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INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH ISSUE CHRIS HENDERSON NEIL WARNER NORMAN CHILDS GARY FRIEDMAN STEPHEN POWER
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f2 Freelance Photographer incorporating Cameracraft is published six times a year September/October, November/ December, January/February, March/ April, May/June, July/August. On sale in the month before first month of cover date. Distributed by COMAG: www.comag.co.uk
ISSN 1754-0615 UK subscriptions cost £35.70 for six issues. Europe £41.70. Rest of World £46.70. Cheques to the publisher’s address made payable to ‘Icon Publications Ltd’ or subscribe at www.iconpublications.com Icon Publications Ltd can accept no responsibility for loss of or damage to photographs and manuscripts submitted, however caused. Responsibility for insurance and return carriage of equipment submitted for review or test rests with the owner. Views expressed in this magazine are those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and policies of Icon Publications Ltd or its advertisers. All technical data and pricing information contained in news and feature articles is printed in good faith. While all advertising copy is accepted in good faith, Icon Publications Ltd can not accept any legal responsibility for claims made or the quality of goods and services arising from advertising in this publication. All contents including advertising artwork created by Icon Publications Ltd are copyright of the publishers or the creators of the works, and must not be reproduced by any means without prior permission. ©2016 Icon Publications Ltd. E&OE.
VOLUME 10 No 4 (Issue #83)
FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER &
Welder by Gary Friedman. See Gary’s thoughts on Health and Safety in our Industrial Strength section.
NEWS & DIARY
NIKON D500 Why Keith Morris has gone for the new pro spec DX Nikon
SAMYANG 135mm ƒ2 The sharpest in the bargain box
EDINBURGH STUDENTS AWARDS Accolades for photographic students at Edinburgh College from the professionals of BIPP Scotland
ADVERTISING FEATURES Two exhibitions sponsored by Fujifilm UK, printed by leading labs theprintspace and CC
FUJIFILM X70 The pockerable APS-C X-camera
CULLMANN TITAN 935 Wade in with the return of a serious heavyweight
SIGMA MC-11 EF-E We test the Canon EF to Sony FE autofocus lens adaptor
ELINCHROM EL-SKYPORT PLUS HS Hi-Sync for the Sony MFA shoe
THE IMAGINARIUM: GARY NICHOLLS A steampunk photo-graphic trilogy in the making
CANON 1D X Mark II What future do the cards predict for Canon’s new 4K flagship?
PORTFOLIO: NEW YORK DANCE Deborah Ory & Ken Browar Eight pages show why this work has won worldwide acclaim
INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH Three top industrial and commercial specialists tell us their story: Chris Henderson Neil Warner (image above) Norman Childs
HEALTH & SAFETY Gary Friedman on industrial precautions for photographers
CORPORATE BACKING Stephen Power shoots the arts and music which industry supports
LIGHT READING Martin Grahame-Dunn returns from a successful engagement in the UAE
YOUR VISION Our gallery sponsored by top lab One Vision Imaging
ƒ2 Cameracraft July/August 2016 3
2 ƒ NEWS
with Richard Kilpatrick
Leica M-D £4650 2016’s rangefinder from Leica, the M-D, stands out for what it lacks rather than what it offers. Costing £4650 and based on the proven 24Mp CMOS sensor, the M-D is related to the current M262 rangefinder body, with a quiet shutter and subtle improvements from the older M240 body. 2 or 3fps drive is reasonably nippy for a manual focus, rangefinder camera, the 0.68x finder features manual frame selector and
illuminated brightlines. What the M-D lacks should transform the user experience, however, as the standard LCD screen has been eliminated in favour of a single large ISO dial. Stylistically it fits the ‘Professional’ Leica identity of the M9-P/M-P, with no red dot. the only additional control being the
wheel for exposure compensation. Video and obviously live view are absent. Without the vulnerable LCD, the M-D should prove to be a tough companion for rangefinder fans and an inspirational challenge with no chimping option! 020 7629 1351 www.leica-storemayfair.co.uk
DIARY September 6th 2016 Photovision Roadshow Dublin September 20th-25th 2016 Photokina Cologne, Germany October 10th-14th 2016 Salon de la Photo Paris, France October 16th 2016 Meet the Masters Open Day Hinckley Island Hotel Master Photography Awards Dinner & Presentations November 19th 2016 Photovision Roadshow Epsom
Top dollars for HIPA Hasselblad H6D £17,900-22,600 HASSELBLAD’s H-system is now in its 6th generation, and the H6D regains their position at the top of medium format imaging with either 50Mp or 100Mp CMOS sensors and an extensively revised body. The range-topping 100Mp version breaks new ground with large-format 4K video recording, and both backs feature dual card slots, USB C 3.0 connectivity, WiFi and touchscreen. Both compact-flash based CFast and convenient SD storage allow flexible working, A maximum 2.5 FPS frame rate also pushes the expected boundaries of medium format technology. Revised lenses, jump to 1/2000th second leaf shutters with a long operating life. HDMI output allows professional video monitoring and larger-format tethered workflows. The 50c offers an impressive 14 stop dynamic range, the 100Mp 100c approaches 15 stops. ISO and noise performance reflect the immense leaps made in the past five years, giving nothing away to the latest CMOS DSLRs. CCD expectations are shattered, limits forgotten here. Their inhouse software Phocus is also brought up to date. Generous trade in deals run until September 2016, allowing between £5000 for a 30Mp third party, to £8750 for recent H5D models. The H6D is available now. 020 8731 3250 www.hasselbladukstore.co.uk/
HIPA, the world photo contest and organisation based in Dubai, has announced the increase of the total Prize Pool for their sixth season ‘The Challenge’ to USD $423,000 which will also coincide with a new deadline for submissions, October 31st 2016. Practical workshops during HIPA’s 2016 calendar include ‘Macro Photography’ by Emirati Yousef Al Habshi (July 15th-16th); Portfolio Week, August 21st-25th; and Live Photo Contest Judging lecture, October 15th, with ƒ2 columnist Martin Grahame-Dunn and Omani photographer Ahmed Albusaidi. The Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) was launched in 2011 by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai. For more information visit www.hipa.ae
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Broncolor Siros L – Battery-powered Studio Quality in 800 and 400 Joules
Sony Pro support SONY has announced the expansion of its Imaging PRO Support programme to include the UK from September 2016. It offers advice, a dedicated telephone help desk, a free collection and return service for units requiring repairs, plus a free back-up loan unit. Members can benefit from a free twice-yearly image sensor cleaning service with filter glass replacement if necessary and firmware check-up to keep their cameras in top condition. There’s no membership fee for the service that’s offered to professional photographers* who own at least two Sony Alpha camera bodies and three Sony Alpha lenses from the qualifying list detailed beneath. Qualifying Cameras and Lenses SLT-A99(V), SLT-A77(V), ILCA-77M2, ILCE-7R, ILCE-7RM2, ILCE-7S, ILCE7SM2, DSC-RX1, DSC-RX1R, DSCRX1RM2, ILCE-7, ILCE-7M2, NEX-7. Qualifying lenses: SAL 100M28, SAL 135F18Z, SAL 135F28, SAL 1635Z, SAL 1635Z2, SAL 1680Z, SAL 16F28, SAL 2470Z, SAL 2470Z2, SAL 24F20Z, SAL 300F28G, SAL 300F28G2, SAL 35F14G, SAL 500F40G, SAL 50F14Z, SAL 70200G, SAL 70200G2, SAL 70300G, SAL 70300G2, SAL 70400G, SAL 70400G2, SAL 85F14Z SEL 1670Z, SEL 2470Z, SEL 24F18Z, SEL 35F28Z, SEL 55F18Z, SEL 70200G, SELP 18105G, SEL 1635Z, SELP 28135G, SEL 35F14Z, SEL 90F28G, SEL 85F14GM, SEL 2470GM, SEL 70200GM, SEL 70300G. *Applicants will need to provide proof of their revenue stream generated from their photography work. Sony reserves the right to judge individual cases on their merits. www.sony.co.uk
From £1818 THE SIROS 800 L, Broncolor’s first battery-powered monobloc, is intended to offer optimum lighting both indoors and outdoors. Compact device and powerful, power-dense lithium ion batteries allow up to 440 flashes at full power. Broncolor’s experience in extreme environments has resulted in testing - and proven operation - between -10° to 60°C (14° to 140°F). Full recharge takes just 75 minutes. As you’d expect from a firm that has invested heavily in fast duration and colour temperature control, the Siros includes patented ECTC technology for flash durations of up to 1/19,000s (t0.5) and constant colour temperature over the entire control range. Smartphone owners benefit from the attractive “bronControl” app, which features a novel LED colour coding system to identify flash groups/devices in the app. 25-watt LED modules provide a low-consumption modelling light with a colour temperature of 3000 K, matching the Siros mains powered units. 400 and 800 J models are available. To optimise use with parabolic reflectors, the Siros L is designed with an external flash tube. The Siros L will be available in shops from 1st July 2016. www.broncolor.com
ƒ2 Reader Offer: OnlinePaper.co.uk – get an extra 5% discount* USE CHECKOUT CODE F278 until midnight 30/06/16 for FREE UK P&P on ALL ORDERS over £50 including, the complete Hahnemühle range of papers – now with 22% ƒ2 discount – the 2015 TIPA award winning Canson Lustre and Baryta with 30% ƒ2 discount offer… plus the top sellers from Permajet, Ilford, Fotospeed as well as the more specialist papers like Somerset Enhanced and the legendary Museo Silver Rag for which they are also the UK distributors. Don’t miss their Special Promotions where you can save up to 60% off leading range test/sample packs of papers. Use Checkout Code F278 where your ƒ2 discount and FREE UK P&P will be applied. Visit the new website, www.on-linepaper.co.uk 6 July/August 2016 ƒ2 Cameracraft
Quick change battery pack and power level indicator. This is a full size monobloc system.
Controls suit any eyesight…
Broncolor Siros 800 two-head kit with roller case, softbox and umbrella plus stands.
OK, guys at Kenro, you know we are into retro stuff – but seriously? A product shot featuring a camera which is now FORTY YEARS OLD?
Kenro Takeway R1 Mini Ranger Clampod £29.94 KENRO’s action-shooting Clampod range continues to grow - or shrink with the new R1 Mini Ranger. Targeting action cameras and smartphones, the sub-£30 mount is ideal for cycle or motorcycle mounting, able to clamp onto anything 5-32mm thick. A quick release plate allows rapid changes of camera or detaching for use elsewhere. Alongside the R1, Kenro offer a wide reange of accessories such as the Tablet Holder (TY102) at £17.94, ideal for iPads and low-profile HDMI monitors, the grippy Smartphone Holder for Sports (TY103), and a selection of mini tropods, heads and other accessories. www.kenro.co.uk
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For more information… Visit loxleycolour.com or call 0845 519 5000 ƒ2 Cameracraft July/August 2016 7
A PROFESSIONAL BOOST TO STUDENT MORALE
he British Institute of Professional Photography has always been a recognised validator of college courses and examinations, and has a special place for the UK’s many thousands of photographic students. In Scotland, the Institute holds its annual awards for all members, and out of ten categories four are for student work. As a former editor of the BIPP’s magazine The Photographer way back in the 1970s and for a second tenure in the 1990s, and as a Fellow of the BIPP, I’m very pleased to see student involvement once more leading the way. This year’s crop of Edinburgh College student winners proved notable and we’ll be giving all of those featured here a year’s subscription to ƒ2 Cameracraft. – David Kilpatrick, ƒ2 Editor Students successful in awards: Social & Portraiture Merit - Mhairi Bell-Moodie Advertising & Fashion 1st - Greg Abramowicz
8 July/August 2016 ƒ2 Cameracraft
Above: in the student Social & Portraiture section the only award was a Merit to Mhairi Bell-Moodie for Aaron and Ollie (above). Greg Abramowicz was the student photographer of the year with several successful images. Below, ‘Spooky Stories’ entered in the Open Category – though this kind of fantasy montage is now very popular from mainstream portrait studios.
2nd - Graeme Cunningham 3rd - Greg Abramowicz Merit - Jessica Shurte Merit - Jessica Shurte Merit - Greg Abramowicz Photo-Journalism 1st - Kate Leishman 2nd - Bruce White 3rd - David Bishop Open Award 1st - Greg Abramowicz 2nd - Oliver Henderson 3rd - Pavel Tamm Merit - David Bishop Merit - Greg Abramowicz The Student of the Year overall award went to Greg Abramowicz. For information about the BIPP: Visit www.bipp.com Telephone 01296 642020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org For details of Edinburgh College photographic course’s 2016/2017 enrolment contact: Edinburgh College Sighthill Campus Bankhead Avenue Edinburgh EH11 4DE Á www.edinburghcollege.ac.uk
PHOTOS COURTESY OF SASHA DE PAZ
60,137 COMBINATIONS. 60,137 COMBINATIONS CREATE YOURS. FIND YOURS NOW #THINKTED #THINKTED 3xmsolution.com
Have a question? Scan the code with messenger to ask us anything! 1) Open up Messenger 2) Tap your picture at the top of the page ƒ2 Cameracraft July/August 2016 9 3) Select “Scan Code”
Above left: Triathlete by Greg Abramowicz, Advertising and Fashion. Above, upper right, Jump also by Greg in the same category. Above lower right, local rugby match by Kate Leishman in the Photo-Journalism class. Below, a different view of rugby from Greg Abramowicz from the Open category, ‘Rugby Rocks’. Not so far off the truth when a run up here and back from Edinburgh city centre is standard daily training… for photographers as well as athletes.
10 July/August 2016 ƒ2 Cameracraft
Above, Dark Harbour by David Bishop, from the Open category. Below, ‘Big Time’ by Graeme Cunningham, from the Advertising and Fashion section. All from BIPP Scotland Region Student Awards, Edinburgh College..
ƒ2 Cameracraft July/August 2016 11
BIPP Scotland Student Awards: Above left, Miller cap by Greg Abramowicz, Advertising and Fashion category. Above right, ‘The Biologist’ by Pavel Tamm, Open section. Below, ‘Meet the Ancestors’ by David Bishop, Photo-Journalism category.
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Being In-between ‘Inside me is still the gap-toothed small girl who sat in the cupboard dreaming of Narnia’ – Carolyn Mendelsohn
Alice, December 1st 2015; right, Eve, April 1st 2015. Photographs © Carolyn Mendelsohn See: www.carolynmendelsohnphoto.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/carolyn.mendelsohn.photography @tarlyn Salts Mill: www.saltsmill.org.uk Arts Trail: www.saltaireinspired.org.uk/category/2016-at-saltaire-arts-trail
est Yorkshire-based portrait photographer Carolyn Mendelsohn remembers only too well that magical and potentially awkward age between childhood and becoming a young adult, and it’s proved to be priceless experience for her latest project/exhibition. The moment that stands out for Carolyn Mendelsohn as the epitome of her personal ‘inbetween’ years (loosely defined as that age between ten to twelve when children have moved on from their ‘cute’ phase but have yet to mature into young adults) was an incident at home on a balmy summer’s evening. She had plucked up the courage to venture downstairs wearing a pair of garish lime green shorts. “I was only a small thing at the time,” she recalls, “but I was incredibly self-conscious. The shorts weren’t exactly subtle, and I remember walking slowly downstairs to be met by a parent commenting: ‘Oh my – your legs look so chubby!’ “I ran upstairs mortified and didn’t show my legs for years. Eventually a friend commented on her confusion about my attitude to my ‘chunky legs,’ and I realised I was worrying about nothing. The
truth was they were stick thin. It was ridiculous, funny and a little sad, that one throwaway comment had created so much impact, but it got me thinking about the in-between age where we’re all so vulnerable.” The more that Carolyn pondered this largely ignored group, the more she realised she had discovered an engaging personal project, which has now turned into an exhibition, ‘Being In-between.’ It has been shown at the Artlink Gallery in Hull and Salts Mill in Yorkshire as part of the Above: Carolyn at the Salts Mill venue opening (photograph by Susie Lawrence) Below: checking prints emerging from the system at CC Imaging in Leeds (photograph by Louise Rayner). See: www.ccimaging.co.uk
For more information on Fujifilm Fine Art Photo Rag Paper or to request a sample print call Peter Wigington on 01234 572138, email email@example.com or visit http://tinyurl.com/jd6b8ax
Saltaire Arts Trail. “I can so relate to my subjects,” she says, “and I give them space to be who they are and to talk while I listen. Girls of this age are bombarded with advertising and marketing aimed at ‘tweens’, but it shouldn’t define them. I wanted to take beautiful portraits of these girls and give them the opportunity to celebrate who they really are at this point in their lives.” As part of the process Carolyn invites each subject to bring their own choice of clothes along to the sitting – to express who they are. She also interviews each girl and asks them pertinent questions – and for the Salts Mill exhibition audio incorporating the girls’ voices added a ‘soundscape’, created by composer and choral trainer Graham Coatman. Over the years Carolyn has become acutely aware of the need to present work effectively and for ‘In-Between’ she decided to have the pictures printed slightly larger than life, and to mount them unframed to Dibond (aluminium), which made them rigid and more robust. She also opted for a painterly feel, achieved by using the Giclée process and outputting the work on Fujifilm Fine Art Photo Rag media, a cotton 100% rag traditional fine art paper featuring a special, smooth matt coating. “When I was invited to exhibit my growing body of work at the Artlink Gallery I was delighted to receive arts council funding to enable me to mount the exhibition in the way I felt would best suit the photographs,” says Carolyn. “At this point I contacted Chris Baxter, the creative director at CC Imaging in Leeds, to discuss what might be the best material to print on. He recommended Photo Rag. The test prints he produced for me were simply breathtaking, so we went ahead with the rest and the end result was stunning, way beyond what I originally hoped for. “Every portrait just looks so real, which adds to the compelling nature of the show, and while the finish of the prints is matt and nonreflective they are all rich in colour. The texture invites you to reach out and touch them. “Those who see the work are always commenting about the print medium. People love it, and there’s no doubt that it brings out the best in the work. I’m so grateful to have been introduced to Fujifilm Fine Art Photo Rag.” n ƒ2 Cameracraft July/August 2016 13
‘Psst – tell me a joke and I’ll take your picture and make a real exhibition of you’ L ife as a stand-up comedian is no laughing matter. There’s endless amounts of travelling; hours of hanging around backstage just waiting to go on; the fear of encountering a difficult audience and too many late nights to mention, but still this is a career that those involved would never swap. In this ‘another night, another town’ environment Steve Best appreciates more than most just how unique this business is, and over the twenty years he’s been treading the boards he’s built up a special camaraderie with his fellow performers and a unique understanding of what makes them tick. “I realised some time ago that I was in a very privileged position to be on the inside of this profession,” he says, “and at that time I started to take a simple point and shoot camera along with me so that I could take some snaps of the people I met up with along the way.” Steve’s interest quickly morphed into a formula: he would take un-posed pictures of his subjects using available light, whilst at the same time asking
London-based stand-up comedian Steve Best started taking a camera along with him to his gigs and over the years has used his ‘inside track’ status to build up an outstanding collection of images of his fellow performers For more information on Fujifilm Crystal Archive papers or to request a sample print please call Peter Wigington on 01234 572138, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.fujifilm.eu/uk/products/photofinishing/photographic-paper/
Making the Prints ALL OF THE PRINTS for Steve’s show were made by theprintspace, which is located right in the centre of Shoreditch, London’s creative hotbed. First opening its doors in 2007, the company has now grown to become one of the UK’s leading providers of professional photo and fine art printing services, offering printing, mounting and framing, both online and in-house. A firm favourite with creative artists and photographers, theprintspace’s award-winning service offers gallery-standard quality at affordable prices, which is why Turner Prize-winning artists and National Portrait Gallery award-winners consistently choose to work with them. Another service recently launched by theprintspace is thehub, a new online ordering system that allows users to store their images online for easy reprints and to create customised branded online art stores where they can sell prints of their work directly to the public. “We’ve been working with Fujifilm ever since theprintspace first opened,” says Dave Lucken, the company’s operations director. “After extensively testing a wide range of products we discovered that Fujifilm papers gave us the most consistent results and the most neutral prints, especially when we were working with black and white images, which can be very tricky to print on colour papers. “Steve was introduced to us via Fujifilm and we saw straight away that this project was a unique take on what you usually see at a comedy show. It was a rare, almost backstage, viewpoint on how a comedian might see their show, and we loved the work. The decision to print it all out on Fujifilm’s DP II Matte media was a simple one: it really suited the images and, in our opinion, it was going to be the best all-round paper in terms of being able to cope with the different lighting levels that Steve encountered in the course of shooting his images.” www.theprintspace.co.uk
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them to contribute a one-line joke and a few unknown facts about themselves. Although there had never been the intention to turn the series into a full-scale project, eventually there was enough material – pictures of around 450 comedians, ranging from famous names such as Jo Brand, Sean Lock, Lee Mack, Harry Hill and Sarah Millican through to complete unknowns who were just working the circuit – to compile a book, Comedy Snapshot. Such was the positive reaction to its appearance in 2014 that it very quickly became obvious that a second volume was called for, and at this point Steve decided that he needed to adopt a more serious attitude to his photography. He began to look around for a more advanced camera that would still suit his candid approach and found what he was looking for by hanging out in Park Cameras and trying the kit that was on sale. The camera he fell for was the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 plus 18mm and 35mm lenses: “It was the perfect tool for me,” he says. “I loved its retro styling and, although it was
See: www.stevebest.com – www.comedysnapshot.com Crowdfunding: https://unbound.co.uk/books/comedy-snapshots
a digital model, it felt like a film camera to me.” Book Number Two Comedy Snapshots (with an extra ‘s’ this time) is now well on the way, featuring yet more big names such as Alexei Sayle, John Bishop and Jason Byrne (top), Jimmy Carr (bottom), Julian Clary, Katharine Ryan, Rich Hall (centre) and Frank Skinner and is being produced as a Crowdfunded publication so that Steve retains overall control. “The campaign quickly became 120% oversubscribed,” he says, “although it’s still possible for people to pre-order or pledge and there’s even an option to pledge £500 and receive the Fujifilm X70 camera (worth £549) plus both books and an invitation for two to the launch party! The project also attracted interest from Penguin Books, who asked if they could publish their own edition next year once the Crowdfunded version has come out.” Also in the pipeline is an ambitious future book project entitled Comedians Back to Front, in which Steve gets even more involved in the photography, using the rapport he’s built up with his fellow performers to candidly document them backstage and from front of house. It will offer the outsider an exclusive glimpse into the work of the comedian that could probably only ever have been compiled by someone who had fully earned the trust and cooperation of those appearing within it. An exhibition is also planned. It will take place at the Quarry Theatre, Bedford – coincidentally in the town that’s also the home to Fujifilm UK – throughout July to coincide with the Fringe Festival that’s taking place there. Around 50 A3/A2 size prints will be on display, produced by theprintspace. Fujifilm has also become involved as a sponsor, with the entire show being printed on its classic DP II Matte paper, a popular fine art choice for those putting an exhibition on the wall. Steve also has inspired plans for combining his future roles as both a stand-up comedian and a photographer of note. “I’m planning a nationwide tour of galleries,” he says, “and in tandem with showing the pictures I’ll be performing my show and taking questions from the audience. It’s a unique concept and it should be a riot, adding extra value to the audience’s enjoyment of the work.” n ƒ2 Cameracraft July/August 2016 15
FUJIFILM X-70: LIGHT BUT IS IT FANTASTIC?
aunched alongside the X-Pro2, Fuji’s compact X70 fills the gap between the hybrid rangefinder X100 and the small sensor X30, featuring a 28mm equivalent ƒ2.8 wide angle lens and the proven 16.3Mp APS-C format X-Trans II sensor. The finderless design relies on a 3.0” flip LCD with the selfie-friendly ability to tilt 180°, placing the display above the lens. Combined with a close focus of 10cm and Fuji’s easy-to-use WiFi connectivity, this comes as close as you can get to keeping smartphone convenience with proper-camera features. Naturally, there’s an element of niche filling here, as many of the features in the X70 can be put together with the wider X-range. The touchscreen is a welcome addition for photographers migrating from the world of smartphones, and usefully, there’s a cost saving compared to taking on an X-E2s and 28mm lens. The X70 is generally available for £469, give or take a few pounds, comparable with the X-E2s body only. The closest lens in the XF range would be the 18mm F2, which adds another £350. Optically the X70’s lens cuts no corners, too, with 9-blade diaphragm and aspherical 7-element design that focuses exceptionally quickly, helped by on-sensor phase detection. It’s not just about cost, as the immediacy of the X70, the reliability of a permanently attached lens, and the lightweight and truly pocket-sized build combine to make it an ideal street and travel companion. It’s also worth noting that it gives little away in ability over its interchangeable lens sibling, with (faster than the X-E2s) 8fps shooting, support for UHS-1 cards and 1/32000s electronic – silent – shutter mode all present. HD video and HDMI playback also feature, and the WiFi implementation allows your smartphone to function for GPS tagging. Charging is via the Micro-USB 2.0 port, with a full charge giving approximately 350 images. Given the maturity of the X-system now – and more importantly, the X-Trans II sensor, which has been offered in various models since the launch of the X-T1 – there are few surprises in the image quality or ISO rating & noise performance. With so many DSLRs and compacts offering 16Mp for the past few years, without excessive pressure from consumers for higher resolution
Richard Kilpatrick has been enjoying the Fujifilm X-Pro and X-T1 bodies with their versatile lens range. Now there’s an APS-C X-Trans 16.2 megapixel model with a fixed 28mm view ƒ2.8 lens, slim build and light weight.
It’s slim and pocketable but Fujifilm X-genes are all there The rear screen does a good waist level view and front face too Familiar controls The ƒ2.8 18.5mm is a 28mm equivalent (perspective below)
it’s fair to say the 4896 x 3264 resolution has been accepted as plenty for the majority of uses; it comfortably exceeds the real quality most processes could yield from 35mm film after all. The multishot, automated panorama mode can give files up to 2160 x 9600 in size. ISO sensitivity is rated from 200-6400 with extended modes running from 100 up to 51,200; Fuji’s in-camera processing includes the extended dynamic range pioneered in their SuperCCD SLRs and impressive noise control, ensuring out of camera JPEGs in the normal range are very usable. Film simulation modes are retained, too, and Fuji have an excellent track record for ensuring all modes and features are available across the range when possible via firmware. Fuji have also sensibly kept
16 July/August 2016 ƒ2 Cameracraft
the manual control philosophy, with direct access to aperture mirroring the efforts of 1960s film compacts via two thumb controls and clear markings up to the Automatic setting, and direct access to shutter speeds and exposure compensation. ISO is set quickly, alongside a useful range of adjustments, via the Q-menu and jog lever above the thumb grip, Surprisingly the touch screen does not extend to this element of the interface, or menu selection, it’s purely for shooting and AF selection or playback control & zoom. For quick shooting a small lever beside the shutter speed dial switches the X70 into full auto mode. A compact fill flash keeps the body simple, though it’s of little use beyond mild fill. A full hotshoe, nice and simple without extra accessory connections
or weird nonTried&Tested standard features, is ready for Fuji’s new TTL flashguns and of course, existing third-party models like the Nissin i40. Consumers upgrading from smartphones will find the automatic panorama and scene modes welcome, too, particularly the Instagramfriendly square framing. Where the X70 seems lacking is in the range of accessories and finishes available - it’s crying out for a range of coloured case to protect the touch-screen, and consumers would probably appreciate some diversity beyond silver and black. Functional accessories include an optical viewfinder, lens hood and wide conversion lens for 21mm equivalent angle of view. There’s support for external microphones, and the X-system’s USB remote cable. Even with an X-Pro2 and X-T1 on hand, the X70 has proven remarkably compelling as a camera simply to have at all times. It’s no surprise that the ergonomics of what is, ultimately, a very compact package for the sensor size are pretty much perfect – as there is no viewfinder it’s easy to assume how people will be holding the camera, and Fuji have sensibly stuck to the same formula as the original X-camera, the X100, for tactile controls and direct access. It makes a camera reviewer’s job less exciting, when this level of competence and quality can be taken for granted, but consumers are the clear winners here. As the digital camera market has matured, parallels between present-day and the boom era of film become ever more apparent. Cameras like the X70 represent what was once the densest and most popular market segment, albeit with a much higher quality feature-set aside from the sensor replacing film. Even the costs are similar, adjusted for inflation. As potentially one of the most significant models in the X system, then, the X70 has pretty much nailed it as a consumer camera, blending professional quality sensor, processing and lens with a very accessible and affordable overall package. Á www.fujfilm.co.uk
THE RETURN OF THE CULLMANN TITAN
ntro 2020 – distributor of major brands including Tamron, Tamrac, Samyang and Velbon – has been appointed sole UK distributor of Cullmann products. With a 40-year history, all Cullmann’s ten tripods and nine camera bags are designed in Germany. Here we are now concerned with bags – we will be looking at bags in general in our next issue – but with the tripods and one outstanding model in particular. Cullmann tripods include a range of flexipods available in three sizes and three colours, plus mini tripods, full size tripods with prices starting from £13.99 and the top of the range Titan 935 tripod, which can support 21kg and has a reversed telescopic leg design with shoulder-located adjust and lock to allow use in 2ft/60cm of water. It comes with a 20 year guarantee and has a £399.00 SRP. It’s also an old friend as we had one many years ago and loved it. That version had a pan and tilt head with a very large rollfilm camera platform (actually still compatible with Arca-Swiss locking plates). The new one is arriving without any head, so we asked whether there was one. There is, it’s a superb heavy-duty TB6.6 ball and socket design with the biggest most ergonomic locking knobs you have ever seen. Typical retail price seems to be around £250. The head and tripod together weigh well over 5 kilos and the collapsed length with the head is one metre (like the bag made to fit it). Its purpose is to be rock-solid and operable in conditions where the photographer has to wear waders and may be unable to access the feet. The lower section of each two-section leg is a sealed 60cm formed tube with a slight pneumatic damping, released and locked by a large lever handle at the top of the leg where it hinges from the substantial shoulder casting. All three legs can be adjusted in angle and length, working from this point, even when the tripod is standing in water, mud, or hazardous tailings. You can get attachable foot spikes. The centre column also has an outer tube, and strong pneumatic damping so that it is actively pressurised. An air valve at the bottom will not admit water (it’s one way) so the column can also be immersed. A heavy camera will not suddenly fall as the pressure damps this, and helps when lifting it to a higher level. There is also a version 935G with geared column.
Heavy metal has never really gone away! The industrial strength Cullmann Titan 935 tripod will exercise your muscles at over 5 kilos with its superb Arca-Swiss compatible large ball head. It will also stand you a large drink (or in one…)
The Titan in about half the 50cm depth of water it can wade through. Height range is 74 to 162cm (to shoulder, where the large clamps above adjust leg length). Below: a Voigtländer 12mm Ultra Wide-Heliar ND1000 sunset taken with the tripod in the river Tweed.
The ball and socket head comes with a very long, secure camera plate and has marking on all its lockable movements. It almost feels as fluidly damped as the legs and centre column. This is an industrial-grade aluminium tripod and certainly ideal for
industrial, commercial and architectural work. It’s also perfect for rivers, lakes and sea shores but the weight and size limit its appeal for location, travel and any length of time on foot without an assistant. It’s a perfect match for Phase One, Hasselblad, Arca-Swiss
or Cambo medium format digital but it can’t get the camera close to the ground and may even be limiting in the studio. You know if you need it. – David Kilpatrick Á www.intro2020.co.uk ƒ2 Cameracraft July/August 2016 17
SIGMA MC-11 EF-E MOUNT ADAPTOR Tested here in its Canon EF incarnation, Sigma’s adaptor claims to offer more of the native functions of the Sony mirrorless lens system using Sigma and Canon EF lenses. It’s more affordable than the Metabones, with easy firmware updating. David Kilpatrick reports.
ut to the chase – Sigma’s new MC-11 adaptor enables you to use selected Sigma Canon EF or Sigma SA mount lenses on Sony Alpha mirrorless bodies, and to retain functions which other adaptors lose. But we found the adaptor actually works with some non-recommended Sigma and Canon lenses, sacrificing some functions but gaining a faster operating speed. To understand why, please visit the short and very rough YouTube video I made after trying the adaptor for the first time: https://youtu.be/1H-6s9ZEGZ8 This video shows that the current Sigma lenses are ‘parked’ stopped down, open (to ƒ2 maximum) for the focus cycle, then close down for the shot. The complete cycle from taking first pressure on the shutter release to capturing the picture can be up to two seconds. Examining the 25fps video, the aperture closing takes 18 frames, or 0.7 seconds, to go from ƒ1.4 to ƒ16. I sent the video clip to Sigma in Japan and their technical team confirmed that this is exactly how it’s intended to work – how the Sony firmware wants it to function. What I have not added is a set of comparisons with Sony’s own lenses, and with older Sigma and Canon EF lenses used on this adaptor or on my Commlite and Focus adaptors. All work (or don’t) very differently, keeping the lens wide open then executing AF followed by an ‘instant’ snap closure of the aperture to the working setting. The adaptor has an LED which lights green to confirm when a fully compatible lens has been fitted. Sigma’s 85mm ƒ1.4 HSM DG lens, not in the new ART series and officially not for use with this adaptor, is really fast and suffers no delays – it doesn’t get the green light for go from the MC-11 but it worked well for me. It fails to AF reliably on my Commlite adaptor, often locking up at a fixed wrong distance. What seems to be missing with unapproved Sigma lenses is Eye-AF and Tracking linked to the phase-detection AF points of the latest Sony bodies (A6000, A6300, A7RII, A7SII). You will not get guaranteed control of in-body and in-lens stabilisation, or the same intelligent AF lightshow in the viewfinder unless you use one of the ‘listed as compatible’ Sigma lenses. I tested the Sigma 50mm ƒ1.4 and 24-105mm ƒ4 as well as the ‘pre-compatible’ 85mm ƒ1.8,
A7RII with MC-11 and Sigma ART 50mm ƒ1.4 HSM
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Left to right: MC-11 EF-E showing green function confirmation LED; converter with dead black flocked interior, no tripod mount, and contact array next to Sigma 50mm lens mount; USB terminal for updates open on side of converter. and also the Canon 40mm ƒ2.8 STM, 50mm ƒ1.2 L USM, 24-70mm L IS ƒ4 USM and 70-300mm ƒ4-5.6 L IS USM. Every lens did actually work on the Sigma adaptor, but the Sigma lenses would not work on my cheap EF to E mount adaptors (where the Canon lenses varied). The EXIF data reported by the Sigma MC-11 includes the name and type of lens in full for the latest lenses. The 85mm ƒ1.4 shows up as a ‘DT 85mm F1.4 SAM’ and the same rule applies to the Canon lenses. The 50mm ƒ1.2 shows the correct maximum aperture in the ‘Lens Specification’ field but only ƒ1.3 in the ‘Maximum Aperture’ field. When these lenses are used on the Commlite adaptor, they report ‘DT 0mm F0 SAM’ and no Lens Specification, but do show the right focal length, maximum aperture and set aperture in other fields. Behind this is the new identity coding for Sigma lenses. Early models use a two-digit numerical code, and manufacturers ran out of these years ago. That’s why a Sigma 12-24mm Mk1 may appear in Bridge or Lightroom as a 2880mm Minolta AF from around 1990 – they borrowed that lens
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code. The new lenses have more bits for the lens identity and other information. The can really use all the pins on the newer mount interfaces, reporting not only the full lens name and identity, but the precise aperture for focusing and shooting, the exact focal length and focused distance. The MC-11 has USB-updateable firmware which translates all this info to the camera, allowing full control of focus methods, exposure control and stabilisation as well as a neatly correct EXIF. But to comply with Sony’s latest firmware, which stops the lens down in A/M (fixed) and P/S (aperture will keep changing to match the metered setting) then opens up to ƒ2 if available for AF and closes down to shoot, Sigma has had to accept a compromise which doesn’t affect Sony LA or other Canon adaptors. By complying, Sigma has guaranteed correct operation and reduced the risk to the sensor from exposure to direct sun through very fast lenses (ƒ1.4) at high ISO settings. The penalty is a shutter lag which can be three-quarters of a second using AF at stoppeddown apertures even in manual exposure mode, despite a camera
body which has a lag better than 1/20s (electronic first curtain shutter). You will find other videos and reviews on line, by some well-known bloggers who make no mention of any of this. Many worked close to wide open and others were testing continuous or video focus which is always at working aperture. Some had old firmware in their camera, leaving the lens at full aperture between shots. You can avoid the lag by using Manual Focus, or AF at ƒ1.4 to ƒ2 (or the widest if slower than ƒ2) in which case the aperture stays as set, for AF and capture. Since most lenses will autofocus well at ƒ5.6 or even ƒ8, Sony should update their firmware to change this ƒ2 default. It’s their failing not Sigma’s. The 24-105mm is limited to ƒ4 and it focuses perfectly well at that maximum. At under £200 the MC-11, also made in Sigma SA mount fit, is the best and most compatible such device for Sigma lenses, and works when other adaptors often fail but Sony once again need to look at their camera firmware. Á www.sigma-imaging-uk.com
MORE THAN JUST A PHOTOGRAPHIC SHOP…
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EF 50mm F1.4 USM EF 50mm F1.8 STM EF-S 60mm F2.8 USM Macro EF 85mm F1.2L II USM EF 100mm F2.8L IS USM Macro EF 8-15mm F4.0L USM Fisheye EF 16-35mm F2.8L USM II EF 17-40mm F4.0L USM EF 24-70mm F4L IS EF 24-70mm F2.8L II USM EF 24-105mm F4.0L IS USM EF 24-105mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM II EF 70-200mm F4.0L IS USM EF 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 IS USM EF 70-300mm F4.0-5.6L IS USM EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS USM II
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14mm F2.8 XF 18mm F2R XF 23mm F1.4 XF 27mm F2.8 Black or Silver XF 35mm F1.4R XF 56mm F1.2 XF 56mm F1.2R XF APD 60mm F2.4R Macro XF 10-24mm F4 R XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 WR 50-140mm F2.8 WR OIS 50-230mm F4.5-6.7 OIS Black or Silver XC 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS XF
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Sony FE 24-240mm F3.5-6.3 OSS
24-70mm F4 ZA OSS Vario-Tessar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA Sonnar T* FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS Vario-Tessar T* FE
£799.00 £513.00 £618.00 £999.00 £899.00 £1,079.00
Studio Lighting MT190XPRO3 Tripod MT055XPRO3 Tripod 190GO Tripod XPRO Ball Head XPRO3W 3 Way Geared Head MT190XPRO4 Tripod MT190CXPRO3 Carbon Fibre Tripod MT190CXPRO4 Carbon Fibre Tripod MT055CXPRO3 Carbon Fibre Tripod XPRO 3 Way Head
£129.00 £139.00 £149.00 £114.00 £149.00 £139.00 £229.00 £235.00 £279.00 £99.00
Profoto D1 Studio Kit 250/250 Air
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All prices include VAT at 20%. Prices correct at time of going to press. E&OE. *T&Cs apply. 0876-0615 ƒ2 Cameracraft July/August 2016 19
ELINCHROM EL-SKYPORT PLUS HS SONY
t’s not advisable to work too close to a DJI Phantom drone as the rotor tips whizz by at a touch less than 100 miles an hour. With a 16-35mm CZ zoom used at 16mm to get the low viewpoint it did feel a bit like being buzzed at time but Ali Graham kept it well within the target zone. The idea here was to test, and show off, the 1/8,000s synchronisation with the focal plane shutter of the Sony A7R II which the Elinchrom dedicated high speed sync trigger makes possible. It actually makes it effortless, as this studio flash trigger is properly set up to provide the camera with the right signals. It’s the first studio flash wireless trigger ever designed to do this for any Sony or previous Minolta camera across three different generations of flash shoe, and that is important as electronic viewfinders need a trigger which emulates a native dedicated flash. With a plain hot-shoe trigger, using an adaptor or not, no Flash
Sony’s unusual Multi Function Accessory Shoe slowly gathers more third party compatible accessories – the latest is a version of Elinchrom’s Hi-Sync wireless trigger and flash remote control allowing exposures as short as 1/8,000s.
Ali Graham flies a DJI Phantom 3 drone. Sony A7R II, 16-35mm Carl Zeiss FE at 16mm and ƒ5.6, ISO 400, Elinchrom ELB400 with two HS heads, high asymmetric power with red filter, low without. 1/8000s Hi-Sync. The rotor blade tips show about 5mm of clear blur, as expected since they move at almost 100mph.
Powered On signal is sent to the camera. It will remain in whatever P/A/S/M mode is already set, and if this results in a virtually blacked out EVF or screen because the modelling or ambient light is low it becomes necessary to turn off exposure or effect previewing (the normal setting which links the finder brightness to the exposure set). When you fit a dedicated flash, non-HSS modes set the camera to a standard flash sync speed typically between 1/60s and 1/160s and switch the finder to an auto gain mode (Setting Effect Off ) without menu diving. HSS modes retain the same finder setting but allow any shutter speed down to the shortest 1/8000s time.
The Voigtländer 15mm ƒ4.5 used at ƒ8, Sony A7RII supported on a fishing platform. Location: Resorts World, National Exhibition Centre, UK.
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Normally, any remote trigger or commander fitting the Sony body will do this if it’s part of a wireless remote flash set up using the camera maker’s own battery flash units. You can make a crude studio flash trigger using a small dedicated flashgun and masking it with an infra-red filter but it’s not simple as automatic pre-flash sequences or operating delays need to be disabled. Triggers which are not part of the dedicated system won’t do it, and did not for the earlier special shoe of the A77, A55 and other electronic viewfinder SLR-style models. It was apparently just a matter of applying a simple signal voltage across a pair of the contacts when the trigger was switched on – but not a single manufacturer could be bothered to find a solution. Now, with the rise in popularity of the Sony A7 series, Elinchrom has invested in a fully dedicated version of their EL-Skyport Plus HS which behaves just as if you had a Sony native flashgun mounted. There’s no TTL, as the Elinchrom studio and location flash units are all high powered with manually
controlled output. For normal use, the Plus HS offers a greater operating range, LCD menus, and remote control of the power and modelling settings of all RX heads with the setting displayed on the trigger for the latest generation. Because it switches the EVF camera instantly into a studio-friendly mode and can act as a complete wireless remote control it’s worth the £199 cost for anyone using Elinchrom RX wireless triggered flash with Canon, Nikon and now Sony. The Hi-Sync feature – ability to emulate Nikon FP, Canon and Sony HSS – is compatible with all Canon DSLRs but not all Nikon, so check before ordering (example – no Hi-Sync with D5500 or D610, but fine with D750 or D300S). It’s also not compatible with all Elinchrom heads. My Ranger Quadra RX AS kit was bought with Type A (short flash duration heads) and my studio BRX500i heads are similar. They gave me high speed flash at normal flash sync speeds (up to 1/250s with most of my cameras) but the short, sharply peaking flash output can’t be used for Hi-Sync. I would need to buy Type S heads
Setting up for a quick shoot Time was saved by setting up the two head battery powered Quadra ELB 400 indoors with one red gel filtered (2:1 power in the asymmetric ratio) head and one plain to get a guide to distances and exposure (above). Outside, a sky shot checked the brightness of the clouds as just right. Then with the final shot only a quick on-screen check was needed to confirm that ISO 400 and ƒ5.6 gave the right balance. Colour was adjusted in raw processing (facing page). The shoot took just a few minutes. Hi-Sync mode, ODS delay 0.2ms.
The shutter was pressed with the runner at the left of the shot, intending to be roughly centred. However the Sony’s aperture and flash control sequence for HSS (even with manual exposure) gives a delay making it very difficult to time action shots with moving subjects. 1/4000s, ƒ8, ISO 800 (pushed from 200). for the Quadra kit, or trade in and get the latest ELB 400 with Type HS heads – which is what I tested the unit with successfully before trying all my other flash. The lowest cost Hi-Sync studio head is the budget D-Lite 4 in IT (no remote setting) or RX (full remote) versions. In fact, the 400Ws D-Lite 4RX at under £250 per head, with its 5-stop output range down to 25Ws and constant 1/800s duration, is actually the most compatible of all current Elinchrom heads even though not really intended for intensive professional use. Like PocketWizard and other triggers with hypersync, the EL-Skyport Plus HS offers a programmable delay in microsecond intervals from 0 to 5 milliseconds. This can be used with the Elinchrom RX Universal Receiver connected to almost any make of flash head. You then need to experiment with the power setting, as some have long durations at lower power with more even output level and for others a peak is followed by a relatively flat long tail decay at full power. There are some IBGT controlled flash units which cut off the peak and tail leaving a plateau of output. The ODS (delay) and camera shutter speed in HSS mode can be experimented with and you may get lucky. However, the two certain ways to get maximum relative power and ease of Hi-Sync use are the ELB 400 with HS heads and the D-Lite 4RX. Mounting the very firm locking hot shoe on my Sony A7R II and switching the trigger on automatically set the camera to Wireless Flash and EVF Setting Effect Off, Auto WB to Flash. In Standard mode on the Plus HS, the shutter speed was set to 1/250s; just turning the Plus HS dial to set HS mode, my faster shutter speed set via the M mode on the camera was instantly restored and access to the full range from 30s
to 1/8000s enabled. In fact it was impossible to create a mismatch, other than by entering an extreme ODS delay. At all speeds faster than 1/250s, using Hi-Sync, the A7R II has to be used with mechanical first shutter curtain. Silent electronic-only shutter mode simply doesn’t fire flash of any kind, and first curtain electronic mode may produce unevenly exposed or partial frames. Even used correctly, there’s some shading with the ELB 400 at full power, about a stop of fall-off smoothly grading to the bottom of the frame at 1/8000s. Moderating the shutter speed and adjusting the flash power and ODS can fine tune this but I wanted maximum output and my landscape format test shot benefited from the shading. Vertical shots are not as forgiving and the lighting may need feathering to suit. Be careful with some very fast lenses used wide open (like the Samyang 135mm ƒ2 tested in this issue) as these can also produce a shutter/ scan related grad filter effect at the fastest shutter speeds. The HSS mode of the Sony A7 series involves a considerable delay between pressing the shutter and getting the shot. There’s no solution to this and as a result I found timing some action shots almost impossible. I had to manage to fire about 1/2-1/4s before the subject reached the required position. Bridal portraits? Fine. Synchro-sun action? Not so! Though this EL-Skyport Plus HS is not like the tiny original Skyport, I want one now just for its proper control of the camera in routine studio work despite not one of my existing Elinchrom units providing the Hi-Sync function. It’s been a long time coming but this unit is, I think, the sign that Sony has arrived as a professional camera system. – DK Á www.elinchrom.com/skyport.html ƒ2 Cameracraft July/August 2016 21
TURNING THE DREAM TO REALITY
nspired by a visit to The Lincoln Asylum Steampunk Festival in 2012, Gary Nicholls has created a Dickensian world with steampunk costumes, sets and props worthy of Jules Verne, Wells or Moorcock. It’s world of gadgets that can take you to phantasmagorical events, where the airship is “the only way to travel, dahling”… Book one in The Imaginarium Trilogy is called Eva’s Story. It’s been the subject of a Kickstarter to get the first edition into print, certainly to a quality higher than most publishers would consider and at a cost which would not give the traditional publishing world its margins. At the heart of the photographic time travel tale are over 150 fine art images that have taken several years to create. Props have been created by Peter Walton, who plays one of the characters, Dr William. The settings for Gary's images are retouched and expanded from real locations, altered to create the steampunk world of The Imaginarium.
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You can visit Kickstarter.com to find out whether photographer Gary Nicholls succeeded in his quest to raise a staggering £60,000 in just one month to fund the first in a trilogy of steampunk fantasy photo-graphic epic books – a drive which ended on June 10th. As we went to press, the outcome was unknown.
“‘Angels over New York (centre, facing page) meant a trip to New York, the week before Christmas when the Empire State is purple (due to Hanukkah) and a twilight ticket up the Rockerfeller centre to fight with the other ‘tourists’ to get the shot I needed”, says Gary. “However, the wall I wanted the angels sitting on was at the Gaudi house in Barcelona!”. The story itself hangs on one woman’s journey from ruination to to become a heroine saving the world from a powerful nemesis. In Gary’s world of wickedness, betrayal, murder and greed, one lost soul stands out as her saviour. A secret in a box weaves its way through the trilogy. Gary first previsualises images for the book’s film-like storyboard. He builds them using layers from multiple photographs taken inlocations as diverse as New York City, Barcelona, London, Greece and Poland. He does not use stock images and all the props and costumes are real, and hand made. Another six years’ work will see
Æ’2 Cameracraft July/August 2016 23
Photographs – on the previous spread, Gary at work on one of the images shown. Bottom of the first page, ‘Aberline of the Bullheads’. Second page, top, ‘The Airship’, centre ‘Angels over New York’ and bottom, ‘The Conspiracy Begins’ (which is the picture shown during the studio session). This spread, above, ‘Caught Hatching a Plan’ and below, ‘Lifesaver’. Facing page, ‘Grieving Sister’.
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Above: ‘Tormented’ (part of the tale involves unsisterly bullying in a house of very Victorian ill repute). Below: ‘Death of a Twin’. Facing page: ‘Screaming Tree’ (which should possibly seen very large for maximum effect).
two more volumes that will be equally as intricate and detailed. For the final great showdown Gary plans to photograph over 4,000 steampunks from all over the world and integrate them all together into one ground-breaking epic conflict. “I do not use stock images”, Gary explains. “I need the control of taking the shots myself to control the light. I studied the way that Caravaggio used light with just the medium of paint and a brush, and I try to apply that to my images. Light creates atmosphere and can make or break an image. The disadvantage to working in this way is that you have to master Photoshop, which is a long process. The trick is to only learn the specific techniques you require to produce the image you are working on. “One big advantage to using photography as my medium is that I get to work with some amazing, creative and funny, real people and without this project I would never have met them. I got lucky right at the start by meeting Peter and Julie Walton. Peter is the genius prop maker for the story, who also plays Dr William and Julie is the dressmaker who plays Eva. Secondly, I met John and Karen who run The Victorian Steampunk Society and The Asylum festival, and they have been an enormous help in keeping me on track promoting my art. Thirdly, I was contacted by Montague Jacques Fromage, a steampunk musician and rapper from New York. A soon as I saw him, I knew he would play a devious, dastardly character and he flies over for the shoots, which are always great fun. “My prints are on large scale aluminium. I have chosen only to offer metal prints because the luminosity of works by painters such as Rembrandt and Caravaggio was due to the practice of applying multiple, thin layers of paint to the canvas. In the same way, the layers of dye on the translucent coating of the aluminium plates give a depth and luminosity often leading viewers to think the images are backlit. I have to know the techniques in Photoshop to create this depth, but after my first aluminium print there was no looking back.” ‘The Imaginarium’ hit Kickstarter in May, with a big drive for support at Comic Con in London at the end of the month. As we go to press, it does look as if more support is needed to make it happen. Á For more news and information, visit the creator’s official website: http://g-n-p.co.uk
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NIKON D500 W
hen I retired my Nikon D300 body from active use many years ago and invested in the D3 and then the D4 generation of cameras I really though that I’d left the DX sensor format bodies behind me for good. However, when Nikon announced the new iteration of cameras there was something about the D500 that made me think again. Packing a very useful 20 megapixels (5568 x 4176) on the 16 x 24mm sensor, and with a new, extremely fast and accurate focus engine that it shares with its full format stablemate the D5, the D500 looks and feels a lot like the earlier D800 and D810 bodies. It is only £100 less than the D810 so this is not surprising. Build quality is robust and weather-sealing is good but not, as you’d expect, quite up to flagship models levels (I don't think I’ll be taking this body out in any of the intense Aberystwyth winter storms). The camera has dual memory card slots – one XQD and one SD. The viewfinder is astonishingly bright and clear, so much so that when I switch over to the
Keith Morris sees the value of a fast, rugged DX format Nikon body – the first true successor to the classic D300, with a 1.5X sensor and 20 megapixels of telephoto friendly reach in a professional grade body.
D4s it comes as big shock. When working with a mixed bag of D4 and D500 cameras the files come into Lightroom looking remarkably similar, making editing and postproduction of a mixed camera shoot very straightforward. In addition to making very impressive photographs the body also shoots video at full 4K , with the ability to extract good ‘news’ quality stills when in any of the available video modes. This alone makes it a serious contender for the money of any working photojournalist who is being asked to cover an event in both formats. The flip-out rear screen makes shooting low angle or overhead shots a real breeze, and the touch sensitive control is a neat feature once you get used to it. Shooting street scenes in an unobtrusive, almost invisible way suddenly
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The D500 has a solid body design much like a full-frame Nikon.
Pictures by Keith Morris on Nikon D500: facing page, at 550mm using 80-400mm with converter, an 825mm equivalent angle with a huge setting sun. Above: mixed football, 300mm ƒ2.8 stopped down to ƒ5.6. Below: fascinator fashion by Twisted Thimble taken wide open using Nikon’s 200mm ƒ2 lens. becomes as easy as when using a small mirrorless system. I’ve added the optional MB-D17 battery grip to my camera, which gives longer shooting times, makes working in vertical orientation a lot easier, and gives the camera an ergonomic feeling of solidity which echoes that of the bigger full-frame bodies. With the grip the balance of the camera is much
improved, particularly when using it in combination with telephoto and long zoom lenses. One of the major reasons for me investing in this camera was to give me to option of combining it with the new Nikkor 200-500mm ƒ5.6 VR lens, which on the DX body translates into a 300-750mm. Pairing it with any of the teleconverters (TX14, TC17 or
TC20) adds to the ‘poke’ at the long end of the lens reach – ideal for those situations where you need to keep your distance or when you’re prevented from getting closer to your subject. The camera works like a dream with wide aperture primes, my 300mm turns into a 450mm ƒ2.8, and the fast 10fps burst rate and focus points that cover virtually all of the image area
mean that fast-moving sports are much easier to cover. On the D500, as on the D5, Nikon have decide to reposition some of the camera controls. In particular the MODE button has been replaced by the ISO . If, like me, you switch between A (aperture priority) and M (manual) modes a lot when shooting, this came as a shock. However, dig down into the camera’s multilayered menus and you’ll come on the option to re-assign the ISO to work as the old mode button did. Panic over, problem solved... As with all my equipment, I bought my D500 and MB-D17 from Carmarthen Cameras (www.carmarthencameras.com) who have an incredible range of new and second cameras and studio equipment at very competetive prices and are always ready to give help and advice to all levels of photographers. Á www.artswebwales.com
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SAMYANG 135mm ƒ2
here are not many faces you can shoot close up at 42 megapixels then take a 100% crop without retouching. Ali Hay was fundraising for a planned skateboard park in Kelso, and just happens to be one of the best groomed subjects you could hope to meet. So, with no apologies, I give you a slightly frowning Ali (the smiling one was not sharp as I moved the camera about 5mm while accidentally breathing) taken at ƒ2 on the new Samyang 135mm ƒ2 ED UMC full frame manual focus telephoto. This is just a staggeringly good lens. It’s almost a macro with its ability to focus down to 80cm (better than most 85mm lenses) and it is close to being apochromatic. The full aperture performance exploits the maximum resolution of the Sony A7R II it was tested on and no doubt the Canon version would eat the 5DS R for breakfast. It’s insanely sharp wide open and needs no stopping down for any reason other than depth of field and perhaps to pull in a touch a field curvature. It also has no apparent vignetting and no longitudinal CA, meaning that out of focus backgrounds and foregrounds do not acquire any colour tinge. The bokeh of this lens is why many will buy it – it can throw a busy background, as you might encounter for a wedding in an urban setting, so far out of focus that nothing intrudes unless it is very bright. The picture of Ali with his wife in the background and a paper notice about the fundraiser is another ƒ2 shot – the white paper may intrude but it’s got a perfect smooth defocus quality. The lens is also almost immune to flare. Way back in 1974 I used the first very fast affordable telephoto, the Soligor 135mm ƒ1.8, and not long after the superb and now rare Soligor C/D 135mm ƒ2. The first one flared up all over when aimed into the sun, the second was an early multicoated design but still could not be used for sunsets without care. This Samyang has their ultra multi coating and it’s almost impossible to induce flare. The penalty is that it is one of the largest such lenses on the market. It dwarfs the modest Carl Zeiss Planar 135mm ƒ1.8 and ƒ2 designs. It weighs 830g or more depending on fit, takes 77mm filters, comes wit h a good deep lens hood and soft pouch. The
David Kilpatrick finds that working wide open doesn’t mean shooting soft – in the footsteps of most recent Samyang lens releases, the manual focus 135mm ƒ2 is strikingly sharp. It’s also another of our industrial-strength products!
The Samyang 135mm ƒ2 fitted to Sony A7R II; with lens hood added, right, and as supplied with soft pouch.
The full aperture performance of the Samyang 135mm ƒ2 is close to perfect, and only limited by depth of field. In the portrait of Ali (left) and also in the picture with his wife working on a fundraiser for a new skate park the background of town buildings is perfectly defocused at ƒ2. It is a large lens as can be seen here though versions for DSLRs are roughly 25mm shorter, missing out the narrow section at the rear. Below, an enlargement from the portrait at 300dpi, which is not the largest size (inkjet prints can be made at 240dpi with sharpness to stand close examination). This clip is from what would be a 17 x 26" print.
focus ring is firm but smooth and will not be accidentially shifted. In E-mount, there is no EXIF data connection which is a bit of a pain considering how good the lens is. That goes for Canon mount too, but Nikon users get AI control and a chip for focus confirm and EXIF aperture data. Despite the manual focus, I found it very easy to get
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a sharp subject plane for middle to far shots. My own tendency to sway, like any living human being, made ƒ2 close-ups from portrait to macro more of a lottery. A tripod solves that problem but focus peaking when available can help. Don’t try focusing this with an optical focusing screen. You won’t see the right depth of field and you
may not ever be able to pinpoint focus are you can with live view. At £379 SRP and generally £349 discounted dealer price, this is a world class lens and we can only look forward now to Samyang’s first autofocus lenses – 14mm ƒ2.8 and 50mm ƒ1.4 – for Sony FE. Á www.samyang-lens.co.uk
Bokeh at ƒ2, left. Above, the closest focus of 80cm picks out some wording on a memorial and below right, a 100% clip shows how the lens has resolved detail of the tiny crystals which make up the sandstone.
Above centre – this unusual shading is a combination of lens vignetting and an electronic focal plane shutter effect on the A7R II. Taken wide open at 1/8000s with electronic first curtain, there is a graded effect towards the top of the picture with the camera held in landscape position. This begins to appear at around 1/3200s; to avoid it use the mechanical first curtain setting. Below, 1/1600th, ISO 50, at ƒ4 – crisp and no trace of CA.
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CANON 1D X Mk II
f you already own a Canon 1DX, you probably don’t need to read this – unless your sights are set on entering the world of commercial 4K movie production. The EOS-1D X Mark II is the first and only Canon DSLR to offer 4K, and in order to achieve this a much faster and larger buffer and card writing arrangement was needed. The camera has the USB 3.0 Super Fast interface needed to transfer files from the memory cards using the camera itself as the reader, which is just as well. Where the 1DX has two very fast CompactFlash UDMA 7 card slots, ideal for still photographers wanting belt and braces file safety, the MkII replaces the second slot with CFast (right). CFast though a scion of the CompactFlash family uses a completely different serial connector. You can’t put a CF card into the second slot, and the CFast card (which is likely to cost three figures for even the smallest and slowest functional specification)
A first look at the real industrial-strength professional body from the leading marque in this bracket – the 4K video, 16fps capable latest model in the consistent 1D series. Tried&Tested
can’t be read in anything except a dedicated CFast reader. We tried a CFast to SDXC adaptor, which might allow still images to be recorded on SD as the second card, but it was very unreliable. CFast in this camera is a high-end As ever, the new 1D X Mark II retains as much from past 1D series models as possible to ensure pro users can upgrade or hire and use with no learning curve. Below, tracking a flying heron the focus held for many frames despite distracting river-water contrast and foreground branches (at 300mm).
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A step up to 20 megapixels means more scope to crop. Left, cutting the full image down to 16 megapixels for a study in blue, below. Running dog: once locked-on this 14fps grabbed action was pin sharp with no deviation to the fence in front (1/1250s wide open on the 70-300mm L IS at 300mm). Bottom pair: shutter priority chose ƒ1.2 for the first shot but the AF missed (wide zone) while at ƒ1.4 for the second shot, focus was precisely on the cat’s face, probably because of the bright chest area.
specification, you can not use any CFast 2.0 card sold on eBay or Amazon and labelled in the small print as ‘industrial’. It simply won’t write as the speeds this camera needs, close to 1000 megabits a second and requiring a sustained write speed better than 160MB/s. You can’t use the CF card slot to tackle 4K video in practice as even the fastest card won’t permit a normal length of take. The extra speed built-in to the revised camera has allowed the continuous firing speed to increase from 12fps to 14fps. We found that if the autofocus with its 61 cross points and very fast response is working optimally you’ll get pretty good hit rates at 14fps. Use Live View, and the speed increases to 16fps but the focusing which works well for video is unlikely to match the still frame rate. With 20 megapixels the 1DX MkII offers a higher resolution and also a 409,600 maximum ISO (or EI, labelled as H2) rating so it’s an upgrade to the original. I can’t help feeling the CFast card slot is going to be a major turn-off for professionals who have a stack of fast CF cards, readers attached to laptop and desk workflow, and simply want a new cameras with
a few improvements to functions, specs and its menus/ergonomics but want to keep their familiar cards. Sure, you can carry a USB cable with you for transferring images or you can use wireless transfer. Neither really fits with the huge movie files or the hundreds – perhaps thousands – of rapid fire frames this camera capture during a shoot. Most prefer to whip a full card of raw files out, replace it, and keep working while the card contents get copied to another device. The 1DX MkII has a built-in GPS and unlike that of the neat EOS 6D (whose sensor size it shares) menu set modes ensure it does not have to drain the battery even when the camera is turned off or sleeping. The 1DX battery is much larger anyway but all power saving features are welcome. I found the GPS as accurate as most existing ones, and it has four satellite system chips to ensure it will work anywhere in the world (many only access a single satellite group). So, it’s great travel camera but of course is not as it weighs as much your shopping bag. The GPS is probably not designed for travel but to work with the certification feature when used by police, armed forces and so on. Canon is now the first choice of the military with Nikon’s current sensor supply (Sony fabrication disrupted by thousands of earthquakes) and quality control issues (the D750 has followed the D600 down the route of recall to repair, but this time round Nikon has acknowledged it). So, it’s a good time for the 1DX MkII launch. Do you need it? Do you have £5,000 to spare? Do you need a higher megapixel count for much less outlay, as offered by the lighter weight 50 megapixel EOS 5DS/S-R models and even by the routine workhorse 5D MkIII? Let’s just say that it has the best AF with the widest range of lenses, most tolerant to limited apertures, and can pick up small birds in flight against fussy backgrounds. The high sensitivity results are on a par with Sony’s backlit 42MP CMOS pixel for pixel but reducing a larger file to 20MP can give the Sony the edge. Sharpness is not on the level of the AA-free Canon sensor in the 50DS-R and the images have a processed look, as if partly prepared for print or web viewing. They look crisp and have high impact straight out of the camera and this will be popular with JPEGonly sports and news shooters. The auto exposure is accurate enough to allow that! Verdict: top Canon but not for all. – David Kilpatrick Á www.canon.co.uk ƒ2 Cameracraft July/August 2016 33
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Deborah Ory & Ken Browar
New York Dance ƒ2 Cameracraft July/August 2016 35
Holly Dorger, Principal dancer, Royal Danish Ballet
Sterling Baca, American Ballet Theatre and Nayara Lopes, Dance Theatre of Harlem
Meaghan Grace Hinkis, Soloist, The Royal Ballet
Marcelo Gomes, Principal dancer, American Ballet Theatre
Previous page: Charlotte Landreau, Martha Graham Dance Company. Facing page: Alexandre Hammoudi, Soloist and Misty Copeland, Principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre. 36 July/August 2016 Ć’2 Cameracraft
Æ’2 Cameracraft July/August 2016 37
Ying Xin, Soloist, Martha Graham Dance Company.
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Hee Seo, Principal dancerl, American Ballet Theatre.
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Da’Von Duane - Dance Theatre of Harlem.
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Gillian Murphy, Principal dancer, American Ballet Theatre.
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Deborah Ory & Ken Browar - NYC Dance Project
he inspiration for the project came from decorating Hasselblad gives us large and detailed files. We can make very our 13-year-old daughter Sarah’s room. Sarah is an large prints with these. aspiring ballerina and wanted her room filled with dance We take turns shooting, adjusting lighting, styling, clothing photographs. We made extensive searches at bookstores, – both are working at all times on each image, regardless of on the internet (Amazon, eBay and others) and galleries. who is shooting at the time. We don’t really have a diagram or We purchased books, calendars and other photos and to our a static set for our lighting. Everything is customized for each disappointment we were not able to find images of the current particular dancer or situation. As far as front light/fills, etc, dancers that Sarah admired. Ken is constantly adjusting There were beautiful images them. He is sometimes even of famous dancers from moving them while I am past generations – such as shooting. Baryshnikov or Markova, taken We usually have hair and more than 40 years ago – but makeup when we work with nothing of the current stars. women. I do all the clothing Ken decided we needed styling (I previously did this to photograph these dancers professionally at magazines). ourselves. We were great fans Ken usually takes care of the of Daniil Simkin, the American lighting and we alternated Ballet Theatre Principal dancer taking the photos and doing the and sent him an email asking digital tech-ing. So our team is him to be our first subject. generally just between two and Daniil loves photography and four people. agreed to be photographed NYC Dance Project shows (right). After his successful the dancer not only in images photo shoot with Daniil, he that capture their movement arranged for other principal and spirit, but also through the dancers to work with us and words of our subjects. We knew before long NYC Dance Project when we began this project was officially launched. Once that if we wanted it to have the images were posted on an editorial feel, it would be social media, the word spread important to have some written in the dance community content about each dancer. and dancers from all over We are working on putting approached us to collaborate. together a coffee-table book We love photographing the of the images and interviews. dancers in our home studio We also would love to have These breathtaking dance images were taken in the living space. It keeps the emphasis an exhibition of images and a room of Deborah Ory and Ken Browar in their Brooklyn, on the dancer, the movement, gallery as we are constantly NY apartment. With no budget and an all-volunteer cast, the light, composition and getting requests to purchase emotion of the image. Having images. But until we take a this husband and wife team have created a social media all the images against our phenomenon. Here, in their own words, is the story of their vacation, we have are not backgrounds gives us a style making any other plans! It’s inspiration and the level of effort it takes to pull these off. and signature to our images. been really busy working on our We actually shoot in our living book. room. Having these artists come into our home creates a We are also starting to get more involved in the dance different environment for our shoots: during the shoots, cats world, not only photographically. We just helped to produce a will walk across the set, nap in the tutus and our children performance with one of the first dancers we photographed, arrive home from school. It is a very warm and friendly place Lloyd Knight, a Principal with the Martha Graham Dance and we invite the artists into our home. It is very different from Company. It was a benefit performance to raise money and having them come to a rental studio. awareness for the victims of the Nepal earthquake. We’ve Each shoot is planned, almost like a choreographer would also been working closely with Daniil Simkin on his Intensio plan a performance, with costumes or couture clothing performances that will be performed at the Joyce Theatre, coordinated beforehand, hair and makeup prepared as if for a Jacob’s Pillow and tour worldwide. live performance. On set, it becomes a true collaboration. There are many dancers we would still like to The images capture the simple moments such as the breath photograph, but we also are really interested in working with the dancer takes before a jump. Dancers must simultaneously choreographers. Many of these choreographers have inspired be artists and athletes; both qualities are highlighted in our us as artists and are a great part of the reason we fell in love photographs. We also try to capture the personality and with dance: Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor and Mark Morris for character of the dancer – we think of these images as portraits starters! of the artist, capturing emotion through movement. It’s a passion project for all of us and we’ve actually been We shoot with a Hasselblad H4D-50 and HC 80mm (HC funding the project on our own. At this point it’s self-funded, Macro 120mm for portraits), and strobes – it is quite slow occasionally we sell some prints to help with our costs. and we only get one shot at a jump so we really have to be in And the world is a more ethereal and beautiful place. synch with the dancers. It is important to us to work slowly and Á deliberately, as it is a very collaborative process for us. The www.nycdanceproject.com 42 July/August 2016 ƒ2 Cameracraft
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ndustrial photography might seem to be out of fashion these days – but that’s only because it’s real work. You can’t fake it with personal projects and printsfor-time and there are no MUAs hanging around oil rigs. You can’t even get on site unless it is a genuine commission. Once you have the pictures, you can’t just stick them on Facebook. A good industrial photographer may have to spend days with the client’s team, often engineers or expert technicians, learning about the subject being photographed in more depth than you would ever imagine. Without that knowledge, all kinds of errors can be made in choosing viewpoint and framing or the central focus of attention in the shot. The industrial photographer arrives at the job with safety boots, a hard hat and a hi-viz jacket but may still have to strip off completely and put on hazardproof overalls. They’ll carry a tripod with a height and weight to match the stepladder in the back of their SUV and will be prepared to be told gear they use needs to be tested and signed off before it’s allowed on site. Production must not be interrupted because that costs thousands per minute – or second… The best client will have a correctly outfitted workforce, plant and products will be checked to find the best specimens, repainted to look perfect. When the pictures are seen in their finished form, the client and anyone appearing in the shots will know what went into the shots. But how do you become an industrial photographer? We asked leading specialists, starting with Chris Henderson from Northumberland.
ONCE upon a time there was a boy who sat in a cinema – in an instant he decided ‘this is what I want to do’ (writes Chris). Levi’s Jeans have a lot to
Some photographers just love fashion. Some only want to get out into the landscape. But some live to record our commerce and industry – to powerful effect as we find from three of them.
answer for, they photographed a cinema ad that changed my life – and no, it's not the ‘laundry, Nick Cave’ one. They produced a film showing the story of the copper rivet, and one section made its mark. Photography shot in a copper mine of the extraction, transportation and subsequent smelting to create the copper was all dust, dirt, big machines and sunsets – at least as far as I can remember.
So as I was sat in a dark cinema the ‘light’ switched on. I was going to be an industrial photographer. The dream job! See really cool stuff, visit fantastic locations and all at someone else's expense… Oh how the reality was very different! Stood in a Tyneside shipyard (January, 1982) in the freezing winter cold as a photographer's assistant, under the RFA Sir Galahad holding a Metz flash gun
and photographing rust on the hull of the ship in dry dock – that'll be the ‘fantastic locations’! I was at least learning my trade with a skilled and slightly angry taskmaster, who amongst his accolades was a BP Industrial Photographer of the Year in the 70s. Of the many things I learned from him some have stayed with me: * The picture is all that will be remembered * It's meant to be hard work * There are no easy shortcuts * Everything matters Then there are some of my own lessons learned: * Doing something you love and are passionate about makes you become your own worst critic
Daylight flash technique Chris often uses synchro-sun and hypersync methods to add flash to existing light. Above, CCTV Sewer inspection van, UK – Canon 5d MkIII, 24-105mm L lens, ISO 200, 1/200s at ƒ9.0. Elinchrom Quadra Hybrid plus Elinchrom 500BX Ri with 12V battery inverter, Skyport triggering. Top right: Oil Refinery, UK, Canon 5D S, ISO 200, 17mm L TS-E atƒ8.0, 1/800s with Elinchrom Quadra Hybrid high speed synced via EL Skyport Plus HS. Bottom right, Mining Truck, UK: Canon 5D MkIII with 45mm L TS-E lens, ISO 200, 1/1000s at ƒ8.0 composed from 45 separate exposures painting small areas with light. Elinchrom Quadra Hybrid controlled by Pocket Wizard Flex TT5. To see the final image building up in Photoshop, visit Chris’s blog page – http://bit.ly/1TXcdRv
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Industrial photography by Chris Henderson. Scan the QR code with your smartphone app to see a video of the 45 lighting steps used to compose the image below.
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Dredging Cutter Heads, Abu Dhabi/UAE: Canon 1Ds MkIII, ISO 400, 1/60s at ƒ5.6, Canon L 24-105mm lens. * The inability to control the uncontrollable is very frustrating * No-one takes pictures as seriously as I do (I know many of my peers who would argue!) * Being in business only adds an extra set of balls to juggle * You spend a lot of time in the car and Travelodge bedrooms…
Oiling the wheels One of my first aspirations was to shoot for an oil company, and for me there was only one – a company that stood higher and more proudly above the rest, a company that had heritage but was always future-facing, telling its stories through great imagery. My career to date has seen the transition from analogue to digital, and for me importantly the ability to post produce the image output. Coming from a background of shooting sheet film in everywhere from shipyards and steel foundries to factory interiors – even using PF200 flash bulbs – you learn to get it right in camera. I still work this way on location but really am very thankful for the creative choices digital can offer in post. You also need to prepared and equipped for the work. Always carry your proof of competencies such as CSCS for construction (see www.cscs.uk.com), Railtrack PTS for live railway (no card, no work!). My standard ‘in the car’ PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) includes hard hat, ear defenders, yellow hi-vis, orange hi-vis (railway), two pairs of boots (clean and dirty jobs), gloves, safety glasses, fall arrest harness, and life jacket. As a 'contracted' professional all clients expect and demand you carry Employers, Public Liability and Professional Indemnity
Insurances,. The usual commercial levels are not always enough – in the case of working ‘AirSide’ at airports the levels required are substantially higher. For these shoots insurance is bought on a shoot-by-shoot basis. Get the people you are photographing on site involved in the process, not everyone will be as pleased to see you as your client… the people you are shooting on site are the ones who do the job everyday and may know more about the machines and processes than the management. They will often be the ‘model’ in the shots so is vital to get them on side. I always show them the shots as we are working towards the final image – they see the progression, why I am using lights the way I do, and how it makes the model look ‘empowered and professional’. They will often then say “if I just move this or set up that in a particular way it will look better to those that know about this stuff”. Result? Everyone looks good.
A career for life Industrial photography – it's better than having a proper job, or should I say it’s a proper job that is in a different location every day. Industrial photographers live by creating interesting considered and composed images, looking at every little detail while someone is beating or grinding on a sheet of steel four feet away. A few weeks ago I did a shoot in an oil refinery – right up on top of a production vessel during a shutdown. It’s only taken over 30 years to get there. My career – does it look how I imagined? No – it looks better, and it lasted longer than the girl I was with at the cinema! There is still a hunger for the next project and a few things on my ‘list to achieve’. BP? I'm available to take your call… Á Above: excavator bucket, manufacturing portrait, UK. Canon 1Ds MkIII, ISO 500, Canon L 16-35mm L, 1/200s at ƒ10. Elinchrom 500 BXRi, Skyport. Below: military training support vessel on exercise, Irish Sea. Canon 5D MkIII, ISO 250, Canon L 16-35mm L, 1/800s at ƒ7.1. Facing page: top, polluted water culvert environmental cleaning, UK. Canon 5D MkIII, ISO 1250, 1/6s at ƒ9.0, 24-105mm L. Quantum Q-Flash, Pocket Wizard (and zip-lock plastic bag!). Technique: Exposure stacking. Bottom: lab research into human ageing: scientist using a Confocal microscope, UK. Canon 1Ds MkIII, ISO 100, 1/4s at ƒ14, 24-105mm L. Four Elinchrom 500 BXRi, Skyport wireless, one head with blue gel.
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To find Chris Henderson on line visit: www.chrishenderson.photography
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Neil Warner WARNER Corporate Photography is one of Europe’s most respected industrial and commercial studios and Neil Warner is a key figure in the Federation of European Photographers. He’s got a worldwide reputation and a portfolio which matches the best from London or New York. Yet he is based on the extreme western fringe of Europe, in the relative isolation of Galway. Ireland has been a success story since becoming a member of European Union and moving from the once Sterling-related Irish Punt to the Euro. This achievement has not been an unbroken rising graph; two financial crises hit the Republic hard, and the banking sector lost a lot of love. Neil himself might have been retired from the hard graft of industrial camerawork had it not been for the need to push his studio ahead and recover what he lost in the Irish crash. He’s always been a highly organised and focused businessman, and your editor has followed his record of winning awards and helping other professionals for many years, especially when he was involved with the major UK professional organisations. It is his belief in a wider outlook which has given him a slightly lower profile in the big island next door – the British associations saw the FEP either as
Neil Warner, above, knows how to show industrial fabrication inside and out (below). His lighting in the studio and out has been the same Bowens kit for a decade, his Pioneer system for location use recently revived with new batteries. Familiar redhead tungsten-halogen and new LED panels handle the video shoots. The human element is nearly always included regardless of subject scale (right).
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something they could not afford to support, or a competitor. Neil saw the FEP as a pan-European force united literally tens of thousands of professionals. Before FEP, he found the UK organisations invaluable. “I have enjoyed the real fellowship of the BIPP photographers”, he tells us, “and was grateful for friendship of British corporate photographers when there were none in Ireland. My heroes in photography were Len Dance and Don Fraser.” Neil also became part of the Fujifilm North America Talent Team. But, enough of that; it just helps us understand how wide his horizons are. Ireland has attracted major investment from high technology, IT, energy and biomedical companies ranging from innovative startups to the great impact of Apple. Though this might all seem to favour young photographers, straight out of college courses and in tune with the innovation, in fact it doesn’t. College trained photographers don’t have decades of experience working with all the hands-on physics and chemistry that Neil’s generation acquired. There are good reasons why international investors wanted to draw on the results of Ireland’s academic process. As we went to press, shoots in Ireland and Scotland dropped into his diary for a German biomed company.
Since no photographer can actually have the first idea what to photograph when entering an unknown lab or industrial site, Neil and his team acknowledge this. The first step is almost to ask the client to train them – to explain what work is being done, what the equipment is, what the processes are, what the competition is, where the unique selling points or commercial advantages lie. This is what a good public relations company does with a new client, or used to. Like a PR agency, Warner Corporate Photography then goes back to the client with a proposal. It may include elements of briefing by the client, but it could equally well be based on an insight into how photography can be used. “We’ll work to your brief, but also challenge it”, they explain, “suggesting new ideas, approaches and concepts with one aim in mind: to deliver on your marketing communications needs”. Direct client service is a key to Neil’s team approach. His company becomes the principal supplier. So, if a video is needed, it’s under their direction and production. The photography, graphics, sound recording and editing for delivery are all in-house. The same goes for printed media and exhibitions, corporate decor images and more. Neil emphasises that he offers a marketing service rather than a photographic studio. He holds two major qualifications in marketing, the MM I I award at University College Galway and a Diploma in Digital Marketing at WMC.
Up and running He also works with exceptional speed, especially in the delivery of video content. Many video units will specify several weeks to make even the shortest promo, rather like wedding photographers who prefer the client to have to wait at least a month for the album or it won’t seem worth the price. Neil has been known to shoot striking video footage in the morning, walk a few miles, edit the film, catch the evening breeze for a sail, finish the first edit and have it ready for the client the next day when an exhibition or conference demands. The groundwork which enables this is important. Working for the electricity industry, the studio keeps current licence permits for access to photograph “all of the generating stations in Ireland”. All insurances and permissions are maintained so that there will never be a delay. It is in the energy industry generally that most delays can be caused by red tape and Neil makes sure they are not. The Irish Government awarded him ƒ2 Cameracraft July/August 2016 49
a unique oil industry scholarship for a commercial photographer to train in Germany and work with colleagues across Europe. Beyond the energy sector, Neil’s interest focuses especially on biomedical technology. He’s a master of the lab bench shot, the ‘men in white coats’ (or women) who come to life with careful use of colour and light. He uses light to concentrate attention on small important details in the shot, rather than relying on techniques like extreme differential focus or ultrawide lenses and close viewpoints. A syringe or a stent, a culture or a indicator which may be only a few centimetres in size becomes the focal point of a relatively normal if dramatic lab work shot. Of course, judicious use of wide angle or close focus may enable the composition but with Neil it is always the lighting that completes the story. He also has a great empathy with doctors, surgeons, and medical staff in general – he is a great believer in life, and the quality of life, and he doesn’t see the scientific advances of pharmaceutical and biotech corporations as mere attempts to earn billions for shareholders. “Working with some of the world leaders in biotechnology such as Boston Scientific, Medtronic, Zimmer and Stryker has given Neil an appreciation of the care and dedication that goes into the
Neil has recently moved from using Canon 1D series cameras to the lighter – and now higher resolution – 5D range which pioneered HD video. His flash is wirelessly triggered to allow freedom of placement, often almost in the shot.
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developing this life saving and enhancing technology”, says the studio’s information. “We are story tellers, we don’t write words, we create images, sometimes the images move” is another neat bit of copywriting to express how this photographer and his team differ from many. Away from the hothouse of Galway’s new industries, Neil is also one of Europe’s best architectural photographers. International chains fly him from Ireland to shoot their hotels in European and worldwide cities where you might expect there to be no shortage of local photographers. Neil Warner has achieved three fellowships from professional organisations and has three times won Irish Professional Photographer of the Year. But today it’s his achievement in becoming the thirteenth photographer in Europe to achieve Master’s status from the FEP which crowns his involvement with the profession. And as for Europe? Well, as you read this, the United Kingdom may be set to leave the European Union, or not. The Republic of Ireland has no such plans and Warner Corporate Photography can continue to be the western fringe of all European corporate photography. –David Kilpatrick Á warnercorporatephotography.com
Biomedical and surgical technology clients give Neil access to unique subjects like microsurgery operation by robotic control (top left). Cryogenics always provides the dramatic smoke-like effect from super-cooling, with blue gelled light as a visual clue for cold, and white backlight to pick out the focus on interest.
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Norman Childs BACK WHEN industrial photography dominated the membership of professional bodies like the British Institute (BIPP) Norman Childs was one of the rising stars of the generation which followed great names like Don Fraser, who in turn had followed legends like Walter Nurnberg. The major oil and mining companies still wanted to show rigs and mining machinery for their shareholders and business publications, but also had a history of educational publications and films. Norman could see that the days of the in-house photographic unit were almost done, that literally hundreds of staff industrial photographers would never be replaced, and specialist studios would fill that gap. He also saw that environmental and social issues were coming to the from, that the multinationals and raw materials extractors faced increasing pressure. After ten years as an independent industrial and commercial photographer, his increasing interest in the environmental responsibilities and humanitarian reach of his
Above: storage of chemicals for use in oil exploration off Equatorial Guinea. Facing page: gold mining exploration in Mauritania, in the middle of the Sahara desert. Below: drilling holes for explosives in underground gold mine, Ghana.
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clients struck a chord with fellow professional Pat Shirreff-Thomas and together they formed Greenshoots. They marketed their service as a team able to provide the dramatic industrial coverage still expected, but also documenting the restoration and protection of the environment with Pat covering the education, infrastructure, housing and health brought to communities by their clients (known as CSR in business – Corporate Social Responsibility). Now Norman and Pat are moving on from what has been a very challenging photographic business demanding year-round travel, battles with bureaucracy, personal risk and an element of adventure – the closest most photographers get to being Harrison Ford and Angelina Jolie! “With fifty years of being in photography and after thirty odd years of running my own business (the last twenty with Pat) we have decided to slowly wind down”, Norman told us. “We can both look back on very successful careers in photography, which have taken us to over seventy countries around the world on amazing, fantastic assignments yielding wonderful opportunities for photography.
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Above left: setting up wire lining tools at night on oil exploration site, Uganda. Below, and facing page top: dusk and night-time shots add drama for annual reports and make unattractive sites look better (Norman added a single flash to the individual in the foreground. For American clients operating in Ghana..
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“Working for many major oil exploration, precious metals mining and maritime clients in that time we have certainly had a variety of experiences; from five star hotels to tents in the deserts and from luxury homes to soaking in tropical rain forests! Chased by wild bees and bitten by millions of ants! Charged by angry elephants! “Eighteen months ago the overseas bit of over twenty five years finally came to an end with our only getting out of Sierra Leone just in time, as the Ebola epidemic began raging through the country. “It took sometime before authorities realised what it was, and to understand its devastating effect. We were up in a remote areas photographing an iron ore mine, as infected people were coming across from the border with Guinea. “Sadly after six years of our visits documenting how this mine had increased the wealth not only of locals, but of the country as a whole, it was closed down because of the outbreak. It has remained shut with the loss of 3,000 jobs, and a knock-on effect on a further 15,000 people reliant on those original 3,000. “Senior European, Australian and South African personnel were evacuated as they would not have got home in time before dying of the disease. “Prior to that, we were evacuated by another client ahead
of the Al Qaeda insurgency in Mali. We were up in the northern desert and were flown out by private aircraft after a three hour race across the desert to get to an airfield. We came across Boko Haram in Cameroon and finally Al Shabab in Kenya, again where we had to leave promptly before hostilities got too close. We always carried 120Kg of kit with us, so the logistics of rapid movement were a real challenge.” Norman says it's difficult to adjust to so called ‘retirement’ after all those years travelling the world, encountering fabulous opportunities in photography, meeting wonderful people and tasting exotic and strange foods. So, how can a new generation of professionals get a foothold? “I did an enormous amount of marketing to potential clients”, Norman says. “I had to find out where in the world they operated, how they viewed photography and what they expected to get out of any particular assignment. Mostly it was for annual reports and investor relations presentations. I made a significant effort to reduce the problems of clients’ public image and to ensure they could rely on us to deliver the right pictures no matter what the difficulties were in getting to locations – whatever the political situation. “Basically, it came down to making our own travel arrangements and liaising with
Below right: 24 hour maintenance of 150 tonne mining trucks on a gold mine in Ghana. others in remote places. It very quickly became obvious that not only could we be trusted to deliver the goods, but that we knew a lot about our clients’ activities before we even got to site. That in turn enabled us to secure substantial fees for our work by relieving the client of a lot of the responsibility. “Several of my clients were based in the US and I always arranged to create trips that would enable more than one client to share travel arrangements. That lead to us being able to travel business class all the time, arriving in a bit more comfort. The kit usually went free. It also created a situation where we could work for about four to six months of the year, leaving the rest of the time to concentrate on marketing and working on other projects close to our hearts. “Apart from the industrial and scientific aspect of our clients’ requirements, we would cover their CSR activities and their relationships with local communities in providing education and medical facilities. We saw these were things that – sadly – the governments of the countries involved consistently failed to do, preferring instead to buy more new four-by-fours or another private jet.”
All images © Norman Childs/Greenshoots
Norman and Pat are now involved with several universities on projects connected to the sciences and medicine, woodland and rain forest habitats. “Our new work is fascinating in its own right”, Norman says, “doing things at our own pace. Bees, moths and exotic tropical plants are our current passion! “We have always been very particular about who we work for, making sure that they understand the value of our images and what we are doing. To that end, I find it disappointing that so many photographers are now content to work for such low fees. Photographers should find ways of rising above the general acceptance that iPhones will be adequate. I believe the rôle of professional photographers will shrink in the next ten years. There will be a need to offer something in addition to photography. “Solving clients’ problems will become ever more important as content will become ever more accessible and accepted with every additional megapixel. “We certainly have had the best of all worlds for such a long time and I am immensely grateful, with no regrets.” Á www.greenshoots.co.uk ƒ2 Cameracraft July/August 2016 55
here is a great deal of demand for stock photos in the industrial and workplace Health and Safety category – if you don't believe me, do a search on Alamy.com (a great outlet for stock photos!) and search for "health safety" – you'll find over 60,000 images to compete with. The sheer volume of entries is testament to the large demand – news and magazine articles, textbooks, insurance training material, even corporate videos (and there’s a dearth of 4K stock footage of just about everything, so you’ll face very little competition in this segment, regardless of what you shoot.) So what are the tips/tricks/ rules for shooting the industrial scene effectively and incorporating today’s concerns with H&S? In addition to just having a good eye for composition and just ‘being there’, there are a lot of behind-the-scenes things to be concerned about to protect you, both physically and legally, unless you keep your distance and limit your industrial imagery to classic factory skyline sunsets and generic views seen from public space.
Gary Friedman takes a look at the hidden pitfalls of industrial photography – and need for more protection than just a hard hat and gloves
Many themes of images in this category are of the “compliance” genre – showing workers using safety equipment properly. In the manufacturing realm, it’s wearing gloves, using safety glasses, and wearing hard hats. In the food preparation business, it’s usually hair nets and cellophane gloves for food handlers. The most visually arresting shots (for me, at least) involve any activity that has sparks and the right protective gear. You usually have to have both. I know of one stock photographer who actually carried around some hard hats and gloves for times when he came across workers not donning them. Few people want to buy a shot showing workers doing dangerous things!
There’s a good reason many stock ‘industrial’ photographs look like this. No safety issues, no great need for signed releases, no need for permission to be on site…
Okay, so gloves, head, and eye protection should be standard. What if they’re not being worn? My answer: shoot it anyway! One of my more popular images from China shows some college
In journalistic shots of real people at work, even if the background is not a perfect workplace, ensure the subject has the right safety equipment. 56 July/August 2016 ƒ2 Cameracraft
Risks in action: students step out of third floor windows to clean them in China. Right, a machine operator with no face or hair protection leans close to an obvious hazard in China. students cleaning the inside and outside of their third story classroom windows! (“What safety risk? Just make sure you don’t fall!”) One time I was visiting a string of manufacturing facilities in Shenzhen, China, to document working conditions during the time when Foxconn’s (the iPad manufacturer) poor working conditions were making the news. Although I saw none of the worker exploitation that the media described, I did witness a lack of concern for safety in many instances. I was able to sneak in a shot of a CNC operator wearing no protective gear and putting his head dangerously close to the items being milled. Flying debris could have landed in his eye, or a chunk of his hair could have been pulled out (a little known risk of spinning drills).
Insurance So while it’s true the people you’re photographing should be doing their jobs safely, there are also things you need to do in order to protect you behind the scenes. And I’m not just talking camera insurance. You must make sure that you are protected against on-site injury. Usually it is the industrial site itself which carries something called Public Liability Insurance, which protects them from lawsuit should someone be injured on their property. You, being a very small business or even a private individual choosing to use professional equipment, should have such a policy for yourself as well. Not only will it protect you in
case the business has no insurance, but it will also kick in should you happen to damage some of the businesses’ equipment during the course of a shoot. This is especially important when you’re shooting an assignment overseas, where the idea of liability insurance is in the same category of intellectual property protection: it’s a foreign concept.
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Industrial UrbEx A wonderful new photographic genre which I’m a personal fan of is Urban Exploration, or UrbEx for shot. Basically an adventuresome photographer gains access (or, more typically, trespasses) into old and abandoned buildings and takes haunting photos of them. High contrast can add a very cold, industrial feel to such images. For maximum "grunge" effect, for one of my shots (an abandoned manufacturing site in Latvia), I used the Photoshop "Craquelure" texture from the filter gallery. For additional examples, do a google image search for “urbex” and prepare yourself for a lot of daring and Über -photoshopped images. Here, too, insurance is almost a requirement – mostly health insurance since such sites have their danger elements, but since you’re trespassing on private property a legal fund might prove useful. On the other hand, if you’re this guy, you probably don’t care: http://bit.ly/1Xb3wW5 Warning: not all browsers will play the accompanying video.
Above: abandoned factory in Latvia. Left: welding with minimal protection in China. Above right: all the necessary hygiene wear for bakery works. Right: high tech production may not demand a clean room for everything, but it’s usually as clean and clear as this.
Why get a Release? There are two views when it comes to the topic of model releases: the first says you must ALWAYS get a signed model release to eliminate the chance of lawsuit for both photographer and publisher down the line. Stock sites like Alamy and GettyImages insist on them for anything except purely editorial and news images. They can not license work for any commercial use without model release. The other view is “Such agreements are really there to protect the publisher, and aren’t really needed in every situation.” For example, if your image is used to supplement a news article rather than, say, for commercial advertising purposes, it is fair game. Plus, if you’re shooting people in a foreign culture where they don’t speak your language, and don’t read magazines and books in your language, there’s a very, very small chance that the licensed work would be discovered, and then there’s an even LOWER chance that they will have the financial ability to take legal action. I license most of my images privately, and in my life there has only been one potential customer who backed out because I couldn’t produce a release. To me that’s a very small price to pay for the elimination of a VERY large chore. Property Release may also be needed but this is a complete topic on its own. In theory you need
things as the location of a factory in a landscape, or any of their vehicles, products or workers. In short, they may be able to claim that almost any information is now a ‘trade secret’ and subject to legal protection – so countless images taken on sites, or of sites, could one day be targeted by lawyers to remove them from the web or worse (the same way some parks, heritage sites and visitor attractions like zoos will do if they find a picture which didn’t come from their official released PR material). This is the kind of thing that photographic trade associations (well, the few that are remaining) ought to be fighting with lawyers. In the meantime, it’s something you should know about.
Establishing Shots a release for the brand of jeans your subject is wearing and the screwdriver in his (or her) hand. That’s why CGI is so widely used now for every part of an image or movie except the client’s own product. In a factory full of plant and personnel, you might need to obtain a hundred signed property releases to allow an advertising use of your images.
What’s a Trade Secret? The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a series
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of trade negotiations being carried out mostly in secret between the EU and US. While it won’t become finalized for a few more years yet, many leaked portions of the agreement have provoked tremendous criticism, characterizing the treaty as an assault on European and US societies by transnational corporations. Among the concerns (at least as far as photographers are concerned) is the expansion of the definition of “trade secret”, for under the new definition, such
This almost goes without saying. I’ve learned that no matter what the subject matter, an establishing shot (which gives a sense of place) acts to “set the stage” and can almost be used as an introduction. The entrance to a building. A shot of the company’s product shown off proudly in their lobby. A silhouette of the facility; or maybe some steam output against a sunset inferring round-the-clock productivity. Being able to convey in one shot what the factory does (and where it does it). Á For more: www.friedmanarchives.com
Above: Ceiling mudder)– the construction industry, putting “mud” in the cracks between sheets of drywall on the ceiling must be done by hand, and unlike painting, can not be done with a long stick. These stilts are commonly used in the US to enable quick work and a sore neck.
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GETTING BIG BACKING T
he Fleadh By The Feale is a small traditional Irish music event that has happened in Abbeyfeale, Ireland every May bank holiday weekend since 1994. I was there again, this year, to enjoy to the music and take photographs of the performers. Sitting in a school hall waiting to hear the final, headline act, well-known singer Mary Black, my eyes were drawn to the large and imposing sign next to the stage bearing the name of the German mechatronic products business Kostal that sponsored the event. It struck me that many of the music and art events I have attended over the years, both as an official photographer or spectator, needed a life-giving transfusion of cash from either local and/ or national business for them to happen at all. In Ireland, this is increasingly true no matter if the event is a major music festival attended by hundreds of thousands, a city based Art exhibition or a local opera or traditional music weekend. It can be easier to spot the corporate support for some events than others, such as the Sky Cat Laughs – a top drawer line-up of international comedians in Kilkenny (the home of the “Cats” Hurling team). Nevertheless, you can bet your front-row ticket that it’s there and without it you wouldn’t be laughing, listening or spectating at all. For example, the Dublin-based Guitar Festival of Ireland has, in the past, received help from a diverse range of sponsors including The Irish Whiskey Museum, D’Addario and the Irish national broadcaster RTE. The Carlow Arts Festival includes a local brewery and an automatic door manufacturer among its corporate sponsors. I’ve photographed at sporting events, such as the five-yearly Charity Pro-Am Golf tournament in the Adare Manor golf resort, near Limerick, where the sponsor’s product – bottled water – has appeared in every shot I took of international golfers such as Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, at press conferences. I have also worked on a number of photographic assignments for large tourism organisations such as Bord Failté and Tourism Ireland who are regular sponsors of music, food, culture art festivals. One of my personal favourite annual Irish music events, is the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival,
STEPHEN POWER LOOKS AT THE CORPORATE FUNDING BEHIND ARTS AND MUSIC EVENTS IN IRELAND
where I have worked as an official photographer several times. The event was founded by Jim Mountjoy in October 1978 primarily as a means to increase the off-season customer count in the large Metropole Hotel, where he was the marketing manager. He cleverly scheduled the first Cork Jazz Festival to coincide with the newly instituted Irish October bank holiday at the end
Events such as the Galway International Arts Festival (above) will attract a range of corporate sponsors, including national tourism agencies, such as Bord Failté. Below: it can be difficult to keep the sponsor out of the shot, at major events. Tiger Woods with Ballygowan water bottle, at press conference for Adare Pro-Am charity golf tournament.
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of October and it’s been running there to packed houses – and a very packed Metropole Hotel – ever since. Over 40,000 people visit Cork each year, from all over the world. Early sponsors included the cigarette manufacturer John Player and Guinness became the main source of funding since the early ’80s. Photographers looking to cover such events should not look to the sponsor for access to the event. The “gatekeeper” of the press passes at major sporting events or concerts by international artists will usually be the hired PR firm. In order for you to get on the right side of the barrier, to be able to wear that coveted armband, or into that special area designated for the official photographer, you will first of all need to make contact with those people. It may not do any harm to offer to buy them a Guinness, though. Á Stephenpower1@eircom.net www.adareimages.com
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When trying to access a photography pass for a major music event, look to the PR company rather than the sponsor. I had to do this to be able to complete all the pictures for my book ‘Traditional Notes’. So many key names gathered at the Tønder Music Festival in Denmark, above. All images © Stephen Power.
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LIGHTREADING A LITTLE
Martin Grahame-Dunn has been promoting photographic skills in the United Arab Emirates
t’s been an eventful couple of moths in which I attended the première photographic trade exhibition in the Middle East, Photography Live Dubai. This is the re-vamped event formerly known as Photoworld Dubai, taken over by Informa Exhibitions Middle East and – with my advice and input – turned into more of a photographic experience including seminars, workshops and of course, the Nikon School. On the run up to the show and in conjunction with Nikon MEA, two image competitions were launched. The first was a muchneeded student award where eight shortlisted photographers were invited to attend and participate in a one day workshop with me. The format included a series of short instructional presentations, each followed by a specific time limited task. From the presentation of the completed tasks and in conjunction with their personal portfolios I was able to select an overall winner who received a trophy, courtesy of Nikon MEA to mark their achievement at my first formal presentation – ‘Diversity for Survival’. Photography Live Dubai commenced the following day on Saturday 7th May and the first day attendance alone outstripped the total attendance of the previous couple of years, so an impressive start! Nearly all the major manufacturers were well represented with impressive stands but what really made the difference was the wide availability of educational events throughout the show. As expected the Nikon school was continually packed with excellent content wrapped around the launch of the long
Student competition display, above, ‘Diversity for Survival’ theme. Left, by Aisha Jemima Danyel, Winner of the 2016 Student Award.
Leading the ‘Town Hall Meeting’ organised by Nikon MEA, surrounded by leading photographers of the UAE, above. Below, addressing the Arab Union of Photographers in Sharjah (with flags).
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awaited D5 and D500. This was also my fist opportunity to present in my new role with Nikon MEA. I particularly enjoyed being asked to select one of the joint winners of the ‘I AM NIKON’ competition following my live critique ‘walk through’ of the 30 finalists that was broadcast on social media and attracted a huge audience in the zone. The other winner was selected by carefully monitored public voting in a most respectful way. Both winners will now be visiting the Masai Mara to enjoy a wildlife photography trip of a lifetime! The first day of the Nikon School concluded with a ’Town Hall’ meeting bringing together a group of the leading lights in photography from the UAE. I was privileged to ‘moderate’ the meeting more in the format of a Jeremy Paxman TV interview as I had eleven very passionate and opinionated photographers to not only control but to gel their thoughts and observations into a coherent response to the extremely appreciative audience. I know we all learned so much and have a strategy for a way forward in bringing much needed education, representation and innovation to the Middle East and beyond. Indeed, this exercise was much valued by Nikon who are a key player in fulfilling the educational and developmental roles in particular. Given the common issues highlighted I seriously wonder if this kind of ‘happening’ in the UK wouldn’t it be the shot in the arm and reality check our own domestic industry and organisations badly need?
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After three well-attended days Photography Live concluded as a resounding success and most certainly with lessons learned to develop the show in future years. I was whisked away before the end to the neighbouring Emirate of Sharjah to make a presentation entitled “The importance of Story Telling in Photography” to an exclusive invited audience at the HQ of the Arab Union of Photographers. This examined subjects near to my heart, the way that images that contain a clear narrative often rate far higher than those with little storytelling content and how an image communicates with its viewers, be they judges in International or domestic competitions or by anyone that simply enjoys photography being critical to their success. My own personal work focuses on the critical importance of narrative as I have just finished the ‘illustrations’ for my partner Kate’s latest poetry collection. Having completed my latest project I have been faced with the options for its final presentation as an exhibition so my thought turned to being in total control of my artistic output. In Dubai I had loaned a few of my images to a print company, Creative Edge, to experiment with output on a new fine art baryta
paper. The prints produced were stunning and I determined to follow up this route on my return to the UK. The team at Permajet led by Imaging Warehouse CEO Robin Whetton had been talking about me that morning, which I found out when I made a call prior to visiting their Stratford upon Avon HQ to get some advice and explore output and surfaces of the most impressive inkjet papers. So, off in the car to make the 12 mile journey to Stratford and an appointment with their technical marvel Alex who worked with me to produce some stunning output on a very selective choice of their fine art papers. I am now determined to progress this route and with Alex writing some new profiles for my now-ordered Canon Pixma Pro1 printer, it will be full steam ahead in a few short weeks. I can not too strongly extol the virtues and professionalism of the Permajet team and am delighted that fate has brought us back together after so many years. Watch this space as I work to produce the presentation for exhibition my images so richly deserve. Á For further information on training, contact Martin at email@example.com or call him on 07854 249710.
YOUR VISION GALLERY PAGES SPONSORED BY ONE VISION IMAGING LTD Every image selected for use receives a voucher for £30 in services (inclusive of VAT) from One Vision. Submit images as JPEGS to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Although we’ve got a theme of industry in this issue, it would be criminal to go into summer without a reminder of why you should do just that – go OUT into summer and find the light and landscape. Paul D Hunter of Acklam took this evening view of Hawnby, Ryedale, North Yorkshire and it needed a selective eye. He used a Canon 1Ds MkII fitted with Canon’s 100-400mm lens, exposing for 1/1000s at the full ƒ5.6 aperture and ISO 400. It’s a very long distance, selective landscape and benefits from the exclusion of the sky. 400mm is indeed a landscape lens!
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Above: by Ewan Mathers, Ilkeston, Derbyshire – Electric Spot Welding. Nikon D800, 50mm ƒ1.8. 1/50s at ƒ3.5, ISO 400. Below left: Golden Grid by Francis Vallely of Pately Bridge, Harrogate. Canon Powershot SX50HS, 1/200s at ƒ5.6, ISO 100, 22.5mm. Below right: Gerry Coe of Belfast breaks the ban on taking photographs of the Guggenheim in Bilbao! We are not allowed to publish this, officially. Fujifilm X-T1, 55-200mm at 78mm, 1/1000s at ƒ7.1.
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© Frederico Martins
Add colour to your palette OCF Gels Add colour to your Profoto flash with the new OCF Gels. Use them to balance your flash light with ambient light, or boost your creativity with our set of colour effect gels. Learn more: profoto.com/offcameraflash 68 July/August 2016 ƒ2 Cameracraft