LIGHT BLUE BUSINESS SOFTWARE WORTH £350!
BACK TO BLACK (& WHITE) WEDDINGS: THE NEXT GENERATION Take mono portraits that sell
Forget posing, it’s all about the emotion!
ISSUE 79 £4.50 www.photopromagazine.com
In at the deep end Dive into Christy Lee Rogers’ stunning abstract fashion shots
KICK-START YOUR PHOTO
BUSINESS Top pros share affordable ways to give your bottom line a welcome boost
EXPOSURES How one pro is successful in two very different markets
5 TIPS TO GUARANTEE YOU GET YOUR PRICING RIGHT SHOOTING STILLS FOR BLOCKBUSTING MOVIES SONY’S £2500 RX1 COMPACT TESTED
REVEALED! THE FULL COST OF SWITCHING TO FULL FRAME PP79_001 (COVER)rp2hbljc.indd 1
CONTENTS ISSUE 79
Subscriptions & back issues:
Why the recent Focus on Imaging show should give us reasons to be cheerful, plus details on new launches from Bowens, Peli, Sony and more.
016 PORTFOLIO: JOE ALBLAS
COVER We meet the Hollywood star you’ve probably never heard of, but whose work you’ll be very familiar with. 016
022 PROJECT: IN AT THE DEEP END COVER For stunning abstract fashion images – just add water! We showcase the aquatic exploits of Hawaiian-born photographic artist Christy Lee Rogers. 022
Find out all about the wedding style that makes posing a thing of the past Pro Academy
036 LIGHTING MASTERCLASS
A project capturing life under the Westway motorway gave Paul WenhamClarke some lighting challenges. Here’s how he tackled them.
044 BACK TO BLACK (& WHITE)
COVER Damien Lovegrove explains key techniques to create portraits with a ﬁlm noir look. It could be just what your clients are looking for!
052 WEDDINGS: THE NEXT STEP COVER The Beloved Concept is a new approach to wedding photography. We speak to one of the UK’s leading exponents of the style to discover what it’s all about.
028 MULTIPLE EXPOSURES
COVER Mark Bridger has carved a successful career as a wedding and a wildlife photographer. Here’s how.
061 BUSINESS MATTERS
Want to run your business better? You’ll be needing this essential advice from our experts, then.
064 GET YOUR PRICING RIGHT
COVER It’s one of our most regularly asked questions: what should I charge? Don’t miss this priceless advice.
070 KICK-START YOUR BUSINESS
COVER Looking for an affordable way to boost your business? We asked pros what they’d do with a theoretical £2000.
082 THE COST OF FULL FRAME
COVER Aside from the obvious outlay for the camera body, what other hidden costs lie in wait for pros moving to the larger format? We ﬁnd out.
092 CANON EOS M & SONY RX1
COVER Canon’s compact system camera and Sony’s full-frame compact are well speciﬁed and capable of great results, but is that enough to make them good second shooters?
098 BUYERS’ GUIDE: MEMORY Memory cards, hard drives and solid state drives – we take a look at the lot and hand-pick a selection of manufacturers to consider.
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Photo Professional is published on the first Thursday of every month by Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge, CB22 3HJ. No part of this magazine can be used without prior written permission of Bright Publishing Ltd. Photo Professional is a registered trademark of Bright Publishing Ltd. The advertisements published in Photo Professional that have been written, designed or produced by employees of Bright Publishing Ltd remain the copyright of Bright Publishing Ltd and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Can’t find a copy? Finding your nearest Photo Professional magazine stockist couldn’t be easier. Simply contact: COMAG, Tavistock Road, West Drayton, Middlesex, UB7 7QE Alternatively call 01895 433600.
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016 PHOTO PROFESSIONAL ISSUE 78
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PORTFOLIO | JOE ALBLAS
Joe Alblas has been privileged to document some of the greatest moments of human history, and although he might have been working on a film set at the time, he still had to capture the action live as it happened WORDS TERRY HOPE PICTURES JOE ALBLAS
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PORTFOLIO | JOE ALBLAS
I create ‘make believe you were somewhere else’ images, by using a combination of lighting set-ups, props and locations
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PORTFOLIO | JOE ALBLAS
IMAGES Fast shutter speeds and a housing for the camera are vital to capturing stills, quickly and quietly, on a movie set. Working closely with the director of photography lets Joe Alblas plan his shots without getting under the team’s busy feet. His stills are of huge importance but he’s more of a voyeur on-set – for scenes, such as the explosion above, he’s expected to work alongside the film crew to capture the same moment.
he world of film stills is a very different place today than it once was. Forget those glorious, staged Hollywood classics by the likes of George Hurrell and Clarence Sinclair Bull; now it’s all about realism and images that could essentially pass as virtual screen grabs from the movie. Those like South African photographer Joe Alblas, who specialises in this area, need all the razorsharp reactions of a top photojournalist while being nimble enough to keep out of the way of a constantly moving film crew and cast of actors. This is an endlessly challenging and stimulating job, and Joe’s working day regularly involves being asked to produce stills of epic scenes set up as part of a big budget film or TV production. For example, towards the end of 2011 he spent three months photographing Mankind: The Story of All of Us, a landmark History Channel documentary series. In the process, he found himself confronted by the ice age, the battle of Megiddo, the sacking of Rome, the demise of Easter Island, Christopher Columbus’s discovery of America, the Salem witch hunts, plus a host of other key moments from history. It was an extraordinary commission that yielded some amazing images, as the past came vividly to life in front of Joe’s camera. Starting out in the late seventies working part-time as a press photographer for the Sunday newspapers in South Africa, Joe found himself shooting mostly cover stories during the apartheid oppression. “Each weekend I would hope to get a front-page spread which would mean extra money,” he says, “particularly if the image was being used in colour.” Within a few years he had changed direction, seeking more technically challenging assignments. “By chance I took another path, which brought me into advertising and fashion photography,” he says. “The latter was my preference, and for the next 20 years it allowed me the freedom to express myself through my work. I soon began to develop a technique of creating ‘make believe you were somewhere else’ images by using a combination of lighting set-ups, props and interesting locations in my approach, similar to how directors today use production designers, art directors and the like to create their movie sets. Basically, this set the foundation for what I now look for in producing all my set images. “In 2001 I finally moved back to Cape Town and almost immediately started shooting stills on international commercials, and later gravitated more towards long-form film and television drama as Cape Town turned into one of the world’s most popular film-production destinations.”
Shooting the big production Every production is different, and usually Joe’s assignments are long-term and involve him spending weeks, or even months, covering every angle of the action. The style of photography needs to match the look of the film footage, and it’s important for the approach to be tailored to fit the occasion. “I always look first at who is directing,” says Joe, “and study the treatments, then I’ll look at who is doing the cinematography to see the style. Next I have ISSUE 79 PHOTO PROFESSIONAL 019
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In at the DEEP END The sublime abstract images captured by Hawaiian photographic artist Christy Lee Rogers are all based around water, and result from a process that is deliberately raw and unplanned WORDS TERRY HOPE PICTURES CHRISTY LEE ROGERS
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ESSENTIAL PRO SECRETS REVEALED
Providing you with the essential skills, techniques and ideas you need to make it as a successful professional photographer
036 LIGHTING MASTERCLASS Commercial and advertising photographer, Paul Wenham-Clarke uses a minimalist set-up to light his environmental portraits.
044 HOW TO SHOOT FILM NOIR Master this moody black & white technique with advice from Damien Lovegrove.
052 BELOVED PORTRAITS
Find out how the Beloved concept can help you capture raw emotions.
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BUSINESS MATTERS 064 IS THE PRICE RIGHT?
070 WHAT CAN £2000 BUY YOU?
Maintaining your profit margin
SCOTT GAIR, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAWYER
Risky business etting behind the camera can lead to all sorts of unpredictable situations, so before you take that step make sure it doesn’t end up costing you thousands. Paparazzi are repeatedly reported to get into scrapes with celebrities – causing equipment damage, court cases and sometimes serious injury. There is the infamous clip of a photographer headbutting Jamiroquai’s Jay Kay, while original Hollywood bad boy Sean Penn was fined for assault and battery when he attacked two snappers following his one-time partner Madonna. More recently Kanye West did 50 hours of community service after smashing a paparazzo’s camera. Then there was the photographer who tragically died in LA this January after being hit by a motorist as he took pictures of Justin Bieber’s sports car. While insurance cannot secure anyone’s safety, properly tailored products can compensate for damaged equipment, legal costs and loss of earnings. It isn’t just the paparazzi who need to think about this. Wildlife photographers can have their equipment chewed or damaged by animals. Those working in war-torn or politically unstable countries also take on extra risks. A film crew on David Attenborough’s Africa series was one of the last to leave Libya in the Arab Spring. They had to leave time-lapse equipment behind and ineffectual vandals narrowly missed ruining groundbreaking footage of shifting desert sands. Accidents happen close to home too. I work with a sports picture agency and heard of a finishing gantry collapse at a running event, sending metal poles crashing down on to another photographer. I forgot to ask which he tried to protect first, his head or his 70-200mm f/2.8 Canon lens!
Great ways to invest in your career
Any line of photography work involves risk. When choosing insurance consider the cost of your gear, the losses you’d suffer if you were unable to work and the more complicated issue of legal liability. Find out if you’d be covered for civil or criminal charges and whether your insurance would fund the legal costs if you ever need to take someone to court. Public liability insurance protects you if something you do causes harm, however inadvertently – for example if someone trips over your gear and gets hurt. Professional indemnity insurance is another important one. When working for paying clients, there is always potential for a complaint, however good you are. If a memory card corrupts, a camera is stolen, a computer breaks, or an accident prevents you from reaching a job, professional indemnity insurance may protect you financially from lawsuits. If you operate as a sole trader or in partnership your liability may be unlimited, which means your house could ultimately be at risk. Whenever I feel aggrieved at paying for insurance, I try and remember I’m buying peace of mind. You always know that 99% of the time it won’t get used, but it’s there just in case something goes badly wrong one day. If it does, a proper bespoke insurance policy is an extremely welcome safety net. Photo Professional’s back catalogue is full of tips on specialist insurance so you needn’t take a chance on a general policy, which may leave you at risk. ■ Scott Gair is an intellectual property lawyer at Mayo Wynne Baxter and a professional photographer. Send your questions for this column to firstname.lastname@example.org
Insurance is there just in case something goes badly wrong one day ”
062 3 PROVEN WAYS TO MAKE MORE MONEY 063 HOW TO NEGOTIATE, AND NOT BE A SOFT TOUCH
NIGEL MERRICK, PHOTOGRAPHER AND BUSINESS WRITER
Presenting your prices o make any money in the photography business, we have to sell to our clients. That inevitably leads to a quandary: how do we present our prices to the client in such a way that sales are maximised and the client is satisfied with their purchase? It’s often easier said than done. Are our prices too high? Too low? Why is it so hard to talk about prices? To help, here are five tips that have helped me with my own pricing quandaries.
1. Never apologise for your prices You need to let your client know that your prices are fair and that they provide ISSUE 79 PHOTO PROFESSIONAL 061
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BRASS IN POCKET I N V E S T I NG I N YOU R B U S I N E S S
OK, so let’s imagine for a moment that you’ve got a mythical £2000 to spend on your photographic business. Where would you start, and would you splurge on one item or look to change your life?
WORDS TERRY HOPE PICTURES VARIOUS
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ESSENTIAL PRO GEAR REVEALED
All the vital gear you’ll need to be a successful professional photographer
100 BUYERS’ GUIDE: MEMORY
We take a look at memory in all its shapes and forms and highlight the latest products aimed at the pro market.
084 THE TRUE COST OF FULL FRAME SYSTEMS How much does it really cost to get involved in full frame and what kit should you be looking at?
094 TESTED: CAMERAS FOR SECOND SHOOTERS
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FULL TILT FOR FULL FRAME?
The full cost of full frame Full-frame DSLRs are considered by many to be an essential item of pro kit, but what do they actually offer the working photographer? And is it worth paying for? WORDS & PICTURES ADAM DUCKWORTH
f you take a long hard look at the professional camera market right now you could be forgiven for thinking that the writing is on the wall for anything less than full frame. After all, Nikon hasn’t released a fully professional smaller-sensor camera since the D2XS in 2006, and this was cast into the shadows by the full-frame D3 at the end of 2007. On top of that, until the recent announcement of the D7100, the company’s most serious semi-pro DX camera, the D300S, had been flying the flag for high-end DX since 2009. Meanwhile, Canon was first to the full-frame party a decade ago with the EOS-1D S, upgraded to the Mark II then Mark III version in 2007, and only recently it launched a super fast, sports capable, full-frame camera: the EOS-1D X.
However, it’s in the semi-pro arena that the market has truly been transformed. First Canon brought out the full-frame EOS 5D in 2005, which was then updated to the EOS 5D Mark II, which single-handedly revolutionised the videography market. Then cue Nikon’s mini D3, the D700. Finally, last year, the EOS 5D Mark III hit the stores as well as Nikon’s D800 and D800E super-megapixel cameras. These were then joined by the lower-spec, enthusiast models like Canon’s EOS 6D and Nikon’s D600 last autumn. There’s even some full-frame rangefinders available in the form of Leica’s pricey M9 and its variants, and the new M, plus Sony has launched a premium-priced, full-frame compact, the fixed-lens RX1 to go alongside its full-frame DSLRs, which started with the A900
in 2008, with the current offering being the A99-SLT. Even top-of the-range compacts, such as Nikon’s new DX-size Coolpix A, and compact system cameras, like Canon’s EOS M, now have larger sensors. It seems that if you are serious about photography, the message is crystal clear: bigger is better. However, before you completely ditch the notion of smaller sensors you should be aware that it’s not all roses in the full-frame garden. There are lots of factors, other than the camera body in isolation, to take into account. For a start, all that capacity for extra resolution will have an impact on the lenses you can use and the much larger file sizes will mean investing in some extra computing power and more storage capability. It’s all adding further cost to your initial investment.
FULL-FRAME COMPACT OR COMPACT SYSTEM CAMERA
Compare the reach of a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens used on an APS-C sensor ABOVE and on a full-frame sensor BELOW. The crop factor of an ASPC-C sensor extends your lens’s range by 50% (1.5x crop factor). This, for example, will turn a 70-200mm zoom into a 105-300mm.
If a larger sensor in a DSLR is a good idea, then putting bigger sensors in smaller cameras also offers a benefit in terms of image quality, but the trade-off is price and bulk. There are only two manufacturers who make compact full-frame cameras, Leica and Sony. The Leica M9 and now the new M are interchangeable lens rangefinder cameras that you have to manually focus. They are well built and pricey at £5000 for the body, plus Leica lenses cost from around £1000 each. They are specialist bits of kit, quite hard to use if you are not used to rangefinders, and the sensor in the M9 is now a bit long in the tooth and doesn’t perform as well as any modern full-frame camera. The new M hits the shops any day and is said to have a far superior new sensor. The Sony, reviewed in this issue, is the only other full-frame compact and it uses a fixed 35mm lens and the 24-megapixel sensor from the A99 but costs a steep £2500. Like the Leica, it’s not particularly compact or light.
For smaller sensors – but still much larger than the tiny sensors used in most cheap compacts – you have cameras like Fujifilm’s X-Pro 1 and XE-1 or the Canon EOS M, which use interchangeable lenses. Nikon’s new Coolpix A has a fixed lens and APS-C sensor, as does the Fujifilm X100S. If you must have interchangeable lenses in a small package, then Micro Four Thirds sensors are a quarter of the size of full-frame sensors. Popular products include Olympus’s PEN and OM-D ranges and Panasonic’s LUMIX G series.
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ABOVE Full-frame DSLRs have been around for several years now, fighting alongside cropped sensor cameras for popularity, but are they about to elbow their smaller-sized rivals out of the way completely? Nikon D4, 1/200sec at f/2, ISO 640
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SONY DSC-RX1 & CANON EOS M
The perfect backup? Pro-spec backup cameras are all the rage these days. Have Sony and Canon’s latest models got what it takes to impress the professional? WORDS & PICTURES IAN FYFE & ROGER PAYNE
ost pros dream of owning a handy, portable camera; it takes up minimal space in their gadget bag, yet still packs enough power to deliver quality images. There are plenty of potential cameras to fulfil this dream, from Fujifilm’s X-Pro1 through to Nikon’s DX format
compact, the Coolpix A, and more are in the pipeline, particularly in the growing CSC sector. The range of options is developing by the day. We’re looking at two recent additions to the sector, the Sony DSC-RX1 and the Canon EOS M. The Sony in particular appears to be targeted firmly at the serious user, given its price tag of
over £2000, while Canon’s first CSC – the EOS M – will also appeal to the high-end hobbyist, but pros will be interested by its ability to accept EF lenses via an adaptor. Although they’re not directly comparable, we’re checking them both out to see if they could be the pro’s dream handy, portable, backup camera.
Sony has broken the mould and put a full-frame sensor in a compact body, but is creating a portable camera for professionals as simple as that? Ian Fyfe takes a look at Sony’s top Cyber-shot to find out
The idea of full-frame image quality from a camera touted as portable was nothing more than fantasy just a few months ago. But Canon and Nikon have given us smaller full-frame options in the form of the EOS 6D and D600, and Sony has gone one step further with this full-frame compact, the DSC-RX1. With a fixed 35mm lens, it’s never likely to be your main camera, but what does it offer that could justify a reserve spot for it in your kitbag? The design is sleek; its clean simple lines and black metal casing make it inconspicuous. It feels solid in the hand, and almost everything about it speaks of quality – the lens rings, the buttons and dials, the LCD screen. And all of this comes in a unit about the size of most compact system cameras. Despite its diminutive dimensions, there’s no doubt about the quality of the RX1’s core. The 24.1-megapixel sensor features the same light concentration technology as the chip in the RX1’s DSLT brother, the A99. Channelling light to this sensor is a 35mm f/2 Zeiss T* Sonnar lens, which is fixed in both senses of the word and includes an advanced aspherical element to minimise its size. It has an aperture ring, providing a retro touch and saving space on the body, and a second lens ring shifts the front element to reduce the minimum focusing distance and provide a ‘macro’ mode. There are a couple of notable absences from the RX1’s autofocus (AF) system. There’s no phase-detection AF, which may seem inevitable for the size of camera, but the A99 – launched at the same time – includes on-sensor phase detection. Why isn’t it on the RX1? Sony says it’s because this would necessitate a larger battery, compromising the compact size of the camera.
The second significant omission is a continuous AF mode. Included in RX1 prototypes, this was removed at the last moment. Instead, single shot AF is the only option, unless you’re in movie mode when it automatically switches to continuous AF and stays there. Although perhaps not hugely significant with a focal length of 35mm, this leaves a large dent in the claim that the RX1 provides full DSLR functionality. Besides these focusing shortfalls, just about everything else you’d find on a full-frame DSLR is here – and more. Sony packs every feature it can into every one of its cameras, and some of the more ‘gimmicky’ features are little more than menu clutter on a camera of this calibre. That said, Sony’s Clear Image Zoom is one of
Despite its diminutive dimensions, there’s no doubt about the quality of the RX1’s core
these features, but could be handy with the RX1 – it increases the focal length of the lens by up to double without losing out on pixel count.
The camera in use For me, design has taken precedence over practicality when it comes to handling, and I didn’t find the RX1 comfortable to hold. The larger battery that Sony was keen to avoid may have not only improved the AF system, but had the happy side effect of providing a more substantial grip as well. As it is, there’s an addon thumb grip intended to help, but I thought this made things worse. The start-up time is around two seconds, but once on, the controls offer good flexibility with a total of five customisable buttons. The Fn button accesses the Quick Navi Pro menu system for speedy adjustments; this is very easy to use. What’s more, there are three custom settings on the mode dial for set-ups stored to
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The full-frame sensor and the 35mm fixed Zeiss lens work in combination to produce images that are rich in detail.
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MASTER OF THE BIZARRE
John Farrar presents his alternative view of fashion, where nothing is what it seems…
OUR REGULAR HDSLR MOVIEMAKER SUPPLEMENT FREE WITH THIS ISSUE AMAZING IMAGES FROM THE PRISONS IN EL SALVADOR FINE ART SPECIAL: MEDIA TO USE AND HOW TO PRINT WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO SET UP A STYLED SHOOT LIGHTING FIGURES IN THE LANDSCAPE USING SPEEDLIGHTS TESTED: NIKON’S NEW DX FLAGSHIP AND PRO-SPEC COOLPIX A COMPACT
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Credit: John Farrar/Model: Fredau H/Sunglasses: Rock Godeyewaer USA