Page 1

113 MINUTES OF VIDEO The definitive guide to SLR photography


7 your best year ever...

12 ways to get creative 12 experts create 12 projects, just for you

free! With this issue

Dxo Optics Pro 9 ELite software Photoshop ebook & gear guide Camera tips cards to print

J A N U AR Y 2 0 1 7 185

Everything you need to know about photography!

Quintin Lake Charlie Waite

Stuart Freedman

WIN! A GITZO C OVER s t o r y

The big challenge


Make 2017 your most creative year ever!


Start your new photography year by snapping! 12 creative challenges, one for each month of the year, set by 12 incredible photographers


reader shootout Westonbirt colour

Technique editor Claire Gillo takes two Digital Camera readers for an autumnal shootout at the idyllic arboretum at Westonbirt to capture the colourful scenes 


GIFT GUIDE Christmas round-up

All I want for Christmas is... gifts galore! We round up the best from the industry so you don’t have to do the hunting. From bags to photo books, we’ve got it all


Beginner models 8 cameras ON TEST

If you’re about to invest in your first ‘proper’ camera, then turn to page 118! We round up the best beginner models so you can make the right selection JANUARY 2017

D i g i ta l C a m e r a



Support line in here

Welcome to the January 2017 issue of Digital Camera




irst, here’s to a jolly, creative and fun-filled festive season from the Digital Camera team and me! To make 2017 your best photo year ever, we’ve invited 12 of the world’s most talented, creative and inspirational photographers to set you an assignment. They’re not your run-of-the-mill competition challenges, but rather a set of intriguing and thoughtprovoking projects that I’m prepared to guarantee will make you a better photographer by the end of 2017 – no matter what level your photography is today. They’ll stretch your imagination, hone your camera craft and flex your creative muscles to their limit. There’s 12 of them too, so that’ll give you one a month. We’d love to see your results as well, so please send them through. And don’t forget to use our special Christmas gift guide and a big marker pen to leave subtle hints for Santa. Turn to page 107 for more. Enjoy your photography!



Landscape photographer Marc Wilson documents the land


A day in the life of... maria Falconer

Maria shares what it entails to be a performance photographer



If you ask, Andrew will answer! All your technical queries tackled

Ben Brain Editor, Digital Camera


ANALYSIS Bella Kotak

We reveal the secrets behind this majestic portrait



Our Photoshop guru explains why you need different colour modes


lightroom maestro SEAN McCormack

This month Sean shows you how to create a low-key portrait effect

About the cover photograph Alex Noriega shot this stunning sunrise of Mount Rainier. “Mount Rainier has many different profiles,” Alex says. “I had been intrigued by the more glaciated side of it, but hadn’t found a composition that put it in context with the landscape. I knew I wanted something with a mid-ground, and not a simple mirrored reflection from the


D i g i ta l C a m e r a

January 2017

shore of a lake.” Alex won the overall winner of the USA Landscape Photographer of the year 2016 with this image. USA Landscape Photographer of the Year celebrates all that is great about the American landscape; see page 10 for more.

September 2015

F REE GI F TS EVE r y i s s u e w e b r i n g y o u m o r e f r e e b i e s t h a n a ny o t h e r p h o t o m a g a z i n e !

FULL VERSION! Free DxO OpticsPro 9 Elite (PC & Mac)

watch video dc185video

OpticsPro is a brilliant program for retouching your photos – and you can get a full version for Windows or macOS with this issue. You can download it today and start using it as a trial, then register with DxO to obtain your activation Full code, which unlocks the software permanently. Please details register for your activation How to download and unlock code by 28th February 2017. OpticsPro 9 Elite Full instructions including the See page 134 download website are on page 134 of this issue.

113 mins of video 9 PHOTO TIPS CARDS Every issue we craft nine essential tips cards so you can better your photography. This issue we reveal how to shoot fun family portraits, beautiful bokeh, resting robins and more. Look for them after the magazine finishes…

We have nearly two hours of compelling content lined up this issue, from learning how to create a low-key portrait effect in Lightroom with Sean McCormack, to tips and tricks for softening the skin in Photoshop CC with James Paterson. Let these pros guide you every step of the way with their intensive and informative video tutorials. Start watching via

Download the video dc185bonus

Whenever you see these logos on a page in the magazine, you can find related content online

162-page buyer’s guide

Creative Photoshop Ebook

Need help choosing the latest gear? This 162-page guide should do the trick. Packed full with expert reviews. This issue of Camera Shopper is provided as a PDF ebook: download it on your PC or Mac via

Our free ebook this month is all about getting creative with Photoshop to get stunning and surreal results, with six projects to try. Read this ebook after the magazine, or download it to your PC or Mac via november JANUARY 2015 2017

D i g i ta l C a m e r a



Support line in here

C O N TE N TS A N OTHER B U MPER ISS U E fu l l o f p h o t o fun




The best images from the USA Landscape Photographer of the Year

20 In Focus

The latest industry news rounded up into bite-sized chunks


The Big Challenge

12 creative photographers set 12 amazing challenges

54 Back to Basics

Stop that noise! What is noise and how do you reduce it?




Photographer Marc Wilson reveals why he documents the land and what inspires him

89 A day in the life

In a special feature, Maria Falconer shares what it entails to be a performance photographer

58 Image Analysis


64 Shootout

127 Digital Darkroom



Under analysis: a surreal portrait plus a panoramic landscape

We have an autumnal colourful shootout this month at Westonbirt

Photo Answers

Andrew James rates your pictures and solves your problems

75 Gitzo competition

Win a Gitzo tripod system worth £1,294!

Bluffer’s Notes

David Clark reveals why Bruce Davidson is such an important figure for the documentary medium

Take your digital editing skills to the next level

Back issues

Catch up on your reading with recent issues and specials

148 Desert Island D-SLR Daniel Beltrá gets marooned with his D-SLR


to head: Nikon 98 Head D810 vs Pentax K-1 These two full-frame SLR market rivals battle it out


Fujifilm X-T2

Sitting at the top of the X-series range. What score will we give it?

gift 107 Christmas guide I don’t want a lot for Christmas... Oh, except that new lens and maybe a new camera! Get inspired by our gift guide line-up,

compiled by the entire Digital Camera team just for you

116 Irix 15mm f/2.4 Firefly Matthew Richards tests this seriously wide 15mm lens, so see his seriously good review

test: Beginner 118 Group SLRs and CSCs Looking to upgrade from your compact? We round up eight of the best starter models so you can make the right choice for your needs

Subscribe and get great gifts PAGE 18 6

D i g i ta l C a m e r a


Print 30,608 Digital 5,580 Jan–Dec 2015 A member of the Audit Bureau of Circulations

Future Publishing, Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA Editorial +44 (0)1225 442244 • Subscriptions and Customer Services +44 (0)1604 251 045


Starry, starry night-sky images showcased, plus a new candid photography challenge



Editor Ben Brain Technique editor Claire Gillo Contributing editor Marcus Hawkins Art editor Roddy Llewellyn Operations editor Richard Hill Graduate writer Lauren Scott Online editor Phil Hall Head of testing Rod Lawton Imaging labs manager Ben Andrews Cover image Alex Noriega Editorial contributors David Clark, Charlie Coles, Willson Cummer, Lottie Davies, Maria Falconer, Stuart Freedman, Brett Harkness, Paul Hill, Andrew James, Alastair Jennings, Quintin Lake, Sean McCormack, Yoshinori Mizutani, James Paterson, Matthew Richards, Rob Speed, Nick Turpin, Charlie Waite, jjweiss

Advertising Senior advertising sales manager Amanda Burns Account director Matt Bailey Marketing Marketing director Sascha Kimmel Circulation Campaign manager Charlotte Lloyd-Williams Production Production co-ordinator Vivienne Calvert Licensing Senior licensing and syndication manager Matt Ellis +44 (0)1225 442244 Management Creative director Aaron Asadi Editorial director Matthew Pierce Group editor-in-chief Chris George Group art director Rodney Dive

Future is an award-winning international media group and leading digital business. We reach more than 57 million international consumers a month, and create world-class content and advertising for passionate consumers online, on tablet and smartphone, and in print.

Future plc is a public company quoted on the London Stock Exchange (symbol: FUTR).

Chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne Non-executive chairman Peter Allen Chief financial officer Penny Ladkin-Brand Tel +44 (0)1225 442244

All contents copyright © 2016 Future Publishing Limited or published under licence. All  rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, stored, transmitted or  used in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Quay House, The Ambury, Bath, BA1 1UA. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price and other details of products or services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any changes or updates to them. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Future a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine, including licensed editions worldwide and in any physical or digital format throughout the world. Any material you submit is sent at your risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be liable for loss or damage. We are committed to only using magazine paper which is derived from well managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. Future Publishing and its paper suppliers have been independently certified in accordance with the rules of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).


Support line in here



Wat c h t h e s e v i d e o s v i a w w w. b i t . l y / d c 1 8 5 v i d e o

Photoshop guide


Special effects: the closest we’ll come to owning a real light sabre See page 3 of your ebook

Apply still-image effects to a video clip

See page 5 of your ebook 8

D i g i ta l C a m e r a


Recreate the characteristic negative tones and cyan hues of X-rays See page 2 of your ebook

If you have a burning desire to light up your subjects, this effect is perfect See page 4 of your ebook

Create 3D anaglyphs for red/cyan glasses

See page 6 of your ebook

Transform your friends into the walking dead

See page 7 of your ebook

J A N UAR Y 2 0 1 7 185


Wat c h t h e s e v i d e o s v i a w w w. b i t . l y / d c 1 8 5 v i d e o

Image-editing guides for Photoshop and Lightroom: see page 127 for contents

Lightroom Skills: Make a predominantly dark shot look its very best Read the tutorial on page 128

Tool School: Why colour modes matter, and what each offers your photos (2) Read the tutorial on page 130 

Tool School: Why colour modes matter, and what each offers your photos (1) Read the tutorial on page 130

Creative Spotlight: Four quick and simple techniques to make skin look softer Read the tutorial on page 136 JANUARY 2017

D i g i ta l C a m e r a


HOTSHOTS W i n n i n g i m a g e s f r o m U SA L AN D S C A P E P h o t o g r a p h e r o f t h e Y e a r

USA Landscape Photographer Of The Year celebrates all that is great about the American landscape, and showcases photographers from both the USA and around the world.


ALEX NOREIGA USA Landscape Photographer of the Year 2016 “Mount Rainier dominates the landscape surrounding it, and has many different profiles. I had been intrigued by the more glaciated side of it for some time, but hadn’t found a composition that put it in context with the landscape, while showcasing its dominance, as many images of Rainier are shot from the mountain’s shoulder. I knew I wanted something with a mid-ground, and not a simple mirrored reflection from the shore of a lake. I found that spot here, high above Upper Tipsoo Lake. The trees seemed to perfectly cradle the distant mountain, while showcasing the autumn foliage and allowing for atmospherics between the mid-ground and the mountain in the valleys below.” Kit Nikon D600 with 35mm lens Exposure f/11, ISO 100


SEND US YOUR SHOTS Your photograph could appear here! Send your best recent shot to digitalcamera (subject line: Hotshots)



Raiatea ARCURI Young USA Landscape Photographer of the Year 2016 “This was captured along the Kona coast on the Big Island of Hawaii. What makes the Big Island special is the presence of lava tubes around the island. Some of these lava tubes at the coast make amazing water motion as the waves push water in and out. It can be quite an epic experience capturing it. The water can easily surge up to your waist level and quickly recede back into the tube, creating a nice waterfall.” Kit Sony Alpha 6000 with Rokinon 12mm lens Exposure 0.4 sec at f/11, ISO 100


Michael Shainblum Winner, DPReview Special Award “This is a self-portrait taken at Fonts Point in the Anza Borrego desert. These were the hottest conditions I have ever shot long exposures in. It was about 105 degrees Fahrenheit. After taking a few exposures I would need to shut my camera off and let the sensor cool down before continuing to shoot. The sky exposures were taken on a star tracker to get maximum detail in the Milky Way; then I shut the tracker off to take the foreground and self-portrait exposures.” Kit Canon EOS 6D with Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 lens Exposure 25 sec at f/2.8, ISO 3,200


D i g i ta l C a m e r a


Digital Camera 185 (Sampler)  

You can subscribe to this magazine @