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September 2012 Issue 65 £4.99


Canon D-SLR photo projects Learn to improve your camera skills with 14 new indoor and outdoor assignments!



CANON EOS M Canon’s new Compact System Camera!



How to shoot wildlife on safari!

Photograph all creatures great and small from lions to lizards


Take great high-flying airplane shots today!

Learn to take your D-SLR and Photoshop skills to new heights!

Flashguns for under £200

Brighten up your shots as we test eight flashguns flashguns SEPTEMBER 2012 £4.99

PhotoPlus Inspirations

Singapore Skyline by David Clapp

“Singapore is without a doubt one of the most wonderful cities on earth, and boasts some absolutely stunning architecture. This was one of many night-time cityscapes I shot during a trip last Christmas – it’s the view looking across Marina Bay towards the Central Business District. For much of the trip it was a rather cruel 32°C and 90 per cent humidity, which left me feeling like I needed a shower every hour. The most important piece of kit for these shoots was a small towel to wipe my brow – it was much too hot to be lugging around a 9kg camera bag and tripod! But it was worth it: the photography was particularly compelling.” Location: Singapore Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk II Lens: Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II Exposure: 13 secs at f/11; ISO100

Stunning imagery from the world of Canon photography 22 | PhotoPlus September 2012

Great Canon photographers in action

In association with‌

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PhotoPlus Inspirations

Great Canon photographers in action



Enys Dodnan by David Clapp

David Clapp

David Clapp has been a professional landscape, travel and architectural photographer for the past five years and is based in Devon. A regular contributor to PhotoPlus, he also runs photography workshops in the UK and overseas in association with Light and Land, Bangwallop and the YHA.

“This shot is of the Enys Dodnan natural rock arch at Land’s End in Cornwall, with the Longships Lighthouse in the distance. A rather bland daytime had me feeling somewhat lacklustre about a sunset shoot, but the coastline of Cornwall is very unpredictable, so much so that the clouds will often break out to sea and create beautiful sunset conditions. Large waves were rolling in from the Atlantic, but this composition owes itself to timing in particular. The trough of the breaking wave creates a wonderful S-shape though the picture, leading the eye to the sea stacks, then the lighthouse beyond.” Location: Land’s End, Cornwall Camera: Canon EOS 5D Lens: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Exposure: 1 sec at f/22; ISO50

The Parliament II by David Clapp

“This is the formidable stone circle near the village of Callanish on the Isle of Lewis. This day was classic Scottish weather – a huge anvil of cumulus nimbus cloud came in off the Atlantic, drenching the Outer Hebrides in rain and hail. The circle itself was the perfect setting for this meteorological fun, so I stayed there all day and captured the changing conditions in infrared, colour and black-and-white. This huge cloud had me running for cover, so I hid behind the centre stone as it lashed down, then got the camera out again to capture it disappearing towards the coast. I shot this infrared image with my old 5D, which I had converted. The camera still records images in RGB, but on the back screen everything looks red. It’s then a case of converting the image to mono, which I’ve been doing in Lightroom.” Location: Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland Camera: Canon EOS 5D – converted for IR Lens: Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Exposure: 1/30 sec at f/11; ISO50

In association with…

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PhotoPlus Inspirations


Mynydd Drws-y-Coed by David Clapp

“I took this shot on a trip to the Snowdonia National Park in Wales last November. It wasn’t a particularly eventful trip, as it was brief and the weather was pretty foul, but I did manage to capture some good reflections, and also this wonderful cloud inversion engulfing the peak of Mynydd Drws-y-Coed and the surrounding mountains, which I photographed from the summit of Mount Snowdon. The temperature was dropping fast and cloud was spiralling from the summit and engulfing us. I managed this composition, sitting on a flattened tripod, with my hands so cold they turned into flippers! Walking down in the dark was far from funny though, especially with no water, no food and worse still, no torch! A photograph I will never forget!” Location: Snowdonia National Park, Wales Camera: Canon EOS-1Ds Mk III Lens: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Exposure: 1/80 sec at f/11; ISO100

About Clikpic…

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Taj Mahal by David Clapp

“This shot was taken while I was leading a workshop to Sikkim in India. We got to the Taj Mahal at 7am to take full advantage of the morning light that bathes the wonderful building in soft yellows. After a few symmetrical shots, I moved to a more secluded part of the park to captured this image of a security guard heading off to start his working day. As usual, there’s more going on behind the scenes than it appears. I am arguing with an American lady who wants to take the same shot, and who insists I am ‘in her way’, after standing behind me. There is a tripod ban inside the Taj, so I used a handheld 24mm TS-E lens to keep those doors straight, and pushed the ISO to keep the shutter speed high. Remember the ‘one-over’ rule in these situations: 1/24 sec is the slowest shutter speed at which you can safely hand-hold when using a 24mm lens.” Location: Taj Mahal, India Camera: Canon EOS-1Ds Mk III Lens: Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II Exposure: 1/60 sec at f/8; ISO400

Skills Camera Techniques

Claire Gillo


40 | PhotoPlus September 2012

Photoshop Elements

Your guide

Claire Gillo



Make a DIY lightbox at home


Use greaseproof paper and a window to create a natural light box for capturing stunning, translucent flower images

S Checklist What you’ll need

Flower, greaseproof paper, tape, tripod, macro lens (optional)

How long it’ll take One hour

The skills you’ll learn How to construct a natural lightbox

How to use your D-SLR’s exposure compensation feature How to edit your images using Photoshop Elements

etting up and taking creative shots in the comfort of your own home is easy to do, and in this new photo project we’re going to show you how to make a lightbox using nothing more than a window and some greaseproof paper. We’ll be using the technique to photograph flowers, but it can be applied to all kinds of items found around the home – try photographing slices of fruit, such as oranges and kiwi fruit, or clear sweets. The possibilities are endless! For this tutorial we’ll be using the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens, but if you don’t have one you can use an extension tube with your standard lens. If you can’t get hold of a macro lens or an extension tube you won’t be able to pick out as much detail in translucent subjects – if this is the case then you may want to consider photographing a larger flower or an alternative, larger translucent object.

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Skills Camera Techniques

Phrase Book

Macro photography

Macro photography describes shooting subjects for display at larger-than-life size, revealing a huge amount of detail that is normally invisible to the naked eye. A ‘true’ macro lens is capable of projecting the subject onto the image sensor at a 1:1 ratio (actual size), but many standard lenses offer a ‘macro’ setting that allows close-up photography at something like a 1:4 ratio (quarter size). This still reveals an amazing amount of detail because the images are viewed at a much larger size than they are recorded on the sensor – the 22.3 x 14.9mm image from a 600D can easily be blown up to a poster print, for example.

Super Tip!

Set the focus

Set up the light box

Tape a sheet of greaseproof paper to a window. You can either shoot the flowers on their stems, or cut them off as we have and tape them to the paper; if you do this make sure you use clear tape, and spread the petals over the paper so you can see through them.

Set the focus to the centre AF point, and make sure the centre of the flower is precisely in focus. If you’re photographing two or more flowers, set the focal point for the largest flower in the shot.

Use a tripod

Switch to Av mode

Set your camera to Aperture Priority mode so you can control the aperture. Set the aperture to f/8 to keep your images sharp from front to back, and set the ISO to 100 for detailed, noise-free shots.

To ensure that your images are perfectly sharp, mount your camera on a tripod. Even pressing the button can cause slight camera shake, so for the best results use the self-timer or a remote release. You should start by composing your shot from a low angle, pointing upwards.

Super Tip!

Although you’re taking shots indoors you’re still using natural light to control the results. Think about which window in your home will work best for your lightbox, and consider the time of day; the weather will also make a difference. Avoid direct sunlight, unless you want your object to be brightly lit from behind.

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Brighten the exposure

Your camera will underexpose shots in an attempt to render bright backlight as a midtone, so go to the Exposure Compensation setting and dial in +1 stop of exposure compensation. Check your shots, and increase this as high as +2, if necessary.

Start shooting

Now you can get shooting. Experiment by taking photos of one flower by itself or a bunch together. You can overlay different flowers on top of each other or just stick to one type as we have. It’s entirely up to you which composition you prefer!

Download start image at:

Photoshop Elements

Super Tip!

Pull back the highlights

Open the macro_start.dng Raw image in ACR in Photoshop Elements. If you’re editing your own images you’ll need to use slightly different settings, but you’ll be making similar edits as we are here. Start by moving the Recovery slider right to 23 pull back some highlight detail. Select the Crop tool, and crop into the image to get rid of some of the white space. Click Open Image to open the image in the Elements workspace.

Clone out distractions

Duplicate the ‘Background’ layer and name the new layer ‘Flower’. Select the Clone Stamp tool, and set the brush size to 125 pixels. Use the tool to clean up any marks and breaks on the petals, Altclicking to sample suitable ‘clean’ areas. Next use the Quick Selection tool to select the stem of the flower, and clone it out with white background pixels.

Boost the contrast

Next add a Levels adjustment layer, and to boost the contrast set the Shadows slider to 63, the Midtones slider to 0.70 and the Highlights slider to 240. This leaves the darker central parts of the flowers looking too dark, so take the Brush tool, set the foreground colour to black, target the layer mask and mask out (paint) the adjustment in that area.

The Recovery slider in ACR (Adobe Camera Raw within Photoshop) enables you to pull back some detail in highlights that are clipped in one or two colour channels, but not in areas that are clipped in all three channels, as those pixels will be pure white with no detail at all. It’s a useful tool, but take care not to push the slider too far for images such as our translucent flower, or you’ll destroy the subtle gradations in colour that create detail in the lightest areas.

Tweak the colours

To enhance the paler tones of the petals add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and set Hue to -14, Saturation to -18 and Lightness to +12. Again remove this adjustment from the more colourful central areas by painting with the Brush tool (set to black as before) on the layer mask.

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Touch up the colours

Clean up the background

Press Ctrl+D to deselect the stem, then zoom into the image, reduce the brush size and carefully clone out any bits of the stem that remain. Next, tidy up the background by removing any tape marks and blemishes such as sensor spots.

To finish off select the ‘Flower’ layer. With the Brush tool selected, hold down Alt and click on one of the lighter purple tones in the flowers to make that colour the foreground colour. Reduce the Opacity of the Brush tool to 10%, and carefully brush over any discoloured area of the petals – particularly greentinged areas – to improve their colour. ■

Why don’t you give our photo projects a go, and then share your images with us online? Upload your images to our Facebook page at PhotoPlusMag, or our Flickr page at groups/photoplus magazine

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