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32 PAGES OF THE BEST PHOTOSHOP TUTORIALS

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FOCUSING GET IT RIGHT EVERY TIME Q Q

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TECHNIQUE GUIDE

Shoot the Milky Way, star trails & the moon Get creative with colour for stylish beauty images Plus! Remove colour casts from ND filter landscapes

Cover image by Alex Koch


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Welcome Learn from the best

WATCH FREE VIDEOS! Visit our YouTube channel at youtube.com/ ppmagazine to enjoy more than 70 brilliant how-to camera and editing videos.

Showing the world why beauty is one of photography’s most colourful genres, Nathalie tells us how a happy accident led to a glorious career in LA. Starts on p112

Chris Parkes Working alongside the Street Child charity, Chris uses his gritty reportage to raise awareness of poverty in Sierra Leone and Nepal. Turn to p126

ADAM DUCKWORTH

Nathalie Gordon

HAT’S THE FIRST thing you check when you load RAWs into Lightroom? If you’re anything like me, it’s focusing. Is the image razor sharp where it needs to be? Can it be ‘enhanced’ with a little post-processing? Or is it beyond redemption? Despite this, the art of focusing – and it is an art – is often overlooked, which is why this issue’s big technique guide is dedicated entirely to it. From landscapes and portraits to action and candids, we’ve compiled 14 pages of in-depth advice from five of the world’s most interesting pros. Want tack-sharp results every time? Turn to page 36. We’re also giving you 20% off SRB filters this month. Save money on a wide range of polarisers and NDs and improve your landscapes on page 109.

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36 Improve your focusing skills, whatever your favourite subject.

56 Shoot the moon, stars and Milky Way in our astro guide.

Ben Hawkins, Group Editor 139 This year’s festive special includes gifts for every budget.

Evie Lewis A lifelong love of horses has turned into a thriving business for this issue’s Student of the Month. Read Evie’s fascinating story on p162

Subscribe now & get a superb Manfrotto bag Choose from print, digital a combo deals and get Practi Photography for less. Price start at just £31 for a year. greatmagazines.co.uk/pp

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Janu

150

On the cover 139 36 120 56 112 70

Festive gift ideas from £5 Get your focus right every time Take control in manual mode Shoot incredible astro photos Discover stylish beauty shots Remove ND filter colour casts

Skills&ideas 08

Beyond the lens

Incredible sunsets, surreal sports photography and geometric fashion.

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10 clicks

Projects include light painting, self-portraits and extreme cropping.

36

Stay sharp

Discover the best focusing settings and skills for every subject.

56

Amazing astro

Capture detailed images of the moon, stars and Milky Way.

102

Know your stuff

Birds in flight, creative lens flare, sharp interiors, vignettes and more.

112

A shock of colour

Nathalie Gordon’s beauty images show her untiring quest for perfection.

56

Stark realities 126

Working with Street Child, Chris Parkes shows the horrors of poverty.

162

Student showcase

Evie Lewis has created a thriving business based on her love of horses.

36

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Your free gifts

An hour of new videos, vintage effects and snow textures.

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Guy Richardson

Our wild landscaper recalls an epic mountainous adventure.

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Simon Roy

A local cemetery provides Simon with a great wildlife project.

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112

Camera know-how

Switch to manual mode to take full control over exposure.

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Photoshop Genius 68

NEW! 32-PAGE EDITING GUIDE

Get 13 issues and a Manfrotto bag from £31 See p34

Change colours

Swap unwanted hues for new colours in Photoshop and Elements.

70

Fix long exposures

Correct unsightly colour casts from ND filter landscapes in Lightroom.

74

3 stylish flare effects

Inject an artistic finish with colourful light leaks and dreamy haze effects.

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70 Remove colour casts & exposure issues from ND filter landscapes

Tidy up your landscapes

Remove annoying dust spots with Photoshop’s Spot Healing Tool.

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Create a melting camera

Make a Dali-esque still life image by using the Liquify filter to ‘melt’ your camera.

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Shift your seasons

Create a digital winter wonderland by using our free textures to add snow.

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Photo fixer

Resident Photoshop genius Dan Mold retouches reader images to a pro standard.

FREE! Vintage effects 96

120 Switch to manual mode and take total control of your exposure settings

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Photoshop hacks

Use custom presets, convert RAWs to DNG files and change blending modes.

GetIntoGear 139

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Festive gift guide

Discover the very best photography gifts money can buy, handily sorted into wallet-friendly price brackets. From stocking fillers from as little as £5, to our ‘Blow the budget’ gifts that are guaranteed to make you the m we’ve photo

126 Chris Parkes sheds light on his work for the Street Child charity


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Improve your camera and editing skills with an hour of hands-on video lessons for all levels of ability.

60 MINUTES OF EXPERT ADVICE

Outdoor special! Seasonal projects The Practical Photography team presents three winter-themed ideas, from scenic photo walks to fairytale-inspired portraits... QLouise joins Country Walking magazine’s Nick Hallissey for a stroll in the Peak District to find out how to read maps, dress sensibly, and travel light for great landscapes.

Expert tuition Camera skills

QDan shoots and edits a cinematic portrait based on the timeless Little Red Riding Hood fairytale. Turn to page 84 to find out how to use this issue’s free snow textures. QKirk heads to Lumsdale Waterfall in Derbyshire to show why grads, polarisers and ND filters are essential for successful landscape shoots.

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The stories behind the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greatest shots

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Brushstrokes of light by Brandon Giesbrecht O I wanted to go out to get some astro shots, but I was worried about cloud cover blocking the starlight. Eventually I decided to risk it, so I arrived at my location and set everything up. I then noticed that there were thousands of fireflies darting around, illuminating the ground and grass. I took about 65 shots and stacked them using the Lighten mode in Photoshop. Canon 6D | 14mm | 30sec | f/2.8 | ISO 3200

Brandon Giesbrecht is a landscape photographer who is particularly interested in astro images. He’s from the Colony of Menno in the Paraguayan Chaco. twitter.com/brandon_foto

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Polar night by Harri Tarvainen O During the polar night, the sun barely climbs above the horizon in northern Finland. During those few dim hours, one can enjoy sunrise and sunset at the same time. I climbed to the top of the Ruka Fell with pro snowboarder Enni Rukajärvi to shoot against the sun. The contrast of the cold blues of the snow and the bright orange of the sunlight created a scene from another world. Thirty minutes after we got this shot the sun went down and it was dark once more. Canon 5D MkII | 160mm | 1/250sec | f/11 | ISO 400

Harri Tarvainen is an action and landscape photographer from Finland. He shot this photo for the Red Bull Content Pool. facebook.com/ harritarvainenphoto

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BeyondTheLens

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BeyondTheLens

Synchronised swimmers by Francesco Ciccotti O I took this shot during the World Swimming Championships in Rome. I was immediately captured by the beauty of synchronised swimming. However, like any artist, I wanted to create my own interpretation of the scene in front of me. With some careful composition, I managed to make it appear as if the photo was taken underwater. Nikon D3 | 200mm | 1/1600sec | f/8 | ISO 200

Francesco Ciccotti is an Italian photographer who shoots across many genres, including wildlife, portraiture and landscape photography. francescociccotti.com

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Kiyidüzü shepherds by Abdullah Metin O This image was captured near the Kiyidüzü village in Bitlis, eastern Turkey. It was the beginning of summer and the weather was incredibly hot, so I took the shot in the evening after the sun had passed behind a nearby mountain in order to get the best results. The picture shows two shepherds corralling five or six different flocks of sheep from the village to the mountain, as that’s where they pass the night. I used a 70-300mm zoom lens to allow me to create this composition. Canon 70D | 168mm | 1/800sec | f/6.3 | ISO 100

Abdullah Metin is a landscape and nature photographer based in Turkey. He draws photographic inspiration from his career as a geography teacher. 500px.com/ametingeographer

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BeyondTheLens

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BeyondTheLens

Geometry by Olga Volodina O This is a photo from my ‘The Flower Power’ series, which I created in collaboration with my five-year-old daughter in 2014. As she’s often in the studio with me, I wanted to combine work, fun, and a bit of education for her. This shoot was a great opportunity to learn about simple geometric shapes, composition and colour theory. I try to get my daughter involved as often as possible in order to spark her own creativity. Canon 5D MkII | 55mm | 1/125sec | f/10 | ISO 100

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Olga Volodina is a fine art photographer who creates surreal portraiture. She’s been featured in many publications, including Elle Thailand and Outrage Magazine. volodina-photos.com


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Kn wledge THE

The latest news from the world of photography

CA M ER A

New Sony _7R Sony has been making big waves lately – specifically with the release of the DSLR-slaying _9 back in May 2017 – but nothing compares to the news that it’s releasing the PRICE latest version of the wildly popular full-frame £3200 mirrorless _7R. A killer combination of speed, VIDEO precision and resolution, the MkIII incarnation could 4K UHD well be one of the most exciting releases of the past IMAGE RESOLUTION 12 months. While Sony has been clear about re42.4MP purposing the _7R II’s 42.4MP sensor, it says it has managed to engineer more detail and a better dynamic range this time round, claiming the latter reaches a massive 15 stops. It’s capable of a rapid 10fps continuous shooting speed, and also offers 399 points of Hybrid AF phase detection and 425 points of contrast detection, which are said to be twice as fast as those in the MkII. It also includes eye AF, which is perfect for wedding and event shooters. The _7R III’s EVF matches the Sony _9, boasting a 3690k-dot resolution, and a 1440k-dot 3in rear screen that now supports touch function. The 7R III offers both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as 5-axis in-built image stabilisation. Perhaps the biggest draw over its predecessor is the dual card SD slots, and a new joystick for focusing. The battery has also been optimised to provide twice shooting capacity. These were concerns for pro shooters last time round, so it’s great to see Son listening to feedback. The _7R III is available to b from the end of November, and will retail at £320 sony.co.uk

SOF T WA R E

DxO saves Nik When Google released the Nik Collection for free in 2016, people were overjoyed. Fast forward to earlier this year, and Google suddenly announced it would no longer update the popular editing plug-in. However, DxO has now acquired the rights to the entire collection, including Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro Silver Efex Pro. It’s also planning on a new version, to be released 2018, though no word yet on whether it will continue to be free. Dx has even incorporated this technology into its latest flagship editin program, now called DxO PhotoLab. You can download the Nik Collection at nikcollection.dxo.com

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News

RumourMill Hotly-anticipated products we can expect in 2018...

GoPro update

LENSES

Olympus extends its M.Zuiko Pro lens range Olympus has announced two new wide aperture prime lenses, which is great news for Micro Four Thirds enthusiasts. The M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.2 and 45mm f/1.2 join Olympus’ Pro range and offer a respective 35mm equivalent of 34mm and 90mm. The inclusion of an ultra-fast f/1.2 aperture means you can produce a very shallow depth-of-field, offering feathered bokeh (the out-offocus areas in the background). Both lenses contain impressive specs, and the 17mm features a newly developed ED-DSA (Extra-low Dispersion and Dual Super Aspherical) lens, designed to kill aberrations, as well as reduce elements for a lighter body. The 45mm will be available in December for £1200, and the 17mm is expected in March 2018 for £1300. olympus.co.uk

Above Olympus has announced two more f/1.2 lenses in the excellent Pro range, a 17mm and a 45mm (34mm and 90mm equivalent respectively).

PR INT

Instantly print Instax The SP-3 Share printer has joined Fujifilm’s Instax instant photography range, and uses the slightly larger 1:1 Instax Square film. Users can download the app and swiftly transfer files from their phone, as well as social media, Dropbox, Flickr and others for immediate results. And for those who want to add something a little different to their prints, the app also allows you to create a collage, or add customisable text to your shots. The SP-3 Share is available now. fujifilm.com

K ICK STA RTER

New 35mm plans Reflex Camera plans to offer the first update on a manual 35mm SLR in over 25 years, and is looking to draw on the current analogue resurgence to fund the project via Kickstarter. The camera will utilise a smart modular design so that a wide variety of legacy lenses from the golden age of film photography can be used. This approach also allows you to change film backs, meaning you can switch from colour to black & white on the fly. Get involved by searching for Reflex Camera at kickstarter.com

Word on the street is that GoPro’s two-yearold Hero Session is set for a revamp. With everything moving so fast in the tech world, the only surprise is that the popular wallet-friendly action cam hasn’t been updated sooner. Details are scarce right now, but we’d like to see a 4K feature, as well as Full HD 120fps for capturing those slow-motion thrills and spills. It will likely work with GoPro’s current collection of existing mounts. gopro.com

Sony _7S III Sony, being consistently true to form, is expected to announce the replacement to its video-focused full-frame mirrorless system very soon. Predicted to feature uncropped 4K at 60fps and Full HD at 120fps, we’d also like to see the _7S III include 10-bit recording, similar to the Panasonic GH5, as well as an improved AF system, in-line with the _9 and _7R III. We don’t have any word of a release, as of yet, but expect to hear something before January. sony.co.uk

Canon 5DS R MkII We’re already waiting to see a Canon full-frame mirrorless in 2018, but we also expect an update to this 50.6MP behemoth this year. It’s believed it will feature cropped 4K video, though will be solely aimed at stills photographers. Rumours are that it may also boast an updated 60MP sensor, Pixel Shift modes to decrease noise in low light shots, and Focus Peaking when using Live View. While a 2018 launch is likely, we don’t anticipate seeing it until well into the year. canon.co.uk

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10Clicks What to shoot with your camera right now

PORTRAITS

#1Inject raw colour ONatural light may be in short supply now that winter is in full swing, but your portraiture doesn’t need to suffer as a result. Paulina Koltun (500px.com/ photopjk) shot this amazing image using artificial lighting. “I took this picture during a photo shoot with my model Lucrezia, also known by her stage name CalaFia. We were inside a recording studio, and I discovered a working red light bulb hanging from the ceiling. Initially, I just wanted to use it for the coloured effect it would have on her face. However, I then had the idea to incorporate it into the picture itself and make it a key part of the composition. “Light bulbs can represent innovation and new ideas, which I knew would add to the shot. The photo is also a nod towards Quentin Tarantino’s film Pulp Fiction, as the model looks like

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the female character from the movie, Mia Wallace. “The most complex part of the image was the editing process. As I’d taken it in such a dark environment, I had to make it brighter with the Dodge Tool. I then used the Burn Tool in order to create a strong sense of contrast. I also dedicated a lot of time to colour correcting the shot to give it a more balanced hue. “It’s always my mission to make the subject really stand out in my images. I pay a lot of attention to the skin when editing too, as I want to make it look as perfect as possible, while still maintaining the texture. “While the shoot itself is obviously an essential part of the photographic process, I find the editing stage is even more important. This is why I spend so long on it, as I always strive for perfection in my images.”

TIP USE A WIDE APERTURE Not only will a wide aperture allow you to focus attention on the subject while blurring the background, it will also keep your ISO to a minimum.


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DRONES

# 2 Capture geometric perfection O What may look like an ordinary scene from the ground can be transformed into an incredible vista once you’ve taken to the skies. Javier Del Cerro (facebook. com/delcerrophoto) created this great photo by using his drone to shoot top-down images. “All my pictures are taken near my home in Toledo, Spain, a beautiful imperial city

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that has continually inspired me since I first began my journey into photography. I love the intense colours of sunsets and sunrises, so I always try to capture them whenever I can. “I also love using aerial photography to show people a different perspective to the amazing landscape I live in. The area around Toledo is characterised by both its wide open fields filled with crops,

olive trees or vines, and its small rocky mountains. The scenery provides unusual and beautiful views that are ripe for exploring. “In winter the olives are at their ripest, so the harvest begins. One afternoon, once the sky had cleared after an intense rainfall, I approached one of the olive fields near my house with my Phantom 3 Professional drone to

shoot it from the air. When I got there, and could see the ground from my screen, I was surprised to see the perfect geometric shapes made by the olive trees. When the sun started setting, the scene became magical. The leaves of the trees began to glow from the wetness of the earlier rain, while the shadows drew diagonally, uniting each tree in a beautifully rendered grid.”


TIP SHOOT WITH GOLDEN LIGHT The lower the sun is in the sky, the more side-lit your subject will be. For drone shooters, this will create dynamic shadows in your landscape.

LANDSCAPES

# 3 Explore Arctic vistas

Above The Phantom 3 Professional can be found for under £500 secondhand.

OIf you’re searching for the perfect getaway, why not ditch the sun and embrace the winter chill with a snowy photo trip. Daniel Kordan (danielkordan.com) travelled north to explore the wild delights of the Arctic. “I took this shot on an expedition to southern Greenland. The area we went to is beautiful and relatively unexplored. It’s hard to reach, so we used yachts that are specifically prepared to be able to get to the locations we were visiting. “On the night I captured this photo, we moored the yacht at a bay close to some hot springs. It was the last night of the two-week photo expedition, so we decided to relax in the hot pool and enjoy some fondue and

white wine underneath the northern lights. The biggest obstacle to getting the shot was definitely dragging ourselves out of that hot pool! “The night was very calm, so it was possible to use a shutter speed of 8sec at f/3.2, with an ISO of 3200. The aurora was quite strong and dancing around the sky, so the 8sec exposure helped to freeze it. If I’d gone any slower than that, there would have been some motion blur with the boat and the northern lights would have started to look more like a curtain, without those sharp borders. However, I also didn’t want to use a faster shutter speed, as this would have raised my ISO and affected the image quality.”

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TIP USE SELFTIMER MODE To avoid having unsightly triggers in your photo, set your camera to self-timer mode to be able to trigger the shutter hands-free.

PORTRAITS

# 4 Turn the lens on yourself O If you’re eager to create something incredible, but short of a model, why not capture a creative selfie instead? Maryna Khomenko (500px. com/manirka) was inspired to shoot this self-portrait while enjoying a walk at the beach. “I’m doing a 365-day self-portrait challenge, so it’s necessary for me to constantly search for something new and exciting. The idea for this shot

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came to me unexpectedly... “I was walking along the beach, trying to find a quiet place without people so I could shoot a photo with drawings in the sand around my body. However, I noticed that the foamy waves resembled lace, and I started to imagine how it would feel to wear it. “This image contains five different photos – myself to the waist, my legs, and then the

sea, foam and sand. I couldn’t shoot the whole of my body together because I wanted a particular perspective. “I created the final image by combining all of the shots together in Photoshop. I also added highlights and shadows by using a Curves Adjustment Layer. With both the shoot and the editing process, it took me around four or five hours to create this photograph.”

Above Use a wide-angle lens to capture as much of the surrounding vista as possible.


L I G H T PA I N T I N G

# 5 Shoot after dark OExperimenting with new creative techniques is one of the best aspects of photography. Stephen Orlando (motionexposure.com) produced this amazing shot by using a unique light painting method. “The goal of my photography is to create aesthetically pleasing images, while simultaneously showing movement that usually goes unseen. I have a series of images that I’ve created by using a long exposure and LED lights with custom colour patterns attached to kayak paddles. I don’t artificially create the light trails in postproduction, and the images aren’t composite shots either. My photography is a product of my background in aerodynamics and my love of the outdoors. “I captured this shot on Fairy Lake in Huntsville, Ontario, Canada. I attached the LED lights along the full length of the kayaker’s paddle, then stood on the shore with my tripod-mounted camera while the kayak moved towards me. I took the shot during civil twilight, which is

the point when there’s the right amount of light to expose the background sufficiently, yet it still allows for a long exposure. “I’m often asked why the kayaker doesn’t show up in these images. Since the photos are taken in such dark conditions, the only objects that will appear in the image are either stationary, trees for example, or very bright, such as the lights. As the kayaker is a dark object that’s moving, it’s not in the same spot long enough to be exposed on the camera’s sensor. “There’s definitely a challenging aspect to capturing these photos. There’s only about 15 minutes of good light every evening when these images can be taken, so we can only take a few shots on any given day. Also, as the kayak is moving, the focus must be set based on where it’s going to appear. The only way for the kayaker to follow the desired path through the frame is with practice and voice commands, which further complicate the shoot.”

Above To try this on land, stick LED fairy lights along the length of a broom and walk forwards. Left Select an exposure of 15sec for the very best results.

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TIP LOCK OFF YOUR TRIPOD PHOTOSHOP

# 6 Create a surreal portrait OSome of the world’s

best portraiture is layered in meaning, ready for its audience to delve into and discover. Fashion and fine art photographer Rob Woodcox (instagram.com/ robwoodcoxphoto) created a portrait packed with hidden significance in order to pique his audience’s attention. “I envisioned my series ‘Rising Star’ after meeting the model Robdu Hailu, featured in this shot. Individuals have to work hard for their place in the world, so when I see other passionate artists succeeding I want to celebrate that. “While Robdu was

26 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

multiplied several times (to represent the seven days of the week), the sole gaze at the camera was a creative decision to draw the audience’s interest throughout the image. “I created this shot using my Canon 5D MkII and a 50mm f/1.4 lens. I used the Profoto B2 travel lighting kit with a 2x3in softbox, as this casts soft, natural-looking light. I love my travel kit, as it allows me to shoot successfully in various locations without having to transport massive, bulky bags. “For this image, I wanted

full control of the light, so I chose to shoot in a studio, enabling consistent lighting between the seven images of Robdu. “To achieve the multiple clones, I had stand-in models lay in a full circle and then marked on the ground where Robdu should lay to create the final image. With the help of Photoshop, I was able to seamlessly merge the individual shots into what you can see above. “This particular picture required about two hours of editing, in addition to about an hour of preparation and shooting.”

Accuracy is essential when creating detailed composites, which is why a sturdy tripod is a must. Position your camera and tighten those knobs.

Above We used a lens cap to mark exactly where our model needed to move to next.


10Clicks

ABSTRACTS

# 7 Get ghostly with puddles OPhotography affords us endless creative possibilities, especially when it comes to capturing reflections. Sigge Labor (500px. com/siggelabor) discovered this when shooting for an Instagram competition. “I love capturing the impossible and turning a crazy idea into reality. I was inspired to take this shot by an Instagram weekly hashtag project called #WHPfunwithreflections. Luckily for me, it had just rained, so I went out to find the closest puddle with my sister, who’d kindly volunteered to model for me. “I took two shots with the same angle and settings. In the first picture I had my sister standing in the shoes to get her reflection, and in the second I shot just the shoes. I then edited the images together in Photoshop.”

Above Use a fast shutter speed in order to totally freeze your subject, such as 1/100sec.

STILL LIFE

# 8 Tell a toy story

NOW WATCH THE VIDEO AT BIT.LY/ TOYCARVID

OColourful sunsets don’t just lend themselves to epic landscapes. Use them for creative still lifes instead, just like Thrasivoulos Panou (thrasivoulos.gr). “After a rainy day in my hometown of Volos, Greece, the sky opened and I knew it would be the ideal time to go out and take some photos at the port. This open place would be the best location for

my shoot, as the vastness would let me draw the audience’s eyes to my main subject, the miniature taxi. “I wanted to make the small cab look almost like a normal car, so used a shallow depth-of-field to create a blurry background. I also got down low to the ground so as to get the best angle, although the earlier rain meant I ended up getting a bit wet!”

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WILDLIFE

# 9 Crop in for dramatic effect OEven professional photographers can sit in front of their computers and scratch their heads in disappointment over their original images. However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a hidden gem to be discovered. Use the Crop Tool to inject photos with a new lease of life, just as Peter König (500px.com/koenigpk) did.

“I often like to visit my favourite zoo, in Stuttgart, Germany. The crocodiles at this park live in an enclosure that has concrete surfaces for them to lie down on. Unfortunately for me, concrete doesn’t make for a particularly pleasant backdrop, especially when I’d prefer to have the illusion of the crocodile in the wild.

“Despite the adverse circumstances, I shot a few different portraits of this terrific animal and took them home to see what I could get out of them in post. “After cropping in a couple of times, I eventually stumbled across this close-up composition, which perfectly accentuates the crocodile’s impressive teeth.”

Above Use Photoshop’s Crop Tool to adjust compositions.

STREET

#10 Go minimal O For street photography shots that pack a

powerful punch, why not venture beneath a busy city to explore its underground train stations? Photographer Magdalena Röseler (magdalenaroeseler.com) did just that... “I took this shot in one of the biggest underground stations in Munich on an extremely busy day. I wanted to capture the rush of commuters hurrying to their trains with a long exposure. However, I like to travel light so I didn’t have a tripod. To compensate, I placed my camera on the floor and chose a shutter speed of 1/6sec. I then waited until someone with black clothes came along, as this was the final step to creating my minimal shot.”

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GUY RICHARDSON ADVENTURES OF A WILD LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER MOUNTAIN MEMORIES WAS RECENTLY LISTENING TO AN INTERVIEW WITH one of Scotland’s best-known photographers, Colin Prior, talking about the Scottish mountains and, in particular, a trip he made in 1991 up Ben Starav. It reminded me of a trip I made there last winter, based on those images I’d seen of Colin’s and the experiences I’d had... Starting from sea level, the hike requires its full 1078m to be climbed – no easy feat, especially in full winter conditions. I was attempting to spend the night on the mountain, so I shouldered my 27kg pack and began ascending the flanks of the mountain. A couple of hours later I managed to reach my intended camping spot, a flat area that contained a small lochan near the summit. I pitched the tent on top of a few inches of snow and headed toward the summit in search of a possible sunset. The clouds broke to reveal a few spells of light, but they were only fleeting. I used the opportunity to scout out possible compositions for the following day instead. With the temperature set to drop to -10ºC it was to be the coldest night I’d ever experienced. I woke numerous times during the night shivering, something I hadn’t experienced when camping before. I then discovered my sleeping mat kept on deflating, meaning I was practically lying on the frozen ground. I didn’t sleep a wink. By 5am I was praying for sunrise, just so I could get moving and generate some heat. I put on my frozen boots, strapped on my crampons and jumped out of the tent, even though it was still two hours before sunrise. Assembling my camera gear, I began the steep hike up the final 250m to the summit. As I approached the top, the wind suddenly picked up, with spindrift flying

I

around. I donned my goggles and carefully made my way up. The scene was unbelievable – full winter conditions along a knife-edge ridge on a mountain like this is every mountaineer’s dream. My heart was pounding with adrenaline. Reaching the summit, I was met with a wall of snow whipped up by the strong winds. Large cornices added an extra element of danger, which meant I was limited in what I could photograph. I knew I couldn’t hang around for long and any photography would be difficult in this wind. So I made the decision to head back down to another viewpoint along the ridge I’d found the night before. The view was rather impressive, the curved ridge leading my eye all the way to the summit. All I needed was some punchy golden light. With barely time to spare, I set up my time-lapse gear and watched as the cloud began to break towards the horizon. The light was wonderful. I continued to photograph slightly different variations of the same composition every now and then, as the light changed and reflected off the snow. By 8am, the wind subsided and I made my way back to the summit. Visibility was excellent and the clouds began to disappear, leaving an extensive blue sky and a low winter sun, which was still providing just enough soft light to continue making images. Alongside having an incredible adventure, the trip provided me with some of my best mountain images to date.

“MY SLEEPING MAT KEPT DEFLATING, SO I WAS LYING ON THE FROZEN GROUND...”

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Guy Richardson is a professional landscape photographer and time-lapse filmmaker. His images are used by some of the UK’s largest tourism and conservation groups, including Visit Britain and The Woodland Trust. guyrichardson.com


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SIMON ROY ADVENTURES OF A WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER CLOSER TO HOME OST WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHERS DREAM OF adventures to far-off wilderness locations or animalpacked African safaris. But in reality, with limited budgets and time, these trips are hard to justify. Even visits to UK hotspots can be expensive and time-consuming, and there’s always the risk of poor weather or disobliging subjects. I specialise in garden wildlife photography and have developed much of my craft at places on my local patch. By making contact with landowners, animal rescue centres and groundsmen, I’ve gained access to farms, woodland, gardens, parks and even a large Victorian cemetery. This is an essential resource, and there’s something very satisfying about finding and photographing wildlife a short distance from where you live. The benefits of working on your local patch include the flexibility to react to changes in conditions and subject behaviour; less expense on travel and accommodation; convenience and comfort – many parks and reserves have toilets and other facilities; the wildlife will be more accustomed to people and may be easier to photograph; and perhaps most importantly, you can invest more time. I’ve developed a good understanding of which places are best for different species and times of year. This is useful, as I can plan a seasonal diary and target locations when they’re most productive. A lake at the university, for example, is good for spring waterfowl, and a particular roadside meadow is a great place to see summer butterflies. One of my favourite local sites, especially during autumn, is York Cemetery. I read about it on a local wildlife sightings forum and decided that late summer would be a good time to do a recce.

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I was pleasantly surprised by what I discovered. Close to the city centre, the cemetery is a magical and melancholy place, created by man but reclaimed by nature. During my first visit, I had nice encounters with both birds and mammals, and felt there was potential for a long-term project. My next step was to contact the head groundsman to ask for some info and his permission to work in the cemetery. This is essential, not only because it shows respect, but also creates a connection with a person who has a deep understanding and day-to-day relationship with the location. It was well into autumn when I returned with my camera. The cemetery was full of life and death – a curious juxtaposition between the sombre grey memorials and the vibrant yet dying leaves. As I walked among the gravestones, a robin sang a wistful song and was a constant companion. Redwings, blackbirds and bullfinches fed on ripe rowan berries, and wrens flitted between plant and stone. There were pheasants and rabbits where the cemetery borders a large allotment, and rodents chattered through the dense foliage. Grey squirrels were more wary than usual, but made nice subjects as they foraged for nuts. I now return to the cemetery every autumn, with ideas for new shots or ways to improve old ones. It’s one of many local places that have contributed so much to my photo journey.

“THERE’S SOMETHING SO SATISFYING ABOUT SHOOTING WILDLIFE CLOSE TO HOME...”

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Simon Roy is an award-winning wildlife photographer based in Yorkshire. His images have been highly commended in both the British Wildlife Photography Awards and International Garden Photographer of the Year competitions. simonroyphotography.co.uk


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COM PL ET E GU I DE

FOCUSING Focusing is photography’s unsung hero. Hiding in plain sight, we only really notice it when it’s not quite correct. The right focus can make or break an image, no matter what you’re shooting, so we’re going to show you how to harness its power for truly epic results...

Five creative techniques to try...

TECHNIQUE 1

TECHNIQUE 2

TECHNIQUE 3

Create pin-sharp portraits

Focus on fastpaced action

Capture unique moments in time

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P40

P44

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TECHNIQUE 4

TECHNIQUE 5

Master hyperfocal distance

Experiment with focus

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P50


14

PAGES OF THE VERY BEST FOCUSING SKILLS & ADVICE!

SEAN ARCHER

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 37


How to Perfect your portrait focusing MEET YOUR GUIDE SEAN ARCHER Graduating from architectural academy, Sean hails from an artistic background but didn’t start working as a photographer until 2011. Now he’s an Olympus Ambassador in Russia, and teaches others how to achieve his distinctive portrait look in workshops across Europe as well as online. 500px.com/seanarcher

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Q As a portrait specialist, why is precise, accurate focus so important to you? Like exposure and composition, and all the other things that go into an image, focusing is a creative tool. In fact, in many ways, getting the right focus is the most important part of a shot for me. It creates depth in the image and it marks the heart of the composition. This is one of the reasons why I often shoot wide open. A shallow depth-of-field makes the point of focus even more distinct. You could consider it a kind of illusion, but it definitely works. Q It’s traditional to make the eyes the point of focus in a portrait. Why do you think this is, and what does it bring to a portrait? Think about how you look at a face when you’re talking to someone, or meeting them for the first time. You always look at the eyes. Focusing there is natural. If you focus away from them,

even by just a little, the picture tends to look unnatural. Focusing on the eyes is the traditional approach, and I haven’t found a better one yet. Even when I break away from close-up portraits and shoot full length I’ll always focus on the eyes, as I believe that this gives me the best results. Q Are fast lenses vital for your portrait work, and what kit do you use? My favourite camera right now is my Olympus Pen-F. I love it for its size, weight and the superb quality of its images. I use two prime lenses for the majority of my portraits, the M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.2 Pro and the M.Zuiko Digital 75mm f/1.8. Both give me superb control over depth-of-field. I tend to use the 45mm for my studio shots, where I have to work in a tight space. I shoot with a wide aperture in order to separate the model from the background.


Focusing Guide

Expert advice What are AF modes & areas?

Above Sean focuses on his subject’s eyes, even when working full length. Left Portrait focusing is critical, especially as you’re likely to be shooting with a shallow depthof-field. If the subject is turned, focus on the eye closest to you.

Q What problems do you face when focusing for portraits, for instance when shooting with a shallow depth-of-field? It’s not always easy to find the right balance of blur on headshots. If the depth-of-field is too large, then the composition can look messy. However, at the other end of the scale, if you’re shooting with very wide apertures like f/1.2 to f/2.8, you can find that the zone of sharpness is so tight that it’s easy for the focus to slip. There may only be a few millimetres of sharpness to work with, so you need to be precise. I’d recommend that once you’ve focused, you don’t change your composition at all. Q Do you stick to any particular AF modes when focusing for portraits? And how do you set the AF area? I usually shoot in Single AF mode and with a single-point focus, as this is the most precise method for what I shoot. I’ll always move the AF point as close to the eyes as possible, as this

prevents me from having to focus and then re-frame, which can lead to the focus slipping away from the precise location I wanted it. Q What about modern AF functions like face detection? Do you make use of those? I use the Face Priority AF a lot on my Olympus, but not so much for close-ups. I find that it actually works best for full-length shots. Q Do you add anything in post-production to improve sharpness where you want it? For example, selective sharpening? I can’t emphasise just how important sharpness is, especially for the eyes and face. So, when you add sharpness in post, it needs to be in the correct spot. Personally, I don’t necessarily believe in ‘true photography’ (ie no postproduction). It’s good for reportage, but in portraiture you have to be an artist. I’ll sharpen the shot, and then add textures and highlights, as this draws attention to the face and eyes.

Your camera’s AF system has lots of variables that are designed to help you adapt to different subjects. The main two are the AF Mode and the AF Area. The mode is usually split into Single AF and Continuous AF. The former locks focus once it’s achieved, while the latter keeps focusing even after locking on, in case you or the subject moves. The AF Area is where you choose which part of the frame is used to focus. The frame is covered by AF points or selectable areas, so you can choose to use just one of them, a group, or all of them at once. You can also set the camera to follow the subject as it moves across the frame. For portraits, it’s best to use Single AF (S-AF), and pick one point close to the eyes, as you can lock the focus there more easily.

Above Set the focus point close to the subject’s eyes.

Break the rules Focus away from the subject’s face As Sean says, if you want a successful portrait, then the traditional technique is to focus on the eyes, especially when shooting with a shallow depth-of-field. An incorrect focus, which is where the sharpness has missed the eyes, will look odd. However, what happens if you focus away from the eyes on purpose? Deliberately

moving the centre of the composition means that you can shift attention away from the subject themselves to something that they’re doing instead. For example, if you focus on a tool they’re using then you’ll be saying something deeper about their character that’s not centred on how they look.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 39


How to Improve your action photography MEET YOUR GUIDE ADAM DUCKWORTH Adam is an awardwinning professional photographer and videographer based in the UK. He’s worked for many top magazines, newspapers and corporate clients including Red Bull, Kawasaki, and the BBC. He also offers seminars and photo training. adamduckworth.com

40 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Q What’s your stand-out kit for shooting action subjects? You need bodies with great AF and fast lenses. I’ve used Nikon for two decades – the D3, then D3S, D4 and D4S, plus fast primes like the 300mm f/2.8. I also use the ‘holy trinity’ of zooms – the 70-200mm, 24-70mm and 14-24mm f/2.8. However, for the past five months I’ve gone to the ‘light’ side with my Sony _9. It’s superfast at 20fps and has image quality as good as any other sports camera. It also has pro-style controls, very fast and precise AF, and zero viewfinder lag or blackout. I believe it’s a total game changer. Q What do you mean by ‘no lag or blackout’ on the viewfinder? With previous mirrorless cameras you’d often be promised very fast frame rates but the AF, or viewfinder, just couldn’t keep up. This meant

you had to slow your shooting, which was a pain. With the _9 there’s no constant flickering of a slow EVF or the mirror blackout like you’d get on a DSLR. You (and the camera) can always see what’s going on and that makes it much easier to follow fast subjects. Q What would be your general focusing setup for action? I’ve used back button focusing for years, as it essentially disables the shutter release from initiating autofocus (see page 42). This means that the camera is set to Continuous AF (AF-C) at all times. So, if you keep your thumb on the AF button, the camera tracks subjects and you can press the shutter whenever you want. But if you release your thumb, the camera then stops focusing. So you can frame and recompose, for example, without having to change any settings to Single Shot AF. Basically you have


Focusing Guide

TIP SIMPLIFY YOUR SETTINGS Continuous AF and Single Shot AF all on one button. And manual focus, too. All without ever changing any settings.

Try not to change your AF settings all the time, as it can get confusing as to what works best in different shooting situations.

Q In what instances can Continuous AF be a problem? And how do you find a solution? I find that modern AF systems are so good that, so long as you can see the subject, there’s usually enough contrast for the AF system to pick up on it and nail it. And if you can keep the AF point on the subject as it moves, then the vast majority of the time the camera will lock on. If there’s very low contrast or it’s very dark, then it might start to struggle. In those cases, I pick a point on the subject that has some contrast, such as the pattern on a shirt, and try again. The main issue is that when you lose sight of a subject briefly, such as when you’re tracking a footballer and an opponent crosses in front of then, the AF-C can fail. Many cameras have settings to stop them from focus hunting when this happens. On high-end Nikons, there’s a Blocked Shot AF Response and Subject Motion settings, which are very useful for things like football.

Above left With the correct autofocus settings it’s possible to keep fast-moving subjects pin-sharp. Above It’s not all about autofocus. Under the right circumstances, manual focus is easier and more accurate. Left Continuous AF mode (AF-C), keeps the autofocus active, keeping moving subjects in focus.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 41


Focusing Guide

Expert advice What is back button focus? Back button focus is one of the essential focusing techniques for action, but it’s also useful for all kinds of subjects, particularly portraits or general photography. For starters you’ll need a camera with an AF-ON button on the rear, or at least one where you can customise a similarly placed Fn or other button to control the AF. Most DSLRs and CSCs will do this. Next, find your custom AF settings and look for ‘AF activation’. Switch this from Shutter/AFON to AF-ON only. You’ve now disabled the shutter release from initiating focus, so it now only fires the exposure. The autofocus is activated by your thumb on the AF-ON button. As this is a two-digit process you’ll likely need to get used to it, but once you master it you won’t go back.

Above Back button focus is very useful for action shots.

Left In terms of AF Area, Adam favours using a medium sized single AF point for accuracy and speed.

Q What about the AF Area? Do you favour groups of AF points, or subject tracking? For the AF Area, I use Flexible Spot in medium (some cameras, such as the _9, let you change the size). This is basically a single-point AF that I control using the rear joystick in order to line it up with where I want the subject to be. I disable anything automatic, such as face detection, pre-AF, eye-start AF, or auto subject tracking. I find that leaving anything for the camera to do automatically means it might get it wrong. I would much rather take full control of a single AF spot, put it where I want and then learn exactly how the camera responds. QWhy do you avoid the more automatic, predictive modes? Lots of cameras offer things like dynamic area AF tracking, but I like to shoot at wide apertures for a shallow depth-of-field. In my experience, any of these semi-automatic focusing modes just don’t seem to nail the shot

Break the rules Switch off your AF and use pre-focusing It might seem odd to abandon technology in favour of the oldest trick in the book, but manual focus still has its place for action, particularly pre-focusing. If you know where a subject is going to be, such as the apex of a track corner, you can manually focus there and hit the shutter just as the subject reaches that point. It

42 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

works that way with flash setups, too. Pre-focusing is especially useful when using wide lenses and where the subject suddenly appears in the frame, such as if you’re crouched next to a BMX track and the rider is almost going to jump over you. You pre-focus at that point, then squeeze off a burst of shots.

accurately enough. I think a single AF point just improves accuracy and speed. The only time I change to a larger focus point, or a group of AF points, is when the subject is large in the frame and side-on, such as a car whizzing past when you are panning. Sometimes a very small AF point can struggle, as it can try to focus on something like the car window. Q How do you know when focus is the problem, rather than blur from camera or subject movement? If it’s camera shake, usually the whole image is soft. If you’re shooting fast enough shutter speeds to freeze the motion and the subject is soft, then usually it’s focus that’s the issue. If you’re panning, then it’s tough to tell why a shot ends up blurred. But usually panning is at slow shutter speeds, so the depth-of-field isn’t too shallow. If you’re panning and it’s not sharp, more often than not it’s your technique at fault rather than the focus.


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Focusing Guide

How to Focus for better candids Q With street shots how vital is focus? It’s absolutely critical. I’d say probably even more so than getting exposure spot-on. We can all tolerate a little grain in street photography, but camera shake or subject blur can kill a picture. However, some of the street ‘greats’ used out-of-focus shots to great effect, so perhaps it’s only when we get to their level that we can take focusing less seriously!

MEET YOUR GUIDE BRIAN LLOYD DUCKETT Brian shoots for magazines, newspapers and agencies as an editorial and commercial photographer. He’s the founder of the business StreetSnappers, which is dedicated to teaching street photography through events and workshops around Europe. His first book, Mastering Street Photography (Ammonite, £19.99), is a superb resource for those wanting to learn about candid shooting. streetsnappers.com

Q What are the complications you face? Either the subject is moving or we’re moving. Or perhaps we’re a bit nervous. They’re all recipes for unsharp shots, so we need help to freeze the moment. This is about shutter speed as well as focus. In aperture-priority, I’ll have my ISO at 1200 and set my usual ‘walkaround’ aperture of f/8. Ideally, this will give me a speed of 1/250sec or faster and enough depth-of-field to make focusing easier and provide context. Q What would your focus settings be? With AF, the camera doesn’t always know exactly what we want to focus on and can make a poor prediction. Or sometimes it’s not quick enough and by the time it’s locked-on the subject has moved and we’ve missed the shot. I use manual focus 80% of the time with the tried and trusted ‘zone focus’ method – ‘f/8 and be there’ pretty much sums up zone focusing. It’s a manual method that means you don’t need to re-focus. You set your lens at a predetermined point then simply shoot away. It’s a simple technique that totally transforms how you shoot by enabling you to react instantly.

“ZONE FOCUSING TOTALLY TRANSFORMS HOW YOU SHOOT...” 44 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Above With zone focusing you can point and shoot, work quicker and attract less attention.

Q How does zone focusing work? After you set an aperture you need to decide the distances at which you’re most likely to shoot. Many old lenses have depth-of-field marks on their lens barrel, which I use religiously. I’ll see which one corresponds to f/8, and then set the focusing scale so that the distances in question are within those depth-of-field marks. Some modern lenses also have this scale, but if you don’t own one then you can buy a cheap secondhand prime for around £25 on eBay. Q Are there limitations to zone focusing? The size of the zone depends on many things, including the aperture and focal length. Sharpness falls away from the focused point, so anything within the zone will be sharp to an acceptable degree. Look at some of the great street photos. Many of them are acceptably sharp, but are by no means absolutely sharp.


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TIP AVOID THE HIGHEST F/STOPS The narrowest apertures mean that your shot will be in focus, but image quality will suffer. Open up to f/11 or f/13 for crisp detail.

How to Achieve perfect focus for landscapes MEET YOUR GUIDE KINGSLEY SINGLETON Kingsley is an expert tutor in camera skills and Photoshop editing. Among other subjects, he shoots landscapes around the world, wildlife, fine art and portraits. He writes for numerous photo publications and was a former Digital Photo deputy editor. kingsleysingleton.com

46 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Q What’s the importance of sharp focus in landscape photography? Whether it’s rocky foreground textures, frosty blades of grass, or a sharp, clearly defined subject, so much of regular landscape photography is about maximising detail. However, without mastering focus you can kiss that goodbye. That’s not to say that focusing completely supercedes other landscape concerns, such as exposure or composition. Instead, it works with them to create a better image. Naturally, good sharpness relies on using a tripod, as there’s no point nailing the focus if your shot is ruined by camera shake. Q Doesn’t shooting with a narrow aperture mean the scene should be sharp from front to back anyway? It’s true that small apertures are favoured by landscape photographers for this very reason.

If you shoot at apertures like f/16 or f/22 and focus in the right place, then you can reasonably expect all of the scene to be acceptably sharp. But the key word there is ‘acceptably’. Because of the way that small apertures cause diffraction, they don’t produce images that are as sharp as wider apertures. So while the whole scene might technically be in focus, it’s not quite as sharp as it could be. Q So what is acceptable sharpness? Isn’t something either in focus or not? It’s important to understand that there’s no hard line between what’s in focus in a picture, and what isn’t. A lens can only be focused on one aspect of the scene at a time, and that will always be the sharpest part. Any time that you stray away from that area, the image will get progressively defocused. The individual sharp points of light passing through the lens will


Focusing Guide

turn into blurred discs on your shot (known as circles of confusion). Up to a point, these little discs are so small that they still appear to be sharp – and that’s acceptable sharpness. How quickly they no longer look crisp is based on variables like the aperture, and the distance you’ve focused away from the lens. However, it also depends on the size of the image, how closely you’re viewing it, and even how good your eyesight is. So, a landscape image viewed as a 6x4in print might look sharp from front to back, but when it’s seen as a larger print, the bits falling out of focus will be more noticeable. Q How can you focus to maximise the amount of sharpness? Obviously this is all linked to depth-of-field, so the higher the f/number, the more of the scene will be acceptably sharp, assuming that you don’t change the point of focus. The place where you should focus for the maximum sharpness is called the hyperfocal distance. This is the closest point a lens can be focused while keeping objects at infinity acceptably sharp. At this point, you can expect anything from half the hyperfocal distance to infinity to be acceptably sharp.

Above Capturing motion blur with a long exposure will make static details appear sharper. Above left Setting your lens to its hyperfocal distance is a great way to increase sharpness. Left Find the hyperfocal distance for any lens at any aperture by using apps such as PhotoPills. Then manually focus for the best results.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 47


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Focusing Guide Q How exactly do you gauge hyperfocal distance? These days many lenses lack the markings required to find the hyperfocal distance, but you can also use a smartphone app to find it. In fact, as we all have them welded to our hands, it’s often easier that way. Simply download an app like PhotoPills and then enter the make and model of camera, the focal length of the lens and the aperture you’re using. Once you’ve done that then the hyperfocal distance will be displayed on the screen accordingly. Q What other ways can you improve sharpness in landscapes? As already mentioned, focusing at the hyperfocal distance won’t make everything in the scene as sharp as it could be. For that, you need to shoot several exposures, focusing on a different area each time. This is a process called focus stacking. It’s easy to do and you may find that it only takes two or three exposures to cover the whole scene. Blending the images is also easy (see right). With focus stacking you can use wider apertures where the sharpness is better, such as f/8 or f/11. Even though the depthof-field is shallower, the final sharpness will be better, so you’re actually getting the best bits of both worlds. Of course, focus stacking also lets you focus closer than the hyperfocal distance would normally allow, while still achieving front-to-back sharpness. This means that you can shoot very close to the ground to maximise even small foreground details. Q Is there anything else you can do to make pictures look sharper? It’s perhaps more of an optical illusion than a focusing technique, but I find that if you use longer exposures to show movement in a landscape scene, the motion blurred parts will make the non-moving elements look even sharper. It’s the contrast that does it, even though they’re not really any crisper than they’d be for a regular shot.

Expert advice How do I focus stack a landscape?

BACKGROUND FOCUS

FOREGROUND FOCUS

Above By focusing one shot on the background, and the other on the foreground, maximum sharpness can be achieved throughout the shot.

Focus stacking is often seen as a technique for macro, but it can be used for landscapes as well. Stacking allows you to shoot at apertures such as f/11, where the lens is at its sharpest. By capturing several images focused on different parts of the scene you can keep it perfectly focused throughout. Once you’ve taken the differently focused shots, they need to be blended together. To do this, load both images into Photoshop and on one shot (it doesn’t matter which) go to Select>All, then Edit>Copy. On the other photo, go to Edit>Paste. In the Layers palette click the Background Layer’s lock icon, then go to Select>All Layers. Next go to Edit>Auto Align Layers and hit OK (there will be some change in the composition when you change the focus). You can now use a Layer Mask to delete the unsharp parts of the top Layer.

Above Use a Layer Mask to blend the exposures.

Break the rules Shoot shallow depth-of-field landscapes Focusing for front-to-back sharpness is the rule of thumb for most landscapes, but you don’t need to do it all of the time. By using a shallow depth-of-field and focusing on just the subject, or something interesting in the foreground, you can create an image with more separation. Shooting landscapes with

selective focus is particularly useful if you need to simplify a cluttered scene, such as woods. In these cases you’ll need to set a wider aperture and focus accurately, as you would with a portrait. If you want a really shallow focus, try shooting at longer focal lengths. A 70-200mm f/2.8 lens is a great choice for this.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 49


Focusing Guide

How to Experiment with f us for artistic result MEET YOUR GUIDE POLINA PLOTNIKOVA Polina is a fine art photographer based in the UK. Creating mainly impressionistic scenics and still lifes, including florals shot for the RHS, she imbues her photography with traditional artistic concepts, using mood and composition to draw the viewer in. polinaplotnikova.com

50 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Q Your shots are a mix of intentional camera movement (ICM), multiple exposures (ME) and Lensbaby creative focusing effects. What’s the attraction of sharpness taking a back seat? I enjoy all kinds of different genres of photography. However, what inspires me most is creating an image, not just recording what’s already there. Capturing the atmosphere of a place is more important to me than getting an accurate representation of it, and ICM, ME and focus effect lenses are the perfect instruments to do that. Last year I went to Isle of Harris and didn’t take a single straight shot. For the whole week I was shooting with Lensbaby’s Velvet 56 and Edge 80, plus I also had my 24-70mm zoom using ICM combined with ME. I knew this location would be perfect for it after researching other people’s photos.

Q Do you get asked ‘why’s it not in focus?’ Any creative technique provokes questions, especially from less visually aware viewers. I feel that when it works for me there’s no need to justify why I’ve created an image in a certain way. It’s what inspires me and what I enjoy doing. I do get my share of odd looks when instead of holding my camera still or putting it on a tripod I wave it to get movement at a slow shutter speed. Or people gasp, thinking I’ve broken my lens when I tilt the Lensbaby to get a slice of focus. The opportunity to try out different photographic styles is so inspiring. Q Do these techniques affect factors like composition? When details are indistinct or merged, how do you arrange things? When composing a shot using in-camera multiple exposure (which I often combine with


ICM) you still need to be very precise with your composition, because any creative technique like this will only emphasise basic mistakes. Multiple exposures allow you to pretty much construct your own landscape, but a strong composition is still absolutely key to a successful final image. I usually shoot a few ICM images, perfecting the movements. I then review the images quickly on the back on my camera, using the ME option that allows me to see the first shot while I’m overlaying it with the second. This means that I’m in charge of how the colours blend and how the elements of my landscape are layered. Q What about when you’re using lenses like the Lensbaby Sweet or Edge? The best aspect of using creative lenses is the ability to guide the viewer’s eye with a carefully focused sweet spot on the focal point of the image. The sharpest point will usually draw the eye and Lensbaby Edge and Sweet lenses allow you to keep either a round spot of sharpness or to create a sliver of focus in your picture. Making this choice can sometimes be a challenge, but it’s always fun as well. This is where I get to alter reality and create a particular mood in-camera.

Above left A double exposure shot on a Lensbaby Velvet 56 demonstrates this optic’s signature glow. Above A double exposure, with both shots using ICM, and overlaid in-camera. Left Polina tilted her Lensbaby Edge 50 for a vertical slice of focus.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 51


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Focusing Guide

Expert advice Can I shoot a multiple exposure with my camera?

TIP START WITH THE END IN MIND

Most modern cameras have a multiple exposure mode, although some offer more versatility than others. It can usually be turned on via the shooting menu, or from within the drive modes. You can then choose variables, such as how many shots you want to make up the final image, and how the pictures will be combined. In the latter case, the options are often split into ‘additive’, which simply layers the exposures and increases brightness accordingly, or ‘average’ where the camera takes over, making sure the final image isn’t too dark or too bright. Some cameras will also let you shoot multiple exposures in Live View mode. This means you can compose more easily, seeing the image build up on the screen as you shoot.

ICM and ME pictures look don’t give me the same result Q What kind of locations abstract, but that doesn’t that I can get in-camera. work for your images? Is mean they’re unplanned. They may be similar, and are less detail helpful? Composition is as definitely interesting, but Sometimes. The Lensbaby important as it they’re not the same as when Edge (that gives a slice of focus) ever was. I actually create the shot myself. is perfect for open spaces with Modern cameras make it easier clear lines, like seascapes. However, anyway. I shoot with a Canon 5DS R, I find that the Sweet optics work better which allows me to use a previously taken with a clear point of interest. image as the base shot when doing a multiple exposure. This means that I can take a few Q For your ICM shots, what kind of shutter slow shutter speed shots while moving my speeds are you using? Do you use NDs, or camera, review the images on screen and then just stop down as much as you need? decide which to use for the multiple exposure. It really depends on the amount of movement Then, looking at the LCD in Live View I’ll take and the shapes I want to create. I’ll take a few Above Most DSLRs and CSCs another shot, choosing a precise composition test shots to start with to see how much have multiple exposure modes. and making sure the shots balance each other. movement or what type of motion (vertical, horizontal, waving etc) works in each situation. This will tell me how slow the shutter needs to be. If the light is low enough I can usually just stop down the aperture to the point where the shutter speed is slow enough, but if I’m Give your photography a fresh start in struggling with too much brightness at a the New Year by experimenting with a particular location then I’ll use a 2.4 ND filter.

Q How do your ICM and ME pictures take shape? Are they always in-camera? I am often asked why not use post-processing for layering images or blurring. Well, the simple answer is that I enjoy doing it at the shooting stage. Blending modes in Photoshop

TIM GAINEY

Next issue...

one-hour photo project. They’re quick, easy to achieve and require minimal kit. Best of all, you can shoot them on your lunch break. From spectacular still lifes to perfect portraits, find the project for you in next month’s issue.

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WATCH OUR ASTRO TECHNIQUE VIDEO Tim Berry shows you how to shoot incredible astro images in your back garden at bit.ly/ shootthestars

56 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY


COM PL ET E GU I DE

Whether you’re shooting detailed close-ups of the ancient craters that litter the lunar surface, or capturing majestic wide-angle vistas of distant stars and galaxies, the night sky is one of the most awe-inspiring photographic subjects there is, and you can shoot it from almost anywhere on the planet. Over the next few pages, we check out three achievable, easy-to-follow astro projects that will bag you some out-of-this-world images. Let’s get cracking...

Three accessible astro projects to try...

PROJECT 2

PROJECT 3

Stack your shots into stunning star trails

Zoom in to capture amazing lunar detail

P58

P60

P63

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 57

PRAVIT KIMTONG

PROJECT 1

Capture the Milky Way in amazing detail


PROJ ECT 1

Capture the majesty of the Milky Way E ALL KNOW the Earth rotates on its own axis, but on a silent, still winter’s evening, it’s easy to forget. Here in the UK, we’re actually spinning at 650mph, and although this

W

AFTER EDITING

TIM BERRY

BEFORE EDITING

movement isn’t visible to the naked eye, just a few seconds of exposure can cause stars to blur rather than appear as pin-points of light. To capture the Milky Way – a misty band of stars – you’ll need a dark location away from towns and

Above Bringing out the Milky Way’s detail in Photoshop is essential, as you can see in this before and after image.

58 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

cities and a crystal-clear night. You should be able to make it out with your eyes, but it will be much clearer in-camera.

Master exposure time We’d like each star blur-free, so need a shutter speed fast enough to freeze the Earth’s movement. However, we also want to record as much star detail as possible, so the shutter speed needs to be slow enough to let in plenty of light. This optimal exposure – short enough to eliminate blur, but long enough to maximise detail – can be calculated using the 500 rule (see right). In manual mode, select your lens’ widest aperture. On most kit lenses this is f/3.5, but many night-sky shooters use specialist glass, such as Sigma’s 20mm f/1.4, which

lets in roughly six times the amount of light for a lot more star detail. Use the widest-angle lens you have, and include some foreground detail such as a tree or church spire. Choose a high ISO of around 1600 to increase sensor sensitivity, but avoid going too high as digital noise will become noticeable. Work from a tripod, ideally via a wireless remote to prevent camera shake. Wind can also cause movement, so shoot from a sheltered spot. Shoot RAWs, with white balance set to Tungsten or Incandescent. Switch to manual focus, activate Live View, zoom in to 10x, and adjust the focus ring until the stars are sharp. Tweak your shots in Photoshop to reveal maximum Milky Way detail.


Astro Photography

Expert advice Learn the 500

TIM

For images with maximum star detail, head for one of Britain’s dark sky locations, which are ideally 50 miles or more from a major town or city.

CLICKALPS

TIP AVOID LIGHT POLLUTION

This simple rule allows you the maximum exposure tim use without seeing any visib movement blur caused by t Earth’s rotation. All you hav is divide 500 by the focal length of your lens in mm, and you’ll have your maximum shutter speed in seconds. For example, if you’re shooting with a 20mm lens, such as Sigma’s popu Above Astrotrac’s 20mm f/1.4 (pictured below), equatorial mount the calculation is 500 divided costs around £510. by 20, giving an exposure time of 25sec. Any longer than this and the stars will appear slightly elongated, especially in the corners of the frame, as in the close-up below. When using longer focal lengths for lunar or deep space photography, maximum exposure times are far shorter. Shoot with a 500mm telephoto, for example, and it’s 500 divided by 500, giving a value of just 1sec. For 1000mm, it’s just 0.5sec. In such short periods of time, very little light can be gathered by the sensor, which is why serious astrophotographers often choose to attach an ‘equatorial mount’, a basic but effective device that moves the camera very precisely against the rotation of the Earth. This can allow you to shoot exposures over a hundred times longer, although the objects in the foreground will, of course, be blurred. Equatorial mounts start from around £400. We recommend Astrotrac’s Above Sigma’s TT320X-AG (above), which 20mm is a great is around £510 for a choice for astro. complete kit.

CPRE.ORG.UK

Above Using the maximum shutter speed you can achieve without introducing blur, you can reveal the Milky Way’s incredible detail. Left A light map of Britain shows the best places to shoot Milky Way images. In brighter locations (marked in red and yellow) it won’t be visible.

Above If the 500 rule isn’t followed then stars will begin to display blur, as seen in this image.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 59


PROJ ECT 2

Create epic star trails set a very slow shutter speed, allowing your camera to gather light over a long period of time. A TIP star will start off in one position WATCH FOR in the frame CONDENSATION at the start of Falling dew can sometimes the exposure, cause the end of your lens to and be in a mist up, so be sure to check different one it between shots, wiping at the end, with a lens cloth if resulting in necessary. your sensor recording a long trail of light. This is a perfectly acceptable way of working, but there are some problems. Let’s say you set up your camera, compose, focus, choose your settings and start your exposure. You then wait an hour, stop the exposure, and find it’s too bright. That’s a very long test shot, and after an hour of waiting you have no useable images. You also might decide the trails are longer than you wanted, and wished you had stopped proceedings at 45 minutes. exposures and stacking them into one image. Set up your Shoot and stack camera just as you did in Shoot your trails Fortunately there is a better Project One, with a relatively technique that gets around There are two approaches to short exposure of around these issues, and it involves shooting star trails. The first 20sec, an ISO of 1600 and the shooting lots of shorter is to work in Bulb mode and widest aperture you have available. As before, work in manual mode, with your camera in RAW. Take a test shot, and you should notice the stars are sharp points of light. Check the image for exposure, focus and composition, and make any necessary adjustments. You’ve now ironed out any issues, and can be sure of a good result at the end of your hour. Next, you’ll need to shoot your set of images. Set your camera to continuous shooting, then use a shutter Above Interesting foregrounds tend to produce the best images, release cable with the shutter such as this ruined priory in the Brecon Beacons National Park. N PROJECT ONE, WE explored how using relatively short exposures of around 20sec freezes the movement of the Earth, giving true-to-life images of the heavens just as we see them with the naked eye. But there’s another popular approach to astrophotography that uses much longer exposure times – typically 30-90 minutes – to embrace this movement and capture the stars as long trails of light streaking across the sky. As with Milky Way photography, the ‘star trail’ technique requires a still, clear night, and a location with very dark skies, well away from significant light pollution. Find some appealing foreground interest such as a winter tree or a windmill, preferably with a recognisable shape as it may become a silhouette without any extra detail. It’s best to compose your image so that the foreground takes up one-third or less of the frame.

TIM BERRY

60 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

CHRISTOPHER BADZIOCH

I

“STACKING LOTS OF SHORT EXPOSURES IS THE BEST STAR TRAILS TECHNIQUE” button locked so a new exposure starts immediately after the previous one. Run this for as long as you want, but if in doubt go for 60 minutes. Once all of your shots are taken, you’ll need to ‘stack’ them into a single exposure in Photoshop, which is explained to the right. Using this method, you can stack all of the images, or just a few, allowing you to adjust the length of the trails. It’s vitally important that the settings are identical in each image, so set white balance to Tungsten or Incandescent rather than Auto, and don’t knock the tripod or camera, or the trails won’t be continuous. There must be no pause whatsoever between shots, or your trails will have gaps.


Astro Photography

Expert tip Stitch your shots in Photoshop Once you’ve taken about an hour’s worth of back-to-back images, it’s time to stack them together into a single shot. Start by importing your files onto your computer, and sort through to find your consecutive set, which might number around 150 images. Eliminating any test shots at the start, copy and paste the images into a new folder, and name it ‘star trails’. Next, open Photoshop, and go to File>Scripts>Load Files into Stack (see image below). Use Browse to locate your new folder, and select all of the images within it using Ctrl+A. Click Open and then OK. Photoshop will now create a single document with each of your shots imported as a Layer. The process may take several minutes. Older machines might struggle, in which case you may want to import your RAWs into Lightroom first and export as small JPEGs. Once the process is finished, bring up the Layers panel using Window>Layers, and change the blending mode of the top Layer from Normal to Lighten. Do this for all other Layers except the very bottom one, which you can leave as it is. You should now have a perfect star trail that you can flatten using Layer>Flatten Image. If you decide the trails are too long, simply turn off some of the Layers before flattening, using the Eye icon in the Layers panel.

Create a time-laps

POLARIS

THE PLOUGH

A fortuitous side-effect of shooting lots of short ima then stacking them togeth rather than shooting one exposure, is that you can easily create a time-lapse movie from your shots. There’s lots of software o there that can do this, some of which is free and some paid for. If you own a Mac, we recommend the simple but ultra-intuitive Time Lapse Assembler, which is free, and for Windows users, PhotoLapse is a great free option. For more serious time-lapse shooters, LRTimelapse 4 is generally considered a superb option for enthusiasts and pros. It retails at £100.

Locate the Pole Star The Pole Star, also known as the North Star or Polaris, happens to sit almost exactly on the same plane as the Earth’s rotational axis, so from our perspective it stays in the same position in the sky as the Earth rotates, unlike all other stars. Some people like to have Polaris in their shots, often right above a significant foreground object such as a

church spire, but you can also have it out of frame, as in the image above. Locating the Pole Star is easy. Just find The Plough (Ursa Major), which looks like a big saucepan in the sky, then trace up the right-hand edge of the pan, and keep going to around four times its height to the next fairly bright star (see diagram). This is Polaris.

Above Photoshop’s ‘Load Files into Stack’ function allows you to layer all of your images into a single document, where they can easily be merged together.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 61


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Astro Photography PROJ ECT 3

Shoot for the moon F YOU’VE EVER TRIED LUNAR PHOTOGRAPHY using your camera’s kit lens, the results wouldn’t have exactly been awe-inspiring. Despite being our closest astronomical neighbour, the moon is still a heck of a long way away, so capturing sharp detail on the surface is asking a lot of your kit. Fully zoomed in, for example, your lens has a vertical angle-of-view of around 15°, whereas the moon only takes up around 0.5° of your view of the night sky. So at 55mm, the moon occupies a pathetically tiny 1/1500th of your frame area! In other words, for really crisp results with lots of detail, you need a much longer focal length..

I

Use the right kit A good quality budget option for moon photography is Tamron’s 150-600mm, which won’t break the bank at £739. Used on an APS-C body, it will effectively take you to 900mm, and the moon will fill a much larger proportion of the frame. Alternatively, a 70-300mm will do the job at only £100. Note that with either lens you’ll still have to crop out lots of black space around the moon, but you’ll have enough pixels to work with to maintain lots of sharp detail on the lunar surface. Interestingly, for the moon to fill the entire frame from top to bottom, you’d need a 1700mm lens on an APS-C body, or 2700mm on full-frame, for which you’d require a telescope with DSLR mount!

The moon rises and sets roughly an hour later every day, so unlike the sun it’s hard to remember when it’s going to be visible in the sky. The easiest way is to check out a lunar calendar online. You’ll also have to think about moon phases, which tell you how much of the moon is illuminated on a given night. Aim for a part-lit moon, as the area where the light and shadow meet, known as the ‘terminator’, is where the best crater detail is seen. Full moon shots can also work, but obviously don’t head out during a new moon or you’ll come home empty-handed! Working on a clear night put your camera into manual mode, and set your aperture to around f/6.3. Choose an ISO of 800, and a shutter speed of 1/250sec. Adjust shutter speed to tweak exposure if required. For sharp results, work from a tripod, and use either 10sec self-timer mode or a wireless remote to trigger the shutter button. Turn off image stabilisation and shoot in RAW. You can focus using AF, but focusing manually using Live View, as explained in Project One, will give the sharpest results.

“CHECK AN ONLINE LUNAR CALENDAR FOR WHEN THE MOON WILL BE VISIBLE”

Take it further Join an astronomy club If you enjoy astrophotography, join a local astronomy club, which will hold regular ‘star parties’ throughout winter. Here you’ll learn new shooting techniques, and be able to connect your DSLR to scopes and equatorial mounts for deep sky images. This one of the Andromeda galaxy was shot on a Canon 5D MkIII with a 400mm lens, using a basic mount to compensate for the Earth’s movement.

TIM BERRY

TIM BERRY/BAUER

Know your phases

Above This was shot on the Canon 600mm f/4 lens, which offers amazing image quality.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 63


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WORK UP YOUR LONG EXPOSURES IN LIGHTROOM Correct exposure and colour casts fast!

PHOTOSHOP GENIUS

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Learn exciting new editing techniques from the UK’s best digital experts... 68

Change colours quickly

Discover how to re-colour objects in your shots to give them a digital paint job.

74

Add an artistic flare

Our three quick treatments use lens distortions to ramp up haze and colour.

78

Clean up landscapes

Find out how to remove dust spots from images in Photoshop and Elements.

80

Make your camera melt

Get to grips with Photoshop’s Liquify filter to create fun melting abstracts.

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PHOTOSHOPGENIUS

Change colours with ease in Photoshop Ever wanted to swap colours within your shot? Dan Mold reveals the secret of colour shifting.

C

OLOUR IS A HUGELY important photographic quality that affects the mood of your images, and can guide the viewer’s eye to a particular point in your shot. In this three-step tutorial, we show you how to experiment with colour swapping for realistic results. Your object will need some colour in it to begin with for this colour shift technique to work. We’ve chosen a Mediterranean coastal scene packed with vibrant boats, houses and a perfectly blue sky, but what you choose to re-colour is completely up to you. Whether you want to turn a phone box blue, or a key lime pie red, your imagination is the limit. Here’s how to do it.

1

WHAT YOU NEED Q Photoshop or Elements Q An image with colours that you’d like to change

Left The original shot is packed with colour, so it’s a great image to demonstrate our colour swap method. Right Using Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers we’ve carefully changed the colours of the boats.

BEFORE

Change your colours broadly

Open your image into Photoshop or Elements and head over to the Layers panel (Window>Layers). Click on the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon and choose Hue/Saturation from the list that appears. Here you can shift the colour value of all the colours in your shot just by dragging the Hue slider. But this won’t provide the most realistic results. If there’s a specific colour range in your shot that you want to adjust, it’s best to click on the box that says Master and then choose the colour channel you want to affect, such as Yellows, and then adjust the Hue, Saturation and Lightness sliders until you’re happy with how it looks.

68 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

2

Use Layer Masks for more control

There will be times when it’s not appropriate to shift the hue of one colour channel. For example, you may want to change the colour of a blue sky but not the blue sea. In these situations, it’s best to make a selection around the specific area you want to adjust. Grab the Polygonal Lasso Tool from the Toolbox and carefully click all the way around the area you want to affect. To see your selection clearly, zoom in by hitting Ctrl+Plus, then as you click around hold the Spacebar to bring up the Hand Tool. Now you can drag your way around the image. You’ll see the marching ants when you’re done, so hit Ctrl+Shift+I to invert the selection and Ctrl+I to mask this part off in the Layer Mask that comes with the Hue/Saturation Layer. Hit Ctrl+D to lose the selection.


// PHOTOSHOP & ELEMENTS

MINUSCULE

AFTER

3

Adjust the hue and refine further

With your fine-tuned Layer Mask you can now use the Hue, Saturation and Lightness sliders to tweak this specific area. If there are still areas within your mask that you don’t want to affect then you can refine this further with the Brush Tool. Just make sure your brush has a Hardness of 100%, an Opacity of 100% and a Flow of 100%. Now hover your cursor over the area you want to revert back to the original colour and use the [ and ] keys to set the brush to a suitable size. Then hit D followed by X for a black foreground colour and paint over the area to mask it off. If you paint over the wrong area, hit X for a white foreground colour and paint over the area to unmask it. Head up to File>Save As to save your image under a new filename when you’re done.

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i l ng t in i

ure troom

Neutral density filters can cause colour casts and exposure issues, but both are easily remedied. Dan Mold explains how to do it with RAW files in Lightroom.

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WHAT YOU NEED Q Photoshop Lightroom 6 or CC Q A RAW image taken with a neutral density filter

HE SECRET BEHIND stunning landscape images is often a neutral density filter. These special filters block out some of the light reaching your camera’s sensor – much like sunglasses do for your eyes – so that you can shoot much longer


// LIGHTROOM // VIDEO TUTORIAL

exposures, long enough to blur clouds, water, or any other moving subject in your scene. The only problem is that it can be tricky to get the exposure spot-on, as it’s not uncommon to expose such shots for several minutes when using 10-stop or 15-stop filters. This is where shooting RAWs really pays off. RAWs are much larger file formats than JPEGs, and so are able to capture and store a lot more exposure information. This makes it super easy to correct the brightness of a shot post-capture if it’s a little over or underexposed, as in the example image here.

ND filters & colour casts Neutral density filters also tend to give images warm or cool colour casts, with many 10-stop ND filters producing a cool blue tint. Popular ND manufacturer Lee Filters claims the blue cast on its 10-stop Big Stopper is actually intentional, so that it’s easier to correct in postproduction when using RAW editing software. We’ll show you how to do this and more using Lightroom in the tutorial over the page. And to see this step-by-step performed live on your screen, check out the accompanying video on your free disc/download.

BEFORE

Above There’s a superb image just waiting to be squeezed out of this original RAW, as it’s in focus and the sky has a great motion to it. Left In just five steps we’ve lifted the exposure and corrected the colour cast caused by the neutral density filter.

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PHOTOSHOPGENIUS

Lightroom interface explained The Lightroom workflow operates in an entirely different way to Photoshop so can seem daunting to get to grips with. But you’ll soon familiarise yourself with the layout when you’ve made a couple of RAW conversions. Here’s what you need to know about the Develop tab, which is where you make your edits...

Filmstrip The Filmstrip sits at the bottom of the interface and lists the images from your latest import. This makes it easy to flick through the images in your current import. You can star rate your shots with number keys 0-5, and using the Filter you can reduce the images shown in the Filmstrip to just the ones you want to work on.

1

Modules The most useful modules are the Library, where you can import your pictures, and Develop, which lets you process your RAW files. The Print module is also handy if you want to print directly from Lightroom.

Adjustments The Adjustments are all collapsible panels. Click on them to expand and they will reveal the sliders and controls within. These contain powerful editing options, from Exposure to Sharpening, and Noise Reduction to Split Toning.

Toolbar For more precise adjustments, there’s a handful of tools found under the histogram. Here you can apply a crop, remove spots, correct red eye, add graduated and radial filters and adjust specific areas of your pictures using the Adjustment Brush Tool.

Correct the exposure and colour cast

Open Lightroom and head over to the Library panel, then hit Import. Now use the Source panel on the left to find the image you want to edit from your hard drive. Make sure it has a tick next to it, then click Import to bring it into Lightroom. Move over to the Develop module and use the Exposure slider under the Basic panel to get the brightness of your shot looking right. This was +2.00 for our image. Neutral density filters can give images a colour cast. Setting the Temp slider to 10,000k does a good job at fixing the cast. Just adjust the Tint until the colours look spot-on. Finally, go to the Lens Correction panel and make sure Enable Profile Corrections is ticked to remedy any lens distortions.

Above One of the first edits you should make is to apply lens profile corrections to fix optical distortion.

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// LIGHTROOM // VIDEO TUTORIAL

3

2

Give the contrast and colours a kick

Boost Vibrance to around +60 and Saturation to around +20 to see the colours more clearly. Now ramp up the contrast by dragging the Shadows and Whites sliders to the right, and pulling the Highlights and Blacks to the left. Next increase the Contrast slider to +10 and the Clarity slider to +30 to make the details stand out. You may want to go back to the Temp and Tint sliders to finesse how warm or cold the colours are now. It’s also a good time to level up your landscape, so click on the Crop Tool then drag the Straighten Tool over the horizon and hit Return to make it level.

4

Make the colours look perfect

You may find that the colours in your shot still have a strange tinge to them. But don’t worry if this is the case. Head over to the HSL/Color/B&W panel and click on Hue under the HSL title. The Hue sliders allow you to shift the colour of specific colour channels, such as Red, Orange or Yellow, in your image. You can drag the sliders manually. We pushed the Aqua and Blue sliders to the right to make them look more pleasing, and dragged the Green slider to the left to correct an odd patch of green on the pier to make it look natural. You can also click on the small circular icon underneath the Hue heading. This allows you to click directly onto the area you want to adjust, then drag your mouse up or down to change its hue value.

Fine-tune the exposure

To make specific parts of your image lighter or darker you can use the Graduated Filter Tool to work on a band of sky, the Radial Filter Tool to work on an elliptical area, or the Adjustment Brush Tool to paint over a custom area you want to affect. They all have sliders that you can use to change parameters such as Exposure or Saturation. We used a Graduated Filter to darken the sky a little, and a Radial Filter in the middle of the shot to brighten up the pier.

GENIUS If you brush over an area you don’t want to affect, click Erase, and paint over it to remove it from the selection

5

Apply the finishing touches

Motion is key to long exposures, but you’ll want to sharpen the stationary parts to make sure they really stand out. Go over to the Detail panel and set the Sharpening Amount to 50, then hold the Alt key and drag the Masking slider until only the areas you want to sharpen are shown in white. Next add a little Luminance Noise Reduction, like a value of 10. ND filters can get dirty when used, so if you notice any dust spots in your shot click on the Spot Removal Tool and brush over the blemishes to remove them from the shot. When you’re done, go to File>Export and choose where you want to save your image on your hard drive under Export Location. Set the Image Format to JPEG under File Settings with a Quality of 100 and hit Export to finish.

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3

Stylish flare effects to try Inject an artistic finish with colourful light leaks and dreamy haze effects. Dan Mold shows you how.

L

ENS FLARE USED TO BE the bane of photographers, more usually considered a blight on images than a deliberate artistic addition. The effect, caused by light reflecting inside the lens barrel, often occurred accidentally when a bright light source (such as the sun) was placed in the corner of the frame. This would result in reduced contrast, muted colours and distracting light patterns appearing in places you may not want them. Now, thanks to the technology in both digital cameras and high quality lenses, it’s a mistake that’s easily avoided.

WHAT YOU NEED Q Photoshop or Elements Q An image you’d like to add different flare effects to

But this month we’re embracing optical distortions and have come up with a trio of artistic flare effects to give your shots a hazy retro finish. We’ll show you how to apply a classic lens flare in a clever way that allows you to reposition it in the image, and so produce a washed-out hazy style that will give your shots a muted, dreamy appeal. But to start, we’re kicking off with an easy technique for adding light leaks to your pictures – which injects a good dose of colour and filmic charm too. Left The original shot used a wide aperture to blur the background, and the buildings to draw the eye towards the portrait.

BEFORE

DIIGNAT

Right In just two steps we’ve added some colourful light leaks that give this image a retro film look.

1Inject colour with light leaks 1

Paint in your colour

Open your image into Photoshop or Elements and head over to your Layers panel (Window>Layers). Now add a new blank Layer that you can add your light leaks to with Layer>New Layer. Next, grab the Brush Tool from the Toolbox and set the foreground colour to a bright red (R:255, G:0, B:0) using the Color Picker. Choose a soft brush and set the Opacity to 5%, then paint over the areas where you want your light leaks to appear.

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// PHOTOSHOP & ELEMENTS

2

Turn them into light leaks

Go over to your Layers panel and change the blending mode of your light leak Layer from Normal to Screen to blend it in and create a realistic effect. You can also drop the Layer Opacity down from 100% to make the effect more subtle. We added a secondary orange leak to give the shot even more colour. To do this, go to Layer>New Layer to create a new blank Layer. Grab the Brush Tool once again and this time set the foreground colour to a bright orange (R:255, G:200, B:0). Set the Opacity to 20% this time, then paint in a few orange leaks and change the Layer’s blending mode to Screen to finish it off. Go to File>Save As and save your shot under a new filename.

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2 Add a cinematic lens flare CAUSED BY A BRIGHT LIGHT source in the corner of your frame, lens flare can have a detrimental effect on your shots, both reducing contrast and muting colours. However, when used intentionally, lens flare can give your shots a pleasingly warm, yesteryear vibe. The best way to apply a lens flare is in Photoshop or Elements, as you can keep the full contrast original, and then position the flare exactly where you want it to appear back at your computer. Below we show you how to do it in just two steps.

1

AFTER

Create your flare

Open your image into Photoshop or Elements and go to Layer>New Layer to create a new blank Layer. Now hit D on the keyboard for a black foreground colour, then press Alt+Backspace to fill your new Layer with pure black. To apply the lens flare, go to Filter>Render>Lens Flare. In the Lens Flare dialogue box, click on the part of the image where you want the flare to appear (we’ll fine-tune this in the next step) and adjust the Brightness and the Lens Type until you’re happy with how it looks. When you’re done, hit OK to apply it.

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2

Reposition and blend in

Head over to your Layers panel (Window> Layers) and change the blending mode from Normal to Screen to blend the lens flare in with your image. Now we’ll show you how to resize and reposition the flare – this is not possible to do if you don’t apply your flare onto this new black Layer. Hit Ctrl+T to put the flare Layer into Free Transform mode, then make sure Constrain Proportions is ticked in your Tool Options, or hold the Shift key as you pull the corners of the bounding box to resize it. Make sure the bounding box covers the whole frame so you don’t end up with any odd patches, and rotate your flare by hovering your cursor over an outside corner and dragging the double-ended arrows.


// PHOTOSHOP & ELEMENTS

3 Use haze for a dreamy look CREATED BY FINE PARTICLES IN THE air such as dust and sand, haze has the adverse characteristic of making your pictures look washed out across the frame, muting colours and subduing contrast. This may not be ideal for a landscape that you want to be pin-sharp throughout, but it is great for creating lo-fi, retro-styled portraits. Here’s how it’s done.

GENIUS Changing the Opacity of your Layers is a fantastic way to instantly adjust how strong or subtle they are, making it easy to fine-tune the effect

1

AFTER

Wash out the contrast

Open your shot into Photoshop or Elements and head over to your Layers panel (Window>Layers). Now hit Ctrl+L to bring up the Levels panel, where you’ll see three sliders under the histogram – Blacks, Midtones and Whites. Under these are two more Output Levels sliders – Shadows and Highlights. Drag the Output Levels Shadows slider to 55 to wash out the contrast and the middle Midtones slider to 0.70 to darken the shot a little. Close the Levels panel and hit Ctrl+U to bring up the Hue/Saturation panel. Increase the Saturation slider to +25 and either hit OK or click the cross to close down the Hue/ Saturation panel.

2

Add a splash of colour

In the Layers panel, click on the Add new fill or adjustment layer icon and choose Gradient Map from the list. Double-click on the Gradient Editor and choose the Violet/Orange preset. In the bar below, click on the orange Color Stop and set its colour value to pure white (R:255, G:255, B:255), then hit OK. Click OK once more to close the Gradient Editor down. Change the blending mode of this Layer from Normal to Soft Light, then click back on the Add new fill or adjustment layer icon and choose Solid Color from the list. Set the colour to pure white and change the blending mode from Normal to Hard Light, then finally set the Layer Opacity to 25%. When you’re done, go to File>Save As and save your shot under a new filename.

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Tidy up your landscapes

NEW SERIES! LANDSCAPE SKILLS PART 4/6

Any camera with the ability to change lenses is prone to dust spots. Dan Mold shows you how to remove them in just a few clicks.

BEFORE Above Distractions such as dust spots pull the eye away from the image’s focal point.

D

UST IS THE SWORN ENEMY OF WHAT any photographer using an interchangeable lens system. It’s YOU NEED great being able to swap your lenses to suit Q Photoshop or a range of different subjects, but each time Elements you do, the pesky trio of dust, grime and Q A landscape image grit can all find their way on to your with visible dust camera’s imaging sensor. This can result in spots in it small dark spots appearing in the lighter areas of your pictures. While regular sensor cleaning is best practice to stop the annoying blobs appearing, it’s easy to remove them back at your PC. We’ve devised a three-step plan to help you identify the dust in Photoshop or Elements, and then remove it in a single click. We’ll also show you how to remove more difficult obstructions from pictures to tidy them up even further and give your images a clean, professional finish.

1

Make the dust spots more visible

Open your landscape into Photoshop or Elements and head over to the Layers panel (Window>Layers). Now click on the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon and choose Levels from the list that appears. It’s a good idea to increase the contrast of your image to make it easier to see the fainter dust spots across the frame. To do this we’re going to use the three sliders under the histogram in the Levels panel. Drag the Blacks and Whites sliders towards the middle, and then adjust the middle Midtones slider until the dust spots are easy to see.

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2

DUST SPOTS

REMOVED

Above & right We removed the distractions using a range of tools in Photoshop within a couple of minutes.

Remove the spots with ease

Now you’re ready to start removing the dust spots from your image, so go over to the Layers panel and click on the Background Layer to make it active, then grab the Spot Healing Brush Tool from the Toolbox. In Tool Options, make sure Type is set to Content Aware, then hover your cursor over a spot and use the [ and ] keys until the cursor reticule is just a little bit larger than your spot and click to remove it. Zoom in with Ctrl+Plus a few times to see the spots more clearly, then hold the Spacebar to activate the Hand Tool, and drag your way around the picture until you’ve removed all of them. When you’ve removed all of the spots, hit Ctrl+Minus on the keyboard to zoom out, then delete the Levels Layer by dragging it to the Trash icon, as you don’t need it anymore.


// PHOTOSHOP & ELEMENTS // VIDEO TUTORIAL

DAN MOLD

AFTER

3

Clean up other distractions

To remove other distractions, like the tree branches in this image, hit Ctrl+J to duplicate your Layer. Now use the Spot Healing Brush Tool, hovering your brush cursor over the offending area and resizing with the [ and ] keys. You can then paint over the area you want to remove. Brushing over small areas like individual branches tends to be more effective than broadly painting over the whole distraction. If Photoshop doesn’t get it quite right, switch to the Clone Stamp Tool as this allows you to get more precise results. Make sure the Clone Stamp Tool is set to a Soft Brush and drop the Opacity down to 20% to apply the effect gradually. Hold down Alt and you’ll see the cursor change to a cross-hair – just click on a ‘good’ part of the image to set it as the Source Point, then brush over the distraction to remove it from view. Go to File>Save As and save your image under a new filename when you’re done.

NEXT MONTH RESCUE BLOWN OUT SKIES A flat sky, caused by overcast weather or your image overexposing, can make the best landscape locations seem a little drab. But don’t worry, it’s easy to drop in a new one and save your shots from the trash. Join us next month when we reveal the best way to do it.

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PHOTOSHOPGENIUS

Create a melting camera Kirk Schwarz shares a fun (and safe!) technique for melting your camera using Photoshop’s Liquify filter.

S

ALVADOR DALI, THE MASTER OF surrealism, is probably best know for his piece ‘The Persistence of Memory’. This bizarre and unique take on time sees Dali place several melted clocks into a barren landscape, and has captured the imagination of people for decades. Physically melting a DSLR would be a monumental waste of a good camera, so before you reach for the matches to create your own Dali-esque masterpiece, take a look at this technique instead. We’re going to use Elements to create our homage, though it can also be done in Photoshop, where you can utilise the background preview while using Liquify for inch perfect results. With just one simple shot, we’re going to replicate Dali’s iconic vision with a photographic twist. The bulk of our work will be done in Liquify, creating the look of something that’s melting into a puddle. We’ll also look at some advanced features of Liquify, namely the Freeze Mask and Thaw Mask. Then we’ll add a manual shadow, which finishes the look perfectly, and adds a sense of realism. Let’s indulge our inner Dali...

BEFORE

Above We shot a DSLR on a plain kitchen table, filling the frame with plenty of the lens. Since we wanted to create the effect of the lens melting over something, we placed the camera right at the edge of the table.

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AFTER


// PHOTOSHOP & ELEMENTS

WHAT YOU NEED Q A DSLR or CSC Q A camera and a plain table-top QPhotoshop or Elements

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// PHOTOSHOP & ELEMENTS

1

Cut out your components

With your image open in Photoshop or Elements, it’s time to separate the camera from the background. Select the Polygonal Lasso Tool by pressing L and carefully trace around the edges of the camera. Once you’ve completed your selection you will see some marching ants. Now you need to zoom in with the Zoom Tool and clean up the selection. Use the Quick Selection Tool to brush over any areas where you’ve missed the camera outline. By holding Shift when you brush you can add to the selection, and by holding Alt you can detract from it. Once you’re happy with the results, press Ctrl+J to duplicate the Layer, putting the camera on its own separate Layer.

3

Melt your camera

Now you have a red Freeze Mask in place to preserve the top of the camera, select the Warp Tool (W) and you can start pushing the pixels into place. Set your Brush Pressure to 70, and, if you’re using Photoshop, set Density to 30. Select a large Brush Size, such as 600px. Now simply brush over the camera from top to bottom and you will see the camera starts to distort. Gradually build up the effect so the camera looks like it’s melting over the edge of the table, or whatever you’ve chosen to place it on top of. Take your time over this, as you want the results to look as realistic as possible. Once your effect is complete, click OK.

2

Secure the top half of the camera

With the camera Layer selected, open the Liquify panel by going to Filter>Distort>Liquify in Elements and Filter>Liquify in Photoshop. You will now see a new window open with your camera on a blank background. Before you start to melt the camera, you’ll need to blank off any areas you don’t want affected. Press F to choose the Freeze Mask Tool and brush along the top half of the camera, avoiding the lens. A red Freeze Mask will appear to denote the area that won’t be affected by the Liquify process. If you make a mistake or you want to tidy up, use the Thaw Mask Tool, which you can get to by pressing D. When you’re satisfied with your masked area, it’s time to start melting.

4

Add a realistic shadow

As you’ve changed the shape of the camera, its shadow will no longer look realistic. Luckily, it’s easy to create your own shadow. Click on the Background Layer, which should still be below the camera Layer. Create a new blank Layer (Ctrl+Shift+N) and select the Brush Tool (B). Make sure your Foreground Color is set to black and you have a soft edge brush. Set the Opacity to 50% and paint just below the camera to simulate a shadow, remembering that this will be darker at the base of the camera. Once you’ve finished, right-click on the Background Layer and choose Flatten Image. Now save your image as a JPEG using File>Save.

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Shift your seasons in Photoshop Dan Mold uses this issue’s Snow Textures collection to create a digital winter wonderland.

WHAT YOU NEED Q A DSLR or CSC Q Someone to model Q A couple of props

Q Photoshop or HE DIFFERENT SEASONS Elements provide fantastic photographic opportunities. But if you have an idea for a snowy portrait in June, you’ll have to wait until the winter months before you can even think about taking your image – and then you may miss the opportunity to shoot it! Well, you don’t have to wait any longer. Because we’re giving away eight snow textures that you can digitally add to your shots to make them look like they’ve been taken on a snowy winter’s day. We’ll show you how to take a themed portrait in a non-snowy setting, with striking cinematic lighting, outlining the exact camera settings you need to get the exposure and focusing absolutely spot-on. The second half of the technique will then transform the shot into a full-blown winter scene using Layers in Photoshop or Elements. Our free snow textures are also great for pictures you’ve actually taken in the snow, but would just like to add a few more snowflakes to. You’ll learn loads about what settings to use for portraits, how to use props to give your image a theme, and how to change the weather back at your computer.

T

BEFORE

Above The eyes in the portrait are pin-sharp and the lighting from the oil lantern makes the picture look incredibly cinematic. Right We’ve cooled the image down a little in Photoshop and added some snow using the free snow textures on the disc/download to complete the wintery effect.

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AFTER


PHOTOSHOP // VIDEO TUTORIAL // FREE SNOW TEXTURES

3 skills you’ll learn 1

Use props to inject style

2

Get your focus spot-on

3

How to add snow digitally

Find out how to use an oil lantern as a prop, and how to inject dramatic lighting into your pictures.

We show you exactly how to nail your focusing, which is critical when shooting with a shallow depth-of-field.

You’ll learn how to use the eight free snow textures on your disc/download to give any picture a full-on wintery feel.

8

FREE SNOW TEXTURES TO TRY! SEE P8

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PHOTOSHOPGENIUS

Shoot your themed portrait To start this technique you’ll need to take some portraits, using a few props to tie your image together. We went for a Little Red Riding Hood theme, so bought a red cloak online for £13, and borrowed a red oil lantern from a friend to use as a prop and as our light source. Finally, our model (Louise) wore red lipstick to fit in with the red theme. Any DSLR or CSC with a kit lens will work for this image, just zoom in to around 50mm on an APS-C body or 85mm on a full-frame one for a tight head-and-shoulders portrait.

You can use a dedicated portrait lens if you want a more shallow depthof-field, but this isn’t essential. Be sure to shoot in a location that fits in with your theme – like our woodland scene – and shoot outside, as a snowy indoor picture will look very odd indeed! Last but not least, you’ll need a version of Photoshop or Elements, as we’ll be showing you how to use the free snow textures using Layers over the next page. Check that you’ve got everything you need using the checklist below and let’s get shooting.

Above An oil lantern is a fantastic prop that looks great and injects dramatic lighting.

Photoshop or Elements

Model You’ll need a model to shoot this cinematic portrait. Ask a friend, or use modelling websites such as modelmayhem.com and purpleport.com to find someone suitable.

Finally, you’ll also want a copy of Photoshop or Elements, as this is where we’ll use Layers to complete the snowy effect.

Props Objects that fit in with your theme, such as the cloak, lipstick and oil lantern in our shot, can really enhance the look of your images.

Camera and lens

Location Find an outdoor location that fits with your theme. This wood was perfect for the look we wanted to create, but urban environments lend themselves to these kind of shoots too.

You can get great portraits with a DSLR or CSC and kit lens. Experiment with full-length pictures using the wide end, and tighter head-and-shoulders shots using the zoom.

Three top tips for better portraits...

Use props that fit the theme

Go creative with your lighting

Choose your focal length

Ask your model to dress appropriately, or provide clothing that fits in with your theme. We had Louise wear a red cloak to transform her into the character Little Red Riding Hood.

The oil lantern in our shot provided dramatic lighting and its red colour fits in with the red theme, but you could also get brilliant results with flash or daylight. The key here is to experiment.

For tight head-and-shoulders portraits use an 85mm lens on a full-frame body, or 50mm on an APS-C one. A zoom lens can be handy if you want to shoot wider to include more of the surrounding area.

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1

Get the right exposure

Put your camera into aperture-priority mode, so you can control the light coming into the camera. If you’re shooting in low light you’ll want to use a wide aperture such as f/3.5 or f/5.6. When shooting your portrait you’ll want to use a more telephoto lens of around 50mm on an APS-C body, or 85mm on a full-frame one. You’ll also need to make sure that your shutter speed is equal to or higher than the reciprocal of your focal length, so if you’re shooting at 50mm you’ll want a shutter speed of 1/50sec or faster to avoid camera shake. If you can’t achieve this shutter speed you may need to increase your ISO value until your shutter speed is fast enough. Finally, make sure you’re shooting in the RAW image format.

2

Achieve pin-sharp focus

Frame up your portrait and ask your model to try out different poses until you find one that looks good. We used an oil lantern to add dramatic lighting and to make it look like Louise is looking for something. Place your active AF point over your model’s nearest eye so this comes out sharp. Focusing for DSLRs is usually more responsive when working through the viewfinder than with Live View.

3

Shoot your portrait

When you’re happy with the framing and the model’s pose it’s time to take a few shots. Check the image on the back of your camera to make sure it’s sharp by zooming in on your model’s closest eye. Now’s the time to re-take the shot if the focus isn’t spot-on. It’s also worth checking the exposure of your image, and if it’s not quite right dial in a little exposure compensation to correct this.

Pro advice How to fix shooting problems Q INCORRECT EXPOSURE Struggling to get the exposure right? Dial in some exposure compensation (+/- button) to make your image lighter or darker accordingly.

LED LAMP

OIL LAMP

Try out a storm lamp Lamps are a great way to add dramatic, single-source lighting to images. LED lamps are affordable, but emit a cold blue light. We’d suggest spending a little more on an oil or paraffin storm lantern, as these produce a much more flattering, warmer light. Let your wick soak up the fuel for at least one hour, then carefully light it with a safety lighter or match. Turn the wick down to put it out when you’re done, and ensure it’s fully out before packing it away.

Q FOCUS HAS SLIPPED If you check your image and realise your subject is soft, it means the focus isn’t spot-on. To correct it, make sure you’re using your camera’s single-point AF mode and hover your active AF point over your model’s eye that’s closest to the camera. Now take another shot and inspect it on the rear LCD to make sure it’s sharp. QFOCUS WON’T LOCK ON You may not be able to focus if you’re too close to your subject. This is because of your lens’ minimum focusing distance. You may need to take a small step back so your camera can lock on to produce a sharp image.

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8

Finish the effect in Photoshop

FREE SNOW TEXTURES TO TRY! SEE P8

TIP

With your portrait pictures now on your BUILD UP memory card, it’s time to load them up THE EFFECT onto your computer. Below, we show Use multiple snow textures you how to work up the RAW file using to add depth, with the fine Adobe Camera Raw, add sharpness and snowflakes at the back reduce digital noise. In Photoshop we and the larger ones then run through how to apply a cool at the front. blue tint to tone down the warmer colours and make it look a little darker and more wintery. A lens flare works fantastically well for this image too, accenting the light from the lantern. Finally, you’ll learn how to use the free snow textures to make your shot look like it was Above Load your free snow textures into Photoshop or Elements taken on a winter’s day. Here’s how... to swiftly give your images a suitably seasonal feel.

1

Work up the RAW file exposure

Open your RAW image into Photoshop or Elements and fine-tune the overall brightness of the picture using the Exposure slider within the Basic panel. Then use the Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, Whites, Blacks and Clarity sliders to get the contrast of your image looking exactly how you want it. See the grab above for the settings we chose for our shot.

3

Apply a cool tone

Hit Open Image to bring the shot into Photoshop, then head over to your Layers panel and click on the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon. Choose Hue/Saturation from the list, then tick the Colorize box and drag Hue until the image looks cold. Set Saturation to 30. In the Layers panel you can drop the Layer Opacity a little to subdue the effect.

88 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

2

Sharpen the details

With the exposure corrected, head over to the Detail tab. Set the Sharpening Amount to 50 and then move the Masking slider to around 70 – this helps to prevent you sharpening any noise in the background of the shot. To reduce noise, increase the Noise Reduction Luminance slider a little way to stop your shot looking grainy.

4

Add cinematic lens flare

Head back over to your Layers panel and click on the Background Layer to make it active. Now head up to Filter>Render>Lens Flare and click on the preview window that appears to position the flare. Choose the Lens Type you like best and set the Brightness to a value that works for your shot (we went for 100%). Hit OK to apply when you’re done.


PHOTOSHOP // VIDEO TUTORIAL // FREE SNOW TEXTURES

5

Paste in your free snow texture

Click File>Open, navigate your way to the PP Snow Textures in the Free Gifts folder on the CD/download and open Snow Texture 1. Hit Ctrl+A to select it, Ctrl+C to copy it and Ctrl+W to close it down. In your portrait shot, hit Ctrl+V to paste it in. Press Ctrl+T to put it into Free Transform mode and resize it to fit the whole image. Then hit Return when you’re done.

7

Add blur to match depth-of-field

Blur makes the snow look more realistic because it helps it match the depth-of-field of the shot, and also because falling snow would have a bit of motion to it too. Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to a low value of 6px – you’ll need to set this higher for the larger snow particles in the next step. Hit OK when you’re done.

6

Mask off areas to add depth

Change the blending mode to Screen and click Add Layer Mask in the Layers panel. This makes it possible to hide parts of the snow Layer using a soft black Brush Tool. We painted over the model’s face to hide the snow here and create the illusion that these smaller snowflakes are further away and behind Louise.

8

Repeat to build up the effect

With the fine Layer of snow looking good, it’s time to add in some larger snowflakes closer to the lens. Head back up to File>Open and open one of the snow textures with bigger snowflakes, such as Texture 5 or 6, and hit Open. Resize it and blend it in with the Screen blending mode again, this time applying a higher level of Gaussian Blur to finish the effect.

How to tell you’ve got the shot right... 1

Snow looks realistic

2

Focus is pin-sharp

3

Light is cinematic

You’ve used Gaussian Blur to blur the snow, so it looks a little out of focus and matches the depth-of-field of your shot. Masking off the finer snow from covering your subject also makes it look further away and increases the realism.

1

2

It’s best to focus on the model’s eye that’s closest to the camera when shooting portraits. This makes it easier to get the whole face sharp.

3

A lens flare is a great way to give your picture a cinematic flourish, and is perfect for accenting a light source, such as the oil lamp in this image.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 89


PHOTOSHOPGENIUS

PhotoFixer Stuck in an editing rut with your shots? Send them over to ppsubmissions@bauermedia.co.uk and our Photoshop experts will show you how to professionally retouch them.

Image is underexposed so skin tones and colours look flat

BEFORE

AFTER

Dream awake By Ellie Victoria Gale Ellie says: This photo is part of my ‘The Flower Keepers’ series, a portrait project based in a whimsical world filled with colour and blossoms. I used the Brenizer technique to stitch 18 images together for a very shallow depthof-field. I also changed the leaves to a rich red colour in Photoshop, and added more of the model’s dress to cover up the pavement in the bottom of the frame and extended the top of the frame too. The final step was retouching the model’s skin using the Healing Brush, Dodge and Burn tools.

90 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Dan says: This image really shows Ellie’s creativity and fantastic ability to tell a narrative through imagery. Her use of the Brenizer technique is excellent and adds extra depth. Her image stitching work in Photoshop is also flawless, and it’s impossible to tell that the canvas has been extended at the top and bottom. Ellie re-coloured the flowers digitally to match the model’s dress and lipstick. Usually, I’d be tempted to have this a different colour to increase contrast, but there is already strong contrast from the white tones in the shot, including the defocused flowers in the foreground. Ellie added these in Photoshop, positioning them around the

edge of the frame to draw the viewer’s eye towards the focal point in the middle of the frame. It works surprisingly well and gives the shot a formidable kick of red that certainly draws the eye in. My only issue with this image is that it’s underexposed, possibly because Ellie wanted to preserve the model’s skin tones. Lifting the exposure could be done without losing the highlight details (Photo Fix 1), and would also allow the reds to become more vibrant. Increasing the saturation slightly (Photo Fix 2) takes this image to the very top of its game. Our tweaks are very minimal but they make a massive difference to the appeal of the picture. Ellie’s fantastically dreamy portrait now stands up against some of the best high-end fashion images we’ve seen, and we can’t wait to see what she sends in next.


TIP TRY THE BRENIZER EFFECT Ellie took multiple images with her 50mm lens at f/2.2 and stitched them together like a panorama, creating a striking image with an incredibly shallow depth-offield.

Canon 5D MkIII | 50mm | 1/320sec | f/2.2 | ISO 200

Photo Fix Make your colours more vivid 1

Brighten your image

Ellie has underexposed this image a little, which is actually a good thing as it preserves the detail in the skin tones. But to stop the image looking too dark, it’s worth lifting the brightness a little. In your Layers (Window>Layers) click on the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon and choose Curves from the menu that appears. To brighten the shot, just click on the middle of the diagonal line and drag it up until your model looks well-lit but not overexposed.

BEFORE

2

AFTER

Increase colour

To boost colours, go to your Layers panel and click on the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon, then choose Hue/Saturation from the list that appears. Now drag the Saturation slider to the right until the colours look more vivid, without breaking up. This was a value of +30 for Ellie’s image.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 91


PHOTOSHOPGENIUS

Glenfinnan

BEFORE

By David Mollison David says: On my arrival at Glenfinnan Monument I saw low rolling clouds, and wanted to use them to add atmosphere to this magnificent view. I’m happy with the depth in the picture, but I’m wondering if your Photo Fixer could suggest any way to improve it.

Contrast & colours look a little flat but could be enhanced in the RAW file

Dan says: David’s landscape instantly

transports the viewer to this fantastic Scottish location. His use of a narrow aperture and hyperfocal focusing has created a great level of sharpness, despite the abundance of thick morning cloud. There’s definitely some extra detail in the RAW file that could be squeezed out to make this image even more eye-catching (Photo Fix 1). The tones in the sky and the clouds are quite similar, so it looks a little flat here, but tweaking the RAW increases contrast so there’s a clear distinction between these two areas. Using the Dehaze feature (Photo Fix 2) also helps to increase the appeal of the scene by cutting through some of the foreground haze, making it lighter and more colourful. David’s nailed the basics by capturing this great landscape in-camera, but a few adjustments to the RAW file really take it to the next level.

AFTER

Canon 5D MkIII | 24mm | 1/10sec | f/18 | ISO 100

Photo Fix Inject some extra atmosphere to shots 1

Add contrast to the RAW

Open your RAW file into Photoshop’s Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom CC and head over to the Basic panel. To increase the contrast in this image we boosted Exposure to +1.00, Shadows to +60 and Whites to +45 to make the clouds and highlight areas really pop. Then, to bring back a bit of detail, we pulled the Highlights slider to -80.

2

Use the Dehaze feature

For any image with haze, fog or mist in it, it’s worth experimenting with the Dehaze feature. It can be found in Photoshop CC’s Adobe Camera Raw, or Lightroom CC, under the Effects tab. Just pull it to the right a little to increase contrast and cut through the mist. Adding a little Vibrance or Saturation also helps the colours come through when using Dehaze.

92 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY


// PHOTO FIXER

Banding can be seen between the tones in the sky Dust spots pull the eye away from the focal point

High levels of noise in shadow areas

BEFORE

AFTER Nikon D200 | 25mm | 1/30sec | f/16 | ISO 200

Lake Eleyele By Ben Black

Photo Fix Clean it up 1

Ben says: This was a tricky photo to take because I had to climb over a mountain to get into position. The light changed rapidly too. Water splashing on the lens was a problem and needed to be regularly wiped away to ensure the shot would be sharp. I took the shot handheld, as my tripod was too unbalanced in the marshy ground.

Dan says: We have to

give credit to Ben for his determination to brave the tricky terrain and shoot this stunning scene. He’s done a great job of capturing the warm sunset tones, without the image underexposing – not easy when your subject is a fiery evening sun. His Nikon D200 is a little long in the tooth now (2005), so its noise handling isn’t at the level we’re used to seeing

today. This goes some way to explaining the high level of noise and the banding between colour tones in this image. These can be fixed by addressing the RAW (Photo Fix 1). There are also some small dust spots that pull the eye away, but these are easy to clean up too (Photo Fix 2). After making these small changes, the sheer beauty of Ben’s shot deservedly gets the viewer’s undivided attention.

Reduce noise in the RAW

Digital noise can be more apparent in images where an underexposed image has been lifted, taken at a high ISO or shot on an old camera. So, be sure to go to the Detail panel when editing the RAW file and drag the Noise Reduction Luminance slider to the right, until the noise has been effectively subdued.

BEFORE

2

AFTER

Remove dust spots

Zoom in using Ctrl+Plus and grab the Spot Healing Brush Tool, then use the [ and ] keys to resize your brush so it’s a little larger than the spot, and click to remove it. Then hold Spacebar and use the Hand Tool to drag your way around the shot to remove all spots.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 93


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// PHOTO FIXER

Ethereal beauty

BEFORE

By Mike Smith Mike says: This was my first time shooting established model Ivory Flame, so I was a little nervous! This is my favourite image from the shoot, taken in the porch of a church. The contrast and light falling on her is perfect, and Ivory’s pose is both powerful and gentle, which I love.

Dan says: Mike’s shown great creativity

The image would be more striking if the contrast was higher

AFTER

with his limited props, location and light source. His use of the sun is resourceful, as he’s managed to create a classic cinematic lighting style, positioning Ivory to get a distinctive ‘Rembrandt triangle’ on her right cheek. He’s also done well to judge the moment and take the shot just as she pulled this wonderfully elegant pose. As superb as the lighting is, it could be made even stronger with a careful adjustment to the contrast using the Dodge and Burn tools in Photoshop (see Photo Fix panel). This would make the blacks a little darker and the highlights a little brighter, the result being that the model really pops out from the background. Mike should be proud of this portrait, as it’s sharp, beautifully lit and has a fantastic emotive quality to it. Canon 450D | 50mm | 1/1600sec | f/2.5 | ISO 200

Photo Fix Increase image contrast the smart way 1

Burn the shadows

Open the image into Photoshop or Elements and grab the Burn Tool from the Toolbox. This tool can be used to darken specific tones in your shot by setting the Range to Highlights, Midtones and Shadows. For this shot, we just want to darken the midtone and shadow areas around the model’s face and make the background look a little darker too. Before you start, set the Exposure to 3% so you darken the shot gradually, then paint over the areas you want to darken.

2

Dodge the highlights

The Dodge Tool does the opposite, brightening the highlights, midtones and shadow areas. Once again, set the Exposure to 3, then brush over the parts of the shot that you want to lighten. This will increase the contrast in the shot.

BEFORE

AFTER

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 95


PHOTOSHOPGENIUS WHAT YOU NEED

Give your shots a retro makeover

Q Any version of Photoshop or Elements Q An image you’d like to apply a stylish retro look to

Dan Mold explains how you can use your free Vintage Effects pack to give your pictures instant heritage appeal.

R

ETRO IS ALL THE RAGE right now, so this month we’ve been hard at work creating our very own Vintage Effects pack. The great news is we’re giving it away free with this issue – just download it from the Free Gifts folder on your disc or download. You’ll need to dig out a picture that will suit a yesteryear style, then load it into the Vintage Effects pack using the step-by-step below. There are 17 fantastic effects to choose from, such as rounded borders, warm sepia tones, and a texture full of dust and scratches that’s sure to make your pictures look convincingly old and aged. Sound good? Let’s get started!

1

Load up a picture

In Photoshop or Elements go to File>Open and find the Easy Vintage Effects Vol 1.psd file in the Free Gifts folder on your disc/download. When opened, go back up to File>Open and find the image you’d like to apply the vintage look to and open it into Photoshop. Now hit Ctrl+A to select your image, Ctrl+C to copy it and Ctrl+W to close it. You’ll now be back in the Vintage Effects file, so make sure in the Layers panel (Window>Layers) that the bottom Layer titled ‘Your Image Here’ is active, and hit Ctrl+V to paste your picture onto the bottom of the Layers stack.

96 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Left This vintage-styled steampunk portrait is an ideal candidate for our Vintage Effects pack. Right In just a few clicks we’ve added a layer of dust and scratches, applied a thick bevelled frame and given it a sepia tone.

BEFORE 1

2

BEFORE 2

Resize the image

Your image is likely to need a bit of resizing, so hit Ctrl+T to put your shot into Free Transform mode. In Elements, make sure the Constrain Proportions box is ticked, or in Photoshop hold the Shift key down as you pull the corner handles of the bounding box. This lets you resize your image without distorting its aspect ratio. You can also move your image by dragging it, or rotate it by hovering your cursor over the outside corner and dragging when you see the doubleended arrows. Hit the tick, or the Return key, when you’re done to set it in place.

3

Give it a retro look

Above your picture Layer, which sits at the bottom of the Layers stack, you’ll see a range of Layers that are all currently switched off. Experiment with the Layers you like the sound of by clicking the blank box next to the Layer thumbnail. This will switch the Layer on. An eye icon will appear next to the Layer to tell you the Layer is now visible – just click the eye again to hide it. Be sure to use the Black Borders with the Black Bevels and the White Borders with the White Bevels. When you’re done, go to File>Save As and save your shot as a JPEG under a new name.


// PHOTOSHOP & ELEMENTS // FREE VINTAGE EFFECTS

1000S OF RETRO EFFECTS COMBOS TO USE

AFTER

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 97


PHOTOSHOPGENIUS

shop

SEE DISC OR DOWNLOAD FOR MORE EDITING ADVICE

Quick tips & keyboard shortcuts that’ll help you process your images faster!

LIGHTROOM

Cut down editing time with custom presets in Lightroom If you find yourself carrying out very similar edits to multiple RAW files in Lightroom, then there’s a good chance you’ll be able to reduce your editing time by using custom Presets. When you’ve imported your shot into Lightroom head over to the Develop module and click on the Presets panel on the left to expand it. You’ll find pre-made presets such as Lightroom B&W Filter Presets, but you can also create your own presets, allowing you to apply specific edits to your other images in a single mouse-click. Just click on the Plus icon at the top of the Presets panel, write a name for the preset and choose the folder you want it to be saved to. Then just tick the settings that you want to be applied in your preset and hit Create.

ADOBE DNG CONVERTER

PHOTOSHOP

RAW files from new cameras may not be compatible with old software. But if you don’t want to pay out for the latest version, you can use Adobe’s free DNG Converter to turn your RAW files into the universally-friendly DNG RAW format, which is compatible with all versions of RAW-editing software. You can download it here: PC https://adobe.ly/2u7TOOs MAC https://adobe.ly/2yZ2rK1

Change blending modes quickly If you’ve got a heap of Layers in your Layers panel that you want to change the blending mode of, it can be a laborious process to click on each one and do so. But a useful feature in the full version of Photoshop CC means that you can select all of the Layers you want to change, by Ctrl-clicking on them to select them, then change the blending mode and it will be changed for all of the selected Layers.

DAN MOLD

Convert to DNG to use new RAW files with old software

Share your shots with us & win! We hope you’ve enjoyed our Photoshop Genius section and would love to see how you’re getting on using our brandnew editing techniques. So why not share your finished shots with us? Each month 98 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

we’ll announce our favourite entry on our Facebook page, and the winner will receive a Manfrotto NX camera shoulder bag II. To be in with a chance to win, just follow the Photoshop techniques and

then send your results to us at ppsubmissio bauermedia.co with the subject heading Photoshop Genius. We look forward to seeing them soon.

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Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Nikon D800

Olympus OM-D E-M5

from

from

from

from

£349

£1,349

£689

£229

For even more cameras & a variety of lenses, visit www.parkcameras.com/used Want to sell or part exchange your gear in just 3 easy steps? Visit www.parkcameras.com/sell-or-part-exchange & receive a quote within 48 hours!

All prices include VAT @ 20%. All products are UK stock. E&OE. * = Please mention “Practical Photography” for this special price. For our opening times and directions to our BURGESS HILL and LONDON stores, please visit www.parkcameras.com/prp.

Prices correct at time of going to press; Prices subject to change; check website for latest prices.

Exclusive offers, competitions & more at


THE ULTIMATE WILDLIFE & ACTION CAMERA

PANASONIC LUMIX G9 “CAPTURE ALL THOSE UNMISSABLE MOMENTS”

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roviding photographers with the ultimate combination of high image quality, perfect portability and ultra high-speed shooting, the Lumix G9 is the perfect match for wildlife and action photographers. The new flagship model for stills photographers, the G9 features the best ever image quality from a Lumix G camera. At the heart of the G9 is a 20.3megapixel Digital Live MOS sensor, which, when combined with the latest Venus processing engine, delivers exceptional imagery with high detail, low noise and fantastic colours and brightness. Tricky conditions, such as the backlighting that occurs when photographing animals against a bright sky,

100 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

are handled with ease thanks to special AR coating on the sensor to reduce ghosting. A new High Resolution mode has also been added that provides incredible 80-megapixel equivalent images in both RAW and JPEG formats in-camera. Sharper images than ever before are guaranteed with an upgraded in-body image stabilisation system – Body IS. You can now shoot at shutter speeds up to 6.5 stops slower and still get crisp results – perfect when using the G9 handheld with long telephoto lenses to capture distant subjects.

Built for speed The Lumix G9 also boasts the fastest-in-class 20 framesper-second (continuous autofocus)/60 frames-persecond (single shot

autofocus) shooting speed in 20.3-megapixel full resolution to capture those unmissable moments. Complying with 6K/4K PHOTO, users can choose the most suitable burst shooting mode in addition to the regular continuous shooting mode depending on the situation.

The Lumix G9’s viewfinder is the largest in its class. The Live View Finder (LVF) offers a high magnification ratio of 0.83x (35mm equivalent) and, better yet, offers zero blackout even when shooting high speed bursts, allowing you to always keep track of your subjects.


Panasonic Lumix G9 A D V E R T I S I N G F E AT U R E

Above & left Wildlife pro Bence Máté was one of the first to use the Lumix G9 in the field and his images show the camera’s amazing level of detail and clarity.

KNOW YOUR SETTINGS The largest-in-class Status LCD shows exposure settings and makes shooting even easier.

“IT’S THE PERFECT CAMERA FOR SPORT & WILDLIFE”

NEVER MISS AN OPPORTUNITY The G9 boasts fastest-in-class 20fps (AFC)/60fps (AFS) burst modes in full resolution.

TECH SPEC

KEEP TRACK OF YOUR SUBJECT The new flagship Lumix features a 120fps Live View Finder (LVF) with 0.83x magnification.

STAY CLEAN & DRY With its dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof body, the Lumix G9 is ready for almost any type of weather.

Effective resolution: 20.3MP Sensor: 17.3x13mm Live MOS Processor: Venus Engine LCD: 3in 1040k-dot free-angle Viewfinder: 3680k-dot OLED Live View Finder (LVF) with 0.83x magnification ratio Shutter: Bulb, 60-1/8000sec Autofocus: 225-area contrast AF ISO: 200-25,600 (extends to 100) Shooting speed: 20fps (AFC)/60fps (AFS) Video: 4K & Full HD at 60fps Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Other features: Body IS, Dual IS, High Resolution mode, 6K/4K PHOTO, splashproof, dustproof, freezeproof (to -10ºC) Battery life: 400 shots Card: SD, SDHC, SDXC Size (WxHxD): 137x97x92mm Weight: 658g (with battery) Availability: January 2018

REVIEW IMAGES A high-resolution 3in 1040k-dot free-angle LCD allows you to review your images with incredible clarity.

Q Discover more at www.panasonic.com/uk

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 101


Know YourStuff All your technique and gear questions answered by our team of experts knowyourstuff@bauermedia.co.uk

PP’s contributing editor has a master’s degree in photography and has taught

undergraduates.

Dan Mold PP’s Photoshop editor is a former Digital Photo staffer who has encyclopedic photo knowledge.

I’ve recently started taking pictures of birds in flight with my DSLR and telephoto lens. The results aren’t quite what I’d hoped for, and I wonder if I’m using the best settings? Any advice appreciated. Elaine Jones, Wrexham

Tim says: In-flight bird photography is tough, so don’t get disheartened if your results aren’t perfect straight away. Not only is it difficult to get near to your subject, but they are extremely fast-moving, and are only in the perfect position for a split second. This can make the ratio between the time you invest and the number of hero shots you achieve depressingly low. But, when you do bag that brilliant image, it’s all the more rewarding. Let’s check out the best settings to use, so that when an opportunity presents itself you’ll have the best chance of getting a keeper.

1 Use a wide aperture

Louise Carey PP’s features editor is an experienced fine art and documentary photographer.

Always use your lens’ widest aperture setting. Not only will this give you the fastest possible shutter speeds, which is particularly important on darker winter days, but the shallow depth-of-fiel will blur the background and help your subject stand

102 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

out. Premium wildlife lenses tend to offer wider maximum apertures than budget options.

2 Watch your shutter speed It’s generally accepted that the minimum shutter speed you should be using if you want the wing tips to be sharp is 1/2000sec. This can mean pushing up the ISO, but don’t go beyond 3200 or noise will become noticeable. You might decide to work in shutterpriority mode to ensure your shutter speed remains constant.

3 Use 3D tracking In this focusing mode the camera will automatically shift focus points as the bird es around the frame, ovided the shutter utton is half-pressed. Incredibly, it will even intelligently forecast the position f the subject ghtly ahead of time move the problem of lag between pressing the shutter and the shot being taken.

DALE SUTTON

Tim Berry

What are the best settings for birds in flight?

4 Set a fast burst speed Use your camera’s fastest shooting speed (usually between 5fps and 10fp so that you can fire off a fast burst of images when a potential shot arises. When you’re shooting lots of consecutive shots, use a fast memory card – look for a write speed of at least 50MB/s.

5 Avoid tight framing Birds are so fast-moving that it’s easy to accidentally crop out wing tips. Leave extra space around the bird to reduce the chance of this happening. You can then crop the image later.


TIP INVEST IN A GIMBAL HEAD A gimbal head allows your camera to move freely on your tripod, making panning much easier. This is ideal for capturing birds in flight.

ANDREW HOWE

Expert tip Set up a winter feeding station

Above A simple feeding station will attract lots of birds and other wildlife over the winter, as other food is harder to find.

The winter is a great time of year for bird photography because they’re more likely to use feeding stations, which makes capturing them on camera much easier. Hang a feeder full of nuts and seeds, as well as a fat ball, from an overhanging tree branch, ensuring there’s plenty of space between the feeder and the background to ensure everything behind the bird is out of focus. Hang the feeder between chest and head height, so the bird is on the same level as your camera. Think about the position of the sun in relation to your shooting angle. You

might want to backlight the birds for soft, warm images, or front light them to exaggerate their vibrant colours. Also consider your position – if you’re shooting from your window, build your feeding station relatively close to the house so your lens can reach. As well as the feeders, add some tree branch perches nearby, preferably within 3ft of the feeders. These can be pushed into the ground. Birds often prefer to land on nearby objects before approaching a feeder, and branches are very natural looking.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 103


TIM BERRY

What are the downsides of using a polariser? Are there any major disadvantages to leaving a polariser on my camera? Christian Black, Grimsby Louise says: Polarisers are a great photographic tool, allowing you to capture more vibrant blues and greens, and reduce unwanted reflections. But you shouldn’t have them attached to your lens permanently. Adding any extra glass onto your lens, especially if it’s not particularly high quality, will reduce the sharpness of your shots, and is another surface to hold dust and smears. Polarisers also remove around 3 stops of light, which means they block out around 7/8ths of the available light from entering the lens. This could cause camera shake issues if you’re handholding. And finally, the polarised look doesn’t suit every scene, so assess whether, say, a deep blue sky would actually add to the look of your image before you attach your filter.

What’s the perfect lens for Iceland in winter? I’m going to Iceland just after Christmas and am terrified of going with the wrong kit. What lens would you say is a must-take? Bill Coleman, Warwickshire

Tim says: During the winter months, Iceland gets very few hours of daylight, so almost all of your shooting time will be either in golden hour or after dark. In fact, in the far north of the country, which butts up to the Arctic Circle, the sun doesn’t even rise above the horizon on the winter solstice (21 December), so there’s virtually no daylight at all to work with. As a result, you’ll probably mostly be shooting low-sun landscapes and astro images, so I’d take a lens that caters to those two genres. For me, the obvious choice is a wide-angle, and ideally one with a wide maximum aperture so you can get decent

star and Northern Lights images. This means a prime is probably the best option. The problem is that primes aren’t versatile like zooms, so you might be better off with something like a 24-70mm f/2.8, which still has a wide aperture, and is fairly wide-angle, but its zoom makes it more adaptable to different situations. For example, you might want to stop roadside to photograph Iceland’s wild ponies, for which a wide-angle wouldn’t really work. A third option is a 35mm prime (or 24mm on APS-C), which in my opinion is the most versatile focal length there is. It can comfortably be used for landscapes, full-body portraits and street photography, and it has a wide aperture so you can also use it at night to capture stars and the aurora. It’s also fairly lightweight, so is a good travel lens. See below for three possible lenses that would be ideal.

Three perfect lens options for winter travel

Sigma 20mm f/1.4 £699 For our money, this lens takes the top spot for sharpest prime lens, offering optical perfection and a very wide aperture of f/1.4. It’s currently the best DSLR lens for wide-field astro shots. As there’s no filter thread you’ll need an adapter for filters. sigma-imaging-uk.com

104 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Tamron 35mm f/1.8 £599 This ultra-sharp 35mm prime offers a wide aperture of f/1.8 as well as Vibration Control, so it’s ideal for all types of low light shooting. It has a 20cm min focusing distance for tight close-ups, and its versatile focal length can be used for portraits, landscapes, astro and street shooting. tamron.eu/uk

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 £1399 Offering a focal range ideal for landscapes and astro at the wide end, and portraits and close-ups zoomed in, this is a good all-rounder that many pros use as their go-to workhorse. It has an f/2.8 aperture, which is an advantage in low light, although this isn’t as wide as the two primes. sigma-imaging-uk.com


Know Your Stuff

How do I create lens flare in my images?

Is twice the focal length actually twice the reach? I just want to check before I buy – does a 600mm lens have twice the reach of a 300mm lens? Emma Jacob, Kent

I want to shoot some winter images with lots of lens flare. How do I achieve this? Camilla Jenner, France

Dan says: In short, yes – a lens with twice the focal length has a vertical and horizontal field-of-view exactly half as wide. In other words, if you fill the frame with a car at 100mm, then zoom in to 200mm, you’ll capture exactly half a car. However, the total frame area actually quarters when the focal length doubles. It’s important to note that millimetres are not uniform measures of magnification, and zooming in 5mm on a wide-angle lens will make much more impact on your shot than 5mm on a 600mm lens. Some people get confused with the terms 2x or 5x or 10x zoom, thinking that they represent a magnification of our own eyesight. In fact, they describe the difference between the widest and shortest focal length a lens offers. For example, a 10-20mm lens and a 300-600mm lens both have a 2x zoom. When looking at multiplication figures like this, you must always consider them in context with the lens’ widest focal length.

Above Knoll Light Factory has a huge array of different sun and flare effects to choose from.

as strong as you’d hoped, you can add some later – turn to page 76 for three stylish flare effects in Photoshop and Elements. Or add a fake sun or fake flare with dedicated software such as Knoll Light Factory (redgiant.com).

SUMIKO SCOTT

TIM BERRY

Louise says: At this time of year the sun takes a very low arc through the sky, which means it’s much more likely to appear in your shots than during the summer months. Sometimes this is considered a problem because it can throw up exposure issues and cause unwanted lens flare, but more often than not, the soft, golden light creates a dreamy, low-contrast feel that can inject your image with character. To achieve this effect, you’ll want the sun either in-frame or just out of frame, and you’ll need to adjust your camera’s position until you can see the flare through the viewfinder. Work just after sunrise or just before sunset for the best results. If the flare isn’t

Above A 20mm lens has half the angle-of-view of a 40mm lens.

What’s a depth-of-field preview button? Is the depth-of-field I see through my DSLR’s viewfinder really accurate? Nick Thorpe, Boston Dan says: On a DSLR, when you look through your viewfinder to compose a shot, the depth-of-field you

see isn’t necessarily what you’ll get in your final image. This is because the aperture size doesn’t change from its default position until the moment the shot is taken. However, the depth-of-field preview button is a very handy tool that allows you to see exactly what your shot

will look like before you take it. Not all cameras have this function, but on those that do the button is usually found on the front of the camera body at the side of the mount, opposite the lens release button. Simply press it while looking through the viewfinder.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 105


Know Your Stuff

SARAH JOHNSON

How can I get sharper interior shots? I took some photos recently inside an old manor house, but they’re all blurred. What can I do to get sharper shots? Brenda Statham, Buckinghamshire

Tim says: If you’re shooting inside a museum or stately home, chances are you won’t be allowed to use a tripod. This creates a problem because light levels are often very low, which can make it difficult to get handheld shots without blur. Job one is to check your

shutter speed. Anything slower than around 1/125sec and the odds of a sharp image start to fall, so your aim is to keep it faster than this. The two ways you can do this are to increase the ISO, and choose a wide aperture. On kit lenses, the widest aperture available when fully zoomed out is f/3.5. You should stick to this setting. Some other lenses might even offer you wider aperture settings such as f/2.8 or f/1.8. Put your ISO to 1600, and check your shutter speed again. If it’s still

Manfrotto Compact Advanced £24 Supporting up to 3kg and extending to a maximum height of 156cm, this five leg-section monopod is excellent value for money at £24. It folds down to 42cm for easy transport and storage, and only weighs 350g. The monopod is available in black or white, and it comes with a 3-year warranty. manfrotto.co.uk

106 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

slower then 1/125sec, take it to 3200, but don’t go beyond this or digital noise will become very noticeable. If your lens or camera has image stabilisation built-in, this will help, allowing you to get blur-free handheld shots as slow as 1/8sec. Next, check your stance is right. Keep your feet at shoulder-width, and your elbows pressed in to your body to keep your camera as still as possible. As you take a shot, breathe out slowly, and take several shots to increase your chance of a sharp result.

Slik Monopod 350 £25 Weighing just 300g and folding to 51cm, this very portable option can extend to 1.6m tall and can hold weights of 3kg – easily enough for smaller DSLR and wide-angle lens combos. It has an aluminium construction and four leg sections, which are locked by secure quick-release levers. slik.com

In some locations there may be a post or a door frame onto which you can rest your camera. If you can keep it perfectly still, you may be able to shoot with shutter speeds of several seconds, but always zoom in on the image afterwards on your LCD to check sharpness. Some locations allow you to use a monopod as these don’t take up so much space. They will enable you to shoot at significantly slower shutter speeds. Below we check out three lightweight options.

Vanguard VEO AM 204 £30 Folding down to 47cm and weighing in at 360g, this aluminium-alloy monopod is very portable and easy to store. It holds an impressive maximum load of 4kg and extends to 140cm. It has four leg sections, quick-release levers that are fully adjustable, and a comfortable rubber grip. vanguardworld.co.uk


Know Your Stuff

How do I capture movement at a fairground? I want to try some fairground images where the moving rides are blurred out. What settings do I need? Adrian Green, Derby

I’ve just invested in a new mirrorless camera and suddenly I can’t get my RAW files open. Any ideas? Gary Harfleet, Linton

TIP KEEP YOUR KIT SAFE

In a crowded area, it’s vital can also to keep a close eye on your tweak the kit. Leave your backpack shutter on your back as speed if you you shoot. want more or less blur. Compose your shot so that your main subject fills a significant part of the frame, ensuring there’s not too much black sky in shot. You can use any lens, including your standard 18-55mm kit lens. Focusing should be straightforward – the high contrast between the ride and the black sky will make things easy for the camera’s AF system. However, once focused, you may want to switch to manual so your camera doesn’t refocus every time you shoot. Use self-timer mode or a cable release so you’re not touching the camera as the exposure starts.

THOMAS WILL

Dan says: The winter months are perfect for fairground photography because it gets dark so early, meaning you’ll have lots of time to work. Fairs might be full of colourful lights, but overall light conditions are fairly low, so you’ll definitely need a tripod. Set up in a less busy area so no one accidentally knocks your camera, and switch to manual mode. Set an aperture of around f/11, an ISO of 100, and a shutter speed of 5sec. Try a test shot. The long exposure should have allowed any moving objects in the frame, such as ferris wheels or waltzers, to blur. If the image is too bright or too dark, try adjusting the aperture and ISO. You

files won’t open!

Louise says: Most serious editing software accepts all RAW files, so whether you use a Canon, Sony, Fuji or Panasonic, opening one shouldn’t be a problem. But RAW files aren’t just brand-specific, but model-specific, which means that the RAW on, say, a Panasonic GH5 is different to that of a GH4. And if your software is older than your camera, it may not have the required codec to read that type of image. This isn’t a problem with JPEGs and TIFFs, which are universal file types that virtually any software will open. If you own Adobe’s Creative Cloud, you shouldn’t have a problem opening any file (except for extremely new cameras), as the software is updated automatically to read newer files. If you don’t, and don’t wish to upgrade, simply use Adobe’s free DNG Converter to convert your files to a universal RAW with no loss of quality.

Do all fisheyes produce black corners? Can I shoot a fisheye image without getting the black corners? Sam Jenkins, Newcastle-under-Lyme

Above & left Circular fisheyes, like this Samyang 8mm, will always show black corners in the frame.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 107

HARRY BARTLETT

Dan says: It depends on the model of lens you buy and the camera you plan to use it on. Some fisheyes offer edge-toedge coverage on all camera bodies, some will only do this on APS-C bodies, and some always produce a circular image with black corners. The easiest way to check is to search for some example images on Google for that model. As a general rule, circular fisheyes (see

image right) have an 8mm focal length and offer a field-of-view of at least 180° in all directions – so if you pointed your camera directly upwards in a flat area, you’d be able to see the entire horizon. Edge-to-edge fisheyes are usually 15mm or 16mm, and have a less wide angle-ofview, but offer complete frame coverage. Typically, this will be 180° left to right, but only around 120° top to bottom. For skateboard or extreme sports images, the circular fisheye look is popular, but for all other genres, you’re usually better off sticking to an edge-to-edge lens.


Know Your Stuff

A camera I’m interesting in buying has a backlit sensor. What is this? Tony Simms, Brighton Louise says: Backlit sensors (also known as back-illuminated, BI or BSI sensors) differ to regular CMOS sensors in that their electronics and wiring sit behind the sensor rather than in front of it. This makes them more complicated and expensive to produce, but the absence of any obstructions to the light reaching the sensor’s surface makes them perform much better in low light. In recent years, Sony has been the pioneer of backlit sensor technology, and has even rolled them out to full-frame cameras such as the _7R II. The benefit of back-illuminated tech is more noticeable on smaller sensors, as the wiring blocks out proportionately more light than on larger sensors. For this reason, many smartphones, including the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy have adopted backlit Sony sensors.

JAKKREE THAMPITAKKULL

What is meant by a backlit sensor?

How do I add a vignette to my portrait images? I shoot portraits and love the vignette effect, but I’m not sure how to get it. Could you show me? Tina Emery, Bristol

Tim says: Vignettes are a naturallyoccurring effect usually seen on images taken at very wide apertures (see right). Some photographers consider them an optical imperfection and remove them at the editing stage with lens correction functions. Others, particularly portrait photographers, see vignettes as a sort of frame that forces the viewer’s eye towards the centre of the image, helping the subject stand out. If an image’s natural vignette isn’t particularly noticeable, many will add a stronger vignette later. Below we check out how to do this in Photoshop, Elements and Lightroom. It’s easy to overdo a vignette though, so keep it subtle.

Shot at f/8

Shot at f/1.4

Above At f/8, there’s little or no vignette, but at f/1.4 it really stands out.

Photoshop

Elements

Lightroom

Open your image in Photoshop, and go to Filter>Lens Correction. Click the Custom tab, and locate the two Vignette sliders on the right. Move the Amount slider to the left to increase your vignette, and tweak the Midpoint slider to adjust how far from the corners it spreads.

Open your file in Elements Editor, and in one of the Expert or Quick modes choose Filter>Correct Camera Distortion. Find the Vignette slider and move it to the left to darken your image corners. You can also adjust the Midpoint slider to suit the image.

Import your shots into Lightroom and press D on the keyboard to ensure you’re in the Develop module. Scroll down the settings tabs on the right until you reach Lens Corrections. Move the Vignette slider to the left to add a vignette, and adjust the Midpoint slider if desired.

108 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

JAN WLODARCZYK?

Three easy ways to add a vignette to your shots


Exclusive Offer

Get 20% off SRB filters! Save on polarisers and NDs and take your landscapes to the next level...

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RACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY has teamed up with SRB Photographic to bring you an exclusive festive offer – 20% off a range of superb filters and holders. As you’ll see on this issue’s Learn Photography Now show, these filters are essential for taking your landscapes to the next level and will allow you to get creative with long exposures on even the sunniest of days. SRB’s Elite

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Filter System is a new range designed for P Size square (85mm) and Elite filters and comprises neutral density filters of 6- and 10-stop strengths and polarising filters. Attach the Elite Filter Holder to your lens with the correct sized Elite Adaptor Ring (available in 49mm to 82mm threads), insert up to two P Size standard filters and a screw-in Elite filter and unleash your creativity. Choose from the products below…

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P size ND1000 Designed for the Pro Filter Holder only, the square ND1000 Filter reduces the amount of light entering the camera lens by approximately 10 stops and lets you create incredible images by using slow shutter speeds and wide apertures.

CLAIM YOUR DISCOUNT AT SRB-PHOTOGRAPHIC.CO.UK Select your filters and enter the code SRBELITE at the checkout page. The code is valid until 5 January 2018. PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 109


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112 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY


A SHOCK OF

COLOUR An accidental love affair with photography led Nathalie Gordon to Los Angeles and a hugely successful career in fashion and beauty.

Nathalie Gordon is a Los Angeles-based fashion and beauty photographer. She previously studied at Westminster University and clients include Vidal Sassoon and Nars. nathaliegordon.com

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 113


AVIGATING THE ZEALOUS competition of the fashion and beauty industry isn’t for everybody, but it would be hard to accuse Nathalie Gordon of resting on her laurels. With each fresh addition to her portfolio, her burgeoning star power grows brighter, threatening to eclipse her contemporaries. In a profession where perfection is the universal language, Nathalie’s images speak loud and clear. How did you become interested in photography?

It’s actually quite a funny story, because I opted for a general media production degree at university, as I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I just knew I wanted to work in the media. Our course was designed for us to try everything in the first year, and then specialise through the second and third years.

My first photography lecture was awful. I didn’t understand the relationship between f/stops and apertures, plus I’m scared of the dark, so developing film was a complete nightmare. Year two came along and I accidentally submitted my preferred lectures too late and got stuck with having to do an entire year of photography. I was so annoyed, because at that point I’d decided that I really wanted to shoot music videos. However, something magical happened in that second year. I absolutely fell in love with photography. We were given so much more creative freedom than the previous year’s course, and while I still didn’t quite understand what an f/stop was, I learned to shoot on about two different settings and made my way from there. I fell in love with developing and was no longer afraid of the darkroom – instead it became a place of peace and calm. From then on, watching photos appear from a blank piece of paper became therapeutic. How did you get started in the beauty industry?

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Well, I was actually a production manager for TV commercials at the time. I thought that if I was working for a production company, then I could somehow sidestep into shooting music videos. This didn’t quite work as I’d expected, but it did morph


Pro Showcase Nathalie Gordon

into editing music videos, which then led to music photography. This was amazing, as I was shooting the gigs and artists that I couldn’t afford tickets for. Unfortunately, I wasn’t making very much, so when the financial crash happened I went to help my mum with her hair salon. I would cover the reception and shoot her hairstyles for her. Word somehow got around, and suddenly make-up artists started to contact me for shoots. This then lead to a meeting with Holler, a subsidiary of the advertising agency Leo Burnett. They wanted me to do a shoot for Vidal Sassoon, which I have to admit took me aback. My experience as a production manager taught me that there were always several creatives in the running for every job, so it was hard to process that I was the only candidate. I was so excited to be shooting for Vidal Sassoon, which was only amplified when I turned up at the studio and my name was on the entrance. That definitely felt like my big break. What’s your favourite image you’ve taken?

It has to be my ‘Lava Lips’ image. I was testing and experimenting with different looks with make-up artist Jade Bird just after my 100mm macro lens had arrived. I love to shoot lips, so I was eager to play with the macro capabilities and see what I could create.

What’s it like working with big name brands, such as Nars and Vidal Sassoon?

I absolutely love working with big teams, as huge brands bring a whole new level of great ideas and art direction. I always have lots of different concepts, but I really enjoy bringing someone else’s vision to life. It can be tricky at times, especially when clients want you to deliver so many different things. They’re usually working to quick deadlines and tight budgets, so they try to squeeze as much out of you as possible. The whole process can be tiring and stressful, especially if I’m not able to choose my own team. Staying creative and working with demanding clients takes a lot from you, so being able to work with people I know makes things so much easier. It’s vital to keep everyone on the shoot happy, especially the models. If they’re not in the right head-space it can have a massive effect on everyone else. I don’t often have to do something this drastic, but I once had to send a model home mid-shoot because her attitude was so awful. However, this is definitely an anomaly, as the majority of the people I work with are always lovely.

Above Taken from Nathalie’s ‘Candy Crush’ series, which was exhibited by the advertising agency WCRS. Above left Nathalie and make-up artist Jade Bird got creative with colours and textures to create ‘Lava Lips’.

Have you ever had a ‘nightmare shoot’?

Yes! It was while I was shooting in the music industry, and I asked the magazine I regularly shot

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Above Nathalie’s bold portraiture style produces incredible shots like this. Above right Nathalie explores macro beauty in this colourful close-up. Far right Nathalie teamed up with celebrity hair stylist Marcia Hamilton for this shoot for Lucy’s magazine.

for to send me on some more interesting assignments than just concerts. The first one I got was to shoot for US rapper DMX. He was in London for a show and was having a press day, where various journalists and photographers were given time to shoot and speak with him. We all waited at least three hours for him to be ready. However, little did I know that I was the last on the list, so it was only six hours later that I finally got my chance to shoot with him. I had my lighting all set up and I was all ready to go when his manager told me I only had five frames. I thought he was joking, but then they literally counted to five and said, “Okay, that’s it, you’ve had your turn”. I couldn’t believe it. My heart sank, because each of those five photos were of DMX in the same position. I didn’t know what I was going to say to the magazine. It was the same feeling as when you get a detention and you have to explain to your parents why you’re in trouble. I didn’t know what to do, and for a long time afterwards I didn’t

“I CAN SPEND ANYTHING FROM A COUPLE OF HOURS TO HALF A DAY THINKING ABOUT LIGHTING...” 116 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

want to shoot another celebrity one-on-one. As I now live in LA, I’ve recently been prompted to have more celebrities in my portfolio, but I think I’ll always prefer to shoot models over celebs. Models know that they’re there to do a job, while actors and celebrities have lots of other agendas, so you’re not always a priority when trying to get your shot. How much preparation goes into your shoots?

I absolutely hate to feel pressure. Some people thrive on it, but not me. My level of preparation depends on the client and how much input they want from me. For any given shoot, I can spend anything from a couple of hours up to half a day thinking about my lighting setup and the focus. I’d say that at least 85% of any brief can change at the last minute, so you have to be prepared for anything. I have a whole folder dedicated to mood boards, and the downloads folder on my computer is filled with aspirational images, or simply shots from other photographers that I admire. Having these to hand is really useful. One of my first clients out here in LA had an idea of what they wanted to shoot, but I could sense that the art director wasn’t overly confident. I quickly whipped out one of my mood boards and they fell over themselves at the idea.


Pro Showcase Nathalie Gordon

What techniques do you use to draw attention to products in your commercial photography?

If I’m advertising a specific product, I’ll usually set up the lighting to capture a unique area. Alternatively, I may frame my images in a certain way, so that the focus point draws attention to the right place. However, it really does depend. A lot of clients simply want clean, beautiful images, so that they can add graphics and copy. What kit do you use and why?

For cameras, I mainly use Canon, or a Hasselblad with a Phase One digital back. I was a digital technician for a few years and Phase One certified, so it’s familiar. Having this certification is useful, especially for troubleshooting whenever equipment decides to stop working. I use the Canon system primarily because I couldn’t seem to work the menu on a Nikon. Plus, I have friends that use Canon, so in the early stages of my career it was great for swapping lenses and spare batteries. For lighting, I tend to use both Profoto and Broncolor. They have a wide range of units, lighting and modifiers, and I love their quality of light. I switch between the two depending on my mood and the shoot. I like them both, but, as with anything, they have their pros and cons.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 117


Above This ‘Big hair, don’t care’ series was one of Nathalie’s first shoots in LA. Top right Originally conceived as a shoot for Nestle Butterfinger, Nathalie eventually shot this for French magazine OOB. Bottom right The second campaign Nathalie shot for the launch of JSN’s summer collection.

If I need punchy shots, I’ll use Broncolor’s parabolic reflectors. I can get the same effect shooting with a bare bulb with Profoto, but the colours aren’t always consistent. It’s not immediately noticeable, but my inner demand for perfection with colours and sharpness just can’t let the small things slide. What’s your number one tip for portraiture?

Definitely just relax and be yourself. Get to know your subject. You don’t have to be BFFs, but just be aware that people feed off of other people’s personalities. I recently worked on a personal shoot and the model came in slightly stressed, as her agent was making her go to a casting in the middle of our session. I like to have fun when I’m working and try not to worry over the small things. Within 10 minutes we had music blaring and got through three good looks. The model went to her casting while the rest of us took a lunch break, and then she came back ready to get going again. While we were

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essentially strangers at the start of the day, we’d had so much fun by the end that we became really close. Learning to be myself was definitely hard, but I found that the more genuine I was, the more likely I was to build trust with my subjects. It’s important not to go overboard though, as not everyone is going to like you. The most important thing to do is to always remain professional. Make sure that you don’t try to be best friends with your subject if you know you wouldn’t be friends with them in real life, as they’ll know that you’re being disingenuous. What’s the most difficult part of working in the fashion and beauty industry?

Too many cooks in the kitchen. When clients bring their whole office to a shoot it starts to become difficult to do my job. Shooting beauty is very unique, and you have to get it just right, so your concentration levels are at an all-time high. When you’ve got someone looking over your shoulder going, “I don’t like that”, it becomes a problem. Especially when they can’t always tell what it is that they don’t like. The most frustrating line I’m given is, “I’ll know when I see it”. It’s hard to read what someone else is thinking, and as a creative you just want everyone to love what you produce. Luckily, I haven’t had to


Pro Showcase Nathalie Gordon work with that many egos, as I tend to nip them in the bud pretty quickly. I don’t like that kind of energy on my shoots, so I’ll always pull someone aside to ask what the problem is. I find that there’s usually some underlying issue that creates said egos. I hate being told what to do, and there are times when I really want to have my own way on a certain job. But I have to just give myself a quiet talking-to when this happens, because it’s important to remember that the client is always right, even when they’re wrong. How much editing do you tend to do?

I tether my shoots into Capture One and do my initial edits and adjustments there, before then sending the final selections off to a team of retouchers. A lot of people ask why I don’t do my own retouching and there are two simple reasons for that. The first is that I’d rather spend my days shooting. Secondly, I absolute hate it. I followed a bunch of tutorials when I was still an assistant and couldn’t afford to pay for retouching. I swear one image took me nearly three days to finish, and I still wasn’t happy with how it looked. Skin is tricky, and I spent a lot of time ensuring that the amount of retouching is just right. I like to retain as much of the natural skin texture as I can, while still making it look as perfect as possible. A few of my close friends have questioned why I retouch my shots, as they’re concerned about the level of retouching that happens in the industry as a whole. However, I try to relate it to why women wear make-up. They do it because they want to enhance their natural beauty. I never ask my retouchers to realign someone’s eyes to make them symmetrical, or to fix noses, ears, or anything. It’s all about enhancing the beauty that’s already present. If you could give one piece of advice to budding photographers, what would it be?

You shouldn’t always listen to what other people say about your images. If you enjoy what you’re shooting, then the rest falls into place. Right before I left London for LA, I went to see a very big photo agency. I wasn’t expecting to be signed, but at the time they were representing two of my favourite photographers, so I valued their critique. The agent was so rude to me, and asked me very personal questions, such as how was I making money, and why wasn’t I stealing clients from the photographers I was assisting. I tried to steer the conversation back to my portfolio and he simply said, “Based on this body of work I wouldn’t book you. The industry is too flaky, perhaps you should find something else to do”. I was initially mortified, but by the time I got home I was so fired up that I was adamant that I’d succeed to show that agent just what he was missing. When I was later transitioning from music to beauty, I saw another agent to get some general feedback and to find out what my strongest assets were. She told me that beauty wasn’t my thing and that I should stick to shooting music. However, I knew that I didn’t want to do that, so I didn’t. I carried on shooting tests at any spare moment I could, and now I’m in a great position. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, because if you really want to, you’ll make it happen.

Pro advice Nathalie’s top photo tips GET INSPIRED Pre-production is often just as important as the shoot itself. Get a mood board together in order to be able to visually express your ideas effectively. It’s so easy to get carried away creatively, and I always find that a mood board helps me to stay totally focused.

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BE PREPARED A good shoot producer will help you with all the pre-production admin, which is essential for not going over the budget. Clients hate to spend money they don’t need to, so it’s better to have over-prepared than under-prepared. That means I always bring back-up cameras and lighting, just in case something decides to fail on the shoot. I always make sure to plan for the worst-case scenario.

2

COMMUNICATE When working with teams it’s important to spend time ensuring you understand what the client wants. Once you know, then relay the information to your assistants. It’s also a good idea to know exactly how many looks you’re doing, so you can ask hair and make-up what order it makes sense to shoot in. This way you can maximise time, and perhaps even surprise the client with an extra look.

3

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF This sounds like an easy one, but it’s essential to eat! There are so many times when it gets to 5pm and I’ve not put a single item of food past my lips. There’s only so much adrenaline you can run on, so always make sure you have a snack with you.

4

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CAMERA K

HOW

PART THREE MANUAL

BILL MCMULLEN

In our Camera Know-how series, we cast an expert eye over the ins and outs of your DSLR’s or CSC’s key features, revealing precisely what they do and how you can make the most of them to boost your photographic skills. In this month’s issue, Ben Davis takes a detailed look at how taking full control of the exposure settings will give you the results you desire in any lighting conditions. To begin, simply switch your camera to manual...

KEY ADVANTAGE OF using DSLRs and CSCs instead of compact cameras is the ability to take charge of the shooting settings. Sometimes it might only be necessary to control one of the exposure variables, such as shutter speed or aperture, but on some occasions it’s essential to have the creative flexibility of manual to achieve the results you’re after.

A

What is manual mode? When you switch your camera’s mode dial to the M setting, you’re able to shoot in manual mode. This gives you full control of the three exposure variables – shutter speed, aperture and ISO. You’re then responsible for adjusting them so that they work together to create a balanced shot. It might sound a bit daunting, but shooting


Camera Know-how Manual LEARN THE LINGO TECH TERMS MADE EASY Don’t be baffled by technical jargon! We cut through some of the most common terms associated with manual mode. Q SHUTTER SPEED This setting essentially controls how long the sensor is exposed to the light for. It’s given either as a fraction of a second, such as 1/125sec, or in entire seconds for slower exposures. It also controls both how movement appears in the shot and how much light reaches the sensor. Q APERTURE AND F/NUMBERS The aperture is the opening in the lens, and the size is given as an f/number, such as f/8. You can open up and close down the aperture to let more or less light through, which controls the depth-of-field. Q ISO SENSITIVITY The ISO determines how sensitive your camera’s sensor is to the light. You can increase its sensitivity by dialling up the ISO value. However, the higher it is, the more noise will appear in your shots. QBALANCED EXPOSURE This is when the image is neither too bright (overexposed) or too dark (underexposed).

TIP USE AUTO ISO

QLIGHTMETER All cameras have a built-in lightmeter, which tells you when your settings will create a balanced exposure. You can see this information either on the top LCD, in the viewfinder, or on the rear info screen. If your shot is too dark, the marker will be on the negative side (on the left). If your photo is overexposed, then that marker will be on the positive side (on the right). For the best results, ensure the marker is in the middle.

The Auto ISO setting means you can focus on shutter speed and aperture, while the camera sets the sensitivity needed to capture a balanced exposure.

in manual mode is not only intuitive, it’s also incredibly rewarding. As there’s more to consider before pressing the shutter button, it may slow down your process slightly, but there are many fantastic benefits to shooting in this way.

Why is it useful? The best aspect of taking full control in manual is that it allows you so much more creativity than a point-and-shoot auto mode. You’re able to decide just how much of the scene is in focus. You can also control whether movement is razor-sharp or artistically blurred. Manual mode places you firmly in the driving seat, able to control all of the creative decisions in your photographs.

Another great benefit of mastering this setting is that you’ll always be prepared for any situation. Even if your light conditions are less than ideal, you’ll be capable of capturing a perfect exposure. Even if you usually use a semi-auto setting such as aperturepriority, having a full understanding of manual mode will set you up for success.

When should I use it? Manual mode works best whenever you want to take complete creative control of the three exposure variables. Shooting in this setting is also essential when working in trickier light conditions, such as a firework display, when using flash, or when shooting with ND filters.

Above Set your shooting mode to manual (M on the mode dial) to take full creative control of the three exposure variables.

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TIP USE THE HISTOGRAM

SETTINGS HOW TO TAKE CONTROL IN MANUAL MODE

1000 F .3 -2 1

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HEN SHOOTING IN manual mode, you decide what the most important exposure variable is for the type of image you’re about to create. Then you simply adjust the two other settings to accommodate your vision for the shot. If depth-of-field is the most powerful creative element, then you’ll choose the aperture setting first. Shutter speed and ISO are then set depending on your secondary priorities, such as rendering motion sharp or blurry, or maintaining image quality with a lower ISO. Ultimately, the settings will need to work together in order to create a balanced exposure.

W

ISO

L

The histogram is a graphical representation of all the tones in your shot. You can use it to ensure you have a balanced exposure.

1

1 2+

0

AWB

ONE SHOT 100

SHUTTER SPEED

APERTURE

ISO

This controls how long the sensor is exposed to the light. The slower the exposure, the more light hits the sensor and the brighter your shot will be.

This setting controls the size of the opening inside your lens. A wide aperture allows more light in, while a narrow aperture lets in less.

Adjusting the ISO determines how sensitive your camera is to light. The higher the ISO, the more sensitive to light your sensor is.

EXPOSURE TRIANGLE HOW THE SETTINGS WORK 1

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/5 .6 Le ns ( A op pe e rtu nin re g

Ap er tur f/8 e f f/1 1

f/1 6

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The aperture controls the depth-of-field. Low apertures produce lots of blur, while narrow apertures produce less.

IMAGE QUALITY

La rge (

A low ISO offers highquality photos, but higher sensitivities cause noise, which impacts on image quality.

Light sensitivity

f /3 2

( ISO ) 100

200

Low (less light)

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Faster shutter speeds freeze movement mid-action, while slower shutter speeds blur the motion.

ht) lig ore 1 (m 1/2 w /4 Slo 1/8 1 d 1/15 ee sp 1/30 er utt 1/60 e Sh 25 tim ) 1/1 re ed 0 su pe 25 1/ po er s Ex( Shutt

DEPTH-OF-FIELD

MOTION

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The exposure triangle is all about how much light gets recorded in an image. The slightest imbalance can result in either an underexposed or overexposed shot, so it’s vital that you understand these settings’ interdependent relationship with each other. If you alter one, then you’ll be letting in a different amount of light. In order to regain your balanced exposure, you simply need to re-adjust at least one of your other settings.

400

800

ISO

1600

3200

6400

High (morelight)


Camera Know-how Manual

THREE PROJECTS WITH MANUAL MODE Put your skills to the test with these three projects that rely on you taking manual control of the exposure settings for creative results. You don’t need any specialist equipment, although a tripod may come in handy at times.

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FREEZE FAST-MOVI ACTION

LOOP IMAGES LTD

When photographing sport or wildlif it’s essential you use a fast shutter speed to capture a sharp shot. However, it’s also important to control your depth-of-field as well. To freeze the action, set your shutter speed to 1/1000sec or faster, and then dial in an aperture of f/5.6. This will keep most fast-moving subjects sharp, while still blurring the background enough to focus attenti the action. Point your camera at the and take a look at the lightmeter. For exposure, the marker needs to rest squarely in the centre of the line. If the lightmeter is telling you the exposure is too bright, then simply reduce your ISO setting. If the exposure is too dark, then increase your ISO until the marker is in the middle. Then all you need to do is press the shutter and get your shot.

3

GET CREATIVE WITH SILHOUETTES

The easiest way to shoot a silhouette is by taking full control of the exposure. However, first you’ll need to find a subject set against a brighter background. The best way to do this is t shoot towards the sun at around sunset Set your ISO to 100, or the lowest possib setting, and then dial in a narrow aperture of f/18. Frame up your subject and then look at the lightmeter. You’ll want to purposefully take an underexposed photo, so the marker needs to be deep into the negative values. Take a test shot, and then adjust your shutter speed if you need to change the brightness.

2

CAPTURE THE ATMOSPHERE

For an evocative landscape, you’ll need a low ISO and a narrow aperture. Set your camera to f/16, which is widely known as the optimum f/number for amazing landscape photos. Reduce the ISO to 100, as this wi produce an image with the lowest amount of noise possible. Point your camera at the scene and take a look at the lightmeter. Then adjust your shutter speed so that the marker is in the middle for a balanced exposure. If your shutter speed goes below 1/60sec then you’ll need to use a tripod to eliminate any possibility of camera shake. Take a shot and check the results, then adjust your shutter speed if you need to alter the brightness of the exposure.

NEXT ISSUE LEARN HOW TO MASTER YOUR CAMERA’S FOCUSING MODES PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 123


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MY PHOTO PROJECT PERSONAL WORK FROM AMAZING TALENT

RK R E A L I T I ES Working in conjunction with the charity Street Child, Chris Parkes travelled around Sierra Leone and Nepal to create a frank portrait of the brutal facts of poverty.

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Factfile Photographer: Chris Parkes Full-time occupation: Charity photographer

Aim of project: To create a broad snapshot of Street Child’s projects

Editing: It took about two and a half months to edit the images here

Location: Across several locations in Sierra Leone and Nepal

Images taken: I shot between 2000-3000 images over the course of three visits

Shooting: In total I spent about one month shooting

Website: chrisparkes. photography

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 127


TRIKING THE DELICATE balance between documentation and exploitation is a moral quandary for any photographer who captures distressing situations. How do you perform the balancing act of raising awareness of a serious issue, while still maintaining the human dignity of those involved? For Street Child collaborator Chris Parkes, this question defines his powerful photography and is a vital part of the charitable process.

S

How did you get involved with Street Child?

The whole thing started when I happened to be having a coffee with a client, who’s a social influencer raising awareness of the Sierra Leone marathon. She insisted that I meet the charity Street Child, who work to protect vulnerable children across Sierra Leone, Nepal and Liberia. It was clear that this was the golden opportunity I’d been waiting for, as it meant that I could finally start doing the work that had inspired me to become a photographer myself. When I eventually met them I was so impressed that I pretty much just said, “I don’t care what it takes, I’m in”. I was really struck by how effective they were and how many people they’d helped. My first visit to Sierra Leone was a big shock to the system. I was raised in South Africa under apartheid, but that didn’t prepare me for how raw Sierra Leone is. The mercilessly humid heat, the rough roads, and the

128 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

stories of the people I met all created a completely unique experience. It was this that filled me with a strong sense of responsibility to do these people justice, and tell their story appropriately. What challenges did you face?

On more than one occasion we’d meet a community and they’d regard us with hostility and suspicion – ‘You come, take our photo and sell it, then nothing changes for us’. Unfortunately, this is a perfectly rational response, as there have been cases where people have been exploited in that way in the past. In other cases, that perception has been allowed to form because the conversation to contextualise the process hasn’t occurred first. So, what was often required was a very careful dialogue with two-way translation, which helped us to understand their point of view and let us explain the importance of capturing their portraits. We’d tell them that by photographing these communities we help ensure that Street Child’s projects receive fundraising. I’d often find that the image itself was the last thing that came into the equation after I’d spent hours establishing trust and understanding. On the more physical side, there were also the hours of travel on dangerous roads

Above Mohamad Bangura, the team captain of the Bumbali Amputee Football Association, shows off his incredible agility and strength. Above right The Yadav family lost everything to the 1993 Nepal floods. Things have only deteriorated since, but they face it with a matter-of-fact dignity.

“WE’D MEET A COMMUNITY AND THEY’D REGARD US WITH HOSTILITY AND SUSPICION...”


Personal Project Chris Parkes

with frequent breakdowns, the baking heat that forced every pore to push water out of my body to cool me down, sunburns, insect bites, hard beds, learning to balance over a squat toilet, and much, much more. Every day brought a new experience to integrate into my personal or professional life. How did you manage to convince reluctant subjects to let you take their picture?

Careful and respectful conversation was the key to these pictures. A good example is when I photographed the Bumbali Amputee Football Association. I’d seen them at what’s called an exhibition match, where they play for the international volunteers. I was stunned by their agility and speed, and wanted to meet them in person to learn more about their background. Although all communication leading up to the late afternoon in Makeni had been amicable, when we arrived, the team captain Mohamad was quite adamant that no photos were going to be taken unless I could offer something in return. On the inside I was panicking, but at the same time I respected and understood his point of view. So, as the light faded behind us and the team gathered around to hear what was going to be said, we managed to reach a solution. I was worried that we were going to lose the light, but it felt more important to respect them and their viewpoint first. The key component of portraiture is creating a safe space for the human being in front of the camera. In order to do this, you have

Creating a narrative For the last couple of years, I’ve been working on a completely different project named ‘The Envoy’. It’s a fictional narrative piece about a young prince who is forced to take the throne of a fading superpower. He tours the kingdom, only for his plane to crash into the wilderness. The project is my attempt to bring together all the things that

have interested me, such as Soviet iconography, aircraft, architecture, nature and cinematic storytelling. I’m working with a very small team and each of these shoots cost a bomb. However, working in these amazing locations is a real kick. It’s incredible that I’m basically making my own dreams come true.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 129


130 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY


Personal Project Chris Parkes

It’s really hard to say, as I got to know all of the people in the images, so I’d feel like I’m picking favourites. However, if I had to choose, I think it’s the shot of Mohamad rising up on one crutch to smash the football like a ninja. While he was initially against having his portrait taken, his passion and energy are clear to see.

the runners out of the sun for as long as possible. Once that heat hits, the race becomes very difficult indeed. Completing it is a genuine physical feat, and emotions run high at the finishing line. However, for me personally, I won’t forget being on the back of a motorbike, with no helmet, racing down a road with tropical jungle on either side. It was just before sunrise and the jungle was wreathed in mist. I had my camera backpack facing forwards, my 80-200mm balancing on top, and it was one of the happiest, most peaceful moments of my life.

Above Abu spends half his day in school, and the other half collecting metal from this enormous rubbish dump. Once sold, these scraps will help pay for his education.

Did this project improve your skills?

What was the most difficult part of the project?

In every way. From a technical aspect, I was taking strobes into remote areas in very strong sunlight, which can turn into a torrential downpour in minutes. In addition to that, the limited crew meant that I was working as an assistant, an interviewer, a diplomat and a photographer all at once. I learned to become more robust with time, as my limits were tested by the heat and fatigue.

Coming home. So often the people I met, while they weren’t defined by their troubles, were affected very badly by them. I heard stories of people losing their parents, homes, limbs and dignity. And yet they faced these situations with strength. I also found that many would extend kindness and generosity to guests even when they had nothing themselves. I then came back to a much more comfortable world that seemed almost obscenely abundant by comparison. At that point, it’s hard not to be angry, confused and depressed about the balance of wealth in the world. However, the photographs I’d taken help me remember the value I brought.

Left A field worker in Kembia, Sierra Leone, where the seed banks provide relief from crippling borrowing rates on seeds for farms.

to respect boundaries, be patient and empathetic, so that they get there on their own terms. What was your favourite image from the project?

What kit did you use?

I used my Profoto B1’s, as their power, speed and portability are invaluable in the widely varying light conditions I encountered. I also used Profoto’s collapsible beauty dish, as it’s the least likely to be caught up in any sudden gusts of wind. What was the best part of the project?

The Sierra Leone marathon day is a huge deal locally. It starts very early in the morning to keep

“I CAME BACK TO A WORLD THAT SEEMED OBSCENELY ABUNDANT BY COMPARISON...” PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 131


Personal Project Chris Parkes I can’t change the world on my own – I can only facilitate change with the skills that I have. What was the purpose of this project?

The purpose was very much to depict these people in a powerful light. I wanted to help those at home understand them and their humanity through my photos. I made the conscious decision to steer clear of imposing particular ideas and setups on any of the people in the shots. The only exception is perhaps the Bumbali amputee footballers. Their individual stories are stunning to a westerner, but I wanted to instead focus on how fast and agile they were, and I had specific ideas in mind as to how to communicate that. In all my other photos, I chose the backgrounds and the compositions, then I let each subject choose how they wanted to present themselves to the camera. How can readers help the people in your images?

By fundraising. I met a community in a remote part of Sierra Leone that had been there for 250 years. For the past 20 years, the government had made repeated promises to get them access to clean drinking water. Meanwhile, this village was making ten 1/4-mile trips every day. Everyone was drinking from the local river, which meant that cholera was rife. Street Child built a borehole in three months. The difference to that village’s daily lives was huge, and you could be a part of that impact. You could help the Musahar in Nepal, who are appallingly marginalised, or help change the gender gap by helping teenage girls stay in school. The possibilities are immense, so get involved. Run 5k, 10k, or a half marathon, or trade photography for donations. It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as a community feels the benefit. What’s next for you and this project?

I’d like to start adding in larger tableaus to help people understand the massive scale of these problems. However, I want to ensure that I maintain my approach of keeping a strong focus on people, which I consider to be the central lynchpin of my work. The power comes in the details of individual stories, but often one story is all of their stories, and the problem needs to be resolved. The scale, reach and urgency becomes easier to grasp if you can see that. Why should readers start a personal project?

Support the cause Chris Parkes’ photography project was in support of the UK charity Street Child. Its latest Right to Learn appeal aims to raise £1 million to help more than 10,000 children in West Africa attend school and receive an

132 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

education. From 16 November to 15 February the UK government will double all donations to the Right to Learn appeal. Q To support the appeal, please visit street-child.co.uk

Well, this article wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t started this journey. The response I had to these images was markedly different to anything I’d done before. The feedback went from “Great job” to “Oh my God” and a stunned silence. I realised that people were getting it, and they were connecting with the individuals in the images. I met all these extraordinary people, and my photographs were my way of telling my audience what they were like. I valued this opportunity beyond anything else I’d ever done before. This is why you should undertake a personal project. It helps you to find out who you really want to be as a photographer, which will help you create work that really connects with people.


Above Emma’s status as a teen mother makes staying in school difficult. Far left Education for Muslim girls can be forbidden by local decree. Left Street kids are a vulnerable group Street Child protects.

Pro advice Chris’ 4 steps to better personal projects ALWAYS PREPARE Do your research and talk to the client, or anyone who’s going to be connected with the images, as this will help you all be on the same page. Draw up your timetable, then share it so that everyone’s aware of what’s happening. Things will go wrong, but it’s so much easier to deal with that if you’ve prepared a structure.

1

2

TRY TO CONNECT Photography is both technical and

creative, but I’d say that 80% of being effective in this industry is being able to connect with people. This is why I’ve been successful. You have to use empathy, diplomacy, direction and experience to win people over and get the best out of them. The photographs serve a purpose, but they shouldn’t be secondary to how people feel.

3

FIND A BALANCE Don’t let work take over your life. The

most valuable resource you have is time, and photography consumes this by the bucketload. Your personal life informs your professional life, and it’s important that they’re both healthy. FIND A FOCUS Being really focused on one thing is much more likely to reap results and a satisfying career than being someone who can do a little bit of everything. Just remember that the first

4

GET INVOLVED We want to see your best photo projects! If you have a unique body of work you’d like to share with the world, then drop us a line at practical.photography@ bauermedia.co.uk

person your job serves is you, so ensure that you love your work.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 133


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GX800 + 12-32mm £379 GX8 + 12-60mm £749 £649 Inc. £100 Cashback* GX80 + 12-32mm £499 £449 Inc. £50 Cashback* For Panasonic G7 + 14-42mm £499 accessories * £449 Inc. £50 Cashback visit wex.co.uk G7 + 12-60mm £549 £499 Inc. £50 Cashback* *Panasonic Cashback ends 30.01.18


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Practical Photography magazine is published 13 times a year by Bauer Consumer Media Ltd, registered address Media House, Peterborough Business Park, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6EA. Registered number 01176085. No part of the magazine may be reproduced in any form in whole or in part, without the prior permission of Bauer. All material published remains the copyright of Bauer and we reserve the right to copy or edit any material submitted to the magazine without further consent. The submission of material (manuscripts or images etc) to Bauer Media, whether unsolicited or requested, is taken as permission to publish that material in the magazine, on the associated website, any apps or social media pages affiliated to the magazine, and any editions of the magazine published by our licensees elsewhere in the world. By submitting any material to us you are confirming that the material is your own original work or that you have permission from the copyright owner to use the material and authorise Bauer to use it as described in this paragraph. You also promise that you have permission from anyone featured or referred to in the submitted material to it being used by Bauer. If Bauer receives a claim from a copyright owner or a person featured in any material you have sent us, we will inform that person that you have granted us permission to use the relevant material and you will be responsible for paying any amounts due to the copyright owner or featured person and/or for reimbursing Bauer for any losses it has suffered as a result. Please note, we accept no responsibility for unsolicited material which is lost or damaged in the post and we do not promise that we will be able to return any material to you. Finally, whilst we try to ensure accuracy of your material when we publish it, we cannot promise to do so. We do not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage, however caused, resulting from use of the material as described in this paragraph. COMPLAINTS: Bauer Consumer Media Limited is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (www.ipso.co.uk) and endeavours to respond to and resolve your concerns quickly. Our Editorial Complaints Policy (including full details of how to contact us about editorial complaints and IPSO’s contact details) can be found at www.bauermediacomplaints.co.uk Our email address for editorial complaints covered by the Editorial Complaints Policy is complaints@bauermedia.co.uk.

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GREAT GIFT IDEAS THAT PHOTOGRAPHERS WILL LOVE!

CHRISTMAS PH GIFT GUIDE Looking to get the perfect photographic present this Christmas? Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve tons of inspiration for every budget.

PRACTICALPHO


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IDEA PERFECT STOCKING FILLERS

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Whether it’s keeping your lens clean, or figuring out the perfect hyperfocal distance, these affordable accessories will prove indispensible.

GIFTS UNDER £25 1 MANFROTTO XUME The magnetic filter rings and holders in this useful set allow you to simply snap your chosen ND or polarising filter on and off the front of your lens in an instant. Gone are the days of fiddling with a mis-threaded ND filter in the freezing cold. Q FROM £10 Q MANFROTTO.CO.UK

140 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

2 SAMSUNG PRO PLUS MICROSD 32GB

3 PHOTOPILLS

4 DIGITAL CAMERA SCHOOL BOOK

We can’t speak highly enough of this MicroSD card. Read and write speeds of up to 95MB/s mean it will stand up to most challenges, and 32GB of storage is ample for capturing lots of stills or video footage from a drone or action cam.

This handy app is a go-to for so many of our questions when we’re out in the field. With everything from golden hour times and a hyperfocal distance calculator, to information on the night sky, this is every photographer's dream outdoor companion.

Just like the cuddly toy in The Generation Game, no PP Christmas gift guide would be complete without our very own in-depth Digital Camera School book. Turn to page 125 to get a 40% discount code from Carlton Books.

Q £15 Q SAMSUNG.COM

Q £10 Q APP STORE/GOOGLE PLAY

Q £12 Q BIT.LY/DIGITALCAMERASCHOOL


Festive Gift Guide

SHOULDERPOD G1

AMAZON BASICS UV FILTER

LENSPEN ELITE CLEANING TOOL

If you can’t get enough of Facebook Live and filming your behind-the-scenes shots on a smartphone, then you’ll love the ShoulderPod G1. This simple clamp holds your phone in place while also screwing into a standard tripod thread.

That’s right, the retail giant has started dipping its toes into the world of photographic accessories with its Basic range. It’s definitely no frills, but if you’re looking for an inexpensive UV filter to keep your lens safe, this one’s great value.

Keeping your lens clean in the field is an important part of a photographer’s workflow. This Lenspen features a retractable brush on one end, and a special non-liquid cleaning element on the other. Perfect for those dusty days.

Q £24 Q SHOULDERPOD.COM

Q FROM £6 QAMAZON.CO.UK

Q £10 Q LENSPEN.COM

PNY CURVE 10400 POWERBANK With so many cameras now linking to smartphones via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, it’s important to keep topped up. This 10,400MaH external powerbank offers five full charges and works with two devices simultaneously, even charging many mirrorless cameras. Q £24.99 Q PNY.EU

WHITEWALL A4 PHOTO CALENDAR

SRB 4-POINT STAR FILTER

SPIRIT LEVEL CUBE

Ever wondered how to get a starburst effect on every light in your scene? Just use a star filter. This 4-pointer from SRB will turn even the most boring streetlight into a burst of colour and intrigue, creating four well-defined points.

Photoshop may have rectified a million wonky horizons, but as the old adage goes, it’s always better when it’s right in-camera. Thanks to this little spirit level, you can keep an eye on your horizontals and nail the perfect skyline.

Q £19 Q SRB-PHOTOGRAPHIC.CO.UK

Q £8 Q EBAY.CO.UK

INSTAX FILM

M42 ADAPTER

Whitewall can do some amazing things with your images, but nothing is quite as fun as this photo calendar. Available in a variety of sizes, this is the perfect gift when you’re trying to make a thoughtful statement to a loved one.

With the renaissance of the instant camera in full swing, now is a great time to grab a few packs of film and capture the spirit of the moment. If you’ve not heard of the renaissance we’re referring to, keep an eye out on the following pages...

Yes, it sounds like a tank, but it’s actually a small adapter that sits on the front of your camera and allows you to attach old screw-thread lenses. With some older lenses still renowned for their sharpness, it’s time to unearth any redundant optics.

Q £20 QUK/WHITEWALL.COM

Q £14.99 Q FUJIFILM.EU/UK

Q FROM £5 Q EBAY.CO.UK

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 141


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GIFTS UNDER £50 1 SRB CIRCULAR ND1000

2 AFFINITY PHOTO

3 SANDISK EXTREME PRO 64GB

SRB filters offer remarkable value for money, which makes them an ideal first stop on your way to becoming a longexposure master. This screw-on filter blocks out 10 stops of light, giving you fantastically slow shutter speeds.

We’ve praised it before, and with good reason, as this fully-featured editing app rivals Photoshop for a fraction of the price. Whether it’s RAW conversions, basic adjustments or more advanced techniques, Affinity Photo manages it with ease.

The Sandisk Extreme Pro’s whopping 64GB of data allows even heavy users to shoot all day long. Meanwhile, the lightning-fast 95MB/s transfer speed ensures that buffering never distracts you from your shoot.

Q FROM £25 Q SRB-PHOTOGRAPHIC.CO.UK

Q £47 Q AFFINITY.SERIF.COM/EN-GB/PHOTO

Q £36.99 Q SANDISK.CO.UK

4 CYBERLINK PHOTODIRECTOR9

5 MANFROTTO PIXI EVO

6 LASTOLITE EZYBOUNCE FLASHGUN BOUNCE CARD

PhotoDirector9 is the latest incarnation of Cyberlink’s popular editing suites. With a library function, RAW conversion and a brilliant 360 photo editor, this software demystifies even the most complex edits for all levels of ability.

This miniature table-top tripod is the perfect photo companion. With a payload of 2.5kg, this handy little device will easily support an entry-level DSLR or mirrorless camera to offer stability when there isn’t space for a full tripod.

The EzyBounce reflects light from the main flash to give an even illumination and a more flattering light. Plus, thanks to folding panels, it can be configured to suit your needs. This device fits all flashguns.

Q £49.99 Q CYBERLINK.COM

Q £49.95 Q MANFROTTO.CO.UK

Q FROM £25 Q MANFROTTO.CO.UK

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Festive Gift Guide 8

IDEA BEST ADDED EXTRAS Ready to discover some of the most useful kit we've seen? From mini tripods to amazing software, you'll wonder how you ever went without.

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7 SANYO ENELOOP CHARGER AND 4 AA BATTERIES

8 JOBY GORILLAPOD SLR ZOOM

9 LANDSCAPEPRO

Eco-friendly Eneloop rechargeable batteries (wall charger included) are ideal for powering flashguns or peripherals. These long-lasting batteries hold 70% of their charge for up to 10 years.

This octopus-like tripod boasts three articulated legs that can wrap around trees and fences, offering unusual compositions. With a maximum height of 25cm and a payload of 3kg, this tripod knows how to stand out from the crowd.

The latest LandscapePro release is full of the same great features that made the first one so popular. With an intuitive interface, a full roster of epic skies and dynamic lighting effects, this software will please every avid landscape shooter.

Q £29.44 Q MAIN.PANASONIC-ENELOOP.EU

Q £31.99 Q JOBY.COM

Q £29.95 Q LANDSCAPEPRO.PICS

10 CEWE LARGE LANDSCAPE PHOTOBOOK

11 A YEAR’S SUBSCRIPTION TO PP

12 LASTOLITE 50CM REFLECTOR

Nothing says ‘thoughtful present’ like a photobook of intimate memories, and that’s what Cewe does best. With a wealth of luxurious options, this software will craft the perfect gift for your loved ones.

If you enjoy reading Practical Photography every month, but don’t like braving the cold to get to the newsstand, this is ideal for you. Enjoy informative features, Photoshop tutorials, live-action videos, gear reviews, and more.

A must-have for any photographer dealing with close-up work. This half-metre reflector comes in a range of colours, including silver, gold, black and white. Best of all, it folds into a handy carry case for maximum portability.

Q £28.99 Q CEWE-PHOTOWORLD.COM

Q FROM £31 Q GREATMAGAZINES.CO.UK/PP

Q £26.95 Q MANFROTTO.CO.UK

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GIFTS UNDER £100 1 FUJIFILM INSTAX MINI 9

2 NOVO EXPLORA MP20 CARBON FIBRE MONOPOD

3 KAISER R60 RING LIGHT

Step aboard the insta-train with this living proof that we’re still in the halcyon days of instant photography. This little camera comes with a fixed 60mm lens, built-in flash and an all-important selfie mirror. Capture spontaneous scenes with this pocket-sized delight.

This eight-layer carbon fibre monopod is perfect for those who want extra stability without carrying around a full tripod. It can support a maximum weight of 20kg, extends to 182cm and folds down to 56cm, making it hugely versatile.

Featuring a continuous circular design and housing 60 white light LEDs with a daylight colour temperature, this ringflash is capable of emitting 2300 lux at 30cm. The adapter rings mean you can use it with a variety of lenses, while the dimmer function lets you save on the AA batteries.

Q £69.99 Q FUJIFILM.COM

Q £79.90 Q NOVO-PHOTO.COM

Q £76 Q KAISER-FOTOTECHNIK.DE

4 ADOBE PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS 2018

5 HÄHNEL CAPTUR TIMER KIT

6 HÄHNEL EXTREME HLX-EL15HP

This entry-level software is the perfect intro to the world of photo enhancing. It has all the great features you’d expect from Adobe, including the new Auto Curate mode and extra Guided Effects.

Hähnel’s advanced remote shutter release is a fantastic buy for any photographer. The 100mm range allows you to trigger the time-lapse interval shooting mode, as well as traditional single, continuous or bulb modes.

A dead battery at the wrong moment is every photographer’s fear. Luckily, Hähnel has created a range of extreme batteries, offering 2000mAh and more than 500 charge/discharge cycles. Perfect for pros and amateurs alike.

Q £85 Q ADOBE.COM/UK

Q £80 Q HAHNEL.IE

Q £60 Q HAHNEL.IE

144 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY


LASTOLITE EPHOTOMAKER SMALL WITH EZYBALANCE CARD Each Christmas, just like clockwork, you’ll inevitably end up with that one present that’s clearly destined for eBay. What better way to make it stand out from the crowd than by shooting it in this Lastolite light tent, which creates a perfectly clean, white backdrop. It even includes the EzyBalance grey card, ensuring that you’ll attain the correct colour consistency every time.

IDEA ESSENTIAL EVERYDAY GEAR If that special someone in your life is a photographer, then make their Christmas day with one of these top products under £100.

Q £68 95 Q MANFROTTO CO UK

TENBA DNA 10

NATGEO AUSTRALIA MESSENGER SMALL

The well-deserved recipient of a PP Highly Rated award, this messenger bag caters for mirrorless or medium-sized DSLRs, with room for up to five or three lenses respectively. There’s even space to store your tablet, and a Quick Access zip so you can get to your gear in an instant.

National Geographic is an iconic brand, and now it has a range of stunning licensed messenger bags to match. This product will accommodate a CSC and two lenses, while also offering the Manfrotto Protection System shock absorption, customisable dividers and space for a 10in tablet.

Q £89 Q TENBA.COM

Q £92.90 Q MANFROTTO.CO.UK

BLACK RAPID CURVE BREATHE

ROGUE FLASHBENDER 2XL PRO LIGHTING SYSTEM This XL kit slides over most flashguns and bends to the shape of your choosing. Turn it into a mobile stripbox by simply attaching the diffuser panel and a grid, then fold it into the pouch when finished for easy portability. Q £90 Q ROGUEFLASH.COM

Black Rapid’s Curve Breathe is ideal for those fast-paced situations when you need instant access to your camera, as the cross-body strap allows you to grab your kit in a flash for instant shooting. The large shoulder pad is comfortable, and a stabilising strap prevents the camera from twisting around. Q £75 Q BLACKRAPID.COM

LEE FILTERS BIG STOPPER Lee Filters is home to the incomparable Big Stopper. A 10-stop square filter with virtually no colour cast, this is a musthave for any long exposure photographer. With its premium design and special coating, it’s the perfect filter for scenic shooters. Q £100 Q LEEFILTERS.COM

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EA ATIVE ME CHANGERS From editing software to tripods, and instant cameras to rugged bags. Once you try these incredible products, you’ll never look back.

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GIFTS UNDER £250 1 ONE YEAR OF ADOBE PS & LR

2 DATACOLOR SPYDER5ELITE

3 PALETTE GEAR STARTER KIT

Many people end up paying monthly for the latest Photoshop and Lightroom CC package. However, why not save a few pennies by signing up for an entire year instead. This will give you unlimited access to the industry-leading tech you need to edit your images to perfection.

Colour calibration is one of the most important, though underrated, parts of a photographer’s workflow. The intuitive Spyder5Elite kit ensures accuracy when you send your images out to the web or printer, which is key to creating consistently great results.

Palette Gear wowed us when it released its unique plug-and-play editing periphery. Simply connect your brain unit into a USB port and then attach any of the dials, buttons or sliders. This will let you complete a variety of key tasks through the range of Adobe’s editing apps.

Q £120 Q ADOBE.COM

Q £198 Q DATACOLOR.COM

Q £220 Q PALETTEGEAR.COM

4 WACOM INTUOS PRO

5 NIXPLAY SEED W10A

6 EPSON PERFECTION V600

With six customisable ExpressKeys, a Touch Ring, 2048 levels of pen sensitivity and touch controls, this editing tablet allows an unprecedented level of precision. Practice makes perfect with this piece of tech, but once you get the hang of it you’ll never use a mouse again.

Amazing photos deserve to be seen. This 10in digital photo frame shows your best shots on a loop, connecting to the Cloud and displaying images straight from social media, Dropbox or Flickr. We especially love the motion sensor technology and the handy remote control.

This flatbed scanner from Epson is designed for scanning both prints and negatives. It comes with trays for 35mm and 120mm film, and scans at 6400dpi, handling anything up to A4. There’s never been a better time to update your archives and bring them into the digital age.

Q £184 Q WACOM.COM

Q £150 Q NIXPLAY.COM

Q £200 Q EPSON.CO.UK

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Festive Gift Guide LENSBABY TWIST 60

What better way to capture the cosy intimacy and festive joy of Christmas than with a Polaroid camera. Evoking the nostalgic feel of the 1977 original OneStep, this updated version takes the new iType film and runs on a rechargeable battery. This means you can capture all those candid Christmas moments in style.

This Lensbaby is perfect when you want to add an instant injection of creative flare. Based on a classic Joseph Petzval design, the fixed f/2.5 aperture adds a fun twisting, swirling blur effect to your bokeh. Create incredibly ethereal and artistic photographs with this unique metal-bodied, non-tilting lens.

Q £109 Q POLAROIDORIGINALS.COM

Q £249 Q LENSBABY.COM

POLAROID ONESTEP 2

SAMSUNG T3 500GB SSD

HÄHNEL MODUS 600RT

GILLIS LONDON SHOULDER BAG

The Samsung T3 features a phenomenal maximum 450MB/s of read and write speeds, four times faster than traditional external hard drives. Thanks to the USB 3.1 Type-C connection port, you can also sync data straight to your Android device.

This powerful flash from Hähnel offers a GN of 58 and an amazing 550 full power flashes from a single charge of its lithium-ion battery. It also features TTL, which means it works out the correct amount of light based on your settings.

This ethically sourced leather bag is the pinnacle of style and can make any photographer the envy of their peers. Its ingenious padded camera tray design fits a mirrorless camera and lens, up to three additional lenses and accessories.

Q £199 Q SAMSUNG.COM

Q £230 Q HAHNEL.IE

Q £200 Q GILLISLONDON.COM

1 VANGUARD ALTA PRO 2+ 263AB This excellent tripod comes with a unique twist. The central column can be taken out and angled to give you a variety of unique perspectives. It comes with a ball head, 7kg weight capacity and a whopping maximum working height of 173cm, all while weighing in at less than 2.3kg.

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Q £199 Q VANGUARDWORLD.CO.UK

2 EVOC CP 18L Taking the top spot in our recent bags group test, the Evoc has an excellent padding system, a quick access side camera compartment and an obscene number of pockets. Perfect for the adventurous photographer, this bag also has avalanche survival instructions, plus an ice axe and tripod holding system. Q £210 Q EVOCSPORTS.COM

3 MANFROTTO BEFREE ADVANCED If you love landscape photography, but hate lugging heavy kit, Manfrotto’s latest travel tripod could be for you. It features a choice of twist or level lock mechanisms, and a new 494 ball head as standard. It folds down to a very compact 40cm, and also supports up to 8kg at a maximum height of 151cm. Q £174 Q MANFROTTO.CO.UK

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GIFTS UNDER £500 1 ICE LIGHT 2 Essentially your own personal lightsaber, Ice Light 2 features a continuous daylightbalanced 1730 lumens, with a maximum lux output of 522 at 1m. In short, it’s exactly what you need to get creative lighting now the winter nights have drawn in. Q £499 Q THEICELIGHT.COM

4 CANON 1300D + 18-55MM IS II Offering 18MP stills and Full HD video makes the 1300D a great pick for aspiring photographers. The maximum ISO of 6400 lets you work in darker conditions, and Canon’s vast range of superb lenses means this system won’t hold your creativity back. Q £359 Q CANON.CO.UK

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2 HONEY BADGER No, not the vicious Mellivora capensis. This Honey Badger is a compact 320Ws flash from Interfit. It benefits from a portable size and weight, offers 7 stops of power and fits existing S-fit lighting modifiers. A great introduction to studio lighting. Q £260 Q INTERFITPHOTOGRAPHIC.COM

5 FIRECREST ULTRA ELIA LOCARDI KIT

3 NITROTECH N8 HEAD This fluid head uses a nitrogen piston to operate a continuous counterbalance system. Designed to operate heavy equipment with ease, fluid pan-and-tilt motions make it ideal for those serious about wildlife or fast action photography. Q £450 Q MANFROTTO.CO.UK

6 GOPRO HERO5 BLACK

This Firecrest Ultra ND kit comprises a 100mm filter holder, 4-stop and 10-stop ND filters and a 0.9-stop soft grad. In short, everything you need to craft some amazing long-exposure photos.

The GoPro Hero5 Black is the quintessential action camera. Capable of capturing 4K video and 12MP stills, it also boasts a 2in rear screen and responds to voice commands. It’s the perfect present for the adrenaline junkie in your life.

Q £453 Q FORMATT-HITECH.COM

Q £369 Q GOPRO.COM


Festive Gift Guide

IDEA MUST-HAVE CREATIVE KIT 9

Whether it’s 360° photos or video, or epic long exposures, make use of these must-haves to bring your creative visions to life.

8

12

11 10

7 KODAK PIXPRO 4KVR360

8 PANASONIC LUMIX TZ90

Kodak’s compact 4KVR360 uses two 20MP CMOS sensors to create almost seamless 360° video or stills. It also comes with its own remote and tripod, which is a nice bonus. There’s never been a better time to join the future.

Packing a 1.2/3in sensor, Panasonic’s TZ90 offers up 20.3MP stills, 4K video and photo modes and a 180° tilting mirror. It also manages to encompass a 30x optical zoom, making it the perfect companion for your 2018 travels.

Q £419 Q KODAKPIXPRO.COM

Q £379 Q PANASONIC.COM

10 NIKON 10-20MM F/4.5-5.6G VR This lens is a belter for Nikon APS-C cameras. It boasts a 10-20mm (15-30mm 35mm equivalent) focal lengths, very sharp optics and Nikon’s brilliant VR image stabilisation. We’d love nothing more than to wake up to one of these on Christmas morning. Q £339 Q NIKON.CO.UK

11 MANFROTTO 190 CF

9 NIKON D3400 + 18-55MM The entry-level D3400’s 24.2MP, 5fps shooting speed and 1080p video offers a really solid base for both new and enthusiast shooters. It also has a large collection of Nikon glass to call upon, so is the ideal camera kit to grow with your ability. Q £429 Q NIKON.CO.UK

12 EPSON SURECOLOR SC-P400

This four-section travel tripod is a hiker’s dream, coming in at a light 1.7kg, collapsing to just 53cm when closed, and able to support up to 7kg. The central column even tilts to 90° for those must-have portrait shots at slower shutter speeds.

This Wi-Fi enabled A3+ photo printer uses Ultrachrome Hi-Gloss2 technology and a printing resolution of 5760x1440dpi to create its ultra-high quality prints. The perfect gift to showcase all the shots you’ve taken this Christmas.

Q £319 Q MANFROTTO.CO.UK

Q £454 Q EPSON.CO.UK

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 149


IDE TOP P TECH Want to take your photography to the next level? These products will raise your game and produce results to be proud of.

12MP stills. You can control it from your smartphone, or invest a bit more and use the optional controller to access the faster, more responsive Sport mode. It’ll also respond to hand gestures, so it’s as close as you’ll get to being a Jedi this Christmas. Just keep it away from the tree... Q £519 Q DJI.COM

GIFTS UNDER £1000 SIGMA 100-400MM DG HSM | C After all those mince pies, walking may be the last thing on your mind. Luckily, this Sigma superzoom means never having to leave your seat to get the shot again. The in-built optical stabiliser means you can take photos at 400mm handheld, even in low light conditions. The variable aperture allows you to shoot at f/5 when at 100mm, or f/6.3 zoomed in to 400mm, perfect for blurring out those faraway backgrounds and creating stunning images. Q £700 Q SIGMA-IMAGING-UK.COM

APPLE IPAD PRO 10.5IN 2017 The iPad has dominated evening internet browsing since 2010. While it may be a household name, and a great way to keep the kids quiet, it’s the latest series of iPad Pros that’s really excited us, thanks to a stunning 2224x1668 pixel display, an A10X fusion chip and 12MP f/1.8 camera and 4K recording. Couple that with the ability to hold up to 512GB worth of data, and edit your photos (via Affinity), and you have a market-leading tablet that’s set to stay. Q FROM £619 Q APPLE.COM

150 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

TAMRON 24-70MM F/2.8 VC USD This high-quality 24-70mm f/2.8 lens won’t break the bank. The compact design hides 17 elements in 12 groups, as well as 9 rounded diaphragm blades. It also packs in three LD (Low-Dispersion) lenses and two XR (Extra Refractive Index) lenses to virtually eliminate distortions and aberrations. It allows for a minimum focusing distance of 38cm and a minimum aperture of f/22, perfect for keeping your shots sharp. At this price point, Tamron’s 24-70mm is ideal for serious enthusiasts looking to step up their collection. Q £699 Q TAMRON.EU/UK


Festive Gift Guide

1

2 3

4

1 FUJIFILM X-E3

2 PANASONIC LUMIX FZ2000

Utilising Fujifilm’s excellent X-Trans III sensor ensures this petite package will deliver the goods. The X-E3 is capable of 24.2MP stills and 4K video, making it a great all-rounder, and the small form factor is aided by a smart touchscreen control setup. This retro-styled beauty is the perfect camera for anybody who likes to head off on regular travels, but doesn’t want to be weighed down by DSLR-sized kit.

Proving that bridge cameras are still alive and kicking, the Lumix FZ2000 is a 20.1MP powerhouse. Its 28-480mm f/2.8-4.5 VarioElmarit lens offers a massive 20x optical zoom, and the 5-axis image stabilisation keeps things sharp at longer focal lengths. 4K photo modes, such as Focus Stacking and Post Focus, all work brilliantly, and it also manages a colossal 12fps continuous shooting speed, 4K video at 30fps and Full HD at 120fps.

Q £849 Q FUJIFIM-X.COM

Q £999 Q PANASONIC.COM

3 CANON M100 + 15-45MM LENS Canon put its 30 years of EOS heritage to good use in 2017, by taking the mirrorless world by storm. The M100 replaces the M10 as its entry-level CSC. It uses the 80D’s excellent 24.2MP sensor for great image quality, offers 6fps continuous shooting, and has the excellent Dual-Pixel CMOS AF for u touch focusing. Designed as a step-up from a smartphone, the lack of an EVF favours those af point-and-shoot simplicity. Q £519 Q CANON.CO.UK

4 OLYMPUS OM-D E-10 MKIII + 14-42MM LENS Olympus’ third E-10 has some solid boots to fill. It retains the original 16MP Micro Four Thirds sensor as its predecessor, but now boasts 4K UHD video capability, an upgraded 121-point contrast detection AF system and the latest TruePic VIII ssor. Couple this with an attractive and highly able package, and you have a brilliant walkabout era that’s capable of 8.5fps and 4 stops of image bilisation. Q £700 Q OLYMPUS.CO.UK

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 151


GIFTS OVER £1000

IDEA ESSENTIAL PRO-LEVEL GEAR Looking to upgrade the contents of your kit bag? These products cost a little more, but the results really speak for themselves.

NIKON D850

Nikon has released, arguably, the most hyped camera of the year – the amazing D850. It boasts a massive 45.7MP BSI sensor, maximum native ISO of 25,600 and in-built focus stacking. You also have the choice of using uncropped 4K UHD video, as well as the insane 153-point autofocus system found in the D5. If this wasn’t enough, you can also shoot at 7fps, or 9fps when paired with the additional battery grip system. There’s never been a better time to start the New Year with some new gear.

If Christmas 2012 presented you with a Canon 6D, this year’s must-have is a no-brainer. The full-frame MkII offers a 26.2MP sensor, using the latest Digic 7 processor, as well as 45 AF points and Canon’s brilliant Dual Pixel CMOS AF system. It also takes the accolade of being the lightest current full-frame camera, weighing in at a teeny 765g. If that hasn’t whetted your appetite, the ISO now manages a native high of ISO 40,000, meaning this is a low light beast and astro dream. It may have skipped the current 4K video trend, but it has been superbly designed for stills.

Q £3500 Q NIKON.CO.UK

Q £2000 Q CANON.CO.UK

SIGMA 14MM F/1.8 DG HSM | ART

ZEISS 135MM F/2.8 BATIS SONY E-MOUNT

CANON 85M

/1. L IS U M

Now the nights are getting longer, they’re perfect for astro photographers. This ultra wide-angle prime lets you draw a lot of light into the sensor, while shooting with an impressively large 114.2° field-of-view. Packing 16 elements in 11 groups, 9 rounded diaphragm blades and a minimum aperture of f/16 does weigh it down a tad, at 1.1kg, but pair it with a sturdy tripod and you’ll never look back.

The first 135mm f/2.8 AF lens for mirrorless full-frame is ideal for portraits. Boasting in-lens image stabilisation, this 614g optic from Zeiss offers up some seriously sharp results. This Batis lens also includes an OLED display that shows your focusing distance as you work, which should keep the tech-heads out there happy for hours on end.

The maximum f/1.4 aperture and longer focal length of this Canon lens will make your backgrounds melt like butter, while the excellent L-series optics will keep your subject in pin-sharp focus. It also features a 4-stop image stabilisation, perfect for shooting in these darker winter conditions. If someone really loves you, why not ask for the Canon 6D MkII as well? You never know your luck...

Q £1680 Q SIGMA-IMAGING-UK.COM

Q £1575 Q SONY.COM

Q £1570 Q CANON.CO.UK

152 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY


Festive Gift Guide

SONY _9 If you’ve been eyeing up a mirrorless camera, but didn’t think it could keep up in the speed and autofocus stakes, this Sony will prove you wrong. The 24.2MP full-frame _9 came blistering onto the scene with an astonishing 20fps blackout-free continuous shooting while using AF/AE tracking. It also provides a mind-blowing 693 AF points, covering 93% of the image area, as well as in-built 5-stop image stabilisation. If you’re looking for the evolution of sports and action cameras, put this on your wishlist. Or treat yourself now, as it’s also id fli h 

PANASONIC LUMIX GH5 Panasonic’s GH5 is the go-to mirrorless hybrid for photographers with serious videography needs, or vice versa. This diddy Micro Four Thirds CSC rocks a 20.3MP sensor and stunning 6K Photo Mode, allowing Focus Stack and Post Focus modes, as well as taking an 18MP image from a video file. It also features 4K 60p UHD video as standard, with 6K anamorphic being available via a firmware update. The image stabilisation allows up to 5 stops of correction, making it perfect for low light photography where you need to rely on slower shutter speeds. Q £2199 Q PANASONIC.COM

DJI MAVIC PRO PLATINUM No photographic wishlist would be complete without mentioning the brilliant Mavic Pro Platinum. This drone folds down to a handy, palm-sized package for travelling. It’s quieter than its predecessor, will fly for up to 30 minutes from a single charge and can hit speeds of 40mph in Sport mode. It also features some smart follow modes and advanced object avoidance technology, so you can capture your 4K video or 12.4MP stills with complete peace of mind. Q £1200 QDJI.COM

ELINCHROM ELB1200 KIT If you’re looking for a flash of Christmas inspiration, this portable flash solution may be ideal (pun intended). The ELB1200 is a batterypowered kit which can be paired with one of three heads. Each head is designed different task, be it high-speed sync freezing action or an all-rounder. Th power pack itself offers up to a 1.7sec recycle time, large OLED display and two independent output ports. It’s also been designed to be weather-resistant – a real bonus for those who require reliability. Q£3300 Q ELINCHROM.COM

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 153


MARKET PLACE

HOLIDAYS AND COURSES

ACCESSORIES

Photographic Backgrounds Hard wearing O low crease O Washable

10 COLOURS INC PLAIN 8’ x 8’ ..... £15 plus P&P BLACK, WHITE & CHROMA 8’ x 12’ ... £24 plus P&P COLOURS 8’ x 16’ ... £29 plus P&P

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for a FREE colour brochure or visit...

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To advertise call Sue Hunter on 01733 366361 or e-mail sue.hunter@bauermedia.co.uk


Festive Gift Guide

1

IDEA THE CRÉME DE LA CRÉME Feeling flush and want to treat that special someone? Luckily, we've rounded up the perfect selection to make you the best Santa ever.

3

2

4

MONEY NO OBJECT 1 DJI INSPIRE 2 + X5S

2 APPLE 27IN IMAC RETINA 5K

Drones are fast becoming must-have essentials. While previous offerings are capable pieces of kit, the Inspire 2 with the X5S camera introduces unparalleled quality. The Micro Four Thirds sensor gives the X5S an incredible 20.8MP shooting power and a 20fps continuous burst. You can choose from eight lenses, including zooms, and film 4K UHD video at 60fps, or amazing 5.2K video at 30fps.

The 2017 27in iMac offers an i7 processor, meaning it’s 1.4x faster at video editing and 3D graphics than its 2015 predecessor, perfect for running editing apps with ease. It also comes with the Retina 5K display, which is 43% brighter than the previous model and displays one billion colours. To really splash the cash, we recommend 32GB of RAM and a 3TB Fusion Drive.

Q £6269 Q DJI.COM

Q FROM £1549 Q APPLE.COM

3 GITZO 100TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION TRIPOD This luxurious Gitzo has been created to mark the 100th anniversary of the famed Italian tripod company. Limited to 1917 copies, with each individual number etched onto the leg by a laser, it provides every bit of the renowned Gitzo reliability you’d expect. It also features the latest Traveler Series 1 technology, including Carbon eXact tubes. Q £1249 Q GITZO.COM

4 FUJIFILM GFX 50S This 51.4MP tour-de-force of innovation brings an almost unrivalled image quality and is one of only two mediumformat mirrorless cameras to hit the market (the other being the equally impressive Hasselblad X1D). This imaging beast lets you capture high quality images at up to ISO 25,600 and shoot perfectly crisp Full HD video. Q £5999 Q FUJIFILM.COM

JESSOPS ACADEMY SAFARI EXPERIENCE Yes, camera retailer Jessops offers a safari photo package! Take a trip with the pros on a seven-day safari around Namibia. Touring the Etosha park, you’ll spend your evenings at either the Okaukuejo or Namutoni camps, taking in the open plains and watering holes that are dotted with exotic wildlife. Namutoni Camp is also home to some of the park’s largest lion prides, as well as leopards, giraffes and the diminutive Damara dik-dik. What better way to escape the chill of British winter time. Q £2995 Q JESSOPS.COM

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 155


ALUMINIUM TRIPODS RRP MT190X PRO3 3 Section £199.95 MT190X PRO4 4 Section £219.95 MT055X PRO3 3 Section £219.95 190 Go! 4 Section £174.95 290 Dual 3 Section £139.95 290 Xtra 3 Section £104.95 Befree 4 Section £184.95

NOW £149 £149 £159 £129 £110 £79 £139

057 CARBON FIBER TRIPOD

CARBON FIBRE TRIPODS MT190CX PRO3 3 Section £379.95 MT190CX PRO4 4 Section £394.95 290 Xtra Carbon 3 Section £209.95 MT055CX PRO3 3 Section £429.95 MT055CX PRO3 4 Section £459.95

£299 £299 £159 £329 £339

RRP MT057C3 3 Section £679.95 MT057C3-G 3 Section Geared£719.95 MT057C4 4 Section £749.95 MT057C4 G 4 Section Geared£799.95

• Extra-rigid carbon fiber 3 or 4 section Legs • Ground Level Adapter to reach ultra-low positions • Levelling bubble to be always level to the horizon • Extremley versatile thanks to the 3 leg angle positions • Robust magnesium spidercast & leg locks NOW £449.00 £499.00 £549.00 £599.00

GH1382QD Series 1 GH1382TQD Traveller Quick Release D Series 1 Quick Release D RRP £329.95 £277 RRP £289.95 £259

TRAVELLER CARBON TRIPODS RRP NOW GT1532 3 Section £629.95 £489 GT1542 4 Section £649.95 £499 MOUNTAINEER CARBON TRIPODS GT0532 3 Section GT0542 4 Section GT2542 4 Section

RRP £509.95 £569.95 £759.95

NOW £399 £449 £599

G2180 Series 1 GH1720QR Series 1 Counter Balance Video Magnesium 2 Way RRP £229.95 £170 RRP £259.95 £199

2720QR Series 2 Magnetic 2 Way RRP £329.95 £249

GHFG1 Fluid Gimbal Head RRP £399.95

492RC Mini c/w RC2 496RC2 Compact c/w QR Plate RC2 QR Plate RRP £72.95 £55 RRP £89.95 £69

128RC Micro Fluid Video RRP £99.95 £75

MHXPRO 2W XPRO Fluid c/w fluidity selector RRP £129.95 £99

MHXPRO-BHQ2 XPRO MHXPRO-BHQ6 XPRO Ball in Magnesium Magnesium Ball c/w c/w 200 PL Top Lock Plate RRP £129.95 £99 RRP £169.95 £138

700RC2 Composite Video RRP £99.95 £79

MVH500AH Lightweight Fluid Video Head c/w Flat Base RRP £149.95 £110

MH057M0 Q5 468MGRC3 Hydrostatic 057 Magnesium Ball Ball c/w RC3 Rapid MVH502AH Flat Base MVH502A Pro Fluid c/w Q5 Connect System Video Pro Fluid Video RRP £289.95 £219 RRP £304.95 £229 RRP £194.95 £149 RRP £224.95 £169

324RC2 Light Duty Grip, compact & portable RRP £139.95 £99

327RC2 Light Duty Grip Ball £169.95 £169

MH055M8 Q5 Magnesium Photo Movie c/w QR Plate RRP £339.95 £269

MHXPRO 3W X PRO c/w retractable levers RRP £124.95 £95

234 Monopod Tilt RRP £27.95 £24

234RCMonopod c/w QR, Wide 90º Scope RRP £42.95 £35

MH804 3WMark II in Adapto c/w retractable levers RRP £84.95 £69

460MG Magnesium RRP £114.95 £85

MHXPRO 3WG XPRO Three Way Pan/Tilt RRP £184.95 £149

UNPADDED RRP 60cm £24.95 70cm £29.95 75cm £34.95 80cm £44.95

NOW £22 £24 £28 £39

405 Aluminium RRP £514.95 £379

PADDED RRP NOW 75cm £59.95 £49 80cm £79.95 £59 90cm £89.95 £69 100cm £109.95 £79 120cm £109.95 £85

Pro Light camera Pro Light camera element covers E-702 element covers CRC-12 for AJ-PX270 for DSLR from £69.95 from £114.95

E-704 PL Pro Light Camera Extension Sleeve Kit RRP £79.95 £65

393 Long Lens Monopod Bracket RRP £219.95 £179

Systematic Tripod Bag RRP £164.95 £129.95

Series 0/1 Mountaineer Series 2/3 Mountaineer RRP £97.95 £79.99 RRP £129.95 £99.99

GS5370MC Aluminium G1220.129B3 Spikes For Quick Release Plate Tripod (Set Of 3) RRP £54.95 £39.99 RRP £54.95 £44.99

Finance example: 12mths, 0% APR: Cash Price £1475, 10% Deposit £147.50, Monthly Payment £110.62, Total Amount Payable £1475. • 24mths, 9.9% APR: Cash Price £1475, 10% Deposit £147.50, Monthly Payment £60.93, Total Amount Payable £1608.82 36mths, 19.5% APR: Cash Price £1475, 10% Deposit £147.50, Monthly Payment £47.95, Total Amount Payable £1873.70 See website for details: www.uttings.co.uk/Information/Finance. Finance is subject to status, terms & conditions apply.* *Consumer credit service provided by DEKO in association with Close Brothers Retail Finance. DEKO is licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (Consumer Credit Licence: 0616240) Finance provided by Close Brothers Retail Finance is a trading name of Close Brothers Limited10 Crown Place, London EC2A 4FT.


See website for Remotes, Batteries & Chargers

See our website for full details & specifications

E+OE Prices subject to change. Goods subject to availability

See website for more lenses


VISIT YOUR LOCAL LCE FOR ALL OF OUR LATEST CAMERA OFFERS

CANON EOS 77D

CANON EOS 800D

Shoot photos with personality, with features and controls that put creativity at your fingertips.

Making great quality photography easier than ever, lets you shoot amazing photos and mo important time ife.

BODY ONLY

& 18 55MM IS STM

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CANON EF 70-300MM

CANON EF 100MM

A high quality zoom with innovative lens display and Nano USM, great for wildlife and sports photography.

True macro magnification ratio of 1:1, meaning the object you are photographing in real life is the same size as on your camera sensor.

F/4 5.6 IS II USM

344.99

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MACRO F/2.8L IS USM

69

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BATH 01225 462234 BRISTOL (BA 0117 929 1935 BRISTOL (BROADMEAD) 0117 927 6185 CHELTENHAM 01242 519 851 CHICHESTER 01243 531536

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H 0 LEAMINGTON 01926 886166 LINCOLN (HIGH ST) 01522 528577 LINCOLN (SILVER ST) 01522 514131

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D)

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PART EXCHANGE WELCOME Upgrading - we want your old cameras and photographic equipment!

• EXPERIENCED KNOWLEDGEABLE STAFF • TOP PRICES PAID • FILM OR DIGITAL EQUIPMENT CONSIDERED • QUALITY EQUIPMENT BOUGHT OUTRIGHT! Ask us today and see how much your old equipment is worth – it may be worth more than you think!

FUJIFILM X-T20

OLYMPUS E-M5 MKII F/2.8 PRO

& XF 18-55MM

dy, clear – with mage stabilisation. pturing clear movies in low light ipod.

Turn the dials. Look throug the viewfinder. Shoot in stunning colors. Capture t moment.

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1104.

64.99

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SONY A7 MARK II

SONIC G7

Full-frame camera with 5-axis image stabilization. Discover full-frame, palmsized perfection and stability for all!

4K video recording Photo Mode. uded is a built-in ot OLED electronic r.

M

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01803 852400 Email - info@mifsuds.com

www.mifsuds.com

Mifsuds Photographic Limited U.K. Stock No Grey Imports 27-29, Bolton Street, Brixham. Devon. TQ5 9BZ.

PHONE LINES OPEN

MON -FRI 8am - 5pm, SAT 9am - 3pm, SUN CLOSED. SHOP OPEN

TUE -FRI 10am - 5pm, SAT 9am - 3pm. SUN/MON CLOSED.

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Digital SLR’s Compact System Cameras Compacts Film Equipment 35mm ~ 6x9

FROM SINGLE ITEMS TO COMPLETE SYSTEMS, WE CAN...

PART EXCHANGE, BUY FOR CASH OR COMMISSION SALE FAIR PRICES OFFERED ~ QUOTED QUICKLY ~ COLLECTION CAN BE ARRANGED For speediest response please email your equipment details to... info@mifsuds.com

PLEASE SEE OURWEBSITE www.mifsuds.com FOR LATEST PRICING ON NEW STOCK ITEMS FROM Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Sigma,Tamron, Hoya &Vanguard Mifsuds are Pro-Dealers stocking items from filters through to Canon 200-400mm lenses, plus tripods, bags & Cokin P, X and Z series kits Family Run Pro Dealership With Friendly, Knowledgeable Staff. Prices Inc VAT - Correct 31/10/2017. E&OE. MORE ON WEBSITE - UPDATED DAILY. ORDERS OVER £100 VALUE INCLUDE UK MAINLAND P&P. ALL U.K. STOCK, NO GREY IMPORTS.


Although we are the best stocked dealer in the West Country, we cannot always have every item listed in stock at all times, so we are happy to reserve new & used items for customers planning to visit. Prices correct 31/10/2017 but subject to change without notice. See website for up to date prices. E&OE.

Website altered daily inc. manufacturers cashback & promotions

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QUALITY USED EQUIPMENT. See website for full list. Call us to check condition. 6 Month warranty on most secondhand. CANON USED

Used Canon EOS 1DX MKI I body box

£3699/3999

Used Canon EOS 7D MKII body box

£999

NIKON USED

Used Nikon D4s body box

£3499

Used Nikon 300mm F2.8 AFS VRI

£2999

Used Nikon D810 body box

£1599/1699

DIGITAL USED

Used Fuji X-Pro2 body box

£999

Used Olympus OM-D E-M1 body Mbox

£599

Used Sony A7R MKII body box

£1799

Buy with confidence - all of our used equipment is thoroughly tested and cleaned before being offered for sale CANON DIGITAL AF USED 1DX MKII body box . £3699/3999 1DX MKI body box ..............£2999 1D MKIV body box ..............£1499 1D MKIII body ......................... £499 1Ds MKII body......................... £599 7D MKII body box.................. £999 7D body box............................ £499 6D body box............................ £799 5D MKIII body box ................. £1699 5D MKI body box ......................£399 60D body ......................................£399 50D body box .............................£299 600D body ...................................£249 400D body ......................................£99 BG E2.............£39 BG E2N ..........£49 BG E7............£79 BG E13.........£119 BG E16 box ..................................£169 TC 80N3 remote........................£85 Angle finder C......................... £139 Powershot G1X MKII............. £399

Powershot G1X....................... £299 Powershot G12....................... £229 CANON EOS M USED M5 + 15-45...................................£799 EF-M 11-22 F4/5.6 IS STM......£249 EF-M 55-200 F4.5/6.3 IS STM£229 EF-M 28 F3.5 IS STM macro ..£229 CANON AF FILM BODIES USED EOS 3HS body inc PB-E2 ..... £449 EOS 5QD body box ............... £129 EOS 500/500N/1000f b/o ea.£49 EOS 600/650/1000 body ea ..£49 PB-E2 drive fits EOS1/3 ........ £149 CANON AF LENSES USED 8 15 F4 L fisheye .................... £799 10 18 F4.5/5.6 IS STM........... £179 10 22 F3.5/4.5 USM EFS ...... £329 14 F2.8 USM LII box ............£1349 15 85 F3.5/5.6 IS USM EFS.. £399 16 35 F2.8 USM LII................. £799 16 35 F4 L................................. £749

503CW Millennium + 80 F2.8 CFE + A12

£2799

Used Mamiya RB67 Pro S + 90 + WLF + Back

£399

Used Rollei 3.5F 6x6 White Face serviced

£1699

Used Nikon

£1299

Used Nikon 500mm F4 AIS

£1399

17 70 F2.8/4 DC OS.................... £249 18 125 F3.8/5.6 HSM................. £149 18-200 F3.5/6.3 DC..................... £149 18-250 F3.5/6.3 DC OS ............. £199 28-135 F3.8/5.6 ...............................£99 28-200 F3.5/5.6 Asph ..............£99 30 F1.4 DC HSM...................... £279 50 F2.8 EX macro ................... £149 50-500 F4/6.3 EX DG OS...... £699 50-500 F4/6.3 EX DG ............ £399 70-200 F2.8 EX DG OS Mint box.................................... £749 70-300 F4/5.6 APO DG............£99 120 300 F2.8 DG OS sport £1999 120 300 F2.8 EX DG .............. £699 150 F2.8 EX DG OS Mint box£599 150 500 F5/6.3 DG OS .............. £449 150 600 F5/6.3 DG OS Sport + TC 1401 kit Mint box...........£1099 180 F2.8 EX DG OS ..................... £899 180 F3.5 EX DG HSM mac....... £399

TC1401 1.4x conv........................ £189 1.4x EX DG conv .......................... £149 OTHER CAF USED TAM 10-24 F3.5/4.5 Di II ...... £279 TAM 17-50 F2.8 XR DiII ........ £199 TAM 18-200 F3.5/6.3 VC ...... £149 TAM 18-250 F3.5/6.3 DiII..... £149 TAM 28-300 F3.5/6.3 XR Di.........£199 TAM 70-300 F4/5.6 Di USD VC . £199 TAM 70-300 F4/5.6 ........................£99 TAM 150-600 F5/6.3 VC USD . £599 TOK 100 F2.8 ATX........................ £299 Zeiss 50 F1.4 ZE box .................. £399 Triplus ext tubes set......................£69 CANON FLASH USED MR 14EX Ringflash ................ £249 430EX MKIII .............................. £189 430EX MKII ............................... £169 550EX ......................................... £129 580EX box ................................ £179 600EX RT box .......................... £349

MBD 80 grip ...............................£49 MBD 200 grip.............................£49 NIKON AF FILM BODIES USED F5 body ..................................... £399 F90X body...................................£99 F801 or F601 body each ........£49 F70 body......................................£49 F55 body ......................................£29 NIKON AF LENSES USED 10.5 F2.8 DX ..................................£399 10-24 F3.5/4.5 DX .......................£599 14 F2.8 AFD ...................................£899 14-24 F2.8 AFS M- box..........£1099 14-24 F2.8 AFS box ....................£999 16 F2.8 AFD Fisheye ..................£499 16-85 F3.5/5.6 AFS VR...............£379 17-35 F2.8 AFS box ....................£899 17-55 F2.8 AFS .............................£499 18-35 F3.5/4.5 AFD ....................£269 18-55 F3.5/5.6 AFS VR................ £99 18-70 F3.5/4.5 AFS .....................£129 18-135 F3.5/5.6 AFS DX ...........£169 18-140 F3.5/5.6 AFS VR............£379

18 200 F3.5/5.6 AFS VRI...........£299 18 300 F3.5/5.6 VR .....................£599 24 F3.5 PCE M- box....................£999 24-70 F2.8 AFS box....................£899 24-85 F3.5/4.5 AFS VR............... £399 24-120 F4 AFS VR........................ £599 24-120 F3.5/5.6 G VR................. £299 24-120 F3.5/5.6 G ........................ £199 28 F1.8 AFS G ................................ £399 28-80 F3.5/5.6 ..................................£69 28-100 F3.5/5.6 AF G ....................£69 35 F1.8 DX....................................... £149 35 F2 AFD ....................................... £199 50 F1.4 AFS G .......................... £149 50 F1.8 AFS .............................. £149 55-200 F4/5.6 AFS VR ........... £169 58 F1.4 G AFS .......................... £999 70-200 F2.8 VR II box ..........£1299 70-200 F2.8 VR I box ............. £999 70-200 F4 AFS VR................... £899 70-300 F4.5/5.6 AFS VR........ £369 70-300 F4/5.6 G non VR..........£99 80-400 F4.5/5.6 AFD VR ....... £699

85 F1.4 AFS M box ............... £949 85 F2.8 DN PC E ..................... £999 105 F2.8 AFS VR...................... £499 200 F4 AFD M- box ............... £999 200-400 F4 AFS VRII............£3499 200-500 F5.6 AFS VR M- box ....................................... £999 300 F2.8 AFS VRII .................£3999 300 F2.8 AFS VRI serviced.£2999 300 F4 E AFS PF VR..............£1299 300 F4 AFS box....................... £549 300 F4 AFD (non AFS).......... £369 400 F2.8 G E FL ED VR ........£7999 400 F2.8 AFS MKII ................£3999 500 F4 AFS VR .......................£4999 TC14EII box .............................. £299 TC17EII ....................................... £199 TC20EIII M- box ...................... £349 TC20EII. ...................................... £199 SIGMA NAF USED 10-20 F4/5.6 EX DG .................... £249 18-200 F3.5/6.3 DC mac C ...... £199 24-35 F2 DG Art box .................£599

24 70 F2.8 EX DG HSM.............£469 24 70 F2.8 EX DG........................£299 24-105 F4 DG OS HSM.............£499 28-200 F3.5/5.6 early................... £69 70-200 F2.8 EX DG OS Mint box.................................... £749 70-300 F4/5.6 APO DG............£99 105 F2.8 EX DG............................. £199 135-400 F4.5/5.6 DG.................. £299 150 F2.8 EX DG OS Mint box.. £599 150 F2.8 EX DG OS ..................... £549 150-500 F5/6.3 DG OS .............. £499 170-500 F5/6.3 D......................... £299 150-600 F5/6.3 DG OS Sport + TC-1401 kit Mint box...........£1099 150-600 F5/6.3 contemp......... £649 2x EX converter...............................£99 TAMRON NAF USED 10-24 F3.5/4.5 DiII ....................... £239 11-18 F4.5/5.6 ............................... £219 18-250 F3.5/6.3 ............................ £149 19-35 F3.5/4.5 ..................................£99 28-75 F2.8 XR Di........................... £229

28 300 F3.5/6.3 XR Di................ £199 70 300 F4/5.6...................................£79 150-600 F5/6.3 Di VC USD...... £599 OTHER NAF USED TOK 10-17 F3.5/4.5 ATX....... £249 TOK 11-16 F2.8 ATX Pro DXII £349 TOK 12-24 F4 ATX Pro .......... £329 FLASH / ACCESSORIES USED SB-24............£49 SB-25..................£49 SB-26...........£69 SB-28 ................£69 SB-500............................................... £169 SB-600............................................... £169 SB-700............................................... £199 SB-900 box ..................................... £249 SB-910 box ..................................... £299 SB-R1 Ringflash box.................. £349 SU-800 commander .................. £249 SD-8A battery pack.......................£89 DR-5 angle finder........................ £149 DW-21 fits F4 ........................... £119 MB-10 (fits F90) ...............................£29 MB-23 (fits F4)..................................£49 MC-30 remote .................................£45

Why not register to receive our email newsletters? Simply send your email address to info@mifsuds.com to enrol FUJI DIGITAL USED X Pro2 body box..................£1099 X Pro1 body box.................... £399 X T1 body black...................... £499 X T1 body black...................... £449 X T10 body box ...................... £299 X E1 body silver ..................... £199 14 F2.8 XF R box..................... £499 18 F2 R XF................................. £349 18 55 F2.8/4 XF ...................... £399 23 F1.4 R XF ............................. £699 27 F2.8 XF................................. £249 35 F1.4 R box........................... £399 50 230 F4.5/6.7 XRC ............. £249 90 F2 WR box .......................... £599 XT 2 VPD grip.......................... £229 EF 42 flash box ..........................£99 EF 20 flash box ..........................£59 MINOLTA/SONY DIGITAL USED Sony RX100 MKIII box............ £449 Sony RX10 MKII box ............... £699 Sony A7R II body box...........£1799 Sony A550 body....................... £199 Sony A350 body....................... £149 Sony VG C70AM....................... £139

BRONICA ETRS 645 USED ETRSi + 75 + WLF + 120 back................................ £399 ETRS body ................................ £119 30 F3.5 PE ................................. £699 40 F4 E ....................................... £199 50 F2.8 PE ................................. £349 75 F2.8 PE ................................. £149 150 F3.5 E ....................................£99 150 F3.5 PE M- Box................ £149 200 F4.5 PE............................... £199 2x extender.............................. £199 E14 Ext tube ...............................£49 E42 Ext tube ...............................£49 120 RFH ........................................£69 135W back ............................... £299 135N back ................................ £169 Polaroid Back .............................£49 AEII prism ................................. £129 Plain prism ..................................£59 Rotary prism ...............................£99 Winder early ...............................£79 Speed Grip E...............................£59

35MM & MISCELLANEOUS USED 400mm F2.8 ED AIS

70 300 F4.5/5.6 IS DO .......... £399 70 300 F4.5/5.6 IS USM ....... £249 75-300 F4/5.6 MKII ...................£99 85 F1.2 L USM ......................... £899 100 F2.8 L IS USM .................. £649 100 F2.8 USM box.................. £299 100-400 F4.5/5.6 LII IS U....£1499 100-400 F4.5/5.6 L IS U ........ £799 135 F2 L USM box.................... £699 180 F3.5 L USM macro........... £599 300 F2.8 LII IS U ......................£4699 300 F2.8 LI IS U........................£2999 300 F4 L IS USM box ............... £699 400 F2.8 IS USM L .... £3499/4999 500 F4 IS L USM....................£4499 1.4x extender MKIII ................. £329 2x extender MKIII..................... £339 2x extender MKII box ............. £239 25mm ext tube MKII .................£99 SIGMA CAF USED 17 50 F2.8 EX DC HSM ............. £249

We carry out sensor cleaning on the premises, firmware updating and equipment hire - please enquire for details NIKON DIGITAL AF USED D4s body box........................£3499 D4 body box.............. £1999/2699 D3X body box.......................£1299 D3s body box........................£1299 D3 body box................... £899/999 D2Xs body................................ £399 D810 body box......... £1599/1699 D800 body box......... £1199/1399 D700 body box....................... £599 D610 body ............................... £799 D600 body ............................... £699 D300s body ............................. £349 D300 body box....................... £299 D200 body box....................... £149 D7100 body ............................. £449 D7000 body ............................. £399 D90 body .................................. £199 D80 body .................................. £169 D60 body .................................. £149 MBD-14 grip ...............................149 MBD-12 grip ............................ £229 MBD-10 grip ........................ £49/99

Sony LA EA4 mount adap ... £189 Sony HVL 43AM box .............. £179 Sony HV56AM........................... £149 Sony HVK F42AM .......................£89 SONY NEX USED NEX 5 body .................................... £129 FE 16 35 F4 ZA OSS E................ £899 FE 16 50 F3.5/5.6 EZ .................. £149 FE 70 200 F4 G OSS box.......... £899 FE 90 F2.8 macro......................... £699 Samyang 100 F2.8 macro....... £229 MINOLTA/SONY AF USED 7xi body .......................................£99 Dynax 5 body.............................£69 5xi body .......................................£49 7000i or 500Si body each......£39 300Si body ..................................£29 11 18 F4.5/5.6 AFD DT......... £259 24 50 F4 .......................................£99 24 85 F3.5/4.5 ......................... £149 28 F2.8 ..........................................£99 28 75 F2.8 AFD ....................... £299 28 80 F4/5.6................................£39 28 85 F3.5/4.5 ............................£99 35 70 F4 .......................................£39

MEDIUM FORMAT 6x45, 6x6, 6x7 & 6x9 USED

Used Hasselblad

17 40 F4 L................................. £449 17 55 F2.8 IS USM EFS ......... £449 17-85 F4/5.6 IS USM................... £199 18-55 F3.5/5.6 IS EFS ....................£99 18-200 F3.5/5.6 IS........................ £249 20 F2.8 U....£349 24 F2.8 STM£109 24-105 F4 L IS.......................... £599 28-80 F3.5/5.6 USM MKI ...... £149 28-80 F3.5/5.6 ............................£79 28-90 F4/5.6................................£99 35-80 F4/5.6................................£39 50 F1.4 USM............................. £279 55-250 F4/5.6 IS STM............ £149 60 F2.8 IS USM EFS ................ £279 65 F2.8 MP E ............................ £799 70 200 F2.8 IS USM LII .......£1499 70 200 F2.8 IS USM L............ £999 70 200 F2.8 USM L ................ £799 70 200 F4 L IS USM ............... £699 70 200 F4 L USM.................... £399 70 300 F4.5/5.6 IS USM L .... £849

CANON FD USED A1 body serviced................... £169 AE1 Program body...................£99 24 F2........................................... £299 24 F2.8 ....................................... £149 24 F2.8 breechlock................ £149 28 F2.8 ..........................................£49 35 70 F4 .......................................£69 35 105 F3.5 .............................. £149 50 F1.2 L .................................... £699 50 F1.8.........£49 50 F2 ...........£49 50 F3.5 macro ............................£99 70-150 F4.5 .................................£29 100 F2.8..................................... £149 100-300 F5.6 ...............................£79 135 F3.5........................................£49 135 F3.5 (Breechlock)..............£39 200 F4 macro .......................... £299 25mm Ext tube..........................£29 50mm Ext tube..........................£29 2x Extender B .............................£49

Tripod adapter E .......................£39 Winder early ...............................£49 Metz SCA 386.............................£49 BRONICA SQ 6x6 USED SQB + 80 + WLF + 120 back................................ £399 40 F4 S ....................................... £299 50 F3.5 PS ................................. £299 50 F3.5 S.................................... £149 150 F4 PS ......................... £149/199 200 F4.5 PS M- box ............... £199 2x PS converter M- ................ £179 135N 35mm film back ......... £119 SQAi 120 RFH .............................£79 SQAi AE prism late ................ £299 Plain Prism S Boxed .................£69 AE Prism Early ............................£79 ME Prism Finder ........................£69 Metz SCA 386 .............................£49 Pro shade S .................................£59 Lens Hood 65 80.......................£20 SQAi Motorwinder ................ £149 Speed grip S ...............................£79

35 70 F3.5/4.5..................................£25 35 80 f4/5.6.......................................£25 35 105 F3.5/4.5 ...............................£99 50 F2.8 macro............................... £179 70 210 F4.5/5.6 ...............................£69 75 300 F4.5/5.6 ............................ £129 85 F1.4 G box ................................ £649 100 300 F4.5/5.6 APO............... £179 100 300 F4.5/5.6.......................... £149 500 F8 mirror................................. £349 VC700 grip.........................................£39 RC1000S cord...................................£29 SONY LENSES USED 10 18 F4 E OSS ............................. £599 16 80 F3.5/4.5 ZA DT................. £499 18 55 F3.5/5.6 SAM.......................£59 18 70 F3.5/5.6..................................£89 18 135 F3.5/5.6 DT SSM........... £329 18 200 F3.5/6.3 DT ..................... £199 55 200 F4/5.6 DT SSM .................£69 75 300 F4.5/5.6 ............................ £129 SIGMA MIN/SONY AF USED 10 20 F3.5 EX............................. £269 10 20 F4/5.6 EX DC ................. £249 18 35 F1.8 Art............................ £549

18 50 F3.5/5.6 DC.......................£69 18 250 F3.5/6.3 DC mac HSM £199 28 105 F2.8/4 ...............................£69 28 135 F3.8/5.6............................£79 28 300 F3.5/6.3 macro........... £149 50 150 F2.8 EX DC MKII......... £399 55 200 F4/5.6 DC OS.................£79 70 300 F4/5.6 DG OS............ £169 70 300 F4/5.6 APO DG............£99 150 500 F5/6.3 APO DG ...... £499 1.4x EX conv ...............................£99 TAM 10 24 F3.5/4.5 DiII ....... £239 TAM 24 70 F3.5/5.6 ..................£49 TAM 90 F2.8 ............................. £249 TAM 90 F2.8 ............................. £179 TAM 200 500 F5/6.3.............. £399 Teleplus 1.4x conv....................£69 Teleplus 2x conv .......................£79 Kenko 1.4x Pro 300DG......... £149 MINOLTA FLASH USED Minolta 5200i.............................£29 Minolta 5400HS.........................£39 Minolta 5600HSD M ...............£79 OLYMPUS 4/3 USED E5 body ..................................... £599

E3 body ..................................... £299 E1 body ........................................£79 E510 body ................................ £149 E500 body ................................ £129 11 22 F2.8/3.5 ......................... £349 12 60 F2.8/4 ED...................... £399 14 42 F3.5/5.6 ............................£49 14 45 F3.5/5.6 ............................£99 14 54 F2.8/3.5 ......................... £199 25 F2.8 ....................................... £179 40 150 F3.5/4.5..........................£99 50 F2 macro............................. £299 50 200 F2.8/3.5 ED................ £399 25mm ext tube..........................£89 VA 1 angle finder......................£69 OLYMPUS MICRO 4/3 USED OMD EM1 body M box ...... £599 OMD E M5 MKII body box.. £499 OMD E M5 body box............ £249 12 F2........................................... £479 14 42 F3.5/5.6 ......................... £169 25 F1.8 ....................................... £269 40 150 F4/5.6 .......................... £189 MC 14 converter.................... £249 ECG grip .......................................£39

HLD 8 grip...................................£99 HLD 7 grip box..........................£89 HLD 6 grip...................................£79 PANASONIC DIGITAL USED GH2 body ................................. £299 G3 body box............................ £199 GX7 body.................................. £349 GF3 body black .........................£99 GF1 body .....................................£99 GF6 body box silver..............£ASK 14 42 F3.5/5.6 ......................... £199 14 42 F3.5/5.6 ............................£79 14 45 F3.5/5.6 ......................... £149 14 140 F4/5.8 box ................. £399 20 F1.7 ....................................... £199 25 F1.4 ....................................... £379 35 100 F4/5.6 .......................... £169 45 150 F4.5/5.6....................... £149 45 200 F4/4.5 box ................. £199 100 300 F4/5.6........................ £349 PENTAX DIGITAL USED K100d body ............................. £149

SQAI winder............................. £149 FUJI USED G617 inc 105 F8 ...................£1299 HASSELBLAD 6x6 USED 503CW Millennium + 80 F2.8 CFE + A12 ...........£2799 501C + 80 CB + A12............£1699 503CW winder ........................ £179 45º prism late .......................... £299 45º prism early ..........................£99 Sports viewfinder .....................£69 Chimney.......................................£99 A12 chrome latest ................. £349 A12 late blk/chr ...................... £199 Polaroid back 100 .....................£79 40 F4 Black T*.......................... £799 50 F4 Black T*.......................... £399 50 F4 CF FLE ............................ £849 100 F3.5 Black T* .................... £399 150 F4 Black T* ....................... £299 150 F4 chrome serviced...... £199 Vivitar 2x conv ...........................£49 Lens hoods various........... £20/50

MAMIYA 645 MF USED 645 Pro TL + 80 + AE prism + back..................... £599 Plain prism (645 Super)..........£79 645 Super WLF...........................£99 Polariod Back HP401 ...............£29 Polaroid back .............................£29 120 Insert.....................................£20 120 Back.......................................£79 Winder ..........................................£79 45 F2.8 N ................................... £199 150 F3.5 N ...................................£79 150 F3.8 NL leaf...................... £299 210 F4 N M- ................................£79 Ext Tube 1 ....................................£29 Ext tube 2 ....................................£29 Ext tube 3S ..................................£29 Teleplus 2x converter..............£49 Vivitar 2x converter..................£39 MAMIYA TLR 6x6 USED 65 F3.5 box late ...................... £199 65 F3.5 serviced...................... £149 250 f4.5...................................... £179

Porrofinder..................................£59 MAMIYA 6 & 7 RF 6x7 USED 43 F4.5 L + VF box ...............£1199 50 F4.5 L + VF box ................. £799 150 F4.5 M- .............................. £399 MAMIYA RB 6x7 USED Pro S + 90 + WLF + back ........................................ £399 Pro S body ................................ £149 Plain prism ............................... £149 WLF ................................................£79 90 F3.5 KL ................................. £299 127 F3.5 KL............................... £299 Pro SD ext tube 1 45mm............£99 Pro SD ext tube 2 82mm............£99 MAMIYA RZ 6x7 USED RZ Pro body ............................. £149 120 RFH Pro ................................£99 Polaroid back .............................£79 FE701 prism ............................. £299 WLF ................................................£79 Winder II.......................................£49 65 F4 box M ........................... £399

90 F3.5 W M box................... £299 180 F4.5 W................................ £199 PENTAX 645MF USED 645 body + insert .................. £199 200 F4 ........................................ £149 300 F4 ........................................ £249 1.4x converter......................... £199 PENTAX 67 USED 6x7 body + prism................... £599 45 F4........................................... £399 135 F4 macro late .................. £249 165 F2.8 latest M .................. £499 200 F4 latest ............................ £169 200 F4 early...................................£99 300 F4 early scruffy................... £99 Pentax rear conv 1.4x........... £249 2x rear converter.................... £179 Auto ext tubes ...........................£49 Wooden grip ........................... £169 ROLLEI 6x6 TLR USED 3.5F White Face serviced...£1699 MORE ON WEBSITE WWW.MIFSUDS.COM

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www.mifsuds.com For more used equipment listings please see website www.mifsuds.com

Please contact us to determine availability before making a lengthy journey 177A flash....£20 244T flash .£20 277T flash.....£25 300TL flash£49 Winder A......£20 Winder B...£30 Angle finder B............................£49 CANON BINOCULARS USED 15 x 45 IS................................... £599 CONTAX 35mm RF USED 90 F2.8 G ................................... £269 LEICA M USED IIIf Red Dial ST serviced chrome body........................... £479 MINOLTA MD USED XD7 body black/chrome..... £149 X300 chrome body ..................£49 X300s black body .....................£49 X700 black body .......................£99 XGM chrome body ...................£49 28 F3.5 MD. .................................£49 50 F1.7 MD ..................................£49 50 F2 MD .....................................£49 70-210 F4 MD.............................£99

2x Converter...............................£79 Ext tube for 50 F3.5..................£29 Ext tube set.................................£49 Auto bellows 1...........................£99 NIKON MF USED FE2 body chrome .................. £349 F3 body ..................................... £199 F2 Photomic body box ........ £399 FM2n body chrome box ..... £399 FM2n body chr box............... £299 FM2n body chr ....................... £249 FE body black.............................£99 20 F3.5 AI .................................. £199 24 F2 AI ..................................... £299 24 F2.8 AIS M- box ................ £249 24 F2.8 AI. ................................. £199 28 F2.8 E box ..............................£69 28-85 F3.5/4.5 AIS.................. £199 35 F2.8 PC................................. £349 35-70 F3.3/4.5 AIS.................. £129 35-70 F3.5 AIS ............................£99

35 105 F3.5/4.5 AIS..................£79 50 F1.2 AIS................................ £399 50 F1.4 AI.................................. £199 50 F1.8 AI.................................. £149 50 F1.8 E.......................................£59 180 F2.8 AIS ED scruffy........ £179 400 F2.8 ED AIS ....................£1299 500 F4 AIS...............................£1399 500 F8 mirror........................... £249 600 F5.6...................................£1499 TC300 ......................................... £149 SC-17 TTL lead ...........................£25 DW-3 WLF find fit F3 ...............£99 PK-11a ext tube.........................£49 PK-12/PK-13 ext tube each ...£49 OLYMPUS OM USED OM-4T body ............................ £249 OM-2SP body .............................£99 OM40 body .................................£79 OM-2n chr body box ............ £249 OM-2n body chrome... £149/199

OM 1n body chr..................... £199 24 F2.8.........£199 28 F2.8......£79 35 F2.8 box...£99 35-70 F4 ...£99 35-105 F3.5/4.5 box.............. £149 35-105 F3.5/4.5..........................£79 50 F1.8......£69 80 F4 mac... £199 85 F2 box.................................. £249 135 F2.8 box ............................ £149 135 F4.5 macro ....................... £199 200 F4 ........................................ £149 Vivitar 400 F5.6 ....................... £149 7, 14, 25 man ext tube ea ......£20 14 or 25 auto ext tube ea ......£29 60-116 auto ext tube set .... £199 Tripod mount ring....................£59 PENTAX 35mm AF USED Z50P body ...................................£49 SFXN body ..................................£49 16-45 F4 .................................... £199 17-70 F4 SDM M- box .......... £299 18-55 F3.5/5.6 ............................£69

28 80 F3.5/5.6 ............................£49 50 200 F4/5.6 DA......................£99 55-300 F4/5.8 ED WR............ £229 55-300 F4/5.8 ED box........... £199 100 F2.8..................................... £149 SIGMA PKAF USED 18-250 F3.5/6.3....................... £199 28-200 F3.5/5.6....................... £149 PENTAX MF USED K1000 body.................................£99 35 F2 PK box............................ £199 50 F1.4 PK ................................. £149 85 F2 PK .................................... £199 120 F2.8 K ................................. £199 135 F3.5 PK .................................£69 150 F3.5 PK box...................... £149 50 F1.4 PK ....................................£99 50 F2..............................................£49 50 F4 macro PK..........................£99 TAMRON ADII USED 35-135 F3.5/4.2 ..........................£99

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STU DENT SHOWCA SE

Equine inspiration Evie Lewis has created a thriving business and a stunning portfolio based on her love of horses. O AS A TODDLER I LIVED OPPOSITE A RACECOURSE, which meant I could see the horses being unloaded from my bedroom window before every race. These exciting moments inspired me, and I was officially hooked. When I was six my family moved to Suffolk, with an incredible riding school just one mile from our new house. From that point, every Saturday consisted of my mum dragging a rather unwilling Shetland Pony up and down a hill, come rain or shine. I rode there regularly until I was 11, which is when the riding school shut. My interest in photography came about around the time of studying for my A-levels. When I started the lower sixth, I wanted to be an equine physiotherapist. However, my first year of A-level biology told me otherwise! Photography was my creative outlet, which I excelled at. I combined my two passions by including horses in pretty much every single project. My teacher was extremely supportive of the route I wanted to take, and always led me in the right direction. Even now, two years after leaving the sixth form, I still go back to him for advice. Starting a degree in marine and natural history photography was an entirely different kettle of fish. Being independent meant that I had to use my own gut feeling, which is something that only comes with experience. Outside of university, I have my own small equine portraiture business in Suffolk, which really took off last summer. Meeting so many amazing people and their horses really confirmed that equine photography is where my passion lies. I try to get as much work with professional photographers as I can, both at university and at home. While I don’t have any aspirations to be a wedding photographer myself, I assisted portrait pro Kate Hopewell-Smith and her partner, Brent Kirkman, recently. That experience gave me a lot of insight, and really helped with how I model my own clients. I also gained media accreditation for the Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials in 2017, which was a daunting, yet incredible experience that I’ll never forget. I know that I need to take every single opportunity that comes my way to be successful, so pushing myself out of my comfort zone is an absolute necessity.

Evie Lewis studies BA Marine and Natural History Photography at Falmouth University. evielewis-photography.co.uk

162 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY


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