Page 1

News Tests Clubs

Exhibitions

Techniques

Interviews

Competitions

Reviews

Photography Produced by

Issue 49 16 Oct – 23 Nov

news

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

Nikon D850

Golden wonder

Full test of Nikon’s latest – is it worth all the hype? Find out on page 34

Profoto A1

Make the most of autumn. See page 18

The world’s smallest studio light, packed with great features. Check it out on page 3

GET YOUR

FREE DIGITAL EDITION every month*

*at photographynews.co.uk

WIN!

A Samsung 128GB memory card

Enter the competition on page 48

A first for Canon

The PowerShot G1 X Mark III is a landmark camera in Canon’s G-series and the first to have an APS-C sensor offering DSLR image quality with the convenience of a compact camera

Calling all camera clubs and societies Canon’s PowerShot G-series has been going since 2000 and the G1 X Mark III is the 21st model in the family and the very first to have an APS-C sensor. The sensor is a 24.2-megapixel CMOS unit working with Canon’s highly capable DIGIC 7 processor to deliver the level of image quality expected from the brand’s marketleading DSLR cameras. The sensor’s native ISO range is 100 to 25,600. The sensor is claimed to be capable of dealing with a very wide

dynamic range, while features such as Auto Light Optimiser help to handle high contrast situations for excellent straightout-of-camera JPEG files. The G1 X Mark III is a fixed lens camera and that lens happens to be a top-notch 3x zoom giving the equivalent coverage of a 24-74mm in 35mm format terms with a maximum aperture of f/2.8-5.6. Autofocusing is handled by Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF system, and in the pre-production sample we tried, focusing

is very swift and responsive too in lowlighting conditions. Highly featured compacts can verge on the bulky, but that is certainly not the case with the G1 X Mark III, which is impressively compact and small enough to comfortably tote around all day. Stocks are due in November and its guide price is £1149. canon.co.uk Read more on page 7

The Photography News Camera Club of the Year 2017-18 contest, in association with Fujifilm, is open. Five clubs will get the chance to do battle at a very special final next spring, but you have to qualify first, and it all starts here. For entry details, see page 16


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk


3

Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

Profoto’s small studio light Leading lighting brand Profoto talked to social and wedding photographers and identified what they needed from a portable light: the result is the A1. This professional flash features a round light head designed for light shaping whether used on its own or with modifiers that fit on the magnetic mount around the head. The head itself can be tilted or rotated to suit bounce flash whether shooting upright or horizontal format pictures. The A1 has a hotshoe mount, dedication available for Canon and Nikon at the moment, so can be used on- and off-camera. Its output is a very useful 76Ws so powerful enough for use on its own or in combination with other Profoto flash units, and that brings us to a key feature of the A1: it has AirTTL Remote on board. So if you own (or intend to own) a Profoto B1X or B2 set-up, the A1 means you have wireless control, normal sync and TTL flash up to 300m and 100m in HSS over those lighting units plus it provides a quality front light. Power is provided by a li-ion rechargeable battery with capacity of up to 350 full manual flash bursts. The cell recharges from flat in 80 minutes, recycling time after a full power flash is about 1.5secs. In addition to the A1, Profoto introduced the AirTTL Remote trigger for Fujifilm cameras, available from the end of the year,

joining a family of triggers for Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Sony cameras. There’s a full test on the A1 and a profile of Profoto’s CEO Anders Hedebark in this issue of PN if you want to find out more. profoto.com

News

Hands on: Profoto A1 Will Cheung was at the launch of the Profoto A1 in Stockholm and here’s his report on the event. “It is always a privilege to be at a product launch and it’s rare – I’m talking dodo rare here – to be invited to the unveiling of a lighting unit. As the presentation began, my knee-jerk reaction was that the new product was a speedlight, but as the Profoto team went through the thinking behind the product and showed work from photographers who had been trialling it, I could see why Profoto is touting the A1 as the world’s smallest studio light. “Later, we got to use the A1 in various scenarios. The first test was, could I get shooting with it without referring to a quick start guide or asking the Profoto support team? Actually, yes I could. Mounted and locked on a Nikon D810 I was up and running in a trice, although it took a few minutes longer to fully understand what the settings and the options were. “TTL or manual light control is easy as there is a sliding switch on the A1’s side. The neat thing with Profoto’s TTL mode is that once the correct exposure is determined in TTL you can slide the switch to manual and the output stays the same. “Outdoors in intermittent sunshine I started shooting in TTL mode at normal sync speeds using the control dial to finetune output. Next it was time to explore high speed sync and I

tried shots at a variety of shutter speeds including 1/8000sec for a blip of high speed sync fill-in. That seemed to work fine. The A1 coped well and recycling times were short, as promised. “Next we had some indoor scenarios lined up where we got the chance to try the A1 in bounce mode and also with the modifiers that come with the A1. The wide lens diffuser, dome diffuser and bounce card were all tried. These magnet-fit accessories worked well, stayed put on the flash head and did a great job of modifying output for impressive lighting effects, even with just one light. “In the final scenario we used the A1 with its AirTTL mode on with Profoto B2 flash heads. Again no problem and the whole system worked really well. “In the short time that we got to try the A1 it is difficult not to be impressed. It performed well, gave a lovely light quality and gave us more than an inkling of its potential, on its own and with members of the Profoto family.”

CameraWorld launches CameraWorld LIVE CameraWorld has announced the launch of CameraWorld LIVE, its brand-new photography event, which will take place at 155 Bishopsgate, Liverpool Street, London EC2M 3YD on 28 October 2017. The event will see a wide variety of photography brands and manufacturers exhibiting. Attendees will have the chance to chat to the experts, plus try out and buy gear. There’ll also be a dedicated trade-in area allowing you to use your old gear to put towards purchasing something new, and there’s a full programme of events, talks, interactive seminars, live photoshoots and much more. If you are thinking of buying something new, CameraWorld has said that it will be including some of its famous show deals. Tony Stent, director and co-founder of CameraWorld said: “We’re thrilled to introduce CameraWorld LIVE. We wanted to build on the success of our

previous events and the reputation of the CameraWorld stores, and we’re confident that CameraWorld LIVE will deliver a fantastic experience for visitors and for the exhibitors involved. The feedback from camera brands and distributors has been exceptionally positive; there’s a real appetite for this type of event in London and we can’t wait for 28 October.” Tickets to the show are free, and you can sign up on the CameraWorld website to receive updates about speakers and exhibitors. cameraworldlive.co.uk


4

Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

News

Hands on: Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III was announced last month and with the camera now available in the shops, PN editor Will Cheung got the opportunity to take some pictures with it on a river Thames boat trip with Olympus. “I used the Mark III with the kit 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, the original 14-150mm f/4-5, and the 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO, shooting both Raw and large JPEGs. The camera was left mostly in aperture-priority, multi-zone metering although I did venture into other modes and art filters, too. “In an hour I shot 300odd pictures in changing light. I thought the camera performed really well, giving consistent exposures and even potentially tricky situations were dealt with skilfully. I expected closeup head shots of a singer

performing inside the boat against a daylit background to be drastically underexposed, but I was surprised most of the shots looked okay and the shadows didn’t need correcting. “Autofocusing seemed efficient, too. I tried the camera’s 121 AF points system and also tested the optional nine-zone group AF target

and single zone. Being able to select the AF point on the touchscreen using my thumb while the camera was up to my eye was very useful. “Equally useful is the camera’s very efficient image stabiliser, which works in five dimensions and has a claimed 4EV benefit. Its effect can be very nicely demonstrated by shooting some handheld video footage – you can see the system adjusting to any camera movement quickly and giving an image that seems to float on the monitor/EVF. “In the brief time I had with the E-M10 Mark III I found it a capable camera with great potential for photographers

of all levels. It proved really user friendly, making it suitable for those with less experience, yet it has enough headroom to keep those who want to take their photography to the next level, too. While it’s true that it is not much of an advance compared to the Mark II, the few changes available seem to me to be very worthwhile. For example, the AP setting on the mode dial: this is the camera’s Advanced Photography setting and makes accessing some of the camera’s more exciting features easy and quicker than digging around in the menus.” The Mark III is priced at £629 body only or £699 with the 14-42mm WZ f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens. We’ll be putting it to the full test in the next issue of Photography News, due out from 27 November. olympus.co.uk

Hands on:

Fujifilm X-E3 Out and about on the streets of New York, PN’s Roger Payne got the chance to use the new Fujifilm X-E3, announced last month and in the shops soon. This is his report... “The X-E3 represents familiar territory for the X-E series, taking technologies already proven eleswhere in the range and wrapping them up in a compact, lightweight body. Perfect for a day's street photography in New York! “First impressions of the X-E3 are positive, although I did initially struggle with the absence of the quadrant of buttons on the rear of the camera that have graced every X-series interchangeable lens model to date. It’s been removed to reduce size, of course, but you soon realise that the functionality has simply

been moved elsewhere, most notably to the touchscreen LCD. “Design aside, the touchscreen LCD is one of the most significant changes on the X-E3 and I think it’s a real boon. Shooting on the street, I was able to hold the camera at waist level and tap the screen to both focus and shoot in one, getting some great results in the process. An articulated LCD would make this

Samyang’s fourth AF lens With a fast maximum aperture and useful focal length, the Samyang AF 35mm f/1.4 FE is sure to appeal to Sony E-mount owners, and at £599 it is very attractively priced, too. Lens construction includes 11 elements in nine groups and features two aspherical lenses, and two high-refractive lenses to deliver high resolution images free of optical aberrations – plus there’s Samyang’s Ultra Multi Coating to combat flare and ghosting. This Samyang lens will be available from November onwards. Intro2020.co.uk

Fujifilm updates lens roadmap

method even easier, but the X-E3’s is fixed, presumably for size reasons. “While I shot in Raw and JPEG, at the time of writing I haven’t processed the Raws, but the JPEGs are trademark Fujifilm straight out of camera. With minimal postproduction tweaks I was producing vibrant images full of colour and detail, no surprise given what we know about the capabilities of the X-Trans CMOS III sensor. “Lens-wise, I shot for much of the time with the new XF80mm but in the shops, the X-E3 is being packed with the XF23mm f/2 and the XF18-55mm f/2.8-4, and those options make this a fine camera/lens combination.” fujifilm.eu

Tamron unveils new ultra-telephoto zoom With a weight of 1115g, the Tamron 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD is the lightest lens in its class of 100400mm f/4.5-6.3 lenses for 35mm full-frame DSLR cameras. This ultra-telephoto zoom lens from Tamron has an advanced optical design which includes three low dispersion lens elements and eBAND coating to defeat aberration and anti-reflection. Designed for use with fullframe DSLR cameras, the Tamron 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD is compatible with

The E-M10 Mark III handled the day's tricky light situations extremely well, giving consistent exposures across a number of images, taken both indoors and outside

Tamron's 1.4x teleconverter, and the Tamron TAP-in Console. The lens has a minimum focus distance of 1.5m and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3.6. It also boasts a high-speed DUAL Micro-Processing Unit control system which helps deliver fast and precise autofocus, and a powerful VC (vibration compensation) feature to ensure sharp shots at slower shutter speeds. The price and availability are yet to be confirmed.

Fujifilm’s X-series evergrowing lens collection will gain two high spec lenses in the near future. The XF8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR gives a 12-24mm equivalent coverage in the 35mm format, making it the widest lens in Fujifilm’s lens family. Together with the XF16-55mm f/2.8 and XF50140mm f/2.8, that means the wide, standard and telezoom ranges will be covered by high-spec f/2.8 optics. The second lens is the XF200mm f/2 R LM OIS WR. This optic gives a 305mm in the 35mm format and its superfast f/2 aperture makes it ideal for sports and wildlife photography. It will be compatible with Fujifilm 1.4x and 2x teleconverters, too. Two new optics will also arrive in Fujifilm’s mediumformat GFX system in the near future. The GF250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR gives the 35mm format equivalent of 198mm, so this is a telephoto lens ideal for portraits, scenics and action. This lens’s potential can be furthered with the addition of the second new product, the GF1.4X WR teleconverter. Fit this onto the 250mm f/4 and you get the 35mm equivalent of a 277mm f/5.6 telephoto for even greater pulling power. fujifilm.eu

tamron.eu/uk


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk


7

Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

News

Get Online Online Picture Proof is a service that helps photographers maximize their business and client base through a simple and easyto-use website and online proofing solution. The company offers an HTML5 mobile-optimised photography website with stunning galleries and slideshows, easy online proofing and photo mobile apps for customers. Free SEO and marketing tools are on offer too.

News in brief

A ‘one plan, one price’ structure keeps things simple and there are no hidden costs or any commission on sales made through your website. For more details call 0845 838 7649 or visit the website. Or try the 30 days fullyfunctional no-obligation free trial, so you can see how the system can work for you. Onlinepictureproof.com

A first for Canon The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III is a premium zoom lens compact and first in the G-series to boast an APS-C sensor to give DSLR image quality. Having a larger sensor, though, has not compromised its size. In fact, the G1 X Mark II is significantly smaller and lighter than its predecessor. The sensor works with Canon’s renowned DIGIC 7 image processor giving a native ISO range of 100 up to 25,600 with a good high ISO noise performance. The compact body offers a 2.36 million dot EVF as well as a three-inch vari-angle monitor. The monitor is also touch sensitive for functions like menu selection, image review and for the camera’s Drag Autofocus feature – this lets you select focus point while the camera is up to the eye. Speaking of autofocusing the G1 X Mark III uses Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS system, a feature used in the brand’s DSLRs, and gives fast accurate focusing in low light, low contrast situations. The camera is a fixed lens model featuring a 3x zoom giving the 35mm equivalent of 24-72mm, with a maximum aperture of f/2.8-5.6. This lens is designed specifically for this

Smaller and lighter than its predecessor, the PowerShot G1 X Mark lII boasts Canon's renowned DIGIC 7 image processor, as well as weather sealing, a touch sensitive monitor and full HD video capture. camera and features a nine-bladed iris for smooth bokeh effects. To assist sharp shooting when light levels get low, the G1 X Mark III has an image stabilisation system with a 4EV benefit.

Great support Creativity Backgrounds is now distributing Muraro professional lighting supports. Made in Italy, Muraro stands are manufactured without compromise so will withstand hard, regular use which is why they all come with a five-year guarantee. A range of stands is on offer, from the Ranker at £110.40 which extends up to 2.8m in height and the Master Stand priced at £115.20 for use up to 3.6m, to stands designed for boom use. The Super Height Boom stand costs £366 and this is designed to get a light stable over the subject. The full range of Muraro products can be seen on the website.

For those photographers keen to shoot in inclement conditions, the camera is sealed against dust and moisture. Full HD video capture, a new panorama mode and an eco shooting

MindShift The BackLight 26L photo daypack offers fast access, great protection and, with 26 litres available, very good capacity – this includes nine litres of daypack capacity for your personal stuff including a 10in tablet and 15in laptop. It is now available in Woodland Green. The clever design of this backpack includes a back panel opening which allows convenient gear access without taking the pack off, so you can work without getting the bar and straps covered in mud. The carrying experience is enhanced with a padded, quick-fit waist strap and adjustable neck strap. There is also a seam-sealed raincover which folds flat for use as a ground cover. Guide price is £240.

Photography-backgrounds.co.uk Snapperstuff.com

mode for extended battery life are some of the camera’s other notable features. Due in the shops in November, the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III has a guide price of £1149.

Manfrotto goodies Manfrotto’s new bags are designed to meet the needs of enthusiast photographers. The range consists of a Sling/Waist pack, Street Pouch, Street Strap, NX CSC backpack and NX CSC Messenger bag. The Sling/Waist pack, priced at £59.95, is designed to hold a CSC or entry-level DSLR with a standard zoom lens attached, as well as two lenses. The £19.95 Street Pouch can also hold a CSC with two lenses, or a DSLR with a standard zoom and is designed to be placed inside another bag allowing you to keep your camera gear safe and hidden. For CSC users the Street Strap priced at £9.95 features a lens cap or extra battery holder. For large quantities of gear the NX CSC backpack can carry a CSC body and up to four lenses, or a DSLR with three lenses. There’s also a dedicated space for a 9.7in tablet, as well as space for additional smaller accessories. Quick access to your gear is through the back of the bag. Remove an insert and the bag becomes a day bag. Finally, the NX CSC Messenger bag is priced at £39.95 and can hold a CSC with three lenses. manfrotto.co.uk X-Rite deal Buy a selected X-Rite product before 31 December 2017 and you will get a free download of Serif Affinity Photo for Mac or Windows worth £48.99. The products in the offer are the ColorMunki Display, ColorChecker Passport Photo and the ColorMunki Photographer kit. xritephoto.com Rear filters for Sigma 14mm Sigma has announced a chargeable service for installing a Rear Filter Holder FHR-11 on the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art lens for Canon, enabling you to use filter gels with the lens. The holder has a suggested price of £39.99, or you can buy the holder and the installation service for £59.99. sigma-imaging-uk.com


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk


9

Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

News

end of October priced at £109.99. A new range of Polaroid Originals instant film has also been announced with colour, black & white and special editions. The film is available to purchase now with prices starting at £14.99. uk.polaroidoriginals.com

sponsorship and of course thanks to all those who entered. lumejet.com

New books Wild India by Axel Gomille The author is an award-winning photographer and zoologist and his latest book features over 150 wildlife pictures taken over a decade throughout the Indian subcontinent. Published by Papadakis, the book costs £30 and it is available this month. nhbs.com

1

1

From the Riser: A drummer’s perspective II by David Phillips This is a photographic celebration of today’s greatest drummers and features 270 pictures of drummers of all genres. This book is only available to buy from the author’s website for £29.99. music-images.co.uk

2

2

You Are Here: a travel photobook by Rough Guides This paperback priced at £12.99 is a collection of over 300 inspiring travel images selected from this year’s Rough Guides Photography contest. The cover features the winning image, taken by Solly Levi, shot in Phuket, Thailand. roughguides.com

3

3

Photoshop for Landscape Photographers by John Gravett This paperback is priced at £16.99 and packed full of step-by-step advice on making the best of your landscape shots. Using layers, contrast control, making great black & whites and using plug-ins are among the subjects covered by the author in 192 pages and featuring 300 pictures. brownsbfs.co.uk

4

4

The Recent Past by James Ravilious James took nearly 80,000 pictures of rural Devon when he was hired by the Bedford Centre to archive the people and landscape of the area. His pictures were taken during the 1970s and 1980s and all taken within a ten mile radius of his home. This fascinating book is due for publication on 2 November and costs £30. bitterlemonpress.com

5

5

News in brief Manfrotto tripods Manfrotto has added two tripods to its Element collection of tripods. With legs made from carbon fibre, these new pods are perfect for the travel photographers. The Small version sells for £174.95, will take a payload of 4kg, extends to a maximum of 143cm and weighs just 1.05kg. Priced at £199.95 the Big model folds down to 41.5cm but gives a maximum working height of 1.64m and will take a 8kg load. Both models have twist-lock legs, three leg-angle positions and come supplied complete with and Arca-compatible aluminium ball-head. The Big version has a detachable leg that can be attached to the centre column to work as a monopod. Optional spiked feet are available for the Big model too. manfrotto.co.uk Nikon cashback offer Get up to £90 cashback with Nikon’s promotion on the Nikon D5600 and selected NIKKOR lenses, such as the AF-S DX 17-35mm f/2.8D IF-ED and AF-S 58mm f/1.4G. The promotion runs from 11 October 2017 until 9 January 2018 and all claims must be received by 9 February 2018 (inclusive) to qualify. Tim Carter, head of product management at Nikon UK says: “This is the ideal promotion for photography enthusiasts looking to take the next step with their photography and invest in some exceptional Nikon glass.” nikon.co.uk/promotions

Get Professional Photo magazine

£1

To The Customer: Simply cut out this coupon and hand it to your WHSmith High Street retailer to claim your copy of Professional Photo for £3.75 instead of the usual £4.75. This coupon can be used as part payment for issue 138 or 139 of Professional Photo on sale between 12 October 2017 and 6 December 2017. Only one coupon can be used against each item purchased. No cash alternative is available. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. To the WHSmith Retailer: Please accept this voucher as part payment of one copy of Professional Photo on sale between 12 October 2017 and 6 December 2017. This voucher is worth £1 plus a 2p handling allowance. The offer is valid to the consumer up to 6 December 2017 and must be returned to your clearing house to arrive no later than 6 December 2017 (issue 138), 3 January 2018 (issue 139). As your shop belongs to a multiple group, please handle in the usual way. This voucher is not redeemable against any other item and is only valid in the UK.

Offer subject to availability and while stocks last

DO NOT MINT RETURN *This offer is subject to availability and is redeemable at WHSmith High Street Stores only. Excludes Outlet Stores, WHSmith Online, ‘Books by WHSmith’ at Selfridges, Harrods, Arnotts and Fenwicks stores, WHSmith ‘Local’ and all Travel Stores including those at airports, railways stations, motorway service stations, garden centres, hospitals and workplaces.

SAVE

Professional Photo magazine can save you money – and helps you earn much, much more. Whether you are an aspiring or working pro photographer this is the magazine aimed at you. Full of advice, techniques, reviews and opinion from industry experts, buying Professional Photo every issue should be at the top of your to-do list if you take your business seriously. In issue 138, on sale now, there is an in-depth look at the D850, Nikon’s highest megapixel camera; tips on using keywords to speed up your workflow; and how you can improve the saleability of your portraits just by chatting to your subject. Each issue of Professional Photo costs £4.75, so less than a good bottle of wine, and lasts much longer too. Buy your copy from WHSmith using the voucher here and you save £1 off the usual cover price.

Cut out and take to your local WHSmith High Street store.

The Impossible Project is now Polaroid Originals and there’s a new Polaroid camera too, the OneStep 2. The OneStep 2 analogue instant camera is based on its predecessor, the OneStep, and features a built-in flash, USB charging and a self-timer. The Polaroid OneStep 2 will be available in white or graphite from the

In our latest LumeJet-sponsored Photography contest we asked for your best shots on the theme of city life. Thanks to everyone who entered and well done to Rolf Kraehenbuehl whose excellent image was judged to be this month’s winner. Sadly, this is the last in our series of photo challenges in conjunction with professional printing company LumeJet, so we’d like to say thank you for its generous

© Rolf Kraehenbueh

The Impossible LumeJet winner Project becomes Polaroid Originals


10

Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

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

Clubs

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

© Vanda Ralevska

On 12 November, Newton Abbot Photographic Club in association with the WCPF is holding a special day of photography at the Courtenay Centre, Newton Abbot. The day includes An Audience with Terry Donnelly FRPS where he will be talking about his recent work. There is also a talk by Chris Marsham entitled Ladakh in Print. Following his recent trip to this area Chris will show his prints and explain and advise. Fotospeed will be attending the event with a live demonstration How to get the best from your printer and papers will be available for purchase at special event discounts.

from

© Tony Mead

Bdpc.co.uk

available

newtonabbot-photoclub.org.uk

Potters Bar PS’s first meet of the season was an internal competition for projected image. 55 pictures were submitted in two classes, general and advanced, and nine got the maximum 20 out of 20 top score. The judge was professional photographer Alison Jenkins. The Society meets at Wyllyotts Centre, Darkes Lane, Potters Bar on Monday evenings from 7.30pm.

Enfield CC’s annual show Forest Enfield CC’s annual exhibition is on until 4 November at the gallery of the Dugdale Centre, 39 London Road, Enfield, Middlesex EN2 6DS. The show features mounted prints by the entire club membership, ranging from comparative enthusiastic beginners to highly technically advanced workers. All visitors are welcome, admission is free and there’s the opportunity to vote for your favourite photographs. General club and other literature is available.

© Tony Mead

Brentwood Photographic Club continues its Friday meetings after the summer break and visitors are welcome to have three free trial visits at Friends’ Meeting House, Shenfield CM15 8NF, from 8pm.

Tickets cost £5 each naphotoclub@gmail.com.

Potters Bar PS

enfieldcameraclub.co.uk © Bob Train

Brentwood PC

We need words and pictures by 6 November 2017 for the next issue of Photography News, which will be available from 27 November 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

© Terry Donnelly FRPS

© Terry Donnelly FRPS

rps.org/special-interest-groups/ digital-imaging/digital-imagingthames-valley

Deadline for the next issue: 6 November 2017

Newton Abbot’s special day

RPS DIG group unveils 2018 programme The Thames Valley RPS Digital Imaging Group meets on eight Sundays during the year and arranges for top class speakers to provide lectures. So, starting off on 21 January 2018 is Tony Worobiec who will be speaking about photography in all weathers and how to deal with night and low-light situations. On 18 February Vanda Ralevska will be sharing her experiences of creating compelling images, while in March Tim Pile will be doing a talk entitled Have I Got Nudes for You. The Group meets at Woosehill Community Hall, Emmview Close, Woosehill, Wokingham, Berkshire. RG41 3DA. More information about the centre, the lecturers and ticketing details can be found on the website.

How to submit

Gloucester’s CC annual show Gloucester CC’s Annual Exhibition takes place 21-28 October at St. John’s Church, Northgate Street, Gloucester. It’s open daily from 10am till 4pm (except 22 October). Entrance to the exhibition is free and members will be in attendance to talk about the images and hopefully encourage visitors to join the Club. Visitors can also vote for their favourite image.

St. John’s Church is situated right in the centre of Gloucester and visitors could combine it with the opportunity to photograph Gloucester Cathedral as well as the famous old docks. The Club meets every Tuesday, 7.30pm at Elmscroft Community Centre, Gloucester. gloucestercameraclub.co.uk

of Dean speaker event The Forest of Dean Camera Club are proud to be hosting An Evening with Thomas Heaton who is a travel and landscape photographer. His YouTube channel has over 100,000 followers. This promises to be a unmissable and popular event The evening will be held at Dene Magna School, Mitcheldean, on 4 December, 7.30pm start. Tickets are available for non-members at £8 each by contacting the club on contact@ forestofdeancameraclub.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

13

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

© Margaret Mitchell

© Roger Skillin

© Margaret Mitchell

St Neots on show

Clubs

© Margaret Mitchell

St Neots Camera Club’s annual exhibition is being held on 21 October in the Priory Centre, St. Neots, Cambs PE19 2BH. It includes images taken recently by members participating in a ten-day photoshoot with each member taking two images over a set period of ten days, on any subject whether humorous or serious in colour or mono. The response was large and interesting.

RPS 160 winners The winners of the 160th RPS International Photography Exhibition have been announced. This year was the first time that all four medals – Gold, Under 30s Gold, Silver and Bronze – have been awarded to photographers who entered work from a series. Margaret Mitchell won the Gold Award for her set of portrait images entitled In This Place. IPE 160 selector, curator Zelda Cheatle, commented: “Margaret Mitchell’s images are made from the heart. They speak of this modern world we live in, there is a sincerity and depth of emotion to this work that resonates long beyond the initial view.” All the selected exhibition images will be touring the UK next year and details will be published on the website below.

stneots-camera-club.org.uk rps.org/ipe160

The exhibition takes place at the Arts Centre, Kibes Lane, Ware, Herts SG12 7ED over the weekend of 18 and 19 November. Over 100 prints and 200 projected digital images will be in display

© Joe Cornish

Joe Cornish at the RPS The RPS North Wales region has organized an afternoon event with renowned landscape photographer Joe Cornish. Taking place on 25 November, the event lasts two hours starting at 2pm and the venue is The Catrin Finch Centre, Wrexham LL1 2AW. The talk is open to all. Tickets cost £15 each for non RPS members, £12 for RPS members and £10 for region members. To order tickets go to the website. rps.org/events/2017/ november/25/an-afternoon-inthe-company-of-joe-cornish

35 Postal Club hits 70 35 Postal Club has changed quite a bit during the last few years, incorporating digital as well as print circles. The basic concept remains, which provides for members to submit one piece of work each month for other members in their

circle to comment on. If you wish to get a better idea of how the club operates go to the club’s website where some members’ work is on display. photo-folios.co.uk

Knaresborough CC Knaresborough CC kicks off its 51st year with a programme of speakers and judges as well as workshops for members of all levels. Club chair Richard Bryant said the committee was sticking with its tried-and-tested formula of a mix that would appeal to novices and those with higher skills levels. He added: “Although our standards are high, we’re very informal in our approach and our members like it that way because they can develop their skills without any pressure.” Meetings take place at the Chain Lane Community Hub, HG5 0AS. knaresboroughcameraclub. blogspot.com

Kingston CC’s annual show Kingston CC’s annual exhibition takes place 10 to 25 November at the Kingston Art Gallery, Wheatfield Way, Kingston KT1 2PS. Subject matter ranges from nature, wildlife, portraiture, street photography, monochrome, as well as imaginative, creative images. Special themes for

this year include photographs depicting weather and textures. Visitors are invited to vote for their favourite picture, and are welcome to chat to club members who steward the exhibition. Admission is free. kingstoncameraclub.co.uk

© Tim Bramall, WWT

wareps.foliopic.com

© Geoff France

Ware & District PS’s annual exhibition

Get the bird at WWT Martin Mere There’s the chance to meet wildlife and photography experts at the North West Bird Watching Festival which takes place on 18 and 19 November at WWT Martin Mere, Lancashire. TV presenter Nick Baker, wildlife cameraman Doug Allen and Sacha Dench of Flight of the Swans are big names there for the weekend.

You’ll get the opportunity to enjoy some great wildlife photography too, with hundreds of Whooper swans feeding alongside teal, wigeon and pink-footed geese. For travel information, workshop bookings and an exhibitor’s list please see the website. wwt.org.uk/nwbf


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

15

Interview Profile

Anders Hedebark The Profoto A1 is a revolutionary product, the world’s smallest studio light. The day after the launch, we grabbed the company’s CEO to ask him all about it and Profoto

Biography Years in the photo industry? 23 years. I started at Photokina 1994. Current location? Profoto’s offices, Stockholm, Sweden. Last picture taken? I am not a photographer. I do not take many images myself. I am not an image creator by any means. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to a businessman in a small company like Profoto, working in product development and sales. I am a trained electrical engineer and have an MBA in business administration so I love numbers and sales. Dogs or cats? Dogs. Toast or cereal? I don't know. Email or phone call? Phone. Email is simple, but if I want to really communicate, I would choose the phone because I can hear the person react when I speak to them.

How did you get started in photography, and how did you get into Profoto? I used to work for Hasselblad before joining Profoto in 1997. I was hired as CEO by Conny Dufgran, one of the company’s founders. Profoto wanted to do more and they thought I had the right background because of my engineering and marketing skills. Did you have a vision for Profoto back then? Yes, we do two things: product development and selling our products on an international level. We really try to satisfy the needs of the customer. We get into the detail and determine exactly what we are going to do – and what we are not going to do. It is a matter of prioritisation. This is the most important part of implementing our strategy, of how to preach the message of light shaping and that photography is light shaping. That is a very difficult message to sell isn’t it? Do you think photographers using different brands get the light shaping message? I think many photographers buying competitor brands understand light shaping. I am impressed by all photographers trying to create their vision, I think that is fantastic. I am not a photographer, I am just trying to be their humble servant in the background to support all photographers. Actually, we prefer to say image creators now because we think photography is changing so rapidly at this time – photography five years from now will not be the same thing as what it is today. Communication will be purely over the internet, printed matter will be second hand, ie. it will be what happened on the web, but there is still the need to create great still images because people don't have time. You need to catch their attention in 0.1sec. If you can’t capture their attention in a very short period of time you can’t communicate your image. This is so important for us in a changing market. It is how can we support photographers to take images that can communicate even more in accordance with their own vision. This is why the message of light shaping is not so difficult. We only want to sell our products and ideas to people who want to shape with

Images The A1 is the latest addition to Profoto's popular range of studio lighting solutions for photographers. light. If you are only interested in the correct exposure you shouldn’t buy Profoto; I wouldn’t recommend our products, you should buy something else. We are relentless in our drive to only support those who want to create fantastic images with light shaping and that is why in our mission statement we say we want to create knowledge and tools to support all image creators to turn their vision into reality. That is a crucial factor to us, people who want to create with light, to sculpt with light, whatever term you want to use. We say shape with light.

develop and change every day and we know some of our competitor brands have disappeared over time. I feel very sad about that, but I don't want to fall into that trap and the only way to avoid that is to invest in product development and to be able to support the needs of the changing market. All photographers need to create their own value by creating their own style and we hope they use light shaping to do that. And so do we. Our style is that we support the light shaping journey of all image creators around the world. That’s what we do.

Light shaping is traditionally with studio-based lights and now with battery-powered studio-sized lights like the Profoto B1. What did you find out when you started thinking about the A1 back in 2013 and asked photographers in Las Vegas about what they needed? They didn’t say we should develop the A1. They told us their needs. They said they wanted to a create a beautiful image of the bride and groom dancing in a perfectly lit large room with all their guests. Everything needed to be perfectly lit but with a good kick in the bride’s eyes and face to show how very beautiful she is. That is what they said to us. We thought about how could we create that, and what we came up with was the A1.

As we speak, the A1 has now been out one day (the product was unveiled on 18 September). How do you feel about reaction of your guests here (over 100 journalists, leading photographers and influencers from 22 countries) and from your website? Yesterday was so fantastic. I asked many of our guests during the day using the A1 what had they learnt, or if indeed they learned anything. We were preaching light shaping and some people were converted to the light shaping way of thinking. Some were only natural light shooters yesterday morning and by the night they were light shapers. Light shaping gives a natural and very beautiful light in their images. I was thrilled by the reaction. On the web, there was so much reaction – news of the A1 was everywhere in our industry so we are very happy. We have produced a lot of video content that shows the benefit of the product (go to profoto.com as well as YouTube to see it).

Did you think the A1 was a gamble? Yes and no. The reason is my philosophy, which is that if we don't change we will die. We need to

Once a quarter we go through what we are going to develop and what can wait

I saw some negative comments about the A1’s price (£849). I didn’t see the comments as negative. Of course, one should

debate the price but I can guarantee that if you work and shape with light the A1 is value for money. We had the D2 and PRO-10 generator from Profoto last year and now the A1; so what next for the company? Basically, we have nearly tripled our sales in just a couple of years so we are growing. We are investing 10% of our sales into product development so when we sell more A1s we need to spend that money on more new developments. We have a long list. Once a quarter we go through what we are going to develop and what can wait to start until the next quarter. We have many more ideas than funds but we are investing 10% of our sales and that is quite huge actually. We are growing and we measure our success on new clients using light shaping to create beautiful images. The company is based on 125 fantastic employees (it was just ten people 20 years ago) who are here for two reasons. One, they love Profoto but two, they are here because they want to develop as professionals. They want to make a career, to make more money and I want to build Profoto as a company that I would want to work for myself, and it is very important for me personally that we change, develop and it is a company where I can build my knowledge. I interview everyone we hire and I say to all of them that you need to change, if you don't want to change do something else and don't work for us. We offer the possibility for you to change but we also demand that you develop so it's important to have an internal drive.

Contacts Profoto.com


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

16

Camera Club of the Year

in association with

Camera Club of the Year 2017-18 Calling all camera clubs and photographic societies! It’s your chance to get your name up in lights in PN’s massive annual imaging contest Words by Will Cheung Welcome to our annual challenge for the UK’s camera clubs and photographic societies. Over the next five months, we’ll be asking for your club’s best pictures on popular themes and the winners of each round will qualify for a grand final shoot-out taking place in spring 2018. To win the overall title and the glory that goes with it, your club has to overcome two challenges. The first is to qualify for the final by coming top of the pile in one of the five monthly rounds. The second is the final itself; a very special day’s photoshoot, the details of which will be released simultaneously to the five finalists. If you saw our coverage of last season’s shoot-out that will give you an idea of what the five finalists can expect. If you didn’t see it (where were you?), we’ll just say that the final shoot-out was a great day’s shooting with a range of Fujifilm camera equipment. Your club’s competition secretary (or whoever is going to enter each month) must sign up on photographynews.co.uk. Terms and conditions are also available on the website.

Any club or group is eligible to enter so long as there are at least five members. Online groups, internal company clubs and those clubs not affiliated to the PAGB are eligible to enter. Once you have signed up to go the Members Area on the top menu bar, click on that and you will see Camera Club of the Year 2017-18 on the drop-down menu. Select that, then register your camera club and follow the upload instructions. JPEG files should be at least 1500 pixels on the longest dimension and, preferably, be in the sRGB colour space. A club can only enter one set of five images and the five images must be from five different members, while failure to enter five shots will mean the missing shot/s scores zero points; so it is crucial to enter the full number of images. After the closing date each picture will be scored out of 20 points by the experts at Photography News and the highest scoring club will qualify for the final. In the event of tied scores, for those two clubs we will ignore the highest and lowest scores and average out the

three remaining scores; the clubs with the highest averaged score wins. If scores are still tied, all five scores will be averaged out. When the issue with that month’s result is published, the scores for every picture entered will be published on the website each member can see how well they have done. There is no monthly prize apart from qualifying for the final shoot-out and once a club has qualified for the final it need not enter again. Of course it can do it for the challenge and pictures will still be scored but there is no reward for winning in this instance. In effect,

because each monthly contest is self-contained, ie. it is not a league system over the period of the contest, you do not have to enter every month – perhaps it is a theme the club is less strong at or the club’s contest secretary has gone on holiday. Clearly it makes sense to give yourself as many winning chances as possible, however. So, good luck. Read the entry details above again, check out the theme and start gathering your entry. Qualify for the final and your club could be joining us for a very special photography event with the title of Camera Club of the Year 2017-18 to be won.

About Fujifilm Fujifilm generously sponsored last year’s Camera Club of the Year contest and we at PN are delighted to have them involved for the second year in a row. Fujifilm’s range of X-series mirrorless cameras has been popular since the system was unveiled to the world close to six years ago. Since then the system has grown and grown and as of today X-series users have the choice of 14 prime lenses, nine zooms and two teleconverters with more to come in 2018. In the recently updated lens roadmap two high-spec lenses, an XF8-16mm

X-T2

f/2.8 R LM WR and XF200mm f/2 R LM OIS WR, are due in the foreseeable future. Having a great lens system is one thing but you obviously need good cameras to fit on the end of them, and that’s not an issue here for Fujifilm. At the top of the range there’s the X-T2 and X-Pro2. They share the same 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III sensor working in combination with Fujifilm’s latest X-Processor Pro for very fast start-up, minimal shutter lag, superfast file processing and highly responsive autofocusing. Both have a native ISO range of 200-12,800 with the option of expansion to ISO 100, 25,600 and 51,200 – all available in Raw as well as JPEG. However, while the X-Pro2 and X-T2 share a similar feature set, they do offer distinctly different approaches to image capture and handling. The X-Pro2 provides a classic rangefinder experience with the optical/EVF finder offset to the left of the body while DSLR users might prefer the X-T2 with its central located eyepiece that is EVF only. Also featured in the X-series range is the X-T20 which is akin to a baby X-T2 with an impressive feature set that includes the same sensor. The latest arrival in the range is the X-E3. This shares the same excellent 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III sensor used in other Fujifilm X-series cameras so it is assured of delivering top-quality

images and this rangefinder-style camera does so in a more compact bodyform. Despite its small size, the X-E3 is packed with features including the X-Processor Pro image processor that helps to deliver an outstanding performance when it comes to autofocusing speed, fast start-up time and a very short shutter lag of just 0.05sec. Ideal as a travel companion or a take everywhere camera, the X-E3 is available as a kit with the delightfully compact XF23mm f/2 lens which is priced at £1149 or if you prefer to buy just the body the price is a competitive £849. Fujifilm has also been breaking the mould in the world of medium-format digital capture with the introduction earlier this year of the GFX system. The first camera in the system is the GFX 50S 51.4-megapixel camera that is in the shops at £5999, a remarkably competitive price for a medium-format camera. The system is in its infancy but already the GFX 50S can be partnered by six lenses including a GF23mm f/4 R LM WR ultrawide, a GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR standard zoom, a GF120mm f/4 R LM OIS WR macro and a GF 110mm f/2 R LM WR portrait lens with one more recently announced, the GF45mm f/2.8 R WR. For more information on all these Fujifilm products please go to the website. Fujifilm.eu

GFX 50S

X-E3


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

17 in association with

Camera Club of the Year

Images Whether you enjoy shooting urban street scenes or rural landscapes, this month’s theme will offer you an interesting challenge.

Simple techniques like moving your feet and kneeling down for a lower camera viewpoint can massively improve a picture © Will Cheung

you marks, but are easily sorted; so again there is no excuse for images displaying such deficiencies. Having expressed what we prefer not to see in an entry, it is time we looked in more detail at what can score you big points. It is not really rocket science and the judges will be looking for flawless technique as we have just discussed but also creative interpretation, great composition, awesome light and brilliantly observed content. For this contest, scenes can be taken at any time and anywhere – the world is your oyster. From our experience gained in the three previous years of this contest it is a fact that the majority of pictures have the potential to be high scorers. The photographer has usually made a great effort to get to the location, often at silly o’clock, but the final result is let down because the author has not worked hard enough on the composition and that, unfortunately, negates all the effort and expense of getting there in the first place. Working on composition does not just mean what is in (or out of) the frame but includes lens choice and camera viewpoint. Most photographers use zoom lenses but forget to fine-tune their composition to make the most of lead-in lines and depth-of-field. Simple techniques like moving your feet and kneeling down for a lower camera viewpoint can massively improve a picture. To sum up, when you’re checking through pictures to enter into the contest, reject the less strong ones and you can be sure of a high score with the chance of getting through to the final shoot-out. Good luck, and we look forward to seeing your club’s brilliant work very soon.

© Will Cheung

We kick off this year’s CCOTY contest with a nice, easy and very open theme: scenics. But don’t be fooled because while the theme is accessible and straightforward, that’s deceptive and ordinary shots won’t be good enough to get the high scores you’ll need to qualify for the grand final next spring. So what we are looking for this month is great images of outdoor scenes that can be urban or rural, home or abroad, so whether your personal preference is for cityscapes or for landscapes, you are catered for. The five images from each club will be judged on an individual basis so don’t worry about getting a balanced or cohesive set of five pictures. The fact that the five shots complement each other will count for nothing so just make sure each individual image stands up on its own to maximise your potential score. As with any contest, you need pictures that grab the judges’ attention as quickly as possible. Images might have a deep meaning or beautifully subtle content but often fail to score highly because they don’t catch the judges’ eye in the few seconds allowed them. Impact is important. So too is good camera craft. There’s no excuse for poor focusing, inaccurate exposures and camera shake. Most cameras these days help with these issues; Fujifilm X-series cameras in particular have excellent exposure systems, accurate AF and many lenses have OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) systems to ensure pin-sharp images at remarkably slow shutter speeds. Images that are obvious technical failures should not be part of your camera club’s entry and if they do get entered don’t be surprised by the low scores they will almost certainly attract. Basically, the club member responsible for gathering images together needs to work hard to ensure the entered pictures at least fulfil some basic photographic criteria. Poorly edited pictures are also best avoided. Too much use of the unsharp mask, over-enlargement and poor white-balance control are the sort of problems that will lose

© Will Cheung

Theme 1: scenics

To get your members thinking about images for the next round now, Theme 2 is all about Portraits


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

18

Technique Improve your autumn shots

Fall speed ahead It’s nature’s most photogenic season, but you can’t just expect great autumnal pictures to leap into your lens. Try these simple tips for better colour, composition and lighting and you’ll soon fall in love with autumn again Words & pictures by Kingsley Singleton

Choose the right time and location Autumn colour is fleeting, and therefore so are the chances of shooting it at its best. Add in finding the right spot to shoot and the limited times of day when you’ll get the best light, and you’re looking at small windows of opportunity for ideal conditions. Therefore, it makes sense to plan your woodland shoots with military-grade precision. If possible, locate some suitable woodland near you and monitor the turning colours closely; you’ll be able to make the most of such a location at short notice, so you’re less likely to miss out if a high wind strips the trees before you can shoot them. Alternatively, plan a proper excursion to some of Britain’s most fabulous woodland via the Forestry Commission (forestry. gov.uk) or Woodland Trust (wo o d l a n dt r u st .o rg.u k) websites. The FC has a dedicated autumn colour page at forestry.gov.uk/autumn. Many of the shots here were taken at Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire; an entry fee applies and you need to shoot within the opening hours, but even with a lower sun in October and November that’s not a problem; the species and colours are amazing.

Use backlighting for autumn glow You might think the vibrant colours of autumn leaves are enough to make great images on their own. But like any landscape subject, it’s the quality of light that makes the real difference. Low sun and warm light are sensible choices, but you can really improve leafy pictures by shooting into the light, wherever the sun is in the sky – it’ll make leaves burst with life. This method works because most leaves are translucent, so as soon as you put light

Pick the right lenses and focal lengths Landscapes, whether they’re autumnal or otherwise, usually make you think of shooting at wide-angle. That can work for some scenes, but if you’re shooting woodland views, wideangle lenses can lead to disappointment. Woodlands are usually cluttered places, even if they’re cultivated or managed, and the huge angle of view means it’s difficult to be selective in terms of subject. Instead, try using longer focal lengths for woodland work. The long end of a standard 18-55mm or 24-70mm zoom will give you a much more balanced view, but don’t be afraid to push further still: a 70-200mm or 70-300mm is a great woodland lens and if you use it at wider apertures it will provide some great separation for your subject. Of course, using a longer lens doesn’t mean you suddenly need to start shooting handheld. If the lens has a tripod collar, attach your quick-release plate to that before mounting on the tripod for steadier results.

behind them they’ll glow. Backlighting will also give a sparkle to tree trunks and branches, but it needs to be handled with care. Pointing the camera into the light will very likely cause your pictures to be underexposed. To fix this, find exposure compensation (usually a button with a +/- icon) and dial in around +1EV; this may make some highlights peak, but most of the subject should be well exposed. If it’s too light or too dark, increase or decrease the exposure compensation.


19

Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

Technique Add leafy foregrounds for added depth

Don’t forget the close-ups

Although you might find separating your woodland subjects from all the scrub around them a problem in itself, sometimes they can look too flat or isolated. In these cases it’s often a good idea to add some foreground, but in a slightly different way to regular landscapes. Whereas in a regular landscape shot you’d be inclined to keep the foreground as sharp as the subject, in woodland shots try defocusing some foliage between you and the subject. This can look as though you’re peering through onto the subject, and the difference in sharpness will make the subject stand out. To achieve this look, shoot in aperture priority mode (A or Av) and set the aperture to a wide setting, such as f/2.8 or f/5.6, focus on the subject and the foliage will blur out. The closer it is to you the more blurred it’ll be.

The autumn leaf is a mainstay of seasonal photography: it’s iconic, easy to shoot and you don’t have to obsess over problems in the wider scene, such as clutter or distractions. First, find the best specimen you can, one that’s intact and free from too much blight

Don’t miss the mist Autumn colour just so happens to coincide with another of nature’s photographic blessings – seasonal mist. Misty conditions will simplify the clutter of a crowded woodland or give a neat, plain backdrop for a lone tree. October and November are typically misty months as there’s still enough heat in the sun to create water vapour in the atmosphere but not enough to burn it off completely, and plenty of colder areas to condense the vapour into water particles. A good bet for misty locations are those near to open water, streams and rivers, which are warmer than the surrounding land; if you can find flaming woodland close to those you may be onto a winner. Like the best of the light, though, conditions are fleeting – an hour after dawn they may be gone as the water in the air heats up. When shooting in mist it’s advisable to use some positive exposure compensation, as the water in the air is reflective and may therefore cause the camera to underexpose.

Misty conditions will simplify the clutter of a crowded woodland or give a neat, plain backdrop for a lone tree

or discolouration, then either place it somewhere in the landscape or shoot it in situ. Again, backlighting can help, as you’ll get to pick out the delicate structures and colours within it. You should also try to compose against a contrasting backdrop.

Watch out for any movement in the subject which will affect the sharpness of your shot, and if there’s even the slightest breeze, make sure you increase the shutter speed to compensate; after you’ve taken the shot, zoom in on screen to check sharpness.


20

Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

Advertisement feature The world is changing, and quickly – how photography is used to capture and create images is very different now to what it was five years ago; in five years' time it will be different again. The Profoto A1, the world’s smallest studio light, is a reliable, professional-quality solution for modern image makers who want to make great pictures away from the studio, yet still need the option to sculpt and shape with light. Photography is all about light, not just how it is used but also its quality. The A1’s innovative round flashhead with unique design Fresnel pattern diffuser, powerful 76Ws output and ability to use magnet-fit light modifiers makes for a light with huge creative potential. Add a Li-ion rechargeable battery with the capacity for 350 full-power manual flashes, the option of TTL or manual flash control and integral LED modelling light, and you can appreciate that the A1 is something very special. It's designed to be easy to use without having to refer endlessly to a manual, and the large LCD rear-panel features an extremely user-friendly menu system – there’s no need to spend time scrolling through item after item to find what you need. Last, but certainly not least, is the fact the A1 meshes totally with Profoto’s lighting system, whether that is with

FRONT VIEW Magnetic light shaper mount Light shaping tools can be added very quickly to the A1. Supplied in the box with the A1 is a dome diffuser, a wide lens and a bounce card. A soft bounce and gel kit are available for the system, too.

Flashhead Rotate the serrated grip in the direction of the + symbol and the head zooms in for a telephoto effect and the – symbol for a wider light spread. In the menu, there is the option for manual and auto zoom as well as five presets. The round flashhead has a unique Fresnel pattern – the result of in-depth research by Profoto – to give a smooth light drop-off ideal for light shaping.

Profoto A1 Say hello to the world’s smallest studio light

mains-based units such as the recently launched D2 or the brand’s Off Camera Flash system with the B1X and B2 – perfect partners for the A1. The A1 has AirTTL Remote built in. Canon and Nikon options are available now, with other brands to follow in due course. So, with wireless connectivity and a working range of 300m, the A1 on the camera hotshoe can be used as a master unit controlling four groups of Profoto lights, giving TTL or manual flash control – and it’s a light source, too.

With two lights providing backlighting to a wedding couple on the dance floor, an on-camera A1 can add that allimportant but subtle glow of light to their faces. Over these pages, we catch up with the Profoto A1’s product manager Johan Wiberg to find out more about how this revolutionary light came to be developed, and take a closer look at the A1’s extensive features list. Profoto.com

LED modelling light The head contains two LED modelling lights, one to give a wide light spread and the other to give a telephoto effect. As the flashhead is zoomed the output of the two LEDs is continuously varied to suit the coverage of the lens. So, at one extreme, one LED is fully on and at the other off, and this swaps over at the opposite end of the zoom range; at intermediate focal lengths you get a combination of the two. The LEDs have a colour temperature of about 3200K, so you get a warm effect with the camera’s daylight white-balance setting.

TTL/MAN switch This control’s function is selfevident, but there is more to it than just switching flash modes. You can use the TTL setting to determine the correct exposure – whether you are using an on-camera A1 on its own or as a wireless master in a multi-light set-up – and once you are happy with the result simply slide the TTL/MAN switch to manual and light output from the A1 and the other lights will stay constant.

Li-ion rechargeable battery A fully charged battery will give up to 350 full-power flash bursts. Used in TTL auto mode or lower power manual settings, the A1 will be capable of a great many more flash bursts. The battery can be fully recharged in 80 minutes from totally flat. The design of the battery and compartment means it can be changed very quickly and single-handedly while it is sitting on the camera hotshoe or lighting stand.

AF Assist Lamp For autofocusing in poor light situations, the AF Assist lamp projects a pattern of red lines to help the camera get accurate focus. The lamp can be turned off when discretion is needed, left on continuously when the flash is powered up or set to auto so it works when the light levels are low.


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

21

Advertisement feature Johan Wiberg, Profoto A1 product manager “Back in 2013, when we launched the B1 and AirTTL Remote trigger, we got feedback from the market. One thing we were told by wedding photographers was that capturing the happy couple on the dance floor needed fill-in flash, but that was not possible because the AirTTL Remote trigger was fitting in the camera hotshoe. “So we did qualitative research, conducting deep interviews with 20 photographers from four countries, a selection of Profoto customers, those considering going into the Profoto system and non-Profoto users mainly using on-camera flash, going into detail to understand their needs and their problems with existing gear. “We also did focus groups with wedding and portrait

photographers, we met customers, talked to retailers and did online research, and I read page after page of reviews. “We found in the wedding and portrait market, where on-camera flash is often used, that the harsh quality of light was not liked – it was not easy to shape and did not look natural. Yes, there are modifiers to help, but these are flimsy and not easy to use, and often fell off. “Also, most of them said they never wanted to miss a shot and were worried about the batteries. There was no time to change them, often it was dark and it was hard to put them in, and the old and new cells got mixed up. It all added stress to an already challenging situation. So, we decided to get it right from the beginning and that is the A1.

REAR VIEW Zoom, tilt and pan head

“First of all, the head is round, like the sun, so looks natural and is ideal for light shaping. Speedlights were designed for maximum efficiency to fill the frame with an even light from edge to edge because you don't want dark corners, but they are not made for light shaping, only for exposure. “The A1 is not about power, it’s about the quality of light. We wanted a head for light shaping with a wide light spread and a soft fall-off. Why is that good? Well, if you shoot natural light and just want to blend a little bit of light into the image it is much easier than having a beam of harsh light. “We needed light shaping tools so we added a magnetic mount, so you can easily click on tools and even stack them together.

“We solved the power anxiety issue with a high-capacity Li-ion battery, with 350 full power flashes and recharges in 80 minutes from empty. It is easy to have a spare in the pocket, too. “We have designed the A1 to be easy to operate – anyone can use it without having to a read a 30-page instruction manual first, and there is a user-friendly interface. Push the set button and the menu looks the same as the menus on our other products, so it is easy and comfortable to go from one piece of kit to another. It won't take long to master, especially when using the A1 in conjunction with our lighting system. “You will never miss a shot with the A1 and it will change the way you photograph – forever!”

Supplied modifiers The A1 is supplied with a multi-purpose dome diffuser, wide lens for wideangle shooting and bounce card when a neutral-coloured surface is not available for bouncing light.

The head features an integral zoom head that can be adjusted manually or automatically as the lens is zoomed. Five zoom presets are also available. The head itself can be tilted at various angles for bounce light (or rotated when shooting upright format pictures) or when using light modifiers such as the supplied bounce card or dome diffuser.

AirTTL controls In AirTTL Remote mode, four groups of lights can be controlled with a working range of up to 300m, giving wireless control whether you are shooting in TTL or manual modes. Just push the button for the relevant group of lights you wish to adjust output for, and then use the control dial to adjust output.

On/off/test flash The back-illuminated on/off button is easy to see in the dark. When switched on, a push of this button fires a test flash.

Set button and control dial Push the button at the centre of the control dial and the two-page menu is revealed, and this is navigated with the dial. Item selection is confirmed with another push of the button.

Shoe lock The Profoto A1 is available in Canon and Nikon dedicated settings now, with other brands including Sony and Fujifilm to follow in the near future.

User-friendly interface This display keeps you fully up to date with the A1’s set-up. Flash mode, output, light spread, battery state and output are all shown. The output is shown in large numbers, from 2.0 to 10.0, in 1/10EV steps.

Modelling light control The A1 has a modelling light, so you can use the continuous light to see the effect on the scene, which comes in especially useful when shooting off-camera, to ensure the flashhead is aimed correctly. It helps with composition in very low ambient lighting levels, too, and with a high ISO setting can even be used to shoot stills with. The LED modelling light can be controlled in the menu, including the option of a proportional setting which relates to the flash output.


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

23

Advertisement feature

Canon Focus Canon’s large range of EOS cameras features everything from entry-level to professional DSLRs. The EOS 77D is the latest model... The Canon EOS 77D answers all of the questions of photographers from beginners to professionals. Whether you’re starting out in photography or an enthusiast photographer looking for your next DSLR camera, the Canon EOS 77D has a variety of features to help you capture great images of multiple subjects. The Canon EOS 77D uses the same 24.2-megapixel sensor as the EOS 800D and 80D allowing you to produce superb quality images that are full of detail. With a stateof-the-art autofocus you can rest assured that your shots will be pin sharp and you can compose your images using the optical viewfinder or three-inch LCD screen. The 77D

even boasts the world’s quickest Live View autofocus system!* The vari-angle LCD screen allows you to get creative with angles, finding dramatic low viewpoints for sweeping landscapes or a higher viewpoint if you’re shooting over a crowd or obstacle. Those awkward angles will never be a problem again. What’s more, it’s also touchscreen meaning you can tap to focus. If you can’t wait to share your images the 77D’s built-in Wi-Fi will be of great use. Simply download the Canon Camera Connect app and you’ll be able to transfer your shots to your smart device; what’s more you can use a phone or tablet to shoot remotely.

For aspiring moviemakers the 77D offers Full HD 60p video recording as well as 5-axis video image stabilisation and Dual Pixel CMOS AF to help ensure your footage is crisp and clear. Whether you’ll be capturing days out, wildlife, sports, portraits or even special occasions such as weddings the Canon EOS 77D has a range of quality features for all and is compatible with Canon’s broad range of lenses. Read on to see more of its main features.

*Among interchangeable-lens digital cameras with APS-C sized sensors with phase-difference detection AF on the image plane as of 14 February 2017, based on Canon research.

Specs

Price £799 body only £919 with 18-55mm IS STM £1149.99 with 18-135mm IS USM Sensor 24.2-megapixel CMOS ISO range 100 to 25,600, expandable to 51200

With a state-ofthe-art autofocus you can rest assured that your shots will be pin sharp

Storage media SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS Speed Class 1 compatible) Dimensions (W x H X D) 131x99.9x76.2mm Weight 540g Contact Canon.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

24

Advertisement feature First look

Canon EOS 77D A high-quality sensor, speedy autofocus and versatile shooting: here’s a look at some of the EOS 77D’s main features

24.2-megapixel sensor The 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor lets you capture images full of details and thanks to an ISO range of 100-25,600 you’ll be able to shoot with ease in low-light conditions with minimal noise and still capture stunning details. The ISO can even be expanded to 51,200 for extreme conditions.

Full HD video With the ability to record Full HD video at 60p you can capture those special moments and relive them over and over again. The 77D features Dual Pixel CMOS AF, which offers fast and smooth focusing for both videos and photos. It’s also got 5-axis image stabilisation to help keep footage sharp and steady.

Shoot a variety of subjects The EOS 77D is available with the EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens, which is ideal for getting started. With a focal range of 18-55mm it’s great for landscapes, portraits, street and day-to-day photography. The EOS 77D is also compatible with Canon’s varied range of lenses offering great choice for different subject types.

Capture fast action If you love action then the 77D’s continuous shooting speed of 6fps combined with 45 AF points will allow you to lock focus on your subject and shoot an action sequence – perfect for wildlife and sports photography and making sure you capture the moment.


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

25

Advertisement feature Share your shots on the go

Take control Switch between traditional shooting modes Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority or Manual to take full control or shoot with the 77D’s Scene Intelligent Auto mode allowing the camera to choose the best settings for you depending on your scene.

To help you share your beautiful images, the EOS 77D features built- in Wi-Fi so you can connect your camera to the app and download images straight to your smart device, ready to be uploaded to social media or to send via email. You can also use NFC to remotely control your camera.

It’s ideal for street photography and candid shots so you can capture real and natural moments

Vari-angle touchscreen The three-inch vari-angle screen can be flipped and twisted to allow you to be creative. It’s also ideal for street photography and candid shots so you can capture real and natural moments. Touch functionality offers ease of use, as well as focus.


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

26

Advertisement feature

Gear options Expand your photographic capabilities with the Canon EOS M6 and EF-EOS M Adapter, opening up the broad range of Canon lenses so you can capture even more on the go EOS M6 The EOS M6 may be compact and lightweight at just 390g but it really packs a punch, boasting DSLR-like features. It’s got a 24.2-megapixel sensor, a powerful DIGIC 7 processor and offers Full HD 60p video recording. This extremely portable model is perfect for keeping in your bag ready for spontaneous moments and even features built-in Wi-Fi and NFC so you can shoot and share your images on the go.

EF-EOS M Adapter The EF-EOS M Adapter allows you to attach any lens from Canon’s EF and EF-S lens range to the EOS M cameras, including the M6. Simply connect it to your camera like a normal lens and then attach the lens to the adapter.

EF-M 28MM F/3.5 MACRO IS STM If you want to discover the world of macro look no further. This dedicated lens is the world’s first autofocus lens to feature a built-in Macro Lite allowing you to light your subjects up close. With a minimal focusing distance of 9.7cm you can capture intricate details.

EF 50MM F/1.8 II This compact lens weighs just 130g and is perfect for portraits and street photography. Its wide aperture of f/1.8 will make your subject stand out against a soft blurred background, and it’ll also help you shoot with ease in low light. With a fast AF performance you can focus quickly on your subject and capture the moment.

EF-M 18-150MM F/3.5-6.3 IS STM If you like to shoot a variety of subjects then this all-in-one lens is just what you need. Boasting a focal range of 18-150mm means you can shoot far and wide with just one lens.


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

28

Interview

Down to the woods When you own an eight-acre wood there’s plenty of nature to capture. Stephen Dalton shares the natural world in his latest book, My Wood

Words by Jemma Dodd Pictures by Stephen Dalton How do you think nature photography has changed since you first started shooting? The changes in photography since those days have been phenomenal. Short of developing legs or wings and wandering off into the countryside and taking photographs on their own, cameras now do almost everything; they work out the correct exposure, focus automatically, often far quicker than a human can manage, come equipped with superb telephoto or specialist macro lenses. Perhaps most significant, of course, was the arrival of digital capture, replacing film. Now ‘film’ speeds are beyond ISO 1,000,000, and digital allows us to view our images almost instantly. Dare I say it, but in ‘my day’ none of this was possible; I was confined to using films of about ISO 25 and had no option but to wait for

Very few photographers can say that one of their images travelled on NASA’s Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft as a record of the science and culture of mankind for viewing by possible extra-terrestrial life, but wildlife photographer Stephen Dalton can. Back in 1970, Stephen spent two years experimenting, which allowed him to capture high-speed nature photography and be the first to document the movement of insects in flight. We caught up with Stephen to find out what he’s been up to, and discuss his latest book, My Wood. What is it about the great outdoors that you love? When did your photography come into this? I have been fascinated by all living things ever since I can remember. Insects were my first passion but it was not long before all creatures were embraced, from birds and snakes to elephants and wombats! I prefer the relaxing sights and sounds of nature rather than the uglification that mankind manages to bestow on much of the world. My passion for photography was much slower to evolve, gradually doing so in my late teens and early 20s. Naturally these two passions merged. What have been your greatest achievements over your long career? Undoubtedly my finest achievement was to develop a technique to record on film how insects fly. At the time, in the early 1970s, this had never been done before – which was odd because flight is what insects are all about, largely explaining why these animals are the most successful land-bound creatures on earth. The whole project took about two years to develop.

I don’t always carry a camera when in the wood. If I spot something I need to record, I will return with suitable equipment Top Foxes are just one of a number of mammals that live in the wood, including voles and badgers Right In 1970, Stephen pioneered a technique that enabled photographers to capture insect images never before achieved

up to a week to see results – very trying when attempting to capture insects in flight – even to the extent that making a 2mm change in focus the only way focus could be checked was by looking at the image on the processed film. What are your go-to wildlife photography techniques? I certainly don’t always carry around a camera when in the wood; however, if I spot something I need to record, I will return with suitable equipment. This is OK for plants and fungi, but not anything with legs or wings which may have left the county by the time I return. The high-speed shots of flying insects were a different kettle of fish altogether. The subjects were caught in the wood but taken to my studio where I have suitable


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

29

Interview electronic and photographic equipment, including a special shutter and custom-made flash with a 1/60,000sec duration. The whole operation can take up to three days. What camera gear and equipment do you use to photograph wildlife and nature? I was surprised to learn that I used 19 different cameras to record the life in My Wood! They range from medium-format Phase One and Hasselblad for some of the high-speed photos, to iPhone and trail cameras. Most, though, were exposed on various Nikons, Canons and more recently the Sony a7R Mark II. Tell us about your badger shots – you used trail cameras to see their activity, but how did you capture an image? As the book was coming up to press, I still did not have a high-quality picture of one of the wood’s most frequent visitors, the badger. I had plenty of old trail camera images, but nothing that would make the exhibition wall. Unfortunately though, at this time the trail cameras were recording no badgers at all, in spite of being in place for several weeks. This was puzzling until it dawned on me that we’d had near-drought conditions for several weeks (during spring this year) so there were very few slugs and snails around, one of the badger’s favourite foods. They must have been hunting at the lower end of the wood, which is much damper and beyond the deer fence.

Right Increased biodiversity in the pond produces new photographic subjects Below From a rather overgrown, sedgebound straggle of woodland, Stephen and his wife Liz have created a magical, ever-evolving nature reserve, home to a diverse amount of animal and plant life

I do have a nearendless patience and determination working on projects, particularly those that are new... Fortunately, the weather broke just in time and we had several days of heavy rain – the badgers returned and I was in business at last. I found a suitably attractive spot along a path the animals were regularly using, set up my camera and three flash heads (there should have been four but one failed to fire), together with an infrared beam to activate the shutter when the badger passed the right point. Within a few days I managed to obtain a satisfactory picture. The images featured in My Wood were taken over a number of years; did you always intend to create a book? No, I had no intention of writing a book until only a year or so ago. In fact, the publishers, Merlin Unwin, were so keen on the idea that they twisted my arm (in a nice sort of way) to write the text within a couple of months or so! By then I had almost all the photographs.

How patient have you had to be in order to capture such a broad variety of images? I am not known for my patience! Sitting around in hides and waiting for things to happen is not my thing, and I don’t possess endless physical energy for marching about the countryside with massive lenses. Fortunately, I do have near-endless patience and determination working on projects, particularly those that are new and those that have the potential to show action or behaviour which has not been recorded on film before. In this situation, I am fiddling around adjusting equipment or the set to keep me occupied. What tips would you give to aspiring wildlife and nature photographers? First, have a love and fascination of the natural world, determination and physical and mental energy. Don’t expect to make a fortune. It helps to be young!

The book Stephen Dalton’s new book My Wood is available from all good bookshops or directly from the publisher, Merlin Unwin Books, priced £14.99.

My Wood is sectioned into seasons; do you have a favourite season for shooting nature? Spring is a movingly beautiful time of the year, particularly in an English woodland with the wild flowers and fresh green haze of spring drifting through the trees. At the same time this is accompanied by the glorious sound of bird song. Sheer magic. What about wildlife – any favourite species to photograph? It depends on what they are doing rather than the actual species. Are there any animals that you’d still like to tick off your list? The purple emperor butterfly.

WIN

For the chance to win a A COPY! copy of My Wood head to photographynews.co.uk/win and click on the Stephen Dalton competition, then follow the instructions.


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

30

Technique Get more from your flash

Lighting academy With all the advances in flash technology, getting great pictures, in the studio or on location, is easier than ever before, as we show here using the latest Pixapro lighting products Backlighting hair For this shot, I stood leaning on the white wall, shooting along it. The main light was fitted with the beauty dish and deflector but for a softer result I added the supplied front diffuser panel. A test shot showed that a setting of +1EV on the TTL trigger looked great. I had the speedlight firing too but I aimed it towards the back of Em for a touch of light in her hair. For this hair light effect I started with the TTL trigger set to 0 and found that gave too much light so turned its output down to -2EV. Too much light in the hair, regardless of its colour, is a problem and if you want detail you will find it very difficult – even impossible – regardless of how good your post processing skills are. When backlighting, also watch out for light striking the lens front and causing flare spots.

Words & pictures by Will Cheung The huge advances in flash lighting equipment means every photographer, whether in the studio or on location, now has within easy reach a really potent mix of convenience, control and creativity. Shooting amazing pictures, with flash as the only light source or supplementing natural light, is available to all.

Just look at the lighting solutions offered by the three Pixapro products, distributed by Essential Photo, that we’re using here. The Li-ION580II is a potent, great value, high powered speedlight featuring a li-ion battery for rapid recycling and high flash capacity. Offering power and versatility is the PIKA200, an innovative portable lighting solution with interchangeable heads, a potent 200Ws output and again a li-ion battery for user convenience.

Finally, we have the CITI600, a 600Ws studiostyle portable flash head with the convenience of a S-bayonet modifier fitting and yet again a li-ion battery. We’ll have more about using the CITI600 in the next issue, as here we focus on enjoying the versatility of two lights. This is all impressive stuff but there is so much more that these three units all offer: High-speed sync (HSS), TTL flash mode and different sync options depending on

Getting to grips with the lights This was my first venture out with this three-unit Pixapro lighting outfit using exclusively TTL mode, so I started very simply. For this two head set-up I had the PIKA200 with a softbox as a main light and the Li-ION580II speedlight as a hair light. My first test was to see the effect of the hair light so I turned off the main light remotely using the PRO ST-III, eventually settling for -2EV (near right, top). With the main light back on, I tried various positions giving Rembrandt lighting (near right, bottom), beauty lighting (far right, top) and split lighting (far right, bottom).

Images Two light sources give massive creative potential. Here the Li-ION580II was used as a backlight while the PIKA200 unit acted as the main light. These images were shot on the Nikon D850.

the effect you are after. And perhaps best of all is that you can get wireless control of all three units by buying the Pixapro PRO ST-III 2.4GHz transmitter, which retails for £44.99 and is available for Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus/Panasonic and Sony. Have this one trigger on the hotshoe of your camera and you have total wireless control over the Pixapro Ecosystem – this includes the three lights we have discussed already but also covers the studio-based Storm II series, the KINO II+ series and the forthcoming Lumi II lights. It was this controllability, versatility and convenience of the Pixapro TTL system that I wanted to try out here. I had all three units off-camera and fixed onto lighting stands. The Li-ION580II has a hotshoe so can be attached to a stand via a low cost adapter, while the PIKA200 can be screwed directly into a light stand, but the more versatile and better option is a SMART speedlight adapter. This adapter fits on the light stand and the PIKA200 or speedlight can be securely clamped in place. Any S-fit light modifier – or the dedicated modifiers – can be attached directly onto this adapter. The CITI600 has a typical adjustable bracket to fix it to a stand. All I needed was the Pixapro PRO ST-III 2.4GHz trigger in my Nikon D810’s hotshoe. To test the individual control offered by Pixapro’s Ecosystem, I had the speedlight working in group A, the PIKA200 in group B and the


31

Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

Technique Going full length With a 50mm lens fitted on my Nikon I went for some full length shots of Em against a white wall while she threw some nice shapes. I had the speedlight camera left and the PIKA200 main light fitted with the same modifier to camera right, both about 45° to the model, and I zeroed the output of the two lights. The mass of white throwing back lots of light clearly threw the TTL system into some confusion and the first shot (near left) was underexposed. You can also see from the shadow that the output from the speedlight was relatively too much, giving a sharply defined shadow on the right side of Em. So, the test shot showed that more power was needed from the main light and a better balance too. I went +1EV on the main light (middle) leaving the speedlight alone for the time being. That was better but still a little dull so I then set +2EV extra on the PIKA200 before tweaking the speedlight to -1EV. That gave a better effect (far right) with bright whites and just a little fill-in from the speedlight so only one shadow was visible. Although I didn’t need it for this shot, the PIKA200 and CITI600 have a masking mode in the unit’s custom functions aimed at product photographers. Here, the background lights are in one group and the main lights in another and you get a subject-lit shot and then a background lit shot with the subject as a silhouette. Ideal for when you need to make masks in Photoshop.

CITI600 in group C – I chose those groups on the simple basis of increasing size. Five groups are possible and 32 channels available. Before getting down to any serious shooting a quick test to make sure each group was working correctly seemed a sensible approach. This means selecting the same channel on each unit and the desired group, while on the trigger TTL mode was set for my three groups: A, B and C. Manual and off are the other two mode options available. In manual you can fine-tune output in 0.3EV stops in the range from full power to 1/128th power and in TTL you can adjust flash compensation to +/-3EV in 0.3EV steps.

I just fired the camera shutter to make sure both flash units were syncing and then I was ready to get shooting

Playing with side lighting

Above left I started with contrasty side lighting using only the softbox-wearing PIKA200 placed camera right of Em. The split lighting was contrasty, but there was some fill-in because light was bouncing off nearby white surfaces. Left Using the TTL trigger I turned on the Li-ION580II positioned on the opposite side to lighten the heavy shadow directly behind Em. After a test shot I changed the output of the speedlight to +1 for softer shadows. Above Predictably enough, setting +2 was even more evident. The effect was more balanced but too strong for my tastes so I went back to +1 on the speedlight, leaving the main light as it was.

With each group active in turn, I just fired the camera shutter to make sure both flash units were syncing and then I was ready to get shooting. I will come clean and say that I usually shoot flash manually and that is partly out of habit rather than any strong prejudice one way or the other. Shooting this feature using the Pixapro kit encouraged me to have a go at using TTL flash. I think when most of us use on-camera flash, TTL control is no problem at all and the sheer convenience of working this way has tremendous appeal and it is usually painless. TTL flash with a multi-light set-up is more of a challenge and not knowing precisely how the camera and lights react has put me off. Also, I think some of it has been the technology too. Some master flash triggers are the opposite to intuitive and seem to take lots of scrolling and menu searching to get the right set-up and adjust power. It doesn’t seem fun. With the Pixapro set up, I seemed to be up and running very quickly, and as you can see from the commentaries on each set of pictures, I found adjusting output and balance between the different lights easy. As well as convenience, the PRO ST-III trigger with these lights meant working oneto-one with the subject is no problem either. I didn’t have to constantly walk to and from the lights to fiddle with output. It saved time too. Of course, I still had to move to shift lights around, but that’s the case until the day voice controlled robots are available. The shoot was at the Natural Light Spaces, naturallightspaces.co.uk, based in Weedon, near Northampton. There are two studios available for hire and you can use natural windowlight or the supplied flash or continuous light units. Our model is Em Theresa, an aerialist and part owner of the studio (emtheresamodel.com). In this month’s feature, I focused on using two lights. To be fair, you can get some amazing effects with a two head set-up, and many photographers are happy not going any further. We’ll use three heads in the next issue.

The kit we used Essential Photo is a leading specialist in marketing studio equipment to the photographic, film and video industries. Pixapro is its lighting brand and a full range of competitively priced products is available from speedlights and portable flash through to mains heads and generators. essentialphoto.co.uk

Above The Pixapro Li-ION580II is a top spec speedlight, while the PIKA200 (right) offers power and versatility.

Next month: More adventures with TTL lighting


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

32

Accessories test Buyers’ guide

Live and Learn

1 ©Pauls Studio

2

Nikon School

Based at the Nikon Centre of Excellence in the West End of London, but operating right across the UK and beyond, Nikon School trains, educates and inspires. Workshops cater for all skill levels, and can be tailored to specific Nikon cameras, as well as a superb range of photographic subjects: portraiture, location fashion shoots, candid street portraits, landscape and wildlife photography, image editing and video making to name but a few. Workshops are a mix of digestible theory and hands-on practical projects, and with groups of no more than 12, everyone can benefit from the tutors’ knowledge. One-to-one training is also available. As well as stunning locations around the UK like Dorset and Co. Antrim, there are overseas tours to exotic spots like India and Iceland. Get involved! nikonschool.co.uk training.uk@nikon.com 0330 123 0934

©Lake

land Ph

otogra

phic H

olidays

©L

ak ela

nd

Ph

oto

gr ap

hic

lid

ay s

2

Light & Land

Celebrating its 25th year in 2018, Light & Land is one of the world’s best known photo tour providers, and staffed by an amazing range of award-winning photographers, including founder Charlie Waite, David Clapp, Doug Chinnery, Valda Bailey and Clive Minnitt. There’s a full range of packages on offer from one-day workshops to residential tours in some of the UK’s best locations and internationally. A selection of upcoming UK-centred trips includes majestic Glen Coe and the stunning Purbeck coastline of Dorset. As for the more exotic trips, how about shooting in sun-soaked Santorini or the leafy mountains of Colorado? This being the company’s 25th year, Light & Land will be hosting special tours, including one run by Charlie, and lots of competitions; sign up for the newsletter and stay tuned.

Ho

©French Photographic Holidays

pauls-studio.co.uk studio@pauls-studio.co.uk 07930 462906

3

lidays

hic Ho

tograp

nd Pho

©Nikon Schoo l

Managed by pro photographer, Paul McLachlan, Pauls Studio offers a well-equipped environment for your next portrait projects. You’ll find bespoke oneto-one photography and lighting courses that cover regular portraits, glamour, nude, adult and boudoir styles at this studio just outside Reading. All skill levels are catered for, so whatever your experience courses are tailored to your needs. One-to-one tuition gives you the time and attention to improve your lighting skills, as well as discovering how to work more efficiently with your subject, and you can choose from a long list of approved models. And if you’d rather shoot on location, Paul also runs day and weekend events throughout the year in Wales and West Berkshire. Visit the website, sign up to the newsletter and you’ll get more info on events, offers, news and late availability.

e ak

©L

4

l ©Nikon Schoo

Pauls Studio

a gr

oto

Ph

s ay

lid

Ho

la ©Lake

Caught in the daily grind? Finding it tough to feel a creative spark? Want to pick up new skills? If you’re in a photo rut, try one of this month’s featured photographic holidays, tours, experiences, studio time or training days. You won’t regret it 1

d lan

ic ph

3 ©Lig

ht &

Lan

d

5

lightandland.co.uk admin@lightandland.co.uk 01747 824727

4

Lakeland Photographic Holidays

Run by landscape professional, John Gravett, Lakeland Photographic Holidays offers a blend of residential photo courses, right in the heart of one of the UK’s most beautiful landscapes. Full board, licensed accommodation is provided and workshops run from the end of January to the beginning of December. Workshops starting between 28 January and 25 March 2018 come with a new low-season price. As well as traditional landscape opportunities there are new creative workshops covering intentional camera movement, slow shutter speed and multiple exposure techniques. Short fully escorted workshops offer four-night stays and three full days in the field. Book any 2018 workshop and pay a deposit by 26 January for a discount. lakelandphotohols.com info@lakelandphotohols.com 01768 778459

5

French Photographic Holidays

French Photographic Holidays is based in Brantome, Dordogne and offers week-long residential tuition, including up to six half-day trips into the French countryside and surrounding villages. Each guest is provided with an Apple Mac for post-production and with a maximum of four per workshop, one-to-one advice is always on hand. Tours can be tailored to complete beginners or more experienced photographers and tuition is by Paul Edmunds, a professional photographer with over 20 years’ experience. As well as other five-star facilities, the cuisine is excellent, and if your other half just wants to enjoy a Gallic holiday, reduced rates are available for non-photographers. Check out the Feedback page on the website for some glowing reviews. frenchphotographicholidays.com frenchphotographic@gmail.com +33 (0)553 547485

6

Lights over Lapland

Lights Over Lapland offers a range of photo tours and experiences, shooting the Northern Lights. Based in the Swedish Abisko National Park, guests can customise their holiday in one of the best places on the planet to photograph aurora. Four-night stays run from early December to late March, and include all food, lodging and multiple activities, and you’ll travel to a different location each night depending upon weather conditions, to maximise chances of seeing the lights. Camera gear, winter clothing and other activities are included. There’s also a daytime landscaping course in some amazing Arctic locations. One-to-one, skilltailored tuition covers a range of scenic techniques. Book one as well as a regular aurora-based trip now and you’ll get a 20% discount. lightsoverlapland.com info@lightsoverlapland.com +46 (0)980 330892

7

Create Away

Create Away runs tours around France’s Camargue region, using passionate photographers and local experts to provide exclusive access to some of Europe’s most photogenic locations. Tours run all year round, and there’s a broad spread of subjects, including street photography, landscapes and wildlife, for example, the famous white horses of Camargue. If landscapes are your thing, you can enjoy the striking colours of Provence’s lavender fields, sunflowers and historic villages, full of rustic charm. For action fans there’s the chance to shoot traditional wooden yachts competing in the regatta at Saint-Tropez. All trips include airport transfers to and from Marseille, all transportation during the course and B&B accommodation. Plus, there’s an early bird 10% off any 2018 workshop booked before 31 December 2017. Bon! create-away.com info@create-away.com 020 3642 2448


33

Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk ©Lights Over Lapland

Accessories test

©Lights Over Lapland

8 10 ©Gunnar Bråthen – Guest image/Hurtigruten

©Lights Over Lapland

venture

Ad ©World Photo

6

hoto

dP ©Worl

ture

n Adve

hoto A dventu re

©Worl dP

7

©Gus Aliyu

©C rea

e Away

te Aw ay

©Creat

©Creat e Away

©Cr eat e Aw ay

9 ay e Aw eat ©Cr

11

8

World Photo Adventure

In 2018 World Photo Adventure has some fantastic workshops. In April there’s Camargue Wildlife, shooting the famous Camargue horses as they gallop through salt lagoons. In May, to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, there’s the chance to photograph the architecture of the cemeteries with Candia Lutyens, granddaughter of Sir Edwin Lutyens. In May and June, it’s off to the Dordogne for the French Gardens photo workshop with International Garden Photographer of the Year’s Philip Smith. Also in June there’s fashion and nude photography with The French Touch workshop hosted by John Denton at Domaine des Jasses in southern France. And in October head to Haute Savoie in the French Alps, to photograph fauna, the colours of autumn and spectacular waterfalls. worldphotoadventure.com @worldphotoadventure.com 01903 337008

9

The Photographer Academy

Created by Mark Cleghorn, The Photographer Academy is a unique online training platform offering video tutorials that feature pro photographers at work. With over 2000 films on the site, each around 20 minutes long, and new videos added each week, plus regular live streaming events, you can learn whenever it suits you, on desktop or mobile. The range of subjects and styles covered is exhaustive with everything from basic exposure and lighting to tips on setting up a successful photographic business. It’s a subscription service and there are three tiers of membership, starting at £49 per year, and as well as the video content, you get critiques once a month. There’s also a seven-day 100% money back guarantee. thephotographeracademy.com support@thephotographeracademy. com 01446 730592

Hurtigruten 10 As a world

leader for sustainable explorer travels in polar regions, Hurtigruten offers unique nature-based adventures to some very photogenic locations via a diverse fleet of expedition ships. The company lists more than 200 excursions and activities, and destinations include Europe, the Americas and even Antarctica. Close to home there’s unrivalled access to the stunning Norwegian fjords and photo hotspots like the Lofoten Islands, with a chance to glimpse the Northern Lights. If you want to spread your wings further, there are expeditions to see the midnight sun in Greenland and the polar bears in Svalbard, well within the Arctic Circle. You can even follow the Northwest Passage from Canada to Greenland, or trace the Andean coast of South America from Costa Rica to Chile. hurtigruten.co.uk uk.sales@hurtigruten.com 020 3603 7112

11

Royal Photographic Society

Did you know that the Royal Photographic Society dishes out training as well as awards and letters after your name? There are online and workshop courses, ranging from shooting and editing to selling work through picture libraries and managing a photographic business. Workshops typically run for one to two days. Over the next few months there are workshops on macro and art, car shoots, wedding photography, architecture, art nudes and, of course, landscape and portraiture (including Simon Ellingworth’s seminar on getting the most from your subject on 16 November). Workshops are open to RPS members and non-members, but members receive a discount. Suggestions are sought for future workshops, too, so if there’s something you want covered, let the RPS know. rps.org/learning/workshops learning@rps.org 01225 325733


34

Camera test

Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk in association with

Specs Price £3499 body only Sensor 45.7-megapixel backside illuminated CMOS, 14- or 12-bit capture, EXPEED 5 image processor Sensor format FX format 35.9x23.9mm, 8256x5504 pixels. Medium Raw 25.5-megapixels 6192x4128, and Small Raw 11.3-megapixels 4128x2752 also available ISO range 64-25,600 native, expansion to ISO 32 and 102,400 Shutter range 30secs to 1/8000sec, flash sync at 1/250sec Focusing range 30secs-1/8000sec ISO range Native 200-12,800, expanded 10051,200 (expanded speeds only with mechanical shutter) Shutter range Mechanical shutter: 30secs to 1/4000sec plus B Electronic shutter: 30secs to 1/32,000sec Drive modes Continuous high at 7fps. 51-frame burst in Raw Metering system RGB sensor with 180K pixels with 3D Color Matrix III with G, E and D lenses, Color Matrix III with other CPU lenses, centre-weighted, spot, highlight weighted Exposure modes PASM Exposure compensation +/-5EV in 0.3, 0.5 and 1EV steps Monitor 3.2in 2359K dots, tilting touch sensitive screen, 100% coverage Viewfinder 100% coverage in FX, 0.75x magnification Focusing Multi-CAM 20K AF sensor module, AF detection -4 to 20EV Focus points 153 focus point, 99 cross type and 15 support f/8. Single point, 9-, 25-, 72- or 153-point, dynamic area AF, 3D tracking, group area AF, auto area AF Video 3840x2160 (4K, UHD) 30p, 25p, 24p, 1920x1080, 1280x720, 1920x1080 (slow mo). MOV and MP4 modes. 4K UHD and Full HD time lapse movie Connectivity SnapBridge Wi-Fi, USB 3.0, HDMI C, Bluetooth, audio in/out Other key features Electronic silent shutter in live view at 45 megapixels and 6fps, 30fps in DX format, JPEG normal, built-in Raw processing Storage media 1x XQD, 1x SD Dimensions (wxhxd) 146x124x78.5mm Weight 1005g body with battery and card Contact Nikon.co.uk Try the Nikon D850 at Cameraworld Live on 28 October, cameraworldlive.co.uk. See this month’s news for more details

Nikon D850 Nikon, with product recalls, cancellations and delays, has recently been in the news for all the wrong reasons. The launch of the D850, however, is very much good news – or is it? Join us for a close look at one of the year’s biggest launches Words and images by Will Cheung

Most of us already have more than enough megapixels for our photographic needs, yet the thirst for even more seems insatiable. Nikon has seen Canon and Sony romp ahead in the megapixel race, so the introduction of the D850 is very welcome. The D850 is a full-frame 45.7-megapixel DSLR designed to appeal to a broad spectrum of photographers, whether they are social, scenic or sports photographers. That appeal is broadened even further with 4K video and a new focus shift shooting mode. Let’s start with the sensor, a backside illuminated CMOS 35.9x23.9mm unit. A backside illuminated sensor is in effect an inverted conventional front illuminated sensor with light reaching the sensitive diodes without having to travel through the sensor’s circuitry. This is more efficient and, helped by the use of copper wiring, promises to give a quality high ISO performance. Resolution is maximised by the sensor being optical low pass filter free. So unlike the Nikon D800E and Canon EOS 5DS R which have a cancellable OLPF, the D850 does not have an OLPF in the first place. Nikon users, especially of the D800/810, will immediately feel at ease with the D850 in respect of its handling but there have been several notable changes. The articulating touchscreen is a big one, but so too is the placement of an ISO button right next to the shutter release. In the previous models you could reassign a convenient button to give similar functionality, but here it is even more handy. In exchange, the mode control has gone to the four-way cluster on the left side of the body. How often you adjust your ISO is a personal thing. Many photographers prefer auto ISO settings with a suitable top limit set while others like to manually tinker. I belong to the latter so the dedicated ISO button will get plenty of use from me. This, together with the nearby exposure compensation control, means two important and regularly used controls are placed for quick and easy use even with the eye up to the viewfinder eyepiece.

Above The D850’s overall design follows in the footsteps of previous full-frame Nikons but in the case of the D850 the integral flash has gone. Below The introduction of a tiltable touch monitor is very welcome. Another serious change is the welcome addition of a focus joystick to make shifting AF zones even more simple. Having grown used to focus joysticks and the enhanced handling they offer, this is very welcome. Speaking of AF, the D850’s system is out of the flagship D5, so you are getting the best system that Nikon has to offer. So there are 153 zones, 99 cross type and very good

low-light sensitivity and better performance with long lenses, particularly when fitted with lightsapping teleconverters. The actual working area, though, is much less than what we are seeing from topend mirrorless cameras where much more of the image format is covered in AF points. Autofocus itself is fast and accurate in all sorts of lighting

Another serious change is the welcome addition of a focus joystick to make shifting AF zones even more simple

levels. I mostly used the single zone and group zone settings with much success and few failures and any that occurred was usually user error. The autofocus menu offers finetuning options so, for example, menu a3 lets you vary focusing tracking lock and a4 offers 3D-tracking face detection. Working dynamic AF areas can be adjusted too so you can have 9, 25, 72 or 153 points available. While viewfinder AF proved almost wholly reliable I had more failures with touch AF and live view. Touching the screen where focus was required, the red AF box went green to confirm correct focus as it should do but on occasion the result wasn’t sharp. This is not to say touch focus doesn’t work, because it does; it just needs careful use for spot-on results. In a Nikon promo video a pro is seen handholding a D850 fitted with a 70-200mm f/2.8 using touchscreen AF with the silent shutter and of course getting ace results. Doubtless it is possible but you’d need rock-steady hands and more than one shot, I’d suggest.


35

Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

Camera test

in association with

Performance: ISO Original image

The D850 is the first Nikon DSLR with a BSI sensor for a good quality high ISO performance. The ISO 100 exposure of this evening scene was 2secs at f/8. No noise reduction was applied at either the capture or editing stages and the Raws were processed through Adobe Camera Raw. Image quality, you won’t be surprised to know, was very impressive. Noise starts to appear at ISO 400 – you need to look very closely though – and was more evident at ISO 800 but levels were still low. I’d happily use ISO 1600 for critical results and while noise was visible the impact on the resolution of fine detail was minimal. From ISO 3200 noise is more obvious and still good enough for big prints and from ISO 6400 colour noise is very evident in the shadows and fine detail suffers, but still the D850 turns in a sound high ISO performance. Speaking of the live view silent shutter, this is a very useful feature when the click-clack of the normal shutter is an issue and can be used with the shutter button as normal as well as touch AF. Of course, very usefully it saves wear and tear on the reflex mirror/mechanical shutter, which is said to be durable for 2000,000 cycles. If you regularly shoot 300 focus shift shots or do lots of interval timer shooting, the silent shutter is the way to go and of course has the benefit of vibrationfree release too. The D850, considering its high pixel count, offers a very useful 7fps continuous shooting speed at full resolution. That can be increased further to 9fps with the optional MB-D18 Multi-Power Battery grip which sells for £369. I did a couple of shoot tests with the two media options on offer with the D850, XQD and SD. The odds are you already have a stash of SD cards but perhaps no XQD cards. If this is you, then you need to buy an XQD card or two if you like the insurance

In the time it takes to swap cameras over, I took a set of ISO shots using a D810, processed them in ACR and then compared them on-screen at the same image size, ie. the D850 shots at 100% and the D810 at 112%. Both cameras were very good up to ISO 1600, but you can see the D850 has more colour noise than the D810, which is neutral. Fine detail and saturation from both DSLRs stayed at a high level even at ISO 3200 but at ISO 6400 the D850’s colour noise didn’t look too good and the blacks started to lose density. By the time you get to ISO 12,800 the colour noise from the D850 is very evident and the neutral noise from the D810 is preferable. To sum up, the D850 has a very good noise performance but the higher pixel density, despite the use of a BSI sensor, has resulted in more colour noise compared with its lower-resolution brother.

ISO 200

ISO 800

ISO 1600

ISO 3200

ISO 6400

ISO 12,800

ISO 25,600

ISO 51,200

ISO 102,400

D810 ISO 3200

D810 ISO 12,800

By the time you get to ISO 12,800 the colour noise from the D850 is very evident and the neutral noise from the D810 is preferable

Above images The D850 turns in an impressive high ISO performance and you can get great images at ISO 3200, especially with some noise reduction in processing. Beyond that speed, the D850’s noise, however, is more colourful than the D810’s which is a small minus point.

Above images The D850 has a couple of design changes compared with the D800/810, the most notable being the ISO button placed right next to the shutter release and the mode control going to the cluster on the left of the top-plate. There’s also a new function button, Fn2, on the left. of shooting to two separate cards. It is pity there is no dual SD (or XQD) body option. Shooting in the continuous high setting using a Lexar 32GB 440MB/s 2993x XQD card, I got 45 14-bit lossless compressed Raws before the camera took a pause for breath and then continued at around 4fps. I kept my finger down on the

button for another 100 Raws with the camera keeping that 4fps pace and I think it could have carried on for longer. The record light went out after four seconds. The D850 is certainly fast enough for most users – and this is with full size Raws. Shooting smaller Raws seemed to give a couple of extra shots before the camera slowed down.

Should longer full speed bursts be needed, going for fine JPEGs gave me 77 shots at 7fps. With Raw and JPEG Fine , I got 24 shots at 7fps before slowing down to 3fps. Repeating the process with a Lexar SD 32GB 440MB/s 2000x card, I got 28 shots before the D850 slowed to about 3fps for about 60

shots. Again, I think the camera could have continued at this pace. The record light with the SD card went out after six seconds. It does show that if you want the fastest continuous shooting performance you need an XQD card, but it is also the case that if your photography is more sedate then a fast SD card will do very nicely.


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk


37

Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

Camera test

in association with

Performance: exposure latitude Original image

The D850’s auto bracketing feature was used for these nine stops with exposures varying by 1EV and the fitted lens was the 24-70mm f/2.8. Matrix metering and aperturepriority was used and the correct exposure was 1/160sec at f/11 and ISO 100. In Adobe Camera Raw the Raws were corrected by the amount they were under/overexposed by. The same series was repeated using a Nikon D810. Underexposure was well handled and the -4EV and -3EV shots recovered nicely with accurate colours and smooth tonality although noise was evident. This wasn’t bad at all and decreased as

exposure increased. A close, critical look showed that there was still noise in the -2EV compared with the correct shot. This was minimal and readily removed in software. Overexpose too much and you will struggle with successful highlight recovery, as you can see with the +4EV shot here where you can see a familiar grey veiling in the bright areas although the shadows look fine. The +3EV shot was more successful and while the sky has picked up a colour cast in this sample shot, the highlights looked okay although the very brightest areas lack detail. With the +2EV and +1EV shots, both recovered well

-4EV

-3EV

-2EV

-1EV

0

+1EV

+2EV

+3EV

+4EV

Images The D850’s Raw files showed a good exposure latitude with good recovery possible for under and overexposed shots with minimal artefacting. enough to match the image quality obtained from the correct exposure. Comparing the D810 with the D850 exposure bracket showed there was little difference with the underexposed shots where

both showed a low level of noise in the -4EV and -3EV shots. With overexposure, the D850 seemed to fare marginally better with cleaner highlights while neither camera could cope with +4EV overexposure.

To sum up, the D850’s Raws have a very good tolerance to exposure abuse and you could underexpose by -4EV and overexpose by +3EV and salvage acceptable results with some afterwork in software.

Performance: For focus shift feature Cameras with focus shift features aren’t new and keen macro photographers will probably have a geared head/macro lens set-up to achieve the same result. The D850 offers an automatic focus shift giving up to 300 frames at its full 45.7-megapixel resolution. Stacking is not done in-camera but with a third party software and for this test I used Helicon Focus from heliconsoft.com. I tried macro subjects where this feature is best suited and tried it outdoors too. I started indoors with a ruler just to give me an idea of how the feature worked. In the menu you can select the distance changed between each exposure with settings from one to 10 – this is arbitrary and does not relate to any specific distance. Camera set-up was the D850 on

a tripod and fitted with a 105mm f/2.8 macro lens focused using live view at 0mm with the camera’s focal plane 50cm from that point on the ruler. The camera was set to shoot fine JPEGs, ISO 100 and aperture-priority AE with the lens wide open which gave an exposure of 1/30sec. The ruler was lit by an LED light panel. I tried shift settings of 1, 5 and 10 shooting 30 pictures, returning the lens to the 0mm focus point on the ruler each time. I also set the D850’s electronic shutter for vibration-free release. Afterwards using Helicon Focus, the 1 setting gave sharpness from 0mm to 33mm, the 5 setting stretched sharpness to 60mm while the 10 setting gave 165mm of depthof-field. Next I reset the focus and set 300 exposures, the maximum, to see what was possible. The first

The 300 images stacked well – and this was without any afterwork apart from using Helicon Focus

go with this I got 300 shots in about three minutes. You can see the stacked shot bottom left. The 300 images stacked well – and this was without any afterwork apart from using Helicon Focus. It’s not perfect – weird effect at the front – but the feature (and software) did remarkably well. I next tried an old circuit board, again with the 105mm macro lens and very close in. I started with the lens’s smallest aperture for maximum depth-of-field and this gave good but not total front-toback sharpness. Not only that but diffraction at such small apertures impacts on sharpness and softness was evident in this shot. For the test, I set maximum aperture focused at the very front of the circuit board, set the focus change to 1 and 150 frames. Once merged, as you can see here (above right), the effect is impressive. Finally, I took the D850 outside to see if there is an opportunity to use this feature for scenics when the conditions suit. You can’t have any movement between exposures, for example, so flowing water and windblown trees are out – unless you want a creative effect. A possible option is to use a fast shutter and as few images as possible to get a sharp final image. I tried several outdoor scenes including a few which I knew stood not a snowball’s chance in hell of

Images This is the final stacked shot – in the end I used 140 JPEGs through Helicon Focus. The two accompanying shots above show the two extremes. working, ie long focal length, close foreground and far background. As expected, some scenes didn’t work but some did. A statue with a wall ten metres behind came out well while a distant scene with a foreground fence two metres from the camera shot with a telephoto lens didn’t. To be fair, though, in the latter’s case with effort in software I could have got a decent result. A few things to bear in mind when using the D850’s focus stacking. Start by focusing at the closest point you want sharp and remember to refocus after each completed set of exposures and the wider the focus range the more shots you will need. The limit is 300 and if you are any doubt set that because the camera

automatically stops when infinity focus is reached so don’t be surprised if it stops at 23 shots when you have set 100, for example. Also use the Starting storage folder option so that each set of exposures is stored in separate folders on the card. I don’t focus stack because I have neither the patience nor the need. That need could change though thanks to the D850. It makes focus stacking simple and it works (you need a good stacking software or Photoshop skills). I probably wouldn’t buy the D850 just for the focus shift feature, but I would certainly use it if I owned one because it has opened my eyes to opportunities I hadn’t considered before.


38

Camera test

Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk in association with

Performance: Raw size options Original image

Verdict

Large Raw

Medium Raw

Small Raw

Has the D850 been worth waiting for? Should D800/D810 owners upgrade? Will it appeal to D5 users? Is the D850 the ultimate all-round Nikon DSLR? Is it worth the money? As with any significant new product, there are more questions than answers but the D850 is without doubt a deeply impressive and hugely capable DSLR; and so it should be at £3499 body only. For existing Nikon owners, the question is whether the upgrade cost is worthwhile. In all honesty, and it is just an opinion, but assuming you have the money, the D850 does offer benefits over the D800/D810, in respect of ultimate image quality, performance and features. I’ve been lucky enough to spend a few intensive days with the D850 and I found it an inspiring camera to use. I know that I do not need such a high resolution camera (nor do most photographers) and I already happily make A2 prints from cameras with significantly fewer pixels but the D850 is without doubt a class act and large prints made from its files do sing. Buy a D850 and you are in for a seriously exciting ride. Enjoy it.

Features  24/25 High pixel count, an AF system from the D5, 4k video and so much more Performance  24/25 Great image quality, capable at high ISOs considering its high resolution

Images Available light was used for this shot that was taken on a Nikon D850 fitted with a 50mm f/1.4 lens. The model was professional model Em Theresa, emtheresamodel.com and the shot was taken at the Natural Light Spaces, naturallightspaces.co.uk The Nikon D850 joins a select few digital cameras to offer the option of smaller Raws when the flexibility of that format is needed but without the camera’s full resolution. The D850 offers small and medium Raws giving file sizes of 4128x2752pixels and

6192x4128pixels respectively which compares with the 8256x5504pixels of full-size Raws. Expressed simply, S Raws are half and M Raws are three-quarters the size of L Raws. I shot sets of ISO images using each Raw size, processed them through Adobe Camera Raw with

no noise reduction or any extra sharpening and then compared the shots on-screen. I started with the L Raw at 100%, the S Raw at 200% and the M Raw at 133% to give the same image size and the differences are clear, but this is no more than you would expect

and of course this is not the point of having smaller Raws. View the S Raw at 100% with the M Raw at 75% and L Raw at 50% and the differences, while still present, are minor. So if you want the benefits of Raw you can without going all the way.

Handling 24/25 It feels so ‘right’ in the hands and a pleasure to use Value for money 24/25 It’s serious amount of money but you get a seriously good DSLR Overall 96/100 It’s been a while but the D850 has been worth the wait Pros High megapixel count, image quality, electronic shutter, focus shift feature, tiltable touch monitor Cons Needs XQD cards for fastest performance, touch AF can miss

Images I shot a wide range of images for this test of the D850 with a variety of lenses. Far left In good light with the camera tripod mounted you get awesome amounts of detail. In this case, a Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 which shows that the D850 works fine with less expensive optics. Near left This was a handheld night shot taken with a 24-70mm f/2.8 wide open at 1/50sec. ISO 12,800 was set and while noise is very evident the handling of the extreme dynamic range and depth of blacks was impressive.


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

40

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

Specs Prices 2GB £759.49; 250GB £125.49; 500GB £192.49; 1TB £384.89 Availability 250GB, 500GB Alluring Blue; 1TB, 2TB, Deep Black In the box 2TB SSD, USB 3.1 Type-C to A cable, USB 3.1 Type-C to C cable Transfer speed Up to 540MB/s Interface USB Type C, 3.1 Gen 2, backwards compatible Security Samsung Portable SSD software compatible with Windows 7 or higher, Max OSX Mavericks, Yosemite, El Capitan and Sierra, Android 4.4 (KitKat) and higher Shock resistance From up to 2m (tested under controlled conditions) Operating temperature 0-60°C Operating humidity 65°C Dimensions 74x57.3x10.5mm Weight 51g Contact samsung.com/T5

The T5 is at home in a front pocket or a shirt/blouse pocket and as it weighs just 51g you don’t really notice it. Small is beautiful certainly rings true with the T5

Samsung Portable SSD T5 2TB £759.49 Flash memory and solid state drives (SSD) are more reliable thanks to the lack of moving parts than conventional hard drives and they offer better performance than conventional hard drives too, with quicker read/write, data access and start-up times. Fact. Given the advantages you won’t be surprised that SSDs are significantly more expensive and don’t offer the large capacities of hard drives. If outright capacity at affordable prices is your need then traditional hard drives is the way to go, and that situation is unlikely to change for a little while. If you value speed and reliability, then the Samsung Portable SSD T5 could be for you. The range offers four capacities: 250GB, 500TB, 1TB and 2TB, starting at £125.49. The two smaller sizes are available in Alluring Blue, while the two bigger drives are sold in Deep Black only. These high spec SSDs have the added benefit of small size and I have been trying the 2TB version for the past month or so. As I get around a lot, I have my work in progress material on a Seagate 2TB drive and while this is portable and compact, put it

alongside the T5 and it looks huge. The T5 is literally half the size and a few millimetres slimmer too. While the Seagate drive is pocketable you know it’s there and it’s not so comfortable in the back trouser pocket. By comparison, the T5 is at home in a front pocket or a shirt/ blouse pocket and as it weighs just 51g you don’t really notice it. Small is beautiful certainly rings true with the T5. Performance-wise, the T5 was not a let-down either. Using the Black Magic Disk Speed Test app, write speed was tested at 418.8MB/s and read speed at 425.5MB/s. To get the most from the T5 you need USB-C compatible hardware, but even using it on a typical USB3.0 connection I was getting 102MB/s, which is impressive. Speed is one thing, security is another. The provided software provides security, and it’s downloadable from Samsung’s website too should you format the drive. To sum up, Samsung’s Portable SSD T5 2TB is a lovely piece of kit. I used one as my work drive for a couple of weeks which meant it travelled around in my camera bag

or stuffed into a pocket when not connected up. It didn’t fail once, and the lightning fast write/read times were really useful. I appreciate the T5 even more now that I’m back with my old Seagate drive.

Image To demonstrate just how petite the Samsung Portable SSD T5 is, here it is shown alongside a credit card and an SD card. It is also very slim, just 10.5mm, so perfect for slipping into the work bag – or your shirt pocket.

Verdict Stable, secure and safe data storage is very, very important. The Samsung T5 SSDs not only fulfil all those needs but do so in a really portable and compact package, making it perfect for on the move image creators. The 2TB version is by no means cheap but SSDs are more expensive than traditional hard drives anyway, and the T5’s blistering speed makes it a worthwhile buy. If you don’t need the 2TB capacity, the 250GB version is a very attractive £125.49 and if you need more capacity than that on the move, perhaps you should take a close look at your workflow. Pros Tiny, reliability, speed, supplied cables with Velcro ties which is a nice touch Cons SSD prices are higher than traditional hard drives


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

41

First tests

Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD £649.99

Specs Format APS-C only Mount Canon EF-S, Nikon DX Construction 16 elements in 11 groups Special lens elements Three LD (Low Dispersion) elements, two moulded aspherical elements, one hybrid aspherical Coatings BBAR (Broad Band Anti Reflection)

Superzooms are popular one lens solutions when you want to travel light without compromising your creative options too much. This new Tamron has a zoom range of 22.2x, the widest range you can get for APS-C DSLRs. In Nikon, this equates to a 35mm focal length equivalent of 27mm to 600mm; in Canon 29mm to 620mm. If that sounds impressive on paper, it is. In practice, it’s amazing. Fit the lens on the camera and without changing position, zoom from one end of the lens to the other, and the effect is truly remarkable. From something tiny in the frame at 18mm to framefilling at 400mm is a big sell in itself. However, this lens has more. There’s Tamron’s VC technology to help eliminate camera shake which on this lens offers a 2.5EV benefit and autofocusing is handled by Tamron’s HLM (High/Low torque-modulated Drive) motor for smooth, quiet and fast operation. Using an HLD motor also helps in keeping the lens nicely compact. The modest maximum aperture necessitates dipping into your camera’s higher ISO settings on less bright days, although that is not an

issue with newer cameras and if you need to shoot at ISO 800, then image quality is not impacted too greatly. I used the lens on a Canon EOS 200D, a tiny, lightweight DSLR and the lens was the senior partner in this combination. At the shorter focal lengths I was happy with the shots at 1/60sec or even slower, but I was aware of the odd less sharp image at the longer focal lengths so tried to keep shutter speeds higher. Optically, this lens is a decent performer and while handling is good, it is worth saying that it needs sound technique to get sharp shots at the longer focal lengths and when you start getting close to the subject – the focuses as close as 45cm. The VC technology helps, but camera shake and inaccurate focusing is a risk. As far as supports go, I’d suggest a good monopod as a minimum and if you do use a tripod remember you are going to have a front-heavy combination that could be easily windaffected so be careful at those slower shutter speeds. At 18mm the centre looks crisp from f/3.5 with softer edges and stopping down improves the whole image. If

Right Two shots taken from the same spot illustrate the pulling power of this Tamron superzoom. Below Test shots at three focal lengths. The camera was mounted on a Gitzo Systematic tripod. Images were shot on a Canon EOS 200D and the Raw files were processed in Lightroom with no sharpening applied. In-camera sharpening or unsharp mask applied in editing will make more of this – and any other – lens.

18mm

100mm 10mm

400mm

F/3.5

F/5.6

F/6.3

F/4

F/6.3

F/8

F/5.6

F/8

F/11

Filter size 72mm Aperture range F/3.5-6.3 to f/22-40 Diaphragm Seven rounded blades Manual focus Yes Minimum focus 45cm Focus limiter No. There is a zoom lock but at 18mm only Maximum magnification 1:2.9 Distance scale No Depth-of-field scale No Image stabilizer Tamron Vibration Compensation (VC) with 2.5EV benefit Tripod collar No Lens hood HB028 supplied

F/8

F/11

F/16

F/11

F/16

F/22

F/16

F/22

F/32

F/22

F/32

F/40

Weather-sealed Features moisture-resistant seals Dimensions 123.9x79mm Weight 710g Contact Intro2020.com

18mm

400mm

you can, stop down to f/8 for a solid showing and don’t go far beyond as diffraction softens the results. F/8 is again the best aperture setting to use at the 100mm setting although it’s pretty good at the wider settings too. The same can’t be said at the smaller settings; f/22 and f/32 are best avoided if you can. At the 400mm end, open aperture performance was good and improved, especially the edges, at f/8 and f/11 and those settings are advised if you want the best performance. Such a wide focal length means the supplied lens hood does not help to combat flare, but this superzoom seemed good in that respect and images remained high contrast even shooting towards the sun. WC

Verdict Having one lens for every occasion sounds tempting and this Tamron’s 22.2x zoom range is remarkable and it does a great job of pulling in distant detail. The downside is that at the 400mm end it’s the 35mm equivalent of a 600mm (Nikon) or 620mm (Canon) which means it needs careful focusing and, preferably, a support to ensure good sharpness. No tripod mount is supplied which means relying on the camera being fitted to the support, which isn’t ideal. Packing so much into a superzoom means compromises and the optical performance of this lens is decent without being stunning; however, if you want a single lens solution at a more than reasonable price, this 22.2x zoom is worth a look. Pros Great focal length range, coverage, good value, compact, good minimum focus Cons Needs sound technique at the long end, optically less strong at the smaller apertures


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

43

First tests

Profoto A1 £849 Profoto is promoting its A1 as the world’s smallest studio light, which considering it has a hotshoe fitting might just seem like marketing puff. However, while it is true that the A1 has a hotshoe it is not an on-camera flashgun in the sense of a Nikon Speedlight SB-910 or a Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT, and if you dig a little deeper into the A1’s feature list, you can see Profoto’s thinking. It is not designed for power, rather it is designed to give a high quality light ideal for shaping or sculpting, and it slots into Profoto’s line-up of advanced mains and battery-powered flash lights. Having used the A1 in picturetaking situations and performed some comparison shots with my old Nikon SB-900 speedlight, I can appreciate the difference and their respective performance benefits. We’ll get into the A1’s feature list shortly, but the key feature that differentiates the A1’s output and that of a speedlight is its round head. The head’s shape and the Fresnel lens on the front gives a light that is centre-weighted with soft, smooth fall-off towards the edges. It’s designed for modifying or shaping, in Profoto-speak. There is a magnetic mount around the A1’s head to attach light shapers – three are supplied with the A1 as standard and more are available. Supplied is a diffuser dome, wide lens and a flag/bounce card. These can be used on their own, or in combination with some power loss depending on what you are using. The magnetic connection method works well and security is good. How secure depends on the situation. I tried the A1 in a mocked up, two-camera/flash set-up and had no issues with the dome or wide lens, while the larger bounce card is easier to catch. The unit I tested was a Nikon fit, so I used it on Nikon D800/810 bodies. The A1 is powered by a rechargeable Li-ion battery with 350 full manual bursts claimed capacity. Recycle time at full power is just over one second. The round head can be adjusted for bounce at different angles and can be swivelled laterally 360°.

Images The Profoto A1 is straightforward to set up, produces a lovely quality light and makes getting great shots which don’t look over-flashed very easy.

Specs Price £849 What’s in the box Profofo A1, battery, charger, case, dome diffuser, bounce card, wide lens, flash stand, USB 2.0 lead and mains lead Availability Canon, Nikon. Sony due in 2018 Output 76Ws Power range 9EV, 2.0-10 in 0.1EVB steps Recycling time 0.05 to 1.2secs Modes TTL, high speed sync (HSS), manual Modelling lamp Yes, LED Operating range Normal sync and remote control, up to 300m HSS, up to 100m Interface Micro USB for firmware upgrades Power Rechargeable Li-ion battery that fully charges in 80mins, capacity of 350 full power flashes Dimensions 199x73x77mm Weight 560g with battery Contact profoto.com

There is a zoom mechanism, too, that you can use manually or have set to auto to match the lens’s angle of view. There is a small mouth or u-shaped icon at the top left corner of the LCD panel. A shallow ‘u’ means wider overage and a taller; a tighter ‘u’ is a more telephoto setting. There is no actual focal length setting. Profoto makes great play about A1’s user-friendly menu and I can see why. Turn the unit on and you see an unlock icon after a second or so, and after that you are ready to start shooting.

Push the set button that the menu shows on the LCD. In the menu, you can set AirTTL functionality, modelling light output, how you want the zoom head to work and a few other useful things. Profoto quotes a 76Ws output for the A1. At full power, from a distance of 2m, the auto zoom head at 50mm and ISO 200 set, full power was metered at f/16.1. For interest, the Nikon SB-900 in the same situation gave a reading of f/16.7. On the unit’s side is a TTL/manual switch so you have the choice of how to work, whether you have the A1 on its own or working with other Profoto units. You can also have the A1 off-camera, too, if you have an AirTTL Remote trigger, Used with other Profoto units, you need to turn on the AirTTL function, and here you will find four groups available – three of which are TTL. With AirTTL on other Profoto items, units can be synched by the A1 using either TTL or HSS modes and output controlled wirelessly. The A1 can be used on other cameras by setting X-sync in the menu. Here, though, it is manual operation only and there is no auto aperture mode, so you just have

to adjust the output to suit your camera settings. I really enjoyed using the A1. Setup is intuitive and getting great shots is easy. The light has a lovely quality that is less harsh than that from a speedlight. Of course, you have to do test shots and fine-tune but the A1 made this easy, so I just left it in TTL and let the flash and camera do the heavy lifting. I really liked the simple menu which isn’t deep and does not need much scrolling through to find what you want. The A1’s quality of light is lovely, whether the light source is flash only or if you want to supplement natural light to lift deep shadows. I am certainly looking forward to using the Profoto A1 more but it hasn’t made my speedlight redundant. If I was shooting a black tie dinner/dance and press-style grip-and-grins, I would use the speedlight to give bright, snappy results with edge-to-edge coverage and enough power for f/5.6 or f/8 for group shots. However, if I was doing a beauty shoot, editorial shots or character portraits where the quality of light was all important, the Profoto A1 and modifiers would go into the bag. WC

Verdict The Profoto A1 is highly priced but it is a well thought out and very advanced lighting unit that works really well on its own on-camera or off-camera with an AirTTL Remote. To really fulfil its potential, an A1 as the master unit of a Profoto B1X or B2 set-up would be the business, and certainly something to aspire to. Pros Menu easy to use, high capacity battery, magnetic modifier mount, light quality, LED model lamp, meshes with Profoto’s lighting systems Cons Price, TTL/manual switch could be firmer to avoid unintentional change


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

44

First tests

Think Tank StreetWalker Pro V2.0 £194.99 Long-beloved by working pros, Think Tank’s StreetWalker series is back with an update (or three). There’s the basic V2.0, the Pro V2.0 and the Harddrive V2.0; it’s the middle of the three on test here, but the others use identical materials and vary mainly in capacity. The StreetWalker Pro V2.0 has external dimensions of 25x47x21cm, and a single, large internal compartment of 24x44x19cm. It’s slightly thinner at the top and really quite compact-looking overall. In fact, at first glance, it looked to me too small to be useful – that all changed when I started packing it. The Pro V2.0 can actually fit a lot in. This is partially to do with its depth. At nearly 20cm, you can easily fit a typical pro-DSLR body, or in my case a D810 with a grip attached. It’s a better fit at the bottom due to the extra space there, but works either way. It also means you can stack small lenses if required; handy if not really best practice. The inner has a large main divider that’s hinged and made of a thicker material than the small slot-in ones. Its shape allows you to stow bodies with a large lens attached, and in testing I quickly modified it to take a Nikon D810 with 70-200mm f/2.8; if you mirror the placement, you could fit another large lens-mounted body next to it. The smaller dividers are thin but don’t feel flimsy, and their slimness means more space for gear. They can be moved around simply enough and grip well; for instance, they supported my 24-70mm f/2.8 vertically without movement. The sides of the bag are well padded, doubly so on the bottom, and I couldn’t find any weak spots there.

In testing, I also stowed a 16-35mm f/4; a D800 body; a 105mm f/1.4; a bag of screw-in filters; and a Manfrotto Befree tripod – pretty much all I needed. There’s scope for other kit, too. The dedicated tablet pocket will take a 10in model, and I fitted a cased iPad 2 with a keyboard attachment, though it was a bit of a squeeze. The main flap has inner and outer pockets: inside, there are two – useful for small items; outside, the lower pocket is pleated to allow thicker items; the top pocket is thinner but with plenty of sections. Neither front pocket is padded, so you need to keep breakables in the main compartment. Capacity is aided by two side pockets on each side, one zippable and the other stretchy mesh. The former are also pleated and I managed to squeeze in a lightweight jacket, but couldn’t zip the pocket up. If you want to attach a tripod, it can be added to the main flap using a combination of two (included) straps, the lower front pocket, or a tripod shoe that pulls out from the bottom of the bag (this last feature is for longer models). It all works well, with the straps clipping neatly and securely to well-stitched loops. That they can be removed makes them more likely to be mislaid, but also streamlines the bag. With tripod attached the flap can still be opened, and there’s webbing on the straps, and two D-rings if anything else needs attaching. Fully loaded, I took the bag for a good hike around town to see how comfortable it was. The StreetWalker Pro V2.0 weighs 1.5kg itself, and I had about 8kg packed.

Specs Material Poly-coated 1680D ballistic nylon outer Tripod holder Yes Sternum strap Yes, adjustable Laptop pocket Yes, 10in Waist belt Yes Zips YKK Dimensions (exterior wxhxd) 25x47x21cm Dimensions (interior wxhxd) 24x44x19cm Weight 1.6kg Contact snapperstuff.com

With that in mind it felt pretty good on the shoulders, thanks to the width and thickness of the padded shoulder straps. Adjusting them with the bag donned was easy, and the sternum strap is adjustable in height which is helpful. Properly fitted, movement was minimal. The contact points of the bag are well padded and breathable, though they might be a little stiff for some. There’s also a stitched lip which meets the lower pad above the bottom of the bag and this felt a bit uncomfortable when I was wearing a t-shirt; switching to a thick jumper helped. It’s also worth noting that, while the bag’s depth is welcome, it does shift your centre of

gravity backwards, something that’s more noticeable when you attach the weight of a tripod. There’s a simple waist belt, but it’s not padded or particularly comfortable (it’s removable, so you can upgrade it to something like the Pro Speed Belt, £35, if required). The bag’s materials used are firstclass throughout, from the 1680D water-repellent outer to the closedcell PU foam dividers in the main compartment. The YKK-branded zips are high-quality, with a good, smooth pull and a lockable clasp. There’s also a seam-sealed allweather cover, but it’s not stitched in – at the point of going to press I hadn’t lost it, but there’s always time.

It felt pretty good on the shoulders, thanks to the width and thickness of the padded straps Verdict The Think Tank StreetWalker Pro V2.0 is a high-quality backpack with an excellent range of features, but one that also comes in at the top end, price-wise. Bar some gripes, it’s pretty comfortable in the carry; gear is easy to access and you can pack a lot in it. If you can stretch to the price, it delivers, and the durable material used should make it value for money in the long term.

Images At first glance, the StreetWalker Pro V2.0 might look too small to fit much in, but start packing and its impressive storage capacity becomes apparent. The main compartment is deep, accommodating an impressive array of kit, such as two DSLRs with grips and large lenses attached.

Pros Build quality, space, features and operation Cons Hefty price, belt, lip on lower back pad


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

47

Technique

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 a pro. This month, why you need to try panning shots – and how to improve results… Words & pictures by Kingsley Singleton When you’re starting out, there are several techniques that mark out your progression into creative photography, and one of them is mastering a panning shot. A panning shot can be achieved by accident, but knowing how to do it on purpose is something different. Panning shots are grouped within a creative sphere of photography called intentional camera movement (ICM), and they involve setting the correct exposure, and moving the camera in the right way. What is a panning shot? A panning shot is one that has a motion-blurred background and a sharp subject. The shutter speed needs to be slow enough to produce motion blur as the camera is moved, but the subject must be kept sharp by following its movement through the exposure. The subject of your panning shot doesn’t need to be kept completely sharp, and shots can look great with just a small, important part clearly focused, like the rider on a horse or the headlights of a car. Like any technique, panning shots take practise and you also need to compose correctly and set the right shutter speed for the subject, more on which below. How to set up a panning shot The first thing you’ll need is a moving subject. The most accessible things to use are cars and bikes, and they’re also the easiest to produce sharp shots of as they move in a predictable direction and speed. Other vehicles such as aircraft, trains and boats can work, too. You can also shoot running animals, though due to their organic motion they’re more difficult to keep sharp; there’s movement across several planes, only one of which can be kept sharp at a time, no matter how good your technique. Which shooting mode? Although panning is an effect that relies on picking the right shutter speed, you can shoot in aperture- or shutter-priority mode. It’s a toss up: the advantage of shooting in aperturepriority (A or Av) is that you’ll be more likely to get an exposure neither too bright nor too dim (as there are more available shutter speeds than apertures, it’s easier for the camera to match the shutter to an aperture than vice versa). The advantage of using shutter-priority (S or Tv) is that you’ll be able to set the shutter speed more accurately to suit the subject.

1/20sec

What shutter speed for panning? The shutter speed is dependent on the speed of the subject and how close it is to you. It needs to be slow enough to pick up the motion of your pan, but not so slow that you can’t keep the subject sharp. The slower the speed the more motion blur you’ll get, but the faster you turn the camera the more motion blur you’ll get, too. A runner might require 1/15 or 1/30sec, while a racing car could see 1/125sec used successfully. The speed required also depends on the focal length you’re using. If you’re zoomed in a long way, you’ll need to turn the camera less far than you would when framing wider at the same shutter speed.

1/60sec

Framing and focus Get yourself in a position where the subject will pass close enough for you to frame them at a decent size, and without obstructions such as trees, fences or people. In terms of focal length, what you choose is important: a very wide setting such as 18mm will show more distortion so the motion-blurred pan may have a curved look; with long focal lengths such as 100mm or more, it can be more difficult to keep the subject’s position constant in the frame. For those reasons, focal lengths between 35mm and 70mm can work best, though you should feel free to experiment; trial and error is very much part of panning technique.

Above A smooth turn, following the movement of the subject is vital for good panning results. Left The slower the shutter speed, the easier it is to blur the background, but it’s harder to keep the subject sharp. How to improve your chances Switch to continuous drive mode and set AF to continuous. Point your feet in the direction the subject is moving and then turn back towards it, ready to shoot. As it approaches, start turning with it and focus. When it’s time to shoot, fire off a series of shots, but keep turning even after the last shot to keep the pan smooth. Something else that’ll help keep the subject sharp is shooting at the point their movement is aligned with the focal plane of the camera – that’s usually when the subject is passing your position. Overall, remember that panning is a slightly random effect and practise always makes perfect. NEXT MONTH Embrace the long evenings and join us for a two-part night special. To start, we show you how to tackle light trails


Photography News | Issue 49 | photographynews.co.uk

48

Competition

Editor’s letter

Fluff, hype or worthwhile?

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@photographynews.co.uk with that word in the subject box by 26 November. The correct answer to PN47’s word search was LumeJet and the Samsung 128GB card was won by Kay Rogan from County Durham. samsung.com/uk/memory-storage

Over the past few years, we have seen many tremendously exciting advances on the lighting front. Radio triggers, high capacity lithium-ion batteries, modifiers in all shapes and sizes and portable location lighting, to name but a few. Last month, I was invited to Stockholm for a worldwide launch. Sitting in the auditorium, along with over 100 guests from around the world, I waited in great expectation wondering what the new product might be. As Profoto is a lighting company, it had to be something to do with lighting, but it might have decided to go off-piste and diversify into tripods, bags or filters. You never know in this game. Anyway, at the appointed moment, the image of the A1 came and my immediate reaction was ‘oh, it’s a speedlight with a round head.’ Then, as the presentation went through its features and how the A1 came about I appreciated and understood the thinking of the unit’s tagline, ‘the world’s smallest studio light’. The proof, of course, is in the eating and now, having spent time with the A1, I think it is a great unit that delivers exactly what Profoto claims. It has huge potential especially if you mesh in other Profoto products like the B1 or B2 systems. My initial cynicism, though, I think is a perfectly natural and healthy reaction. I have been to literally hundreds, maybe thousands, of product launches and you are always told that the new thing is the best/fastest/smallest/most powerful blah blah and so much better than the last best/fastest/smallest/most powerful blah blah ever. So, inevitably, I think you become impervious to marketing fluff and PR hype. Very occasionally, I think the hype has some

foundation. I may be getting soft in my old age, but I think Profoto has got it spot on with the A1 and its feature list. Clearly it is not for everyone, and that’s without taking the £849 price tag into consideration. Nevertheless, it is another lighting innovation and an exciting one too. While in Stockholm I had time to visit Fotografiska, the Swedish Museum of Photography. It costs around £13 to get in (cards only, not cash) and it was worth every Swedish krona. By pure chance there was a super awesome (as I heard an American lady say) exhibition from one of my photographic icons, Irving Penn, and some stunning reportage work by Paul Hansen. I spent a few very happy hours enjoying simply wonderful photographs, not ‘installations’ or images that should have been deleted accompanied by pretentious narrative, which seems the staple diet of some of our photography galleries. I am of course being harsh – I have been to some wonderful exhibitions in UK. But I have seen plenty of garbage hanging on walls that simply does not deserve to be there. What’s more, my email inbox gets news of such unworthy shows most weeks. And that, dear readers, is neither fluff nor hype. See you next month, for our mega pre-Christmas issue.

Register on photographynews.co.uk and you can read Photography News online on your smartphone, tablet or computer as soon as it’s published.

news

ISSN 2059-7584 When you have finished with this newspaper, please recycle it

C

I

M

H

J

S

J

W

N

T

S

T

J

W

Z

X

N

P

S

O

U

K

U

Q

S

O

K

O

J

E

L

D

R

T

E

S

T

S

N

A

T

Y

Z

O

O

M

S

T

E

R

C

P

M

V

W

F

S

F

S

X

J

A

O

P

B

E

P

L

U

R

E

K

D

T

U

Q

R

Y

A

A

S

T

P

E

O

S

P

I

M

C

J

S

R

Z

M

F

S

A

F

I

O

U

H

H

D

Y

O

P

P

O

N

F

D

P

I

H

N

R

O

E

L

I

R

G

F

Z

S

E

P

T

R

I

M

A

E

D

I

X

K

A

H

X

A

U

P

S

Q

J

U

H

F

D

G

G

M

S

S

E

L

E

R

I

W

M

E

W

D

F

P

R

O

P

S

J

R

E

S

O

L

U

T

I

O

N

Z

K

T

H

I

R

D

S

O

I

X

F

Judges Micro Minimum Olympus Paper

Advertising Team

Design Team

Editorial director Roger Payne

Sales director Matt Snow 01223 499453 mattsnow@bright-publishing.com

Design director Andy Jennings Senior designers Mark George & Laura Bryant Designer Man-wai Wong

Contributing editor Kingsley Singleton kingsleysingleton@bright-publishing.com

Advertising manager Krishan Parmar 01223 499462 krishanparmar@bright-publishing.com

Digital editor Jemma Dodd jemmadodd@bright-publishing.com

Key accounts Mike Elliott mikeelliott@bright-publishing.com

Senior sub editor Lisa Clatworthy

Sales executive Shannon Walford 01223 499457

Sub editors Siobhan Godwood & Felicity Evans

Parfocal Profoto Props Star Resolution

Spot Tests Thirds Wireless Zoomster

If you do not want to receive any marketing information from Bright Publishing or our partners, in your email entry please type NO INFO.

Editorial Team Editor Will Cheung FRPS 01223 499469 willcheung@bright-publishing.com

Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridgeshire, CB22 3HJ www.bright-publishing.com

R

Academy Fireworks Flashhead Foliage Four

Read Photography News online

Photography

O

Publishing Team Managing directors Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck As well as your local camera club, you can pick up Photography News in-store from: Calumet, Cameraworld, Castle Cameras, Jessops, London Camera Exchange, Park Cameras, Wilkinson Cameras

Photography News is published 13 times a year by Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge CB22 3HJ. No part of this magazine can be used without prior written permission of Bright Publishing Ltd. Photography News is a registered trademark of Bright Publishing Ltd. The advertisements published in Photography News that have been written, designed or produced by employees of Bright Publishing Ltd remain the copyright of Bright Publishing Ltd and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. While Bright Publishing makes every effort to ensure accuracy, it can’t be guaranteed. Street pricing at the time of writing is quoted for products.

Photography News 49  

Issue 49 of Photography News

Photography News 49  

Issue 49 of Photography News