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MasterPhotography Vol 13 No 3 • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
4 Editorial 6 News with Richard Kilpatrick
Cover: by Clive Arrowsmith – the wonderful Helena Bonham Carter, caught as she entered Clive’s studio dressed like this. The simplicity of the shot and its casual pose, the left hand tensioned by holding the garment in place as the wind machine blows her hair, combined with her poise and glance to create a portrait reminiscent of Botticelli’s Venus. See our major feature in this issue – and come to meet Clive at the Master Photography Awards and Open Day on October 16th.
A view from outside – MPA profiled by Fujifilm A snapshot of the association’s renaissance.
New Products The WP Scarfstrap and Marrutt’s Deep Card Strut Mounts.
Lens Review: Samyang 50mm ƒ1.4 FE AF Another standard prime lowers Sony mirrorless outfit cost.
Camera Review: Sigma sd Quattro A sensor like no other and an SLR lens mount – mirrorless.
Trade Partner Profile: One Vision Imaging Clare Louise visited the Midlands superlab.
MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS 2017 and MEET THE MASTERS OPEN DAY SIGNATURE INKJET MEDIA Details and the programme for the day.
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24 Cherubs 26
The Golden Season: LMPA autumnal weddings Seasonal inspiration for two recent Licentiates.
Camera Review: Canon EOS 1DX MkII Richard Bradbury FMPA evaluates the flagship Canon – with additional news, Canon EOS 5D MkIV release.
Clive Arrowsmith Clare Louise meets the MPA’s 2016 Guest of Honour – with classic images and fascinating back stories from Clive.
Business: Seven Year Rich – David P Macdonald Richard Kilpatrick asked David how he had weathered the financial stormy seas since we last interviewed him.
Equipment & Technique: Syncing Sun John Parris and David Kilpatrick show how the new Elinchrom EL-Skyport Plus HS brings wide apertures and fast shutter speeds to studio and location flash.
Newborn & Baby: Prop Up Your Sales Melanie East in conversation with Master Photography about the value of high-end studio props.
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The most important AGM and a key year for all Master Photographers
W CEO Clare Louise FMPA Tel: 01325 356555 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org President Steve Walton FMPA Tel: 0116 2994901 e-mail: stevewaltonphotography.info Management Team Paul Wilkinson FMPA (MPA Chairman 2015/16) Tel: 01844 290054 e-mail: email@example.com Steve Ramsden LMPA Tel: 01904 479063 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Ray Lowe Hon.FMPA Tel: 01992 636152 e-mail: email@example.com Directors Martin Leckie LMPA Tel: 01467 672000 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Paul Cooper FMPA (Qualifications) Tel: 01904 416 684 e-mail: email@example.com Dave Thexton LMPA Tel: 01229 835035 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Collin Davies LMPA Tel: 01792 883274 e-mail: email@example.com Paul Inskip LMPA Tel: 01243 861634 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Head Office Contacts MPA, Jubilee House, 1 Chancery Lane, Darlington DL1 5QP Tel: 01325 356555 Fax: 01325 357813 Website: www.masterphotographersassociation.co.uk Membership: Amanda Buckle – email@example.com Cherubs: firstname.lastname@example.org Cherubs Direct line: 01325 952259
MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPT/OCT 2016
ISSN 2042-0234 Vol 13 #3 published for the membership of The Master Photographers Association six times each year Icon Publications Limited Maxwell Place, Maxwell Lane, Kelso, Scottish Borders TD5 7BB www.iconpublications.com Publisher/Editor in Chief: David Kilpatrick Hon. FMPA Tel: 01573 226032 Mobile: 07971 250786 email: email@example.com Ad Sales: Diane Henderson Tel: 01573 223508 email: firstname.lastname@example.org News and Press Functions: Richard Kilpatrick Mobile: 07979 691965 email: email@example.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 The Master Photographers Association, 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, neither Icon Publications Ltd or the Master Photographers Association can accept any legal responsibility for unjustified claims or the quality of goods or services arising from advertising in this publication. All contents including advertising artwork created by Icon Publications Ltd are copyright and cannot be reproduced by any means without prior permission. ©2016 Icon Publications Ltd. E&OE.
4 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
ell, the sun is streaming in through the window as I write this and it seems a little strange to be thinking ahead to the autumn and the Master Photography Awards, but they are once more upon us. The initial judging has been done and by the time you read this, the main print judging will be nearing completion. The process is of managing and judging thousands of images is a straightforward but intense one – and it’s the reason that, this year, we invested in using a third party platform to manage the digital entries: the awards have grown to the point now where we simply couldn’t cope without a specialist solution. The initial round is well and truly done – each digital image has been judged by three judges independently and, if any one of those judges thinks the image should proceed to the next round, it will go through to print assessment. Why is it done this way? Well, it’s imperative that no image that may be worthy of a merit or above is dropped at this stage – only the images that no judge feels should be passed to the next stage are dropped. This ensures that we can reduce the numbers of images to be judged but should ensure that nothing gets missed. Then it’s all done on the prints – much harder work by our panel of judges (with a couple to spare for regular rest) and an independent adjudicator from one of the industry suppliers to ensure that everything is completely fair and open… and we’ll have our winners. I love being a part of the awards – though I thoroughly miss being able to enter – as for a couple of days we get to do nothing but look at world-class photography. Image after image after image from all over the world; all genres; black and white; colour; raw, untouched images; heavily processed comps; inspirational ideas and traditional classics – it’s all a welcome opportunity to enjoy some of the best imagery you can imagine. The eventual images will, no doubt, stand testimony to that! The Awards (Sunday October 16th) and the accompanying open day must be one of my favourite events of the year. Time to catch up with everyone and possibly have a drink or two! Come along and see what I mean – there is much to enjoy! We also have the MPA AGM on the Monday morning (October 17th) and our trade friends 3XM Photovalue are staying at the venue to hold a full day seminar on the Tuesday. I know it is never particularly popular having to stick around (possibly with a slight hangover) for an AGM, but this year will be one of the most important in the history of the MPA with much to be decided and agreed by the membership: this is your organisation and the AGM is there so that you get to have your say in the way it is run, and in the decisions that the CEO and Board of Directors make on your behalf. So come along to the awards, have an incredible day and then help shape the organisation for the next twelve months. And for those who have entered? I wish you all the best of luck! Hopefully see you all there! – Paul Wilkinson FMPA, Chairman Á
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Superfast 105mm joins Nikon’s 100 million lenses
September 8th 2016 Open Print Judging Darlington
AF-S Nikkor 105mm ƒ1.4E ED – £2,049.99 See: www.nikon.co.uk
September 9th 2016 A&F Judging Darlington September 16th 2016 to February 19th 2017 51st Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition National Museum of Scotland Edinburgh September 20th-25th 2016 Photokina Cologne, Germany September 30th 2016 Online Qualifications Judging Licentiateship October 10th-14th 2016 de la Photo Paris, France
THE Nikkor 105mm ƒ1.4 E ED offers a the fastest aperture yet in this focal length for the company, creating a new option for one of the most popular and essential portrait lenses on full-frame systems. A 1m minimum focus gives a good image scale and as expected at this price it has exceptional edge to edge sharpness – though buyers will be paying as much attention to the out of focus as the in-focus. We look forward to seeing the results from what promises to be a highly attractive portraiture lens so if you’re out there shooting portraits on this new lens now, let us know – it would be great to have some examples from Master Photographers! Nikon also celebrated their 100 millionth lens in 84 years of production this summer.
Neat 23mm ƒ2 WR lens for Fujifilm X
October 16th 2016 Meet the Masters Open Day Jurys Inn Hinckley Island Hotel Awards Dinner & Presentations October 19th 2016 Photovision Roadshow Epsom MPA will be present at this event with their own stand November 25th 2016 Online Qualifications Judging Licentiateship January 11th-15th 2017 The Societies Convention Trade Show (free): 13th-15th only Hilton London Metropole, Edgware Road, London, W2 1JU www.swpp.co.uk/convention January 30th 2017 to February 7th 2017 Photo Training Overseas Hotel Playa Pesquaro Cuba This annual training event is limited to 40 photographers/80 seats (many photographers being accompanied by partners, and also taking advantage of second week optional holiday extension). Flights leave from Manchester on January 30th and Gatwick on January 31st. George and Glenys Dawber, the organisers, have reached the 30th year of PTO and the first to go long-haul. See: www.pto-uk.com February 10th & 11th 2017 Ultimate Photographers’ Weekend in the Lake District with Joe Cornish, Steve Gosling, Shahbaz Majeed, Chris Ireland. With Phase One digital systems and Cambo. Limited to 20 places, £950. See: http://bit.ly/2bBpNx2
MATCHING the 35mm ƒ2 in design, the £419 180g 23mm ƒ2 Fujinon XF R WR takes 43mm filters, focuses down to just 22cm, and has a nineblade aperture for smooth defocus effects. It’s also a weatherproof design with splash-resistant coating and metal barrel, with a fast AF mechanism ideal for candids and street photography. You can shoot in ‘light rain or dust’ and down to -10°C. Equivalent to a 35mm lens field of view, the 23mm also makes an ILC camera match the popular fixed lens X100 series, in silver or black, with optional lenshoods. www.fujifilm.co.uk
Second generation for the big Tammy TAMRON has updated the popular SP 150-600mm ƒ5-6.3 Di VC USD to G2 (Model A022). This second generation “G2” lens builds upon the success of the SP 150-600mm ƒ5-6.3 Di VC USD, which launched in December 2013 and continues to meet photographers’ needs in the long telephoto class (especially for full frame users). The new G2 version was “developed to provide superior optical performance with today’s high resolution DSLRs” and to add improvements to several features including speed and accuracy of AF and VC (Vibration
Compensation). Also, several new features have been added: Flex Zoom Lock which works at any focal length setting, Fluorine Coating and optional 2X and 3X tele converters. Canon and Nikon users get this from September 15th, Sony users must wait for their non-VC variant. Improvements include a faster ring-type ultrasonic AF, 4.5 stop 3-mode stabilisation, a customisation USB dock for settings, ArcaSwiss mount on the tripod/grip (a feature we asked Tamron for!). www.tamron.co.uk
Turn your Moto Z phone into a Hasselblad – which shoots DNG raw… JUST WHEN you thought it was safe to hunt in the bargain bucket for add-on cylindrical Sony ‘lens is the camera’ clip-ons for iPhones, Hasselblad has teamed up with Motorola to create a second skin which clips to the back of the Moto Z smartphone turning it into a truly camera-like object. The Hasselblad True Zoom (with 10x Optical Zoom) adds a 12 megapixel sensor with raw recording abilities to the phone. The 152.3 x 72.9 x 15.1mm size is no doubt dictated by the host phone, and it puts 145g on to the weight. In addition to still captures from the 1/2.3" BSI CMOS sensor at 100-3200 ISO, it can capture 1080p Full HD electronically stabilised video at 30fps and has two mics. The ƒ3.56.5 4.5-45mm lens is equivalent
6 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
to 25-250mm, with optical image stabilisation for stills and a closeup range of life-size at 5cm, 1:10 at 1m. It has a built-in flash, auto and manual focus with AF lock, auto or manual exposure, white balance presets, various effects and filters
and saves JPG or DNG (RAW) on internal 32GB-64GB, with microSD via the phone up to 2TB. Also – 4G/ LTE, WiFi, and GPS Phone-Enhanced GeoLocation… see their website www.motorola.com for availability and pricing after photokina.
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Improve your figures without using Photoshop Wall art fit for a Queen ONE VISION IMAGING were recently commissioned to print and manufacture over 2,000 high quality frames to be fitted on Cunard’s flagship cruise liner Queen Mary 2. In June Queen Mary 2 returned to Southampton ‘remastered’. The interior and exterior had been completely transformed. One Vision MD, Derek Poulston said “We’re no strangers to large projects and we relish these opportunities. It was perhaps the London 2012 Olympics that boosted our confidence and knowledge in scaling high quality products, but this was certainly the ultimate in prestigious requirements.” The subject matter which includes historic B&W images depicting Cunard’s iconic history. One Vision proposed the paper types, window mounts and frames and delivered some samples. Cunard agreed with their choices and the end result was a selection of true photographic prints in both lustre and metallic papers sitting alongside some fine art giclée prints – all in textured window mounts and two types of thick and thin bronze frames. Fourteen pallets of precious cargo were delivered to the shipyard in Hamburg, Germany. www.onevisionimaging.com
UK SOFTWARE pioneers Anthropics Technology have launched PortraitPro Body dedicated full body retouching software. It greatly simplifies and speeds up body photo editing, based on academic research into human appearance, body shape and beauty. PortraitPro Body retouching software is available in two editions – Standard (standalone) and Studio (standalone and plugin for Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and Lightroom). It handles camera RAW files, supports conversion between different color spaces, provides JPEG/TIFF color profile and embedded color profile support. A free trial is available and the package is priced at ‘a fraction of the traditional retouching software’. Key features include: Body reshaping/contouring Adjust build and height Correct posture – fixes for camera distortions and unflattering posing Smooth skin and remove blemishes Face editing controls Picture control tools Dedicated shape tools Easy slider interface PortraitPro Body is available to purchase or for a free trial from www.portraitprobody.com Enter discount code MPA7816 to get 10% off
PermaJet package new ideas for photokina
Loxley give customers the Slip A MORE substantial padded, zipped custom case to hold Loxley Colour photo books is now on offer from the lab. The leatherette Book Sleeve is a home for all 8 x 8" albums and books, and costs £25. Created primarily for the Esprit Book’s 8 x 8" size, it comes in a black finish with a plush padded interior offering full protection to the contents inside. It also has flexible side panels to allow it to house a more substantial book or album with up to 40 spreads comfortably. The production time is five working days when ordered with an Esprit Book, or just one working day if ordered on its own, online. A Personal Tag (right) can be added to the order. www.loxleycolour.com 8 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
PERMAJET has completed an eighteen month business development project with a facelift to their packaging, which will help photographers and artists easily identify the ideal inkjet media for their images. ‘Project Pioneer’ is the title for a series of updates that PermaJet has been introducing over the last eighteen months. Upgrades to their Fibre Based Baryta range of inkjet papers in 2015, followed by groundbreaking improvements to their Fine Art range in early 2016, have seen the inkjet media specialists receive multiple awards this year. This new packaging design is introduced to signify the completion of this round of innovative developments. Above, the new Museum Heritage 310 pack. The new packaging is 100% Acid free, produced to archival standards, resistant to changes in humidity, and made from sustainably sourced material. The boxes are as a result suitable for long-term use storing your finished inkjet prints. You can find them at photokina, Hall 3.1, Stand B-006, Cologne Messe, September 20-25th 2016 – exporting to the world via Europe! www.permajet.com
Fujifilm Crystal Archive Professional
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Photograph © John Baxter printed on Fujifilm Crystal Archive Velvet
Fujifilm Crystal Archive Professional Velvet is an archival C-Type paper with a smooth ‘The quality was just matt velour finish, giving the look of a fine art reproduction with the longevity and robust handling of a real silver photographic material. superb. The subtle for use with mini labs andpermanence, medium to large-scale printer systems, Crystal Fujicolor Crystal Archive Digital Pearl, a paper soDeveloped sharp Withall superb archival images printed on Crystal tones reproduced Archive Digital Velvet is a silver halide with a naturally warmas base and a surface which and vibrant it has been praised by photographers for Archive Digital Pearl paper will look as fresh in the future the day resistsshadow fingermarks. they Although resembling Velvet has a rich d-Max whiter than white on highlights, vibrant colour and superb were taken. Portraitmatt and laminate, wedding photographers will fiphotographic nd really well this and matches the dynamic range of conventional finishes when used detail. Developed for use with all mini labs and medium to the paper ideally suited for albums and display printswith and the will recommended Its base weight qualities make itachieved. ideal forThis layflat large-scale printer systems, Crystal Pearlprofiles. is marvel at theand highcreasing level of detail and colour is book production very convincing newArchive Digitalprinter and and album covers asa well for boxed, mounted framed work. It is will a silver halide paper containing pearl mica pigments paperaswhich defies the ageingand process. Your customers for exhibition prints in all conditions. metal oxides which combine to give purer whitesideal and sharper, love you for lighting it. product.’ better-defined highlights. Optimised for digital systems, the
superb archival permanence, images printed on Crystal Archive Digital Velvet will look paper has a thickerwinner, base and higher stiffness forWith a high-quality lm Professional Paper Range: – John Baxter, as fresh in the future as the day they were taken. Portrait and wedding photographers will ﬁnd look and feel. • Fujifilm Crystaland Archive Typeprints II the paper ideally suited for albums display and will love its controlled dynamic range AoP Shot Up North 27 • achieved. Fujifilm Crystal SUPREME and the subtle palette ThisArchive is a paper which merges the feel of the best velvet matt • Fujifilm papers of the past, the uniqueCrystal colourArchive gamutDPII of C-Type, and the depth of fine art giclée in a exhibition modern material capable of high volume rapid output. • Fujifilm Crystal Archive FUJITRANS • Fujifilm Crystal Archive FUJIFLEX
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• Fujifilm Crystal Archive ALBUM PAPER ‘‘This new Fujifilm • Fujifilm Crystal Archive DPII Fujifilm Crystal Archive PEARL paper be thea sample print•• please For morecould information or to request 01234Archive 572107 TEXTURED Fujifilmcall Crystal email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.fujifilm.co.uk/photoimaging • Fujifilm Crystal Archive ALBUM missing link for some • Fujifilm Crystal Archive WRITEABLE • Fujifilm Crystal Archive DP TRANS photographers.’ • Fujifilm Crystal Archive FUJIFLEX Photograph by Tamara Peel - www.tamarapeel.co.uk
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For more information on the full range or to request a sample print please call Peter Wigington on 01234 572138, or email: email@example.com or visit www.fujifilm.eu/uk/products/photofinishing/photographic-paper/ MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • 9
No amateurs: snapshot of the MPA’s renaissance supported by trade partner Fujifilm Professional
t’s quite simple. If you don’t earn money from your photography then you can’t join the MPA – but you can start part-time. Photographers applying to join must prove they have relevant insurances and meet MPA protocols… but they don’t have to be a full-time professionals. Income earned part-time is allowable. Explains MPA chair of the board of directors, Paul Wilkinson: “It is a fact that most of us started in this business part-time and built up income from that point. A couple of years ago this was acknowledged by the organisation in a rule-change. Of course the industry also has retouchers and trainers who may well be part-time. But the bottom line, ahead of enrolment, is that we check for professional indemnity and public liability insurances. And two trade references are also must-haves.” He adds: “We believe that the MPA is the ultimate ‘Gold Standard’ organisation in our industry – and the pre-eminent qualifying body for professional photography both in the UK and beyond. Aspirational photographers join us to get access to some quite remarkable people and to exploit an inherent desire to be the best they possibly can be.” Although the MPA enjoys ‘heritage status’, as its history can be tracked back to the fifties, it has (of its own admission) in recent years been perceived as ‘treading water’ as it tried to find the best way to accommodate transition and evolution. But a two-day long board-level meeting at Darlington HQ fixed things. “Our overarching mission had seemed somewhat diluted” admits Paul, “But now, under the leadership of our CEO Clare Louise, we are re-energised and in sharp focus.” At the NEC-based TPS (The Photography Show) this year
‘Since 1952 we have been at the heart of this great industry and that is where our focus must stay’ – Clare Louise, CEO MPA
the ‘new-look’ MPA revelled in its expanding popularity. Clare Louise recalls: “We experienced a definite dip four years ago but our community today is exceptionally strong and we are seeing substantial increases in membership retention rates and lots of new members joining – including more women. I have worked on the MPA stand for the past ten years at what was ‘Focus’, now The Photography Show – but this year it wasn’t about us having to pitch the MPA proposition to photographers, it was more about photographers saying: ‘ Please just show me how to sign up’. It was incredible.” She adds: “More and more people are keen to engage with, and benefit from, our core values. We are here to educate today’s and also tomorrow’s photographers. The MPA has an unsurpassed bank of knowledge and wisdom and we will ensure that knowledge is passed on. Our mission is to turn photographers into Master Photographers.” New members can join the MPA for just £13.75 a month – and included in that is an unbeatable mentoring programme; a three tier qualification system; use of designatory letters and MPA logos; personalised profiles on the MPA websites (once qualified);
Fujifilm has been a solid supporter of the MPA’s renaissance and major sponsor of the Master Photography Awards. Above, Lisa Visser receives her X-system prize as UK Portrait Photographer of the Year 2015/16 from Jon Cohen of Fujifilm while guest of honour John Stoddart presents her certificate. Fujifilm are 2016/17 sponsors once again.
10 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
Top of page: MPA CEO Clare Louise proving the value of having a professional portrait. Left: Panikos Hajistilly talks Fujifilm cameras at the 2015/16 Meet the Masters open day Fujifilm trade table. Right: Paul Wilkinson on stage.
Fujfilm telling your stories in the national photo press: every month specially commissioned interviews and features on new work, exhibitions, books and specialist imaging services has been put in the press spotlight by Fujifilm.
e The lie of th ENT ADVERTISEM
If only Mich elang Wallpaper onelo could have used Fujifi lm the Sistine Ch apel…
WHEN A NEW restaurant commissione nature of the d a motorjob and who themed display might suggest a suitab for its bar area le media to print photographe on. “The first r Nick Turley step was to measu turned to and printed on CC Imaging and all the bays very re an Epson Stylus Fujifilm’s Wallpa carefully,” says 11880 64" inkjet Pro Media for help. per Nick, “and then printer. The whole to produce scale process was really Michelangelo drawings. Then straightforwa may have I had to produ The ink went rd. established the ce a down really well, visual design trend for ceiling and make any with no smudging with his celebr art changes they asked for. or banding, and, ated treatment At this stage importantly, of the Sistine Chape I could the colours from go ahead and l, but the princip produce the roll to roll also match le creating rich finished artwork files, ed perfectly.” visual entertainme of all at the Great care was above the heads nt “I chose to work correct sizes.” taken to ensure of visitors is still that the colour going strong Imaging in Leeds with CC s would be resista some to fading. “We because it was nt years later - albeit five hundred a lab I knew well did some tests in a 21st centur and I was aware where we coated format. y of their reputa the paper with tion for high cellulose spray,” a While the newlyquality printing and says Mark, “but attention to detail. quickly becam it Waterwheel restau opened They advised e apparent that Mark Senior of rant that in the Howde media Fujifilm CC Imaging with Yorkshire might was actually n, Wallpaper would be the really durable output not share the on Fujifilm’s Wallpa perfect media and it wasn’t same sweeping per Media to require use. ” Halifax d. dimensions as It was also -based Nick provid quite lightweight the Vatican, this ed comprehensi despite comin faced were ensuri upmarket new ve printing rolls that were g in venue noneth ng we got the instructions and 42 inches wide, eless measuremen and sizes to CC our fear that ts spot on and sumptuous interio boasts a it might be difficu Imaging. Mark also of handling the r Senior, the lt to hang was non-standard setting for a remark that’s the unfounded. In company’s joint sizes and overlaps. able overhead short, MD says, “This Fujifilm has got artwork, design was a first for us but the product exactly ed and create “The images we knew we right.” d by photographe were created had the facilities to r Nick Turley. in Fujifilm cope and we ImageHunter Mark also apprec “There’s a motor felt software confident that iated the fact ing theme Fujifilm’s Wallpa that, like genuin running throug per media would e wallpaper, the hout the whole be up to Fujifilm produ restaurant,” says ct had the right “In fact, the only the job. Nick, “and we smell when it was wet issues we were briefed (“a little fishy”) by our , and it was pasted at putting togeth client to look up at the restau Fujifilm Imag er a selection rant eHunter by two profes of photographs sional paper Software that tapped into hangers workin this and which would g off a scaffol be displayed Fujifilm’s Image record the choice d. For the on the ceiling/wall Hunte of adhesive was r product in the bar area. manager Peter Erfurt Mav ready The idea was to create Hayward sugge mixed paste one complete this and sted the RIP mount to artwork that software, design CC Imaging that ing of the 24 would becom prints was ed specifically large and wide achieved in just e an integral part for use with format printe two days. of the decora rs, might be printing job. tion.” “The result is The spaces to perfect for this Senior produ breathtaking fill on the ceiling ct specialist ,” lab through comments Nick. came in a range Mark Wade then particular the set up. Image “Photographs of different sizes guided the Hunte cropping with of the ceiling look and Nick neede an accurate previe r delivers easy resizing, amazing, but d to tiling and they an image into don’t do justice that could unders find a pro lab borderless strips w and also offers the ability to the actual tand the unusu ‘wow’ Download a to effect.” perfec divide al t for trial version at: http://www.f a project of this kind. For more inform ujifilm.eu/es ation p see: Nick: www.inside-o utbranding.co CC Imaging: www.c m cimaging.co.u fuji-wallpapert.ind k d 2
ous joint ed an ambiti pro lab. inster mount Bayeux sity of Westm Fujifilm and the the Univer t from duates from possible by suppor gra ent rec de A group of in June, ma in London exhibition
MPA’s stand at The Photography Show welcome many new members, while talks by members including Steve Howdle and Stephanie Thornton (below) helped aspiring and established photographers alike.
antly graphers const reative photo ce thought strive to produ and expose it to provoking work possible – and audience as catalyst in as wide an key a often prove exhibitions Life’ that mission. y of Modern ry The ‘Topograph n’s 71a Galle ited at Londo show exhib cased the in June show in Shoreditch ion of photographers work of a select t first class graduates recen inster. who are all rsity of Westm Unive the the with from was set up The exhibition x and m and Bayeu support of Fujifil nts showing his work, one of the stude also happens to uren, is Gage Solag l imaging r and a digita be its curato exhibition the lab. “The meanings technician at and temporality factors that explores the by . Top right: home and the nd Jasper Jones of place and Berrington. Top left: by raphy that surrou Brick by James shape the topog “Every student came seen below Leticia Batty. ins. Solaguren, and us,” he expla Above: by Gage Bayeux. own approach, at a at up with their look checking prints ed include a England ern subjects cover north town in ination of a post industrial personal exam ination of through to a and an exam childhood home through the form of crisis ” the housing house brick. x arose the ubiquitous with Bayeu The association gh the course of throu naturally since of the students had all their studies discounts that tage of the many had taken advan and nts stude the lab offers d and mounted there their work printe e shows. degre involved for their final always been ing “Bayeux has says Gage, “help ing nts,” stude with itions and provid them with exhib ssional advice on how them with profe they’ve graduated. I’ve once to proceed
x 15" up to size from 11 print sizes – ranging in and 60 x 40" giant 40 x 30" on Fujifilm Crystal ced – was produ tly matching e paper, perfec individual Matt C-typ of the ach appro the fine art ers. ed the ADVERTISEMEN photograph T FEATURE orship enabl to While spons rn Life show Mode of Topography there was still a need for y come together, within which to displa an obvious a prestige venue Gallery was 71a to the h it, and big enoug only was it exhibited choice. Not be to the work a number allow all of not split over was together and staff est yYorksh the galler ire-bas ying of floors, but raging, suppl ed portrait photog encou Carolyn supportive and cts andrapher publicity. contaMendelsohnanremem information, bers only part of too well alsomagica gallery isthat and potentially Theawkwa asl ‘First n know e rd age betwee schem in east od and n childho innovative galleries becom ing a150 over – young chapel day’ adult, Thursto be and it’s by the White inated pricele a proved ss experience n, coord Londo for her London, have project/exhibi Time Out tion. events, talks, latest Gallery and ule of tfree 12 years The momen last sched r the on that for ngs regula stands lab Caroly and late openi h.out worked at the ted is a mix n Mende “Wefor e views lsohn the epitom nce we targe ic privat of eachasmont her person day e of and the audie within the photograph Thursal ‘in-between’ the first ng evening ls defined thatour openi years curators, and of professiona take(loosely decided toashold age betwee June to graphers, and n ten to Thursday in twelve mics within world, photo when the First er of children have on ssional acade numbmoved of the large also the profe from that ng market.” tage ‘cute’ on that on advantheir of the housi butthave ies attrac gallerphase the politics yet tovisito mature very rs that m with its get into Fujifil , can young “It Meanwhile industry was says Gage. adults) inciden overan400 t at home evening,” of supporting has hadsumme on ry a balmy Galle long tradition tandem with a evenin r’s us for previo busy:g.the She71a – in had plucke ng dnight up the an openi newcomers with Bayeux courag visitoe rstoon venture downs relationship – also tairs wearing .” commercial a pair exhib several years of itions garish limeation: stretching back e a sponsor of the Inform green shorts.nlife.com More “I was oder only smallhyofm agreed to becom thing at first-th ursdays .topoagrap the time,” www she y.org/ recalls, lgaller “but the work show. I was incredi whitechape this most of self-cowww. nsciou s. The shorts weren’ bly As a result of 71a Gallery exactly t walls of the subtle, and rs seen on the I remember walkin ve pape al Archi slowly g m Cryst downstairsgton to be met by my ation on Fujifil e call Peter Wigin mum Carolyn checks or visit nting: o.uk For more informsample print pleascomme ‘Oh my prints emerging – your st a firstname.lastname@example.org oima chubby from the system or to reque !’g/photographic-paper/legs look so by Louise Rayner 8, email phot at
nishin 57213 on 01234 ucts/photofi .eu/uk/prod www.fujifilm
Meet Fujfilm at the Awards: www.mpaawards.co.uk or email email@example.com, web www.fujifilm.eu/uk/
12 months complimentary access to The Photography Academy; complimentary WPPI membership; and Master Photography magazine (as a digital download until you become a full UK member and get the printed edition). Says Clare Louise: “The MPA helped me enormously in my ambition to become a fine art photographer. I was just one of those people who one day picked up a camera and decided to be a photographer. But then I realised I needed help and MPA was always there for me.” Notes Paul: “I sometimes get asked ‘Why bother with qualifications?’ but the very process of gaining them brings out the very best in you – and that, in turn, improves your business success. Most successful photographers have a specialism of some kind. It might be high fashion weddings, for example. I think it is important to be well-known for what you do – and a robust and respected qualifications programme leads you down that road.”
MPA and Fujifilm “Fujifilm have always believed in us” says Clare Louise. “They are consistently supportive, proactive and even visionary. The UK team, with Jon Cohen and Peter Wigington, are never fazed when it comes to testing a brand new idea. It is very refreshing to be able to work with ‘big thinkers’ who share our passion for constantly encouraging professional photographers to raise their standards.” And the future? “We will continue to help MPA members push that technical and creative envelope – and of course mentor them with all the necessary commercial expertise they require to run profitable businesses”, says Paul Wilkinson. “But we also will be pushing hard to encourage more talented, aspirational photographers of both sexes, and all age groups, to qualify and become both mentors and judges.”
‘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/
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, “I ran upstairs mortified and didn’t Comedy Snapshot. show my legs for years. Eventually Such was the positive reaction friend commented a to its appearance in 2014 that on her confusion my attitude to it very quickly becameabout obvious my ‘chunky legs,’ realised I was worryin that a second volumeand wasI called g about nothin for, and at this point Steve g. The truth was they were stick thin.toItadopt decided that he needed was ridiculous, funny and a little a more serious attitude his sad,tothat one throwaway comment photography. had created He began to look around for aso much impact, but it got 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
‘Inside me is still sat in the cup the gap-toothed small girl board dreamin who g of Narnia’ – Carolyn Men delsohn
I wanted to take beautiful portrai ts 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 Caroly n invites each subject choice of clothes to bring their own along to the sitting just to make them – feel comfortable. also interviews She each pertinent questio girl and asks them ns – and for the Salts Mill exhibition the audio incorpo rating the girls’ voices was ‘soundscape’, createdincorporated into a choral trainer Graham by composer and Coatman.
The art of exh presentation ibition
Over the years Carolyn has becom e acutely aware of the need to present work effectively and for ‘In-Bet ween’ she decided to have . Below, Alice, CC Imaging in slightly larger than the pictures printed December 1st Leeds, Photographs © right (photograph life, and to mount 2015; right, Eve, Carolyn Mende them unframed April 1st 2015. lsohn – see www.c to Dibond (alumin arolynmendelso ium), which made them hnphoto.com rigid and more robust. She also opted for a painter feel, achieved by ly using the Giclée process and output ting 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 Gallery I was delight at the Artlink arts council fundin ed to receive g mount the exhibit to enable me to ion in the way I felt would best suit the photographs,” says Carolyn. “At this point I contac Chris Baxter, the ted creative directo r at CC Imaging in Leeds, to discuss what might be the best material to print on. He recomm ended test prints he produc Photo Rag. The simply breathtaking, ed for me were 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 non-reflective they all rich in colour. me thinking about The texture invites are the in-between to reach out and you where we’re all age touch them. famous Salts Mill so vulnerable.” “Those who see in Yorkshire where The more that it will be part of Carolyn ponder commenting about the work are always the ed this largely ignore the print medium that’s taking place Saltaire Arts Trail d group, the more People love it, . from May 28-30. and there’s no realised she had she “I can so relate doubt that discovered an engagi it brings out the to my subjects,” personal project best ng she says, “and , which has now so grateful to have in the work. I’m I give turned into an exhibit been introduced who they are and them space to be ion, ‘Being In-betw Fujifilm Fine Art to to talk while I een.’ This was initially Photo Rag.” listen. Girls of this age shown at the Artlink are bombarded Gallery in Hull with advertising and and it’s moving For information n marketing aimed on to the on Fujfilm Fine at ‘tweens’, but it Art Photo Rag Paper shouldn’t define see: them. http://tinyurl.com/jd6 b8ax
A trio of true ta lent and prints to last a hundred years ADVERTISEME NT FEATUR
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
Woodshedding it in the Fenlan ds – Alastair Bartle tt
Putting som ething back – Metro Me ntorship
14 July/August 2016 ƒ2 Cameracraft
The Metro Imag programme launc e Mentorship hed in 2005. The set the platform lab up because it felt bridge between the graduates comp leting their education and ADVERTISING the Alastair bangs broken down. “Ther industry had the drum for Fuji e was no clear communication IT WAS while film Crystal Arc between indus touring try and that of emerging hive that Alastair Bartlet as a drummer in a band photographers,” t first realised he One of the big genuine passio says benefits of the Professor Steve n for photography. had a mentorship for Alastair was the Macleod, above “Eventually it overtook my fact that it introdu , obsession with pro lab standa those, Metro’s creative direct ced him to but music, “and rds and quality ed ” he says, I decided to head or. unfold , and in opened his eyes to university to to the “We introduced a schem revolution time.” While there to Fujifilm Fujifilm particular it nks study ital tha it full dig ss e Alastair won the that Paper, which perfec ine Crystal Archive supported gradu s as the prize offered by mentorship tly complement surge in bus ates as they made ny prolab Metro Imaging ed his imagery. “The quality of enjoying a with ‘Here We ak for ma transition from the Are’ – a series Fujifilm Crystal of images captur educa looked ble d are now ordering second to none,” Archive is ed around the Cambridgeshire asserts Alastair. The future We enlisted many tion to industry. that survive l growth of online Fenlands (above) “My work can be very subtle our Labs, . The provided a huge and the vivid colour exponentia like DS Col advise and suppo industry leaders to boost to his career award s of this paper really help to bring rt the progress validat out of each enable ed the work he was producingand not only ment hues. I’m still blown the different tones and rdee. The forwa platfo the r, but also away every time d him rm onathan Porte of DS Colour is output on this my work resourced by Metro is fully funded and expert feedbato benefit from a wide selection r paper. of ck and tangib thinking owne Stockport, is Imaging and is describe that exhilar There’s just no way to ish, established in now “Winning the Metro le material support. Labs in Redd t the both academic print for the first ating feeling when you see a Mentorship Prize he talks abou an incredible feeling time. and nonwas academic route candid when faced this familyso archivally stable The fact that the paper is that s into the indus be a lonely place ,” he says. “Photography can is another big years challenges try.” and self-doubt plus point for me. People really ess just a few r www.metro.co can easily creep in: awards and do look out for owned busin fathe grand .uk prizes his that and are a great reassurance, silver halide Set up by
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Has a Fujifilm product featured in YOUR current success? If so, we want to know – contact us now! firstname.lastname@example.org
MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • 11
See: www.wp-studio.co.uk New product: the Scarfstrap by Jess Wealleans
New product: Marrutt Deep Card Strut Mounts
REGULAR camera straps have sharp edges which cut into bare skin, stick to you, leave sunburn marks, and coil up like a discarded shard of motorway truck tyre in your kit bag. When we opened the package for the WP Scarfstrap, designed and made by Lincolnshire equestrian and canine photographer Jess Wealleans, one lady lit up with delight. Shirley Kilpatrick has been using a 1992 vintage real leather wide soft strap for ever – camera after camera – for comfort and practicality, wrapping the gear in the strap if loose in a bag for example. Well, the Scarfstrap is genius and better. It’s soft, of course, and distributes the weight with no sharp edges. It doesn’t cause problems in the sun, it can actually be worn as a headscarf (with camera attached) to tame windblown hair or fit in with cultural mores, and it can wrap the entire camera and lens. Outdoors in the sun (bottom photo) the Scarfstrap hides the valuable gear and keeps it cool. It weighs little and with its hand-sewn leather camera tags it’s incredibly strong. Some adjustment is possible. Bundle it in front of your flash to diffuse the light! Needless to say the 1992 strap has been retired. A Foxy pattern Scarfstrap will travel the world from now on.
THEY’LL cost you two or three times as much as the fine art paper and inks you use for the print, but Marrutt’s triple-layer extra thick slip in strut mounts are in a class of their own. We caliper-measured the 5 x 7" and 10 x 8" white and black examples sent to us at between 4.38 and 4.50mm thick and the rigidity of the sandwich means they should not warp or curve. The strut itself is 1.38mm thick and feels relatively light, but it’s from a third layer of its own, and does not open to show the back of the print as you’ll find with cheap strut mounts. We found the 5 x 7" a bit tight for inserting a print. There’s knack to this, getting the bottom edge inserted by using the left or right vertical edge slot to start the paper’s journey into the bottom slot. Prints fit tightly assuming an accurate trim and are securely held. When you angle the die-cut strut out to the same degree on the two mount sizes (there’s also an A4 we have not tested) the overall mount stands with a matching angle, very important whether on the client’s shelf or in your own display. These are a premium product well above High Street art chain offerings. Cost from: 7 x 5, 5 for £19.95; 10 x 8, £34.95 (+VAT).
Details of the mounts in use. See: www.marrutt.com 12 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
Tel: 01274 518366
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MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • 13
SAMYANG 50mm ƒ1.4 AF FE Beating Carl Zeiss’s similar Planar to the market by a few weeks, the Korean Samyang 50mm ƒ1.4 AF Sony E mount lens is the first fully connective autofocus design from an increasingly highly-regarded maker. David Kilpatrick has been trying it out.
hat everyone needs in a relatively new camera system like the Sony full-frame mirrorless A7 range is more standard 50mm lenses than you have fingers – really? Well, it seems so. There’s the original 50mm ƒ1.8 OSS which only covers APS-C but has super-smooth stabilisation and focusing ideal for video. Then there’s the 55mm Carl Zeiss ƒ1.8 Sonnar, a stop faster than any Sonnar has a right to be and strikingly sharp wide open if lacking in portrait-friendly plasticity. Add a budget 50mm ƒ1.8 FE from Sony’s own optical team, then throw on the top of the growing heap a premium Carl Zeiss 50mm ƒ1.4 ZA Planar FE announced some time before its recent availability. Don’t forget the 50mm ƒ2 manual focus Zeiss Loxia. This month a Sony 50mm ƒ2.8 FE Macro joins the crowd. Add Samyang with their manual focus E-mount 50mmƒ1.4 adapted from their regular DSLR lens; mix some competition from Mitakon with their 50mm ƒ0.95 Hyper-prime and rivals SLR Magic with the Speedmaster. It really only does take the new 50mm ƒ1.4 FE purposedesigned AF lens from Samyang to reach our target! A system with no ownmake primes under 28mm and just one very expensive 85mm but all these 50mms seems an odd balance. However, the Samyang at under £450 (August street price) is half the price of the new Zeiss. It lacks only an on-lens aperture ring with video de-click function; its close focus is similar but achieves a slightly larger image scale, and the lens is a little smaller (67mm rather than 72mm filters) and neater. It behaves
50mm image – with 55mm view shown, right
Compared to 55mm ƒ1.8, above; 8-blade iris and no front engraving, left.
Look, no bars – ƒ1.4 at a cat show
well in all conditions, with a nano multicoating reducing flare and resisting moisture or dirt. It’s very well made, so much that in comparison with the 55mm ƒ1.8 Carl Zeiss the Samyang wins. It has a smoother damped focus by wire action, a slightly less easily scuffed black anodized finish to its metal skin, and a firmly bayonet-locked lens hood which is far better than earlier Samyang production. The front and rear caps, and the cloth lens bag, are the only budget grade elements in the package. Checked with care, the silent focus action and steppermotor aperture adjustment
14 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
mirror the original Sony specification perfectly. The action and performance of the lens is ‘native’ and we can expect the forthcoming 14mm ƒ2.8 and other FE AF models to match. Electronically and mechanically you lose nothing by buying Samyang. It reports a built-in lens profile but when tested turns out to be possibly the lowest distortion 50mm ƒ1.4 around, suitable even for art copying. Only the corners are visibly soft, and remain so with progressive improvements to ƒ8, but it’s a small corner zone are for most uses has no effect. The bokeh from the eight-blade iris is good, not
exceptional, and the most obvious weakness is a longitudinal (bokeh) colour shift much the same as every other fast 50mm I’ve so far tested. For movies, the focus is smoother and less waver-prone than the CZ 55mm. I regret to say that I spent a month with this lens pretty much glued to my camera despite a full grasp of the limitations of a 50mm – slightly less than those of my 55mm! When Samyang make AF lenses for Canon, Nikon, Fuji and MFT they’ll really hit the motherlode. Their early promise is being fulfilled. www.samyang.co.uk
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SIGMA sd Quattro Sigma has created a mirrorless body using DSLR lenses, and fitted it with the acclaimed X3 Foveon Quattro sensor. The result is a distinctively different camera – and in theory, they could make a Canon or Nikon version too. Richard Kilpatrick takes a critical look at the professional potential.
eveloping a new sensor architecture for the LCD-based DP models, Sigma’s SLR solution may have looked a little dated – although the SD1 Merrill did provide the 46Mp 3-layer capture that would appear to be the final iteration of the original Foveon concept. Earlier this year the sd Quattro was announced, and as we’ve come to expect from Sigma, the design is far from conventional. A squat mirrorless body, the sd Quattro retains a deep lens mount, supporting Sigma’s own lenses and AF system from the SA/SD series SLRs. Sigma’s loyal users will be delighted to find the new sensor architecture so far only seen in compact bodies retains the separate infra-red hot mirror filter – this can be detached very quickly and is reasonably easy to reinstall, though with the exposed sensor it is even more crucial to do this in clean conditions rather than in the field. Processing and power management are evolutionary steps from the dp Quattro series, and no attempt has been made to provide any form of video recording; this is a purely stills camera. Grip and mount/barrel design are very comfortable, and the more central EVF location – in what looks like it could be an articulated module, but is fixed – is comfortable for right or left eye users alike. The rear LCD is rather clever, appearing to be a widescreen letterbox format but actually comprising two displays; an attractive monochrome LCD that resembles an OLED display aligned to the control buttons, and a 3:2 aspect ratio 1.6Mp LCD display. Although the specifications suggest the latest in
Photographed by Paul Monaghan using the SD quattro, 18-35mm ƒ1.8 Sigma ART lens, and studio flash. www.thekirkystudio.com
Sigma sd Quattro – £799 body only. See: www.sigma-imaging-uk.com
16 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
The sd Quattro has an unusually positioned EVF ocular, an internal removable IR filter, and a Sigma SA lens mount.
EVF performance, the reality is vastly different from the mainstream. Yes, the unit is the latest 2.46Mp display, as evidenced by the fine detail on the menu and overlay graphics and quality of playback; however, it appears to be driven by the same VGA quality feed that is needed for the dp Quattro. At best, it’s the 1.6Mp of the rear LCD. It’s possible that this isn’t strictly the case, as the resolving power of the sensor gives clear moire when focus is secured, but the effect is compounded by a strong, distinctive lag even in good light. Such is the viewfinder (and LCD) lag that the image distorts centrally when panning. This lag isn’t as apparent on the dp Quattro, placing the sd at a disadvantage compared to the older, cheaper fixedlens models. AF performance yields a similar quandary – the dp’s optimised, compact
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lenses work exceedingly well, the sd’s reliance on on-chip contrast detection with larger, heavier SLR-targeted glass results in slow acquisition, albeit impressively accurate focus once locked. AF performance is further hampered by allowing face detection, though this is an effective feature for small groups and portraiture.
procedures like bringing up a 100% loupe. If you have a tripod and a lot of time, the sd Quattro offers a new mode that captures multiple exposures for a 344MB raw file; these are combined into a high dynamic range, low noise image that can then be interpolated to astonishing sizes.
Sensor output Image quality is, for the most part, comparable to the dp Quattro. In the right circumstances, the distinctive Foveon quality comes through with excellent saturation and subject separation. A spatial resolution defined by the initial layer of the Quattro sensor of 20Mp gives plenty of scope for immense, detailed and rich prints, or cropping if necessary. There’s a certain amount of noise even at base ISO on the camera we reviewed, including some of the oft-reported distinctive green blotch pattern in shadows even at 100 ISO, something we’ve struggled to recreate on prior Sigma reviews. It’s possible that this is due to the operating temperature of the sensor when creating the liveview feeds for LCD and EVF – during review photography in British summer temperatures, the sd Quattro locked up with a flashing thermometer symbol. Although the ambient temperature was well below the 32°C upper limit Sigma specifies, the camera body clearly has a significant amount of heat to dissipate and a constantly powered sensor will increase that load. Even when cool, noise is apparent at base ISO. Metering is also something of a mixed bag, as the camera lacks the dynamic range and recovery that Merrill sensors allowed. If the centre-weighted zone or spot has a dark subject, you will lose bright skies; select overall evaluation and you’ll get those gorgeous Foveon skies, but with subjects lost in the noisy world of shadows. Like all tools, the sd Quattro needs time to master and under-
Paul Monaghan uses the same combination we tested – with the 18-35mm ƒ1.8 ART DC zoom. His coffee, above, at 39Mp (clip).
stand, but it’s disingenuous to ignore the sheer competence of 2016’s saturated mirrorless marketplace. Sigma have elected to minimise the impact of the sensor’s noise performance by including binning routines in Sigma Photo Pro, that are applied above ISO 800. This drops the final image size to 1808 pixels wide; arguably a trade off that defeats the progress made in increasing the spatial resolution. In camera processing is acceptable, though card writing and
buffer performance are behind the benchmarks set by mainstream mirrorless bodies. Image processing requires Sigma’s own software, and despite reaching version 6.4 and including features such as lens correction, Monochrome mode and the curiously graded sharpness control that can be set to “Crispy”, it still requires a two-pass process to render full-resolution images for zoom, still lacks any ability to rotate or crop images for output, and there’s still a tangible wait for even simple
Sigma have developed an excellent body for their mirrorless interchangeable system. It’s robust, ergonomically sound and distinctive, with a delightful minimalist control set that works brilliantly. There are performance advantages over the original Foveon architecture, as the spatial increase to 20Mp yields 30Mp of data to process, rather than the 15Mp for 46Mp of the Merrill chips. However the Foveon is no more suited to live-view use than it is movie recording. It seems that Sigma enthusiasts will not get the Quattro sensor in an SLR, which is a shame indeed – removing the live-view burden by using a traditional mirror and prism would lower sensor heat, increase battery life and in all probability, reduce the noise levels. At £799, it’s compelling, competitively priced and offers better physical build quality than anything at that price point; it can deliver truly impressive images, but it is hard to understand why such effort has been placed on designing a new camera body and system when such an exquisite SLR design as the SD1 was available and better suited to the abilities of Foveon architecture; far better would have been investment in the software and processing, and to install the new sensor in the existing body. Speculation is fundamentally pointless – the sd Quattro is what it is, not what it could be, and it is early days. Perhaps future firmware updates will improve the EVF performance and thermal management. www.sigma-imaging-uk.com
MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • 19
All we need is … One Vision
MPA CEO Clare Louise finds there’s more than one man, but definitely one goal!
was looking forward to my lab visit with One Vision, not only is it on my own doorstep, it’s also somewhere I have been many times before both as a professional photographer and as the CEO of the MPA. Today is different, it’s not business. Today I get to hear a part of the One Vision story, and as I am standing in the centre of the lab listening to Adam Scorey describing the company values, I am transported back to a place that, in amongst this digital and technology mindset, we are guilty of almost forgetting. I am surrounded by modern people, modern equipment, systems and processes, yet I am stood in the heart of generations of craftsmanship, expertise and passion. One Vision do not boast about their latest equipment and innovative technology, as they’re just tools, instead they pride themselves on being powered by the passion and expertise of their people. The team of 43, which rises to 50+ during peak times, the vast majority of which have been with the company for many, many years. Adam, the ‘newbie’ has been with the company for 18 months, and has a long way to go to catch up with the members of staff who have been here for over 33 years. As an employer this speaks volumes about the company’s core values. Both Derek and Adam are firm believers in surrounding yourself with the ‘right’ people and creating the environment for people to thrive and excel at what they do. One thing is very clear in the message Adam is relaying to me – “listen, we listen to our people, our business – we
“Our mission – to print the final part of the professional photographer’s story so their clients can have those memories to last lifetimes” – Adam Scorey of One Vision communicate”. One Vision use a number of methods to hear their clients’ needs, and like their staff they are focused on building long-term relationships. Perfection is always the end goal, and with a 98.8% ‘customer satisfaction’ rate, they are also very honest and realistic in what they can actually achieve. With only a 1.2% re-make rate (be that through customer returns or in-house quality checks) One Vision see this score only as an opportunity to learn, improve and succeed. So what is One Vision’s one vision?
20 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
When Derek Poulston and Nick Pancisi merged Colab and Multiprint together, they joined two labs with ‘one vision’ to celebrate image makers and raise the standards of professional photography. Nick, an ex-professional photographer himself, and Derek, a creative sales guru with over 30-year’s experience in the photographic industry, came together and utilised their business acumen and core values to bring One Vision to the company it is today, which sends out anything between 4,000 and 6,000 orders a month.
Using their products to finish the photographer’s story created in the images they take, One Vision place great emphasis on quality – quality products and quality service. Some products can go through up to 30 different processes, and each product will be touched by human hand and inspected by the human eye around five times before it goes near the packaging department. One Vision invest a lot of time getting to know their customers wants, needs and expectations; they value the importance of building trust in customer relationships. This is reflected across the company where all members of staff are just as invested in the individual client journey as the company’s ethos as a whole. Every staff member, all experts in their own roles, is given the free reign and responsibility to recall and remake any product at any point during production should it not meet the standards required at their point in the process. In their quest to maximise every client’s image to its full potential, One Vision drive the company forward with the desire to match the vision of the photographer, what they have caught in camera, developed in the digital darkroom, to come to life in print, building their own software to aid and complement this process. It is clear that at the heart of their business, One Vision are always thinking about the bigger picture, how they can make positive change, not just to photographers but to the environment too as a responsible company taking great pride in being ‘green’
Making frames, cutting mounts, framing prints and mounting into mattes – all rounded off by packing designed to ensure you receive your order in perfect condition. A selection of photographs from the shop floor at One Vision. The imaging lab is located at Herald Way, Binley, Coventry CV3 2NY – an address well known for decades. And in keeping with the Colab tradition, they offer a full range of C41 and E6 real film services too! See www.onevisionimaging.com or call 0845 862 0217.
where reasonably possible, recycling and using FSC products (Forest Stewardship Certified). They invest in staff and products so they can provide the best services possible to their clients, and that service is reflected in their pricing structure. It’s been a great visit, and as always happens when I visit One Vision I take home a ‘golden nugget’, a reminder or life lesson, and today is no different: “Surround yourself with the right people and do everything you can to make sure they thrive”. As I wrap up my meeting, Adam sits back in his chair and perhaps his last thought of the day is the one that has made me think the most. “Photography has evolved so much; we are the most photographed generation in history. A culture so busy being busy we forget so much; we want to remember everything so we capture so much every day on our devices and store them on our phones, cloud accounts and hard drives. We have forgotten the value in printing our memories and celebrating them, hanging them on our walls... what will we do when we die, hand down our hard drives, pass on our phones? Are our grandchildren going to be able to sit like we did and flick through the memories that we have created in a printed book or photo album? Will they be blessed with the legacy of having professionally taken images printed to stand the test of time? This is our mission, to print the final part of the professional photographer’s story so their clients can have those memories to last lifetimes.”
MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • 21
SEE YOU AT THE 2016 MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS All photographers are welcome to our
Meet the Masters Open Day
Jurys Inn Hinckley Island Hotel Sunday October 16th 2016 ADMISSION for the Meet the Masters Open Day is free of charge for all photographers, you do not need to be an MPA member – come along and learn about the benefits of joining. Have your work assessed and find out whether you could become a Qualified Master Photographer. The day has trade stands, hands-on demonstrations, and talks and doors open at 9.30am for a programme which starts at 10.00am and ends at 4.00pm, when the central atrium of the venue will be prepared for the reception, evening dinner and Master Photography Awards 2016/17 presentations. These are exclusive to members and guests who have booked beforehand. 2016/2017 Awards Dinner Ticket – £75.00 Come and join us at the Master Photography Awards presentation and celebrate with this year’s winners – there will be some stunning images on show and we will be showcasing the best of British professional photography as well as talent from across the globe. See the stunning work from the up and coming, be inspired by creative talent, be educated by the experienced and join the masters of photography. Awards dinner tickets are now on sale for our event of the year This ticket includes: • Pre-dinner sparkling wine • Three course meal with wine • After dinner cocktails – sponsored by 3XM
You can find the latest updates for the Meet the Masters Open Day programme and also all our Category and Prize sponsors on the Awards News page of the new MPA website. To view the details of the day, or book your dinner tickets, go to:
www.masterphotographersassociation.co.uk/awards-news-2016/meet-the-masters/ www.masterphotographersassociation.co.uk/product/awards-dinner-ticket/ 22 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
What’s on when and where 10am – 10.45am Room 1 ONE VISION You’ve read Clare Louise’s impressions of a visit to One Vision on the previous spread, and this opening session is a chance to meet them directly yourself. One Vision is one of the country’s major imaging labs and also works closely with 3XM Solution, fulfilling orders from on-line sales. Check out the latest products and ideas too in the trade area exhibition.
Room 2 GARY HILL Is Portraiture the new art, bringing the classics up to date as fine art? Discussion and demonstration as to the current trend of ‘Fine Art Portraiture’ – is it really such a thing? Gary is a full time professional photographer and photography trainer working in the fields of portraiture, fashion, lighting and posing training. He is based in North Lancashire.
Room 3 MELANIE EAST MPA Associate Melanie has written a book The Art of Newborn Photography due to be published January 2017. Regularly writing for and featured in this magazine, Melanie is an MPA mentor, a Judge for MPA licentiateship panels, and a Judge for the MPA annual awards. She will tell you how this field is both demanding and exceptionally rewarding.
Trade Area PAUL WILKINSON Ten Things: The Portrait Photographer’s Essential Secrets. As a successful portrait photographer, Paul will be talking through the top ten things that have helped him create his hugely successful photography business, amassing numerous awards along the way and culminating in publishing his best selling Mastering Portrait Photography book in 2015.
Room 2 JOHNSON WEE The first ever Asian photographer to score a perfect 100 points in WPPI competitions, Johnson won the title of 2014/2015 MPA Overseas Master Photographer of the Year. A Master of WPPI, a WPPI online competition judge and a Fellow of the MPA, Johnson regularly travels around the world for overseas ‘elopement’ and pre-wedding assignments.
Room 3 JAMES MUSSELWHITE Capturing The Art of Wrestling: In this seminar, James explains the challenge, fear and learning that comes from putting forward a fellowship panel, and how he has used this to promote his portrait business and to further his career. Showcasing never before seen images… tale of blood, sweat and tears – and tables, and ladders and chairs!
Trade Area STEVE HOWDLE & STEPHANIE THORNTON Creative styled portraits: creative techniques for portrait photographers, focusing on getting the shot in camera and reducing editing time. They’ll be looking at the reinvention of gelled lighting and the differences between modifiers such as Octa vs Square softboxes, supported by Elinchrom and TFC.
Room 2 RICHARD BRADBURY Nearly 10 years ago Richard Bradbury was first commissioned by The Guinness Book of World Records. His assignments for GWR have taken him from the plains of Colorado to the snowy wastes of Norway. In 2009 Richard set a Guinness World Record of his own. If you would like to find out what that record is then come along…
Room 3 CLIVE ARROWSMITH This is the star encounter of the day! Look no further than the cover and main feature in this magazine issue to learn more about Clive from the man himself. Look for his book and get a copy signed… we’re bringing ours. Clive will be the MPA’s Guest of Honour at the dinner and will be presenting winners with their awards.
Trade Area JOHNSON WEE A second chance to hear Johnson – without going to the USA, Greece, Turkey, Italy, France, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore or Indonesia where he has given countless photography conferences and workshops. At the latest count he holds a total of 208 International Awards all achieved between November 2013 and April 2016.
Room 2 MARIAN STEREA Signature images are those that can distinguish a photographer from another. When it comes to personal branding, image quality and composition, passion for photography should unite all these under the same roof. Leading Romanian wedding photographer Marian will talk about creating the one unique photo (at least) for every wedding.
Room 3 TRACEY WILLIS It’s a dog’s life for Tracey whose innovative animal photographs recall those old paintings of gambling pooches. She’s also a newborn, baby, family, and all-round portrait star and must be one of the few photographers to have tackled two genres in one – newborn dog photography. She is also a Photoshop composite expert.
Trade Area MELANIE EAST A second chance to hear Melanie. The organisers reserve the right to make changes to speakers and times listed above. Any changes will be updated on this website only. Any changes made will not result in a refund of entry fees. In the event of any changes we will endeavour to find a suitable replacement however this can not be guaranteed.
11.15am – noon Room 1 CATHERINE CONNOR of Aspire Photographic Training Catherine’s columns in this magazine and others emphasise the connection between the clients, your shooting style, your marketing methods and the bottom line of your business accounts. Her talks always abound with ideas and inspiration helping you make creativity profitable. Noon – 2pm Room 1 ANNIE ARMITAGE Annie’s talk will include: * Secrets of becoming the business person first – photographer second * How to work well from home * Delegation of services * Diversifying * The Power of networking * Time is money * Becoming a Ltd Company * The continued importance of your Brand 3.15pm – 4pm Room 1 JENNY JOHNSTON Marketing expert from 3XM Solution and Photovalue. * Targeting your ads to the correct audiences * Using custom audience lists & remarking * Lead Generations ads & how they work * Facebook Canvas & how this format helps you overcome a dated website * Plus lots more
MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • 23
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This page in our electronic edition replaces the page in the printed magazine s for digital andwhich ﬁlm went to press before the Cherubs conference of September 12/13th. MPA Chairman Paul Wilkinson recaps.
fter much deliberation, we announced yesterday (Monday) to the Cherubs partners that we are in the process of selling the Cherubs programme. Cherubs has been at the very heart of the MPA for 26 years and , while we always knew that selling such an iconic programme would be a difficult decision (and so it has proved to be), it couldn’t continue to grow and evolve from within the MPA: the
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in that the programme represents significantly less than 10% of the MPA membership. We have found an investor who will not only buy Cherubs but is in a position to invest in the Cherubs expansion, the people and its promotion. Not only will the programme now grow and flourish, but Clare Louise, the CEO of the MPA, will be moving across to become CEO of the new company, providing skills and continuity as well as helping with cementing the partnership between Cherubs and the MPA. This is a hugely exciting time for us and for Cherubs! This will mean that the MPA is going to be recruit-
ing a new CEO to take over the role that Clare Louise has defined so brilliantly over the past few years. An incredibly tough act to follow but a wonderful opportunity for both Clare Louise and her eventual MPA successor. While this, of course, is a big change for the MPA and for Cherubs, both organisations will benefit from the new investment and it will enable the Association to focus more time and resource to promoting the use of qualified professional photographers, particularly in the social photography market – something many of our wedding and portrait photographers have been asking of us for a very long time! The timings are yet to be finalised but it is likely to complete mid-autumn. We will, of course, keep you informed as everything develops and progresses in this really exciting time for both organisations! Á
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MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • 25
THE GOLDEN SEASON September and October are the months when the Golden Hour arrives early enough in the day to find photographers still working… and the whole season is pure gold anyway, as new MPA Licentiates show here.
Autumn and evening gold – warm, bright wedding colours from recent MPA Licentiates Cristian Dascalu, above, and Neo Ni, right and below.
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MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 â€¢ 27
Two more inspirational ideas for seasonal weddings in Europe from Cristian Dascalu. Cristian is based in Cyprus and offers a full range of social photography. He specialises in using outdoor settings with natural and added lighting. See his website for more examples of work: http://www.cyprus-photo.com/portfolio/
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id Canon really offer photographers the Olympic dream – even if they made the day for at least one Rio snatchand-grab thief? There was a time in photography when the launch of a new camera was a rare and precious thing. These days there is hardly a week that passes without the appearance of yet another a new ‘to die for’ model designed to turn our heads and make our kit bag seem desperately dated or woefully inadequate. If we jumped at every sparkling new offering then our coffers would soon be bare so its important to know when to hold and when to twist. Making the right decision about when to change and what to change to is a vital ingredient of every professional photographer’s business plan and the launch of a top of the range, flag-ship camera has more gravitas than pretty much any other purchase decision a photographer will make. The Canon EOS 1DX MkII is the replacement for the monumental 1DX, a camera loved by professionals the world over for its rugged reliability and unequalled performance. I could write an article about the features of the MkII and the undeniable qualities that it has and indeed I will be touching on some of those facts but really there are three key issues that I would like to address: • Does the 1DX MkII offer a package that is so much better than the original that it merits upgrading to the new model? • Does the 1DX MkII offer a package that is so much better than the other models in the Canon range that it merits a price tag that is literally thousands of pounds more than the ‘lesser’ models like the 5D MkIII ? • Is the 1DS MkII so good that you should change your allegiance, choose not to buy the Nikon D5, and spend thousands on lenses?
CANON’S OLYMPIC CHAMPION 1DX MkII In his regular column Richard Bradbury FMPA puts the Canon EOS 1DX MkII through its paces… before our test camera flew off to join hundreds of other Canons in Rio
So first of all I need to talk about what makes the 1DX MkII Canon’s most sought-after model. The unboxing of a new camera is always a special experience but never more so than with the 1DX MkII. It is a beautiful thing and has the instant feeling of quality and purpose that you would expect from a flagship camera costing well north of £5k for the body only. A magnesium alloy shell is what you would expect at this level and the MkII is weather proof, bounce proof, assistant proof and probably nuclear bomb proof so it should be with you for some time to come. The layout is familiar and if anything the camera feels even better in the hand than the previous model. This is due to some subtle tweaks in the design, ensuring that it fits more hand sizes with a better balance. Controls are familiar to any long-term Canon addict – in fact they are so similar to the 1DX that it’s a struggle to notice the difference. The screen is the same 3.2 inch size but don’t be fooled, it is a seriously up-rated high definition screen giving clear crisp images and information every time. This is a big plus and it’s also the first big Canon to offer touch screen options (even if they are only available in live view).
Speed demon That big slot is for a CFast card not a second CF card – a compatibility and cost factor which may influence buyers as CFast is an expensive format which no other current DSLR makes use of.
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The headline grabber simply has to be the 1DX MkII’s incredible fps rate. Ooh my word! 14 frames per second, or 16 frames per second with the mirror up. Honestly it makes you feel like a top gun fighter pilot. Once your target is in sight you simply press the fire button and the job is done. It’s totally addictive and I would add a new 64 GB CFast Memory card to your shopping trolley if you want to enjoy the full effect as you will eat through memory cards at a rate of knots. The 1DX MkII
When he is not photographing studio sets or record-breakers around the globe, Richard Bradbury takes natural outdoor pictures of children and families, a style favoured by upmarket London clients who commission location shoots taking advantage of parks and woodlands. The exposure accuracy and focus speed mean there are almost no reject shots.
Fourteen frames in one second This looks pretty neat as a flicker-book. Such a close distance means that although a young subject does not hit Olympic speeds, the relative change in focus is rapid and most DSLRs will not get every frame sharp. The EOS 1DX MkII used with the 24-70mm Ć’2.8 USM II lens nailed every shot. MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 â€˘ 31
has a CFast slot as well as a regular CompactFlash card slot so your old cards are perfectly OK – but the Cfast are ridiculously quick and give you a burst rate that is simply more than you could ever need. I calculated that you could shoot at full resolution at 14fps an entire Olympic 100 metre sprint from gun to finishing tape without losing a single frame… amazing! That’s 140 images of Usain Bolt to send off to your editor before he’s even wrapped himself in the Jamaican flag. The MkII can actually deliver 170 full frame RAW files in one burst and an unlimited amount of JPEGs. With your finger on the button the 1DX MkII’s brand new dual DIGIC 6+ processors are whirring away beautifully pumping out 20.2 MP images via its CMOS sensor. The top 16 frames per second rate is equal to the fps of the first motion pictures and later home movies, so playing back the images manually on the rear screen is decidedly movie like. It’s a strange, memory devouring, mini-cinema experience.
The AF experience Focusing is another plus for the MkII with 61 focus points 41 of which are cross points. Working with telephoto lenses is a joy as all 61 points can catch focus when up to ƒ8 is required. This effectively means that the days of focus and recompose are dead and buried. For the 2016 Olympic snappers this was a massive advantage resulting far more artistically composed sports photography without the need to rely on centre frame based, fast action sharpness. Low light focusing is excellent, finding quicker, sharper focus than pretty much any camera I have used which leads me on to my personal photographic bug bear. If you have read any of my previous reviews you
Fill-in from a reflector, not flash, enhances this lighting. At ISO 640 the quality from the 1DX MkII is perfect for an exposure here of 1/1000s at ƒ5 on the 24-70mm L lens.
will know that I am obsessed with low light sensor performance. ISO is the defining factor for me in any new DSLR providing a freedom of expression that is unmatched by any other facility. The MkII is probably the best I’ve ever used. The sensitivity is expandable to an earth shattering ISO 409,600 and guess what? At that setting it is basically unusable! Why do they give us these stupid figures when we all know they are pointless? If you want your images to look like a damp barn full of mushy grain then go ahead and fool yourself, but Seurat did a better job in the 1880s. ISO 1000 and 2000 are excellent and I achieved very passable results even up to ISO 25,600. Metering is very clever using Canon’s ‘Intelligent
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Subject Analysis’ (ISA) system. I’m not exactly sure what that does, but I rarely needed to compensate manually or correct my raw files except in extreme conditions. The metering was accurate and instinctive whatever the lighting challenge.
Now for 4K As you might expect from a camera of this quality the video facilities are also exceptional. Canon have employed much of the technology they have on tap from their excellent dedicated video cameras and 4K is available for the first time on a stills orientated Canon camera. The MkII’s unrivalled processing power is able to offer 30fps and 60fps so 2x slow motion at 4K is now an option. By the way this is ‘real’ 4K at 4096 x 2160 pixels not the UHD
supplied by most competitors. Shooting Motion Jpeg means that you can also take 8.8MP stills from your footage. Grabbing stills from video is a facility that is increasingly in demand so Canon are starting to make it happen after dedicated video cameras like the £50,000.00 Red showed the way. In my opinion this facility will be something that will become completely standard eventually in future DSLRs as it is the ultimate solution to fast action capture and multi-platform post-shoot editing. The Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensor gives seamless continuous auto focus during live view or video shooting, and manual focusing can be controlled via the touch screen facility. This is totally intuitive and is a significant step forward for the keen videographer. The touch screen focusing facility is another great leap forward for the MkII and is a real reason to consider this camera over its rivals. Another nice touch is the all-important head phone socket enabling clear sound monitoring during filming. Sound has long been regarded as the defining factor of a good professional video so a dedicated socket is a welcome addition. So… Does the 1DX MkII offer a package that is so much better than the MkI that it merits upgrading to the new model?
Your original is fine! If you have just bought your 1DX (MkI) then do not panic. They have not suddenly got worse because a new model is here. The MkII is definitely a better camera with a useful boost to image resolution, but it is designed to move the genre forward not to blow it out of the water. It does pretty much everything a bit better and some things a lot better. Focusing, handling and response speeds are noticeably better
Above: full size noise level checks from left to right at ISO 8000, 16000, 32000 and 51200. Left: at ISO 640, dynamic range and accessible shadow detail allow strong image adjustments from raw. Note the shadow lift in the wellies and bushes in the adjusted second example.
and that is exactly how it should be for the 2016 flagship model. The big difference actually comes with the video facilities. This could be the best non dedicated video camera ever and that is important to anyone who shoots a significant amount of video for crossover clients. 4K, a dedicated headphone socket and touch screen focusing will make a serious difference to your workflow. You can’t ignore facilities like that and they just were not there on the Mk1. Does the 1DX MkII offer a package that is so much better than the other models in the Canon range that it merits a price tag that is literally thousands of pounds more than the ‘lesser’ models?
The top gun wins Camera ranges have become a lot more complicated down at Canon Towers. There is a huge range of professional, amateur and pro-am cameras to choose from. The obvious comparisons are the 5D MkIII and MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • 33
the 5DS/5DSR. They are both very focused professional cameras but both are different from the 1DX MkII and that makes this a difficult choice. I would exclude the 5DS and 5DSR as they are fundamentally designed to shoot high resolution, preferably with a tripod, in a highly controlled environment giving 50 MPs of very considered picture quality. The 1DX MkII is a fast shooting crime fighter and the 5D MkIII is Robin to its Batman. It offers a similar general package and as such is a better comparison to the 1DX MkII. The 5D MkIII is less than half the price of the 1DX MkII… you could buy two of them and still have cash in your wallet for a bunch of top grade memory cards, a chicken dinner and your bus fare home. So the answer to this one is that it depends who you are. If you got your all access pass to the 2016 Rio Olympics then you probably have one already, if the café lowlife has not relieved you of it. There is no question that your 5D MkIII just will not cut it for that type of assignment but the 1D models have always been able to. If you are about to cross the globe on a professional mountain-top, jungle, beach, polar, desert safari then the 1DX MkII is the only camera for you (tourists will prefer something lighter). The 1DX class is an indestructible weapons grade super-camera and nothing will beat it when the chips are down. The price is the only reason that you might decide on the 5D MkIII as the 1DX MkII does everything better so it is simply a matter of: Do you need all of its qualities most of the time?
Hire and fire As a professional you are shooting pictures to make a living and one of the factors you have to consider is the amount you spend on
The right tool
Richard Bradbury – www.rbradbury.com If you would like to comment on this issue or any others please email Richard at firstname.lastname@example.org
equipment. Only you can decide if the considerably higher price tag is worth it for your business. Like all the 1D series, this is a prime hire counter offering and you simply don’t need to buy and own one when you can so easily rent by the day and Canon themselves provide such comprehensive facilities at major events. That leaves one question – is the 1DS MkII so good that you should switch from Nikon D5?
Glass ceiling You could compare one feature to another and I have seen countless reviews doing a one to one battle to the finish line of every feature. All of them have different conclusions. They are both great cameras and offer approximately the same files size out put. If there was a glaring difference then I would say so but really there isn’t. The 1DX MkII offers a faster frame rate but the D5 offers more focusing points.
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The 1DX MkII is a little heavier but the D5 is a little more expensive. There will be claims that each camera handles blacks better and catches focus faster but really it comes down to are you a Canon guy or a Nikon guy. The comparison is so slight that I can’t imagine anyone choosing this camera as a reason to change their entire system. If you own a strong-room full of high end Nikon lenses, of course you’ll go with the D5 – and if you have a Canon arsenal, you’ll stick with Canon. But watch the news from photokina 2016 as we expect Canon to come out with a new generation of lenses unlike anything we’ve seen so far!
To conclude, the 1DX MkII hits the mark better than any other Canon camera in just about every area possible. If you were lucky enough to be shooting at the 2016 Olympics then it’s maybe been a no-brainer – faster, stronger and more accurate than anything else available. But for the rest of us the decision to spend more than £5,000 of our hardearned fees is a serious one. The Canon EOS 1DX MkII represents the very best in DSLR camera design but like all top end products, attaining the final 10 or 20% of excellence is an expensive business and you have to be able to justify that large price tag. Canon don’t make that easy for you simply because the EOS 5D MkIII is so good – and as previously mentioned it’s less than half the price. To use another sporting analogy when Valentino Rossi goes out on track he is riding the best part of a million pounds worth of motorcycle. Compared to my own very fast track bike his Moto GP missile is slightly faster, slightly lighter, slightly quicker turning, slightly better braking but costs an enormous amount more to produce. If you are Valentino Rossi then that difference is worth it because it will make him faster. If you are a great photographer then you will take better pictures with the 1DX MkII and there is no price you can put on that. The Olympic gold medal goes to… the Canon 1DX MkII. www.canon.co.uk
Richard Bradbury FMPA is an award-winning advertising and editorial photographer best known for his Guinness World Records set-pieces. Richard is now offering a helping hand to photographers around the world with a programme of seminars, mentoring and business coaching event. To find out more please go to:
CANON EOS 5D Mark IV ‘One step better all round’ is the best way to sum up the 5D Mark IV which was announced as we were completing this issue. One stop higher ISO for the same quality, one EV better low light metering and focus in both viewfinder and live modes, one stop better with ƒ8 AF, one step up to 30 megapixels – and new dual pixel refocusable raw as an option.
he hair’s-breadth accuracy of the latest mirrorless autofocus has left the slightest front and back focus errors common in DSLRs behind although it’s still all too easy to mistarget the AF point or encounter slight subject and photographer movement before the instant of image capture. Now Canon promises an answer to this problem with Dual Pixel CMOS RAW, a large file format (not suited to sequence action shots) recording the relative values of paired pixels independently. This is a bit like recording the view from both windows of a rangefinder – normally, your Leica lens sits happily in between them and you get one viewpoint. Same for dual pixel CMOS, up to now the pair which is used for AF functions gets processed as a single image point even though it has recorded the parallax created by the lens aperture. Lytro demonstrated in their Illum camera how the separate values can be reprocessed to change apparent focus point, virtual aperture and even camera viewpoint within the diameter of the lens. Now Canon shows that the simpler but similar paired pixels already used for live view AF on their sensors can provide information allowing fine refocusing of the image. The difference is not huge – 2cm range within a picture taken at a relatively wide aperture, of a typical subject like a studio product shot or a portrait. It’s enough to refocus from the side of the eye or tip of the nose to the eyelashes. It requires special software at present, which may be as slow due to the 50MB raw file (in contrast to
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with new 24-105mm ƒ4 L IS II USM, and new 16-35mm ƒ2.8 L III USM
around 30MB for a standard .CRF) and the computations involved. It looks as if some aspects of depth of field such as foreground bokeh and some problems like asymmetric lens flare can be reprocessed too – with dual pixels, one pixel will ‘see’ flare patches in a different position on the image to the other, or even not see any flare at all, making removal of flare and ghosting possible. But here at Master Photography towers we also realise that future software could tilt or curve the focus plane in post-pro, making flatness of field correction or Schiempflug-type adjustments possible. They have not hinted at this yet… In addition to dual-pixel CMOS AF across the sensor field, the MkIV has a
24% higher AF grid of 61 AF points with 41 cross points, all operating to ƒ8 rather than the former ƒ5.6, and the centre point sensitive to -3EV (-4EV in Live View mode, which is aided by a new fixed touch screen allowing tapfocus and tap-shutter control). There’s a similarly more powerful RGB-IR metering system with its own Digic processor and its subject tracking separated from the AF tracking to avoid the exposure errors which occur when AE weighting is hard wired to the active focus point or zone. The shooting speed is increased to 7fps from 6fps, ISO standard from 100 to 32,000 expandable to 102,400, and although the penalty is a 1.74X crop factor there’s
internal 30/25/24p 4K video encoded in Motion JPEG format making extraction of 8 megapixel still frames almost instantaneous and very high quality. This is combined with full metadata entry on the touch screen, not just the usual copyright basics, and onboard WiFi as powerful as most add-on modules with connection options including smart devices, WiFi router access points, Mac/PC workstations and generic FTP. There’s also a 1DX MkII style GPS module in the slightly larger prism housing, and a tethertool friendly USB 3.0/HDMI/ Mic/Headphone interface block on the left hand end with the remote connector pushed round to the front. With UDMA and UHS1 CompactFlash and SDXC dual slots, and an improved battery with 900 shot life, the MkIV also promises a superior dynamic range with more scope for raw adjustment than the 50 megapixel 5DS/R. At around £3,000 ($3,499) this should be a must-have upgrade. Alongside the new camera come two new L-series stabilised lenses. A new 24-105mm ƒ4 L IS USM MkII offers 4 stops of anti-shake versus the 2.5 stops of the existing model, and improved optical qualities. A compact, almost matching new 16-35mm ƒ2.8 L USM MkIII updates the short end of the classic pro lens trio with better corner to corner sharpness. All will be on show at photokina in Cologne in September and are expected to reach dealers around the same time. Most UK pro dealers have pre-order offers and bundles. www.canon.co.uk
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CLIVE ARROWSMITH Amazement, amusement, a man and a muse – Clare Louise talks to a legend
t's been a full 30 mins since I put the phone down after my very first conversation with Clive Arrowsmith, and I'm still laughing. It was a memorable first call, a conversation I will remember for a very long time to come. One sentence rolled into another as tale after tale rolls off Clive’s tongue and before I have chance to stop laughing from one story, the next one unfolds with as much gusto, humour and gasp-making recollections that you can’'t help but wonder if you are in fact, talking to a rockstar. I can’t tell you how excited I am to meet Clive, as a huge fan of his work (and now his memoirs). He’s invited to be our guest of honour at the 2016 Master Photography Awards which means you’ll have a chance to meet him too, including our ‘sitting at the feet of’ informal chat. We meet up a week later for lunch. As we sit and go through the images in his book, I listen eagerly to the stories behind each photo-
Clive first saw his great ‘muse’ and former partner, model and ballet dancer Ann Schaufuss, walking down the stairs at a party in the 1970s with ‘a light all around her’. Vogue, 1970, outfit by Yves St Laurent.
graph and am captivated by the souls that are caught in a those moments in time. I am left more in awe of this super talent than I imagined possible. Every single image prompts a detailed account of
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times gone by, and every account an enviable or inspirational tale. Clive is refreshingly open and honest, a very humble man who in the words of Jeffery Felner ‘is both royalty
and legend in his own right within the realm of photography’. Clive has memories that I would love to have stored in my bank of tales to tell. He’s in-tune, very connected to who he is, his creativity,
The Girl in the Iron Mask – shot for the FT’s then luxury lifestyle title ‘How to Spend It’. ‘I’m particularly fond of the way she looks soulfully through the mask and radiates a particular intensity’, says Clive, ‘those were the days…’
his balance. Conversation can just as quickly turn to the meaning of life as it will to a fashion icon. Clive will make you think – full stop – about you, your life, your direction. He’s an inspiration, and
when you hear him talk about his journey, where it started, where life’s already taken him, most people would sit back and say they’d made it. Yet with Clive it's only just begun, and his pas-
sion for creativity is as alive today as the day he started out and you can’t help but admire him that little bit more. The afternoon goes too quick and I return home with
a signed print and copy of his book that I thumb through over and over, smiling as I hear his words echoing in the corner of my mind somewhere and I laugh out loud all over again.
MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • 39
Into the distance and the future: today’s beauty photographers do not often work with the waist-level Hasselblad favoured by Clive and his contemporaries, and have lost the effect of a low viewpoint combined with the classic 150mm lens. It’s the exact reverse of the typical wide-angle, overhead ‘selfie’ female portrait and demands models with a far better bone structure and larger eyes with a different emphasis on how eye make-up and eyebrows are treated. Above is one of our favourites, Marina Schaino and Ingrid Boulting from Vogue Beauty. It’s the result of a long lens and small aperture with a difficult potential perspective and scale issue handling well – pin sharp throughout. Facing is one of Clive’s best known works, Donna Mitchell wearing Pierre Cardin’s plexiglass ‘windshield’ and flexible post-polo neckline in the Paris 1970 collections (Vogue). The studio flash brolly becomes part of the shot’s futuristic style. 40 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
I smile to myself, those tales are not for my ears only, those tales I have no doubt will leave you laughing as much as I, as he shares them in our ‘On the Couch’ session with Paul Wilkinson Chair of the Board – and in his own speaker slot ‘Take the lens cap off’, both on October 16th at our Meet the Masters Day. You can purchase a signed copy of Clive’s book at the show too. A stunning collec-
tion of collaborations that include some of the greatest icons of our time from his enviable photographic archive. The pages are graced with some heavyweight titans such as Paul McCartney, Kate Bush, Mick Jagger, Helena Bonham Carter, Viviane Westwood, Yves St Laurent (to name but a few) and if you take the time to speak with Clive, those pages will come with some laughter of your own to
take home, just like mine. As for his being our guest of honour at this year’s awards… I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to his energy up on that stage … Until then, I’m going to be inspired and keep turning the pages of his utterly fantastic imagery whilst chuckling away to myself, as I remember the tales told and smile at my own memories that now live inside the pages of my
book. Here are a few images selected from his archive, and a few words of his own about them. Like many fashion photographers, he found his muse and partner for many years – and if you spot the reference, we’ve printed his name in the typeface used by Nova, the great magazine which ran from 1965 to 1975, inspired him and used his work – and also inspired our editor! See: www.clivearrowsmith.com
MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • 41
When Clive photographed actress Charlotte Rampling for Vogue, the magazine chose the less spontaneous calm composition on the right to use. But his preference, used in his book, remains for the fleeting expression captured as the sitting was ending, seen on the left. Taking an overview of his work, the connection between the photographer and subject is always very strong, down to engaged eye contact and not superficial ‘look at the lens love’ instructions. He has used electronic flash with short durations (from 1970s Balcar onwards) to ensure that whenever he surprises his subject into a dynamic pose or expression, it’s captured pin-sharp to the last hair.
Clive and Liverpool’s finest: “I had known Paul McCartney and John Lennon from my art school days, and Paul asked me to shoot the cover of his new Wings album Band on the Run. It was my first commission as a photographer after being an art director. With only enthusiasm and not much experience I went for a meeting with Paul and his art director the late great Storm Thorgerson from Hipgnosis. We talked through the basic concept that surprisingly the ‘band was on the run’ and all agreed on an old fashioned ‘Hollywood prison break movie’ shot with the convicts in a spotlight against the prison wall (with additional celebrities as convicts). “On the day I hired a spotlight from the lighting company which unfortunately was not powerful enough for the job. This meant that everyone had to be very still for over two seconds for the picture to be sharp. Two seconds may not sound like a 42 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
long time but they did have a party before the shoot and everyone was very much the worse for wear. Denny Lane fell over a couple of times laughing hysterically – everyone was having a great time. I had to have a megaphone to get their attention, positioned at the top of a ladder, next to the spotlight barking instructions persistently, which for the most part everyone ignored, until I finally snapped and screamed ‘Stay Still!’. “I only managed to shoot two rolls of film, 24 exposures in total. The real worry was that there wouldn’t be a shot where everyone was still and sharp. My woes did not end there, once the film came
back it had a strong warm yellow cast but thankfully there were four frames where everyone was sharp. I showed them to Paul and he loved them. I never mentioned the golden hue to him until a few years later when I was photographing the back cover for Wings at the Speed of Sound (left). “After that shoot, over coffee, I said ‘Paul, there is something I’ve meant to tell you for years, that yellow light on the Band on the Run cover? That was a mistake. I used daylight film instead of tungsten’. Paul laughed and said ‘That’s fine, I thought it looked great and that you meant to do it’…” MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • 43
Going to any lengths: Clive has embraced digital work, but with a purist intention. The interior above by Sera of London was teamed up with fashion by Ghost – but in fact the room set was photographed separately and dropped in behind the bed. For his well-known fascinator (and Maserati) beauty shot seen left the hard work was done incamera. “During the the shoot, to get the angle I wanted I had to strap the flash unit to a cherry-picker. We were at an airport and the wind was blowing the swaying the platform from left to right. I had to time the shot for when it was exactly in the middle position, while it was gusting from side to side. I was shouting instructions to the models (the fabulous Marla at Premier and Albert at Select) and the whole job was like patting your head and rubbing your tummy 25ft from the ground on a moving platform! Not an easy shoot, but very rewarding. “It was the first time I had used the Canon 5D MkII and the quality of sharpness and colour saturation of the camera more than compensated for stresses of the job and helped me to achieve the final great result. I subsequently bought two more Canon 5D MkIIIs, the camera I use most of the time for its speed and efficiency. 44 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
Eastern promises: Clive embraces Tibetan Buddhism and like his many friends who came through the music, art and media culture of the 1970s looks to the east for inspiration. His work with Kansai Yamamoto, costume designer for David Bowie whose influence was rediscovered with a Tokyo show in 2012, features up front in his book. “I shot the image (above) in the break between rehearsals for the ‘Hello Tokyo Super Show’ of the classic costume that Kansai Yamamoto originally designed for David Bowie. I had to add the background digitally from an image I sourced from a book of beautiful Japanese painting
and I then scanned Kansai’s signature from a letter he had sent me”, Clive says. “The original shot was taken backstage at the venue in Tokyo in March 2012.” There was also an Eastern influence on the second Pirelli calendar shoot that Clive did in the 1990s. His first had the theme of ‘Heroines’ but the second used motifs from Chinese astrology, representing an imaginary Silk Road setting using locations in Spain where full service photographic support had been established – aimed at car manfacturers but ideal for ambitious figure in landscape calendar concepts. The Year of the Ox (right) involved a particularly rugged
OX It was peculiar for me to find myself on the other side of the lenses when I went to setting and was made into a documentary for Granada TV fronted by Michael Aspel. The shoot was art directed by Martin Walsh and this year they met up again to celebrate 50 years of Pirelli Calendars in Milan. “We managed to share a few fond memories of make-up dripping off the models in the searing heat and the memorable moment when the entire studio set up blew off a cliff”, Clive says. The shot on the left was taken in the auditorium with his shot of Year of the Ox taking centre stage.
MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • 45
Annie in green, for Vogue
Book your place to meet Clive Arrowsmith at the Meet the Masters Open Day, Hinckley, October 16th 2016 – call MPA on 01325 356555 now. 46 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
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David P Macdonald
SEVEN YEAR RICH – SINCE WE LAST INTERVIEWED DAVID THE ECONOMY HAS FLATLINED, SO HOW HAS THE KING OF THE HIGH-TICKET PORTRAIT SURVIVED?
ell known to photographers across the UK, David MacDonald’s cheerful smile has won him as many friends and admirers as his images have won over clients, and with a willingness to share his experience, there’s a lot to learn from his experiences building, adapting and evolving his South East England studio. At the MPA Scottish Awards, the opportunity for delegates to see David’s latest work and gain some perspective on long-term business survival was particularly relevant, as the storm clouds of Brexit hovered over the UK. David’s business has been through this before, of course. The 2008 financial crisis hit everyone hard. “At first, like most people, I had no idea the recession would be as deep and last as long as 48 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
it did. Initially I tried everything to keep all my staff (six full timers and four part timers at the time). This was partly because I am a compassionate human being more than a businessman and the idea of laying off people with families and mortgages, that I considered friends as well as staff, really upset me, and partly because I saw my staff as assets that would be able to assist me in making up the lost ground once we came out of the recession. “However it became apparent that the recession was go-
It’s a small world even on the biggest of cruise liners – but there’s plenty of scope for creative portraiture. The entertainers, crew and staff are subjects as well as the passengers – of all ages.
ing to run and run. Interestingly, it wasn’t really affecting average orders, simply the volume of clients. I was spending more and more money to generate less and less sessions, volume that we only needed because of having so many staff. One by one I gave up the fight and let members of MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • 49
The Crystal Cruises portrait master assignments have taken David round the world. Very often his cruise clients are photographed in parks, historic buildings and settings like the streets of Cuba. It has also reinvigorated his interest in landscape and scenic work, with set-pieces like the Sydney Harbour fireworks alongside decor-friendly sunsets and views.
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staff go, so we are now at the position where there is just a Marketing Manager and a Production Manager and me. The wage bill is now about a third of what it was, the marketing spend is down by a similar proportion and turnover has held at just over fifty percent of it’s peak figure, so back to a very healthy model. Looking back, a shrewder, harder businessman than me would have made those decisions much earlier and saved a lot of pain and heartache, but I guess that’s why I’m better suited to life as a photographer as opposed to a big businessman.” Even so, David’s studio is maintaining high average orders – the bit delegates hang on to through his seminar is that average sale figure, a key goal to ensuring the business is sustainable. Maintaining morale and momentum with a business that is under stress, there are three things that David believes kept him – and his business – going. “Firstly, winning awards. People mainly become photographers because they are
creatives. If you lose that side of you, then there’d better be something else that it gives you to make up for that, like a great living and lifestyle. The one thing I kept doing when my lifestyle was suffering was to ensure I kept being creative and winning awards, which in turn kept my morale high. “Secondly, I was very lucky to have been discovered by the worlds most decorated cruise company, the six star Crystal Cruises. Being flown around the world, offering a bespoke portrait service to their discerning clients, and working in an environment so different to my everyday studio rejuvenated me in so many ways. Can you imagine the joy of visiting exotic locations that you’d only dreamt of ever seeing and actually being paid to do so? “Thirdly, my consultancy work. I usually work with a handful of studios at a time and help them become successful. Sometimes we’re improving their photography, sometimes their marketing, sometimes their client pro-
cess, sometimes simply their display materials and products on their price list. Usually a mixture of all of the above! In that period, the studios I worked with continued to improve their volume of clients, continued to increase their average order values and rose up the qualifications ladder. It was and remains, hugely rewarding helping photographers achieve their dreams of running successful portrait studios.” This is an element of the photographic industry that few photographers have pursued; David’s willingness to help studios on the path to success is refreshing. However, even with that additional role, there’s a shift to a new business model into retirement; one that I think many photographers will envy, yet all the evidence points to David making a success of – fine art landscapes. “It started as something I was doing just for me, for fun, and looks like it might be growing into a business that will drip feed me an income into my old age – I’m
53 and am starting to think about these things! On my travels I started shooting some of the amazing landscapes, seascapes and sunsets, and on one trip I became friends with one of the guests onboard who was the daughter of a famous American portrait painter. She was aware of the success Peter Lik has had selling huge, limited edition, superbly finished runs of his work, and we are in the process of seeing how we can tap into that market. “As a portrait photographer I have to continue shooting portraits to continue earning a living. I’m not sure I’ll be crawling around the floor chasing two-year-olds in my sixties, so the idea of selling work that I’ve already shot holds some appeal! As with my portrait business, I’m not looking to sell millions of cheap photographs, but instead, high ticket items to a discerning clientele. There are no calendars or rolled up prints in these plans, and Loxley Colour are being very helpful developing new products with me. A website
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Classic style REGARDING the latest ‘looks’ in the studio; “I’m not certain that this constant search for reinvention is absolutely necessary for success. I regularly change and invent looks myself, but it is usually to stop me getting stuck in a rut and bored…enthusiasm sells! We are lucky. We treat our clients right, and although many of them spend much larger amounts than is the norm in our industry, many of them come back over and over again. Sometimes they want something new to change the look of their house and have something shot in a different style, but it is more common for them to bring in what they had before and for me to do updated versions in a similar style! I believe our order values are down to the fact that we find out whatever type of images our clients like (so long as it is possible to do that and achieve the quality that I want to be associated with) and then shoot accordingly; I’m shooting to please them not me. It seems that by following this approach and remembering that we offer a service, the money looks after itself!”
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MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 â€¢ 53
for these will be up and running soon, so we’ll see what happens from there!” Ultimately, David’s advice to survive potential economic turmoil during any Brexit negotiations is to cut costs and staff as early as possible, after his own experiences holding on for as long as possible. However, there’s also that willingness to change, to seek new routes and avenues whilst retaining creative authenticity, and perhaps the decision to support his staff as long as possible contributes to the welcoming, friendly personality. In 2016, it sounds like the decisions taken were ultimately, the right ones. “Life is treating me well. The studio is ticking along nicely and earning me a good living, the consultancy work continues to see me helping others fulfil their ambitions, I still get paid to travel to exotic locations, enjoy six star luxury and shoot portraits of some really interesting people a couple of times per year, and I still get lucky and win the odd award or two. Yep, my glass is definitely still half full!” – Richard Kilpatrick
54 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
Elinchrom - HS
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Trigger the light fantastic. The Skyport Plus HS Transmitter - Control & visualise the power settings of up to 10 Elinchrom units. - LCD screen & enhanced range of up to 200m. - Shoot at speeds of up to 1/8000s in Hi-Sync mode. - Available for Canon, Nikon & Sony, only £199. Quadra HS Head - Optimised for Hi-Sync photography & is ideal for freezing motion & sports photography, as well as overpowering the sun. - Compatible with all generations of Quadra & ELB400, only £345. We’ve given you more control, now go have some fun.. The
www.theflashcentre.com Follow us on twitter Join us on Facebook The Flash Centre Blog MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY 2016 • 55 @TheFlashCentreSEPTEMBER/OCTOBER www.facebook.com/FlashCentre www.theflashcentre.com/blog
SYNCING SUN T
and wide eyed babes
he Flash Centre should have a good few tradedin Quadra RX AS and Hybrid kits, and possibly some mainstream studio mono flash heads, in the coming months. The reason is simple enough. Photographers are trading up from the earlier portable Quadra kits with Type A (Action) or S (Standard) heads and buying new ELB 400 kits with HS (Hi-Sync) heads. We asked whether the older heads could be upgraded by just replacing the tube, and the answer was the usual honest one – yes, but the performance may not be the same as it’s not just the tube which has changed to give the special longer duration of more level flash output. In the studio, the current D-Lite4 RX – really aimed
We asked John Parris to check out the functional advantages of Elinchrom’s Hi-Sync – giving his Canon 5D MkIII with its 85mm ƒ1.2 lens the ability to shoot with flash at 1/2500s in contrejour sunshine and 1/8000s in the studio
85mm at ƒ1.2, 1/8000s with two Elinchrom D-Lite4 RX heads in softboxes, EL Skyport Plus HS Hi-Sync
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Right: John Parris used Elinchrom ELB 400 li-ion portable flash outdoors. Below: flash in the studio at 1/8000s and ƒ1.2 for the best colour quality and sharpness. The EL-Skyport Plus HS can control many flash units with a visual display and works up to 200m outdoors, 60m inside.
at the high end amateur market, students and newly established photographers – is replacing more expensive and durable BRX500 heads and also likely to displace the very popular D-Lite One and 2 models in the newborn field where low minimum power is really needed. There’s a great trend favouring the absolute minimum depth of field, even on large prints, for babies and boudoir. Many photographers, like John and Sandra Parris, have been using the modelling lights of their studio flash heads or installing continuous light (often cool running LEDs). It’s not an ideal compromise as the colour balance can be difficult to get right and even at apertures like ƒ1.4 or ƒ1.2 the favoured low ISO for the smoothest skin tones
85mm at ƒ1.2, 1/2500s with Elinchrom Quadra ELB 400 HS location kit, EL Skyport Plus HS Hi-Sync, Canon 5D MkIII at ISO 100
MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • 57
Tungsten or flash for wider apertures? John Parris used the modelling light only from his flash system for the shot on the left, taken at ƒ1.8 and 1/250s at ISO 800 on the Canon EOS 5D MkIII with 85mm ƒ1.2 USM II lens. For the right hand shot, using Elinchrom Hi-Sync with the D-Lite4 RX heads and EL Skyport Plus HS trigger, he was able to use ƒ1.4 at ISO 100 with an exposure of 1/8000s and flash illumination.
and best dynamic range can mean marginally safe shutter speeds. It’s often no problem to hand-hold 1/60s or 1/125s despite the nearly universal lack of stabilisation when using fast prime lenses on the full frame favoured for such ‘bokeh’ driven results. What is a problem is that with today’s high resolution sensors and the value of superlarge wall portrait sales, the movement of mouth or eyes can need 1/500s or faster to prevent some loss of detail. Even with newborns, eyes fast shut, there’s distinct benefit to being able to use studio flash with its action-freezing qualities curing any trace of camera shake and small subject movements at once. This is why the Elinchrom D-Lite One is a newborn best seller. It goes down to just 6 Watt-seconds, a tiny flash pop, and when put through a suitably large octa or softbox with an inner scrim can allow apertures in the ƒ1.2 to ƒ2.8 range most wanted. The smaller D-Lites and all the rest of the Elinchrom
studio head range can not, however, be used for what the company calls Hi-Sync (generally known as hypersync) with their new Hi-Sync capable EL Skyport Plus HS trigger. This £199 trigger which has countless other benefits, like visual control of complete studio set-ups eliminating the need to touch the heads to adjust settings, only does its ‘sync up to 1/8000s with any focal plane shutter’ trick with the ELB 400 HS or the DLite4 RX. The entry price to get this function is therefore either around £1,400 (Quadra Hi-Sync To Go single head kit), or an upgrade by replacing a Quadra head (from £345), or the D-Lite at £265 per head. Since the great benefit of the hi-sync method is the ability to open the lens in full sunshine and use fill-in flash without ghosting, the location-friendly ELB 400 HS clearly wins but after we asked John and Sandra Parris to test the purely studio function of the D-Lite4 RX the verdict was unambiguous –
58 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
the lightweight, system compatible D-Lite was destined to replace a couple of the more ‘professional’ BRX heads just to get 1/8000s sync and ƒ1.2 exposure in the studio, on their regular Canon DSLR bodies. In fact both the location and studio combinations using the EL Skyport Plus HS got the thumbs-up.
Syncing feelings Since many photographers already use a wide range of alternative flash brands to do hypersync with suitable new wireless triggers, we have been doing some further tests using kit cheaply sold by Amazon and on eBay. To get anything like the same functionality as the Elinchrom kit, you’ve got to spend just as much. We encountered plug-in wireless receivers which do not give the advertised control of studio flash head settings, hypersync timings where no microdelay setting between 0 and 99 can replicate the minimal exposure gradation effect given by
the recommended Elinchrom combinations, and real output and specifications which bear little relationship to the product data. What actually works well with the cheaper dedicated hypersync triggers is to find an old flash unit with a very long output duration, and add either a sync cable connection or a simple trigger like the old Wien IR kit hiding in the studio cupboard. A vintage Metz 60 CT-4 fired at full power proved to light up the scene for over 1/250s with a ‘long tail’ of relatively even and bright output, giving good results when plugged in to a either low-cost Pixel or Godox HSS triggers – and equally good via the sync cable output of the Skyport Plus HS. Be careful when testing, as a vintage German-made ring flash head for the Metz instantly blew the X-sync circuit on a low cost Godox trigger (no harm to the camera). The same unit did not destroy a Pixel King trigger but was not given any chance to kill
Freezing the action – 1/8000s sliced from a regular flash duration For this test shot by John Parris for a test of Sony’s 70-300mm FE G lens which appears in ƒ2 Cameracraft, the widest aperture of the lens at 123mm was ƒ5 and this of course does not allow a strong background defocus. But at ISO 800 and 1/8000s the EL Skyport Plus HS and two D-Lite4 RX heads (one bounced as a general fill) give a pin-sharp result. This is a 13 megapixel crop from the 42 megapixel Sony A7RII original, with 300dpi crops below.
the Elinchrom electronics with its 300-360V trigger circuit. After finding that cable connections to old flash kit with high trigger voltage can harm digital triggers just as they can harm DSLR and mirrorless bodies, our advice must be to use a a slave cell connected to the old flash unit and put a small flashgun or IR trigger on the camera or wireless trigger. To produce a multi-flash Hi-Sync setup with the EL Skyport Plus HS, you only need a single RX compatible pack or head. This can receive the precisely timed HSSprotocol X-sync signal which the camera dedicated (Nikon, Canon or Sony) trigger enables. Your additional flash heads can all be fired using optical slave cells and the timing will be perfect. Provided these heads have relatively long
durations – a head rated at around 1/800s to 1/1000s T=0.5 should be fine – you will get hi-sync/hypersync from a multi-head lighting arrangement. This works perfectly even with very fast shutter speeds, as the optical slaves are even faster than wireless sync, whether designated as a ‘speed’
variant (2.4GHz) or standard (433KHz). Normally all heads will be set to full power, and exposure is controlled by aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Depending on the type of flash, some can be set to a lower power and work. Check what kind of flash you have. Those which have short durations
at maximum power, and long durations at low power, may be well suited to hypersync at medium output. The bad news is that you can’t use Elinchrom ELC and many of the latest generation heads from other makes, as they are designed for precisely controlled short flash durations with no ‘long tail’. The level of experiment, trial and error involved when mixing old and new kit may simply be off-putting in which case your solution is to buy the new kit, as needed, and do it out of the box without workarounds. That’s one reason the Elinchrom Hi-Sync combo of trigger and either D-Lite4 RX or Quadra ELB 400 HS appeals. Follow their guidelines and you can use it straight away, no risks, no trial, no error. – DK www.theflashcentre.com
MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • 59
PROP UP YOUR SALES Invest in imaginative props – keep your newborn, baby and family studio photography fresh with furnishings and settings to stage and pose better sittings. We talked to Melanie East AMPA about props, and how specialist prop-maker Mark Bushkes of Magic Bean has ideas which can boost your business.
he tree stump and nest on the right will be familiar to many newborn photographers now, after Melanie East commissioned this versatile ‘Narniatheme’ setting from Magic Bean Studio. The tree base can be used on its own with a fleece, or with the full nest cocoon. With props playing an important rôle in studio brand identity and marketing, we asked Melanie about her use of high-end custom designs. MP: Should custom props be used mainly to produce showpiece photographs, the ones you use for advertising and promotion, or as a regular option for all your clients - or reserved for a premium package? ME: Custom props should be used to take photography to the next level. They should be used to define your style. You can then differentiate yourself and your products from your competitors, without needing to compete on price. So many photographers feel that price needs to be competitive. It really doesn’t. MP: Do you retire a distinctive newborn prop after one promotion, or a period, and have another one ordered ready to replace it? ME: I do not retire bespoke hand made props. Many props can be dressed up or down in order to create different images. Bespoke high end props can always be used – they aren’t one off wonders, they are designed to have multiple uses and to create high end images for clients, as opposed to the usual buckets and tubs that a lot of newborn photographers 60 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016
are using. Watch out for my collaboration with Magic Bean Studios on newborn creativity, which we will be demonstrating at the Meet the Masters Day on October 16th – extended use of props and scenery which will not only show you how bespoke props can be used, but will also show you how you can use the buckets, tubs and beds which most newborn photographers have in their studio, to create more creative and different imagery. MP: Do you eventually sell more expensive newborn props on to other photographers, the way that backgrounds and regular posing aids like blocks and chaise-longue furniture tend to change hands? ME: Bespoke high end props become assets to your business and your creativity. If you treat it like an asset, like a favourite lens, to create your look, it becomes indispensable. The prop which is more bespoke becomes a much higher value asset to your collection. MP: How much input to you have into the look of a prop when a specialist designer studio like Magic Bean makes one for you? ME: When I first spoke to Magic Bean about the creation of a nest I had in mind a ‘Narnia’ theme. I wanted a look of purity. I had a particular look in mind. Magic Bean created exactly what I wanted. However, the creative process is very much two way – it is the degree of enthusiasm and excitement for a particular idea which starts to take shape as the conversation continues. I was able to explain how babies are posed and Magic Bean were able then to create a prop with safety in mind. Depending on your genre of photography, you are the specialist in how the finer details of that prop will look. MP: Photographers who may spend £30 or £40 on a simple faux-antique prop may never
Facing page, above and left: how one prop can be used for different seasonal styles, and configurations.
MELANIE EAST AMPA is a specialist newborn photographer, MPA Judge, MPA mentor and as well as running her newborn studio, also teaches professional photographers the art and business of newborn photography. She will be speaking and shooting at Meet the Masters Day. For further information please contact Melanie at firstname.lastname@example.org MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • 61
Bean to reproduce it for other studios once I had received mine. If, however, you wish for complete exclusivity over the design and use of a prop then obviously the price point will be higher.
have commissioned a handmade prop. How much would be a reasonable budget for the kind of eye-catcher which could be the centre of a window display or an e-campaign? ME: A prop which costs £30 is marketed to the mass market which means they are mass produced. As they are mass produced the unique cost is lower so therefore the price point can be lower with a good enough margin to make it attractive for more people to buy. When you enter into bespoke props, it is the other way around – there is a significantly lower volume, as each individual unit cost to produce is higher, in terms of man hours, materials and research time. The point of bespoke high end props is to create unique imagery. I commissioned my bird’s nest for £695. I have used this again and again and my clients adore it. I made my money back in the first shoot using it. I then allowed Magic
MP: Many photographers buy props like distressed wooden boxes and baskets which were not designed for neonatal use. If they are not a purpose-made prop, there might be insurance issues should anything go wrong, but there’s no real control of standards even for purpose-sold items. How do you ensure your props and posing aids are safe?
JULES HUNTER’S BUMPCASTS: Jules, a Licentiate of MPA, is also a trained ‘bump caster’ making plastercasts of prenatal bulges which become a crib-like setting for the baby later on. She uses a Magic Bean woodland plinth for the example above.
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ME: It is always a matter for the photographer to ensure that safety is paramount, that props are not too lightweight, and that babies are supported at all times. When I posed the baby in the birds nest, both the nest, and the baby were supported at all times, with parents hands removed in post production.
The nest was also designed so that it was not a lightweight prop. When using lighter weight props such as tin buckets, there should be at least a 10lb weight in the bottom. Babies should never be left unsupported. MP: What types of fabric or throw do you recommend? Some small babies can react badly to different natural or man-made materials, and the difference between a high quality angora and cheap mohair or a fake-fur substitute could be important. We’re thinking here of whether it’s OK to buy something from The Range or B&M, and whether all the crafters who make knitted newborn photography ‘fashion’ are working with hypoallergenic wools. ME: I use 100% cotton jersey for my beanbag backdrop. I don’t use man made fabrics in my studio as babies can sweat and cheaper fabrics may be scratchy or irritate. With regard to the crafters who make my knitted props
tioner (fabric conditioner can irritate sensitive skins). If an item can not be cleaned then it is thrown away. This is why it is important to ensure that photographers charge enough for their work! I would not advise mothers to buy or make their own, because you have no idea what they may arrive with, and a photographer’s style is defined not only by their use of posing and lighting, but also by the fabrics, outfits, textures, tones and colours they use. Magic Bean’s lock-together studio baroque backdrop as seen at the 2015 Meet the Masters Open Day.
– I only use knitters who use the very highest quality and softest yarn. MP: This leads on to the tricky question of washing, or charging clients for props and knits which can not be cleaned. Even with really careful hand washing knits can lose their shape or felt up and we guess they would be best not washed at all – but how does this fit with client care? Should mums be encour-
aged to buy or make their own, or maybe the studio should use brand new items and sell them to each client? ME: I would never charge a client for props and knits which can not be cleaned. It is a risk of the job – babies relieve themselves on your props, on your knits, wraps and flokatis! All my fabrics are washed with Fairy Non Bio and without fabric condi-
MP: Every fashion season, Pantone Inc issue a colour guide which is endorsed by the garment industry. Would it help photographers if we published the coming season’s colour themes? ME: Timeless and beautiful is key. As soon as you enter into anything regarding fashion it can become a fad, it comes in and out of fashion – we want images which have longevity. That’s where the value is.
Want to do this too? Magic Bean Studio provide stunning themed props but also a complete Newborn business in a box package which enables you to set up easily and proﬁt quickly. Image by Melanie East
email@example.com - www.magicbeanstudio.co.uk MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 • 63
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REGIONS EAST MIDLANDS October 18th 2016 – Jenny Johnston of 3XM is one of the key speakers at the awards day, and she is returning to the Jurys Inn Hinckley Island Hotel right after the awards weekend to give an in-depth seminar accompanied by her colleague from 3XM Photovalue, Ronan Ryle, and by guest speaker Tobias Robins. See advert, page 25. “The event is gearing up to be something really special with a fabulous guest speaker and lots of new updates from the world of Facebook and online marketing to share”, writes Jenny. “If you book now you'll get the Early Bird ticket rate of just £30, saving you £10.” The programme includes: Selling Online with Ronan Ryle The art of selling digital images in studio, success using online
galleries, and the important numbers you need to know to drive your business forward. Facebook for Photographers with Jenny Johnston Learn how to create content on your Facebook page that will help your business stand out from the crowd, generate new leads, make existing data work harder for you and find out how you can create huge engagement on Instagram. 15 secrets with Tobias Robins Most photographers are just getting by or struggling and never build the business they truly want, despite their high level of ability. Tobias sees the same mistakes over and over again and in this high energy, fast paced, and engaging talk, multi award winning photographer Tobias will share with you secrets that have supercharged his business and
those of others worldwide… that most photographers either don’t know or don’t do.
FINDING YOUR REGION ON FACEBOOK REGIONAL news, discussion and updates can be found on Facebook. To find the main MPA page, type ‘Master Photographers Association’. For regions, type ‘The MPA’; for special groups including China, Malaysia, Cherubs, Qualifications, type ‘MPA’ – in each case you’ll get a list of options. Here are the full URLs of active regional UK Facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/MPA.Central.Region https://www.facebook.com/The-MPA-London-Essex-Region https://www.facebook.com/MPANorthernRegion https://www.facebook.com/The-MPA-Welsh-Region https://www.facebook.com/The-MPA-West-Midlands-Region https://www.facebook.com/The-MPA-Scottish-Region https://www.facebook.com/The-MPA-South-East-Region https://www.facebook.com/The-MPA-South-West-Region
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LONDON PORTRAIT GROUP October 4th 2016 – Todd Lewis, Live from the USA… Marketing Wizard (to be confirmed). November 1st 2016 – Print critique, judge to be announced. December 6th 2016 – Social meeting & overall presentation. Contact: Michael Bird AMPA Chairman London Portrait Group 01992 652901
Online Qualifications Judging
The Master Photographers Association 01325 356555 Qualifications www.masterphotographersassociation.co.uk/qualification-dates-2016/ September 30th November 25th
A MEETING was scheduled to be held on September 5th, before this magazine was due to mail , to re-start the Southern Region. See Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ events/278910065820070/
Jason Banbury (left) receiving Welsh Master Photographer of the Year, an appropriate slate plaque trophy, from MPA President Steve Walton Those who have attended will know the outcome by now.
WELSH REGION September 12th 2016 – Model Photo Shoot at Glynhir House (to be confirmed) at Llandybie, near Ammanford in Carmarthenshire. This venue offers great opportunities for both indoor and outdoor photography. We will organise the location and the model, and we will ensure that there is a wide range of equipment and techniques available to try out which perhaps you would not normally have access to. The rest will be up to you! This is not a formal seminar, but an ‘experience and development’ day where we teach to and learn from each other. There will be a charge for this to cover the venue and model hire costs.
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You can read ƒ2 Freelance Photographer incorporating Cameracraft on your mobile device or Mac/PC Visit: http://bit.ly/1QSAdVb Master Photography is available as a PDF edition. Visit: http://bit.ly/1NwnLbr
MPA REGIONS CENTRAL Paul Wilkinson FMPA 6 High Street Haddenham Bucks HP17 8ER 01844 291000 enquiries@Paulwilkinsonphotography.co.uk EAST MIDLANDS Steve Walton FMPA 13 Juniper Close Leicester Forest East Leicester LE3 3JX 0116 2994901 stevewaltonphotography.info LONDON & ESSEX Raymond R Lowe Hon FMPA 123 Crossbrook Street Cheshunt Hertfordshire EN8 8LY 01992 636152 email@example.com NORTHERN REGION Steven Ramsden LMPA 10 Gillingwood Road Clifton Moor York, North Yorkshire YO30 4ST 01904 479063 firstname.lastname@example.org NORTH WEST David Thexton LMPA T&J Photographic 111 Ramsden Street Barrow in Furness Cumbria LA14 2BW 01229 835 035 email@example.com
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SCOTLAND Martin Leckie LMPA 33B High Street Inverurie AB51 3QA 01467 672000 firstname.lastname@example.org SOUTH EAST Paul Inskip 63 Queensway Bognor Regis West Sussex PO21 1QL 01243 861634 email@example.com SOUTH WEST Contact MPA HQ WALES Collin Davies LMPA High Society Photography Caecarrig House 15 Caecarrig Road Pontarddulais West Glamorgan SA4 8PB 01792 883274 firstname.lastname@example.org WESSEX Anthony Von Roretz LMPA 22/24 Trinity Street Salisbury Wiltshire SP1 2BD Telephone: 01722 422224 email@example.com WEST MIDLANDS Steve Walton FMPA 13 Juniper Close Leicester Forest East Leicester LE3 3JX 0116 2994901 stevewaltonphotography.info
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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 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016