WATCH & LEARN WITH NIKON SKILLS
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Issue 10 • Summer 2012 £4.99 • www.nphotomag.com
LEARN NEW SLR SKILLS
Our Apprentice goes to Yorkshire to learn documentary photography
ULTIMATE D SLR TIPS GUIDE!
The camera cameramanual manual you wish you’d got gotinin the box! Menu tips RAWoptions Hiddengems p30
Sportsandwildlifeprosput Nikon’s fastest-everD-SLR tothe test! p100
CRACKING THE CODE
How an SLR processes light into a digital image p76
The worst thing about being a landscape photographer is the summer… My alarm went off at 3am this morning! Jeremy Walker, Landscape Photographer p88
DRESS TO IMPRESS!
Could you do with more pockets? Six photographers’ jackets tested p118
Why one reader can’t stop taking pictures of herself p70
THREE LEGGED RACE!
8tripods dobattle.Who’ll be thelastmanstanding? p104
ISSUE 0710JUNE 2012 2012 £4.99 £4.99 PRINTED PRINTED IN THE ISSUE SUMMER IN THE UK UK
INTERVIEW WITH JEREMY WALKER
The panorama specialist talks to us about walking on frozen seas, listening to cricket, and watching strangers stripping off
Nikon Skills 46 Get perfect colours indoors 50 Copy old prints and slides 52 Straighten your trees 55 What is Auto FP? 56 Lighting made perfect 58 Make a montage 60 Shoot stunning studio portraits Forget the presets and set your own White Balance for accurately coloured shots
Bring all your treasured photos into the digital era the quick and easy way
Correct converging verticals with Photoshop CS6’s Adaptive Wide Angle ﬁlter Shoot portraits with ﬁll-in ﬂash and get beautiful bokeh using this mode
Discover how auto ISO can give you creative control in changing light conditions
Nikopedia Nikon Know-how 76 COVER FEATURE
Find out what goes on inside your Nikon with our complete guide to in-camera processing, plus Picture Controls explained
81 System Spotlight
Learn the basics of professional portrait lighting with four studio setups
86 The Nikopedia Photo Quiz
Convert your colour photos into dramatic monochrome using Capture NX 2
Combine images and text to create an eye-catching postcard-style collage
Give your grey matter a workout as we put your Nikon knowledge to the test
Be inspired by the best in Nikon photography from around the world
Can’t wait for issue 11? Here’s a sneak peak at what’s coming up next month
82 Nikon Software 84 Ask Chris
Essentials 20 Lightbox 42 UK subscriptions offer 65 Next issue Over To You… 66 87 International subscriptions The N-Photo Interview 88 130 Ikons If you live in the UK, you can get a free camera bag !
Discover how to get the shot in the tightest situation with a right-angle ﬁ nder ﬁnder
All your Nikon questions answered, plus ﬁ ve ﬁve ways to get more from your D40
Three Photo Stories, a reader’s top Nikon kit, plus all your rants and raves!
If you live outside the UK you can make a big saving on the cover price here
Jeremy Walker reveals the secrets behind his incredible panoramic images
Visit Tokyo’s legendary Nikon store, and camera spotting in Superman Returns
WHAT’S ON THIS MONTH’S FREE DISC?
+ Camera skills + Photoshop guides + Nikon software
COVER FEATURE Unlock your SLR’s potential with this ultimate guide
EXPERT HANDS ON VIDEO GUIDES EIGHT WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY TODAY!
Test Team Nikon D4 100 Big test 104 114 New gear 117 Pro picks Mini-test 118 120 Long-term Tests
Get our verdict on Nikon’s groundbreaking pro-level D4 SLR
Use Photoshop CS6 to fix converging verticals in your images
Get creative control in changing light thanks to Auto ISO mode
Combine images and text to create a postcard-style montage
How to convert to monochrome in Capture NX 2
Shoot superb studio portraits using our four pro lighting setups
READ THE TUTORIALS, THEN WATCH OUR EXPERT VIDEOS!
LOOK OUT FOR THIS!
Editorial photographer Rick Senley reveals the essentials he always packs
Use your Nikon D-SLR to update all your old prints and slides
All the latest gear compatible with Nikons previewed and reviewed
The N-Photo team rate their kit
The best travel tripods on test
Set a custom White Balance to capture perfect colours indoors
Master Auto FP mode for portraits with great depth of field
Photo vests and jackets tested
Wherever you see this logo, look for the extra content on the video disc
THE VIDEOS AND INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THIS DISC ARE 100% INDEPENDENT AND NOT ENDORSED OR SPONSORED BY NIKON CORPORATION OR ADOBE SYSTEMS INCORPORATED
Each issue we give the chance for one reader to spend a day with a top Nikon pro learning the tricks of their trade. This is the story of this exclusive one-on-one masterclass...
NAME Paul Harris CAMERA Nikon D700 ■ Agraduateoftheworldrenowneddocumentary photographycourseatNewport, Paultravelstheworldtaking picturesforcommercialand editorialclients(seewww. paulharrisphotography.com). Aged53,helivesinYorkshire,and suggestedthatdocumentingaday inthelifeofalocalmarkettown wouldbeagreatwaytoteachKym theessentialsoftellingastory throughaportfolioofpictures.
NAME Kym Beeston CAMERA Nikon D3100 ■ KymisanAustralianlawyer livinginLondon.She’sbeen workingintheUKforfiveyears, andisstudyingforanMAinHuman Rights.Shetoldusshewantedto learnmoreaboutdocumentary photographyandabouttaking shotsofpeopleatwork.Wetook hertoHawesintheheartofthe YorkshireDalestolearnthekey skillsfromaseasonedpro...
Ingenious recipes for creative shots
PROJECT TWO GEAR SKILLS
Copy old prints and slides
Do you have boxes full of old transparencies and prints lying around? Bring them all back to life in the digital world using Chris George’s quick and dirty patented copying tricks! Most of us may have said scanner. Flatbed scanners for prints sensor, why not use the high-quality THE MISSION goodbye to ﬁlm when it comes are built into many desktop printers one that you have built into your Nikon ■ Copy old prints and slides with your D-SLR
TIME NEEDED ■ 4 hours
■ Anyone can do it ■Some tricky aspects ■ Advancedtechnique
■ D-SLR ■ Tack ■ Macro lens ■ Tripod ■ Lightbox
Capture ﬂowers using a long telephoto lens
to taking photos, but many of our most cherished memories are still locked in the pre-digital era. Whether you have drawers full of fading prints or boxes full of prized transparencies, you probably wish you could get the best of these shots onto a computer so they could be shared with a wider audience. But what’s the best way of getting your old pictures onto Facebook, Flickr or your family website? The most obvious answer is to use a
nowadays. Film scanners are more specialist, but can still be bought without breaking the bank. The quality of these scanners varies, but this isn’t an issue for most of us, who just want to get pictures into the digital domain. The real issue with most scanners is that the whole process is a time-consuming affair, involving lots of patience as you scan one line at a time. But there’s an alternative. Rather than making do with a cut-price digital
Photographing your prints isn’t much more complicated than sticking them on the wall and then shooting them using a tripod – all you have to do is find an evenly lit spot in your home Summer 2012
D-SLR? Photographing your prints isn’t much more complicated than sticking them on the wall and then shooting them using a tripod. All you have to do is ﬁnd the right evenly-lit spot in your home. Re-photographing your slides is a bit more complicated because you need a lightbox – a backlighting device that photographers used to use to look at their pictures. As few people use slides any more, these are relatively cheap to buy second-hand. The one other bit of gear you’ll need to re-shoot your prized photos is a macro lens, which will enable you to focus close enough to the 24x36cm positive images.
Copy old prints and slides
STEP BY STEP The low-tech way to digitise the family album
Forget expensive and time-consuming ﬂatbed scanners – try our low-tech reproduction techniques!
01 Stick it to the wall
To re-photograph old prints, stick them on a ﬂat wall or cupboard at chest height using blobs of Blu Tac. Avoid a surface too close to a window or in direct sunlight – you need even, diffuse lighting. You don’t need bright light because you can use long exposures with a tripod.
03 Choose your settings
Use Aperture Priority (A) mode and set an aperture of f/8 – this is usually the setting that gives the best resolution from a lens. Now set a low ISO, at or near 100. Fire the shutter using a cable release or remote control, or, if you don’t have either of those, use the self-timer.
DON’T FRAME TOO TIGHTLY
02 Square up to the target
Set your camera on a tripod and extend the legs so that the centre of the lens is at the same height as the centre of the print. Use Live View to frame the picture so you’re as square on as you possibly can be. Use autofocus to make sure that the detail is sharp.
04 Give it a positive twist
The general shooting technique for slides is the same as prints. As transparencies need to be backlit, use a lightbox (see below). You’ll need a tripod that can be angled to shoot directly down, and you’ll need a macro lens to be able to get close enough.
■ Review your copies on the screen of your Nikon for exposure and sharpness. But don’t worry too much about cropping – it’s easier to do this in Photoshop once you have the digitised image on your computer. You’ll probably want to edit your images anyway – adjusting colour balance, removing blemishes, and tweaking the contrast and saturation.
Q I K T P! To s f lig is ve o sur c , e c o 90°. Its shad ws sh l b r ug ly mm tr c n no too di ti
TOP TIPS Getting reproduction right
Here’s some of the kit you can use to copy your treasured memories
Print scanners now come built into many desktop printers. A multi-function inkjet can create digital ﬁles of your prints.
03Ohnar slide copier
You need a special device for scanning slides and ﬁlm. Basic low-quality 1,800 dots-per-inch models cost from £50 ($70).
Slide copiers (£140, $200) attach to your SLR using a Nikon-ﬁt T2 mount (£8, $12). Some models are for full-frame cameras only.
05 Cleaning solution
Clean slides and negatives before you copy them. We recommend using PEC-12 solution with PEC Pads (from £23, $25).
Lightboxes for looking at or copying slides can be bought new, but look for bargains on eBay. They’re a great light source for still lifes too!
OVER TO YOU…
Second that emotion
Taking self-portraits might not be the easiest thing to do, but it’s certainly a lot of fun, as Gina Vasquez explains… PROJECT INFO
MISSION To convey
�motions �n� �t�ries �hr�ug� s��f-p�rtr�� �ure PHOTOGRAPHER �in� ���q�ez AGE 18 LOCATION New Y rk KIT N ko D3000, N ko 50mm f/1.8G A -S, N ko 60mm f/2.8D, N ko 18-55mm V A -S D
I began experimenting with self-portraits in February 2011. I started to feel that taking pictures of people was the most interesting thing about photography because of the emotions they experience. I used myself as a model because I was the only model I had at the time! However, I soon found that creating self-portraits turned into something that I really enjoyed. Shooting self-portraits was especially difﬁcult at ﬁrst, but after a while I learnt how to get
my emotions across from both behind and in front of the camera. Every picture I take has a story or emotion behind it, but at the same time I’m still very much learning and experimenting. Every time I go out and shoot, I ﬁnd myself learning something new. To take the pictures, I use my camera’s 10-second timer, and I’ve recently bought a camera remote, which makes self-portraits so much easier! The only downside to self-
01 LEVITATION Nikon D3000, Nikon 18-55mm VR AF-S DX, 1/160 sec, f/6.3 , ISO100 portraiture is that I can’t make decisions behind the camera for the entirety of the shoot.
Most of my portraits are taken in public places, so I’ve experienced many funny and awkward moments. My mom assists me on my shoots, and we ﬁnd that we’re always running into people at awkward times, such as when we’re tying light bulbs to trees, gluing leaves to my face, or when I’m upside down on a ladder! How can you possibly explain to people what you’re doing? Dogs come and eat my props too. In fact, there isn’t
WE WANT YOUR PHOTO STORIES! Every Photo Story we feature in the magazine wins £50, so get in touch today! 70
Your stories, your photos, your letters
02 02 MY PAST CAME BACK… Nikon D3000, Nikon 50mm f/1.8G AF-S, 1/40 sec, f/3.2, ISO200
03 03 FROSTBITE Nikon D3000, Nikon 60mm f/2.8D, 1/15 sec, f/1.8, ISO100 a shoot that happens without an adventure! I’d advise anyone to take self-portraits – it has certainly helped me learn more about portraying emotion, and about who I am as a person. It has also given me a different perspective when it comes to shooting other people’s portraits. I make a point to take selfportraits regularly. I’m always happier when I’m taking photographs! I recently ﬁnished a 52-week photography project and am currently in the middle of a 30-day project. Photography is a part of my everyday life. The ‘Levitation’ shot  is the ﬁrst photo of its kind that I
04 did, after becoming intrigued by levitation photos that others had created. In this photograph, I wanted to portray the uplifting qualities of music.
I have always loved the interactions between humans and their surroundings in conceptual portraiture, and for the photo entitled ‘The Art of Camouﬂage’ , I wanted to portray the connection between the two. Humans and nature can have similarities that may not always be obvious. By contrast, through the cold, frozen atmosphere of ‘Frostbite’ , I wanted to
portray a feeling of entrapment and isolation. The ‘My Past Came Back To Haunt Me’  image represents how certain memories can come back and haunt your mind, even after they’re long gone. Working in the photography industry is my goal. I love photography so much that I can’t think of anything better than taking photographs for a living! I’ll be studying photography at the Fashion Institute of Technology this year. I was really excited to be accepted, and I hope it will bring me many new opportunities. I can’t wait05 to see what the future brings!
04 ART OF CAMOUFLAGE Nikon D3000, Nikon 50mm f/1.8G, AF-S, 1/1000 sec, f/1.8, ISO100
Rod’sp s… to t
HOW TO SHOOT SELF PORTRAITS
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To enter your Photo Story, just email a brief synopsis and three of your best JPEG images to email@example.com www.nphotomag.com
76 Nikon Know-how
Discover thecomplexdigital processing techniques used in every shot by your camera
81 System Spotlight
Coveralltheangleswith a dedicated right-angleﬁnder foryourNikonD-SLR
82 Capture NX 2
Create moody and dramatic monochrome conversionsin Nikon’s Capture NX 2
84 Ask Chris…
N-Photo EditorChrisGeorge answers your questions about allthings Nikon
86 Photo Quiz
Find out how much of this issue’s Nikopedia hassunk inwith ourﬁendishquiz!
ORIGINAL IMAGE A digital image is made up of millions of individual pixels, and each of these is the result of some extremely clever digital processing inside your Nikon D-SLR
NIKON KNOW HOW
DIGITAL PROCESSING EXPLAINED
Your D-SLR might look like a ﬁlm camera, but inside is the equivalent of a digital processing lab Your digital camera does a lot more work to turn what you see in the viewﬁnder into a ﬁnished image than you probably give it credit for. Understanding a little of what goes on deep inside your Nikon’s circuitry will help you understand some of the many options that you have to play with. Perhaps the most important thing to appreciate is that your image is only converted into digital form well after it has left the sensor. The sensor itself is an analogue component, creating an old-
fashioned electrical signal that can be tweaked by electronic circuitry to increase the ISO, for instance, amplifying the signal in much the same way as you crank up the volume on your radio.
How sensors work
The sensor is made up of millions of light-sensitive units, often referred to as pixels, but at this stage more accurately called photosites. These can measure as little as 0.004mm across (around 1/16th of the width of a single human hair). Each one
creates its own electrical signal in proportion to the brightness of the part of the image that it covers. But these individual photosites can’t see colour – only luminance. To produce a full-colour image, each photosite has a miniature coloured ﬁlter, either red, green or blue. A pixel with a green ﬁlter will only see colours that have some green light in them. But as practically all colours can be made by mixing red, green and blue light together, this still provides valuable information. The clever bit is how the pixels work
together to assign accurate colours to each pixel in the ﬁnal image. The green-ﬁltered photosite can effectively ‘see’ red light by using information from neighbouring redand blue-ﬁltered photosites. Known as ‘demosaicing’, this interpolation process makes an informed guess about the colour of each and every square that makes up the image.
JPEGs and RAW ﬁles
With JPEG pictures, each photosite can register 8 bits of data, which equates to 256 different shades of
NIKON KNOW HOW Digital processing METERING MODES
TURNING LIGHT INTO A DIGITAL FILE How your Nikon D-SLR converts captured light into image pixels
Buffer Digital image processing
Analogue/ digital converter
Image sensor Mosaic ﬁlter
Nikon D-SLRs use Nikon’s Expeed image processing systems to help crunch the huge amount of digital data created for every image you shoot
Lens The A/D converter turns the analogue electrical signal into digital data, using the same binary language as computers
Light reﬂected off the subject is captured and focused by the lens
The colour ﬁlter array
B G The ‘photosites’ on the sensor only R G B G R G measure the brightness of the light, not R G B G R its colour. So that colour information G B G B R is gathered, each photosite has a red, G G R G R green or blue ﬁlter. These are arranged in G R a mosaic known as a Bayer pattern, after the bofﬁn that came up with it. He found that by using twice as many green ﬁlters as blue or red, you got a sharper image. A demosaicing process turns this raw data into the full-colour grid of pixels in the recorded images.
HOW MUCH PROCESSING DO YOU WANT?
Your camera offers a wealth of options that enable you to change the amount of processing used
Save as JPEGs
By default, your Nikon D-SLR shoots ready-to-use JPEG ﬁles in one of three quality settings: Fine, Normal and Basic. The Fine option is visible here on this D3100’s Shooting menu under Image Quality.
Nikon D-SLRs can also shoot RAW or ‘NEF’ ﬁles. RAW ﬁles need to be converted on a computer, but they give you more control over the appearance of the image, and potentially better quality.
12-bit or 14-bit
Simpler Nikon D-SLRs save RAW ﬁles using 12 bits of data per pixel. This is a big improvement on the 8 bits used for JPEGs, but some models, such as the D3s, offer a 14bit NEF format for higher quality.
Some Nikons offer different compression options for NEF ﬁles, including compressed, lossless compressed or uncompressed NEFs. Compression reduces the ﬁle size of the saved image.
Jeremy Walker is one of few landscape photographers that have truly mastered the panoramic image. This man for all seasons tells Keith Wilson why he prefers this format, and how he learnt to create digital panoramas after many years of shooting on ﬁlm… 88
any professionals will identify closely with Jeremy Walker’s training as a photographer: an art college graduate, he moved to London to work as an assistant, then ran a studio for ﬁve years before going freelance. But rather than establishing his own studio, Jeremy prefers the windswept locations of Iceland, the Scottish Highlands, Snowdonia and the Canadian Rockies… Did you always want to be a photographer? Yes, absolutely. I was really thick at school. Academically, I was hopeless at everything,
and it wasn’t until I picked up a camera – a Yashica FX-3 – that I found something I was interested in. I would talk photography all through maths class with another pupil who was keen, and he went on to become an editor of a photography magazine! What were the key things you learnt during your four years as an assistant? I assisted various photographers, but I hated London: so many people working crazy hours, so expensive, and I had hardly any money. But being an assistant was a great experience and I learnt a lot. You learn all about photography at college, but working as an assistant you learn how to deal with
PINE FOREST IN MIST, DORSET, ENGLAND Nikon D3x, Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, 1/15 sec, f/11, ISO100
people, how to handle the clients, and how to behave professionally. What made you decide to leave and become a full-time photographer? I think you know when the time is right to leave, and at the time I thought I couldn’t learn any more. So I left and joined Grosvenor, a commercial print, design and photography business in Northampton. It was a brilliant set-up. They did everything from photography to the design and printing. There were about 40 employees and I was the head of the photo side. We shot everything from Formula 1 engines to fashion and shoes, and bespoke brochures.
So why did you give up working in a successful commercial studio to become a freelance photographer? My father thought I was mad to give it up! I was ﬁve years at Grosvenor, and I was earning good money, had a house, car, holidays. It was a good job. But the clients were saying they kept coming to Grosvenor for my photography. They said whether I was here or elsewhere they would keep coming to me. So I thought, now was the time to set up on my own. And that’s what I did. I had a list of 37 clients, approached ten, and within a month six gave me work. Also, I didn’t want to get to age 65 or 70 and think back, “What if…?”
Panoramas have become your signature format. When did you ﬁrst become interested in them? I tend to see the world in a letter-box shape. Not long after arriving in London I saw one of the advertising photographers shoot in
The panorama format suits the way I see the world. I don’t go in for wide-angle landscapes with a rock in the foreground Jeremy Walker Landscape Photographer Summer 2012
The world’s toughest tests
Looking for something compact and light that still offers sturdy support? Matt Richards hunts out the last man standing in our three-legged race… 104
1 Hama Traveller Compact Pro (004214) £40, $60
2 Manfrotto Compact Photo-Movie Kit (MKC3-H01) £50, $60 3 Slik Sprint Pro II GM £70, $90 4 Jessops Major Carbon Fibre (5145152) £85, $135 5 Vanguard Nivelo 245BK £120, $150 6 Benro Flat Traveller 2 (BRA1192TB0) £210, $295 7 Velbon GEO E-530 £220, $320 8 Giottos Vitruvian (VGRN8255-5400-652) £300, $400
Rick’s clients include Footprint Travel Guides, The Italian Tourist Board, and UNICEF
1 NIKON D7000 (BODY £800, $1200)
■ What’s it for? Everything – long-exposure landscapes on snowy nights, climbing around the boxing ring, even portraits in brothels. I’ve always used Nikon and I ran my D300 into the ground, but this is a replacement that I’m warming to. ■ Plus points Light, fast, brilliant focusing, room for two memory cards and it has a quiet shutter. ■ Minus marks A bit too light and fragile, and I’m not keen on flimsy SD cards.
2 NIKON V1 WITH 10mm LENS (£649, $1147)
■ What’s it for? Carrying around in my pocket when my back’s too sore. It’s like a compact, but with full D-SLR control and a viewfinder. It’s tiny and feelslike a toy so my pictures are more playful. ■ Plus points Video – I’ve never used it before. Film quality is incredibly sharp and the sound is great. ■ Minus marks The controls are more fiddly than a D-SLR, and the setupfeels a bit awkward.
Essential Nikon kit to cope with everything from a boxing match to the rainy season in Thailand
3 SIGMA 30mm F/1.4 LENS (£377, $489)
■ What’s it for? Portraits in low light and street photography, plus handheld shots of cities at night. I’ve grown to love this lens. ■ Plus points Quick, f/1.4, very sharp, lightweight and it has a nice shape. ■ Minus marks The autofocusing can be problematic – it often focuses slightly in front of the subject. It’s fine once you realise this, but it does take an extra bit of thinking about when you’re shooting.
4 B+W 110ND FILTER (£70, $125)
■ What’s it for? Long exposures in daylight: I can soften the sea on a packed beach, ghost people and streak midsummer clouds. It makes everyday scenes virtually unrecognisable. ■ Plus points It can turn an ordinary scene into something special. ■ Minus marks Once it’s on the camera you can’t see through the viewfinder, so compose before screwing it on and be careful not to accidentally lose focus.
GLASSES (£50, $80)
■ What are they for? Seeing! I’m short-sighted but never buy anything until essential. Driving over mountain roads in Italy, a friend popped his glasses on me and suddenly I could see. I now wear them when shooting in low light. ■ Plus points Less risk of falling off a cliff and being punched at boxing shows. I can also see dogs. ■ Minus marks I have to take them off when focusing, and when it’s raining there’s an extra bit of glass to wipe.