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Issue 52 12 Feb – 11 March

news

Break the rules Ignore convention for winning landscapes. We show you how See page 16

Camera club of the Year The latest club to qualify is.... See page 12 for full results

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© Elke Vogelsang

Smallest and lightest Fujifilm X camera yet

GET YOUR

With a compact bodyform, long list of features and competitive price, the Fujifilm X-A5 is sure to attract many admirers At the Fujifilm X-A5’s heart is a newly developed 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor that includes an Ultra Sonic Vibration cleaning system. The sensor can produce JPEGs, Raws and shoot full HD video. There’s some 4K video capability too. The regular ISO range is 200 to 12,800 and that can be expanded to 51,200, while the X-A5 is the first in this series to feature phase detection pixels originally developed for top-end X-series models so you also get an Intelligent Hybrid AF system that delivers very fast, accurate autofocusing. The large rear touchscreen can flip up 180° to face forward, making for easy selfie shooting and in this position Eye AF is activated for spot-on selfies. Once you have made your capture, shots can be shared thanks to the X-A5’s low-energy Bluetooth for image transfer to your smart device. A new compact standard zoom has been introduced too and it’s an ideal partner for the X-A5. The XC15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ lens is the smallest and lightest zoom in the Fujifilm X lens range, covering the most commonly used focal lengths The Fujifilm X-A5 will be available this February as a kit with the XC 15-45mm

f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ lens in brown, pink or black priced at £549. The XC15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 lens on its own sells for £259 and is available in silver or black. fujifilm.eu Continue reading on page 3

Head to the NEC this March for the UK’s biggest photography exhibition. Book your tickets with PN and you’ll save £3 off an adult ticket. Full offer details on page 8.


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk


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Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

News

Smallest and lightest Fujifilm X camera yet The X-A5 might be the smallest and lightest X-series camera we’ve seen from Fujifilm so far, but lurking in that compact, elegant body is a camera bristling with the latest technology and features. The sensor is a newly developed 24.2-megapixel CMOS unit that offers an ISO range of 200 to 12,800 with expansion up to 51,200. You can shoot Raw, JPEGs and Full HD video, plus the X-A5 has some interesting 4K video features, too. You can record Full HD video up to quad speed for slow motion clips, while in 4K there is a Multi Focus setting that automatically stacks images as it adjusts focus, to give extreme depth-of-field. There’s also a 4K Burst function that shoots 15 frames in a second, then you can choose the shot that captures the moment best. The camera features Fujifilm’s famous Film Simulation modes with 11 settings on offer, and in addition there are 17 advanced filter settings to explore, including Fog Remove and HDR Art. Exposures are handled by an advanced TTL 256-zone light measuring system with the option of multi-zone, spot and average settings. Working with this is the usual line-up of program, advanced-priority, shutter-priority and manual modes. Mechanical and electronic shutters are available, the top speed on the former is 1/4000sec while

At-a-glance spec Sensor 23.5x15.7mm CMOS sensor giving 6000x4000 pixel images. Features ultrasonic vibration sensor cleaning Lens mount Fujifilm-X ISO range 200-12,800, expansion up to 51,200 Shutter range Mechanical: 4secs to 1/4000sec in P, 30secs to 1/4000sec in other modes. B up to 60 mins, time setting: 30secs to 1/4000sec. Flash sync 1/180sec Electronic shutter 4secs to 1/32,000sec in P, 30secs to 1/32,000sec in other modes. B 1sec fixed, time setting: 30secs to 1/32,000sec Continuous shooting Up to 6fps

on the latter you get speeds up to 1/32,000sec for shooting in bright light with wide-lens apertures. For action subjects, the X-A5 can race through shots at six framesper-second. The camera’s battery has been enhanced and up to 450 exposures are possible. To go with the X-A5, and also fully compatible with other X-series cameras, is the very compact and lightweight XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ – it weighs a mere 135g.

Covering the 35mm format equivalent of 23 to 69mm, this XC 15-45mm is perfect as a general photography lens, and its compact dimensions make it an ideal partner for the X-A5. Its optical construction features ten elements, including three aspherical and two ED lenses in nine groups, to deliver a high quality performance. To save space, this zoom lens does not have a manual zoom barrel but an electric

zoom motor instead, with two speeds of operation, while an inner autofocusing mechanism gives a fast and silent operation. At the wide setting, focusing to within 5cm of the lens front makes good close-up shots possible. The Fujifilm X-A5 is priced at £549 with the XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ lens; brown, pink or black are the colour options. The XC1545mm f/3.5-5.6 lens sells for £259 in silver or black.

LCD monitor Tiltable 3in touch-screen LCD with 1040k dots Storage 1x SD/SDHC/SDXC card Battery life Up to 450 frames Dimensions 116.9x67.7x40.4mm Weight 361g with battery and card Contact Fujifilm.eu

Samsung’s new SSDs Snappy holsters Samsung has announced its upgraded SATA solid state drive (SSD) line-up. The 860 PRO and 860 EVO series are the first consumer SSD drives with V-NAND technology and offer industry leading performance in speed, reliability, compatibility and capacity. Both SSDs support up to 560MB/s read and 530MB/s write speeds, so time-saving for image-makers using the the latest high megapixel cameras and shooting 4K video. The 860 EVO will be available in five capacities from 250GB to 4TB, with the 250GB priced at £90.49 and the 4TB at £1324.49. The 860 EVO is available in 2.5in for PCs and laptops as well as mSATA and M2 form factors. Five sizes are also offered in the 860 PRO range, which is available in 2.5in form so suitable

MindShift has added to its bag range with four OutBound camera holsters designed to protect a single camera kit from the elements, so perfect for the great outdoors. Each features a domed top, adjustable dividers and a large side pocket, while an elements barrier under the zip

for laptops, NAS drives and PCs; as a guide the 256GB version costs £126.49 and the 1TB £433.49. samsungssd.com

keeps dust and moisture away from the holster’s contents. The Outbound Holster 10, which can take an APS-C DSLR, has a guide price of £67.25; the largest is the 50, suitable for a DSLR, fast aperture lens and a flashgun, is priced at £96. snapperstuff.com


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Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

News

Nissin gets flash Now available from Kenro, the allnew Nissin Commander Air 10s joins Nissin’s Air System (NAS). It's an advanced wireless 2.4Ghz flash trigger priced at £161.94, available for Canon and Nikon with Fujifilm, Micro Four Thirds and Sony to come soon. The Air 10s is designed to work with the NASready i60A and Di700A, as well as any flashguns connected to a Receiver Air R, and optional £59 radio receiver. Key features include a 100m working range with TTL exposure control, high speed sync up to 1/8000sec and rear curtain flash, all controlled wirelessly. It is also possible to control up to eight groups of flashguns and each group can have their outputs and settings adjusted independently. There are nice touches, too: if you are shooting TTL flash the Air 10s memorises the exposure and you can then switch to manual flash with the same settings, with one touch. Looking to the future, the Air 10s has a MicroSD card slot for firmware updates.

The Nissin Commander Air 10s, top-end advanced wireless remote. Also from Kenro, the compact and lightweight carbon-fibre Nissin LS-50C lighting stand. It extends to 2m, weighs just 575g, and folds down to 48cm. The guide price is £147.50. kenro.co.uk

Fujifilm gets tough The Fujifilm FinePix XP130 is dustproof, waterproof to 20m, shockproof to 1.75m and freezeproof. Its ruggedness is just one selling point, but there is much more. Images are delivered by a 16.4-megapixel backilluminated CMOS sensor, the lens is a Fujinon 5x optical zoom with the option of a 10x digital

zoom, and there’s optical image stabilsation to help get sharp shots in low light situations. Its compact and light body (just 207g) also features a 3in 920K dot sensor, eye detection AF and an electronic level, so slanting horizons are a thing of the past. For easy sharing of images, there’s Bluetooth

and Wi-Fi for instant sharing and image transfer to smart phones and tablets – just download the free Fujifilm Camera Remote app to your device. For Instax Share printer users, images can be transferred from the camera directly. The XP130 is available from this month at £199. fujifilm.eu


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Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

News

Fotospeed new finish

News in brief © Mario Popham

Fotospeed has developed its new fine art inkjet paper in collaboration with landscape photographer Joe Cornish. Platinum Cotton 305 is 100% cotton and acid-free, contains no optical brightening agents and claims outstanding archival qualities. Its finish is a

© Rose Nixon

off the Fotospeed stand (located at F31). A 25 sheet box of A4 costs £31.99. Also on the stand will be range of talks featuring Charlie Waite, Paul Sanders, and Trevor and Faye Yerbury. fotospeed.com

Now on in Edinburgh © Rose Nixon

At Home Manchester’s HOME Projects is hosting a show entitled Of Flesh and Bone, an exhibition of photography and drawings by photographer Mario Popham and artist Tom Baskeyfield investigating how we shaped and have been shaped by stone. You’ll find HOME at 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester M15 4FN and this show is in the Granada Foundation Gallery, main gallery, open Monday to Sunday, 11 to 8pm. Entrance is free.

smooth natural white, and features include a wide colour gamut and great handling of fine detail. The new paper is available on Fotospeed’s website. Visitors to its stand at The Photography Show (see page 8 and save £3 on your adult ticket) will be able to buy

homemcr.org

Leica primes Leica’s SL system gains two primes, the APO-SummicronSL 75mm f/2 ASPH and the APO-Summicron-SL 90mm f/2 ASPH, priced at £3750 and £4100 respectively. Both lenses are available now. The Summicron-SL 35 mm f/2 ASPH and the APO-Summicron-SL 50 mm f/2 ASPH are scheduled for later in 2018. leica.com Sirui goes to Intro2020 Leading photo distributor Intro2020 has added tripod brand Sirui to its product portfolio, which also includes Crumpler, Hoya and Tamron. intro2020.co.uk

Above Two of the stunning horticultural close-ups that have gained Rosie Nixon a global following.

The Close Photography Gallery is a private exhibition space run by commercial photographer Chris Close. On until 28 February is Saying it with Flowers by Rosie Nixon. Rosie has a global following, both for her photography and writing on the subject. She was asked by Google+ to become a member of their elite Google Create team as an expert in her field and even has an orchid officially named after her by the Royal Horticultural Society (Masdevallia ‘Rosie Nixon’). Chris says: “The fact that she is based so near was a happy coincidence as I‘ve recently been

Lastolite making great light Studio gear specialists Lastolite by Manfrotto has added two products to its Skylite Rapid lighting panel range. Skylite Rapid panels are portable, quick to assemble, lightweight, and can be used as reflectors, diffusers or to create shade when you need it. The current range has been supplemented by two new sizes. These are the Midi, measuring 1.5m square, and the Extra Large, which is 3m square. Each

aluminium frame disassembles to fit into a neat, portable carrying case and different finish covers are available depending on what you want to achieve. So, for example, in the case of the Midi, to soften light there is a 1.25EV diffuser while the silver/white finish is perfect for bouncing light around. For the Extra Large the only covers available are 0.75EV and 1.25EV diffusers. The two sizes are available as frames and covers

separately and there is a kit option, too. The Midi frame costs £112.95 and covers are £92.95 each. The Midi kit costs £311.95 and in this you get the frame, the 1.25EV cover, the silver/white reflector and a carrying case. The Extra Large frame sells for £189.95 and covers for £188.95 each, with the kit option (frame and 1.25EV cover) priced at £385.95. manfrotto.co.uk/lastolite

exhibiting work from photographers as far apart as Venezuela, Sweden, France and London.” The gallery is at 48 Howe Street, Edinburgh EH3 6TD, open Wednesday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm or by appointment. gallery-close.com


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Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

News

an Advanced Photo mode for quick access to features like Live Composite and focus stacking, and a whole range of scene modes to have fun with. Add an electronic shutter with a top speed of 1/16,000sec, 121 focus points and a 3in touchscreen and you have a thoroughly modern mirrorless camera. The PEN E-PL9 body only costs

£579.99 and £649.99 with the ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ pancake zoom. The camera will be available mid-March. olympus.co.uk

Shard winners The Shard held a photography contest for the best pictures of its 2017 lights display which was on during December 2017. Over 1400 entries were received and the images were judged by photographer Michael Tomas and Michael Baker, chief executive officer of Real Estate Management. There were three age categories: 11 and under; 12-17; and aged 18 and over, and the winners were Aqeel Miah, Conor Shiels and Alexandru Ifrim, scooping photography kit vouchers worth £500, £750 and £1500 respectively. The prize package also included various Shard experiences.

© Conor Shiels

Images Two of the winning images from the Shard contest.

the-shard.com

Get your colours right and save money Buy an X-Rite i1Studio before 31 March and get a free Color Confidence GrafiLite worth £61.27. The X-Rite i1Studio is a prolevel colour management solution offering precise colour management from capture through to output. We tested it in PN51 and it is very good value even at £450. Now it is

even better value because you get a free GrafiLite which is a daylightquality viewing device, so perfect for checking prints. This offer is available through a number of photographic retailers so check the website for more details. xritephoto.com

Mathieu Asselin, Heather, Canfield, Ohio, 2012 © Mathieu Asselin Courtesy of the artist Deutsche Börse London’s Photographers' Gallery is hosting the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation 2018. The four nominated projects will be on display at an exhibition running from 23 February to 3 June. The winner of the £30,000 prize will be announced on 17 May. The Gallery, at 16 to 18 Ramillies Street, London, is open 10am6pm on weekdays, 11am-6pm on Sundays, and there’s a café and bookshop on site. Entrance is free before noon and then £4 (£2.50 concessions). Please check the website for full details as the gallery does close for show setting up. thephotographersgallery. org.uk Panasonic and the NT Panasonic is now the official photography partner of the National Trust. For the public one benefit is the chance to borrow cameras and lenses as part of the National Trust Roadshow which is visiting a number of properties this spring. For details follow @LumixUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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Enhance your earning power with Professional Photo magazine. Every issue is full of practical advice on how you can take your business further. Issue 142 is currently on sale, showcasing two book projects, looking at what products and trends are going to be hot in 2018 and with not just one, but five lenses on test. Issue 143, available from 1 March, will feature an interview with the Hasselblad Masters Wedding winner Victor Hamke, a review of a brand new mirrorless camera – our lips are sealed on details! – and a glimpse into the world of Marc Aspland and his inspirational ‘sporting bodies’ images. Take advantage of our exclusive money-saving offer and buy a copy of Professional Photo from WHSmith using this voucher, saving you £1 off the usual £4.75 cover price.

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 142 or 143 of Professional Photo on sale between 1 February and 28 March 2018. 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 1 February and 28 March 2018. This voucher is worth £1 plus a 2p handling allowance. The offer is valid to the consumer up to 28 March 2018 and must be returned to your clearing house to arrive no later than 28 February 2018 (issue 142), 28 March 2018 (issue 143). 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.

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pny.eu

The Olympus PEN E-PL9 offers the ideal next step for phone photographers with its great looks, solid build and up-to-date features list. It’s a 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds camera with an ISO range of 200-6400 (expandable to 100-25,600), Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for fast picture-sharing and plenty of options to get creative. This includes 16 Art filters,

News in brief

© Aqeel Miah

PNY has a solution to keep the whole family happy on long distance drives. The Family Car Charger can keep everyone’s device powered up from the car’s power outlet (the cigarette lighter) and costs £22.99, which sounds a bargain. The unit features four universal USB ports and delivers enough power to charge all four devices simultaneously. There’s one 1A output for front seat use and then three Smart USB outputs for rear seat passengers. The unit comes with a clip to attach to the back of most car seats to make it accessible to those in the back.

Entry-level Olympus

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

PNY get family friendly


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Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

News

Photo 24 2018 The Photography News annual festival of photography, in association with Fujifilm, rides again – and here’s why you should come along Photo 24 stemmed from an idea for a few like-minded souls to spend 24 hours shooting together in one of the world’s most photogenic cities. Six years later, Photo 24, in association with Fujifilm, is a massive festival of picture-taking happening on one of the longest days of the year. In 2018, our dates are 29 and 30 June with a 3pm kick-off. The aim, as in previous years, is for photographers to share the experience with fellow togs and indulge a passion for taking pictures. And just to be clear, while many people will do the whole 24 hours, this is not obligatory, so if you only have a few hours to spare, or perhaps want to do a few hours on each day and take your eight hours’ beauty sleep in between, that is perfectly fine. But perhaps we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Photo 24’s popularity means we are unable to accommodate everyone, so we will

be holding a ballot. On 12 March, via our website photographynews. co.uk, we will be asking for interested photographers to register; the closing date for applications is 12 April. The ballot takes place soon afterwards and successful applicants will be offered a place on Photo 24 the week commencing 23 April. If you are successful, you will

have until 8 May to confirm you will be taking your place, otherwise we will pass the invitation on. We know many people would like to attend Photo 24 with friends and fellow club members and we will try to accommodate groups; details will need to be supplied at the time of registration. We are in the process of planning this year’s event and more details will be announced very soon. But we do know that Fujifilm is once again offering camera loans (for the whole 24 hours if required), there will be a Fujifilm GFX mediumformat fine art studio, and there will be a selection of photo walks. If all that has got you fired up, put 12 March in your diary and ‘non-stop photo-fest’ on 29 and 30 June for the event itself. Look out for more Photo 24 news in the next issue of Photography News, out from 12 March. photographynews.co.uk

KEY DATES • Registration opens 12 March • Closing date for applications 12 April • Successful applicants notified week commencing 23 April • Deadline to accept your place 8 May

Save £3 off adult entry

Visit The Photography Show © Tesni Ward

Join us for the UK’s biggest and best imaging exhibition taking place 17-20 March 2018 at Birmingham’s NEC

© Elke Vogelsang

With over 200 imaging brands on show – including Photography News – at this year’s Photography Show (TPS), this is 2018’s go-to event for everyone interested in photography. Exhibitors include Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon Sony, Sigma and Tamron, just to name drop a few, and all aspects of imaging are covered. There’ll be plenty of chances to snap up a bargain too. The PN stand will be in the food gallery area so please come along to pick up a free latest issue, say hello or register for our Photo 24 event, which takes place on 29 and 30 June. TPS is also a great opportunity for learning and inspiration, with over 140 free talks covering different genres and techniques over the show’s four days. On the Super Stage you will have the chance to hear from Art Wolfe, Bruce Davidson and Ami Vitale among many others. Super Stage tickets cost £10 per session. New for this year is The Great Outdoors stage, hosting demos and

talks on techniques and ideas to make the most of your photography. Standard adult entry ticket price is £13.95 but you can save £3 by using the code PNEWSTPS18 when making the booking through the TPS website. photographyshow.com


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Photography News | Issue 52 | 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

Tim Pile

bit.ly/2rAr5B8

Beeston CC

Beckenham PS’s annual exhibition takes place 15 to 17 February, is free and open from 10am to 8pm (to 5pm on the 17th). It takes place at Beckenham Public Hall, Bromley Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 5JE. Club meetings take place on Wednesdays from 7.45pm at St. John’s Church Hall, Eden Park Avenue, Beckenham BR3 3JN. A warm friendly atmosphere awaits if you want to meet others who are keen to enjoy and improve their photography. For enquiries, please contact bpsinformation2017@gmail.com beckenhamphotosoc.org.uk

Image: Are we nearly there yet? by David Rees.

East Midlands AV group The East Midlands AV group held its annual competition on 13 January. 21 entries were shown on a variety of subject matters and production styles with the task of judging them all given over to guest judge, Jeff Mansell who took valuable time out from preparing this year’s MidPhot annual AV championships. A production by Maggie Imhoff and Malcolm Imhoff FRPS won the Caroline Trophy for best AV with a production

Sheffield PS Sheffield PS’s annual exhibition is a showcase for the best recent work of its members and is a prints-only exhibition. It will be held at the Sheffield Cathedral from 9 to 18 March, and will be officially opened by professor Vanessa Toulmin, director of City and Cultural Engagement, Sheffield University. Entries will be judged by Bob Dennis of Bebbington Photographic Society. Entry is free, and visitors are asked to be respectful of any services or other activity taking place in the Cathedral. sheffield-photographer.org.uk

entitled Love Will Remain, which also won The Maggie Imhoff Trophy for the best voiceover and the Foursome Trophy awarded from the audience vote for their favourite AV of the competition. An AV entitled Strike Hard Strike Sure by Keith Watson LRPS was awarded the Ken Abbott Trophy for best runnerup entry and the Elston Trophy for the best intermediate worker. emavg.org.uk

Pensive portrait by Colin New is one of the prints on show at Sheffield PS’s annual show.

Last year’s gold medal winner, Preserving the Cod, David Byrne.

Neath & District PS’s salon Neath and District PS is proud to announce its 2018 UK Salon of Photography. This is the Salon’s fifth year of BPE Patronage and its first with the PAGB. There will be PAGB gold, silver and bronze medals, NDPS gold, silver and bronze medals in each of the four categories. Acceptances are eligible for points towards the BPE Crown Awards scheme. This is a purely digital exhibition with Open Colour, Open Monochrome, Creative and Nature entry categories. As well as medals they will also have PAGB and NDPS ribbons for selectors’ choices, highly commended and commended certificates and each category has its own award for Neath members. All are welcome to enter and this year’s selectors are Sue Moore FRPS, Bob Moore FRPS and Rob Mitchell. Entries can be made either online or through postal entry and the site is open for entries now until 21 April. The selection weekend is 28 to 29 April. neathphotographicsociety.org

Harpenden PS Harpenden PS’s annual Exhibition 2018 takes place 21 April at the High Street Methodist Church, Harpenden, 10am to 4.30pm Always one of the cultural highlights of Hertfordshire’s events calendar, Harpenden PS warmly welcomes all to visit its exciting annual photographic exhibition, featuring the inspirational work of many local photographers. Whether you love landscape, portrait, macro, street, sport or natural world, you will find it all in this exhibition. Harpenden PS’s chairman Peter Stevens says: “The society’s annual exhibition is a wonderful showcase of the very best work of our local photographers, many of whom are award-winning, and they will be displaying the best images from their portfolios. Following last year’s record attendance figures, this year’s exhibition promises to be even bigger, and we’re very excited to once again welcome everyone to come along and take a look.” Harpenden PS is always looking for new recruits, so if you are interested in joining the society, friendly HPS members will be on hand throughout the day to answer any questions you might have about membership. harpendenphoto graphicsociety.co.uk © Dries Vanlerberghe

beestoncameraclub.co.uk

Beckenham on show

© Colin New

Beeston CC will be presenting its annual exhibition at Beeston Library (upstairs) from 10 February until 7 March. There will be 63 prints displayed covering all genres of photography, all taken by members of the club. The club meets each Thursday evening, 8pm to 10pm, from September to the end of April at the British Legion, 16 Hall Croft, Beeston, NG9 1EL. The club provides a varied programme throughout the year and visitors are welcome for a small fee which will be refunded if you subsequently join the club.

We need words and pictures by 2 March 2018 for the next issue of Photography News, which will be available from 12 March 2018. 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

© David Byrne

We did a story on art nude photographer Tim Pile’s presentation at the RPS DIG Group last issue, but somehow forgot to mention the date. Apologies for that omission. The event takes place 25 March at Woosehill Community Hall, Emmview Close, Woosehill, Wokingham, Berkshire RG41 3DA. Doors will open at 10am for a 10.30am start with a 3.30pm finish. Full details and tickets – RPS DIG members £8 RPS members £12, non members £15 – are available from the below web address.

Deadline for the next issue: 2 March 2018

© David Rees

© Tim Pile

Enjoy a day with the fine art nude work of Tim Pile.

How to submit

Image: Dancing Queen by Dries Vanlerberghe.


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

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Camera Club of the Year

in association with

Camera Club of the Year 2017-18 Welcome to Round 4 of this year’s epic competition for all UK camera clubs. This month’s contest theme is about great light – and nothing but great light Words by Will Cheung There are plenty of contests, salons and challenges for camera clubs and photographic societies that get huge support – and rightly so because they challenge their members and there’s the chance of glory. Our Camera Club of the Year contest is a serious challenge, and those five clubs that qualify for the final shoot-out in the spring of this year will have to face something very different if they are to walk off with the title. ‘Daunting’, ‘stressful’ and ‘scary’ were some of the words used by the members of New City Photographic Society before going on to win last year’s shoot-out, capturing images with a range of Fujifilm camera equipment. To win, your club first has to qualify for the final by coming top of the pile in one of the five monthly rounds. Once we know the five finalists, the details of the shoot-out will be released simultaneously to them. Your club’s competition secretary (or whoever is going to enter each month) must sign up at 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, go to ‘Members’ on the top menu bar and you will see ‘CCOTY’ (Camera Club of the Year 2017-18) on the dropdown 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, 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. 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 club 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 and 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 so 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. Clearly it makes sense to give yourself as many winning chances as possible, however. So, good luck. Read the entry details 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 Social networking plays a huge part in modern life and is a key need for many people who love to get their images online as soon as possible. Camera makers like Fujifilm obviously have a big role to play in this, so we are seeing more and more products with wireless connectivity for fast image sharing. The Fujifilm X-E3, for example, has the sort of feature set that we will see more of. It boasts the sort of exciting attributes you would expect of a Fujifilm X Series camera: the X-Trans CMOS sensor has a 24-megapixel resolution, there is a class-leading EVF, the monitor has touch functionality including touch AF and touch shot – all in a small, neat camera body. It has great connectivity, too, and is the first Fujifilm camera with Bluetooth capability. Before you can connect up, you need to install the free Fujifilm Camera Remote app from the App store or Google Play – it’s compatible with many Fujifilm cameras, not just the X-E3 – and then pair up the camera with your smart device. Now images can be reviewed and transferred to your device and from there uploaded to your favourite networking site, and all in a few seconds. Image browsing and transfer is just one of the Camera Remote app’s skills: turn geotagging on and it is possible to download location data from

X-E3

a smartphone and save it with your shots. And as the app’s name tells you, you can adjust camera settings, including exposure compensation, ISO and Film Simulation modes, then compose and take shots wirelessly from your phone/tablet.

Above The Fujifilm X-E3 boasts Bluetooth for wireless image transfer to your smart devices.


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

13

Camera Club of the Year

in association with

© Will Cheung

Photographers can’t take pictures without light, but there’s light and there’s truly awesome light that makes pictures sing. However, it is not that straightforward, because what is great light to a landscape worker is not necessarily what a street shooter wants or what a beauty photographer prefers to work with. It’s very much a personal thing. So in this round we want to see pictures that show the use of great light, regardless of subject matter. A stunning landscape bathed with golden light, a street image with awesome contrast and shadows, a sumptuous windowlit portrait or an animal shot with beautiful backlight: anything goes. The light in question can be natural as supplied by our own star, or you might have given it a helping hand with filters. You can also take the man-made route that includes LED lights, flash, street lights or even candles. With such an open theme, there is naturally a great deal of subjectivity here and it’s very open to interpretation. So the first step is just to ask yourself, when looking at pictures to enter: is the light in the shot truly fantastic and would the image be a failure without it? If the answer is no, carry on looking. Finally, when prepping your club’s entry please double-check that the image files are at least 1500 pixels on the longest dimension. No problem if sizes are bigger, but smaller and the images can’t be truly enjoyed by the judges.

© Will Cheung

© Will Cheung

Theme 4: fantastic light

LEFT Shooting into the sun (with care) can give powerful results, especially with bold scenes. ABOVE Look for patterns and shadows created by the sun and compose to make the most of any strong shapes. BELOW LEFT Scenic shots always benefit from a low raking sun to pick out texture and detail.

Theme 5: natural beauty Score Eastwood Photographic Society

89

Paragon Group

88

Synergy

88

Dorchester Camera Club

87

Midlothian Camera Club

87

Preston Photographic Society

87

ImageZ Camera Club

86

New City Photographic Society

86

Seaford Photographic Society

86

Steyning Camera Club

86

Wilmslow Guild Photographic Society

86

Windsor Photographic Society

86

The winner: Theme 3: The decisive moment

Frome Wessex Camera Club

85

Harpenden Photographic Society

85

Maidenhead Camera Club

85

Well done to Eastwood Photographic Society (Glasgow) for winning this month’s round and qualifying for the final shoot-out. Eastwood PS joins Great Notley CC and Eastbourne PS in the final, which will take place later this spring.

PICO

85

Trostre Camera Club

85

City Photo Club

84

Exeter Camera Club

84

Leighton Buzzard Photographic Club

84

Peterborough Photographic Society

84

Wisbech & District Camera Club

84

Bedford Camera Club

83

Grantham and District Camera Club

83

Leicester Forest Photographic Society

83

Norwich & District Photographic Society

83

Tonbridge Camera Club

83

Beckenham Photographic Society

82

Blandford Forum Camera Club

81

Brentwood & District Photographic Club

81

Consett & District Photographic Society

81

Medway DSLR Camera Club

81

Park Street Camera Club

79

Axholme Camera Club

78

Dunholme Camera Club

78

Norfolk Photographers Camera Club

78

Wokingham and East Berkshire Camera Club

77

Caister Photography Club

76

Closing date 5 March 2018

© John Hannah

© Peter Demarco © Ross Eaglesham

© Neil Stout

© Colin McLatchie


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

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Technique Break the rules and make your scenic shots even better

New horizons If your landscape photography is in a rut, find some new perspective with these simple scenic techniques. Each one flies in the face of traditional landscaping rules, but is sure to produce eye catching images Words and pictures by Kingsley Singleton

Almost every article you read on shooting landscapes will talk about including strong foreground interest. The importance of this is to anchor the view and draw the eye to the subject. Landscapes without it can seem top-heavy, unbalanced, and lacking impact.

It’s a fine rule, but it’s not always required, particularly if the scene has enough mood to support itself alone. This is not an excuse to include bland foregrounds; moreover, it’s about experimenting with how you place the subject, and use

light and shade to draw the eye instead of detail. Along with the light, sometimes a sense of scale is plenty on its own; or you may find a patch of sunlight is enough. Central framing and longer exposures can help too, as they add to the simplicity of a composition. © Kingsley Singleton

Life is full of rules, and photography is no different. It’s especially true when shooting landscapes; we’re told to compose and focus in certain ways; to avoid some things and seek out others. Here’s the real truth though; good light makes good landscapes. Essentially, it’s easier to make a good image in good light using no rules than it is to force a good image out of poor light using a standard set of ideas. The more important things, always, are balance in the image and emotion. On these pages you’ll find some ways you can shoot landscapes differently. It’s not a complete list, but it is something to think about when you’re out shooting, because each rule-breaker can be used to create great images.

1. Forget the foreground

Here’s the real truth though; good light makes good landscapes

Left Some will frown at a centrally placed subject, but it can work well especially if the lighting and subject shape suits.

2. Make an impression makes sure the picture isn’t over or underexposed. As for the ICM part, simply slow the shutter to a point where motion blur is picked up during the exposure as you move the camera. To get a slow speed, try shooting in aperture-priority mode (Av or A), setting a high f/number like f/16, and a low ISO setting like 100. You may find you need to shoot when available light is low to get a few seconds in which to move the camera, or fit a neutral density filter. Slow the shutter to create the blur required and build up texture or colour over separate shots, then shoot with the camera locked off to get a subject sharp. Or change the exposure setting between shots. Experimentation is key to success here. Right Practise with multiple exposures and deliberate camera movement to find a formula that works for you.

© Kingsley Singleton

Landscapes should be sharp, clear and free from blur, right? Not always. There are times when a mood or a sense of a place is more important than seeing the place itself clearly, and that leads you down a more impressionistic path. In these cases try using multiple exposures or intentional camera movement (ICM) to make a more painterly picture; and by using the two together you’ll make an image that has more distinct parts overlaid with texture and colour. Most digital cameras have a multiple exposure mode, and this can be found in the shooting menu, or sometimes along with the drive modes. Within the menu you’ll be able to choose how many separate exposures go to make up the final image, and how they’re blended, called Auto Gain on Nikon or Multi Exposure Control on Canon. The easiest thing to do is switch the mode on or set it to average; therein the camera


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Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

Technique 3. Ditch the wide angle lens an unobstructed view across country. Look for simple, balanced compositions, following the rule of thirds, and avoid clutter if possible. Just as for wide-angle shots, it’s important to shoot from a tripod; if anything more so, as camera shake is more noticeable at longer focal lengths; if the lens has a tripod collar, use that. If you need to shoot handheld, switch on image stabilisation and steady the lens by leaning on something like a fence.

© Kingsley Singleton

When we think about lenses for landscapes we usually think wide angle. With wide-angle lenses the field of view is large, and that lets you pack in lots of scenery as well as enlarging details close to the camera to maximise foreground detail. But switch to a telephoto lens and you’ll be forced to be selective. This helps you pick more interesting subjects and discover hidden opportunities. Try shooting in misty conditions and get up the side of hills for

4. Add a human element

© Kingsley Singleton

Above Including a figure in your compositions can add a sense of scale and a point of extra interest. How many times have you waited for someone to exit a scene before shooting, thinking the scene will be cleaner and simpler without them? The thing is, climbers and hikers will often crop up in shots, and if used correctly they’ll add something, rather than throwing the eye. Human figures can add

a sense of scale and a narrative to a scene that’s otherwise bland and difficult to read; how do you know how big a hill is without someone climbing it? How do you tell the viewer that they’re looking at a wilderness without a solitary figure being dwarfed by it? That’s not to say the figure should be the

subject, they should just support the overall scene. To stop them taking over, make them anonymous: silhouette them against the low sun, or use a shutter speed that will blur their movement slightly; not so much that they disappear, but so that only their shape remains.

Human figures can add a sense of scale and narrative to a scene that’s otherwise bland and difficult to read Above Use a telephoto lens to compress (flatten) perspective.

5. Aim into the sun while the light will add highlights, picking out pleasing textures in grass or rock. It will also give pictures a great feeling of warmth. To avoid too much contrast, try placing the sun behind a tree, a cloud, or the edge of a hill or rock, lessening its impact. Shooting in this way, combined with a high f/ number like f/16 or f/22 will also form an obvious starburst. To further help control contrast, make sure you shoot in Raw mode, and use the highlights/shadows sliders during editing.

Shooting into the sun adds contrast to the scene, and this can be difficult

© Kingsley Singleton

Shooting landscapes around dawn and dusk, when the sun is low, improves contrast and gives warmer colours, but it’s less common to shoot directly towards the sun, actually making it part of the composition. Why? Shooting into the sun adds lots of contrast to the scene, and this can be difficult to deal with, leaving blown highlights and deep shadows. On the plus side, as the sun will be the brightest part of the scene, it forms an excellent focal point when there’s little else available,

Left Shooting into the sun gives very powerful results, but it needs controlling. Use parts of the scene to shield the sun to help avoid flare; this can help with keeping contrast levels manageable.


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk


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Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

Awards Gear of the year

The Photography News Awards 2017 It’s time for you to recognise brilliant products and outstanding service in our annual Awards. Your votes will decide the winners so please check through our nominations and pick the products and services that you think deserve the ultimate accolade

The photographic gear landscape is constantly changing and we have more gear options than ever before as progress and innovation continues apace. The aim of our Awards is simple: it’s your chance to recognize awesome kit and wonderful service. We’ve shortlisted products in key categories and then you get the chance to pick what you think deserves to win. It couldn’t be simpler: voting is done online and it’s free. You don’t even have to register to vote. The

only categories where we haven’t done any shortlisting are in the service categories like Best Retailer and Best Website Provider. In those you nominate who you think deserve to win. In the case of categories like Best Retailer where there may be a chain of stores, please nominate the name of the store group and the individual shop. To vote go to photographynews.co.uk, follow the Awards link and complete the voting form. You can vote in every category

but if you prefer to vote for just a few categories that is perfectly fine too. It’s entirely up to you, and it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes even if you vote in all categories. Thank you for support.

Closing date for votes is 26 February 2018


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Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

Awards

CONSUMER DSLR Canon EOS 80D Canon EOS 200D Nikon D5600 Nikon D7500 Pentax KP Sony A68

ADVANCED DSLR Canon EOS 6D Mark ll Canon EOS 7D Mark ll Nikon D500
 Nikon D850
 Pentax K-1 Sony A77 II

ADVANCED CSC Canon EOS M6 Fujifilm X-T20 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Olympus PEN-F Panasonic DC-GX800 Sigma sd Quattro H

PROFESSIONAL CSC Fujifilm X-Pro2 Fujifilm X-T2 Leica M10 Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Sony A9

COMPACT/BRIDGE Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III Fujifilm X100F Fujifilm X70 Leica X-U Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15 Sony RX10 IV PROFESSIONAL DSLR Canon EOS 5DS R Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Nikon D5 Sony A99 II

CONSUMER CSC Canon EOS M100 Canon EOS M3 Fujifilm X-A3 Fujifilm X-E3 Olympus PEN E-PL8 Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

MEDIUM-FORMAT Fujifilm GFX 50S Hasselblad H6D-100c Hasselblad X1D-50c Leica S-E
 Pentax 645 Z Phase One IQ3 100MP Trichromatic

WIDE-ANGLE LENS Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Fujifilm XF23mm f/2 R WR
 Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D Nikon AF-S 28mm f/1.4E ED Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM A
 Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM A
 Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD
 Zeiss Milvus 25mm f/1.4

MACRO LENS Fujifilm XF80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro Olympus M.Zuiko ED 30mm f/3.5 Macro
 Samyang 100mm f/2.8 ED UMC Macro Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM
 Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 VC USD Voigtlander E-Mount 65mm f/2 Macro Apo-Lanthar

STANDARD LENS Fujifilm XF16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR Fujifilm XF35mm f/2 R WR Olympus M.Zuiko ED 25mm f/1.2 PRO 
 Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM A Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM A Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Voigtlander Nokton MFT 25mm f/0.95 II Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8

TELEPHOTO LENS Fujifilm XF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Fujifilm XF50mm f/2 R WR Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED Olympus M.Zuiko ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM S Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM A Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4

SUPERZOOM LENS Fujifilm XF18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR
 Nikon AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Olympus M.Zuiko ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD

TRIPOD: ALLOY Benro Travel Angel FTA28AB1 Kenro Karoo Compact Tripod (Aluminium) 102 Manfrotto Be Free Aluminium Travel Tripod Nest NT-363AT Aluminium Systematic
 Slik PRO 400DX
 Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 264AT TRIPOD: CARBON-FIBRE Gitzo Systematic series 5 long, 4 sections GT5543LS Kenro Karoo Ultimate Travel Tripod 401C Manfrotto 190 Go! Carbon 4-section Nest Traveller NT-6264CK Novo Explora T20 Velbon GEO E543D

ON-CAMERA FLASH Hahnel Modus 600RT
 Kenro Speedflash KFL101 Rotolight NEO 2 Nissin Di700 Air 
 Pixapro Li-ION580 MK II TTL Profoto A1


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Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

Awards BEST RETAILER Whether you shop for your photo kit online or in store, nominate the photo retailer that has you going back time and time again.

PORTABLE FLASH broncolor Siros 400 L Elinchrom ELB 1200 Pixapro PIKA200 TTL Pixapro CITI 600 TTL Profoto B1X Profoto B2

BEST USED SPECIALIST RETAILER The market for secondhand or (pre-loved!) imaging gear is growing so whether you’re buying or selling, you need a dealer you can trust. This is your opportunity to name your favourite used dealer.

EXTERNAL STORAGE DEVICE Drobo 5C G-Technology G-Drive USB-C LaCie Fuel 
 Samsung Portable SSD T5 Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro INKJET MEDIA: PHOTOGRAPHIC FINISH Canson Infinity Baryta Prestige Gloss 340gsm Epson Traditional Photo Paper Fotospeed Platinum Baryta 300 Signature Hahnemühle FineArt Baryta Satin
 Ilford Galerie Prestige Gold Fibre Silk 310 PermaJet FB Mono Gloss Baryta 320 INKJET MEDIA: FINE ART FINISH Canson Infinity Rag Photographique 310gsm Epson Ultrasmooth Fine Art Fotospeed Platinum Etching 285 Signature Hahnemühle William Turner 310 Da Vinci Soft Textured 315 PermaJet Photo Art Silk 290

MAINS FLASH Broncolor Siros 400 S Elinchrom ELC Pro HD Godox QT II Pro 600 Lencarta SuperFast Pro 400Ws Pixapro Storm II 600 Profoto D2

PROCESSING LAB Which processing lab do you trust with your photos, albums or stationery? If they offer highquality and utterly reliable service at competitive prices, are they worthy of a PN award?

PHOTO WEBSITE PROVIDER For gallery websites or full-service sites with clientproofing and a blog, which provider offers the best range of templates and customisation options together with top-notch customer service?

TRAINING PROVIDER From basic photo knowledge through particular tips and techniques to camera-specific training, in the classroom, studio or out on location, which provider offers the best learning experience, in your opinion?

FILTER Cokin Nuances family Hoya PRO ND family Lee Filters ProGlass IRND Manfrotto Xume Adapters Marumi DHG Super Circular Polariser SRB Elite Filter System

SOFT SHOULDER/SLING BAG Cullmann Amsterdam Maxima 335 Lowepro ProTactic SH200 AW Manfrotto Windsor camera reporter Mindshift BackLight 26L Tamrac Anvil 23 ThinkTank StreetWalker V2 ROLLER/HARD CASE B+W International Type 5000
 Lowepro Pro Roller X100AW Manfrotto Pro Light Reloader 55 Novo Dura 400 Hard Rolling Waterproof ABS case Panzer Centurion 30 Peli Air Case 1535

COLOUR MANAGEMENT DEVICE DataColor SpyderLENSCAL


 DataColor Spyder5ELITE DataColor Spyder5CAPTURE PRO X-Rite ColorMunki Display
 X-Rite ColorMunki Photo X-Rite i1Photo Pro 2 MONITOR BenQ SW320 Pro 32in IPS LCD
 BenQ SW2700 PT 27in IPS LCD Eizo ColorEdge CG277 27in NEC MultiSync 27in LCD 4k UHD IPS
 Phillips BDM4037UW 40in 4K display INNOVATION Fujifilm GFX: mirrorless medium-format system Profoto A1: world’s smallest studio light Rotolight NEO2: continuous light and HSS flash Sony A9: 693 AF points and 20fps shooting

The details How to vote Go to photographynews.co.uk and follow the link to the Awards to vote. It’s free and you don’t need to register. Voting closes on 26 February 2018.

MEMORY CARD PNY SD Elite Performance 256GB
 Samsung PRO Plus 128GB microSDXC SanDisk Extreme PRO microSDXC UHS-II 128GB Transcend Ultimate 64GB microSDXC 633x

PRINTER Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 Canon PIXMA TS8150 Epson SureColor SC-P600 Epson SureColor SC-P800 Epson SureColor SC-P5000 STD Fujifilm instax SHARE SP-2

The results We’ll announce the results in issue 53 of Photography News, out from 12 March 2018, and we’ll present the awards to the deserving recipients at The Photography Show, at the Birmingham NEC, 17 to 20 March 2018.


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

23

Advertisement feature

Canon Focus With its full-frame sensor and feature-rich specification, the EOS 6D Mark II is the perfect DSLR for the photographer aspiring to class-leading picture quality in a compact bodyform Shooting full-frame photographs is the pinnacle for every keen imagemaker. For those wanting to take the next step, the Canon EOS 6D Mark II with its rich feature list and classleading performance is the ideal choice. Add its compact bodyform, great handling and attractive price and this camera is a compelling proposition for would-be full-frame photographers. So, you may be wondering what is the attraction of full-frame shooting? That is a perfectly fair question, especially as smaller format cameras are amazingly capable. Furthermore, Canon has a comprehensive family of smaller APS-C format models including the EOS M range of interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras.

However, the larger sensor size of full-frame cameras – 35.9x24mm compared to the 22.3x14.9mm of APS-C cameras – means that when ultimate picture quality is needed this is the format of choice. The larger sensor also means lower levels of digital noise (where images have a grainy look) especially at high ISO settings, better rendition of fine details and there are actual pictorial benefits too. A good example here is creative depth-of-field control. Depth-of-field is the amount of front-to-back sharpness in your pictures. With portrait pictures, many photographers like to focus on the subject and have the background nicely blurred, perhaps with attractive out-of-focus highlights – this effect is called

bokeh. Shooting full-frame means this effect is more easily achieved by shooting at the lens’s wider aperture settings. So, set f/4 or f/5.6, move in close for a head-andshoulders portrait with a 70mm setting on the zoom lens, focus on the eyes and the background will be pleasingly blurred. This can look great and there is the extra benefit of blurring distracting elements in the background. And speaking of lens choice, the Canon EOS lens system is second to none in terms of choice and optical performance, so invest in an EOS 6D Mark II and all these creative options are open to you. The EOS 6D Mark II is Canon’s entry-level full-frame DSLR and while it might seem expensive

compared with smaller format models its price needs to be considered in context. Fullframe cameras, with the larger sensor and the technology that comes associated with it, come at a price, but with its impressive list of features and impeccable performance the EOS 6D Mark II is actually stunning value. If going full-frame appeals, the EOS 6D Mark II is a camera that simply can’t be overlooked. Turn the page for a more detailed look at its attributes. Then on the last page of this Canon Focus special pull-out, we take a close look at three lenses from Canon’s huge EF collection that would make ideal partners for this (and, indeed, any Canon EOS DSLR) camera.

Specs Price £1999 body only Sensor 26.2-megapixel full-frame CMOS ISO range 100-40,000. Expansion to 51,200 and 102,400 Storage media 1x SD, SDHC or SDXC (UHS-1) card Dimensions (WxHxD) 144x110.5x74.8mm Weight 765g Contact canon.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

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Advertisement feature A close look

Canon EOS 6D Mark II The sleek, compact EOS 6D Mark II houses all the features every keen photographer needs to make the most of their passion for taking memorable pictures Full-frame sensor The full-frame 35.9x24mm CMOS sensor has an impressive resolution of 26.2 megapixels and features Canon’s EOS integrated cleaning system. Working with the DIGIC 7 processor, the EOS 6D Mark II delivers images of outstanding clarity and colour fidelity and files can be made into poster-size prints full of detail.

Expose it right The camera’s advanced exposure system has the technology to deliver beautifully accurate exposures time after time almost regardless of the subject and lighting type. The metering sensor is Canon’s own 7560-pixel RGB+IR and this can be set up to work in different ways. When using the optical viewfinder, the default is Evaluative metering where the lighting measuring area is divided into 63 zones that are linked to the AF points so the camera measures light from the focused area. In live view, the camera uses 315 zones. Evaluative metering is the standby light measurement method and can deal successfully with almost any scene but if you prefer to have more control you can select centre-weighted average, partial (measures 6.5% of the optical viewfinder image) or spot (3.2%) metering. Further flexibility is offered with exposure compensation, exposure lock and autoexposure bracketing (AEB).

Built to perform The EOS 6D Mark II has a dust- and weatherresistant build. Partner it with a dust- and moisture-resistant lens such as those featured overleaf and you have a camera/lens combination designed to perform impeccably whatever the conditions.

Moving pictures The EOS 6D Mark II offers Full HD 1920x1080 movie shooting at different rates with a maximum duration of 29 minutes, 59 seconds. In time-lapse movie mode there is the option of 4K 3840x2160 shooting.


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

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Advertisement feature

Sensitivity options The default ISO range is 100-40,000 and if you need to, this can be expanded to ISO 50 at one end and 51,200 and 102,400 at the other, so no problem coping with extremely bright conditions or when it is very dim. In movie shooting the range is ISO 100-25,600, also with the expansion options of 51,200 and 102,400.

Connectivity

A great view The optical viewfinder shows 98% of the actual picture and you get a lovely big viewing image that only full-frame format cameras like the EOS 6D Mark II can provide. The viewfinder is also full of information so you can see what camera settings are in use and means you can make changes without taking your eye away from the viewfinder. Use the 3in LCD monitor and live view, and you see 100% of the actual picture with various options to help composition. There is a grid overlay and an electronic spirit level to help you keep shots level or upright. Live view also lets you magnify into the image (5x or 10x) at any point on the screen when manually focusing so you can get critical focus.

As you would expect from a modern camera, the EOS 6D Mark II has great connectivity with Bluetooth, NFC and Wi-Fi. The camera uses Bluetooth to make a Wi-Fi connection to your smart device so you can review and share images and you can control and shoot remotely too. Plus there’s GPS so you can tag your pictures with precise location details as you shoot.

Drive matters You can choose how quickly you want to shoot. Most of the time you will be using single shot (silent single-shot is available if you want to be discreet) but there will be times when you want to ramp up shooting speed and the EOS 6D Mark II lets you do that. So, for fast-paced action shooting, whether that is a racing car or a child running towards you, the EOS 6D Mark II offers a maximum shooting rate of six framesper-second. In Raw quality mode, you can get 21 consecutive frames at this shooting speed while in JPEG mode 150 shots can be taken at this rate. Also available is a two- or ten-second selftimer and an built-in intervalometer so the camera can be set up to take a sequence of shots at preset time intervals. A time lapse mode is also available for movie shooting.

In the picture

Into sharp focus The Canon EOS 6D Mark II houses very accurate and supersensitive autofocusing capable of class-leading performance even in very, very low lighting. It uses the same Canon Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology found in its top-end professional cameras where each individual AF sensor has two zones working side-by-side to give spot-on focusing in low light, poor-contrast situations. There are up to 45 cross-type AF points and these AF points can be used in various ways. You can either use a single point that you can manually select, have them in a nine (3x3) group or set Large Zone AF when all the zones are active. In live view 63 AF points are available.

At any angle The 3in 3:2 Clear View II TFT monitor has a resolution of 1040K dots and has touchscreen functionality for fast, convenient camera handling and mode setting. The monitor itself shows 100% of the image so what you see is what you get, and the vari-angle design means you can enjoy low- and highangle shooting with ease.

There are any number of ways to enjoy the camera’s full-frame sensor. For stills, you can set JPEG shooting where files can be used straight out of the camera and can be wirelessly sent to your smart device for uploading to social media networks. There are many size options to choose from, and there’s the choice of 3:2, 4:3, 16:9 and 1:1 picture formats. If you prefer, shoot Raw format for the ultimate control and for editing in software afterwards using Canon’s Digital Photo Professional 4 software that comes free with the camera. In Raw there is the option of full-size files or M-Raw and S-Raw if smaller file sizes are needed. Or you can set the camera to record both Raw and JPEG files, so you have the option of ultimate quality and convenience.


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

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Advertisement feature

Lens options Canon’s EF lens system is enormous so whatever your photographic interest, budget and personal preference, there’s something for you. Here are three that suit the EOS 6D Mark II Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM

Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM

Recently introduced, the EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM has huge creative potential for general shooting and also more specifically for portrait work. Its super-fast f/1.4 maximum aperture means you can keep a high shutter speed without having to increase the camera’s ISO so it is very much a win-win when it comes to producing top-quality pictures. The very fast aperture means you can also be very selective with focusing. So, for example, shoot a full-face portrait and focus very precisely on the eyes and at f/1.4 or f/2 and everything other than the eyes will be nicely blurred. Canon’s latest USM motor means autofocus is very quick, accurate and responsive, and it’s almost silent too. Its weather- and dust-resistant body also houses the latest Canon Image Stabiliser (IS) and this

With its focal length range the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM is the ideal standard zoom lens for the full-frame EOS 6D Mark II. The 24mm setting is perfect for scenics where you want to make the most of the foreground as well as capturing the broader view and it’s great for shooting when there’s limited room. Photographing indoors for example, and also at busy events or markets where |you are shooting close to your subject. Speaking of getting in close, this standard zoom can focus as close as 38cm at all focal lengths giving an impressive 0.7x lifesize magnification so tackling macro subjects is an option with this lens. Performance, as you would expect from an L-series lens, is impressive. It’s dust and moisture sealed, the integral image stabiliser has a 4EV benefit and you get speedy, near-silent

Specs Price £1569.99 Optical construction 14 elements in 10 groups Aperture range F/1.4-22 Diaphragm Nine blades Image stabiliser Yes, 4EV benefit Lens coating Air Sphere Coating (ASC) Filter size 77mm Minimum focus 85cm Dimensions (LxD) 105.4x88.6mm Weight 950g

has a 4EV benefit, so images shot at slower shutter speeds will still be sharp.

Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM The Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM takes you into the realm of ultra-wide lenses and all the creative picture potential that comes with it. While the 35mm end makes this lens great for general shooting, zoom to the wider end and you can start exploring really strong foreground and sweeping lead-in lines. Set an aperture of f/8 or f/11 and you get an extensive depth-of-field, so a rock in the foreground will be pin sharp as too will the mountains in the distance. Such possibilities is why experienced landscape photographers have this lens in the bag, and as it is a member of Canon’s L-series family, optical performance is first class too. Handling is impressive with the lens’s USM (Ultrasonic Motor) delivering brisk and pin-point accurate autofocus, with the option of full-time manual override if needed. With its dust- and weatherresistant build, the lens is designed to deal with

Specs Price £943.99 Optical construction 16 elements in 12 groups with two ultra-low dispersion elements Aperture range F/4-22 Diaphragm Nine blades Image stabiliser Yes, 4EV benefit Lens coating Super Spectra Coating Filter size 77mm Minimum focus 28cm Dimensions (LxD) 112.8x82.6mm Weight 615g

challenging conditions too and when the light levels drop the built-in image stabiliser with its 4EV benefit will come into its own.

Specs Price £744.99 Optical construction 15 elements in 12 groups with two ultra-low dispersion elements Aperture range F/4-22 Diaphragm Nine blades Image stabiliser Yes, 4EV benefit Lens coating Super Spectra Coating Filter size 77mm Minimum focus 38cm, maximum reproduction ratio 0.7x lifesize Dimensions (LxD) 93x83.4mm Weight 600g

autofocusing with Canon’s USM technology.


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk


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Interview Pro profile

Brett Harkness After 17 years as a professional photographer, Brett’s reputation continues to grow. PN caught up with him between shoots to chat about his career, his stylised portraits and the future

© Brett Harkness

Interview by Will Cheung Pictures by Brett Harkness PN: Could you give our readers some background about you and your business? BH: I worked in Miami for seven years where I met my business partner and wife Kristie. We returned to the UK in 2001 where we started shooting weddings for £150, but we’ve come a long way since then and our business continues to go from strength to strength. A strong brand image and shooting style make us stand out in the congested and competitive world of photography. Times are uncertain for a lot of photographers. A lot of clients are holding onto their cash in fear of Brexit and other factors within the economy. But we have worked hard over 17 years to obtain a great client base around the UK and abroad. I am a great believer that if you deliver a constant standard of work then there will always be a client for you. We have built a reputation for just that. Weddings are obviously a large part of what you do. How is that business in these cash-strapped times when anyone can buy a 24-megapixel camera and call themselves a photographer? Yes, I’m now in the 17th year of shooting weddings professionally. I’ve spent years creating a unique style to set us apart from the competition. I would say my style is tweaked every year and flows like a new river finding its path over dry land. I believe that if you can create and capture something that makes people question or stop and look, then you should never fear the 24-megapixel brigade. While your wedding work is sublime, it is your portraits we want to chat about. Your portraits are very stylised. Is this all your imagination or do you have a team working on ideas and helping you style a shoot?
 Thank you, yes, portraiture is a growing part of my work and business structure, and continues to evolve and develop. A lot of the portraits in my folio are my own thinking and doing. Some are collaborations with certain hair and make-up artists and stylists. We work together with a common goal. On most commercial portrait shoots the client books us on the strength of our online images and portfolio, and the style that they are attracted to. Then the shoot lies in my hands from styling to execution. If it’s a fashion, editorial shoot then often other people are involved; usually a fashion stylist, make-up and hair artists and sometimes a picture editor to keep a check on what we are shooting. How much pre-planning is involved in one of your shoots? How do you find your models and locations? Locations are key to a successful shoot.

I believe that if you can create and capture something that makes people question or stop and look, then you should never fear the 24-megapixel brigade

Top Shot using a Pentax 645Z with 90mm lens and Lee Filters ND filter, main light provided by an Elinchrom ELB 1200 and an 135 Octa softbox. The model is Ambra Sirri with make-up by Jo Leversuch, hair by Gareth (Aqua The Salon) and assisted by Richard Woodside.

Sometimes we choose, sometimes the client chooses. I prefer to have a say as I know what will fit what. Models are sourced by the client and again it is a mutual decision on final choice. Of course if it’s a portrait shoot then the client is often the subject. We also use a location hiring company which is factored into the cost. Please roughly outline how one of your shoots progresses. There are many variants on shoots depending on whether it is a commissioned shoot or a personal shoot. I usually like to speak to the client on the phone, over Skype or in person to get an idea and feel for what they are after. One thing is the same: they have commissioned me for my style. The ideas then come together with things usually changing on the shoot and going in different directions. Sometimes a client will send me a mood board so I can get a feel for the images they are after. The shoot usually starts slowly. I sometimes will show the clients the first few images to gauge feedback if they are on set or if not I will email a couple over to them.

Shoots then pick up pace as my juices flow and things start to be created. I am a fast shooter by nature but some shoots, depending upon their nature, I can slow down a little and really look into the lighting specifics in order to achieve the best result possible. You use Elinchrom location lighting, so what is your current light of choice?
 I have been using Elinchrom since 2007. My first purchase was a Quadra 400, followed quickly by my long-standing workhorse – the Ranger RX Speed AS 1200 pack. This pack has travelled the world with me and been in as many places as I have taken pictures, which is a lot! It is still in my lighting arsenal but has been superseded by the ELB 1200.
 What are the ELB 1200’s key features that make it so well suited to your style of imaging? For me to switch to the ELB 1200 it had to be a Ranger RX with a new coat. As it turned out it had the coat, hat and boots on, too. Its super lightweight design using lithium instead of the lead batteries means that it can go anywhere and not break your back in the process.


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Interview © Brett Harkness

With Hi-Sync heads and awesome consistent output it is a force to be reckoned with. I personally don’t shoot too much highspeed sync, preferring to shoot with ND filters to bring down the ambient light. I shoot mostly with the Pentax 645Z which has a top flash sync of 1/125sec. For me it’s about recycling times, low weight, consistency of output and colour temperature, it’s a go-anywhere attitude whilst still being tough. If it’s as half as good as its grandfather (the RX) then I’ll be a happy man. What is your preferred modifier? My most-used I’d say is the Elinchrom 135cm Octa (the shallow version). I also use the 6ft indirect Octa when shooting in flat light or indoors coupled with my favourite 44cm square dishes with grids. What kit, typically, do you take with you on a location shoot and how big is your support team? Kit-wise for portraits and location shoot I use the following: Pentax 645 with 90mm and 55mm lenses; Elinchrom ELB 1200 and Ranger RX, 135 Octabox, two 44cm beauty dishes with grids. Accessories include three Lee ND filters and wide-angle hood, numerous Manfrotto stands and weights for the stands, Manfrotto and Think Tank bags, CTO filter gels, scissors, five PocketWizard triggers, batteries and chargers, extension leads and a smoke machine. My support team is one: Richard. What is your most common headache when it comes to your shoots? Sometimes we use a smoke machine to give the light some purchase, purely to give a haze or a fog to the images and to create an atmosphere. This can sometimes cause headaches, such as having to be near a mains socket. There are battery operated smoke machines I know about but they don’t last too long. We have on occasion used chimney pellets as an alternative. It’s the haze we are interested in, not filling the woods with smoke. How much editing is done on your images, or are these more or less straight out of the camera with some basic edits?
 It may surprise some people that for weddings I shoot JPEGs. I always have done and see no need to change. You can’t mess it up too much when you shoot this way, so if anything I think it’s made me better and a tighter shooter. With my portrait and medium-format work, I usually shoot TIFFs, process them in Phase One’s Capture One and then into Photoshop. I do a little colour grading in curves and a few other things but nothing too heavy. Have you any advice for would-be location portrait photographers? Prepare for the shoot. Make sure everything is working 100% but also be prepared to go off track. Some of the best shots I have taken have been during a break or while setting up for another shot. Sometimes over-planning,

It may surprise some people that for weddings I shoot JPEGs. I always have done and see no need to change

Above Shot using a Pentax 645Z with 90mm lens and Lee Filters ND filter, main light provided by an Elinchrom ELB 1200 and an 135 Octa softbox. The model is Laviniana Otetaru with make-up by Jo Leversuch, hair by Gareth (Aqua The Salon) and assisted by Richard Woodside.

especially if it is just you on the shoot, can be inhibiting. If you’re using models go with your gut instinct when choosing. There’s nothing worse than being on set and working with a model that either doesn’t fit or doesn’t want to be there! What next for Brett Harkness? Hmm, a big question…

I can see myself shooting a lot more this year on location. Portraits in particular. Weddings are still a huge part of my business and we again this year have some fantastic weddings booked already. I will continue to push the commercial and portrait side of the business and the style of photography that I have been building. My wish is to find an agent to push this work even more to wider markets and on to pastures new.

To enjoy more of Brett’s images, visit his websites. Weddings at brettharknessphotography.com Portraits at brettharkness.co.uk For training brettharknesstraining.com


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#WexMondays

Wex loves Mondays UK photographers are getting hooked on the #WexMondays weekly Twitter-based competition. We catch up with Wex and three winners from last year’s contest to see why Words by Trevor Lansdown It started five years ago, and it’s grown year by year. Now this Twitter-based photo contest is taking the world of aspirational photographers by storm. Matt Devine, Wex Photo Video’s head of content explained: “#WexMondays is a vibrant, weekly photo competition in perfect sync with our ever-changing industry and community. We launched on Twitter back in 2013, at a time when social media was becoming an increasingly important platform for photographers. Since then UK photographers across multiple disciplines have taken to it in droves. We now average over 17,000 images a year and it’s

#WexMondays has become a community in itself Right Louis Wahl, Wex Photo Video's chief customer officer, at the 2017 #WexMonday's prizegiving ceremony, which took place at its new London flagship store in East London.

growing every year. In its infancy there was a dominant focus on landscape shots but now we are seeing entries across a wide variety of photo disciplines.” Louis Wahl, Wex Photo Video chief customer officer, added: “We consistently see submissions of a very high standard. #WexMondays has become a community in itself; a self-sustaining community in which people share their skills, experiences and ideas. Photography can be quite a solitary activity – it’s one person behind a camera, so to know we are helping people get together to share their passion and create such fantastic images really makes us feel special.”

Neil Burnell, Wex Photographer of the Year

I always look forward to what they are going to upload on a Monday

© Neil Burnell

The overall 2017 winner was Neil Burnell, a self-taught, Brixham-based photographer with a passion for landscapes. He won £1500 worth of Wex Photo Video vouchers. Even more impressively, he was 2016’s overall winner too. Said Neil: “I had never really taken photography seriously until I bought a Nikon D3 four years ago. It’s only recently that I’ve become more creative with a camera – but now it’s my most enjoyable hobby, and I’ve had a few, including fishing. I guess fishing is the main reason I got into photography. Just being out on the south Devon coastline and watching a beautiful sunrise or sunset was the trigger for my Wex DSLR purchase.” He added: “Right now I am experimenting with various genres and styles and I have plans to be more specifically focused on seascapes this year. Neil started submitting entries to #WexMondays in early 2016. “This community is outstanding,” he said. “So many talented people – and so many that helped me when I first started. I could name so many terrific photographers that ‘play’ and I always look forward to what they are going to upload on a Monday.” Neil revealed that Stilts (pictured) is his favourite entry image to date. “I love the calming colours and the simplicity of the shot created by the long exposure.”

Now Neil is also experimenting more with ICM (intentional camera movement) techniques, in a bid to use slow shutter speed to introduce blur into a photo in a creative way – “I love the ICM work of Andrew Gray and Doug Chinnery.” A graphic designer by profession, Neil is now

starting to sell his prints. “Certainly not enough to give up my day job, but it is lovely to think people follow my work and good to know my photographic images are sitting in a few homes.” neilburnell.com

Above Overall winner Neil Burnell scored consistently well during the #WexMonday 2017 contest with a varied assortment of images. Stilts (above) is Neil’s personal favourite shot from the year.


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#WexMondays Tony Sellen, second © Tony Sellen

It’s two in a row for Tony too. He’s been runnerup in the #WexMondays competition for the last two years, so London Underground signal engineer Tony Sellen is clearly heading in the right direction and he’s a talented exponent of long exposures. He told PN: “Long exposure photography lets you take a scene and make it your own. Whether it’s smoothing out water or turning fluffy clouds into sleek streaks in the sky, it’s all about putting your own creative spin on the image.” Tony said he knew he couldn’t resist the lure of the #WexMondays contest. “The notion of community is what first got me involved. Then I started to see all these wonderful images appearing on Monday mornings. There was always a lot of discussion among entrants and I thought it would be fun to join in. It became a goal to try and better myself week in and week out. “I found that #WexMondays is a real motivator. It really gets you to push yourself hard. But of course, it’s a real challenge to produce a good shot each and every week.” A lover of black & white photography, Tony believes it’s a style that is never going out of fashion: He stated: “It’s timeless. There are no distracting colours, and thus the attention is more on the image and composition. It’s much harder to create a ‘wow’ image in black & white than in colour.” One of Tony’s favourite submissions in the 2017 competition was Evolution. “The timing had to be spot on. It takes a lot of waiting and a little bit of luck to get the perfect composition in street photography.”

What’s next? “Who knows what the future will bring? It’s great to enjoy a hobby but if that hobby becomes work – then maybe the fun stops? “This year I’d like to print more, exhibit more and hopefully see more of my work

Above Evolution, shot in Valencia, was one of Tony’s favourite entries in the 2017 #WexMondays contest. “It takes a lot of waiting and a little bit of luck to get the perfect composition in street photography,” he says.

published. I love taking photographs but seeing the completed image in print form hanging on a wall is the most satisfying part of it all.” londonfineartphotography.co.uk

Amy Bateman, third © Amy Bateman

Above Amy Bateman’s shot of frogspawn was highly praised by Wex’s Louis Wahl.

Cumbria-based Amy Bateman used to work as a physiotherapist. She gave it all up to focus on her three small children – and the family farm. Then she found photography. “I’ve always been reasonably creative,” she said. “I can draw and paint – but I fell in love with photography when I enrolled for evening classes. I just got hooked. Now my camera is with me all the time. I’ve traded a handbag for a camera bag.” Amy came third overall in the #WexMondays 2017 contest. One of her winning images (Small World – frogspawn, pictured left) was a shot described as ‘stunning’ by Louis Wahl at the awards event. The same image is now included in the latest Outdoor Photographer of the Year competition shortlist – and recently featured in a Guardian newspaper picture spread. Added Amy: “Photography has provided me with a wonderful release; to have ownership over something that I can do that’s nothing to do with my children or the farm. It fits in beautifully with my life. It

means that I can edit work and play around with Lightroom when the kids are in bed.” Amy has become well known for her macro work but insists that she is really more of an all-round photographer at heart. “I love taking portraits and I am shooting a wedding soon. “I want to learn to drive my camera across a variety of disciplines. I still have so much to learn. I don’t want to focus on any single element because it will simply mean I am missing out on all the others.” She added: “The #WexMondays competition is a platform for a really supportive and inclusive photo community. It’s addictive to see other people’s work and learn from it. "Once you get on the leader board you just have to keep on going to see how high you can climb. To come third overall is a thrill but I want to see just how far I can push myself in this and other competitions.”

#WexMondays leader board and accumulated throughout the year. The overall top-scoring photographer is presented with the Wex Photographer of the Year title, plus a Wex Photo Video voucher worth £1500. The runner-up receives £500 worth of vouchers and the photographer in third place wins vouchers worth £250.

For more information about this weekly contest and your chance to become the next Wex Photographer of the Year visit the links below.

amybatemanphotography.com

Now, it’s your turn Every Monday any UK-based photographer can tweet one image – using the #WexMondays hashtag – that must have been captured during the previous seven days. Entrants can opt for any theme and can tweet their chosen image at any point during the day. Every Tuesday Wex judges compile a shortlist of their ten favourite images from the

week in question and nominate a winner and two runners-up. Each weekly winner is awarded a £20 Wex Photo Video voucher and 100 points; second and third place receive 50 and 25 points respectively. The seven remaining shortlisted entries receive 10 points. Points are tallied via the

wex.co.uk/wpoty2018 twitter.com/wextweets


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

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Accessories test Buyers’ guide

Prints charming There’s a real joy to be found in home printing: a satisfying, hands-on feeling of control combined with a sense of achievement in holding finished work in your hands, rather than seeing it scaled down and lifeless on a computer monitor. Here are some top papers, printers and gadgets to get you going Hahnemühle Cézanne Canvas

Inkjet printing enthusiasts are in for a real treat with the latest in Hahnemühle’s range of high-quality canvas papers. Cézanne Canvas contains no optical brighteners (OBAs) and features a finely woven, 100% cotton, natural white surface. The paper’s matt coating provides a first-class printing result with a wide colour gamut and deep, rich blacks, and it dries instantly. Cézanne Canvas has a formidable weight of 430gsm and provides extraordinary elasticity, making it ideal for stretcher frames. It can be ordered in rolls of 24in, 44in and 60in, with a length of 12m or 5m (for 24in rolls). To aid results, like all Hahnemühle papers you can download a specific ICC profile for Cézanne Canvas from the Hahnemühle site. From £43

hahnemuehle.com

Da Vinci Archival White 315

Da Vinci Archival White is a fine-art watercolour stock, that combines a special inkjet coating with a velvety smooth matte finish, and this popular inkjet paper has famously been used by the likes of Bob Carlos Clarke, Mike Figgis and Tony McGee. Made from 100% cotton, the paper has a natural white base, making it equally suited for colour or black & white work, and it’s available in sheets from A4 to A2 in size, starting at £28.20 for 25 sheets. Rolls of 15m are also available from 17in to 60in, starting at £92.40. From £28.20

PermaJet FB Mono Gloss Baryta

FB Mono Gloss Baryta is a paper for the serious monochrome enthusiast. Specially developed for black & white work, it’s a true baryta paper with a pleasing gloss surface and a heavyweight base of 320gsm, giving it an immediate fine-art feel. The paper’s base has a natural white tint, which gives it a similar finish, texture and coating to traditional darkroom baryta/fibre based papers, and the high-gloss coating complements this. The coating, which is applied directly to the true baryta layer and fibre base leads to intense, rich blacks and creamy whites. What’s more the paper boasts excellent detail and tonal range, and superb archival properties to prevent fading and discolouration over time. It’s available up to A2 in size and up to 44in rolls. From £14.95

theimagingwarehouse.com

Epson Traditional Photo Paper 330gsm

Designed exclusively for use with Epson’s new UltraChrome K3 ink and in collaboration with professional photographers, Epson’s Traditional Photo Paper is said to compare closely to classic silver halide papers; it provides great control of tonal transitions and dynamic range in black & white, as well as extraordinary colours. So, you can expect continous tone, subtle gradations, deep blacks and perfectly neutral results. It’s a fibre-based paper with a 330gsm base and a soft gloss finish. Acid and lignin free, with a Micro Porous Smooth Gloss Surface there’s also minimum gloss differential and instant drying time. Epson Traditional Photo Paper comes in 15m rolls up to 64in wide and sheets up to A2 in size. Prices start at £27.60 for a 25 sheet A4 pack. From £27.60

epson.co.uk

Canon Pixma TS8150

The Pixma TS8150 is a thoroughly modern all-in-one home inkjet printer, producing excellent prints up to borderless A4 in size. At the heart of the TS8150’s design is seamless connectivity, so you can connect and print via whatever means suit you best; using an SD memory card, direct from the camera, over Wi-fi, or Bluetooth from smart devices with the Canon Print app to name a few. On-printer control is via a 10.8cm touchscreen, and the TS8150 can produce a borderless 4x6in photo in 17 seconds. The printer uses six single inks, including a new Photo Blue for finer detail and it takes regular and fine-art papers via a dual paper feeder. It’s also a scanner and copier, perfect for creative or office use. £149.99

Canon.co.uk

chaudigital.com


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Accessories test

X-Rite i1 Studio

Tecco Luster Paper 285gsm

There’s no point in going to all the trouble of printing your work if you’re not assured of accurate colours and contrast. To get you on the right track you need to start using colour management gear like the X-Rite i1 Studio. This device lets you calibrate colour on a range of devices including printers, monitors, cameras, scanners and even projectors – it can even calibrate iOS devices using the X-Rite ColorTRUE app. The i1 Studio is the replacement to the successful ColorMunki Photo and comes with a Mini ColorChecker Chart, providing the device and software with a vital reference point. It can also create a series of colour profiles, so you can be assured of consistent output from a range of devices.

This heavyweight photo paper from Tecco offers a great mix of features for enthusiast photographers printing their work at home. The paper provides an extremely high resolution so you can expect very detailed images, as well as vibrant, accurate true-to-life colours. The paper has a bright white base allowing a wide colour gamut, and lots of shadow detail and crisp highlights. Very fast drying times are claimed, as are impressive archival properties. The paper has a weight of 285gsm, and comes in sizes to suit all needs: 25m rolls are available in 17in, 24in and 44in sizes and sheets in A4, A3, A3+ and A2 packs of 25 to 100 sheets. From £21.62

£449

gb.colorconfidence.com

Canson Infinity Rag Photographique 310gsm

gb.colorconfidence.com

Rotatrim Professional M24

Any serious inkjet print maker knows the need for good presentation of their work, and if you’re making non-standard sized prints, that starts with a good quality trimmer. Investing in a good trimmer will provide a lifetime of service with perfectly cut edges, so step forward Rotatrim’s Professional M24; an exceptional product, made with high-quality materials and precision engineered components, meticulously hand assembled in England. Its Sheffield Steel self-sharpening blades cut up to 610mm (24in) A2 papers and slice through thicknesses up to 3mm, while its twin guide rails deliver a smooth action. Features such as metal end frames and head, solid laminate gridded baseboard with aluminium side rule give an assured feeling of quality. £224.99

rotatrim.com

Ilford Galerie Prestige Gold Fibre Silk 310

Fotospeed Platinum Etching 285 Signature

Boasting a 25% cotton and 75% alpha-cellulose mix, Platinum Etching 285 is a 100% acid free, fine-art paper that’s been lauded by professionals including landscape specialist Charlie Waite. The paper has a soft, velvet like textured surface and a natural white base providing a high Dmax rating and a wide colour gamut. It’s claimed that when used in conjunction with pigment inks, the paper will ensure a print life of more than 85 years, and it’s compatible with dye-based inks, too. Platinum Etching 285 Signature is available in an impressive range of sizes from 8x8in or 12x12in square formats, panoramic sheets and pre-scored A6 cards, to more regular fare like A4, A3, A3+ and A2 sheets. 15m rolls are also available in 24in, 36in and 44in widths. From £20.99 fotospeed.com

Epson SureColor SC-P800

Ilford Galerie’s Prestige Gold Fibre Silk paper features a traditional fibre base giving it the look and feel of a traditional baryta photo paper. The inkjet layer is applied directly to the barium sulphate (baryta) layer leading to images with excellent colour gamut and vivid reproduction; it also provides the silky finish, creamy looking whites and velvety blacks of a traditional silver halide photo paper. The paper also produces exceptional sharpness and fine detail and allows an extended tonal range, so you don’t need to worry about losing detail in highlight and shadow areas. All in all, it’s equally at home when producing colour or black & white prints and is available in sheets from A4 to A2, as well as 12m rolls from 17in to 50in in width. From £24.76

ilfordphoto.com

Epson’s SC-P800 is a state-of-the-art inkjet printer; a top-of-the-range A2 desktop model which makes use of a ninecolour ink set. Add in Epson’s UltraChrome HD inks, and you can expect true-to-life, vivid colours, precise detail and deep blacks. The P800 also offers real freedom in the range of media you can use; it supports rolls of paper, meaning you can enjoy sumptuous panoramic prints, while the front-loading fine-art paper path (one of three paths) allows loading of thick, textured sheets. The P800 also offers Wi-Fi connectivity, so you can print direct from your camera, computer or smart device, and it’s equipped with a 2.7in touchscreen, featuring an easy-to-follow user guide. £979

epson.co.uk

Suitable for both regular photo and fine-art applications, Canson Infinity’s Rag Photographique is a museum-grade paper with a smooth white tone, achieved by “adding natural minerals to the manufacturing process”. The paper uses a 100% cotton rag base, and is compatible with either pigment or dye inks. Providing a superb range of tones, the paper claims one of the highest Dmax ratings currently available, so rich colours and deep blacks are guaranteed. For fade-free longevity and clarity of printing, the paper dries instantly, is water resistant, uses no optical brightening agents, and is acid free. It’s available in a similarly excellent range of sizes including standard, A4, A3, A3+, A2 and 17in, 24in, 36in, 44in and 60in rolls. From £32.73

canson-infinity.com


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First tests Imaging kit

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

Hahnel ProCube 2 £69.99 Keeping your batteries charged is so important nowadays, otherwise your expensive camera or flashgun is nothing more than a high-tech, very expensive doorstop. Your camera came with a charger so you may be wondering why you need to consider something like the Hahnel ProCube 2 charger, but it does have features your supplied charger does not. It can take two batteries simultaneously, it is also an AA battery charger, and there’s a 2.4A USB outlet to charge your phone or tablet. The ProCube 2 is available for various camera battery types so just buy the version dedicated to your camera or camera brand. In the box you get a selection of camera battery plates and you connect the plate suitable for your camera. This job takes seconds. In the previous Cube, swapping the plate meant you had to unclip the connected one and connect the new one. To be fair, it was not a difficult process nor did it take much time, but on the ProCube 2 it’s made even easier. With the supplied tool you release the existing plate, remove it and clip into place the new one – and that’s it. No fiddling with a connector is needed. With the correct plate in position to charge my batteries, I pushed them into place and plugged in the power supply. A mains plug with three adaptors and a car charger lead are supplied in the box. An LCD panel on the unit’s side displays the state of charge and once

Specs Prices £69.99 Availability and compatible batteries Canon – LP-E6, LP-E8, LP-E17 Nikon – EN-EL14, EN-EL15 Fujifilm/Panasonic – NP-W126 & DMW-PLC12, BLF19, BLG10 Olympus – BLN-1, BLS-5, BLH-1 Sony – NP-BX1, NP-FW50, NPFZ100 What’s in the box ProCUBE2, 12v car lead, 1500mA mains adaptor with UK, Euro and US plugs, cable-less plates, AA charging plate Charging time Varies between 50-150mins. Fujifilm NP-W126 takes 50mins. Four AA 2500 Ni-Mh cells take 240mins LCD display Shows power on/off, battery charge status during charging, battery health check, mAh Contact Hahnel.ie

Verdict

The ProCube 2 is a treat to use, proved reliable and works perfectly

100% is reached the unit cuts out automatically. If you don’t need a full charge, 15 minutes of charging gives 300mAh and that is enough to shoot 150 shots, depending on the camera. An AA charging plate is supplied. This takes four AA cells (but not AAAs), and is a useful caddy to hold the cells when travelling. In addition to charging camera batteries and AA cells, there is also a 2.4A USB outlet to charge your tablet, bike lights or power bank. The USB outlet is available during battery charging. The ProCube 2 is a treat to use, proved reliable and works perfectly. I charged cells at home, in the car and on my travels. WC

Above This is what you get with the Fujifilm/Panasonic version, excluding the batteries: one plate for Fujifilm and three Panasonic plates. Each charging plate is embossed with the camera battery type. Left The ProCube 2 has a USB outlet for charging your phone and tablet.

The Hahnel ProCube 2 is a great and really useful accessory that is practical and offers something over and above what came with the camera. Now available for a wider selection of camera batteries and with more streamlined handling, there is much to like about the ProCube 2. Its convenience and performance make it great value for money, and perfect for home and on-the-move charging. Pros Takes two camera batteries at once, takes up to AA cells, power source options, great value, cableless battery plate Cons You end up with plates you’ll never use, doesn’t take AAAs


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

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First tests

Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM C £699 Sigma’s Art collection has deservedly enjoyed much critical acclaim and models such as the 14mm f/1.8 that we tested previously in PN show how good its top-of-the-range lenses can be. Its Contemporary family offers high performance and Sigma’s latest technologies but with a more modest specification – in terms of maximum aperture, for example. So, this latest 100-400mm telezoom has a maximum aperture range of f/5-6.3, features Sigma’s latest OIS (Optical Image Stabiliser) mechanism and is remarkably compact for a lens of this focal length range. We tested Tamron’s 100400mm in the last issue of PN, and by comparison the Sigma is 40g heavier and a little under 1.5cm shorter. I tried the Sigma 100-400mm on a Nikon D810. On that camera, the pair make for a nice handling combination that is well balanced and comfortable to keep held up to the eye for a while when waiting for a shot. There is no supplied tripod collar, nor is one available as an optional extra, which means for use on a tripod or monopod it’s the camera body that is fixed to the support. With such a long zoom, a solid plate and a secure connection to the tripod head is obviously important and there is the risk of vibration in a wind, so care does need to be taken. The design of the lens hood enhances handling further. Its 100mm

Specs Price £699 Format Full-frame, APS-C Mount Canon EF, Nikon F, Sigma Construction 21 elements in 15 groups Special lens elements 4x SLD (special low dispersion) glass Coatings Sigma Super Multi-Layer Coating Filter size 67mm Aperture range F/5-6.3-22 Diaphragm Nine blades Internal focus Yes Manual focus Yes Minimum focus 160cm

moulded shape allows a secure grip which means you can push or pull the hood to adjust the zoom, so slightly quicker than using the twist grip as normal. This does work well although the twist grip offers more precise control, but the option is very welcome. Optically, I found this lens a very creditable performer and certainly had 200mm

no problem getting sharp, contrasty and detailed shots out of this zoom throughout its range. Starting with the 100mm setting, I got more than acceptable images at each aperture setting including the two extremes. Wide open, the test shots lacked a little crispness that could be recovered with some unsharp mask in editing, but a 400mm

F/5.6

F/5.6

F/6.3

F/6.3

F/6.3

F/7.1

F/8

F/8

F/8

F/11

F/11

F/11

F/16

F/16

F/16

F/22

F/22

F/22

worthwhile improvement could be had just by stopping down to f/5.6. That made a noticeable difference to how the lens dealt with fine detail – blades of grass, for example, looked so much crisper. Stopping down to f/8 and f/11 helped give an even better image with superior detail rendition, but I was impressed even at f/5.6. A similar high performance level was exhibited at the 200mm setting. Image quality peaked at f/8 but again it was pretty decent at the two aperture extremes. At f/5.6, sharpness was good and again a little stopping down – even to f/6.3 or f/7.1 – brought out a lift in quality. In such long zooms the shorter focal lengths are often the strongest, so I anticipated a falling away at 400mm and indeed that is what happened. Here, f/22 and f/29 suffered badly from diffraction and images looked soft, but I can’t imagine many people using the 400mm setting at such apertures. At the wider, most used apertures I got decent shots wide open, but stopping down to f/8 and f/11 was needed for a critical sharpness level. Shooting towards a low winter sun showed the lens’s multi-coating to be capable of dealing with flare. Including the sun in the frame produced some ghosting together with a contrast loss, but generally with the hood in use, flare was kept under control. Finally, I tested Sigma’s latest OIS system shooting handheld on a calm day. The system worked well and I got sharp handheld shots at 400mm at 1/30sec, which is impressive. WC

Verdict Sigma has another potential winner on its hands.

Images The Sigma 100-400mm was tested at three focal lengths. The camera used was a Nikon D810 and that was fixed to a Novo Explora T20 carbon-fibre tripod and the shutter released using the exposure delay mode. Raws were processed through Lightroom with default sharpening.

Pros Price, size, optical performance, OIS, hood design Cons No tripod collar option

Focus limiter Yes Maximum magnification 1:3.8 Distance scale Yes Depth-of-field scale No Image stabiliser Sigma OIS Tripod collar No Lens hood Supplied, LH770-04 Weather-sealed Dust and splash proof mount (except Sigma mount) Dimensions 182.3x86.4mm Weight 1160g Contact Sigma-imaging-uk.com


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First tests Specs Prices £76 In the box 1x R60 light Adapter rings – 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm Number of LEDs 60 Power Four AAs (none supplied). Optional external 5v power source can be used Output Fully controllable Duration 120min at full power, 30 hours when dimmed Colour temperature 5600K Output 2300 lux at 30cm Angle of illumination 52° Minimum working distance 3cm from the unit’s front Dimensions 15x15x2.8cm Weight 128g, no batteries Contact Fotospeed.com

Kaiser R60 Ring Light £76 LEDs are revolutionising lighting, whether that is in your living room, or for video and still photography. These tiny things produce an impressive amount of light for their size, are cool running and energy efficient, and can even be used to produce a flash with high speed sync as seen on the Rotolight NEO2 we recently tested. The Kaiser R60 is a daylightbalanced, battery-powered ring light featuring 60 LEDs. Getting the R60 ready for use doesn’t take any time at all – just load four AA cells into the individual compartments, screw the adaptor onto the lens’s accessory thread, slide on the R60 and you are ready to go. Supplied in the box are ring adaptors for lenses with accessory threads from 49mm to 67mm inclusive. You could probably get the gaffer tape out and attach it to a wider diameter lens but you are likely to have severe vignetting unless you are just going to use a small central portion of the image. If you need the option of using a daylight LED ring light on a lens with a filter thread up to 77mm, check out the Kaiser KR 90 at £274.99. The thickness of the lighting unit and where the adaptor ring is positioned does mean it’s not much good with wide-angle lenses – unless again you are going to use the centre. As part of the test, I put it on a Fujifilm X-T2 fitted with an 18-55mm f/2.8-4 standard zoom which has a 58mm accessory thread. Vignetting was visible up to 30mm but beyond that was fine. Where the R60 comes into its own is fitted on a macro lens to give smooth shadowless lighting. Most macro lenses are telephoto so the potential vignetting issue does not arise. I have

a Nikon 105mm f/2.8 with a 62mm thread so I tried the R60 on that. For the test, I checked out its colour temperature performance and output, in terms of power and evenness. Turn the light on and then you have stepless power control from minimum power upwards. Measured from the front rim of the Kaiser ring light, I took incident light meter readings using a Gossen Digipro F set to ISO 200 at distances of 10, 20, 30 and 40cm. At maximum power and 10cm I got a reading of f/5.6.3 (that’s f/5.6 and three tenths) which dropped down to f/4.6 at minimum power. At 40cm minimum power read f/2 and

f/2.06 at maximum power. Thus, the differential between minimum and maximum power is in the region of EV0.6 so not that much. Shooting a Datacolor colour test chart, I used AWB then a range of white-balance presets on a Nikon D810 fitted with the 105mm lens. The AWB shots were more or less spot on in terms of neutrality while a setting of 5000K gave a comparable result so slightly different from the quoted 5600K in the specifications. Light quality is very good giving a good contrast, shadow-free effect and the diffuser panel of the unit gives a good job of nullifying the harshness of bare LEDs. WC

Images Ring lights are used for medical and forensic applications where a shadowless light is needed, but they are good for general macro shooting. This Kaiser unit is ideal for home and location photography.

Verdict

Below Almonds photographed with a Nikon D810 fitted with a 105mm lens at minimum focus – the front of the light unit was about 3cm from the subjects.

The Kaiser R60 Ring Light is a neat little unit that is nicely priced at £76. It’s good for macro work, whether that is on location or at home. If you are into fungi, for example, and want to add a dab of light to lift the naturally-lit scene this Kaiser will do the job nicely. It also works well if you want the R60 as the sole light source but of course you have to be close enough, be flexible with aperture selection and exploit the camera’s ISO range. At £76, though, the Kaiser R60 is very good value. Pros Daylight quality, adjustable output, range of adaptor rings supplied, portable Cons Largest adaptor ring is 67mm


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

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First tests

Lee Filters Reverse ND From £98 Few photographers can resist a good sunrise or sunset, but there’s always the issue of contrast. The bright sun, just hovering above the horizon, and the immediate area around it is a great deal brighter than the sky above and of course both are much brighter than the foreground. Graduate filters help control high contrast, but with a standard ND graduate – where the greatest density is towards the top of the filter – the best you can do is to hold back the bright sky to give you some chance with the foreground. What it can’t do is solve the intensely bright horizon, and that can still burn out because the grad filter’s density is weakest here. Sunrises and sunsets are precisely the situations that Lee’s newest filter, the Reverse ND, is designed for. Like a normal grad, the bottom half is clear but the area immediately above the halfway point is the densest and it gets lighter towards the top. Available for all three Lee filter systems – Seven5, 100mm and SW150 – the Reverse ND is offered in three strengths, 0.6, 0.9 and 1.2, giving light absorption of 2EV, 3EV and 4EV respectively. These figures refer to the densest dyed area. Build quality is typical of Lee’s resin filters, using its own optically correct polycarbonate that has low reflectance qualities – so no need for any extra coatings. Lee’s grad filters are hand-dipped in dye and this applies to the Reverse NDs, too. Look closely and you’ll see three well-defined areas of tone with smooth transitions between them. You may think this would give banding but in practice there’s no evidence of this in pictures, just a smooth tonal change. The filter is designed for wideangle lens use, from 24mm and wider in the full-frame format. Going any longer than 24mm and the narrower No filter

Specs Price Seven5 system £98, 100mm system £137.21, SW150 system £150.67 Availability 0.6, 0.9 and 1.2 (2EV, 3EV and 4EV) in Seven5, 100mm and SW150 sizes Material Optically correct polycarbonate resin, with very low reflectance Contact leefilters.com

Left A side-by-side comparison of Lee’s 0.9 Reverse ND (left) with a traditional medium 0.9 ND graduate. You can see the filter’s densest area in the centre of the Reverse ND and how smooth the tonal changes are.

angle of view means you’re not getting the most from the reverse grad effect, simply because you are looking through a smaller section of the filter. You just get a solid grad effect. The filter’s design also means its effect is influenced by the composition and the filter’s position in the holder. For example, shooting upright format means you are using more of the filter’s dyed area and the reverse grad effect is going to be more evident. Similarly, composing with, say, the horizon running across the bottom third will show the Reverse ND more

clearly, while placing the horizon on the top third means only the densest section of the filter comes into play. The important thing, whatever the composition, is positioning the densest section of the filter to cover the very bright sun and adjacent area just above the horizon. Using the Reverse ND grad is just as with other Lee grads. Use manual exposure mode and meter to give foreground tone. Then slide the filter into position with the filter’s densest area sitting on the horizon. Using the camera’s depth-of-field preview can help with precise positioning. Now, with the same settings, take the shot. It is worth stressing the importance of eye safety. With a wide lens and the sun just off the horizon, using (with

Lee Reverse ND 0.9

care) an optical viewfinder might be okay but as the sun gains strength, switch to live view – or just use live view regardless. The filter’s performance is very good. First consideration – given the situations the Reverse ND is designed for – is flare, but I had no issues there. I mostly used it on its own although I did the odd shot with a Little Stopper and a hazy sun offset to one side, and shots were flare-free. You may need to be wary when doubling up and aiming straight into the sun. Image quality was on the level you’d expect with the lens on its own and there was no discernible eroding of sharpness or detail rendition. Colour balance was also good and no obvious colour cast was seen. WC Lee ND medium grad 0.9

Verdict Yes, it is true that the traditional dark at the top grad filter is the one most scenic photographers will turn to, but the Reverse ND is really useful in certain situations, so it definitely deserves its place in the camera bag. Pros High optical quality, neutral, it works Cons Best suited to wide-angle use

Images Shot in manual exposure mode with settings of 1/30sec at f/11 and ISO 100, with a tripod mounted Nikon D850 fitted with a 24-120mm zoom at 24mm. The Reverse ND has done its job well and the area around the sun shows good detail. All the shots here are from Raws processed with default settings. Working the Raw harder and using the highlight slider will reveal an even greater benefit of the Reverse ND.


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

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First tests Specs Prices £1999.99 Format Full-frame, APS-C Mounts Canon EF, Nikon F Construction 15 elements in 13 groups Special lens elements 7x anomalous partial dispersion, 2x aspheric Coatings T* Zeiss anti-reflective coating Filter size 82mm Aperture range F/1.4-16, de-click option Diaphragm Nine blades Internal focus Yes Manual focus Yes, manual only Minimum focus 25cm Focus limiter No Maximum magnification 1:4.6 Distance scale Yes Depth-of-field scale Yes Image stabiliser No Tripod collar No Lens hood Supplied Weather-sealed Yes Dimensions 123x95mm (Nikon) Weight 1171g (Nikon) Contact Zeiss.com

Zeiss Milvus 25mm f/1.4 £1999.99 The Zeiss Milvus family is aimed at photographers keen to experience the joy of manual focus prime lenses and have the budget to indulge themselves. The 25mm f/1.4 is the latest in the range. It is available in Canon EF and Nikon F fittings. I had the Nikon version that I used on the Nikon D800 and D810. On these cameras the combination, although weighty at over 2kg, is well balanced, giving a solid shooting platform. With the wide view and stability enhanced by its weight, shooting at reasonably slow shutter speeds is possible – there is no image stabilisation to help. I managed successful shots at 1/30sec but struggled at longer speeds. The focus barrel is impressive, with a beautifully smooth action throughout its entire range, and its rubberised finish is comfortable and gives a positive grip. There’s enough resistance to stay put once focused but it’s also really easy to make fine-tune adjustments with no backlash for critical focusing. Honestly, it needs to be used to be appreciated. The barrel itself takes a half rotation to go from infinity to the 25cm minimum focusing distance. There is travel of 1cm to cover from infinity to 1.5m so most of that rotation comes into play with closer subjects. To aid accurate focusing, the camera’s focus confirmation signal does work. The lens’s mostly metal body trims down at the camera body end and that is where the aperture ring is positioned. The design is such that is helps with using the aperture ring because your fingers just naturally slip into the gap between the lens and camera body. Of course, with modern Nikon bodies the aperture is controlled from the camera body, and for that the lens is locked at f/16. The fast aperture delivers a lovely, bright viewing image, as you’d expect, and it’s contrasty, too – all told

Original image

Images The latest Milvus lens performs very well at every aperture including at f/1.4. So you can enjoy the very shallow depthof-field possible, while what it is focused on is pin sharp.

this helps a great deal with precise manual focusing. Yes, it is a wideangle so there is room for error with the extensive depth-of-field you get at mid apertures and subjects away from the camera. Move in close, though, and shoot wide open – then focusing must be critical. A final comment on the lens’s design, and that is how good the lens hood is. It bayonets on very firmly, does the job and the curvy design looks the business on the lens. If I had any complaint with the lens it is when taking it off the camera. You can’t grip the hood because it bayonets off, and it’s tricky to get your fingers onto the aperture ring and most of the main body is focusing barrel. That leaves a smooth strip, with two indents, about 7mm across to grip the lens when fitting or removing the lens. This could be better. There’s no real point of a f/1.4 lens if it can’t be used at its widest aperture, but no such concerns with this Zeiss. Corner-to-corner sharpness is yours if you shoot at f/1.4, giving images full of crisp detail and contrast. The F/1.4

F/8

Above Shooting directly into the sun holds no fears for this Zeiss Milvus lens and images remain full of contrast and mostly free of flare. Below Shoot at maximum aperture and vignetting is obvious and this goes with stopping down. It is easily cured in software, but the effect can work for some shots.

F/2.8

F/4

F/5.6

F/11

F/16

only downside is there’s quite obvious vignetting from f/1.4 to f/2.8, and it goes after that point. Image quality at f/1.4 is very high and it gets even better with stopping down, peaking at f/4 and f/5.6, and although the gains in actual resolution are small they are discernible if you look at images viewed at 100% on a good quality screen. However, the lens is so good at the wider settings that gaining a deeper depth-of-field is the only reason to stop down. Diffraction impacts on quality at f/11 and f/16, but a little tinkering in editing and use of some gentle unsharp mask recovers shots taken at these settings, so no problem if you want to stop down for the maximum depth-of-field – and you can still enjoy excellent image quality. Shoot into bright light or have sunlight striking the lens front obliquely and there is the small risk of flare, but the coatings are good so you’d have to work quite hard to get ghosting and flare spots. All in all, this 25mm gets a very clean bill of health. WC

Verdict The Zeiss Milvus range features top-end optics and the 25mm f/1.4 is a worthy newcomer. Optically, it is a class act giving great performance in terms of sharpness and detail resolution at every aperture from f/1.4 onwards only relenting at f/11 and f/16 where quality tails off slightly. There is vignetting at the wider apertures but that is easily resolved in software if it is an issue. Of course, the lens is not a budget buy and a significant investment so you would expect a high level of performance. Well, the upshot is that you get it, so if the idea of a super-fast wideangle appeals there is much to commend this Zeiss lens. Pros High optical quality at every aperture, fast maximum aperture Cons Price, weight, large filter thread, vignetting at the wider apertures


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

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First tests

Hoya Ultra-Pro circular polariser From £76.99 Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: the polariser is the single most useful filter money can buy and everyone should have one. The thing is, it’s true and while the polariser is not a miracle filter and doesn’t work for every situation, it is an incredibly useful accessory. With it you can control or kill reflections, enhance weak blue skies and defeat glare to enrich colours, all things that can’t be truly replicated in software. Hoya has recently added two new filter families to its collection, the UltraPro and NX-10 ranges, and both feature circular polarisers. The Ultra-Pro range is aimed at more experienced photographers and has a specification to deliver super-high performance in all sorts of situations, and here I tried out the circular polariser. The filter features top-quality optical glass fitted in a slimline metal rotating mount to avoid vignetting with wide-angle lenses, and an advanced multi-coating. There are no fewer than 16 different coatings to help deliver optimum performance and picture quality. As you might expect, there are coatings to combat flare when shooting against the light but the coatings also help deliver optimum light transmission. Polarisers have filter factors that vary depending on the situation and when the filter is rotated for maximum effect this can be around 2EV, which is obviously a potential issue for handheld shooting in less bright light. The Ultra-Pro polariser with its coatings gives around 90% light transmission so even when it is working hard to remove polarised light, its filter factor is around 1EV. One common problem with polarisers is physical damage. Not just with scratching arising from everyday handling but also water damage. Should a polariser get splashed or rained on it is important to thoroughly dry the affected surfaces before packing it away. If you don’t, residual drying rings can be permanent, and that obviously can affect the quality of your pictures. Hoya’s multi-coatings aim to foil such problems. In this review I tested the Hoya Ultra-Pro for resistance to such hazards No filter

Before cleaning

Specs Price 37mm £76.99 82mm £284.99 Light transmission 90% Rotating frame Metal Coatings 16 layers of anti-reflection, water and oil repellent coatings

After cleaning

Images Allow water drops on polarising filters to dry, and you might end up with permanant tide marks. Such issues are averted on Hoya’s Ultra-Pro polariser thanks to its 16 coatings, as you can see in the shots above.

as water as well as its filter factor, colour balance and overall performance as a polariser. I had a 77mm fit filter sample and used it on various fast-aperture Nikon lenses, but also on Fujifilm X lenses via step-down rings. For the neutrality test I used a colour test chart and studio flash. I started with a custom white-balance test without the filter so I had a control, then fitted the filter and reshot several times with the aperture adjusted up to 2EV in 0.3EVsteps. This gave me an indication of the filter’s light transmission qualities. I found the filter needed an extra 1EV in this part of the test. The control and filter shots were then compared. Using Lightroom I looked at the same neutral colour areas of the test chart using the dropper tool to check any variances. Adding the filter does make a change that’s visible to the naked eye. The filter adds a small degree of warmth, but personally I

think a slight warm cast is preferable to a minor cool cast. In real situations, when you are most likely to be using AWB, that warmth might be corrected by the camera. My next test was a drop of some tap water on the front surface, and letting it evaporate before then cleaning the filter. Checking the filter surface before cleaning, a drying ring was clearly evident (see above) and on some polarisers that could be there for good. On this Hoya filter, however, all it took was a breath on the filter and a few rubs with a microfibre lens cloth and the drying ring was gone. For my practical tests I took the polariser with me on a holiday to Australia and used it on my Fujifilm X-E3 and X-T2. It was summer, so blue skies were very blue and a polariser was not always needed because the effect can be too much – but when a weak sky needed enhancement or reflections cut down, it was called into action. With filter

The cameras were set to aperturepriority AE, auto white-balance and shooting Raw files. Performance was impressive, with the filter’s natural warmth adding a nice touch to my shots. It also did a good job of cutting through haze and gave scenes an extra crispness. Saturation, depending on the subject, was also nicely enhanced. The filter factor was 2x and on some scenes 3x, so in practical terms an extra 1-1.5EV was needed. With the polariser in place this meant no lens hood could be used, but I didn’t experience any flare even when shooting in strong sun. With the polariser having an effect when shooting 90° to the sun, light was striking the filter front obliquely so there was the risk of contrast loss and flare spots, but no such issues arose. In sum, a fine performance with handling and actual use from this highspec polariser, so it emerged with a clean bill of health. WC

Contact Intro2020.co.uk

Verdict Circular polarisers are available in a wide range of prices and it’s fair to say that you get what you pay for. Lesser polarisers are more likely to add a vivid colour cast, impact on lens quality, flare when shooting in strong light, pick up marks and scratches and generally not deliver the performance expected from a decent product. Invest in a Hoya Ultra-Pro polariser and you’re buying a high-quality filter that will deliver sterling service over a long period. Yes, it is not a cheap polariser – the 77mm version has a guide price of £230.99 – but it performs very well in all respects. It is physically well protected, is colour neutral, has a modest filter factor and works impressively, so can be highly recommended. Pros Coatings, thin mount to suit wide-angle use, high quality performance Cons Price

Images Comparison shots taken using a Fujifilm X-T2 with 1855mm lens and the camera set to AWB. In these straight-outof-the-camera shots. Exposure for the unfiltered shot was 1/800sec at f/8 and ISO 200, and the filtered shot 1/300sec at f/8, so just over one stop more.


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

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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, how to shoot a window-lit low-key still life... Words & pictures by Kingsley Singleton

Window light with flag and reflector

It’s the time of year when shooting outdoors can seem like an unnecessary challenge. But there’s plenty to keep you and your camera occupied indoors; practising your still-life skills is a great example; you can create beautiful images in complete comfort, and still-life photography always benefits other styles you work in, too; it improves your compositional skills, your eye for detail and resourcefulness. Still-life also breeds diligence; like other subjects, it profits from practise and repeated studies of the same subject. And you don’t even need to worry about lighting gear to create a compelling still-life image; all you need is a window, as has been the case for painters for centuries. Window lighting Not every window is ideal for stilllife lighting, though. Ideally you’ll want one that’s north-facing and therefore provides indirect light, which is softer and easier to control (though of course you can use other windows if the weather is overcast or the sun is in the right position). To help control the effect you can also use some thin white material to cover it and diffuse the light; a voile or very fine net curtain should do the trick. Opaque material is also useful; by attaching it to the window you’ll be able to block some of the light, thinning it or changing its angle. You’ll also need to take care of the backdrop and for this, lengths of fabric are a good choice; the colour or tone will depend on what style of still-life you want to create. Low-key still life Using some dark fabric – actually a table cloth which I ironed to remove distracting creases – I set up a vase of tulips on a low table next to a north facing window. Immediately, the light looked too broad as the table was on the same level as the window and I wanted it to fall at more of a 45º angle, so I pegged a dark towel to the

Above You don’t need an advanced set-up for great still-lifes.

Picking a lens for still-life

No flag or reflector

There’s no set lens for still-life photography, but for a classical look a standard or short telephoto will work well, giving a largely undistorted view that’s similar to the human eye. On a full-frame DSLR, between 35mm and 85mm will do the trick, depending on the size of the subject; for smaller APS-C sensored cameras, look for 24mm to 105mm. If you use much longer lenses, the distance from the subject can cause problems both in terms of the minimum focusing distance, and to make alterations to the setup. Macro lenses, which tend to cover similar focal lengths, are another good bet as they allow you to work very close to the subject, meaning you can use very small items and may not even need to step away from the camera to make changes to the composition. Using lenses with wide maximum apertures is also useful: you’ll get both a faster shutter speed to avoid subject movement and more control of depth-of-field. For the images here, I used an 85mm f/1.8 lens.

No flag, silver reflector Above Window lighting is great for still-life work, and it can be sculpted to your will with minor modifications. In the picture above, the background was darkened using a flag held between it and the window, but with the subject still fully lit. A silver reflector was also used to brighten the shadows and give the stems some form. bottom of the window to block the light and push its angle downwards. I also made use of the curtains to control the light – with them completely open there seemed to be a lack of atmosphere, but by drawing one of the pair, the light was thinned and pushed slightly behind the flowers for a narrower look. Controlling light with reflectors Although the light from a northfacing window will be indirect, and therefore somewhat diffuse, it’s still a single light source, so may need some balancing to stop the image looking too shadowy. For that you just need a reflector. A reflector’s job is simply to bounce light back onto the subject, lightening shadows or adding form. They can be simple sheets of white card, a piece of silver foil or even paper, but 5-in-1 reflectors are

very affordable and perennially useful (a 60cm 5-in-1 reflector from essentialphoto.com costs only £17). I used the more powerful silver surface, because after closing the curtains slightly there wasn’t much light left. It’s also handy to have a flag on hand to block light falling where you don’t want it. I used a sheet of black A4 card, which was enough to cast some shadow on the backdrop, evening and darkening that part to let the subject stand out. Exposure settings Indirect light means a lack of intensity and therefore slower shutter speeds, so shooting from a tripod is almost essential. You’ll also be thankful for the tripod when it comes to making small changes to composition, and keeping your hands free to use a flag or reflector.

For complete control of the exposure shoot in manual mode, dialling in the lowest ISO for best picture quality. Next, choose the aperture that best suits your intentions: if you want the subject and backdrop to be sharp, set a high f/number; if you want selective focus, set a low f/number. I shot at f/2.5 which kept some of the subject sharp, but also added some blur and kept the background out of focus. At f/2.5, the camera metered the shutter speed at 1/10sec, but this gave a washed out look and I wanted more shadow, so I set 1/25sec to underexpose by just over one stop. This kept some delicate highlights on the flowers, but shadowed much of the rest of the setup. Finally, I set the camera to shoot in self-timer mode (5secs), allowing me to fire the shutter then move away and hold the flag in position.

Above A wide variety of lenses are useful for still-life, like this 85mm f/1.8. And if your lens doesn’t focus close enough, buy a close-up filter, which screws to the front.

NEXT MONTH MORE STILL-LIFE TECHNIQUES TO EXPLORE AT HOME


Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

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Competition

Editor’s letter

Looking forward – and back!

WIN!

A Samsung memory card! Capture life’s magical moments across all devices with the Samsung EVO Plus 128GB microSDXC memory card with SD adapter offering read speeds up to 100MB/s and write speeds of up to 90MB/s. Samsung’s latest cards are also ultra reliable and are water, temperature, X-ray and magnetic proof, so shooting in the most challenging conditions isn’t an issue. We have one 128GB Samsung EVO Plus microSDXC card with SD adapter worth £78.99 for the eagle-eyed winner. 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 11 March 2018 and the winner will be randomly drawn from all correct entries received. The correct answer to PN50’s wordsearch was Ivy and the Samsung 128GB PRO+ card was won by Nik Watt from Edinburgh. samsung.com/uk/memory-cards

Every year sees me cleaning up last year’s picture catalogues and preparing for – hopefully! – the onslaught of new material. It is time-consuming, a drudge, but ultimately very rewarding. Yes, it means I free up plenty of storage space, but I also realise I do have the odd gem that I am very pleased with. Not only that but I find that shots that I thought were fit only for the wastebasket when I first loaded them into the catalogue are actually not as terrible as I first thought. It is as if some pictures mature with time and when viewed away from the emotion I felt as I pressed the shutter button. There are, of course, plenty that are failures and will be till the end of time and these are deleted without any qualms. This, by the way, is why I never delete straight after the shoot because I would have lost pictures that I now treasure. I do shoot tens of thousands of shots every year. This is no idle boast and it is nothing to be proud of, but that number does include a great many shots I take when camera testing and these shots are usually of nothing special. The local high street, the nearest stately home and the back garden regularly feature in my testing regime. And so does London. Taking a test camera for a trip to the capital actually encourages me to do things that I have never done before and to visit new places. Late last year, I went up the Monument and the Sky Garden atop the Walkie-Talkie (20 Fenchurch St) building on the premise of having a new camera to play with. The results were nothing notable but the camera got a good test. And speaking of London, if you like the idea of a fun day out shooting in the capital with PN, then put this year’s Photo 24 in your diary: it kicks off at 3pm on 29 June.

If you have never heard of Photo 24, it is free shoot in the city – in association with Fujifilm – that lasts 24 hours. Some people set out to shoot the whole 24 hours, others do a few hours while some will break up the day and book a hotel or go home for a sleep. The thing is, Photo 24 is what you make of it. Last year, I met one chap who lived and worked in London but who used the event as motivation to shoot sights he often walked past. I suspect another reason is that by attending Photo 24 he could enter the special contests we have running for the event. Another chap I met came down from Preston to meet with friends he made the previous year. It takes all sorts so if the idea of spending some quality shooting time with a group of like-minded souls appeals, put 29 and 30 June in the diary. How you get a place on Photo 24 (and it is very popular and we are limited on numbers) will be revealed in a future PN so please stay with us. So far this year, news of new cameras has been rather thin on the ground, but that will soon change and already I have three launches in the diary. One new product that will surely get a great many photographers excited when (and if) it appears is the muchrumoured Nikon full-frame mirrorless. There’s no sign of a launch date yet, but for some of us including me, its arrival, whenever it is, will be already be too late as I am now committed to a mirrorless system. Anyway, see you next month for more from the coalface. Cheers.

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Photography News 52  

Issue 52 of Photography News

Photography News 52  

Issue 52 of Photography News