in all of the creative shooting modes, like manual, shutterpriority, aperture-priority, and program, but not the Scene modes or full Auto. On DSLRs the ISO setting is usually accessed via a button on the body. On some cameras you’ll need to go into a menu on screen to set it.

Primary effects of ISO Like aperture and shutter speed, ISO can be divided into primary and secondary effects. The primary, like that of aperture and shutter speed, is to determine image brightness. In full manual, a longer shutter speed or a wider aperture will make a picture brighter; so will using a higher ISO setting. And while a faster shutter speed or a smaller aperture will make a picture darker, so will a lower ISO. To make this easier to understand, the ISO setting is measured in ‘stops’, just like the other exposure parameters. So, just like the shutter speed a doubling of the ISO indicates that twice the brightness of light is recorded. This means that, with ISO, you can respond to the amount of light in the scene, decreasing or increasing it, to affect the other settings and/or to get a ‘good’ exposure. How ISO affects other settings Let’s put that into practice. Say you’re shooting in aperture-priority mode (where you set the aperture and the camera decides the shutter speed), and that the ISO is set to 200; with those settings let’s imagine you’re getting a shutter speed of 1/60sec. If you then double the ISO to 400, the shutter speed will also double to 1/125, taking into account the additional ‘sensitivity’. Conversely, if you lowered that ISO setting, halving it from 200 to 100, the shutter speed would also halve, falling to 1/30sec. If you were shooting in shutter-priority mode, and altered the ISO in the same fashion, you’d see the f/number, denoting the aperture, rise or fall, by an equal measure. Why increase or decrease ISO? In the real world, altering the ISO means you can tailor the other settings to suit the light, and your intentions for the exposure. Say, for example you want to use very wide aperture in bright light. This may mean using a very fast shutter speed, possibly one that your camera doesn’t reach. The alternative is to lower the ISO setting, meaning slower speeds can be used. Or say you want to use a fast shutter speed to freeze movement, but the photo is underexposing when you do. Increase the ISO setting and you’ll get a brighter image.

Above The ISO setting on your DSLR or CSC is available in all but the full Auto or Scene modes. It can be accessed from a button on the body, and/or via the shooting menu; it can also be set automatically by the camera.

ISO range A typical ISO range on a modern DSLR can run from 100 to 25,600. Some, usually pro models extend further to ISO 50 or 64 at the low end, and ISOs of well over 100,000 at the top end. As mentioned, each doubling or halving of the number represents a ‘stop’, which matches the other exposure settings. Taking that typical range of 100-25,600, it provides nine stops of sensitivity, equating to a shutter range of 1sec to 1/250sec, so you can see the versatility that ISO changes provide.

Low ISO, slower shutter

100%

Fast and noisy ISO can be used to affect other exposure settings. Shot in aperture-priority, both at f/8, the top pic has an ISO of 100 and a shutter speed of 1/60sec; below, ISO increases to 1600 and the shutter rises to 1/1000sec. But with higher ISO settings comes digital noise. High ISO, faster shutter

100%

Digital noise Unlike shutter speed and aperture, the secondary effect of ISO doesn’t have a creative use, being more of a by-product than a choice by the photographer. This secondary effect is digital noise; essentially interference caused by increasing the sensitivity. Previously we said that the idea of making the camera more ‘sensitive’ to light wasn’t entirely accurate. That’s because, while ISO settings are analogous with traditional film speed, when you increase ISO you’re actually artificially boosting the signal, which in this case, is light. You can compare it to tuning up the volume on a radio. As you do so, you hear more ‘hiss’. In digital photography, that ‘hiss’ is digital noise, seen as speckles on the image.

The more you increase ISO, the greater the level of noise that will be seen in the image. The amount varies from camera to camera, but ultimately it means you need to be careful how much you boost the signal, or you’ll end up compromising image quality. For that reason, photographers often shoot at the lowest ISO settings possible, only increasing the speed when the shutter speed or aperture that they want is unavailable. NEXT MONTH We’ll take a closer look at digital noise, how to reduce it, and how to use your camera’s Auto ISO to your advantage.


Photography News | Issue 45 | absolutephoto.com

48

Competition

Editor’s letter

Staying out for the summer

WIN!

A Samsung memory card! Capture life’s special moments across all devices with the ultra-reliable Samsung PRO Plus 128GB microSD memory cards. Samsung’s latest cards feature recently upgraded fourproof features; they are water, temperature, X-ray and magnetic proof, so shooting in the most challenging conditions isn’t an issue. We have one massive 128GB Samsung PRO Plus microSDXC card and SD adapter to award to an eagle-eyed winner. Just complete the word search below, and you’ll find one word in the list that’s not in the grid. Email us on puzzle@photography-news.co.uk with that word in the subject box by 16 July 2017. The correct answer to PN43’s word search was Flash and the Samsung 128GB card was won by Arthur Tyler of Bath. Congratulations to him. samsung.com/uk/memorycards/

Congratulations to New City Photographic Society for winning the Camera Club of the Year contest 2016-17. Well done to Colin Mill, Dave Cromack, Mark Jones and Jamie White – the New City members who took part in our final – and thanks to all five clubs for making the final shoot-out such a great event. Five challenges, an hour on each and all to be shot on the latest Fujifilm cameras. We’ll have a full report on the final in our next issue, PN 46, out from 17 July. Also, we know there are a great many internal and external contests for photography clubs and ours is very much the new kid on the block, so a special thanks to all the clubs and their competition secretaries who supported the contest over the past six months. We are already coming up with ideas to make our Camera Club of the Year 2017-18 contest even more fun and challenging, so please keep your eyes open for details in a future issue of PN. By the time you read this I’ll be on holiday: a trip to Las Vegas. I’ve booked a photography trip with portrait specialist Damien Lovegrove in the hope that my portrait shoot skills will benefit. In fact, over the coming 18 months I have other exciting photography trips booked with well-known pros Danny Green and David Clapp. Every day is a school day, and I am always happy to learn but also I just want to be taken somewhere and experience something where I haven’t had to do anything apart from pay up and get to the airport. Also I’m not one for lying on the beach when I’m on holiday; I’d much rather be using my camera so going away with a few photographers and taking pictures suits me very nicely. Of course while in Vegas I will very likely have a go on the roulette wheel and naturally

I confidently expect to walk away having won enough to pay for all my trips – as well as collecting the few dollars I left there on my last visit. As well as holidays, the summer brings so many photo opportunities with all manner of photo events taking place, and we hope our guide in this issue will help you make the most of them with your camera. So, whether you are heading for the nearest wildlife park, stately home or air show have a think about what kit to take and what you want to shoot. Living museums are also great places to visit. They are like film sets with live actors. Blists Hill, the Black Country Museum and Beamish are three great examples. Most of the volunteers at these places are happy to pose for you, too, although I did visit one living museum which shall remain nameless where one dressed-up volunteer literally ran away from anyone (well, me!) toting a ‘proper’ camera. That was strange but certainly not the norm in such places. As I live fairly close to IWM Duxford, the airfield and museum, I’ll probably get along to an air show or two over the summer myself. The last time I went, it was sold out by the time I went to buy a ticket so I just joined the many people standing on a nearby hill – more of a slope really. It was okay, even though we were miles away from the centre of events, but of course having a place on the inside is much more involving. Wherever your days out take you, have a great time.

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